Speaking her mind

Avi, that’s who!

Avi just recently hit 19 months, and I’m happy to say her vocabulary is filling up. It’s mostly nonsense words and a smattering of garbled English and Chinese, but hey, whatever works, right? If her parents can understand her, then she can get what she wants. She gets what she wants, her parents don’t have to deal with a tantrum. It’s a win-win situation!

Here are a few of the more notable words in Avi’s vocabulary:

Nyam nyam – What could it be, you ask? Munchies! Vittles! Food!

Eme – A word Flossie and I love to hear. Avi-speak for milk. When she asks for this, it means she’s ready to go to bed.

Ap-to – Avi-speak for avocado. She looooves avocado. Except when she doesn’t.

UP! – Said when she wants to be carried. When she says that, you listen.

Dooooown – Said when she’s sick of being carried. Usually said two seconds after “UP!”

QuoiChinese for “open”. Usually said when she wants to be let out of the room and into the rest of the house. Followed closely by parents running around scrambling to catch up to Avi.

Ama – Avi’s word for “mommy”

Mama – Avi’s word for “daddy”

Crying at the top of her lungs -Avi’s word for “stranger”

Countdown to Success

Coundown timer

If this doesn't get you off your butt, nothing will.

Did you know that the way you count can affect your productivity and morale? I didn’t!

I learned this little tip in a product training session at my new job. The trainer was one of the company’s top sales people, who also happened to be ex-military. More specifically, an explosives expert. Yep, that’s right. Bombs and such.

The first thing he was trained to do was to change the way he counted. Instead of counting up from 1 like normal people, he and his team had to learn to count down to 1. If you had a 15-second fuse, for example, you shouldn’t count 1, 2, 3. You should count 3, 2, 1. You see this all the time in the movies and such, where the timer is ticking down and the heroes are rushing to beat the clock. Counting down was meant to be a way of keeping the technician focused on the urgency of the situation (as if being inches from an explosive device wasn’t enough).

But what did that have to do with productivity?

It all has to do with mindset.

Say for example you have a goal of writing 1000 words. When you count up, you’re looking back at what you already did. This is an invitation for your brain to get lazy and say “you know what, I think we’ve gone far enough today, maybe we can cut this short”. Even more damaging is when you look up at that number, think “that number is way too high. I don’t think I can reach that,” and then give up. When you count down, however, you’re looking forward to how many more you have left to do. And the further you go, the more that number shrinks down, and the more motivated you are to get that number to 0.

I can see this working for a number of things, not just writing. When you exercise, count down the number of reps in a set. When you’re clearing your email inbox, pay attention to that “Unread” number and watch it shrink. When you’re doing cold calls, set a reasonable target and count down to that goal.

I’ve only just started trying this new method out, so I can’t tell you if it actually works for me. But please feel free to try it out for yourselves and let me know how you do!

5 Hints on How Not To Sell

I can understand how salesmen and business owners LOVE to use every available opportunity to pimp their company and products. Who doesn’t want to be a success, right? But there are certain tactics that just don’t work. Take a hint. Take 5.

Don’t #1: Don’t ambush your potential customer as he emerges from the bathroom.

Don’t #2: Don’t pitch when you’re in a public corridor, and not in an office of any kind.

Don’t #3: Don’t just shove a business card in the face of your potential customer (really a victim now, at this point) and expect him to take it well.

Don’t #4: Don’t launch straight into your spiel: “We’re xxxx. We can do xxxx for a great price.” Not even a faux conversation to pretend you find me interesting? For shame.

 Don’t #5: Don’t drop the bomb and move on to the next guy. It’s not “efficiency”, it’s rude. But then again, you won’t have to watch victim #1 toss your card into the garbage.

This morning I experienced all five in the space of five seconds, and five hours later I’m still annoyed as hell.

I call this the “Pop, Drop, and Flop”.

The Big Top

 

Welcome to Avi’s home-within-a-home! It’s not much, just a little place where she can kick back, relax, and enjoy a women’s magazine or two (yes, she does read those. She likes health articles the best).

Every so often Avi will have guests, but the fire code limits the number of occupants to two full-sized adults at a time (and one baby).