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…

My Special Gift for You …

I have been struggling to get this month’s blog article out the door. After racking my brain this past Friday morning to come up with some creative new content to share with you, it dawned on me why … I’m burned out.

This past year I have been blogging for three different publications and have not taken a break to do what I enjoy doing most at this time of year … say ‘Thank You’. So, since I am a little late with my thank you this year, I want to express my thanks with a special gift this holiday season.

Christmas GiftMy Special Gift for You … Continue reading…

Networking: Stop ‘Bobbing for Apples’

If you sign-on to Meetup.com, you’ll find there are approximately 130,000 Meetups (884 within 25 miles of my office) happening at any given time that represent opportunities to network and build great new relationships.

With this over-abundance of networking opportunities at our disposal, why do many small business owners struggle to make networking work for them?

The short answer is that most are not prepared for success when they walk through the door. Yes, networking can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive if you don’t take the time to adequately prepare in advance.

Bobbing for Apples

As my good friend Jeff Klein, the author of ’30 Seconds to Success’ and the founder of Speaker Coop says, “There are only two reasons to network – to get referrals and give referrals”. Continue reading…

Priming the Pump for 2016

Your location is not your destination.” – Laverne Booker

This great quote and self-help book title by Laverne Booker is a perfect lead-in for our conversation about preparing for success in 2016.

Yes, it’s already that time again. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? The fourth quarter is upon us, so it is time to start thinking about 2016 and what opportunities and challenges a new calendar year will bring forth.

Priming the Pump

“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

As I have said many times before, great results and success boil down to three active ingredients – great people + great planning + great performance. This basic formula for success is straightforward, but there are a lot of steps in-between that are necessary to reach the destination. Continue reading…