Be Like Jack LaLanne.

Be Like Jack LaLanne.

I grew up with Jack LaLanne. I used to watch him, his wife Elaine, and his dog every morning on TV. Jack taught me a lot of things about life — especially to stay positive all the time. Why be like Jack? You might know him from his juicer — but he was so much more.

Best Companies: John Neeman Tools.

In 2013, I will be highlighting many old and new companies who embrace 21st century progress and run their businesses differently from the old guard who are quickly dying off. My first is John Neeman Tools. They are a small crew of craftsmen from Latvia who use their heritage of craftsmanship handed down through many generations to design and create woodworking tools. Their process, their method and mission, keeps these traditions and crafts alive and well. In this high-tech age, their traditional craftsmanship is flourishing.

John Neeman Tools is founded by Jacob - a carpenter with love for traditional woodworking and his friend – a village bladesmith. This bond has created a premier company.

They use their hands to produce tools that will live on, to tell their story in the hands of the craftsmen after us. Each tool they make is born with energy and personality – a love and care that will be felt daily by each craftsman, a resonance from the heart of the tool.

Towering factories and belching chimneys are not their game. All of their tools are made in our small traditional workshops using equally traditional methods and techniques. Their focus is on uniqueness and quality, not quantity. They want to help people to remember how to use their hands, to relate their own human energy to their tools – to achieve the true joy of creating something from humble beginnings.

You can learn more about John Neeman Tools and their products here.

Are You Good Enough For Shark Tank?

How the TV show "Shark Tank" teaches you how to act and perform when under pressure.

A Client Made Me Feel Wonderful Today.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't draw on some of the expertise that Super-Coach Rich Gee has shared with me over the past two years. My natural inclination is to start the day with whatever is in front of me and let chaos reign. But there's this little Rich Gee voice inside my head saying, "Get organized, use your Action Plan Checklist - don't open up your email until 10 AM!" Damn him!

So instead of being scattered, I have a daily action plan that organizes my work and keep me on track. I set goals, get rid of the excuses, make things happen, and get much more accomplished than I ever expected.

If you are seriously willing to make successful changes in how you operate your business, your schedule, your goal-setting, and aspirations, then have that one conversation with Rich Gee.

It will change your life. The real question is: Are YOU ready for it?"

- Dawn Reshen-Doty, President at Benay Enterprises, Inc.

When Things Aren't Working - Do The Opposite.

There's a famous Seinfeld episode where George is at a very low point in his life. Nothing is working and he doesn't know what his next step should be.

You can watch it here:

What would happen if YOU did the opposite of what your instincts (fear) tell you? If what you've been doing has been delivering the wrong results, what would happen if you did the exact opposite? For example:

  • If you have a bad communication channel with your boss, your natural instinct is to shy away. What if you increased your communication and asked the best channel to communicate?
  • If you are reticent about attending an event, go to the event with a few friends, buy a new suit, and have new business cards printed. Engage people once you enter and act like the host.
  • Having problems with a client or colleague? Instead of letting it go and fester, make a point of engaging that person and see how you can make your relationship healthier, stronger and more resilient.

So instead of doing what you ALWAYS do, try the exact opposite. See what happens — you might surprise yourself!

Is Life Giving You Lemons?

I ran across a powerful quote the other day from Nora Roberts, the romance novelist: “If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”

Do you know about Nora Roberts? I met her MANY years ago when I was in Marketing at Waldenbooks/Reader's Market. We hosted an autographing at one of our locations and she had a new romance novel out. She was a really nice person (most authors and celebrities at the time were obnoxious). A lot of you might say with a hint of disdain in your voice, "Oh, she's a romance novelist."

Here are some sobering facts — as of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot. Over 400 million copies of her books are in print, including 12 million copies sold in 2005 alone. She's a heavy hitter.

Nora began to write during a blizzard in February, 1979 while housebound with her two small boys. With three feet of snow, a dwindling supply of chocolate, and no morning kindergarten she had little else to do. While writing down her ideas for the first time, she fell in love with the writing process, and quickly produced six manuscripts.

She submitted her manuscripts to Harlequin, the leading publisher of romance novels, but was repeatedly rejected. Roberts says, "I got the standard rejection for the first couple of tries, then my favorite rejection of all time. I received my manuscript back with a nice little note which said that my work showed promise, and the story had been very entertaining and well done. But that they already had their American writer. That would have been Janet Dailey."

In 1980, a new publisher, Silhouette books, formed to take advantage of the pool of manuscripts from the many American writers that Harlequin had snubbed. Roberts found a home at Silhouette, where her first novel, Irish Thoroughbred, was published in 1981. She used the pseudonym Nora Roberts, a shortened form of her birth name Eleanor Marie Robertson, because she assumed that all authors had pen names. Between 1982 and 1984, Roberts wrote 23 novels for Silhouette.

Roberts believes that pursuing a career as a writer requires discipline: "You're going to be unemployed if you really think you just have to sit around and wait for the muse to land on your shoulder." She concentrates on one novel at a time, writing eight hours a day, every day, even while on vacation. Rather than begin with an outline or plot summary, Roberts instead envisions a key incident, character, or setting. She then writes a short first draft with the basic elements of a story.

After finishing the first draft, Roberts goes back to the beginning of the novel. The second draft usually sees the addition of details, the "texture and color" of the work, as well as a more in-depth study of the characters. She then does a final pass to polish the novel before sending it to her agent, Amy Berkower. She often writes trilogies, finishing the three books in a row so that she can remain with the same characters.

So let's look closer at her words:

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it.

How many times have you known EXACTLY where you need to go and what you need to do? In fact, it's right in front of you. But for some reason, something or someone is holding you back. Here's a little secret, most of the time, that obstacle is usually YOU. You might think there are external forces out there — but you are putting those potholes in the road. You need to be very clear about what you want and go after it. Nora could have remained a stay-at-home Mom, but she had a dream of being a writer. And she went after it with gusto.

If you don't ask, the answer is always no.

As a coach, I run into this one ALL the time. People are afraid of asking for that raise, that promotion, that business. They either feel they're not worthy or that they're begging. If you want it — go get it. Nora was turned down a bunch of times by Harlequin, but she kept going back. She wrote whole manuscripts, submitted them, and was nicely declined. But she kept coming back.

If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

MOVE. You need to move somewhere and not stay in the same place. When we need to make a life change when life is giving us lemons (and it happens all the time), we tend to get caught up on where to go. Just take ANY step - very soon, you will be making your way forward and moving towards a new location with no lemons.

Listen to Nora, she knows where it's at.

Nora Roberts biographical information was partially gleaned from Wikipedia.

How To Win The Lottery Of Your Life.

From Jeb Corliss (professional skydiver and base jumper): Someone posted this on my page — "I think you should have a "lottery" to offer average "Joe Blows" like me, the opportunity to experience life on your scale. Especially towards the ones who appreciate life as immensely as you do."

I responded with this — That lottery exists :)

It's called hard work and sacrificing everything to live a dream. I started with nothing. I worked in a movie theater making $4 an hour. I ate ramen noodles and only spent money on jumping and nothing else. Anyone can do what I do but not by asking others to do it for you.

You have to get up off your ass and take some risks with your life. There is no safe way to do what I have done. At any turn I could have died and almost did many many times. But I kept taking the risks. I kept braking the bones. I kept watching my friends die. I never gave up and now here I am.

There is no magic leprechaun that's going to do it for you. You have to do it for your self and you have to be willing to take the risks and pay the consequences for your actions. Those consequences are pain, suffering and most likely death. So are you sure you want what I have. Because it's yours for the taking. Just grow some balls and do it.

To learn more about Jeb Corliss, check out his site, his facebook page, and his twitter page. What a guy!

How The Boomers Screwed Up OR We Can All Do Better.

I've been struggling with this generational paradox for the past 5-10 years and have asked a ton of people what they think about it. This theory comes closest to what I feel happened, is happening, and probably will happen.

Why I Attended My Coaching Session This Morning.

As I began to walk to my car to begin my workday I began to smile to myself and though okay today turned out to be a more meaningful session than anticipated.

Who Else Wants To Add Power & Purpose To Their Life?

Ever see the last scene from The Bourne Supremacy? Here it is (start the clip at 1:25 in). In addition to the great soundtrack cut from Moby, you see Bourne walking off into the crowds of Manhattan.

Do you notice HOW he walks? With PURPOSE.

He has a fast stride, is focused, and is determined to move forward, quickly.

I want you to do the same thing. I want you to walk 20% faster than you do now. Why?

  1. You get where you're going faster.
  2. You use different muscles when you walk faster.
  3. You catch people's attention when you move faster.
  4. You breathe differently and your heart pumps a bit faster.
  5. It adds focus, energy, and action to every step you take.


Focus - Since you're moving faster, you have to anticipate and react faster. So you have to hone in on what you're doing and focus.

Energy - Since you are moving your body differently and with purpose, you get the lungs, blood, and muscles all flowing.

Action - Combine both of these together and you are adding activity to a mundane process.

How many times do you catch yourself strolling or walking slowly? Ever think about how that makes you feel? That's right — it relaxes you, it slows down the energy, and allows you to focus (i.e., worry) about a lot of things.

Walking 20% faster will get you out of the doldrums, get your juices flowing, and honestly . . . ideas will pop out of your head. You WILL add power and purpose with every step.

Try it.