July 30, 2009

How is “your” world doing?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ray @ 10:28 am

Amidst all the chaos in the world with the economy, war, local governments going broke and so on, it seems like a real dark picture for the present and future. Unless you look at it in a way that is much more practical, efficient, and effective. What I mean is, you should not be looking at the world from the outside, which you have no control over. You should be looking at the world from the inside and asking yourself what it is that you can do that makes “your” world a better place to be. When you do this, you will not only make “your” world better but the ripple effect will grow out from you to the rest of the world.

What is your world? It is the environment in which you function such as work, family and friends, or anyone you come in contact with. “Your” world is one that you have control over and you can create what actions and results occur in it.

I challenge you to step back and take a look at what you are doing to create the best possible “your” world that you can each and everyday, so you can live the life you deserve and not except what the rest of the world decides to throw at you because of the actions of others.

After all, you are your greatest asset, and hopefully you believe that it is great to be you! Take control…………….

July 9, 2009

Las Vegas!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Ray @ 12:52 pm

Hello all,

I just returned from the 9th Annual Martial Arts Industry Associations “Super Show” in Las Vegas. This show is the largest show in the United States that brings martial artists from all over the world together in one convention to share business practices, training methods, and the opportunity for suppliers to showcase their products. This years event was the largest turnout ever with over 2,500 attendees! I was there with a booth selling my book, “It’s Great to Be YOU!” 

Although my book is not a martial arts book per say, it parallels the philosophy of martial arts which is to build strong individuals no matter their vocation in life. We had a very successful show with many school owners from as far away as Australia purchasing the book as a possible required reading for their students who test for black belt and above. I also made some very good contacts with the largest supplier in the world for martial arts supplies, Century Martial Arts Supply. I also met with the largest professional organization (MAIA) in the country that helps schools through educational programming and consulting to bring their school to the next level. They publish the martial arts Success magazine which goes to all their members monthly. It is my hope that we can work together to get the book into more people’s hands throughout the martial arts community, and spread the news that “It’s Great to Be You!

July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday America

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ray @ 11:17 pm

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and what does that mean to you? Does it mean you get to participate in or watch a parade? Does it mean you get to hang out in a beer tent and have grilled burgers to raise money for the local civic organization? Does it mean you get to watch a band play music for the gathering in the park? Does it mean you have a reason to get the family together for the annual reunion? Does it mean the children get to go on carnival rides and eat cotton candy?

With all this excitement, let’s not forget that we are celebrating the 4th of July which is the day we celebrate our independence as a country. The United States of America is a free country, and of course, we all know that freedom is not FREE. Many americans have died to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy today so the 4th of July  is always a special day that I remind myself to be thankful for my freedom and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Let’s talk about freedom on a personal level. Many people do not feel free for different reasons. They are financially strapped and feel their life is on loan to the bank, or working in a job that they do not like and feel trapped. Most people in these situations have put themselves there through their own actions. The good news is that they can get themselves out of these situations through their own actions! 

If you are not where you want to be in your life, and living the life you deserve, then now is the best time to exercise your freedom and take control of your life. You need to develop a plan to reach your new goals and stay committed to them. Each and everyday you must remind yourself of the personal freedom you want to achieve. Will it be easy? probably not. Can it be done? Of course it can.

June 8, 2009

Change….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ray @ 7:35 am

A lot of professional speakers will talk about change as though it is a new phoenomenon. Change has been, and always will be, every part of your waking days. Some changes are just more noticeable and immediate. Based on personality type, some people get really nervous and even panic at the thought of change,  while others are excited about the new stimulation of change.

Much change, is uncontrollable by you. Understanding this, will help you not waste your time stressing and worrying about something that you cannot control. Rather, you will use your time adapting and growing with whatever changes are occurring in your life. In the military and even martial arts world, it has been said that “a warrior adapts to the battlefield.” So it is with us, we must adapt to the battlefield (life) every day so we can remain in control of not only the situations in our lives, but the outcomes as well!

It is not so much managing change as it is managing ourselves around and within change. Win the day….

May 19, 2009

Service will always sell - good or bad!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Ray @ 6:21 am

This weeks blog is dedicated to service, both good and bad. Last week, I was traveling to Ohio to pick my new book (It’s great to be YOU) from the printer. A few interesting things happened along the way that I found to be very interesting and worth sharing with you. I have always said that service will always sell, whether it is good or bad. By treating the customer well, your service will sell by having them come back as a result of a good experience. By negating the customer and not treating them like the most important person in your world while they are in front of you, your bad service will sell and they may never return. Here are my experiences from last week.

First, I stopped at a favorite fast food pizza joint to grab a quick bite while under a tight travel schedule. The man (probably in his upper 20’s) asked “can I take your order?” As I started to tell him what I wanted, he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket as it beeped with a text message coming in. I continued to give him my order while he proceeded to text the person back on his phone!! I had to repeat my order to him as he did not hear what I said the first time. When he was done texting (talking) to the person on the phone, he put his phone away and thought he would “make time” to focus on me, the customer that apparently was not as important as the person who was texting him at that moment. I did get my order, without a smile or thank you, and left. One could argue that in today’s society, it could have been me, the customer talking on my cell phone while giving my order, much to the employee’s frustration. Good argument, however, I was the customer not him. No matter how you slice it (pardon the pun), it was bad customer service and it was wrong. Training or re-training in customer service needs to be done here before customers are lost forever….

Good service. A couple days later, while 10 hours from home, my truck experienced a problem with the steering. Upon bringing it to a dealer, it was found that the pressure hose for the power steering had blown off and all my power steering fluid had leaked out. As I entered the service department at the Ford dealership, the service manager (Chuck) greeted me with the smile of a long time friend. In short, they checked 5 parts stores before finding the part, they got my truck in right away and within 1 hour I was on my way. The next day after arriving home, I received a phone call from them, following up on the service to see if everything went well on the way home. I remember as I was leaving, Chuck said that if I was ever back in the area that I should stop in and say hi! No matter how you slice it (pun intended) that was excellent customer service. 

Service will always sell, good or bad. When you provide either of them, it is never just the immediate customer that is affected. It becomes your calling card or culture and that dictates your future successes or failures. Be successful on purpose!

May 7, 2009

95%-ers….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 6:43 am

Yesterday was a special day for me. The local newspaper in the town where I live, ran a feature story on the release of my new book, “It’s Great to Be YOU” on the front page in full color. When you live in a town of 3,500 people any news out of the ordinary (especially positive news) is a pretty special event. My book is a positive book about being successful on purpose and it provides tools for you to use based on where you are in your life right now as far as reaching your personal or professional goals. You would think that it would be hard to find negativness in a book that is totally positive and written with the sole intent to help others.

Enter the 95%-ers. It has been said that 5% of the people are leaders and 95% of the people conform. Now, that doesn’t mean that the 95%-ers are not contributing. Actually, the world needs the 95%-ers, however, in that category exists a sub group of individuals that complain about everything. 

It wasn’t but 10 minutes after the paper came out (in rural communities, people line up and wait for the paper, in this case, on Wednesday afternoons) that negative comments were flowing. Why would this be? Well, as you may have noticed in your life, a lot of people around you are not happy and they don’t want to see you happy either. It is much easier for them to criticize others than to make changes in their own life to better themselves and become happy on purpose. Criticism requires no ownership, but bettering yourself requires ownership and action. The coffee shops and lunchrooms will be buzzin’  with negativity for the next few days with people complaining about this positive news and why they would never buy that “stupid book.” The paradox is that these are the people who could really benefit from it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many people that enjoyed the story and look forward to getting this book and the benefits that it may present to them.

How do you react to this negative behavior? While you want to try to convince people to have a different attitude, that usually will not work. As the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.”  These people know everything already and it is best to leave them to their group where misery loves company! The way to attack these behaviors is to stay positive, move forward and lead by example. Hopefully, they will recognize how your behaviors create a more positive life for you and they will decide to move in that direction.

One common thread between leaders and the 95%-ers is this: “What you give your energy/time to will grow flourish and prosper in your life, and what you deny your energy/time to will wither and die out of your life.” It all comes down to what you choose to do with your energy and time. How are you investing it? It is where you invest your energies , positive or negative, that determines where you end up. You are in control.

Positive thoughts and actions will yield positive results. Negative thoughts and actions will yield negative results. It is that simple. 

The question for you is, where are you investing your time and energy?

Create a great day for yourself and remember, It’s Great to Be YOU!

April 27, 2009

How often do you worry?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 10:07 am

How often do you worry? You need to worry less and act more because all the worry in the world will not change a thing. I would like to take credit for saying that but it was 1973 when I heard it in a movie. The movie, was called Billy Jack. I was 10 years old and this movie had a profound effect on me and the rest of my life. To this day as a professional speaker, I try to remember this when I get into situations that “seem” uncomfortable or uncontrollable.

Most of you are aware of Susan Boyle at this point? She is the lady from Britain’s got talent that aired a week or so ago. What a case study for judging a book by the cover, and why we should not do that! Everyone (adults mind you) was laughing and chuckling at her as she walked out on stage, including the judges (adults mind you). Then this beautiful woman opened her mouth and began to sing. Now, many people like her for the right reasons and many like her for the wrong reasons. Many like her because she has a beautiful voice and a personality that is contagious, while others like her because they can make a lot of money off of her. I watched an interview with her and when asked what she felt when everyone was laughing at her she said she really didn’t notice because she had to stay focused on what she was there to do and that was sing. This is a woman who is comfortable in her skin and who taught thousands of people (if not millions) a valuable lesson in leadership last week. 

The point: There are unassuming leaders all around us and many times all they need is a fair chance. Be careful to judge people by what they appear to be, rather, they should be looked at by what they are. True leaders lead by example and Susan Boyle’s ability to stay focused in the face of adversity proved her to be a true, and genuine, leader. Confucius once said, “think twice, then say nothing.” good food for thought.

April 13, 2009

What are we in such a hurry for?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Ray @ 11:22 am

        I was at the local gas station just finishing filling up with gas when a van pulled in behind my truck. The gentleman rolled his window down and spoke towards me. I could not hear him so I walked back to his van and he asked me if I could fill his van with gas because he was “all crippled up” as he put it. I was kind of in a hurry but I said sure and moved my vehicle forward, paid for my gas then came back out to fill his tank. While the tank was filling I asked him if it was his legs and he said no it was his back and hips. He said he was 84 years old but said it was tough being crippled up. The tank was full by now and the total was $22.30. He gave me $25.00 to bring in to pay for gas then bring him his change. When I brought him his change, he wanted me to keep the change but I told him it was my pleasure to help him out and gave him his money and wished him well.

        The thoughts that were going through my head the whole time were as follows:

  • Years ago there was a time when people actually “took the time” to fill your tank for you as a service for coming to their place of business. They even checked your tires, fluids, and washed your windows for you. 
  • This man actually trusted me to fill his vehicle for him, take his money and then actually bring him his change. 
  • I was thinking how much time it took me to take his money, go inside and get his change, then bring it back to him and how we are always in such a hurry. The question really is, in a hurry to do what? 

        We need to be careful to NOT be in such a hurry that we are no longer willing to help others. George Carlin made a couple points that have always stuck in my mind. First, he said, ” In today’s society, we have longer lives but we live less.” Second, he said, “we can send a man to the moon and get them back safely, but we can’t walk across the street and greet a new neighbor anymore.” 

       Be sure to always make the time to help others (without wanting something in return) because it is a great feeling and you will still get your work done. With all the gloom and doom in the world today, there will always be hope as long as we take care of each other.

Ray

April 10, 2009

Here We Go…….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Ray @ 8:46 am

Welcome to my new website and blog. As you can see by my website, I am a professional speaker and trainer. I hope you get a chance to go through the whole site as I am very proud of it. The site was created by Adam Havens of Havens Design (havensdesign.com) and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. The goal was to develop a site that screams quality yet is easy to navigate. Bullseye! 

While I speak on various topics, the core of what I do is share with people how to be successful on purpose. This is what the content of my blogs will be about. I will write contemplations and thoughts about the tools needed to become and remain successful and happy on purpose. I may use current events to illustrate a point or simply share real life experiences pertaining to these goals.

I am excited today, as it is the official “go live” day for the site as well as the official “release” day for pre-ordering my new book, It’s Great to Be YOU! You can see it on the site as well as save 15% by pre-ordering. The availability date is May 15th. 

I hope you enjoy my blogs, share them with friends and always remember, It’s Great to Be YOU. Don’t forget to sign up for my free electronic newsletter which will be produced monthly. Hope to see you here again soon….

Create a great day for yourself……..

Ray 

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