The Accountable Person’s Bill of 39 Rights

This accountable person’s Bill of 39 Rights is a guest blog post by John G. Miller of QBQ, Inc. I highly recommend reading it, and perhaps, taking it to heart.

  1. I reserve the right to choose my words carefully, taking responsibility for each of them.
  2. I reserve the right to worry less about how others live and more about how I live my life.
  3. I reserve the right to share my opinions without fear my character will be attacked.
  4. I reserve the right to not call people names when they disagree with me.
  5. I reserve the right to not be easily offended.
  6. I reserve the right to not live a life of griping and grievances.
  7. I reserve the right to not rejoice when others stumble.
  8. I reserve the right to remember that my actions always speak louder than my words.
  9. I reserve the right to not hide behind the Internet to lash out at people.
  10. I reserve the right to not start or engage in purposeless arguments on Facebook.
  11. I reserve the right to disagree.
  12. I reserve the right to not scream and yell at those who disagree with me.
  13. I reserve the right to use social media in a positive, uplifting manner.
  14. I reserve the right to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know.
  15. I reserve the right to admit when I am wrong.
  16. I reserve the right to work for all I have and not become entitled.
  17. I reserve the right to change the one person that I can—me.
  18. I reserve the right to not speak of things I know nothing about.
  19. I reserve the right to dismiss Hollywood stars who have decided they’re experts in all matters.
  20. I reserve the right to not put any celebrity—including politicians—on pedestals.
  21. I reserve the right to treat all human beings with respect.
  22. I reserve the right to honor my country by honoring its laws as written.
  23. I reserve the right to believe the U.S.A is the greatest nation on Earth.
  24. I reserve the right to vote for politicians based on their competence, experience, and principles—and no other factors.
  25. I reserve the right to not form an opinion until all facts are known.
  26. I reserve the right to makes decisions based on my values, not expediency.
  27. I reserve the right to be more concerned about my integrity than another’s.
  28. I reserve the right to share my blessings with the needy and not judge those who don’t.
  29. I reserve the right to turn off television shows that are counter to my family’s values.
  30. I reserve the right to ignore all talking heads on all television networks.
  31. I reserve the right to tune out any journalist who goes beyond reporting the news.
  32. I reserve the right to object to teachers using my kid’s classroom to share their politics. (Note to 1st – 12th grade teachers: Please stick to teaching reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic!)
  33. I reserve the right to not get caught up in fads, including the latest “diet” plan.
  34. I reserve the right to think before I speak.
  35. I reserve the right to resist marketer’s pitches for shiny new things and spend less than I earn.
  36. I reserve the right to engage in strong, confident, and loving parenting.
  37. I reserve the right to break from group thinking and reason for myself.
  38. I reserve the right to own my decisions and not blame the lousy ones on someone else.
  39. I reserve the right to take personal accountability for my life and make NO EXCUSES!

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The Five Skills Every Sales Person Needs

AA018442While the business of selling requires many skills, there are five skills every sales person needs. And, most of us will need to develop these on our own.

You see, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is that no one else is going to look out for you as well as you will look out for yourself. To become and remain a professional in business, you must recognize that you are in charge of your own training and act on that fact. Build on your strengths and correct your weaknesses. If you aren’t sure of what to work on first, there is certainly someone in your life who will gladly assist you – your manager, your spouse, your children, a trusted friend.

Here are five skill areas that I strongly recommend you consider developing or strengthening as they have made all the difference for me and my students:


Do you consider yourself a trained negotiator? Trained negotiators can quickly and effectively analyze the details of situations and determine the best route to resolution. If that brief description doesn’t fit you, make an effort to find a book, audio recording or seminar on the subject. Then schedule the time to learn from it. I cover some basic negotiation skills for selling situations in Chapter 16 of my latest book, When Buyers Say NoLook for my recent blog posts on the subject here.


Since your clients choose to own your products or services based on what you say and how you represent them, doesn’t it make sense that you train your voice to give the highest level of professional presentation? If you’ve never considered voice training before, record yourself giving a portion of your presentation. Then listen to it. Most of us hate the sound of our voices. Just imagine how our clients must feel when listening to us. To project your message with clarity and power, consider at least one session with a voice coach. They can be found in your local yellow pages.

Public Speaking

Many sales professionals find that giving short speeches in their communities helps build their name recognition and their business. Public speaking is also a great way to build your confidence. Try your skills out by speaking to your child’s class about what you do or a hobby you have. Teachers love it when the students can learn first-hand about careers. Join Toastmasters International. There are local chapters in just about every city. They provide excellent opportunities to hone your skills and meet other business professionals with whom you might do business or share referrals. To learn how I prepare for presentations myself, go here >>


Having a good memory is critical to anyone in today’s world, but especially so to those of us who meet many new people every week. I have learned to make a game of it in my career. I challenge myself to remember as many people and their stories as I can. There are some great courses and books written on this subject. Even if you learn and use only one small strategy, I guarantee you’ll reap the benefit of having done so.


Don’t cringe at this. I know that there is a large percentage of people who hate math. However, in business, you need to know some basic math skills really well. How does it look when you take too long to calculate figures? Do you think that will raise any doubts about your competency in the client’s mind? Of course it will. Also, when clients toss out figures in their projections, you have to be quick on the uptake in understanding what that means in your business – quantities of supplies they’ll need, projecting delivery dates and times, and so on.

Practice your math skills. Every time you hear or see a number in a conversation or even in a bit of advertising, take a moment to work with the number and see what it means. Compute unit costs for grocery items – $1.29 for a 2-liter bottle of soda. Convert it to ounces, then figure out how much per ounce the soda is. I know the favorite computation of every salesperson who works on a fee basis is to determine their percentage of every sale. Don’t stop there. Play the numbers game often and you’ll get better at winning.

Choose just one of these five areas and dedicate yourself to improving in it this month. Then, next month, choose another. Once you get started on this journey of self-education, you’ll be amazed at what you learn and how simple things can have a powerful impact on your overall success in life.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. For reprint permission, contact Judy Slack –

What I’m Reading

Leaders are readers. Readers become leaders.

Leaders are readers. Readers become leaders.

I’m often asked what I’m reading. I do my best to read many of the popular business books because my students will ask my opinion of them. If I can’t get to all of those that are relevant to my place in this world, I’ll task my staff to assist me by providing summaries of books.

Also, a common practice among authors is to request endorsements of each other’s works. With those requests come hard bound copies of their books. Some weeks it’s as if the library comes to me!

And, I meet a lot of people in my line of work–many of whom have written books. New authors spread the word about their books by giving a certain number away in their public relations campaigns. I’m fortunate that authors are kind enough to share their books with me, hoping as I read them, I’ll either find some gems to share with my students, or pass their book along to someone who will receive great value from it.

Needless to say there’s never a shortage of something to read in my world!

Today, I thought I’d share with you a few of my more recent favorites. I highly recommend each of these books and know each of the authors either personally or by their actions to be credible sources of information. If these titles are appropriate for you and your business, I recommend that you read them:

  1. Business Without the Bullsh*t by Geoffrey James, an INC columnist I have known for many years
  2. Selling Fearlessly by Robert Terson, one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve ever encountered
  3. How to Get Unstuck by Barry J. Moltz, almost wore out a highlighter on this one
  4. Hire Right, Higher Profits by Lee B. Salz, for managers–excellent strategic advice for hiring

When you read, read for comprehension. Don’t just read quickly through a book to get the gist of what it’s about. Enjoy the journey! Read with a highlighter, and something to take notes on. Treat every non-fiction book as a schoolbook–something to learn from. If you read on an electronic device, take advantage of the highlighters within that software. Then, when you’ve finished the book, re-read just those points you marked.

We are all perpetual students whether we realize it or not. We are learning new things every day. Professionals direct what they learn through choice rather than learning random bits of knowledge the world sends their way each day. Read more…sell more!

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.