Did Manchester City win the English Premier League because they made the least excuses?

Here's the scenario... You go to a party of a good friend at their house. It's not very lively but, hello, who's that over there, they look interesting. You decide to go over and introduce yourself. You ask one question -- and bam, the person talks for ten minutes without pausing for breath. They talk non-stop about them, their interests, their history, their achievements. They ask you nothing! How do you feel?

Companies are storing record cash amounts. They're hoarding their revenues for more rainy days ahead. They're spending little at the moment. They're making do. One day though -- one day they'll will be ready to spend big. Their cash reserves are colossal -- after all, profits have held up well and companies have cut out lots of costs. But when they do decide to spend, YOU have to be right up there in their consciousness, right in the forefront of their thinking, if you are going to maximise the inevitable opportunities that are going to arise. Well then -- are you ready? Have you got what it takes?

The language you use has a massive impact on your results. That goes for the language you speak, and the language that meanders around internally in your head. If you keep saying things are hard...guess what, it will be hard! You're instructing your brain to expect hard, expect tough...and so that's what it will deliver for you.

I'm always intrigued by the Sunday Times column "How I made it", tucked away in the Business section of that mammoth publication. This weekly, relatively short piece describes how someone, often against all the odds, has become extremely successful in their business. I thought I'd reproduce some of their words of advice here. They have often helped me. They might help you too. Here goes...

I read more and more these days about how happiness boosts success at work. In sales some research suggests that happier people make 37% more sales! I reckon there a few companies who would become very happy if they generated 37% more sales. Except it doesn't work that way round. It's no good someone who sells saying "When I sell loads more widgets I'll be happy" or "when I hit my sales target I'll feel great". You might get a mini high - but it will quickly fade! It works like this...

How good is your company when it comes down to passing your MOT tests? MOT? Moment...Of...Truth. Those occasions when you come into direct contact with your customers and potential customers. Those moments which, ultimately, determine what your customers think of you.

When you arrived at your workplace this morning, did you know exactly what you wanted to achieve today? Did you know what key outcomes you needed to accomplish before leaving this evening in order for you to congratulate yourself and say "that was a great day"? Go on...be honest...

I don't normally watch 'Match of the Day' on TV but it was on over the weekend and I overheard a premiership football player talk glowingly about his "visualisation coach" (he'd just scored the winning goal!) and how they work together as part of his match preparation. Visualisation as a tool for improving performance is growing fast. Not just sport. Visualisation is used more and more in business. It's a great tool for helping your sales people increase their sales success.

Do you know why some people buy with a real sense of urgency? You know the ones -- they want it; they want it now. Quick sale -- no problem. Then there are others -- you know they need your stuff, they could be benefitting from it right now if only they'd get a move on. Yet they drag their feet; they stall; they say they're interested but don't commit. Of course some of these do buy eventually, but it all takes sooooo long. How do you explain away these slow coach buyers? Internal procedure at their end? Too many stakeholders? Budget constraints? Price too high? Timing not right? Here's the real reason they don't buy...