Are you the donkey or the merchant?

success building community

Picture this scenario.  A businessman who is liked and trusted by his neighbors has been given coffee samples from 50 local farmers.  The next morning he loads up the samples in his cart behind his faithful donkey.  He dangles a carrot in front of the donkey’s nose.  The businessman is already thinking about all the orders he’s going to get from these delectable samples.  The donkey has no idea where they’re going or why – he doesn’t even like coffee; he’s simply following the carrot just in front of his nose.  At the end of the day, the donkey gets the … Read More

Shorts vs Panties

are you selling what people need or what they want

This morning I opened a new pack of undershorts that Joanne picked up for me.  Wow – six pairs of new Jockey shorts.  Out of curiosity I asked her what she paid for these.  She said it was $5.99 for the pack of six.  Okay that’s $.99 each – and these babies have double stitching, a variety of colors, the extra overlap for the trap door that we guys need – all in all just a real classy piece of workmanship. Then I asked her what she pays for her panties. She said normally $8-10.00 each.  Of course those are much … Read More

Want to live a larger life?

living large

Recently a 36-yr-old MBA in exec position in an exciting industry shared this concern in her coaching profile:  “I have a vague sense that my life is too small.” Living large does not necessarily mean a bigger salary, house, cars or retirement fund.  It has nothing to do with fancy vacations or the latest fashions.  Rather, it means having a life that is full of meaning and purpose.  And that can occur – or be absent – at any place on the continuum of the traditional parameters of “success.”  I’ve seen millionaires who are living life “small” and those with scarce financial resources who are … Read More

Does God want me to “swallow poison” every day?

does God want me to suffer

Patrice wants to know why she has been unable to develop her passion, and the only jobs available are ones that she hates. Here’s part of her lengthy letter: “After everything I’ve been through I’m afraid that somehow, God’s will for me is actually not to pursue the sole vocational passion He appears to have put in my heart, but to do this office work that feels like I’m swallowing poison every day.  Maybe I’m projecting my family’s patterns onto God – child abuse survivors do that, probably even more so than those with healthier backgrounds – but I’m afraid that, counterintuitive … Read More

But I had no choice….

choice

I heard a story about a man riding a horse at breakneck speed.  It appears he’s going someplace very important.  A man standing along the roadside shouts, “Where are you going?”  To which the rider yells back, “I don’t know.   Ask the horse.” This seems to be essentially the story I’m hearing from lots of people today.  They’re riding the horse of circumstances, their habits or other people’s expectations.  If that describes you, it’s time to grab the reins and move your life in the direction of where you really want to go. A Real Life Example I’m currently … Read More

This job makes me feel dirty

hate my job

This week I had a rash of people writing about jobs they hate: This company treats employees like disposable objects A faceless member of management sent a memo to improve the numbers How can I find a job that doesn’t make me feel dirty? I can’t handle the envy, gossip, fights and no respect for the employees in my work place These are common perceptions as some time ago I got a note that said, “My company is going in a strictly money-motivated direction, and my manager may very well be Satan’s offspring.” In their book Decisive, Dan and Chip Heath describe … Read More

Stop trying to climb trees if you’re a duck…….

Discover your strengths

When I was in the sixth grade, a teacher told my friend Phil that the “secret to life is to focus on your weaknesses.” So for the next thirty years he worked on those areas where he was weakest. He struggled with accounting, with organization, and with ordering and inventory control. He ultimately developed some pretty strong . . . weaknesses. Then he discovered the power of focusing on your strengths. He surrounded himself with people who were more competent in all the areas where he was weak. He allowed them to do what they did well while he did the … Read More

This feeds my soul

beauty in life

Joanne brought home some white hyacinths a few days ago. The aroma filling our kitchen is intoxicating.  The weather is getting warmer and outside I see daffodils peeking up through the cold dirt. It reminded me spring is coming, but it also brought to mind this old quotation: “If I had but two loaves of bread I would sell one of them and buy White Hyacinths to feed my soul.” – Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) Why do I love that so much?  And why does it even make any sense?   Surely if you were down to only two loaves of bread the responsible … Read More

If people like you they’ll listen to you

selling

We are all selling.  Whether you’re a teacher, a homemaker, a CEO or a used car salesman, we’re all selling something.  And that’s okay.  In fact, it’s great news.  Because that’s how we serve each other well.  When I was a young Mennonite farm kid I thought sales people were out to take advantage of us.  But then I heard Zig Ziglar say ”You can get anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”  If people trust you, they’ll do business with you He went on to say, [spp-tweet tweet=”If people like you … Read More

Need a bigger financial shovel? Here’s how

financial shovel

A listener asked: Dan, I recall a 48 Days Radio Show episode during which you spoke of real estate as an example of a large financial shovel.  Would you please share other examples of a large shovel you can think of?  Paul Sure – I love even thinking about this.  Many people get a paycheck each week – it’s predictable and not going to change quickly.  But if you’re looking for ways to get a big shovel, here are some possibilities: 7 Ideas For a Big Financial Shovel 1. Create a real estate transaction.  You’ve seen the TV shows, just … Read More