Wise Old Grandpa
What will you need to seed your new business?
"The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the flowering plant species Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Botanically, pea pods are fruit, since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a (pea) flower." - WikipediaI jotted these notes on my napkin one day at a coffee shop.
They are some "P"s for starting a new business, a non-profit venture, or any bold initiative:
1. A Purposeful Product
What are you bringing to the table and is there a real and perceived need with the right timing?
Does it solve a problem?
Does it stop a pain?
Does it answer a question?
Does it improve someone's life?
Does this ring your bell, ignite your fire, and tug at your heart. Can and do you believe that this "product," visible or invisible, can change the world and make a difference in people's lives?
If not, find something that fires up your passion.
You have to love your product or service and believe in it. Otherwise, you are wasting your time.
You need to think our and write business plan. Follow a guide like "Business Plans for Dummies" and do it with a partner.
Contact SCORE for a free mentor and great courses on how to start your business
Contact a trusted coach who can ask you the right questions,
You have to relate to, network with, get along with, incorporate, empower, and use the skills of people in any business that multiplies itself.
Learn too like them!!!
Learn to get along with them and collaborate.
Cultivate the art of listening, asking questions, and conversing. People are your greatest assets. People skills are your most important habits.
I ironically started to run out of time here. Find a way and develop the skills necessary to tell your story. A hint--- Toastmasters is a great resource for you.
Get a coach to help you refine your skills.
Practice speaking in front of people.
You will need a marketing plan and you will need to work it.
Learn the art of selling.
Read Frank Betcher's classic, "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling."
"Fail forward," as John C. Maxwell says. Turn your failures into building blocks for future success!
The road to success is paved with the cobblestones of failure from which people have learned to improve, refine, and practice resilience.
"P"s for business, like peas for your plate, help balance out what you need to start something new and exciting. They add color and necessary ingredients for your success.
If you need a partner, let's talk.
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You Can Do This!
Get on the Entrepreneurial Horse
Photo by Philippe Oursel on Unsplash
Starting a new entrepreneurial venture, a business, a social enterprise, a non-profit, or a congregation requires developing new skills. We acquire them in the time-honored manner, the way we might climb on a horse or a bicycle for the first time.
It is frightening; it is intimidating; it is full of uncertainty.
But it can be done. People do it every day.
Everything that now is, once was not.
How to Ride a Horse
Back in 2007, I found a great article on the net by C Cunning, simple, readable, and accurate on how to ride a horse.
Why would I search for such a thing?
I was just going over some of my business affiliations in my databases yesterday and it occurred to me that I had way too many. I need to narrow the field and concentrate on a few things during the limited amount of time I allow myself away from ministry, family, and writing to dabble in business.
You can't ride too many horses in a day.
The last real horse I tried to get on buckled under my weight. I knew then that it really mattered which horse I chose to ride.
A good horse can take you to success, but you must pick the right horse for you and ride it well. There are some excellent horses (business opportunities) out there for average people, but not all of them are right for you. I enjoy evaluating many of them, but I can only do a few of them well.
What is yours? In order to answer that question, you need to develop an understanding of your own passions, strengths, and interests as well as the resources you bring to the table.
If there is any interest in this subject, I will keep writing about it for the next few days.
Know this: There is a horse out there with your name on it and you can learn to ride it well. You may need to look around the stable a bit, but you will find the right opportunity. You can do it.
How to Ride a Horse - A REAL Horse
The writer, firstname.lastname@example.org laid it all out.
The authors says, "you never know when you might find a time when you are for one reason or another on the back of a horse."
That is so right. no matter what our intentions might be starting out, we might find ourselves in a place or on a mode of transportation that cannot be accounted for by our own manipulative efforts
He/She says we need to take seven things into account: proper attire, proper position, basic control, actually riding, stopping, and getting off.
I don't know what attire you might need in your business, ministry, or other project, but you need to know. Then you need to secure it and wear it. that includes actual clothing and accessories and the ethereal clothing of proper attitude, demeanor, and vocabulary. Read what needs to be read. Listen to what is being taught. Wrap yourself in the attire of good preparation.
Always be preparing for whatever is next.
Job 29:14 says,
"I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban."
Whatever it takes, put it on.
Getting on the right way is vital because first impressions with horses and people tend to last. Horses will buck us and so will people. The advice to try not to kick the horse is quite transferable. Good starts are more valuable than many, many restarts.
It is vital for the horse rider to acquire the proper position of the horse and it is equally vital for the business rider to position himself/herself as well within the organization, with colleagues, and with his or her support system. With horses, there are varying positions based upon riding style and the shape of the saddle. However, all require making necessary adjustments to equipment and with regard to our own bodies. So it is in business and projects. Adjustments are always necessary.
Basic control is an area of horse pedagogy that is affluent with rules. Most of these revolve around the issues of respect and communication. The rider must respect the horse not just as a vehicle, but as a living sentient being with feelings and inclinations. The rider must also establish effective give and take communication avenues and skills. How is that different than working with people in an organization. Power "trips" don't work very well with horses or with people.
There are three general movements in actually riding the horse: walk, trot, and canter.
Walks are east for riders. With the proper posture and, at times, help, anyone can ride a walking horse. It is a good place to start and a wonderful place to spend most of our times.
Trots are more difficult. A trotting horse is impressive to watch with its two foot rough gait, but it is tough to ride. It is good for a show, but not the most comfortable for sustained activity.
Make of these what you like. Most of our business life is spent walking, being "found faithful," and moving forward a little bit at a time. Slow progress is the surest and often, the most satisfying, but there will be times of canter as well, interspersed by showy moments of trotting on stage to receive recognition and give thanks.
The canter is a time of increased speed The gait is rhythmic and the speed can be frightening and intimidating. It is a time of faith in the horse and in the process. Experienced rides and coaches teach us techniques for just riding with it and letting the horse carry us.
There will be all of these moments in your ventures and you need to learn how to ride them.
There will be times when you stop and you need to do these well and with class. The getting off is, according to the author, pretty much just the opposite of getting on. It just needs to be done well and with respect for the horse.
Whatever horse you choose, you need to learn and practice the skills specific to the horse and the riding style. You can do it.
About That Horse
So, you are trying to narrow your options with regard to a business opportunity or project and you are exploring various vehicles (horses) that will enable you to accomplish your goals.
Sometimes you can ride a horse with a limp and still get to where you are going.
For instance, a couple of years ago, I announced an acronym for the word "optimist" and just discovered, after publishing it, that I had spelled "optimive" instead. Now, as far as I know, there is no such word, but I still got the point across - unless no one was paying attention.
There is no perfect anything in this world or this life. Only God is perfect.
I chose the better of two options to fix the error. One was to invent a new word, which I seriously considered. The other was to change the words in the acronym to comply with the time-honored spelling and yet maintain the meaning of the lesson.
I chose the latter.
So, we are not looking for a perfect program or a flawless horse to ride. We are just looking for the one that is right for us at this time. I think I can spell H-O-R-S-E, but check me and let me know if I mess up.
My online friends have known for decades, that when it comes to speelink und tuping i sumtimes meke errers.
H - HEART
I have lots of H words that fit. You want a Healthy horse (company, program) which you will know by examining its History and by the Helpfulness of the people answering your questions. All of those "h"s will help you discover the HEART of the organization. You want to affiliate with a group whose heart is good and one that you can put your heart and soul into. Listen to your heart and examine the heart of the company for compatibility.
O - OPPORTUNE moment.
Is this the right time in your life for this affiliation and the right time in history for success with this organization. What does the market tell you? What are the futurists saying? look carefully for timing issues.
R - RIDE-ABILITY
Can this horse be ridden? That depends on the strength of the horse and the skill of the rider. If the rider has no skill, are there good trainers available? Is this something you can do or be helped to do? What strengths lie in you that can be developed to do this sort of business or ministry? You are much more than you have already become, but you must play to your basic strengths which will often be somewhat communicative with your interests, passions, and desires.
S - STABILITY
Is this company currently financially stable? What is the state of its finances, indebtedness, and financial accountability? Are there mountains of lawsuits piled up against it? Is it complying with the law? Are its leaders people of integrity? Are its corporate values clear and congruent with its behavior and your own values? Is it producing some real verifiable success stories? Are a significant (not necessarily the majority) number of recruits sticking with the program and consistently building growth?
E - I want to do two here: EXPERIENCE and EXPENSE
First, is there are coming together of your own experiences, the experience of people in the mentoring support team, and the upper level leadership of the organization so that there is a foundation upon which you can build. One can make up for the other, but not all can be weak and there needs to be some significant experience at the top.
Second, what does it cost to get in and really get going? Ask about hidden costs, ongoing investments, and the cost of tools and training as well as the costs for initial sign-up and monthly product purchases. Have all this information ahead of time. Credible sponsors will tell you. There is no success without some investment.
Don't shy away from that, but count the cost and consider if this is an expense you can afford by stretching yourself, making some sacrifices, and being very careful.
Do not become immersed in unsecured debt (with a few exceptions) to get started and do not choke out your success because you have not planned to make the necessary investments.
These are things you consider up front.
If you and the horse both qualify, saddle up and get started.
Proverb for today:
"... pay attention and gain understanding." (Proverbs 4:1b)
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You have heard that advice. You have heeded it. perhaps you have given it. Perhaps it is the top of your list of survival techniques. There is only one problem with it.
It is bad advice.
With currents come waves … or perhaps currents are made of waves. Either way, they are necessary for change and change is necessary for growth.
No. Not all change is good, but no change is almost always bad.
We need waves to move us around, shift the sand under our feet, and to make life interesting.
Waves are indicators of influence and influence is at the heart of leadership.
The world is changing with or without our consent. Our resistance is futile and naïve. We can only go against the flow of negativity by creating currents of positivity. We can only resist evil influences by making waves of our own. Holding our ground is impossible in a liquid environment. We just can’t be lazy and expect to have a positive influence in the world.
Jesus described life in the Spirit as like having living water flow from us — fresh, moving, and refreshing.
Living water never accumulates in stagnant pools.
You must change if you are going to be an agent of change.
The first six verses of Proverbs 1 are populated with gerunds: attaining, understanding acquiring, doing, giving, learning, and discerning.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge …” — Proverbs 1:7
That which begins, continues. It flows. It makes waves. Knowledge is dynamic. It shakes things up, loosens faulty foundations, and stirs the pot of human experience. It also provides an exciting ride for those who are willing to go wherever it leads.
Here is your acronym for making waves that create new currents of thinking and bring positive change to the world through your business or ministry:
W = We.
Make “we waves” because “me waves” are only about my interests, desires, and opinions. A “we-focus” acknowledges that everything a person thinks, does, and contributes affects other people. It embraces a team approach to life and business. It considers the needs and dreams of others and appeals to them in order to build a strong wave of agreement and energy. Selfish motives only create ripples; waves swell when we are “in it” together. Build a team and speak to the masses.
A = Affect.
There are numerous definitions of this word, but I choose the one that means having an emotional impact. Humans are logical beings, but not entirely. We are not a race of Vulcans. We are emotional. We lead with our hearts and follow our hearts. If you are going to make positive waves in the ocean of humanity, you must speak from your heart to the hearts of people.
V = Values.
People value what they value. We have social values that we share and personal values that tend to vary, but we all value something. Many of our core values are commendable. It is in the area of our attitudes where we falter. It is when we forget, neglect, or disconnect from our core values that our behaviors become unpredictable, destructive, and unproductive. The person or movement that makes big waves will appeal to the core values of the masses and of individuals. You will create positive change through a positive influence when you make the connection between what people believe and cherish and what you are saying.
E = Exercise.
We say it many ways, but it requires an exercise of will and energy to create waves of change and influence the thinking and behaviors of people. You must actually do something. Get out of bed, out of your chair, out of your house, and out of your comfort zone(s) and exercise your influence. Talk to people, write, speak in public, do visible deeds, invest your resources, and act in faith. Do something! Take risks. Go out on a limb. Struggle. Exercise. Your level of activity will reflect your commitment and determine your success — but make sure you are acting strategically, intelligently, and with focus.
S — Stick-to-it-iveness.
It is not a real word but it is a very real concept denoting perseverance, determination, and commitment. Making waves that produce positive change in the climate of business, ministry, and the culture may not be an overnight phenomenon. It most likely will not be. In fact, the price of change and influence is often frustration, weariness, resistance, opposition, criticism, and long hours of hard unrewarding work. It is the cumulative efforts of you, your team, and the unseen work of the Spirit who motivates and empowers you that produces results over time. Your job is to stick with it and not give up.
Making waves makes people uncomfortable and makes you the object of potential ridicule, but it is the price of change and it is a major factor in the road to success in leadership and progress. Waves move things around and refresh the environment. Sometimes we catch a wave and sometimes we make a wave.
If someone says to you, “Don’t make waves,” smile and keep on making them.
We will give you more updates as things move along. This is a work in progress, but the AirBnB business has worked so well for us that we are moving from 1-4 units.
Do you want coaching on how to be successful at this on a small scale, investing in your own property as you go along?
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For coaching and mentoring, the first consultation is complimentary.
It has been a great pleasure to work with Jared and his team at Regencrate over the last few months.
We like to give credit where credit is due.
OH GOSH Attitude
Here is the OH GOSH approach to attitude. "OH GOSH" stands for Opportunity. Hope, Gratitude. Optimism, Service, and Humility.
O = Opportunity.
The attitude of a winner in network marketing or any other endeavor is that of viewing every obstacle as an opportunity for any number of valuable things including learning, growth, meeting new people, helping others, validating one's credibility, and even laying down the cobblestones of success. After all, the road to success is paved with the cobblestones of failure.
Hope gets us up in the morning. It informs our attitude that it is OK to dream, plan, and work because something very likely will come of it. Hope is not a guarantee of no pain or discomfort. Rather it is something stronger than a possibility. It says that our futures are not in the hands of a fatalistic principles of doom, but of a loving God who calls us to cooperate with Him in shaping them.
G = Gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude recognizes the debt we have for all we have been given in life. The old joke is that if you see a turtle up a tree and he tells you he got there on his own, he is either lying or he doesn't understand the nature of things, or both. (Note: I heard this in a workshop hosted by Ken Blanchard.) We thrive on an attitude of gratitude. With it, we grow better instead of bitter through the trials of life.
O = Optimism.
We choose whether to look on the bright side or the dark side of things, to focus our gazes forward or backward, and to affirm our faith rather than our doubt. Optimism is not the foe of realism. What makes us think that pessimism is more realistic than optimism? It is often the choice that determines the outcome. Get real; bring back Pollyanna.
S = Service.
If we, who dabble or delve into to the realm of networking and other business ventures will adopt a servant attitude, we will stop wasting time complaining about our inconveniences, perceiving slights, and nursing wounds. Zig Ziglar called networkers to a higher focus when he said, "You can have anything you want if you make it your main objective to help other people get what they want." (paraphrased)
If we are servants, we will be humble. We will succeed faster if we learn that it is not all about us. It is about the IT of it and it is about the other person. Humility is not negative self-image. A person with a healthy self esteem can be very humble because he/she has nothing to prove, no reputation to fight for, no need to be heard above everyone else, and is not threatened by the success of others.
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For coaching and mentoring, the first consultation is complimentary.
Don't ever let anyone steal your sense of humor. It is a key weapon in your arsenal against despair.
It is a serious world with serious problems.
Take people seriously. Take the problems seriously. Take seriously, the quest for solutions. Invest in your work. Follow and feed you passion.
But do not take yourself too seriously.
Laugh at yourself. Do it with others. Grow a thick skin.
Be jolly and never forget how to weep with those who weep and be vulnerable.
And never let anyone steal your sense of humor.
My friend sleeps with a corduroy pillow. I can tell from reading the head lines.
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." - Proverbs 17:22
Image - Photo by Renzo D'souza on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/@renzods
When people ask me how I get certain things done, the response is often, "I work them into the cracks of my life between major commitments. Ironically, the things we do in those squeeze times are not always the least important, but sometimes the most.
Earthquake spasms create cracks in the surface of the earth and life spasms do the same in our schedules. That is why we can never be complacent and must always be aware of the landscape of our existence.
Because you have so much to accomplish and must make the best of every crack in your calendar (as I am doing at this very minute), I am going to offer some suggestions in my next few posts. The first is about lists:
ALWAYS HAVE AN UNFINISHED LIST!
If it gets finished without you adding to it, you are already behind and wasting time. Never let your list get empty. Always have something on it that you can be working on when an unexpected crack opens in your daily schedule.
Categorize your list; let it flow into multi-layers; give it thought; give it prayer; keep it with you.
That's all for now because the crack is closing around me and I have an appointment across town.
Then, a bit later, about that LIST!
When I make a to-do list, I am setting priorities, reserving (dedicating) time, committing myself to objectives, and more importantly, praying about my day because ...
"... many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21 - NIV)
To-do lists are almost always overly ambitious and yet, I often inflate the importance and difficulty of some of the things that i put on my list. As a procrastinator, I find some items keep showing up again and again when a little five minute effort could eliminate them forever.
How I develop my lists reveals much about what I value, how I think, and how effective I am at accomplishing my goals.
The wise teacher of Proverbs (21:5 - NIV) said that "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty."
So this is very a very important as well as entertaining territory.
Start with the Next 15 Minutes!
I asked some folks and I asked myself to identify 4 areas of our lives where we really needed to work. All dimensions of life were legitimate areas of concern.
I then asked for an hour a day in 4 - 15 minute slots to devote one of those slots to each of those areas.
It could be reading the scriptures or professional/personal development books, exercise, family time, or anything that just wasn't getting done - things most likely that need more than 15 minutes but areas where that would be a good start and a major improvement.
What difference could 15 minutes a day make in some area of your life?
I have been readjusting to changes in my life personally, in family responsibilities, and professionally and my posting activity has suffered.
Yet, this took about 5 minutes.
I still have 10 to go.
Here is a dilemma: You don't have large enough blocks of time to focus on your big projects. Everything is chopped up with what we have called cracks in time available. The cracks seem to small to allow accomplishments. On the other hand, you work so hard that when you get the big blocks, you are weary and wasteful with that time. Your body doesn't want to do what is necessary for you to dig in.
What will you do?
Well, there is down time and then, there is down time.
True down time is a good thing, is to be celebrated, and is to be sanctified. It is Sabbath and we all need it.
Remember it and keep it holy. That means separate and unique and uncluttered with worry and self-flagellation over how you ought to be using it to catch up. You ARE using it to catch up. Your body is replenishing its resources and your total being is renewing itself for future full engagement.
The other sort of down time is all in your head. It is not down time at all and needs to be redefined - I do that by spelling things out.
15 Minutes for Better Health
I have been applying the 15 Minute Challenge to my health in several dimensions.
Along with the major changes in my life it had started to become apparent to me that I needed to do something about my body's condition or (A) die young or (B) become an invalid. (B) sounded worse than (A) and neither sounded good.
So I took several steps and one of them was to start using my gym membership more effectively.
I know the kinds of workouts we need for maximum aerobic effect, but I also knew I had to start somewhere - and I did - 15 minutes - a little of this, a little of that, a little of the other, and a lot of hot tub.
It is a start. Now I am up to a longer workout and feeling positive results.
Don't let starting slow or with inadequate resources stop you from starting at all.
Whatever you are working on in whatever area of your life, how you allocate your time for it will be a major predictor of your success.
Read In the Cracks.
Read The Squeeze.
And Thinking Time!
Here are some suggestions (from me) for embracing the HUMOR in life:
The essence of humor is the ability to laugh at oneself. It is not self-deprecation; it is simply humility and the self-esteem and security necessary to be humble.
It is necessary to have some insight into humanity in order to fully appreciate how silly we must look from the outside. The best humor of all actually loves and empathizes with humanity while appreciating its foibles and flaws.
As you grow older, wiser, looser, and better informed, you have more of a smorgasbord of humorous material. Life itself becomes your best source of intelligent humor. The better your command of language, the keener your capacity for wit. The broader your experiences, the deeper your belly laugh. Maturity frees us to enjoy more of what is best about laughter - not at the expense of others, but with them.
Humor takes what is obvious and allows it to entertain deeper or alternate meanings. If you want to enjoy the laughter of life, keep your eyes and ears open and be ready for those moments of serendipity when everything comes together, when timing is, indeed, everything.
Let it rip! Get over it. Let go of it. Relax. Give yourself permission to take a short vacation into the realm of the absurd.
Extreme Makeover - Life Edition
How many bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb?
How about life coaches?
If we don't want change, all change is intimidating.
George Carlin said he put some money into one of those change machines and nothing happened.
I'd be delighted to find a change machine that actually produced transformation in any number of areas of my life and community.
That is the appeal of every great movement in history. Those who embrace it and proclaim it know it to be a message of transformation. The human side of transformation is a word that sounds like a Bible thumper's theme, "repentance." It calls forth memories of muggy nights, loud preaching, stern looks, and harsh threats to all who will not repent.
But here is some insight into the word:
It means "change."
And that is good news.
The good news is that, when there is a new regime and order of things, change is possible. It can be mandated because it is no longer futile.
If you want different results, you must change the variables. That is not merely a directive; it is a fact of life.
If you want different outcomes, you may have to adjust your behaviors that are driving your outcomes.
A man asked the Zen Buddhist merchant for change for a dollar and he replied, "All change comes from within."
He asked a member of a Twelve Step group and the response was a question, "Does the dollar really want to change?"
All change does come from within and it is driven by desire.
It often requires what our Twelve Step friends of Bill W. call reliance on a higher power.
A few years ago, I was an avid fan of "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition."
How About an Extreme Makeover - Life Edition?
What if we start with the CORE of our lives?
There is some Ultimate Concern, as Tillich called it, dead center in our beings where we define ourselves and order our living. Ultimate Concern defines our WHY for everything we do. It answers the question, "So What?"
Flowing out from that center are three dimensions and manifestations of living from the core of our beings:
Yes, that spells, CORE.
Here is a confession: This thinking and writing is part of a bigger project. I am working on a book about how we can make changes in our lives. The acronym is a start.
Community is what surrounds us and envelops us in something human that is greater than our solitary selves. It is our support group. It involves the causes with which we associate and the people we love and align with.
Occupation is what we do daily. It encompasses our purposeful and strategic behaviors that bring us closer to our goals and flesh out our visions of the future.
Resources are the things we need to get it done. They are intellectual, material, relational, physical, social, and most of all, however you define it, spiritual. I will suggest a working substitution for spirituality for those of you on the fence: essential, referring to essence.
Emotions supply energy because they are, are their core, motivational. They move us.
Each of these core elements covers a vast territory of possibilities.
Another key word is related to the construction of a life that is strong and resilient in the midst of the culture quakes, economic tornadoes, circumstantial floods, and faith explosions of our times is STAND.
I have another acronym. To STAND, we must engage in these commitments:
It will take the time that I devote to write the book and the time you take to read it in order to consider these matters. It will lifetime to implement. Hopefully, this will get your mind started.
Perhaps you will take the reading and writing journey with me. Perhaps you will contribute.
Change is possible and we can stand and withstand the onslaughts of overwhelming problems in uncertain times if we will develop from the CORE and take a STAND for change.
Or, if you are satisfied with things as they are, click NEXT.
For the rest of you, let's get started.
Coffee and Honey
09/21/2006, 03:35:30 PM
Two people taught me lessons in entrepreneurial excellence some years ago. They confirmed and illustrated some truth I already knew. You have to stay on your toes to make a lasting impression.
Some folks collect postcards, swag, and other souvenirs when they travel. I do that too, but mostly, I collect memories and ideas. As I was browsing through my files, I found a reflection I had written in 2006 during a trip to Canada. I have blended those words into this final product.
They all go together like coffee and honey.
When you are in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, you must go to Guy's Café and Bakery (http://www.guyscafebakeryinc.com/) for lunch. You will be greeted by Guy and that is an experience not to be missed. He will entertain you as he gets your order right. The food is worth it without the atmosphere, but with the atmosphere, you will be making a memory.
The coffee is aromatic and delicious. The refills are free.
Your food will be brought to the table by a staff member with an embroidered insignia that reads, "Insane Staff." Our servers had clearly embodied the corporate culture which apparently includes service, fun, and quality with an underlying value for friendliness.
We went in as a group (The California Singing Churchmen) and were invited to sing the Doxology for our dessert. Seldom have as many customers been as unanimously enthusiastic about a lunch and an establishment.
Find Guy at 6201 Grande Blvd., Cochrane, or call 403-851-9955 for directions (in Alberta, Canada).
Don't wait until you get to Canada to try some Canadian honey from the Nixon Honey Farm (https://nixonhoney.ca/ ). Craig and Tammy Nixon raise the bees, gather the honey, and package it for marketing. I have never tasted anything so tasty or met a nicer honey maker as Tammy.
We ran in to her in the mall in Calgary and she supplied us with all the samples in her car - just so that we could have the experience.
The common denominator with both entrepreneurial ventures is the second mile of service and passion associated with delivering that service with quality.
They will go far. So will you if you learn what they know about staying on their TOES!
Take Initiative for Excellence.
Don't wait to be asked. Keep your mind active and your imagination flowing for new ways to go the extra mile and delight your public with joy and fun.
Overwhelm People with Unexpected Enthusiasm.
Be a cheerleader for your brand. Love what you do and what you produce.
Extend Your Service Beyond Anyone's Expectations.
Tammy and Guy both did this. They went out of their way to do the unexpected and that was to the delight of many. We enjoyed what they did and we told many people about it. Sixteen years later, I am still telling the story.
Yes! Surprise them and surprise yourself that you thought of something new. This will feed your enthusiasm and energize you as well as energizing your public. People will be come your ambassadors.
I hope to get back some day. I want to visit the Rockies again and I want to check in on my old friends!
You are a business, social, or spiritual entrepreneur. No doubt, you are also someone's employee while you build your dreams. Most likely, you have a family, a home, and "chores."
You are busy.
You are doing whatever you do in the cracks of your life between other major responsibilities. You frequently complain that you just don't have "enough time." You feel guilty when you relax. you feel frustrated about all the things you didn't get done.
You are in a self-imposed squeeze and, when it comes to building your dreams, you have to "squeeze things in."
Top that off with the troubling reality that you are not all that fond of tight spaces, which is one reason why you ARE and entrepreneur -- so that you can get out of them.
Unfortunately, in order to accomplish that, you need to get into some for a while.
Let's consider some, quite impromptu ideas for coping with the squeeze and letting it even squeeze a little more greatness out of you and efficiency out of your schedule
Here is today's acronym for squeezing it all in.
S is for SCHEDULE.
Make it; break it; bend it; keep it as best as possible. Make it reasonable. Break it gently. Bend it whenever necessary (So keep it flexible). Keep it as a form of disciple and as a planning tool.
Q is for QUIET.
Quiet your soul.
Live by grace.
Receive it and give it.
Leave space in your life for God, family, self, and reflection. Whatever your spiritual, emotional, or intellectual disciplines, include a quiet time in every day. Make it the un-squeezed portion of your life.
U is for UNDERSTAND.
Do what you do with a rationale and purpose. Understand yourself: your pace, your purpose, your passion-driven energy, and your productivity index.
By knowing what makes you most effective and how to apportion your energy and time, you will be able to squeeze more out of every hour. Then, also understand the task as part of the whole project and mission and what it takes to get done what you are determined to do. Live with understanding.
E is for ENERGY.
Know that your productivity index is more about how you budget your energy than your time. Time is a necessary commodity, but if you have from midnight to 6 AM every day, it doesn't mean that such time is going to be productive because you will most likely be out of energy and much in need of rest.
E is also for EQUIPPING.
It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is just as true that an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of effort. Squeezing an empty tube of toothpaste is a useless activity. Don't become encumbered with useless expenditures of valuable time and effort. Learn what you need to learn.
Read what you need to read.
Prepare yourself and others.
Equip yourself for maximum productivity in the squeeze. It may SEEM like a waste of time to read this article when you could be making a call. Ignore that voice that discourages you from equipping yourself and keep preparing.
Z is for ZOO and it is a zoo out there
Yes, it is a zoo without the cages --- more like a zoological reserve with all sorts of wild things roaming around and creating an illusion of unpredictability. The bottom line of this proposition is that no matter how hard you try to bring order to your life, there will be unforeseen events and circumstances. It is predictable that these will arise and with all the information, one might be able to see these crises coming, but no one has nor can they assimilate all the data necessary.
Therefore, what may be a well ordered universe manifests itself as utter chaos from time to time. Count on it and make the appropriate arrangements to cope.
E and the last E is for EITHER/OR
This is the most important letter of all because it is about our choices which are always ours alone to make. When we are in a squeeze we must decide what we are going to do, say, think, or believe.
In 15 seconds one can bend over and pick up a penny on the ground, stand back up and prepare to bend down and pick up another. One person might quip that it would be a waste of time. Another might do the math and realize that at that rate, one would be making $24 per hour.
At that point you'd need to ask yourself if you could be making more in that 15 second period by jotting down a great idea, making a mental note of an insight, or even speaking to the person next to you.
Any of those would be more productive than complaining, blaming, or feeling sorry for oneself.
There are always choices.
You have the same number of hours in a day as everyone else, but it seems less because your dreams are bigger, your expectations higher, and your goals loftier. You will frequently find yourself squeezed, but even in the squeezes you can make choices that will make those tight spaces wide opportunities for great things to happen.
You are a winner.
Are you a novice to the habit of smiling. I will suggest a beginning exercise that may help.
Not only will you feel better, but it pays well too.
Stretch your cheeks as far as they can go to the left and the right.
Make yourself hold that position.
Inhale, but hold your facial position.
Lighten up your stance by tensing and relaxing your muscles.
Enjoy the giggle that is now turning from a chuckle to a cackle.
Practice that 5-10 times a day, holding it for 5 minutes.
See what your brain and outlook can learn from your face.
If you do not believe me, try it anyway to prove me wrong. You will be happy when you fail to do so.
And Do Your Best!
I was at LAX in June, 2014, waiting for a flight to Israel. I arrived in the wee hours of the morning because I had come from Fresno by train. The international terminal was almost empty. I napped and watched intermittently.
Not so, for the man at the currency exchange counter. I do not believe he ever nodded off. He was alert every time I opened my eyes.
The dude seldom moved for over an hour.
Mostly, he had folded hands.
I waited for him to look down.
One person came by. As fate would have it, no currency exchange, but he did get directions.
Some jobs are hard - like waiting, and boredom.
He waits well for the exchange rate to change.
Then he pops into sudden action and changes the board.
He does his job.
What more can we ask?
What is on your job plate today?
Do your very best!
I was lifting weights.
I suppose I lifted a bit too much -- or for too long --- or on top of an injury --- or something.
No pain, no gain. I know and embrace that. I also know that I can overdo it. There is a balance to it all and sometimes I don't know where the edge is until I've gone over it.
All is well. We break down tissue and the healing brings development, strength, and a host of benefits.
None of those dead weights achieved any benefit from being lifted by me. I received them all. It is different with lifting people. Then, the person lifting and and the person being lifted are both blessed.
So, I thought I'd see what we could do for an acronym on "lift."
No to be trite, but if what we do to lift another is not moved by love and infused with love, nothing positive has happened. It is always about the other person and never about ourselves. When I lift weights, it is about God and me. When I lift people, it is about God and them and I get benefits in a peripheral way.
How do you know when to encourage, edify, or lend a hand to help? You learn to feel your way through it. You do that by developing the vulnerable art of sensitivity. For some, it comes easy. For others, it is counter-intuitive to be intuitive. However, by slowing down and using all of our senses, we will know when we are needed.
When we lift a weight, we are fighting resistance. The resistance is the weight, but the greater resistance is within us. We press against what seems to be an unmovable force with strength we do not know we possess. And that force retreats. We are lending our shoulders to a soul who does not know he or she can move upward. We are not fighting their battles for them, but with them. We become a team and rejoice with them when they overcome their resistance. In the process, we realize that we have overcome much as well.
The question is, and always is, "Who can I lift today?"
We make ourselves available and stay available. If we are willing, the one who needs a lift will cross our paths. If will happen because the world is full of people who are struggling. Some are discouraged. Others just need a hand. God will bring you into contact with people who need a lift and with others who will lift you. After all, it is also His work:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver with Loretta Claiborne, a long-time Special Olympian.Credit...Special Olympics
Photo Credit= Special Olympics
Special Olympian, Loretta Clairborne Pays Tribute to Eunice Shriver
Eunice Shriver was a great woman, but she also helped other people achieve greatness.
That is a big part of what made her great. Lifting others is what true greatness is about.
Our greatness is to be found in the deposits we make in the lives of others.
Loretta Claiborne was one of those people lifted and encouraged through the life of Eunice Shriver and she, in turn, is lifting and encouraging others today.
Let this speech lift you.
In Mrs. Shriver's words, "You have earned it."
https://linktr.ee/tomsims to stay in touch
I was looking for something else and am so grateful to have found this.
The speech introduced me to Loretta Claiborne, one of the most amazing people about whom I have ever heard. I had to know more because she said she was "mentally retarded."
She could have fooled me.Yet, she is articulate and inspiring and her achievements have been outstanding..
Her story is remarkable and uplifting.
I wanted only to deposit one check and cash another. It took an inordinately long time at the teller window. When the supervisor helped the teller do an override, she asked me “And how are you today?” - Easier for Whom? | Sanborn and Associates - Customer Service/Golden Rule
Sanborn tells the rest of the story and recounts how he did not have an ATM card with him for identification.
He received this response:
Those words tell all.
If I am waiting on you, the customer and us is me then I am already starting the process of decline in business. The moment my service becomes about my convenience, profit, well being, peace of mind, or anything about me, I have lost my purpose for being in business and I will eventually lose my business.
But this seems to be a trend. Us-based decisions seem to be trumping all manner of you-based concerns.
I have been writing about the call to renew civility in our society and I think we can start anywhere as long as we include commerce and business.
What if we take a YOU approach?
Reflections on Selections from Psalm 78
From the Sheepfolds
Are you "stuck" in work you feel is insignificant and at the lowest place on the chain of importance?
Are you doing menial work when you feel you have a greater calling?
Look at David. His entire schooling was doing what kids do in a family like his - chasing ewes, shepherding sheep.
Yet David, apparently, grasped the parallels. He realized that the lowest work was really at the heart of the greatest work. To serve, to lead, to protect a great people was really just a larger context of what he had been doing in his youth - shepherding people, like he shepherded sheep.
He emerges from obscurity from among hundreds of thousands who had great potential.
He emerges to lead. His significance was not hindered by his lowly position. He did that faithfully. The greater work came later --- yet sooner than he expected.
He was taken from the sheepfolds.
Once we experience God, who is our Shepherd, we discover a quality of leadership that defies common wisdom: compassion. It is shepherd leadership. It is an aspect of godliness. It is the essence of empathy. It is is the core of heart of a servant leader.
I am glad that God does that for me.
Of course, it is completely unfair ....
I do the wrong and He atones for it. That means, He bears the brunt and makes it right.
Grace and mercy.
To Be a Godly Leader
To take our hints from David and God himself, the qualities of godly leadership might be:
These are some hints from the two selected portions of the psalms.
Use them as points of exploration for how we might become more effective leaders.
This is an affirming and encouraging gesture.
We should all practice it..
Thumbs up givers encourage my jokes, my observations, my attempts at wisdom, and my streams of consciousness.
He (or maybe SHE) does not know what I am talking about - But it does not matter.
You need a "THUMBS-UP-GIVER" in your life, even if you have to draw one and animate it. It can be an inner voice.
The shortest and surest way to find such a person is to be such a person.
Thumbs up giving is contagious and attracts like-minded people to your circle of encouragement.
Listen to this song and keep on keeping on!
We have a huge event in my town called, "Big Hat Days."
I am not sure what my big hat is some days.
I had a "what have I learned" assignment a few years back thanks to a wonderful and relatively new friend's invitation to speak to a group of peers.
It behooved me to remove my "expert hat" and be a fellow traveler.
That hat never fit too well anyway.
In fact, I have never really liked wearing hats much. I find them functionally necessary at times as tools, identifiers, shades from the sun, or ... well ... that is all I can really think of.
Hats - I have so many, role-related identifiers.
Whenever I introduce myself I have to do a reality check. What hat am I wearing today? What is the "so what" of the crowd that is my ticket in the door? Why was I invited? What are the needs of the people that I have been sent to serve?
I am not switching between one authentic self to another; I am just turning the side of me that is relevant to the side of the crowd that cares.
And yet, everything relates, integrates, and colors everything else.
I have been a pastor, preacher, teacher, writer, blogger, community manager, non-profit (public benefit organization) board member, executive director, coach, toastmaster, encourager, singer, chaplain, "barrista", entrepreneur, husband, son, brother, father, GRANDPA (!), disciple of Jesus, human being, friend .....
See, I did not, could not list them in order. The order changes with the setting.
If you ask me what I have learned I have to ask what about! And I have to ask who is asking and what they need/want to know. What have I learned in what context? Under what hat? As a what? How will it help?
"What is the big banner? What is the big hat?"
It is not about having a changing persona; it is about function. All functions serve a greater purpose. I only become all things to all people for the benefit of others. I do that for the sake of a message of good news which is greater than anything that I am. As a result, I get to share in the benefitss ... like Joseph who, for all of his gifts, designations, and complexities, a servant who lived out his life for the benefit of a people not his own in a land not his own ... and came to share in the benefits of life giving service he had offered.
Fellow traveler is a pretty good hat.
What have I learned?
I have learned that I have a lot to learn.
Here is a lesson from someone who learned that life's greatest calling is to serve.
Lately, I have posted some messages that might be largely considered promotional in nature - meaning, "to move something forward."
The specific etymology is:
Motives (also from motieonem and movere) are always mixed. From that reality, they derive their power and complexity. From that equilibrium, we derive the genius of win-win scenarios and shared vision. When all who come to the table have the opportunity to win, everyone is PRO-MOTED, moved forward, advanced, and encouraged to the next level of accomplishment.
I encourage you to always be promoting something and/or someone. Always be looking for ways to win by helping others win. always be advancing an idea, a cause, or an event that will advance people.
In that sense, we are all advertisers:
You might balk saying that all this promotion and advertising is too commercial. Consider the roots of commerce:
Money is not everything, but it is useful!
Keep advancing great ideas, great people, and great opportunities! PRO-MOTE!
We can do much together.
Thoughts from November 10 Through Recent Years
If they meant something then, maybe they will prompt a thought now. Some are words and some are images.
What we do with our thoughts, ideas, and insights is entirely up to us.
We can think them, express them, ponder them, and act on them. We can also let them die. We could always put them aside an d come back to them.
It is a matter of choice and discretion.
Remember: Things can happen very quickly.
I have been there!
Now, while you will still be you years later, you will also be much more.
Here is the rest that was truncated:
I wonder what I would tell this kid if I met him in some time-warped, celestial vestibule during a meet and greet.
Could I tell him anything?
Or should I just play dumb and let him figure it out as best he could ... which ...
I suppose he did.
Would you actually try to tell your younger self anything if you had the chance?
I just thrw that one in.
Were you an early adopter?
Are you generally an early adopter?
What difference has that made for you?
Pause to remember.
Here is the untruncated version:
Born this day in 1779 – Anne-Marie Javouhey, French nun, founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny.
As a teen, she helped to hide and care for a number of priests persecuted by the French Revolution.
She founded the Institute of Saint Joseph of Cluny.
She opened missionary work in Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leon, the Reunion Islands, and Guiana.
She founded a leper colony, participated in the emancipation of slaves, developed agricultural communities, survived a plot to kill her, and created schools for children.
Big ideas make a difference, but lived lived, day by day, are what really count. Like this one:
I have tried many idea and many have failed.
Yet, some have succeeded!
What if I had never tried anything?
I actually preached on this scripture Sunday.
Learn from every experience.
Take pictures and take action!
What are your take-aways today?
It is one of the tasks of a great leader to vanish.
There are many leadership skills involving our hands: the hand up, the extended hand, the hands on demonstration, the hand on the shoulder and the hand off.
That's right, the hand off with its accompanying attitude of "hands off." It is also called, "the hand over."
In business and ministry, we will find ourselves endlessly serving one task, one location, and one small group of people if we are unable, unwilling, or uninspired to duplicate ourselves and vanish into the woodwork.
Vanishing leadership is real leadership. It mentors, prepares, and duplicates itself in others with the specific goal of giving away a role or task and all the credit and accolades that go with it.
Great leaders are always grooming successors.
By the way, into the woodwork does not mean unavailable for counsel, accountability, and encouragement. It just means that the leader is generous and intelligent enough to know that his or her effectiveness is either severely limited or profoundly enhanced by the willingness and ability to duplicate and vanish.
To develop this idea, let us examine the concepts of "Hands On" and "Hands Off" to ascertain when each is most appropriate in leadership.
We need to keep out hands on a task while we are training new leadership. The extent to which we keep our hands on will be informed by the following factors:
Each of these requires further explanation and development, but you can get the point. The transference of leadership may be gradual, but it must also be a constant commitment if an organization, ministry, or business is to grow in number and influence.