Word-Of-the-Week #666: Expectations

May 11, 2017 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #666: Expectations 

Expectationsfeelings or beliefs about how someone or something will be.

How realistic are your expectations? Do you expect that everyone should act or think the same way you do? Have you ever given up on a goal because it took longer than you thought it should?

This is the follow up to last week’s WOW from the Chicago Tribune article by Amy Morin, “Mental muscle – Successful people don’t do these things.” To Recap Amy wrote, “Everyone engages in habits that drain them of mental strength from time to time, but being aware of those bad habits is the first step toward giving them up.

Here are 8 more things mentally strong people don’t do:

  1. They don’t fear taking calculated risks. Just because something feels scary doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s risky. Balance your emotions with logic so you can calculate risks wisely. Taking the right risks will challenge you to reach your greatest potential.
  1. They don’t dwell on the past. Reflecting on the past is healthy, but dwelling on it keeps you stuck. The only time you can change your behavior is now. Stay present in the moment so you can take action.
  1. They don’t make the same mistakes over and over. Put your energy into learning from your mistakes — not covering them up. Acknowledge your missteps and commit to doing better next time.
  1. They don’t resent other people’s success. Comparing yourself to other people leads to resentment. And over time, resentment can turn into bitterness. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
  1. They don’t give up after the first failure. Failure is proof that you’re pushing yourself to your limits, but just because you failed once doesn’t mean you are a failure. Turn failure into an opportunity to try again, with more wisdom than before.


  1. They don’t fear alone time. Setting aside time to be alone with your thoughts every day can be a challenge in today’s fastpaced world, but reflecting on your progress and making plans to create the kind of life you want to live is key to reaching your greatest potential.
  1. They don’t feel the world owes them anything. You’ll never find out how much you have to give if you’re too busy keeping track of what you think you should get. An entitled attitude will cause you to become a passenger, rather than the driver, in your own life.
  1. They don’t expect immediate results. Although technology gives us instant gratification in many ways, real change takes time. Expecting to reach your goals overnight will cause you to give up far too soon. Look at your goals as a marathon.

Of course, giving up your bad habits is only half the battle. You also need to exercise your mental muscles if you want to grow stronger, but your mental fitness routine will be much more effective once you give up the bad habits that are holding you back.

This week’s focus is on expectations. How often have you been disappointed because things didn’t go the way you thought they should? How good are you at learning from your mistakes? Are you truly supportive of other people’s successes? What one bad habit would serve you to give up?

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Taking Ownership: Paul, the Cable Guy

April 15, 2009 by · Comments Off on Taking Ownership: Paul, the Cable Guy 

This is a copy of the letter I sent to Bill Geppert, CEO, Cox Communications on April 15, 2009.

I’ve been a Cox customer for the past 20 years because that is the only option I had for high-speed internet and cable TV. Since 2006, every DVR we had has never recorded an entire season without breaking and needing to be replaced. This means that all recordings are gone and unable to be viewed, which pretty much makes it a waste of money if we can’t watch the programs when we want to.

When it happened again in November 2008, I was told by Cox that if I was recording in HD it took up a huge amount of my hard drive. I assumed that was the problem. Wrong! In February, 2009, making sure we were not recording in HD, we returned from a three week vacation and once again found that the DVR was not recording correctly. The timer showed only partial recordings. I was livid!

And what makes it worse is that my husband had purchased a TIVO in December. When I called COX they explained that if I unbundled my package it would cost more money. Then I discovered on top of buying the TIVO box, we had to pay for getting their service. (A $700.00 investment.) We sent the TIVO back.

I have spent more frustrating time with Cox on the phone and on hold than anyone would believe. I did everything I could to stop using Cox. I tried to get an AT&T bundled package but it is not available in my area. I called Dish Network. If I could have switched to anybody, I would have in a heartbeat!

Cox scheduled a technician to replace our DVR. When I opened the door the first words out of my mouth were, “My husband said he pitied the poor person who was going to have to deal with me today.” To which the technician replied, “I am Paul and my job is to fix the problem and make you happy.” Yeah, right! Well he was so intent to show me that he really meant it, after he installed another new DVR he gave me his cell phone number and said, “If you have a problem, you call me directly, ANYTIME.”

Then the following week my HD froze and it couldn’t be rebooted by the office. (The week before it could be.) I called Paul. He came within two hours and told me, “These DVR’s are computers and they need to be rebooted just like your computer in your office. You have to unplug them every so often.” Now how come customer service didn’t tell me that over the phone?

Then the next week I received a coupon from Cox for a free Pay-Per-View movie for being such a good customer. Oh sure enough we couldn’t access the service. (More time spent on the phone trying to make it work.) So the next morning, I called Paul and he was over within the hour. That’s when he started the “diagnostics” to find out what the problem was. He said, “There is something going on here and I am determined to find out what it is and fix it and make you happy.” To which I replied, “I am so sorry I sent the TIVO back. At this point I don’t care how much it costs. I just want a reliable product.” He said, “No you don’t want TIVO, you just want what you have to work. My job is to make that happen.”

He ran a cable directly from the Cox box to the TV across the living floor and it worked. So it was the wiring not the DVR box. First mystery solved! So we called the company that installed all the wiring and cable and set up a time for them to come. Paul said, “I know what to tell them to do, I just can’t do it.”

And today Paul showed up with his supervisor on his lunch hour and worked with the wiring guys to figure out how to fix the problem. They spent two hours going over all the connections and discovered the problem and fixed it.

An hour later I received a call from Paul asking, “Is everything OK? Is everything working?” To which I replied, “So far, so good.”

I have to tell you, I never had a cable guy, let alone anyone else, care so much about making me happy. You would think his name was Paul Cox, not Paul Villarreal, and it was his company. Now if that is not a perfect example of an employee taking ownership, I don’t what is.

Are You Properly Loving And Kissing Your Customers?

March 28, 2009 by · Comments Off on Are You Properly Loving And Kissing Your Customers? 

When was the last time something stopped you in your tracks? The cover of Fast Company magazine stopped me. The graphics looked like those on a box of Tide detergent, with the red and yellow circles. The cover text read, “YOU, The Brand Called You. You Can’t Move Up If You Don’t Stand Out.” I thought, “This is so true”.

I’ve read that the average person is bombarded with 3,000 advertising impressions a day. Whatever the number, in order for you to move up, you have to stand out from those 2,999 other impressions. You, and most importantly everyone that works for you, need to stand out, so that you are the one impression your customer remembers. You become “top of mind.” I believe that for your business to stand out, and move up, your focus has to be SERVICE. When I speak on “4 Walls Marketing,” I don’t talk about how to get people to your business. I address everything that happens once you get customers within your “4 walls”, and that’s all related to service.

Before we talk about service, are you covering the two basics? (1) A quality product (2) at a fair price. (If you’re competing on price alone, you can stop reading now). If you have the basics, great! But, so does your competition. That just keeps you in the pack. You’ve got to do more to be in the lead. Service is truly the competitive edge today. I recently read an article that said one shouldn’t exceed customer expectations, one should just give satisfactory service. I say, “baloney!’ When you are a customer, do you want satisfactory service. I don’t remember satisfactory service, do you? I remember great service.

Great service is when I feel the love and kisses. (You can’t be kissing your customers, literally, unless of course, you know them really well). But the customer needs to feel the kisses, feel the love. They know you care, really care and really value them. It’s that kind of service that will make you stand out and become “top of mind.” Do your customers feel your love? When’s the last time your service stopped your customers in their tracks? The key to standing out is making sure that everyone that works for you knows the importance of “loving and kissing” the customers.