One Vacation, Two Perspectives, and 3 Powerful Insights to a Successful Life.

In August my wife Gracie, yes her name is in fact Gracie Tracey, and I were planning a get away to celebrate our anniversary.  It is important to note that Gracie sells Harley Davidson motorcycles so taking more than two days at the height of riding season is not possible.  Even though we work with a limited amount of time every year it is important to us to get away in order to honor our relationship by doing the things we love together.  It is the little things in life that we get the most enjoyment out of.  Things we get to experience within each others companionship like finding cool downtown’s to explore the little shops, and boutiques they have to offer.  We love finding good little coffee spots, experiencing new restaurants, finding opportunities to enjoy nature, and if we stumble upon a little ice cream along the way then we are in heaven.

We had decided that this year we wanted to take a trip on our Harley’s, but the tricky part was in deciding where to go in a limited amount of days.  One of Gracie’s many strengths is planning.  From the word go she is quick to start mapping out the specifics whether it has been party planning, looking for houses, buying new vehicles, or planning vacations.  I have relied on her ability to set her sights on the goal in order to lead our family around the obstacles to reach our destination.  After doing her research we decided to ride along the thumb of Michigan.  Gracie had scoured the weather reports, and it was looking to be a great forecast until about a week before we were set to leave.  Suddenly the proverbial winds had shifted bringing rain into our forecast.

In life when you are planning for sunshine, but receive rain instead you can: 1. Decide to pack it in and call it a day accepting defeat. Or 2. You can make the decision to accept what cannot be controlled in order to plan around the adversity.  Determined not to accept defeat Gracie doubled down and planned a route for us to take that, while not convenient to our original plans, if executed properly would keep us dry on our journey.  There was plenty of risk involved in the new plan because instead of taking off on the bikes as the sun was setting on Tuesday morning we were now pulling out of the driveway as the sun was going down on Monday evening.  We were embarking on a 165 mile trip mostly through back country roads in the dark of night.  The dangers that presented themselves were many as any sort of animal can cross our path in the blink of an eye.   We arrived at our destination around 12:30 in the morning.  This was our first long trip on the bikes through the dark, and I had a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.  Outside of a few deer that we managed to avoid the worst adversity we faced was riding through about 30 miles of intense bug colonies.  Yeah laugh now, but there a few things more disgusting than realizing the liquid dripping off your helmet is actually bug juices and not rain.

On Tuesday we faced a long day of riding to cut back across to the East coast of the state in order to get us to our original planned route.  Because there were not many towns along the path we did not get any opportunities to stop and explore.  However, I was enthralled with the serenity of the open road as I took in my surroundings.  We passed beautiful homes, and dilapidated trailers.  We saw hawks flying above our head, several golf courses, and bodies of water etc.  As we rode the dark clouds seemed to quickly chase behind us, however we were able to stay dry.  After a couple of hours of riding we finally made it to the coast in East Tawas, and stopped at a favorite little restaurant of ours Augie’s On the Bay.  While inside enjoying our meals the dark clouds that had followed us finally caught up unleashing what can only be described as a monsoon that lasted all of 10 minutes.  If we would have been on the road it would not only have been down right miserable, but it would have been near impossible to ride through.  It was unbelievable to me that my wife, the new-found meteorologist, had predicted the weather pattern through her extensive research keeping us dry through an entire trip.

Though we stayed dry the next stretch of the trip presented us with the most adversity.  Riding along the coast the wind ripped angrily at us as if attempting to blow us off our course.  It was brutal, and I could tell we were both growing weary.  We were about an hour away from our destination for the evening when the single lane road split into two lanes, and we got over to pass a trailer that had been kicking rocks towards us for the last couple miles.  I was about halfway past the trailer when I kicked my bike into the next gear, and heard a frightening sound of a crucial part coming loose.  When I looked down I discovered that my gear shifter came loose from the control arm leaving me helpless to shift.  After we safely passed the trailer I signaled to Gracie that we needed to pull into a nearby parking lot.  It was then that Gracie kicked into a whole other level of badassery as she refused to let anything stand in the way of ruining our plans.  She called into the service department at her dealership to find out how to fix the problem.  Then she rode a mile into the next town to a hardware store to buy the bolt that we needed.  When she came back we fixed the problem, and got back on the road to our destination.

Though it was an exhausting day, and the bike issue caused us to lose an hour I still felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment.  After all we had powered through the brutal winds, and long stretches of the middle of no where.  We overcame the adversity of my bike breaking down, and by doing so gained new confidence.

When we settled into our hotel I could sense that something was not right with Gracie.  She seemed very down, and I was not quite prepared for her response when I asked her what was wrong.  She looked up at me as her eyes welled up in tears.  I felt completely helpless as she described to me her perspective of the day.  What I did not realize while I was carrying on from my view was she was seeing the world from a different lens.  To her we rode all day without any opportunity to stop, and enjoy the downtown scenes that we love.  There were zero boutiques to stop into, we did not see any cute little place for coffee, my bike broke down and we lost an hour, the wind was brutal, our butts were sore from the long hours of riding, and when we stopped for ice cream we were told the bathrooms were not for public use so we left.  This was not turning out the way she had expected, and so she was experiencing major disappointment.  In my perspective this was an amazing day because of the beautiful strong-willed women in front of me, and now I had the opportunity to lift her up at a vulnerable moment.  So I explained to her my point of view.  After all we were supposed to get drenched with rain, yet because of her we stayed dry.  Yes my bike broke down, but because of her we fixed it.  The ride was long, however we were in position to experience the trip around the thumb as planned.  At the end of the day it was all because of her!  That night we were able to hit the reset button by walking the beach, and enjoying a beautiful sunset.  Later on we found a little restaurant downtown where we met some pretty fantastic people, and had enjoyed some great conversation.

The next day our trip was absolutely breathtaking!  If you ride a motorcycle, and have the opportunity to ride the thumb of Michigan in the summer I would highly recommend it.  It was everything that we had envisioned when we were planning the trip, and so much more.  Cute town after cute town, while riding along the coast of Lake Huron.  The only adversity we faced was the lack of time available in one day.  We were able to check off all the values we had for our trip, and even got our ice cream while over looking the lake.

Along the journey back home I realized that within our trip existed 3 Powerful Insights to live a successful life.

Vision & Plan

Before you can plan for success you must first understand what success looks like for you.  In this particular circumstance our vision was to ride the open road around the thumb of Michigan.  Taking in beautiful sights, while enjoying new discoveries such as boutiques, coffee shops, great food, and nature.  Once we could visualize the goal we were able to map out our plans to get there.  This allowed for us to see possible obstacles standing in the way of the goal such as poor weather, and we were able to adjust the plans accordingly.

This formula can be applied to anything you want to achieve whether it is a vacation like us, a job promotion, opening up a business, or finding companionship.  What often happens is we plan each of our days activities with no end vision in mind.  How do we know when we have found success if we have not defined what success looks, feels, tastes, smells, or sounds like?  When we plan our days without the end in mind we keep ourselves busy running in circles, while feeling unfulfilled.  In order to achieve success you must vision then plan!

Create Your Narrative

In life we don’t describe what we see, but instead we see what we describe (if you are anything like me you may need to read that a couple of times, and let it sink in before proceeding).  How else can you explain how Gracie and I were on the same exact trip experiencing the exact same day, yet had tremendously different views on the situation?  Because there is an unlimited amount of information to process at every given moment our brains condense the information by deleting, distorting, and generalizing.  Whichever frequency we are operating on at the time we process the information will determine how we interpret any given situation.  Hence seeing what we describe.  That is why when you are down, and expecting bad things to happen it seems you just can’t catch a break.  It also explains why a person in positive alignment seems to have all the luck.  This is also why Gracie, and I had completely different perspectives of our trip on the first day.  Now I am not in any way saying Gracie is a negative thinker.  The fact of the matter it was her positivity that held me together, and fostered my positive mindset for the day.  Because we are human each and every one of us encounters situations on a daily basis that we choose subconsciously to view in a negative light.

The insight here is that we have the power to view the world how we want to see it, which effectively creates the narrative for your life.  No matter how great your vision or how strong your game plan the way you view the world could either hold you back from achieving the life you desire, or it  could guide you to fulfill your dreams.

Stay The Course

Along your journey adversity will occur like it did us.  When you least expect it the rain will fall, the wind will blow, rocks will be kicked in your face, and your tools will break.  It is easy to turn around in order to avoid the pain, and conflict.  However when you commit to the vision and endure the pain what happens is you develop a tough skin, learn from your failures, and gain knowledge which breeds the confidence you need to succeed.  Everyone sees the glamour of the “overnight sensations” but what they don’t see is the blood sweat, and tears that was shed to get there.  Stop being afraid to fail or endure pain, and instead understand that these are merely opportunities to learn while on the road to your destination.

Create your vision, plan your route, understand the obstacles that stand in your way.  Slow down your thoughts, and choose to view the positives of every situation.  When the going gets tough understand your values, and stay the course.  I promise when you break through to the other side to achieve your success it will be even better than you envisioned it.  In our case success was a beautiful ride, amazing scenery, great company, and yes even a little ice cream while overlooking the waterfront.

Lion’s Mindset-3 Powerful Tips to Increase Confidence & Dominate Sales Calls

The other night my wife Gracie, and I were discussing sales & business like we so often do, and she made a comment that inspired me to write this series.  “It is crazy” she said. “How much money companies lose due to lack of confidence from their sales people.”  So true!

Over the course of the last 15 years working intimately with sales people I have found that one thing dictates the success, or failure of a sales career.   Some will be shocked, but it has nothing to do with the amount of talent or charisma an individual is blessed with, nor does it matter the level of knowledge, experience, or any other intangible that listed.  The success of a person’s career in sales or with a particular organization comes down to the belief that person has in themselves, and the product they are selling.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right” -Henry Ford

In this blog series Lions Mindset I will provide strategies to overcome the Fears that limit sales people, management, and business owners every single day.  These limiting beliefs in turn have a dramatic negative impact on profits, and long-term success of any business or career.  It is my mission to guide sales & leadership professionals as well as business owners through the pitfalls of the wild jungle in order to develop a true Lion’s Mindset. Then they will take their place as King/Queen of their domain. In this first edition I will tackle the #1 Fear in the hearts of sales people, and entrepreneurs of all experience levels across the world.  Making prospecting/sales phone calls!

3 Tips to Develop a Lions mindset & make impactful Sales Calls:

-Sell Your Biggest Client 1st!

Am I saying you need to have an impressive list of customers, or reel in that big fish before you have earned the right to pick up the phone?  Not exactly.  You see the most important client is the one that sits tightly between your ears, and you will need to convince the Chairman of Your Board before selling any customer on your products and services.

As a young salesperson I avoided making phone calls at all costs.  I was afraid of being told no, I was afraid I was going to bug the person on the other line, and I was certainly afraid of being made to feel like a plague because my job was to make sales calls.  However I also understood that if I was going to have a successful career that I had to make the calls, and so I plugged away against every force of my being.  It took making call after call, and repeating my mistakes for years before I discovered that the reason I dreaded calls so much was because I had ZERO belief that I was providing any value to the poor soul that was fortunate enough to answer my call.  So I threw out the cheesy & robotic scripts that were handed to me over the years, and asked myself the following questions in order to sell myself on my perceived value:

What is my value to the client, and why would they want to hear from me?  Think of the pain points your clients experience by using, or not using your product/service. Then think how can I proactively solve those issues before they arise?  For example at the time I sold Verizon Wireless, and my clients had issues such as 1 year warranty or protection plan expiring before they could submit a claim, battery performance declined over time, and a steep learning curve to use the ever-changing technology.  By being aware of the pain points of my clients instead of making the typical “I want nothing more than to sell you something” approach that my competition was making, I focused my call in offering a solution to prevent a possible pain point from occurring.  Naturally, when you can provide your client with the value of proactively helping them to avoid pain not only will your confidence grow, but you will also establish yourself as The Trusted Professional within your industry.

Prepare for the Hunt

While lions are not very fast animals, the animals they hunt are some of the fastest on the planet.  Consequently in order for a lion to succeed in capturing a wildebeest she must stalk it in order to understand the wildebeest’s habits, as well as adversity she may face during the hunt.  A lion is also not discouraged by failure because she understands that a missed opportunity is just practice for the next hunt.

Like a lion it is crucial to prepare for the hunt.  So many times I have witnessed sales people start dialing with nothing in mind except “I gotta make a sale because rent is due.”  Those calls typically end up a little something like (in a “I would rather be chewing glass” tone) “Hello Mr/Mrs Customer, I am Jason from XYZ Corp and I wanted to see if you were interested in our XYZ product that is on sale…Oh I am sorry I caught you at a bad time call me back if you would like to buy something in the future.”   What happens next 80% of the time is the discouraged sales rep takes a well deserved break from calls in order to repair a bruised ego, and convinced that sales calls just do not work.

Instead of reeling from failure.  Plan to dominate your calls like a lion by asking yourself the following questions:

1.  What is the outcome I desire when making calls?  The desired outcome can differ by industry, or by the type of calling campaign.  For example, my desired result most of the time is to set an appointment to meet in person.  I am more comfortable when we can meet face to face in order to develop a rapport, which has greater chances to lead to a long-term relationship.  However you may have a goal to sell your product over the phone today or you may want to invite to an event your company is hosting.  The only matter of importance is to identify the desired outcome for you.

2.  What obstacles stand in my way of achieving my desired outcome?  The outcome you desire was identified, however it is important to understand that like a lion’s prey your potential customer is not going to just lie down because you want it.  It is imperative to understand what obstacles stand in your way in order to plan to overcome them as they occur.  Is your customer busy? Have they had a bad experience with your company in the past? Is the product is too expensive?  Or is the client angry over receiving a sales call during lunch?   All these objections are possible, and so much more.  Until you are aware of the hurdles in your way it is impossible to overcome them consistently.

Lastly always remember that not everyone is your customer, and that is ok.  The quicker you accept that the quicker you will rebound to make the next call.  As a result you will learn from mistakes, and develop more resilience.


To this point you have sold yourself on your value, and prepared for the hunt.  Now all that is left to do is POUNCE!  As easy as that sounds the fear of the dial can be just as debilitating as attacking a wild animal in the jungle.  The longer you think the more your brain is convinced of the near, and present danger.  The fear turns to paralysis, which results in losing your opportunity to close in on your prey.  Or worse you could be become the prey!

One day towards the end of the month I got a lead from a friend that his son in-law was in town for the holidays, and wanted to upgrade his phone.  I gave the lead to one of my sales reps that was driving towards a goal, and told him everything I knew about the lead.  The rep proceeded to ask me additional questions(that I of course did not know), looked the potential customer up on social media, and wondered out loud what he could need instead of just calling to ask him.  He hesitated to make the call, and then got busy.  When he finally got around to calling the customer it was too late as the customer had already left town.  Opportunity lost!

Learn from this mistake made by many, and Do Not procrastinate when making the dial.  It is important to identify your goal for the call, and be prepared to overcome obstacles.  However over preparation is just as dangerous as no preparation.  At the end of the day there is way too much competition in the market to sleep on calling your prospects.

Just POUNCE!!!


Hopefully this article will guide you in your pursuit to making dominating sales calls!  Need some additional help?  I work with individuals and organizations interested in growing their profits.  Email me at to learn more.