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Chris LoCurto

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June 9, 2014

Life Hack to Make Money and Gain Time

I have the blessing of coaching people pretty much every week of my life. And yet, coaching is not what I would have said I’d being doing when I was younger. After years of coaching people, I can say it never gets old!

Life Hack for Time and Money, Chris LoCurto.com

This past week in one of my sessions I worked with a company who’s owner was struggling with time due to death by a thousand slashes. He has so many disruptions in his day he finds himself at times working until 4AM to solve problems.

As you can imagine, he’s considerably frustrated with time lost both in his business and his personal life. And just like all of us, he has incredibly legit reasons why it’s like this.

Here are just 7 things I shared with him to gain control of his time, which in turn will make the company more money. They’ll do the same for you. 

  • Close your day out - I’m starting with this because it will help make better sense of the other steps. If at all possible, block the last 30 minutes of your day so you can “wrap-up” your day. This gives you time to go through any emails, calls, or whatever needs to be addressed before you leave. This doesn’t mean that all emails and calls are attended to, it just means you tackle the ones that have to be. Reserve at least 5 minutes for the next step.
  • Tomorrow’s to-do list - Yes, I want you doing a brain dump and list the most important things that must be done tomorrow, and then prioritize it. So much time loss comes from bouncing from one thing to another and not having serious momentum. When you have it listed out, you attack and don’t stop until it’s done.
  • Schedule your to-do list - My buddy Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com shared with me that she schedules her to-do list by time slots. And here’s the best part. She reschedules it up to 3-times a day. When something disrupts the flow of her day, which happens to all of us, she goes through her list by adjusting priority and rescheduling. Genius!
  • Block off “you” time - It is also vitally important for you to block off time for you to do whatever it is that makes you money! If part of your job is to produce, not just lead, then you have to make sure that you have as much uninterrupted time as possible in your day to produce. Otherwise, you end up working incredibly long hours because you spent your day being a firefighter instead of following these steps.
  • Team meetings - Quite often the reason a leader dies a death of a thousand slashes is because the team doesn’t have enough direction from that leader. Weekly team meetings are usually necessary, but you might even have to have daily ones as well. Summarize the previous day, any changes the team might not know about, and give direction for the day ahead. This should keep a lot of interruptions from happening.
  • Set healthy boundaries - It is not uncommon for a leader, entrepreneur, or team member to allow others to unnecessarily suck up their time. If a client, which might also be an internal client, has a habit of dropping in on you whenever they want to discuss the job you’re doing for them, then you need to let them know that scheduling time with you would be more productive. Think of it this way. An 8-hour road trip becomes a 10-hour road trip when you add a bunch of stops to it.
  • Teach your team to solve problems - In the first 90 days of a team member’s time with me, I will answer almost any question they have. After that, I start asking them questions and telling them to bring solutions to their problem as well. In other words, when a team member needs an answer on something, I ask how they would handle it. This causes them to start force-of-habit thinking to always come up with an answer first. You’ll be surprised at how many times they will actually solve the issue on their own.

After discussing these 7 things and more, my client made a comment that the time saved will actually gain him $50,000.00 in billable hours. That, my friends, is something I like to hear!

Question: What tips do you have to save time and make money?

Chris LoCurto

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June 3, 2014

Personal Accountability with John Miller [Podcast]

John G. Miller, the best-selling author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, Outstanding! and Flipping the Switch, joins me on the podcast to talk about personal accountability and responsible parenting. QBQ has been a huge part everything I’ve done and I firmly believe in the message of personal accountability in business and in life.

Subscribe to the podcast:          iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The QBQ message and how it applies to your business, team and life.
  • How to have personality accountability and the questions we must ask ourselves.
  • How “why” questions take us to victim thinking, “when” questions take us to procrastination, “who” questions take us to blame and how to turn them into questions behind the question.
  • How to hire people with the QBQ mindset and bring the concept to your team.
  • Understanding entitlement and how to overcome the entitled mindset.
  • Parenting the QBQ way and why our children are a product of our parenting.
  • Strong parenting vs. weak parenting and how bullying starts at home.
  • The different between parenting children and relating to adult children.

The biggest takeaway of the QBQ message can be answered by asking yourself this question: “Who have I been trying to fix?” Every single one of us has someone in our lives that’s disappointed or frustrated us. When we can let it go and “work on me,” our entire perspective changes.

Would you like to win a free book? If so, go on to iTunes and review the podcast. Be sure to comment on this post with a link to the review so we know how to contact you! Also, check out qbq.com for more great information from John!

Question:  How has the QBQ message changed your business and life?

Comment below or use the voicemail app on the right to be featured on an upcoming podcast! 

Chris LoCurto

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June 2, 2014

5 Ways You Are Holding You Back

This weekend I did something I haven’t done in a long time – played golf. It was so nice to get out on a beautiful course with one of my best friends on the planet, Keith Cook.

The comments on Instagram are quite funny about our shirts and one of our beards…guess whose. 

While I love playing golf, I’ve never been great at the sport. If I shoot under 100 I’m pretty darn happy. Keith, on the other hand, is a boss! He played in school and has continued for years. As we started the round, I already had the feelings of eminent failure. I had plenty of reasons as to why I would soon be frustrated.

  • It’s been a long time since I’ve played.
  • I’ve never been great at the game.
  • I’ve never had proper coaching in the sport.

All things that would almost insure I was not going to be under 100 that day. Before we teed off,

Keith made a suggestion. He looked at the hole and said, “You know, I think I’m going to hit my 5 iron twice for position instead of trying to reach it with my driver and putting myself in trouble. Besides, two great shots with a 5 iron is the same as a great driver shot and a chip in. You might want to try that as well.”

It totally made sense, but that meant that I couldn’t do it my way. And my way was to rip the driver in hopes that I don’t duff it short of the ladies tee (some of you know what happens then), or crank it into the river right next to us.

As someone who coaches a ton, I knew it was time to be coached! I decided to go with the advice and it worked. I kept with his advice and left my driver in the bag for a while. At one point, he made another suggestion that I only take a very slow 3/4 backswing and see what happens.

Not only did I crush the ball, but I picked up an extra 30 yards with that club, AND it was straight as an arrow! Step after step Keith coached me to have a phenomenal game compared to my usual frustrating one. It also prompted me to post some of the ways we hold ourselves back in business and in life.

5 Ways You Hold You Back

  • Keeping with the status quo – So many times we know we need help, but we’re not sure who to ask or where to look. Every time I step foot on a golf course I know I should take lessons from a coach. Instead, I utilize my time making mistakes, taking unnecessary detours, and taking considerably longer than I should to get mediocre results.
  • Confusing instincts with desire – I absolutely believe there is a paper-thin line between instinct and desire. If you’re anything like me, you have trouble from time to time knowing which one it is. My golf coach’s instinct for me to hit my 5 iron instead of my desire to hit my driver panned out. We need to know when to ask for help from someone who has the answers that we don’t have.
  • Thinking you don’t have the capacity – Often I see people who have convinced themselves they are currently at their capacity and don’t have room to grow. This is a ridiculous idea. What you don’t know is absolutely holding you back! Just one of Keith’s ideas would have been plenty to change my game for good. Praise God he didn’t stop there.
  • Not making the right choice – Again, as someone who coaches a lot, I have a lot of different coaches for the areas I need help with. I’ve known for years that when I want to be great at something, I need someone who already is great to coach me through it. But for some reason, I hadn’t with golf until the other day. Therefore, Keith is my new golf coach. With only a few insights he changed my game considerably for the better!
  • Stopping at better – While Keith coached me to be better in just one game, I don’t want to just be better. My goal is to be my best. The only way I can accomplish this is to put my newfound information into place, and then continue tapping into the wisdom of my coach for more new ways to grow.

The excitement I now have for golf is one that I want in every aspect of my life, especially my business. And it starts with knowing when to get help. Coaching-Banner If you are ready to take your business, leadership, or your life to the next level, then don’t be the thing holding you back! Click here and get started!

Question: How has coaching helped you?

Chris LoCurto

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May 27, 2014

How to Handle Rude Customers [Podcast]

Rude customers are a breed of their own. Today I’m answering a question from Vanessa about how to handle rude customers while backing your team members up.

Subscribe to the podcast:          iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

I just recently had a situation with one of my customers and a representative that was assisting the customer. The rep took the call and felt the customer was being rude and was upset and possibly yelling at the rep. As soon as I heard that, I told the rep to place the customer on hold and I would handle the call. The rep was able to transfer her to me and when I spoke with the customer she was okay – nothing I couldn’t handle and I was able to assist the customer. The rep expressed his frustration that he had never been talked to like that from a customer before. I told him that I needed to fix the issue in which I did. He felt as if I wasn’t backing him up because the customer was out of line.

Did I handle the situation correctly? What limits should I have on customers yelling at our representatives? I want them to know I get the frustration of the customer yelling at them but also our goal is to fix the issue. Any feedback would help.

Thanks for the question Vanessa. Obviously I don’t know what the customer said to your representative or if and why they were yelling but your first step should always be to get that information.

Here’s what you’ve got to understand about your team – they must know that you are there to protect them. I don’t mean to protect them in stupidity or being a bad representative or an entitled employee. If a customer is treating your representative rudely, you need to show them that you’re willing to stand in the gap and battle against bad junk to protect them. Show your team that you care more about them.

That being said, I want you to solve every customer problem you possibly can unless the customer is being a jerk. Yes, maybe they’re frustrated and understandably so if the company messed up but there’s a line. That line starts when they’re literally yelling. What happens when they cross that line? You give them a warning, “Here’s my extension, when you decide not to yell at me, call me back.” If they keep yelling, hang up.

My team will always know that they have that right. Even more, when a customer is using profanity they have full power to fire them. Yes. Fire the customer. It doesn’t matter how much money they’ve spent with the company. If a customer is cussing out one of my team members, they’re gone.

Now, if there wasn’t yelling or profanity, I’m going to have a discussion with the representative. It’s possible they need to have tougher skin in a customer service role or maybe they’re on the wrong seat on the bus. If they’re acting with entitlement, they’re probably in the wrong seat. If they’re not ready to have tough skin and handle customers in a customer service role, they probably don’t need to be there.

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Be sure to click the voicemail app button on the right side of the page to leave your question for a future Q&A podcast! Please include your name, what you do and where you’re from and we’ll try to include your question in the show.

Question: How would you handle the situation?

Chris LoCurto

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May 20, 2014

The LifePlan Episode [Podcast]

Recently I asked who you would like to hear on the podcast and so many of you asked to hear from past LifePlan attendees, so today is the day! Stephen Scoggins and April Browning are joining me on the podcast to talk about their LifePlan experiences.

They unpack what it means to go through a LifePlan, and give you the ins and outs of this phenomenal 2-day process.

“LifePlan for me was putting things in proper perspective. Putting things in a perspective to take your past, your present, your future – blend them together, have a clear path…” - Stephen Scoggins

 

Subscribe to the podcast:          iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

In this episode, Stephen and April will talk about:

  • What made them decide to go through LifePlan
  • The most powerful part of the process
  • Who LifePlan is for and who they’d recommend going through the process
  • How it’s impacted their relationships with family, friends and team members
  • Why Stephen is sending his team through LifePlan
  • How understanding personality styles factors into the LifePlan
  • The toughest, best and worst part of LifePlan
  • Life post LifePlan – weeks and months after the event

“If you have any questions within yourself, any doubts, if you’re not 100% certain on the direction your life is headed, I think LifePlan is for you.” – April Browning

If you’re interested in learning more about the process or to schedule a LifePlan, fill out the contact form and we will be in touch with you shortly!

Question: What else do you want to know about LifePlan?