Need Some Inspiration in This Time of Challenge?

The world is in turmoil. The news media is full of over-blown hype about it. Perhaps you need some inspiration.

A few suggestions:

  • Turn off the TV
  • Put down the newspaper
  • Read, or re-read, my recent posts on The Unity Community. The open rates for these messages currently stand at 18-21%. This tells me there are many of you who have yet to benefit from them. I refer to:
  • Listen to Eric Lofholm’s live (7:45 AM PT every business day) or recorded 15-minute motivational calls. The recordings and the instructions to join the live call are here. Eric is always upbeat and shares valuable business and sales tips, as well as pure inspiration.
  • (For those with children under 20: Eric has just announced he is doing a special daily training for kids. Most schools don’t teach kids mindset, goal setting, effective communication, etc. Eric is filling that space at a time when kids need it most. I just watched today’s episode and recommend it.)

Mindset is vital. It always works best to approach any situation, however dire it appears, with a positive attitude. There’s a positive side to every situation. Focusing on the negatives will only depress you.  It will do absolutely nothing to improve the situation, or your own performance.

You must be positive to perform at your best. 

You can be positive only by eliminating the negative. 

It’s impossible for the brain to recognize positive and negative simultaneously. Focus on the positive.

Fear and faith cannot co-exist (Napoleon Hill). Have faith that you will do what is necessary. Then do it!

Be aware of facts. Intentionally avoid the hype.

When you can do something to help, do it. When the situation is out of your control, worry won’t help. Move on to whatever good you find. Can’t find it? Look harder – it’s there.

In this time, we can appreciate these observations:

  • Some down time is a good thing.
  • Quiet time with family is good.
  • More relaxed interaction with friends is beneficial.
  • More time to think about and plan for our business and life will have long-term benefit.
  • It’s pretty easy to reduce expenses when we’re not moving around much, restaurants are closed, etc.
  • We may learn more effective or efficient ways of working while our mobility is limited. Example: We have essentially 0 commute time and expense.
  • Think of other benefits!

Stay positive! Better times are coming.

What Will Help You Most to Navigate Hard Times?

This month seems to be developing into a time of philosophical exploration. Last week we discussed Wayne Dyer’s wise life improvement suggestions. This week, I go  back a little further in history (about 700 years!) for for some Persian wisdom on life.

Yalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, better known simply as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet, faqih, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic.

Nikos, who has commented on several of my articles, recently sent me 75 Rumi quotes. Most of them are worthy of thoughtful note. In the list, every 10th one is highlighted. There are many nuggets of wisdom in the entire list. For different people, different ones will have the biggest impact. I won’t try to select for you.

All of this advice, no matter the source, essentially comes down to positive mindset. Travel restrictions, wild stock market fluctuations, etc., can lead one to think negatively. We have no control over those things. One thing we can always control is our mindset. Keeping a positive mindset helps us through the toughest of times. In a positive mindset we are much more effective at addressing what we can control.

Napoleon Hill famously said, “Fear and faith can’t co-exist.” Have faith that you can produce the results you want, and set fear aside.

Be positive and grateful.

Gratitude and Forgiveness are Everything

Dr. Wayne Dyer had one of the most balanced outlooks on life that I’ve ever found. I think he gave me the fundamentals that allow me to make the progress I’m making now.


For many years, while he was still alive, I listened to powerful ideas from Wayne. Though they were usually on cassette tapes, or later on CD’s, they always seemed to be alive. This man was larger than life! Here’s a great quick summary (just over 11 minutes) of some of his most powerful ideas. I just ran across this while viewing other things on YouTube.


Take these five principles to heart and live them. Your life will improve. If you’ve learned them before, this is an excellent refresher…From a man who knew them better than most. The 5 principles are:

  1. When life seems to be dealing you a bad hand, look inside. Each of us is responsible for our own life.
  2. There are no justified resentments.
  3. You become what you think about.
  4. Keep your mind open to everything, and attached to nothing.
  5. Don’t die with your music still in you. March to the drummer you hear.

Wayne died a little over 4 years ago. As he said in the presentation, his music was playing as he spoke. At that time I listened to a heartfelt eulogy by Reid Tracy, a long-time Dyer friend. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I just listened to it again. Once again I was overwhelmed. Powerful! 

The eulogy is 2-1/2 hours long. If you didn’t know him, you’ll likely find less impact in it than I did.   

There’s a 15-minute embedded clip (15:05-29:37) in the eulogy. In that clip Wayne tells the story of his life transformation:

He found his father’s grave 10 years after his father died. He hadn’t known of his father’s death before then. His father had abandoned the family when Wayne was too young to remember him. He’d become a drifter, a drunk, a waster. Wayne says, “I went there to piss [sic.] on his grave”. After he’d vented his anger for a couple of hours, he was getting in his car to leave. A voice called him to make peace with his father. He went back and, on the spot, forgave his father for everything. From then on he sent his father only love. 

A direct result: He also found a new direction in his own life and cleaned it up! He wrote and published a book in a year and a half.

The power of gratitude and forgiveness cannot be overstated! Here‘s something I wrote nearly 4 years ago (I found it wasn’t posted on my website, so I just posted it. Hence, the date stamp is from this week.) The style of the piece is not what I’d have written today, but I think the message is clear.

In my brief message here, I’ve referenced a lot of material. I hope you perceive sufficient value to check some of it out! 

At least the two videos of Dyer, linked in the second and seventh(15:05-29:37) paragraphs.

Is the healing power of gratitude and forgiveness new to you? If so, I promise this will be huge for you!

Gratitude can Heal all Wounds! (From 2 May 2016)

In this issue I introduce you to my friend and fellow coach Star Dargin, of Star Leadership, who talks about the importance of gratitude in this message. She finds, in the seemingly unpleasant experience of suffering a broken ankle, many aspects of the experience to appreciate. As she ably points out, expressing gratitude can transform your life into a more enjoyable, more productive, more balanced, way forward.


So what are you grateful for today? What can you discover, in an apparently obnoxious event, for which to thank whatever gods may be? If you become a more grateful person, you’ll find your performance flourishing, and you’ll enjoy life more to boot.


As regular readers know, I always invite your comments via telephone (schedule a call at https://unitycopywriting.com/lets-talk) or email (john@unitycopywriting.com) on any of my work.. Care to talk about something you’ve found to be grateful for in an experience that seems on its face to be disastrous?

Music Often Reflects Business

Like much entertainment, music often reflects the realities of life and business. 


This week, we check in with Mark Oldman, entrepreneur, Inc. contributor, and author. He finds many parallels between the lyrics of Neil Peart’s Rush band and the company he co-founded, Vault.com.


As many of you know, Peart died last month. Oldman has been a loyal follower of Neil Peart and Rush for many years. His recent article is a tribute to the ideas reflected in Rush’s songs. It also catalogs many of the lessons he’s learned in business. You’ll find parallels to Ami Kassar’s experience, which we discussed here.


What makes a song popular? It’s usually its reflection of realities in life and/or business.


The lessons Mark relates to Rush’s lyrics are:

1. “Resist safety”.

2. Pursue your passion.

3. Choose complementary co-founders.

4. Progress is incremental.

5. Say no.

6. Prepare to pivot.

7. Assume control.

Oldman selects a passage from one of Rush’s songs to illustrate each principle. Common themes for them are:

  • Control your destiny.
  • Find what excites you – and focus on it.
  • Pay attention to what the market is telling you, and be prepared to react. The best reaction may be saying no to an apparent opportunity (shiny object).

Enjoy Mark’s comparisons between Neil Peart’s music and the realities of business.

Thinking of Starting a Company?

What makes an entrepreneur successful?


Of course that question could have about a million answers! 


One might also ask, “What makes an entrepreneur fail?” Again, many possible answers.


Ami Kassar started his company, MultiFunding, 10 years ago. He’s endured and persevered through the usual ups and downs in a start-up company. Here he describes ten of what he considers the most important lessons he’s learned. In his bio, it’s mentioned that he’s written a book. Strangely, the title of the book is omitted from the bio. It’s The Growth Dilemma. Of course, it’s available on Amazon.


Many of these lessons we’ve discussed here over the years. I’ll comment on a few of them.

6. Live your values — and build a team that shares them.
7. Love what you do — or it’s not worth it.

For me, these two concepts are centrally important for business…and for life in general.If you’re doing something that misaligns with who you are and your core beliefs, you’re being inauthentic. Being inauthentic is always a recipe for trouble.Of course there will be chores you find unpleasant. Sometimes you can delegate those chores to someone who enjoys doing them, and does them well. Often you just have to bite the bullet and do a job you don’t enjoy. As the leader, you often have to say, “The buck stops here”.Find satisfaction and joy in the result you’re producing. That’s the key concept here. Usually that means, among other things, that you’re bringing someone great value.


1. Join a peer group.
8. Keep mentors close.


These two together remind us that asking for and accepting help and advice is important. Trying to do any new thing without that is far more difficult than it needs to be. And…as has often been said, it’s “lonely at the top”. A supportive person to talk with can be just what you need when the going gets tough.Everyone needs a coach! Scroll down to the middle of that page to skip all the extra stuff I was then including!


2. Don’t be a jerk.
10. Transparency wins the day.


Treating people the way you want to be treated is important. This includes customers, employees, suppliers, and others. And remember to think about how they want to be treated. In some cases it may be different from how you want to be treated.


9. Celebrate victories along the way.


In any endeavor, it’s valuable to congratulate yourself on your wins. Learn from your losses but don’t dwell on them.


Kassar fleshes out these ideas, and a few others, from his own personal journey. Enjoy!

Do You Give Your Employees a Holiday Turkey?

We all know gratitude is an important tool in a leader’s toolbox. While it’s important to keep that in mind all the time, the coming holiday season is an ideal time to say “Thank you!”.


In this articleInc. magazine contributor Scott Mautz suggests 8 unique ways to show your gratitude to your employees.


Scott’s suggestions will make memorable occasions for your employees and their families. Including families is important. The work your employees do can be fully effective only if it’s compatible with their family life. In a sense, when you hire someone to do a job, you’re really hiring the whole family. Recognizing their importance in the employee’s life is very effective in inspiring good performance. 


Let the family see that their star (your employee) is doing important work, and that you appreciate that. Then the family will be much more inclined to support what the employee does for you. When you ask for extra effort, your guy or gal will be more effective if they have their family’s support.


Let your workers and their families see the impact of their performance on you…and on your family. Scott’s first suggestion is especially unique and effective in doing that. 


All of these suggestions help your people see that they’re making a real contribution…to something larger than themselves. Job satisfaction surveys remind us how much this means to one’s sense of reward for the work they do.


Of course these suggestions can apply to birthdays and other special occasions as well. They might be even more effective if they’re done for no apparent reason – just to say “I appreciate you!”.


Enjoy Scott’s unique suggestions for ways to reward your employees. 

Feeling a Little Down? Try This!

Are you having a day when things just seem to go badly? How can you make it better?


Or maybe things aren’t really going badly, but you can’t find any enthusiasm. Blah!


Mary Lynn Ziemer has some simple advice for those days: Smile!


Have trouble forming a smile in the face of the trials and difficulties of the day? A great suggestion is to disengage for a few minutes and take a walk. Notice a flower, a nicely shaped shade tree, a clean counter, a picture of a loved one – anything that gives you pleasure. Think of people who make you happy. Think of events and objects that make you happy.


Science tells us the physical act of smiling elevates our mood. Even if you have to force you lips into the form of a smile with your fingers, it helps you feel better. In her article Mary Lynn reports on research subjects who held a pencil between their teeth to form a smile. That works too! They feel better.


Another way to cause a smile is to think of something someone did that you appreciate. Send them a quick message, or just feel the gratitude. We’re all connected! Your feeling gratitude for someone has a positive effect on them, even if you don’t send them anything.


Check out Mary Lynn’s article and, if you’re so inclined, browse her other writing. She has many positive messages. Reading a few of those can really elevate your mood and bring a smile to your face.

How Does Your Team Leader (Is it You?) Show Up?

Here’s a scenario for you: 


You’re responsible for accomplishing a task or project. Or perhaps for the performance of a continuing function in your company.


You’ve gathered a group of people with the right abilities to accomplish the work.


What’s the most important factor in the performance of such a team?


Of course their abilities are critical. Since you’ve assembled a team appropriate to the job at hand, we’ll take those as a given.


The words you say and the things you do are important. What matters most though is how the team members feel as a result of what you say and do.


Here’s Karyn Danielle discussing your ideal approach and how it affects:

  • Team members’ attitudes.
  • Their readiness to perform, and give it their all.

Like many parts of leadership, this requires feel and delicacy. Karyn offers several suggestions for how to help them feel connected to something that matters. Something larger than each of them as an individual.


In the less-than-4-minute video in her article, she brings this picture into focus. It’s worth a few minutes of your attention.


Enjoy the article. I hope you find it valuable.