Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-31-12

"You do not need to increase your wealth.
You need to increase your awareness
of the wealth you already own."

-- Alan Cohen
Consider the quote above, and then consider these that follow in the order they come:
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."
-- Henry David Thoreau, Creative Naturalist, Author and Mentor to Millions
"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful. . . that's what matters to me."
-- Steve Jobs, Creative Entrepreneur & Game Changer
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
-- Thomas A Edison, Creative Inventor & Game Changer
Today money was part of a conversation. What else is new? It is part of so many conversations. But that isn't quite accurate, it is typically more about the lack of money, or the need or want of money that is typically the case. I know this conversation very well, since I've had it with myself, my spouse and others for most of my lifetime.
For a good part of my life, I made around a hundred thousand a year, and sometimes substantially more, but it was never really enough. I was always chasing that elusive place where I had more than I could spend and not run low or run out. It takes a lot more to get to that place, or so it seemed to me. So, I envisioned a quarter of a million a year, and have met people making that kind of sum. Then I was bold enough to think in terms of a million a year, or a hundred thousand a month. Sounds pretty cool, right?
Even though I had previously done okay and made a lot more than many, I have also been amazed at how little one can get by on. What it really comes down to is that money is simply a means to some end and there is a wide variety of those.
Though I haven't focused my life on money totally, it was not the best place to put my focus. I have learned just in the last few years the importance of focusing on something far greater than money. In fact, Thomas A Edison would never have failed 10,000 times if he were doing it for money. Indeed, he had a far greater idea than remuneration. I dare say, we are all very thankful.
Steve Jobs had far greater ideas too. Look how his passion for change and serving has changed all of our lives even if we have never, ever purchased an Apple product. His impact is universal.
Henry David Thoreau had very little use for money and found ways to need so little of it that it would be severe poverty in today's world, yet he marched to a different drum and we are all the better for it.
Wherever we look, the people that have had the largest positive impact on the most people were not focused on making money by what they were doing, though they certainly may have succeeded in eventually earning a lot. They focused on making a difference instead.
That is a very simple way to look at this and it is something that we can all do to improve our lives and I believe our fortunes as well. One of my mentors is Jeffrey Gitomer and he says the best way to succeed is to provide value first. I have taken that to heart and I am all the better for it. I am finding ways to make a difference and it is my greatest success yet.
Wealth Is Far More An Attitude Than A Number.
Spread Some Joy Today--Each of us has a special skill, attribute or attitude that can influence a large number of people. The more we allow ourselves to delve into that place of uniqueness, the more joy we will naturally spread. Don't hide it. Expose it instead. Be bold enough to make a difference. Though everyone will not choose to do so, we all can certainly make a difference. In that, you could say that we ALL then, make a difference. . .

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-30-12

"Drag your thoughts away from your troubles. . .
by the ears, by the heels, or any other
way you can manage it."

-- Mark Twain
This quote by Mark Twain is among the best advice that exists I think. We all have some kind of troubles from time to time and some may even have an extra helping or two, but one thing I've found is that focusing on the problem just causes more negative feelings, and may even lead to becoming depressed and dysfunctional.
Going over our problems tends to bring on a melancholy attitude and feeling sorry for ourselves and our situation is the next step.
A better way for sure is to turn and look elsewhere by focusing on solutions at the least and letting go completely at best. Think of putting your troubles in a row boat, then push the boat out into the fast moving stream and watch them ride off into the sunset.
Feels Better Already. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--Start making a list and checking it twice of all the things that are good, wonderful, and blessed in your life. Keep adding to and clarifying your list.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-29-12

"The best elevator pitch doesn't pitch your project.
It pitches the meeting about your project.
The best elevator pitch is true, stunning, brief
and it leaves the listener eager (no, desperate)
to hear the rest of it. It is not a practiced, polished
turd of prose that pleases everyone on the board
and your marketing team, it's a little fractal
of the entire story, something real."

-- Seth Godin
This advice is so perfect, I cannot add anything that would make it more. Thank you, Seth for your sales and marketing wisdom. See the rest of Seth's advice on this here: Seth's Blog
Going Up?
Spread Some Joy Today--Relax. Smile. Share Your Good Feeling.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-28-12

"This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs:
To question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run,
dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell,
listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream,
sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh,
cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward,
circle, hide, and seek."

-- Terry Tempest Williams
It is, afterall, the act of living. . .
Enjoy Yourself! Have A Good Time. Nothing Matters As Much When You Come Right Down To It. Live.
Spread Some Joy Today--and the best way to do that is to en-joy youself.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-27-12

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted,
or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven
and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great
street sweeper who did his job well.'"

-- Martin Luther King, Jr
The quote above attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. has stuck with me for many years. It is a powerful reminder to me to focus on what can be done, rather than what is not being done. It causes me to focus on the positive instead of the negative; to focus on making a difference in myself first and others will notice. It causes me to stop complaining about the help I don't have or how little I get paid, or how much I would rather be somewhere else. It does all of that because it empowers me to be in complete and total control of what I do regardless of what anyone or everyone else does.
With this control accepted and a job well done as a result, I see the world different than before. It is most certainly a better world, more alive and more perfect than I had ever seen.
It's An Eye Opener! I Create My Own World. Seriously.
Spread Some Joy Today--As you accept that you can do this, you realize how much of a difference you can make in another's life.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-26-12

"A lot of companies focus on the next big thing.
They latch on to what's hot and new.
They follow the latest trends and technology.
The core of your business should be built
around things that won't change."

-- Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
from the book, Rework.
This quote restates the exact same advice we give to all of our clients and we are in the Internet business. But, we are not technology-oriented. We are sales-oriented. Everything that we do is focused on the idea of helping our clients grow their business, practice, sales, and influence, and certainly not about technological tricks and schemes to get on page one of Google and every other search engine.
I see many people who end up serving technology instead of it serving them.
Some of our clients want their website to do all their selling, closing deals, collection funds, and more for them, and we say that it is far better to get them to call you so you can actually communicate with them. This way there is an opportunity to develop a relationship, answer questions, upsell, get referrals, and so much more. None of that happens in an automatic environment.
It is far better to build a tribe of dedicated followers than to be on page one of Google. It is far better to provide good, interesting and effective content (text, video, audio, and more) than to be number one on Google. If you're getting my drift, being number one on Google is not all its professed to be.
Often we will ask a client this stark question: 'Let's say that you are number one on Google and someone clicks on the link and lands on your website. Now what? What will they find? How will it help them? What do you suppose they are looking for? Is there a good way to communicate with them?
It is the simplest things that are overlooked. I just went to a Chiropractic website this morning for my favorite Chiropractor (we didn't build their site) and there aren't even any hours. That is why I went there. I wanted to know how early they open. Silly to not have the hours, don't you think? Or some people have the phone number on the contact us page and nowhere else. Strange.
All this reminds me of being a sales manager and teacher for so many years. Almost all the salespeople wanted to know more about closing sales. I used to preach that the close is a natural result of building a relationship and matching product and service with need and desire. Recently I went to an all day seminar that was all about closing techniques and tricks. What a waste of time. If that is sales, I want no part of it. Fortunately, I know that this is just not the case and it is also someone taking full advantage of what salespeople want to hear.
Focusing on the basics; the fundamentals that never change is the best path. These things were valid in the year 986 and they will be valid in the year 4567 regardless of the technological changes. I recommend using the technology that serves you to insure the fundamentals are the focus and not the technology.
'Gentlemen: This Is A Football. . . '
Spread Some Joy Today--Tell someone you love them. Maybe more than one. . .

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-25-12

"Incredible change happens in your life
when you decide to take control
of what you do have power over
instead of craving control over what you don't."

-- Steve Maraboli
Overwhelment is one stop on the way to powerlessness. It's not a pleasant place to be and I'm sure we've all felt it from time to time. In that feeling we may not know what to do, feel things are coming at us more quickly than we can handle and there is a general sense of indecisiveness.
Maybe you try to think more positively and that may not help much if any at all, so the feeling may get stronger until wishing and hoping is considered an action, and we even know it has no value.
I know this place and the only way out I've found is to make a decision. Sometimes, it may seem that any decision at all will work. And, it's true, there is a certain power we feel in taking control. We can correct later, but the first thing needed is to decide something!
We may find ourselves coming back to the things that we really want to change, and then must realize that nothing can be done right there right now. Yet, what can be done is sufficient and builds our strength and gets us moving again.
A most awesome place to be. . . now.
Isn't Powerfulness So Much Better? That's What I'm Talkin' About!
Spread Some Joy Today--Focus on what you can do today. Give the rest to God to deal with. It's called teamwork!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-24-12

"The only person who is educated
is the one who has learned
how to learn and change."

-- Carl Rogers
How many of us have opened our mouths and stupid fell out. It wasn't intentional, and it is possible we may not have recognized it at the time, but it just happens. It happens to me from time to time, and it happened just a day or two ago.
I was calling a relatively new client long distance, and I got his voice mail, so I left a message and said something at the end like, '. . . and if you have a mind to, give me a call.' It wasn't flip, it was stupid. It wasn't a good thing to say, and as soon as I hang up, I knew it was stupid to say that. I can only think that I had stuff on my mind that shouldn't have been there and I let that stuff affect my communication with someone who is not only a client but has become a friend.
Then, I did the second stupid thing: I didn't call back immediately and change the tone of that ending. I let it go and went on to the next thing. What is that quote above? Learning how to learn and change?
So, naturally, he calls back and is concerned about my message, and I told him then that as soon as I hung up I knew it was not cool and apologized.
As they say, stuff happens. But, the good news is that I learned from this silly slip. I will endeavor to be more in the moment and less thinking about other things and pay attention and be the encourager and uplifter that I profess to be. I will lay my petty annoyances down and focus on who I'm calling and why. I am learning every single day, and that day was a red letter day of learning for me. And, just in case, if it happens again, I'll immediately call back and repeal the previous message and leave one that is more appropriate!
Thanks, Gary For Your Understanding!
Spread Some Joy Today--Ever had a garage sale and gave everything away instead of selling it? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-23-12

"You can't get a right-brain answer
to a left-brain question.
Ask your heart,
not your mind."

-- Alan Cohen
How many times have you heard that you should 'do the right thing.' Yet, in all the times I've heard that said, there was nothing about the judgement of how to make that decision that made any sense. Sometimes it might be said to be a 'moral' decision as in doing what is 'morally right,' whatever that is.
The real problem comes when we think there is one right answer and all the rest are the wrong answers. That's a bit of craziness. What do people seriously expect us to be? God?
Another problem comes by trying to think it into being, by logic, or deduction, reasoning, or even random choice. The trouble I've found with this is the constant, never-ending second guessing that comes after the decision, let alone the what if I make a mistake preliminary dance.
No. I've found only one thing that I can count on every time. I ask my heart what feels best and then that is the decision. Sometimes it even seems that might not be the best choice, and then it somehow is. It's kind of funny how that works.
Another way to say that is to do what feels good to you. This applies equally in business and our private affairs. Only you will know how your heart feels, what feels good or right to you, and I think we all have that same exact guidance.
The only other unsolicited advice to add to this is that I've found is not to be the least bit concerned how someone else judges your decision. Rest easy. I know that you will find as I have that it is always the best and most satisfying choice.
We Are Our Only Best Judge Of Our Own Judgements.
Spread Some Joy Today--Hug someone. There is nothing quite so special as a hug.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-22-12

"Confidence sells.
People believe in those
who believe in themselves.
No one wants to be stuck in a room
with other people who feel like
they don't deserve to be there.
Stop wondering if you're good enough.
Know you are, and start acting like it."

-- Simon Black

We've all probably heard that phrase that we should, 'fake it until we make it.' The idea is to pretend you know until you do know, but often I've seen people get just good enough at faking it that that don't want to bother following through on the work of actually knowing. They develop a swagger which to some may appear they are confident, but it is a shallow cover. Knowing is the source of confidence.

There is certainly some value in getting out there and doing and being willing to make mistakes in order to learn to grow. I'm all for that, and it can eventually build confidence to the level that you believe in yourself and what you are doing. It certainly may take some time, but if you're willing to go through the motions and study your craft or expertise, I think you will find it worthy of all your effort.

There is nothing quite like having confidence in what you know. My experience as a sales manager for many years tells me that confidence is the single most important attribute I want in a good salesperson. It doesn't come with years, but with study and practice. It is more rare than it should be and the only reason is that the majority that I have seen are not willing to do the study and invest in themselves. Yet those that do stand apart. They are the ones you notice right away and that you want to deal with because you can feel their confidence and see their skill.

Getting confidence is simple, but not easy. Study your craft or expertise, and get out there and practice. In my opinion, you have to be willing to fail--even eager to fail in order to learn. It's much like learning to ride a bicycle. Reading about it only helps some, then you've got to go do it. I recommend learning all you can learn. Buy the books and tapes and go to seminars, or classes. Then, go fail some more.

I'll bet you find that it takes less time than you think if you apply yourself fully to the task. Then one day soon you will feel that confidence building inside you. You will also discover that there are many levels of confidence, but once inside sweet delight of confidence, you'll enjoy that next layered journey with a fresh enthusiasm.
Confidence Sells. Sell Yourself First. Believe In YOU.
Spread Some Joy Today--Give everyone you meet today the gift of your kindness.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-21-12

"The one thing that unites all human beings,
regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic background,
is that we all believe we are above-average drivers."

-- Dave Barry
I don't see how this can be the case. . . I know I am an above average driver, but based on what I see going on the road around me, I find there are plenty who are just making that up!
Even In India? OMG. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--Have some fun today. After church, of course. . .

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-20-12

"As human beings, our greatness lies
not so much in being able to remake the world. . .
as in being able to remake ourselves."

-- Mahatma Gandhi
The longer I live, the more I see that it all comes down to us, what we think about ourselves (our internal view) and the world (our external view). To say that we create our own world within and without us seems to be so accurate. Greatness is simply more influence, and is generally thought of as an inspiring influence. Or, as the late, great, Michael Jackson put it: The Man in the Mirror.
We Not Only Have Control, We Have All The Control.
Spread Some Joy Today--Celebrate your control over your own thoughts and actions.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-19-12

"A professional is a person who can do his best
at a time when he doesn't particularly feel like it."

-- Alistair Cooke
I used to believe as this quote states, but have changed my mind. I don't remember where I got this idea. Maybe I saw this quote a long time ago, but somewhere along the line I adopted this attitude and even promoted the idea that being a professional is doing it anyway even when you don't feel like it.
The trouble came with the results. When you don't feel like it, I don't care whether you are a professional or an amateur, it isn't going to come out like it will when you DO feel like it.
Consequently, a better way is to find a way to FEEL like it rather than to cover it up with extraordinary effort and stodgy sticktoitivness.
Maybe you need to go to the bathroom and meditate for a few minutes, but whatever it is, the mind must come to a better conclusion than to work through it.
I have found in the last few years a far better method: choose a better feeling thought and keep choosing a better feeling thought over and over again until you are feeling better. It need not take longer than a few minutes. It is easy and it works like magic. You can go in dinky little increments, but the key is that it has to be better than the previous thought.
I Feel Better Already. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--Gratitude is a good tool as well. . .

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-18-12

"There are two lasting bequests
we can give our children:
One is roots.
The other is wings."

-- Hodding Carter, Jr.
What a great quote this is. It seems to be almost opposing ideas, but the more I think on it, the more sense it makes.
It's always about learning to let go, isn't it? We have to learn to let go of a lot of things over time, and as we learn to let go, we are able to grow, or fly as the quote says.
Yet throughout it all, it is so rewarding and comforting to have been built from a solid foundation, or barring that, have created one of our own.
Roots and Wings. Hmmm. . . I Like It.
Spread Some Joy Today--What's the latest book you read? Time for a new one?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-17-12

"The key to success is to focus our conscious mind
on things we desire, not things we fear."

-- Brian Tracy
I suppose this quote from Brian Tracy seems obvious. It is obvious, but I don't think I've ever seen it said exactly this way, and when I saw it for the first time, it was as if it jumped off the page.
How often do we spend time thinking about what can go wrong? What we fear? What might happen? What others will think? How it will work? The plan? The plan for the plans? The news? The economy? The bills to pay? The lack of _____ or _____?
It's not that any of us would consciously focus on those things, right? We all know that focusing on these things won't help, right? Yet, we do. We pay attention. We were taught to pay attention. The radio, TV, Internet, newspaper, friends, co-workers all tell us to pay attention.
Who has time to focus on what we desire? But, what if we did? How would that change things if we focused on our desires and ignored the fears? Hmmmm. Maybe we're on to something here. . .
Ain't No Sunshine When It's Gone. . . Only Saddness Every Day. . . NOT!
Spread Some Joy Today--Choose your focus rather than the other way around.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-16-12

"Usually the customer's always right.
At the parking lot the customer's only sometimes right
and even then it's still a judgment call."

Scott Meiggs
Parking Lot Attendant

-- from the movie, The Parking Lot Movie
What I love about Netflix is that it suggests movies to me that I would never, ever have seen. Some are not so good, but others are just wonderful. I love it when the latter happens. It's like some sort of secret match--maybe a bit like winning the lottery.
Tonight I was prompted to try The Parking Lot Movie. I know that doesn't sound so interesting, but it was marvelous and funny, and even inspiring. Enjoy!
Laugher Is The Best Medicine--Even When You're Well.
Spread Some Joy Today--Have some fun today doing whatever you choose to do.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-15-12

"Real persuasion comes from putting more of you
into everything you say. Words have an effect.
Words loaded with emotion have a powerful effect."

-- Jim Rohn
My partner and I have been preparing six training 'talks' or instructions for a presentation this week. We've written them out and practiced them getting each others feedback and modifying the outlines each time.
At one point I was a bit frustrated by the way we were presenting the material and it had more of the outline in it and less of us. So, I took it down to the most basic premise of why I was doing this to begin with and why I chose to teach on this subject. I became animated, moving my arms, talking more loudly, with a whole lot of passion of the subject and the thing I would like to achieve by doing the talk, and all of a sudden, we both lit up. That was what was missing. The passion that we both share for the subject, along with the personal experiences were subdued and the focus was on the outline of covering each point. It was a wonderful turning event in our preparation for this meeting.
Now these presentations are going to be far better than they would have been and it is all due to putting us in them. When you are communicating something worthwhile, make sure and include YOU and your passion!
Emotion Is A Wonderful Tool. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--Treat yourself like the super person you are today. Take yourself out for lunch. Maybe even invite a friend!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-14-12

"It is not insult from another that causes you pain.
It is the part of your mind that agrees with the insult.
Agree only with the truth about you,
and you are free."

-- Alan Cohen
Everyone has an opinion, and maybe sometimes that opinion might be negatively directed toward us. Or, maybe it is from us directed toward another. . .
What is interesting about human beings is that we have the ability to choose to not accept evaluations of others and insert our own instead. It is an incredibly healthy thing when we are in charge of its use.
Becoming upset and disagreeing with the opinion of another is an egoic response by activating the defense mechanism that is supposed to protect us, but it doesn't do that. Instead, it adds fuel to the fire so to speak, when quelling the fire immediately by choosing another thought is a far better action. The only issue with this is that it does require conscious choice and action on our part.
All the healthy things require conscious choice and action on our part, don't you agree?
Thank You For Your Opinion. I Appreciate Your Courage To Speak Your Mind. Pardon Me If I Don't Mind Your Speak.
Spread Some Joy Today--Can you say and mean it that every single day is a gorgeous and wonderful day? If not, it's time to begin. What a difference it will be!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-13-12

"Generosity is more than an attitude.
It is an activity!"

-- Albert K Strong
Tonight I was reading a quote by Mercedes McCambridge which said, "A rich man can afford to be generous to many." There are many quotes about money related to generosity, and that is nice, but it isn't very encouraging. Generosity is something that any one of us can practice every minute of every day. It is an activity, and though it can be related to things, it is more often no-things that is the driving force around the planet.
I like to relate to something that anyone from any station in life can do and being generous is something that fits that bill. It requires no money. It is more an attitude that leads to the activity.
It doesn't need to be altruistic. It often isn't even recognized at the time it happens. And, it can be done is millions of different ways. A smile is generosity in action. A wave, a hug, a loving glance, a bit of admiration, a mental wish of good will, a handshake, a shared experience, a helpful hand, a listening ear, a comforting voice, being a mentor, giving encouragement, sharing love. All of these are generosity in action and all can be done by any one, any time, for any one.
Thank You For Your Generosity To Me!
Spread Some Joy Today--Think loving thoughts all day. Just for the fun of it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Daily Inspiration 10-12-12

"We've all seen job ads that say, "Five years
of experience required." That may give you a
number, but it tells you nothing. . .
How long someone's been doing it is overrated.
What matters is how well they've been doing it."

-- Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
from the book, Rework.

A long time ago, I heard something that has stuck with me ever since. It was about someone who had 20 years experience--one year, repeated 20 times. As a manager who has hired a lot of people, I could so relate to that as being generally true. And those ads that require a certain volume of time of experience, are missing out on a lot of potential, because potential exists in everyone, regardless of experience.
A little experience can be helpful, and a lot can also be a detriment. I know that in the auto business, I generally had an aversion to hiring people with car business experience because in my own hiring experience, I found it harder to untrain their previous experience in order to instill what I wanted. It was easier, and more effective at the same time, to hire people with no experience at all. Maybe a better way to state it is, "we are looking for a few people who have a desire to learn and a passion to serve. We will help with the rest!"

Seeking Harmony With Purpose. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--How is your 'Book of Positive Aspects' coming along? Daily entries? Hourly?