Why in the heck is there a picture of Vise Grips up there?  I am going to tell you!

Once I get around to answering that question you are going to want to head out to Home Depot or Lowes and buy yourself a pair on Vise Grips to keep on your desk or in your car or in your briefcase.

As some of you know I just recently finished a wonderful vacation. (march 10-22, 2010) First I went to Miami Beach to President’s Club (5 nights) and then I went to the Caribbean (6 nights) and had my first real just going to rest and do nothing vacation! I feel an essay about vacations coming on! I also can’t wait to tell you about the awesome time we had in Miami! I have lots of cool pics.

Anyways back to the vise grips – I have had a vacation and my batteries are charged and I am ready to “Make It Happen”.

So what is the “It” that I want to make happen? Well for me last year I had a great year in the wholesale mortgage business last year and I want to have another great year. I have two books I need to finish and a couple of website projects to get up and running. Accomplishing those items are the income part of the “It” for me.

In addition to the whole income thing, I want to enjoy my family and friends, serve 8 -10 hours a week in my vocation ( I am lucky enough to have an occupation and a vocation), and make sure that I get enough rest, recreation and REM’s so  that I do not burn out (again).

The kind life I would be living if I have some success in each of those areas is my “dream”. The work and effort I have to do in each of those areas is the “price” I have to pay. (yes for me – getting enough rest, recreation and REM’s feels like work at times).

I tell my kids and myself – Pay The Price Live The Dream. You want the dream you have got to be willing to pay the price.

So what is your dream? Figure out what you want and then you can work on two important steps or “tricks” as I can them. I call these steps “tricks” because like magic tricks if you don’t know how they are done, trying to do them can seem impossible, once you know how to do them it seems very simple. In my journey I have struggled to learn how to do both of these “tricks”.

The first trick is figuring out what activity is a price to pay and what activity is a distraction. As I am sure that you have heard not every activity results in productivity. Once you identify what activity or activities are actually important to accomplishing your dream you can move onto the second trick.

As far as the first trick goes it is easy to fool yourself. I met a loan officer today and he desperately needs to get out of the office and go see potential clients. However as far as I can tell he is currently spending time in the office organizing his computerized data base. While I am all for cool computerized data bases, Based on personal experience I know that you can get a lot done with a names on yellow pad. Names on Yellow pad may not by sexy however it works and you can always upgrade to a 3 X 5 index cards, A-Z tabs and a metal index card box. Ron taught it, I did it, and it worked. 🙂

Obviously if your are in sales you need a database of prospects/clients – be it a yellow pad, a Metal box of 3X5 cards or Goldmine or some other highly rated CRM software. However working on  a database is never a substitute for going and seeing your clients or potential clients. In my opinion databases do not move the ball down the field (see info on Trick #1 below) seeing your clients or potential clients face to face often does move the ball down the field.

The way I help myself with the first trick is to use a football analogy and ask myself if this activity will move the ball down the field so you can score and win. In football you can run a lot of plays, however if you want to win you need to run the plays that actually move the ball down the field.

I regularly ask myself if this particular activity will help me move the ball down the field so I can score and win. If it does not – then it is likely a distraction.

The second trick is to actually regularly and consistently do the important activities that move the ball down the field and avoid the distractions that always come up.

End Zone Focus

For me the second trick involves having an End Zone Focus…and that brings us to the Vise Grips.( There is a 3rd trick and sometime I will share it with you)

I carry around with me a pair of Vise Grips to remind  me to avoid the distractions, to keep moving the ball down the field to the end zone and to “keep my hand to the plow”.

About 25 years ago a good friend of mine (Al) had a successful business established. The good news is that his business was successful , the bad news was that this particular business took a tremendous amount of his time. He got the crazy idea in his head that he could become more effective with the income thing, so he started a second business that had (in his opinion)a much better upside than his first business.

Al then found himself working in two different businesses, maintaining one and getting the another up and running. It became mission critical that he only give his time to those things that moved the ball down the field.

About 20 years ago when I was in my early 20s Al told me this story about Vise Grips and I never forgot it.

Remember at the point in his life when this Vice Grip story occurred Al was working two businesses and he was flat getting after it. To put it another way – If you stood near him and you could smell the smoke of battle coming off of him.

About this time the shower handle in his bathroom came clean off.

The metal was stripped and fixing it was going to be very involved – the back of the shower wall would have to come off and the pipes replaced and then the shower wall put back up.

To make matters worse Al and his wife had recently put new paint and wall paper up in the bathroom and the repair would mess that up as well.

At that point in Al’s journey dealing with that broken shower handle was distraction and taking the time to get it fixed did not move the ball down the field.

So what Al did, in a moment of inspiration, was slap a pair of Vise Grips onto what was left of the shower faucet and that took care of the problem and he keep doing what actually moved the ball down the field.

What is cool it that because of the success of the second business he was later able to sell the house with the broken faucet handle – Vise Grips and all and a purchase a much nicer home with an awesome view and unbreakable shower faucet handles!!!

I strive to have a End Zone Focus and I have a pair of Vise Grips to remind that I need to avoid the distractions that always come up when you pursuing a dream!

Special note for married men:

One of the ways I fulfill my vocation is in my work with WestWard Brothers. WestWard Brothers is a men’s group format I created that helps men with developing mature manhood. i.e. – Not every male is a man yet and not every adult male is mature.

Currently I am personally involved with two different WestWard Brothers groups that each meet twice a month.

Having worked closely with helping men get their s_ _ t together for about 5 years now I have observed that some men often do not attend to items in the home that need to be addressed. I am aware of many wives who have been hurt by the lack of care that their husband’s show them when it comes to items related to the home.

If you are a married man please do not use this real life story as a way to avoid taking care of some need in your home that your wife has asked you to address. At the time Al slapped on the Vise Grips so he could keep on truckin his wife understood what he was doing and why and she was at peace with his actions.

I have seen many guys including the one in my mirror who have inappropriately  ignored home issues and justified this bad behavior because they have “more important things” to do. DON’T do that. If your wife needs help with her home – help her. Period.

In WestWards Brothers we have 11 Life Enhancing Attributes and we teach and experience that a man’s life is better off if he lives out each of the 11.

Life Enhancing Attribute #3 Serve Your Family says “a man who has a family will enhance his own life if he labors to live is such a way that his wife feels cared for and his children feel blessed.”

I will admit from personal experience it is a pain in the ass to try live your life is such a way that your wife feels cared for, however if you do, your marriage will improve and the more your wife feels cared for the better the sex gets!

Many thanks to Joe Bonamassa for his new Black Rock album I  listened to it while I typed out this post.

End Zone Focus (C) 2010 Steven Shomler

WestWard Brothers and the 11 Life Enhancing Attributes (C) 2005-2010 Steven Shomler

Mature Manhood (C) 2010 Steven Shomler