ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | JEFF TERESI
Q&A WITH JEFF TERESI
Q: What is it about yourself you would like people to know?
- I came to realize that relationships are what life is all about.
- If you can’t communicate with someone, you’ll have a hard time connecting with them.
- I have struggled with this for most of my life.
- A few year ago, I didn’t realize why. I only did so when I was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.
- When you want to connect with others, you have to first connect with yourself.
- Over the years, I’ve learned one of the best ways to connect with myself is to write.
- I have actually written a poem that not only helped me connect with myself, it also helped me connect with others. The poem is titled “A Beautiful Spectrum.”
A Beautiful Spectrum
I don’t literally take things, but I take things literally;
Though I’m fully functional, I still struggle considerably.
Words get stuck off the tip of my tongue, ceaselessly just out of reach . . .
Imprisoning me in some type of figure of freedom of speech.
Non-verbal cues are many times missed or deplorably misread;
How can two communicate when one can’t translate what’s being said?
Therein lies the question that all together needed to be asked:
For the solution can’t be found until the problem is unmasked.
Here it is: I . . . have . . . Asperger’s! But what exactly does that mean?
I work well with a plan in place: structure, systems, rules, and routine.
With effort and expected delays, there’s not much I can’t convey—
But be patient, I’m not naturally wired to work that way.
My condition affects everyone I know and love…not just me;
Which is why clarifying questions must be asked, regularly.
With its so many strengths, I will not consider this a weakness;
Those who do…turn a blind eye . . . to the beauty of our uniqueness.
Q: You were diagnosed with this 4 years ago?
- Yeah, it actually came to a head in my marriage because we couldn’t communicate.
- My wife has a really good friend who happens to have a husband on the spectrum.
- When she was describing our issues, it sounded like I might be on the spectrum.
- I actually ended up going to a counsellor that specializes in adult autism.
- It was absolutely an eye-opener.
- Recognizing we have an issue not because neither of us knows what we’re taking about, but we don’t understand each other because of how our brains are wired.
Q: The biggest difference after the diagnosis was the awareness you developed?
- Yes, the awareness of recognizing my mind works differently.
- I thrive through routines and systems.
- My wife would say something, and I might not have an idea what she’s saying.
- But rather than assume or guess what she’s saying, I would begin to ask clarifying questions until I knew what she was saying.
- Another huge thing was it was extremely hard for me to connect with my emotions.
- There is a cool tool called Mixed Emotions Card.
- Finding the balance of what is causing it and finding the best ways to work with that.
Q: What other input would you have for people who are experiencing similar challenges?
- It’s important not to put undue pressure on yourself.
- An example I’m beginning to understand is that I work well with systems and scripts and being prepared in that way.
- Yet, in the speaking world, it’s looked down upon to refer back to scripts and notes.
- It’s extremely frustrating, but knowing it’s going to happen and everything is going to be ok, I can relieve myself of that pressure.
Q: Tell us how you ended up getting started with Cutco?
- I actually was just graduating high school.
- I got a letter in the mail and the base pay was much more than I was making.
- I went in and I was enamored by how amazing it was.
- The job I had before Cutco was telemarketing. The hardest thing for most Cutco reps is getting on the phone. So, I did have this slight advantage.
Q: What were the things that stand out from your early career?
- The first demonstration I did. I remember showing my grandparents. My grandpa took a knife and said this is an interesting edge and ran his finger through it.
- After the demo, they said no one is going to buy these knives. They are very high-priced, and you’ll probably have to find something else to do.
- I also remember going on lots of fun field training with other reps.
- It’s such an amazing culture, community. I absolutely love that about Cutco.
Q: What other moments you feel stand out as you were developing in the business?
- I really liked going to sales conferences.
- In 2005, I heard Matthew Kelly speak. That was an inspiration to me. The first time I heard someone speak and thought ‘Oh my God! I’d love to do that!
- In 2013, I decided to go for the company Rolex.
- I didn’t think I’d be able to sell as much as I did.
- Halfway through the year I thought this could be done. I just have to work harder.
- I got the Rolex, and it was just an amazing feeling of accomplishment.
Q: What do you feel are some of the lessons from your experience you’re using now and teaching others?
- Cutco instilled in me the concept of committing to continual learning.
- In my early 20s, I was given a piece of advice that forever changed my life. I was told to consider it pure joy when you face trials because it will produce in you perseverance and maturity.
- What’s great about adopting a growth mindset is that all of sudden you cannot lose. You can only win or learn. Growth mindset redefines failure.
- Trials and tribulations are temporary and teachable moments.
- Growth mindset doesn’t focus on what you have to endure, but what that endurance will produce within you.
- The key to adopting a growth mindset is to look at difficulties differently.
- I just encourage people to commit to continual learning.
- If you aren’t growing, you’re not getting better, and there’s a good chance you are getting worse.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your aspiration to get into speaking and writing?
- I had been writing poetry for a couple of years, and Hal Elrod encouraged me to turn it into a book.
- The first book I wrote is called “Good News for a Month.” It’s a 31-day devotional.
- As I have grown and evolved, I opened myself up to not doing just poetry but writing other pieces of work.
- As far as the progression of speaking, it essentially started when I would speak at Cutco sales conferences. I got good responses from those and the reps loved it.
- In 2007, I joined the realtor program for Cutco where we were specializing in gifting realtors.
- The offices began being strict on who they let come in.
- They said “Jeff we know you’re really good at sales. We’d like you to add more value to the agents. Would you do a talk to inspire them in sales?” And that’s how I got started.
Q: Let’s talk a little bit about your book. I know you’ve got some really good concepts you could share.
- What I love about the 7 Key Abilities is just that they are abilities, skills … you can learn and apply them.
- When you break it down, it’s all about cultivating, creating and connecting.
- Cultivating a thankful heart, an empowered mind and encouraging connections so that you can create a clarified calendar and inviting environment so that you can connect with ongoing growth and a purpose-filled plan.
Q: Could you unpack a little bit on creating an inviting environment?
- I actually call that the breath-ability.
- Most of the time, we focus on matters that don’t actually matter.
- When we expend energy focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter, we get nowhere.
- When given space to stretch out and breath, nowhere becomes now here.
- I think the listeners need to find a way to remove the rush so that they can see it is simple.
- To do so, you need to designate time throughout the day when you can relax and focus on your breathing.
- That’s how you create an inviting environment by bringing the here and now wherever you go.
Q: Anything else you want to share on having someone develop a purpose-filled plan?
- I call it the show-ability.
- The ability to show up and hold yourself accountable to maximizing your potential.
- True success is to consistently make choices that bring joy and meaning to my life and the lives of others.
Q: Through the crazy 2020 year, what have been the new possibilities and things that have opened up for you?
- Right when COVID-19 hit, I shared a poem titled “Freedom from Fear.”
- I got a good response and decided no matter what comes of it, I’m going to commit to one video and share it with the world.
- I started a YouTube channel 6 months ago, and I’ve been able to upload one new video per week and plan to continue doing so.
Q: As you look into the future, what are you most excited about?
- My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for 7 years and she’s now due in January.
- Life is definitely opening up and I’m so excited!
- There were so many good insights that came out of this conversation.
- Very cool to hear how Jeff has confronted Asperger’s and learning about having a different operating system and how to deal with that challenge in a way that works.
- We all have our own challenges of how we operate, and gaining insights into that, gaining in self-awareness, having people around us who we’re able to talk to about how we operate and learning about ourselves is really a key thing that can make the difference.
- I loved when Jeff said that trials produce perseverance and maturity and also helps us look at difficulties differently.
- Check out the Mixed Emotions Cards
- Buy Jeff’s book: The 7 Key Abilities : How To Succeed 7 Days A Week
- Check out Jeff’s YouTube channel
Coming to Your Senses
Have you ever really wondered how fortunate you are?
Have you ever thought your blessings could outnumber the stars?
First, imagine if you suddenly lost your sense of sight—
Would you miss seeing the differences between day and night?
Now, imagine if you lost the ability to hear—
As silence whispers in both ears, could you persevere?
Now, imagine if you suddenly lost your sense of smell—
Could you bid the sweet scent of flowers and fresh air farewell?
Now, imagine if you lost the ability to taste—
What joy could come from eating if all flavors were erased?
Now, imagine if you suddenly lost your sense of touch—
Does just the thought of such a loss make you feel very much?
While each sense is sensational, there’s only one you need:
It’s the sense to give thanks…the sense from which all gifts proceed.
Show Notes for this episode provided by Brian Njenga.
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