Author Archives: Bruce Ellemo

The Benefits and Risks of Equipment Leasing

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When discussing the issue of business growth and profits, each most vital elements that can come into picture are equipment leasing and equipment finance. There is certainly universal need of acquiring equipment on lease or finding a financial solution for starting, building or obtaining a company. There is however very limited comprehension of how the process of obtaining the ideal lease program one of many business owners.

Equipment Leasing is the greatest choice for business financing. It’s the largest type of asset based lending and is also steadily growing. The business of leasing is normally centered on special style of assets.

The fundamental attractiveness of leasing lies in simplicity- Lessor purchases an asset and provides the Lessee the use of the asset in exchange for funding to purchase it until finally such time as the asset has been paid off. This is done as the basis for lease or rental repayments. Here, instead of making a principle and interest payment, you create a lease payment. A lease quote is often a form of financing. The leading benefits of it are listed below:  

You don’t have to extend additional capital.

Transforms equity into reusable capital.

Process is usually carried out a single day.

You are able to finance a more substantial percent of the asset purchase in a bad credit score scenarios too.

It cuts down on the amount of monthly debt servicing.

The initial cash down payment is smaller as compared to purchasing.

Business people are able to the generate working capital required to keep their business operating and growing.

Let the Lessee to return the apparatus for resale to another business maybe in some cases for extension of lease too.

Potentially slow up the level of business tax.

Offers flexibility to your needs and business.

Sales Tax- Recognize how taxes are viewed where you live and look for effective method to reduce these expenses.

Surprise end- term: Stay away from getting caught short-handed. Before signing an agreement, understand what you’ll own and what you would owe at the end of this lease.

Insurance policy- In case you don’t have insurance, the majority of leasing companies will add the cost of coverage to your invoice or might add insurance for a quote.

Seek advice and read your agreement thoroughly

 

You Are Where You Deserve To Be

Hawaii aaahhh untitledWhat we love about this message is that it challenges us to take responsibility for where we are and for the outcomes we are receiving.

Why don’t we have the things that we want? Ever think it’s because we don’t deserve it?

Of course we don’t. “I deserve what I want. I work harder than the kid driving a Lambo because his dad’s a millionaire. What did he do to get that car? Nothing! Am I right?”

Nope. I don’t deserve the Lambo because I haven’t done what I need to do to get the Lambo. That kid did exactly what he needed to do; he came out of the right lady, and was born into the right family. What he doesn’t have: the opportunity to EARN the Lamborghini… more on that in a bit.

We spend so much time wishing and complaining, that we fail to come to grips with the fact that we have everything that we deserve to have. We’re as happy as we should be because our attitude and outlook on life determines our happiness.

We’re as successful as we deserve to be because we’ve put in the amount of work that determines the amount of success we’ve achieved. We’ve also risked and sacrificed what is necessary to be where we are. No more successful, and no less successful than we are right now.

We’ve done what’s necessary to be where we are at this very moment. We HAVEN’T done what’s necessary to achieve everything we want to achieve. Otherwise, we’d be there.

Now what about the spoiled rich kid driving that Lambo… Why shouldn’t we be ticked off at him from being born with a silver spoon while we have to work our butts off for everything we want? Or what about our friend who has had everything go their way in life; don’t we have the right to be mad at him?! We’re slaving away here, and he’s off in South America living the good life, that lucky son of a gun.

Yah, we have that right if we want to be a sour, jealous, shadow of a human being for the rest of our lives… on second thought, no we don’t have that right. But we do have an opportunity. A great opportunity.

The kid with the Lambo and the silver spoon will never have the greatest opportunity a person can ever have: the chance to elevate their status, to work hard, and to EARN. I have this opportunity. This gift. This blessing. And so do you.

We can be sour, mad, and jealous of our friend who’s had some good breaks. But will he feel the same towards us when we achieve our success? Probably not.

So where do we stand?

Exactly where we deserve to be standing.

Success, no matter how you define it isn’t a right. It’s something that has to be earned. Wherever we are right now in life is where we deserve to be.

Sometimes it sucks to say this because some very hard working and deserving people don’t get the breaks that others get. Sometimes this leads to a change in attitude or a break in their faith. The shaken faith can lead to a lack of hope. The lack of hope can lead to poor decision making, which can lead to more bad breaks ending in a life that had promise, but was never realized.

We are never put under circumstances that we can’t handle. Believe it? 

If you do, when times get tough and life seems unfair, you’ll know that you can handle it. That no matter how dark life gets, it’s nothing but a passing phase. Like the night is before daybreak. The darkness will always pass if you’re strong enough to stand through it.

If you don’t believe it. If you instead become angry that life isn’t going your way. If you resent other’s success and hate the world for the lack of your own, the darkness will never cease until you decide to change how you view it.

Yes, we are where we deserve to be. Even more, we are where we’re supposed to be.

No higher. No lower. thanks Joel brown

Only you can create the change that will determine the most important position: where you end up.

 

Potential Comes With a Price Tag

This week we share a great message about Mickey Mantle. We have all seen, worked with, or went to school with people who seemed full of amazing potential, but just never really did anything with their skills and abilities.The lessons we learn are that potential is not enough.

Success in any endeavor always demands a price to be paid.

He may have been the most naturally gifted baseball player of all time. He was clocked rounding the bases in an incredible 13 seconds. Yet, his speed was nothing compared to the power of his hitting. It’s been said there were home run hitters, and then there was this man – in a league of his own. The Guinness Book of World Records credits him with hitting the longest home run ever measured, at 643 feet.

The player I’m describing is the great Mickey Mantle. By the age of 19 he had been called up to play for the New York Yankees. He won a World Series his rookie year, and his teams would capture seven championships over the course of his career. By the time he retired, Mantle had played more games as a Yankee than any other player, and had been named MVP of the American League three times. He still holds the all-time World Series records for home runs, runs scored, and runs batted in.

Yet, in spite of his impressive accomplishments, experts believe Mickey Mantle never reached his potential. Most blame Mantle’s chronic knee injuries for preventing him from doing more. But injuries weren’t the root of the problem. What most people didn’t know was that Mantle was a raging alcoholic.

At age 62, with his health and family life a mess, Mantle checked into the Betty Ford Clinic and started the long road to sobriety. Looking back from this vantage point, he assessed his career:

I never fulfilled what my dad had wanted [to be the greatest player who ever lived], and I should have. God gave me a great body to play with, and I didn’t take care of it. And I blame a lot of it on alcohol.

Everybody tries to make the excuse that injuries shortened my career. Truth is, after I’d had a knee operation the doctors would give me rehab work to do, but I wouldn’t do it. I’d be out drinking… I hurt my knees through the years, and I just thought they’d naturally come back. Everything has always come natural to me. I didn’t work hard at it.

Despite his great natural talent, Mickey Mantle never disciplined himself off the field. By the time Mantle was ready to change, it was too late. His liver was ruined from a life of alcoholism, and he died at age 64 from inoperable cancer.

Four Truths about Discipline
What were you born to do? What is your dream? To become the person you have the potential to be, you have to cultivate a life of discipline. Consider these truths concerning discipline:

Discipline Comes with a Price Tag

Discipline is costly. It demands a continual investment of time, energy, and commitment at the expense of momentary pleasure and ease. Discipline means paying hours of practice to win the prize of skill. Discipline means giving up short-term benefits for the hope of future gain. Discipline means pressing on to excellence long after everyone else has settled for average.

Discipline Turns Talent to Greatness

When you read about someone like Mickey Mantle, you realize that too much talent can actually work against someone. Super-talented individuals can coast on sheer ability and neglect building the daily habits of success that will sustain them. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow shared much insight when he wrote:

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

If you want to reach your potential, attach a strong work ethic to your talent.

Discipline Focuses on Choices, Not Conditions

In general, people approach daily discipline in one of two ways. They focus on the external or the internal. Those who focus externally allow conditions to dictate whether or not they remain disciplined. Because conditions are transitory, their discipline level changes like the wind.

In contrast, people with internal discipline focus on choices. You cannot control circumstances, nor can you control others. By focusing on your choices, and making the right ones regularly, you stay disciplined.

Discipline Does Not Bow Down to Feelings

As Arthur Gordon said, “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you.”

If you do what you should only when you really feel like it, then you won’t build disciplined habits. At times, you have to act contrary to emotions. If you refuse to give into your lesser impulses, no matter how great they will make you feel in the moment, then you’ll go far.

Discipline is a matter of taking total responsibility for your future. Choose not to blame circumstances for the outcome of your life. Choose to go beyond your natural talent. Choose to make wise decisions repeatedly. Choose discipline as the path to your potential.

Success is a habit. How can we keep on winning?

Your morning cup of coffee: habit. Bedtime stories for your kids: habit. Daily perusal of favorite websites: habit. Early morning jog: habit. Success in life: habit.

Wait a minute. What? Yes, you heard right: Success is a habit, just like all those other routines. Sure, it takes a little more work to cultivate this one than, say, filing your paperwork before it overwhelms your desk; but nonetheless, if you train yourself right, you can experience that “I did it!” feeling over and over again.
The world is saturated with intelligent, highly educated, extraordinarily skilled people who experience ongoing frustration because of their lack of success. Millions of others spend their lives working hard, long hours only to die broke.… Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success.

The secret to your success can be found in your daily agenda. Let’s look at five tendencies you need to become a habitual winner. John Maxwell, shares with us that the best way is to make it a habit.

1. Winners are passionate about what they do.

OK, I’m fudging my definition a little bit. I’m not sure passion is a “habit,” but I have to start there because it’s the cornerstone for everything else. Passion is the fuel and energy of life. It is the catalyst for self-discipline. It puts the fun in working. It’s impossible to succeed without it.

Here’s the common mistake: People look for outside influences to motivate them and fuel their passions. People ask me all the time, “John, who motivates you?” It’s the wrong question. They should ask what motivates me. If you have to wait for someone else to motivate you, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting. What gets you excited? What fires you up so much you have a hard time sleeping? What can you do that uniquely adds value to the world?

So why, then, do so many of us ignore our passions and chase money? Money isn’t a motivator for most people, no matter how often we equate achievement with wealth. I remember taking a job at a church in Sandiego. I was there about a week and a half when the comptroller came to me and said, “I’m bothered by something. You don’t know how much money you’re making.” I didn’t know and it didn’t matter. I went to that church because I had a passion for the job, not for the money I’d earn. If your work matches your passion, then it isn’t work at all. I like to say I’m a “workafrolic,” not a workaholic. It’s true—I can hardly distinguish work time from playtime. You can become one, too. If you make money at it, great; if not, then at least you’ve dedicated your life to something meaningful.
2. Winners value the process of winning.

People in the habit of losing overvalue victories and undervalue the process required to win. They want the thrill of the breakthrough, not the toil that comes before it. People in the habit of winning are the opposite: They find value and satisfaction in the preparation process.

Several years ago I led a group of friends and donors on a two-week trip to South and Central America. At the time I was working on my book Talent Is Never Enough. Since I knew I would spend many hours on the plane, I made copies of the outline and asked everyone for his or her input. We discussed what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved. When we got home, one friend said, “John, we worked for you this entire trip! It was a lot of fun discussing ideas and contributing to your book. But more than that, I learned something important.” “What’s that?” I asked. “You got all the work done because you were prepared. I’m never going on a trip again without having a plan.”
3. Winners focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses.

If you want to be successful, you’ve got to work on your weaknesses, right?  Wrong! If you want to develop a habit of winning, you need to cultivate your strengths. Everybody does a lot of things badly, but everyone can be the world’s best at something. The trick is to find that something.

Now, there is one important question you must ask: What weakness is blocking my potential? Focus on the traits you can correct, such as developing a positive attitude, improving self-discipline or acting with more integrity. When it comes to skills, you don’t have much say—you’re naturally good at some things and not others. So focus on your strengths and stop obsessing over your weaknesses. Otherwise, you will be clawing your way up to average. Nobody pays for average. Nobody wins with average.
4. Winners focus on winning on the inside more than the outside.

If you want to win, you need to work on the inner you, not the exterior self you show the world. Remember this: If your inner core is weak, your outer self will eventually crumble, too. If it’s strong, that inner fortitude will shine through.

You can start by developing these three attributes:

Trustworthiness: You cannot win without earning the trust of those around you.

Discipline: The greatest competition you’ll ever experience will be between your disciplined and undisciplined minds.

Attitude: Believe you will win and you make it possible to win. Believe you will lose and you make it impossible to win. (Read more about John C. Maxwell’s thoughts on attitude in his piece The ‘Big 5’ Challenges People Face.)
5. Winners persist on their path toward success.

Quit, and you’re guaranteed to lose. Persist, and you’re on your way to finding success. You have to persist on the right path, however. If you refuse to quit that high-salary, low-satisfaction job, well, we’ve already addressed that mistake.

I remember the first time I spoke before an audience. It was 1966 and I was 19 years old. I knew right away that speaking was one of my strengths—I could tell people liked me and there was a good chemistry, but I had a long way to go to become good. So I worked at improving. I withstood my critics. I moved past rejection. I learned from my fumbles and failures. And when I found something that worked, I focused on improving it. How long did it take me to nail the art of public speaking? Ten years!

We seem to love stories of overnight successes, but the truth is there aren’t any. If you want to be a consistent winner, you’ve got to work at it every day. Success comes from developing the habits of winning.

Winning – As many of you know we love the correlation of success in sports and success in life and how closely connected they are.

We wanted to take this opportunity to say Thank You for your time this past year. We know how precious a commodity time is and that’s why we take equipment leasing so seriously. Our goal is to provide you and your customers with easy well- priced financing and we hope we have done that.

Have you ever heard this? “It isn’t whether you win or lose. It is how you play the game.” I am sure you have. But do you know who said it? Some guy who came in second place!

You see, I have a problem with that statement. It presupposes, or at least strongly suggests, that winning and playing the game “right” are mutually exclusive propositions. Perhaps we ought to have this as our goal as we pursue success: We want to win, while playing the game right! I totally disagree with the statement that we should win at all costs. Instead, we should do everything good that we can to win at this game we call life. And we ought to also do all that we can to help others win.

With all of that… here are some thoughts on being in the game—to win!

Any “game” worth playing is a game worth pursuing a win in. If I get into a game, I play to win. What nobility is there in playing like a slacker? What virtue is purposeful mediocrity? None! I live my life to be a winner—spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally, relationally—every area of my life! If it is worth doing, it is worth playing for the win!

It is good to win. We live in an age now where people have reacted to sore winners by saying that we shouldn’t strive for winning. Many of our schools have abandoned the idea of competition, and our educational scores show that. Kudos to all of the teachers out there who still tell their kids that they can be winners! It is good and noble to win! It is something to strive for. It is good to push ourselves, to stretch and reach for victory. It is a grand thing to want to win!

There doesn’t have to be a loser in life. Yes, in teamed competition, there are always losers (but more on that in a bit), but in life, we can all win! We can all strive for the best and give it our all to win.

Winners are the ones who move families, businesses, organizations, cities and countries ahead. Winners are the ones who push progress. You don’t think that couch potato is the one who will cure cancer or open up the next great technology do you? No. It will be a person who has chosen to be a winner!

Losing can mean winning. Just because your score in a game or contest is the least at the end of the game doesn’t mean all is lost. You can still be a winner in that you gave it your all, you competed at your highest level, you learned new skills and strategies, and you became a better player and person. That is winning in my book!

Winners help others win. That is right, good people, people who pursue winning by excellence, are also people who stop to help others so that they, too, can enjoy the spoils of victory. Pursue the win, but help others achieve all that they can as well!

Winners make everyone better. When I get into athletic matches I want to play against the best. Yes, I may come up short in the score, but I will be better because that winner will make me grow in every area of my game! Winners stretch the losers so they can become winners too! Thanks Chris Widener.

How’s Your Focus

How’s Your Focus? If you have the ability to focus fully on the task at hand, and shut out everything else, you can accomplish amazing things.

Being a sports fanatic and semi professional athlete, I love to read and study stories of athletes who achieved excellence on the field and off. This week we share a great message from Harvey Mackay that reminds us about the power of focus in our lives!

A reader once sent me an email thanking me for a column I had written on getting outside the box. She told me how she had lost focus for a while, but had turned things around. She encouraged me to write a column on staying focused.

I immediately thought of my varsity golfing days at the University of Minnesota many years ago. Back then The Saint Paul Open was one of the top tournaments on the men’s professional golf circuit. Prior to the tournament, I had a chance to meet Gary Player when he was taking a lesson from our team coach, Les Bolstad. Later that evening I went to dinner with the world’s future No. 1 player when he was still an unknown.

The following day at The Saint Paul Open, I saw Gary after he teed off the first hole and ran up to him to say hi. I wanted to tell him what a great time I had the night before. His steely eyes remained focused on the fairway ahead and he never broke stride. “Harvey, please don’t talk to me. I must concentrate. I will see you when I’m finished.”

I remember how devastated I felt, but I learned a valuable lesson on focus. Many years later, when he was world famous, my wife, Carol Ann, and I ran into Gary and his wife in South Africa. I reintroduced myself and reminded him of what happened on the golf course. Gary’s wife told me, “Don’t feel bad. He doesn’t even talk to me on the golf course.”

That’s the focus that it takes to do your best. If you have the ability to focus fully on the task at hand, and shut out everything else, you can accomplish amazing things.

Arnold Palmer, another golfing legend, recalled a tough lesson he learned about focus in Carol Mann’s book The 19th Hole:

It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, “Congratulations.” I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. Trust me, your friends will understand!

A response Babe Ruth once gave to a reporter sticks in my mind: “How is it,” the Babe was asked, “that you always come through in the clutch? How is it you can come up to bat in the bottom of the 9th, in a key game with the score tied, with thousands of fans screaming in the stadium, with millions listening on the radio, the entire game on the line and deliver the game winning hit?” His answer, “I don’t know. I just keep my eye on the ball.”

In other words: Focus.

How many times have you heard an athlete talk about focus? It’s a topic I also hear about frequently in business. The most common complaints?

Too many irons in the fire. Too many projects spinning at one time. Too many interruptions. Too many phone calls. Too many emails. Too many things to do. Too little time.

The late Peter Drucker, management consultant and author, observed, “When you have 186 objectives nothing gets done. I always ask, ‘What’s the one thing you want to do?’ In Mexico they call me Senor Una Cosa.” (Translation: Mister One Thing)

Decide what’s most important. Make a list every day or every week and prioritize your activities. Scale back the amount of time you spend on meetings; they can be the biggest time-wasters of all. Learn to delegate, and make sure all members of your team follow through on assigned tasks.

Set aside a specific time of day to return phone calls and emails, and keep distractions to a minimum. In other words, set rules about how others use your time. And if you’re not the boss, work with your supervisor to make sure you agree on priorities.

Stay focused as best you can, and don’t let things happen to you—not when you can make things happen.

Mackay’s Moral: The person who is everywhere is nowhere.

What If It All Goes Right? Stop Worrying, Start Expecting !!

Have you ever watched people bowl? Many of them go through a little ritual before they actually get to the point of hurling their bowling ball in the direction of the pins. They carefully lace up their bowling shoes, and then the hunt for the perfect bowling ball begins. They may put on a bowling glove as well as an elbow brace. As they step to the line they glare at the bowling pins and get into their approach posture. Then they step forward and release the bowling ball down the alley.

That’s when it gets interesting. As the ball rolls toward the pins the bowler starts deploying facial expressions, body English, and hand signals to “guide” the ball into the best impact point on the pins. As they see the ball drifting into a less-than-perfect point of impact they begin to give voice commands to the ball to correct its course. Of course, once the ball is released it is on the way, and there is nothing the bowler can do to change what is going to happen. The bowler could just as easily release the ball, turn around, and not even look at the impact of ball and pins. The results would be the same.

The bowling illustration demonstrates the futility of “worrying” about results. When you have set your goals properly and planned the action you need to take it’s a waste of time, energy, and emotion to worry about the results of what you have set in motion. When you execute an action step, it is like releasing a bowling ball. The results ball is rolling, and there is little you can do to change the point of impact.  Worrying about where the ball will impact the target won’t improve or change what happens. The results will be the fruit of how well you prepared and planned and executed the action.

Worrying Makes Problems Worse

Worrying about the results will not change them.  I certainly recognize that a certain amount of worry is just part of being human. People have concerns about many things. There are legitimate concerns about money and financial security. There are legitimate concerns about health issues, and there are concerns about our personal and professional relationships. People want all of these things to go well in their lives, and a certain amount of worry and concern is normal. But there is another kind of worry that is not only dangerous to your health; it is dangerous to your success. The kind of worry I’m talking about is “imagined worry.” Imagined worry is when you spend a lot of time thinking about the future and what might happen in your life that could be terrible. My late friend Mary Crowley said, “Worry is a misuse of the imagination,” and she hit the nail on the head with that remark.  Now you might be wondering why I’m so concerned about worrying and what it has to do with success and expecting to win, so I’ll tell you.

Worry is the most significant factor that relates to the root of negative thinking. As a matter of fact, worry just might be the engine that starts negative thinking, and if you are involved in negative thinking, you will not expect to win. If you spend an excessive amount of time imagining all the bad things that can happen in your life, you will become a person who is problem-conscious, not solution-conscious. There is perhaps no greater example of how this can be so dangerous than when it involves worrying about health issues.  I have known many people who receive bad medical reports, and when they hear the news, they begin to worry so much about it that their life may as well have ended at that moment, while others may have bad days, but they choose to focus on the good days and what they can still do. They live in the moment and know full well that tomorrow will be what it is and they can deal with it when it arrives, not before.

Stop Worrying . . . Start Expecting

Worry is the result of thinking and imagining what might happen in the future. I want to stress the word “imagine.” The only reality people have is what is going on in their lives today. It is in the events of the day that life transpires, and anything based on tomorrow is pure speculation. I’ve learned that if you have planned and prepared, you can have reasonable expectations about the future. If you take care of your health through a good diet coupled with exercise, you can reasonably expect good health in the future. If you save and invest your financial resources, you can reasonably expect to have financial security in the future. If you live by principles of love and service to others, you can reasonably expect to have good personal relationships in the future. Good action today will produce good living tomorrow. Reasonably good expectations for tomorrow are based on positive thinking and prudent action today. Try this: instead of imagining all the bad things that might happen to you in the future based on your fear, start imagining things working out. There’s a song titled, “What If It All Goes Right?” by Melissa Lawson. The second line of the chorus is, “What if it all works out, what if the stars all line up . . ” You have to develop a what if it does go right and work out expectancy if you want to be the winner you were born to be.

I Don’t Worry

Worrying is something I quit doing many years ago, and today I can honestly tell you that I don’t worry about anything—period!. I know that the principles I live by are true and correct. I also know that I always try to do the right thing, and when you do the right things in life, you don’t have to worry about results. As a matter of fact, if I’ve done the right thing every day I’m not even responsible for results. I just get the benefit of what I do, and the benefits are usually better than I could have hoped for.

Finally, remember that if you have planned and prepared yourself to win, there is no need to worry about the results. Like the bowler who has released the ball down the alley, you must learn there is nothing your worrying can do to change anything. If you have planned well and set good goals, you can have confidence that you know where you want and need to go. If you have done what you need to do to prepare yourself to win, you do not have to worry. You will have no justification to worry about failure. You can expect to win!

7 Habits of Highly Effective People Revisted

I have read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey on many occasions and find it useful to revisit the principals in Stephen’s book. This week we revisit those seven habits to spot check ourselves to make sure we are doing all we can to be effective in all areas of our lives.

I see seven unique human endowments or capabilities associated with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One way to revisit The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to identify the unique human capability or endowment associated with each habit.

The primary human endowments are 1) self-awareness or self-knowledge; 2) imagination and conscience; and 3) volition or will power. And the secondary endowments are 4) an abundance mentality; 5) courage and consideration; and 6) creativity. The seventh endowment is self-renewal. These are all unique human endowments; animals don’t possess any of them. But, they are all on a continuum of low to high levels.

Associated with Habit 1:

Be Proactive is the endowment of self-knowledge or self-awareness, an ability to choose your response (response-ability). At the low end of the continuum are the ineffective people who transfer responsibility by blaming themselves or others or their environment anything or anybody “out there” so that they are not responsible for results. At the upper end of the continuum toward increasing effectiveness is self-awareness: “I know my tendencies; I know the scripts or programs that are in me; but I am not those scripts. I can rewrite my scripts.” You are aware that you are the creative force of your life. You are not the victim of conditions or conditioning. You can choose your response to any situation, to any person. So on the continuum; you go from being a victim to self-determining creative power through self-awareness of the power to choose your response to any condition or conditioning.

Associated with Habit 2:

Begin With the End In Mind is the endowment of imagination and conscience. If you are the programmer, write the program. Decide what you’re going to do with the time, talent, and tools you have to work with: “Within my small circle of influence, I’m going to decide.” At the low end of the continuum is the sense of futility about goals, purposes, and improvement efforts. After all, if you are totally a victim, if you are a product of what has happened to you, then what can you realistically do about anything? So you wander through life hoping things will turn out well, that the environment may be positive, so you can have your daily bread and maybe some positive fruits. At the other end is a sense of hope and purpose: “I have created the future in my mind. I can see it, and I can imagine what it will be like.” Only people have the capability to imagine a new course of action and pursue it conscientiously.

Associated with Habit 3:

Put First Things First is the endowment of willpower. At the low end of the continuum is the ineffective, flaky life of floating and coasting, avoiding responsibility and taking the easy way out, exercising little initiative or willpower. And at the top end is a highly disciplined life that focuses heavily on the highly important but not necessarily urgent activities of life. It’s a life of leverage and influence. On the continuum, you go from being driven by crises and having can’t and won’t power to being focused on the important but not necessarily urgent matters of your life and having the will power to realize them.

The exercise of primary human endowments empowers you to use the secondary endowments more effectively. We will now move from Primary to Secondary Endowments.

Associated with Habit 4:

Think Win-Win is the endowment of an abundance mentality. Why? Because your security comes from principles. Everything is seen through principles. When your wife makes a mistake, you’re not accusatory. Why? Your security does not come from your wife living up to your expectations. Your security comes from within yourself. You’re principle-centered. As people become increasingly principle-centered, they love to share recognition and power. Why? It’s not a limited pie. It’s an ever-enlarging pie. The basic paradigm and assumption about limited resources is flawed. The great capabilities of people are hardly even tapped. The abundance mentality produces more profit, power, and recognition for everybody. On the continuum, you go from a scarcity to an abundance mentality through feelings of intrinsic self-worth and a benevolent desire for mutual benefit.

Associated with Habit 5:

Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood is the endowment of courage balanced with consideration. Does it take courage and consideration to not be understood first? Think about it. Think about the problems you face. You tend to think, “You need to understand me, but you don’t understand. I understand you, but you don’t understand me. So let me tell you my story first, and then you can say what you want.” And the other person says, “Okay, I’ll try to understand.” But the whole time they’re “listening,” they’re preparing their reply. They are just pretending to listen, selective listening. When you show your home movies or tell some chapter of you autobiography “let me tell you my experience” the other person is tuned out unless he feels understood.

But what happens when you truly listen to another person? The whole relationship is transformed: “Someone started listening to me and they seemed to savor my words. They didn’t agree or disagree, they just were listening and I felt as if they were seeing how I saw the world. And in that process, I found myself listening to myself. I started to feel a worth in myself.”

The root cause of almost all people problems is the basic communication problem people do not listen with empathy. They listen from within their autobiography. They lack the skill and attitude of empathy. They need approval; they lack courage. The ability to listen first requires restraint, respect, and reverence. And the ability to make yourself understood requires courage and consideration. On the continuum, you go from fight and flight instincts to mature two-way communication where courage is balanced with consideration.

Associated with Habit 6:

Synergize is the endowment of creativity, the creation of something. How? By yourself? No, through two respectful minds communicating, producing solutions that are far better than what either originally proposed. Most negotiation is positional bargaining and results, at best, in compromise. But when you get into synergistic communication, you leave position. You understand basic underlying needs and interests and find solutions to satisfy them both. You get people thinking. And if you get the spirit of teamwork, you start to build a very powerful bond, an emotional bank account, and people are willing to subordinate their immediate wants for long-term relationships. With courage and consideration, communicate openly with each other and try to create win-win solutions. On the continuum, you go from defensive communication to compromise transactions to synergistic and creative alternatives and transformations.

Associated with Habit 7:

Sharpen the Saw is the unique endowment of continuous improvement or self-renewal to overcome entropy. If you don’t constantly improve and renew yourself, you’ll fall into entropy, closed systems and styles. At one end of the continuum is entropy (everything breaks down), and the other end is continuous improvement, innovation, and refinement. On the continuum, you go from a condition of entropy to a condition of continuous renewal, improvement, innovation, and refinement.

Our hope in revisiting the Seven Habits is that you will use the seven unique human endowments associated with them to bless and benefit the lives of many other people.

Have a great week unless you choose otherwise.

Going from Intentions to Results. Let’s be honest, many of us have great ideas and plans and go into them with the sincerest intentions of seeing them to completion.

Then something always seems to happen to get us derailed and next thing you know weeks and months slip by and those plans get put on the back burner. This message  gives us some great practical advice on how to bring those plans to completion.

Visit any home improvement store on a Saturday morning, and you will see the beginning of hundreds of projects. People gather supplies, get instruction, and consult with professionals to get their game plans in order. Week after week the same scenario plays out. Based on sales, it would appear that these weekend warriors will soon beautify and improve the entire planet.

But reality and results tell another story entirely. A quick look through the garages and basements of many of these great starters would likely reveal the truth about completion: the final ten percent, for many people, is virtually uncharted territory – meaning they never get there.

Carry the accumulation of half-demolished foyers, clogged caulk guns, and piles of debris into the business world, and it’s no different.

The pattern for success in business is to recognize an unsatisfied need, innovate to find and provide a solution, then to expand and repeat the process. Somewhere between innovation and delivery, we find the no-man’s zone known as completion.

I once employed someone who proved to be an excellent initiator but a terrible finisher. She would start a task but get hung up once she encountered an obstacle. When asked why she didn’t get the job done, she blamed someone for not getting back to her or a situation she’d encountered. In short, she didn’t understand how to drive to completion.

What makes completion such a challenge?

Completion forces us to step forward.
For many people, the thought of completing a goal is unsettling – even when the task at hand is unpleasant. Maybe it’s the sense of the ‘known evil’ being preferable to the unknown one. No matter how ornery a project has become, at least it’s a pain in the neck that is familiar. We know that upon completion, we must choose again. We question whether we’ve got the goods needed to accomplish the next challenge.

Completion forces us to step up.
Concluding the current initiative inevitably moves us to a point of “what next?” For success-minded people, the answer to that question always comes in the form of raising the bar. Knowing that an even greater challenge lies ahead can make incompletion insidiously alluring. We know that each completion is followed by a call for even more. We wonder how we will bear up as the stakes are raised.

Completion forces us to step out.
Whether the task at hand is pleasant or not, we become attached to it. No matter how hard it seemed as we first put our hands to the plow, it is now within our comfort zone. It is familiar, and it seems manageable. People generally fear change. We convince ourselves that survival depends on staying inside our circle of competency. Completion represents a not-so-subtle nudge out of that circle.

For many people, incompletion has become a way of life. It takes the form of procrastination, loss of interest, confusion, and frustration. By remaining at the 90% complete mark, we reap the dubious benefits of security, mediocrity, and familiarity.

How can we push forward for completion?

Assess the current situation.
Focus on one task at a time until it is complete. This sounds like an effective solution – on paper. Chances are, though, that your world is more complex than that. However, even with multiple projects and priorities going on at the same time, you can still focus on one idea at a time and then move on. Each new opportunity should be evaluated before you commit. Remember that ‘good’ is the enemy of ‘best’ in your consideration. Does it serve your purpose? If so, engage and then move forward into completion.

Realize that the final 10% isn’t so bad.
Often the final stretch is comprised of unremarkable, monotonous, or tedious tasks. Because they are less than exhilarating, they seem onerous. Reality is that these final milestones are a lot closer, and a lot easier to attain than they seem. These loose ends rarely take the time or energy we fear they will. Just like the sticker on your car’s rearview mirror reads, completion “may be closer than they appear.”

Understand the price you pay for incompletion.
The process of beginning an initiative and working on it requires that you fully engage your commitment, your creative power, and your attention. The deepest recesses of your mind loathe letting go of these commitments. Like an elbow constantly poking into your ribs, your mind will nag you unceasingly about your incompletion. This distraction is often enough to pull you right out of the game when it’s time to take your next step.

Enjoy the rewards of completion.
The marketplace rewards completion. Every purchase of goods or services is immediately and unconsciously evaluated for completion. If you were to go out for dinner, place your order, and then never receive your food, you would complain, refuse to pay, and never want to go there again. If you purchased a car and discovered it was missing some key component, a steering wheel for example, you would refuse to take delivery.

It’s been said that the key to outrageous success is to do what nobody else will do. This brings to the forefront an opportunity to excel through completion, and reap the rewards of your diligence. A quick look around illustrates people’s tendency toward procrastination, loss of momentum, distraction, and incompletion. By committing to completion, you will do what nobody else will do, and the rewards will follow.

Recognizing the prices and benefits of completion may be enough to move you forward. What prize awaits when you push forward for completion? Thanks Mark Sanborn

 

How Far Can You Go?

How Far Can You Go? Personal development is the only real pathway to lasting change in our lives, businesses and families.
All of us want to improve, but few of us really want to change. The problem is that growth requires change. Any kind of makeover you attempt that does not include intentional personal growth will be only skin-deep.
I became dedicated to intentional personal growth in the early 1980s, when I realized it was the only way to become a better person. If we don’t dedicate ourselves to it, we don’t get better; we only get older.
I am committed to personal growth and encourage you to become more proactive and strategic in your personal development.
The sooner you make the transition to becoming intentional about your personal growth, the better it will be for you, because growth compounds and accelerates if you stay intentional about it. Here’s how to make the change:

1. Ask the big question now.
The first year that I engaged in intentional personal growth, I discovered that it was going to be a lifetime process. During that year, the question in my mind changed from “How long will this take?” to “How far can I go?” That is the question you should be asking yourself right now—not that you will be able to answer it. I started this growth journey 40 years ago, and I still haven’t answered it. But it will help you set the direction, if not the distance.
• Where do you want to go in life?
• What direction do you want to go?
• What’s the farthest you can imagine going?
Answering those questions will get you started on the journey. The best you can hope to do in life is to make the most out of whatever you’ve been given. You do that by investing in yourself, making yourself the best you can be. The more you’ve got to work with, the greater your potential—and the farther you should try to go. As my dad often used to say to me when I was a kid, “To whomever much is given, much shall be required.” Give growing your best so you can become your best.

2. Do it right away.
In 1984 I attended a seminar at the where the leader spoke on the subject of the importance of having a sense of urgency. He was a business tycoon who had made his fortune in insurance. His session was titled “Do It Now,” and one of the things he told us was this: “Before you get out of bed every morning, say, ‘Do it now’ 50 times. At the end of the day before you go to sleep, the last thing you should do is say, ‘Do it now’ 50 times.”
I’m guessing there were about 8,000 people in the audience that day, but it felt like he was talking to me personally. I went home, and for the next six months I followed his advice. The first thing every morning and the last thing before I went to sleep, I repeated the words “do it now.” It gave me a tremendous sense of urgency.
The greatest danger you face in this moment is the idea that you will make intentional growth a priority later. Don’t fall into that trap! Last year I read an article by Jennifer Reed in SUCCESS (“The Time for Action Is Now,” December 2010). She wrote, Can there be a more insidious word? Later, as in “I’ll do it later.” Or, “Later, I’ll have time to write that book that’s been on my mind for the past five years.” Or, “I know I need to straighten out my finances.… I’ll do it later.”
“Later” is one of those dream-killers, one of the countless obstacles we put up to derail our chances of success. The diet that starts “tomorrow,” the job hunt that happens “eventually,” the pursuit of the life dream that begins “someday” combine with other self-imposed roadblocks and lock us on autopilot.
Why do we do this to ourselves, anyway? Why don’t we take action now? Let’s face it: The familiar is easy; the uncharted path is lined with uncertainties.
If you’re reading this, you’ve already begun the process. Don’t stop there! Keep taking more steps. Pick a resource that will help you grow and begin learning from it today.

3. Face the fear factor.
I recently read an article on the fears that keep people from being successful. The following five factors came into play:
• Fear of failure.
• Fear of trading security for the unknown.
• Fear of being overextended financially.
• Fear of what others will say or think.
• Fear that success will alienate peers.
Which of those fears most impacts you? For me it was the last one: alienating my peers. By nature I’m a people pleaser, and I wanted everyone to like me. But it really doesn’t matter which fear affects you the most. We all have fears. But here’s the good news. We also all have faith. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Which emotion will I allow to be stronger?” Your answer is important, because the stronger emotion wins. I want to encourage you to feed your faith and starve your fear.

4. Change from accidental to intentional growth.
People tend to get into ruts in life. They get in an easy groove, and they don’t try to break out of it—even when it’s taking them in the wrong direction. After a while, they just get by. If they learn something, it’s because of a happy accident. Don’t let that happen to you!… How do you know if you’ve slipped into a rut? Take a look at the differences between accidental growth and intentional growth:
Accidental Growth
• Plans to start tomorrow
• Waits for growth to come
• Learns only from mistakes
• Depends on good luck
• Quits early and often
• Falls into bad habits
• Talks big
• Plays it safe
• Thinks like a victim
• Relies on talent
• Stops learning after graduation
Intentional Growth
• Insists on starting today
• Takes complete responsibility to grow
• Often learns before mistakes
• Relies on hard work
• Perseveres long and hard
• Fights for good habits
• Follows through
• Takes risks
• Thinks like a learner
• Relies on character
• Never stops growing
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.… In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” If you want to reach your potential and become the person you were created to be, you must do much more than just experiencing life and hoping that you learn what you need along the way. You must go out of your way to seize growth opportunities as if your future depended on it. Why? Because it does. Growth doesn’t just happen—not for me, not for you, not for anybody. You have to go after it! thanks John Mawell