Right FIT Ideas #272 – This week: Preparation, Storytelling, Pits

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • All the practice you put in can’t prepare you for what happens in the moment. However, it can prepare you to be and stay in the moment. Put time into your preparation.
  • Not all advice is equal. If, on one hand, you’re receiving advice rooted in personal taste, and on the other hand you’re getting advice rooted in a tested process, go with process.
  • Taking note of your direct report’s self-described strengths, then asking them to apply those strengths to your process yields the best results from the least effort. To get there start by mapping the process.
  • Looking ahead, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train. It’s a great time to re-forecast where you expect to be at the end of 2021.

Being Human – Attribution

Stories are memory aids, instruction manuals and moral compasses.” – Aleks Krotoski,


The story you tell yourself about how you’ve gotten to where you are can make future growth easier, or more challenging. For instance, let’s dig into the example of a sales team assessment. The company has experienced impressive growth in the last decade and owes much of the success to a trio of partners. One partner has brought in the most revenue, one has brought in the most profit, and one has brought in the most new customers. Recent results, however, have been depressed and management is pressing to get back on track, fast.

The management team looks at this trio and can’t decide who does a better job, or who is best able to lead them back to steady growth. Where should they invest their money and time? Should it be spread evenly amongst the trio? Should it be weighted? Does it matter that each of the partners privately takes credit for the success of the firm? “He may manage the most revenue, but my projects are far more profitable,” and, “Sure she brings in a lot of clients, but they’re small, too much work,” are examples of how they speak behind closed doors. Each of the three has fans amongst their associates and inside management.

What does the leadership do? How do they get back on track?

I suggest they do two things. First, describe their future target in detail, complete with the “why bother?” assessment, because it helps to give instruction when you know what success looks like. Second, take a look back, pick a point in the past, and decide on the story of how you got to today that best fits where you want to go tomorrow. The story you tell yourself about how you got here will inform how easy it is to get to where you’re going.

If the story is, “going to grade school with a future titan of industry, growing with them along the way,” it’s going to be hard to rally the team. Hearing something like that from an associate means they aren’t keeping their eyes out for growth. “Each of us has been face-to-face with at least one client and one new prospect week in and week out for a decade,” is something they can get behind.

Listen to the stories you team tells about your success. If you don’t like it, change it. Memories are the stories we tell ourselves.

Random stuff


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson


I received a delightful text from a friend this week. It’s a movie trailer for “Shoplifters of the World,” on demand March 26. (You can watch it here: trailer) Not only does it feature a Smiths soundtrack (my favorite band) it takes place in Denver, CO, 1987. As my friend said, “How did I not have a MEATSMRDR license plate?” I don’t even care if it’s good.

Speaking of good, one thing I couldn’t imagine myself doing in 1987 is spending a year at home, and enjoying it. Like many people, we’ve been making improvements to our humble abode here and there. As you know, I can’t really do handy things, so most of my improvements are purchases. One such purchase is a Vitamix. The thing is amazing. I’m all about emulsification now.

This weekend we were at the market and I spied some nectarines. I imagined them blended with some ice, sugar, and maybe a little vanilla extract. A delightful sorbet.

Sunday night it came together. I focus on texture because last time blended it too long. Same result this time. It turns into a smoothie, not the four piles of ice-cream-like-texture I’m after.

I offer the first one to my lovely bride. I apologize for it being a smoothie, but she takes a sip and declares it a tasty success. As I walk away I see her pick something out of her teeth.

“What did you put in there?”

The nectarines, ice, sugar, some vanilla. . .oh and some oatmilk.

“That must be what it is,” she says, “it’s a little gritty.”

Hmm, I think as I head back to the kitchen, I don’t think oatmilk is gritty. I pour myself a glass and take a gulp. It is good. And it is gritty. Not like an oat grit, it’s something else. Gritty enough to have to spit bits out. Teeny tiny bits. Hundreds of them.

I survey the kitchen. Oatmilk? No. Sugar? No way. Was the fruit not right? Well, we did get it from a tiny grocer, but I carefully peeled all three of them and took out the pits. I see them right there, one, two. . .


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