Monday, January 9, 2017

Momma Called...Stick With Me On This...

STOP!!! I’m going to use a phrase in a moment and some of you will automatically want to click away from the blog….I’m asking you to hang on a second and see if I have something to offer you can use.

Here we go: Tonight is the college football national championship (that’s the phrase….click, click, click…see, I told you some folks would bail!)

This morning one of the ESPN talking heads was interviewing Shaun Alexander, a former Alabama All-America and NFL MVP. Alexander was asked about Dabo Swinney, the head coach at Clemson and a former Alabama player and coach, possibly becoming Alabama’s coach if UA Head Football Coach Nick Saban retired.

Alexander said, “You never know, but when momma calls….”

The talking head thought the comment was cute and kept repeating it. She obviously had no clue that the comment was based on history, on truth; maybe you don’t know the history either. 

So, here it is: In 1957, Paul “Bear” Bryant was coaching Texas A&M….short story is that he had pulled the Aggies out of the doldrums and made them winners…unfortunately, Alabama, his home team, had run into some down seasons…Bryant took over the Alabama football team in 1958 and went on to become a legend in college football. 

When asked why he came back to Alabama, he replied "Momma called. And when Momma calls, you just have to come runnin'." 

Shaun Alexander was simply repeating the thought from a legendary story.

The comment jumped out at me because a lot of us don’t realize what, for each of us, momma really is. Granted, for the vast majority of us momma isn’t really…well…momma, anymore.

But, what if you understand that momma is really your key motivating factor? What if it is the thing/issue/belief/truth—or maybe, yes, a person—for whom you would do anything? You’d move mountains, change your habits, get moving, stand up to anything or anyone! 

We all know the old phrase, Who’s your daddy?


The real question, if you want the life you say you want, is…what’s your momma? What, if it/they called, would bring you runnin’?

If you like this, Like it. If you know someone who could use it, pass it on.

Friday, January 6, 2017

3 Days With Bean Eaters!!!!

Stopped by Whole Foods last night to grab some last minute supplies before the blizzard. It was a panic!!

Every register was working and the lines stretched back up into the aisles. A worrisome thought was that the longest line was in the aisle where they keep the beans. Spending 3 days snowed in with a bunch of people who’ve been living off beans is not my idea of a great weekend…especially where there’s a fireplace in use!!!!

The thought that struck me as I left (no, I’m not a line-stander so I went to Food Lion and things were fine) was that most of those people—most of us, for that matter—will spend more time planning for a couple of snow days than we will planning to have a successful life.

Think about it…when I ask people in seminars how many of them make lists to help them be more effective and efficient I’ll get, MAYBE, 1/3 of the group raising their hands. But, they’ll make a grocery list in a skinny minute.

After graduation from high school or college the vast majority of Americans never read a whole book the rest of their lives. But, they’ll stand in an aisle reading the nutrition content on a box or pull a People magazine off a rack near the register and read it.

And, when I look in people’s baskets I see chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, beer, wine and mixers. Now, I love all that stuff, but you know a bunch of those folks are going to wake up on Sunday morning, look in fridge and think, “Dang, we’re out of eggs, milk and bread.”

“But, we do have beans.”


Will someone open a window…puhleeze!!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016...SEE YA, WOULDN'T WANNA BE YA.....

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My last blog suggested that we all look ahead and think of goals we’d like to accomplish in 2017. Asking the simple question, “Next year this time what do I want to be able to look back on and be proud of?” is a great start to planning.

However, you can also benefit from looking back at 2016 and asking three simple questions: 
- What am I proud of (accomplishments)? 
- Who am I thankful for? 
- What am I glad is over?

I have a few things I’m proud to have accomplished this year. 

There are some folks who, during difficult times, have been extraordinary friends. 

The last question may seem negative, but it comes more from a sense of relief, escape, and freedom.

And yes, I’m so damned glad to get out of 2016 I feel like I’m running for the county line with my pants on fire.

Here’s the question: What are you glad is over? Take that sense of relief, say a toast to it tonight at midnight (or whatever your personal midnight is ‘cause you know some of you will never make it to 12 am), and move on.


So, 2016, SEE YA! Wouldn’t want to be ya!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

So, I was trying to jump over the hood of a Porsche and....

If you watch a human of almost any age try to jump over something—a toy, a stream, a fence, a large bonfire or the front end of an expensive car (wait…maybe that was just me in college)—we’ll usually back up a few steps to get a running start.

Every year, my attitude about this week, the time between Christmas and New Year, is that it’s a running start for the coming year.

For a lot of folks, though, this week is a throwaway—literally and/or mentally; it’s kind of a no-man’s-land in terms of work depending on what you do. 

If you have a great job you might be able to take the whole week off. Or, this could be just another work week for you. 

But, what if you took a little time this week to not just fantasize about what would happen if your favorite team made it to the National Championship Game (again, maybe that’s just me), or why no one this Christmas was smart enough to know what you really wanted was the commemorative poster of Charlie’s Angels (no comment), but you spent, oh, maybe an hour or two coming up with some specific goals for 2017 and a couple of steps that would get you closer to the goals?

What do you want 2017 to be like personally, professionally, physically, spiritually, financially, socially, and intellectually?

Pick a couple of areas and simply let your mind roll around in them. And remember, don’t set your goals too low…you might be amazed to discover how far you can jump if you get a running start!

(I made it over the bonfire…didn’t make it over the expensive car’s hood)


Have a great and safe New Year!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Older Woman Leaned to the Young Man's Ear and Whispered....

A young man was amazed at how wise an older woman he knew seemed to be. She always seemed to know the right things to do. 
So, he asked, “How did you get so wise.” 
The woman laughed and replied, “By making good decisions.” 
The young man did that quick nod we all offer when we knew the answer all along and he asked, “But, how do you know how to make good decisions?”
The woman gazed into the distance and slightly smiled as if remembering a difficult lesson learned and simply said, “Experience.”
The young man, frustrated, asked, “How did you get experience?”
She looked at him kindly, put her hand on his shoulder, leaned to his ear and whispered, “By making bad decisions.”

We all make decisions that, when viewed in retrospect, we think, “Nope, shouldn’t’ve done THAT!”

But, we also have decisions about which we think, “Well, HELL YEAH!! I’d do that again in a skinny minute!!!”

Believe me, you aren’t the only one. My motto has long been, “If you don’t go, you don’t know,” so I have a long list that includes both those types of responses.

Most of the folks we live with and around don’t have the courage to go. They are afraid of what will happen, who will talk about them, what they’ll think about themselves in the morning. 

Now, let’s be honest here. Some of you are doing that grown-up thing right now where you’re thinking, “Well, Mike, if I’m thinking of drinking shots of Drano should I go ahead and do it to see if I like it?”

Remember when you were young and you wanted to do something and your reasoning was that Mike was doing it so you should be able to do it too? And the grown-ups in your life asked,  “If Mike was going to jump off a bridge would you?” (and yes, I’ve jumped off a bridge and out of a plane) Those folks with the Drano question are the successors of the bridge people. So, let’s do a shampoo-on-the-shower-floor slide away from them for a minute.

Whatever the experience was that you thought, “Nope, shouldn’t have done THAT!” I’m willing to bet you now know to either not do it again or modify it so the damage isn’t as great as it was the first time.

But, what if you looked at situations like that as simply experiments.; and yes, some experiments last too long and have a high cost in emotion and money. They were still experiments, though.

They were experiments in figuring out what type of life you are having and want to have. Great scientists, coaches, business and government leaders are careful when labeling attempts/experiments as failures. Everyone knows the Thomas Edison comment that he didn’t have failures he had simply found 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb.

Some of you may not want to hear this, but the Affordable Care Act is not a failure. It’s an experiment in figuring out how to provide insurance for millions of people in a country that has an aging population. 

You have to examine the experiment and ask, “What would I not do again? What would I do again? What did I learn? What can I offer others so they don’t make the same mistake?” 

When I wrote Heartbreak Top 10 and The Best Small Business to Start Right Now! (both available on amazon.com), they were written so others could benefit from mistakes and successes I have had. 

So remember, the woman at the beginning was right on the money. When you make decisions that don’t turn out as you hoped they are simply part of your experience, which, if you learn from them, can help you make better decisions.

Here are the basic questions for today: What decision have you made in the last 6 months that has led to experiences you would label Great or Bad? What was great about the decision or what was bad? What did you learn? Would you do it again? If so, how might you do it differently?


If you know someone who might benefit from this blog, please pass it on.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Edison and Opportunity

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Thomas Alva Edison