Handled With Care Goes LIVE!

World Cancer Day was Saturday, February 4, 2017. Symbolically, Handled with Care was officially launched on the same day.

Handled with Care is truly a labor of love, and the brainchild of my amazingly talented daughter, Melanie Carroll.

At 1:45 am on March 4th of last year, our lives were changed forever. That was when I received the call from the Hospice Care unit that Laura, my wife of 38 years and Melanie’s mother, had passed away. To say we were all heartbroken and devastated is an understatement. However, through our family’s pain and sadness, grief and tears, Melanie was able to find an incredible way to give back to so many others who are suffering with this horrible disease, and to honor her Mom’s memory.

Melanie’s Story

No one wants to see a loved one suffer, but a cancer diagnosis and the treatment that follows is especially difficult. My own mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer after 11 years in remission – and it was beyond devastating. She fought so bravely and remained so strong and positive, but I still felt helpless. Continue reading…

2017: A Year of Triumph and Success?

Happy New Year Everyone!

It’s hard to believe that the New Year is well underway. We’ve already packed away the Christmas decorations, dusted off the holiday cheer and are slowly getting back into the swing of our daily lives and routines.

While we are just getting started on our prosperity plans for 2017, the Chinese calendar year for 2016 is coming to a close. The Chinese New Year does not officially begin until January 28, and is the year of the (Fire) Rooster. The Rooster symbolizes the dawn and awakening, where triumph and success can only be achieved at the price of hard work and patience.

“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”

This coming Saturday, January 7th, my mother will be celebrating her 103rd birthday with the Angels. I mention this because Mom was a wonderful example of what hard work and sacrifice is all about. Mom was adopted at an early age and grew up in the Depression era. Growing up she had to overcome extraordinary obstacles, including dropping out of school after the 9th grade, to help her adopted family out financially and “earn her keep” in order to survive.

Key to Success

Now we all know that success requires hard work and sacrifice, but what else? What is the key to success? Continue reading…

Bring the Other “I” Word Back

It’s time, or more accurately, it is long overdue. It is time to bring the other “I” word back. You know the one I’m talking about, not the “it’s all about me” I word, but the other one. Integrity.

Somewhere along the way we got lost. Exactly when did integrity get stricken from our vocabulary in terms of our conduct and moral code? Regardless, it’s time to find our way back. Both as individuals and as a nation, integrity should be one of the cornerstones of our value system. Otherwise, mankind’s future looks rather bleak doesn’t it?

Integrity

Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. Words like honesty, honor, morals, righteousness, virtue, fairness, sincerity, and trustworthiness come to mind when we consider people with integrity. As a nation, integrity is defined as “the state of being whole and undivided”. In this context, the common synonyms include unity, cohesion, togetherness and solidarity.

The recent Presidential campaign has once again revealed the dark side of humanity. If this is a reflection of what we can expect from our new leaders in government, then we are in trouble. However, we are not immune to criticism here either. With the elections finally over, it is time to step away from the campaign rhetoric, the social media bashing that has consumed us these past few months, and take a long look at ourselves in the mirror. Continue reading…

Don’t Overthink It … JUST LIVE!

This past March I lost the love of my life to breast cancer, and for the last 8 months I’ve been trying to put the pieces of my life back together and make some sense of it all.

I have stopped asking my #1 question, “Why did this happen?”, because I realize from attending the 15-week GriefShare program that some questions will go unanswered, at least in this life. However, throughout the grieving process two other burning questions remained, “Who am I now?” and “What’s next?”

Stop Overthinking

For months now I have asked (and prayed about) the two unresolved questions during my ‘5K Meditative Walks’ to no avail. Then something amazing happened last week during one of my walks. When I pressed for answers my ‘inner’ voice spoke to me. You know the one I’m talking about, right? That little voice you hear on those rare occasions when you are able to quiet the mind long enough to listen. The voice said … Continue reading…

What Shall We Talk About?

Henri Frederic Amiel once said that, “Everything you need for a better future and success has already been written”. If this is true, then what is left to talk about?

Ever suffer from writer’s block? Well, me too! I’ve been staring at the keyboard for some time now trying to come up with something new and informative to talk about that would capture the attention of my followers. And I’m drawing a blank. So I’ll pose the question to all of you …

What Shall We Talk About

What shall we talk about?

Let’s see, we could start with the ‘BIG 3’ … Sports, Politics and Religion. Continue reading…

Where’s the Reset Button?

Do you want to start over?

WOW … what a loaded question, huh? Let’s be totally honest. We have all had days, weeks, months and perhaps even years in our lifetime that we wish we could do over. It is human nature for us to want to go back and change things that didn’t go well or take back things we said or did that we later regretted.

Reset ButtonQuite frankly, I think it is one of the reasons we humans are so enamored with the idea of time travel. The opportunity to go back in time and ‘right the wrongs’ done to us, or erase those bad occurrences that left a stain upon our otherwise perfect lives. Just hit the reset button and start over. Continue reading…

Core Values: What is Missing?

What is missing from your Core Values Statement today? Hint: it is a small but powerful three letter word that begins with ‘G’ and ends with ‘d’. (Even non-believers should be able to guess this one). The answer for most businesses today is that God is missing from their core values.

In Philippians 4:13, the Bible tells us that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

However, as business leaders, we are told very early in our careers to avoid three topics in the workplace – religion, politics (although this topic has clearly worn out the airwaves of late) and money. (Ever stop to wonder who made up these B.S. rules?) As a nation, we have become so fixated on being PC with various special interest groups to a point where we have allowed our own values and beliefs to be compromised.

Core Values

We hear a lot of talk today about transparency and the need for businesses to be more open with regard to how they communicate and share information both internally and externally. However, we can’t talk about transparency and not openly share our values and beliefs. They are what shape our character and the culture of our organizations. Consider this … If the core values for our businesses run counter to our beliefs, then are we not guilty of talking out both sides of our mouths? Continue reading…

The Power of Gratitude

What are you grateful for today?

A loving family, good health, new home, great career change, planned vacation trip, your faith? The list can go on and on from here. There are so many things we overlook in the hustle and bustle of daily life that we should be thankful for. Take time out to identify what you are most grateful for today and declare it!

GratitudeStart each day by saying aloud what you are grateful for, then show it through your attitude and by caring for others. Pay it forward. The next time you’re not feeling that ‘attitude of gratitude’ for all your blessings, consider this … 71% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day. 1.5 billion people globally live on less than $1.25 per day. Your life could be much worse and these statistics help to put things into perspective, don’t they?

Even in the darkest times, we can find a way through them by expressing gratitude for the good things in our lives, rather than dwelling on the negatives. My loving wife, Laura, passed away on March 4th of this year. Although the pain of her loss is still unbearable, I’m grateful that she’s at peace and free from the pain, the surgeries, the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, etc. she had to suffer through during her long-term battle with breast cancer. I am also very thankful for the 38 wonderful years we had together, our two amazing children, and a lifetime of great memories. Continue reading…

Get to Know Your Customers

Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, I'm Your CustomerApril, July, October). This is a day to reach out to your customers and get to know them better. However, should it really be necessary to designate a day each quarter to get to know our customers?

Getting to know customers (all the time) is a requirement for building a successful and thriving business or practice!

We have heard it recanted over-and-over again, “People do business with people they know, like and trust”. A large measure of building that level of trust is staying in touch. Likewise, the primary goals of any business are what? Get more profitable customers to buy, buy more and buy more often. Continue reading…

Success Is a Continuous Journey

What is this “success” thing we all spend countless hours thinking and talking about and preparing for? Will we recognize it when it gets here?

The dictionary tells us that success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or the attainment of wealth, honors or power”. This infers that success is a destination, place or thing, with a beginning and an end. I would argue that our desire for success is the driving force within each of us that propels us forward throughout our lifetimes.

We all want to believe that our lives have purpose and what we do is recognized and valued. It’s only when we stop trying, stop moving forward in our quest to attain success and personal fulfillment that we fail. As Richard St. John reminded us in his 2009 Ted Talk, “Success is a continuous journey, a journey that begins with our first step”.

Success Is a Journey

The popular belief that “people are as successful as they choose to be” is highly misleading. Continue reading…