How Do You Practice For The Unexpected?

We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect. That magic happens after 10,000 hours of doing something. That the reason that person is on the cover of the industry magazine is because they went further and committed more than anyone else. And do you know what? I believe that is likely true. But I also believe it is hard to gain that kind of mastery of the skills needed in sales and relationship driven profession outside of playing with live fire. 

Two of my favorite movies about the mastery of a skill and how far someone is willing to go to obtain greatness are Burnt and Whiplash. In each movie, the main character commits more to their work than anyone else. In both cases, they sacrifice things that others weren’t willing to, push themselves to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion, and continue pursuing their best to the point of madness. As I watch these movies, I admire the dedication, but I also jealous that there is a way to practice their skill, a place to work out the details that will set them apart as a chef and as a musician, and to try new things without it having to count toward their final performance. 

From the first day of sales training a couple months after I turned 20 years old until now, all sales skills and technics that have been shared by others in a classroom have only served as guidance until I ultimately learned them live and with an actual deal on the line. No matter how many times you practice a pitch to yourself, the dynamic of sales that can never be replicated is that the conversation involves another person that will bring inevitably bring a whole new set of variables, priorities, and mannerisms that aren’t easily replicated or prepared for. 

As I have mulled over the ways I now endeavor to teach, train, and pass on the lessons from the front lines of sales to my team or to students at Exosphere, I’ve always known that there was only so much I could do without giving them a live deal and trusting them go out and do their best with it. That is until I came across Mary Lemmer and Improv4...

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Happy 3 Years To Basket

Three years ago, we officially launched what is now Basket and began our quest to change a $1.3 Trillion industry and for the first time, give power to the shoppers. We didn't know how much opposition we would encounter, both from entrenched industry titans not interested in a transparent and shopper focused future or from other technology companies claiming to have a superior mouse trap. I am proud to say, we've preserved through those sets of challenges and many more.. 

Andy Ellwood and Neil Kataria, Founders of Basket.

Andy Ellwood and Neil Kataria, Founders of Basket.

Today we can say something that not many entrepreneurs get to say, "This is what we thought would happen and we're very well positioned to run the table." 

The future is extremely bright for Basket and everyone who is involved right now. The future is even brighter for all of the shoppers that will join our growing community in the next three years as the #ShopperFirst revolution hits full speed. 

If you want to see what we've been working so hard on, download the latest version of our app here!

Roaches In My Coffee

I didn't mean to bring them with me, I didn't even know they were there as I packed the last of my things into a rented car and drove away from what had been my life, my home, and my marriage for the last time.  I didn't know that they'd stowed away in a prized possession, choosing a cherished relic from my past as their transportation into my future.  I didn't know until I'd already unpacked and started to settled into what was new. I didn't know until they made themselves very known to me and to those around me. 

After a long day of moving (sweat stains as evidence) I walked out of my old world and into a new one... with some stow aways.

After a long day of moving (sweat stains as evidence) I walked out of my old world and into a new one... with some stow aways.

Now, first, a little back story: I love my coffee maker. Heck, I've even dedicated an entire blog to how much I like it. It made it into a recent interview I did, it is a focal point of more than a couple of my illustrations to make a point in my speeches I give. It is more than just a coffee maker, it is a way of life. So when it became the thing that sabotaged my future by bringing unwanted stowaways from the past, I was even more upset than a roach problem in my kitchen would normally make me. 

That's right, apparently just as I was moving out of my old apartment and beginning the quest to move on with my life, the summer heat had caused a family of roaches to burrow in the backside crevices of my pristine and beautiful pride and joy. I didn't know about the roach problem at my old place until later, but found I'd brought it with me into my new home and more quickly than I could have even imagined, they were on display for my new roommate. At first, the thought was maybe they'd come in with a recent load of fresh produce or snuck through the kitchen window (on the 4th floor) and a couple of other generous hunches from my roomie. But their origin point at the time of sighting, was always close to my newly reprogramed and set up addition to his kitchen. 

Just to be safe, I cleaned the hell out of it.  

Just to be clear, those roaches didn't care and started to multiple. 

And that's when I knew, if I was going to move forward, I had to say goodbye to one of the last remaining totems of my past. And so like Walter White in his lab or Dexter Morgan following Harry's rules, I covered anything and everything about that coffee maker in clear plastic bags and deposited it at the furthest trash can down the block. I watched as the filter system and carafe bounced off the bottom of the bin with a hint of sadness, but also with a sense of closure, 

It wasn't fair to bring my favorite thing from a previous time forward and expect it would fit into what would become my future. It wasn't fair to the new people in my life to ask them to leave it allow for old time sake, despite its adverse affect on their world. It was something from the past that carried an infestation that had no regard for the future and it had to go. 

A few years later, I look back on that coffee maker with a different kind of fondness. It was right when it was right, but then when it wasn't, it really wasn't and moving on was the right thing to do for everyone going forward. So often we try and disguise what we carry forward as something that people in our new life or in our future just have to understand and tolerate, but so often, those things we hold onto the dearest are the ones that end up being seen by others as a place for the icky things of our past.

Moving on is what's best for everyone. It doesn't mean you have to stop liking coffee, it just means you no longer have to brew it with the chance of an antenna floating to the top.