Life Lessons

Lesson 201

Once you become a numbers oriented person, and study your business and life using statistics and facts rather than emotions, you'll find that life can be very predictable. There are entire industries built around polls, surveys and statistics. An example is how they predict election winners with great accuracy, hours before the polls close. Another is the Advertising Industry where rates are based on Nielsen polls of a relatively small number of households. Then, of course, there's the 80-20 rule, which states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers.

Lesson 202

This week's lesson will be a discussion focusing on the principle of EXCELLENCE. One's true success in life begins only when they make a COMMITMENT to be excellent at what they do. Without this commitment they will always perform at mediocre or average levels and it will be difficult to reach their full potential. Excellence spins off positive results in all endeavors that we human beings encounter. As long as balance is part of the formula as you strive for excellence.

Lesson 203

If there is one thing in life that is worth getting excited about, it is your ability to make yourself do the necessary things to achieve a desired result. You notice I said MAKE yourself do the necessary things. For that's what you MUST do to achieve a desired result. In this lesson we will discuss why I believe Discipline is Necessary for Progress in your life.

Lesson 204

A while back I read an article in Business Week Magazine written by Diane Brady titled "Why Service Stinks." Speaking from my own experiences as a business leader and an individual who invested 37 years attempting to give "EXCELLENT SERVICE" to my clients, I happen to be one of the most frustrated consumers on Earth. In this lesson, we will reflect on why service can really stink, and why there may be hope on the horizon to reverse this trend.

Lesson 205

The day to day transactions of any business enterprise are not easy, regardless of what business you are in. But recognizing the friction points and setting strategies to reduce them, can make your business run smoother; and keep your customers and employees happier. We'll attempt to delve into this strategy in this week's lesson.

There are lots of metaphors like "the customer is king," "the customer is always right;" and "a business is only as good as the people that work there." Yet all of us struggle constantly to keep both our customers and our employees happy and satisfied.

Lesson 206

A good name for the disease of INDECISION is Mental Paralysis. It is primarily the result of the fear of failure. Because of some past decisions that did not turn out too well, we often become so afraid to make the wrong choice that we cannot make any choice. In this week's lesson, we will discuss how to avoid being indecisive.

Lesson 207

Did you ever wonder how you arrived exactly where you are today in your life? How you arrived where you live, where you work, and ended up in the relationships you are in or know friends you associate with? Or did you ever wonder why your body, fitness or state of health is at the present level of condition it is in? Or why your skill levels may have peaked years ago without being prepared to cope with the global marketplace of 2008? Or lastly, why your bank account or assets are at a disappointing level compared to your dreams of decades ago?

Lesson 208

Throughout my lifetime, I have always been a stickler for protecting and utilizing the most valuable asset that is given to all of us, in the exact same proportions each and every day. That asset is our PRECIOUS TIME. I believe I feel this way because my mother, who was already 40 years old when I was born, always reminded me how quickly life will pass you by. She always told me to use my time wisely, because once a minute or hour passes, it is gone forever. She would say "even if you are the richest and most powerful person in the world, you cannot regain the time that has passed."

Lesson 209

Nothing intrigues me more than reading the biographies of leaders and how they accomplished some unbelievable feats. There are thousands of books and probably millions of articles written on LEADERSHIP, yet many of them will go unread unless one makes a deliberate effort to seek out this vital information. In this week's lesson, we will discuss the importance of high energy leadership in your organization or business.

Lesson 210

We all know that the world is always changing around us. Sometimes CHANGE is subtle and happens without us paying much attention. An example of a slow, subtle change might be the disappearance of drive-in movie theaters. When I was a teenager, they were very popular. Then the real estate they sat on became more valuable than the profits they generated and drive-in movies slowly moved into extinction. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a single tragic event like a tornado or a car accident can bring on enormous changes immediately.

Lesson 211

One of the characteristics that distinguish human beings from the plant kingdom and other animals is our freedom to make choices. For example, a tree does not choose how much it wants to learn or how much it wants to eat. Nor can dogs make a choice of which career path to take, or who they would like to marry or spend their life with. For better or worse, we humans possess specific powers of choice and in this week's lesson we'll delve into this topic.

Lesson 212

Resolve means "I WILL;" two of the most potent two words in the English Language. In this week's lesson we will discuss how important the emotion of RESOLVE can be.

Lesson 213

Nothing moves people into action quicker than leaders who communicate well with their followers. It's an absolute bonus to followers if a leader with great communication skills also possesses a proven record of honesty, integrity and a true commitment to the promises they make and the goals they seek for the group. As we watch the 2008 presidential campaign come to a conclusion, we can surely witness a varying degree of communication skills among the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Lesson 214

Were you able to SQUEEZE in some quality time to plan your goals and objectives during the past thirty days? If your answer is no, this lesson is really important. Because if you were not able to muster up the desire or devote the time and energy to do so, you have joined the ranks of about 95% of the population. It would be truly unfortunate if you are so busy meeting all your responsibilities in life, that you end up skimping on one of the most important responsibilities of all: mapping out your goals, in order to accomplish what really makes you happy in life!

Lesson 215

If you want to be an exceptional leader who motivates people to perform at peak levels, you must work constantly at building an UNSHAKABLE CHARACTER. In this week's lesson we will discuss the characteristics that are essential to being a great leader.

Integrity is at the top of the list. This means doing what you say you will do, period! It means being trustworthy. It means keeping your promises and being a leader that your followers can always rely on. It is very clear that if you set a good example at the top, integrity will naturally trickle down throughout your organization.

Lesson 216

In the last few months, we have watched a considerable meltdown of wealth occur in financial markets; on Main Street; and in the personal investment accounts of individuals throughout the world. There are so many KNOWN reasons that this has been occurring, yet we seem to be led to believe by our president; treasury secretary; fed chairman and congress that they did not see a meltdown of this magnitude coming.

Lesson 217

I think most will agree that life can be quite difficult just facing your daily responsibilities, in an attempt to lead an honest and safe lifestyle. However the difficulties and stress we all face seems to be notching up to record levels as the world seems to become more uncertain by the day and even the hour. In this week's lesson, we will discuss how the trust factor plays into our thoughts and emotions and perhaps how to cope with these issues.

Lesson 218

In this week's lesson we will discuss the Rewards of Growth and how it applies to all of us. I think most will agree that growth in all areas of our modern culture is king. No organization or enterprise ever wants to stop growing. Similarly, investors seem to always want to bet their hard earned savings on companies that have a future to grow because no one wants to be associated financially with yesterdays "has been."

Lesson 219

There isn't a person alive that doesn't procrastinate during their lifetime. According to Webster's Dictionary, the word procrastinate stems from the Latin word "procrastinatos," meaning "to put forward until tomorrow."

So what makes us put off the things that we know we should do? The number one answer might be that we all have a tendency to put off a big project or tend to a difficult yet important responsibility because we perceive it as painful. Consequently, we might steer ourselves into using the time to do other things that are easy, fun and most likely more enjoyable.

Lesson 220

One of the most powerful human emotions is DESIRE. Since every waking moment of our lives are spent in either trying to gain pleasure or trying to avoid pain, we are constantly acting to fulfill our desires. If you get hungry, you begin to desire food, so you go and eat. If you're feeling lonely, you desire another person, so you call up your friend or family member. Just about every moment is spent or invested trying to fulfill some desire.

Lesson 221

With the dismal news we are receiving daily these days about the credit crisis and poor economic conditions, I found it fitting to include a timely lesson about customer buying behavior. There's one main reason why Circuit City filed for bankruptcy and Starbucks is shuttering hundreds of stores. The competition ate their lunch!

Lesson 222

All businesses are very competitive. That's what stimulates the economies of the United States and the world. Prior to the founding of the U.S., business was done a bit differently. In 18th Century Europe, businessmen would petition the King for the "exclusive" privilege of supplying a particular product or service. In other words, business was done through the grant of monopoly privileges. By LAW, this one man, or one company, would be the sole supplier of a particular product or service. This is the nature of monopoly, a special grant from the State that forbids competition.

Lesson 223

This past week we have been watching our new president-elect begin to announce his choices for top advisers in his new administration. Eight years ago, I can remember being quite impressed with the choices that president was announcing, whom seemed to have the experience and wisdom to help our country prosper. Only a handful of the former's choices actually stayed with him for the duration of his presidency. Many seemed to leave their posts under duress and strain. Some even left in disgrace. My point is there's more to any man or woman than their media reputation.

Lesson 224

We all have fears. Even those among us with the strongest wills or the mightiest physical or mental strengths experience the fear of failure. It's as natural to fear the unknown as it is to brush your teeth in the morning. We can all probably recall hundreds of fears we have had during our lifetime. But should the fear of failure stop us from doing what we know is right for us? In this week's lesson, we'll discuss how to deal with the fear of failure!

Lesson 225

From the title of this week's lesson, one might think it's going to be about breathing techniques. Instead it's more about the advice I remember little league coaches used to give to their pitchers and batters when these kids were under great pressure to get a big strikeout or an important hit. The funny thing is it seemed to work then and will probably work today for lots of responsible adults facing tough times in their lives.

Lesson 226

Every day technology changes and progresses and seems to be shrinking the natural barriers that used to separate countries and cultures from each other. Every one of us knows that the world is continually changing around us. But only a few of us recognize the breakneck speed at which change is occurring. In this week's lesson, we will delve into the topic of whether you are leaning toward being a MASTER or a VICTIM of change, as we approach 2009.

Lesson 227

As we reflect back on this past year, I will remember 2008 as a standout year when the word TRUST seems to have faded away in the world of business, government and personal relationships. Just considering the repercussions that Bernard L. Madoff had on his client's lives, it's difficult to believe that unconditional TRUST can be placed in the hands of your smiling investment adviser anytime soon.

Lesson 228

When you write weekly articles or lessons as I have during the last seven years or so, the news of the moment seems to blend together into a fast moving blurb of fears and challenges. It was just six months ago, when gasoline and commodity prices were running wild, causing inflationary fears on staple goods beyond anything I've witnessed during my short lifetime. And here we are just six months later, and many of those same inflated prices are down substantially as we now worry that deflation will create a sustained and deep recession.

Lesson 229

In today's weak economic conditions, nothing can be more important for any business than to have the "RIGHT SELLING PRICE! This mystical number for a product or service can make or break a company. In this week's lesson we will discuss this mystical topic.

Lesson 230

Since it's the beginning of a new year, it seems appropriate to lead off with a lesson on goal setting. The year 2009 can be a much better year for you, regardless of the lousy economic conditions, if you plan to do something positive like setting goals for a better life. In this lesson we will review "Why People Don't Set Goals" for themselves.

Lesson 231

Throughout these lessons, I have stressed the use of your time in many different ways, shapes and forms. I don't believe there are many individuals who haven't constantly repeated "I wish time would slow down or I just can't believe how fast time flies by!" I for one, repeat these statements often. Thus, I continue to try and emphasize what we may be able to do, to maximize our time by investing it wisely. For once it's gone it can never be retrieved.

Lesson 232

The internet is full of good and bad websites. However, just as with anything in life there's probably more good than bad on the internet and it's up to each and every user to make GOOD choices when you are surfing. In this week's lesson, we will be concentrating on one of the best sources of information to come along since a man or woman took their first step on this planet. A place we all know and probably use named Google.