Wednesday, 6 February 2008

3 principles in doing everything in life

My mentor told me these 3 principles on our first day of training. At that time, I just noted them down and never really give it a serious thought and practice.

Over the time, I saw him repeated this teaching to other people who were lucky enough to have chance to learn things from him. And I witnessed all the successful results when the rules are followed through each execution. On the other hand, I saw how things failed miserably when these rules were not being followed, especially when one missed out a step.

I can say this is the secret to success. Simple rules yet so powerful. It is the difference between people who always deliver on promise no matter what are the circumstances and people who always fail together with a set of reasons for their failures.

Here are the principles. These can be applied to everything you want to do in life, except maybe love.

1. Do homework/preparation

Before we start working on anything, we need to do our homework or make enough preparation. No generals or soldiers are going to go to the war unprepared. This is the same philosophy.

For sales people, preparation may mean studying the list of potential customers, competitors , understanding the markets, etc. It may also include qualification of the customers and coming out with the sales strategies.

For people who are going to travel to the foreign countries or states, it may mean studying the weather, what kind of clothes to prepare, places for visiting or shopping, things to buy and the expected prices, how much money to change to the foreign currency, etc. Also, we probably need to ask friends who had been to the same place on what to take note, especially things to beware of.

I learn this from my own few bad experiences in my recent trip to Beijing. I wish I was more prepared. But I am glad I realized my mistakes and are working for a big change now.

Thus, I think this step is most important but also most omitted by people, usually due to lot of common excuses and habits like procrastination, laziness, wrong priorities , not enough time or too rush. For e.g. , how many times you have gone to poor demo or presentations and wonder why the presenters are not well prepared? Or how many times you read through reports or proposals or resumes submitted to you and find there are still a lot of mistakes which should not be made?

It is important to spend enough times and efforts in doing the homework and ensuring a certain quality of the homework.

2. Be Focus

After we have done the homework, now it is time to start on the real work itself. We must be very focus to execute from start to end.

We must always finish what we started. We cannot quit no matter what. It is important that we do not quit at this stage as psychologically if we do, we may just continue to quit for the next and following tasks. And finally it becomes our habit to quit whenever things go wrong. And things always go wrong. That's why it is necessary for us to make it right.

Of course, not all the things are worth continuing. Sometimes we have to quit also if we know it is not possible for us to make it to the end or deliver the results we want. If we want to quit, the best time to quit is actually before or at the homework stage.

For sales people, focus may mean perseverance in making appointments with customers, doing presentations and following up until they close the deals.

3. Have Backup Plan

Never have one and only plan. Have plan A and plan B. Plan B is the backup. If plan A fail, execute plan B. We may also want to have plan C and plan D depending on the complexity and difficulty of the tasks.

This is also a very important steps but most people never work on this because they do no want the hassle to think of another plan to backup. They put their full bets on their main plan to go right and counting on their lucks, which are very silly.

Since sales is all about making numbers, it is important to plan it by playing around with the numbers. If the sales target is set to be 1 million for that year, make sure we are planning sales pipelines which is much more than that. If our target is to get 10 customers a week, make sure we make appointments with 30 to 50 customers. If product A may not be able to meet the target sales, have product B to start selling as the backup plan.

Let us all follow these 3 principles to ensure we are always winning in everything we do.

He who fails to plan, plans to fail.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Crazy man in a crazy weather

After a month of lack of posting due to my busy schedule, I would like to share this incredible true story.

While I was working in Beijing last week, I witnessed an unbelievable act of craziness. It was around 7 p.m. at temperature of around minus 10 degree Celsius. The man was in the middle of the walkway, apparently searching for taxi. He was unsheltered from the icy wind and temperature that can easily freeze a glass of water in 10 minutes.

And he was only wearing a T-shirt and a thin sweater. No conventional winter coat. Immediately he stood out in the crowd as at that crazy weather, it was almost like a crazy suicide attempt. He was there for at least 20 minutes. I can almost guarantee that Fear Factor would not even consider that act in their programs.

He survived, thanks to God's kindness. I asked him why he did that. He said his girlfriend was feeling cold because she just had a winter coat and a blouse underneath. He gave her his coat to prevent her suffering in the cold weather. They were looking for a taxi to go back to their hotel but at that place and time, most of the taxi drivers did not want to help. So, they had to stay out in the cold weather, trying to get a taxi driver that is willing to give them a ride. I had my fair share of experience with bad attitude of taxi drivers in China. So, I can understand how hard for them at that time.

What I did not understand is why he wanted to risk his life like that. He said he did it because he love his girlfriend very much and he is willing to die for her. He did the only thing that he saw as the only choice to guarantee the safety of his love one, that is to sacrifice himself for love.

He said he almost died there. His legs were already numb and his heart almost stopped pumping.

This made me thought of the memorable scene in Titanic, where Jack sacrificed his life for Rose. Like the movie "Romeo and Juliet" too.

But this story is very REAL, as real as my life.

I do not know why I choose to blog about this but I found his love is really touching. In this world and generation, it is hard to believe such person and love exist except in the movie.

It makes me realize that this world is always fill with wonders and possibilities. It makes me believe love is the greatest and most beautiful thing in this world. And to love, we need to sacrifice ourselves sometimes, to give and not counting how much we take.

Love may even be crazy, so crazy that no one else can comprehend.

Finally, I wish for the long life and happiness for the Crazy Man and his beloved girl.