March 19, 2013
Today is the first day of IHRSA Convention in Las Vegas. It is the first time when we got so lucky with the weather – today is warm and sunny!
The first day was very busy and all we have for today is just meet with everybody at the Open Reception.
I loved the General Session with Bert Jacobs – Optimism can take you anywhere. Bert is the founder and the General Optimist of “Life is Good” lifestyle brand.
I love general sessions because they are not about fitness, but about success stories of people from across different businesses and sectors. Very often these sessions are very positive and make you look at simple things, that we otherwise often forget about being all busy with sales plans and budgets.
Bert’s business has started from a small idea, it was created for people, for making them smile – together with his brother they created a little smily man Jake. You look at Jake and it makes you smile. The first time they used Jake was in a print on a t-shirts. In 45 minutes they sold 48 Jake t-shirts. That was the beginning.
To make long story short – today Bert and his brother are making millions of dollars per year and big companies are lining up to collaborate with them.
Bert has started his session with this phrase – “you are optimistic not because you are successful. You are successful because you are optimist”. Such wonderful words! It is so important to stay optimistic, no matter what life throws your way. And it is also very important for our industry, for you as a sales director, so that you can explain to your sales guys – doesn’t matter how many “nos” you hear in a day, keep on going, keep on smiling. It is so important for us, as managers, to motivate our team with these simple words.
Bert told us about his mother. When they were kids (6 boys), every night at dinner table their mother always asked them the same question – What good things happened to you today? I think it is an amazing way to raise your kids to be a bunch of healthy optimists. Even though not all of your sales staff weren’t raised in this way, you still can use this little method, because you are their leader and they listen to you.
The most amazing thing in Bert’s session (in my opinion, at least) was that he never mentioned that they wanted to be rich and be able to do whatever they want. They haven’t put this as any kind of beacon or purpose of their business when they start. The most important goal for them was to make people smile and have some fun along the way.
After some success they realized that there are many more other ways in which they could help others. The Jacobs brothers began holding variouscharity events for kids, and were astonished by how much feedback and participation they got.
Today 10% of “Life is good” PROFITS go to kids charity foundations. Not by increasing the price – they just give away a part of their profit. Every product carries a note about this 10% donation.
Today big brands (coffee, postcards and so on) are offering the Jacobs brothers partnership, to place their logo Happy Jake on their products.
Bert mentioned a few times how important it is to listen to our clients, to observe them. Why? The reason is simple – because they know it all. Often just by watching them we can find answers. Very often we, managers, think that we know more than they do. No, we don’t. And Bert is right.
In all the session I hear one key note – humanity – it’s the basis and the foundation. Not technology and business processes.
Fitness is a very human-oriented business. I always say – it doesn’t matter what type of equipment
you have – the latest model or old one – if our employees are not happy at work, our clients won’t be happy either.
It is that simple.
Have to run to the Open Reception!
Speak to you later, guys!