Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Friday, December 11, 2009

50 Random Thoughts For The Holidays!

1. Go Elf yourself
2. Why not listen to some commercial free (almost) Christmas music here
3. Commit to laughing your hiney off at least once a day. Once you do that, make sure you help others do the same!
4. Don’t listen to that damn “Christmas Shoes” song. If you do and someone walks in on you tell them its your allergies!
5. Forgive someone.
6. Be a kid again. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!
7. Understand that other than the “5 Golden Rings” in The 12 Days of Christmas, someone basically cleaned out their attic and was trying to unload junk. I mean what am I supposed to do with a bunch of Lords a leaping? Screw it; just put it over there next to the swans a swimming, Jackass!
8. Sing along to a holiday song. Rinse and repeat!
9. Take a co worker out to lunch or coffee . . . just because.
10. Between now and year end include messages of hope and inspiration in your status updates.
11. Grab a hot chocolate and look at some Christmas lights.
12. Say a prayer for someone.
13. Give someone a few extra minutes of your time.
14. Take at least one opportunity to bite your tongue.
15. Over tip someone who deserves it.
16. Listen to the Ave Maria and then acknowledge a truly beautiful song!
17. Fellow New Yorkers: Let’s have a “bird free” holiday season. If each of us refrains from middle finger usage at least once, it will reduce the other person’s urge to “return the bird” and total “bird” usage will drop by 10 billion.
18. Understand that laughing at the song “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” is sick. Would you really laugh if your Grandmother got run over by a reindeer? What’s next? Grandpa got his nuts caught in a turbine?
19. Forgive your parents already. Like they didn’t forgive you for dopey stuff you did?
20. Evict negativity from your life. Seek out good. Its there . . . I promise!
21. Give someone the gift of your undivided attention.
22. Watch this important clip and then tell me who was the better dude. Heatmeiser or Snowmeiser. I will tell you all straight up that I laughed so hard I cried with my Mom the first time I saw this!
23. Tell a loved one how much they mean to you. Unfortunately, there’s an expiration date on this crazy thing we call life!
24. Read the lyrics to “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” and then prepare for a good cry when I tell you what inspired that poem. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s son was killed in the American Civil War and it was his way of expressing despair, anger and questioning his faith in the process. Kind of makes your complaint about having to stop by Aunt Sadies on Christmas look like baby sh*t next to his tragedy, huh? Here are the lyrics, get your Kleenex.

25. Plan a family night.
26. Find something inspirational and then pass it to your network because quite frankly, we all need a shot in the arm from time to time.
27. Encourage someone. Its free.
28. Answer this question: What am I most grateful for? Take inventory and count your many blessings.
29. Stop striving for Norman Rockwell Christmas moments. Understand that the beauty of his art was in capturing the chaos and even celebrating it. Might be a lesson in that crazy thought.
30. Donate some food to your local food pantry. They get hit hard this time of year.
31. Change the words to one of your favorite holiday songs. Personally, I like singing “Walking in my winter underwear” to the tune of “Walking in a winter wonderland”. I’ve even changed lyrics to things I could never share here. But I will hint that it involved a threesome and leave it at that.
32. Commit to wearing your spirit on your sleeve!
33. If you have stepped away from your faith . . . step back. By the way, I did and I was a fool for thinking I would travel my life’s journey without it! I’ll spare you the sermon, but I feel much better after my spiritual homecoming!
34. Listen to the lyrics of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and then ask yourself What's the deal with that Figgy Pudding and who the hell do they think they are threatening us that “We won’t go until we get some” I wish the person who wrote that song would have stepped back to realize that people are willing to get indignant over a Baileys or a hot chocolate, but a figgy pudding? Don't have any, but help yourself to those Lords a leapin over there instead skipper!
35. Sing a duet of “Baby its cold outside” and then realize that the atrocity that just occurred with your singing is precisely why you both need to keep working your day jobs.
36. Stay away from the news. Take it in bite sized pieces. They make mega bucks with negativity . . . you don’t!
37. Find a way to create a memory and then visit that memory often! Someday you will refer to today as “The good old days” Make it count!
38. For all you folks on Twitter. You changed Thanksgiving to “Tweetsgiving”. Should you take the “Christ” out of Christmas and wish me a Merry Tweetsmas I will Twick your Twass!
39. Go on a date with your spouse. Conquering the world needs to happen on the home front too.
40. Avoid any instance where you will be accused of “donning gay apparel” And don’t let the SOB soften that statement with some “Fa la la la la” jibberish. Talk about dropping a bomb and then changing the subject.
41. Go to a tree lighting, a children’s Christmas concert to get that hometown vibe going!
42. When you find yourself in an exceptionally good mood, don’t ever let anyone take your joy away from you.
43. Find a way to make someone look like a rock star today, just because.
44. Mend a fence. Lose your ego and repeat after me “Sorry” Try it and you will lighten your load.
45. Catch up with someone you lost touch with.
46. There are 11 towns in the US named “Santa Claus”. I’m only sharing that because I set the bar too damn high in telling you I had 50 things. What was I thinking?
47. Let someone know they inspired you!
48. Try to do some of your holiday shopping at a “Mom and Pop”. It’s a great way to stimulate your local economy.
49. Christmas Shoes Part II: If someone walks in on you tearing up, tell them you are going to be taking the place of Paula Abdul on American Idol and you were just practicing!
50. Watch It’s A Wonderful Life and then acknowledge that it truly is!

I hope in some crazy way this has brought you a smile, a tear and a renewed sense of holiday spirit!

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  1. Paul,
    Once again an awesome post. I have done about half of these and will fit in what time allows the next few weeks. I'm listening to #2 now and as for who is the better dude I would have to go with snowmeiser. Always love the snow, looking forward to some this year.

    Thank you and have a Very Merry!

  2. My Goodness Paul - your ability to inspire and entertain are truly amazing. You certainly hit on a lot of things that we all need reminding of during this wonderful and crazy season (not to mention throughout the year).

    Blessings to you and your family. Have a very Merry Christmas,
    Beth Chapmon

    P.S. And thanks for the Paula Abdul excuse - that song does it to me every time so I'm gonna need to use that one.

  3. Paul -
    I love it! Everyone loves a list of tips, ideas or rules to live by. Letterman has made a living off the bit! A friend in financial services has started sending an email newsletter and said that the articles that get opened the most are the list of tips.

    Anyhow - I wanted to respond to the 12 Days of Christmas rant in your list. The song drives me crazy, but the origins are interesting. I included them below in case you or a reader didn't know. (reprinted from an email my mom sent me!)


    There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.
    What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,
    swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out
    of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

    This week, I found out. From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
    during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

    It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
    plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
    element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
    which the children could remember.

    -The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
    -Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
    -Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
    -The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
    -The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
    -The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
    -Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
    -The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
    -Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,
    Gentleness, and Self Control.
    -The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
    -The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
    -The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

    There you have it. It puts a nice spin on an otherwise ultra repetitive song1

  4. @ Jamie: Noted and agreed regarding Snowmeiser. Just curious. In a fist fight in a neutral climate, who would kick who's ass? Reflect and report back to me. Its important :)

    @ Beth: I'm with you and at the risk of sounding like a big baby, that song gets me every time to the point I want to buy the damn shoes for the kid. Great song, but what a bummer!

    @ Bob: I love it! That's the first time in my 44 yrs on this earth that I can say . . . "Finally, the 12 days of Christmas gifts make sense?"

    All sarcasism aside, I will be a hit at every holiday party when I tell that story. And screw you, I am telling everyone that I researched it :) Thanks for clearing that up!

    Thank you Jamie, Beth and Bob for stopping by to contribute!

    TGIF everyone!

  5. Paul, I have put a little, very little, thought into the snowmeiser vs heatmeiser fist fight. In neutral climate heatmeiser would win probably more of a bad ass the then snowy, who would most likely be all slushy.

    Like the photo from A Christmas Story.

    Ralphie: [Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
    Santa Claus: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

    I think a Sales Playbook happy hour with favorite christmas/holiday movies for next week might work.

    Heres to not shooting your eye this Holiday season.

  6. Hey Paul
    ROFL... I just elfed my wife and I. had a lot of fun with it and NOT just that... You made MY day - No kidding, Paul

    Ram C

  7. @Jamie: You pose a valid point on the Heatmeiser vs Snowmeiser debate. Touche! And yes, next week, we need to have that virtual happy hour. Its been too long!

    @ Ram: I love to hear things like that! Thank you for telling me that!

    Thank you both.

  8. Paul:

    All I can say is WELL DONE!



  9. @Bob: Sorry, but you're mistaken on the 12 Days history. Check out:

    @Paul: Thanks for the post. Great as always. As your Miser brothers fight question, I think their mini-me's should be able to participate in the fight too.

  10. Paul,
    I am with you on all of your wonderful suggestions. After Thanksgiving, I wasn't feeling the Christmas spirit. I cringed at the thought of shopping, bringing down the tree and ornaments and decorating. But then, my daughter called to tell me that she got tickets for her sisters and I to see the Nutcracker Ballet in Phila. You see, when they were growing up, I took them every year to see this ballet (starting at 8 months for the youngest) After we moved to a new area in 1995, we stopped going.
    I am elated to revisit a wonderful Christmas tradition with my girls. And, despite my previous bah humbug feelings, I put up all the greenery outside with the big red bows and even bought a santa suit for my little dog. The tree goes up this week!

    I stopped focusing on the "tasks" involved with the holiday and instead focused on all of the wonderful times we had in the past. It worked like a charm.

    Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring post.


  11. @ D: Muchas Gracias!

    @ Jason: I'm thinking all that "stuff" had to symbolize something? I can't accept that someone said "What the hell. I'm gonna give someone those Maids a milking" Or with due respect perhaps someone ate some mushrooms for lunch and got creative when they wrote The 12 Days of Christmas?

    @ Linda What a beautiful way to start the season. Quite frankly I'm jealous! There is a wonderful feeling attached to tradition if you ask me. When we go to that show, decorate that tree, in my family read The Night Before Christmas, we get to revisit memories. Equally important is to literally stop yourself in a moment, take a mental snap shot and enjoy the gift of the moment. Knowing this now has become a memory.

    Thank you all for sharing!

    Oh and Jason . . . The "mini me's" in the Heatmeiser Snowmeiser brawl would be classic. I am picturing them going at it "bad kung fu movie" style.

  12. Hi Paul,
    Sorry I'm late in posting a huge THANK YOU! for all your greatness! I still have the vision of Grandpa's you know what's and you in your winter underwear. Yikes! I love this group and all the wisdom! I feel like I have hundreds of supporters and ready for the New Year! Thanks to BOB for the 12 days editorial! I did a marketing campaign using the 12 days of Christmas! 12 Prospects for 12 consecutive days bringing a token to relate to the day! Phew! It was great! after the 5 golden rings everyone was waiting for me to show up and clue them in! Like the Little Drummer Boy.... I have no gift to bring. Can I play for you? Let's also not forget that when the goose is flying low we all have to work like other men do. Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God! Happy Holidays!



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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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