Tuesday, May 31, 2011
By Rene Godefroy
Most of us have, deep at the center of our hearts, some things we would like to accomplish. But few of us dare to start on the
journey. We sit around blaming our circumstances on others and making excuses for our shortsightedness, then we go to our graves with unfulfilled dreams. Underneath it all, the real reason we don’t get the promotion, succeed in the business, or raise a happy, self-confident family is that we fail to prepare. We leave it to chance, hoping somehow things will turn out all right. We float on the ocean of life until we run aground and wreck ourselves.
No Excuses: It’s Up To You!
In 1983, I left Haiti with a Haitian Theater company to perform in Montreal, Canada. After a few appearances, I escaped from the troupe. Because the immigration department in Canada had no pity on immigrants, I faced the threat of going back to Haiti, and, believe me, that was not an option for me. Instead I paid a truck driver to smuggle me into the United States.
I remember how I had to wedge myself underneath the tractor-trailer, between the rear tires, in a push-up position. I was covered with dust, smoke and ashes. I had cramps in my legs, and I was shaking. I wanted to give up. But when I remembered my family and my friends back in Haiti who were counting on me for help, I had to hold on.
I finally made it to what I call the Promised Land — America. The truck driver literally dumped me in Brooklyn, New York. I was excited on one hand and confused on the other. It was as if I were swimming in a sea of change, and I had just two choices: Swim, or die. My only possessions consisted of one pair of pants, two shirts, and five dollars. In addition to that, I was unable to speak English. The only thing I knew for sure was that life was never going to be the same again!
I share my story with you to impress one thing upon you: No matter where you start in life, you can become a leader the moment you realize that if it’s going to be, it’s up to you.
Five Ways to Prepare Yourself for Success
1) Become an Avid Reader
"Good leaders are good readers" —Jim Rohn
Abraham Lincoln once said that if he were given eight hours to chop down a tree, he would spend six hours sharpening his ax and two hours chopping down the tree. That is one of the true characteristics of a leader. We all should take time to sharpen our axes — by reading! Believe it or not, the average American reads just one book a year. What that means to you and me is that if we only read one book a month in our field, we will be twelve years ahead of the average person!
The late Earl Nightingale, in his book, The Strangest Secret, said that if we read for two hours every day on any subject, in five years, we would become national experts on that particular subject. And in ten years, we would have the equivalent of a Ph.D! To me, reading quality books is the ultimate joy in life. It rekindles my hope and takes me to new heights. It rejuvenates me and gives me a boost. We can no longer make excuses about not having time to read. Today we can even buy most books on tape, thereby turning our cars into a university on wheels while commuting to and from work! On the road to success, we must gather a lot of information through quality reading.
2) Network with Successful People
In America, there is an association for continuing education in every line of business. If we want to meet the movers and shakers directly, we have to become joiners. It’s amazing how accessible the "big dogs" are when we attend the networking events. It’s like being a small fish in a big pond. It allows us to bypass the gatekeepers — the assistants — and go straight to the decision-makers.
The best way to find out which associations you can join is to go to the library and ask for the Encyclopedia of Associations. Another great way to network is to join the local Chamber of Commerce. First, however, you must learn how to network and build strong referral systems. There are many books on the subject. One of them is by Harvey Mackay: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty.
3) Find a Mentor
Every great athlete, celebrity, and business executive can point to a mentor — a coach. They each had people who helped them to get where they are. One of the best methods of preparation is to find a mentor — a person who has been there, done that, and has gotten the T-shirt — to guide you along the way.
Whether you want to move up in your company or establish a solid business of your own, a mentor can make a significant difference. And you don’t necessarily have to have just one mentor; you can have many. This may sound simple, but it is powerful! No matter what line of business you are in, you need a coach — someone you talk with about your failures and successes, someone who can advise you. How do you find a mentor? Just ASK!
People normally love to talk about their successes and how they accomplished them. They are eager to help us if we courteously ask them. For many years I failed to put into practice the old advice in the Bible: "Ask and ye shall receive." Don’t let that happen to you — ASK!
4) Attend Continuing Education Classes
Our minds are like leaky buckets; what we know is constantly dripping out. I read a story about a man who was working for a company for about twenty years. It seems like they always passed over him for promotions. Ironically, he had trained new hires who would eventually become his boss! One day he confronted the president of the company about the situation. He told his boss that he was being treated unfairly, especially since he had had twenty years of experience with the company. The president sat the man down and told him, "No! You only have one year of experience repeated for twenty years."
How long have you been in your line of business? Are you getting new knowledge, or are you applying old knowledge? If we are going to thrive and survive in these turbulent times, we must expand our minds. And one of the best ways of expanding is to attend adult learning classes at the local colleges, universities, and technical schools. They are very affordable, and they also have flexible schedules. There are no excuses: IT’S UP TO YOU!
5) Find Time for a Quiet Reflection
The great philosophers, thinkers, scientists, and business gurus always find quiet time to be alone — to ponder, recharge, and flood their minds with images of their future goals. We should never be so busy chasing a dream that we are no longer able to visualize it in our minds. There are times when the burdens are heavy, but this is when we need to enter our inner world and examine our lives. Socrates once said to his students, "An unexamined life is not worth living." Quiet reflection is a time to get to know the invisible power that sustains our lives. Starting today, take a few moments every day to reflect.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Do you find yourself butting your head against the wall of success? Are you caught up
in a revolving door going around and around? When you look at where you are in life, do you think you should be further ahead?
Not long ago, I reviewed my goals. If you know me, you might realize that I am a
dreamer. I have BIG dreams. But there are days when I, too, am frustrated. I feel like I am spinning my wheels of success in one place.
On the outside, many people think I have it all together. They think I am so successful and I have arrived. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the success I have had so far in my life. I am living my dream in America. I am blessed! I face everyday with excitement and passion.
I am doing something I truly love. My vocation is my vacation. I have friends in high places. I am way ahead of many. Life is wonderful compared to what it was. I am successfully pressing on to greater things. But I have had my share of frustration along the way.
Well, unlike many who are too busy trying to make a living instead of designing a life, I took the time to examine what I might be doing wrong. And my findings are really astonishing. I discovered that my doings are not in alignment with my being. And that may be your problem, too. Let me explain.
Imagine for a moment that your mind is a garden. It is impossible to grow mangos from a watermelon seed. But it seems as though that is exactly what we are trying to do when it comes to aligning the seeds in our minds versus the harvest we want as a result.
Seeds of doubt and fear planted in our minds can reap their own sort of crop. If you wake up doubting whether you will make it or not, it doesn’t matter how much you have done for the day, you will not make much progress. You must believe!
That’s why you and I can’t afford to let others dump their negative opinions in our heads and take them as the gospel truth. It’s dangerous to our success! Most people will not utter one sentence without injecting some kind of fear or doubt in us. And keep in mind that the more influence others have on you, the more damage you allow them to do.
One seed of fear is like a weed. Once allowed to enter our minds, it can grow wild and suffocate the good in you. I am sure you have heard that success is an inside job. We must first create it in our minds and intensely believe it is ours before it can become a reality. God never lets us down. We let ourselves down. Does that make sense to you?
Until we meet again, take a good look at your own personal garden (your mind), and notice all of the weeds that may have overtaken it. Do you know how those weeds got there? Five years from now, if you are not careful, you may become what the people around you believe instead of what you wish for yourself. Be sure to always
surround yourself with positive and successful people..
Friday, May 27, 2011
By Rene Godefroy
1) Don’t Just Sit There. Move! According to many psychologists,
motion creates emotion. You might notice that when you are idle, it’s easier to become depressed. Your heart rate slows down, less oxygen travels to your brain, and you are slumped somewhere in a chair blocking air from reaching your lungs.
I challenge you right now, regardless of how you are feeling, to get up and walk around at a fast tempo. Maybe you might want to go to an empty room and jump up and down a little bit. It may sound silly but the results speak for themselves. Try it now for a few minutes. By now you should begin to feel more energetic and in a better mood. It works like magic.
2) Smell The Roses. Like my friend Jan Toles says, “Stop and smell the roses.” (Jan, I listened to your advice and went to the flower section in Kroger and literally smelled every rose. That’s what you get for not being clear to foreigners!) How do you smell the roses? How about investing some money to go on that one trip you’ve been dreaming about? Would Paris do? There you will find lots of exotic places to jolt your imagination and spur your creativity. You can also visit the Caribbean and learn how to scuba dive. Can you imagine swimming deep under the beautiful blue water alongside some of the most beautiful creatures you have ever seen? When my friend Lumenise Gilot described that experience to me, I thought to myself, “What an exceptional way to smell the roses!”
3) Get Some Company. If you’re like me, you have many acquaintances, but you only have a few true friends. This isn’t because I’m introverted. It is because I’m very selective about who I let enter my territory. I have worked too hard to build my house—my dream—and I won’t let anyone destroy it for me in the blink of an eye. When you’re feeling down, call your true friends and share what it is that you’re going through. Ask for their advice or input. While their advice or suggestions may be helpful, often you’ll find that simply verbalizing your problems will help you feel better.
4) Help Others Cope With Their Problems. It is very therapeutic when you engross yourself in helping others. You will be surprised how many people’s problems are worse than those you may be facing. You can offer others assistance in countless ways. Don’t curl up in your bed and let depression and stress take hold of you. Get out and help somebody. There are many charitable organizations that can use your help right now. My dear cousin Barbara reads to the blind. What about that? Call the National Federation of the Blind so that they can tell you how to get involved.
5) Laugh A Little. By now you’ve heard that laughter is a good internal medicine. It relieves tension and loosens the muscles. It causes blood to flow to the heart and brain. More importantly, laughter releases a chemical that rids the body of pains. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Every day, researchers discover new benefits of laughter. Let me ask you this question: “Can you use a good dose of belly-shaking laughter every now and then?” Of course you can.
6) Visit Third World Countries. Nothing is more humbling than to visit a poor country and see first hand what other human beings go through just to survive. Most people who have taken such trips come back with a deep and profound sense of gratitude and appreciation. They realize how much they’ve taken for granted without ever realizing it. I encourage you to travel whenever you can afford to do so. You’re not too busy. Do it for you. Your life will never be the same.
7) Wear Your Knees Out. If there were one sustainable remedy I could offer you when the going gets tough, it would be prayer. Many people, depending on their faith, might call it meditation. It doesn’t matter to me what you call it, as long as you have a place to run to. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Religions are crossroads converging upon the point.” Well, I don’t
often discuss religion, and I don’t know what works for you; but Christianity is the way I know. However, I am sensitive enough to respect your faith. My whole point is that when everything else fails, prayer works!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
We have all no doubt some time throughout our lives heard of the power of positive thinking.
Positive thinking is an idea that has been taught in all major religions, and even realized as greatly important by non religious individuals.
The truth is that positive thinking can completely transform your life, as opposed to negative thinking which can be quite destructive.
Positive thinking can create a beautiful life for you, and negative thinking can create a miserable one.
So just what is positive thinking?
Well positive thinking is thinking about the things that you enjoy, that you want, and that bring you happiness and pleasure.
Negative thinking is just the opposite.
It is thinking about things that you do not want, the things that you fear, and things that you are afraid will happen.
We have a greater power that cannot be seen and it resides in our subconscious minds.
This is the same creative force and intelligence that keeps our bodies living without our conscious control.
The same creative force that builds our bodies and keeps our heart beating is the same creative force that keeps the planets and entire universe in order.
This creative power is an actual part of us and it creates our life based on our dominate thoughts.
Thoughts that are thought repeatedly in our conscious minds, the mind that we use to think, imagine, and make decisions, sinks down and are soaked up by the subconscious mind.
Once they are soaked up by the subconscious mind they call forth all the creative power of the universe and in their due time they become your reality.
From this simple truth we can see why the positive thinking is so important.
If you give thought to the things that you want you will actually be attracting them into your life.
But just the same, giving thought to things that you do not want, which most people do when they are in a state of stress or worry, will bring about the things that are feared.
We have complete control of our lives and our futures.
We can continually look at the reality of things and keep creating more of the same, even if it is not pleasing to us.
Yet if we can see ourselves perfect in every way and hold that vision firmly in our mind, our lives will transform into a thing of beauty.
A positive thinking subconscious attitude is more powerful that anything else we will ever posses.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
If they answer not to thy call walk alone,
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open thy mind and speak out alone.
If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.
If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart
and let it burn alone.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
It takes but a decision to change what you are, where you are, how you are. Circumstances test us, they try our patience, time pushes us against the wall, wanting us to give up to the mercy of pain and sorrow.
It is but the resilience of a broken heart that can tear with its blunt, bruised edges the envelope of trials and come out as a repaired and resurrected winner.
Yes, the path to bliss is not easy, it never was & never will be... What is sure is the fact that one who wills to swim against the tide to reach to the other shore no matter what, will reach there, inspite of the many storms one has to fight against. It is this fighting spirit, this never say die attitude that is rewarded with what one desires for.
With the no pain, there wont be any struggle, with no struggle there wont be a resolve. This resolve further fires up the will to fight and the one who fights without giving up will turn out victorious holding the most desired and precious of goals... laughing at the misery of pain, for it is this pain & dire circumstances that make you strong enough to win...
So thank you pain... for you strengthen my resolve, taking me closer to my desires...
Monday, May 16, 2011
7 Steps to building a successful marketing process for your organization. By Mohnish Nair
1. Decide to be seen & heard.
Your business will grow when you decide to grow. First, decide that you have something special to offer. Understand that you will grow only if you have something different to offer. It could be your product or service or price or the location or the package. There definitely must be something in your business that sets you different from others. Decide to make people aware of it. If you feel there isn’t anything special, create a reason that will differentiate you. Hire a Brand consultant if need be to design your specialty. Finally, decide to promote yourself.
2. Hire a help to handle on your behalf.
Remember that you need not know the intricacies of marketing nor do you have to indulge your precious time in the activities that require execution. You can always hire a Business coach, a brand consultant who can do it for you. You may even hire a trained employee who can execute the activities on your behalf. Remember, the activity is important not who does it.
3. Start with a brand identity.
Start by designing your unique specialty, your USP. Define what you want your customers to know about you. What are you good at? What is it that you can offer that others compromise or neglect? What service or product feature do you excel in? Design your company name, product name / Brand name around it. To enhance its easy recognition in customers mind, design a unique logo & punch line that conveys your area of expertise. Define your brand color, your logo, and your tagline that will help you grab the customer’s attention immediately.
4. Decide the target market.
Every product or service must cater to a specific audience. You shouldn’t sell to everybody. The more focused your target group, the easier it gets to target your marketing message to them. Segment your customer base. Divide your customer base into categories and then talk about your brand with customized messages to that specific target group.
5. Start with Social media.
NO!! MARKETING NEED NOT BE EXPENSIVE! You can start by sending simple sms’s, Everyday you can send emails & sms’s. You can start by putting your brand on social networking websites like facebook, orkut, twitter, Linkedin etc. Here you will find people who can be easily segmented for your marketing efforts. You must also write a blog where you can put your ads, videos, messages, articles that enhance the conviction in your brand. You must also have a website that represents your company in the World Wide Web. It is like your online store. The key to success in social media marketing is to be creative, regular and consistent.
6. Continuously build a community.
Your focus should be to build your target audience into a group of loyal, regular visitors to your sites. Keep them enthused by regularly announcing free seminars, free articles, free videos, and free product samples. Contests & discounts are a great way to keep them coming for more. Make the campaign responsive & interactive.
7. Continuously Innovate.
You must make sure that you create reasons for people to talk about you. Consistently innovate messages, product offerings, value additions, offers & discounts so that you become an irresistible topic of discussion. Keep talking about your brand & then you will see the world talking about it.
Above all – Don’t Over promise! But deliver beyond expectations!!