Jun 19 2016

“FEARLESS!” The Musical Business Lesson 3

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 Business Lesson #3 from FEARLESS! The Musical . . .

 

 “Less Than Perfect World”

Song Title From: “FEARLESS The Golden Love Musical” ©2014 Valerie Connelly and Nightengale Media, LLC.

imperfect daisy

“Less Than Perfect”?  Yes, indeed. So accept that fact, and do whatever it takes to stay focused on each present moment as you move on with your life and your business. Here are three how-to’s:

 

 1. PRACTICE MORE DEEP BREATHING. If you doubt this or aren’t sure what it means or what method works best for businesspeople, try this: Are You Breathing?Dog deep breath

 

2. RESPOND INSTEAD OF REACT. If you don’t React, you can never OVERreact. If you’re puzzled by why this matters or want more than this single truth, try this: Are You Reacting or Responding? reactions3. STOP THE NEWS. This single step may be the most important light for you in the world’s dark tunnel . . . and perhaps the single hardest task of all.

 

cartoon seagullcartoon jugglerJUGGLING SEAGULLS?

But if you sometimes start to feel like you’re trying to juggle seagulls . . .

Shut down online, print, TV and radio news for a week! (Will you try it, even for just a day or two?)

Before you click away into the distance at this suggestion, consider the advice I once had from a wise old friend that if something really major happened that was so profoundly important while I was on “news shutdown,” that I could be sure someone would call or text me, or come knocking at my door to tell me about it — and all I will have missed is some reporter’s biased, overkill analysis prompted by the quest for advertising dollars.

The bottom line is that we most assuredly live in —and this is stating it mildly of course— a “Less Than Perfect World.”

We must remember that our behavior is our choice! If we continually choose not to rise above the world’s evils and “imperfections,” and not take a break from them —to be so caught up in all the tragedy that literally fills every second of existence and be obsessed with actively seeking to grasp every nuance of detail— we are choosing failure for ourselves and often for those around us.

By choosing preoccupation with the errors of mankind, we are road- blocking our own talents and pursuits and our own abilities to make a difference!

To rise above the rubble, accept the fact that nothing is “perfect” and work harder at being here-and-now instead of then-and-there. Be “FEARLESS!”

FEARLESS Poster

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Jun 13 2016

“FEARLESS!” The Musical Business Lesson 2

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Business Lesson #2 from FEARLESS! The Musical . . .

 

“Yesterday Is Over”

     Song Title From: “FEARLESS The Golden Love Musical” ©2012 Valerie Connelly and Nightengale Media, LLC.

 

FEARLESS Poster

If you own, operate and/or manage a business

or professional practice of any kind,

consider this reminder a kick in the butt!

 

STOP talking and thinking about what’s more than a minute old. There are only two legitimate exceptions:

When your mind needs to stray for a few moments to take a pleasant relaxing reminiscent journey as a break in your stressful activities.

reminising

When you need to tap your memory banks for a quick assessment of what you once did or failed to do that will help an immediate circumstance.

memory banks

If you’re dwelling on past events, you’re wasting your time, your energy and your money . . . and probably the time, energy and money of others as well.

Anything more than a clock-tick old

is in the past!

 

When you find your mind drifting into the past for anything other than to seek a relaxing, pleasant memory or to retrieve a decision-making bit of information, pinch yourself!

losers live in the past

Zing your brain into accepting that what’s done is done. If something done calls for you to make amends, make amends. Then move on to the next minute.

Now that you’ve had your butt kicked, and you’ve pinched yourself, you have likely increased the odds of being able to focus more on the present. That’s a major step toward maximum emotional stability and good health.

The sign on my wall (since 1970!) says:

“Now is the

only time.

the past

is over;

the future

not yet here.”

 

And consider that the future, by the way, may never arrive . . . so the only healthy place for your brain and your body and your emotions —AND YOUR BUSINESS AND CAREER GROWTH— is right here, on each of these words, as you read them, here and now, in the present moment as much of the time as is possible each day because all the rest is fantasyland, and. . . because:

“Yesterday Is Over.”

 

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Jun 05 2016

“FEARLESS!” The Musical Business Lesson 1

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Business Lesson #1 from FEARLESS! The Musical . . .

 “Nothing Is Ours But Time”

Song Title From: “FEARLESS The Golden Love Musical” ©2016 Valerie Connelly and Nightengale Media, LLC.

 

FEARLESS Poster

So, how do you make the most

of what time you have left when you

don’t know how much time you have left?

 

If you’re in your twenties or thirties and have been thinking you have plenty of years ahead to spare, you may want to do some googling on the subject of reality. If you’re lucky enough to still have a living grand- parent, you may want to solicit some of her or his ideas about “time.”

 

time slips through my hands

Or—like many (perhaps most) corporate and government executives —in case you thought that your long-range business and career plans will actually work, you’re probably wrong.

And unless you’re in a “first responder,” scientific research, or space exploration position, you’re likely to discover at some point that the plans that work best are almost always those that are informal, immediate, initiated with reasonable spontaneity and constantly adjusted “on the fly.”

Why?

Because “Nothing Is Ours But Time,” . . . and GOOD LUCK! with trying to hold back time or make that clock stop.

man climbing clockWhen you trust yourself to be fearless, to act (instead of pretend, instead of talk, instead of endlessly analyzing the data), you make the most of the time you’ve been gifted with.

Even when it turns out to be wrong, some action is always better than no action. Taking steps forward increases your odds for success.

take action nowTaking action also increases your odds for success of one thing you care most about: to make a difference with your life!

 

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May 26 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

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“Thank you for your

                                    

     service to our country.”

 

"BREEZY" The First State's Cutest Patriot on Memorial Day 2011

Like clicking on a seat belt, make it second nature to reach out to anyone you meet or see who is or has been in America’s military. Look for her or his hat, shirt, jacket, patch, car sticker, license plate. whatever quiet statement you see.

Then reach out to shake that person’s hand and simply say: “Thank you for your service to our country.” You won’t need to ask about it or explain yourself. You can be sure of a sincere, bright response.

If you’ve ever lived in or traveled to a dictatorship or third world nation, you positively know why you should be grateful.

“Thank you for

                         

your service

                                    

       to our country.”

This Holiday Weekend, let us each take a moment of silence out of our own lives and be thankful that we are even able to do that. Let us be thankful for the freedom we have—to walk down the street, to celebrate the holidays as we choose, and to express our opinions publicly without fear of reprisal . . . as long as we fight violence in our streets with calm, and terrorism when it emerges with every ounce of energy and dedication that our brave military thrives on.

. . .  to travel freely between States without fear or intimidation or threats of being attacked or murdered, to pursue our careers and religious feelings and family lives in the ways that we choose, and to be able to choose in the first place

. . .  to be able to vote and elect our representatives in government, to have so many dedicated young men and women serving so selflessly in our military, to have a flag and a nation we can be proud of.

“Thank you for

                        

your service

                                    

       to our country.”

There are so many more freedoms that we forget about most of the time, that even on special holidays when we should most value and appreciate them, let us not hide behind family and friend gatherings, gifts feelings of stress.

Yet these, the very things in life that count the most, come from the courageous veterans of our military who have given their very lives, their body parts, their hearts and souls for us that we might enjoy our precious rights and freedoms.

“Thank you for

                     

your service

                                    

       to our country.”

Next time –anytime you meet or see someone who is or has been in America’s military.  Reach out to shake that person’s hand and simply say, “Thank you for your service to our country.”

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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”

                                                                          [Thomas Jefferson]

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May 11 2016

Business Decision Time

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Business Decision Time:

 

decision time

COMPRESSION or EXPANSION?

 

Sometimes it’s a clear-cut conscious decision. Other times, it’s like deciding to eat more or eat less depending on your mood, the notches on your belt and what’s put on the table in front of you.

But the bottom line is that –in business–  while many factors and variables need to be weighed, too much time is often wasted deliberating, which serves to host that dreaded government disease: “Analysis Paralysis” . . . where nothing ever gets done, or even decided.

When you look carefully at the downside possibilities of either a business expansion or compression option (vs. potential rewards) –and determine that the risk involved is reasonable— AND when you see a clear path for taking a first step: take the damn first step!

If it doesn’t seem to be working as you imagined, make adjustments — to the path and/or your imagination.

Change The Towel!

towel

Are you convinced the direction is right? Whether you answer yes or no (unless you see insurmountable financial or legal odds stacking up), don’t be so quick to throw in the towel when something goes awry. Instead, change the towel!

What do you learn from listening (which needs to be 80% of the time) to what your existing and prospective customers say about the towel? What’s their take on the changes you make in product or service or facility or staff or pricing or value?

Take away what you hear and learn and adjust the size, and/or the shape, and/or the color, and/or the consistency . . . then take a second step.

“Nobody counts

the number of ads you run;

they just remember

the impression you make.”

— William Bernbach, All-Time Madison Avenue Ad Agency Guru

[With special thanks for the reminder and source to @DigitalShawn on Twitter]

 

And get yourself in stride for what may turn out to be an endless road of adjustments. While government decision-makers (and competitors of the same mindset) assess and evaluate and review and consensus- seek and never move forward, you can be light-years ahead.

Go for it! It’s all a matter of choice. And the choice to stand still, or to shrink or expand your business is always yours! Don’t belabor it. Be FEARLESS! Trust yourself.

self-trust

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Apr 25 2016

“So…” answered the Millennial

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Why Millennials and salespeople 

 

need to NOT  start every response 

 

with “So…” and then– to top it off

 

— fail to answer what’s asked. If

 

you’re in the job market, or a sales

 

presentation, it would be like not

 

 taking a shower for a few weeks!

PIG PEN

Q. Who is your very best friend?

A.  So… Jeremy and Charlie and Kim and Sheila are the people I see most often.

———————

Q. What was your Mother’s most important advice?

A.  So… my Mother always made me eat all my cereal.

———————

Q. When did you leave the house today?

A.  So… I never actually went home last night, y’know.

———————

Q. Where do you work?

A.  So… my company is in the city and yesterday I had to drive in.

———————

Q. Why did you do that?

A. So I think there are lots of ways people can respond.

———————

Q. How much money is in your pocket?

A.  So… my wallet is in the car.

Go ahead and ask a reasonable fact-fetching question of one of the 80 million people born between 1977 and 2000.  The odds are good that –no matter how specific your inquiry may be– the answer these days often starts out with “So…” and then proceeds to not give a direct answer.

So WhatDo these “So…” first-responders imply disinterest? Evasiveness? Insecurity? Incompetence? Un-socialability? Dumbness? Distrust? Early dementia? Lack of self-esteem? Poor listening skills? Disinterest? Societal disconnect? Snobbishness? Perhaps some. Perhaps all.

First of all, according to Jane Solomon’s post on DICTIONARY.com, “So” can be used as an adverb, a conjunction, a pronoun, an interjection, or an adjective. And the “spread” of it into popular use today as a sentence opener, especially among young people, is “probably due to the tech boom” and specifically, “programmers,” according to NPR’s Geoff Nunberg. The GRAMMARLY Blog suggests Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is partly to blame for “notoriously using So…’ to start sentences.”

It’s been suggested that “So…” is the new “Um…” or “Uh…” or “Er…” nervous hesitancy used to fill the verbal air while momentarily thinking about what to say prior to responding, but I am doubtful. “Um” and “Uh” and “Er” are simply sounds.

“So” is an actual word. It is a connecting word. It is not a question/ answer connecting word. It is a cause-and-effect connecting word, and is used to connect a thought, word, or action with a consequence.

little girl hand to headA BBC host says that at the beginning of a (non-consequential) sentence, using the word “So” is an attempt “to try to sound important” and “intellectual.” A popular psychologist calls it a “weasel word” used to “avoid giving a straight answer.” Not a good practice for any business, and especially for small business, which is much more vulnerable to “beating around the bush” than corporate types who often seem to thrive on being indirect.

 

FAST COMPANY says “So…” at the beginning of an answer “Insults your audience… Undermines your credibility… and Demonstrates discomfort with the subject matter.”

 

Mark Mason in The SPECTATOR, says it’s due to “accommodation” because we try to be part of groups and often simply do and say things that others in the group do and say. It, he says, “spreads like the flu.” He cleverly ends his (“It’s SO Annoying”) post  on the subject with:

“As ye so, so shall ye reap”

 

So it’s contagious! Some top TV news analysts have begun integrating the (shall we call it) evasiveness into their summary statements. And it’s inching it’s way into the 40+ crowd. Personally, I have no problem with starting a sentence with “So…” unless it’s the beginning of a sentence that is answering a direct question.

Bad Interview

Bottom Line: If someone in a job interview or “sale size-up” meeting says, “So, tell me about your (or the product/service) background, you might consider it an endearing attempt to help you feel comfortable, but if you respond (or answer ANY direct question) by starting with “So…” your job (or sale) prospects may very well be doomed. It can easily be received in the same fashion as you folding your arms and staring at the door! Not giving a straight, direct answer can be taken as a mixed message.

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Apr 14 2016

Small Business Breakthrough

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Don’t trip over your own face!

Finish Line Runner

7 Thoughts to Stimulate Your

Small Business Breakthrough Now

 

Sometimes in our hurry to the finish line, we become obsessively focused on our destination and crumble into a helpless heap that competitors simply hop or step over as they race past. How can we best avoid this common catastrophe? Here’s some of what I’ve learned:

1. Even if you’re on the one-yard line, STOP seeing yourself dancing around the goalpost. Pay attention instead to your feet. Zone your brain into the immediate breath you are taking, right now, right this very moment of high expectation. Expectations, let us remember, breed disappointment. SOLUTION: Paying attention to your inhale and exhale forces you to concentrate on and make the most of every passing moment AS IT HAPPENS!

2. When your mind is in the “here and now,” there’s no room for dwelling on past attempts that failed or for worrying about future events.There is only the present moment. And that present moment is where you excel! Isn’t it? Of course it is. Think about it.

 BREATHE DEEP T-SHIRT

 

3. Excuses don’t cut it! Trying to explain your way out of failure that occurred because you lost contact with your present-moment breathing? That simply wastes more present precious-life moments.

4. It doesn’t hurt to constructively review and assess how you went wrong, but it hurts deeply when you choose to let your mind wander off into a place of dwelling on what happened and what you should have done. SOLUTION: Instead, take some deep breaths. Reconnect with the here and now . . . what you are actually doing. And move forward.

5. The pervasive problem with academia thought patterns that all of us are taught from grade school through PhD studies is the enormous resistance to truth and reality — the pursuit of what I’ve often called “analysis paralysis” that so embodies and emboldens the ranting and raving of so many unrealistic faculty ranks that blanket our campuses, and unfortunately tend even to infiltrate elementary school innocence.

Analysis Paralysis

6. More time and energy is wasted trying to figure out approaches to problem situations (based on history, available data, Past performances, new analytics, etc.) instead of simply approaching problem situations, recognizing them as opportunities, taking action, and making adjustments. What difference does it make “who did what when” if you’re confronted with the need to survive. Many don’t realize it and many dismiss the reality, but my educated best guess is that most small business enterprises are in a constant state of needing to survive. SOLUTION: Even if you’re not one, think like an entrepreneur!

7. The face of your business is what the world sees. It’s what you show others all day every day. How can you expect to be in touch with the impressions you make on others when you are consumed with what you did or didn’t do yesterday or immobilized by worrying over what tomorrow will bring? SOLUTION: Look in the mirror and talk to yourself more. Remind yourself of the real you — what’s in your gut. Then work harder, not smarter!

 racing the clock

Concentrate on what you are doing each moment as much as you possibly can, and work at returning your mind there as often as you can. Deep breathing helps. Being committed to exhilarating customers instead of just “satisfying” them helps. When you pay attention to where your feet are and not the finish line, you’ll achieve more, more often, and avoid tripping over your own face.

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Apr 03 2016

In a rut? Here’s a shovel!

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Be FEARLESS!

 

Live, Love, Make it Easy.

 [The Underpinning Theme of FEARLESS! The Golden Love Musical]

 

Put “Entrepreneur” in this site’s Search window and scroll. You’ll get hundreds of definitive traits and characteristics. Values. Instincts. Behaviors. Ingredients. Challenges. Strategies. Personal/professional and entrepreneurial family issues.

The consistent message in these posts has been that no matter who you are, no matter who you think you are, no matter whether you own and/or operate a small business, or are a corporate muckity-muck or government doo-dah . . . no matter that you’re out-of-work, or in professional practice, a family business, or entrenched in –or on the cusp of– retirement . . . or whether you’re a student, teacher, Walmart Welcomer, laborer, or a stay-at-home Mom or Dad . . . makes no difference. None.

Being FEARLESS is what makes a difference!

lightning

Sound too easy? You are of course free to read more here or click on the little “x” and go somewhere less threatening.

You ALWAYS have a choice.

You can choose to think like an entrepreneur even if you’re not one. Why would you want to do that? Because entrepreneurial thinking is one way of putting you in closer touch with the real you — the you that wants to reach out more to help others, the you that’s not afraid to take reasonable risks, the you that craves being able to see problem solutions all the way through to the end . . . the difference between creativity, and innovation.

ANYone can have creative ideas. Making creative ideas work by taking them all the way to completion, is innovation. Innovation breeds entrepreneurial thinking. And there at least 5 ways to breed innovation!

 

Still with me?

 

Do you really WANT to be in touch with the real you? Of course you do. It’s what you’re here on Earth for, isn’t it? It’s the path to making a difference with your life. So, HOW  do you “go for it”? (What’s the process? What are the steps?)

Here’s HOW: You make the conscious choice to let go of what’s holding you back. You make the conscious choice to move forward with fueling the fire inside you that’s never been more than glowing embers. You start by taking a reasonable risk or two or three or more that will open that door and lead you through it!

Why?

Because the biggest failure you could ever be in life is to look back at what you wanted most to do but that you never took serious steps to make it happen.

Notice the intentional absence of the word “TRY.” To try is not to do. To try is to offer an excuse for not making something you believe in, actually happen.

You will never feel fulfilled if you don’t live your life as fully as you know deep down that you are capable of, with love and devotion to making the choices you need to make, to make it easy. “To thine own self be true” said Shakespeare’s Polonius in Hamlet. Channeling energy is a choice.

Try asking yourself this in the mirror:

cartoon woman in mirrorAre you choosing to brighten up and dig yourself out of your rut (I gave you a shovel!) and move in the directions you want most to go, OR are you simply bitching and whining and accepting your circumstances?

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Mar 22 2016

PEOPLEPRENEURS

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Peoplepreneurs

 

Regardless of your career, your career interests, your day-to-day pursuits, your life circumstances . . . regardless of how rich or poor you are, how much or little you are loved, or love, how educated or intuitive or salesy you are . . . regardless of whether you are a small business owner or manager or a government or corporate muckity-muck, and whether you’re a doctor, nurse, lawyer, accountant, grave-digger, tire-changer, astronaut, roofer, artist, teacher, or hamburger flipper:

You need to think like an entrepreneur.

 

CREATIVITY

You don’t need to BE an entrepreneur. In fact, most who think they are, probably are not.

Thinking like an entrepreneur translates to taking more reasonable risks.

It means recognizing the expertise you lack, accepting that, and then surrounding yourself with those who can bring those missing links to the table.

It means staying focused on making your ideas work, not on making money. As you get closer to making your ideas work, the money will simply come to you; it will appear seemingly out of nowhere. If you pursue money, your ideas will fail. This conclusion comes from a gazillion tons of experience. Need examples? Try me. Call the number below. No strings attached. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned the hard way.

cash in hand

Thinking like an entrepreneur is taking steps on your own behalf instead of waiting for opportunities to come to you.

Thinking like an entrepreneur requires endless testing of your ideas.

It holds out the expectation that you will fall all over yourself to delight (not just service) your every customer, and that you will constantly solicit the customer feedback you need to adjust, adapt, and adjust        again.

Does it matter if your “customer” is a patient or patient family, a client, someone paying you for a service or   a product, rich or poor, with three eyes or one, old or young? Of course not.

ignite passion

Entrepreneurs, true entrepreneurs, are passionate about everything they do, every day of the week. But they  are also realistic enough to recognize when their passion outstrips the ability to make their ideas work, they will not go down with the ship!

Is this walking a thin line? Not if it’s a reasonable and realistic line to start with (in other words, you’re not  “betting the farm” to get where you want to go). When something doesn’t work, you take away what you learned and start out in a new direction making the most of that experience.

Does that remind you of life? Well, how about that? So, how far away from thinking like an entrepreneur has your brain strayed?

Is it time to be a peoplepreneur?

 

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Mar 14 2016

DEAR BOSS

Published by

DEAR BOSS:

 

What can the matter be?

 

oh-dear-what-can-the-matter-be-

Gallup Research says odds are that your

employees may be costing you a

lot more than you think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

How so?

 

Fewer than a third of employees , says Gallup, are “Actively Engaged” with their work! (Does that furrow your brow?)

And more than half are “Disengaged” from their work! One out of five is, in fact, Actively Disengaged! (Does that make you snort?)

If you think it’s not true, maybe it’s because some of your people are just good actors! (Does that make you applaud as the cash falls from your pockets?)

upsidedown coin shake

But guess what? YOU are the boss. YOU are responsible. You can delegate authority, but you canNOT delegate responsibility.

Bosses who try to “pass the buck” inevitably fail. Bosses, however, who accept full responsibility and who lead by leading instead of by telling, who make genuine ongoing efforts to create a bond with their employees are the ones who help ensure and foster active employee commitment and –in the process– help ensure and foster black ink on their organizations bottom line!

So where do you start?

 

CHOICE

 

You start with the decision to start. This is a typically easy and quick step. You either want to be a better leader or you don’t.

Assuming your screen-tapping fingers are still capable of the task, START with a WRITTEN-ON-PAPER-WITH-A-PEN goal of where you’d like to end up, and if your goal statement is ever to work, it MUST be:

Specific       Realistic      Flexible     Due-Dated

 

If you stick to working through this in any meaningful way and steer clear of attempting shortcuts, this is a typically hard and slow process. But don’t be discouraged, the harder you work at this, the better your odds for success.

Next, review your goal statement at least daily. Sometimes hourly is necessary. Change it as you open new doors, uncover new problems, discover new directions, meet new people, discover new techniques. Remember, a key criteria is flexibility . . . a sudden storm can quickly disrupt a leisurely canoe trip and force a change in direction. Unexpected removal of a roadblock can shorten and speed up a long drive. When you get this far, check out: HOW to make your goals work.

 

BUT

 

Believe it or not, don’t share your goals with anyone else who doesn’t also have written goals, or who isn’t working with you on a shared goal. Why? Many people are either consciously or unconsciously invested in seeing others around them who strive to succeed, become failures. Doubt this at your own peril.

dog eats homework

Assuming you’ve kept your homework out of the dog’s mouth and actually done what you’ve accepted as necessary, and are getting into the swing of real handwritten-on-paper goals that are flexible, realistic, specific and due-dated, and that you are constantly upgrading them, and carrying them with you all the time and reviewing them as often as you check your wristwatch or smartphone messages, you need to start teaching your people to do the same thing for themselves.

Start them out with a deeeeep breath!

THAT process is a good beginning. But it can only start if YOU start!

 

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——————-

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Go for your goals, thanks for your visit, God Bless You!

OPEN  MINDS  OPEN  DOORS

Make Today A Great Day For Someone!

 

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