What happens when you replace the word “sell” with the word “serve”?

What happens when you replace the word “sell” with the word “serve“?


I recently met with someone I have known for some time. His name is “Jim” and he is a good person, a family man and treats his employees well. He has been in sales most of his life with great success. Jim asked what he could do to grow his business and close more deals. I asked Jim what he could do to grow his business and close more deals. I remember the smile on his face when he replied “sell more”.


Selling takes on many forms. It doesn’t matter if you are on Wall Street or Main Street. We are all in sales. Whether you want to convince someone to eat at a specific restaurant, are trying to close a deal, convince your family that moving to a new city will be a good thing, launch a new business, apply for a new job, try out for a sport team, raise money or persuade someone to go on a date, we are all involved in selling.


I remember asking Jim what would happen if he replaced the word “sell” with the word “serve”? He paused, looked up and nodded his head. I asked “how do you feel when you are being sold?” Jim was quick to answer “not good at all”. I then asked “how do you feel when you are being served?” Jim smiled then nodded his head again. It was only a few moments after when he told me that he knew exactly what he needed to do. We ended early and out the door Jim went.


Over time Jim shared with me that his company went way off track. His team was focused on selling, not serving and this was not in line with his company’s mission and purpose. He met with his team and the first thing they did was to remove the word “sell” and replaced it with “serve”. His team shifted their focus away from themselves and on to their customers. Weekly sales meetings were conducted and each meeting was focused on how they could serve the needs of their customers and surpass their expectations. Jim’s company was quick to implement change and soon thereafter they experienced tremendous growth.


When change is needed, and it often is, it’s best to create additional perspectives on what needs to be changed. In Jim’s circumstance their focus was on sales and all that was needed was to create a different perspective. Changing their focus from “selling” to “serving” was the difference which made the difference.


Statistics show that we consumers love to buy things. I don’t know about you and for me, I love to buy things and I don’t like to be sold. I enjoy when my interests are being looked after and I do not like being pressed to buy something. What’s it like when you experience a sales person that is focused on helping you get whatever YOU want to have? It’s nice isn’t it? A friend, John O’Connor, shared with me the meaning of the word “sell”. It derived from the Nordic word “serje”, which means to “serve”. The key to successful selling is to focus on the needs of the other person ahead of your own. Any other way is not serving.


Can you tell when a salesperson cares about you and really wants to help? I know I do and I am sure you do too. It feels good doesn’t it? Life proves success happens when we help (serve) enough other people get what they want. It was the late Zig Ziglar who said “If you help enough people get what they want, you can have everything you want”. When I first heard Zig say this it was like a light went on. For me, it meant I can be successful if I help other people. Could it be that easy? It then dawned on me, yes, it can. This perspective creates win-win outcomes for everyone. I don’t know about you but creating outcomes in which we all win is something worth exploring.


What happens when you want something and you are focused on you can benefit? What happens when you switch the focus to what the other person wants? How does it feel? If you don’t feel it I promise you the other person does. When you master the art of serving you master the art of success.


I chose this topic because when I learned to replace the word “sell” with the word “serve” everything changed. My life became more fun and success came with less effort. Relationships were stronger and connections were deeper. Things that used to not make sense made sense. What I learned is that when you focus on serving, focusing on what the other person wants, you are opening yourself up to unlimited possibilities. For me, I am a coach. I provide a service for a fee. When I focus on me and how I will benefit I am limiting my potential as a business person. The moment I focus on others, helping them achieve whatever it is they want to achieve, I open the door of unlimited possibilities. The switch from selling to serving is the difference which makes the difference for me.


From experience I have witnessed most problems (obstacles) business people face when running a company is when their attention is too heavily weighted on how they can benefit. It’s only when they realign their purpose with creating the best customer experience that success becomes abundant. Remember the customer experience belongs to the customer. Let’s keep it that way.


The answer to the title What happens when you replace the word “sell” with “serve” is everything.


What I learned from experience is the best way to serve is from your heart. For example, put your hand over your heart and ask what can I do to serve this person? The answer will come as it always does.


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

What happens when you listen to the voice?

What happens when you listen to the voice? You know what voice I am talking about.


It’s 5:44am. I just got back. My glasses are fogged, my heart is beating fast, and drops of sweat are falling from my head as I sit here on the couch writing this post. I woke at 3:50am today and finally rolled out of bed at 4:14am after lying in bed waiting for something to happen, something that would motivate me to get my day going.


I am up early a lot and most of the time I am doing something healthy. I wondered if maybe I should go back to sleep. It’s early and my bed is comfortable. Then the voice in my head started to get louder. It was letting me know about the thing I wanted to do before I went to bed last night, you know, wake up early and go for a run. It was doing exactly what I suggested. It wanted me to get up, go outside, get some exercise and watch the sun rise. It wanted me to think about how I would feel after I went for a run. The more I stayed in bed, the louder the voice got. It asked me what my day would look like if I got up now and went for a run and what it might look like if I didn’t get up and go for a run. I knew if I allowed myself to focus on how good I would feel long enough that I would eventually get motivated enough to get my butt out of bed and go. It was clear to me that if I did I would feel so much better about myself and therefore so much more would be accomplished. A part of me was firing back saying that I woke up early the day before and went for a run. A debate was going on and there was no remote to change channels. I was present enough to know the other side of me, the part that is good at making excuses, was trying to bully the part of me that “knows” what I should be doing. Out of nowhere, I had a spark of energy that rocketed me out of bed. It was like a whip snapping me in the rear. I was up!


What was it that got me out of bed? Why did I choose to listen to the part of me that knows? I turned my phone flashlight on (I didn’t want to wake my wife and I think I did) and searched for my sneakers, grabbed my running pants, put on a long sleeve shirt and headed down stairs.


I tied my sneaker laces firmly and off I went. As I ran down the dark dirt path that leads to the paved public streets, my mind started doing what it does best, thinking and trying to figure things out. I noticed the birds chirping. There were several, all with different pitches. It was nice. I noticed the sound of my sneakers hitting the ground. I heard my breath and felt alive. There was no one around and I liked it. My mind loves quiet, it has less distractions and plenty of time to allow the thoughts that want to be heard to come forward and be noticed.


I started thinking about my careers; consulting and coaching. Oh yeah, and my apparel project. I was having a “moment”. I was reflecting on where I was in my life from another perspective. I was looking down on me as me but noticing me. It’s “meta” and something I learned in NLP. I was looking at where I am now and how it made me feel. I felt good. I noticed how each one of my interests is something I enjoy doing. They all mean a lot to me. I noticed how it made me feel and how happy I am to be where I am. Not financially. It was about me being in a place that felt right. The voice was pointing out to me how my life’s purpose, helping others get what they want, and my behaviors, actually doing it, were aligned. To me this is happiness. Doing what I believe in and making a difference. Good stuff!


I looked up and noticed the moon and the sun were present at the same time. Wow, this was cool and it’s not something I typically think about. The voice wanted me to notice this and possibly compare it to my life. It’s possible that it wanted me to know how lucky I am to be doing the things I like. Just like the sun and the moon are doing what they are doing at the same time, so was I. Was this life’s way of letting me know I am doing what I should be doing?


I must have been 2 miles in on a 3.2 mile run when I passed a side road and considered taking it. If I took it I would be adding more distance and time to today’s run. This wasn’t in the brochure. Then out of nowhere I felt a spark of energy, just like the spark that rocketed me out of bed earlier. I turned back and decided to take a different route, just as the voice was suggesting. It was only a moment or two (it felt much longer) when the part of me that can make excuses was trying to tell the other side of me that I didn’t have to add more time and distance and I was already up early doing something good. Did I really need to add more time and distance? What would I get out of doing this? The other side of me must have been feeling brave today because it stood up to the bully again, the excuse side, and said I can do more, that’s why! And that’s exactly what I did. I turned around and went another direction.


As soon as I made the adjustment and set new coordinates, my mind resumed feeding me more good thoughts. It was almost like I was being rewarded for doing something extra. So, I started thinking about the obstacles in my life. The current ones (yes, I have more than I would like to admit) as well as the ones of my past (I have enough for both you and me). It was like magic. I had this amazing feeling that everything in my life is the way it should be. The good, the bad and the ugly. I felt like I just finished putting together a thousand piece puzzle. Everything fit and I had no extra pieces. I don’t know and I can only guess, but it seems like the voice was trying to let me know something. It wanted me to know that life is not static. Sometimes we must take new roads that we don’t expect and when we do, it’s for a reason. We may not always know the reasons at the time but there are reasons. There are reasons to everything we do. I was being rewarded for being up early and fed treats for doing something different. I was open and I was listening.


Today my head feels like someone was inside and planted a seed. I am suddenly aware of a new belief. Was this the seed that was planted? This belief feels familiar and new at the same time. It’s the belief that I am here now because it’s where I belong; that I create my reality and I am responsible for everything I have done, everything I am doing and everything I will be doing. This certainly wasn’t in the brochure when I decided to take a new route.


My run was coming to close and before it did the voice shared with me a couple of good ideas I should consider for the consulting work I do. They appear to be great ideas and things worth exploring. I was really feeling good about listening to the voice. It knows and it wants to share what it knows.


Life’s message to me and possibly life’s message to you through me is that we are where we are because we should be. We might consider accepting our lives for what it is and not for what we think it should be. What would happen if we accepted this reality? How nice would it be?


Sometimes I can be hard on myself and think about all the things that haven’t worked out. And it’s now, right now, that I realize that it’s all the setbacks, obstacles and failures that make me who I am today. It’s part of my life’s journey. Today’s experience confirms that I know where I am going in life and it’s ok that I don’t always know how I am going to get there.


Through NLP (Steve Leeds and Rachel Hott) I learned not knowing is one of my most powerful resources.


Today is a good day. It’s a day that I have been waiting for and it may not have happened if I didn’t get out of bed when I did. I wonder what kind of experience I would have had if I didn’t go back and take a different route? There is a lot I am curious about. I am wondering now if this is life’s way of letting me know it’s ok to experience new things, embrace obstacles/setbacks and allow myself to not always know?


We all have our own setbacks, obstacles and challenges. They are all important because it’s part of life. It’s our mindset that keeps up going and it’s our mindset that will take us wherever we want to go. If we focus on failure we will experience more failure. If we focus on success we will experience more success.


I posted something this week and wasn’t planning on doing another until next week. Today’s post is not about me. It’s about exploring the things you know you should be doing and doing them. It’s about accepting, believing and being open. I am so grateful for what I experienced today. There is much more for me to explore and experience. I am grateful and blessed to be here sharing this experience with you. Now it’s time to shower up and go about the day. Thanks for being curious.


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

The simplest way to make someone feel important……..

A true story

I frequent the same local grocery market and for whatever reason, I get the same cashier almost every time. No matter what line I choose, there she is, the same cashier. Something about this person is different and I cannot make it out. She looks down, doesn’t make eye contact with customers and doesn’t smile. I don’t know her and for some reason I feel sad when I see her. I cannot explain what it is and I feel her sadness. When I place my items on the counter to be scanned, I make it a point to say hello and ask her how she is doing. Sometimes she replies with “ok” and most other times she doesn’t reply at all.


I used to think about her whenever I passed the grocery store. I wondered what she was doing and what it was that could be making her feel the way she feels. Could she be a quiet person who doesn’t talk much? I think yes and I also think there could be more.


Then one day, on my way home from work, I went to the grocery store to grab a few things for dinner. This time something felt different. I finished my shopping and headed to checkout. As usual, I went to the shortest line and guess who was the cashier? As I was waiting on line, I noticed the cashier was wearing a name tag. I didn’t remember her wearing one before and that’s ok. As I approached the cashier and placed my items to be scanned, I looked over and noticed her name was “Mary’. In a cheerful and uplifting voice I said, “Hello Mary” and paused. Then I said “how are you today?”. It was like magic. Mary’s head lifted, her eyes opened wide and bright and she gave me the biggest smile. She stopped what she was doing; she shifted her head and stared at me as if I were someone important she hadn’t seen in a long time. Though it was only a few seconds of silence before Mary responded, it felt like hours. The feeling I once had for Mary was replaced with a new feeling. It was a good feeling. I smiled back and Mary asked me if it were ok she used her store card to save me money on my purchase. Of course I said yes and let her do what she was doing and thanked her. I then swiped my bank card and before I could sign, Mary was separating my groceries and packing them in bags. She asked me where my daughter and son were. I was pleasantly surprised that she remembered I had a son and daughter. Mary obviously knew me and my family. How could we know each other and not know each other? Before I could respond, the person behind me on line was pushing forward, placing their items on the counter behind me. There wasn’t much time to talk. As I was moving it along, I put my last bag in the cart when Mary smiled and said “thank you”.  As I was walked away, heading for the exit, I heard Mary’s voice from behind, “hello sir, how are you today?”  I looked back and saw a different Mary. This Mary looked happy. The feeling I once had about Mary was gone.


I don’t know and I can only guess that Mary wanted to be recognized and feel important. She comes in contact with so many people on a regular basis. Some of them see her several times per week and don’t even know her name. I know this to be true because I was one of them.


I visit a coffee shop on my way to work every so often. Thankfully the people who work there wear name tags. My ability to remember names is not the best but it’s getting better. As I am waiting on line, I make an effort to read the name tags of the people working. I enjoy starting my order by greeting them with their name. It must be 90% or greater that they smile and respond in a way that feels different when I greet them by their name. It not only makes them feel good but it also gives me a nice feeling too. Sometimes the person behind the counter will respond with “how did you know my name?”  I enjoy seeing the look on their face when a complete stranger addresses them by their name. I know this to be true because when I wear a name tag and people greet me by my name I feel important too.


How important is it for you to be recognized? How does it make you feel when someone remembers your name? For me it’s very important. It means the other person is taking time to recognize you. They are showing respect and letting you know you matter.


Remembering people’s names is a skill I learned at Dale Carnegie. Life has proven that when you slow down and appreciate the people around you, life becomes special.


One of the simplest and most rewarding ways to make someone feel important is by remembering their name and using it often.


Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language”.


The next time you are on line or wherever you may be, try calling the other person by their name and notice what happens.


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

The resource that will solve any problem…..every time!

Do you know which resource will help you solve any problem…every time?


Do you remember the last time you were pressed to make an important decision? Maybe it was whether or not to delegate an important task/project, let a difficult employee stay or go, who to hire, decide if a merger or acquisition were appropriate, whether or not legal action were necessary, what to say for a press release or how to handle a difficult situation. There are many decisions we make every day and at the time each one is the most important. The resource responsible for giving you the answers to all of your questions is called INTUITION. It also happens to be the safest and most powerful resource you possess.


Have you ever wondered what intuition is or why it does what it does? For me l, as I am writing this post now, my fingers are moving without instruction. Words are appearing as if they are coming from something other than my consciousness and I like it.


Intuition is the part of you that “knows”. It’s the voice that talks to you everyday. It sends you messages and signals you when it’s supposed to. That “gut feeling” is your life angel doing what it does best. It guides, protects and keeps you safe.


Some clients ask what they should do when intuition speaks to them. The answer can be simple. Are you present or are you too busy to listen? Intuition is the part of you that knows the answers to the most difficult questions. Some call it a magical phenomenon. I call it your life experiences. It’s your minds way of sharing with you what it has learned and how it can serve you. The question is do you listen?


Have you ever wondered how you know what someone is about to say before they say it? What about knowing what happens next during a movie or book you never watched or read before? Possibly you have experienced a strong feeling about something and you didn’t know why? This is intuition at work and it can be very powerful once you learn how to use it.


As a coach I help my clients explore the meanings and messages of life.  We spend time listening. There are times when my clients are not resourceful. I help them connect with their inner self and explore what’s possible and create successful outcomes. Most of the time my clients have the answers to their own questions. They simply need some time and an environment that supports curiosity.


Have you ever had the answer to a problem or came up with a great idea for a project? Do you wonder where the answer or solution came from?  Think about a time when you made a good decision or thought of a good idea. What mood were you in and how resourceful were you? For many of us we make decisions based on our emotions. What kind of decision will you make when you are angry, scared, nervous, excited, or happy?  Does it make sense to trust in the part of you that has your best interest at heart every time? You may be wondering why it’s so important to trust your intuition. The simple answer is because it “knows”.  It knows you best and knows the best possible outcome based on your life experiences and everything about you. Your intuition is the single most powerful tool in your tool box and should not be discounted or overlooked. It’s the magic button if when pressed will guide you to the most favorable outcome. Its sole purpose is to serve and protect “you”.


So what exactly is intuition and why should you trust it? Our intuition is like a computer system that collects data (experiences) and stores them. It then uses these experiences (data) and applies it to the present moment to keep you safe and make you happy. You may have heard the expression, learn from your mistakes. It’s as if you are on a TV game show and someone is giving you all the answers. Do you want the grand prize? If so, all you have to do is listen.


I have been in situations which I have never been in before and I know what’s going to happen next. How is that possible? Do you remember watching a person do something that you knew wasn’t safe and watch then watch them get hurt or possibly you have been in a meeting or talking with somebody and you knew what the person was going to say before they said it. Isn’t it amazing that we know what we know and more importantly that we are usually right? It can be our emotions that hold us back. It is when we learn to better manage our emotions and listen to ourselves (intuition) that we can truly be happy and experience great success.


The next time your intuition is talking to you or is sending you a message, listen. It’s doing what it’s supposed be doing (serving). It knows you better than you know you.


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

Then I believe!

If magic is believing anything is possible, then I believe. What happens when you believe anything is possible? What kind of opportunities become available to you and what doors open? If you truly believe anything is possible, what holds you back from having what you want?


It’s 3:58 am. I am awake and the first thought of the day is anything is possible and I like it.


Everything changes when you believe anything is possible. From your thoughts, attitude and creativity to your ability to embrace change and connect to something greater than yourself. For me, my mindset and what I believe is like the water in a fish tank. It’s the everything that holds life together and makes it all possible. When you know anything is possible life’s obstacles become minor challenges and temporary setbacks. Could these obstacles and setbacks be life’s way of teaching us something we need to learn? For me, life’s setbacks and obstacles helped me grow, build strength, become wiser. Life’s experiences taught me there is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. Thank you Steve and Rachel!


Everything that exists today started with a thought, a dream and the belief that anything is possible. History proves the possibilities of life are endless and are only restricted to the boundaries we create for ourselves. For many, believing in magic, that anything is possible, is the foundation to having everything you want for yourself, your family and the people around you.


Our planet is 4.5 billion years old. We have only been here a short time. In this short time, we (humans) have accomplished so much and continue to do so. What do you think the Wright brothers believed was possible? What about the creation of the Internet? From the wheel to the light bulb, fax machine, automobile and all of the worlds records, man’s (men and women) belief and pursuit to create always starts with magic, a belief.


If you knew you couldn’t fail what would you be doing right now? Maybe it’s exactly what you are doing and maybe it’s not. Could the purpose of this post be to remind you of what you already know is true? Yes, life has plans for you. Yes, you can have whatever it is you want most. Yes, you already have all the resources you need to have or create whatever it is you want. The first step is knowing what you want. The next is believing not only in your dreams but that you can do whatever it is you want to do or have.


I remember sitting in my office many years ago. I converted my garage to an office. My daughter was just born and I was starting a new venture. Money was very tight and challenges were appearing like stars in the night. There was a part of me that was saying to go work for a company. It’s good and steady, money that will provide for my new family. The other side of me believed anything was possible and I should start my own company and go for it. At that time, I just bought my home, my wife stopped working to stay at home and raise our daughter. Money was as tight as a cork in a wine bottle. I was taking a big chance with a lot to lose. I remember clearly when my bookkeeper, my mother, informed me how bad my financial situation was. I owed the banks a lot of money at a time when no money was coming in. Maybe I should have cut my losses and gone to work for someone else. Maybe not. After all, I had a family and a responsibility. To make a long story short, I continued on. I believed in magic and that what I was doing was not only possible, it was life’s plan for me. The journey wasn’t easy and it might have been the reason why I have less hair today. I reached my destination. I paid back everyone and everything I owed and found what I was looking for. Was it the right thing to do? The answer was only clear after it was clear. Was it the opportunity or the belief in the opportunity that made the difference? Only life knows and I can only guess. We all experience setbacks. Many times we don’t share our setbacks and they remain a secret. Life knows I have experienced many setbacks and continue to do so. We all experience them. The way we think and how we act is the difference which makes the difference. Thank you Robert Dilts!


I share this short story with you because sometimes we need a sign or something that will trigger us to do it. To go for it and believe in magic and trust in what’s not always known. Maybe this post is that sign or that trigger that sparks something that needs to be sparked. My life has not been easy. It’s full of volatility and chance. Good times and not so good times. For those who know me, know I believe that life’s best moments happen when a good idea meets magic. You know what kind of magic I am taking about.


I read a quote recently and maybe now is a good time to share it. Here it is: “If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, your dreams aren’t big enough”.


I know it’s going to be ok because I believe in magic! Do you?


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

What do you do?

Ok, you are good at what you do. You have the knowledge, beliefs and intuition to boot. You have some history of success and a few trophies to prove it. Yes, you get it and you know how to do it. So what do you do when your company (or a person in your life) is going down a road bringing you further away rather than closer to your destination? 


 A client tells me she doesn’t feel good. Her company decided to implement a strategy that represents a bandage not a complete solution to a problem. This “problem” has been losing the company money and the “bandage” will cost the company even more money and a significant amount of time. She says that she knows a better way, one which is clear and logical. She says her way is not an ego thing, it’s a game plan based on her previous experiences being a VP of a publicly traded company and several successful startup and high growth business ventures. She (and her team) was responsible for the success of several projects that previously had been failing and are now highly successful. The issue now is the Chairman and President are leading the way, playing not to lose. This new plan doesn’t fit the company’s identity and core values. She feels alone and asked me what she should do. I told her it doesn’t matter what I think she should do. What matters is what she believes and how important it is for her to do something about it. 


 So there you are, at a fork in the road. You can take a left, which is the do nothing/ say nothing route or you can take a right which is the follow me/ let me show you route. Which way do you go? Is it time to put your experience and everything you know to work or do you do nothing and go with the flow? A lot has to do with your environment, where you are now in life and how the people around you will be affected. Do you believe in yourself? Do you still believe you know what you know? Are you willing to take risk and the possible consequences? I would love to know. 


 Let’s assume you are in the same position. Your boss/company or significant person set sail and is headed in the wrong direction. Let us also assume your team leader has positive intentions. He has a game plan and believes it will be successful. The people closest to him have already started rowing in that direction and you know it’s the wrong way. What do you do? Do you risk being singled out and labeled not a team player or even worse? I witness this type of situation often and have been in similar situations. Life taught me every situation is different as is every snow flake. 


 So what do you do? Do you take a left or a right? The first question is how would you feel if you did nothing? The next question is how would you feel if you did something? Which feels better and which serves your environment and the people around you best? You might consider testing what it might be like if you did one and then the other. You could imagine what the possible outcomes might be and compare and notice what feels right. You may also consider which path is congruent to your belief system and values. Some of us cannot work in an environment that doesn’t serve our values. If honesty is high on your values, you may consider sharing your thoughts with your boss/team. Maybe you value team work and knowing your entire team wants to go a certain way and you may be ok with it.


How do we know what to do? Could not knowing be a valuable resource? Maybe not knowing keeps us on our toes and pushes us outside our comfort zone. What do you think?


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

So you want results? Which way do you move?

It’s 2016 and we are still only getting into the new year. You may have already met with your team and discussed your goals for the year. For some it may have been increasing sales, creating new marketing initiatives or expanding into new locations. For others it might have been hiring new talent or creating a more enjoyable customer experience. We all have different wants and yet we all have the same need: results. The question is what motivates you to get results?


Recently, I had a discussion with “Mary” who is the CEO of her organization. Her team met in January and developed a plan to have a successful year. She told me it’s now April and things couldn’t be worse. Since the meeting in January, sales have fallen off a cliff and revenues are dropping at an alarming rate. Mary shared with me all the things that were not working for her company. She said it was very important for her to turn the situation around immediately or she would be in hot water. It was clear, Mary was motivated to avoid something more than she was to achieve something. In life we, individual(s) and/or organization(s), move towards or away from things. When we are attracted to reaching a certain goal it means we are moving towards something. When we are fearful of not being a certain way or being in an unwanted position it means we are moving away from something. Do you know which one you are? Knowing which one you are is very important because it helps you to navigate towards your outcome in a way that works best for you. It is possible that you move towards things at work and away from things in your personal life and vice versa. Understanding who you are and what motivates you is a powerful tool.


In the example above, Mary was motivated by avoiding (moving away) the pain of having her company experience a drop in revenues and upsetting the board which in turn would make her job/life more difficult going forward. Mary is a smart person and has the support of everyone around her. The thought of losing support from her team was enough motivation to get her fired up to start making things happen. Maybe you are like Mary and you get fired up when you are getting close to something you do not want. Maybe you are not like Mary and you are the type of person who moves towards the things you want. Once Mary learned what triggered her motivation, something changed. Mary and I created a plan to get her far “away” from what she did not want. She knew what she needed to do and was ready to get started. Mary immediately started to move “away” from what she did not want and was on the high road to getting results.


The following is a simple and proven strategy that helped Mary and it will also help you get results.


During the process you will go from where you are now to where you want to go.

1-Identify where you are now. 

2-Be clear about where you want to go or how you want to be.

3-Create a list of resources you will need.

4-Apply the resources and don’t look back until you have reached your destination.


The first step in this process is to explore your environment. This means knowing the internal and external conditions affecting your organization such as: what is your company doing now, who are you working with, how you are working and what is missing. The companies that fail to deliver are typically the ones that are not honest about where they are now. If you have trouble or feel more comfortable asking for help, now is the time.


In this second step you must be very clear about what you want. You may consider spending the most time here exploring your needs. It is very important to be crystal clear about what it is you want most. You may also consider who you are doing this for and how this will benefit your company before moving to the next step. If this want or need does not serve your company, you may consider exploring new options. Having a purpose or meaning which is greater than your own increases the possibilities and success.


The third step is important and may require outside services. It is here where you might list all of the resources needed to achieve the results needed. This is the “how to” part of the process and must have all its parts working together in the same direction and towards the same goals. Resources could mean having the right people, partnerships, equipment, technology, money, or anything else required to have the outcome you desire. Other resources may require outside consultants, coaches and advisors. In Mary’s case one of her resources required sales training for her outside sales team. Surrounding yourself with quality resources is the difference which makes the difference.


The fourth and last step is applying the resources. Here you may have time frames, responsibilities, checks and balances, guidelines and or anything else you may need to accomplish your goals. You may consider appointing a person or committee to oversee the implementation and to monitor the performance.


What is going to get you going? Do you move away from things you don’t want or do you move towards things you do want?


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

I do or I don’t. The difference that makes a difference.

I do or I don’t. The difference that makes a difference.


Why is it easier to know what we don’t want versus what we do want? I don’t want to be stressed, I don’t want to be overweight, I don’t like my job, I don’t want to eat fast food, I don’t want to be broke, I don’t want to suffer, I don’t want to smoke, I don’t want to be afraid of public speaking, I don’t want to be with this person, I don’t like my boss or I don’t want to feel this way. How much time do you spend thinking about the things you don’t want? Some of us think about the things we don’t want more than we think about the things we do want. It is very common to think like this for hours every day. Let’s say I don’t want to work at my job any longer and I think about it a few hours a day. How much time would I spend thinking about what I don’t want each year? It might look like this: 3 hours a day, 21 hours a week, 86 hours a month, 1032 hours a year. This would mean I think about how I don’t like my job nonstop 24 hours a day every day for 43 consecutive days. Wow. This is by any measure a serious amount of time thinking about something I don’t want. What would happen if I spent the same amount of time thinking about the job I do want? What if you were at dinner with friends or family and you were to order, would you order something you don’t want? I find it amazing that we create our own obstacles in life. It’s like running in front of a moving car or jumping off a cliff. Do I really need to put a stick in my eye?


We are all guilty at some point or another of thinking in a way that does not serve us. If we truly don’t want something, why do we spend so much time thinking about it?


When we think about something we don’t want our mind doesn’t know the difference between does or do and doesn’t or don’t. Here is an example: Don’t think about a yellow school bus. Let me guess you thought about a yellow school bus? How about this, don’t think about drinking a glass of water. Instead of getting into why our brain does what it does, allow me to share with you a simple exercise to help get whatever it is you want.


Here is a simple three step process to help you have whatever it is you want to have.


First: When you find yourself thinking about something you want, state it in the positive. For example: I don’t want to be late to my big meeting next week. Instead of feeding your mind with what you don’t want try feeding it with what you do want: I want to be early for my big meeting next week. If your focus is not to be late it is likely your mind would be focused on being late. This simple adjustment is a gift to you. It allows your mind to be clear about what you do want so it can give it to you. Do you like gifts?


Second: Once you state your want in the positive, ask yourself what you need in order to get what you want. Your mind loves details so give it details. Let’s use the previous example: I want to be early for my big meeting next week. Therefore I need to set my alarm for 7am so I have plenty of time to get ready. When the alarm goes off I will get out of bed and start my day. My meeting is at 8:30am and it takes 25 minutes to get to the meeting so I will leave my house at 7:50am giving me plenty of time to be on time for the big meeting. In this example we are providing details which can be instructions so our mind knows what to follow so that it can get you what you want.


Third: Picture the morning of your big meeting in your mind. Walk yourself through the alarm going off and getting out of bed to leaving your house at 7:50am to arriving fifteen minutes early. Our mind works in pictures so when you create the picture give it as many details as possible. Now your mind is clear. It knows what you want, has a list of what is needed and has a clear picture of what needs to be done.


Our minds are like magnets attracting whatever it is we are thinking about. Life in and to itself is also busy trying to serve us the same way a dog serves his master. I don’t know and I can only guess that life also prefers clarity. The clearer we are about what we want the easier it is for life to serve us. As complex as life and our minds can be, they can also be equally simple too.


A friend of mine had issues with drinking. He was thinking about how he didn’t want to drink anymore. Even though he knew drinking was ruining his life and the people around him, he still found himself drinking every so often making life for him, as he puts it, a living hell. Then one day he asked me what he could do to “not” drink anymore. I looked him in the eye and asked him what he “did” want in his life, not what he “didn’t” want. He was quiet for a few moments, looked up, touched his chin and smiled. It was this moment something changed for him. He embarked on a new journey keeping his old habit an old habit.


Can you remember experiencing a problem/issue at work or at home and it needed your immediate attention. This issue/problem needed a solution and the person you were discussing it with was kind enough to point out all the reasons the issue could “not” be solved? It happens to all of us and the good news is it can be changed. It starts with a slight shift in your thinking and all you have to do is flip the switch like a like switch on the wall. It’s that easy.


We all know someone who is sick or who has been diagnosed with an illness or disease. There is the sad reality of what is and there is also the reality of how you want to be. The difference is the difference which makes the difference. The decision of what you choose to focus on will become your reality. Let’s use an example: you are sick and diagnosed with xx and have to stay home from work until you are “better”. At that very moment you have a decision to make. Are you going to focus on you not wanting to be sick or are you going to focus on how you can be better? You may also consider listing all the things you “can” do and let go of the things you “can’t”. If you are already sick there is nothing you can do to remove what you are already. What you can do is guide your mind towards what you have control over.


The three step process listed above will help you with health issues, work related problems, relationships and/or anything else requiring you to think. It works for me and it will work for you.


The next time you want something, make sure you are clear about what you “do” want and be careful, you’ll probably get it.


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach

Beliefs: Hold On To The Good Ones And Ditch The Rest

I was going to write about getting results. It made perfectly good sense being that most of us are business people and looking for results, right? We build teams, create strategies, set goals, hire talent, bring in coaches and consultants, create strategic relationships and spend lots of money to get it. Our stakeholders demand results and so do our careers. I was going to share a strategy on how to get results for your business. Then I asked myself what could I offer that would have both an impact on your business and help you to create a more meaningful life? The answer came quickly as if it knew I was coming for it. It’s our belief system, the difference which makes the difference. Beliefs are the invisible force which cause us to think, act and do what we do. They make the impossible possible and are responsible for making us who we are. On the contrary, it’s the something which holds us back and prevents us from achieving whatever it is we want. The number one reason we fail at results is we do not spend the time to understand how results align with our belief system. For instance, I can help you grow your business today but if you don’t have a belief system which supports the strategy, you are not going to be get results or be successful.


You may be asking, what are beliefs and what makes them so important? Simply stated, beliefs are thoughts generated from past experiences. They are true to the believer and responsible for helping you achieve success or preventing you from it. We all have our own unique beliefs which are called “belief systems”. These systems are learned and may be the most powerful force that you possess. We are all aware of the “placebo” affect. Studies show the placebo can be effective from 40% to 71% of the times it is used. Yes, the rates vary and they also suggest they can work over prescribed pharmaceuticals. With results like these we might consider making some adjustments to our own belief system. Most breakthroughs that my clients experience happen after we explore their belief system and remove the beliefs that don’t serve them and create new ones which do.


You may have heard the saying: “If you believe you can or you believe you can’t you are right”.  I am proud to say it’s on my son’s Instagram profile. We discussed it a year ago and it appears he was listening. The quote is the perfect example of how our belief system is structured. I talk about this often with clients and friends. Life has proven that limiting beliefs are the most popular obstacle holding us back from being successful and having what we want. The first step in problem solving is identifying the problem and the same applies for changing your beliefs.


Beliefs are important and in some cases responsible for life and death. We all may have heard or experienced someone who was diagnosed with an illness or disease and they were told they had only a certain amount of days/weeks/months to live. We later heard how they lived far beyond the time they were given. Could it be they were misdiagnosed or could it be they believed they could get better regardless of what they were told? What about the great Walt Disney who was fired from his job at a newspaper for not being creative enough? What did Walt believe? Then there was Oprah Winfrey who was fired because she was too involved with her work. What was she thinking and more importantly what did she believe? There are many stories like these and many more to come.


What makes limiting beliefs so important? For business coaches it’s the missing piece in identifying what is holding back a client and preventing them from having whatever it is they want most. If you have a belief that does not serve you, meaning it doesn’t support you in a meaningful way, you should consider removing it. One way to remove it is to question it. You may ask yourself when this belief started and if it is really true. Many times we find limiting beliefs to be untrue and unsubstantiated. It is likely they were created from nothing and mean nothing.


It wasn’t long ago when the auto industry was imploding and the American manufacturers were on the brink of failure. Losses were significant and the color red was everywhere. Tax payer bailouts were being handed out like free ice cream in Central Park on a hot sunny day. All the major auto manufacturers took money except one. Yes, it was Ford Motor Corporation and a man by the name of Alan Mulally was put in charge to bring about significant change. His responsibility was to turn the company around with no help from us, the tax payers. Whatever discussions occurred within Ford resulted with Mr. Mulally believing he could do what others said was not possible. His accomplishments and tremendous success started with the belief that it was possible and he was the man to do it. Was it that Alan Mulally was smarter than the other executives in his field? Did he have a better education or work experience? I doubt it. What he did have was the belief that he could turn around the auto giant and get it back to profitability without a bailout. There are many success stories like these and many more to come.


So how can you change your belief system? The first step is to identify the limiting beliefs that don’t serve you in a meaningful way. The second step is to unlearn them the same way they were learned. If you have a belief and it doesn’t support you then get rid of it. Beliefs are learned thoughts based on experiences. What you can learn you can unlearn. My advice to those interested in changing a belief is to first believe you can do it. And second is to be open and curious. Believe me, it works!


Enjoy the ride!


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Leadership + Executive Coach Robert Paulson






Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach