3rd Quarter Blues

The thought of reaching this point on the calendar can be daunting, no matter how you word it, “3rd Quarter” or “Halfway Through the Year.”
The team is worried if they will have time to reach their overall annual goals, and the boss is cheering them on to stay motivated and crush it. Isn’t this what you should have done in the first two quarters? If you did, great, but can you keep it up? If you’ve fallen behind, you need to kick it in gear to catch up so that your overall numbers come together.

When reality hits and you have dipped below your target, don’t fall into the trap of freezing to the point of not taking action.

There ARE steps you can take to get back on track – there’s still time.

Suppose you need to “catch up.” Consider this your cue to swoop in like Superman and make this quarter count. Sometimes all it takes is an attitude adjustment, and even if you’re not feeling it, you can “fake it until you make it.”

When you do that, without worrying about all the other stuff, it will rub off until you’re actually in the zone of accomplishing your goals.

Give Yourself Constructive Criticism

Just as you have mapped out quotas at the beginning of the year, outline what went right and areas where you could improve. Were there techniques or processes that worked? Were there others that didn’t garner the anticipated success? Until you identify what worked and didn’t, you’ll continue to have the same pattern of frustration. Make the corrective action immediately and remember it for the future.

Hit the Ground Running

With your newfound sense of purpose and direction, it’s time to get serious and step up your game. Walk into the phone booth and arm yourself with your new cloak of courage and intent to raise your standards. Make sure your goals are clear with a path to follow to reach them.

What's In It for Me

Write down the rewards you expect if you reach your goals. Every company is different, and some will offer:

  • Monetary bonus
  • More paid vacation
  • Increase in salary or commission
  • Promotion

Some organizations will not necessarily provide something tangible at year’s end, and for many, it may be a part of the upfront agreed-upon expectations for someone in your role. The most valuable takeaway is the pride you feel from living up to your performance promise.

Steer Clear of Negativity

Hopefully, your company has a team player mentality. When you have a culture that flourishes on the support of others, with a friendly competitive spirit, everyone wins. If some naysayers or colleagues thrive on the failure of others, don’t get pulled in. Remain positive, ALWAYS, and stay on the path you’ve set.

Remain True to Your Boundaries

When you’re serious about getting back on track, don’t get distracted by taking on too much. If it doesn’t help you reach your target, stay focused on what will. We talked about learning how to say no in an earlier blog, and this is especially true here. Of course, if it’s something that is naturally part of your role, that’s different as you’re likely to have responsibilities that don’t necessarily include sales.

Stay Sharp
and Move Faster

When you are in the game to win, your health is an essential tool. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the stamina to make it to the finish line. It’s like that commercial with the two deer about to be jumped on by the lion. To “win,” you need to be faster or at least have the most energy to sustain over the long haul.

This is not a product endorsement,
but a situation example.

Don’t let the third-quarter mile marker scare you and keep your eye on the ball. You will prioritize your daily habits towards those goals when you are more committed.

Expand Your Mind Through Learning

When we go to the grocery store and are patiently waiting in line to check out, in addition to the gossip magazines and preventative medicine advice publications, we all see the brain teaser books and puzzles meant to keep your mind active and alert.
We all choose, or not, based on what information we crave.
For some, the gossip magazines take us into the celebrity world with some facts and some fiction. For others, we want to know the best tactics to lose that weight or take better care of ourselves. Then you have the 3rd category, where we hunger to keep our minds alive and lean towards learning new things.
No matter your age, it’s never too late to keep your mind active by learning a new skill. It could be for your enjoyment, or you may want to increase your skill set to help expand your career. Either way, it’s always a great idea to expand your horizons.
These explorations into something new can teach you more about yourself and could even lead you in a different direction.

Get Motivated to Learn

Do you know the feeling you get when you have a planned vacation in the future? Just knowing you’re about to get away, even if it’s a stay-cation, gets you motivated to lose those extra pounds, get caught up at work, and even a reason to happily get out of bed.

And when we talk about learning a new skill, it doesn’t need to be career-related. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but either didn’t have the time or think it was worth the time to invest, such as:

  • learning a new language
  • learning to play an instrument
  • learning to play a sport

When we open up our minds to letting ourselves be creative, we then clear our brains to focus on the other part of our lives that requires us to be responsible. Including space on your calendar to enjoy something new makes the daily “tasks” much more bearable as we begin to look forward to learning.

Trying something new requires a little effort, but in the long run, you’ll find it beats getting swallowed up in a rabbit hole of social media or binge-watching TV. And, when you learn something new, you’ll have something you’re proud of to share with your circle.

  • It’s a confidence booster.
  • Your brain becomes healthier. The mind continuously reshapes itself as you continue to develop new skills.
  • You’ll gain confidence and find it easier to overcome anxiety in stressful situations.
  • A positive mindset. As you continue to learn, you’ll feel more empowered to take on new challenges, both personally and professionally.

First, ask yourself if there’s something you’ve always wanted to discover. As we mature, some of our options may no longer be there due to physical limitations, but there are plenty of opportunities to turn a “wish I could” into “I can.”

Start small and do your best to manage time, so the activities that pay the bills or caregiving for your family don’t fall by the wayside. As you move forward, you’ll work it out so that the balance is there. And once those around you know you’re following your passion, they will do their best to help you achieve it.
There are many options to begin learning. You can learn through:
  • tradition paper books or audio tapes
  • apps
  • local or online course
  • tutors

Learning can be challenging initially, but once you jump-start your brain, it becomes easier and is more rewarding.

Are you ready to get the mental and physical boost you need through learning?

Is Every Company Becoming a Technology Company?

The simple answer to the opening question is… “If the business wants to keep up, they are!”
Leading companies across various industries (healthcare, retail, finance, etc.) have eased into an operating model that has transformed their technology mindset from “business support” to “BUSINESS DRIVER!” Becoming a technology company doesn’t mean that each of these companies is changing their product or service to sell infrastructure, code, or software. In this era, a technology company utilizes technology as a critical proponent to enhancing its operations, experiences, and capabilities.

If every great company becomes a technology company, how can you use this to stand out further in your career?

Here are two simple but powerful points of advice:

EMBRACE the technology and RUN WITH IT

The amount of technology introduced into every person’s daily profession (devices, software, tools, machines, etc.) can be amazing and overwhelming at the same time. In fact, there are times where it probably seems like the technology makes jobs harder because it can be overwhelming enough just learning the new software and tools.

This fact has led to a heightened focus for employers to focus on what potential employees know how to do something AND the tools they use to do it! New technology and tools are being introduced into various professions every day! Some don’t stick around and while others can revolutionize a profession.

If you want to stand out, then embrace and master the technology you are exposed to because it could quickly be what separates you later on.


One of the most sought-after technology benefits is automation. Technology specialists worldwide are constantly looking at tasks and processes that can be automated for efficiency within any industry.

Some professionals might see this as a threat to their career, but solution thinkers should see this as the key to unlocking more time for impactful business creativity.

This goes back to embracing the technology, especially the technology allowing professionals to do their jobs better and faster. This best practice allows creative and forward thinkers to stand out.
In many leading companies, some leaders have emerged (the solutions thinkers) who are constantly looking for ways to have the most significant impact on the business AND are proactively looking at what advancements in technology and processes can help!

Think about it… What if you introduce your company to a technology that changed how they did business for the better?

In many leading companies, some leaders have emerged (the solutions thinkers) who are constantly looking for ways to have the most significant impact on the business AND are proactively looking at what advancements in technology and processes can help!
Technology is changing the world before our very eyes, and every great company WILL continue to transition into a “Technology Company.” A McKinsey study revealed that “60% of jobs will be transformed through the automation of component tasks by 2030.”
Chances are that your dream company is already taking the steps needed to become a “Technology Company” and embracing the advancements it brings. It’s time to stand out as the employee that can help them get there.

Step Out for More Opportunity

Almost as fast as the pandemic was upon us, it appears that day-to-day business is returning to normal. What “normal” is has changed too, as we adopted new ways of doing things when we shifted to accommodate the need to change.
The excitement, combined with the anxiety of jumping back in, is why we need to do it in a way that keeps stress levels low. It’s important to take into account the hesitation of others as there are still many with reservations about getting back out there.

On the business side of things, in-person meetings are something many of us missed. And now, we are either raring to go or are hesitant because we’ve grown accustomed to the world of Zoom and feel our social skills are rusty. 

Just like anything “new,” you can test the waters while your confidence continues to build. To follow are some examples of how you can begin to immerse yourself:

Schedule shorter duration meetings

Limit the amount of time you spend at an event

Go with a someone who makes you feel comfortable

And remember, there will be many “rusty” people out there who are feeling anxious too. It’s a relevant topic for conversation as people find comfort in sharing similar experiences, so be open about how you’re feeling – in a positive manner.

If one of your reasons is that you didn’t complete your COVID resolutions, check out one of our earlier blogs, “Lack of Completed COVID Resolutions? That’s OK!

New Procedures Are There for a Reason

Many companies have established new policies to continue to think about safety while doing their best to resume “business as usual.” If there are procedures in place that you disagree with, don’t rock the boat. Unless, of course, it’s something that could negatively affect your safety and the safety of others. Everyone will have their version of what it will take to feel normal, so be flexible as you will expect the same respect should they participate in one of your meetings or events. And be proactive about communicating the measures you’ve taken to minimize risk. Most businesses have already been taking action to step up their game by:

  • Increasing their sanitizing standards beginning with a total deep clean
  • Positioning hand sanitizer stations throughout the office
  • Posting new procedures in a central location or, on the Internet or internal Intranet
  • Alerting vendors such as delivery personnel and companies that provide a service such as cleaning or catering.

In-Person Events and Meetings

Are you ready to host an event or meeting at your office or in an off-site location? If at your office, you should already have these systems in place, and if at a public venue, ask management in advance what protocols they have established. For either location option, make sure to share these safety guidelines with your attendees in advance. For some, it’s not a big concern, but for others, it will be the deciding factor on whether they will attend or not.

Offering the flexibility of a virtual option can help increase attendance, at least until all are ready for in-person. For a conference room meeting, this is reasonably easy to accomplish. However, for a more interactive event that involves networking and catered food, a virtual option wouldn’t necessarily be viable.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for getting together, but being flexible will increase participation when options are available.

Business Lunch Meeting

Your office may be where you feel more comfortable meeting a colleague or client for lunch, but getting out to enjoy a quality meal while supporting the restaurant industry, is terrific.

There’s something to be said for conducting business over a working lunch. It’s a great way to establish rapport and build on a relationship that leads to trust. Plus, a change in location helps reduce stress and increase morale.

  • If you’re meeting with employees, it’s a great way to bond as a team in an informal environment.
  • If meeting with potential/existing clients, it’s a more relaxing setting to have a confidential discussion.
  • If you’re the one buying, it’s always a great way to show your appreciation.

If you’re in charge of the lunch plans, make it easier on yourself by making upfront choices that will help demonstrate your professionalism. When you reduce the number of tasks you need to take care of during lunch, the smoother and less stressful it will be.

  • Make reservations. Not all establishments allow for reservations, but if you know you have a table in advance, your meeting can more likely start/end on time.
  • Choose a restaurant that has easy-to-eat food as most likely you’ll be in business attire. And, it’s always wise to ask the attendee(s) upfront if a particular type of cuisine works for them.
  • As always, proper etiquette while eating goes a long way as it helps to establish your personality and what they can expect when doing business with you.
  • And very important, arrive early. Be the first to arrive to ensure your table is ready and so you can be the one to greet any guests.
Whether you’re the one buying the meal, someone is treating you, or simply splitting the bill, all of the above helps you put your best foot forward.

Allowing for multiple modes of communication while incorporating appropriate safety protocol will open the door for more opportunities to build trust. But, NEVER do something you’re uncomfortable with as that doesn’t work either. When you’re ready to get out there, you will.