Tag Archives: online marketing

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.

Peace.

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.

Peace.

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.

Peace.

Missing Them Skipping…

It seems the older I become the more I reminisce about things from my “good old days.” One of the things that I recall is the image of girls skipping along the sidewalks of our neighborhoods and on schoolyards. It is as pure an activity as any that embodies the innocence of childhood playfulness and frivolity. Just as one is unable to smile and be angry simultaneously, I believe it is just as impossible to skip along and be mad at your friends.

When is the last time you saw children skipping along? How did we as a society lose that piece of our childhood innocence? What has replaced it?

As the father of a now eight-year old daughter, I wish for her to have the childhood that I remember where the neighborhood was a place that was safe and fun. Where we could play simple games with our fellow residents, and even those from other blocks, when our biggest concern was to insure we got into the house before the streetlights came on.

Rather than criticize the state of affairs facing our children today, I am seeking to make their time as children better and safer. It will take a number of us, especially the men, to create a “safety zone” for our children. What will you do to give them the same chances to create happy moments in their development as grown-all-too-soon people?

It might take a few dollars to buy a few jump ropes, baseballs and gloves, and a football. They will gravitate to that which makes them laugh and have fun. Outdoors. In the sunlight. With each other. And if you add some Kool-Aid to the equation, your home will be the place to be this summer. It is my belief that your block will be the one that will be fondly remembered by these kids a generation from now.

And the activity of skipping by our daughters will be preserved once more.

Peace.

Miles, Minutes, Money…

Miles, Minutes, Money…

Some things are so geographical in their descriptions and understandings. As a young man in the Midwest, we often replied to someone asking us how far away a person or place was, by saying it was about 20 miles. Moving to California, and particularly the Bay Area, that same query brought about a response like 30 minutes. And so the same place that I wanted to get to was likely a similar distance, but when traffic was factored in, and thus added time on the road, the more definitive description was about time versus distance.

Fast-forward to 2011, and the challenge we are faced with $4.00 per gallon gas pricing, and the next generation of describing time and distance is likely to be formulated by how much it is going to cost. Since automakers want us to believe that the miles-per-gallon listing of their vehicles is true, then we might now seek to validate it. And since we have instant access to calculators, via our smart phones and GPS, we can accurately determine how far it really is from point A to point B…and now divide the number of miles by the mpg of our car, and come out with a general cost per mile to travel.

Is this what our society has come to? So, a friend needs to go to see the doctor, and you have the only car in the building, and you have to calculate the cost to transport them…sounds like we are all becoming glorified taxi services. Heck, I did not even consider the rising cost of auto insurance. This could get really ugly.

Hold on for a second, my phone is ringing…I gotta go. A friend is calling. He needs me to pick him up. He ran out of gas on the freeway. I told him to call the road service. He told me it was cheaper to pay me to pick him up than to have them to do it.
This is becoming a whole new enterprise. See you when I return; about 19 miles, 26 minutes and $34 dollars later.

Peace.

Who Do You THINK You Are?

Who Do You THINK You Are?

Most of us born before 1965 can remember that statement/question being asked, often in a not-too-friendly manner. It usually came out of frustration when someone wanted to remind you to stay in your place. This week I have a new focus for that statement.

I recently had lunch with a friend I had not seen in a few years. Once we got past the customary queries regarding our families, local sports teams and the problems with the local worship community, we settled into a debate on how men of our age are faring in this challenging job market.

My friend has worked with a couple of large financial institutions, a non-profit organization and even sits on a board of another community organization. But somehow he has been unemployed for almost a year.

Then when I prodded him about why he is not getting something of value monetarily from these affiliations, even an occasional consulting assignment, he said the words that locked me into him for the remainder of the lunch. He said he’d rather have a good paying job with an organization rather than a few consulting gigs…really?

Since then I have sought to understand how men of our “maturity” can believe that we will get a fair shot at any job openings where the choice is between us and a person half our age and likely, willing to work for half our well-deserved compensation.

American companies, it has been reported this week, are awash in cash…and the stock market is on a steady incline. Yet, no mid-level management openings are being created. Maybe it is a case of you-show-me-yours-then-I-will-show-you-mine…someone has to make a move. First.

As more and more intellectuals are proving, our thoughts truly are powerful instruments. They feed us the words that shape our actions, and inevitably, our destiny. Have you heard someone say something that is obviously the opposite of who they are and what they have espoused as their “life purpose?” Which is the truth?

By the end of our lunch as we were saying our goodbyes, he was about to say the same thing regarding getting a job versus entrepreneurship, and he caught himself…and said, I guess I should change my thinking. Yep. Another mind now prepped for the new marketplace paradigm, which is here to stay.

Now, who do you think you are?

Is This the End of the Line?

Is This The End of The Line…

In these days of now having the option to scan and check out our own groceries at the supermarket, it is often a surprise to see that line is considerably longer than any other at the front of the store. One day I happened to think that I had gotten lucky as I saw only a few shoppers in the line. So, I moved into a position where I saw no one else standing…only to be informed that where I was now standing was just a break in the line. The actual end of the line was back there.

Back there was about 20 shoppers behind me. Who knew? I had seen an opening and made my move, presuming that timing was on my side. Alas, as I survey the current financial and business landscape in the United States, I ask you the question, “Is this the end of the line?”

One of the local grocery chains used to have a policy of “Three’s a crowd”, which simply meant that when there were more than three shoppers waiting in line to checkout, a manager would announce that on the intercom system, and another employee would open up a checkout station. What happened to that type of response to the needs of people spending their hard-earned money with a business?

Using this grocery shopping analogy, I wonder how much longer it will take before the financial institutions realize that it is time to respond to the immediate needs of their constituents. Or even gas stations. There was a time when they were called service stations. But they did away with any service back in the late ‘70’s and early 1980’s.

Some of us can recall when we would get our windshields cleaned, oil checked and tire pressure inspected. They must have known that we would trade a perceived saving of money for a service we would no longer receive. Is that still true today?

Where is the end of the line? Maybe we will have to be pushed even farther away from real customer service before it is painful enough for us to respond in the only way that a consumer-driven society will recognize; by pulling away and not purchasing their products and/or services. Are you willing to change your thoughts and habits to effect a change for yourself? For your children?

In the meantime, I hate to tell you this…but I am not the last one in this line. See that woman back there in the parking lot, she is the end of the line…

Peace.

Off The Top of My Head…

“Off The Top of My Head…”

This oft-used phrase is spoken in response to a comment made, question asked or just because there is too much silence in the moment. Funny how we use words to convey our thoughts, needs and desires; yet we will say something that could likely deliver just the opposite result. And then wished we could take it back, apologizing profusely…

How often do you do that in your relationships; either personal or business? Doing a degree of damage to the people who matter most to you. A son or daughter who hangs on your every word for encouragement and direction. A staff member who looks up to you as a mentor, and you have now given them reason to doubt your ability to listen, think and speak on their behalf. All because you did not take the time to process what it is they have shared with you.

Take time today to consider speaking only words that you intend to say…not something to be cute, funny or worse. It is refreshing to allow a moment or two of silence to pass when considering how to respond to those who ask, tell and query us daily.

Not that our response requires a quote that will be etched into stone and quoted by historians in the year 2075. But one that will be so much more in alignment with your true self when you can allow your magnificent brain to gather the information, organize the thoughts and send an appropriate response to those lips. No excuses or apologies needed.

So, from my frontal lobe to yours…Peace.

“Thanks For Riding With Me…”

Thanks for Riding With Me…

How exciting it is to be at the threshold of another new year. For many of us 2010 was quite an amazing experience filled with some triumphs…and a few troubles. Yet, we made it through. Hopefully, we are changed in at least some small way. Maybe you finally stopped smoking. Or you lost those unwanted pounds…and kept them off by employing a new way to enjoy food. Some of you have that book written and out for the public to embrace.

What will be the driving force for your 2011? Let’s acknowledge that we can have a different life. It starts each day when we choose consciously. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Drinking more water and less soda. Telling your loved ones…”I Love You.” Before they become the dearly departed…

I am grateful to those of you who kept me in your inbox as I wrote my blog posts. There were times I had that old tape playing…why am I doing this? No one is reading…Crap!

But, I kept going, determined to honor my commitment to sharing my life and thoughts in public view. Some people dropped out…more dropped in. And many of you gave me encouragement to keep going. I thank you.

As I did last December, I would like to know what it is you deem important going forward. For it is true that when we have people to whom we are accountable, we are less likely to quit. Something about knowing that someone cares gives us even more of a reason to press on. So, forward one or two of your 2011 goals…and I will do the same.

A year ago I challenged us that when we looked back at 2010, we would see a new path created. And, thus, a new life experience. I am pleased with what I can see looking behind me. I pray that you are encouraged as well…let’s make 2011 an even better year.

Peace.

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…

Peace.