Česky: Závodící anglický chrt English: Greyhou...
Česky: Závodící anglický chrt English: Greyhound racing Français : Lévrier durant une course. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another thing I learned in racing school was called “Eyes on the Prize”.  The short lesson was that as drivers were supposed to do everything in our power to train our focus on the spot on the track we wanted the car to go to.  It didn’t matter if we were working on putting down a hot lap, or trying to drive out of a mistake, or clearing an accident on the track… Keep the eyes on the prize, and the prize was the spot we wanted the car to go.

Steering into the skid is a technique.  Threshold braking is a technique.  There are a lot of techniques, and racing schools are about learning the techniques more completely in order to drive at the limit.

As a side note, some say “comfortably drive at the limit”.  If you are comfortable, you aren’t at the limit. 

There are a lot of “Life Coaches” and others that teach this same lesson, applying it to other aspects of our lives.  Sometimes it means taping a goal on the mirror so that we see it every morning… Eyes on the Prize.

What is YOUR prize? 

 

 

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I’m not going to say that I’ve “learned” them… but I have heard them and I try to apply them.

 

4 Levels of Competence

Skip Barber Racing School Hosts 'The Young Lea...
Skip Barber Racing School Hosts 'The Young Leaders Society' (Photo credit: Skip Barber Racing School)

Here is a lesson straight from Racing School that applies to EVERYTHING. We all operate in one of 4 levels of competence in just about everything we do.  See where you are…

Unconscious Incompetent“You don’t know what you don’t know.”  Most of us have progressed past this level in most of our pursuits.  At this level, we don’t know that we aren’t doing it right.  We can’t move past this until we figure out that we are wrong…

Conscious Incompetent“Trying to figure it out.”  Here, we know that we aren’t doing it right, but we don’t know the right way yet.  This is the stage where we are open to learning and/or getting a coach.

Conscious Competent“Head down, eye on the ball, follow through.”  I know a lot of golf folks that are here.  This is where we know the right way, and we can do it, but it requires thought and practice.  It is good… but not automatic.  Most good athletes are here… good, but not great.

Unconscious CompetentMuscle Memory takes over.”  Reflex.  Automatic.  This is the aspiration.  Fluid reaction with the right response.  Steering into the skid, almost before noticing the skid.  Threshold braking into a turn.  There are so many ways to describe this… but the bottom line is that it is the level of performance that we all aspire to reach.  The great athletes and performers are at this level.

 

Photo of 500 metres short track heat at the 20...
Photo of 500 metres short track heat at the 2004 World Cup in Saguenay. Apolo Ohno (USA) leads Thibaut Fauconnet (FRA), Mark McNee (AUS) and Sergei Prankevitch (RUS) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not a big sports guy… I like octane sports, but the traditional stick and ball games have never been that interesting to me.  But, as a kid I played baseball, basketball and ice hockey.  I also was a short track speed (roller) skater, sprinter and high jumper.  It is fair to say that I wasn’t really good… in fact, about the only one I was really any good at was speed skating.  I was pretty fast for 500M.  I did the rest… and learned a lot.  In fact, in short races (500M is a very short race on speed skates), I was WAY faster than my coach.  But I learned how to be faster from him all of the time.

Sports are a GREAT training ground for kids.  But it isn’t so much the “character building” that we all hear about from our parents as we struggle to get better at a given sport.  The reason it is such a great training ground is that it is an opportunity to learn how to be coached.

Back in the days when professional athletes didn’t make boatloads of money very quickly in their careers (or looking at sports where the money isn’t cubic, like many Olympic sports), it was quite common to see great athletes have great careers in business after leaving the sports arena.

I think that the reason for this is that they became great athletes because they learned how to be coached.  They also learned how to learn and practice when they didn’t know what to do.

 

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BCS Playoff Bracket
BCS Playoff Bracket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Social Media Breakfast Atlanta is going to host a Blog Brawl this summer.  What?  You don’t know what a Blog Brawl is?  We can help you with that…

We will put together a bunch of blog battles.  There will be brackets like the NCAA Basketball Finals.  We’ll take 16 blogs and pair them up.  The blog that gets the most votes from each pair will advance to the next round… and it will happen again.  Only one blog will emerge victorious.

The brawl will be open to Atlanta area business blogs.  Starting date and details will be released in the next few weeks.  There will likely be some surprise twists and turns.

The goal will be to bring more attention to each of the bloggers participating in the brawl.

Next up, we will be looking for some groovy cool sponsors to put together a prize package for the winning blogs.  But every blog will be a winner… more exposure and new readers will be the prize.

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Here are two diametrically opposed viewpoints that need to be balanced.

Market or die!  If you don’t take the time to market now, you will have plenty of time later. 

and

DVRs were invented so that we could ignore marketers and commercials. 

Do It!

Mobile-phone-advertising
Mobile-phone-advertising (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m sitting here watching a little TV and it seems that the networks use a lot of valuable advertising time… time that could generate revenue… to promote new shows.  Do the shows pay for the time?  No.  But, if the show is popular, there will be viewers.  If there are viewers, the networks get to sell the advertising time for more money.  So, the networks take some of their most valuable inventory and dedicate it to marketing themselves.

 

Many small business owners, and it seems ESPECIALLY those in the real estate sphere, relegate marketing and advertising to the back burner.  There isn’t time to market when there is actual “revenue generating business” to take care of.  But, after ignoring the marketing and advertising aspects of their business, they found that the “revenue generating business” had slacked off.

I used to work for a photographer that reserved some of his most valuable time to talk with potential new clients… even if it meant turning down existing work.  Of course, we maintained a pretty tough schedule when things got busy, but the marketing was constant.  Even when we were shooting 14 hours days, from before sunrise until after sunset, we would come back to the studio and prep mailings and package stock photos for agencies.

There were a few other photographers I worked for.  They were happy when they were busy, and marketing like mad when they weren’t.  Business was up and down…

But Be Cool About It…

Football is ok, but I can go an entire season without watching a single game… and I’m cool with that.  But I record the Super Bowl.  I don’t really watch the game.  I watch the commercials.  But the rest of the year, I avoid commercials like the plague.  I have an Ad-Blocker on my internet browser so that I don’t see a lot of ads as I surf.  For the TV that we watch in the household, most of it cycles through the DVR so that we can skip the commercials.  When I am watching my FaceBook stream, I tend to ignore the people that just post up self-promotion.

So, how can marketing and advertising be effective if we all just ignore it?  And should we really contribute more to the noise?

It is a tough question and a difficult balance to maintain.  We HAVE to market, but if we do it too much, it has the opposite effect, we get tuned out by the very people we are trying to reach.

Mean it when you market.

Don’t overdo it.

Make it cool.

Keep it relevant.

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IPhone First Generation 8GB (3680455198)
IPhone First Generation 8GB (3680455198) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I took a little time out and knocked out 3 blog posts for another of my blogs.  I did it while waiting for a client to arrive at a showing.  I used my tablet (a smart phone would also work).

 

Video.  Last week I popped up a video up on this blog that I shot in just a few minutes.  I think it took about 15 minutes to shoot it… twice.

The point is that I hear from a lot of agents that say they don’t have time to blog.  There is almost always time.  Of course the quality would be a bit better if it was done in a studio… but they would have a different feel.  A lot of viewers actually like the video to me more “raw and real”.

One of the nice things is that you can actually have an idea and shoot it right then… which can be even better than making notes about what to write about later.

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