Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

48 Days Blog Has Moved!

August 27, 2010

Not receiving your RSS updates or emails any longer?  Please visit the new 48 Days Blog on the redesigned www.48days.com website.

Please click here to subscribe to the new RSS feed.

Advertisements

Pizza Man – Fear Controls my Life

August 2, 2010

Recently we had a Coaching with Excellence event here in Franklin, TN.  On the closing night it seemed no one wanted to leave – so we ordered pizza to be delivered.

When the order arrived I slipped out to the kitchen to thank the delivery man.  He tentatively asked, “Isn’t this the Sanctuary?”  He proceeded to tell me that he’s been a reader of my 48Days materials for years, knows all about the Sanctuary, but then added, “Fear controls my life.”

Sometimes it appears that fear of success is stronger than fear of failure.   The unknown is a scary place – staying with a familiar mediocrity may be less intimidating than trying something new.  With no clear goals and no cheering from those around you, boring but predictable careers are born and maintained.

Delivering pizzas is a worthy occupation.  But I really expect that most 46-yr-old-men see it as a stepping stone to something else.  Don’t let fear keep you in a red shirt.

Is your desire for your dream stronger than your fear?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Ready to Die? Just Retire

July 20, 2010

Our culture has tried to convince us we deserve to be able to retire – to remove ourselves from this thing called work.  But is that a privilege or a curse?  Research continues to mount showing those who retire at age 55 have double the risk of dying before reaching 65 as compared to those who work beyond age 60.

In The Prophet, poet and philosopher Kahil Gibran says this about work:  “You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.  For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.”

Don’t become a stranger unto the seasons.  Don’t step off the platform of meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling work.  Gibran continues:  “And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret…..Work is love made visible.”

I know you don’t want to stop expressing love to those around you.

I’m planning for my retirement party and my funeral to be on the same day.

“Not-only-for-profit”

July 18, 2010

Not all businesspeople are greedy.  We’ve heard the Bernie Madoff investment stories, heard about banks that lend to unqualified candidates, and have seen the get-rich-quick promises on late night TV.  It’s easy to quickly classify all businesspeople or for-profit companies as greedy.  And I agree, greed is typically a short-sighted model for taking advantage of others.

But on the other side of greed is the fear of money. Too many people shun the idea of making money as evil and believe good can only be done by non-profits.  These individuals then spend 80% of their precious time begging for money in lieu of working on the cause about which they are passionate.  Don’t get caught in the delusion that being destitute is a necessary situation for helping the world.  In fact, it will cripple your ability to do so.  Money is like fire – it can burn you and leave you disfigured, or it can keep you warm and safe.

Since Adam Smith, economists have understood that “self-love” leads to quality products and social benefits.  If a baker makes wonderful bread, he/she brings nutrition and pleasure to the community as well as financial rewards for himself and his family.  It is not his “benevolence” but self-interest that provides the most benefits for everyone involved.  And there can be true authentic “benevolence” as well.

Good intentions and a pure and giving heart are not enough.  Economic accountability is a good thing.  If an organization’s efforts are secured by God, the government or the heartstrings of generous individuals, it can be run inefficiently with little measurement of accomplishment.  The businessman has no such cushion.  Either something of value and fair exchange is produced and delivered or the business will not survive.  In that sense, the business model requires more honesty and transparency than the non-profit.

I love running a business.  I love not being handcuffed by a publicly traded board of directors or by the required board for a non-profit organization.  We can make decisions quickly about giving and blessing – and about sound financial opportunities.  I am deeply grateful and feel privileged to be able to have a “not-only-for-profit” company.

How would you categorize your work or business?

Have another matzo ball – please

July 16, 2010

Know anyone who is angry about being fired, or about a failed business or a disappointing relationship?  Do you see how that anger continues to cripple that individual – not the company, the business partner or the brother-in-law – but the individual holding on to the anger?  That anger saps creativity, causes attempts at goodness to appear artificial and renders a split soul.

The #1 characteristic of highly successful people is “integrity” as documented in The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley.  Integrity means whole, unbroken, undivided.  It describes a person who has united the parts of his or her being into a spiritually rich and unified wholeness.

At the Passover Seder, when Jews celebrate the memory of their exodus from Egypt, they taste a bitter herb to recall the old days of slavery, but then immediately override that bitter taste with matzo and wine, symbols of liberation.

We all have situations in our lives where we have to choose between the seductive appeal of getting even, attractive but harmful to our “integrity,” and the cleansing power of forgiveness and moving forward.  You give up power by remaining resentful – and regain strength and authority by not giving in to the temptation to get even.

Have a little matzo and wine tonight and walk into tomorrow with your head held high.

Just gimme a faster horse

June 23, 2010

As thinkers, inventors and entrepreneurs we hear a lot of clichés.  “Find a need and fill it.”  “The customer is always right.”  “Winners never quit; quitters never win.”  And so on.  But as entrepreneurs we recognize that common clichés are often not true at all – as with those just mentioned.

If you wait for your customers to tell you what they want, you’re going to be too late.  You’ll go the way of universities that “teach” business practices that have already been used for 5 years by the brightest and best in real business.

What did customers in Henry Ford’s day want – not the Model T; they wanted faster horses.  Giving customers what they want will force you to be playing catch-up with competitors.  Steve Jobs doesn’t give customers what they want – he creates innovative and unheard of products and then wows people into wanting them.

If you provide the service your employer wants you will get a paycheck and two days off a week (feed the nice horsey).  What would happen if you provided an idea or service that would transform your company?

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?

I’ve got a dirty mind

May 23, 2010

Sunday morning I walked down our long lane to retrieve the newspaper we get once a week.  It was a beautiful summer morning – birds were signing, the neighbor’s horses ran to the fence to greet me and I saw four new baby rabbits.

Upon returning to the house I sat on the porch to scan through the newspaper.  Do you think that added to the pleasure and positive excitement of the day?

No, instead, I read of major flood damage, property lawsuits, investment fraud, bank failures, car wrecks, foreclosure auctions, oil-soaked marshes, nuclear waste pollution, Agent Orange illnesses, FEMA financial waste, political anger, immigration disputes, 4 upcoming death-row executions, religious hate here in Nashville, an athletic hero arrested, $100 million art theft, priest sex abuse, 2 police officers killed, “fear grips Bankok,” toxic mold dangers, fecal matter in public pools, rapist convicted, and “double-dip” recession feared.

Okay – so much for the beginning of a great day.  If our minds are like mental factories, what am I likely to produce if these thoughts are the raw ingredients I pour into it each morning?

When I walk into someone’s house, the first thing I want to see is their library.  If the only reading material I find is the daily paper, the National Enquirer and US, I’ll doubt that person’s ability to do anything great.

I used to rationalize getting the Sunday paper because of the many coupons – but I’m not sure wanting those justifies allowing the bad news they’re wrapped in into my house.

Henry Ward Beecher said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day — The Golden Hour”

I’m very protective of how I start each morning.  I know I’m planting the seeds for what the day will hold.  Today I need a mind cleaning.

“I’m overqualified” – Oh Really?

May 20, 2010

I was approached by a young man this week after a presentation.  His question was – “What do you do when you’re over-qualified for any job available?” He proceeded to tell me he had a Master’s degree in Public Health and had been told in multiple interviews he was “over-qualified.”

Now think about the reality here – In what setting would being “over-qualified” eliminate you from consideration?  If my mechanic gets an additional certification will I tell him “I don’t want you working on my car anymore – I’m afraid you’re too smart.”  If you show up for a simple physical exam and find out the doctor is a cardiologist will you back off because he’s over-qualified?  If you are choosing a massage therapist and discover that one contender has a PhD in anatomy will you eliminate that person?  If you need a receptionist with a great personality would you reject the candidate you liked the most if you discovered at the last minute that she had a Masters in English Literature?

As in any of these situations the only justification for telling a person they are “over-qualified” is likely found in this list:

  • You are not the ideal candidate we’re looking for
  • We don’t think you’d be a team player here
  • We don’t like you
  • We don’t trust you
  • You want too much money
  • We think you’re too arrogant and condescending
  • We suspect you’ll leave as soon as you find something better

Please hear my gentle counsel – being told you are “too experienced” or “over-qualified” is simply a politically correct way of telling you they aren’t convinced they want you on their team.   This statement is a disguise – and a safe way to make it sound like the person is complimenting you.  But it doesn’t realistically have anything to do with your qualifications, knowledge, or talent.  It’s a meaningless term that protects the company from being candid about the real reason they don’t see you as a good choice.  Forget about your degrees — work on interview skills that make people like you, trust you and want to be around you.

Incidentally, the young man who initiated this blog was very defensive that it was purely his brilliance, qualifications and superior ability that made people feel inferior around him and he was helpless to change that reality.  I rest my case.

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.