Category Archives: business

3 Decisions That Will Change You

The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Life

From entrepreneur.com Nov 19, 2014

Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on.
At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.

Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.

Which area do you tend to focus on more: what you have or what’s missing from your life?

I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.

Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional well-being and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to deeply feel grateful with your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfillment can be found.

Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?

If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.

When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:

—-

Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?
Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.

Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.

When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?

If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?

Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?

Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.

I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85 percent to 90 percent of those assembled raise their hands.

How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side effect.

But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like “life is not worth living,” that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.

Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.

When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit on what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.

So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.

Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:
——
Decision 3: What will you do?
The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.

If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.

Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.

Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.

Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behavior on those they respect, enjoy and love.

The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.

Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by.

It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.

Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.

It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.

This piece was adapted from Tony Robbins’ new book, Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.

7 Steps for Creating the Life YOU Want

7 Steps for Creating the Life YOU Want

Stairway in blue heavensWe all aspire to do, be and have great things. Yet most of us simply aren’t creating the results we want. We complain that we don’t have enough money, romance, success or joy in our lives. We point fingers and blame outside problems that “happen” to us and make life more difficult. But what we need to understand and keep at the forefront of our minds is that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out of ourselves. Regardless of personal circumstances, economic climates, and access to resources, it helps to maintain faith in the fact we each are more powerful than we think. We all have the ability to create the life we want. We just need to learn how to do it. Is there an exact “formula”? No, but there are certain common features that successful people exhibit and that anyone can practice. They are what can jumpstart your success and attract what you want in life. You’d be hard pressed to find any high achiever who doesn’t live by the following 7 tips:

1. Take No Less than 100% Responsibility for Your Life

One of the greatest myths that is pervasive in our culture today is that you are entitled to a great life and that somehow, somewhere, someone is responsible for filling our lives with continual happiness, exciting career options, nurturing family time and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist. But the real truth is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you. Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. That person who reflects back at you in the mirror is the chief conductor in your life. Say hello! I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but the mind can play games, tricking plenty of people into thinking external factors are the source of failure, disappointment, and unhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that external factors don’t determine how you live. You are in complete control of the quality of your life. Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don’t waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.

2. Be Clear Why You’re Here

I believe each of us is born with a life purpose. Identifying, acknowledging and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they’re here to do, and then they pursue that with passion and enthusiasm. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, then just tune in to the signals around you. Looking toward others for help and guidance is helpful, but don’t forget to stay tuned in to yourself—your behavior, attitude, likes and dislikes, and life experiences. Identify what’s working and what isn’t. If you need to, write it all down. You might be surprised by what you discover.

3. Decide What You Want

It sounds so simple, but here’s the problem: I see plenty of people who are overly-busy yet who feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They are physically tired, spiritually drained, and far from where they’d like to be—as if they’ve been running on a treadmill going nowhere fast. Why? Because they haven’t clearly mapped out what they want and then taken the steps to get there. Rather than identifying specific goals, milestones, and dreams (and I’m talking BIG dreams and goals here), they go through the motions day in and day out tackling unimportant tasks. They end up…you guessed it…going in circles and wasting lots of energy. In the meanwhile, they grow increasingly uninspired and out of touch with their authentic selves. This, of course, sets anyone up to living a life out of balance. One of the main reasons why most people don’t get what they want is they haven’t decided what they want. They haven’t defined their desires in clear and compelling detail. What does success look like to you? Not everybody’s definition of success is the same, nor should it be. Don’t let your inner devil’s advocate (or that incessant but unimportant To Do list) inhibit you from dreaming big. As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You’ll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams not only inspire you, but they also compel others to want to play big, too.

4. Believe It Is Possible

Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But today, they’re learning that instead we respond to what the brain, based on previous experience, expects to happen next. In fact, the mind is such a powerful instrument; it can deliver literally everything you want. But you have to believe that what you want is possible. As you commit to believing in yourself, also make a commitment to toning down the complaint department. Look at what you are complaining about. I’m fat. I’m tired. I can’t get out of debt. I won’t ever get a better job. I can’t stand the relationship I have with my father. I’ll never find a soulmate in life. Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.

5. Believe in Yourself

If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence or self-assurance, it is a deep-seated belief that you have what it takes; the abilities, inner resources, talents and skills to create your desired results. Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to believe that you create all your experiences. You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you. Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that—little hills to hop over.

6. Become an Inverse Paranoid

This one is straightforward: Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity. Successful people do just that.

7. Unleash the Power of Goal Setting

Experts on the science of success know the brain is a goal-seeking organism. Whatever goal you give to your subconscious mind, it will work day and night to achieve. To engage you subconscious mind, a goal has to be measurable. When there aren’t any criteria for measurement, it is simply something you want, a wish, a preference, or a good idea. Sometimes we need to make just one initial goal to get started, and that’s okay. At least it comes with a few actions to achieve. A first step simply can be making an immediate change in a single area in your life. Are you unhappy about something that is happening right now? Make requests that will make it more desirable to you, or take the steps to change it yourself. Making a change might be uncomfortable and overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it, or makes you feel bad about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice so why continue to complain? You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice and you have responsibility for your choices. Bear in mind that you have to be willing to change your behavior if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you’ve already taken an initial step in the right direction, now’s the time to plan more steps to keep moving you forward faster. Isn’t it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn’t it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else? So if you need just one thing to do different today than you did yesterday, make it this: Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process you’ll discover it is much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!


  WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul®and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Staying In Your Own Business

Staying In Your Own Business
–by Byron Katie (May 19, 2014)

I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s. For me, the word God means “reality.” Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that’s out of my control, your control, and
everyone else’s control — I call that God’s business.

Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation.

I noticed this early in 1986. When I mentally went into my mother’s business, for example, with a thought like “My mother should understand me,” I immediately experienced a feeling of loneliness. And I realized that every time in my life that I had felt hurt or lonely, I had been in someone else’s business.

If you are living your life and I am mentally living your life, who is here living mine? We’re both over there. Being mentally in your business keeps me from being present in my own. I am separate from myself, wondering why my life doesn’t work.To think that I know what’s best for anyone else is to be out of my business. Even in the name of love, it is pure arrogance, and the result is tension, anxiety, and fear. Do I know what’s right for me? That is my only business. Let me work with that before I try to solve your problems for you. If you understand the three kinds of business enough to stay in your own business, it could free your life in a way that you can’t even imagine.

The next time you’re feeling stress or discomfort, ask yourself whose business you’re in mentally, and you may burst out laughing! That question can bring you back to yourself. And you may come to see that you’ve never really been present, that you’ve been mentally living in other people’s business all your life. Just to notice that you’re in someone else’s business can bring you back to your own wonderful self. And if you practice it for a while, you may come to see that you don’t have any business either and that your life runs perfectly well on its own.

–Byron Katie

– See more at: http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=997#sthash.VUgeP7mz.dpuf

Courage to Take that First Step

A good article from Craig Ballantyne and Early to Rise…

Action Takers Rule the World

As Mark Ford correctly points out in his book, “The Reluctant Entrepreneur”, most business owners do not bet the farm. They take little bets. Little bets start with having the courage to take the first step. Today, Ryan Murdock shows you how. I did it, he did it, and you can do it too.Craig Ballantyne”If you’re always thinking about possibility, you’ll find it. You’ll always be creating your future.” – Sir Ken Robinson


How to Find the Courage to Take that First Step

by Ryan Murdock

It was 9:30am on a Wednesday. And I was sitting in a bathroom stall in an office building in Ottawa writing Communist slogans on the toilet paper.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a Communist by any possible stretch of the imagination. I was doing this in an effort to stay sane. Working as a temp in a government office where not a single person bothered to learn my name was starting to get me down, and drastic measures were called for.

And so each morning on my break I stuck a felt tipped marker in my back pocket and went to the toilet. I rolled down the paper and wrote things like “Power to the People!” or “The Party is Always Right”. And then I rolled it back up again.

I spent the rest of my mornings unfastening endless piles of research grant applications and putting them into a different order, because the applicants hadn’t followed the directions. I was grateful for the money, of course. But it was mind numbingly boring.

Whenever I began to feel my soul draining out of me, I pictured some guy in the bathroom peeling off a strip of toilet paper and finding one of those slogans. His first reaction was likely to be, “What the….?” quickly followed by, “Why…?” And then hopefully he’d start laughing like he hadn’t laughed in years. I wanted to bring a little sunshine into that otherwise grey world.

I hated that job. I hated every job I ever had. I woke up swearing every morning. I swore in the shower and I muttered profanity under my breath all the way to work. I felt useless because the work I was doing had no meaning. I wasn’t drawing on my talents. I wasn’t making the world a better place. And I felt trapped because the pay I earned was barely enough to live on, and I didn’t have any savings.

I wanted to write, and I knew my words would add value to other people’s lives. But I couldn’t see a way to make enough money to survive at it.

I finally reached a point where that didn’t matter anymore. I couldn’t imagine a more miserable life than the one I was already in. And so I vowed to make a living by doing what I loved — or starve to death trying. And I meant it in every fiber of my being.

When the contract ended, I asked the temp agency to remove my name from their list. And that was the last actual “job” I ever had.

Since then I’ve met an awful lot of people who feel trapped by the miserable circumstances of their lives. They’re completely unhappy. But when I ask them why they don’t change, they say they’re afraid to take the first step.

Well I’ll let you in on a secret…

You don’t need courage to take that first step. You just need to focus on two things: hate and desperation.

You already know that I hated my old job so much that even the worst failure was better than going back to that office. But where does “desperation” come in?

Fast forward to a couple years later. I was earning a little money from my writing, but we were still living on my wife’s salary as a translator in the automotive industry.

Payment for freelance work was irregular at best, and I needed money to pay some bills. Badly. By the middle of next week. And I had no idea how I was going to get it.

I had no one to borrow from. I didn’t have a job. And I wasn’t expecting checks from any magazine publishers either — not that you can ever count on “Check’s in the mail” from them!

What did I do? I drew on everything I learned in my 20+ years of martial arts training. It was the only other thing I could consider myself a legitimate “expert” in. I drove over to Future Shop and bought a mini-DV video camera and some editing software with my credit card. Then I sat down with a paper and pencil and wrote a list of every crazy push up variation I could think of. I got on the floor and made up a bunch of new ones too.

I filmed it all as a 25-minute tutorial, named it Beyond Pushups, uploaded it to a website called E-Junkie, and linked it to my PayPal account. And then I posted a teaser and description of my program on a fitness forum where I was a certified coach, and I emailed the link to everyone I knew.

I set the price at $10. My wife didn’t think I’d even be able to pay for the camera. She gave me a smug look and said, “And then what are you going to do?”

I plugged my ears and went to bed. And when I woke up the next morning, I had $1,000 in my PayPal account. I paid off the camera and software immediately, and still made a nice little profit.

I ended up filming several more of those downloadable tutorials in the following months. One on ab exercise variations, one on ankle strength, and one on mobility drills using a stick. My audience loved them. Each one sold better than the previous installment, and always for $10.

People would write to me and say, “Why are you giving this away for so little? You could easily make it into a full DVD!”

But I didn’t raise the price. I over delivered and built loyalty and trust with my audience instead. And six months later, I coauthored a larger online product with a friend. We called it Bodyweight Exercise Revolution and it made $10,000 in its first month.

Fast forward again — this time by 3 or 4 years. That coauthored program evolved into a business partnership. Adam Steer and I created and sold many more online fitness programs through a site called BodyweightCoach.com. And today we’ve got a seven figure business called Shapeshifter Media, where we help other new authors publish their work in the online fitness niche.

So yeah, that’s what I tell people when they ask me, “How do you get the courage to take that first step?”

In my experience you need two things:

1) Hate: you have to hate where you are right now so much that staying the same is far worse than the discomfort it’ll take you to change.

2) Desperation: sometimes you have to back yourself into a corner so you’re forced to come up with creative solutions.

I hated my job so much that staying there was worse than the risk of trying to live my dream and starving to death. And I needed that moment of desperation — having bills to pay but no money to pay them with — to free up my imagination so it could find a creative solution.

But thankfully you don’t have to do anything dumb to get that desperation. There’s no need to go into massive debt, or poke a lion with a stick. It can be something as simple as setting a really tight deadline. Or buying a one-way ticket to a place you’re scared to travel.

Try it today. Rig the game in your favor and commit to your goal in public. You’ll be amazed at the creative solutions you come up with.

And don’t sweat it too much if you hate your current circumstances with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I hated mine too. Transform that energy into positive momentum instead.

Tell us what first step you are ready to take.

Share Rate today’s article

[Ed. Note: Ryan Murdock is the author of Personal Freedom: A Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams. When not helping people find their own brand of personal freedom, Ryan travels the world’s marginal places as Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Outpost magazine. He recently released his first travel book, called Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America

Is your business listed here? Make it better

Is your business listed here? Maybe you can learn a little what you can do to make it better?
· The E-Myth Real Estate Brokerage: Why Most Real Estate Brokerages Don’t Work and What to Do About It

  • · The E-Myth Accountant: Why Most Accounting Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Insurance Store Why Most Insurance Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Physician: Why Most Medical Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Financial Advisor: Why Most Advisory Firms Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Chiropractor Why Most Chiropractic Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Landscape Contractor: Why Most Landscape Contractors’ Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Architect: Why Most Architectural Firms Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • The E-Myth Optometrist: Why Most Optometrist Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Contractor: Why Most Contractors’ Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
  • ·The E-Myth Dentist: Why Most Dental Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It

· FYI Only – I‘ve read a few of Michael Gerber’s books and had friends tell me some of the above are good. Some things you may even already know, but good refreshers… Good luck.

Make THE decision in the right state of mind

Here is a great video that can help anyone with a tough decision, a tough situation, facing a situation or challenge that brings fear.

We all have to go outside a comfort level, we need to handle things without fear.

Our story can empower us or limit us.

http://getrmt.com/v1.php

Feel Important !

i-am-important

When you’re with a group of people, how do you want to feel?
Think about it….whether it is at work or socially…..

….in most cases people want to feel important (among other things)!

When someone in your past has treated you as an important person, or someone listens to you and your thoughts, or you’re a client and they treat you like a VIP – you feel important and that feels good.

Maybe you have a friend, a teacher, a mentor – someone that truly thinks you are important and they treat you that way.

You feel pretty good right?

You feel like you’re special, like you can do things and you have more confidence.

Do you make or let others feel important?

I know a gentleman, I don’t get a chance to see him much anymore, but he always made me feel special. He listened to me and I could tell he valued what I said.

I know that he was much smarter than I was and I probably didn’t have much new to say or much to add to his knowledge on things, but he never acted that way.

I had the chance to see him out in public somewhere – a group of us had to go to the supermarket to buy food for an activity.

It was amazing, he asked a clerk where something was and he made that clerk feel special! The guy left smiling and had a spring in his step!

Later at the cashier, he made her feel special, too! She smiled to herself and looked happy doing her job.

I wish I noticed more what he said – it wasn’t much….it was a few passing words, a smile, a question or two perhaps – but the ‘special’ part was no more than 2 minutes – probably 1 minute.

Some people are born with the gift, like he was, but we all can develop it.

Think of ways that you can make others feel special each day.

At work – your boss, co-workers, your clients, your support team, etc.

At home – your spouse, your children, neighbors

In life – friends, mentors, protégés, community members

It doesn’t matter what your job or career is – whether you’re in sales, teaching, medicine, art – making others feel important will help you and help them – and help you accomplish your mission – whatever that is.

Here’s a set of good Questions of Power:

  1. How can I make others feel important each day?
  2. What things can I say or to make others feel important?
  3. What makes me feel important?
  4. Why do I feel important?

Everyone  has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’  Never forget this message when working with people. – Mary Kay  Ash
Thanks!
www.onewebstrategy.com

My Story, Chapter 8

(This is a quick overview “MY STORY” of my life, mostly to highlight the victories, challenges, and roller coasters we all ride in life. I offer some lessons that I learned at some points, and hopefully my perspective and experiences can help at least one person. Plus, some of you have just simply asked to learn more about me…)

….in Chapter 7, I mentioned how I was finally focusing on the right things and doing well. That’s when I got a call out of the blue to try something new and different, and to leave the world of self-employment. It was a little risky, too, because I entered the world of banking and SBA lending for the first time and I knew nothing about it….

Before I jump into new info, I wanted to reflect on what I consider to be guidance by our inner Self, or the Source, or God or the Universe – whatever you want to call it. To me, it is much the same. I believe we’re connected, so if you’re true to your Self and in the right state of mind and heart, your Self should equal = God.

Anyhow, I find it interesting, now looking back, at the ways I have guided myself, or been guided, along the way in life. While I was in the moments, it wasn’t much fun and wasn’t “interesting”. It was just plain rough. Now looking back, I’m glad and sort of relieved things didn’t always work out like I hoped. I think that I was being led by my ego during many of those moments into a job I thought I wanted, a job that paid a lot or looked cool, or both. Luckily my Self led me another way.

I can think of a few times where I wanted a job, even Needed a job. I applied for a position and did everything right. Then I got to the interview and blew it or just didn’t get a position that I felt I was definitely qualified for…..while I was in the MBA program I made contacts that got me an interview with Arthur Andersen Consulting. At that time, Arthur Andersen was doing very well nationwide and locally. They were in the news in good ways often. I had 4 interviews with them and they seemed to all go well. I loved the culture, the age groups, the compensation packages, etc. I wanted the job!

I was scheduled for a 5th interview. I was pretty happy that things were moving along well. Then I heard Arthur Andersen’s name in the news again. It seemed this time Negative! They were identified closely with ENRON and some of the ‘creative accounting’ there. Soon all new hires were put on hold. Soon after that a few people started to leave the local Arthur Andersen office. Soon after that more things came out and things got worse for them.

I had worked for the federal government, as I mentioned, and in one case later in my life, I tried to go back into the government and get re-hired by the same agency. The economy was shaky and I thought the government would offer some security while I got back on my feet. I had applied and many people and old friends thought it would be a slam dunk hire. Then, I got a form letter that I was declined. I had accidentally filled out the form wrong in one spot, I erroneously put a wrong grade number for the application and they denied my application. Even after I called and explained I was told that they could not modify an application and I’d have to wait until next year. It really was depressing and disappointing. However, not long after, it was announced that this agency was going to close. 300 people, many of my friends, would now need to look for new jobs. Had I been accepted, I would have been there only a short time and then required to go out and look anew. It would have been worse.

I’ve had many other instances when I wanted to work for a company, been passed over in some way, and then found out that there was an issue, it closed, or the job was not a good one. In some way or another I was lucky and it seemed like someone was watching out for me. What appeared to be bad luck seemed like good luck.

More recently I considered a career move and was again denied. I took it to heart and felt pretty down for a while. Then I recalled these past experiences in my life…I’m still “too close” to see big picture so far but I tell myself that this too shall pass and that something better is coming, this opportunity wasn’t right for my path and some Intelligence is helping me…..

.

…I think that it helps to have a Vision where or what you want. Have a clear idea, picture, thought, feelings – where you want to go, how you want it to be, and why. Don’t worry about the How. You need to stay focused on that vision – what you can do today, how you can take action – and avoid focusing on what doesn’t work, avoid focusing on the negative. Setting goals is great. Having faith in yourself and faith in others, and faith in the world helps a lot. Giving, being open-minded, being happy, and being persistent are other lessons that I’d have to pass along too…..

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…..to jump back into my Chapter 8 timeline and get back to the story – I was going to start telling you about how I was hired to a large bank for the first time and how well things went for some time……had I not had the previous denials, challenges and even failures, I would not have had this new job at the bank. Those doors that were closed may or may not have been good for me, we will never know, but certainly when I started this new job at the bank, I was very happy to be there……to be continued.

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RE: Ideas to better engage your clients!

RE: Ideas to better engage your clients!

Hello!  I am constantly reading good books and trying to stay up on the latest trends, etc.

Recently I came across something and I’m sharing it with several area firms and I wanted to include you in on it too.

First, it is not my main line of business, although I do assist clients in many ways, I do not proclaim to be a retail expert of any kind. Maybe I can help you in some ways, we can discuss. Otherwise, this is just a FYI.

Regardless, here is a quick summary of 3 that may lead to another idea or two

Burberry in LondonThe main Burberry store in London is a cutting edge store that uses existing technology to improve client interaction. Maybe you can learn from some of their strategies.

Outside the store, there are cameras that use facial recognition software so that they can recognize clients and relay information to the retail associates inside – they can greet them when they walk in! This technology is currently not being used outside because clarification is needed on privacy law in the public domain.

Inside the store, this technology is useable. First, the walls are ‘tiled’ with very large TV flat screen TVs that are located all around the store. Either by that method or others, when someone enters, the technology identifies the client and accesses the client’s cumulative purchases from Burberry. It sends sales clerks suggestions for future purchases and past purchases. It automatically then creates a custom presentation on the walls of the store showing these items – then it pulls items from an algorithm about future suggested purchases. When there are multiple clients in the store, there is a slideshow of sorts that presents the cumulative history and possible future purchases for all of the clients.

When a client moves or picks an item off the rack/shelf, it triggers the RFD in the item which then triggers a custom presentation on the nearest wall monitor(s) – example, you pick up a raincoat off the rack – on the wall monitors it shows different models wearing the raincoat, shows craftsmen making the raincoat, and other accessories that often go with the raincoat – almost immediately.

TESCO a grocery corporation in South Korea has been on the cutting edge for sometime. The subway system there is integral to many, many city residents. Therefore the company got permission and paid to put up photos of many of its most popular grocery items on the walls of the subway. I saw photos and it literally covered most of one area from top to bottom. People can stroll along the wall, scan a code with their phone and order it by phone. In some cases the items are simply “pulled” for later pick up at the store, so all are in a basket conveniently ready to go in minutes. In other cases, Tesco is experimenting with delivery to certain local spots in the city. For instance they may delivery to a neighborhood store, similar to a UPS or FedEx/Kinkos location and they text or notify the customer when it is going to be there so they can pickup. This works well in South Korea with its dense and centralized city dwellings. There is a quick video about this on http://youtu.be/fGaVFRzTTP4

Mercedes: They are doing this in Australia to a large degree…Mercedes Dealers will offer varied services for clients while going to and from the airport, traveling for pleasure or business. Often the Mercedes dealer has a kiosk at a major airport. The client can either get a ride to the airport or in other cases, they can arrive at the airport and after checking in for their flight, they can go to the kiosk and check in ….. While they are away, their car is serviced/repaired and cleaned/washed. Clients can also leave clothes in the car to be dry-cleaned. The clients are often able to ride a golf-cart from the Mercedes kiosk to their gates (inside the airport).

After the client arrives/returns they are likewise given assistance and attention. In the case of the dealership that operates from parking at/near the airport: One dealer at least often will park the client’s car next to a new demo of a superior model (if the client has a C-Class, they park a newer E-Class next to it). The client is invited to leave their car and take the nicer, newer demo home for a period of time.

Figures vary but sales are up!

Interesting stuff. I hope it helps you!

Suggested reading: FLIP! By Peter Sheahan / Abundance by Peter Diamandis / Switch by the Heath Bros. /  Freakonomics 1 and 2

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🙂

My Story, Chapter 5

Continued….

…Fast forward a few years…..After our firm lost 90% of our income from the one factory going direct nationwide, I struggled a few years finding what the next step was and despite the fact that I was working full time I didn’t take any salary the first year after we lost the big chunk of income. I was working and acting on faith. I had saved and invested for the past few years and I’m glad that I did because I was able to live off that while I rebuilt the business. My father had retired and I was running the business full time.

I had to search and find companies and products that I could represent and sell that would start to replace that income. It was a scary and exciting time. It was easier perhaps, because I had few responsibilities. There were some ups and downs in the business and in the economy but life was good for a single guy.

I had a great group of friends from college with which I still hung out. We called ourselves the Dudes. Now, after college, life and work sometimes got in the way. However, we still found time for roadtrips, parties, and other fun things. I have lots of good memories of laughs, practical jokes, talking, hanging out, traveling.

So one summer, our next fun thing was the Jimmy Buffett concert. I didn’t even like Jimmy Buffett but it was a chance to hang out with my friends and to have some fun in the sun……in a parking lot somewhere outside of Pittsburgh. So we packed into my white mini-van and drove. We sat in the parking lot and tail-gated. Frankly I don’t think that I even went in to watch the concert……

So we were partying, having fun…. Just as you do when you tailgate, we were walking around, mingling, and others were coming around to our spot. There I saw Jill again. (Jill was a friend from college who was always nice to talk with … I knew some of the people she dated and she knew some of the people I dated during college)..For the past 2 years, Jill was away at graduate school in North Carolina. Now back in town, she was with her sisters at the concert.

The concert came and went. A few weeks later my buddy from Maryland asked the Dudes to a hotel in Pennsylvania while they were in town for a wedding. For whatever reason, I faxed Jill to let her know we were going there and she was welcome to meet us. (before texting and email, faxing was an easy way to communicate-AOL was still in the early stages) At that point I still thought of Jill as a friend and I wanted to include her with my other close friends.

Jill came and we all had a good time. The next day everyone went their separate ways. Jill and I decided to go have lunch at Wendy’s. I don’t know what was in the Frosty that day but we laughed and had a good time. I made dumb jokes and she laughed. Something had clicked from the evening before. Somewhere in there we decided that we were fond of each and we began to date.

It was a different feeling, it was an attraction, sure, but it was also a head and heart sort of thing. I recall saying to myself, “She’s pretty, smart, funny. We’re good friends, I respect her, I have a great time with her, we can talk about things, we have great families.” I hadn’t seen it before that moment but we were a great fit. We liked spending time with each other and trusted one another. We could talk about anything. There were feelings there. From what started as an immature relationship as friends in college grew to that of young adults taking on life together.

I never looked back after that point. In my younger years I had been fickle and immature with some relationships. But when I thought about dating Jill, I thought, “Yes, this works, this makes sense, this feels right.” The relationship hit all cylinders; my mind, heart and body. I no longer considered dating others and no longer became distracted.

I continued to work in the business and tried to find the right fit for a company to represent. I found another company with a great product but it turned out the owner was taking all the profits and buying boats, etc. and didn’t bother to pay the bills. It’s tough for a manufacturing company to run when you don’t pay for the machinery. That company closed and I again had to start over. I found another company with really good people but their product line was limited and they started having quality issues. Soon because of customer feedback and quality issues, I split with them. It all started to work away at my credibility, since I was switching product lines.

I learned a lot about people, perserverance and life during that time. Many people stuck with me because of my dad, some because of me, some because of the product and / or service. Others took off in a heartbeat after years of working together and after giving them lots of free consulting and help.

I confess that I took some of these things personally, and my ego was bigger then, so it was tough. Plus I suddenly was earning much less despite working long hours, traveling many miles, and driving a white minivan. (A mini-van wasn’t great for a single guy in his mid-twenties!)

Cool, neat, little things happened to us when we were together….for instance one time we got bumped from a flight while we were flying to Florida. We got free first class tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. So we picked the farthest point that sounded great – San Diego. We traveled to San Diego and experienced lots of great things – with trips to L.A. and Mexico. We again had cool experiences together there. San Diego grew on us.

Jill and I dated for a while but we didn’t want to wait too long to be married. We also didn’t really want all the big ‘fuss’ for our wedding. You see, the year we decided to get married, there were 15 other weddings…..we were invited to all 15. Jill and I were in about 7 of them, including her two sisters. It was crazy! Just think, we spent at least $50 (usually more) for a wedding, plus hotel and travel. That was an expensive year! Most of those weddings were crammed into September-December.

At first we were going to elope to the Outer Banks and come home married. But we decided not to do so, our families might have had hurt feelings, etc. So we decided to have a much smaller and elegant wedding. We wanted to pay for it all ourselves. I got a second job selling alarm systems. One large project paid for some of the reception, another paid for most of the honeymoon. Jill worked a second job and saved money for the wedding and other things. Our parents still wanted to help, so my parents helped by adding and upgrading the food. Jill’s parents helped with the wedding dress and photography.

Still, it felt good to pay for most of it ourselves. I was self-employed and I had decided to start attending the evening MBA program at Pitt. I enjoyed it but the classes after work were a bit tough, as were the payments. I did take out a loan for some of it and I tried to pay for some as I went.

After about a year, my new wife and I saved some money, used a small gift from my parents, and built a small Cape Cod. It was nice and simple. The upstairs and basement were left unfinished to save on dough. We were happy.

The thing about all of it was this- we were tight financially for some time. I actually had to ‘lean’ on my wife for 1-2 years as I rebuild the business, she often made more during the volatile time for me. Then I kept growing it.. She believed in me and I in her. Jill and her sisters were running a large child care center that eventually would have 80+kids.

(At this point I began to think about something that I’d see observe and feel for the rest of my life – it seemed that I was reaching out for a job, an opportunity, something that I was definitely capable of doing well – but I was pushed back. I think in some way I was being pushed or pulled back to where I was supposed to go. Maybe something inside of me or part of me was guiding me. Maybe it was God or something else. But so many times we all experience it – ‘that job would be great and I can do it ‘ then you apply and get smacked back royally. Maybe there’s a reason….almost like we’re being guided back onto the right path….)

I found some stability with my own business and really started to enjoy the MBA program. Many cool things were happening in our lives. Small things like the fact we got upgraded to a Penthouse suite with 3 bathrooms, a dining room with 10 chairs, full kitchen, den, living room, and skyline veranda in Toronto…..Big things like getting pregnant – we were expecting our first child!

Then I had a chance to move onto a totally different career. I got a job as an intelligence analyst. I felt like Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy’s series. I started working for the U.S. Department of Justice and I liked it for a while.

Leaving a cushy job – a good idea or bad idea?……..

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