Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Education Stifles Creativity

When I started teaching this concept in a dream building workshop, I had no idea how many websites supported this concept.

Studies show that by the age of 5, children use 80% of their creative capacity!  Yes, 80%!  By the age of 12, young people use 2%!  Not much creativity, huh?  Most people live the rest of their lives only using 2% of their creative capacity. 

So what happened between age 5 and age 12?  Education!

Education is necessary for everyone to succeed in life.  At the same time, we must not let education destroy our ability to be imaginative and spontaneous!  Our education system teaches us how to be conformists!  We are taught that we must speak or act a certain way to be acceptable in society.

If you are taught what to do and how to do it, how creative can you be?  There is not much room for expressing your personality in that plan.

I totally bought into this whole process when I was young.  I was class president my junior and senior years in high school.  I was also Student Council President and Salutatorian.  I graduated from Oklahoma State University in 3.5 years with a double-major in Business Management and Business Administration.  I climbed the corporate ladder over a 30-year career.  I have been happily married for over 36 years, with 3 children, the typical middle class, American family.

But then I became part of the #1 Company in network marketing.  I started seeing many young couples who taught dream building workshops and how we need to write goals and read them daily.  Their success spoke for itself.  They were living the life they were promoting, so I finally told my analytical self, "Shut up and listen!"  I started writing goals, even a movie script, and reading them daily, and it has been totally life changing.  Below is a picture of my work truck today.

Now I am the non-conformist in my neighborhood!

I'm not afraid to be different.  My wife has always had a promoter personality, but it has been a transformation for me.  But, I was able to leave Corporate America at age 53, so it has been so worth it!

You must take action to make your dreams a reality!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Stick With USANA?

USANA was started in 1992 and is publicly traded on NASDAQ (symbol USNA).  All of their financial statements are published online at www.usanahealthsciences.com.  I want to be part of a company that is an "open book" company.

USANA is financially 'rock solid' and has a 50-year business plan in place.  My business is willable to my children and their children, or anyone I choose.

FHTM (Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing) is a hot network marketing company in Central Texas right now.  I have been approached by several of their associates this year.  The #1 thing they claim is that FHTM pays out over 90% of their sales revenue to the associates.  Folks, do the math!  A major Corporation can't survive on less than 10% of their sales revenues, if that is their only source of income.

FHTM associates have told me that publicly-held corporations are bad.  The Enrons, Arthur Andersens, and other corrupt corporations were all bad because they were publicly traded.  How stupid does that sound!  FHTM is a privately-held company, meaning that they do not have to disclose any of their financials to the public and therefore, they can make all kinds of claims about payout percentages, but will never provide any solid evidence to back their claims.  Are publicly traded companies all bad?  Absolutely not!  Isn't it interesting that the companies that FHTM represents are publicly-held corporations, i.e., Dish Network, AT&T, Sprint, GE, etc.?  They broker the services of these companies. 

USANA states on the front page of their website, "Highest Payout Percentage for Profitable, Reporting Companies in the Industry."  USANA is very conservative in their computations and will only state this if they can prove it.  And, the USANA payout is greater than 50 percent.  The network marketing industry is full of claims, but there are few companies that publish their complete financials on the web like USANA Health Sciences.

People get sucked into these claims (over 90% payout, etc.) and trust the marketing hype published by their company.  Here is a quote from KENS5.COM, "At least two attorneys general got wise to it all: South Dakota and Montana's top law officials have filed suit against the company for its deceptive practices."  You can watch a video and read the story by clicking on the KENS5 link above.

So, if an FHTM associate attempts to recruit you, ask them these 3 questions.
  1. Where is the documentation that FHTM pays out over 90% revenues to their associates?
  2. If publicly-held corporations are so bad, why do you market the products of some many publicly-traded companies?
  3. If I quit recruiting people, can I live on my residual?
Then, consider 'residual income' potential.  With USANA, you can start with a 20% commission rate with 3-business centers.  Your residual in USANA is based on the number of autoships in your organization.  FHTM raised their commission rate to 1.5% this year, so they are not about residual income.  Their main income comes from recruiting people.  A person pays $300 for their business system binder.  That $300 is largely distributed to the sponsor and their managers.  If it is deemed to be a legit company and you want a company that will allow you to walk away in a few years, yet maintain a huge residual income, then FHTM is not the company for you.  You can only make big money as long as people are signing recruits.

One of the statements that was used when I heard the presentation was, "It only makes sense that you would signup with FHTM.  You already use a cell phone and cable or dish TV, so why not get paid for the services you use."  The problem with that logic is that at 1.5% commission, on a $300 monthly bill, you make $4.50.  You would have to have $100,000 per month of services to make $1,500 per month residual income.

Hopefully this information will better arm you to discuss FHTM in the future!

Stick with USANA and share it with everyone!  You too can have a large residual income that is willable!

Dream Big and Live Your Dreams!

Monday, August 23, 2010

USANA International Convention

This is an exciting week for me.  The USANA Int'l Convention has been voted the #1 Corporate live event in the US for the last 2 years.  Can't wait to see what new products will be introduced and business changes.  I'm excited to learn more about the new presentation DVD that will help new business partners a great deal.

For me, it's always exciting to hear Dr. Wentz and Denis Waitley speak.  I want to take in every opportunity to do so, because we never know how many more we will have.  It's a great time to reconnect with team members from all over that we don't get to see on a regular basis, although our time is way too limited.  Reconnecting with cross-line USANA associates from New Zealand, England and across the US is always great.  We have built a lot of great relationships through USANA over the years.

I'm really glad to see that USANA will be recording a lot of the events so that associates who can't make the event can see a lot of it online.  This will be the first year for that.

I plan to provide some updates this week, but they will be limited.  I'll be back on a regular basis next week.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do You Have Any Bad Food Habits?

I do!  I love ice cream in particular, but I love all kinds of desserts.  When I went to Sanoviv, I learned that cancer feeds off of sugar.  I definitely had to cut back, but I'm not strong enough to say "No more desserts!" 

Sanoviv teaches you that your diet should consist mostly of raw fruits and vegetables, at least 50% and more like 60% to 70% of your diet.  I have to confess.  For 2 years afterwards, I did really good with my diet, but I have reached the point that salad just doesn't sound good.  What we do eat a lot of fresh pico de gallo.  We make it fresh on a weekly basis and I eat it with avocados, chips, etc.

A Sanoviv nutritionist gave me a goal and it went like this.  We have 21 meals a week.  If you can eat good, raw foods and low glycemic foods, for 15 - 16 of those meals, you have done well.  When it's broken down like that, it's not so bad.

When it comes to desserts, I try to limit them to weekends.  Before, I had ice cream almost every night of the week.  And, I can tell you that the USANA Reset package really helps you in cutting the carbs and sugar cravings.  After a week on the Reset, I didn't want any sweets, which is a good thing.

The problem is that I stay beat up and bruised, because I keep falling off the cart!  We just have to do the best we can and try to improve our habits a little at a time!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Do You Have Value?

I'm asking about your personal opinion about yourself.  Don't answer this according to how you believe others would answer the question about you.  Be honest.  How is your self esteem?

Which one of the following statements best describe you?
  1. I can go out and conquer anything I decide I want to do!
  2. I don't think anyone would really miss me if I were gone.
  3. I know I have some value, but I don't know who would benefit from me.
  4. I would be a valuable asset as a team member, maybe not the leader, but a contributor.
If you answered #1, that's great.  You believe in yourself and you have the confidence to take on anything.  My only encouragement would be, is never be so confident that you become unteachable.  We don't know everything and we can always learn something knew.  If others see you as obnoxious or arrogant, maybe you should tone down your attitude and approach.  Appearing to be arrogant can be a huge deterrent to your success.

If your answer was #2, then we have a lot of work to do to build up your self esteem.  You must learn to respect yourself.  Because of that, you probably don't take many chances.  You don't step out of your comfort zone, and you are only comfortable around your family and very close friends.  If you are not comfortable around your family, then search to understand the underlying problem.  Be honest with yourself and if there is an abusive situation, then be brave enough to contact someone that can help you approach the abuser and begin to enjoy life.  No one should have to suffer abuse from a spouse or partner.  I'm not here to give marital relationship advice, but abuse is not right in any personal relationshp.

If you answered #3, then you have some work to do to build your confidence and to acknowledge that you do provide great value in relationships and certain social environments.  Be proud of the your strengths and understand that your contributions are needed.  It's always nice to feel needed and wanted by others. 

#4 is a good place to be.  If you only want to be a team member and not the leader, there is nothing wrong with that.  A team always needs players who contribute, but are willing to let others lead them.  You may grow into a leader role, but if you don't, there's no shame in that.

When others compliment you or your actions, accept that praise and understand that they appreciate your added value.  Celebrate the small things in life!  Don't minimize the role that you play in the life of others.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Do You Say?

We have all known someone who just lost a loved one, or someone who was just diagnosed with cancer or another life-altering disease.  Did you find yourself wanting to express your compassion for them, but you just were not sure what to say?  We have had several situations in which people have responded to our losses or diagnoses.  For us, no response was wrong.  Maybe you just give the person a hug and let them know you care for them.  It could be showing up at their home with food or sending a card.

When it came to my cancer first diagnosis, I was just fine with someone using the word cancer.  There are always those who are in denial after receiving the bad diagnosis and don't want to discuss it, but I would encourage you to express your concern and support.  Let them know that you will be there when they need someone to help or listen.

I find myself  unsure of what to say to someone at times. Plus, I am an emotional person and I don't want to show a lot of emotion when I approach someone, because I don't want to cause them to get emotional.  Most likely, they are in that phase or have been.  In those case when I am emotional, I don't say a lot.  I simply say "I'm very sorry for your loss", or "Call me if I you need anything" or simply give them a hug.  Once you say something, then it opens the door for more conversation.  

The "Feel, Felt, Found" approach may be something you use.  It goes something like this--I know how you feel.  My brother was recently diagnosed with cancer and he felt there was little hope in having a long future, but what we found has that by discussing a positive result from treatments, he found hope in moving forward.

Everyone needs to know that people are there for support, whether they want to admit it, or not.  When others show that they are concerned about us, then we feel blessed to have those kinds of friends.  Let people know that you care and don't worry about how your words come out.  The important thing is to be sincere and your intent will come through.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Be A Good Listener

In order to be a true friend to someone, you must be a good listener.  All of the conversations can't be about you.  Rather, you must be willing to listen to that person and understand their perspectives.  If the relationship is all about you, then the other person will grow weary and feel unimportant at some point.

Everything your friend does is probably NOT going to be exciting or interesting for you, but that's where compromise is important.  The same thing applies concerning you.  Some of things you do are not really important to your friend, but a true friend will  be there for you to share your experiences and hear what you like.

I like watching Major League Baseball games on television, but I also know that a lot of people are 'bored to death' watching it.  Some people like to collect all kinds of frog figurines.  That doesn't interest me in the least, but if I have a friend who collects frogs, I'm going to be thinking about that person when I see a unique frog figurine and I may buy it for them if I know they don't have that one.  You should do things, because you care about that person, whether or not, you have the same likes or dislikes.

You MUST know the NEEDS of a person before you can help them.  You must listen to people to understand what needs they have.  Let's say that I have a friend who doesn't like baseball at all.  If I gave them 4 tickets to see the Yankees and Rangers play, would that really be a good gift?  Only if they could sell the tickets and make some money.  Your gift must be something that they enjoy in order for it to fulfill a need.  If your friend is needing to feel accepted and you tell them, "Just do it and don't worry about what people think," have you made them feel any better?  Absolutely NOT!  You need to reassure them that people are going to find them interesting, or give them ideas on how to be accepted.

When you are in the middle of conversation, stop and listen to what the other person is saying.  Don't just sit there, waiting to tell them what you want to say, not caring about what they have to say.  Your response needs to show that you heard what they had to say and you either what to confirm that, or voice an alternative view.  This applies to conversations between friends or business partners; between a parent and child; between a teacher and student, or between a manager and an employee.

Your relationships will be greatly improved when you are a good listener!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Leadership Style I Prefer

There are many different leadership styles, but I'm going to focus on my preference in this space today.  When my kids were younger, I coached their baseball, basketball and softball teams.  From 1983 - 1989, I was a partner in a software company and we employed 1 programmer.  Prior to that, I was Vice President of a small software company and had about 7 direct reports.  For the last 15 years of employment, I was in a management position.  As an athlete for 40 years, I was always a leader on my team, so I have experienced leadership from my different facets of life.

Remember those new jobs that you have had?  When you first started waiting tables, did you know how to do it?  Or, when you graduated college and entered the Corporate world, had college prepared you for the "real world?"  You still needed "on the job training" when you started.   It gets easier as you go to your second, third and fourth jobs in the same field.  But, if you change careers, the learning process starts over.

Ask yourself:  If I was the new employee or associate, would I want ME as a leader?  When you can honestly answer, YES, to that question, then you are on the right path to leadership.

I prefer to be a coach or mentor, not a boss.  People that want to learn from you, want someone who:
  • Provides training and shares techniques 
  • Makes learning interesting
  • Listens to them
  • Allows them to fail 
  • Celebrates their successes
  • Comes along beside of them (mentor)
  • Challenges them

One of the most important points I could give someone about leadership would be this - "Don't tell someone how to do something--show them."  There is a huge difference between telling someone what to do and showing them how to do it.  If someone has never down something before, how can you expect them to know how to do it, unless you show them?  This definitely applies in parenting, coaching and being a leader.

Remember the programmer I said I employed earlier.  Several years later, I reconnected with that person and he thanked me for the opportunity he had to learn programming while working for me.  He said, "I would ask you if this code would work, and you would say "I don't know--try it and find out."  He said that he learned a lot from having to find out for himself.  At the point that I responded that way (try it and find out), I had already provided a lot of training for him and I knew what the answer was, but I knew that experiencing the success or failure provides a more lasting lesson than just providing a quick answer.  I mention that to say that coaching, or mentoring, should only go so far.  At some point, the person that has been trained, has to put that training into practice and see what works for them.  But, that doesn't mean that your job as a leader is over at that point.  After they attempt to apply the principles learned, they are going to have additional questions, based on the feedback they received.  Training can't address every situation, so they will need suggestions on how to handle specific situations as they present themselves.

In network marketing, a lot of people consider themselves leaders, but the only way they encourage their partners is with words like, "Go make it happen!", or "Make something happen!", or "Just get out among people and share with them."  Those words are not "empowering."  People that have never done it before need to be trained on what to say, and how to say it.  You can only "empower" a person by providing training on "how to's."  If your training an experienced person, that's very different.  They only need to be trained on what makes your company unique and other points of emphasis.

A good leader is not "a boss."  I really like the concept of "mentor", which I see as someone coming along side of someone and assisting them in developing their skills.  That means that when they need help, you will be there to support them.  They can get out and do things on their own, but when they indicate that they need help, you don't say "You ought to know that by now."

Feel free to post comments on what you like to see in a leader.  Have a great day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Don't Be Predictable

Some people are so predictable.  They always do the same things, day after day.  I can be that way, but I like to surprise people at times.

I coached my kids baseball, softball and basketball teams when they were young.  I can remember in baseball in particular, there would be situations when the pitcher was having a hard time throwing strikes.  I would call time out, and when I got to the pitcher, I would say "What are you going to do after the game?" or "Was that clown funny at the circus?"  Something off the wall.  For a second they quit thinking about their frustration with pitching or the umpire.  Instead of additional pressure, sometimes we just need to forget about things and have fun!

Live life!  Do something you have never done before.  Get out of your comfort zone!  What have you always wanted to do, but you never had the guts to do it?  Put it on your bucket list and make it happen!  There are not guarantees of how many opportunities you will have.

Go sky diving; attend the monster jam; fly in a hot air balloon, or go sing karaoke. Have you always wanted to change your environment and move somewhere where you don't know anyone?  If so, make plans and read affirmations to make your dreams a reality!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Make Someone's Day!

I'm going to keep it short today, but here is a suggestion given to me a few years ago that I am so glad that I followed through with.

Was there someone in your past that really made a difference in your life?  Someone that did something special for you, yet you haven't ever expressed just how much that relationship meant to you.  Even if you haven't spoken with them for the last 15 or 20 years, give them a call and let them know that you were thinking about them, and that you want them to know just how important they were in your life!

It will make you feel great in addition to how you will brighten that other person's day!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The 40-Year Plan---How's It Working For You?

Are you familiar with 'the 40-year plan'?  I'll briefly explain.  Your parents prepare you by telling you:
"You must go to school and get good grades, so you can get a good job, where you can work and provide for your family.  You work for 40 years for someone, then you will have a solid retirement to live happy for the rest of your life."  Insurance statistics show that only happens for FIVE PERCENT of the people--yes, 5%!

About 30 percent of the people die before retirement age and the rest are still working, or depend on the government, family or charities.

The 40-year plan wasn't working for us.  I was climbing the Corporate ladder, but my bills were climbing faster.  When we decided to break the traditional plan, I had already been a 5-time cancer survivor, so even with good insurance, the medical bills were huge.  Then, we also had 3 children in college at the same time for a few years.  Plus, we lost everything in the New Braunfels flood of 1998--we had 17 feet of water run through our house.

So it was obvious, "if nothing changes, nothing changes."  We chose to enter network marketing, again.  We had done it with four other companies and never made any money.  Why was this one different?  Maybe the timing was better for us.  But, the huge difference was that we found a consumable product that was better than anything else on the market (USANA) and we didn't have to inventory product or deliver product.  Plus, every time it shipped to the consumer, we received credit for that sales volume (true residual income).  In 9 months, Gwen was able to quit her job, then within 3 years I was able to leave my senior management position.  We worked hard, but it worked for us.

We chose to get out of our comfort zone and do something totally different.  We were totally committed to do it right and kept going when times were tough.

Five years ago, did you have dreams and expectations of where you planned to be?  Are you there today?  If not, then I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and take control of your financial future. 

If you would like more information, click here to Contact Me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Your Attitude is A Choice!

Do you choose to be a happy person?  Or, are you a pessimist?  Many people do not see themselves as negative, yet they really are.  They are constantly complaining about how much gas costs; how much food costs; how bad the traffic is; how horrible our government is, etc.  Is that you?

If we choose to be happy, we will be grateful for all of the good things that we see or experience and not just take it for granted, or worse yet, expect something bad to happen, because something good just happened.  Is this your attitude--You just know that things can't continue to go smoothly.  Hey!  It's easy to get caught in that rut, but you shouldn't!  Nothing productive will result from you having negative thoughts, or expecting "bad" to happen.

Practice 'positive affirmations.'  You will be surprised how you can turn around your life expecting that "good" will happen today.  Practice statements like, "I am excited about what I can do for others today", or "I am so grateful for the life that I have", or "I am so fortunate to have a healthy family", or "I am so grateful that I am healthy and have a great family".  When you start your day with an "attitude of gratitude", you will experience a great day.  If you start your day with negative thoughts, you will continue down that road and it will not be a good day.

If necessary, take a 3"x5" card and write your positive affirmations, then, start every morning by reading those affirmation cards until you don't need to read them, because they have become your normal thought process.

Choose to be happy and when someone asks you how you are doing, or how your day is going, respond with "Great!" or "Awesome!" or "Life couldn't be better!"

Have a great day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Most People Love Fridays!

It's the day you've been waiting for--Friday.  At 5:00 p.m. the weekend starts!  Do you have some big plans?  Gwen and I are heading to Houston on Saturday morning.  We will be with our kids.  That's what is important to us. 

My first, long-term goal after diagnosis was to live long enough to see all of my kids graduate high school.  Well, they have all graduated college now, so my goal has been far exceeded. 

Set goals for yourself!  Maybe you want to 'fire your boss' some day.  Whatever your goal is, write it done and read it twice a day-morning and evening.  Keep it constantly in front of you.  The great part about having built a solid, residual income with USANA is that Mondays are just like Fridays or Saturdays.  We enjoy the 'time freedom' to sleep in; set our own schedules and to help others succeed.

Have a great weekend!  I'll post again on Monday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Count Your Blessings!

It's easy to take life for granted.  For some of us, it takes facing a life-altering challenge to wake us up!  I don't take the small things for granted today like I once did.

Are you able to walk on your own?
Can you feed yourself?
Do you have a job?  Even if you don't, do you still have a roof over your head?
Are you healthy?  Are you kids healthy?
Is your car dependable?
Do you have close friends?

If you can answer 'YES' to all or some of these, you have something to be grateful for.

I have 6 arthritic spurs in my left knee and I haven't been able to straighten my left leg for 15 years, at least.  When I get up in the morning, I limp around like someone with a major leg injury, but soon I'm moving with less pain.  A few hours later, I'm running up and down the basketball court (although it's not a pretty sight).  I am so thankful that I can still play the sport that I love.

At 51, I had to give up basketball, because my knees hurt so bad.  Then I went to Sanoviv for 2 weeks of detox.  After years of cancer treatment, they told me that my liver was in very bad condition.  If I hadn't gone, I would not have known until I had a full-blown disease.  Little did I know that with proper nutrition such as USANA and a great detox program, the inflammation from my arthritis was gone and I was able to take up my favorite sport again at 53.  Most of the other players are 16 - 35 years of age.

It's never too late to take charge of your life and health and make changes that greatly improve your quality of life.

Celebrate the 'small things' in life.  Life could be so much worse!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Has life ever blindsided you?  For me it happened in 1993, when I was 39.  While on a business trip, I noticed a hard lump in my throat while I was shaving.  After monitoring it for a month, I told my wife about it and made a doctor's appointment.  My doctor felt there was a 90% chance that it was a thyroid cyst--nothing to worry about.  He called and made me an appointment with a surgeon he recommended, because I sure didn't know one.  First of all, we had just moved to Texas 8 months earlier.  We were new in the area.  No family nearby.  Besides, I had been healthy and an athlete all my life.  I had never been in a hospital, certainly no surgery.

The surgeon came to the same conclusion, 90% chance it was nothing to worry about, but only surgery would tell us for sure.  When the surgeon met my wife after surgery, he was very troubled.  He told her it was not what he expected.  It looked like cancer to him.  During my follow-up visit a few days later, he delivered the news from the pathology report--stage III, Hodgkins lymphoma.  We were shocked!  After we did some research, we were glad it was not non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  From what we read, we had learned that Hodgkins disease was curable, but non-Hodgkins was not.  A few weeks later, we met with the oncologist, and he said, "You have stage III, non-Hodgkins lymphoma."  "Wait a minute, doc!  You mean Hodgkins, don't you?", I replied.  Come to find out, a second pathology report had changed the diagnosis--it was stage III, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, both aggressive cells and low-grade cells.  Soon after the initial shock, I told my wife, "I am going to be the healthiest cancer patient they have ever seen."  In many ways, I have done just that.

So much for the details for now.  Today, I am a six-time, cancer survivor, but cancer is not the only major challenge that we have faced.  There have been many others, which I can share as time goes on, if anyone cares.  What I do want to share with you now is that because I have had to fight cancer (and win and win and win), there have been a lot of positive benefits from those experiences.  There are no guarantees in life, so I encourage you to look for the positive results in every tough situation.  Some of those positive things:
  •  My priorities in life changed for the better
    • I was much more focused in my commitment to God
    • I quit being a workaholic
  • I was much more empathetic towards others
  • Cancer prepared me for other life challenges, because I realized that the most important things in life are not things, but God and family
Also, you need to know that I have found the high-quality, nutritional supplements can add to your quality of life.  Because of our USANA business, I have learned how to live a healthier lifestyle.  The greatest blessing was that I found out about Sanoviv Medical Institute.  If you have a serious health concern, you need to spend some time researching Sanoviv at www.sanoviv.com.  At a later time, I will share how my three trips to Sanoviv have added years to my life.

I like "keeping it real."  If you have questions about cancer, about how I dealt with certain life-changing events, or you want to share some of your own experiences, please do so.  While I was going through treatment, writing / journaling was very therapeutic for me.  Later, I compiled those writing into my book, "Personal Growth Through Crises".  You can learn more about my book on my Facebook page.