The BIGGER the Dog...

How would you finish this statement?  Perhaps "the larger the bite" or "the larger the fight"?  Well, walking into a local coffee spot this morning I overheard two gentlemen discussing their day and only grabbed a quick moment of their conversation while passing by. The conversation went, "The bigger the dog, the larger the poop." I had to stop and just start laughing. It struck me as so funny that I had to share it with the barista. Now, we were both laughing. I ulitmately ordered my coffee and sat down to type out this Monday morning humorous thought.
This audible moment reminded me that in business sometimes we do encounter large poop when we begin to deal with the "bigger dogs". Yet "bigger dogs" does not always mean more powerful individuals/companies. In fact, today's business is never more enjoyable than when "big business" can happen with minor poop taking place.  Hey, Poop Happens. But it always boils down to relationship, trust, and confidence that can help us navigate the messiness that does and will take place. Business can be messy (poopy). Stay encouraged today fi your business feels a bit too messy.
Bigger dogs are awesome to have relationships with. They can be loyal, protective, and just all around awesome to be around. So let's challenge ourselves to always seek the positive in our relationships no matter the size of the dog. Let's also include laughter as part of our every day conversation so that we not only are encouraged but we might just also be an encouragement to others.

Stop and Smell the Roses

I realize that most of us have heard this phrase many times.  Yet, I must confess that I continue to pursue a lifestyle where I go crazy when I have to remain silent for an entire day or even a portion of that day.
So, I am starting one of my New Year's resolutions early.  I am striving to better understand and value the art of being still.  OK, it's easy to (literally) smell the roses when I am in my back yard taking care of my bushes.  But to encorporate this life lesson (and model it to my wife and kids) I have taken drastic measures.  For example, I now will fill my truck with gas at 6am in the morning at my favorite gas station. I can do this with a great deal of forward thinking and planning. At this time of year, the sun has yet to rise and the gas attendant loves to talk. Had I not taken a moment to be still (even in this routine activity of mine), I would not have had the opportunity to get to know someone whom I normally would have just wisked by.  I really do notice more and listen better when I "slow down to smell the roses." I encourage you do the same and get a jump start on a great New Year's resolution through becoming great at the art of becoming still and smelling the roses.

Would You Like Fries With That?

Well, this morning I had another first.  Yep, it was my first viewing of a horse in a drive-thru.  Now, this might be routine for other places in the States.  But it is my first here in SoCal.  I had to get the photo.  So I ran out, took the picture, and spoke briefly with the two young ladies who were out walking the horse.

One of the ladies explained, "We have today off school, so we are working with our horse and training it."  Interesting choice.  No X-Box, no endless moments of mindless music with ear buds permanently attached to the head.  These young ladies chose to be productive, follow their passion, and perhaps even earn a few dollars.  Two things really impressed me about this moment today.  One, that these young ladies knew their passion and chose to follow it with any extra time they had in their lives.  And two, I was also impressed that the horse kept it clean while visiting the drive-thru.

But seriously, each day brings with it choices on what we do.  And sometimes, no matter how unique your day begins, each day brings with it the opportunity to follow your passion regardless of what others might think or how you might look in your pursuit of that passion.  So, next time you see a horse in a drive-thru, take a moment and reflect on your passionate pursuit of what drives you.  Are you making wise choices and taking the necessary steps in pursuing your passion?  We need more passionate-success stories today on people succeeding in pursuing their dreams.  Go for it!  And let me know if there is any way that I can come along side of you in this pursuit.  Happy horse viewing.

Mariachi Music, a Middle Eastern Restaurant and Some Dominicans

It is a rare occasion when you get to see a couple celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  It is even more rare that you get invited to their 50th Celebration.  Well, that's exactly what happened.  Manuel and Margarita Mota celebrated 50 years of marriage.  Their selfless love and serving hearts now have 8 children and 27 grandchildren who also reflect this serving heart for others.  And my wife and I were honored to attend this celebration.  The choice of food was Middle Eastern while the eating music consisted of a Mariachi Band.  And nearly all of the audience was related to the Mota family.
The setting of around 90 Dominicans, Middle Eastern food, and the Mariachi Band left us with an experience we will always remember.  La familia (the family) atmosphere brought warmth and laughter every time you turned around.
While I have had the privilege of coming along side of the Mota family in their humanitarian efforts,   nothing compares to the joy of knowing members of their family on an individual basis.  Whenever you come across hearts like these, I would encourage you to take time and invest into those individuals and families who in turn invest into the lives of others.  Congratulations Manny and Margarita.  Dios te bendiga.

Do I Really Crave Adventure

I was filling up my gas tank the other day when a brief discussion with the on duty attendant caught my
attention.  He had resigned himself to accept his "kick back" and "uneventful" job as satisfying.  I asked him, "What do you do on your off time?"  He shared with me "a little of this, and a little of that" which include various forms of partying.
Maybe I am the crazy one here.  But I grew up thinking that most people truly wanted to and deeply craved adventure in life.  Yet, over the years my travels and time with many individuals have brought a new reality to life.  I now feel as if the majority of people do not crave adventure FOR their lives.  This realization distinguishes itself from craving adventure (once in a while or just on the weekends) IN their lives.  The businessman or the gas station attendant both love to live for the moment and then seek release from the previous week's mundane life.  All most people want is to "get their own" and "protect their own."
This is my challenge.  I desperately want to carry this adventure lifestyle into the lives of all the people I meet.      So I ask myself, "How do I transfer this adventure crave into the lives of others?"  The answer is that I don't. I was created and wired a certain way.  Each person was created a certain way as well.  BUT, the key here is to get people BEYOND THEMSELVES and into the lives of others.  And that is how I am wired.  I was beautifully and wonderfully made with the purpose of serving others.  Whether I like it or not, that's who I am.
How about you?  How are you wired?  Do you crave adventure IN or FOR your life?  Does your identity wire you to serve others?   True adventure comes when you serve others.  Let me know of some of the best adventures you've seen or participated in while serving others and how that impacted your life.

A Girl and One Coin

I love a good flashmob like the next person.  But what I saw from this one was a little girl placing a coin in a hat and what developed from there.
I can appreciate the immense amount of talent that these musicians have and the wonderful and inspiring music that happens.  I saw inspiration both physically and emotionally dominate the senses of an impromptu crowd.  I felt the notes move my senses as I watched both the musicians and the audience participate in one of those moments that comes and goes so quickly.  And I was left motivated to do something with all of this emotion, all of this joy, all of this inspiration.
How about you?  If all of this can be set in motion with a girl and one coin, what can you set in motion with more than just a coin?  I believe in you and all you have to offer to so many.  Where do we start? Let's begin to look at the "coins" we currently have in our lives.  Let's bring those together with the talents and gifts of others and make a symphony of our own.  What do you think?  So, what's NEXT for you?

Hang On, It's an "E-Ticket" Ride

I found myself talking with a friend the other day when I made the comment that life was an "E-Ticket ride".  By that I was referring to the speed of how quick things were moving.  He not only smiled at my comment but also laughed.  So I paused and asked him what was so funny.  He chuckled and said, "I actually know what you were referring to when you said 'E-ticket'.  So I guess that dates me just a bit."  I didn't even realize my comment until we spent the next 15 minutes reflecting back on those earlier days at Disneyland.
I have traveled extensively over the past five years and often purchased my own "electronic" airline
ticket (E-Ticket) for my travel.  While I have had some adventurous flights in my time, adventure is not what I expected when buying my airline tickets.  Yet when I refer to an "E-Ticket" ride, I am looking back on the joyous times of my youth.  When going to Disneyland, you used to purchase a booklet of tickets upon admission for the different rides you could go on.  The faster rides were the E-Ticket rides and you only had two "E-Tickets" for each booklet.  So these were highly valued unless you just wanted to ride "It's a Small World" over and over all day.  There were always plenty of those tickets left over at the end of the day.
So, when I was describing my life as an "E-Ticket" ride, I was referring to the excitement and adventure that was accompanying it in recent months.  It is always so good to have others who you can not only share your current journey with but also who can relate to your journey's past.  Do you have that person or persons in your life that you can connect, share and listen with?  I would love to hear your "E-Ticket" story. Send it to me and let me know and perhaps it just might connect you with another who shares a similar journey.

Love what you do for work and you'll never work a day in your life.

When I have the opportunity to work along side of individuals who really enjoy what they do, I can really sense their authentic desire to come along side of me and my efforts.  And whenever I come across one of these individuals, I love to give him/her a "shout out."  So, "Kuddos to you Rick!"
His talents of embracing and developing my web site were second only to his humble professionalism.  His trustworthiness gained my respect in a day where so many are really out for themselves and/or an opportunity to rip you off.  Basically, I believe that Rick's authenticity is based on his love for what he does.  He actually enjoys not only the technical aspect but also the communication aspect which is a rare combination these days.
I would highly recommend doing business with my new friend from the UK at  He is a freelance web designer, specializing in WordPress.  Ecommerce, brochures, and blogging is his forte.

Divorce, We Can Fix That

My heart once again sank after hearing about yet another (which is almost the norm) couple on the brink of divorce.  I don't know where you stand on divorce.  But one thing I do know, divorce sucks.  In many ways I see it as a permanent solution to a temporary problem, much like suicide.  I believe that in most cases, divorce can be avoided.  I believe that.
I remember that critical moment in the movie Star Trek where Ensign Pavel Chekov went running through the ship to fix a problem and save the captain while beaming him back onto the ship.  He ran with a purpose, a plan, and with passion yelling, "I can do zat."  Of course he saved the captain, it's the movies.  And I believe that marriages too can regain that purpose with a plan and restore passion.  This takes work. If you are willing to work, so are we, one step at a time.
Often, divorce is a result of years of accumulating junk.  I would normally use another word, but it might be seen as inappropriate.  No two marriages are alike. Junk comes in all shapes and sizes.  But I am "old school" and I believe in good things happening to good people.  I believe in your marriage.  Maybe we can take some "next steps" together and explore some possibilities of avoiding divorce.
I believe so strongly in the essence and approach of The Power of Next that I would challenge you to give your marriage three months with some simple steps with our program.  Connect with us and let us listen to you.  Together we can make growth happen.