Tag Archives: faith in business

Wait Watchers

Wait Watchers

Here we sit at the mid-point of the second month of 2012.

There are some of you who have dropped away from the regular workout routines you committed to in January…

Still a few who are still reading the affirmations that were created as the new year began…

While others have resumed their regular routine of worry, work and wonder about how to make this your best year ever…

Today I am here to applaud the quiet minority who have, for likely the first time ever, continued to do the daily little things; read the chapter of the self-help book, exchange the sweet, sugary delight for a piece of fruit, and invest in a new way to think and work…

Which of these scenarios best describes your GPS location today?

Are you waiting for another year to pass?

Are you watching others live the life you secretly wish to experience?

It can be yours…

Get off the couch and begin today to have the health, wealth and freedom that you believe is your destiny.

Stop waiting.

Stop watching.

Live free beginning today.


Dumb Down Democracy…

Dumb Down Democracy…

As I reviewed the media coverage from this past weekend’s Iowa County Fair debate, and subsequent straw poll for the Republicans who aspire to run for the United States Presidency in 2012, I found a few things rather amusing. Or amazing…

First, how in the heck can anyone truly have a serious opinion about a potential presidential candidate from a few sound bites and scripted clichés espoused at a county fair…in Iowa. Now, with respect to the state of Iowa, a place which is less than 3 hours drive from my hometown of Peoria, Illinois, I wonder how a few fair goers can accurately discern the real value of a person whose only thought is to get you to like them.

Secondly, and even more disturbing, is the media coverage that was afforded to Sarah Palin, yes, that Sarah Palin. The woman who quit her job as Governor of Alaska, in order to sell her book and make a boatload of money. As I saw Palin signing autographs for people over the weekend in Iowa, it struck me…that many Americans would rather have a person whose intellect is questionable, by her own political party, instead of a brilliant, well educated man of color. And the man of color in the GOP who also spoke over the weekend, had fewer than 10 people surrounding him as he sought to mingle with the fair attendees. Sarah Palin had a hundred people within arms reach of her.

So, the media will play quite an important role in helping to shape, by it’s choice of what to give air time to, and what to allow to just evaporate…and they’re hoping that you won’t be paying attention.

We just went through weeks of Congress’ dare gaming regarding a debt ceiling debate, only to have them go on vacation and leave this country in a worse mess than before. Could you do that at your place of employment? That is presuming that you still have a job…

So, in closing, I ask that each of us truly become better informed now, a year before the election of 2012. Talk with your friends and family…so that we can think rationally and discuss sensibly, the real issues that will impact our lives. How corporate tax breaks are padding the cash coffers for most corporations. How the ability of the wealthy to elude fair taxes is a Congress-led shell game of major proportions. And that more of us will continue to slide farther from the American dream into the new American nightmare.

Just remember that I told you so when the swelling numbers of disenfranchised U.S. citizens decide that the time for talking is over…and the revolution will be more than televised. It will be live and in living color. Make sure you realize that the reset button you are so used to hitting on your favorite video game will not be enough. How dumb can that be?

We’re All in This Together

We’re All in This Together…

While taking my daughter and her dog, Lovey, out for an evening walk, it became crystal clear to me how to solve some of the challenges that face our cities, country and world. Speak to me…

In my little corner of the world, Hercules, California, we have had our share of less-than-flattering press the past 6 months. The hillside less than 100 yards from my home had slid down again, destroying 6 homes…the then city manager was run out of office after it was learned that he had a number of shady deals with developers…with our city now facing financial meltdown. And the final act was holding a special election this summer to unseat 3 city council members who were all too agreeable with that crooked city manager…Hercules, Hercules, Hercules. Not laughing at that movie moment anymore.

But tonight while we walked for more than 30 minutes, my belief in our city was renewed. For you see, we were not the only ones out for a walk with our canine friends. So were many of our neighbors…and the most beautiful things began to happen. We acknowledged one another and spoke. Hello. Hi. Even just the simple nod of the head to say, I see you. Ah yes…a small but significant throwback to my childhood days, when neighbors knew one another and cared, at least on the surface.

It was good to see the Indian elder dressed in his white garb, the Filipino couple with their frisky dogs, the African American male doing his best to keep his two dogs from running too fast before him, and the Caucasian woman who took time to talk with Meisha and comment how cute her dog is. We really are all in this together.

Maybe, just maybe, we can send this message to Congress. Those elected officials who are sworn to serve in OUR best interests. Not those of corporate America or the lobbyists with millions of dollars to peddle influence. Nope. Just us neighbors who are the backbone of this once proud democracy. We the People…

During the last 10 minutes of our walk I heard this song in my head, and I hope you will listen to the lyrics…and remember that there is so much more about us that is similar than not.

Do me a favor today, make it a point to speak to your neighbor, the person in line at the grocery store, the older man or woman who is looking into your eyes, looking to see if your humanity is alive and willing…

We’re All in This Together.


Victory in The Valley

Victory in The Valley

Isn’t it strange that we often hear religious leaders and the like discuss how wonderful it will be to rise out of our “valley” experiences and achieve our “mountain top” successes?” That mindset would have us to believe that it is only when we have come out of that valley, be it from the death of a family member, loss of a friendship, divorce…all things that can cause us to lose sight of the euphoria that comes from being on top of our mountain, that we can have true happiness. I am proof that the greater lesson is learned on the path, though the valley.

The past two years have shown me that we can have our valley experience and come into a closer relationship with our Creator, and ultimately, ourselves. The journey is what is important…not just the destination.

Maybe I am not the only one who has historically focused too often on those things that I felt I was lacking…and not giving enough thanks and gratitude for that which is right in front of me. Sure, I don’t have my two 42” plasma big screen TV’s anymore, but I have my family who has loved me with the 20” old-school television…until I was blessed last week with a new 32” LCD flat screen that is the BOMB.

They are only happy that they don’t have to squint anymore to see their favorite shows, while I am ever mindful that this is another small step in reclaiming my new life. See, the valley times help them to learn to be patient as we journey towards renewal. There is so much power and truth in that saying, “In God’s time.”

So, take inventory today of where you are and what you are learning in this valley time of life. Celebrate today that you have__________________. Fill in your own blessings.

I look forward to many more valley experiences, knowing that I can walk through it because He has me in His hand and that the mountaintop is just around the bend.


There Was This Man…

April 22, 2011

There was this Man…

I can’t say I ever had the opportunity to meet Him in person, but I do know that I have felt a kinship with Him for most of my life. He made quite an impact on me, and millions of others, many years ago. In fact, He changed our concept of how we must treat each other…with no concern for pedigree or position in society.

This man had no formal education, yet He was considered a Master teacher. He never wrote a single book, poem or song…yet many quote Him on a daily basis. Now it is strange that this man told the government of the day that His Father sent him to share the good news of a new kingdom on Earth…they were intrigued, intimidated and determined to maintain their authority. Hmmm. Sounds rather familiar to today, yes?

The man even told His friends that He had to leave soon and would see them again after He had been killed. Spooky but spirit-driven. All but one believed. The phrase doubting Thomas must have originated 2000 years ago.

As we consider how to love our neighbors, care for our families and commit to living a life of service, consider that this Man held no office, owned no property or took a wife. Yet He called us family. And told of our inheritance in the Kingdom. What kind of love is this?

And his own turned against Him because he did not overthrow the Roman Empire with an army, militia or mercenaries. He was acquitted by the court of law but condemned by the people’s court. Just because He did not give them what they expected…physical freedom. Yet, the freedom of spirit He spoke of was more than enough; it just took time and faith.

Remember today the man who gave all that He had…for you. Would YOU?


The Choice is Yours

The Choice Is Yours…

Many of you know that for the past 21 seasons I have officiated high school basketball in the Bay Area of California. It is a passion of pure love for me. I am proud to have been selected in 2002 and 2009 to work one of the State Finals games, which is the highest achievement for any official and the goal of all of us who wear the black and white shirt.

Back around my fifth season, I attended a playoff game to support the officials working that night, and later went with the crew and other officials to a local establishment to have a bite to eat, drink a beer and share that games highlights. Believe me our perspective of a game is quite different from that of players, coaches and fans.

This night, while seated next to an official who had worked a couple of championship games and is well respected among our peers…I asked him the question; what do I need to do to be a state championship game official. He thought for a moment, then said something to me that I never forgot; “Have you ever seen a state championship official with a beard?”

Now you might wonder why this was so profound. At the time, I sported a very neatly trimmed and well-maintained beard. Not the kind where remnants of today’s lunch was visible. I actually took great pride in my beard…being a guy from the Midwest; I annually grew a beard in winter to keep the face a bit warmer from the chilly winds of The Hawk.

So here I am now having to make a choice between two things I cherish. Yet, to get the place that I now know I want to achieve, I will have to give up a thing that I have embodied, even been identified with for years, in order to be happy. The rest, as it is said, is history.

How about you? What might you need to choose to leave behind in order to have what you say you want today? Bad eating habits from your childhood? Negative self-image from a failed relationship/marriage? Laziness? Procrastination? Poverty mentality? Take an honest inventory of what is keeping you from the life that you envision for yourself, and begin today to let go of the things that are keeping you from it.

I had the choice to make…and it became a fun thing to grow my beard AFTER basketball season, instead of during. My daughter, Meisha, lovingly calls it my Spring beard.

Holding onto the past has it’s place, but not if it holds you hostage. The Choice is Yours.


“If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It”

“If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It”

We all know that cliché, and are likely guilty at one time or another of trying to make something work that is just not going to function…the way that we want it to anymore.

We are now in the second week of this new year and, for most of us, still seeking to honor the resolutions that we have made. The BIG question I have for us is, are we willing to let go of a person, place or thing that is no longer needed in our lives? How can it be so clear to see that imbalance in others, yet is so difficult to fathom in our own circumstance?

Maybe it is the thing we must do as this year begins to take shape, and we desire for a new way of thinking, feeling and being…could it be the reason a surgeon is paid better than a general practitioner? They have to make the tougher choice. Instead of putting duct tape on a broken piece, let’s get rid of it. Cut it out. Pass it on.

So, today, let’s honestly reevaluate whether or not it is them that needs to be different, and be willing to see that it is us that needs to see the situation with open eyes.

Because that square peg is never going to fit into that round hole. NEVER!


2Ply or not 2Ply…

2 Ply or not 2 Ply…

For those of you who have had the experience to hear a sermon by the Rev. Frederick D. Haynes, III of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, you know what I am about to do is straight out of his playbook. For those of you who have not witnessed how this master theologian can weave everyday inanimate objects into a message and make them come to life to tell a story…I will do my best impression.

I was having an experience last week while just making a few groceries at the local supermarket, when I pushed my cart into the isle where one can ascertain the vast array of lavoratory paper…bathroom tissues…toilet paper. Needing to restock my house with this basic staple, I began to wonder about the differences in the size, price and effectiveness of these items. I mean there are literally hundreds of choices to make on this product. And before today, I had not given much thought to the purchase.

For most of us men, trying to understand the need for a 2 ply versus single ply roll of toilet paper is like trying to grasp the difference between a 100 thread count sheet and a 300 thread count…it’s just sheets. Or, in this instance, toilet paper.

But the toilet paper started talking to me…and expressing itself in such a way as to educate me on the need to purchase this multi-layered brand, which also informs me on the packaging that it has “A difference I can feel…” Really?

As the rolls of tissue and I continued to banter back and forth about the importance of “knowing” that my butt is really clean, and not just assuming that it is…my thoughts would drift to other instances in our lives where we think we are doing just enough (single ply tissue paper), in our relationships, jobs and business. Or when we really give more (2 ply paper) than our competition and gain the longer-term trust and respect because we invested more time and sweat into the endeavor.

As my hand reached toward the cheaper, single ply brand, it hit me…that it is better to invest more today into what is going to be the same process, but insuring a smoother, cleaner outcome versus spending less time and money, but having to clean up a mess that could have been avoided with more forethought and self-love. An epiphany in aisle 12…

So, like Pastor Haynes might say, I got my sermon that day from a most provocative and perfunctory participant. Put more effort and thought into what we really need and want and the outcome will be better in the end…literally and figuratively.

Now be my guest, and squeeze the Charmin…


So, You want to be a What?

So, you want to be a what?

I recently read again the story of Mary Kay Ash, founder of MaryKay Cosmetics and Skin Care…how she overcame the glass ceiling in her corporate job by starting her own direct-sales company that brought skin care products for women to women. Her success is an amazing testimony to one persons desire to not be shackled by other people’s lack of vision.

As I continue to talk with business owners around the country, it is still amazing that many of them are trying to build new fences with old wood…meaning that they are still thinking that the traditional ways of marketing their business is going to produce positive growth results in a digital world.

Social media and video marketing is not a fad. It is not brain surgery. Take a look at the success of YouTube and Facebook…dare I say Twitter? Corporate America has gotten on board with their marketing campaigns…why not YOU?

I am looking for the next Mary Kay Ash. It is my burning desire to help women entrepreneurs to promote their products/service via online video. The winds of change are still blowing toward the wealthy and privileged in America…and one way to change that is to create success and wealth in your own life. What is your dream? What is your unfulfilled passion?

Let’s talk about how you can live better. Pass on wealth to the next generation. Teach your family how to sustain their community. The government and corporate America have their own agendas…. let’s build yours.

And if you want a pink Cadillac…so be it!


The 90/10 Rule…

The 90/10 rule…

We have all heard about the 80/20 rule; where 80 per cent of work is completed by 20 per cent of the group; 80 per cent of the money is donated by 20 per cent of the populace, 80 per cent of the food is eaten by 20 per cent of your household…and so on.

Well, it is also a proven fact that life and all of its beauty and challenges has a similar formula. The formula shares that life is 10 per cent of what happens to you and 90 per cent how you respond.

So, if you get a pink slip from your employer on Friday; will you go out and destroy the place? Kick your dog? Become an alcohol abuser? Or will you see it as an opportunity and a blessing, to get busy doing the thing that on most Monday mornings you dreamed about doing instead of being at your now-defunct job.

In this still struggling economy, many of us have that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grasp the brass ring of life and respond positively. We can finish our college studies, buy that business franchise or start a work-from-home business. Someone once said that success is the greatest form of payback. I always thought that was so true. And still do today.

So, today, right now, stop dreaming and begin planning your exit strategy. Your employer is likely running the numbers to see if they can do without you…and their 90/10 rules won’t be the same as yours.