Look Up ~ Smile.

"You must not blame me if I talk to the clouds." 
~ Henry David Thoreau.

Have you ever laid down on the ground and looked up at the sky?
Just watched the clouds? Most of us have at some point in our life.
We can relax, think, and day dream about possibilities. Sometimes, when things are especially difficult, we forget. ~ We forget to look up. 

We Forget To Be Thankful And Smile.

When I was a boy I'd lay in a field, watch the clouds go by, and dream. I'd dream about coming to America, of being a soldier, and a father.
We all have dreams, reasons to be thankful, and plenty of clouds.

So Dream ~ Be Thankful. ~ Look Up At The Clouds ~ And Smile.

Tough Advice.

"Do good, and disappear."

Some words, some advice, tends to stick with us forever. It's great because it's so tough to take. "Do good and disappear" was the essence of his personal code and it really struck a chord with me.

The challenge is truly immense. We all crave recognition, reward, and acknowledgement when we help others or when we accomplish stuff. We all seem to need gratitude and appreciation. It's an insecurity. A weakness shared. Just be a quiet professional he said. Do your job. Let the work you do speak for itself. "Just do good and disappear."

The toughest advice to take is always the best.

"Do Good And Disappear."

Most Feared Word.

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." 
~ General Eric Shinseki.

What is the most feared word in all of business? ~ What word does a salesperson hate the most? Is it change? ~ No. ~ The word that makes you, and your business, irrelevant is the one that stops every person who wants to move forward with anything. ~ It's the word that says " I don't care ~ You're not important ~ You're really not relevant to my needs at this time" ~ The most feared word in any business is:

Yes the dreaded "Ni" ~ meaning  ~ Not Interested ~ Not Important.

There are knights, and maidens, that echo this fearsome word to any idea, person, or proposal they deem not worthy. Ni is the word that halts every idea, every thing, and every one from going any further.

Question ~ How do we defeat Ni? ~ How do we turn  "NI" into "IN"

Answer ~ We identify an "Immediate Need."

An immediate need is the only thing that can defeat the dreaded Ni and those knights and maidens who guard the path to our success.

To get past Ni ~ To get In ~ Identify an Immediate Need.

On Sympathy.

"I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint and cowardly resolve." ~ Robert Burns.

Ok ~ Let's get this out of the way right up front ~ Some of us are not too good at listening to people when they whine. It's a problem usually caused by our jumping to next actions and proposed solutions instead of... Well listening ~ and letting a person vent about how tough things are for them. A lot of people believe that lacks sympathy ~ Perhaps.

What's strange is when we meet someone who has all the reasons in the world to complain about their lot in life, but don't, we feel a huge amount of sympathy toward them. It's when people talk about their difficulties ~ that the words to a famous song start to play in our head.

"O Fortuna."

It's one of the most powerful pieces of music ever written. But do you know what the words are translated in English? ~ Well it ends with ~

"Everyone weep with me".

Circle Of Life.

"Some say eat or be eaten. Some say live and let live."
 ~ The Lion King.

From the day we arrive on the planet 
And blinking, step into the sun 
There's more to be seen 
Than can ever be seen 
More to do than can ever be done 

Some say eat or be eaten 
Some say live and let live 
But all are agreed as they join the stampede 
You should never take more than you give 

In the circle of life 
It's the wheel of fortune 
It's the leap of faith 
It's the band of hope 
Till we find our place 
On the path unwinding 
In the circle, the circle of life 

Some of us fall by the wayside 
And some of us soar to the stars 
And some of us sail through our troubles 
And some have to live with the scars

There's far too much to take in here 
More to find than can ever be found 
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky 
Keeps great and small on the endless round 

In the circle of life

What Dogs See.

"Look at everything as if you are seeing it for the first or last time." 
~ Betty Smith.

If you have a dog you'll know what I'm talking about. How they're so happy to see you when you return home from work. As if it's the first time ~ every time. I love dogs, especially my German Shepherd, Winston. ~ He's simple, sincere and... well you know what I mean.

We can learn a lot from dogs. They see things a bit different than we do. They appreciate life. Human beings get to a point in our lives where we "know" stuff and it makes us jaded doesn't it? Perhaps dogs don't let what they know get in the way of how they look at things. They seem to see, and appreciate, things as if it were the first or last time.

But we stop looking at things as if we were seeing them for the first or last time. Don't we? But isn't that the answer? Isn't that how we can keep learning, growing, striving and appreciating all the remarkable things, people, and experiences that this life has to offer?

Got to go now ~ My dog is waiting to see me for the first time ~ again.

Think In Threes.

"Just Do It."

Brian was a bit of a legend but he always kept to himself. The man had the trifecta of traits that I admired so much. He was Tough, Smart, and Humble. A lot of guys had one or two but all three? ~ Not many.

They said he spoke at least seven languages. He could kick pretty much everyone's butt on base and for some reason he paid attention to a simple young guy who wanted to learn. It was really appreciated.

"You've got to think in threes.~ Our mind seems to pick up stuff in threes". Think about the rule of three in writing or trichotomy in philosophy. 3 is the number of truth. It's past, present and future.

Want to motivate yourself? Here's what you think "Can't means Won't." ~ "Just one More" and "Don't be Weak". Those three will get you through pretty much anything in life, here or anywhere, he said.

When you need to come up with a plan. Think of Three  ~ A, B and C.
How about ~ Vendi, Vidi, Vici? ~ Want to make a point?  Always remember what Churchill said ~ Hit it once with a sledgehammer, Go hit it again, and then come back again and hit it with a mighty whack.

Do you want to teach someone something? ~ Tell them what you are going to say ~ Go Ahead and Say It ~ Then tell them what you said.

Remember soldier ~ "Your mind is your most powerful weapon and for some reason it works in threes". Heck If all else fails, and worse comes to worst, you can always go with ~ "Rock, Paper, Scissors".

The Greatest Love.

"I believe the children are our future. Teach them well..." 
~ Whitney Houston.

Long before I was a father I heard this song and thought it was so very beautiful. The words meant something to me. Then when my daughter was born ~ Those words meant so much more. We have lots of little understandings my daughter and I. We share a lifelong bond and one huge agreement - just one. That drugs destroy dignity. I've never tried them, drugs, but as a young man who served during a time when many reveled and experimented I saw stuff that I didn't like much.

Drugs Destroy Dignity.

I try not to blog about things like this. I like to keep it positive and focused on stuff that inspires. Whitney Houston had a beautiful voice and a truly remarkable talent. So many people do. Then the dignity...

Great Expectations.

"I did really cry in good earnest when I went to bed, to think that my expectations had done some good to somebody". ~ Pip.

If you ask me it's the most difficult thing you will ever have to deal with the old man said. You will want them to do so very well. Your children, friends, and certainly those on your teams. You will want them to achieve great things. You're the kind of person who will always hold them accountable. Accountable to what others view as unreasonable standards. ~ You will hold them to ~ Great Expectations.

Sometimes they will make you smile and that makes it all worthwhile.  But sooner or later you'll be dissappointed. Human beings dissappoint each other all the time. You'll find that the higher your standards the more you will be dissappointed. ~ But you must remember one thing:

"It's the expectations we place on ourselves that really matter."

The List.

"It's the friends you can call up at 4am that matter."
~ Marlene Dietrich.

So we've all got connections. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and Google connections. We've got names, emails, handles, and digits of prospects, customers, friends, followers and acquaintances both serious and superficial. ~ But how about this...

Pick up a pen ~ yes you remember pens ~ Pick up a pen and do this:

Write a list. Start with the person who means the very most in the world to you. ~ Write a simple list of family, friends, and contacts that you value the most. ~ A List Of 10 People ~  They may not be included on your other 'digital' lists. They're Real. ~They're Important. 

They're Real Important.

Write The List Up ~ NOW ~ And Tell Everyone That's On It.

They're On It.

Your Boss.

"There is nothing so demoralizing as a boss who tolerates second rate work." ~ David Ogilvy.

Some call him the Big Guy, Head Honcho, or Gaffer. He, or she, is the one we answer to every day. Each of us has a unique relationship with the person we call our boss. But who is our boss? ~ Who really rules over what we do? Who determines the effort, quality, and sincerity of what we put into each day at work? Who judges our performance?

Recently I had a bit of an anniversary. Forty years of work without ever calling in, or missing a day, sick. Never having to call the boss with an excuse. Inevitably people asked me when it was brought up ~ "What the #@%&*... Why on earth would you...? Take a sick day you idiot."

"The boss will never know."

Now I'm certainly a lot closer to a sinner than a saint and there are numerous guys that work smarter, and get better results, than I do. But from this simple guys perspective we've only got one boss ~ and it may not be the one you think. Each of us selects the standards he demands. We rationalize and reason away how well we adhere to those standards in many ways. Every one of us 'calls in' on different stuff, in different ways, and he knows what we are up to. ~ He knows.

So who is the real boss?

Our Conscience.


"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire." ~ Aristotle.

Numerous books have been written about it. Fervent followers have ascribed a mystical significance to it. There are Oceans, Continents, Ancient Wonders of the World, Virtues, Sins, Dwarfs, Colors and Chakras that are said to add up to it. ~ It's the lucky number...

Scholars say that there have been only seven plots in stories and literature since the begining of time ~ Simply Seven Plots in life.

Comedy / Romance.
Overcoming a Monster.
Voyage and Return.
Rags to Riches.

and apparently there are Seven Habits of highly successful people (Steven Covey)

Be Proactive.
Begin with the end in mind.
Put first things first.
Think Win-Win.
Seek to understand then be understood.
Sharpen the saw.

Seven Success Rules (Jack Canfield)

Take Responsibility and evict an entitlement mentality.
Identify and honor your purpose in life.
Decide what you want.
Don't complain, or blame, and believe anything is possible.
Be confident and have faith in yourself.
Expect opportunity, support and success.
Set and pursue goals.

and Bushido ~ The way of the Samurai ~ has Seven Virtues:


We could go on and on...  For instance can you name the seven

Ancient Wonders.
Christian Virtues.
Deadly Sins.
Notes in a scale.
Ages of Man.
Colors of the Rainbow?

Or seven things you want to accomplish in the next seven days?

What Are The Odds?

"Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all." ~ Helen Keller.

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who is 'realistic?' A person who's so smart that they 'know' all about the chances of any endeavor ending in failure. They're Smart ~ So they don't do stuff.

Have you ever noticed how many businesses fail. ~ How many salespeople don't cold call. ~ How many kids turn out bad. ~ How low the success rate of doing that is? ~ You know how many people die?

On that last one ~  Guess What ~ We All Do.

Businesses fail because they don't adapt. ~ Salespeople don't cold call because they're afraid. ~ Kids turn out bad because their parents...
Well you get my drift. It's not because of the odds. Although we often use the odds to rationalize our behavior (or non participation). "Well the low chance of that being successful means I shouldn't do it" is the refrain. Give me a break. These people are spineless - not smart.

Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.

Did You Know the odds of ~ You Being You Are ~ 1 in 400 Trillion
( 4 x 10 to the 14th power)  Read the math behind it in this blog if you want to get a headache   http://hvrd.me/oyT6OW

So the bottom line is ~ You really shouldn't even be here.

The next time a sales candidate asks what the 'average' person makes. Kick them out and say your not looking for average salespeople.  The next time someone asks you about failure rates in business, or in any arena, ask them ~ Why ~ Are you planning to fail?

Here's the only odds we really need to know.

We All Die.

Where's The Beef?

"I don't think there's anybody there ~ I really don't." ~ Clara Peller.

Have you ever gotten a little frustrated with all the fluff?  With companies, and people, that spout politically correct nothingness in their marketing and message? With the same stuff being said by all?

Have you ever wondered ~ "Is a real person ~ really there?"

Do you ever get frustrated?  With men and women that have the best intentions but... With blogs and 'experts', like this one, who get up on their soapbox and advise us with the same old, same old, words  -

"Just listen, work harder, connect, learn, care and do a little more." 

Have you ever said to yourself...Ok ~ I've Got It. ~ That's Nice. ~ and then thought..."So Where's the Beef?" ~ The thing is... The Beef

Is Never In What We Say.

I'd Be Honored.

"The fastest learners exhibit two critical character qualities...
They're humble and hungry." ~ Mark Oakes.

Have you ever stepped back and thought about the people who've influenced you in your life? People who made a real difference? The ones who invested their time, attention, and gave something a little bit more of themselves than others. Have you ever asked yourself why?

What did they see?

Over the years a few very special souls gave this simple guy some attention both in the service and in business. Those soldiers, and sages, now make me think about what I look for in others. What do any of us look for?  We can't focus on everyone to mentor, or coach, with unbridled passion. So how do we determine who passes muster? Most of us respect work ethic, honesty, and basic goodness ~That's great criteria. We dismiss those who say one thing and do another.
It's easy to cut them ~ But how do we find those souls who truly care?

How do we determine those who have 'Rudy' in them?

Humble and Hungry gets my vote.

Best Sales Pitch.

"Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence." ~ Aristotle. 

So what was the best sales pitch I ever heard?
Location ~ Fayetteville, North Carolina.
A Steakhouse and Bar. ~ Many years ago.

A man walks up to me and says... 
"You're gonna buy me a steak tonight"
"Oh Yeah" ~  Why is that?" I say.

Well It's pretty simple really. ~ "I'm the guy...
Who packs the parachutes before you jump tomorrow."


Be Careful.

"Like a circle in a spiral. Like a wheel within a wheel. Never ending or beginning." ~ Legrand.

Have you ever noticed how much like minds get drawn together?
Like bees to honey? On social media experts tend to follow other experts. Whether it be in sales, leadership, self improvement, or whatever, those with similar interests converse with and congratulate each other. A lot of chat occurs. ~ Lots of ideas are exchanged.
Similar ideas, between similar people, on how things should be done.

But a word of caution.

Sometimes while we are chatting with each other ~ Just sometimes. Someone else is out there selling our true prospects. Someone else is in the trenches leading those we should be leading. Someone else is actually communicating with the 'end user'.   Sometimes social is...

Well it's just social and... someone else is working. ~ Be Careful.