From Gold Medal Winner to Biggest Loser by John Maxwell

In 2000, Rulon Gardner experienced the thrill of his life when he stepped onto an Olympic podium to receive his gold medal. These days, the most thrilling moments for Gardner happen when he steps onto a scale to weigh himself. As a contestant on Biggest Loser, the former wrestler is grappling with the toughest foe he’s ever faced—obesity.

In 2004, Rulon Gardner weighed in at 265 pounds prior to capturing his second Olympic medal, a bronze, in Greco-Roman wrestling. However, after the conclusion of his wrestling career, the powerful athlete rapidly put on the pounds. In the course of launching his own business, a fitness center, Gardner neglected his personal fitness and ballooned to almost 500 pounds.

One evening, hours after being inducted into the national wrestling hall of fame, Gardner watched footage of the ceremony while chowing down on fast food in his hotel room. He hardly recognized himself on the television screen. Disgusted by the grossly obese man he saw, Gardner contacted Biggest Loser in an effort to get help.

To date, Gardner has made incredible strides on the show, shedding 132 pounds since his first weigh-in. What lessons can be learned from Gardner’s weight loss journey? First, we must have a purpose inspiring us to make a change. Second, to transform our lives, we must submit to an ongoing process of change. Finally, we must enlist other people to support us along the pathway of change.


Unless you can see how making a change will improve the future, it’s difficult to find the motivation to adjust. A sense of purpose helps you to make the decision to change and gives you the energy to follow through on it. Once you have the big picture in mind, you’re able to endure the short-term pains of discipline.

For Rulon Gardner, the desire to have a family spurred his efforts to lose weight. He realized his love affair with food was preventing him from having the kind of relationship he wanted with his wife. In envisioning a contented household with children, Gardner found the purpose to motivate him to get in shape.


Change involves more than desire; it requires commitment to a process. We cannot transform ourselves through sporadic effort. Life change happens strategically, by following a concrete plan.

Each week on Biggest Loser Rulon Gardner takes part in a training regimen designed to help him regain his health. His rigorous workout schedule is structured and tailored to his specific needs. When he enters the gym, there’s no question of what to do. Every minute of activity has been determined beforehand so that he can stay on track in his quest to lose weight.


As leaders, we can be stubbornly self-reliant. Nothing feels worse to us than being needy and helpless. Yet, our individual willpower eventually proves powerless to bring about the changes we hope to achieve. We have to realize our dependence on other people and lean on them for support in order to experience change.

Having been an Olympian, Rulon Gardner was well acquainted with fitness routines prior to appearing on Biggest Loser. Certainly, he also had a clear purpose for losing weight before joining the show. Yet, having a reason for change and knowing how to change were not enough to bring about change. The missing piece for Rulon Gardner was surrounding himself with people committed to helping him succeed. He needed trainers urging him to press on and teammates inspiring him not to give up. Only after he enlisted people to help him did Gardner begin to win the battle against obesity.



*Copyright 2011 The John Maxwell Company.  May not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission from The John Maxwell Company, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles.

Vitamins for the Mind by Jim Rohn


Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

All disciplines affect each other. Mistakenly the man says, “This is the only area where I let down.” Not true. Every let down affects the rest. Not to think so is naive.

Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure.

Discipline has within it the potential for creating future miracles.

The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong.

One discipline always leads to another discipline.

Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.

You don’t have to change that much for it to make a great deal of difference. A few simple disciplines can have a major impact on how your life works out in the next 90 days, let alone in the next 12 months or the next 3 years.

The least lack of discipline starts to erode our self-esteem.

Thinking Like a Farmer by Jim Rohn

One of the difficulties we face in our industrialized age is the fact we’ve lost our sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with the seasons, we have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life. As a result, we have our priorities out of balance. Let me illustrate what I mean:

For a farmer, springtime is his most active time. It’s then when he must work around the clock, up before the sun and still toiling at the stroke of midnight. He must keep his equipment running at full capacity because he has but a small window of time for the planting of his crop. Eventually winter comes when there is less for him to do to keep him busy.

There is a lesson here. Learn to use the seasons of life. Decide when to pour it on and when to ease back, when to take advantage and when to let things ride. It’s easy to keep going from nine to five year in and year out and lose a natural sense of priorities and cycles. Don’t let one year blend into another in a seemingly endless parade of tasks and responsibilities. Keep your eye on your own seasons, lest you lose sight of value and substance.

The Two Choices We Face by Jim Rohn

The Two Choices We Face by Jim Rohn Each of us has two distinct choices to make about what we will do with our lives. The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less and think less. To try less and discipline ourselves less. These are the choices that lead to an empty life. These are the choices that, once made, lead to a life of constant apprehension instead of a life of wondrous anticipation. And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive and produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice. To do or not to do. To be or not to be. To be all or to be less or to be nothing at all. Like the tree, it would be a worthy challenge for us all to stretch upward and outward to the full measure of our capabilities. Why not do all that we can, every moment that we can, the best that we can, for as long as we can? Our ultimate life objective should be to create as much as our talent and ability and desire will permit. To settle for doing less than we could do is to fail in this worthiest of undertakings. Results are the best measurement of human progress. Not conversation. Not explanation. Not justification. Results! And if our results are less than our potential suggests that they should be, then we must strive to become more today than we were the day before. The greatest rewards are always reserved for those who bring great value to themselves and the world around them as a result of whom and what they have become. Kick off your success library with a collection of six top books—in hardcover editions!—from two of the most celebrated personal achievement authors of all time: Jim Rohn and Denis Waitley! All 6 books for ONLY $47! Click here now for complete details or to order.

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The Key to Influencing Others by Brian Tracy

Do Nice Things For Others
One of the best ways to influence someone is to do something nice for him. I know many successful salespeople who make a habit of taking their prospects out to breakfast or lunch. During the breakfast or lunch, they do not talk about their products or services unless the client brings it up. They merely make small talk, ask questions and listen. They work on building trust, and they work on establishing a friendly relationship. At the end of the breakfast or lunch, they tell the prospect that they will be getting in touch with him sometime in the future with the possibility of talking to him about helping him in some way.

See Them As Friends and Partners
The best salespeople and businesspeople in America today are those who look upon their customers and prospective customers as friends and partners. They always look for ways to help their partners improve their lives in ways that are not directly related to the products or services they sell. They sow seeds, and they reap a harvest. They trigger a desire in people to reciprocate. When the time comes for those salespeople to approach their prospects with the possibility of buying their products or services, the prospects are wide open to the questions and inputs of the salespeople. The prospects have a deep-down desire to reciprocate.

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Send Thank You Notes
One of the best ways to use this principle in your interactions is to continually look for ways to say and do positive things for people. Look for ways to do kind acts and favors for your friends and prospects. Send thank-you notes. Send birthday cards. Send clippings from newspapers about subjects that you feel may be of interest to them. Always keep your promises, and follow up on your commitments. Always do what you say you will do. Do everything possible to put in, knowing confidently that you will ultimately be able to get out far more. You will reap if you sow.

Be A Go-Giver Rather Than A Go-Getter
Someone has observed that no one ever built a statue to a person to acknowledge what he or she got out of life. Statues are built only to people to acknowledge what they gave. The most powerful, influential and successful people you will ever meet always look for ways to do nice things for others. When you meet someone under almost any circumstance, one of the best questions you can ask is this: “Is there anything that I can do for you?” Always look for ways to put in rather than to take out. The successful man or woman of today is a “go-giver” as well as a go-getter.

Be Open and Empathetic
The more that people feel that you are open and empathetic and sensitive to their needs and concerns, the more open they will be to your influencing them positively in some way. And the more you can influence others with the power and impact of your personality, the more you will accomplish, and the faster you will accomplish it. The more rapidly you will move toward the great success that you desire and deserve.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, look for ways to do nice things for other people, especially your family, friends, and customers. The more nice things you do for others, the better you feel about yourself.

Second, take time to really listen to people, especially your staff and coworkers. The more and better you listen to others, the greater is your influence over them.

How to Motivate Sales People Without Money? by CJ Ng

It is common knowledge that many sales people can calculate how much commission they have earned faster and more accurate than any super computer. Indeed, money is a key driving force that motivates most, and certainly for the more successful ones. However, is money then the ONLY motivator, or are there anything else? If you were to ask anyone why they want to be one, there will usually be 3 answers: 1. For the money (of course); 2. Being able to directly link their efforts to tangible results; and 3. Having the (relative) independence and flexibility in their jobs As such, while money may be the key driver for most, it certainly is not the only one. They are also motivated by a sense of achievement, and the more successful ones usually have large egos as well. If we were to look deep into what motivates people, here are 2 factors that we need to consider: 1. Are the rewards attractive (or punishment severe) enough? 2. Am I able to achieve it? Avoiding Pain vs. Seeking Pleasure While making money is a great pleasure for many people, including sales people, some are first motivated by avoiding the punishment of NOT achieving their monthly, quarterly or annual sales targets. Hence, it’s a very common practice for sales people to “hide” potential contracts to “save them for the next financial period”, rather than to risk NOT meeting the sales targets for that period. Sales people are indeed masters of work flow optimization in this sense. However, this does not help you in getting results from your sales team, and sometimes deals may be lost due to the delays caused when sales people want to “save them for the next quarter”. When companies use money as the only motivator, it is also a riskier proposition. There’s nothing to prevent competitors to use the same motivator to entice your best people (along with your best customers) to defect. While there may be some non-competitive clauses in employment contracts, these are seldom enforceable, especially in Asia. As mentioned earlier, successful sales people usually have large (sometimes over-sized) egos. Nothing feeds the ego other than believing (correctly or otherwise) that you had singlehandedly contributed millions of dollars to your company’s sales revenue. However, massaging the sales person’s ego (either by making them superstars when they succeed, or “humiliating” them when they don’t deliver the intended results) is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it will drive people to achieve super-human results. On the other hand, they may be so focused on their self-achievement that they become insensitive to issues such as: Serving customer needs, Maintaining healthy margins, Ensuring cross department support and other factors that will impact business results. When the egos become over-sized, some people can have a false sense of “invincibility”. Some live on past glories, even when current sales results are not as good or outstanding as before. To overcome this, Dell Computers have made sure that their egos are in check by just focusing on the present and future. Past performance mean nothing to Dell’s sales managers, and a top performer is only as good as the next sale. They are as such motivated to maintain their “successful” status every single day. Eventually, sales people get burnt out. Depending on the industry, they usually achieve their peak about 1 to 1.5 years after joining a company. How they perform beyond the peak period is a matter of how you motivate and nurture them. Besides dishing out ever better incentives (usually money-related), many companies chose to promote their top sales to be sales managers. Unfortunately, both motivational strategies are not effective. When they feel burnt out, it’s not an issue that can be resolved with money (or most incentives). In addition, only 15% of top sales people can be competent managers. When they feel burnt out, it is usually they found that they are not further developing themselves or learning anything new anymore. Usually, they found they have reached some kind of plateau in getting better sales results, and the repetition of doing the same old thing is becoming boring to them as well. This is also the phase when good people are the most vulnerable to defecting to your competitors. To overcome this, we will have to looking into other overlooked motivators. Can I Do It? As mentioned earlier, the other aspect of motivation is whether you feel you are able to do your job well. In some industries where sales management practices tend to be Neanderthal (email me to find out which ones), the attrition of new sales hires are astonishingly high. These new hires are motivated by making more money, just like any successful sales person will be. However, due to the lack of proper training, coaching and guidance, as much as 90% of these new hires leave within 1 month. If they don’t see brightness of the future, they’ll just go. While such companies do provide some level of sales training, as much as 87% of all sales training evaporates within 1 month of the training. And this statistic refer to companies with better sales management practices in place. For companies with weaker sales management, most of these training are outdated and don’t really prepare the sales person to handle customers in the real world. Without a post-training supporting environment, the new hires feel overwhelmed and and helpless, and then they just leave. When sales people find that they are not able to achieve better results, or net bigger deals, or improve margins, what they need now is support from management on how they can achieve breakthroughs. They know that if they can do better, the monetary incentives are all there waiting for them. What they really need is the right guidance and support them how they can do so. Besides providing the usual training, here are other ways that managers can get their people proceed to the next level of performance: Align sales strategies to market realities. Sometimes, due to rapid market changes, sales strategies mapped out 6 months ago may have already be outdated. A sales strategy re-alignment may help close more sales; Provide recognition of improvements in sales process. While people are rewarded (or punished) based on results (sales targets), few sales managers actually recognize the improvements that sales people made in their sales process. If sales people made sales process improvements, it is very likely that this will lead to better results. Such improvements need to be recognized, reinforced and made as good examples for others to follow. Motivating the Sales Force Without Using Money In a nutshell, when people join the sales force, they may do so in the hopes of making more money. However, if you want to get them to perform to the next level of performance, you will need to improve their skills and abilities to achieve better results. In fact, management guru Ram Charan mentioned that if using incentives as the main means to get better performance from the sales team is an outdated approach If you find isolated cases of poor performance from your team, then perhaps these few bad hats are just making excuses not to work hard. However, if you find that poor performance is widespread and pervasive in your sales force, then you, as manager, are making THE excuse for not providing the necessary support and guidance for your people. Pls. see for explanation of some key concepts discussed here. c.j. is an Affiliate with HR Chally Group in China. Founded in 1973 through a grant from the U.S. Justice Department, the HR Chally Group provides predictive and compliant assessment system for management, sales, technical, customer care, and administrative talents. Unlike other assessment tools that just conducts personality profiles, Chally profiles what is exactly required by specific job descriptions and responsibilities and predict if these talents can succeed in future. As such, you’ll get: * Up to 40% reduction in staff turnover * Up to 30% increase in employee productivity * 85%+ accuracy in identifying effective performers Prior to this, c.j. was Asia Marketing Manager for a Fortune 500 logistics company, as well as Corporate Training Manager for Ringier AG, Switzerland’s largest media group, in China, where he was responsible for sales team development, and helped increase the % of new hires to close their 1st sales within 2 months by 30%, as well as increase overall sales targets by more than 50%. Visit for more info. 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Do What You Fear Most and You Will Control That Fear by Tom Hopkins

The best way to avoid failure is to never try. How many people in the profession of selling are hiding from the possibility of failure?

Let me give you a personal example of this. The first time I ever stood in front of an audience was in a second grade school play. I’d been asked to play Prince Charming. All my friends and relatives were there. I was very excited to be the star of the play. I was dressed in my purple pants, a purple cape, and I was ready to perform.

When my cue line came. I walked out on stage, and I froze. I could not move.

Finally, someone came out and led me off. From that moment on, I had a phobia about getting up in front of a group. I simply would not do it.

Many years later, I was invited to speak by a major firm. They had heard about my sales volume and wrote, “Will you come here and teach your selling methods to our sales staff?”

I shot a letter right back. “Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t talk to anyone.” Then a great friend, Jay Douglas Edwards, said to me, “Tom, do what you fear most and you will control that fear.”

Think about that. Think of something you should do professionally, something that you aren’t doing, because of fear. Fear is the only thing preventing you from doing what needs to be done. The important thing is to face that fear for the first time.

After I thought about controlling fear by doing what I fear most, I had to agree that I was allowing fear to control my life. So I called the company that had invited me to speak. I said I’d do it.

From the moment I had agreed to do the speech, there wasn’t an hour that I didn’t wish I hadn’t. The closer the time came, the more panicky I became.

Every time I wrote down what I was going to say, I’d tear it up and start over. Someone told me to put it all on 3 x 5 cards, so I did.

The night before my speech, I didn’t sleep at all. The next morning, I walked into an auditorium and waited in the wings to be introduced to three thousand people. And do you know what the only thing on my mind was? I was reliving the terror of my second grade experience.

I walked on to the stage, I looked down at my notes, and began my speech. I never once looked up at the audience. I just kept talking. I was scheduled to speak for forty-five minutes. Within eight minutes, I had covered every point.

My first time speaking in public was awful. The second time was terrible. The third time was a disaster. The fourth time, they clapped a little. The fifth time, almost everybody stayed. Now, after years of speaking day after day to enthusiastic salespeople, I awake with anticipation. Excitement. And I owe it all to those words, “Do what you fear most and you will control that fear.”

Make this phrase yours and nothing can stop your success.

Use Educational Selling with Every Customer

By Brian Tracy

A major reason that prospects do not buy is because they do not fully understand what you are selling and how they can use and benefit from it. Many salespeople assume that after one sales presentation, the prospect is familiar with the details of the product or service as they are. This can be a big mistake. In educational selling, you take a low-pressure/no-pressure approach. You do not try to influence or persuade the customer in any way.

Show the Customer
In the “show” part of the presentation, explain or demonstrate how your product or service works to achieve a particular result or benefit. Get the prospect involved. Ask him or her to do something, try something out personally, or make calculations to prove your points.

Tell the Customer
In the “tell” part of the educational selling process, explain the features and benefits of your product or service, using stories, statistics, research results, and anecdotes from other satisfied customers. Like a lawyer, “build a case” for what you are selling, presenting evidence in the form of visual aids or written materials that “prove” the quality and usefulness of your product.

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Ask the Customer
In the “ask questions” phase, pause regularly to ask questions and invite feedback on what you have presented so far. One mark of top salespeople is that they keep their prospects involved in the sales conversation by continually requesting comments and opinions as they go along. When you “show, tell, and ask questions,” you position yourself as an educator rather than a salesperson.

Learn your Prospects Needs
The more competent you become at learning your prospect’s real needs, and the better you teach your customer how to get the very most out of what you sell, the more the customer will like you, trust you, and want to do business with you, over and over again.

Action Exercise
Take out a sheet of paper and draw three lines down the page, creating three equal columns. At the top of each column, write the words “Product Feature,” “Product Benefit,” or “Customer Benefit.” List each positive sales feature of your product or service in the first column. In the second column, write the product benefit attached to each product feature. In the third column, define the customer benefit, the answer to the question, What’s in it for me? Practice positioning yourself as a “teacher” with your prospects. Focus your presentation on helping your prospects to understand how helpful your product or service can be, trusting fully that if he or she understands completely, the sale will take place automatically.

10 Attitudes of Top Achievers by Brian Tracy

If you think the same way as the top achievers think, you can begin to get the same results they do. Here are 10 psychological and practical ways to mirror the attitudes of top achievers.

1. See yourself as a consultant rather than a salesperson. Believe that you are a problem-solver with regard to your product and how the client can best use it.
2. Become a doctor of selling. Act in the best interests of your “patients” and have a high code of ethics.
3. See yourself as the president of your own sales corporation. Accept 100 percent responsibility for your results.
4. Commit yourself to being the best in your field. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning.
5. Be ambitious, hungry, and determined to use selling as a steppingstone to the success you want in life.
6. Have integrity. Be honest with yourself and others.
7. Engage in thorough preparation prior to every call.
8. Be an excellent listener; be extremely customer-focused.
9. Have tremendous courage. Be willing to face your fears of rejection and failure, and overcome them.
10. Be highly persistent. Start your workday earlier, work harder, and stay longer.

To make these changes work you must walk, talk and behave consistently with them every hour of every day.

How Do You Measure Success? by Denis Waitley

Quality of life, in America today, is often measured by the amount of money you make. Success is defined by the kind of car you drive. By the neighborhood you live in. By the toys you own. After all, he who dies with the most toys wins. True or false?

Life was difficult before remote controls and automatic door locks. Skiing was so boring before the new shape skis hit the market. Fishing without a carbon-fiber rod was next to impossible. And the best part of life today is that big-screen plasma HDTV, the one with the universal remote that controls everything. It’s the best escape devised yet from an otherwise dull evening.

In contrast, the people of the remote Himalayan country of Bhutan were recently rated as having the poorest quality of life of all but one other country in the world—after all, their average annual per capita income is only $500. Ironically, however, when you visit the country, there are no beggars, only beautiful, snow-capped peaks, virgin forests, and clean air. The crime rate is extremely low, no one is in a hurry, and there is a strong sense of community. You might almost think that instead of depending on their belongings to entertain them, they’ve learned to enhance their lives by building relationships with each other.

Be careful to avoid the trap of “the more you buy, the more you need.” Because oftentimes, then, the more we think we need, the more unhappy we are with what we have. So this year, before buying those new golf clubs, stop and think. Will that $1,000 bring you more happiness through a bag of irons, compared to a few days off with your family, or as a donation to an organization, or a person who is trying to make a difference. It’s your choice. It’s how you measure it.

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