A Lesson in Smart Buying!

“Smart Buying is less about comparing price and features
than it is about value assessment.”
– CC

You are only human. Therefore, you’ve probably made more than one impulsive, disappointing and wasteful purchase. It could be a product that broke one day after the warranty expired or a product that you didn’t need or a service that didn’t pan out, that you bought because it looked good on television.

On the extreme side, maybe you’ve made so many bad purchases that you have become gun-shy about any purchase over $20. While your fear of wasting money can protect you from making stupid purchases, it can also steer you away from smart, life-changing ones.

Every purchase has its risks, which means we are likely to face fear whenever we face buying decisions. The problem is that fear can be either the voice of conscience or a powerful excuse-maker. The key to managing fear and making effective buying decisions is to ask good questions. Here are a few assessment questions that will help you define a better context and make wiser decisions:

  1. If I buy ‘X’, what’s the WORST CASE OUTCOME?

Example: I got nothing of value and the money and time invested were totally wasted. Furthermore, I am frustrated and don’t believe any such product/service can benefit me.

  1. If I buy ‘X’, what’s the BEST CASE OUTCOME?

Example: I feel great about my purchase. All my expectations were met and then some! The value so far exceeded my original expectations that I’ve experienced transformation beyond my imagination.

  1. Somewhere between worst case and best case is the MOST LIKELY OUTCOME. Visualize it, define it, then ask yourself, “What would this MOST LIKELY OUTCOME mean to me physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, professionally and/or relationally? Then, decide how much you are willing to pay to own it.
  1. The remaining questions are about the price. For higher-priced items we typically ask ourselves, “Can I afford it?” That’s fair, but the smart buyer will also ask, “What will it cost me to NOT buy it?” and then compare the two answers before making the decision – a better decision than one that is fixated solely on “How much is it?”

I’ll close with a challenge for sellers. Please make it easier for us buyers to see the value in your products and services. Benefits are not expressed by reciting a list of features. Benefits are favored outcomes. Ask us questions like this: “What would this product/service mean to you, or your family, or your colleagues, or…?

More Small Things That Matter

Mark Masri - 3B
Mark Masri performing in Ohio at a private fundraising event.

And a song can change your life.
A word can open doors.
A melody can take us where we’ve never been before.

A song can change your life.

Mark Masri


Compared with world peace, hurricanes, genuine miracles, and the lottery jackpot, a song, a word and a melody are tiny. Yet, Mark Masri’s song says these three relatively small things can change your life. Do you believe it? I do!  Here’s an illustration.

In a recent golf tournament, our team was down one stroke with only two holes to go. We didn’t know it at the time. (They don’t post scores for amateurs like us.) A birdie on #17 moved us into a tie for the lead. On the final hole, our team executed a 30-foot putt, a firmly stroked shot that hit the back of the cup, popped into the air and came straight down into the hole for another birdie and the lead. Hooray for us!

Soon after, the final group was on their final hole, still down one with a similar putt to tie for the lead. Their putt for birdie also struck the back of the cup and popped into the air. Unfortunately it was a fraction of an inch off center and the ball spun out of the cup. This tiny amount demonstrates how a small difference matters big. Swap that fraction of an inch and they win, not us.

Collectively, from the first hole to the 18th, the winning team’s golf balls traveled over 14 miles. Yet, the difference between winning and second place was determined by something so small it’s hard to measure, except for the outcome. Small things DO matter! Did it change our lives? Hardly! But, within the context of winning a tournament it was huge. On the other hand, small difference-makers like this happen all the time at the highest levels of golf where careers are at stake.

“Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.” –Arthur Conan Doyle


So, maybe you’re wondering what examples of small things could really change someone’s life?  Well, today I started a list.  It has 80 examples that could make a positive difference for you and others.  Don’t be surprised if you visit this post again someday and discover a bigger list.

  • A hearty smile
  • A warm hug
  • A loving kiss
  • A friendly wink
  • A firm handshake
  • A gentle reminder
  • A helping hand
  • A simple act of kindness
  • An inspiring quotation
  • A challenging question
  • A though-provoking question
  • Listening well
  • A timely, insightful answer
  • A fresh perspective
  • An inspiring book or movie
  • Monthly training
  • A weekend retreat
  • A knuckle bump
  • An “Aha Moment”
  • A learning event
  • 5 extra minutes of practice
  • An extra mile of conditioning
  • A thoughtful gift
  • A clean, respectful joke
  • Hearing the sound of your name
  • A word of encouragement
  • A gesture of appreciation
  • A standing ovation
  • Getting up an hour earlier
  • A book every month
  • Taking notes
  • An invitation
  • A song (can change your life)
  • A billboard
  • A singing telegram
  • Replacing the plug after an oil change
  • Proper lighting
  • Arriving 10 minutes early
  • Saving & investing $20 every week
  • Clock set at the right time
  • Favorite color
  • Scheduling priorities
  • Writing in your journal daily
  • Working on your vocabulary
  • A positive mental attitude
  • An attitude of gratitude
  • A fresh idea
  • A meaningful picture
  • A treasured memory
  • Words of hope
  • A warm fire
  • A call to action
  • A soft pillow
  • A quiet dinner
  • A favorite snack
  • A cool glass of spring water
  • A friendly wave
  • A high five
  • An unexpected, unsolicited favor
  • A pat on the back
  • A gracious compliment
  • An honorable recognition
  • A wonderful surprise
  • A greeting card
  • A glorious celebration
  • A completed task
  • The birth of a little bitty baby
  • A child’s first words
  • A child’s first steps
  • A story
  • A drawing
  • A painting
  • A favorite chair
  • Other firsts in a child’s life
  • A winter coat
  • Tying your shoes
  • Looking both ways before crossing
  • Praying every morning
  • An attitude of gratitude
  • A haircut
  • Planned repetition
  • A facial expression
  • Remembering a special occasion

The lesson is this: Don’t underestimate the power of small! What is small in deed can be huge in outcome, especially when it’s repeated frequently.  What could you do today to create “a small, but big” experience for someone you know or encounter?  What if that person was YOU?  Either way, how would that improve your life?

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What is “What If?”

What If Banner

Once An Ancient Mind Game

Now a Life-Changing Adventure Game for Career Professionals

Everyone plays this game more than they admit.  For some it’s mostly from a negative perspective. What if I get lost? What if it doesn’t work? What if I don’t like it? What if I fail? What if people laugh? What if, what if, …? Such negative self-talk is a game of fear that causes us to talk ourselves out of life’s opportunities Today, the Game Changers Team of Wright Cross Performance Group is pleased to announce a brand new edition of What If? Let’s Play!

ROUND #1 – “The Practice Round”

The object of the game is to use four What if? Power Questions to knock down Negativity and out of the game. Your first move is to think of a hypothetical opportunity that involves Going Someplace, Doing Something, Learning Something, Meeting Someone, Discovering Something, Acquiring Something, and/or Experiencing Something. Maybe it’s the chance to develop a new skill or have a little fun. Next, within the context of your opportunity, answer the first What If? Question (Q1) by choosing the favorable outcomes you desire from such an opportunity. Unlike Chance Cards in the game of Monopoly, all of the What IF? Outcomes are positive AND you can choose as many as you want. How cool is that?

Q1: “What if I choose to grab this opportunity – what positive outcomes will I want and expect from it?

Influence Money Knowledge Momentum Strategy
Clarity/Focus Insight Efficiency Effectiveness Plan/Goals
Motivation Peace of Mind Fun Excitement Pleasure
Strength Confidence Inspiration Self Esteem Accountability
Referrals/Leads Relationships Teammates Friendships Faith
Opportunities Solutions Improvements Direction Options
Ideas Suggestions Resources Processes Systems
Growth Decisions Resolution Relief Vision/Dream
Methods Resources Tools Techniques Skills

After answering your What If? Opportunity Question, answer each of the following What If? Consequence Questions. Your answers will reveal the solution that wins the game.

Q2: “What if these outcomes were truly possible – then why would they be important to me?”

Q3: “What if I DO NOT take advantage of my opportunity – then how will I feel?”

Q4: “What if I DO and then actually realize one or more of my expected outcomes – them how will I feel?”

ROUND #2 – “Playing for Keeps”

Practice is good, but a real opportunity is better.  In this round, repeat the four power questions with a real “What If? Opportunity such as Prepare to Win!   This half-day workshop on November 4, 2014, featuring Tom Ziglar (son of Zig Ziglar) is a live event to help you grow personally and professionally and build professional relationships.  Once again, unlike Monopoly, the What If? Outcomes are heavily stacked in your favor.  So much so that you could experience ALL of your chosen outcomes, but only if you play by the rules of the new edition of What If?  The longer you play the old negative edition, the longer you will procrastinate and miss out on the available benefits of Prepare to Win!  It’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss.

Claim it now at:  WrightCrossPerformanceGroup.com


What If?

Failure — That Dreaded Word!

I was reminded today how much failure can hurt.  After a week of workshops and a weekend of study, expectations for the final exam were high.  The coveted prize was a certificate and a valuable credential for one young adult’s budding resumé.

Instead, the goal was out of reach this time around proving once again that even when we work hard and play by the rules, we sometimes fall short of our goals.  But, I have good news from  John C. Maxwell, who reminds us that failure precedes success and that failure is temporary.  “The only guarantee for failure is to stop trying”.  The following words of the late Zig Ziglar also come to mind…

“Failure is an event, never a person; an attitude, not an outcome.”

Zig was also fond of saying, “Happiness is not pleasure; happiness is victory!”

It is my hope that my young friend’s temporary setback will produce the determination she needs to try again and discover that the happiness that comes from victory is within her grasp.  I know she can, I pray she will.