Morning Motivator – Hello!! Do You Understand What I’m Saying??

"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them."
-Ralph Nichols

Communication – the most helpful and detrimental of all human interactions. The ability to communicate creates GREAT leadership and can CRIPPLE a great leader if incapable. Ask yourself: What is my communication style? How do I best communicate? Does everyone know my preferred communications – email, phone, face to face, smoke signal, carrier pigeon..?

Everyday we are challenged with effective COMMUNICATION. Frequently, you hear someone in the business world say, "all I want is to know whats going on!" The common frustrations that accompany poor communication are enough to TARNISH a reputation, place question on one's ABILITIES and thwart the efforts to achieve IMPACTFUL leadership. It is YOUR duty to find the BEST ways to communicate effectively with your clients, family, friends and co workers. YOU are responsible for the messages you send – verbal and non verbal. If you say the "right thing" with a smug face – DON'T expect a great response. If you say the "wrong thing" in a tone that is positive and hopeful –the results should be better than expected. Remember – the perception of your words and actions is what defines your position. Take a minute to think about what you want to say – then take action. Do you hear what im saying?? :)

Effective communication starts with understanding how YOU like best to communicate, then how OTHERS prefer to communicate as well. Here are some steps to help you define your best actions:

1. DETERMINE your most confident and comfortable communication forms (I prefer to email or talk in person)

2. ASK the people you communicate with HOW they wish to be contacted (you may love phone, but they love email – leaving voice mails is NOT effective!)

3. Communicate in the FORMAT that OTHERS best respond to (if you work with them – they WILL work with you on style)

4. REFINFORCE your message (ask lots of questions to make sure you are clear and repeat how you want to follow up)

5. RESPECT others communications (TIMING is as critical as delivery… ask WHEN the time is right, THEN use their preferred style to communicate)

Sharing thoughts with someone is an intimate experience and your communications are the delivery tool to this. People are naturally skeptical about sharing time and information if they don't feel there will be value. Show that you are willing to work with someone to find the best TIMING and STYLE of communication … the WILL understand what you are saying!!


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Morning Motivator – Are You OPEN to Love? (Vday Special)

"Our true identity is to love without fear and insecurity. Our higher potential finds us when we set our course in that direction. The power of love and compassion transforms insecurity."
-Doc Childre

Happy Valentine's Day to each of you! Obviously, today's Morning Motivator is relating to LOVE and CARING. I do hope that you open your mind and heart for this message and find many ways to apply this to your everyday life. Here we go…

Love is the most BASIC and NECESSARY of all human emotions. You find love all around you. You love your family, you love your pet, you love your friends and you may even have a special person to love! Most of this is RELATIONSHIP bound, meaning that you have known this person for either a extended length of time or with great intensity. Have you considered that the person you LOVE was once a total STRANGER? A friend was someone you met casually through work or recreation. Your family may have been there before you or after you – assuredly you are not the beginning of your group. Your pets were once foreign creatures to your entire life. So how can we treat others so POORLY day to day?

Many of us are so GUARDED and FEARFUL of change that we fail to open our hearts and minds to new contacts. We miss the opportunity to LEARN from someone that may have an ENHANCED view point of our deepest passions. We may fail to learn of a great life IMPROVING product or service because you were AFRAID to be "sold something." Albeit there are bad people in this world -the vast MAJORITY are good, quality people that want nothing more than to CONNECT to someone – SHARE an idea – HELP enhance your life. As is often said – "Everyone wants to see you succeed" and we all want to "feel connected!"

There is no great secret to LOVE and CARING, simply:
1. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and meet new people
2. Be willing to share honest thoughts and invest time (even if just 10 minutes doses)
3. Continue to show "little efforts" that signify your interest and desire to grow
4. Remember that the next person you talk to may be a new BEST FRIEND, COLLEAGUE, or even WIFE/HUSBAND

Frankly, I see the most challenging of all emotions being LOVE. I personally have continually been challenged with LOVE since I was 16 and with the emotions involved. I DO know this – ALWAYS… Make time, Show REAL attention and remember "It's the Little Things that Matter!"


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Morning Motivator – The Truth of Being Uncomfortable

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
-M. Scott Peck.

(* Special thanks to Arlene Raines of Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC in Nashville for this wonderful quote and support).

Ahhh – the joys of be COMFORTABLE. No need for change or thought or involvement. How many people do you know that say they just want to be comfortable? Likely many. Yet, what is the DANGER of being comfortable? What does COMFORTABLE even mean? I lend you this – being COMFORTABLE means no longer having a NEED to GROW and IMPROVE. Now – how CRITICAL is your being UNCOMFORTABLE down the road..?

I met this morning with a wonderful new mentor, Michael Burt (, who is a professional business coach, speaker, author and State Champion Basketball Coach. We spoke in detail about the opportunities that people have for GROWTH and ACHIEVEMENT in their day to day life. We spoke of ACCOUNTABILITY to self and how IMPROVEMENTS in your life and up to YOU.

Most interestingly, he mentioned the idea of HVA or HIGH VALUE ACTIVITIES. The concept he presented was to accomplish 3 HVAs per day in the 4 dynamics of your life – MIND, BODY, HEART and SPIRIT. By accomplishing 3 per day – you accomplish 15 per week and thus 60 per month! How many people do you believe FAIL in their efforts when they ACCOMPLISH 60 high value activities (HVA) per month. I believe very few. Are these HVAs always "easy" to accomplish? Likely not. Will you feel UNCOMFORTABLE on occasion? Likely so. Will you ACHIEVE your dreams and create a true BALANCE of success..? GUARANTEED!! Now – let's get to work…


As Michael Burt discussed with me, there are 4 dynamics to your success – the development of: MIND, BODY, HEART and SPIRIT.

To accomplish success in each space, you must:
1. Identify your long term goals for each area.
2. Commit to accomplishing the 3 HVAs per day needed to achieve the goal
3. Schedule the time for FOCUS in each of the areas and PROTECT it vigorously
4. Measure your achievements daily - think about the 2 Degree Improvement process here
5. Share your VISION and PASSION with others – create a support structure that will hold you accountable.
6. Get off your TAIL and get to work!! If you want it badly enough – you will find a way to get it and indirectly it will find you.

Creating BALANCE in life is what we all seek. The ability to have a strong body, a growing mind, a fulfilled heart and a tie to a greater purpose. FOCUS on making a 2 Degree change today towards these goals and you WILL be in total CONTROL of your life!!

This day is yours to do what you wish – you will NEVER have this time again. Own it, live it and make today the BEGINNING of the life you always wanted!


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Morning Motivator – How Acting Like a Friend Can Earn the Success You Seek

"A friend can tell you things you don't want to tell yourself."
- Frances Ward Weller

In business, the obstacle most persons have to overcome is one of TRUST. You may read books that tell you things such as – build rapport, find common ground, get a referral from a trusted resource, etc. I am here to tell you that those books are GARBAGE! Why? Simply… if that worked, we would all be business SUPERSTARS!

The BEST way to build a business, a personal relationship or a partnership is by sincerely acting as a FRIEND. A real INVESTMENT in the betterment of another person. The idea that you will GIVE of yourself unconditionally confident that the kindness of your EFFORT creates LOYALTY and TRUST. You have heard it before – "All thing being equal – a person will work with a friend. All things NOT being equal – they will likely still work with a friend."

Friendships are based on TRUST and the ability to speak OPENLY to one another. If you find yourself afraid to tell a client something important – ask yourself if you are friends? Is your relationship (or lack thereof) based on pure financials and management strategy? Ask any BUSINESS LEADER or TOP PRODCUING sales agent and they will say the same thing – "I work with people I CARE about… these are my FRIENDS." Are you working to make money … or make friends?

This subject is much more "touchy feely" and thus is more challenging to define. In light of this, I will share with you my PERSONAL strategy for relationship building.

1. Make the initial effort to meet someone – make them comfortable and you will gain their confidences, even if you have to get uncomfortable to do it.

2. Share a story you are excited about – share your dreams and positivity… everyone likes to be inspired.

3. Ask LOTS of questions about them – Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? (easy stuff)

4. Ask for an email address – use a non direct way of communication to allow them to come to you when comfortable

5. Offer a direct next step for ACTION – invite them to an event or schedule a visit for coffee

6. Follow up, follow up, follow up – put their contact in your BlackBerry and schedule time to touch base in the upcoming weeks. (it's your job to make sure they know you are SINCERELY invested in their success)

There is no rhyme or reason to building LASTING bonds of friendship and business. It is simply a CONSISTENT INVESTMENT into that person – no matter the amount. As I have learned, sometimes a SIMPLE text message is all that someone needs to know you care.


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Morning Motivator - Words Whisper while Actions Scream

"Its not who you are underneath, it what you do that defines you."

The HARDEST lessons in life to learn are often the most defining and memorable. Consider this - when was the last time someone said "all the right things" and then when you get to it - you do not get what you EXPECTED. What happened!?
A. The person is full of...
B. That person was unclear on what they were asking or intended.
C. You shared a different VALUE of what to expect.

This past week, I have learned the value of ACTION over DISCUSSION.

When you fail to meet expectations, it is rarely due to the QUALITY of you as a person, your character or ability. It's more a FAILURE to define what you expected or sought up front. Were you aggressive in COMMUNICATING your needs/wants or did you act PASSIVE? Was the other person DIRECT in what they were seeking from you - were YOU? Did you leave it up to CHANCE with the HOPES that it "would all work out?" I have found, more frequently than not, my personal challenges arise by not spending enough time to DEFINE expectations and relying on GOOD KARMA to guide me. What do YOU rely on? How do you ENSURE that your clients and personal contacts will most often have a clear VISION of your intentions and a SHARED purpose in your actions? Here are some steps to help manage that communication BETTER...

1. Clearly state the INTENT of your actions
2. Openly share your GOALS for the interaction
3. Review and repeat your communication
4. INVEST the ongoing time and energy to ensure success
5. EXPECT and ALLOW changes in plans - stay FLEXIBLE
6. Stay committed and honest to yourself and your vision

Keep in mind that things RARELY go accordingly to plan. It is your ACTIONS after the words that will detail your success plan. Keep your eyes and your heart on the LONG-TERM GOAL and focus on finding the best way to it - even if it means taking some uncomfortable paths to get there!!

You either let people define you - or you define yourself. That CHOICE is up to you.


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