Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Fundamentals

It has been said, that in anything we do in life, we must master the "fundamentals" in order to be successful.

It has also been said, that whether you're a brain surgeon, professional athlete, real estate agent or a stay-at-home mom, that there's truly only 3 or 4 fundamentals to master in any profession.

I whole-heartily agree with that statement.

The hardest part is...

1) getting all parties to agree on what the fundamentals actually are, and

2) focusing and committing yourself (and others) to actually working on those "fundamentals" every single day.

Our biggest problem is procrastination. The second, is convincing yourself "not" to fall back into those poor habits and/or routines that have nothing to do with the actual "fundamentals".

A little info on the word "Fundamental"

fundamental
[fuhn-duh-men-tl]   Origin

fun·da·men·tal
   [fuhn-duh-men-tl]

adjective
1.
serving as, or being an essential part of, a foundation or basis; basic; underlying: fundamental principles; the fundamental structure.

2.
of, pertaining to, or affecting the foundation or basis: a fundamental revision.

3.
being an original or primary source: a fundamental idea.


Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin fundāmentālis of, belonging to a foundation. See fundament, -al1

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What are the fundamentals in your business?

Are you focused on those fundamentals to the point of being obsessive? If not, then you may not achieve what ever it is you set out to achieve...

Obsessive is not a bad word...Tomorrow we'll discuss it in greater detail.

Feel free to comment in the comment section below...

- b2

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Miracle of Personal Development

I've been lucky enough to have this one numerous times...

Thought I'd share...

The Miracle of Personal Development

One day my mentor Mr. Shoaff said, "Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job."

Since that time I've been working on my own personal development. And I must admit that this has been the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, "What am I getting?" Instead, you should ask, "What am I becoming?" Getting and becoming are like Siamese twins: What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I've also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle.

If someone hands you a million dollars, you'd better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, "If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before."

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development.

So here's the great axiom of life:

To have more than you've got, become more than you are.

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

Unless you change how you are, you'll always have what you've got.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lack of Integrity - Re Commmitment

Lack of Integrity - Re Commmitment

Well hello friendly blog followers,

There comes a time, in everyone's life, when a person must publically declare, that they did not do what it was they said they would do...

That time for me, is today...

Last month in a couple of specific posts, I blogged about my dissatisfaction in a few areas of my life. I spoke about reaching out to a few friends/mentors to get some "re-invention" advice, and committed to this re-invention.

I also blogged about "accountability", and the importance of being accountable...

Well, I've personally found myself these past few weeks moving forward with a serious lack of integrity - And it's time to re-commit to my goals...

~ My health & well-being goals (fitness & getting more rest)
~ My realtionship goals of spending quality, no-tech time with Mich, Mad & Wy
~ My personal development goals
~ My professional commitment to following a proven system

The long and the short of it is this my friends...

~ Sometimes we fall off the path we committed to following.
~ Sometimes we are pushed off the path.
~ Sometimes we stop to take a nap because things got so hectic.
~ Sometimes we jump off because we don't see immediate results

We all know the key to success my friends is to keep your word (your integrity) intact, and to implement consistant action.

And, if for some reason you find yourself falling, being pushed, napping or jumping - Publically declare that you are not being true to your word, and re-commit to the things you have listed as priorities in your life.

By publically declaring this, you are once again stating your intentions, which will force your mind, body and soul to re-commmit and succeed !!!

Have a great day...

~b2

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Challenge To Succeed

It is a challenge to succeed. If it were not, I'm sure more people would be successful, but for every person who is enjoying the fruit from the tree of success, many more are examining the roots. They are trying to figure it all out. They are mystified and perplexed by what seems to be some strange, complex and elusive secret that must be found if ever success is to be enjoyed. While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily engaged in designing and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them. While the much larger group sits in awe at how life can be so unfair, complicated and unjust.

"I am a nice person," the man says to himself. "How come this other guy is happy and prosperous and I'm always struggling?" He asks himself, "I am a good husband, a good father and a good worker. How come nothing seems to work out for me? Life just isn't fair. I'm even smarter and willing to work harder than some of these other people who just seem to have everything going their way," he says as he slumps into the sofa to watch another evening of television. But you see you've got to be more than a good person and a good worker. You've got to become a good planner, and a good dreamer. You've got to see the future finished in advance.

You've got to put in the long hours and put up with the setbacks and the disappointments. You've got to learn to enjoy the process of disciplines and of putting yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. You've got to be prepared and willing to attack the challenges if you want the success because challenges are part of success. Now that may sound like a full menu of activities, but let me assure you that the process of going from average to fortune isn't really all that difficult. Thinking about it is the difficult part. Anticipating all the effort and the changes and the disciplines is far worse in the mind than in reality. I can promise you that the challenges you'll meet on the road to success are far less difficult to deal with than the struggles and the disappointments that come from being average. Confronting and overcoming challenges is an exhilarating experience. It does something to feed the soul and the mind. It makes you more than you were before. It strengthens the mental muscles and enables you to become better prepared for the next challenge.

I've often said that to have more, we must first become more, and to become more, we must begin the process of working harder on ourselves than we do on anything else. But in addition to gathering new knowledge, new skills and new experiences, it is also important to discover new emotions. It is how we feel about what we know that makes the biggest difference in how our lives turn out. How we feel about the chances we have and the choices we have determines the intensity of our effort. Whether we try or don't try. Join or don't join. Believe or don't believe.

I'd like for you to discover some strong feelings about your life and about what you want to do with that life. You probably have much of the knowledge and a lot of the experience and perhaps most of the skills that it takes to become successful. What you may be lacking in are the strong feelings about what you want and what you want to do. You may be one of those who have become so involved in the process of earning a living that you've forgotten about the choices and the chances you have for designing your own life.

Let these strong feelings help you take a second look at your life and where you're headed. After all, you've only got one life, at least on this planet. So why not make it an adventure in achievement? Why not discover what all you can do and what all you can have? Why not discover how many others you can help and in the process how that can help you?

Why not now take the Challenge to Succeed!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Appreciation...

Still no laptop. Tapping keys on the Blackberry is my only mode of online communication right now.

So, Appreciation...A word that many are familiar with but don't necessarily think about.

I was once told that if you don't take the time to appreciate the things you have they be gone for good.

Well, recently, my daughter Madison asked if I knew anyone who could help her get Mumford & Sons tickets for their gig at the ACC this past Tuesday night. Well, being an ex-music ceo, I said ya! Reached out to an old friend and voila, there were two tickets.

My intentions were to give them to Madison so she could take a friend. Then a very wise lady (Michelle) said why don't you take the night off and go with your daughter - you two don't get to do a lot of stuff together. I said you're right - so we planned it.

I decided Madison and I would go for dinner, check out the two opening acts and see Mumford play.

What I realized is that it is possible to not work every day and night. That it is possible to truly enjoy one on one time.

You see, you have to understand that as an ex-music industry guy, who's seen more concerts in a year than most will in their lifetime, that I truly don't enjoy the experience anymore.

Boy was I wrong. Its been years since I went to a gig. It took Michelle's encouragement & Madison's request for me to realize this.

Any you know what? We had a blast. Madison and I caught up on a ton. Schooling, friends, music and more.

Wow. I now realize we are all missing out. Michelle, Madison, Wyatt - and myself.

Today's post my friends is to remind you of the things we take for granted, and rarely take the time to appreciate.

Wyatt, pick a concert - we are going. Michelle, pick whatever it is you'd like to do.

Appreciation folks...Don't let things pass you by.

There was a line in one of Mumford & Sons' songs that I really connected with...

"Where you invest your love, you invest your life."
-Marcus Mumford.

B2

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

7 Keys For Joyful Living

Hey Everybody!

Another Blackberry post. Still haven't figured out the laptop situation. Can't decide between laptop or iPad...Hmmmm

Here are some thoughts for finding and experiencing joy in your life. If there were one thing I could wish upon my family, friends and the readers of this Ezine, it would be joy in everything the do!


7 Keys for Joyful Living!

Know your purpose. Nothing will bring you joy more than knowing what it is that you are about on this earth. Not knowing brings sadness, wondering, fear and lack of fulfillment. Above all, find out what your unique purpose is here on this earth - then fulfill it! As you do, you will experience joy!

Live purposefully. This is a follow up to number one. It is one thing to know your purpose, but then you need to live according to that purpose. This is a matter of priorities. Let your actions and schedule reflect your purpose. Don't react to circumstances and let them cause you to live without your purpose fully in site. Living without your purpose will cause frustration. Living purposefully will bring you deep satisfaction and joy!

Stretch yourself. Don't settle into the status quo. That will leave you unfulfilled. Always look to stretch yourself. Whatever you are doing, stretch yourself to do more! Stretching yourself will break the limits you have set for yourself and will cause you to find joy in your expanded horizons!

Give more than you take. It brings happiness to accumulate. It brings joy to give away. Sure, getting the car you worked hard for will bring you a sense of satisfaction and even happiness. But it won't bring you joy. Giving something away to the less fortunate will bring you deep, abiding joy.

  Surprise yourself, and others too. The words here are spontaneity and surprise! Every once in a while, do the unexpected. It will cause everybody to sit back and say, "Wow, where did that come from?" It will put a little joy in your life, and theirs.

  Indulge yourself sometimes. To much indulgence and you are caught in the happiness trap. Looking for the next purchase, celebration etc to bring you a little "happiness high." But if you will allow yourself an infrequent indulgence as a reward for a job well done and a life well lived, you will appreciate the indulgence and experience the joy of it.

  Laugh a little - no, a lot! Most people are just too serious. We need to laugh a little - no, a lot! Learn to laugh daily, even if you have to learn to laugh in bad situations. This life is to be enjoyed! The next time you go to the movie rental store, get a comedy and let loose! Let yourself laugh!

Joy can be yours! Look for it, pursue it and enjoy it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Treasures You Can Pay Forward...

Hello friendly blog followers. Must apologize for no post on Friday. Woke up, turned laptop on to only see "operating system cannot be found".

Yeah, you can imagine how my day started. Terribly yes. Postive thing is that thanks to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, around 3:30pm the day had an incredible shift towards positivity, which started the weekend out on the right foot...

So, today is Monday and I've decided to post from my Blackberry. So, many apologies for any typos etc...

Today's post is Three Treasures You Can Pay Forward.

This is exactly why I created this blog. So that children, grandchildren and great grandchildren can learn from the many positive things I've read, one post per day, for as long as they choose to read.

Three Treasures...

If you're serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don't trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down.
I used to take notes on pieces of paper and torn-off corners and backs of old envelopes. I wrote ideas on restaurant placemats. On long sheets, narrow sheets and little sheets and pieces of paper thrown in a drawer. Then I found out that the best way to organize those ideas is to keep a journal. I've been keeping these journals since the age of twenty-five. The discipline makes up a valuable part of my learning, and the journals are a valuable part of my library. 
I am a buyer of blank books. Kids find it interesting that I would buy a blank book. They say, "Twenty-six dollars for a blank book! Why would you pay that?" The reason I pay twenty-six dollars is to challenge myself to find something worth twenty-six dollars to put in there. All my journals are private, but if you ever got a hold of one of them, you wouldn't have to look very far to discover it is worth more than twenty-six dollars.
I must admit, if you got a glimpse of my journals, you'd have to say that I am a serious student. I'm not just committed to my craft; I'm committed to life, committed to learning new concepts and skills. I want to see what I can do with seed, soil, sunshine and rain to turn them into the building blocks of a productive life.
Keeping a journal is so important. I call it one of the three treasures to leave behind for the next generation. In fact, future generations will find these three treasures far more valuable than your furniture.
The first treasure is your pictures. Take a lot of pictures. Don't be lazy in capturing the event. How long does it take to capture the event? A fraction of a second. How long does it take to miss the event? A fraction of a second. So don't miss the pictures. When you're gone, they'll keep the memories alive.
The second treasure is your library. This is the library that taught you, that instructed you, that helped you defend your ideals. It helped you develop a philosophy. It helped you become wealthy, powerful, healthy, sophisticated, and unique. It may have helped you conquer some disease. It may have helped you conquer poverty. It may have caused you to walk away from the ghetto. Your library—the books that instructed you, fed your mind and fed your soul—is one of the greatest gifts you can leave behind.
The third treasure is your journals: the ideas that you picked up, the information that you meticulously gathered. But of the three, journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you're a serious student. Taking pictures, that is pretty easy. Buying a book at a bookstore, that's pretty easy. It is a little more challenging to be a student of your own life, your own future, your own destiny. Take the time to keep notes and to keep a journal. You'll be so glad you did. What a treasure to leave behind when you go. What a treasure to enjoy today!


Here's hoping the b2 Blackberry post works...

-b2

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Re-Invention

After yesterday's blog publically announcing my procrastination - situation, I reached out to a couple of friends of mine for some "re-invention" advice. Thank you Mr. Tony Baggetta, Mr. Franco Lofranco & Mr. Michael Maser...

Ten Quotes to Inspire You on Your Path to Reinvention

If you are in the midst of changing something about your life, you quickly realize that the easiest path is to fall back to the norm. The process of reinvention can be difficult and take a lot of effort to form new patterns. Sometimes the risk seems too great or the reward too small even though we know that achieving this change moves us closer to what we truly desire.

The key is to just keep going. Keep moving through the process of resetting your norm and breaking a pattern that is no longer fulfilling. I don’t always have the words or thoughts to inspire myself so I look to others. Here are 10 quotes that I hope will inspire you on your path to reinvention:

People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out. Warren G. Bennis

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. C. S. Lewis

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. Abraham Lincoln

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Mark Twain

It always seems impossible until its done. Nelson Mandela

Action is the foundational key to all success. Pablo Picasso

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. Dale Carnegie

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. Bill Cosby

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. Zig Ziglar

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. Walt Disney

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My business declaration is to move forward without deviation.

Question is, are you ready for the new b2 ???

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Personal Declaration

Hello Friendly Blog Followers...

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you think you're doing all the right things; Like giving the right advice; Encouraging the right people, and Sharing your experiences. But then finding yourself not personally doing the things that you say are important to do when trying to further your career, business or personal brand?

Well, this week in particular, I've found myself in a place of wonderment. Wondering this and wondering that. Problem is, is that where wonderment lies, so does procrastination - and we all know what happens when you sleep with procrastination.

Personal Declaration folks - It's a disgusting place to be...

Time to get back out there and get things done.

Time to get out there and start the day like it's your first day - The day you opened the doors to your own business - The day you committed to personal development - The day you declared that you were put on this earth to doing something special...

Here's to that day...

~b2

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Make Greatness Your Goal

If greatness is your goal, whether in your business life, your personal relationships or your own personal growth, here are some guidelines to get you on your way. Greatness is possible! You can achieve the goals you set for yourself and you can make a difference in your own life and those who live and work around you! Set greatness as your goal! Here's some common sense points that require a little bit of action on your part:


Identify greatness for yourself. While there are some basic generalities that most people would consider great, there are broader definitions of greatness, ones that each individual sets for him or herself. For example, most people would consider Mother Theresa great while only some would consider Donald Trump great. Helping humanity is a broad generality while building a real estate fortune isn't. So what you need to first do is ask, "What does greatness look like for this company, organization, family or for myself?" From there you can develop values and a mission statement etc. But if you don't first identify it, you'll never reach it.

Maximize targeted end results. As Covey says, "begin with the end in mind." What end results do you want. Be specific. Come up with all of them. Maximize them. Leave no stone uncovered. Set out for yourself all of the goals or end results you must hit in order to reach greatness. Write them down, memorize them and distribute them broadly (if doing this for a group). Maximize your targeted end results!

Make distinction your endeavor. What is the endeavor of the great? Usually it is to distinguish themselves from the average. They seek to rise above the rest by the quality of their product or service. Everything goes toward the goal of making themselves distinct from the run of the mill. That is their mission. And in doing so, they make themselves great!

Map your effort thoroughly. The three most important words in real estate are "location, location, location." In reaching a goal, the three most important words are "plan, plan, plan." Okay, "execute" and "persevere" work too, but go with me here! Too many people wish they would achieve something but never write down a plan for getting there. When I want to go on a long trip I don't just wish to get there. I plan on how to get there. I get a map, I figure out distances, times etc. Map out your goal thoroughly. This will help you achieve greatness.

Regularly take time for regeneration. Achieving greatness is hard! You will care more, work harder, and take more lumps and setbacks than the rest. So you will need to take time to regenerate so you can fight again another day. Your body needs rest. Your mind needs rest. Your emotions need rest. Your spirit needs rest. I firmly believe that a person who rests well can do more in less time than the one works without setting aside time for regeneration. You may be able to reach goals without rest, but somewhere along the line, you will fall harder and longer if you aren't regularly regenerating yourself. So take your vacation time this year!

Have a strict evaluation process. Every plan and goal needs an evaluation tool. And it should be a strict evaluation process. This is how you objectively decide whether or not you are proceeding toward your goal. If you have the right evaluation tool and you look six months into it and you aren't hitting the goals, perhaps you need to change the goal or the way you are going after it. The evaluation process is not to be underestimated in its importance!

Take somebody else with you. True greatness is not individual. The one who becomes great spreads the reward of greatness around. Incorporate many people into he plan and let them eat of the fruit of success. I live in an area that has literally thousands of millionaires created by a company that had a vision of greatness. And while yes, they experience the reward, the rewards then go out many levels through the whole community, from businesses that support our community to non-profit groups, churches, and schools. True greatness blesses those many levels away.

Learn to party! Party? Yes! What good is greatness if you can't enjoy it? And not just the final destination but also the entire journey. Be sure to stop along the way and relish in your movement. Celebrate small and large victories. This keeps the sprit high and the big mo rolling! Spend the money, buy the food and blow up the balloons - it's time to celebrate!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Per-stick-tence

A very simple yet powerful thought of the day delivered by my good friend, Bonnie Wood...Thanks Bonnie.

Thought of the Day
The most interesting thing about a postage stamp is the persistence with which it sticks to its job.

The tiny, insignificant postage stamp is a good example of what it is possible to achieve if you stick with the job until it is finished. Inconspicuously stuck on the corner of the envelope, it provides the impetus to keep moving until the entire packet reaches its ultimate destination. The influence you may have upon your company, your church, your family, or any organization is incalculable if you have the persistence to pursue your goal until you achieve it. It is an absolute certainty that you will encounter obstacles in any worthwhile endeavor. When you do, remember the inconsequential little postage stamp and stick with the job until it is finished.

Question is, friendly blog followers...
Are you going to "stick" to your goal(s) until you've reached your ultimate destination?

~b2

Friday, October 14, 2011

Accountability (my favourite article/post to date)

Many people never really think about the word, "Accountability", or it's true meaning.

It's a shame really. Because without it, "Integrity" doesn't really exist within oneself. Would you agree?

Let's look at both definitions for a moment...


ac·count·a·bil·i·ty   /əˌkaʊntəˈbɪlɪti/ Show Spelled[uh-koun-tuh-bil-i-tee] Show IPA
noun
1. the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.
2. Education . a policy of holding schools and teachers accountable for students' academic progress by linking such progress with funding for salaries, maintenance, etc.

Origin:
1785–95; account(able) + -ability

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in·teg·ri·ty   /ɪnˈtɛgrɪti/ Show Spelled[in-teg-ri-tee] Show IPA
noun
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English integrite < Latin integritās. See integer, -ity

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They really are inter-connected. Without Accountability, you have no Integrity & you only have Integrity if you have Accountability.


Moving on to today's post, I found an incredible article on Accountability. It's very "corporate" & "sales" driven, so I changed a few words here and there to equate it on a "generic" level - if that makes sense...


Accountability Brings Success



Help your team perform at its best with an accountability system

Brian S. Wallace, senior vice president, director of training, HSBC Mortgage



Does the word "accountability" send chills down your spine? Does the thought of someone asking you if you did what you said you would do make your blood boil?

If you are like most people, the word accountability is somewhat intimidating.

Webster's Dictionary defines accountability as "an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions." Accepting responsibility? Being willing and obligated? These are all tough words to read, let alone to put into action. To do it, however, you must develop an ironclad accountability system.

Essentially, an accountability system is a list of tasks that must be performed at each level of the organization. From a new partner straight to the leader, each level builds to the next level. As it builds, each level receives the information needed to make key business decisions.

This system allows you to develop your partners into next-generation leaders. People are already familiar with the data they provide to their current leaders. They can be trained in its interpretation for the reporting needed at the next level.

From the top down

An accountability system must start at the top. Leaders must buy into a system and must be able to show how effective it is once implemented. This is a chief example of how management must walk the talk. Effective demonstration of an accountability plan is the only way to sell it to partners. If people see that leaders are accountable to the system, they will be more willing to comply with the accountability tasks assigned to them.

Although leaders must set an example, every partner is the true hero of an accountability system. They are the ones who hold the team accountable for its daily activities and reports.

Leaders must ensure that all partners buy into the system. They also must receive ample training and support to ensure a successful implementation. These leaders often view implementing this type of system as additional work. On the contrary, it will actually help reduce their workload and structure their day-to-day activities.

The true winners of an accountability system are members of the team. Often, new people in our industry struggle with what to do on a daily basis. They ask, "What should I be doing today?" or "My leader is a producing leader and doesn't have time to work with me on a game plan."

These questions are quickly resolved with an effective accountability plan. Your leaders can lead more effectively, and your partners have a map of where to go and what to do to become successful in the chosen business.

With an accountability system, people will no longer feel a sense of frustration and lack of direction in their daily routine. This system allows for crystal-clear responsibilities that get the job done efficiently and accurately. A good system will structure their days and make their time more productive, which allows them to focus on the tasks needed to be successful.

The most exciting thing about an initiative like this is watching the company's culture change. You will, in essence, have affected change in your partners.

How it works

Here is one example of where accountability can be effective: Many of us intend to do yearly business plans or to create development plans for ourselves or for our team. As we roll into the year, we set aside time in our calendars to work on these plans. When that time comes, all too often, a more critical task falls into our lap, and we delay the planning process. This continues for several weeks or months. All of a sudden, the year is almost over, and we still have not completed our planning for the year.

With an accountability system, you simply need to meet with your leader to review your plans for the year. You will have a due date for delivery of the plan and an accountability relationship with your leader.

It is essential that leaders do not cancel or reschedule this meeting. Holding key accountability dates like this can help create an environment of accountability in your company's culture.

Accountability also works on a smaller scale. You can use partners or friends to help you be accountable in your daily tasks without the added stress of a deliverable to your leader. For instance, tell a partner you will call a tough client this week. Then ask your partner to follow up with you at the end of the week to see if you have made that call.

There is a much greater chance that you will make that call if you tell someone that you will. As such, odds are certainly in your favor if your company has an effective accountability system in place.

By properly leveraging these relationships, whether they are with your peers or with your leaders, you can put the law of accountability to work in a positive way for your career.

* * *
Accountability can be a popular word in your organization. All it takes is some time and a structured plan. If you line up the proper expectations, time lines, people and resources, you will see your business grow to new heights once thought unattainable.


WOW - I think this is my favourite article/post...

Here's hoping you think so too...

~b2

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Going For No's...

Hello Friendly Blog Followers...

For anyone who has ever seen Darren Hardy (Publisher of Success Magazine) speak, you would have probably heard him talk about challenging yourself, by going for more no's.

This is a typical "sales" approach in order to help oneself "go through the numbers".

However, I tend to take a little bit of "different" information from those trainings...

Yes, when you go for no's, you will hit yeses, however, if you use the no's to train your brain that I got the worst "over and done with", then there's only positives and yeses to look forward to...

For example, I had a meeting scheduled with two heavy-weight's yesterday (major franchisee's) that I was determined to close.

My worry was that my exposures were down this month and my little voice inside was saying "I needed" them versus I was "going to close" them.

So, I opened up my rolodex and searched for a guaranteed "No!"

I found the name that would definitely say no. I called him to go for a coffee and chat about business - won't mention his name here, but guess what? It worked !!!

Got my no, took it with posture and confidence that I was on the right path and then headed directly to my heavy weight meeting.

End result - Closed em !!!


Talk about some "reverse-pyschology".

You should try it sometime...


~b2

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Three Keys to Greatness...

I believe even as adult, if you stick with these three keys, anything is possible...



Eight years ago I went into the studio and recorded a 56-minute video for teenagers called "Three Keys to Greatness." Although my focus was for teenagers, the principles I shared certainly apply to adults as well.

Recently I was asked to list these three keys using a couple sentences for each. Now for your benefit here they are again.

1) Setting Goals. I call it the view of the future. Most people, including kids, will pay the price if they can see the promise of the future. So we need to help our kids see a well-defined future, so they will be motivated to pay the price today to attain the rewards of tomorrow. Goals help them do this.

2) Personal Development. Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives. I suggest having a minimum amount of time set aside for reading books, listening to audiocassettes, attending seminars, keeping a journal and spending time with other successful people. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says you will be in five years the sum total of the books you read and the people you are around.

3) Financial Planning. I call it the 70/30 plan. After receiving your paycheck or paying yourself, set aside 10 percent for saving, 10 percent for investing and 10 percent for giving, and over time this will guarantee financial independence for a teenager.

If a young person, or for that matter an adult, focused on doing these three simple things over a long period of time I believe they will be assured success!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The 2 Greatest Days In Your Life...

From a legend in teaching leadership, and a gentlemen that a few of us will be personally trained by this December, Mr. John Maxwell...


John C. Maxwell: The Two Greatest Days in Your Life
You’ve experienced the first one; now let’s discover how to get to the second one.

I have studied the subject of success for more than 30 years and have asked many questions of successful people trying to discover, first, what made them successful, and second, what they think success is. And my hope is that when I’m done sharing with you my findings, they will in some way help you along your journey of reaching your full potential.

Over the years, as I have watched and listened to successful leaders, I have discovered a common thread: They know why they’re here. Knowing their purpose in life gives them stability. And when others around them start abandoning their causes and jumping ship when life gets tough, these people use this assurance to steady the boat, to ride out the storm, because they have a true North Star. Someone once said there are two great days in our lives—the day we are born and the day we discover why. I’m here to tell you, highly successful people have discovered why.

I think there are two paths you and I can take to help discover our purpose. The first is passion. What are you passionate about? What do you really care about? What would you live for; what would you die for?

Passion is not 100 percent foolproof, but it will get you into the location, the area, the neighborhood of what your purpose really is. Passion is what I call the “great energizer.” It’s no secret that passionate people have a lot of energy. That’s why, when you see successful people, they love what they’re doing and doing what they love.

People who are highly successful love the journey as much as the destination. And even though they might not have yet arrived, they remain encouraged because they still have fuel in their tanks from their incredible passion.

But passion can only get you so far. If you don’t believe me, just watch the singing tryouts on American Idol. Bless their hearts, these kids are extremely passionate, many of them singing with all of the off-key gusto they can muster. But that doesn’t mean they have what it takes to be professional singers.

While passion will get you into the location, it’s only about 80 percent accurate. The other path you can take to discover your purpose is 100 percent accurate—I guarantee it. This is what I call your Strength Zone Path. That’s not my phrase; it’s from Marcus Buckingham’s book Now, Discover Your Strengths (Free Press, 2001). In other words, you’ve got to find the path where you can answer the questions: What do I do well? What are my strengths? What is my giftedness? What is the talent, the uniqueness that sets me apart from everybody else?

Everyone has a “uniqueness” that would enable them to rise above the rest, if they just discover it, fine-tune it, work hard and grow in it. No one has ever been successful doing something that they didn’t like and no one has ever been successful doing something they can’t do well. And yet I see millions of people every day doing something they don’t like doing, and they wonder why they’re not successful.

Here is the best way to explain it. People simply will not pay for average. So why do so many of us think we can have an average business or an average career or an average life and make a difference? Average doesn’t make a difference.

I’d like to tell you something that goes against all of the rules you have ever been taught or have ever believed about weaknesses: From this moment on, stop working on your weaknesses. Why? Well, it’s very simple. It’s because we are weak in our weaknesses, so stop doing these things that you’re not any good at.

Our education system taught us to work on our weakness. If you got an A in math but a C in English, what did they tell you to work on? That’s right, English. They say, “Get that English grade up.”

I’m here to tell you, don’t work on your English. You ask, “Why shouldn’t I work on my English?” It’s very simple. You have a math mind. It’s not that you’re dumb; it’s just that your math mind is better than your English mind. You’re better at numbers than you are at words. It’s not right or wrong; it’s just who you are. It’s your uniqueness.

Yes, success is knowing your purpose in life, but it’s more than that. You also need a growth plan to help you reach your maximum potential. It’s not only about knowing what you should do, but also about growing in that area to maximize and highlight the things you do well. That’s continual growth.

I had a life-changing experience back in 1973. Attending a seminar in Lancaster, Ohio, a man sitting next to me asked me one of the most important questions I’ve ever been asked. He said, “John, what’s your plan for growth?” I was just a kid in my 20s, not knowing that I was even supposed to have a plan for growth. And so I decided to fake it and proceeded to tell him about my elaborate schedule and how hard I was working toward my goals. I was like a plane circling a field trying to come in for a landing, going around and around until I finally ran out of gas and shut up. As soon as I did he looked at me, smiled and said, “You don’t have a plan, do you?” With a smile I replied “Eh, no, no I don’t.”

Then he said words that changed my life. He said, “John, growth is not an automatic process. If you’re going to grow, you need to do so intentionally.” That afternoon I went home and sat down with my wife, Margaret, and said, “I don’t know what a growth plan looks like, but I heard a guy tell me today I needed to have one and I’m going to figure it out.” And I took that whole year to figure out how to do a growth plan, and I’m here to tell you, it changed my life.

That was in the early ’70s. For more than 30 years, I have been on a personal growth plan every year.

The speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack. And the only way that you and I will ever continue to be in front is to continue to learn and grow and to commit to it. Highly successful people have a continual thirst for knowledge and are always asking questions.

Highly successful people know their purpose in life, grow to their maximum potential and sow seeds that benefit others. They don’t live for themselves. They’re a river, not a reservoir. They understand what significance is. Significance is adding value to others.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Success Is Everything !!!

I woke up this morning to no alarm clock wondering if I should post a blog or not.

As many of you know, I promised to post one per day, Monday ~ Friday. But, with this being a holiday Monday, I wasn't sure if I should or should not...

Then I checked my email (while having my first coffee) and received this from Mr. Jim Rohn's Newsletter. Ladies & Gentlemen, the answer was obvious...Bill, do a post !!!


Success Is Everything by Jim Rohn

Someone once said to me that success isn't everything and I think I know what they really meant. I believe they really meant that money isn't everything, and I certainly agree with that. But I do believe that success IS everything.

First, you need to succeed to survive. We must take the seasons and learn how to use them with the seed, the soil and the rain of opportunity to learn how to sustain ourselves and our family. But then second is to then succeed to flourish in every part of your life. Good question to ask mature people: "If you could do better, should you?" And I think almost everybody would answer the question in the affirmative. If you could improve your health, shouldn't you do that? If you can learn more, shouldn't you do that? If you could earn more and share more, shouldn't you do that? If you can improve your relationships and spirituality, shouldn't you do that? And I think that is what success is really all about. It is not just a destination that is set for everybody to try and go for. It is like Zig Ziglar said, "improving in every area of your life to see if you can't say with satisfaction at the end of the day, week, month and year, 'I have made excellent progress this year, for myself, for my family, for my business, my career and my health.'" I think that kind of success everybody recognizes is legitimate and something we should all strive for.

Interesting phrase in the Bible that says strive for perfection — not that we can ever reach it. But it is in the striving, to be a little bit better today than yesterday, in our speech, our language, our health, everything we can possibility think of.

So yes, in my opinion, Success Is Everything!

—Jim Rohn




Aside from the actual words themselves, one might wonder, "ok Bill, I agree that Jim's definition of Success Is Everything is accurate, but why post it...?"

The answer ladies and gentlemen is simple...

Many who follow, view and comment on this blog are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs sacrificing what little spare time they do have these days to try to build a business and/or create a legacy for their family. But the crazy thing is that as we walk into the busiest time of year (for any) business, many of those same entrepreneurs aren't striving to complete what they started. What do I mean exactly? Well, the summer months were slow but many people planted the right seeds in order to harvest them this fall (the busiest time of year in our business). Many of those same entrepreneurs declared goals for themselves and others. But, many of those exact same entrepreneurs aren't out in the field harvesting what they planted earlier in the year...

Ladies & Gentlemen, this is the time where we all need to stand up, take a stance, plant your flag and commit to finishing off what ever it was that you declared was to be.

If you don't, you're letting all of the hard work you put in earlier in the year to fall by the wayside.

If you don't, you're not creating that legacy you declared was possible for you and your family.

If you don't, you are just like anyone else who says "Success Isn't Everything".

I know you though. I know that you are not like everyone else. I know that you are determined to make it through the forest - make it to the top of the mountain, but you just need a simple kick in the butt to get back out their and "git r done".

So, please accept this post as your kick in the butt...

Love to you all on this glorious Thanksgiving Holiday.

~b2

Friday, October 7, 2011

If You Live Each Day Like It's Your Last...

I know that many of you are going to say, oh no! not another Steve Jobs piece.

Well, I want you to think a little differently for a few minutes.

Don't "just" remember a techie iCon who truly helped the world communicate & entertain themselves better, but instead, just for a few minutes, listen to what he has to say and take from it all the things that can truly transform your life both personally and professionally...

http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.htmlon the blog and I'll do my best to post...

If you live each day like it's your last...Some day you'll be right...
- Steve Jobs (quoted 2005)

I particularly like 9:08 and 12:31 of the video.

Please feel free to comment below...

~b2

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Failing To Succeed

"Success may instill confidence, but failure imparts wisdom…"


Don’t you just love that opening? This is a really good article (heck they’re all good…smile). What I enjoy most is that we all come up against “failures” of some sort in our lives, careers or business and the tips pulled from Gary Burnison’s book, are “wall posters”…notes you post on the wall to keep you focused on achieving what you want. (You do have those, right?)

Point is…you’re not alone and how you “use” this experience of “failure” can inspire both clients and colleagues into greater partnership with you!

Enjoy!

Exceptional success is frequently preceded by failure. Whether it’s a business leader who finally finds her groove after filing bankruptcy or the musician who has paid his dues playing in dimly lit dives for tips, success requires a commitment to working with the end in mind.

Extraordinary leaders believe the most regrettable failure in life is failing to fail,” says Gary Burnison, author of No Fear of Failure and CEO of Korn/Ferry International. In interviews with leaders including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, former Xerox Chairman and CEO and others, Burnison learned that strong leaders share a few common traits. “Although failure might be inevitable at times, these leaders do not view it as an absolute end point. They maintain perspective in the journey, immediately shifting from setback to lesson learned.”

Want to become a top-notch leader? Burnison offers a few tips:

=> Humbly savor success.

=> View failure as temporary.

=> Stay focused on what matters most.

=> Remain true to your core values.

Mastering the skill of dealing with problems without making them your primary focus will empower you to move past failure and into your own version of extraordinary success. Says Burnison, “Leaders possess an inner serenity that keeps them centered in who they are and what matters most, which enables them to guide and motivate others even in the worst of times.”

Onwards and Upwards folks, don't let small, medium or large setbacks deter you from your goal. Learn from them and continue moving forward...

~b2

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How To Start A Business While Maintaining Your Life

This is a topic that I've been asked so many times by so many people - And to be honest, something I've personally struggled with...

So, I went out in search of an article that to me, made sense...Here's hoping it makes sense to you too...

How to Start a Business While Maintaining Your Life
18 Questions to Prepare You for the Entrepreneurial Journey

Entrepreneurship beckons increasing numbers of people today, offering greater control over lifestyle and livelihood. It offers financial freedom — the kind of wealth no cubicle dweller could hope to attain.

Many budding entrepreneurs already are ensconced in life, with its myriad responsibilities. They can’t simply make the leap into entrepreneurship without a safety net, so they carve time out of already demanding schedules to start and build their businesses. But for these entrepreneurs, the incomparable rewards of business ownership are worth the effort, discipline and time they invest. They say it is possible to start and build a business while maintaining a life — and they offer these tips, insights and questions to consider for maximizing your success.

Taking Stock
You first need to ask yourself, “Am I ready and prepared for and wanting the responsibility of owning a business?” suggests Carol Roth, business strategist and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Entrepreneur Equation. She likens operating a business to having a child in that it requires constant nurturing as well as time, money and effort. She suggests you take a good hard look at everything going on in your life — including your family and friends, hobbies and other pursuits — and ask yourself if you’re ready to make your business a top priority in your life.

Are you prepared to make a new business one of your life’s top priorities?
If your answer is yes and you’re ready to bring this virtual life form into being, you need to answer the following question next: “Who am I responsible for?” A small business has the potential to affect every facet of your life, and it’s only fair to consider how your loved ones — including your partner/spouse and kids — will be impacted by your new project. “Not only are they affected by your monetary decisions, these individuals are competing for your time and attention,” Roth says.

She suggests asking some important and hard questions, such as:

What if you lose your entire initial investment?

What if you use your house as collateral or to guarantee a loan, and then lose your house?

What happens to your family in the worst-case scenario?

Dedicate some solid time to this thought process, and don’t make any hasty decisions; consult with your family, as well as trusted friends and advisors, for their input as well.

Who or what are you responsible for, and how will they be impacted by the new business?

Reality Check

Be careful: Answering these questions with too much wishful thinking could be a worthless and potentially dangerous exercise. Excitement and passion for the business are very powerful factors — possibly the most critical factors in determining your success — but be realistic when considering your future. Nick May discovered the hard way that passion was no substitute for planning.

Working at a telecommunications distribution company in 1998, May started developing a contracting business on the side without giving much forethought to the project, he says. “I did not expect all the different things and responsibilities I had to manage as a business owner. I think when some of us start businesses for the first time, we think we are invincible, just like a teenager in high school. We think we know it all. We think our idea is the best.”

May managed to work through his initial startup issues. In addition to running that business, One Coat Paintings, a residential interior painting company, the Highlands Ranch, Colo., resident and father of two also hosts a radio show and carves time for volunteering.

But looking back on the experience, he says, “I should have gotten people around me to help identify my weaknesses and the things that I did not do well. I should have listened to others, talked to people who had done it before and planned accordingly.”

Are there people you trust who could provide an honest assessment of your weaknesses and strengths?

Will you listen and heed their advice?

Award-winning author, serial entrepreneur and investor Matthew Toren agrees that it’s important to be realistic about the future — without killing that initial optimism in the process.

“That excited feeling an entrepreneur gets when they have what they believe to be a great business idea can be a driving force to success,” he says. “The downside is that, if you let it, the excitement can also blind you to real obstacles that can hinder your success if not addressed properly.”

Is your excitement blinding you to real obstacles that could hinder your success?
Toren continues: “I personally believe that there are very few challenges that cannot be overcome. The question is whether someone is willing to do what it takes to make it happen. So you first have to know what it’s going to take. That means looking at your potential business from every angle, realistically. Seeing potential hurdles and planning for them is realistic. Saying that there are no hurdles is not optimism — it’s setting yourself up for failure.”

Do you have the finances, time and other resources needed to make your new business work?
Take a good, hard look at your available finances, time and other resources and assess whether you have what it takes to really make things work. This is also the time to determine what your goals and expectations are for the company and whether or not they’re truly feasible. Do your homework by consulting business books and periodicals, researching similar companies to yours and how they succeeded, and talking to other entrepreneurs, mentors, counselors or experts.

Have you assessed your goals and expectations for the new business—and are they realistic?

It also helps to look at your potential business objectively: If someone else were considering the same project, would you support them?

Take some time answering these questions and try writing down some of your thoughts on paper, because this early reflection — when done thoroughly, honestly and clearly — will serve as a steady foundation for your enterprise.

If a friend or relative were going to do what you want to do, would you give them the thumbs up? If not, what would be your reservations?

Juggling Act

As you go forward with your plan, you’ll soon discover that different areas of your life are begging for your time and energy simultaneously, and it may be difficult deciding where, when and how much to devote yourself.

Just ask Killian Rieder, a designer who had worked with some of the top names in the New York fashion industry before leaving to open her own jewelry shop in 2002. She and husband Jeff Julkowski expanded the brand, Chamilia, into a multimillion-dollar business by 2006 — all while growing their family as well. Now as executive vice president and design director for the Minneapolis - based company, Rieder says that prioritizing is key.

“You need to plan and choose your top priorities and goals,” says the mother of two. “Stick to these priorities and don’t feel guilty when you say no to distractions. Recognize that life brings the unexpected. But when you have clearly defined goals, the focus is much clearer, and it is much easier to stay on track with your business.”

Are you willing to prioritize and set goals for various aspects of your life—and stick with those priorities?

“Prioritizing your life is critical because not doing so will inevitably lead to failure in whichever area you’ve neglected,” Toren says. “No part of your life—business, marriage, parenthood—can run on autopilot. If you focus on one thing and hope the rest will take care of itself, you won’t be happy with the results.”

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Making It Work — Set Boundaries
Name: Karen Bullard

Business: Paper Fancy, an online stationery and gift boutique based in her Manakin-Sabot, Va., home

Strategy: Because Bullard operates Paper Fancy out of her home studio, she says that “the business is always there and hard to get away from.” Being a perfectionist in nature, she’s constantly tempted to go online and tweak the site or answer that unopened email. So, in an effort to balance her work life and her family life (she has two kids)—as well as fit in time for volunteering—she has put strict boundaries in place. “Make sure you have definite ‘work time’ and ‘family time,’ ” she says. “Don’t let other things take up your time that you’ve carved out to complete specific tasks.”

To stay focused, she keeps her laptop in the home office and away from the home’s living area: “Our families need our undivided attention when we’re with them and not always distracted,” she says. Conversely, Bullard prevents her children from playing in her workspace. “I have stressed to my children that this is Mommy’s office and not a playroom or Staples store,” she says. “And they understand that.”

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Have you discussed and agreed upon these priorities with your spouse and other people who are significant in your life?
First, you have to set goals for the different parts of your life: “If you don’t know where it is that you want to go, you can’t figure out a path to get there,” Roth says. Especially when you’re starting out, it may be helpful to take the “baby step” approach of setting small, reachable goals for your business to help build momentum and avoid feeling overwhelmed.


Do you have the discipline to follow through with action steps you set to achieve your goals?
Then, deliberately devote the requisite time and resources to reach goals in each area. “Try following a set schedule that is divided into time slots for each area of your life,” Toren says. Tell your family and friends that you will be working in your home office every weekday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and that you won’t be able to accommodate interruptions or personal phone calls or emails—and stick to the schedule religiously.

Sari Crevin, a former Microsoft manager and mother of two who founded the parenting products company BooginHead in 2007, allocates and maintains set hours with her family just as judiciously.

“Every day from 5 to 7:30 p.m. is strictly family time,” says the Bellevue, Wash., resident. “We eat together as a family and ban all electronics, including the phone, TV and computer. It is simply time to talk and play together as a family unit. Having that structure built in as a nonnegotiable helped create a balance that ordinarily and easily can get interrupted.”

Will you stick to your priorities and say no to distractions, or feel guilty and cave in?
Toren says, “The reality is that there will always be unexpected events in personal and business life that require attention now, regardless of what the schedule says. I’ve found that what’s most important is quality, not necessarily quantity. When you’re spending time with your family, be with your family 100 percent. Turn off the laptop and the smartphone, and focus on the here and now. An hour of that kind of family time will mean much more to them than three hours where you’re physically there but your mind is somewhere else.”

Do you have the resolve to adhere to boundaries separating business and personal life?
Devoting a set space to your work can also prevent distractions and help you get into “work mode” better. Just be sure to keep the boundaries delineated; you may want to keep friends and family members out of the office altogether so that the space’s function stays clear to you and everyone else.

Roth says that it takes constant vigilance, maintenance and self-scrutiny to ensure that your life—in all its varied parts—is on your desired trajectory. “You have to prioritize and reprioritize often,” she says. “When times are tough at work, at home or both, remind yourself of the reasons you are doing what you are doing. Set a positive intention to carry you through. If the rewards don’t greatly outweigh the risks at any point, then stop and readjust.’ ”

Helping Hands
The road to a healthy business may be long and hard, but nobody says you have to go it alone. In fact, most successful businesspeople argue that having a proper support system in place is essential.

Do you have a support system?
The first fans to recruit are your family. “If your family isn’t supportive, you are going to be in an emotional state and susceptible to making bad decisions,” Roth says.

They feel the ramifications of your business decisions directly and indirectly on a daily basis, so strive to communicate with them. Explain to them your motives, your plans and how you expect they’ll be affected; then, in turn, listen to their questions and concerns.

“Listening to their feedback and respecting them to at least the same level you would an important client or investor will earn a lot more support than simply expecting them to adjust,” Toren says. “And, because having a happy family life will contribute in a big way to your ability to focus on your business with a positive frame of mind, family support is definitely critical.”

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Making It Work—Solicit Spousal Support
Name: Kara Buntin

Business: A Cake to Remember, a custom baking company run out of her Richmond, Va., home

Strategy: When the mother of two first started planning the business, her husband, Bob, “didn’t take it seriously,” she says. But, as she started earning profits and communicating with her husband about what was going on in order to engage him in the process, he understood her commitment and that she needed his help to succeed.

“I think that figures on paper speak louder than all the work that you put into something, and it’s just a matter of getting over that mental block to get someone to realize that you’re not playing around,” she says.

When Buntin is working, her husband takes care of the kids and treats the company as a top priority for them both. “He’s the one to ask me what I have scheduled for the weekend so that he can arrange his schedule around mine,” Buntin says. “He tells everyone about my business, and I know that he’s behind me.”

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Have you thoroughly communicated your plans and expectations, and how these will affect your family?
Will you listen to your family members and take their feedback as if they’re your most valued stakeholders?
Outside the home, building a professional support system can be equally beneficial. “We can’t do everything alone,” Roth says. “Plus, the more realistic information you have, the better.”

Toren agrees: “A lot of entrepreneurs are very independent, do-it-yourself people. This can pose a challenge if it means not asking for help or guidance.”

To illustrate his point, Toren refers to an anecdote from the world of sports: “When Michael Jordan was at the top of his game, few would dispute he was the greatest basketball player of his time—and maybe all time. When the team huddled to listen to the coach, was he standing off to the side, or was he in there listening, too? When they practiced and the coach was running the team through drills and providing feedback, do you think he paid attention? Absolutely. Everyone can benefit from guidance, especially from those who have already done what you want to do.”

One of the first resources to tap is your own network: Do you have friends, family, neighbors or colleagues who have relevant business experience—or do they know someone who does? “Ask your network about making introductions to people who have experience in similar industries, stage of company or who can answer specific questions you have,” Roth says, adding that local chambers of commerce, alumni associations and peer-coaching groups are options to consider as well.

Do you have friends, family, neighbors or colleagues with relevant business experience you can tap?
Do they have people they can introduce to you who have experience you can tap?

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Making It Work—Ask for Help
Name: Forrest Graves

Business: JumpinGoat Coffee Roasters, a gourmet coffee retailer in Helen, Ga.

Strategy: When he was laid off from Hewlett-Packard in 2008, this husband and father already had some ideas for his “Plan B,” as he and wife Debbie had long searched for the perfect cup of coffee and wanted to provide it via their own retailer.

But he needed guidance. “I found out pretty quick that many people wanted to give me free advice, but it was small-business owners who had the best advice.” Whenever he heard about a small-business success—through word-of-mouth, magazines or blogs—“I instantly wanted to know more about what and how they did things,” he says. “People who would take the time to teach or coach me were huge assets.”

Social media outlets such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have helped him meet likeminded people within his community and beyond, and he also recommends trade shows, symposiums and seminars to listen to selected keynote speakers. “I was looking for battle scars,” Graves says. “I wanted to hear from the folks who did it.”

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Toren also points to social media as a powerful tool, which can help entrepreneurs connect with leaders in any field or location.

“If you’re polite but persistent, chances are you can get one of your industry’s icons to talk with you,” he says. “The biggest obstacle is often your own fear. Just remember that they are people, just like you, and most of them are more than willing to help out—because most of them got help from someone when they needed it.”


Yes, this was a little longer post/article than most, but I truly believe there's many insights within that we can all take and incorporate into our own business and personal lives.

...Feel free to leave a comment below, or suggest a topic that you'd personally like to see here on the blog and I'll do my best to post...

~b2

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How To Succeed In "Your" Business

For today's topic I was going to post an interesting article I read on "How to start a business while maintaining your life" - This is a topic/question that many people have raised or asked me over the last few years.

However, after finding the article, reading it and making some serious connections to it, I came across a link that my Facebook friend, Bevan Hitch shared, that I thought might seem more appropriate to post first.

So, take a great listen to what Steve Jobs has to say...

Listen to it a few times. If you listen close enough, you'll not only understand what he means, but you'll truly be able to relate it to your business...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuNQgln6TL0&feature=share



Tomorrow's posting will get into a little nitty gritty on "How to"...

Enjoy...

~b2

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mastering The Bounce

For those of you that know "my story", you will probably understand how this article spoke to me.

Here's hoping you get something out of it...

Mastering The Bounce

“I’m going to give you a little advice… There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen and be the ball.”

That was actually a quote from Ty Webb, played by Chevy Chase, in the movie Caddyshack. (I’ve always wanted to use a Caddyshack quote in one of my letters!)

This month’s SUCCESS is what we call our COMEBACKS issue, which features those companies, entrepreneurs and leaders who have experienced a bit of a fall from grace. When down and out, they could have easily stayed there, given up hope, given up on their dreams and given up on themselves, but they didn’t. Instead of collapsing, they bounced. And they came back stronger, better and and more equipped to achieve greatness than ever before.

That is why I want you to “be the ball.” In this metaphor, however, I want you to be the tennis ball. You see, life will smack you around like a tennis ball in a match point between Nadal and Federer.

To win in the game of life you will need to “be the ball” and learn The Bounce.

To bounce: To fall rapidly, hit bottom suddenly with impact and rebound decisively.

According to that definition, there are four distinct phases of The Bounce:

1. The Fall: We all experience falls in our lives. They don’t have to be as traumatic or as devastating as a bankrupcy, divorce, heart attack or life-threatening illness to be considered a fall. Each day we experience minor setbacks and little falls—in discipline or poor choices—that require us to bounce back. But there is a difference between falling and failing. The Bounce converts a fall into victory, and the harder you fall, the higher you can bounce.

2. The Impact: Making impact, hitting bottom, bends you out of shape; your identity—who you thought you were—is morphed and tested. Either you allow the impact to explode you, or you absorb it and use it to spring. Do not lament this phase. While it might be painful in the moment, most often it is the smack of the impact that musters the focus, energy and fight needed to become something you would have never driven yourself to be otherwise. The pain of the impact is what creates the energetic force to launch you in the opposite and positive direction.

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” —Walt Disney

3. Restoration: The moment when the ball starts to regain its shape… the moment when something inside you starts fighting back against the fall, against the impact. You realize your identity is not defined in the fall; it’s defined in your ability to rebound decisively and restore your identity and sense of purpose. You stop mourning where you once were and start focusing on where you are going.

4. Elevation: You rise again… and most often higher than you were before The Bounce. Most often it will be because of The Bounce that you are as high as you are today… and as you will reach in the future.

I encourage you to look at your own falls as an opportunity to bounce. Each time you slip and feel the wind of a fall, prepare yourself for impact and get ready to bounce—it might just be exactly what you need to take yourself to new heights.

Through it all… be the ball!

~b2

Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Back - With A New Look & Approach...

Hello Friendly Blog Followers...

In the past, you would have noticed that I've really tried to run a different theme each and every day on this blog. What I realized, is that it took some serious effort to come up with (or find) the right articles (to read and post), that pertained to that day's theme.

When things got busy business-wise, I neglected to update the blog - Hence my dissapearance this last month and a half...

So, the fresh new look and approach is here...

life...without boundaries - daily articles to help you start your day off right, build your own business and create a powerful personal brand...

Effective immediately, what you'll find on this blog is just that...a daily reading that will (hopefully) help you grow both personally and professionally...

Today's topic is...


5 Tips for Creating a Powerful Personal Brand
How entrepreneurs can build personal brand equity

Being memorable is key to success in business. Here's five ways entrepreneurs can build personal brand equity in whatever they set out to accomplish...

BRAND YOURSELF through your professional presence.

First impressions count! Where you on time for your appointment? What message are your clothes sending? Are you trendy, conservative, fashionable or outdated? What about your grooming? Your hairstyle, does your breathe smell fresh? Scuffed shoes and too much cologne or perfume can speak volumes before you open your mouth.

BRAND YOURSELF as a valued partner.

Knowing your prospect’s background gives you an edge. Research the person and/or company, read its website, blog or newsletters and peruse their Social Media sites. Think and talk like you know what they're looking for and that you're there to provide them value.

BRAND YOURSELF with strong communication skills.

Learn how to quickly read your prospect’s style and preference in working with you. What’s the best approach? Should you take time to chat or immediately get down to business? Mirror their style, and you’ll build a stronger relationship.

BRAND YOURSELF by staying one step ahead.

Anticipate what your prospects wants or needs are. Anticipate what might be going on in their world. Be fully prepared for questions, and always be truthful when you’re asked something you don’t know. Just say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”

BRAND YOURSELF as being socially savvy.

Be a good conversationalist. Mix and mingle rather than staying in one spot. Ask open-ended questions, and then really listen.


~ Please feel free to leave a comment below, or suggest a topic that you'd like information or guidance on...

b2

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday's Words (of) Wisdom: I Want To Think It Over...

Hello Blog Follower's...

I must apologize for the few missed posts this week/past weekend...

Life and Business has kept me busy - which is great...

I had my lovely Michelle forward along a blog-worthy post from a trainer we have both found to be worth following (Jeffrey Gitomer).

Here's hoping this helps you understand, or better yet, prevent the most common stall tactic, "Let me think about it".

"I want to think about it." "I want to think it over." Crap!
You go through your ENTIRE one-hour, amazing sales presentation. You nailed it. The prospect seemed to be in agreement, even excited at times. He or she has all the logical and emotional reasons to buy, but at the end of your pitch says, "Sounds great. I need to think it over for a few days."

RATS!

Now what? Say something? Use a worn out sales technique? Agree and leave? Offer to call back or come back in a few days? Meanwhile you're pissed off, you're off balance, and about to make a bad choice - PLUS you're mentally blaming the customer for his indecisiveness. Relax.

I'm about to share 2.5 definitive answers to this age-old sales barrier.

1. Why it occurs.
2. What to do about it.
2.5 What never to do about it.

Why do prospects say, "I want to think about it"? Most salespeople never understand or are never taught why the "think it over" situation occurs.

It is a direct result of one or more of these elements:

* Some unspoken fear or reason.
* Some perceived risk.
* Not wanting to "just say no."
* Not the real decision maker.
* You haven't uncovered my real motive to buy.
* You haven't sold me yet.
* I don't like you.
* I don't believe you.
* I don't have confidence in you.
* I don't trust you.
* I think your price is too high.
* I can't afford what you're selling.

All of these elements or reasons why are the real barrier. "I want to think about it" is a stall, or a mask, not an objection or barrier.

GOOD NEWS: Many of these elements are discoverable WAY before you get to the end of your presentation. But it's up to YOU (the salesperson) to understand what really causes "think it over." YOU!

Never, in 30 years of sales training, have I ever heard ONE salesman say, "The guy said I want to think about it, and it was all my fault!"

There are a few posts seeking answers to "I want to think about it" on Sales Gravy, a LinkedIn group with several thousand participants, and more on SalesBuzz.com. There are hundreds of responses, and all of them are way off base. Some are borderline pathetic.

It's not about RESPONSE. It's about PREVENTION.

Before you blame the customer for THEIR lack of ability to decide, ask yourself these questions:

* Did I offer a value proposition that favored the customer?
* Did I ask enough questions to discover motive and urgency of the buy?
* Did I establish rapport and friendly dialog?
* Was I able to create a difference between me and my competition?
* Did I uncover the prospects experience and past use?
* Do I know what the prospect's expected outcome is?

BEFORE you hear "I want to think about it" you may be able to prevent it. Study the reasons and elements above as a start. They are the major clues as to the root cause.

And there are the NEW RULES of sales. With the advent of the Internet, social media, and your responsibility to build visible reputation, combined with your ability to find everything you need to prepare for your sales call, you must be prepared in terms of the customer. And your reputation must precede you.

Reputation and preparation in terms of the customer (how they win) will reduce and eliminate doubt. These are major causes of "think it over."

RULE: Never use an old-world technique to force or rush the sale. You'll not only lose the sale, you'll also lose respect. Rather, try to uncover the emotional or real cause of indecision.
REALITY: Most prospects want to think about price, or just want to get rid of you.
REALITY: Often, "I want to think it over" is a red flag for "your price is too high" and/or "I want to try to get a better deal."
REALITY: Rather than try a "sales tactic," try to ascertain an understanding of why this is being said, so you can prevent it next time.
RESILIENCE: If you do hear "I want to think it over," just ask the prospect how long they feel they need, and make a FIRM, WRITTEN DOWN appointment to return. No phone calls (if possible).

FINAL ANSWERS: If you are able to create a perceived difference in the mind of the buyer between your product or service and the others, and if you are able to create a perceived value in the mind of the buyer between your product or service and the others - then you have a chance. If the prospect likes you, believes you, has confidence in you, and trusts you - then there may be a sale.

Think that over.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday's Facts: Confidence

Major Fact...


Confidence is the foundation of action. So, have a fabulous action-packed Friday !!!

~b2

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday's Words (of) Wisdom: Masters

If one hangs out in time and space long enough, they'll inevitably learn it's through the twin gateways of persistence and patience that masters become masters.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbit: Enterprising


An enterprising person is one who comes across a pile of scrap metal and sees the making of a wonderful sculpture. An enterprising person is one who drives through an old decrepit part of town and sees a new housing development. An enterprising person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life.

To be enterprising is to keep your eyes open and your mind active. It’s to be skilled enough, confident enough, creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities that present themselves... regardless of the economy.

A person with an enterprising attitude says, "Find out what you can before action is taken." Do your homework. Do the research. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation of what’s to come.

Enterprising people always see the future in the present. Enterprising people always find a way to take advantage of a situation, not be burdened by it. And enterprising people aren’t lazy. They don’t wait for opportunities to come to them; they go after the opportunities. Enterprise means always finding a way to keep yourself actively working toward your ambition.

Enterprise is two things. The first is creativity. You need creativity to see what’s out there and to shape it to your advantage. You need creativity to look at the world a little differently. You need creativity to take a different approach, to be different.

What goes hand in hand with the creativity of enterprise is the second requirement: the courage to be creative. You need courage to see things differently, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take a different approach, courage to stand alone if you have to, courage to choose activity over inactivity.

And lastly, being enterprising doesn’t just relate to the ability to make money. Being enterprising also means feeling good enough about yourself, having enough self-worth to want to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in your future. And by doing so, you will increase your confidence, your courage, your creativity and your self-worth—your enterprising nature.

-b2

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Morning's Motivation: The Right Things

I am going to take a little different approach to today's motivation...

Do you ever realize that when ever your birthday comes around that many people send you a nice email, text message or facebook wish?

It really changes your mood doesn't it?

And I am sure it really changes their mood for doing it...

Well, last night, prior to the many messages I woke up to this morning, my wonderful daughter Madison; my parkour champion son, Wyatt and my lovely lady Michelle, did all the right things to show me how much I am cared for - and for that I am blessed.

So, your motivational challenge today is...

Go out and do the right things for someone in your life - It'll make you both feel great...

b2

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday's Spiritual (commitment): Love & Compassion

The message of love and compassion will travel far and wide if all who follow a spiritual path work together in harmony and mutual respect.

Saturday's Statement (just do it): I CAN

The final 20 words of this incredibly inspiring video says it all.

Ask yourself, Can I Do It? After watching...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=z22s5DzqQdQ

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday's Facts: Others

Powerful Fact:

If we try to secure the well-being of others, we will, at the same time, create the conditions for our own...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts (become) Things: Be Do Have

Be Do Have

I didn't always understand the Be Do Have principle.

Because I didn't understand it, I always seem to wonder why I wasn't creating the lifestyle I wanted.

And once I got it....I mean, really got it, my life transformed!

Do you understand the power of be do have?

It comes back to the principle of being the person you want to be and then you do what that person would do, to have what they would have.

It starts with your thoughts. Your thoughts are constantly creating your beliefs. When you think you can or can't do something, you affirm it in your action.

The "doing" is the action based your beliefs about yourself. Then, of course, we manifest or "have" what we think we can have.

Get this, being is the acting "as if" or behaving in a way that resonates with our future self...whether that future self is one month from now or five years. We're behaving as if we've already achieved the goal of our future self.

Then here's the important part. A small space of time of choosing to "be that person" and actually taking the action of doing as that person. You see, the only way to get to that future self is by moving with action.

So, you're always faced in a choice...Am I being the person I said I'm being?

It happens in that small space of time when what we say we want and then faced with the choice of moving toward it or ignoring what we just said we wanted, is moving us toward our goal or away from it.

When we move toward our goal, even the smallest step we are closer to who we say we desire to be than we were a moment ago.

Are you with me?

If I decide I'm going to be a singer. I start thinking and moving through life as a great singer. The actions I take are based on what I think about being a great singer.

Do I believe it? Can I see myself living this way? Do I feel good when singing?

I practice and practice. I put myself out there as a singer. I start to have results through my being and doing. People start asking to me sing at their wedding. Teams call for me to sing the National Anthem. A band wants to record with me. I put out the vibration that I am a great singer and move that way in my life. Yes, Be Do Have!

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”-Mahatma Gandhi


Children understand about being. When they decide to be a pirate, princess or cowboy. They are a pirate, princess and a cowboy and nobody can tell them any differently!

Be childlike and just BE!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday's Words (of) Wisdom: Negative Emotions

Whatever steps, however small, one can take towards learning to reduce the influence of the negative emotions can be very helpful - DL

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits: Procrastination

Perseverance is about as important to achievement as gasoline is to driving a car. Sure, there will be times when you feel like you're spinning your wheels, but you'll always get out of the rut with genuine perseverance. Without it, you won't even be able to start your engine.

The opposite of perseverance is procrastination. Perseverance means you never quit. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.

Ask people why they procrastinate, and you'll often hear something like this: "I'm a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right before I can get down to work. No distractions, not too much noise, no telephone calls interrupting me and, of course, I have to be feeling well physically, too. I can't work when I have a headache." The other end of procrastination — being unable to finish — also has a perfectionist explanation: "I'm just never satisfied. I'm my own harshest critic. If all the I's aren't dotted and all the T's aren't crossed, I just can't consider that I'm done. That's just the way I am, and I'll probably never change."

Do you see what's going on here? A fault is being turned into a virtue. The perfectionist is saying that his standards are just too high for this world. This fault-into-virtue syndrome is a common defense when people are called upon to discuss their weaknesses, but, in the end, it's just a very pious kind of excuse-making. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with what's really behind procrastination.

Remember, the basis of procrastination could be fear of failure. That's what perfectionism really is, once you take a hard look at it. What's the difference whether you're afraid of being less than perfect or afraid of anything else? You're still paralyzed by fear. What's the difference whether you never start or never finish? You're still stuck. You're still going nowhere. You're still overwhelmed by whatever task is before you. You're still allowing yourself to be dominated by a negative vision of the future in which you see yourself being criticized, laughed at, punished or ridden out of town on a rail. Of course, this negative vision of the future is really a mechanism that allows you to do nothing. It's a very convenient mental tool.

I'm going to tell you how to overcome procrastination. I'm going to show you how to turn procrastination into perseverance, and if you do what I suggest, the process will be virtually painless. It involves using two very powerful principles that foster productivity and perseverance instead of passivity and procrastination.

The first principle is: Break it down.

No matter what you're trying to accomplish, whether it's writing a book, climbing a mountain or painting a house, the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time. Focus on accomplishing what's right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what's off in the distance someplace. Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization. That's the first all-important technique for bringing an end to procrastination.

Suppose I were to ask you if you could write a 400-page novel. If you're like most people, that would sound like an impossible task. But suppose I ask you a different question. Suppose I ask if you can write a page and a quarter a day for one year. Do you think you could do it? Now the task is starting to seem more manageable. We're breaking down the 400-page book into bite-size pieces. Even so, I suspect many people would still find the prospect intimidating. Do you know why? Writing a page and a quarter may not seem so bad, but you're being asked to look ahead one whole year. When people start to look that far ahead, many of them automatically go into a negative mode. So let me formulate the idea of writing a book in yet another way. Let me break it down even more.

Suppose I were to ask you: Can you fill up a page and a quarter with words, not for a year, not for a month, not even for a week, but just today? Don't look any further ahead than that. I believe most people would confidently declare that they could accomplish that. Of course, these would be the same people who feel totally incapable of writing a whole book.

If I said the same thing to those people tomorrow—if I told them, "I don't want you to look back, and I don't want you to look ahead, I just want you to fill up a page and a quarter this very day"—do you think they could do it?

One day at a time. We've all heard that phrase. That's what we're doing here. We're breaking down the time required for a major task into one-day segments, and we're breaking down the work involved in writing a 400-page book into page-and-a-quarter increments.

Keep this up for one year, and you'll write the book. Discipline yourself to look neither forward nor backward, and you can accomplish things you never thought you could possibly do. And it all begins with those three words: Break it down.

My second technique for defeating procrastination is also only three words long. The three words are: Write it down. We know how important writing is to goal-setting. The writing you'll do for beating procrastination is very similar. Instead of focusing on the future, however, you're now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you're going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you're going to keep a written record of the places you actually go.

In other words, you're going to keep a diary of your activities. And you're going to be amazed by the distractions, detours and downright wastes of time you engage in during the course of a day. All of these get in the way of achieving your goals. For many people, it's almost like they planned it that way, and maybe at some unconscious level they did. The great thing about keeping a time diary is that it brings all this out in the open. It forces you to see what you're actually doing—and what you're not doing.

The time diary doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Just buy a little spiral notebook that you can easily carry in your pocket. When you go to lunch, when you drive across town, when you go to the dry cleaners, when you spend some time shooting the breeze at the copying machine, make a quick note of the time you began the activity and the time it ends. Try to make this notation as soon as possible. If it's inconvenient to do it immediately, you can do it later. But you should make an entry in your time diary at least once every 30 minutes, and you should keep this up for at least a week.

Break it down. Write it down. These two techniques are very straightforward. But don't let that fool you: These are powerful and effective productivity techniques that allow you put an end to procrastination and help you get started achieving your goals.

~ another brilliant piece from JR...

b2

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits: Tomorrow Today

Plan Tomorrow Today...

“Don’t start your day until it is finished on paper.” And the best time to do this is the day before.

This is an important and many times not so easy-to-keep discipline. The last thing I try to do before I shut down for the day, by routine, is to review and complete the plan for the following day. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes. What you don’t want to do is wake up and then figure out what you should be doing — it’s way too late by then. Chances are the rest of the world will have decided what it wants you to do and it will control your day, instead of you. You will be reacting instead of creating.

Just a little Tidbit...

~b2

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Morning's Motivation: Getting Back Up

After experiencing one of the most incredible weekend's I experienced this year, I found myself with a ton of inspiration...

So much that I didn't sleep at all last night...

Even though I was exhausted, I still worked out. I just behind my office desk and did what I learned; make calls and book appointments...

Found it frustrating that while I booked appointments I could not solidify any appointments for today/tonight...The rest of the week is booked solid, but nothing for today/tonight...

Then I received this video - Which after viewing put me over the top and I made even more phone calls which turned into two appointments for tonight...

Inspiration...

I Love Life. I Am Happy