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!

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…………….

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 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!

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.


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……..


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