Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Great Experience

Because of our business, my wife and I have spent several days in the Amish community of Sugarcreek, OH.  I am writing as a novice about this topic, but it is very interesting to me.  Those of us that live the fast-paced life could learn a lot from them.  You might have the misconception that they aren't as aware of what's going on in the world, but I have quickly found that is not true.  They are avid readers.  They listen to the radio.  Their school education is only through the eighth grade, but they are very intelligent.

They have a work ethic that is so strong, it would put many of us to shame.  And, this area is some of the most beautiful country I have seen.  It has lush, rolling hills with rows of corn interlaced with rows of deep green pasture for erosion protection on the hillsides.  Their main mode of transportation is the horse, so you see beautiful horses and cattle in the pastures.  Most of the buggy horses are thoroughbreds, mainly black and dark brown, but the work horses are mostly Belgiums.  They are beautiful animals that are treated with great respect.  There are mainly Holstein cattle, but there are also a lot of Jersey.

As you drive down the country roads, it so neat to see the horse-drawn carriages converging on an intersection from multiple directions.  Many of the local auto drivers are very impatient with them and rude.  Because of the hilly roads, it is dangerous to pass, because there are so many blind spots, plus you can top a hill and find a buggy right in front of you, so you have to drive carefully.

I'm out of time for know, but I will share more later.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Relationships Are An Integral Part of a Happy LIfe

Everyone needs a good friend.  Someone that you can vent to if things are tough.  Someone to celebrate with.  Someone that is always there for you.  Life is very lonely if you never build relationships.

At the same time, an adult maintains multiple relationships.  If you are a married parent with a child in school, lets take a mother, you have the:
  • Mother - child relationship
  • Husband - wife relationship
  • PTA Mom - school relationship
  • Friend relationships
  • If you work, you have the relationship with your boss or employees
All of these relationships are different.  You deal with each of these in a different way, because you have differing responsibilities.  There are several steps to strong relationships.  They don't just happen. 

The baseball diamond below depicts the steps that we must follow for a successful relationship.  Remember, in a baseball game there are rules on how you score a run.  You must go in a particular sequence--from Home Plate to First Base, First Base to Second Base, Second Base to Third Base, Third to Home Plate and you score a run.  You cannot skip any steps in building a relationship either.  So refer to the following diagram as you read on.

First, you must show someone that you care for them.  The other person must see that you have a genuine interest for them.  You must be sincere in your efforts to build a relationship.  That means that it is NOT about you.  You will ask them something about their life, their interests and listen intently to their response.  Maybe, you compliment them because they are wearing something that looks good, or is something that you would wear yourself.

Second, you must build a trust.  You do this by sharing something about you with them.  If they see that are being vulnerable, the relationship will grow.  When you are willing to share something about yourself, you are risking the possibility that they will use that vulnerability against you, but a true friend would never do that.  You must take chances in a relationship.  You will share your inner thoughts, a weakness you struggle with, or something that is important to you or troubling you.  Those are things you don't share with everyone, but you do with a friend.

If both of you are being vulnerable, then you will begin to support each other.  That support comes in the form of challenging one another to be better at things, or it may be encouraging someone to be strong in a difficult time.  That support feels great.  You know that you have someone that you can count on when times get tough, or when you want to celebrate.

Keep in mind that in a new relationship, you must be willing to take the first steps in showing care, trust, and support.  This takes time.  It won't happen in one, short visit.  A relationship is something that you must work at building.  The reward is that you will be connected with that person through thick and thin, through heartache and euphoria.  You will want to be there for that person and they will always be there for you.

Building and supporting your team is exactly the same.  In order for someone to see that you will be their mentor, they must understand that you really care for them.  They must know that they can trust you, and that you will always support them.  The same goes for every human relationship that you find yourself being a part of.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Most Under Diagnosed Deficiency!

Dr. Wentz's opening comments at this year's USANA International Convention focused on the value of Vitamin D.  He stated that Vitamin D deficiency is the most under diagnosed problem in the world.

One of many interesting points he made was that the closer people live to the Equator, the less cancer exists in their society.  Why?  The SUN.  When we are in the sunlight, and we have not used a sun-blocker, our body will manufacture Vitamin D.

Dr. Wentz recommends that we get out in the sunlight, 15-20 minutes per day without any sunscreen, so that we can maintain our Vitamin D levels.  Of course, we should all supplement with the USANA Vitamin D.  It is very potent and inexpensive.  One in the morning  and one in the evening is needed.   You can't overdose, but having a deficiency makes you much more susceptible to cancers and other diseases.  Dr. Wentz stated that the Vitamin D deficiency is a major cause for the rise in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) cases the last several years.

With winter coming, everyone needs to get their order in for Vitamin D and keep it on hand.  We can't overdose, and we are putting our health in great danger if we become deficient.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How Many Trips Do You Have Planned?

Have you listed the various trips that you want to take in your lifetime?  You know:
Paris, St. Thomas, Honduras, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Alaska, Quebec, whereever!

For purposes of example, I am going to use 75 years of age as the age to which we can travel with pleasure, no complications and we will be able to really enjoy the trip.  For some people, that is very generous, while for others it is cutting them short.  You can plug in your numbers.

If you are 35 years old and you can travel for one week, one time a year, then you have about 40 trip opportunities left in your life.  Have you ever thought of it that way?  Let's say that you have 10 trips that you definitely want to make in your life already and you have 40 trips left.  If everything goes perfectly, you are already 25% booked!

As you get older the percentages go up.  If you are 50 and you have 10 trips on your list, you only have 25 open slots, so you are almost 50% booked.  That's a sad way to look at it, but if you have a job, you are limited to the vacation time you have and what you can afford.

The alternative is to start working hard in your own business, building a residual income that in 3 to 5 years will allow you the time to take 2 to 5 trips a year.  If in 5 years you have built that residual income and you will turn 50 at that time, now the percentages turn in your favor.  You have 10 trips planned, but now you have 75 slots available (taking an average of 3 trips per year).  Now you have more options than you did when you were working at age 35.

By the way, I have NOT considered any life-changing events occurring in you life.  You know, a car accident, a bad health diagnosis, stroke, etc.  You may not have until you are 75.  None of us have any guarantee that we will be here tomorrow.

I heard on the radio today that Brett Michaels, lead singer of Poison, the current Celebrity Apprentice, tells the story that when he was in the hospital after suffering a stroke recently, there was one song constantly on his mind.  That song was Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying."  Michaels says that he is living life with that in mind.

To get the most out of life, we MUST KNOW WHAT WE WANT OUT OF LIFE.  Next, we must DEVELOP A PLAN to achieve what we want.  Last, we must WORK THE PLAN and make it happen to the best of our abilities.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life Happens -- Stay Positive Through All!

Our business partners have experienced a lot of trying times recently, but they always seem to be very upbeat and inspiring.  It is so important that you look for the positive blessings out of every road block in your life.

One person recently lost their job, so we received a call, asking if we could still get specially priced tickets for convention and if we knew of someone that they could share hotel expenses with.  Instead of saying, I don't have a job, so there is no way that I can spend money on gas, event passes, food and hotel for 4 days, they were ready to learn how to build the business.  That's exciting!

Another partner has had a lot of serious health challenges and didn't know until the last week if they could attend the USANA International Convention, but then we received the call that said "I'm coming."  Wow!  We had decided that it would in their best interest to not come, because of health challenges, but that didn't stop them.

Another associate had just received a preliminary diagnosis that the doctor was pretty certain they had cancer and surgery was scheduled immediately following convention.  Did that stop them?  Absolutely not.  In fact, they were updating their names list so they could start building their business soon after they got home.  They scheduled multiple appointments for the next week. 

If you keep yourself focused on moving forward in life, you have a lot less time to worry about the negative possibilities.   You can learn a lot from the drive and positive vibes that you receive from these people.  If they didn't tell you what was going on, you would have no clue that they were facing some major obstacles that life had thrown at them. 

Maintaining a 'positive energy' at all times is the best possible thing you can do in trying times.  It may be that your business leader is doing a lot of stuff that is very frustrating and it's easy to let that get you down, but it can't keep you down.  You must not let anyone stop you from moving your life forward in the your desired direction. 

Are you going to let someone else stand between you and your goal?  You shouldn't.  Ignore the negative and stay positive!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Drives You?

People are motivated by different things.  What's "your thing?"

No matter what we are doing in life, we need to have a purpose.  That may be one long-term goal, or that may be several different goals along the way.  It's important that you identify what is most important for YOU.  You can't live your whole life doing what others expect of you and find gratification in doing so.  Unless your life-long desire is to make others happy, a people-pleaser, then you need to stop and explore, "What do I really want to do some day?"

Does this approach sound selfish?  It's really not.  Everyone around you (except maybe your boss) wants you to be happy, everyone that truly cares for you any way.  What would be satisfying to you?  We don't let ourselves explore this thought process often enough.  Everyone needs "me time".  We need to focus on self from time-to-time.  If you are a Mom, then you are likely to be focused on the family, and children in particular.  If that's you, more power to you.  We need great parents to develop our children.  As parents, we devoted endless hours to our children when they were in grade school.  I coached every sport in which they were involved prior to school sports, and we never missed one of their games during school activities.  When they wanted to participate in talent shows, my wife would stay up all night to get their costumes or props ready, if necessary.  She read to them every night before they went to bed.  I was often still at work.  Owning my own traditional business, a software company, was one of those dreams that didn't turn out as expected--it owned me for 7 years.

So, what is it that you would love to be doing?
Writing a book?  Children's books?  Novel?
Riding horses?
Traveling the world?
Founding and working your own charitable foundation?
New car every year?
Volunteering at Hospice or other organizations?
New home?  Second home?  Lake home?
Missionary work?

Whatever it is that you would love to be doing, you need to identify it.  That will give you a purpose and reason, to develop a plan to attain that goal or dream.

If you never develop the plan (the goals) to achieve what you want, you will never attain them.  Define and set goals.  Work to achieve those goals.  Be focused and never quit.  Applying these principles in your pursuit of happiness is critical.

Have a great day!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Laughter Is Good For You!

When you laugh, you are happy and your body responds in a very positive way by producing endorphins.  This sensation can last up to 12 hours for some people.For more detail, check out Endorphins 101.  I'm not endorsing the iVillage website on which this article appears, but it is a good article about endorphins.

So, my purpose today is to simply help you laugh a little.  Enjoy some or all of the GIFs below.

Cat owns puppy

Cat vs. cat

Epic swing jump

Falling off stage

Dog on a swing

Roomba cat bitch slap

Paddling dog

Cats on a slide

Cat drinking from the tap

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Do You Write Goals?

For years, I told people that I didn't need to write goals down.  I was successful climbing the Corporate ladder and receiving promotions.  How dumb was I?  But, I have changed!

I changed and things started happening for me.  I was never taught during my school years that it was necessary to write goals.  Sure, people told me that you need to have goals, but I was never told that you need to write specific goals down and read them daily.  I am still working on making this an every day routine.  It hasn't become a habit yet, but I'm a lot better at it than I used to be.

There are multiple ways to do this.
  • Writing a specific goal and posting it in a prominent place that you look at daily
  • Write a movie script that describes what a perfect day for you would be like--smells, sites, people around you, the location, etc.
  • Write affirmations on a 3"x5" card that are positive statements to get you thinking positively
No matter how you do it, there are a few key points that are important in everyone of these!
  1. You must write or speak in the present tense, not future
  2. You must be as specific as possible with exact amounts of money or whatever the exact goal is, and the exact day on which you expect to achieve the goal
  3. You must read your statement(s) daily
  4. They must be achievable
Another way to have a visual motivation is to create a Vision Board or Dream Board.  This poster will have pictures of things that represent what you want most in life, whether that is a specific car, travel to certain countries, vacation with the family, a new home, a new television, or whatever.

The important thing is that you must do one or more of things on a daily basis so that you will always remember why you are living life and what you are working to gain!  If we have nothing to gain, we lose motivation very quickly.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dress for Success - What is That?

There are books written about this subject that will spend a lot more time on it than I will.  I'll tell it in my terms.

 When I was an employee, working 45 - 60 hours a week, I really looked forward to the weekend.  Sound familiar?  When we would go out for breakfast or shopping on the weekend, I dressed so relaxed it was sloppy.  Very comfortable, but sloppy.  I was like 90% of the other people. 

"Dressing for Success" says that you need to dress a little better than that 90% when you go out in public.  For your friends that have been running around with you for years, they need to be able to recognize a change in your appearance.  It doesn't mean that you have to start wearing a starched shirt and pressed jeans all weekend.  It can be simple changes.  For women, it may mean that you put on makeup on the weekend, when you didn't used to do that.  For men, it can be washing and combing your hair, plus shaving on the weekend.  For men, that can be harder than wearing nicer clothing.  Men can start wearing neat polo shirts instead of the T-shirt with holes, along with cargo shorts that are pressed, or at least neat.

Now here is where I will be different than a lot of other people.  Men, you don't have to wear a suit and tie to an appointment to impress a business man.  And women, you don't have to wear your nicest dress and stiletto shoes to impress.  Let's get real!  How many business people want to wear suits and dresses when they are away from work?  I may be different than others, but I was not looking for a business opportunity that required me to wear "my Sunday best" all the time.

Look at the latest trends.  Right now, nice jeans are very popular.  If you wear a nice blouse or shirt and fashionable jeans, that will work most of the time.  Add a blazer to dress it up.  For women, your hair style is important.  It needs to be current.  Not the latest in fashion, but not 1980s either.  Then, you will have your own definition of this one, but you can't look frumpy!  Your appearance needs to be current!  If you feel that you can't afford current, there are a lot of stores where you can find inexpensive, trendy clothing - Target, Kohls, etc.

Change things up!  Make people notice that you have changed.  Your friends will comment when they see a change and that will be a great lead into a good conversation.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Do I Approach Business with the Right Posture?

When I ask this question, I'm much more concerned about the mental aspect of posture than the physical aspect.  However, your physical posture (body language) is very important when someone meets you for the first time.  A 'first impression' is very important, and it must truly portray who you really are.  When you approach someone, you must walk with confidence.  To me, that means an upright walk that shows you are confident in what you do.  You must walk with a purpose in mind, not aimlessly.

The mental aspect of posture is much more important.  Again, it must portray the "real you."  You must believe:
  • In yourself
  • In what you promote (products)
  • In the Company you represent
  • The Business (Industry)
Posture is about confidence and self belief, not about how busy you are.

If you don't have strong beliefs, your doubt will show when you stutter when you speak, or when you try to justify everything you say.  You may stutter as you speak, because you are nervous or excited about the opportunity, but that will come out differently than stuttering because you have doubt.  When you truly speak with posture, you will speak with confidence that what you are saying is fact, and you know it without a doubt.  

Posture IS NOT acting like you are busy, by placing people on hold when you are speaking with them on the phone, or by planning to have someone call you when you are in the middle of a business presentation so you appear to be 'in demand.'

Consider a telemarketer that has called you in the past and it was obvious that they were reading a script.  If you tried to interrupt them while they were reading, they became confused, or  lost their place.  They may have ignored you and continued reading.  It was obvious that they were just reading a script they didn't understand.  But, if you asked that telemarketer a question and they were quick to respond with a valid statement, then continue, you would know that they have been doing this for a while and are confident in what they are doing (posture).

When you are brand new at a job or business, you will have to develop posture.  It comes with experience.  When you first begin, you posturing will be different, typically approaching someone with excitement about something.  If you are brand new, no one should expect you to have a strong posture.  It is better that you are totally honest with them and tell them that "I just started my own business and I am very excited about the potential ...".  If you are brand new as a phone support person, you should have enthusiasm about what you are doing, but if you are asked a question for which you don't know the answer, let them know, like "I am brand new at this and I haven't dealt with that before, but I will get you an answer, so please hold."  When you are straight with people, that builds are stronger relationship than if it is obvious to them that you are acting very different.

Portraying posture is very important when you have been involved in the same thing for a while.  If you are not "sold" on what you are doing, then you need to reevaluate why you don't have the confidence you should have and start working to fix that.  If 'fear' is the problem, the best thing to overcome fear is action.  Put yourself out in front of people enough times until you are comfortable doing it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sanoviv - Ever Heard of It?

If you are into Health, then you need to plan a trip to Sanoviv.  Add it to your bucket list!  Going there is like going to a 5-star health spa for medical care.  If you are a cancer patient--when was the last time your oncologist consulted your dentist to determine the status of your health?  It never happened for me until I went to Sanoviv.  They treat so much more than cancer, so visit the Sanoviv website to learn more.

Sanoviv was founded by Dr. Myron Wentz, who is also the founder of USANA Health Sciences, that is where the link ends.  You don't have to be in USANA to be a patient at SanovivSanoviv is for the world!  But, Sanoviv emphasizes the science that is behind the USANA products, because USANA products are used as part of your treatment at Sanoviv.  Everyone needs optimal nutrition.

I have been a patient at Sanoviv three different times.  The care that you receive is amazing!  The first time was for a health assessment.  On day two, I was informed that my next form of cancer would be liver cancer if I didn't start a detoxification program.  For the next 10 days, I was placed on a detox program.   For 7 straight days my diet consisted of nothing but vegetable juices and some fruit juices. By the end of my stay, my blood work had totally changed!  When I returned home, several friends told me that my complexion was amazing.  I didn't have a yellowish tint to my skin anymore is what several noticed.

The second trip was a follow-up and another 1-week detox program.  The last trip was for surgery when my cancer returned for the sixth time. What they did next is the amazing part!  They took my tumor into a lab for two different purposes.  They cultured healthy, donor, white blood cells on the tumor.  Then, they made an oral vaccine for me, containing the white blood cells that had been 'programmed' to fight my cancer, and I took that vaccine over a period of 6 months.  My immune system has been rebuilt to fight my cancer, which it never had before.  Finding the right chemo drug for treatment was the second purpose.  They tested 6 different drugs on my tumor to determine which one was most effective--outside my body!  It took my immune system two years to completely rebuild itself and I was in treatment during that time.  The testing concluded that Rituxan was the best drug for me and that's what was administered for the next 2 years--32, 3-hour, IV treatments in all.  Today, I should be cancer-free!  Sanoviv doctor's were the first to tell me that they have a high cure rate for my type of cancer.

At Sanoviv, they treat the individual, not the general disease, which is different than going to an oncologist in the states.  For 17 years, my oncologists have said, "You have non-Hodgkins lymphoma and we treat it this way ..." without trying to determine the root cause. 

Sanoviv has just started a surgical program for MS, multiple sclerosis, patients, that has been very successful.  Recent studies have shown that MS is caused by blockages in our veins.  If you have MS, or you know an MS patient, you MUST tell them about this.

If you plan to go to Sanoviv, please let them know that I referred you, and use my referral code GB100579 to receive a $100 credit.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not Everyone Likes Themself

Do you like yourself?  Do you have a high opinion of yourself?  Do you believe that you are contributor, a valuable friend or partner to someone?

To enjoy life, you must believe that you have value, that you are worthy of the praise of others.

The biggest reason why people do not try new things is because they do not believe in self.  They don't have the confidence that they should to be successful.  We need to get out of our own way!

Everyone who is doing positive things in life--being a good parent, spouse, friend, employee, volunteer, etc., has great value.  It doesn't matter how great or how small your contributions seem to you, they are important. Give yourself a break!  Don't be so hard on yourself!  We all make mistakes.  You must be willing and able to forgive yourself for some 'stupid' things you may have done in your life.  You probably are a great friend to others and you are very quick to forgive the faults of others, but you aren't as kind to yourself.  Why not?  You need to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem.  Give yourself credit for being the friend that everyone wishes they had, or for being the volunteer that the group can always count on, or for being the parent that is always supporting your children.

You are more valuable than you think!  If you have a circle of friends that you consistently communicate with--you are valuable to them.  Don't dwell on your mistakes.  Realize that there are people who respect you and want you to be an important part of their life.  Believe in yourself and your life will be so much more fulfilling!

Live life to its fullest!