How Should We Respond to Change?

The only constant in life is change. Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, known for his doctrine of change. He believed that change was central to the universe, and fundamental to the natural order of the cosmos. Well, if change is central to the natural order of the universe, then why do we still continue to struggle with change in our lives today?

One of mankind’s greatest contradictions is that the majority of us seeks change in our lives daily, both professionally and personally. Yet, we fiercely resist change when it does occur. President Obama won the presidential election largely because the electorate felt he embodied the change most voters needed in our country. Now, the two political parties are tearing themselves and the country apart as a result of the changes made during Obama’s presidency. Is this an appropriate response to change? Hardly. Continue reading…

Faith, Free-Will and Leadership: Our Dilemma?

As business leaders and private citizens, most of us struggle with a dilemma when it comes to faith, free-will and leadership. Proportionally, where should the emphasis be placed with respect to each of these three areas when making life-changing decisions? Do we make these life choices guided by faith, based solely on our own instincts and experiences, or do we seek out the advice and counsel of others. And how much control of the outcome are we willing to give up in the process?

In reality though, the decision-making process is really not that complicated, is it? Far too often we’ve heard people say “it is in God’s hands now” when they are faced with life-altering challenges or major decisions in their lives. I’m not saying that we should not seek God’s guidance and favor through prayer. Quite the opposite. However, are we not denying our own free-will and right to choose by placing the burden for decisions within our control solely upon our Heavenly Father? Continue reading…

Four Keys to Going Up

Like many of you, I have had my share of horror stories over the years when it comes to working with contractors. The past two weeks in particular, have been challenging for me in attempting to schedule routine maintenance and repairs around our home.

I won’t belabor you with all the gory details. Suffice it to say that if you are a contractor or business owner and are serious about growing your business, then I hope you will find the content of this article from a customer’s perspective to be beneficial.

For businesses of all sizes, I believe there are four keys to “going up” and achieving success that are integral to sustainable business growth and will generate higher customer satisfaction ratings, referrals and more repeat business: Continue reading…

Restoring Trust in America’s Leaders

One of the most pressing challenges America faces today is restoring trust in its leadership. Growing up my generation was blessed with iconic leaders in all areas from government and politics, to sports and religion. There were numerous examples of role model leaders including Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Vince Lombardi, John Wooden and many others.

Who are the trusted leaders of today?

A better question might be, Why does leadership matter? We look to those in leadership to set the tone by providing focus and clarity, vision, goals and direction, motivation and to be the catalysts for change. Unfortunately, too many of today’s leaders don’t measure up to our expectations because we tend to hold them to a higher standard than we do ourselves, and this goes to the root of the problem. Continue reading…

Are You Prepared For What Lies Ahead?

The start of a New Year always brings with it a lot of energy and excitement. There are new calendar year business and prosperity plans, New Year’s resolutions, and a renewed level of enthusiasm and anticipation about the prospects for the future.

Generally, the initial wave of excitement about the New Year outlook does not start to die down until the first part of February. Most of the month of January is consumed with after the holidays planning, kick-off meetings and launch activities, the roll out of new staffing and compensation plans, etc. Then reality starts to hit.

At some point, those little voices in your head will start to ask those tough questions. What is really different today from 2011? Are you prepared for what lies ahead? Continue reading…

Before You Say Good-Bye to 2011 …

Yes it’s true, another year is winding down. We are almost into single digits and counting. And for some business owners, the end of the year can’t come fast enough.

But hold on just a minute!

Before you say good-bye to 2011 … here are a few “To Do” list items you should consider to help get the New Year off to a fresh start: Continue reading…

Charity: Not Just a Tax Deduction

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a networking luncheon where the subject of charitable event participation came up. One of the attendees, the leader of a non-profit organization, asked the question “how can we obtain greater participation and support from large corporations for our charitable activities and events?” My initial response was, don’t start the conversation with “and it is fully tax-deductible”, it sends the wrong message.

Charity is about the giving of your time, talents and gifts to help others – it should not be about a tax write-off. Charitable contributions should be about active participation and involvement in doing the right things the right way to help others in need. Most of what we need to be charitable and care-givers we learned by the time we were four years old. The Golden Rule principles we were all taught early in life still apply today. The most fundamental of those things we learned – “treat people the way you want to be treated” should be at the center of it all. Continue reading…

How to Get Moving When You’re Stuck

I’m stuck …

It’s more difficult than I expected …

I can’t get over the hump …

Things just aren’t working out …

I’m lost …

Tell me what to do!

These are a few of the typical comments I hear during the initial discovery meetings with many of my new clients. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner is difficult, particularly in the first 1-3 years, and you can get frustrated when things aren’t going your way or there aren’t a lot of people around to turn to for advice and counsel. Continue reading…

Success – Are You There Yet?

Success, particularly in these uncertain times can be as elusive as finding your exit when you’re lost on the highway in an unfamiliar city. What does success look like and feel like? Can you define it? And how do you know when you are there?

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary defines success as “a favorable or desired outcome; also the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence”. If you’re an athlete, success is about winning – the race, the game, the match, etc., and performing at a high level. The vast majority of us are not great athletes, so how do we define success?  Continue reading…

Creating a Winning Story

by Dale R. Schmeltzle, CPA

We are witnessing an amazing explosion of communication options. Countless telecommunication and Internet-based vehicles that did not exist a few years ago are now the norm. Who, save a small group of billionaire visionaries, foresaw the impact of Facebook, eBay and smart phones on today’s business community?

One thing has not changed. Marketing is still about communicating your message. Businesses must explain their value proposition to ever-widening and geographically dispersed audiences. It logically follows that whether you are drafting a newsletter, placing a newspaper ad or writing a short article, the message itself is the primary determinant of your success.
Continue reading…