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One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe (Professional Tennis player)

So to be successful, let’s work on preparation. Pick three negative thoughts you find yourself thinking and then write down the three positive versions.

Negative: Nothing ever works out for me.
Positive: Things will turn out the best for me.

When you focus on three, you will discover how quickly how many times you think or say negative things to yourself.

The key to making a change for the better is to say or write down the positive alternatives. This is the first step to being the pilot of your own brain which will start to change your beliefs.

These new positive beliefs will start to become your actions and then develop naturally into positive habits. The sum total of these habits is what shapes your character and gives you the power to control your experiences and create the reality you desire.

An example is eating healthy. You might have the negative thought:

Negative: I can’t control my eating.
Positive: I have will power. I feed my appetite with healthy choices.

Then you start to believe it so when someone offers you a second piece of desert (or even a first piece) you can get used to saying “No thanks.” Then your actions allow you to make it a habit of saying No thanks to desert most of the time vs never saying no. The sum total of this is you feel better, healthier and realize that you kept your word to yourself. You are the pilot of what goes in your engine or in your mouth!

How long are you willing to keep thinking the thoughts that will make your dream a reality? Whether that dream is:

  • Financial independence
  • Being debt free
  • Healthy body
  • Great relationship
  • Interesting career

Would you keep thinking something was possible for over four years even if no one had achieved it? What would you do if you got hurt trying? Your instinct might be to say “ No I would not last four years and I certainly don’t want to get hurt in the process.”

Take a look at  the Wright Bros. They did all of that and more. In 1896, Wilbur Wright became interested in flying while reading about a glider pilot. This inspired him and his brother Orville to test their first glider in 1900. It was a complete failure. In fact, Wilbur broke his arm during the flight. They kept trying and by 1903, they kept their first plane in the air for twelve seconds, covering only 120 feet.Wilbur was literally running alongside the plane as Orville flew it. It was not until 1904 (four years later) that they made their historic flight.

Do you have the same belief in the power of your thoughts to take flight? Do you give your permission to dream?

Do you value  all your successes =even if they only last for twelve seconds? Let me repeat this:

EVERY success needs to be celebrated and appreciated no matter how small or short. @jwlorr (Click to Tweet!)

In the movie, “Saving Mr. Banks” We learn Walt Disney took twenty years to convince the author of Mary Poppins books to give him the film rights. What drove him not to give up? It was not money. It was keeping a promise to his daughters who loved the books that he would make it into a movie.

State Of Mind-SOM

In business SOM stands for Share of Market or how much of the pie does your company get. Let’s say there are four main fashion magazines. If each magazine gets five pages each for a total of twenty pages split four ways they have equal market share. But if one magazine get ten pages and the others split the other ten pages, then the first magazine has 50% market share.

SOM-share of MIND

How much share of mind are you giving positive thoughts to every day? More or less than 50%? Remember the tipping point is 51%.

Four States of Mind (SOM) in Sales

These different states of mind either work for you or against you in your efforts to create your own ability to fly much like it did for the Wright Bros. These thoughts or states of mind, can change from day to day or moment to moment. The choice is yours to shift up to a higher state at any time.

By using this awareness of where your thoughts are in the flight pattern, you will be able to achieve what I believe is the ultimate goal for every person selling anything.  Something I call:

SOARING ABOVE THE RADAR. (Note: you can replace “selling” with “living”.)

1) Not Selling – this is like a plane being grounded. You don’t make sales calls , you call in sick etc. or NOT LIVING

2) Just Selling – the plane is on autopilot. You go through the motions of making sales calls. You give up easily when objections arise. Or JUST LIVING

3) Selling without an Integrity Compass (Or Living without an integrity compass) – You demonstrate effort here, but without taking any risks or thinking outside the box. Minimum Passion. This is like the seller being the pilot and the buyer is in coach class with no input or choice on any specifics on the flight. You only ask for the order (Or what you want in life) once. Give up after the first NO.

4) Soaring above the radar – the seller and pilot are CO-Pilots. Imagine yourself in a cockpit of a plane with your boss/ your customer/ your agent/ your date etc., You ask for the sale at the right time and in different ways. You find out ALL of the needs (not just the first easy one) by asking opened ended questions (Remember that is questions that require more than one word answers.)

You go the extra mile to be a partner with your buyer. An example of going the extra mile is a definition of luxury that is “anticipating a need before your customer knows they need it.” Lexus has a phone that when it is hooked up to your music, will lower the volume of your music when the phone rings so you hear the phone ring. We didn’t know we needed it, but it is a LUXURY.

Banana Republic, which is not a luxury dept store like Neiman Marcus or Saks, decided to give luxury experience at their flagship stores in NY and LA. They offered people the ability to charge their phones while they shop. (People didn’t walk in expecting it, but love it. Also they spend more time shopping waiting for their phones to charge-win/win.)

What can you do in your life/career to give the extra, unexpected luxury experience that will set you apart from everyone else? Are you willing to take risks by proposing things no one has ever offered before?

Remember, when you don’t fear rejection and don’t take rejection personally, you are free to experiment and INNOVATE.

Do you trust the process and honor all involved? Then you are soaring above the radar. The universe is navigating your course, and you trust that everything is happening in the right way and in the right time. Soaring above the radar means going beyond the rote, mundane way of selling or living. You don’t give the same old presentation you have done 100 times before.

If you bore yourself, you can be sure you bore your audience.

This is the number one reason people rush thru a talk or interview They are afraid they will bore the listener if they take their time. If the story you  are telling is fresh and compelling to YOU, then you will make it interesting to your audience. Once you learn how to connect with someone (your buyer or your boss) on a spiritual level (which is nothing more than seeing them as more than their job) you will feel a renewed sense of exhilaration from your work. You realize this satisfaction of emotional connection with people is the ultimate destination.

Now when you are soaring you can recognize the feeling that you and the buyer are actually having fun. The process feels light and full of joy. You are having an adventure, and both sides are expressing their creativity.

Remember you control your own destiny. By simply choosing which of the four states of mind (SOM) you can influence and control your own future much like a pilot does at the controls. The feeling of empowerment is nothing less than exhilarating.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Maya Angelou

Since your thoughts ultimately create your experience, affirmations are a great way to make sure your SELF TALK is putting you in the right STATE OF MIND. One powerful way to implement this selling secret into your own life (and helped me many times shift perception from fear to confidence) is to say positive affirmations to yourself as a way to start your day-particularly before a big meeting.

For example before a big interview or presentation, I say to myself:

“I am patient and calm”

“What I have to offer is valuable”

“The right words come to me in the right time”

Your thoughts create your reality. When you really get this, you will start watching what you are thinking and saying to yourself and others in a whole new way. Now are you ready to give your thoughts their own personal flight safety check? Can you see yourself and the buyer as co pilots sitting side by side? Are you ready to soar above the radar?

If you think you are, you ARE.

Recently, I had a client who is also a private pilot take us up in a small plane to fly to a small airport to have dinner and fly back. My theory of co-pilots came to life! He does many safety checks around the outside and inside of the plane before he starts the engine.

 How many “safety” checks do we give your thoughts before we say something?

As we taxied down the runway, he asked me if I wanted to talk to air traffic control. He said you tell them three things in as few words as possible.

1) Who are you - you say your plane number

2) Where are you – you say what runway you are on

3) What  do you want to do? Request clearance for takeoff.

What I realize is that if we ask ourselves those same three questions for life, we will have a flight plan for anything!

Who are you - important to spend time getting to know who we are /what we like/what we stand for.

Where are you - can’t grow unless you give yourself a sense of where you are on the learning curve.

What do you want to do - this is the big question. What do you want to do with your life? Until you have the answer to this question, you can’t put your intentions out to the universe to attract what you need to take off.

Tell me about your own personal flight plan in the comments below!


John Livesay is the best selling author of “The 7 Most Powerful Selling Secrets: Soar Your Way to Success With Integrity, Passion and Joy” which has been translated into Spanish and Russian. He is a business coach and motivational speaker as well as the Executive Director, Corporate Partnerships at Conde Nast Media Group. John won global salesperson of 2012 not only for W magazine, but for all of the Conde Nast’s titles and 3,000 employees. You can find out more about John on his website.

Image courtesy of Kent Wien.