How to Sell

July 17, 2007

I was recently interviewed for SellingCrossing about my thoughts on selling.

You can read the interview by clicking here.

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This Column Will Change Your Life

July 14, 2007

Well, at least that is the claim of journalist Oliver Burkeman.  And maybe he is right.  In today’s Guardian (a British newspaper), he wrote:

“One of the most stress-inducing books I’ve ever read is called GOALS!, by the management expert Brian Tracy. It’s not about football. It’s about achieving your GOALS! in life – and those capital letters, along with the exclamation mark, may convey some sense of this book’s strange capacity for tying my stomach into a knot, then tightening it.”

Later in the article, he says this book “reduces you – all right, me – to a gibbering, indecisive wreck, unable to define my GOALS! in the first place, and sulking resentfully about the shouty man who keeps telling me I’ve got to pursue them relentlessly or else resign myself to becoming a person of no merit whatsoever.”

What interested me most (ok, I’m slightly biased) was his final paragraph:

“Life, Brian Tracy is fond of saying, is like a buffet, not a table-service restaurant: you have to buckle down and work hard now, so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labour in the future. But this is surely exactly wrong – a recipe for storing up all your happiness for a brief few minutes on your deathbed, when you can look back smugly at your achievements. Contrast that with the insight of Stephen Shapiro, whose book Goal-Free Living makes the case that you can have some kind of direction to your life without obsessing about the specific destination. ‘Opportunity knocks often, but sometimes softly,’ he says. ‘While blindly pursuing our goals, we often miss unexpected and wonderful possibilities.’ That sounds a lot more smart to me.”

To read the entire article, click here.

If you liked the article, be sure to write him and let him know.  I did.

P.S. GOALS! is probably one of the best selling goal-setting books in history.

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Feature in Newsweek

March 1, 2007

I was recently featured in Newsweek as part of an innovation roundtable. The online article can be read by clicking here.

Another roundtable member, Susan Baird from Quill Corporation, is a client of mine.

And be sure to click on “Creating Innovation Through Technology” in the related articles section. I am quoted there too.

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Good Article in WSJ

May 15, 2006

There was an interesting article in last week’s Wall Street Journal. It discusses the concept of a mulligan — or “do-over” — in your career. Starting over fresh with something new. It addresses one of the big challenges: trusting that things will work out…however they work out.

Remember, Goal-Free Living is not about doing what you love. That’s a small part of it. You could easily pursue your dreams and turn those into goals, hence destroying the journey, stifling your creativity, and preventing true success.

Click here to read the article.

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Let Go of ‘Tunnel’ Focus

April 13, 2006

In Tuesday’s (April 11) Investor’s Business Daily, there is a great article on Goal-Free Living. Due to copyright restrictions, I can’t include the whole article. Here is the intro…

While goals are undoubtedly some of the most effective means of triggering action, it’s important not to get too single-minded and limit your opportunities.

So says Stephen Shapiro, a self-described “goalaholic” and founder of The 24/7 Innovation Group. He spent the summer of ’03 traveling and interviewing executives, students, athletes and “ordinary people with extraordinary lives” to learn their secrets to achieving big dreams.

Over and over, he found, “It isn’t about goals or about ambition. Instead, the secret is to treat your life like an unplanned and unpredictable trip down a scenic, winding country road.”

It’s a gutsy claim, but surveys conducted by Shapiro’s company — with the assistance of the Opinion Research Corp. of Princeton, N.J. — reveal that goals alone just might not be enough.

Forty-one percent of 1,310 polled said achieving their goals hasn’t made them happier. One in five admitted to ruining a friendship, marriage or relationship because of a goal, and one in three lost sleep.

To read the rest, you need to be an Investors.com subscriber.

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Entrepreneur Magazine Feature

March 18, 2006

Check out the April issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, now in stores. On page 22 you will find a full page interview with me. You will also find an embarrassingly large photo of yours truly. NOTE: It is on page 22 of the main magazine, not the special insert

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Chicago Tribune Article

March 13, 2006

Goal-Free Living was featured on the front page of yesterday’s Chicago Tribune career section. Click here to read the article.

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GFL in Boston Globe

February 19, 2006

There’s an article in today’s Boston Globe (and about 20 other papers) with a reference to Goal-Free Living. It starts out…

Find your voice, and then use it by Dale Dauten
“When you wake up tomorrow morning, make believe you are another person — an artist, a musician, or a doctor. It doesn’t matter, as long as it is someone other than you. You will begin to see things over the course of the day that you never saw before. Then the next day, be someone else.” This advice comes from an intriguing new book, ”Goal-Free Living” by Stephen Shapiro. Its premise is that goals are not the path to happiness but a hindrance to it, that we should be open to life as opposed to being Captain Ahab in pursuit of the great white Mercedes.

Click here for the full article.

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Business Week featuring Goal-Free Living

January 23, 2006

BusinessWeek.com has a new quiz entitled, “Ready to Start a Business?” Depending on your score, you might find that Goal-Free Living is the solution.

Take this quiz and see if the time is right for you to start making your vision a reality

So you dream of quitting your job and building a business from scratch. Psychologists, business professionals, and other experts agree that you need resources — from money to emotional support — to make your fantasy a reality. And people with certain personalities tend to fare better than others. For instance, someone who can adapt quickly to the unexpected and remain calm in a crisis might be better suited to running the show than an introvert who tends to stress about challenges. In which category do you fall? To find out if you’re ready for your second act, click here to go to the BusinessWeek.com quiz.

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Letters to the Editor — O Magazine

January 18, 2006

The response to the O, The Oprah Magazine article about Goal-Free Living (written by Dawn Raffel, Executive Articles Editor for the magazine) was overwhelming. Several of the letters to the editor were shared with me. All were incredibly inspiring. In this month’s O, they published one of those letters. Enjoy.

My love for O was sparked anew with “Are Your Goals Holding You Back?” by Dawn Raffel. A few years ago, I felt lost and frustrated. My life was the result of the goals I had laid out for myself according to what my parents (lovingly) wanted for me. When I realized that happiness is a choice and that fulfillment comes when we slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy each moment, I had an awakening. I do have certain things I want to accomplish. But the possibilities are endless. The novel of my life has no determined ending – and that knowledge has given me a sense of freedom that’s hard to describe. The checklist mentality can take us only so far, and, as the article mentions, arriving at that one moment can leave something to be desired.

Rachel Climer
Vero Beach, Florida

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