Years ago, I was speaking for an organization in New Jersey, my home state. I allowed myself a few days after the presentation to visit my family and friends whom I hadn't seen in quite some time.
One night, I stayed with a college buddy. He came downstairs the next morning and did 10 jumping jacks, 10 squat thrusts and 10 push ups. I asked him what he was doing. He told me he was going to lose weight and that he's now in an exercise program. I said, "You call that an exercise program?"
Let's get basic here. The exercise physiologists will tell you that if you subtract your age from 220, that will give you your maximum heart rate. Multiply that number by 60 percent to 80 percent and you will have your training or target heart rate. During exercise, take your pulse for six seconds and multiply by 10, and you should be in that range. If you are too high, slow down the pace. If you are too low, you are not using enough intensity to get a training effect.
Scientists working with the brain tell us that on a nerve cell level, there is an area of the cell called the axon hillock. When the nerve cell dendrite is electrically stimulated, it travels to this area, but it degrades in intensity along the way. If the intensity is not of a certain threshold, then nothing happens. There needs to be enough of a charge to pass through the axon hillock, and then an action potential is generated and the impulse passes on to the next nerve cell.
This translates very nicely into our everyday lives. If the intensity of your activities is not high enough, you will not get a response.
That's where the S.A.I.D. principle comes in--Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. Take a look at an offensive lineman in the NFL. This athlete needs to be very explosive and powerful for five yards straight ahead and side to side. This athlete will adapt to the imposed demands of his position. He will be, typically, six feet three inches tall and weigh 300 pounds.
Look at a wide receiver in contrast. This position calls for someone to be able to run fast at distances of ten to forty yards and have great flexibility and jumping ability. This athlete will adapt to the specific imposed demands of that position. This person will typically be six feet five inches tall, weigh 220 pounds and run a 4.4 second 40-yard sprint.
Now, compare this to a successful businessperson. What are the demands of the job? Take an industry like personnel staffing. A salesperson in this industry needs to make prospecting calls to new accounts, call on current accounts, have clean fills for current job orders and make sure candidates are properly screened and interviewed, in I-9 compliance, and competent for the placement, as well as a host of other activities.
How successful this salesperson is depends on the intensity of their activities. It's a numbers game. If he makes enough of the calls consistently over time, then he will build up an accumulated threshold of stimulation and he will create an action potential, leading to a sale to a new client.
Every industry has its numbers. The insurance industry has a long history of a 10-3-1 ratio. Make 10 contacts to set three appointments to make one sale. That is the identified threshold of activity that will generate results. An insurance salesperson would need to ask himself what he wanted, what he needed to do to have the results and then identify the numbers and execute. It's that simple.
The universe will respond to sweat equity. It's called the law of accumulative effect. The message is the analogy of Semour Sellmore. This is a play on a name, meaning see more people and you will sell more products. Another analogy is K.O.K.O., which stands for Keep On Keeping On. There is no substitute for sweat equity. You can control your intensity and your effort. You must control what you can control or you are being negligent.
Also, you will never know when your intensity will be enough to be the spark that generates the axon hillock to pass it on to an action potential. One more call might be that superstar sale that makes your efforts all worthwhile.
One very successful owner of a billion dollar company that I coached once told me that you could work your way out of any problem.
This is very true.
Now, what are you committed to for this week? What are your big picture goals? What activity do you need to do to reach these goals this week? What of these activities will you do this week? Next, add accountability with a consequence if you don't execute, and have fun!