Archive for September, 2010

One of the most notable books of the past one hundred years

Posted by frank September - 27 - 2010 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

One of the most notable books of the past one hundred years is Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” I have quoted from it on a number of occasions, loving the wisdom contained in the lines of the two main characters, Dagny Taggart and John Galt. Rand, a champion of capitalism, wrote this book in support of PURE capitalism and a self-regulating market.  I mention the book because I am a big fan of the mind-set that each of us, regardless of true ownership, is in our own business. The book reinforces that belief throughout its 1000+ pages.  Ownership is an attitude.  Ownership says ‘If the checkbook were on my desk and I had to make payroll on Friday what would I do next?”

Ownership means I approach every customer with sincere interest in his or her business and well being and know that if I provide for them I will be provided for.

It means that everything is above board, and that I have provided real solutions, and that through my actions my customer knows that I will be there for him.  Not just for the next deal but for all issues that may arise.  When customers know that you are straight and fair with them, they don’t shop as you as much and they don’t give an ear to the constant barrage or competitors vying for their business.  This is how you build loyalty even in a down economy.  Too often salespeople try to be slick and crafty rather than empathetic and useful.

This past week I had a client who was dissatisfied with the absence of a firmware fix (on a camera I sold him) that was promised by the manufacturer and long over due.

The customer owed us a lot of money and was holding out in order to apply pressure and get the firmware.  He wrote an email outlining the conditions under which he would pay. I read it and thought his conditions were weak.  It would have been easy for me to take his conditions, get paid and move on.  Instead I called him and told him his conditions had “No teeth” and asked if he wanted to redraft something.  He appreciated it so much he paid on the spot asking only that I promise to press hard to get him what he needs.  I will and I guaranty that over the next year this client will give me orders totaling 5 or 10 times what he owed on this particular deal because he is CERTAIN that I have HIS best interest at heart.

Read this quote from the main character in “Atlas Shrugged” John Galt.

Galt maintained that business people who commit fraud betray their own highest values:

“Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud – that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victim to a position higher than reality where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, their perceptiveness become the enemies you have to dread and flee.”

Remember, the world is a big mirror reflecting back to you the face you bring it every day.

When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail

Posted by frank September - 20 - 2010 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

“When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail”

This is an expression I have used often and am guilty of regularly.  As I write to you this week I hope I am not falling into that trap again.

I have been a lifelong workout enthusiast and while I have indulged in my share of unhealthy activities, exercise has been a constant for me.  I don’t want to judge or indict those who choose not to exercise but I will continue to evangelize on the subject with the hope that the circulation of “Weekly Thought” for September the 20th will inspire some to begin.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Mental Health

“You’re working out your brain at the same time you are working your heart,” says Thomas Cook, Ph.D. a clinical psychologist and memory researcher. Cardiovascular health is more important than any other factor in preserving and improving learning and memory.

People who exercised during their workday were 23 percent more productive on those days than they were when they didn’t exercise, says a study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

In one study, researchers scanned the brains of people who exercised for one hour per day, three days a week, for six months. They discovered an increase in the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. Working out literally bulked up the participants’ brains and allowed them to perform better at tasks that required concentration and recall.

“Exercise improves attention, memory, accuracy and how quickly you process information, all of which helps you make smarter decisions,” Says Charles H. Hillman, Ph. D., an associate professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois. All that extra blood bathes your brain cells in oxygen and glucose, which they need to function. The more they get the better they perform.

Remember, the world is a big mirror reflecting back to you the face you bring it every day.

Larry a good friend who is successful in business

Posted by frank September - 13 - 2010 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I have a good friend who is extremely successful in business.  He owns a big, well-respected company that employs over 200 people.  He works from 6:00 to 6:00 everyday, goes to business functions many evenings, travels for business and logs in quite a few weekend hours as well.  Beside the commitment to long hours my friend carries the business with him 24/7.  How could he not?  The lives of 200-plus people and their families depend on him.  You can imagine with that kind of work schedule the guy is under constant pressure and a bit worn out…NOT!

My friend is amazing.  All of the above is true.  He is among the hardest working people I have ever known and among the most pleasant and available too.  I have never talked with him on the phone or sat with him in person and felt even a hint of being rushed or that he was even slightly distracted.

I leave every encounter with him feeling better than I did beforehand.

I mention him because this is how I learn; I model success whenever I can.  I see the opposite of him all around me.  Nasty little balls of pressure, complaints and displeasure who don’t carry a fraction of his load yet trudge through the world as though they are Atlas; supporting it all on their very shoulders but bitching vociferously every step of the way.   I see him and I try to remember to model the behavior that best fits with who I want to be.

When we were kids role-models were often sports figures, older kids, astronauts or movie stars.  I’m no kid anymore but I’m still a work in progress and plan to work harder to continue to spend time with and model people I admire, building up my immunity against the virus of negativity and complaining that is just too easy to catch.  How about you?

Remember, the world is a big mirror reflecting back to you the face you bring it every day.