Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our Brand (Part 6) – Serve

 

ServeWhen you think of the word “Serve”, what do you think of?  Do you think of being a servant in the Master/Slave idea or do you think of it more as an answering of needs?  Does the idea make you cringe or make you smile?  Keith and I choose to look at it as a way of answering the needs of people. 

Most Americans are familiar with the quote, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." When President Kennedy spoke those words at his inaugural address, it was a call to be more, to do more. He asked the American people to think about the gifts they have been given, and the price that was paid for them. More and more often in the news and media, I see that people doing things for others has been replaced with people doing things for themselves. The idea of giving back has been replaced with a sense of entitlement -- people want what is "owed" to them. 

If your only reason for serving others is to get something back, you’ll only get that something back. That’s it. It’s like a transaction. 1 for 1. An apple for an orange. I do this, you give me that. People are always complaining that there are no opportunities out there when they already have within them the power to create them naturally by serving others. They refuse to serve and because they refuse to serve, those opportunities don’t come about at all.  But when you serve others because you genuinely want to, something big happens. A relationship is formed.

One of the most valuable ways to serve others is to show them that we care. Giving our time and encouragement to someone will often be more valuable than even the most generous gift. There are many people who feel lonely and want to chat with others. Even those who have many friends, and a loving family, enjoy speaking to new people.  When others need our help most, we should make a special effort to show them that we care. By providing love and support we can make a real difference in the lives of others.

There’s power in serving others and the power I’m talking about here is not the type that usually comes to mind when you see the word power. The power I’m speaking of is more like power in terms of opportunity, namely that serving others will result in powerful opportunities coming into your life that you never would’ve thought possible.

They’ve essentially made a habit of helping people with whatever they need AND they follow through on it. It becomes automatic. They don’t think – “What am I going to get out of this?” They just do.

As a result, the person that’s been helped senses this genuine desire to serve with no hidden agenda whatsoever and is compelled to help that person back. It’s natural. In fact, we tend to repay even more than what’s been given to us. Now since each person is so unique, filled with so much different knowledge, skills, abilities, contacts, etc., all of that can result in a myriad of opportunities that be given to you, without you even asking.

Serving others in it of itself is a powerful opportunity to help and when you start to serve others, you’ll realize the simple fact that we all need help and because you realize that, you’ll start to get in the habit of serving others even more. Imagine the avalanche of opportunities that fall into your lap then.

 

One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people.  - Dick Gregory

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Living a life of quiet desperation


Crying-Woman-300x199

Henry David Thoreau, in his book Walden, said this very famous quote:
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
Having talked with many people over the last several years I have discovered that too many people fall in this category.  And I think I am understanding why – finally.

As a child growing up, the message I most often heard from my parents, and all of their adult friends, was “go to school, get good grades, get a job and you will be successful”.  I listened and then I did.  I am now in my fifties and living a life of quiet desperation.  What is it that is causing this feeling?

Purpose

I think most of it has to do with defining and living your life’s purpose.  Coupled with that, I think our modern lives rob us of the time and energy to do this.  One of the things I’ve noticed is as I get older, I have more and more responsibility at work.  I also have more and more responsibility at home.  If I tracked a typical progression it would basically look like:
  1. Age 25 – start career, get married
  2. Age 30 – continue up the career path, larger family, larger house
  3. Age 35 – continue up the career path, larger family, larger house
  4. Age 40 – continue up the career path, more family activities/events
  5. Age 45 – continue up the career path, more family activities/events
  6. Age 50 – hold on to the career path, more family activities/events
  7. Age 55 – hold on to the career path, more family activities/events, kids weddings, college, etc.
  8. Age 60 - hold on to the career path, maybe start downsizing
  9. Age 65 - hold on to the career path, figure out how to retire
Effort_vs_Time_-_Employee
If I were to show this visually as a graph of Time vs. Effort it would look something like this.  While we have become more and more successful in our career, we have become more and more detached from our spouse.  With an about 60% divorce rate here in America it is the rare bird indeed that is able to grow their marriage as well as their career.  And this does not even take into account all those things we wanted to accomplish when we were cutting the strings from our own parents. 

What happened to those dreams?  What ever happened to that purpose most of us had coming out of High School?  What happened to that crazy feeling when you first saw who later became your spouse?  Is it because the perceived effort to get the assumed reward seems to go up every year of our life; and we never quite seem to get as much reward as we thought we would?  I think that might have quite a bit to do with it.

I have several friends who have traded away their security in the employment and small business worlds to become big business entrepreneurs.  After picking their brains for the last several months I have discovered that the Effort vs. Time graph looks completely different for them.  The amount of effort up front is several times what we face as an employee.  However, there comes a point in time where a tipping point is reached and the amount of effort sharply decreases!

Effort_vs_Time_-_Entrepreneur
While my first graph shows a typical progression in age from 25 to 65, the second graph is a yearly progression.  This is important as most people don’t start down this route until “later” in life.  However, that does not inhibit an 18 year old from doing something like this.  And in fact, in several ways, I think our youth should do something like this before they are taught by society to take the less successful route.

Another thing to note, and this really got my attention, is the amount of time needed to hit that tipping point.  My graph shows 5 years and this is a rough average of the dozens I have talked with.  Some hit that point in as little as 3 years while others hit it in about 7 years.  And somewhere along the way to the tipping point they were able to walk away from the job scene and start devoting their time to their purpose in life.

Time and Money


I could go into all the different studies on how to make money but I don’t have the time.  I will leave that as a piece of research for you to do dear reader.  However, I will state simply that there are 3 main ways to make money:
  1. Trade hours for dollars.  This is the typical employee and small business owner route.  Here you are limited by several factors like how much the company is willing to pay for a particular job description, how much time in a day there is and what the market will bear.
  2. Compound money.  You will recognize this as stock market portfolios, 401k, and other investments.
  3. Compound time.  This is the big business model.  Earning income from other people’s efforts.  If you want more money, involve more people in your enterprise.

Now what I find curious is that only #1 is taught in school.  As we start climbing the career ladder we will find out about #2.  The sad thing is, most of us will mortgage something to try to get into #2.  Whether it is our time, working more and more overtime, getting a loan so we can invest, chipping away at our own income to sock money away in stocks and retirement plans, or what have you.  The sad fact is we are never taught how to invest money wisely and so end up losing most, if not all, by the time we are ready to retire.  #3 is not taught at all even though most of us work in a big business setting.  The owners keep getting richer and we struggle to climb a ladder where the top rungs are already full.  We have to wait for someone to leave or die before we have a chance to move up.

Another interesting set of questions that I am dealing with goes something like this:  On a sheet of paper, write out your ideal lifestyle then set it to your left.  On another sheet of paper, write out your ideal job the set it to your right.  Now compare the two.  What do they have in common?  If you (and your spouse) were honest, I would guess that they have very little in common.  In fact, most of your ideal lifestyle would be centered around time; time with your spouse, time with your loved ones, time to pursue your purpose, time to relax and finally, supporting all of that, enough money to support all the things you need time for.  Most of your ideal job would be centered around money; more money for what you are doing, more money for retirement, more money to get out of debt, and finally, at the bottom, would be less time at work.

Now you are starting to see a bit of the dilemma.  While working as an employee you have no control over either your time or your money.  Small business owners are in the same boat.  Do you think that is a basis for living a life of quiet desperation?  Do you think there is more, or less involved?

More soon dear readers…

Our Brand (Part 5) – Inspire

 

“To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” – Tony Dorsett

 

Inspire - Be Inspired This is probably going to be the hardest blog/post that I have written regarding our Brand.  The biggest reason is that though Keith and I have had people tell us that we inspire them, I have a very hard time with the idea of being inspiring to anyone.  Not because I don’t want to be, but because I intimately know my past and am generally embarrassed about it.  There are a LOT of things that I have done that I am not proud of.  So, I think that the best way to do this blog would be to look at it in more clinical terms to start with.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Inspire as:

  1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
  2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: hymns that inspire the congregation; an artist who was inspired by Impressionism.
  3. To stimulate to action; motivate
  4. To affect or touch.
  5. To draw forth; elicit or arouse feelings
  6. To be the cause or source of; bring about
  7. To make someone want to do something
  8. To give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

There are many things that someone can find inspiring in their lives.  A personal mentor, pictures, dreams, goals, etcetera. 

When you are talking about a mentor in your life, that person makes you feel better about yourself and makes you want to be better to prove your mentor right.  Keith and I have a few people in our lives who do just that.  They see something in us that we don’t really see and it inspires us to flush it out so that we can be better people and better business builders. 

When it is a dream or a goal that inspires you, you do what work you need to because you want or need that “thing” to come to fruition.  You are willing to step outside of your comfort zone to get it. Or maybe you absolutely do NOT want that thing (i.e. a job, a boss, whatever) and you are still inspired to get out of that comfort zone.

Pictures are fabulous ways to be inspired.  We use pictures all the time to invoke feelings within ourselves.  I have pictures of female bodybuilders to remind me of what I want to look like when I am done losing weight.  We have pictures of Peter Island to remind us of why we are building our business.  We have even more pictures of things that we want to accomplish in our house, yard and on our way to retirement.

However, to be inspired to greatness is one thing, to inspire others to greatness is completely different.  Here are some ways that you and I can inspire the people:

  • Be a good example. People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Be someone worth emulating.  People who are deeply inspiring have forged their own authentic path. In other words, these people are living full-out what they talk about, study and research.  They are the true embodiment of courage and fortitude in the face of opposition, criticism, judgment, and what sometimes seem to be unbeatable odds.  John Quincy Adams said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
  • Care about others. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Ask questions. Take a genuine interest in people.  You need to be “others-focused” and derive satisfaction and reward by helping other people grow and flourish.
  • Encouragement. Everyone goes through tough times. When you support people and encourage them through these times, you’ll be inspiring them to see the best in themselves and in the situation.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
  • Be inspired yourself. Look for people, ideas, environments and knowledge that you find inspiring and motivating.  Look up inspiring quotes, find inspiring pictures, keep them in front of you all the time!
  • to_inspire_by_mushir1Share from your own experience. You have more to share than you realize. You may be the only one who can touch someone with your message.  Be focused on turning your “mess” into a “message” or helping others succeed and overcome the deep challenges out there in the way of greater success, fulfillment, peace, contribution, and progress.  Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you and understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.
  • Tell stories. Your individual set of traumas, experiences, longings, failures, triumphs, and history give you a unique way of looking at the world, and you need to share your special vision.  The best way is through powerful stories that pluck at heartstrings, stimulate thinking and emotions in ways that literally no one but you can.
  • Be a good communicator. Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire others. Watch how you speak and what you say.  You have the power to build a person up or rip them to shreds with your words and tone.
  • Challenge people. Many of us have had teachers who at times seemed more like tormentors than mentors. They challenged us to do our best and we were better for it.
  • Read. It may not follow that all readers are leaders, but certainly all leaders are readers. Stay informed. Share what you read with others. Tell people about books that have inspired you. Share your knowledge.  I suggest authors John C. Maxwell (www.johnmaxwell.com), Og Mandino (www.ogmandino.com) and Gary Chapman (www.garychapman.org) to start with.

Next week we will discuss the final installment of Our Brand – Serve and then I will discuss with Keith what we want to talk about next.  Have a great week everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Brand (Part 4) -- Love:


types-of-love The saying "Love is a many splendored thing" means it is brilliant, magnificent and beautiful.  As most of you know, there are several types of love:

Agápe  means love in a "spiritual" sense. It often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of "true unconditional love" rather than the attraction suggested by "eros." This love is selfless; it gives and expects nothing in return.  Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit).

Éros is "physical" passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. Romantic, pure emotion without the balance of logic. "Love at first sight".

Philia is "mental" love. This type of love has give and take. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. Philia denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, etcetera.

Keith and I have this as part of our brand to show how we feel about each other as well as the people around us.  We choose to love people unconditionally.  That is not to say that we love them the same way that I love Keith or that he loves me -  for lack of a better term, we have different heart spaces for people.

Heart space number 1: Spousal love

The love I have for my husband is a combination of all 3 of these types of love.  I love him mentally, physically and spiritually.  Some are stronger than others at various points, but they are always all there.  It is a beautiful, magnificent thing, one which many people comment about on a regular basis.  But let me tell you, it is work.  We made a choice to love each other through everything. 

Heart space number 2:  Our family by blood and choice

Whether our family is by blood or by choice they have a bond of love with each of them.  To us, our friends are our family and we strive to have our family as our friends.  We call our close friends our brothers and sisters, daughters and sons.  Few we call mom and dad.  But all of them have a special place in our heart.  

We have been told that our hearts are to big, because we give people multiple chances if they screw up.  We don't really live by the "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" because we genuinely care about people.  We want to see our friends happy and will help anywhere that we can to make that happen.  We love them with the philia and agape types of love.  It is give and take, but it is also unconditional.  We may get frustrated with them and need to take a break, but it doesn't change the fact that we love them.

Please understand that there is a big difference between friends and acquaintances.  I like most of my acquaintances, but I would not necessarily open my home or my heart to them, until I know them well enough to call them my family. 

When you truly love someone, you want to see them happy and comfort them when they are not.  The easiest way to let people know you love them is to show that you are thinking about them, even if it is nothing more than a quick text or phone call.  Chances are very good that if a person pops into your head there is a reason that you need to talk to them.

Until next week...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Our Brand (Part 3) -- Laugh

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It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and anyone who knows me knows that I love to laugh.  When I get stressed out, I usually start cracking jokes.  It is my coping mechanism.  But what is it about laughing that really helps a person?

According to the Mayo Clinic the benefits of laughter have several positive effects on a person.

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.

Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension: Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

 

Long-term effects

Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long haul.

Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier.

We want to encourage you to laugh - A LOT!  It is OK to laugh at yourself when you do something utterly stupid!  Goodness knows that I do that quite often. 

Take for example throwing myself off the end of a treadmill.  Even though we thought I had broken my arm, I laughed about it.  The workers at the Rec Center thought I had lost my mind, but when I explained how ridiculous I must have looked, they laughed too.  It not only relieved my stress, but theirs as well.  You can bet that some of them were wondering if this crazy redheaded lady was going to try and sue the town for getting hurt on their property.  But by laughing at my own misfortune, I assured them that I took full responsibility for my own stupidity.  And yes, I am fine now.  :)

When laughter is shared it creates a bond between you and the other person or people.

In this day and age of LOL, ROFL, etc. do you actually laugh out loud?  I don't know anyone who actually rolls on the floor laughing, unless they are getting tickled.  Do you, when you type that, or are you just giving it lip service? 

Try actually laughing out loud and see if it helps you!  If you can't find something to laugh about, try watching some silly cat videos on YouTube.  It is next to impossible to not start laughing.  Watch a silly movie.  Get into a tickle fight, though me careful, Keith and I have been in a couple of them that have turned out painful!  Don't be afraid to get laugh lines around your eyes. 

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Our Brand (Part 2) -- Live

livelifetofullest
Webster's Dictionary gives these two examples of "Live":
—live it up
:  to live with gusto
— live with
:  to put up with :  accept, tolerate
If we go based on these ideas, which one do you want to do?

On our way back from a summer business function, Keith and I came up with our own ideas on how we want to live and it is every bit the first example.
  • To live life richly
  • Deeply
  • Deliberately
  • Fully
  • Without hesitation
  • Passionately
  • Purposely
  • Faith filled
  • Boldly
  • Without regrets
  • With the belief that we are worthy of blessings
We don't want to have to settle for anything.  We want to live with gusto!  We want to explore the world.  OK - really, there are a few places that I have no interest in, but if Keith wants to go, I will go with him because I want to LIVE with him. 

We want our lives to be such that when people see us, they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are not only living life to the fullest now, but that we will be living it to the fullest tomorrow, and the day after that, and all of our days to come.

We don't want to live a settle for life.  We are worth more than that!  YOU are worth more than that!  We are worth the abundance of time, money, prosperity, health and everything else that it takes to live "with gusto."

We are working to live deliberately.  One blog writer posted:  It means that we examine our hearts and minds closely. So that we can always represent ourselves completely. We try to know which of our attitudes and reactions are true to us and which are from a tattered and tired old useless hard-wiring that could use some updating. It means we can respond, versus react, to people, places and times and be fully a part of what's around us."

It is time to stop reacting to the world around us.

Here is a link to a poem written by Linda Ellis: http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

How do you want to live your life, your "Dash" if you will?  Do you want it to be with gusto, or do you merely want to put up with it, tolerate it?

As for Keith and me, we choose gusto!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Building Our Brand

build-your-brand2 Everyone has heard the saying "Live, Laugh, Love".  You see it everywhere you go, the grocery store, hobby shops, on t-shirts etc.  But what does it really mean?  And then, if you decide to add thoughts to it like Keith and I did, of "Inspire, Serve" that seems to change everything! Right?!

I think that it means something different for everyone.  In looking around I see "Live [well ~ to the fullest ~ every moment]; Laugh [like you did as a child ~ lots ~ as hard as you can]; Love [like you have never been hurt ~ much ~ beyond words]; Inspire [motivate ~ to cause or create ideas ~ believe in others till they can believe in themselves]; Serve [one another ~ the community]. 

For Keith and me, this is our It.  The reason we are doing what we do, our brand, if you will.   You may be asking yourself "What is a brand, and why does it matter?"  Or you are thinking that I am crazy and that is ok too!  :)

The definition of a Brand is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers."Initially, branding was adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot iron stamp and was subsequently used in business, marketing, and advertising."  No I am not planning to have this burned into my skin (though the tattoo possibilities are staggering!  Must think more about this!), but we definitely want to use it as an identifier to who we are.  We want to be known as the people who do these 5 things on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis. 

Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire, Serve is our brand and over the next few weeks Keith and I will break down each word and what it means to us.

Feel free to let us know how you feel about this, what your brand is, or if you would like some help developing your brand.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Years – 2014 Goals

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We can’t think of a better way to pursue goals than to write them down.  And by making them public it allows us to find them quickly and have more than one set of eyes on the progress meter – so to speak.

Goal - Retirement

My wife is retired!  Now, what does this mean?  It means she is not *required* to have a job.  Working for someone else is a choice she is allowed to make for herself.  One of our greatest goals is to move me towards the same type of retirement.  To that end, our 2014 goal is to continue to grow our business to the point that it creates the same income as my 9-5 job does.  Our goal for 2015 is to triple that, be able to bank 6 months of my 9-5 income, and at the beginning of the 7th month, retire!

Goal – Growth

growth  [grohth]
noun
  1. the act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase.
  2. size or stage of development: It hasn't yet reached its full growth.
  3. completed development.
  4. development from a simpler to a more complex stage: the growth of ritual forms.
  5. development from another but related form or stage: the growth of the nation state.
I love definition #1 and #5 for what I want to accomplish in life.  Not just business or finances but a true creation of wealth across all dynamics of life.  Wealth creation involves all facets of life and livingness.  With this in mind we will be on purpose about our growth – in the financial, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical realms.

Goal – Getting Social

One of our smaller goals this year is to learn how to be socially adept – and by that we mean through Social Media!  To help further that goal, we aim to produce at least 1 relevant article on this blog each week.  And now the question – what is relevant?  For us, it is living our brand.  Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire and Serve.  We also use Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits approach, especially the Sharpen the Saw piece.  So when we dig into it, we will be cross-cutting in the areas of Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.  To that list I know I will also add Social Media usage. 
Part of the things that we have dug into is creating a Public Page to act as our public face and a Private Community on Google+ for the people we are working with. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Content Strategy?

Portent-Content-Strategy We are embarking on our next segment in our online life and that is learning Content Strategy.  Now, as we understand it, to get to a point where we can start working on content strategy we first need to have a solid understanding of our brand.  And we feel we also need to know why we need a content strategy.  It is an easy question to ask but not necessarily an easy question to answer.
Let us try to tackle our dilemma as best as we can.  Our brand as we have it defined right now is Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire, Serve.  With our business we help people move from an employee outlook on life to a (large) business owner outlook on life.  98% of what we do is wrapped up in relationship building, mentoring, leadership training and personalized support.  We help people transition from a life of living paycheck-to-paycheck, Friday-to-Friday to a life of freedom and choices.  One of the things we love best about our business is we don’t define what freedom means; you do.  We get to help you get there!
With that in mind, I am leaning towards a content strategy that is centered on relationship building, leadership training and thinking like a (large) business owner.  I am hoping to find a circle of friends out there that would like to help guide some of our own decision making processes while we explore and learn to utilize the Social Media channels currently available to us.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Flipboard – My new way of organizing information for me

Flipboard_Magazines
Over the years I’ve tried several ways of organizing my information and Flipboard has given me the best way yet.  And, on top of that, I can share with like minded people.  Double bonus!  If you click on the image to the right it will take you to my Magazine Rack.
I’ve been using Flipboard for over a year now, ever since they released the Droid App.  It does a great job of connecting to most, if not all of your social networks and gives a great magazine feel to all of them.  Recently, they introduced Magazines and I started curating my interests a couple of months ago via the editor.  And at this point I bet you are wondering what interests me.


Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire, Serve
I’ve been married for nearly 23 years to a wonderful woman.  I am blessed to be able to be nearly a fulltime partner in life, marriage, business, fitness and so many other areas that we share with each other.  Our lifetime legacy is to be able to Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire & Serve.  By defining our mission statement, what our legacy will look like we are growing so much faster now in the realms of relationship, spirituality, mentally, emotionally and financially.  I know within a short span of time my comment of “nearly a fulltime partner” will change to “a fulltime partner”.  Why else did I get married?  So feel free to subscribe, find out what it means to Live, Laugh. Love, Inspire and Serve.


Health,_Nutrition,_Fitness
I spent 13 years in the US Marine Corps.  While they did not want sculpted body builders they were very intent on lean, mean, fighting machines.  Since retiring, my activity level has dropped.  Over 20 years it was a slow decline and one that was always accompanied by the thought of “I am still in shape”.  Then I realized, somehow, magically, I was nearly 40 lbs over weight.  Yikes!!!  Not only do we have the best vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements available to anyone through our own business, we carry a great line of fitness products.  And as my wife and I continue on changing our lifestyle for the better, this is where we will share what we find that works, and what doesn’t.


Beauty_&_Skin_Care
“Beauty & Skin Care?  Really?  You are interested in that?”  You bet I am, and I am but at the beginning of the learning curve.  “But you are a man!”  And I have skin.  Not quite like a woman’s, but I still have it.  I and I want to have it instead of some piece of hide when I am older.  I am also learning that there are several grades of makeup that women have available to them.  Some, like what you get at low-end stores, have metals in them.  You know, lead, aluminum, etc.  And at the high end you find mostly natural ingredients but the price!  The Prestige Brands can be quite expensive!  And do you even know the top Prestige Brands?  Artistry, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Channel, and Lancome (not necessarily in that order).  While we represent Artistry the purpose of this magazine is not selling but rather education.


Space_Research,_Development_&_Colonization
My personal passion lies in Space Research, Exploration & Colonization.  Growing up I just KNEW I would be an Astronaut one day.  But, as they say, life happened and look at me now (or rather look at the last magazine down the list here).  However, that passion is still burning bright in my heart and I’ve not given up on it at all.  For now, I will be flipping in articles on Astronomy, space, X-Prize, the private sector space race and much more.  I love deep space photography and will flip a lot of those space shots in here as well.  And as I come across new/weird/different ideas on how to tackle problems in this arena you may find those flipped in also.  And if you find things I don’t have, tell me!  Please!!


Technology
Technology could be considered a slice of Space Research, Exploration and Colonization but the subject is so big I opted to create a magazine just around this (general) topic.  Computing, transportation, homes, integration and more are the more specific topics I will be flipping into this magazine.  While Space is my passion, sometimes articles around space belong more here than they do in the previous magazine.  I also have a son who is a Type I Diabetic and will flip medical articles into here.  Not only on Type I Diabetes but on T-Cell research, genome knowledge, life extension ideas and more.  While I am not a huge proponent for human cloning, I find the idea of organ cloning compelling.  We are still a long ways off but it is an exciting field.


Marines
As you may have picked up, I am a US Marine.  We are the only branch in the US Armed Forces that do not think, talk or even act of ourselves as “former” or “ex” military.  The day we graduated Boot Camp or OCS we earned the title of US Marine.  I don’t expect many of you to even want to follow this magazine, but for my Brothers and Sisters out there in the world – Semper Fidelis!  And I warn you know, don’t get me started on politics or the actions happening up on the Hill.  I serve no man, regardless of who may win the election for President.  But I support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  I am a US Marine and I will defend this great nation!


The_Developer
The Developer started as a way for me to gather insightful and useful knowledge for my career choice.  And guess what happened?  I found more magazines in the same vein.  So now I am finding it more common to flip in articles on technologies, patterns and practices that I know I will be stepping into or need to learn.  Yes, I am an ASP.NET (MVC) specialist with extensive backend and middle tier chops.  I love managing data and greasing the pipeline between the data source, not always a database, and the user.  I see so many failures in the arena of data design and implementation it is not even funny anymore.


So that is the list of magazines I have out available to the public right now.  As I gain more insights into myself they may evolve a bit.  Enjoy – and remember to Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire and Serve!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tag line? Or just a way to live?

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My wife and I got back a couple of weeks ago from a trip to Spokane, WA.   We went out for a Family Reunion and to learn.  Sounds strange but for us it was a blessing we were there!  One of the conversations I listened in on was about “The Secret”.  Now, of course, you can Google it and find a lot of stuff out there.  After a lot of looking I realized there are many, many versions of “the secret”.  Some of them are weird, some are older versions recast and some are spot on.  Now, I’ve heard “the secret” many times before but never applied it to our life.  For some reason, this weekend really resonated with me and we are making a change!

I also spend 5-10 minutes a day on Google+ and Facebook.  Neither are high or critical items on my list but I do get into some interesting conversations.  Like this one from a gentleman in England.  He posts a “Question of the day” and sometimes I answer it.  This one got my attention! 

What is your tagline and why did you choose it?” 

My answer?  Here you go: 

Live, laugh, love, inspire, serve.
To be successful we are often told to visualize what we want; like houses, cars, bank balance, etc.  My wife and I discovered 2 weekends ago something a little more powerful for us.  We brain stormed and thought about what we wanted others to say of us in 20 years AND 4-6 words that would sum up our lives the way we wanted to live it.
Of course, we have further fleshed out exactly what each of those 5 little words mean to us, not only with pictures but with the underlying attitudes to go along with them.  Well, not completely yet but we are getting close.
As we move forward, every decision will be passed through this tagline (filter) and the outcome will be decided on everything that makes up those 5 words for us...

And now you are wondering what a tagline has to do with “The Secret”.  First, let me define “The Secret” as best as I can.

  1. Want it with all your heart.
  2. Fervently believe you can do it.
  3. Vividly imagine it all the time.
  4. Enthusiastically talk about it all the time.
  5. Treat it as if it were a matter of life or death.

It - What does it mean to us?  What is it?

Like I said, we talked on our drive home from Spokane.  We turned over what it meant to us.  We both then realized that it was not something physical, it was not money in the bank, it was a way of life.  It is the legacy we leave behind us.  And it is what we are excited about!  And it was what we were defining on our drive home!

From our notes on 07/15/2013…

Live - to live life richly, deeply, fully, without hesitation,  enthusiastically,  adventurous, passionately, purposely, to flourish, to make the most of life, faith filled, with conviction, boldly, without regrets,  with the belief that we are worthy of blessings

Laugh - heartily, no job, no stress,  no debt,  freedom, relaxed, often, freely/unforced, success is increased by being happy

Love - openly, honestly,  freely,  no guilt-shame-condemnation,  passionately, deeply, compassionately,  to empathize-not sympathize, boldly

Inspire - uplifting,  with conviction,   raise others up, lead by example,  to be defined by our victories not our trials, to be a catalyst in others lives, when you walk into the room be someone who walks into the room, have a clear direction and focus on it with or without your current team, be the lead goose, always treat/encourage people (to be) more than they think they are, hope givers,  encouragers, to be a couple others want to follow and run with.

Serve - selfless not selfish,  eyes out not eyes in, treat everyone like they are the most important person in the world, to find out what people want and help them achieve it, focus not only on our family's legacy but the legacy of our team, help people get their "end state", be a couple our team can count on.

Our next step is to further clarify each of the 5 parts of our tagline, our method of living.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

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“Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce that lifestyle.”



- Jack Canfield
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