Live Your Dream

How to WIN!

So why the big deal about Winning? Yesterday we discussed the subject of Educate or Win and I said I would talk more in detail about the strategy around Winning today.

Charlie Sheen Winning (2)

So has Winning turned into a bad word like Sales? (sorry sales people, I am one so I feel your pain)

Has Charlie Sheen ruined it for everyone?

Well just to refresh, I stated there were two distinct strategies, Educate or Win.

You Can Either Educate or You Can Win – You Can’t do Both

Yesterday I got some flack from some of my colleagues stating that I should say:

Educate And Win

As an educated person I would love to believe that is the case but in reality I am finding that in our Information Driven world, that is not the case. Think about it this way; who get’s to write the history? The victors in the war, conflict or movement. In other words the ones that WIN!

So How Do you Win? (this why some of you came to this blog in the first place.)

  1. Keep It Simple Stupid! (So that’s not very PC of me.) – It is commonly known as the KISS theory. (BTW, what did you think the second “S” meant anyway?) In today’s world we say “140 characters or less”. Thanks Twitter
  2. Keep it Short! – Pretty self explanatory (see above) I tell clients to keep blogs under 500 words. Let’s see if can keep to my own consultation.
  3. IT MUST BE FUN!!! – If it’s not Fun, people won’t listen for long-We are talking about the majority, you Educated Elitist, (was that wrong to say? lol)
  4. Make it about them! – Give them their WIFT (What’s In It For Them) How does the message or what you are doing effect their life?
  5. Offer something of Value! -Give them something to reinforce the message that they are going to keep, at least for a little while. Like a pen, small football, notebook, etc. Why do you think corporations spend so much money on promotional items. Now you know why!

Businesses that succeed learn this message either from the beginning or in time. Yes it is great to Educate your audience and give them information but if you are a business, at the end of the day, you need to make money. That is how you Win! If you have a specific ideology you are trying to get across, you need to get people on your side. And unfortunately if all you’re doing is educating on the basics or high moral ground your message falls on deaf ears.

So my advice, if you are trying to deliver a message or run a business is this. Play to Win. If you Win you can then educate the people on what you want them to learn, until then,  They Just Won’t Listen!

LA_ retouch glasses

Les Adkins CEO and Founder Orange SMS, Serial Entrepreneur, Adventurer, and co-founder APocket (coming to your mobile device soon)  #LikeAPocketonFB #ChangeTheWorld

Facebook Orange SMS and APocket

Follow @Orange2Social and @theAPocket

Connect on LinkedIn Orange SMS

Live Your Dream


You Can Educate or You Can Win!

You Can Educate

You Can Educate

Or You Can Win

Or You Can Win

These two concepts seem to get confused in today’s modern world of Information. I’m all about Educating, and come from a family of Educators with a mother who has a Ph.D in Adult Education, so I am all about Education – but recently I attended a meeting of a certain political party (if you follow me on other sites you will see where I lean but for this article we will keep it generic). And they were asking how they could get younger people to attend their meetings. They kept saying that if they could get them to the meetings and then educate them they would see the light. This reminded me of Albert Einstein’s quote:

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

That is what this particular group has continued to do. I had to say something and stated that if young people came to that meeting they would not come back. You need to meet them where they are and make the message about them or at least as it relates to them. One of the leaders of the group stated that if he could just get his nieces and nephews to get off their phone so he could talk to them… and I rebutted and said you are missing the point. You have to be where they are, on the smart phone or tablet, to get your message across. Oh and it has to be FUN, not stuffy or boring. This didn’t seem to go over well but afterwards several people came up to me and said they wanted me to continue to come back, they liked what I said and I even got invited to another political party meeting.

I made the statement at that time “You can either Educate or You Can Win – You can’t do both!” After making that statement I started really thinking about it and how it relates to both political messages and ideology and to business in general. I see a lot of people and businesses, including my company, trying to educate but not shooting to win. I see other companies that shoot to win.

So before I lose you I do believe you can do both but you must first win before you can educate or to put it another way; you need to get their attention first before they will listen. This is a concept called “Persuasion”. No one listens unless they know the WIFM (What’s In It For Me) or in this case What’s In It For Them. And if you are going after the younger crowd you need to get their attention in 140 characters or less.

So in the case of Educating or Winning there are two distinct strategies:

  1. When Educating you give them information that is historical, fact based, logical and hope that will lead them to a conclusion to move in the direction you are trying to get them to go.
  2. When trying to Win you give them simple concepts that they can use right away and also show them how it affects their lives in the present and make it rewarding and FUN!

The above is definitely a simplification of the two strategies and I will elaborate in tomorrow’s blog on the “Strategy of Winning”.

Zig Ziglar Winning quote

LA_ retouch glasses

Les Adkins CEO and Founder Orange SMS, Serial Entrepreneur, Adventurer, and co-founder APocket (coming to your mobile device soon)  #LikeAPocketonFB #ChangeTheWorld

Facebook Orange SMS and APocket

Follow @Orange2Social and @theAPocket

Connect on LinkedIn Orange SMS

So the World is Going Crazy but Don’t Buy the Hype!

SocialSo if you are listening to the news you are probably a little depressed. If you own a business you are probably a little confused and if you are an individual you might be a little scared. So what do you do?

Whether you are an entrepreneur, unemployed, under employed or have a great job you are probably unsure about the future. Well lately I have been pondering the reason why some people succeed in times of hardship and others fail. One of the things I have discovered is that foreigners, those not born in the USA, see a wide variety of opportunity in America. Sometimes we native-born Americans forget how good we have it here. With all the government uproar we still live in a land where we have the opportunity to be what we want to be with a little persistence and initiative we can still change our lives no matter what the media and the government tell you.

We see that the Self-Help industry is increasing in size so that is definitely not working or people would be needing less Self-Help material not more. The more dependency  others gain from the government, people or family the less self-preservation skills are used in trying to better themselves.

I normally write Blogs and Posts on Social Media, Audience Engagement and Business Success but today I just felt the need to reach out and try to give those of you that are trying to better yourselves some words of encouragement.

I own my own business and I also am partnering in several endeavors. I am not what you would consider successful in some people’s eyes, but I am my own boss and most months I can pay the bills. And success is defined in so many ways that I consider myself successful in part because I have not given up my dream.

Yes some days are harder than others but the key to success I have found is persistence and to keep on moving forward when others tell you to stop. So I hope that in some small way this has helped someone out there to keep moving toward their dream no matter what the obstacles.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Paula White;

An obstacle you are facing is an opportunity to bring out of you what is in you!

For most of us what is in you is a force that can be used for good and will lead you to your success!

To your continued success-

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Also two-time Tough Mudder finisher. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.


Day 30 Review, Review, Review and Live, Live, Live! (revisited 2013)

Well folks this time it has been a crazier ride than last time. Crazy Good! As most of you are enjoying a long weekend 4th of July holiday the video that I used in 2011 is even more relevant on this 5th of July. To celebrate your freedom and Live Life Like You Were Dying!

 I am not perfect and I definitely have made my share of mistakes and moving forward I am sure that this pattern of mistakes and failures will continue but I am seeing way more successes. So thank you to all of my new followers and those who continue looking for their break through’s in life and business.  I will continue to share and hopefully you will learn from both my mistakes and my successes. I sincerely request your feedback so we can all learn from each other. A quick list of my successes since I began this 30 day journey revisited:

  • Company moved from 2 locations to now 48 locations around the world
  • Currently in negotiations with a company to become a speaker and workshop facilitator with some top named, known successful entrepreneurs. 
  • Have a very well known publishing company to who I have the opportunity to pitch my book to.
  • Speaking to CEO’s all across the world. 
  • Founding Board Member of Georgia Crowdfunding Association. 

Those are just a few of the things that have happened literally in the last 30 days. So smiley face winkbelieve in yourself and your business and truly great things can happen if you stay the course. I have been running my business for 5 years, so don’t give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and NO, it is not a train heading right for you. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Also two-time Tough Mudder finisher. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post Posted on November 15, 2011)

Congratulations on Making it through the 30 day journey to Live Life Outside the Comfort Zone. Here is a song just for you. If you haven’t made it yet keep moving forward.

So what do you do now? Well as the song says “Live Like You Were Dying”! And your saying OK, OK but really what do I do now. Well here is a few things to remember: First go back to the list of the past 30 days:

  1. Day 1: Organization
  2. Day 2: Goals
  3. Day 3: Make 10 to 20 Contacts Per Day
  4. Day 4: Follow Up
  5. Day 5: Motivation
  6. Day 6: Stop Worrying and Start Living
  7. Day 7: Review, Review, Review 
  8. Day 8 & 9: Prioritize for the Next Week
  9. Day 8 & 9: Prioritize for the Next Week (not a typo; just matching days with #’s)
  10. Day 10: Develop 30 second commercial
  11. Day 11: Visualization 
  12. Day 12: Live To Learn
  13. Day 13: Get Out There
  14. Day 14: Blog, Blog, Blog
  15. Day 15: Volunteer
  16. Day 16: Rest
  17. Day 17: Focus
  18. Day 18: Branding Yourself and Your Business
  19. Day 19: Productive Meetings
  20. Day 20: Go Against the Norm
  21. Day 21: The Power of One
  22. Day 22: Don’t Give Up
  23. Day 23: Break That TV Addiction, NOW
  24. Day 24: Whole Brain Approach
  25. Day 25: What Did I Do Wrong
  26. Day 26: Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda…
  27. Day 27: Getting Back To My Roots – Digital Presence
  28. Day 28: Specifically, What Are You Trying to Do
  29. Day 29: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes
  30. Day 30: Review, Review, Review and Live, Live, Live

Then see what has changed and what is the same. And don’t worry if you have not achieved every single thing that is on the list. Take them in groups or even one at a time. Remember it takes 21 to 30 days to create a habit!

For me my life has gotten more fulfilling and busier in a very good way. As my friend Denise O’Brien said in one of her Facebook posts;

“I love my life”

My next goal is to accomplish living a life with the principles behind the 4-hour work week. Don’t worry I will share.

So thank you for joining this adventure with me. And remember that the adventure is never over as you continue to “Live a Life Outside the Comfort Zone”.

Who We Are

Day 29 Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (revisited 2013)

So lately I have been hearing phrases such as “Life Changing” and “Once in a life time opportunity”. No these are not sales people trying to sell me something, but the people around me that are noticing the extra ordinary things that are happening with my life and business. This is one of the reasons that I have been absent and a little behind when it comes to posting Day 29 and 30.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. A time to take stock of how and why we are able to enjoy the freedom’s we have in this country. My life in the last 2 months has shown me that there is still incredible opportunity in this country and this world if you just stay persistent and continue doing something that you believe in. So Happy 4th of July and I will wait to post Day 30 this coming Friday. Life is about changes that take place throughout your existence some small and some big but always they change the way you look at life sometimes in a bad way but hopefully in an amazing good way.

Les Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business 20110327-125416.jpgStrategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Also two-time Tough Mudder finisher. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post Posted on November 11, 2011)

So on Day 29 I went up to my parents house to help them with some basic technical issues. I always tell them I am not tech support, but for them I make an exception. It was doing things like downloading pictures from a camera to a computer, posting a few pics on FB and figuring out how to make one of those electronic picture frames work.

CheeseOn the drive up I started thinking about the 30 day journey that I was on and what had initiated the journey and where I was at this point. The word that kept coming up was “Change”. If you have not read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” I highly recommend it. Without going into too much detail there are 4 characters, two mice Sniff and Scurry and two little people Hem and Haw.

“Cheese” is a metaphor for what you want to have in life…And the “Maze” is where you look for what you want…In the story the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from his experience on the maze walls. When you come to see ‘The Hand-writing on the Wall,’ you can discover for yourself how to deal with change… Spencer Johnson, M.D.

That should give you a good idea of the book. I highly recommend the read whether you are on this journey or if you feel you need to begin a journey of your own.

On the way home from my parents this song came on the

Still don’t know what I was waiting for

Time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

Every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I’m much to fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes

(Turn and face the strain)

Ch-ch Changes

Don’t want to have to  be a richer man

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes

(Turn and face the strain)

Ch-ch Changes

I just wanted to be a better man

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time…David Bowie -Ziggy Stardust

So as we come to the next to last day of the 30 day journey remember that time is moving on whether you change or not. Change is difficult and sometimes a struggle but in the end it is worth it to “Live Outside the Comfort Zone”

Who We Are

Day 19: Productive Meetings (revisited 2013)

So as we go into the weekend I am not sure how many of you will see this post. I actually had several meetings today and yes they were all very productive based on the tips I state below. These guidelines have become a habit for me but if they are new to you remember it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. This means you will need to practice the tips below.

My meetings have been extremely productive since I implemented this in my daily meeting routine that I started in 2009. Keep in mind that you won’t always have a productive meeting but when that happens remember to always assess, review and then go at it again. It’s a lot like getting bucked from a horse. If you fall off the  best thing you can do is get up, dust yourself off and get back on the same horse, again.

So go forth, have fun over the weekend and attack your Monday meetings by implementing some of the suggestions below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post – Posted on October 27, 2011)

The other day I had 3 very productive meetings. Why were they so productive you ask? Well let me tell you.

First I had an objective for each meeting. In other words I had a specific outcome that I productive-business-meetingwanted to have for each meeting.

Second I had a Plan A and a Plan B. Meaning that if I did not achieve my main objective I had a back up objective. So an example would be if I wanted a meeting to have the outcome of becoming my client and if that didn’t happen my Plan B would be to schedule another meeting within the next two weeks. See how that works.

Having a productive meeting is not that difficult but you do have to plan for them. Here is a great diagram to show you how a productive meeting should be run.

(Click photo below to make bigger)

A couple of other things to remember before we leave about productive meetings.

  • Make sure you spend some time building a relationship or rapport with the people you are meeting with.
  1. I had a relationship with one of the people who I met with that ended up exceeding my objectives.
  2. Get a referral or introduction from a person you both hold in high regard. This gives you an automatic relationship.
  3. Find common ground. Something you are both interested in like a hobby or an activity or a trend in the business that you are discussing.
  • Use a Whole Brain Approach. 

I have talked about this quite often but the easiest way to explain the Whole Brain Approach, by (Ned Herrmann) with Herrmann International, is to show you this diagram that describes thinking preferences. Please contact me if you are interested in determining what your thinking preference is.

This logo is trademark protected under Herrmann International

  • Be Present

Have you ever been with a friend or spouse and you know they are looking at you and pretending to be there but they are not? This is what I mean. Be present, be in the moment of the meeting. Don’t let your mind wander.

  • Actively Listen

Active (Empathetic) Listening is where an individual confirms they have heard and understood by summarizing and paraphrasing the information back to the speaker.

I think “actively listening” is the most important part of having a productive meeting! Here are 7 ways to become a better listener.

  1. Be Legitimately Interested– Put yourself in the speaker’s place and make his or her problems your own. The speaker will consciously or subconsciously pick up on this and you will learn more from the conversation.
  2. Accept the Speaker’s Point-Of-View – Some of us have the desire to get our point across and want to add a word in for every sentence spoken. Even if you disagree with the speaker’s stance on a subject, allow him or her to finish their thought before voicing your disagreement, and then only if necessary. Remember, you are trying to be a listener, not partake in the discussion.
  3. Use Body Language, Eye Contact and Repetition – Using body language and eye contact the right way can really have an impact on the speaker. To show you are listening and interested, lean slightly forward in your chair. Make consistent eye contact, but do not stare. Make noises like “mm-hmm” or say “I see,” and frequently paraphrase what was just said.
  4. Go Beyond the Words – Good listeners are actively thinking not just about what was said but also why and how it was said. Why did this person come to you to talk {or be heard}? Is there excitement in their voice? Resentment? Jealousy? Once you determine the motive of the speaker, can you react more smoothly to their words.
  5. Avoid Planning Counter-arguments – It is a natural response to automatically start planning a counter-argument as soon as something is mentioned. As hard as it may seem, don’t. Mentally record your disagreement and formulate a response later after the whole message has been received.
  6. Be Aware of Your History with the Speaker – Think about how your history with the speaker may affect what is being said. Is there potential for flared feelings? Sympathy? Fear? Figuring this out will help you better understand the speaker’s motives and, thus, respond accordingly.
  7. Ask Questions – If there is something said that is not clear to you, ask for clarification. Be careful not to use questions to rebut or represent your point-of-view. Only ask questions that’ll help your understanding of what the speaker is saying.                                 – Extract from “Active Listening, Tim Bridge of PersonaDev”

Who We Are

Day 10: Develop 30 second Commercial (2013 – revisited)

So on Day 10 I developed a 30 second commercial and gave some pointers on how you can create and deliver your own 30 second commercial. My commercial has changed from 2 years ago.

We help mid to large size companies create a strategy around their digital presence and help them increase their reach using a   Whole Brain Approach.

This short 30 second commercial opens up dialogue as to what is a Whole Brain Approach and how do we help them increase their reach which allows us to then qualify them as a possible prospect. See the rest of how to create your own 30 sec commercial below:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

(Original Post – Posted  on October 13, 2011)

Day 10: Develop 30 second Commercial

Medium is the Message cleanSo on day 10, I am re-developing my 30 second commercial.

So what makes you unique? Who are you? What company are you with? And how do you creatively explain what you do?

Being a business development consultant that specializes in Social Media Strategy and Whole Brain Approach has been difficult this past year. (No, I’m not complaining just stating facts.) Every time I say what I do, someone inevitably states, “We do the same thing”.

When I first started working with “Social Media”, around seven years ago, there were very few people who knew what “Social Media” was. Let alone its value to business and how it would change the way companies do business. Or they only knew a few of the players and had no idea about Second Life or Kaneva. Virtual worlds that have become more conducive to business interaction in the last few years.

Anyway my point is that when I started the words “Social Media” were unique enough to draw interest. Now I’m just another fish in the sea and everyone has jumped on the social media bandwagon, from PR companies to Advertising and Marketing agencies.

So how do I set myself and business apart? I go back to the basics. Here is the exercise.

Adapted from Jeffrey Gitomer, “Sales Bible”

Instructions:  Fill out this exercise below. Read it from top to bottom. Add a few personal pronouns. Time it. Practice it. Study it. And voila!

My Name:

My Company Name:

These first two are pretty self-explanatory.

What I do:

Now don’t make the mistake of saying you print materials or you provide business development consulting. I love what Timothy Ferris from “the 4-Hour Work Week” says when asked this question, “I’m a drug dealer”. This is usually a conversation ender but I thought I would share it anyway because I love the answer. Go read the book and find out why he answers that way.

OK, so what should you say? You should say something that involves action items and makes the person look at what you do differently. I’m still working on mine but it goes something like this:

We help companies draw new talent and new customers by creating a Whole Brain Approach to their business development strategy.

Notice I am getting away from the words Social Media. Although what we do in the message above is help them with their Social Media Strategy as part of the business development strategy.

My Power Questions:

“When formulating your power questions for your commercial, ask yourself these…questions.”

  1. What information do I want to get as a result of asking these questions?
  2. Can I qualify my prospect as a result of the question
  3. Does it take more than one question to find out the information I need?
  4. Do my questions make the prospect think?
  5. Can I ask a question that separates me from my competitor?

You need to ask questions to be able to close your 30 – second commercial with a call to action. Make sure there is a closing statement or question that ensures another contact.

I personally am not a big fan of lists of questions, I prefer a guide to be able to respond to the person’s answer from my previous question.  So here is a quick guide:

Situation – What is the current situation (of their business related to what you do)?

Objective – What are their objectives? (Usually it is to better the situation, this can be more sales, more talented employees, larger sales, better communication, and so on.

Challenge – What challenges are they having in reaching these objectives?

Impact – What impact is this having on them? (Make sure you ask about the impact to them. The answer they give will tell you a lot about the person you are speaking to.)

Trial – So in order to reach your objectives you need to (fill in the blank) Example: So in order to gain new talent you need to improve the current employee environment of communication to the Executives?

There is a lot more that goes into the above guide, but it is a good place to start.

My Power Statement:

How Can I Help?

Why Should The Prospect Act Now?

Have a call to action statement that gives the person a reason to act now.

Example: I specialize in reaching new talent and helping businesses communicate to their employees, vendors and customers in a way they want to be communicated with. I know you can’t afford to be sending out messages that don’t reach your Whole audience in these times. So let’s meet for breakfast and discuss your latest objectives and how you are communicating those objectives to your customers. If I think I can help you, I’ll tell you. If I don’t think I can help you, I’ll tell you that too. Fair enough?

I know this is getting too long-winded, but I want to end with How to Deliver the 30 – second commercial:

  1. Be brief
  2. Be to the point
  3. Be remembered
  4. Have power questions and power statements ready
  5. Get the information you need
  6. Show how you solve problems
  7. Pin the person down to the next action
  8. Have Fun!
  9. Time’s Up – (When you have delivered your message, made your contact, and secured the next meeting or action – move on.)

Lot’s of information to digest. Sorry for the lengthy Blog.

Who We Are