July 25, 2011

Service, good or bad, will always sell!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Ray @ 7:04 pm

I recently was in LaCrosse, WI for business and I stopped for lunch downtown on Pearl Street. I had my son with me who has recently returned from Alaska where he earned his Masters degree in Music Performance. As soon as we walked in the door, I noticed there were 7 employees behind the counter waiting to serve us. I believe everyone of them acknowledged us and welcomed us for lunch. The young lady at the register took our order with a smile and seemed as though she really enjoyed what she was doing. at the other end of the counter, the gentleman who presented us with our order, confirmed our selection by telling us what it was as he gave it to us. We sat towards the back of the store and as I was eating I observed the employees and their actions. Every single one of them kept doing something between customers, never just standing there looking bored. As other customers came in to the store I noticed every one of the employees greeted them with the same excitement they had greeted us with. Even the employee that was in the back of the service area across from where I was sitting said “Welcome and thanks for coming in today.” What was different, was that there was no way that the people who walked in could hear that gentleman say that to them but it was obvious to me that it was a standard of excllence in customer service that was ingrained into every employee through their training.

Why would I choose to go there again? Because of a simple but effective action called service. Service sells because people want to know they matter and that the space they take up has a value. If you are going to give someone your earned money in exchange for a product or service, you want it to have a value to you, it needs to matter.

December 27, 2010

You are not alone……..

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Ray @ 8:45 pm

You are not alone…..

You may have heard many different versions such as highs and lows, ups and downs, or even peaks and valleys, but they are all code words for life. We all go through them. You know, when you are in a valley it seems like the world is caving in on you, and nothing seems to be working for you? It seems hard to keep up with all your responsibilities and you start to wonder if what you are pursuing is worth it or not.

So, what do you do? First, understand that it is normal and going to happen, so there is no need to go into panic mode.

What you need to do is reinforce your focus on the goals you have set and re-commit yourself to achieving them.

It is easy to attend night classes, handle the work load, and keep up with your hectic schedule when your on a high or peak, however, true leaders figure out a way to do it during those low or valley times.

It really comes down to your commitment to your greatest asset…….YOU. When you set goals for yourself, be sure to build into your strategy how you plan to deal with those times when the lows or valleys appear because they will. When you do this, you are setting yourself up for success on purpose by being prepared and reinforcing your commitments, and accepting nothing less than what is best for you and your goals over the long term.

Keep you eye on the big picture of your life and you will likely end up exactly where you have worked to be.

I wish you a very happy holiday season and look forward to hearing about your successes………….

It’s great to be you!

August 23, 2010

So, whatcha gonna do?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Ray @ 10:05 pm

It appears as though 2010 is not going to be the year of the big economic turn around. While certain areas of the economy are showing improvement, there is not a wholesale recovery in the near future. So, what are you going to do about that? Are you going to hop on the wagon by the water cooler and complain about the weather, your boss, the rules, and every other area of your life that you have no control over? Or, are you going to focus on the areas of your life that you do control such as your attitude, your energy, your passions and your goals?

I know one thing for sure; all the complaining in the world will not change a thing. You need to make the commitment to yourself and become passionate about your goals. What you give your time and energy to will grow flourish and prosper in your life. What you deny your time and energy, will wither, die and leave your life.

Control what you can control, and use the power of YOU to be who you deserve to be and where you deserve to be on purpose! I was asked awhile back how 2010 was treating me; the appropriate question should be, how am I treating 2010? How are you treating 2010?

So, whatcha gonna do???

Ray Saint

September 9, 2009

School is in session!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ray @ 7:16 pm

Well, school has started and we are entering a new season. Each year, I express to my martial arts students that the beginning of school represents a fresh start.  The same is true for those of us in the working world. As you enter the final quarter of the year, are you setting short term goals for the next three months, or at least evaluating your existing goals as to where you are compared to where you want to be?

Excellence, success, and happiness never takes a vacation. Where is it that you are working to be on purpose? Just a little food for thought, I hope your hungry!

Create a great day for yourself….


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!

June 8, 2009


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


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!

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