Archive for the ‘No More Mondays’ Category

Write a book – you’ve got to be kidding

June 24, 2010

I love writing in all its forms: blogs, articles, books, etc.  However, the statistics for choosing this as a career are dismal.  One in four Americans does not read one book per year.  Over 200,000 new books were published last year.  Average book sales for a Christian book put out by a major publisher are about 4,000 copies.  AuthorSolutions reports that sales of their self-published titles average about 150 copies each.  The average sales overall for a book published in America is about 500.  Yes, sales of eBooks is growing.  But if you think that technology is eliminating “real” books you’ll be interested to know that eBooks comprised about 4% of the overall dollars ($23.9 billion) in book sales in 2009.

Garrison Keillor recently commented on the sustainability of the publishing industry, in the Chicago Tribune:  “I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea.  We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numerals (UR2 1derful)…The future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives.  Average annual earnings:  $1.75.”

If you care about statistics and averages, the information above is enough to discourage and redirect anyone.  But what if writing is your passion?  Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol hit the #1 spot last year at 5,543,643 copies sold.   Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue sold 2,674,684 copies.  Obviously, there are still some amazing opportunities in writing books.  Have you identified why your book should be written?

I currently have six book projects in the works.  I can’t imagine doing anything else that I would enjoy as much – or that could bring me more success.  The bad news doesn’t discourage me but it does remind me that I must write with excellence – as success in any area requires.

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Go ahead — Astonish me

June 22, 2010

Astonish is not a word we hear much.  But what is it you do that is brilliant, amazing, excellent, remarkable, essential, extraordinary, outstanding, noteworthy, incredible or astonishing?

What is it that displays your personal best – your personal brilliance?

The story is told that one day the great artist, Picasso, was walking in the market.  A woman approached him, handed him a pencil and piece of paper, and asked, “Can you do a little drawing for me.”   Picasso replied, “Absolutely.”  He did a quick little drawing and handed it back to the lady.  She looked at it and said – “That’s amazing.” After thanking him she started to walk away.  Picasso stopped her and said “Excuse me, that’ll be $1 million.”  She said, “One million dollars – that took you 30 seconds.”  To which Picasso replied, “My dear lady, it took me 30 years to do that.”

A fellow comedian once asked Steve Martin, “How can I become as well known as you are?”  Steve told him, “Be so good at what you do that people cannot ignore you.”

There are only 3 legs to extraordinary success:

  • What are you deeply passionate about?
  • How can you do that with excellence – perhaps better than anyone else?
  • What’s your economic model.  How are you generating income?

Integrating these 3 components will separate you from 97% of the people on the face of the earth.  How can you be the Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Bono, Mother Teresa or Billy Graham in your area of passion?  Don’t let false humility keep you from sharing your best with the world.  Go ahead — Astonish me.

Pray with your legs

June 15, 2010

“I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” — Frederick Douglass

Okay – I referenced this quotation last week and it continues to prompt a whole lot of questions from you, our readers. People want to know what that means, and furthermore, can I find scripture to support whatever it means.

Yes, I see far too many people who are “praying” for solutions and answers – and simply living in that prayerful mode – hands folded and eyes closed, waiting on God to supernaturally give them the specific answer that will remove their challenge. So, just how does God answer our prayers?

Imagine any of these situations with me:

  • You really need a job
  • You’d like a better car
  • You want to make peace with your spouse
  • Your lawn mower is broken
  • You want to have a best-selling book
  • You would like to have a college degree
  • You want to be a more effective parent
  • You must have $5,000 for a new air conditioning unit

I believe God is the providential supplier of everything we need. But I also believe that his delivery system requires our active participation – “praying with our legs.” If you need a job identify 30-40 target companies; contact them each three times and God will provide a job. If you want a best-selling book write something of value then be willing to persist through the rejection of 14 publishers as Max Lucado did with his first book (his books have now sold over 30 million copies.) – and watch God open doors. If you want a college degree explore six options for doing so that are possible even while you continue working. Block out 2 hours a day for focused study and see God allow that degree to be yours.

And can I find scripture to support faith and prayer that involve our legs? Oh yeah. My favorite is in Exodus 14:15. Moses is dealing with those whining, complaining children of Israel who see the Egyptians coming after them in the desert. I can just see them on their knees, praying and begging God to solve their problems. And the verse says – “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!’” (Living Bible)

God provides food for the birds – but he doesn’t just show up and throw it in their nest. Sometimes the exercise of faith we need most may be to engage our spiritual quadriceps, stretch those hamstrings and use our gluteus maximus for something other than supporting our head while we pray.

Are you a Linchpin?

June 6, 2010

Okay – I’m going to assume that anyone who clicks through to this is familiar with Seth Godin’s book titled Linchpin.  On June 14th there will be meetups all over the world for those who consider themselves Linchpins.

In this new world of building one’s own brand we all understand the power of networking.  The events taking place on June 14th are a great example of connecting with like-minded people whose skills likely compliment your own.

There are now 772 Linchpin meetup locations registered.  We’ll be hosting one of those here at The Sanctuary in Franklin, TN.  If you are in this area and consider yourself a Linchpin, feel free to join us.  Wherever you happen to live, check out the Linchpin meetup near you.  All Linchpin Meetups worldwide

Don’t miss out on a free opportunity to grow your network – and your business.

If you kill the Golden Goose, this will….

June 1, 2010

Here’s a note I received this week from someone who wants to be a coach.

”Dan –With the poverty of the USA my spirit doesn’t feel right charging the poor that need help for coaching them in the right direction. Out of the love in my heart for others and their burdens I cannot see putting a boundary up (money) for what I know can help them.”


Coaching is a helping service – as I hope whatever you are doing in work is a helping service.  Coaching is not unique in being the only way to help others.  So we could substitute anything you do in the following sentence:

”With the poverty of the USA my spirit doesn’t feel right charging the poor that need help”

  • making their house payment
  • getting groceries
  • having dental work
  • fixing a plumping problem
  • repairing their car
  • preparing their taxes
  • getting legal help
  • having competent daycare
  • knowing how to get a job
  • keeping their yard trimmed or
  • having access to great books

I too have a heart for the downtrodden.  I allow 10% of my time for humanitarian and ministry needs.  That allows me to address those needs and still provide for my family.  But I couldn’t spend 90% of my time helping the poor – I’d simply become one of them and deplete my ability to help.  It’s impossible to give when your own cup is empty.  A sincere desire to help and serve can kill the golden goose just as much as raw greed.

American Idol – you can do it!

May 25, 2010

Okay, here’s an example of the power of this 48Days.net community.  On May 11th, on our weekly telemember call, I had 48Days.net member Chad Jeffers as my guest.  As Carrie Underwood’s guitarist he called in from Austin, TX that night.  We talked about his rise in music and his newly released book, 25 Notes for the Successful Musician.

Another member, Brian Griffith was listening to that interview.  The next morning he contacted me.  As the owner and designer of Anthology Gear Wear, he just wondered if there would be any way I could get one of his amazingly beautiful straps in Chad’s hands.  I simply connected the two – and here’s the potential of this community.  Brian has sent Chad one of his straps – and Chad is going to be using it tomorrow night when former Idol winner Carrie is performing on the season finale of American Idol.

In a note I received from Chad he said:  “The last time I played a particular guitar on the Grammy’s a few years ago, the luthier (builder) received 10 orders the next week!!  Hopefully I’ll have a strong impact for Brian.”

How would you like to have your product seen by the estimated 22 million viewers expected for the Wednesday night show?

Not all of us make guitar straps or play with Carrie Underwood.  But the real question is — what creative ideas are you using to actively increase the marketing exposure for your business?

Sweet CeCe’s

May 17, 2010

We live in Franklin, TN, a quaint little town with rich heritage and eateries. Recently a new place – Sweet CeCe’s popped up in a space that has been used unsuccessfully by several sandwich, coffee and ice cream businesses.  So I cringed when I saw yet another “yogurt” place open there recently.  And frankly I thought here goes someone else’s failed dream.

Friday night Joanne and I were cruising through town at and I suggested we at least try this little place.  After parking we walked past Ben & Jerry’s (5 customers present) and Starbucks (8 people inside).  We approached Sweet CeCe’s and I thought there must be some kind of party going on – people were everywhere, with a waiting line of about 20 people.  Being curious – and awed by what we had seen – we visited it again Sunday night at about 10:00 PM.  Being a balmy evening probably helped.  But there were over 50 people standing around outside enjoying their Sweet CeCe’s cups.  Inside there were another 30 seated and approximately 40 in line.

What’s the deal?  Every business has to have a “unique selling proposition” (USP).  At Sweet CeCe’s you draw your own yogurt, add you own fresh fruit toppings or any of a wide variety of goodies, then have your treat weighed and pay by the weight.  There are no prices shown for anything – you simply make your concoction and pay by the weight.  The menu is very limited and not unlike plenty of other establishments.  But their USP draws like a magnet.

Do you know your USP?  Whether you are an employee, physician, dentist, pastor, teacher, web designer, author, artist, musician, human resource director, professor, politician, or entrepreneur, you must know what makes you remarkable.  Without that, your success will be mediocre or non-existent.

Did you catch that fish?

May 11, 2010

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” How do you best help someone who is struggling? If third-world natives are living in poverty, should we send them money? Or could we teach them how to plant crops or provide a goat that will nourish their family and allow them to sell the excess milk? If an unmarried woman has a child, should we reward her for having additional children in the way of living quarters and medical care, or is there perhaps a better method for teaching responsibility? If a person is out of work, is it more helpful to once again extend benefits, or to teach more effective ways of finding or creating productive work?


Years ago, in Monterey, California, a crisis arose. Monterey had become a paradise for pelicans. After cleaning their fish, the local fishermen would throw all the excess waste to the pelicans. The birds soon became fat and lazy.

Eventually, a new market was found that could use the waste products commercially. The pelicans no longer had a free meal. Yet, the pelicans made no effort to fish for themselves. Generations had been trained to just wait and wait they did for the free handouts that never came. Many starved to death. They seemed to have forgotten how to fish for themselves.

There’s always free cheese in a mousetrap — Old Proverb

In our “instant” society it’s often easier and quicker for everyone involved to just “give” something. Teaching takes time and commitment. And catching fish requires baiting the hook, finding the right conditions, and waiting.

Burning Bridges

May 5, 2010

I’m appalled at the frequency I hear someone with otherwise common sense start to bad-mouth another person.  These days it’s often critical of a previous boss, a co-worker, the President, a spouse or someone whose success is greater than their own. 

Why is it that negatives spew out so easily when they are directed at another living, breathing person?  I believe there is a process of destruction that destroys the speaker – certainly more than affecting the target. 

And in today’s technology and communication world it’s pretty risky.  How many times have we seen a stray comment, a nasty email, a quick cell phone call or a FaceBook note end up haunting the sender of that message?  Would you really want that person to hear the message straight from your mouth?

In a famous written piece from the wisest man who ever lived (Solomon) we read:  “Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts.   And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom.  For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.”  (Ecc. 10:20 NLT)

Losing a job can hurt and injure your pride.  Having your house flooded with no flood insurance can be a tremendous blow.  Finding out the bank will not renew your business loan can be a set-back.  But hurling insults and finding a person to blame harms only your own ability to see positive steps forward.  Those bridges you’re burning may contain the very concrete, wood and support forms you need to build a new road.

What would you name this Eagle?

April 26, 2010

Yep, name this Eagle and win a prize package.  A few weeks ago I realized that the massive cedar tree closest to my barn office was not turning green and was clearly “dead.”   My landscape advisor confirmed that while we have no idea what happened, it was definitely never going to turn green and thrive again.  I was blown away at the loss of this stately feature here on our property.

But how often does the “death” of one thing give birth to another?  Have you ever had a dream die only to discover that in redirecting your thinking and efforts you released something even better?  I have walked with people through the death of many jobs and businesses where together we have uncovered new opportunities that would have never been seen if the old position would have continued.

I love the challenge of turning trash, disappointment or disaster into something great.  The result is often surprising and the beginning of a new season in life.

I had contacted Terry Brasher (http://carvingsforchrist.com/) to come out and put her unique artistic skills in motion.  She agreed with me that there was an eagle just waiting to be released in this old “dead” stump.  What you see here is the result of three days of her amazing talent using chain saws and chisels.  The color you see is 100% natural – nothing added.  The wings were the first two lowest branches on the tree.  The stones the eagle is resting on were another set of protruding branches.  The “dead” tree is now a beautiful addition to our country Sanctuary.

This is such a spectacular feature and representation of a valuable life process that I want a name for this Eagle.  You may have a word that somehow captures the symbolism of the transition from death to life – or of birthing something wonderful.  Or something that reminds us of the majestic qualities of the eagle.  You may know Latin or Italian or some other language that has an appropriate name for what we’ve always used as part of the 48Days logo.  Just use your imagination and creativity.

Here are my prize packages:

  • 1st place – $50 credit toward any 48 Days product, $100 discount on any 48 Days event this year, lunch with Dan & Joanne (you have to get here) and a personal tour of the Eagle
  • 4th place — Autographed copies of 48 Days and No More Dreaded Mondays
  • 5th place — Autographed copies of 48 Days and No More Dreaded Mondays

I claim no objectivity for this process.  I will simply choose what strikes me as unique and meaningful.  If the same selections are suggested, we will go with the earliest submission.  Send your suggestion to eagle@48Days.com.  Last date for submissions – May 10th.  I’ll announce the winning suggestions in the May 18th newsletter.

Incidentally I’m standing beside the tree simply to give you a perspective on the size of this carving.  And yes, people have already made reference to the “bald eagle” next to the tree so you can skip that.

So let your creativity begin: Send your suggestion to eagle@48Days.com.