Archive for 2007

Your Biggest Expense is . . .

Most business owners and managers—as well as heads of households—are legitimately concerned about expenses. We watch the price of gas, utilities and other commodities rise all too often—and they seldom go down.

But one of the expenses that gets little notice is the money we don’t earn.

There are so many ways to earn income today. Whether it be increasing a current revenue stream or creating a whole new one, there are infinite possibilities. You find what you’re looking for and all it takes is a willingness to look and a little innovation.

The problem is most of us get into a rut doing the same things over and over. We focus mostly on increasing sales and reducing expenses. That’s OK, but it limits us. It keeps our head down instead of looking around for new opportunities.

There are always underperforming products and services. There are always new and different ways to generate more income.

Where could you generate income from unused or underutilized resources? Ask the question. Ask your team. Ask your advisors.

It requires different thinking. But if you think of your biggest expense as being the money you don’t make, you’ll start to find ways to generate new and different revenue streams.

Last month, the book I sent to my Diamond Club members was Instant Income by Janet Switzer. It’s packed full of great ideas to increase business and create more revenue. I highly recommend it.

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The Day That Turns Your Life Around

How many defining moments have you had in your life?

Some of them could be events: a wedding, a divorce, the loss of a dear friend or the birth of a child.

Others could be decisions you made: a job you took or left, a new career, a new house, a move to another part of the country—or a different one.

It might be one of the times you got sick and tired of being sick and tired. You’d had it. You said, “enough is enough” and you said no to overeating, smoking, alcohol or something else.

Those can be monumental decisions with life-long ramifications.

Or maybe it was one of those big ahas–a profound blinding flash of awareness that redirected your life.

I think it’s a good idea to make a list of your defining moments and place it in your journal. They’re good things to reflect upon and talk about with others.

What are YOUR defining moments?

Have you had a day that turned your life around? What was the difference it made in your life and the lives of those around you?

What will become a defining moment in your life?

Every day is a new day. This could be the day.

It’s something to think about.

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Why the Optimists Didn’t Make it Out

This was, in my opinion, one of the best take-aways from Jim Collins’ book, ‘Good to Great’.

Simply stated, the Stockdale Principle says:
‘Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of difficulties.

AND, at the same time . . . confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’

Admiral Jim Stockdale was the highest-ranking U.S. officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam war. In his eight years in captivity he was tortured over twenty times and never knew when—or if—he would be released. In the prison, he dutifully led the other prisoners working for the highest possible survival rate.

When Jim Collins asked Stockdale how he managed to survive, he replied: “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

From Good to Great . . .

“Who didn’t make it out?”

“Oh that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”

“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused.

“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

Another long pause and more walking. Then he turned to me and said, “This is the important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can not afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

To this day I carry the mental image of Stockdale admonishing the optimists: “We’re not getting out by Christmas; deal with it!“

“Life is unfair—sometimes to our advantage, sometimes to our disadvantage. We will all experience disappointments and crushing events somewhere along the way, setbacks for which there is no ‘reason,’ no one to blame . . . What separates people, Stockdale taught me, is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life.”

We could all benefit from practicing the Stockdale Principle.

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