Archive for the 'Attitude Not Aptitude Determines Altitude' Category

“It Couldn’t be Done” by Edgar Guest

Check out this video!

 When Wes Walker of the New England Patriots was a lad, I bet his mom read him the following poem…he certainly acts like it!

 Here are the famous first two stanzas:

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, as he did it….

For the whole poem go to:


Still Crazy After All These Years

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their famous sketch,
“Who’s on First?” might have turned out something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper Computer Store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I’m setting up an office in my den and I’m thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTEL LO: I don’t own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name’s Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don’t know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write
proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO : Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let’s just say I’m
sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue “W”.

COSTELLO: I’m going to click your blue “W” if you don’t start with some
straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything
I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That’s right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What’s bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?>

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn’t it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper Computer Store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?


Commitment and Passion

As a scoutmaster I used to tell the lads they should find their passion in life and it will lead to happiness. I tried to get them to think about their Eagle Project in the same way. They should first find a cause they believe in and then do a project that will be meaningful and lasting. The boys that listened found that they enjoyed the hard work and were more committed to the project because they believed in what they were doing. The last line of the new Harry Potter movie sums it up when Harry’s says to his friends (something like), “I now know we are different (from Voldemort and his army) because we know why we are fighting.” Isn’t this true for business too?

Your business must be committed to what it does or it would not exist. Do you still have a passion for it? If not today, did you have it when you started? If you have lost the passion for what you do then find a nice “rock to sit on in the woods” and think back on why you chose your path. If the path chooses you…look for a reason to have passion for your work. Besides bringing meaning and maybe happiness to what you do for most of your waking hours, it is also the message you want to shout out to your customers. They want to do business with people who have a commitment and passion for what they do. They know the outcome will usually be better if people really care.

Commitment is very important if you want success at any level. I recently read an internet article that said, “Possibly the best description of commitment is “persistence with a purpose”…. “Webster defines commitment as: “the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose…..” It seems that half of commitment is persistence and the other half is purpose….

Purpose: “An anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions….”
Webster’s Dictionary

What mankind wants is not talent; it is purpose.

Buddha (563 BC-483 BC)

Be not simply good; be good for something.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

All successful businesses have a greater purpose than making money…… Purpose is why we do what we do. It gives meaning to getting up every morning. I believe it combines passion (which is an emotional response), a desire to serve or help people and a plan. Customers like doing business with people who are committed to what they do. Committed people work harder…..

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance(s) permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.
Quote from the internet

“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”
Mae West (Actress)

The Reynolds Group believes that an effective website is well planned and clearly shows the domain’s commitment and passion in the first few seconds it is viewed. What is your company’s purpose, why you can be trusted and how you can help are the questions internet travelers ask. Show them that you love what you do and are fully commitment to the task and they will come with their hearts and wallets open. Furthermore, if you post a written copy of your purpose or mission in the lunchroom so associates can read it too, your business will benefit. People work harder and smarter if they know “why they are fighting…..”

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Vince Lombardi

Persistence in Sales and Marketing

So…Is there ever going to be an “Easy Button?” Is instant gratification the end-all-be- all? Can we know the whole story in a sound bite.  Is the best way to get rich the lottery or a good law suit? Can we get smart and achieve success by just showing up to a good school? The answer is not, “No” but, “Hell No!”

Success never comes “overnight” Sometimes it may seem so on the surface but look deeper; I bet there is a back-story of hard work and endurance. Being smart, athletic, and/or talented isn’t enough. All of that must be accompanied by hard work and persistence to be great. Ask Hank Aaron, Gandhi, Tiger Woods, Albert Einstein or Pavarotti how they reached the top… They will say hard work and persistence.  My favorite cartoon hero was a quick-draw bounty hunter from the old west. His friend called him lucky after surviving a hairy gun battle. He said, “A man makes his own luck,” (ladies that goes for you too) and it is true. How do you make luck…with hard work and persistence.

The secret of success is constancy of purpose.

Benjamin Disraeli 

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Thomas Alva Edison

I use to say to my boy scouts,”Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude.” Step one is to believe in yourself. Step two is, do not fear failing, but fear not trying.  It is ok to fail —  hopefully you learned something. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again! (I love that song)  Do not let the fear of failure freeze you! Step three is get busy…be of good cheer and Get’erdone!

Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.

Sophia Loren

(A picture of Sophia in a wet tee-shirt hung on my bedroom wall from the 8th grade on — but I never appreciated that she was more than a pretty face. Persistence… I love that in a woman.)

My favorite true story of persistence is a book called Endurance. It is the story of Lord Ernest H. Shackleton, the shipwrecked captain of a failed Antarctica expedition. After his ship was crushed in frozen ice, for well over a year, he lead all 50 of his men off the ice to safety. This man knew persistence.

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill


Some times, even when you are losing, you must keep going. Look at George Washington.  He is the only general to ever win a war by retreating from battle He did not have the resources to beat the English, yet he kept his men together and they persisted…until he could win.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

John Quincy Adams

What a difference a day makes.  (I love that song too) Things change, they always do. Stand back, take a deep breath and let time help you. Open your eyes, clear your mind, listen to your heart, be ready… and in an hour, day, or even a few weeks, things will change. The whole playing field may shift and victory is possible, but you must be in the game.

So how does this all relate to sales and Marketing? The difference between a good salesman and a great salesman is persistence.  One more call, one more follow-up, one more try. It pays off to keep going in sales. It is a numbers game. Persistence will beat charm, good looks, or brains every time. Read the books of the great salesmen like Tommy Hopkins, Zig Ziegler, or hear stories about Milton or Jim Reynolds, and you will see how persistence works.. You just have to keep knocking on every door and never stop asking for the order.

The same is true for marketing.  A great marketing program requires persistence.  It is better to run a small ad many times than do a big flashy ad once. It is better to send several simple postcards than one fancy brochure. And it is better to rank high on a free search engine than build a flashy website. The investment will be the same but the results will be much greater.

To err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish.

Benjamin Franklin

Martin Luther King once said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea that has reached its time.  How did a great idea reach it time?  Persistence!

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thomas Alva Edison

So I say, if your heart says go… “Press on.”

Education will not (take the place of persistence); the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Calvin Coolidge

Get Over it

Picture a college athlete in a motorcycle accident losing a leg and deciding to compete in an Ironman competition. During the race he is hit by a car and paralyzed from the chest down and yet still does not quit trying and you have Jim MacLaren who believes there are no excuses in life This video is a must see. often do we get in the way of our own success? It is too easy to blame others, curse fate, or fall victim to our own limitations –all excuses for a lack of success, bad attitude or failed behavior. For me, this video takes me back to my favorite poem, Invictus, (quoted in total in an earlier posting on my blog), “I am the master of my fate, and I am the captain of my soul.I am fortunate to have a hero like Jim in my own family. My brother-in-law Roger Boesche has crippling rheumatoid arthritis but I never hear him complain about his pain, his plight or his limitations. In public he always acts positive and seems more worried about how the Atlanta Braves baseball team is doing than his health. Recently Roger was interviewed by the LA Times and had his picture in the paper for being a professor to Barack Obama at Occidental College. In that image you could see what this disease had done to his body. When asked how he felt about the picture, Roger simply said he was just excited about having his picture in the paper…just like anyone else.When I met Roger he could hit a softball out of the Brown Bowl (our neighbor’s backyard) into my family’s pool (over 100 yards)…a feat never done in the 15 years we played back there. He was a passionate liberal thinker with a gift for teaching and writing. In college he passed a test to be a “Kelly Girl” typing over 100 words a minute with no mistakes. Today his intellectual passions are still there but the athletic body is not. Roger walks with difficulty between classrooms. (his shoulder, wrists, and elbows are badly dislocated) uses a wheelchair off campus (he has had 15 surgeries). Like clockwork he stills teaches, gets his newsletter out on time and his 6th book is in the pipeline.25 years ago Roger said he wanted to travel and see the world. In spite of his challenges, he travels 4-6 weeks a year. He has been to Timbuktu, made it to the top of monasteries in Tibet and crossed the Himalayas in Pakistan, traveled throughout Iran and explored the Amazon jungle. None of these places have laws like Americans With Disabilities Act so with determination he can get himself up, down, in, and out of the most amazing places! Everyday for strength, Roger swims and his daughter says if he went any slower he would sink….but he always finishes.

My sister Mandy is an amazing companion. She is the sunshine of his life and the enabler he needs to achieve all that he does. What is beautiful is that she would describe him the very same way…. the sunshine of her life and the enabler she needs to achieve all that she does. They both walk the walk and talk the talk of “No Excuses”. Roger continues to inspire students and our family everyday!

The next time you feel like using the words unfair, or you think you can’t do it…step back, count your blessings and remember life is unfair. Think about attitudes like Jim and Roger’s…and get over it. Even more important…get beyond it!