These articles by Joe Bonura offer tips and suggestions
for boosting your personal success.
Ways To Fail - Darren Hardy, publisher of Success
Magazine, told one of my favorite stories on his daily blog, the
story of two wolves. The two wolves live inside each of us, a good
wolf and a bad wolf, and they are constantly at war with each other.
When a young boy asks his grandfather which wolf will win the war,
his grandfather replies...
New Start - Several years ago,
when times were great and sales were rolling in for my client companies,
I opened my presentations with, "I have some good news, and
I have some bad news. The good news is that the economy is rocking
and sales are really great. The bad news is that...
As If - I want to share a story that I received from a friend
and regular reader of my monthly Action Power Memo. Ed Watson, known
as "The Ad Doctor," works at KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
We can learn from the masters who have been in sales a long time,
and Ed is one of those masters...
To Lose - Are you afraid to lose, or are you determined
to win? I heard this recently, and it really made me think. Fear
is a motivating factor, and so is...
You Ready? - 365 days are ready
for you. Are you ready to meet them head-on with a new resolve and
deliberate direction? Each day is fruitful and...
You Headed for a Crash Landing? - After watching the
news recently about USAir Flight 1549 that went down in New York's
Hudson Bay, and seeing the brave and courageous efforts of the pilot
and crew, I was reminded of an incident that happened to my daughter
For The Business - We are all born sales people. Somewhere
between the time we are born and the time that we get our business
cards printed, we forget how to ask for the business. Have you seen
how babies get what they want? They only want two things...
Day - The other day, I was having a bad day. Yes, I have them
too. I just did not feel like making my sales calls. The few calls
that I made, were not successful. In fact, one person was...
A Quitter - And Win - Huh, Oh! I think Joe has lost it.
How can you be a quitter and win? Well, it depends on what you quit.
If you can quit...
Prepared - What we do before the sales call determines
how we handle ourselves during a sales call. Preparation is not
a one time eventit is a lifetime...
Your Own Sales Manager - I watched Peyton Manning and
the Indianapolis Colts lose in overtime play in the 2009 National
Football League wild card playoff game. The loss came a few days
after Peyton was declared...
Your Focus - Change Your Life - I have to confess that most
days, in fact every day, my focus is 80 to 90% on me. If you are
honest, you would probably say the same thing. We go through life
uttering the words...
Little - The sky is not falling. One of my favorite stories
as a child was the story of Chicken Little who was walking down
the street when an...
Little Revisited - The stock market is up, the stock
market is down, the stock market is up, the stock market is... enough
already! Stop watching the stock market news in order to determine
your financial future. If you jump off a roller coaster while it
is in motion...
Out of Your Comfort Zone - You will succeed in life in
direct proportion to your willingness to come out of your comfort
zone and escape from your self-imposed prison of mediocrity. You
hold the key to mental freedom...
Purpose - A few weeks ago, I watched Peyton Manning tie and
break Brett Favre's record for the most touchdown passes in the
National Football League. Three years ago, it was doubtful that
Manning would ever play again. It was only through courage, tenacity,
and definite purpose that Peyton was able to accomplish such an
for Dollars - A.G.B.'s Contribution Save time, save
steps, increase your effectiveness, and make more money by using
the telephone to make appointments. It is sad that many sales people
do not like to...
Yourself to Sales Success - Recently, when I opened one
of my training sessions, I asked the question, "Can you give
me a word that will enable you to out-think, out-perform, out-sell,
and out-service your competition?" There were fifty people
in the group...
It Anyway - Sometimes I do not want to write this e-zine
article, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I do not feel like making
sales calls, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I do not feel like getting
on a plane and flying across the country, but I do it anyway. Sometimes
I do not feel like...
Not Worship A False Profit - In today's fickle economy,
too many companies are worshipping a false profit when they worship
the "bottom-line." I have owned and operated two successful
companies in my lifetime, and I earnestly believe that I have learned...
Get Caught Holding The Bag - An Empty Bag! - The secret
of success in selling is not to give up because at times, we may
lose more than we win. We feel like the farmer whose crop was...
Lose the Wonder - I was waiting at the gate to catch
my fifth airline flight of the week when a man walked up to the
window with his six-year-old son. He pointed to the big Boeing 747
waiting at the gate and said...
To Abundance - You live in a world filled with unlimited
opportunity and abundance. The world is waiting for you to shake
off your lethargy, get out of your "Lazy Boy" and...
The Unexpected - I was at the corner of Central Park and Sixth
Avenue in New York City when I was supposed to be sitting at a sidewalk
Ordinary You - You are extraordinary! I have said it about you,
and others have said it about you at some time in your life. The
question is: do you believe it? You should! When you look at the
complexity that is you, you should be amazed every day. The reality
is that all that you are came free at birth. If you had to make
a monthly payment on your individual value, you could not afford
Takes Work - Just using the word failure, in this month's
E-Zine, makes me uncomfortable. But after a lifetime of watching
people fail, I have learned that...
Strong - My friend and client Amy Jo Condo ran
track in college, the 100 and 200 meters and the 4X100 and 800 meter
relays. Her University of Louisville track coaches George Berry
and Karen Watson could have called them the 110, 210 and 4X110 and
810 races because...
Me To The Moon - I recall as a boy that I saw the movie
Thief of Baghdad in which the hero used a magic carpet
to fly through the air. Later that day, after I painted magical
designs on a bed sheet, I sat for hours on my painted sheet and
imagined myself sailing through the air on my very own magic carpet.
Salesperson to Serveperson - Imagine what it would be
like at your organization if every service representative knew more
about selling and every salesperson knew more about service...
Changers - I am a football fan of both the New Orleans Saints
and the Indianapolis Colts. When I watch both teams play against
each other, it hurts, and that was especially true in the 2009 Super
Bowl when the Saints beat Indianapolis. However, being from New
Orleans, I always go with the Saints. This weekend, I am going to
New Orleans to watch my Saints beat the New York Giants. Sorry Giants
fans. (Saints won - 52 to 49!)
Your Career Shipshape - Part I - When I visited with
a friend, I noticed a picture on his wall, entitled, Salesmanship.
It was a drawing of an old sailing ship with each sail labeled with
the traits of a great sales person. I was so impressed that I noted...
Your Career Shipshape - Part II - Resilience:
What Is Your Bounce-back Quotient? In the profession of selling,
you sometimes lose more than you win. The secret to success is to
keep on keeping on. No one likes to lose or to be rejected; however,
the way to move forward in selling is to make calls. Every time
you make a call...
Your Career Shipshape - Part III - Persistence:
I am always amazed at how life often mimics selling, and the same
skills that I apply every day of my life in selling, I applied to
save the lives...
for the Goal - I received an e-mail from my son Joe who
was excited about his wife Karen's accomplishments at the recent
Mary Kay Convention. Karen placed 7th out of 140,000 for the Queen's
Court of Personal Sales...
Mining - I did a sales training session for a group of
media sales reps in New Mexico. They blitzed the market for four
days and brought in...
Fishing - Last week, I took my eight-year-old grandson
fishing in the lake behind our house. After his second cast, he
Tired - Get up and get going. Stop waiting for someone
else to make life happen for you. This morning, I read something
that I would like to share with you...
Treasures - My wife was cleaning our basement seventeen
years ago, preparing for a move to our new home. For some unexplained
reason, I decided to go through a box we were about to...
Tech Or High Touch? - I typed this article with my thumbs
on a hand held portable phone, the same device...
Big Are Your Dreams? - I'm flying at 35,000 feet on my
way to Seattle, Washington, all because of two brothers named Orville
and Wilbur, two ordinary guys with an extraordinary dream. On December
17, 1903, they made history...
Did It And You Can Too - On July 25th I scratched another accomplishment
off of my bucket list: I drove an Indy car at the Mario Andretti
School of Racing. I got up at 4:00 AM so that I could be one of
the first in line to hit the asphalt at the Kentucky Speedway in
Sparta, Kentucky. It is a lifetime memory that I will never forget.
A Rut - The dictionary defines a rut as: A state of being
that has become so routine that it is no longer...
Selling - My son and daughter gave me a workout bench
for my birthday. It came unassembled, so when I opened the box and
saw all of the pieces, I was ready to call the store to...
Is Never Too Cold Or Too Hot
- It is January, and I am in my sunroom watching a great blue
heron perched on a log in the lake in my back yard. He has been
sitting there for the past hour; I am amazed at his patience. Doesn't
Is Your Choice - After reading Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill for the twentieth time, I reflected on a poem by
Jesse Bell Rittenhouse
Is Your Job To Keep Their Jobs - As I was perusing some old
files, I came across the strategy sheet for getting my first job
in advertising. At the time, I was a finance collector, and during
one of my collections...
Takes More Than Brains To Succeed - Six weeks ago I was
in San Angelo, Texas, where I completed a successful field day with
four sales people. The sales manager drove me to the airport...
In - As a small child, I remember going to the beach
with my Mom and Dad. I approached the water and put my toe in, felt
how cold the water was...
In Touch - As Stephen Covey wrote in his book The Seven
Habits of Highly Successful People, "Always begin with the
end in mind." Closing the sale is the end result that most
sales people have in mind when they are making sales calls; however...
On Keeping On - Rejection is the wind that builds strength.
The more you are rejected, the more you will learn. Just as a baby
learns to walk by falling and getting up again, sales people can
The True Value Of Time - Know the true value of
time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness,
no laziness, no procrastination never put off till tomorrow
- The Secret to Customer Excitement - When I was a young boy, I
remember working with my father at his butcher stand in the heart
of New Orleans, Louisiana...
Learner - After the graduation ceremony, my son was standing
next to me with his college degree in his hand. Several young people
walked by with their graduation gowns slung over their shoulders
and their hats tilted back on their heads. One of them made the
Learning Equals Success - Many years ago, I wanted to
learn to play the piano. The piano teacher came to the house for
my lessons, but when he returned the next week, he saw no progress.
I did not take the time to practice my lessons, and so, each week,
the same poor results were apparent. The exasperated teacher stated...
Blanket - As I write this newsletter, I look across the
room and there neatly folded across a chair is MawMaw's blanket.
She was my mother-in-law, Dorothy Carroll Yokum, and to her grandchildren,
Dollar Cup Of Water - In 1929, with a $3,000 inheritance,
Ted Hustead and wife Dorothy moved to Wall, South Dakota, and opened
a small drugstore. The business showed no growth by 1936, and add
a depression, and the Husteads were on the verge of...
Your Way to Sales Success - There was a PBS documentary
about a couple who lived in a remote area of Alaska where they made
a living off the fish they caught in their net. In order to survive...
Excuse - Excuses, excuses, excuses! The dog ate my homework.
The electricity went out, and the alarm did not go off. I was stuck
in traffic. If I had more time, I would have made my sales calls
today. If it were not for this bad economy
The devil made me
do it. (Add your own best excuse here)...
Kidding - Remember when you were a child, and nothing seemed
impossible? When you lived to dream and dreamed to live?...
More New Year Resolutions - From now on, do not make
any more New Year Resolutions (NYR); only make New Year Commitments
(NYC). While a resolution is a firm decision to do something, a
To Fear - Fear is a concern in our lives: fear about
the future, fear about taxes, fear about the economy, fear about
health issues, and on, and on, and on. Fear is the worst kind of...
Or Never - Now is the time to either get up or get out.
Although the economy is not great, it will give you the opportunity
to really practice your selling skills. When times are good, as
they have been, we forget...
Power - As I was watching an ice climber on TV, I was
amazed, impressed, and a little frightened for the climber. Climbing
an ice floe...
Lucky Day - Today is my lucky day! I received an email that
says that I have been chosen to receive a $5,000,000 reward. All
I have to do is provide the sender with...
Say Can You See? - Because I use my glasses just for
reading, I often forget to put them on before I leave the house.
Last week, I forgot my glasses, and didn't notice until I was...
Fools Rush In - My son Nick and I completed a two-week
camera safari in Kenya, and we were walking in downtown Nairobi,
saying our goodbyes to a dream adventure, when a neatly dressed
Kikuyu gentleman approached and immediately got in step with us...
Objections - If you approach the overall sales process correctly,
the job of overcoming an objection is a simple process. I always
begin a call with the intention of building rapport. When calling
on a health insurance prospect, as soon as we entered the house,
I noticed a collection of clown statues, clown paintings, and a
photo of a gentleman in a clown costume.
Procrastination - You will succeed in sales in direct
proportion to your ability to overcome procrastination. Procrastination
has caused more losers than any other sales "sin." Procrastination
Practice Makes Perfect - As I listen to a recording of
the late, great Luciano Pavarotti sing some of my favorite arias,
I speculate that he was the best tenor ever. So, what does it take
to be the best ever? Although he had a natural talent, he had something
Pays - Twice I walked by the shoeshine stand, and on
both occasions, the person manning the stand enthusiastically asked
me if I wanted a shine. It was on my third pass that he...
A New Tune - Are you a vinyl record waiting to be played?
For Gold - My mantra for sales is to make calls, make more calls,
make many more calls. However, you cannot make the calls unless
you have prospects to call. The first step in any sales process
should be to prospect for business.
On A New Face - As I walked into the room, my wife was
watching Good Morning America. Diane Sawyer was interviewing Connie
Culp, who had the first...
For The Stars - Recently, during my customer service training
program, I asked my audience to write down their goals. I told them
to make a list of...
What You Sow - Last week, as I drove past a twelve-acre
cornfield, strangely located in the middle of a suburban area of
Louisville, I noticed that...
= Success - Tell me your daily routine, and I can predict
your success or failure in business and in life. Your life is the
sum total of the daily actions that you take, and the actions you
take each day add up to your daily routine. Each action is like
for the Roses - You can have, be, or do anything that
you desire in life if, and it is a
big IF, you know what you want to have, be, or do. Most people are
Salesperson, Beware! - What's the next step for an
apple on a tree after it ripens? If no one picks it, it falls to
the ground and rots...
A Star - When I decided to sell my advertising agency
and become a full- time professional speaker in 1988, I attended
the National Speakers Association Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
My first goal was to find out...
Like A Dog - I was cutting up a celery treat for my miniature
Schnauzer Muffin when I realized...
Your Customers by Phone - No matter how many people work
in your organization, your customer may only come into contact with
only one person -- the person who answers the phone...
Add Up to a Big Detour in Life - I was walking my dog
Muffin this morning for thirty minutes when it occurred to me that
I could cut ten minutes off of my usual 45 minute walk by cutting
across a field...
Fishy - How badly do you want it? Whatever it is, how badly
do you want it? Most of us want something, but if we really wanted
- It is easy to succeed when life is going well because you tend
to think that you are the cause for all your good luck. When the
economy goes South, or times get tough, your attitude goes with
Driving Yourself to the Poorhouse - A while back I was
making calls with a sales person in St. Louis, and we drove forty
minutes to our first appointment. The second appointment was located
about four blocks from our original starting points...
- In my one-hour walk this morning; I noticed that the rhythm of
the walk increased my sense of smell. I could really smell the flowers,
the new-mown grass, and breakfast cooking in a neighbor's kitchen.
I could also feel...
Five - Amos Martin played football in the NFL from 1972 to 1977.
He played for five years as a Minnesota Viking and one year as a
Seattle Seahawk. Amos played in three Super Bowls during his pro
football career. He left the NFL in 1977 to settle in Louisville,
Kentucky, where he had spent his college football career as a star
linebacker for the University of Louisville under Lee Corso.
You, Thank You, Thank You - Let's celebrate Thanksgiving today.
Well, not just today, but every day. You need not wait for the third
Thursday in November to be thankful for the good things in life.
Scientifically, it has been proven that being thankful will change
your life for the better.
ABCs of Selling - Ego, more than anything, deters many
people in the selling profession. Ego prevents them from admitting
that they do not know where they are in relation to where they could
be. They believe that they have reached the top...
Attitude of Gratitude - Iona Kupiec was my high school
English teacher who introduced me to opera, poetry, Greek mythology,
the arts, and The Reader's Digest (School Edition). The students
thought she was a very strange English teacher. We were supposed
to be learning grammar, sentence structure, punctuation...
End Is The Beginning - When I was in the advertising agency
business, I sought a very large and prestigious account. My agency
pulled out all the stops and presented the best presentation that
we had ever put together. We knew we did extremely well because...
Fountain Of Youth - Recently, I celebrated my birthday, and
what a great time to reflect on the past and to look to the future.
We were in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in America -
nothing to do with...
Long Walk Home - What is the longest walk you have ever taken?
I walked from Louisville, Kentucky to New Orleans, Louisiana, a
distance of 730 miles. Well, I did not...
Magic Wand - When I was a kid, I was enamored by magicians
like Mandrake and Houdini, and I always remember when my Mom and
Dad gave me a Mandrake the Magician magic kit. I spent the entire
day waving my new magic wand with no amazing results. You can imagine
how disappointed I was when it did not...
Pebble Effect - On my walk this morning, I felt a small
pebble in my shoe. Initially, it was just a small irritation, but
as I continued, the rock seemed to get bigger and bigger. I finally
sat down to remove it from my shoe, and when I found the rock, I
was amazed that it was...
Possible Dream - If I called you on an air-to-ground
phone while flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet with an outside
temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit to tell you that I am flying
from Zurich, Switzerland to Atlanta, Georgia in a little over 9
hours, would this...
Question is the Answer - What multi-purpose tool can
you add to your Business Tool Box that will help you dramatically
improve sales and service? The Question is the answer. If you have
read this far...
Sum Total - You are the sum total of the
people you know, the experiences you have, and the choices you make.
Of the three, you have control over...
Sun Is Shining - The weather was bleak and overcast as I was
flying my Cessna 210 out of Bowman Field Airport in Louisville.
I had received word the day before that my advertising agency had
lost our largest account.
Superbowl of Life - I watched Peyton Manning and the
Indianapolis Colts lose in overtime play in the 2009 National Football
League wild card playoff game. The loss came a few days after Peyton
Three Keys - Oh, no, three more keys to real success!
You probably have enough keys to open every door in your state;
however, when you read this article, you will realize that these
three keys are the missing links...
Time Is Now - Farmers who wait for perfect conditions
never plant, and farmers who watch the clouds...
Gifts Of Life - Yesterday is gone, and you cannot change
it. You can learn from it, for lessons learned from yesterday are
the foundation of tomorrow. You had a success build on it.
You had a failure...
Things - In the morning when you have your first cup
of coffee, have a notepad and pen handy to list three things to
grow your business, and they will be your...
To Adjust - When recently driving on the interstate,
l felt a vibration with my steering wheel. I immediately knew that
my tires were out of balance. The tires required...
To Throw The Rabbit - I could not think of a better way
to start the New Year than by writing about my first sales call.
We can learn from every experience, good or bad, if we look for
the clues. From experience, I find that I learn more from...
Be Or Not To Be - In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Hamlet
discovered that his uncle murdered his father and married his mother.
Then he utters the immortal words, "To be or not to be? That
is the question." He was contemplating...
Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life - Each morning I look
in the mirror and say out loud, "Today is the first day of
the rest of my life!" The good news is that each day gives
you the opportunity to start over; you do not have to wait for the
new year to make resolutions. You can make every day the beginning
of your new year and your new life.
Trash Into Treasure - Have you ever felt like junk? That you
will never amount to anything? Recently, I watched a group of young
musicians play Mozart on instruments made from garbage.
Voice Mail - Part 1 of 2- Are you suffering from technology
overkill? When calling clients and business associates, do you hear
recorded messages more often than live voices? Does it become more
and more difficult to reach people by phone? This is Part One...
Voice Mail - Part 2 of 2 - The previous article encompassed
principles of voice mail when calling people you know or who know
of you. This article focuses on how to use voice mail to your advantage
when making cold calls. Voice mail can be a disheartening obstacle
for sales people cold calling...
To Die - While visiting a senior living community, a
resident there, 92 years old, commented, "You see these people
here, they are just waiting to die." Isnt it sad that
people with so much to offer sit around and wait to die, when they
Your Way To Success - In my one-hour walk this morning;
I noticed that the rhythm of the walk increased my sense of smell.
I could really smell the flowers, the new-mown grass, and...
In And Win - Recently while shopping with my wife at
Macys, we purchased some drinking glasses, and I volunteered
to carry them to the car. When we arrived at the car, I mentioned
to her how heavy the box was. I weighed the box on our scale at
home, and the glasses weighed...
Are You Waiting For - In 1820, Ludwig Van Beethoven wrote
some of his most memorable music -- what many call his greatest
works. They include the last five piano sonatas and the Ninth Symphony.
I just listened to a 1952 recording of Arturo Toscanini conducting
the Ninth Symphony with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and I would
agree that it is one of Ludwigs finest. Do you know that he
was almost totally...
Is Your Focus? - Can you remember the first time you
used a magnifying glass to burn a hole in a leaf by focusing the
sun's energy through the lens? The same thing can happen in
Next? - When you have completed a task and you want to
continue to sharpen your skills, ask the question, "What Next?"
It is the next step that keeps you moving forward on the right track
to increased success. I am currently reading Steve Jobs by Walter
Isaacson, and it is like reading an action thriller. Steve Jobs
was not one to relax and enjoy his latest accomplishment; he was
On Your Bucket List? - For all of my life, I have had a bucket
list. For years, my grandfather told me stories of his hometown,
the little village of Contessa Entellina in Sicily. l remember telling
him, "Popsy, one day, I will visit Contessa." I was the
first Bonura in my family to visit my grandfather's birthplace.
Your Problem? - While watching the pre-game show on ESPN last
night, I noticed that one of my favorite commentators, Stuart Scott,
had lost a lot of weight. It concerned me so I went on line and
discovered that Stuart has cancer. He won the battle the first time
and his cancer was in remission, but again, his cancer had returned.
The Saints Go Marching In - It was September 17, 1967,
and I was there in Tulane Stadium when the New Orleans Saints played
their first National Football League regular season game. Atlanta
lost the toss, and the Saints elected to receive. On the kickoff...
Is Your Hero? - I had the honor of speaking at the funeral
of my first business mentor and role model, Carl Edward Fessel.
I knew him as Ed. He was a dynamic advertising executive and president
of Fessel, Siegfreidt and Moeller Advertising Agency where I received
Versus Losers - A winner is someone who keeps on going
no matter how hard the circumstances, like the Energizer Bunny on
steroids. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going"
is a great mantra to live by. Remember this year's NFL playoffs
for the Super Bowl, with only seconds left on the clock...
- There is no such thing as should'a, could'a, would'a. What you
do now is significant! The only thing between you and the success
that you were born to experience is YOU. As the cartoon character...
Have a Friend on the Front Line - You can only make the
sale if you get through the receptionist to get to the buyer. The
response you get from a receptionist is in direct proportion to
your attitude toward her. Most salespeople approach the busy executive's
front line of defense as...
Have The Power - Just for today make a personal commitment to
increase your efforts by just 10%. A 10% increase in effort can
yield a 100% gain in success. Who finished second in the 1973 Kentucky
Inc. - As a sales person, every day you are in business
for yourself. You are ultimately responsible for your own success
or failure as a company within a company...
Versus The Economy - Does the present state of the economy
have you feeling like Rocky Balboa after his first match with Apollo
Creed? Do you get an empty feeling in your stomach every time you...
Possibilities Are Unlimited - Several years ago my wife
and I were on vacation in Puerto Rico at the Dorado Beach Hotel.
The manager Hendrick Santos threw a Wednesday night welcoming party
for the hotel guests. I asked Hendrick to tell us how he became
the manager of one of the finest hotels in Puerto Rico. He seemed...
Secret Garden - A colleague recently related that his monthly
e-mail campaign was not working, that he was getting no measureable
results from sending his article to over 300 people each month.