Friday, November 26, 2010

Great Expectations

During my college days there was a phrase that we like to quote often. It went like this:
        "That’s close enough for jazz.”

How would you like a carpenter building your home to use that phrase?
     “Well, that window doesn’t close all the way, but its
         close enough. After all, we don’t get all that much
           snow and blowing wind up here.

Ouch! I’d be looking for another carpenter real soon, wouldn’t you?

Sir Henry Royce, of the Rolls Royce automobile fame, had the habit of stalking about his factory. One day he overheard an engineer speaking to one of the workmen. “That’s good enough.”

He immediately broke into the conversation. “It’s never good enough. That’s what we’re all here for —to make it better, and then to make it better than it is today. Never say it’s good enough.”

That’s quiet an attitude, isn’t it?

Maybe that is why a Rolls Royce is one of the most prized possessions in the automobile world still today. The name speaks QUALITY.

That’s called mindset.

So what is your mindset?
                    What is your attitude?

Do you expect people to buy from you?
Do you expect to get along with most people?
Do you have a “can do” mindset?

Sort of reminds me of the Bible verse “As a man thinks so is he.”

Earl Nightingale said it this way. “You become what you think about.”

Do you think win?
Do you think “successful outcome?”
Do you believe in YOU?

Do you hold high hopes for yourself, your self-development and your ability to seek a successful outcome?

Attitude is a choice. What are you choosing?
Where are you allowing your thoughts to take you?

Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity.

Hold onto Great Expectations.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

When It's All Over You've Only Just Begun

Have you ever come to the end of yourself before?

Have you reached a dead end and wondered what next?

“When it’s all over,
you’ve only just begun.”

Remember that.

I’ve lost in a few relationships.

I’ve had jobs that ran out.
     I've wondered "What next?"

Dead ends don't always mean dead ends.  Look for an opportunity to rebuild.

With every ending there is always a new beginning starting with your next step. Take it. Plant your foot forward and step into your new life.

“It’s not over till it’s over”, quipped Yogi Berra.

Yogi was referring to baseball. As long as there were innings left in the game, the team still had a chance.

How about this twist on Yogi’s thought?
If you’re breathing you still have innings left in your game. What are you gonna do in the next inning?

Are you still alive and breathing?
          Then you have the seeds of a new beginning.

Do ideas still pop into your head?
          Then you have the seeds of a new beginning.

"Every adversity, every failure
and every heartache
carries with it the seed
of an equivalent
or a greater
Napoleon Hill

My friend Ron is going through “stuff” right now. His boss is shutting down the business that Ron has so effectively managed for the last bunch of years. Is he discouraged? Not Ron.

I just got an email from him this week. Listen to the optimism in his note.

“The future is looking hopeful. I really don't know how to react other than to live in the moment, and enjoy what is such a breath of fresh air compared to the stress I've been living under these past couple of years."

Your setback could be
the launching pad
for your next great idea.

Remember …
When it’s all over,
you’ve only just begun.

I wish you Success in Your New Beginnings!

Friday, November 12, 2010


How is your follow-through? Do you have staying power?

In Og Mandino’s classic The Greatest Salesman in the World, he addresses this in The Scroll Marked Three. It states: “I will persist until I succeed.”

Every business and success minded guru that I read address this topic at some point in time. Our successes in life often come down to our staying power.

When I took typing in the tenth and eleventh grade my typing teacher taught me a great word.

The word was “PERTINACITY”.

It means “stick-to-it-ivness.“

For those of us in sales, we soon learn that often we have to ask for the sale somewhere between 3 and 5 times before we get the order. That, my friends is pertinacity.

There are dozens, hundreds, and thousands of examples in our world of people who have demonstrated this kind of focus. Thomas Edison comes to mind. He tried over ten-thousand different combinations for the electric light bulb before he found the perfect solution. He was asked by Napoleon Hill once what he would have done if he had not finally uncovered the secret.

His response was this. “I would be in my laboratory working now, instead of wasting my time talking with you.” Wow. That is focus and desire all mixed together. And a huge dose of pertinacity mixed in for good measure.

Read most biographies and you’ll see this inner core-principle in place. Athletes have it.  So do politicians and ministers.  Countless successful businesses demonstrate pertinacity.

I am a huge fan of Napoleon Hill. In a book published by his foundation titled A Year of Growing Rich, he states, “I have observed two of the most important facts concerning men and women who are successful in their chosen occupations and those who are not. The successes speak in the future tense of yet unattained objectives which they intend to achieve. The failures speak in the past tense of their defeats and disappointments.”

I referenced Og Mandino’s book at the beginning of this blog. One of the suggestions he makes for mastering the ten scrolls in The Greatest Salesman is to take each scroll and read it three times a day for 30 days. Then move on to the next scroll. Wow. What a huge commitment but what a marvelous demonstration of PERTINACITY. If you can stick to this commitment, you show a lot of the qualities that will lead you on to other successes.

I love this line from Beauty and the Beast. “Screw your courage to the sticking place.”

Develop Resolve!
Stick to it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take Time to Sharpen the Saw

In Stephen R. Covey’s landmark best seller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, his Habit #7 is entitled Take Time to Sharpen the Saw.

What does it mean to “sharpen the saw”?

This application comes from the wood cutting world. Lumberjacks know the importance of stopping every once in a while during their day to sharpen their saws. Saw blades, like most tools will lose their sharp edge and one will begin to work harder to accomplish the same measure of success. So, the wise wood-cutter knows the value in taking time out in their day to sharpen their saw.

Should we do any less? In all of life, whether in sales, management, bookkeeping, ministering, or picking cotton, we sometimes need to take a break, re-tool, and put a fresh edge on whatever it is we are attempting to do.

For some people it means simply taking a break from the day’s labors. For others it is literally re-tooling, or sharpening their blades.

For me, it is reading a great book in my areas of interest, or listening to audio recordings of current books that interest me. I gain some incredible insights when listening to the wisdom of inspiring speakers and writers such as Earl Nightingale, Denis Waitley, Zig Ziglar, and a great host of others.

Recently I discovered Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni. I just finished reading Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, and now I’m listening to the audio recording of this book. What a marvelous wealth of material. You really should read it if you deal with people on any level.

You see, by exposing myself to these individuals and their thoughts I sharpen my saw – I see things in a new light, or see new things altogether. I want to be a fresh thinker, a fresh and insightful writer and speaker. I want to be good with people and understand better how to relate to all types of people. That is why I spend my drive time each morning and evening listening to what these successful people have to say.

So, sometime today, stop and sharpen your saw. Dip into some wise persons words and see what they have to say to you that will stretch you and enlarge your life.

Keep a sharp edge!