Stop Overthinking, Just Use Your Head & Celebrate the 4th

Sure, I get, life, and relationships are often wicked complicated, maybe even overcomplicated, but that's life!  Way too often we overthink things, especially at work, to the point of making the already complicated impossibly cluttered, slow to enact and painful in which to participate. Recently, I've adopted with my work and my teaching a concept of frequently taking a view 100 feet off the deck and asking myself and others..."Aren't we overthinking this?", and, typically, I am discovering that the answer is a resounding "Yes".

Don't overthink business:

  • Success in business is about only two things: #1 is Sales, and #2 is "Everything Else"!
  • Success in Sales is about only one thing:  Delivering Consistent Value to the Customer!
  • Success as a salesperson is about two things: Creating efficiency & effectiveness in the process!

value proposition-5.jpgGiven that success in Sales is all about processes and tools that consistently deliver high value to our customers while rapidly shrinking the sales funnel time from "awareness" to "closing a deal", it's not that difficult to figure out how to deliver that value again and again and again...except when we overthink and overcomplicate things!  


World-Class companies get this all the time: Total focus on The Customer and nothing else!

Success as a salesperson is not about you or me or your shiny new product.  It's about the value-be it emotional, financial, real or perceived-that that product delivers!  Nothing more, nothing less! 

Our only job in Sales is to always focus on delivering that value and not to overthink this since anything else will clutter the sales process, slow it down and confuse the customer.

Don't overthink Teaching: 

Tufts Fall, 2014-2-7Whether your own teaching opportunity as an instructor is in-house training at your company or you are at a university, focus only on the value you deliver to your students!

After 20 years of teaching at MIT in parallel with 13 at Tufts and now having the privilige to work as the Director of the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, what I have discovered is that "the business of education" is incredibly complex!  Nothing in either commercial businesses or in not-for-profit associations compares in organizational complexity, financial pressure or in political considerations of people and positions.  For me, in a tiny piece of a large and extraordinary university, I make the business of teaching very simple for myself and our 17 professors in the -Tufts Entrepreneurship Center.

  1. Impact and develop students and graduates to become successful in society and their community!
  2. Deliver high quality education and applicable training that provide jobs that students want!
  3. Connect students to high value people, organizations, great jobs and impactful careers! 

Do Celebrate Freedom on the 4th:

Declaration of Independence-3We live in very complicated political times both in our country and internationally.  In my life, I've unfortunately experienced more complex, more difficult and more frightening times, but at this particular time in our own complex lives, in an era of instant 24x7x365 communication everywhere, we tend to overcomplicate and overthink pretty much everything about politics. 

We should not do the same with our freedom!.

This week is obviously the 4th of July, and it's one of those very few days of the year when we get to truly CELEBRATE and remember the basics of freedom on which this country was founded. 


4th of July-1On This Thursday...

  • Read the Declaration of Independence out loud to yourself, to your friends, to your family.
  • Have fun, barbecue hot dogs, laugh, tell stories, hug your partner and just celebrate life and freedom! 
  • Do not clutter the fun and celebration this Thursday with the BS of Washington politics.   
  • ...and just for this one special day, "Let Freedom Ring!"  in your own tiny slice of your own freedom!

Just don't overthink it!

IMG_0051Me?  I'm headed on the 4th down the road a piece to the tiny town of West Wardsboro, VT, where I'll get to see the parade, with lots of antique cars and the Grafton Town Band, twice: once going one way down Main Street, and then when the parade turns around and comes back to end in front of the church where the fire pits for the chicken barbecue will be smoldering.. 

Nothing to overthink, nothing complicated.  Just fun and a wonderful celebration of freedom!

Happy 4th! 

Jack Derby

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