Blog Post #476 YOU

Coaching for Life Success:  YOU

For the past two months, I have written daily blogs for life success.  

In one of the first entries, I had this:

Over 20 million of US students are in college according to the National Center for Educational Statistics ( )  millions more are in colleges around the world. They all have aspirations, dreams, and goals; they all want fantastic careers and good earnings.  Where do you sit? Unfortunately, as of 20189, there were over 150,000,000 (150 million) college students in the World. Yes, I know that many of you are not college students – but reading between the lines, there are a LOT of people in the world – and many can do what you can do – at a cheaper wage!!!

But the focus on these blogs has been YOU!!  You get to choose your attitude. You can say to yourself “I CAN DO THIS”.  You can put images of your success in your brain, you can speak words of encouragement to yourself, you can set very precise goals for yourself that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to you and timely.  

We looked at Jim Collins book “Good to Great” – that Good just isn’t good enough; we wrote about Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” where you need to be different, unique and special.  We saw the importance of networking and mentors. We thought outside-the-box and approached critical thinking and problem-solving.

The reality is that YOU can compete against the millions of college students, YOU can compete against those that can do the same job cheaper by having ‘value-added’ skills.  It is YOU – you determine WHO you are and WHY you function. What is deep within you? How can YOU be the best in your field?

While I will bring additional blogs on these topics back over time, I am going to move on to disruptive and innovative technologies that I find interesting.

Are there topics you would like to see?  Let me know!!!


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Blog 475 Bloom where you are planted

Coaching for Life Success:  Bloom where you are planted

In the past two months, my daily blogs have been about attitude, goals, achievement, BHAG, being great, unique, and more.  I have used (recently at least) the quote: “You can’t discover new lands until you lose sight of the shore”. BUT – there are times when you just can’t go off discovering.

We all know people that ‘cannot break away’ and go sailing the world.  We all know of people with mortgages, car payments, children with braces, elderly parents, tough jobs, not enough income to just get up and try something new.  

The same concepts still apply – but you need to adopt a “bloom where you are planted” mindset.  You can’t just up and leave a touch situation. Life isn’t always fair. So, make the most of where you are.  If you are working, adjust your attitude to LOVE your job (even if you think you can do something else for more money and more satisfaction).  If you are a janitor, be the BEST janitor possible. If you are a fast food worker, be the BEST fast food worker possible. If you are a mother, stuck at home with small children, but the BEST mother possible.  If you are stuck in a dead-end job, be the BEST possible person at that job. Don’t complain, don’t grumble – adjust your attitude.

There is an HGTV show – “Love it or leave it” where the family can have their home remodeled – and at the end, they get to pick that remodeled home (love it), or take a home handpicked with their wants and needs (leave it).  BUT – (again) – there are times when you just can’t pick up and leave.

There is a Bible verse “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18); another verse (Philippians 4:8) says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

My link today is to a book called “The Happiness Project”.  While slightly different from the “Bloom where you are Planted concept” – you can be happy anyplace at any time!!!  

My prediction is if you do really bloom where you are planted and make yourself happy, you can find and fulfill your goals – eventually.

So, do you grumble about how things are?  Change your mind and be happy where you are!!  Bloom where you are planted!!! (and taking the flower analogy) – be the BEST flower ever!!!

What do you think?


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Blog 474 Stepping over the edge

Coaching for Life Success:  Stepping over the edge

I LOVE adages.  Things like ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’; ‘if you want to find new lands, you have to lose sight of the shore’; ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’; “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.’  

I like heroic and romantic concepts.  I like the words enthusiasm, passion, elan (an unused word defined as: ‘energy, style, and enthusiasm’); greatness, ‘big hairy audacious goals’ (BHAG),  I want (on my deathbed in 30 years) to be able to say “I have no regrets”.

Maybe I read too many books about such stories – from the overwhelmed good guys overcoming the evil bad guys (like Star Wars); maybe I have listened to Zig Ziglar or Tony Robbins too much.  

I am now at an age (71) where others want to go fishing and play golf and relax.  I somehow find myself flooded with thoughts of ‘elan’ adventures (within reason – I am not going to climb Mt. Everest).   Can I step over the edge?

I am reflecting on how can I ‘step over the edge’?  What will excite me, and yet is achievable? Should I start a new business?  Harland Sanders started KFC at age 65; Grandma Moses started painting at 76; Tony Randall started a family later in life; Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote Little House stories; Gladys Burrill completed a marathon at age 92.  

Another concept is should I “burn-out” or “rust-out”.  Burn-out comes from too much work (in my humble brain that is good)!!  Rust-out comes from sitting around, waiting to die (no, no no!!!)

It doesn’t necessarily have to be earth-shaking – getting involved in senior ‘meals on wheels’; or volunteering in hospitals (as my parents did), or being a mentor or big brother/big sister to a kid who needs a parent figure in their life.  (My current student is in 6th grade and lives with his grandmother, mom and dad seem to be out of the picture). I just started with a reading program where I’ll be reading to two first grades for the next year. The literature suggests that kids that can’t read by third grade are destined for a life of trouble – gangs, poor jobs, poverty, crime.  

I am resolving not to rust-out – but to keep busy and keep making a difference in others!!!

How about you?


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Blog #473 MVV (Values)

Coaching for Life Success – Values

I was a Baldrige National Quality Award Commissioner for a year.  One of the criteria for the Baldrige Award was the entities MVV – Mission, Vision, and Values.  In some respects that is like the company/organization WHY statements. WHY is this company in business?  (And, an answer like “to make money” really isn’t deep enough.) Does this company have a mission (and a mission statement); does this company have vision on where they are going; and does this company have values?  Today I want to look at values – but on an individual level (that it – YOU!!)

What are YOUR values?  

Yes, what are your values? Do your values even come into play in your job and your life?  On Sundays (or day that you might worship) do you profess one set of values and on Monday (back at work) do you demonstrate by your life different values?  

A common religious value is called the ‘golden rule’.  It seems to be a thread in many religious (and non-religious) people “Treat people like you would like to be treated”.  Do you want to be treated nicely? Then treat others nicely!!

If your work has a saying “The customer is always right” – and do you live up to that?  Are you patient with the elderly lady in front of you at the checkout lane when she remembers she needed another item?  Do you roll your eyes, or do you understand? Can you think of that person like your elderly mother and be patient? (Could you even volunteer to run and get her dozen eggs?)

If you have a problem with an item that you purchased and needed to return – are you nice or are you belligerent?  While driving do you inwardly or outwardly yell at other drivers? Do you call the person who cut you off a ‘jerk’ (or even a stronger term)? Are you treating them as you would like people to treat you?  Most of us have been driving on a new (to us) road and all of a sudden realize that you need to be in the right lane and you are in the left lane. Do you cut over to the right in a furious and possibly dangerous manner?  Or realize that you might have to go to the next off-ramp or next intersection to make your turn and come back?

One of my Judeo-Christian values is to ‘love one another’.  I’ll admit I’m not perfect on that, but working on that. I remember the concept that love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous – do I always manifest that in my life?  No, but I’m working on it.

Whatever your personal philosophy (that is your values) – do they work into your everyday life?  Are you living your values? If not, why not?

Yes, we are ‘works in progress’ – but are we making progress – or staying the same?

What do you think?


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Blog #472 Friends

Coaching for Life Success:  Friends -good or toxic.

I don’t want to be too crass here, but there are good friends and there are toxic friends.  Who do you spend time with can be important to you and to your career and life.

This link gives some of the attributes of good friends and toxic friends.

In the Good Friends category, they have:

– Good Friends celebrate your success

– Good Friends know the value of ‘you time’

– Good Friends are caring and encouraging

– Good Friends respect you and value your friendship

– Good Friends accept you the way you are

– Good Friends know how to keep a secret

But, the other list is for toxic friends

– Toxic Friends get jealous of your success

– Toxic Friends try to occupied (or monopolize) your time

– Toxic Friends judge and criticize you

– Toxic Friends try to control and change you

– Toxic Friends can get you in trouble

We have talked about networking and finding good mentors.  That would fit into the professional good friends category.  Toxic friends might impose upon you to drink too much or get into drugs or abuse.  

Zig Ziglar’s comment about “You are what you are because of what has gone into your mind” is at work here – find friends that encourage you and build you up.

What do you think?


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Blog Post #471 Learning is Intrinsic

Coaching for Success:  Learning is Intrinsic

Now there is a word that doesn’t get used much!!  Intrinsic. What does that word mean? From the web, we get this definition:   belonging naturally; essential. And an example: “access to the arts is intrinsic to a high quality of life”.

Hmm – essential.  Essential!!! What does the word essential mean?  Absolutely necessary. Highly important.

Let’s add something to the mix:  Learning is intrinsic. Or, is you will – learning is essential.

From our blog link today, we have this “Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials.”  as well as this: “When you pursue an activity for the pure enjoyment of it, you are doing so because you are intrinsically motivated. Your motivations for engaging in the behavior arise entirely from within rather than out of a desire to gain some type of external rewards such as prizes, money, or acclaim.”.

We need to be lifelong learners – and we need to like to learn for our sakes – not for grades or rewards, but because we LOVE to learn.  In some respects it is like the getting out of our comfort zone – (but gently) – learning something new, stretching our brains, and growing mentally. 

I LOVE to learn – I learn something every day.  Learning is very intrinsic (essential) to me.  I get rewarded internally – not by tests or grades, but by the thrill of learning!!

So, is learning intrinsic for you?  Do you enjoy learning because you LOVE to learn?  When you read something (for fun), do you feel fulfilled? (Like reading this blog?)

What have you read (for fun) lately?  I’m ‘reading’ a Mary Higgins Clark audiobook now, after listening to Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I have two audiobooks on hold from the library.

Yes, learning is essential or learning is intrinsic!!!   WOOOO!!!


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Blog #470 Entrepreneurship #2

Coaching for Life Success:  Entrepreneurship Part 2

Let’s look more at entrepreneurship today.  This article suggests eight ways to become a successful entrepreneur.

-1 Take a stand for yourself.  You can’t blame your boss (since it is you), or the economy; or your spouse.  You are you!!! You set the agenda. YOU are in charge. If it succeeds, it mainly is up to you; and if it fails, it mainly is because of you.

-2 Find the right business for you.  What is your personality? What is your style? What skills do you bring to the table?  Do you know technology? Can you code if you need to? Do you know web privacy? Is there a gap in the marketplace.  Do the research. Research business and environments that look interesting to you. Are you warm and friendly? Are you an introvert?  Are you good at sales?

-3 Make a business plan.  What are your goals, your strategies?  What is your mission, vision, and values (MVV – more on that in a few days)?  What are you building? Who are you servicing? Who will be your customers? I have a new business – math tutoring.  Sure, it is a small business, and I’m not doing it for the revenue. I have hands-on tutoring with five students currently (which is really about enough).  They are really appreciating the time and expertise that I am putting into it. No, this is not Sylvan Learning or Mathnasium or similar – it is good old, one-on-one tutoring – and actually relationship building.  One of my students learned about the can-do attitude two days ago (when she said “I hate math” “I can’t do this”). By the end of our session, she was saying (at least to me) “I love math”.

-4 Know your target audience.  You might have a great product, a great idea but if people don’t buy your product or pay for your service, your business is going nowhere.  Is there a niche where you can fit – a specialty that doesn’t step into other companies spaces?

-5 Understand that your personal and professional life will intertwine.  As an entrepreneur (without a traditional job), generally, as you start out, you ARE the business.  You will eat, sleep and be your business. Will your spouse be willing to put up with the business coming first?

-6 Build a support network.  Find personal support (family and friends), develop networking (who can give you ideas?); build relationships with vendors and with customers. Be generous with your time and with a SMILE!!!    (In some respects, they are buying into ‘you’!!! If your supplies, customers, personal support and others like you (respect you, listen to you, value you), you have a great foundation.

-7 Create value.  Does your product or service go over and above other similar businesses?  SERVE your customers, if you will “love” your customers, they will love you and come back to you.  Deliver more than you promise – also with a SMILE!!

-8 Get the word out.  You can do a lot with social media and the internet.  Get a website (like; use Facebook, Twitter, email and more.  Write a blog (like I do). Have word of mouth advertising. My students (or really their parents who pay for the service) will be able to tell their friends that are needing some help in math to come to me.

But, down inside – do you want to start out on a new voyage that might be a dead end?  Do you want to be safe (and stay near the shore) or adventurous and explore for new lands (and a new you and a new business).  Not all are entrepreneurs!! It might not be your style. Maybe your entrepreneurial adventure could be a part-time job. Maybe it can be a retirement job?  Maybe it can be a job when you have accumulated enough savings built up to be financially okay and it can be a service to humanity. It will require introspection and a lot of thinking (and preparation) before jumping into it.

What do you think?


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Blog #469 Blinders

Coaching for Success:  Blinders


As cars became available over a century ago, horses frequently had blinders.  Blinders are basically flaps near the eyes to keep the horse from seeing things (such as cars).  In those days of early cars, horses would spook and throw their riders and this was an attempt to control that.  Modern racehorses do this as well to keep the horse from seeing the crowd, from seeing other horses, from getting spooked.

There might be times when humans need blinders as well  (Aside, my wife accuses me of being a ‘looky-loo’ when we drive as I notice businesses, fields, and other things outside the window.).  If we are working towards a goal, we don’t want distractions to come in our way. And, sometimes one distraction leads to two and to more and soon we are not working towards our goals. (Another aside – for seniors – there are times I may go to the closet for something (let’s say shoes), but as I walk through the bedroom I see the bed is unmade, so I make the bed, straighten the pillows and do some other minor things in the bedroom – and find that I never get what I went after – the shoes).

If you are working on a goal, you need a laser focus – disregarding all distractions around us.  Too many students say they are studying – but have their iPhones open and are texting friends; they have music playing and they can be singing around; they might be daydreaming and not really working.  So, in a period of three hours of study, they really only get a small amount done. The suggestion is to close the door, get rid of the distractions, no music, no phone, no video games, no television – a good desk with the papers and materials you need.  (And, make sure you use the restroom first – to cut that distraction out).

Of course, there are jobs where distractions have to be observed.  Mothers have to know where their toddlers are – are they climbing the stairs, touching the stove, or some other dangerous act?  Drivers need to anticipate (and watch for) distractions – such as cars running a red light, or cars swerving in-and-out (maybe a drunk driver?).  And jockeys need to know where the other horses are in a race – but the horse doesn’t need to know that!!

Can you keep your focus on your task at hand?  Can you focus on what needs to be done and ignore the distractions?  (I heard a friend talking about his prayer time – and how quickly and easily he can become distracted).

Can you really focus?  

What do you think?


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Blog 468 Entrepreneurship 1

Coaching for Life Success:  Entrepreneurship Part 1

Wow – I want to be an entrepreneur!!  (And, I want to spell it correctly!!!)

Let’s start with a definition of entrepreneurship: “The capacity and willingness to develop organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses.”

“In economics, entrepreneurship combined with land, labor, natural resources, and capital can produce a profit. An entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, and is an essential part of a nation’s ability to succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.”  Taken from:

Frequently we view an entrepreneur as one who is willing to take the risks to take an idea and build it into a viable business.  

There are three concepts:  taking the risk, taking the idea, and building it.

Risk:  My son-in-law is working for a startup company.  Actually, his second start-up company. The first was traumatic, about four years before the company started to make a profit and then became very successful and was acquired by a much larger company (and he did quite well financially).   This second start-up has been two-and-one-half years, building a dynamic smart cloud computing storage solution. They have sold it to two companies as I write this. Will it become a success? Maybe. The founder is scrambling finding purchasers and finding additional funding to pay the eight employees.  The founder is on his third start-up with two successful companies that were sold off at a profit. Can this founder do it a third time? Maybe.

There is a significant risk.  My son-in-law quit a very successful large, well-known technology company.  He as an employee has risked a steady paycheck for a lesser paycheck but the potential for a bigger windfall.  The founder has invested some of his wealth from his previous successes in this new project – paying employees for two-and-one-half years with no sales for most of that time.  He could have put his profits from his previous successes into the stock market, but instead, he is taking the risk on another start-up.

Idea:  At the heart of entrepreneurship is an idea.  What might be a new and exciting field? What gaps or niches might exist that your idea could fill?  What current produces or processes frustrate you? How might your skills be transferred to a new field?  What technology disruptions might open a new field?

Think back – before the iPod, if you wanted to listen to music while jogging you could have had a cassette tape player or a portable CD player.  Before the internet, if you wanted to buy tickets to an event, you might have to call TicketMaster (or similar). Netflix destroyed Blockbuster with on-demand downloads of movies.  Buy almost anything online? Not true thirty years ago.

What ideas might you have?

Building it:  Great ideas need a lot of work to become realities.  Do you personally have the expertise to develop the concept?  Does it need programming skills? Does your idea need manufacturing?  Can you hire people to make your idea a reality? What will you pay them and how will you pay them?  Do you have wealth that you can use to fund your idea? If not, can you get funding from venture capitalists or banks or other sources?  Will you sell too much of your concept and lose control of your idea? Will you need to rent an office?

Building your concept into a viable, successful company may take several years.  Similar to the BHAG of putting a man on the moon in the 1960’s took several years and millions of dollars.  Sometimes you get close to success and run out of funds and out of steam. 90% of the way to a successful business is still not reaching your goal.

Things to think about:

Can you be an entrepreneur?

What risks are you willing to take?

What ideas do you have that could lead to a successful business?

What resources might you need to build your business?

How can you develop multiple ideas – how can you be a creative thinker to develop ideas?  Can you practice idea generation and work with mentors and others to create ‘the next great idea’

Quote:  “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.

And … a recent quote:  You cannot discover new lands unless you lose sight of the shore.

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Blog Post #467 Ambition 1

Coaching for Life Success:  Ambition

Ambition can be viewed as positive or negative.  

Quoting from:   “Ambition is defined as a longing to accomplish something or even as the motivating factor for one’s personal success. Everyone has a goal or dream that he or she wishes to achieve, but sometimes it is hard to reach this without some sense of ambition or longing to attain it. The societal view of ambition is considered to be an essential quality of any leader. Anyone that has done great things in his or her life or even desired to do greater things possesses a certain ambitious quality.

Positive Ambition:  When your goals are good, not only for you but for your company or society.  Wanting to move up in a company, having the ambition to succeed.

I have used the adage “You cannot discover new lands unless you lose sight of the shore”.  You have to be ambitious to move away from your comfort zone, to seek new experiences, to grow in your assignments.

I was a high school teacher for seven years but wanted to be a college teacher and professor.  I was ambitious I wanted to move up to the collegiate level.  If you will, I was “hungry” to be at that level.  

And, once at the collegiate teaching level, I finished a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems, I applied for (‘sought after’) opportunities to be of service – from being elected to the board of directors.  Then when that organization needed somebody to chair their annual conference, I stepped up. I ended up being the conference chair for an international conference four times (the most anybody else has chaired was twice).  When the opportunity to be an evaluator for accreditation, I applied and have been an evaluator for accreditation for over 10 years. I applied to be a Fulbright exchange professor and was accepted to a short-term Fulbright in Eastern Europe.  While I did not apply and did not actively seek other recognition, I was named the “Computer Information Systems Educator of the Year”, the campus where I was teaching honored me and others as ‘excellent’ teachers. I applied for and was accepted for the United States Quality Award Program (the Malcolm Baldrige award).  I have been awarded two special awards for my service to my profession and to my campus.

Yes, I was ambitious.  

Could I have stayed at a high school teacher?  Yes – and worked at being the BEST high school math teacher.  But, I was ambitious and worked hard to be a great teacher, mentor and professional.

Scenario – you have been a great employee at a company for a period of time.  Should you wait for the manager/director / CEO to come to you and say “You have done well, I’d like to promote you”; or should you approach your manager and say “I think I have been doing a great job, what advancement possibilities might there be for me?” (i.e. being ambitious)

But ambition can also be negative.  A person can be so ambitious that he or she will cheat, use people in a negative way, be greedy to move up.  Such a person might be power hungry “I will do ANYTHING to get my next position” (or promotion, recognition, win the election or similar thoughts).

Adolf Hitler was ambitious to a negative degree.  He manipulated others, stepped on others, promoted genocide to reach his goals.  

Things to think about:

  • Are you ambitious?  How so? Positively ambitious or negative ambitious?
  • How are goals and positive ambition related?  Can you have BHAG and not be ambitious?
  • How can you challenge your ambition to reach your goals in a positive sense?

Quote for today: “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” 
― Maya Angelou


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