Monthly Archives: September, 2014

A tree falls in the middle of a busy road.

A tree falls in the middle of a busy road.

I saw a really cool video about a tree that had fallen in the middle of the road. The video and background music were filmed in India, so I did not understand any of the words.

Anyway, a large tree had fallen and was blocking a very busy road. Traffic was backing up and no one could figure out what to do. It started raining so everyone got back into their cars, buses or went inside any shelter they could find. Everyone ran for cover except for a little boy who walked up to the tree and started to push it. What could one little boy do, the tree did not budge. Still in the rain he pushed and pushed smiling all the way. After about a minute a bunch of other little kids started pushing the tree, all the while laughing in the rain. All of the adults who had run for cover from the rain saw this, and one by one they started to help out. Before you knew it everyone was out of their cars, out of their buses and out of their warm, dry comfort zones helping the little boy in the rain. The video ended with the tree out-of-the-way, the rain had ended and the sun was coming out.

We can all look at how much work needs to be done to organize community service events, and go back to our comfort zones. Or we can work together in the rain to move the tree out of the road. I did not understand one word of the background music; I did not need to. It may look like it is raining and there are road blocks everywhere, but let’s work together and clear the road just like a bunch of kids playing in the rain. Maybe just maybe if 5 or 10 of us really believe we can do this, others will join in and help. I really needed to see this video today. I wish I could share this video with everyone. Instead I will share the story.

Don’t let a tree in your path block your way. Don’t let a little rain take you out of your comfort zone. Be like that little kid who was convinced he could move that tree. Be like those other little kids who did not let a little rain stop them from helping out. Be like those adults who saw some kids trying to do the impossible with smiles on their faces and helped out. Get everyone together and move that tree out-of-the-way.

A tree falls in the middle of a busy road.  Don’t let that stop you.

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Crazy does not mean dumb.

Crazy does not mean dumb.

Have you ever been called crazy? Have you ever had an idea that was so far out there, people thought you had lost your mind? Have you ever wanted to shake things up and try something that had never been done before, or put a new spin on the same old song and dance? Have you wanted to be the one that helps other’s when no one else will? I am taking about the positive sense of the word crazy. I have blogged about the fact, that if no one has called you crazy you are not trying hard enough.

So let’s think about crazy. Maybe you want to build your own airplane, or maybe you want to walk on the moon, or maybe you want to escape bondage and then help others do the same. People may call you crazy. I am sure they will, but will you let that stop you?

I am sure they called Neil Armstrong crazy. I am sure they called the Wright Brothers Crazy. I am sure they called Harriet Tubman crazy. Who are they anyway? Don’t listen to them. Listen to that little voice inside of you that tells you that you can do it, listen when it means helping others and helping change the world for the better. Crazy does not mean dumb; crazy means you may change the world one day.

I am sure that as a kid Neil Armstrong told people he was going to walk on the moon one day. I am sure that people called him crazy. Many people had tried to reach the moon and failed. Little by little, more and more was learned from each failure, until one day there was successful space launches and then the first successful trip to the moon, and even more remarkably a successful return trip to earth to go with it. How many people still think that man has never been to the moon? That is crazy! Crazy does not mean dumb, crazy means you may walk on the moon one day!

And before we went to the moon, we had to learn to fly. For many, many years people have dreamed of flying. I am sure many people had tried many times to invent flying machines. Before the Wright Brothers, people used Hot Air Balloons and Gliders; but to be the first to build an Airplane, I am sure that meant people called them crazy all the time. I am sure they tried and they failed, and with each failure they learned. Can you imagine a world without airplanes now? Because of the Wright Brothers and all the crazy people who came before them the modern economy depends on air travel with thousands of airplanes taking off and landing safely every day. I have been half way around the world twice thanks to air travel and I know people who are afraid to fly, I think that is crazy! Crazy does not mean dumb, crazy means you may learn to fly one day!

So maybe your dreams are not about walking on the moon, or flying in an airplane. Maybe you dream of freedom. Maybe you dream of freedom from bills or freedom from bondage. Many people once they are free vow to never return to from which they came. Imagine if your life was in danger, and you went back to the land where you were held captive. Harriet Tubman not only escaped slavery, but made 13 return trips to help others escape bondage. Now you want to talk about being called crazy. What do you think they told her when after she escaped slavery she told people she was going back to lead others to freedom? This time failure was not something you could learn from, in this case failure meant return to bondage if not the difference between life and death.  Harriet Tubman was part of a network of people who risked their lives to help others. Crazy does not mean dumb, crazy means you might help others escape bondage if you have the guts.

So if everyone is calling you crazy, don’t listen to them. Listen to the people who will actually help you win your freedom; listen to those who will help you fly. Listen to those people who will help you land on the moon and then get home safely. Listening to people who will not help you is crazy. Neil Armstrong, The Wright Brothers and Harriet Tubman were all called crazy in their time, I am sure of it. Now we call them heroes! I can’t imagine living in the world without their accomplishments, but the work is not done. We still need crazy people to stand up and chase their dreams and help each other change the world, for the better! Crazy does not mean dumb, crazy means do the work and miracles might happen.

Neil Armstrong: Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon.

The Wright Brothers: The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited[1][2][3] with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight

Harriet Tubman: Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made about thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved family and friends,[1] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage.

Good enough is never good enough.

I have tried to learn from my mistakes. I have tried to give the kind of advice that works universally no matter who is listening. I try to give the kind of advice that I will follow. That is the only real measure of advice isn’t it? Does it work for everyone, and will you follow the advice you give?

So I have learned from my mistakes and the one thing I have learned is that “Good Enough” is not “Good Enough.” I have learned that “Good Enough” is not “Good” or “Enough.” There have been times in my life where I was the one who said, “We have done good enough.” Pretty much every time I said “Good Enough” it was basically a cop-out. I was either bored or tired or just plain being lazy. Pretty much every time I said “Good Enough” it was to deaden the pain of not really doing my best.

So if you set a goal and you fall short is it ok to say “Good Enough?” Well, do you want to be the best? Do you want to have fun? What are your goals? “Good Enough” is usually a way to say, we did not reach our goal but we did good or we did enough. Did you really? Did you do your best? Did you go above and beyond the call of duty? Let me say it again, whenever I said “Good Enough” it was pretty much a cop-out. The times I have failed, really failed is because I did not try. If I did not put out my best effort I pretty much almost always fell short. It is great to say hey we are in this to have fun and do our best. So stop saying “Good Enough!” Start saying, “Do your best!” Start saying “Give it your all!” Start saying “Enjoy the ride!”

“Good Enough” is not “Good” or “Enough”. Did you do good? Did you do enough? Then say it, say “We did our best.” But do not say “We did our best” unless you really did your best!  Say “We gave it our all” only after you gave it your all! Say “We had the most fun” if and only if you set out to have the most fun! I have stopped saying “Good Enough” and have started asking, “What can I do to help?” I have stopped saying “Good Enough” and started asking “What is needed the most that I can do?”  I have stooped saying “Good Enough” and started asking “What is our goal?” What is our target? Have we reached our goal? Are we on target? Are we ahead of schedule? How do we get back on track?

“Good Enough” is neither “Good” or “Enough.” Good is doing your best! Enough is giving it your all! The only person you are fooling by saying “Good Enough” is yourself, your team and everyone who is listening to you. So stop Fooling yourself and for God’s sake don’t fool your team into believing that “Good Enough” is OK when it is based on a second-rate effort. Did you really do your best? Did you really give it your all? Did you really enjoy the ride? The only person you are fooling is yourself.

Always reach for that little extra instead of saying we did “Good Enough.”   A little extra effort, a little smarter approach and a little time to enjoy the ride; that little extra is what makes it “Good!” That little extra is what makes it “Enough!” So learn from my mistake, and try this little piece of advice. If you are going to do something, do your best. If you are going to learn, then learn. If you want to have fun, then have fun.  Give it your all!

How to find your dream job:

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I am on a mission. I am on a mission to find my dream job. So, I offer up to you my formula for how to find your dream job. Now you may say, this guy is crazy, how can he tell me how to do something he is trying to do? Well, I am opening up my plan to you. How I am going about finding my dream job. I will detail some things I have done correctly and some things I could have done better. How to find your dream job:

Step One: Figure out it is that you really want to do with your life. The sooner you figure this out, the sooner you will find your dream job. I can pretty much say this, because out of all the people I have talked to who are “Living the dream” as they called it figured this out at the beginning of their careers.

Step Two: Take any legal job you can find. Now, the only way to know your dream job when it comes along is to have a frame of reference. If you have figured out what you want to do with your life, take any job you can get that is in the field you want to go into. If you have not figure out what you want to do, take any legal job you can find. You may have to figure out what you don’t want to do to help you figure out what you really want to do. Now notice I said “Legal Job,” I will never encourage you to do something illegal or that is a scam.

Step Three: Figure out if you really want to be the boss. If you do, you should start your own side business. Not everyone is cut out to be the boss so it is better to not risk your main source of income until you know for sure that you want to run the show. If you can’t start something on the side and grow it, you more than likely do not have what it takes anyway. This is not a bad thing; you might take over someone else’s business one day.

Step Four: Contact as many recruiters as possible and listen to each and every one of them. Do this until you find a short list of recruiters who seem to know how to match what you are saying with what you mean. You will find out that they will help update your resume and guide your career, because they make money from helping you find a new job.

Step Five: Find a Better Job. This means you will have to update your resume and prepare for job interviews. The best way to find a new job is to already have a job. We live in a “What have you done for me lately society. “ When you are looking for a new job, you will want to put your best foot forward. The key to excelling at your current job and to find a better job is to always put your best foot forward.

Step Six: Figure out when a job you are being offered is no better than the job you already have. This is a very important step. You might take a job and find out that you made big mistake. Again, this will help you figure out what you really want to be doing.

Step Seven: Network, network, network with friends and recruiters and people who work at companies where you think you want to work. Get to know them and listen to their stories. Not just the good or the bad, but the good and the bad. This will help you find the leads before others find out about them.

Step Eight: Always, always, always keep your resume current: Update you resume every six months and post it to as many job search boards as possible. This has to be your standard practice.

Step Nine: Remember LinkedIn is not Facebook. LinkedIn is where you keep track of all your Professional Contacts and put you best foot forward. LinkedIn is where you network with other Professionals not where you talk about what you did last weekend or what you are going to do next weekend. Do you want to be the first person on people’s minds when that new job is being talked about?

Step Ten: Repeat Steps One and Four!

Step Eleven: Review this list every 90 days! Looking for a job needs to be something you are always the doing. The closer you get to your dream job, the more offers you will find yourself turning down. Focus on the things that are working in your job search and do not be distracted by people who are full of sour grapes.

The show goes on.

The show goes on.

Every day of my life, the Sun has risen in the East and set in the West. No one has ever got a day off of work because it was my birthday. There has never been a moment of work slowdown or stand still on my account. Every day of my life the world has continued to turn and the show goes on.

The show goes on. Wither or not I am a part of it. I have held many odd jobs before I finished college and I have had a few different jobs in my career. I have learned and grown and lost jobs and found jobs and switched jobs. No business ever failed because I was there, and no business ever failed because I left, for the most part the show has gone on at every business I have been a part of no matter how long or short of a time I worked there.

I have learned a lot and I have forgotten a lot of names and faces over time. I hope it all adds up to something. I hope I have meant to learn a lesson and then share with others. I hope it has all made me a better person, a better husband, a better father, son and brother. I hope it all means something that I was meant to learn and share. The one thing I can tell you for sure, you have to want to be a part of the show. You have a choice.

Tomorrow, the Sun will rise in the East and set in the West and the show will go on. The show goes on if you are a part of it or not. The show will go on without you. The show has gone on without me. I am not mad at any one person or anyone body at all because of it. Business will move on, the world will continue to turn. So decide what you want to be involved in. Find out where you fit in and make the most of it.

Have I made a difference where I have gone and with what I have done in this life? I am sure it will depend on who you talk to, who you reach. I am sure some people will say they do not like me. Some people will say “To make an omelet you have to break a few eggs. Maybe a few people will say that I was an alright guy in the end. Either way, the show goes on. The show will go on without me; I have to choose to be a part. The show will go on without you; you have to choose to be a part.

Make a difference. It does not matter if people like you or love you or stop and shed a tear for you. What matters is that you try to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I have argued with many people about what is the right thing and I have seem karma come around and catch them in the end. Karma has caught up to me also.  What is waiting for you? Will you be a part of the show for all the right or wrong reasons? The show will go on with or without you; you have to figure out how you fit in and for how long.

Tomorrow, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Some of us will start, so of us will quit and some of us will go on. The show will go on!

Talk is Cheap, Get Busy Doing!

Talk is Cheap, Get Busy Doing!

Welcome back to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I try to stay really positive. So today’s title may sound a little negative: Talk is Cheap, Get Busy Doing! Take it on faith that I am trying to encourage you to stop listening to what people are saying and stay focused on what you are doing, and try to stand and watch what people do after all the talk is over.

So, as you may know I have been playing the Drums and Bass Guitar in a Praise Band. This has been going on for over a year now. I have been on the road for work some weekends and had to miss. When I am home on weekends I usually end up playing the Drums because we have not been able to find a Drummer who will show up consistently. Now mind you, in over a year’s time I have talked to many Musicians, I have also heard about Musicians that other people know. There are four of us that show up on a semi-consistent basis; and there are at least ten more who say they want to play but never show up. I have talked to at least Ten People and heard about even more people who say they want to be a part of what we are doing and then never show up. The four people who show up have made the commitment to Do instead of Talk about doing.

So there is a certain amount of success that is basically showing up prepared to do what ever it takes to get your turn. It is ok to talk things through to find out what needs to get done, but the payoff is getting things done. The payoff is putting your hands to work. The payoff is showing up ready to do whatever is needed. Why do I say this; again I play the Drums most of the time. I rarely get to pay the Bass Guitar, because Drums are need more in most cases. I only get to play the Bass when another Drummer Shows up. Now, I have been able to play the Bass a few times, with Three Different Drummers. The better the Drummer, the better the Results. Once I played the Bass with no Drummer and that is when I told the rest of the Band it did not make sense to not have a Drummer. The Drummer sets the very foundation for the music 9 time out of 10. So I do what is needed most instead of what I want to do most. I don’t talk about what needs to get done; I do what needs to get done. Talk is Cheap, Get Busy Doing!

Now, keep in mind the fact that I have probably talked to and heard about at least Five Drummers, and only played with three, and most of the times none of the Drummers show up, so I fill in for them. If I were a Drummer and the only thing I had to do was show up, I would be there every week. The drummers are already there and set up, all you have to do is walk up and play. So nine weeks out of ten I do not get to play the Bass Guitar that I 100% want to play, I get to play the Drums that I only 90% want to play. Every now and then a Drummer will so up, so I have to be ready to switch to the Bass Guitar. I don’t make a bunch of excuses, I carry extra batteries and cables and I do whatever I can to help and encourage the guitar players and the keyboard player.   We have to rearrange songs based on how many people show up, but that only makes us better at what we do. So if you do you get better, and if you talk without doing nothing happens. Talk is Cheap, Get Busy Doing!

So basically to be successful, talk about what needs to get done and then do it. It is as simple as Talk about it, show up and do it! Talk is Cheap, Get Busy Doing!

The D.E.F. of Success:

Direction, Effectiveness and Focus are the D.E.F. of Success. Everyone talks about the A.B.C.’s; everyone talks about Always Be Closing. It has been said it is the first and last rule of sales.   But who talks about the D.E.F. – Direction, Effectiveness and Focus? Well, welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I am going to take a stab at it. The D.E.F. of Success:

Direction, Effectiveness and Focus: My life has been full of ups and downs. I have had my share of good times and I have created some bad times. I am sorry for the bad times. Could I have been more successful in my life? Sure. So I need to reflect on what I did wrong and fix it, I need to focus on what I do well and increase it. Most of my failures have resulted from lack of Direction and Focus and Lack of Effort. Fortunately, when I have put in the effort I have usually been blessed with success. So let’s look at this again. Direction, Effectiveness and Focus are the D.E.F. of Success.

You have probably heard all the stories about working hard to be successful, and you have probably heard about working smart. Well I am going to try to break down how Direction, Effectiveness and Focus are the keys to working smart and in turn are the keys to Success. Let me set the scenario or case study. Let’s say there is a certain farmer who has 80 acres of land divided in two sections, the North 40 Acres and the South 40 Acres. Let’s say this farmer has a farm-hand and it is approaching harvest time. The farmer gets called out-of-town and has to leave the harvest to the farm-hand. The North 40 Acres are ready for harvest and the South 40 Acres we set aside to be plowed under for the next growing season. Before the Farmer leaves he gives the farm-hand the following instructions. Harvest the North 40 Acres and Plow Under the South 40 Acres.

Now if the farm-hand has no ambition he may do nothing at all, yielding no harvest before the farmer comes home. This is a case of Zero Effort yielding Zero Results. So the Farmer gives the farm-hand a pep talk and tells him they need to work hard. The next day the farm-hand begins to plow under the North 40 Acres. After a full day’s work the Farm-Hand plows under 5 acres of crops from the North 40. Now clearly the Farm-Hand has worked hard, but they put all the effort into the wrong action. Or better yet, they applied a lot of effort in the wrong direction. Not only did the Effort Yield No Result, “No Harvest” it also destroyed 25% of the Potential Crops. This is a mistake that cannot be undone with more effort. The Farm-Hand would have been better off harvesting the South 40 Acres than plowing under the North 40 Acres. You see some misguided effort can be corrected and some can’t. Clearly working harder is not the only part of the equation. You also must yield results for your efforts. If the farm-hand would have followed directions more accurately the Farmer would be satisfied with their effort.

Now let’s imagine the Farmer is in a hurry and tells the farm-hand to plow under the North 40 and harvest the South 40. Now, if the farm-hand follows these directions to the letter and applies maximum effort, again the results will be a disaster. Let’s say the farmer was gone for a week and the farm hand completely plowed under the North 40. The farmer will come home and there will be no harvest for the season. The farmer will give the farm-hand a speech about lack of focus or understanding even though the farmer gave the wrong directions. The farmer would want the farm-hand to be “Pro-active” and will say the farm-hand should have known better. So in this case it is not about effort or directions, but clearly about a lack of results. Direction, Effectiveness and Focus; this time the Farmer and the Farm-hand are both guilty of lacking focus. The farmer gave the wrong directions and the farm-hand followed with-out asking for clarification. In this case both will be frustrated by the end result.

Now let’s say that the Farm-hand is proactive and ambitious. The farm-hand checks the Farmers Almanac and the weather reports and picks a small portion of the crops each day leading up to the harvest. The farm-hand figured out that it takes a lot of effort to pick the crops at mid-day because of the heat, and that it is hard to see at the end of the day when it cools off. The farm-hand figures out that the best time to pick crops is in the early morning between 6:00 AM and Noon. The farmer can now go away and leave the farm-hand on his own still see find the harvest has been collected when he returns. Even if the farmer gives the farm-hand the wrong directions, the best result will be attained, because the farm-hand will ask for clarification before the farmer leaves or will make the needed corrections. Not only will the farm-hand yield that maximum results, but because he has stayed focused he will know when is the best time to pick the crops with the least amount of effort. This is Maximum Effectiveness to go with Clear Direction. Direction, Effectiveness and Focus are the D.E.F. of Success.

I am sure someone else could give you another case study or another story but I hope this one helps make it clear. It is very clear to me. Maybe I have convinced you. If not, I will be here next time with a new topic to discuss. For today I hope I explained why Direction, Effectiveness and Focus are the D.E.F. of Success.

Business is personal.

Business is personal.

I have heard it a bunch of times in movies or on television, where someone says “It’s not personal, it’s only business.” Usually the person who says it is playing the villain. They claim that business is not personal.  I am here to challenge this way of thinking. Business is personal.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. People who follow this blog may say, “Here we go again.” New readers may say, “What is this guy up too?” I just try to look at life and explain my take on things. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. I am only asking for a minute of your time.

I think Business is always personal. Business is done by and affects people. Every good or service, sold exchanged or bartered; starts and ends with people. Now with the rise of not only vending machines, cash machines and internet marketplaces, we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that Business is conducted by people. Every good or bad business decision made affects people in the end. If the business profits or fails it affects the people who work there, the community around the business and everyone one of their customers in one way or another. Business is done by, for and affects people. Business is personal.

Maybe we have become desensitized, maybe we have watched too many movies where people look out over a vast skyline and never meet the people face to face who are affected by their decisions. In the 1980’s there were many movies made about Corporate Greed and Gangster Rules; the Leaders always said it was Business not Personal. How can raiding pension funds or threatening people to make bad decisions not be personal? Removing ourselves from the scene of the crime even if it is only in our mind does not make it the right thing to do. Business should not mean sacrificing people for profit. Business should always be a win – win for as many people as possible. Business should be personal. I say business is personal.

So no, there are no best-selling books with my name on them yet. As far as I know there are no books with my name on them yet. There are no movies and catch phrases associated with me or any character I have played yet. No one has written the story of my life yet. Many people will ultimately ask, who am I to be making these bold claims? I am a guy who has worked his whole adult life and come to realize that business is personal. I am a work in progress.

It does not matter what job you are doing, or what title you hold; business is personal. It does not matter if you own the business, work for the business, are a customer of the business or even rob the business; it is personal. What you do affects the lives and livelihoods of others. If you are open and honest about your dealings or if you are trading in deception; what you do will affect people. Business should be personal. Business is personal.

If you follow the money from start to finish. Business always starts and ends with people. Even if you cannot see their faces, your business decisions affect people in the end. Business should be personal. People should think twice about if they would want to be on the other side of the deal. Business is personal. So I stand against every movie quote and every pop culture trend that says “Business is not personal.” I say business is always personal. If you think twice, you may agree. Business is personal!