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Trap Tales – Obstacles to Success with David Covey | Sales Expert Insights

My name is John golden from sales pop online says magazine, pipeliner CRM, and today I am delighted joining us from Utah. Is David Covey how you doing David, I’m doing great John? How are you excellent and David? Is the author of trap tales outsmarting the seven hidden obstacles to success and that’s what we want to we want to talk about today, because I mean let’s face it.

You know people struggle a lot a lot with why they’re not where they think they should be right in in their career in their life whatever, but they don’t always they don’t. They don’t always have the capacity to figure out for themselves what it is, that’s holding them back. So can you talk to me a little bit about what was the? What was the origins or the genesis of trap Tales yeah? That was exactly it.

My business partner – and I had Stefan – you know that we co-authored the book. We play a lot of chess together, yeah in chess. The purpose of you know the way to win in chess is to be several moves ahead of your opponent right and actually get them to fall into some traps that you set for them, that you hope that they do. You know they don’t see it because you’re thinking several moves ahead of them.

So so we really like that as a metaphor, and we thought you know go, isn’t that what life is about. You know what life or work life you know or family life. Personal life is about traps that we fall into, and I don’t know if you’re familiar with the force field analysis. Basically it’s the analysis of saying for any initiative. You kind of have your current state, where you’re at sure the desired state where you want to go and you have driving forces or initiatives that are taking you there and then you have a restraining forces and most of time well I’ve found.

Is people really focus on the driving forces and the initiatives to try to help you go from you know here to here right? They don’t pay as much attention to the restraining forces. So it’s the equivalent of like having one foot on the accelerator and another on the break I mean there is not to put you know your foot stronger on the accelerator. You know the pounding it. The answer is to pull your foot back from from the brake.

Really, that’s that’s preventing you, so we like to kind of think of that traps. In that way, they’re really they’re straining forces there the obstacles of the barriers that are preventing us from achieving our goals or reaching our G, their dreams that we want. So because a lot of people I find, I don’t know whether it’s it’s always been like that, but particularly now it seems to be that people drift a lot or they just sort of.

Let’s see what happens and they’re not very proactive about moving their career forward. Whether it’s in sales, whether it’s in whatever but they kind of outsource to faith, that’s what I always called it like outsourcing your destiny to fate. So to talk to me about a couple of the traps like you’re one of the first ones, is the relationship trap right yeah, so we have in the book. We have. You know seven traps, but we’ve created a course: that’s more oriented towards businesses.

So let me focus on some of those sure. If you don’t absolutely, I keep it more business oriented. So one of the the first traps is the busyness trap and that’s drowning drowning, the thick of thin things mmm. We say the thick of thin things, because it’s not the thin things are really not the important things. There’s the non-essentials. There was a study done by the the workforce front that looked at the work that we do the interactions of work and they found that half of the interactions that we have a work are non-essential.

You know they’re just really not that important and if you think about it, you know with technology. You know in tech, back in the 85, they had a study that was done. That said, hey with technology advances coming, you know we’re going to only be working like 30 hours a week. You know because we’ll have so much more time because I’ll picked up, but it’s had the opposite effect. As you know, it’s actually increased the expectations.

So we have all of these things coming at us. We really don’t have a filter or how to manage it or how to control it and – and the answer is, the conventional approach has become a better juggler. You know just learn to juggle everything all the balls in your air and and obviously that’s not going to work. We have to learn to say no. I love the example of Apple for focus. You know when Steve Jobs came back for his second act back in 1997.

He he killed literally like 300 projects that people who were working on and he drew a matrix and he said we’re going to make two products for the consumer and we’re going to make two products for the professional and everything else goes mad. He helped get the company back on track, but it was because of focus. He was willing to focus the company, and today Apple is the most valuable company in terms of market capitalization and they sell most of their sales come from like seven or eight products.

You know it’s through like hundreds of products, but it’s the power of focus. So so that is really one of the traps that we have. Is that we’re just we’re busy, but we’re not really busy on the essential things. So why is that? And and it’s a it’s a it’s a theme of mine that I’ve talked about for years as well. It’s the idea of focus and but focus seems to be so difficult for people, because to focus you have to make choices right as you as you just outlined, and people don’t like making choices, because if you choose one thing you by default, unchoose other things right And people don’t want to do that.

So we talked today about how oh we’re so busy and we’ve got so many things going on but, as you say, a lot of its distraction or non-essential. How do you help get people to focus and to understand what are the important things and to set aside the others yeah? So I think that, first of all, you know you’re going to you got to help people understand that they lead their own life and if they choose to have an adhoc life, there they’re not going to be able to be they’re, not going to be very happy Because they’re just going to whatever happens to them, is what’s going to happen and they’re going to be very disappointed, so you have to help you have to help people say hey.

You know what you have control over your life. You know you’re, not a victim. You know you have yeah, everybody has some bad things happen to them and you always have things that you can’t control, but you can lead your life and you can lead your business and, and you can lead your your marriage, you don’t have to be a victim And so I think that’s the first you know step is to help people realize that they are the controller of their life and they can control their own destiny and then.

Secondly, I think that it’s really important that people think about what their vision is. You know where their direction they’re headed a lot of times, people they get, they get lost or they get distracted or they forget. We have. One of the traps we talk about is the career trap. You know and that’s where people settle. You know in the rare they’re, not happy, there’s really four aspects to a successful career.

It’s the financials. You know you want to be paid fairly. What you do that your mind? You want to have your mind engaged. You know you want to be creatively utilized, the passion is the heart aspect of it. You know you want to be passionately engaged and then you want to be able to feel like you’re, making a contribution, and so many people settle. They just settle in their job. They settle in their life and they they’re living at a much lower level than where they where they could be.

And I think that if you help them say you know see that if you can focus on your core priorities or the things that you really matter and let the other stuff just fall by the wayside, it doesn’t really matter. It really helps them. But my father used an analogy. My father said even a roaster, seven Habits book. He used the analogy of you know of the big rocks and he he had this jar and and it had rocks and pebbles and water and sand, and what what people found is that if you put the the pebbles and the sand and the water in first, You didn’t have time to put the big rocks in you know.

You didn’t have enough room, but if you put the big rocks in first, then you could fit in some of the pebbles and sin, but guess what? If you can’t fit in all the pebbles and sin, so what it’s nice, it doesn’t matter, and so that’s really about what our life is about is that we have to get the big rocks in first. You know, in order for us to you, know, to be successful and to achieve our our vision and our goals that we want.

That’s what really what this is about this book is about. Is you know if you’re, finding yourself stagnated or not achieving the success that you want it’s because of these traps, that you call it in yeah, and it’s in tried a couple of interesting things that you mentioned here about the ad hoc life and III feel that We live in in a culture now of non self accountability. If there’s such a word, but where everything is saying, nothing is your fault and everything is external to you, and that runs counter to what you’re into what you’re saying here and – and I, and I totally agree with what you’re saying so so is that is that A tough thing I mean whether you’re doing this organizationally or from an individual point of view, but to promote this concept of self.

You have to accountability. You have to look at yourself. First before you look at other people hold other people accountable. It’s the toughest day. The toughest thing in the world – and I was formerly at my father’s company Franklin Covey for seniors – that the first habit of the seven Habits is be proactive. And that means that you’re responsible for your life and you’re accountable for the choices that you make.

And you can’t blame others, and that is the toughest thing, because it’s we have such a society today and a culture today of wanting to point the finger at someone else to blame society at large or blame the government or or blame your parents. You know and and it’s it’s just very natural, it’s very hard to take accountability for your decisions and your choices. We like to call these traps, which hopefully makes people feel a little bit better because you could say: hey look, you did you know because a lot of times people you know they they they get where they’re at because someone their stupid mistakes they make.

But if you can start to think about it was like well, maybe it wasn’t so much a mistake. Maybe it was a trap. It was a trap. I got caught in the trap and we like that language because it helped people say hey. You know what you maybe didn’t even fully realize how bad this situation got, but it is the trap and part of the characteristics of some of the traps, and so we’re going to help you get a win you’re going to help you find a way and in The talk about these epiphany breakthroughs.

Yes, the new insights that lead to new breakthroughs in behavior and that’s what that’s what’s important is you can’t do the conventional approaches anymore? They don’t work. You have to do the epiphany breakthroughs that are going to get you to to the new level of thinking yeah, and I love here. I’m one of your subtitles here in one of your chapters and unfocus is the best things in life. Take time and again I love that message, because again it’s runs counter to the pervasive culture out there, the shortcut culture of where oh, no, you can have everything immediately.

You don’t need to. You know, work hard for it. You can just get it. That’s another thing. That’s quite difficult to teach people isn’t it that that, if things that are worthwhile, they actually do take hard work and time. Absolutely. I have a son, that’s playing basketball right now and and he’s got all that you know the natural skills for it, but he’s not at the level of where he wants to be, and he wishes that he could just jump from you know here here, but he Can’t you know he has to make mistakes and he has to learn and he has to practice and he has to work and he has to fail.

You know and and that’s just that’s the process of life, and I wish there was something that I could give him to help him. You know move this faster to speed this on, but I can’t do it and and it’s just how life works. So it’s it’s and it runs counter to our culture, because you know if we want an answer, all we do. Is we google it we get it we’re used to this instantaneous. You know answer and results, and most of life is unfortunately, is not like that.

At least the most important things in life – yeah yeah, I’m now with all this instant digital culture. It’s like people think, oh, I can just become famous and rich by not really doing anything. That’s right and you always hear the stories successful, they’re, successful stories. You know it’s, you know so many they went from. You know working at a grocery store and being living in it. You know 900 square foot apartment too sudden owning their own Island.

You know eight months later you know, and and but you never hear the stories of the people that you know. So those are the outliers you know, but you never really hear the stories of what most people have to do, which is really really hard work for a long time, continuous effort, and eventually you know because of their perseverance and so forth, they succeed. I have a quote big Steve Jobs fan mm-hmm.

I I think it was a great. I don’t he’s necessarily the nicest boss. You know, but I loved his vision. You know, I just think he was just so visionary, but he said. I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non successful ones is pure perseverance mm-hmm. I really like that. I’ve been an entrepreneur, the last eight years of my life, and that’s that’s really resonates with me.

Yeah and – and I like also – you – also talk about change right and changes, obviously a very difficult thing, but we – and I think you deal with this – is we’re very good at rationalizing – why we shouldn’t change or irrational izing. Why we can’t change right now or the postponement piece where we want to change, but this just isn’t the right time so in six months time or next year, I’ll get on that yeah, so that that is, that is human nature.

You know is to postpone change and and and to delay it as long as possible. The problem is, is that if you do that, and you wait until, if external circumstances force change upon you, then your options are not very good. You know look at some of the fortune, 500 companies and a lot of them have rested on their laurels yeah and they just kind of think. Well, I can just keep you know doing what I’m doing.

Look at General Electric, I mean I’m shocked and surprised to see. What’s happened with that, you know a truly terrific amazing company for many many years, but is now you know, kind of really fallen in a big way, but I think a lot of it is it’s. Not just individuals his organization’s as well, no absolutely change as long as possible, because it’s difficult and and we’d rather stay in our kind of comfort zone or a little bubble right and the funny thing.

The thing that always amazes me is you know, organizations try and do it and people in in within those organizations try and try and keep everything very controlled the same but as we mentioned earlier, but but that’s not reflective of life right life. It’s a it’s constant. Is it constantly in flux? We don’t know what’s around the corner tomorrow, there’s a surprise and guess what, when it comes good or bad, we’ll deal with it and we’ll figure out a way forward because we have to, but in business we try to create this very controlled environment that totally yet You’re familiar with James Dyson, yes, he created Dyson that bagless vacuum.

So I love. I love him as an example of kind of how how business is done, or you know, or how you create new innovations, and he basically says look. It took over 5,000 prototypes 5,000. Potentates to finally get the perfect, you know vacuum system, and, and it was really a round failure – you know he’s just saying that. That’s that’s really what it’s about, and I think that that’s what we kind of fear is its failure is because we we want to be able to appear like we have everything figured out and you know there’s you know we don’t have any problem, you know and You certainly look at people’s social, you know, media and so forth, and it looks like everybody has a perfect life.

You have that you have a difficult life and you’re wondering what’s wrong with me. You know, but it’s not true. You know it’s all a facade. It really is, but the formula is really try, filler and repeat, and and and that’s really what we need to be taught more about in business and a life is about trying daily learning from that and then repeating any of the great innovations. You know that we we see today all all come from that model yeah and that’s an it, and that obviously requires a company to have a culture of where you can try things and and fail, and I guess part of it is to is, if you’re going To fail like fail quickly right if you care, if you see that there’s I mean I’m sure Dyson when he was doing all his prototypes, I’m sure there were ones where he was.

You know not that far into it and went whoops that not going to work. Let’s go another one early and obviously that’s one of the that’s one of the the traps in businesses that people prolong things. Yes, yeah. They prolong things they wanted. They wish things that you know weren’t that way, you’re familiar with the company Unilever, yes yeah. You know I worked for Procter & Gamble’s, so I used to compete against Unilever in the salt category.

They made laundry detergent, Procter & Gamble, made laundry detergent, but and this this is a story back in the 1960s, its containing the book called black box thinking. But after you Syed he’s a Brit, but anyway he wrote this. He you talked about the story about how the the nozzle, so you have a nozzle that makes the laundry detergent this was before this isn’t like in the in the sixties. You know this was before we had the little pods nation mmm-hmm outer, but the nozzle kept clogging.

So they took it to the mathematicians and, of course, the mathematicians. You know they’re so smart and they can just give us a formula and they and they gave him a formula and it didn’t work so they gave it to the biologist and then the biologist. They were willing to do trial and error and actually what it took is. It took four hundred and forty nine different iterations to produce this perfect nozzle.

It’s this lot, laundry detergent and so to me it’s it’s just. You know Pixar’s another example: yeah Catmull. I a lot of people, see Pixar movies, love, Pixar movies. Well, he says that when we first produced these movies, you know first start working. He says they’re not very good, they suck and he says our job is to take him from sock to non sock, yeah and – and we do that through the iteration process.

We we work, we work, we work until we finally get a great movie. So a lot of times you know we have this image of thinking. Well, there’s people out there that are just geniuses and then there’s me right and and so I’m not genius, so you know I have to I have to work hard, but everybody that has any great success in life has done it through work. Work work led the Beatles. You know we look at the Beatles.

One of my favorite bands was, by the time they got to America in February of 1964, in the Ed Sullivan Show they had performed like 1,200 performances that a Homburg period for 15 months you know – was they perform more during that period than most bands do in Their whole life, you know it wasn’t just yeah, they were, they were, they were geniuses, but they did the 10,000 hour rule. You know that black talks about it and and and it’s really it’s it’s there’s no shortcut.

Yes all work and if you think about it, there’s a the reality is there were probably 10,000 other Beatles out there who didn’t put in the hard work exactly so. This is a great great place to to conclude here, because I think you just touched on something really important as a takeaway is you know whether it’s organizationally, whether it’s personally or whatever, is that you have to start somewhere and then you have to try and try And understand that this is a process, not a I’m, not going to change my life, I’m not going to change my business tomorrow, I’m I can start the process, but it’ll be a process yeah, that’s right and and the one of the main messages in the book And in our program that we teach is the message of hope and it’s that anybody can change the trajectory of their life at any stage of their life.

Okay, so a lot of times. I think we think that oh I’ve, just you know I’ve gone down this road too far or I you know, I can’t change I’m 50 years old or and and it’s hogwash, you know we we can. We, we are the controller’s of our destiny. We can change our life at any any stage of our lives. I think we didn’t have to look at it and say I’m going to do it by making these small steps you know and and taking these small steps new year’s resolutions, the big mistakes that people make a new year’s resolutions as they set too many right step.

N or twelve and so they’re all forgotten by you know by the end of January or February. Oh, so I think the way that you in that change is really by starting small. Don’t try to take on too many things just say: I’m going to do. One thing what you know: one thing differently to affect some of the change and if you start doing that, then you start to build momentum. You start to get some success. It’s not instantaneous, you know, but to see some small successes and some small successes can give you confidence that you’re headed in the right direction.

Then you take another action and then you another action, but the key thing is to take action. You don’t don’t delay, don’t try to take too much action, but take some action that can help you propel you to your goal. Absolutely and if you choose not to take action and you choose not to do anything – that’s fine, but you have to own where you are in your life. It just accept that you’ve chosen an adhoc life, so you’re going to get whatever things are going to come at you and don’t don’t blame, don’t blame your spouse or your parents, or the government or city or whatever, for all your problems that you have exactly.

As I said, I calls on outsourcing your destiny to fate. That’s all my life to fate, yeah, okay! Well, listen! This has been fantastic, but before we go I’d like you to tell everybody just a little bit more about yourself, your organization and how they can learn more about what you guys do, yeah sure. So my business partner is David. Stefan Marv Deeks. He lives in Dallas, Texas, he’s originally from France, so he says Bonjour y’all Texas, but we started this company.

We were both at Franklin Covey. We started a licensing business, so we have opportunities to license intellectual property, the best intellectual property on the planet. Like content, like David Allen’s, getting things done in which we take all over the world, so check us out there at SM Capcom, and then we have our new program, which is called Tripoli, gist at work which emerged from from a trap, Tales book and a trap.

Ologist is a person who detects and avoids the workplace traps. It helps others do the same. So it’s our own term. We made it up. It’s called trap, just at work, calm and so check us out there yeah. I love it a night and I think you know make 2019 the year that you go and uncover all of these traps. So I would encourage you to check out David and his company. My name is John golden says. Pop online says magazine pipeliner CRM.

Thanks again, David, that’s been fantastic, look forward a pleasure, seeing you all again soon, thanks so much for having me John


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