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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Catapult your Business into 2011 by Janet Callaway

What you say?  How can I do that?  The holidays are here, no one wants to listen and besides I don't have time.  After reading this post, you just may want to rethink your position. Opportunity is truly in the eyes of the beholder.  Let me tell you a story.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

One Millimeter Philosophy by Tony Robbins

What will it take for us to realize our potential? Could we be so close that the next step could be the one that opens the door?

I love the 1 millimeter philosophy. We are all closer than we might imagine. Dr Terry Paulsen even goes so far as to say that we might be winning and not have realized it. Whether we have already won and haven’t realized it yet or are 1 millimeter away focus on what you want to accomplish and why you want to accomplish it.

Know that you can make a difference by persevering. Having met and worked with a lot of very successful people I know that they are not much different from everyone else. They have had doubts, fears and frustrations along their paths but they believed in themselves, knew why they were making the necessary sacrifices and went the extra millimeter. One Millimeter is the difference from average to great.

Take the next step and change the world.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Top 10 Ways to Start Living Your Life by Liz Strauss

Everyone Gets the Same 24 Hours

Life — it’s what we do between the time we get here and when we go. We only get one, and despite what other folks might suppose, it’s ours to determine what to do with it.
We don’t measure life in hours and minutes. We measure life in memories and moments.

What do you think of when you read this sentence?

It was the time of my life.

We don’t say that often enough.

The Top 10 Ways to Start Living Your Life

Life either happens to us, or we take hold of life and live it. Here are 10 Ways to get a life and start living it.

  1. Give yourself permission to claim your life. That’s right — permission. You’re the only one who can decide you are in charge of your life. Even though it feels like you’re not supposed to do so, turn off the internal editors, the old tape recordings, the “shoulds, have tos, and musts”, and the rules that didn’t come from you.
  2. Define what living means to you. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Just picture yourself at the end of your life looking back. What words would you want to describe how you lived your life and who you are as a person?
  3. Stop living in the future. Every time you think “someday” or “when I have time I will,” stop. Ask yourself, “Why not now?” Think about this sentence, “I always wanted to, but never did.” Start doing the things you always planned to do. Choose your life every morning. Plan one thing you will do that day to feel alive.
  4. Surround yourself with people who enjoy living. They’ve obviously discovered how to have a life and live it. Why not hang with the pros?
  5. Lay down your pain and your anger. Carrying them around makes living harder and less fun. It doesn’t bring anything, and it steals a lot.
  6. Let the losers win. Don’t argue about things that you don’t care about. Unless there’s some real threat, let the folks who have something to prove, prove what they need to. Why waste your living time trying to fix what’s wrong with them?
  7. Create energy. Jump to forgiveness and love, then figure things out. Most conclusions we jump to are not only wrong, they’re negative. Negative conclusions lead us to prepare a defense. Being on the defensive isn’t living. It’s hiding from life.
  8. Learn the physical symptoms of when your head and heart become disconnected. We know when we’re having a knee jerk reaction, when we’re feeling sorry for ourselves, and when we’re being blind to people’s feelings. We can remember how it felt physically while we were behaving badly. Get to know those symptoms, and you can stop the behavior. Living life will feel a whole lot safer because you won’t be in danger of shooting yourself in the foot.
  9. Take small risks that push your boundaries in every way. The joy of life is packed in learning that matches our skill set. When we stretch just a bit intellectually, physically, emotionally, we grow. Living is growing. Even your cells know that.
  10. Value and protect the people and the places you care about. A job isn’t a life. It’s just a part of one. Let the people you care about come first, and let everyone know that you do. Re-read numbers 1 and 2.

We come into life with whatever we’ve got. It’s ours to do with. It took me a while to figure that out — that my life isn’t just what happens to me, that I could take hold of it.

I want to have the time of my life.

You’ve already got a life too. Are you living it?

Please do let me know if you enjoy this favorite post by media strategist Liz Strauss as much as I do.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

5 Thoughts on Relationships by Janet Callaway

Since people are everywhere and part of most everything you do, it is stands to reason that the better your relationships, the better your life will be. Any interaction with another is a relationship of sorts; it can be a one time payment in a convenience store, a business relationship or a personal relationship. Let's take a look at some connections between actions and relationships.

Follow the Golden Rule. How many times have we heard “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Yet, how many often do we forget that when we are rushed, angry or overwhelmed? How many times has our impatience caused us to treat another rudely or as if they were insignificant? Years ago I heard a man say his goal was to leave each person he met feeling better for having met him. What a fantastic goal! If you keep that thought in mind in all your interactions with people, you will make the day a little brighter for many people; PLUS, you'll feel good too.

Reciprocity. To a certain extent, this follows along with the Golden Rule. How you treat others will come back to you. However, reciprocity is even wider ranging. When you treat others with respect or give generously to others you start a cycle which brings more of that into your life. As more comes to you, you likewise respond by doing or giving more and thus the ripples of your actions spread further and further.

Make New Relationships. New relationships enhance and enrich the lives of all involved. Consciously seek out others and begin relationships. A new relationship does not have to be an “all the time” thing rather it can be a casual checking in be it for coffee, a call or an online connection. There is a lot to be said for that phone company slogan “reach out and touch someone.” Think how you feel when someone reaches out and touches you.

Value People. Too often people categorize people and their “worth” by their job title. A job title is not who a person is. Each of us has innate value. When you listen to people you will be surprised at what you learn about who they are. Treat everyone with respect; you will make a difference for many.

Value Yourself. Your relationship with yourself is your one lifelong relationship. Nurture it. If you do not respect and love yourself, you cannot respect and love others. Pay attention to your self talk. Do you say things that lift you up or do you say things like “I'm such a ______” or “_______ always happens to me” or I never _______?” If you fill in the missing blanks with negatives, that's what you will bring into your life. Change your self talk; change your life.

Have you ever noticed the effect of giving a smile to a stranger?

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks Because You are You by Janet Callaway

Probably no one exemplifies better a life of love, giving and appreciation than Mother Teresa. Below is one of my favorite quotes of hers. Take her advice to heart. Give thanks for all that you are and all that you will become. Celebrate You.

"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.   Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.   Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.   Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.”

This is your life. Live It!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Attitude—It Makes the Difference by Janet Callaway

A number of years ago leadership expert, speaker and best selling author John C. Maxwell wrote a book entitled The Difference Maker. Because we all hear how important it is to have a good attitude, he felt it was important to write a book explaining what a good attitude can and cannot do for people. While attitude isn't everything, it is, as he says in the title, The Difference Maker.

Let's look at three things your attitude cannot do for you. Your Attitude:

Cannot Substitute for Competence. No matter how great your attitude, if you don't have the skill or competence for a certain task, you will never get to where you want to go. John Maxwell uses the example of being an opera singer. He loves to sing and would love to sing opera, unfortunately he simply cannot sing. All the voice coaches in the world and all the practice would not make him an opera singer. It is not an attitude problem; it's a competence problem.

Cannot Change the Facts. Facts are facts. You can have a terrific attitude yet if you are 5' you'll never be a center in the NBA. As Maya Angelou said: “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.”

Cannot Substitute for Personal Growth. With just a few words, Bruce Springsteen said it perfectly: “A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be.”

Now that you know a few of the things attitude cannot do for you, let's talk about what it can do. Your Attitude:

Makes a Difference in Your Approach to Life. This is the flip of an oft heard phrase. Think “all's well that begins well” rather than “all's well that ends well.” Your attitude going into a project, a game, a relationship or virtually any situation is a determining factor in the outcome. Whether you are talking about Monday morning pep talks or pre-game talks, the purpose is always the same—to lift up, improve people's attitudes.

Makes a Difference in your Relationships with People. Your attitude towards people has a huge impact on your relationship skills. If people consistently have a difficult time with others or continually experience failed relationships, it's almost always an attitude issue. They need to look at their attitude towards others.

Makes a Difference in How you Face Challenges. When you read the many and varied success stories of triumph over adversity, you realize that the common denominator is how those people responded to the challenge. Their successes were not a matter of background, education, ability, wealth or connections, rather it was their attitudes that caused them to persist when others would quit.

In closing I will give you a few lines from Chuck Swindoll who wrote the great piece The Power of Attitude:

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . . We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude . . . . I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it, and so it is with you . . . . We are in charge of our attitudes.”

Isn't that great news?

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Wealth Formula by Janet Callaway

Though I am writing this article on The Wealth Formula, it did not originate with me. My mentor, Cindy Samuelson, gave this precious gift to me which was given to her by her beloved mentor G. A. “Curly” Smith. 

Now G. A. Curly Smith did create The Wealth Formula and his success is a testament to its efficacy. Born in 1922, a sharecropper's son raised in depression racked Oklahoma, Curly went on to sell airplanes to multi-millionaires. He consistently asked those wealthy individuals how much time they'd invested in building their wealth. When he died at age 78, having followed their advice, he left a legacy to support three generations.

Curly believed that people failed, not because of their pasts or circumstances, rather they failed because of their indifference to time. In teaching people about time, Curly would ask a simple question. Take a minute to think about your answer before you continue reading after the question. Here it is:

How many hours are there in a week?” That's it.

Now, what did you answer? Most people answer 24 hours x 7 days a week while other people answer 40 hours! Neither is correct for purposes of The Wealth Formula. Let's do the simple math; you will be astounded.

The Wealth Formula
168 hours in a week
  • 56 hours for sleep (7 nights/8 hours)
  • 40 hours for work (5 days/8 hours)
  • 42 hours for living (7 days/6 hours)
         30 hours remaining

It's what you do with these 30 hours that makes the difference. Unfortunately, most people spend those 30 hours watching television or playing games on computers. Wealth is built in everything over 40 hours. What was the consistent answer of the multi-millionaires who bought planes from Curly? On the average they worked 70 hours a week; their wealth came from the 30 hours beyond the standard 40.

How you spend those 30 hours is up to you. Your decision will determine if you live the life you design or if you live a life designed by someone else. You can choose to have control over your life or to let someone else have it. Which do you choose? Will you invest those 30 hours wisely?

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lifestyle—It's Your Choice! By Janet Callaway

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching with Christmas not far behind. Right after that it is the new year; time for resolutions and new starts.

Why not start now?

What we have to be thankful for are a result of our choices. Take some time to look at your life and appreciate the good things in it. If you are not living the Lifestyle you want, now is the time to take action.

Remember changing things in your life requires only one Big step and the rest are consistent little steps. The Big step is your choice; your decision to change. The little steps are what you do each day, each week, each month to implement the change. Let's look at a few changes that can have a profound impact in your life.

Exercise: If the “proof is in the pudding,” this pudding is done. Research abounds on the physical benefits of exercise. If you are not exercising, add some form of it to your daily/weekly routine. Walk around the block, up stairs or park your car across the lot. Anything that will get you moving. Aside from the physical benefits, you will no doubt find that while you are exercising ideas come to you, solutions for problems become apparent and friendships flourish.

Financial Health: If you have too much month at the end of the money, you need to do several exercises to improve this condition. You could take a part time job, however, I think a better option is to start a home based business. With a home based business you can earn additional income as well as take advantage of significant tax benefits. Also, look at how you are spending your money each month then make some better choices. Whether you are stopping for lattes at Starbucks or buying numerous meals/snacks at fast food restaurants, you are spending way more than you need to for those items. Skip the lattes and the snacks; you will be surprised how much you save. Look to Dave Ramsey or someone similar to get your finances under control so that you are back in control of your life. Sir Richard Branson is right:
There is only one reason to be wealthy. It allows us to choose how we wish to spend our days.”

Personal Growth: Invest in yourself by reading books that will fill your mind with positive thoughts and ideas; listen to CDs and watch DVDs that do the same thing. Associate with people who lift you up rather than pull you down. If you don't feel better when you are with someone, then don't hang out with them.

You can be or do or have anything you want in life. Lifestyle is a choice. What's yours?

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

What do Astronauts and New Habits have in Common? By Janet Callaway

The answer is much more than you think. No matter what “habit” you want to develop, you always hear “do it for 30 days” and then the habit will be set. Personally, I always thought “they” said that because it gives you time to get used to a new routine and a month is a convenient measure of time.

It turns out that's true though probably not for why you think. In fact, there is a physiological reason for it that was discovered quite by chance by NASA.

Back in its early days, NASA designed an experiment to determine the physiological and psychological effect of the spatial disorientation the astronauts would experience in the weightless environment. What NASA did is outfit the potential astronauts with convex goggles which flipped everything in their field of vision 180 degrees.

In other words, their world was turned completely upside down. The potential astronauts were required to wear these special goggles 24 hours a day—even when they were asleep. The scientists then sat back to observe what happened.

Initially, according to elevated blood pressure and other vital signs, the potential astronauts suffered from extreme stress and anxiety—hardly surprising since their worlds were upside down. As time went on they gradually adapted to some of the stress though not all of it.

On the 26th day, something amazing happened for one of the astronauts. His world turned right-side up again even though he continued to wear the goggles 24 hours a day. From days 26-30, the same thing happened for each of the astronauts; their worlds turned right-side up.

What the scientists discovered is that after 26-30 days of this continuous stream of new input—think new habit—the astronauts' brains created neural connections to “rewire” their brains. This would be an amazing story if this were the end; it's not.

NASA did the experiment again with a slight change. This time the potential astronauts  took the goggles off for a short period of time partway through the experiment. The result? They had to start over. When they put the goggles back on and left them on until the 30th day, their worlds were still upside down.

What the scientists discovered is the brain needs about 30 uninterrupted days for new neural connections to form.

Next time you are ready to develop a new habit, learn a new skill, start a new diet or implement your action plan for success, remember the astronauts. Allow your brain the 30 days for the new neural pathways to be built and keep your commitment to yourself. Do the activity for 30 continuous days. The “good” news is there is scientific proof that it works; the “bad” news is you are the only one who can do it for you.

How about you? Are you ready to invest in yourself for 30 days to get something that you want? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Does Social Media Marketing Make Sense for the Smallest Businesses? By Emarketer

Small businesses unsure about reaching audience on social sites
eMarketer estimates that 127 million people in the US, or 57.5% of internet users, will use social networks at least monthly this year. Facebook alone has over half a billion active users worldwide. Still, many of the smallest businesses don’t believe their customers can be marketed to on such sites, according to an August 2010 survey from customer review platform RatePoint.

Respondents, the majority of whom were business owners with just one to five employees, were split on whether social media was a quick way to connect with current or future customers, but sentiment was largely negative. When asked if they thought customers wanted to hear from them on social sites, only a quarter of businesses thought they did.

In addition, 20% of small businesses did not think their customers spent time on social networking sites; another 27% were undecided. And nearly a quarter did not believe their customers did research online before doing business with their company.

With a majority of US internet users on social networks, chances are the customers of even small local businesses are there. According to BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, 97% of US internet users used online media to look for local products and services in Q1 2010, and 90% used search engines. Research from comScore and TMP Directional Marketing shows that, looking for local businesses, searchers are much more likely to use a search engine than a social networking site as their primary resource, but both are used, especially among young people.

Social media use is no longer limited to one demographic; everyone is adopting,” said Neal Creighton, CEO and co-founder of RatePoint, in a statement. “While many small-business owners are uncertain, big brands are investing heavily in social media. Social media can be a great equalizer for small businesses to compete alongside larger brands and SMBs are missing out if they are not involved.”

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Get the Appointment by Janet Callaway

No matter your business, you have to be able to talk with your prospective customer, client or partner in order to move to the next step. To do this, you need to get the appointment. Unfortunately, many people simply cannot seem to do this on a consistent basis. 

Before his tragic accident a couple of years ago, I was fortunate to be able to work with network marketing icon Bob Schmidt. His common sense approach worked extremely well for him for over three decades earning him millions annually. It also worked for literally thousands of others who were led to correct actions and thus success by his teachings.

Bob maintained that there are five legitimate reasons that someone would want to meet with you for an appointment. Take yourself out of the equation, focus on the other person and use one or more of these phrases in your conversation. Here are the five reasons they would want to meet with you.

1.  Because knowledge and good information are never a disadvantage.

2.  Because it always makes sense for good people to meet.

3.  Because if your situation changes I want to be the first phone call you make.

4.  So that you can be crystal clear on what you are saying no to.

5.  Because even if you don't have an interest you may know someone who does and since all good business is a referral business, I would appreciate the referral.

To take the pressure of the other person, let them know you want to tell them about something and then say: “You may have an interest or you may not, either way is fine.”

How do you like this approach?

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Drives Creativity? By Harvey Mackay

Whether you are working on a project, starting a business or writing a blog, creative thinking is essential. Unfortunately, it seems that at those times when you most need to be creative, the mind doesn't function at its peak. Harvey Mackay, author of five New York Times bestselling books, two of them considered to be among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time -- Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, offers some practical advice. Janet

Imagine if you could turn on creativity like starting a car, rev the engine to get up to speed, cruise along in the fast lane, and then park it in the garage until you needed it again. Is there anything you couldn't accomplish?

We've all had days when the engine stalls, the tire is flat, or road construction brings traffic to a screeching halt. Nothing seems to get us going.

You can't always sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Amateurs wait for inspiration. The real pros get up and go to work. They understand that you are not born with creativity... and you have to cultivate creativity on an ongoing basis. Here are some ideas: 

Keep a journal.  Record ideas as soon as they come to you by keeping a notebook close at hand all the time. A real notebook, not a digital one, is best, allowing you to make sketches and drawings, but anything that lets you capture your thoughts will work. When you need to charge up your creativity, search your notebook for ideas and examples. 

Search your environment for inspiration. Artists find inspiration in many unlikely places. If looking at the same four walls every day limits your perspective, add some elements that help you see things in a new way -- pictures, plants, books, even toys. 

Question everything. Ask "why" and "how" to determine if there's a better way to solve a problem. Another favorite question of mine: "What's missing?"

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Four Agreements in Review by Janet Callaway

The Four Agreements is an easy-to-read book packed with wisdom. Don Miguel Ruiz says: “You need a very strong will in order to adopt the Four Agreements—but if you can begin to live your life with these agreements, the transformation in your life will be amazing. You will see the drama of hell disappear right before your very eyes. Instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream—your personal dream of heaven.”

The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word. Let's look at how Ruiz defines this word: “Impeccability means 'without sin' . . . A sin is anything you do which goes against yourself. . . When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.”

This means that we do not use our word against ourselves in guilt, shame or saying negative things about ourselves. It follows that we do not use our word to blame, criticize, gossip or judge others. Let's stop all this useless yet harmful talk against ourselves and others.

Think what a difference it would make if you said only words of edification about yourself or others. Think what that would do to changing the “wiring” in your brain.

Now let's take impeccable to our commitments. That agreement is the one you have with yourself--always. Whenever you say you will do something, either to yourself or to another person, you have made an agreement with yourself to do a specific action. Your brain hears what you are saying, whether you truly meant it or not, and registers it as a commitment. If you don't follow through, you will start to distrust yourself and, eventually, will lose faith in your ability to produce a result.

Before you agree to do something, especially if you know you're either not going to do it or are not likely to do it, think a bit about the momentary discomfort of saying what you mean vs. the long term psychological damage of consistently eroding belief in your self. Your self-esteem and the trust of others matters far too much to be carelessly tossed aside.

The Second Agreement: Don't Take Anything Personally. As Don Ruiz says: “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.” When you “get it” this is truly a freeing statement. Think about an interaction with a person who has had a great day, how are they likely to treat you? Pretty well, I should think. Now think about that same person having a miserable day, how are they going to treat you? Probably not so well. You are the same person in each situation. How they treated you is strictly because of how they were feeling and had nothing to do with you. Quit feeling hurt, upset or mad because of what others do or not do or say or not say. It is not about YOU, it is about them.

The Third Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions. Most of us have a tendency to make assumptions and then we believe those assumptions to be true. We then act on those assumptions, take it personally and create a huge drama over something that never even existed—all because we made assumptions. Rather than make assumptions, ask questions; keep communication clear. Ask rather than assume.

The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best. This Fourth Agreement is about the first three, about bringing them alive. Don Ruiz says: “Under any circumstances, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.”

In Japan there is a philosophy of kaizen which means continual improvement. Incorporate these Four Agreements into your life using the kaizen approach of small and consistent steps. Your life will be transformed.

Because I know many of you have read this book, I welcome your comments and insights.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

5 Keys to Success by Janet Callaway

This is the first in a series of articles on keys to success. Success is neither a single thing nor talent rather it is a result of many consistent actions. The combination of these disciplines and actions leads to success. Use these keys and walk through the door to your success.

1.  Be Responsible. You are 100% responsible for what happens in your life. You and You alone are responsible for creating the life you want. You and You alone are responsible for the quality of your life. When you accept 100% responsibility and understand what it means in your life, it is liberating. Give up blaming and complaining. Accept Responsibility.

2.  Believe. Believe in Yourself. Believe it's possible.  Oftentimes when you hear someone interviewed after an accomplishment, they say that a quote by Napoleon Hill was instrumental in their success. The quote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” We must be able to see ourselves as successful, losing weight, being a better golfer, tennis player or whatever else is our dream, our goal. If we cannot imagine ourselves as having or being something different, we are destined to stay as we are. To build belief in yourself, listen to the CDs, attend the seminars, read the books, take the lessons and talk to supportive people. Borrow their belief in you. Follow the trail of “what if . . .” one step at a time until you learn to Believe in Yourself.

3.  Why. Know your why. Why is it that you want what you want? How will your life be different when you achieve your dream, your goal? Is your why big enough, important enough to you that you will keep going, when the going gets tough?

4.  Focus. Know what you want and what you need to do to get there. Don't get distracted by what you can't control. Ask for help from those who have what you want. Remember, focus on the step you are doing. Know and get ready for the next step. Keep moving. Do it Now.  There is no perfect time.

5.  Visualize Success. Picture your dream, your goal in your mind; think about it often during the day. What will it look like? Make a dream board or vision board and paste pictures of what you want on that board. Look at the board every morning and every evening. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” What are you imagining? What are you visualizing—your success or your failure? You choose. You take 100% Responsibility.

Change yourself; change your future. You are a Masterpiece.   Are you working each day to improve the Masterpiece of You?

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life is Like Jigsaw Puzzle by The Robin & Judy Show

Sunday is a perfect day for reflection as one week ends and a new one begins. The following post by Robin and Judy is a perfect reminder for us to keep things in perspective, to enjoy the process and to celebrate life. Janet

Life can sometimes feel like a jigsaw puzzle.  Out of that, are some interesting life strategies, that can apply to how you can put your life back together.  Here are a few ideas, for you to think about…

1.  Don’t force a fit.  If something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.

2.  When things aren’t going so well, take a break.  Everything will look different when you return.

3.  Be sure to look at the big picture.  Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.

4.  Perseverance pays off.  Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.

5.  When one spot stops working, move to another.  But be sure to come back later (see above).

6.  The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook.

7.  Variety is the spice of life.  It’s the different colors and patterns that make the puzzle interesting.

8.  Establish the border first.  Boundaries give a sense of security and order.

9.  Don’t be afraid to try different combinations.  Some matches are surprising.

10.  Take time to celebrate your successes (even little ones).

11.  Anything worth doing takes time and effort.  A great puzzle can’t be rushed.  But, what a wonderful picture it can be, when completed!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thoughts on Gratitude by Janet Callaway

The other day a friend of mine was having some challenges with her car and was wondering the answer to that universal question “why me?” In responding to her, I commented that when at day's end she writes in her gratitude journal she could well note that she was grateful for (1) having a car, (2) having a cell phone, (3) having parents who are still alive, (4) parents who would come “rescue” her, etc. You get the idea.

It made me think that oftentimes we do not take the time to give thanks or express our gratitude. Believe me, doing so on a regular basis makes a huge, huge difference in your life. Shortly before going to bed each evening, I take the time to list at least 5 things that happened during the day for which I am grateful. Once you start doing this, you will be amazed at how quickly you start having gratitude for more than 5 things each day and how quickly even more good things start coming into your life for which you are grateful.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate how easy this is and how all around you each day are things for which you can be grateful. The other day I was out for lunch with a close friend who has kept just such a journal for years. Recently she bought an iPhone which she uses to add an entirely new dimension to her gratitude journal. It turns out, not surprisingly, that iPhone has a gratitude journal application. My friend downloaded it to her phone; each day she takes a picture of something for which she is grateful and adds it to her journal.

When we were leaving the restaurant after lunch we noticed this sunflower on a table. We both smiled and commented on how good it made us feel—sunflowers always do that for us. She whipped our her iPhone snapped this picture and said that was her photo for the day. Simple, easy and effective.

As you record your gratitude each evening, it will help to raise your awareness of all the beauty and incredible “coincidences” that are happening in your life each and every day. The good news is that you will find by doing this you bring more of what you want into your life.

Do you keep a gratitude journal?

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Are You Willing To Be Led? By Amber Naslund

A communications and business strategist, Amber is a passionate communicator who uses that skill for effective change and solving problems. In this well written post she defines leadership in a way that will make many people stop and think which is very good. 


Leadership is a topic that comes up a great deal: what makes a great leader, how to be a great leader, the importance of great leadership in business in order for it to really thrive. There’s a great new Twitter chat going on, started by Steve Woodruff and Lisa Petrilli around leadership. My friend Terry Starbucker writes a fantastic blog that talks about leadership and guidance a lot, and he has some wonderful perspective. Millions upon millions of books have been written and sold on the topic.

But I’ve also noticed a rather…unsettling (?) trend or discussion.

We’re demanding to be led. Or rather, we’re insisting that true change happens from the top, down. That leaders need to establish culture precedent. That they have to inspire us. That leadership is something we all must learn to do, but that those someones over there need to prove themselves worthy of being leaders in their own right. That we, the brilliant and the mighty masses, are the court of opinion that determines the value of a leader so that we might justify our discipleship.

But the true question: Are we willing to be led? I don’t mean being passively clipped to a string and being mindlessly guided down a path.

I don’t mean looking for someone to tell us what to do and blindly following where they point. I mean are we willing to be inspired? Are our minds open to changing, to learning, to questioning? Are we sometimes willing to surrender our own position at the front of the class in order to step aside and hear what someone else has to say, share, or convey?

We can’t all be lead dogs all the time. I would submit that leadership – like so many other things in business – is a mutual relationship. One cannot lead something or someone that refuses to be led. Dictatorship isn’t a super sustainable business strategy.

But even those of us that purport to have some kind of knowledge, some expertise that we can share with others, even we need to be willing to surrender to leadership sometimes that is not our own. To have the faith or the open-mindedness to recognize that we may blaze trails indeed, but that some paths being laid for us are worthy of following. That there are ideas other than our own that need no reinvention, but perhaps simply need momentum that we can help create.

Leadership can come from within. It can come from inside the organization, or at the top of it. We can find it in the corners of our social groups and our relationships. But leaders cannot exist without those that can happily and enthusiastically follow. And if we hope to be leaders ourselves in some way, we need too to demonstrate that our ability to inspire others is balanced only by our ability to be so moved.

Are you willing to be led?

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Confidence Game by Chris Brogan

Confidence is an integral part of success whether it be actual confidence or perceive confidence. In this article Chris Brogan discusses both types, their importance and gives you suggestions for what to do if you are lacking in confidence. As always, Chris is specific and gives you easy-to-follow advice.  


One way you can guarantee yourself success in life is by improving your confidence and your appearance of confidence.

Note that I've separated out the two, and I'm sure you know this, but let's talk about it. There's a big difference between being confident and appearing confident. In the first case, you might be fairly confident, but are choosing not to display it for some other reason. Maybe you're being deferential to someone else's opinion. Maybe you feel it's fair to be more democratic, so you don't want to appear overly confident. Here's the thing: people react positively to confidence. Even small boosts in your outward appearance of confidence will change how people perceive you.


The smaller things are where you can start practicing. Here's one: when someone asks you where you want to go for lunch, what's your first reaction? If you're like many people, you throw the decision back at the person, asking what they want to eat. Try doing this simple thing: answer with the first food choice you think of, immediately and without hesitation. "I was thinking of having shrimp scampi today."

If people ask for your opinion, practice giving it without disclaimer, or with the fewest possible disclaimers.

If you are asked to participate on something and you don't want to do it, practice saying the following: "Thank you for asking me. It sounds really interesting, and I hope that you are successful with your project. I'm not able to work with you on it at this time." If they persist, restate. "Thanks for that. No, I'm afraid, I've got a lot on my plate and am not going to be able to help. Thanks again." See if your universe changes.


Once you get good at the little stuff (and by the way, you could practice those for months before you feel like it's the first response out of your mouth), you can start practicing your bigger confidence moves. Want to learn how to talk with strangers?

Sign up to attend a local event. Not sure what? Check out out Meetup.com. Remember, you don't really even have to care what the topic is (though it'd help if you knew just a hair about it). Go to the event, and when you get in, look for a wallflower or nervous person. Walk over (careful not to block their possible escape routes, which is how people spook out shy people everywhere), and when it's appropriate to talk, start with, "I've never come to this event before. What should I expect?"

Pow. You're talking to someone you don't know. They can just lob into whatever they're going to say. When they eventually pause, say, "Oh, by the way, my name is Janet ," and hold out your hand (depending on the culture). Pow squared. You've just done it.

Practice this a ton.


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3 Steps to Being More Productive by Janet Callaway

There are so many “must dos,” “want to dos,” and interruptions in a day, how does anyone ever accomplish anything? Those who accomplish the most and get what they want in life, follow these 3 steps.

1. Clearly Defined Goals. If you want to achieve your goals, they must be clear to you. After all, how can you get somewhere if you don't know where you are going? Clarity is a choice; lack of clarity means you yield control of your life to others. If you feel you are not making progress towards your goals, take the time to sit down, think about them, write them down—both what you want and why you want it. As W. Clement Stone said: “To solve a problem or to reach a goal, you don't need to know all the answers in advance. But you must have a clear idea of the problem or the goal you want to reach.” In order to hit a bullseye, you must know where the target is.

2. Value Yourself. M. Scott Peck, the author of the best seller The Road Less Traveled said it all in a single quote: “Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” When you learn to value yourself, you will choose to invest your time wisely in the things that matter to you, things that will help you reach your goals rather than heedlessly waste it on matters of little or no consequence.

3. Know What's Important. If you have defined your goals and value yourself, then you will know what things to do and what not to do. It's that simple; eliminate the nonessentials. Pablo Picasso said: “Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” Follow Picasso's advice and you will automatically follow Coach John Wooden's advice to: “Make each day your masterpiece.”

Being more productive is as easy as one, two, three. Are you ready to take the steps?

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 Tips for Effective Networking by Janet Callaway

With the arrival of social media along with the buzzwords “transparency” and “authenticity” becoming a part of everyday jargon, it's time to rethink how we approach networking. While most people are resistant to change of any type, when you understand the reason for the changes and see the long term value, I think you will agree with me Hooray for New Networking!

Many of us remember the days of the HUGE networking parties where you would go and talk with someone only long enough to receive their business cards. The “game” seemed to be whoever had the most cards at the end of the evening “won.” In actuality, a pile of business cards does not do all that much to build a relationship or a business. A look at New Networking shows its benefits.

1. How can I help you? This sure beats the old way of “what's in it for me.” If someone believes you have a genuine or “authentic” interest in helping them, they will be much more receptive to what you have to say which leads to building a relationship.

2. Who do I know that I can connect you with? While two heads are better than one, three are even better than two. If you know that someone you know would make a difference for someone, make the connection without expecting anything in return. This is about them; not about who you might receive as a referral.

3. What can I learn from you? If we listen to people, we learn. If we learn, we can help them. If we help them, we both benefit. Learn and offer value rather than trying to "convince” them that what you have is what they need—especially since you have not even taken the time to learn what they need/want.

4. Give without expectation. Share, connect and offer value to others without worrying about what you will receive in return.

5. Remember, what you send out in the world will come back to you many times over AND when you least expect it. Even though we used to say "what goes around comes around," unfortunately, that did not stop people from doing things they would not want to come back to them. Give freely and you will be richly rewarded.

How do you like the New Networking?

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Discipline: The Success Ingredient by Janet Callaway

Discipline is the most important ingredient in the success formula.

It is the glue that binds inspiration to achievement or as Jim Rohn said: “It is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.”

He went on to say: “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is disciplines weights ounces while regret weighs tons.”

Yet, why is it that we so often fail to discipline ourselves to do the activities that will bring us the results we want? The reason, I believe, goes back to our childhoods when “discipline” was a “bad” word and meant we would be punished.

What we need to do is reframe our thinking of the word discipline. If you discipline yourself to do the things necessary to achieve your goal you will be Rewarded by receiving that goal.

Look at it this way: Discipline + Correct Activities = Reward. Let me know if this works for you.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stop It! By Chris Brogan/Escape Velocity

Stop It! What great advice Chris Brogan gives in the following article. Take a minute to look at what you're doing, where you're spending your time, who you're spending your time with and then think about if they are contributing to your life. If not, Stop It! Chris gives you permission. Janet

Stop It!

By Chris Brogan/Escape Velocity

For some reason, we think it’s the most noble act to carry on, to finish, to get through. Where’d that come from? I was raised in the clean plate club. You might have stuck out a relationship that wasn’t worth it. We all know someone who persists when they should stop, and most often, we know there are things that we should stop.
The tricky part is to find out whether you’re just stuck and can get past, or whether you should stop and let it be. I don’t have the best answer for that, but what I want to give you is permission: permission to stop. 



You don’t have to keep up with every trend.
You are hereby permitted to stop doing things out of obligation to others.
You have our permission (I think Liz Strauss also agrees) that you can stop worrying what the cool kids think about you.
You don’t have to achieve Inbox Zero.
You can stop regretting the past (get on this one, okay?).
You can stop blaming anyone but yourself. It’s how YOU take things on that grow your power.
You are free to put the brakes on putting yourself down. You’re going to be okay.

What else should you stop?

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

6 Steps to Turn Your Dreams into Realities by John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 19 million books. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, each year he speaks to the leaders of diverse organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, The National Football League, the United States Miliary Academy at West, and the United Nations.

In this excerpt by Joyce Meyer from John Maxwell's book Dream: See It and Seize It John gives you the steps to achieve your dream. Since even those people who have defined their dreams often lack both the strategy and the knowledge for what must be done to attain their dreams, his plan plan will put the clarity into the vague notions so many people have about their dreams. Janet

Dream: See It and Seize It

If you are unsure of what your dream might be - either because you are afraid to dream or because you somehow lost your dream along the way - then start preparing yourself to receive your dreams by doing six things to put yourself in the best possible position to receive a dream.

Once you do these six things, focus on discovering your dream. As you do, keep in mind the words of my agent Matt Yates, who says, "A dream is what you desire if anything and everything is possible."

Mental Preparation: Read and study in areas of your greatest interest.

Experimental Preparation: Engage in activities in areas related to your interests.

Visual Preparation: Put up pictures of people and things that inspire you.

Hero Preparation: Read about and try to meet people you admire and who inspire you.

Physical Preparation: Get your body in optimal shape to pursue your dream.

Spiritual Preparation: Seek God's help for a bigger-than-self dream.

"God will help you be all you can be, but He will never help you be someone else."

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