You might not know this about me, but I used to lift weights. I wasn’t very good at it, and never got my arms the way I was shooting for, although I did it religiously for almost 2 years. I did develop my shoulders and upper back muscles though and my pecs looked pretty good; that’s the best I could do, no matter how hard I worked at it.
I’ve always had the strongest legs. Even before I was weight lifting regularly, I got on a universal leg press machine and was able to push it up to 500 lb when I was 15 years old. Later on, when I was doing weight lifting for real, I regularly pushed 500 lb, and every once in awhile would take a gamble and push up to 750 lb. Yes, my legs were strong. Continue reading →
Back in June of 2001 I decided it was time to try to work for myself. I was tired of losing jobs because of things that weren’t within my control. On June 24th of that year I went and registered myself as a business with New York state and was on my way to a bit of independence.
In October of that year I was kind of in recovery mode. I’d had one short gig, given a presentation on leadership in Ohio, my first live presentation, but was mentally still in recovery from what happened on September 11th of that year. I was starting to realize that I wasn’t really sure what to do; after all, when you work in most hospitals in the country there’s not really much advertising going on because most markets only have one hospital. Also, the business of health care is much, much different than any other, although at the time I was trying to be a consultant/trainer in the area of leadership and diversity; I still had no idea how to proceed.
I floundered for about a year after that, first learning of my dad’s cancer diagnosis, then attempts at stemming the tide, which were to no avail. I finished writing my first book Embrace The Lead so Dad would have some time to read some of it before he’d get to the point where he couldn’t do it anymore. Then he passed away and, though it actually took me years to recover from it, initially I was out of it and didn’t care much about anything.
By October of 2002 I was ready to try to get back to work, but I didn’t have a clue how to proceed. The first year, which turned out to only be months, had confused me and I just didn’t know what to do; didn’t know where to go.
Then I got a break. I heard about a meet and greet event at the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce (it goes under a different name now) and decided to check it out. There were a lot of people there and I did my best to press some flesh, if you will. However, the coup I walked into was grabbing the last remaining copy of the Chamber directory, which listed every single member. I figured this would give me a chance to find some people I might be able to talk to.
After a couple of days I’d marked all the people I was going to call. None of them were in my field, but all were either listed as consultants or sole proprietors. This was my first foray into cold calling, but since I wasn’t trying to get any business it was pretty easy to proceed.
If I thought this was going to be easier than prospecting, I was out of my mind. Instead of finding some souls who might talk to someone new to the business, not a single person would talk to me. At least 3 of them said that I could be competition some day and that it wouldn’t benefit them to talk to me; what the hey? There was only one person who talked to me longer than a minute, and he invited me to a meeting that would eventually lead me to join an organization called the Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York. All these years later I’m not only a member but I’m on the board, I’m the manager of the website and the main blogger on the site; some things never change do they? lol
That first meeting was illuminating, and not only did I become a member but I made a resolution on that day that whenever anyone contacted me and asked me for business advice, even if it was in my areas of expertise, that I was going to help them out. Although many people don’t believe me when I say it, I don’t believe anyone is my competitor. If there were myself and 9 other people who presented the exact same material to 100 people, each of us would walk away with at least a couple of clients. It might not be totally equal at the end, but it would prove that everyone has an audience, someone who’s ready to listen to them for advice over someone else.
That’s why over all these years I’ve worked to give advice and help people out, when I’m not trying to entertain them. From the 5th post I wrote on this blog talking about SEO & natural search through my Saturday post on ways business blogging can help, I’ve tried to offer a lot of help on the concepts of blogging and writing, SEO, social media and a host of other things. Sure, I deviate here and there, and I’ll go way off script with posts like talking about favorite children’s stories, but for the most part I’m trying to be helpful; why else would I have written a monster post on mobile speed and detailed all the steps I took unless I was trying to be helpful? It’d be much easier eating cake (mmmmm, cake….).
I’ve been a helper all my life; my wife used to always call me Dudley Do-Right but has appreciated that I’m always trying to do the right thing. I know I’m not alone in trying to help people; after all, there’s Donna and Ileane and Kim and Steve and Suzie and Dana and Chuck and a host of other people who, while trying to also get business, are in the game of helpfulness.
All of us are trying to give back in our own way, and we hope to inspire others to do the same type of thing. Think about your life for a moment; are you trying to be helpful to anyone? Will you be helpful to anyone today?
Over the course of just over 8 years of blogging I’ve had 15 guest posts here, the last one in 2013. Except for 2 of them, all the other guest posts were because I asked someone I knew to write about something I thought was pretty interesting.
In this case I’m highlighting my friend Kelvin Ringold, who I’ve mentioned in multiple posts on 3 of my blogs over the years and in many of my videos. Many local people know who Kelvin is, so I figured it was time for him to introduce himself to the other masses by writing a post on his main vocation, which is writing and talking about positivity. I owe this guy for lots of things over the years, so he gets a guest post; for the rest of you, don’t even think about asking. lol
He’ll introduce himself so I don’t have to, and I hope you enjoy the inspirational and motivational words he’s going to impart on you today. 🙂
Good day, my awesome friends. WELCOME to another day of… LIFE!
All things considered, I prefer life to most other alternatives I’ve seen, so every morning when I wake up pain free and moving on my own power, I consider that a really good start on a great day! And the rest of it is smooth sailing.
As you might have guessed, I’m the positivity guy: Kelvin P. Ringold, Prince of Positive, Oracle of Optimism — I’ve been dubbed by my fans. I’m the guy who can find the silver lining for any cloud; find an advantage in any disadvantage, because there’s Power in Positivity, and the mindset with which we face life determines what we get out of it, and it gets out of us. When you master your mindset, you master your life.
When I say that, some folks think that means that I don’t see negative things, that I ignore the pain in the world, that I run around with blinders on pretending that everything is perfect — but that’s not the case. What it means is, I don’t let those things define me. I am not my problems — and neither are you.
There will always be problems, but a positive attitude dictates how we handle those problems. It dictates whether we roll over and surrender or stand up and decide how we’re going to tackle them and move beyond them, around them or through them! Our mindset determines whether we’re going to focus on the problem, or focus on the solution.
Those two approaches are very, very different, and in a huge, seemingly metaphysical way… if we continuously focus on the problem, we will reinforce and intensify the problem. So, for many years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people develop mindsets and strategies to focus on and create empowering solutions. And I have a few steps you might consider.
1. Make a decision
You must first DECIDE you’re going to be positive. The question I love to ask is: how many happy NEGATIVE people do you know? In the past, I’ve said that casually and matter of factly. But the truth is, if you’re not already at least a borderline positive person, it’s not all that simple to make the switch.
We’ve been taught and conditioned since birth — and maybe before — to be negative. Much of that conditioning came from well-meaning people whose purpose was to protect us and make sure we “faced reality.” In the process they scared us, jaded us, told us all about our limitations and why we couldn’t do or be more, so don’t expect it; and since most of it came from people we loved and trusted, we accepted it at face value and it became fact in our minds. But they were wrong — or perhaps better to say, they were operating from a flawed perspective.
We CAN do and be so much more than we’ve been typically taught that we can be, but we have to accept that as a reality and work towards attaining it. So to become positive there’s a great deal of past conditioning we have to override — which we do by focusing on the solution. Once you decide you’re going to be positive, then the work will start.
2. Turn off the News! All of it!
We are bombarded by thousands and thousands of messages each day, and many if not most of them are negative. We don’t “notice” most of them because we are deletion creatures. We tend to tune out things that we don’t need to directly interact with, or focus on to survive, but the subconscious mind still processes that information. NEWS these days is a melodrama. You only hear the bad, usually at a time when you’re eating or having quiet time. They charge it with emotion and innuendo to get your attention and reaction and RATINGS and leave US with the stress & anxiety while the advertisers pitch their products.
Emotion is one of the triggers that the subconscious mind pays attention to, so negative info charged with emotion (like the news) penetrates the veil and is planted in your mind. TURN OFF THE NEWS for 30 days and you’ll be so much happier that you’ll likely never turn it back on again. I stopped watching the news for the most part in 1989. Life is good. BTW… if you can wean yourself off Facebook, you’ll drop another few points of negative input. Just saying!
3. Associate with Positive People. Period.
No better place to learn to master your attitude than by hanging around people who have mastered their attitude. Positive people are calmer and more resourceful under stress, they typically put things in perspective and don’t respond with unbridled emotion, and they are solution focused. They learned to tune out the negative triggers — or at least put them in perspective. Birds of a feather flock together. Check your friends. If they’re all hyper and grumpy… well… think about it 😉
4. Refrain from Negative Conversation — especially negative self talk.
Gossiping around the water cooler, finding out about who did what dirt, listening to the office scuttlebutt… bad for you. Negative. It plants negative, creates suspicion and other negative feelings. Causes stress (what if they’re talking about ME like that behind my back?) Learn to disengage if it starts around you — go potty, remember that appointment you’re late for and get away from that. Refraining from negative self talk, again, is tougher than just saying it. It’s a habit.
You talk to yourself all day — constantly, and most of it is negative. “I’m such an idiot; why did I do that?” But you can at least become aware of the things you’re saying to yourself. Once you’re aware, then you can start to eliminate it. For me, when I notice myself talking negatively to me, I just say “stop it.” Sometimes I say it twice. But awareness is half the battle.
5. Read or listen to something Positive EVERY DAY (this does not include a newspaper — except maybe the comics section.)
You need something to counteract all that negative stuff you’re hearing and thinking all day. You need to read something that says you’re a great person and how much potential you have, rather than what a loser you are. You need to read or listen to things that talk about how people have overcome adversity and won — rather than the latest disaster.
You see, there are miracles happening around us every day! People are winning EVERY day — but that doesn’t sell newspapers (what’s left of them) or news. And the best time to do the reading — just a few minutes — is just before bed. That way, your mind has something positive to process while you sleep, and you’ll likely wake up in a better mood.
Another good practice, is to pick at least one thing — and preferably 3 to 5 things — that you are grateful for that happened in your day. If nothing that day, go back in your mind until you find something to be grateful for and let that be on your mind as you go to sleep also. If you need some practice on the gratitude, I did a personal list some months ago. Maybe it will seed your thoughts.
6. Do Something Nice for Someone — and don’t let them know it was you 😉
I don’t have to explain that one. You felt good just thinking about it, didn’t you?
7. Here’s a BONUS!
Get the song “I Just Want to Celebrate” by Rare Earth in MP3. I defy you to listen to that song and not get energized. It’s $1.29 on Amazon (that’s an affiliate link, so if you actually buy it there, they might send me a nickel.) Or you can check it out on YouTube. It’s my goto pick- me-upper.
8. And, I admit, I do have one other favorite you might like. You might consider subscribing to my Daily Dose of Positive called “Vitamin K Daily” A positive message each morning, Monday through Friday, designed to be read in 2 to 3 minutes (usually) to give you an empowering start to your day. It’s $24.95 a year but you get 4 weeks free to check it out and you can unsubscribe in like two clicks, if it’s not for you. You’re not billed until the 4 weeks is up.
Experts say is takes 14 to 21 days to create a new habit. Follow this positivity recipe for 14 day days, and chances are you’ll never stop. Make a habit of being positive, and I promise your world will change.
A couple of weeks ago we had a major windstorm and turned into, for us, a minor snowstorm. At one point I was having a conversation on the phone with that woman I’m married to during the blackout the storm caused that went exactly like this:
Me: It seems that one of the siding panels, the one at the very top next to the roof, has broken off and is dangling by a thread from the top of the house.
Her: Oh no, that sounds bad.
Me: Yup. Because there’s no lights and the storm I can’t get the ladder to climb up to see what I can do. Not that I like ladders in the first place but in the dark and storm I’m thinking that would be a bad idea.
Her: You on a ladder is always a bad idea.
Me: Someone’s got to do it so I’ll wait until morning and see what I can do.
Her: You can’t; we don’t have that ladder anymore.
Me: What do you mean we don’t have that ladder anymore?
Her: It’s not there anymore. I think Roger took it.
Me: Roger took our ladder? Why’d he do that?
Her: Roger had a pattern of taking things from people’s homes he was working on that he didn’t think they needed. He took Sue’s paint without telling her. That’s why we haven’t used Roger for anymore projects at the house.
Me: I didn’t know that. So, no ladder?
Me: Well, I guess there’s no way for me to get up there then.
Her: Trust me, it’s for the best.
Isn’t her concern for my safety touching? She’s also pretty funny wouldn’t you agree? lol
The truth is that not only was she right that night when she said it, but she was right when it was finally completed… for multiple reasons.
One, I’m scared of heights. I’ve only been on 2 ladders my entire life, and neither of them the large ladder I was thinking about climbing.
Two, I wouldn’t have had a spotter which, for someone who pretty much can’t do many things would have been imperative.
Three, you see the result; there’s no way I could have done anything to make it look that good.
Four, although I have some tools (my wife calls it my toy toolkit; she’s so mean…), I didn’t have the right equipment to do the job.
I put in a call to the company that replaced my roof. The guy who came over turned out to be a guy I’ve known for 35 years, who did some work on the roof 12 years ago and now works for this guy, his son-in-law. It took a guy with his kind of skill 45 minutes, which not only consisted of his fixing the initial problem, but he then shored up the entire front of the house because he said more than half of the siding sheets were loose, and that accounts for some of the rattling I’d been hearing whenever we have high winds (which we have often, along with the snow).
For all the work he did, it ended up only costing me $75, which I gladly paid. In my mind, this was a job that I was going to get charged something like $300, which would have been hard to deal with at that time, and which explained why I was willing to give it the ol’ college try. I’d fallen into a couple of old mind traps, which is going to lead to the point of this story (hold on it’s coming…).
The first trap was my thinking that something was going to be easier than it turned out to be because I have a faith in myself that, in this particular case, was unwarranted. Ladders, tools, nails… I was definitely kidding myself that I had the qualifications and talent to do this kind of work on my own.
The second trap was assuming something was true without actually checking to see if it was. Most of the time people either assume things cost more or less than they actually do. This leads to us not verifying things up front and then getting burned on the back end. Trust me, I’m in health care, and it’s amazing how often I hear people complain about how much their medical bill turned out to be, only to find out they didn’t even think to call ahead of time to see how much it would cost and, if they had insurance, how much they would cover.
Can I tell you a secret? Other than the fact that I write because I must, I write this blog, and this blog, and this blog, and this blog because I recognize that none of us is great at everything. Many of us have multiple skills, lots of things we can talk about that hopefully can help others.
I visit the blog of every person who leaves a comment on this blog and some of my other blogs. I do this not only because it’s the courteous thing to do, but because I’m eternally curious and always looking to learn something new; I like being entertained also.
I also recognize there are times when I see something and my mind gets boggled, even if I’m interested in it. Sometimes I’m thankful that it doesn’t impact me. Other times, I just might need to ask that person a question to gain a little bit more clarity. Sometimes we need to reach out to someone else to get what we need.
Early in 2014 I wrote a post telling people how they can make their blogs successful is they were ready for the work. Today I’m asking you what you’re ready to do to be successful blogging, on social media, and by extension life. I’m asking you to “think”, and think hard.
What are you thinking about? Let’s start off with what do you want in your life. Then let’s go to what do you want to do with your blog. Then we’ll go to what are you hoping to accomplish via social media. Finally, what are you willing to do with, or for, any of these things?
Are you willing to pay for the knowledge you need? Are you willing to invest the time to learn what you need? Are you willing to pay for someone to help guide you? Are you willing to pay someone to provide services for things you either can’t do or don’t like doing? Are you willing to take a chance to achieve what you want for any of the things I mentioned above? Are you ready to focus?
Here’s a little offer for you, a freebie if you will, and at the end all I’m going to do is ask you to share this post with as many people as possible so they can take advantage of it if they wish.
I’ve put together a package of sheets that can help you evaluate what you want out of life. None of the sheets are specific to blogging or social media, but it’s possible that they might end up being something you put on the sheets. These are sheets for self evaluation, goal setting and dreaming; hey, if you’re not dreaming of things you’re not really living right?
Just right click on this link and save it to your computer. It’s a zip file about 8 MB that you can open and check out when you have time. It even includes a copy of the book The Synergy of Business And Blogging, which most people don’t even notice is over there to the left as a free download. I’m including it here as the only thing talking about blogging because I’m in it. 🙂
If you find any of these things useful, I hope you share some of what you discover about yourself here or on your own blogs. Of course I want you to share this post everywhere you can think of because I’d love a lot of people to take advantage of this free deal. All this and I’m still not ready to collect email addresses; Adrienne’s going to fuss at me. lol
There’s my contribution for the day; now find out what you want and what you’re good at and let’s conquer the world! For good reasons of course. 😉
Five years ago today, I wrote a post highlighting a product I’d created about 5 years earlier as it pertains to my leadership coaching and training business. The post was titled Mitchell Employee Evaluation Module because that’s what the title is of the item as well. If you want to skip the post and just check out the item itself, click here.
Although I talked about the item in that previous post, it was fairly clinical and pretty short. I just told what it was then; I was in a period where I remembered that I had products and wanted to get the word out. The strange thing is I never wrote about it on my business blog; I’m going to have to rectify that, and soon.
I didn’t talk about the process of creating it and a moment of indecision about it. I figured this was a good time to talk about that because, though it’s not a fascinating tale, it’s an inspirational one, if I say so myself. 🙂
If you’ve ever been an employer, you know it can sometimes be difficult to conduct interviews to find the right people for the position you need to fill. The problem is that for most positions there are a high number of people with close to the same qualifications and it can be hard to figure out which person to take. You also have to guard against perceptions of favoritism, racism, sexism, and a host of other isms. Truthfully, I hated having to go through the hiring process as a director.
If it’s that stressful to hire employees, try imagining what it might be like hiring someone for a leadership position. Then imagine what it’s probably like for people who might be looking for someone with certain qualities on one day of interviews, then suddenly changes the next day. It can get pretty ugly for many people.
It was never a problem for me though. I always knew the type of people I wanted to put into leadership positions. As you can imagine, I was also kind of different than the norm, and in the right position to do so.
Health care billing is one of those positions where a person without a college degree can actually be promoted into a supervisory position. Depending on the hospital, many can also get promoted into director positions if they show they have the skills in bringing in money and managing what we call the front end of the revenue cycle process. You don’t need to know all of that; what you need to know is that those types of jobs don’t always require a college degree.
Or do they? That actually depends on the hospital. There are many hospitals across the United States that not only require a degree, but want some kind of certification as well. There’s very groups that offer certifications in that respect, which means it’s pretty expensive to get those degrees. Therefore, not everyone has one; I don’t. However, I’ve done pretty well; I did help a hospital increase their revenue by $730 million in one year after all (yeah, I’m bragging lol).
It was the “do they or don’t they” question that prompted me to create the module. I sat down and came up with categories I felt were important in deciding what type of person an employer might need. Then I came up with different qualities under each category. In all, I ended up with 46 qualities.
I then created a spreadsheet for employers to use. The basic idea was to first answer a series of questions that lead hiring parties to determine what they were actually looking for. The next step was to go through the 46 qualities, based on the other answers, and pick 10 overall qualities they wanted in new managers.
This helped for two reasons. One, it made those who had to do the hiring actually evaluate what they needed and why. Two, it gave them the option of deciding if they needed that degree or not.
Just so you know, most of the time when people are hiring and ask for a degree, they don’t really need someone with a degree. It’s use is aimed at reducing the number of applications that come in for a position. Some might not want me telling you that, but I’m not in HR. lol
It was during the period of creating the spreadsheets when I had a minor dip in faith. This led me to talk to my friend Kelvin, who now runs a business called Intensely Positive. I hadn’t told him I was creating the product until I’ve reached this point, so he just listened as I explained the whole thing to him.
My issue wasn’t that there were other products on the market that could help employers figure out how to hire people. They weren’t exactly like mine, so I had that going for me. My issue was that I was creating spreadsheets that would become part of the package.
I said to Kelvin “These are just spreadsheets I’m creating in Excel. Anyone could sit down at a computer and do this.”
His response was quick: “They could, but they didn’t. You did.”
Truthfully, that’s all it took for me to go ahead and finish, which I did by the end of the next week. Other than my books and CD series, it was the first product I created. Not that I’ve sold a lot of them, but I have sold some. Back then I actually had to mail them out; now it’s a quick download. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be updated either; whew!
This is the beauty of creating products. Sure, there might be something similar, but nothing is actually a total copy when you think about it. Our buddy Troy Sweezy convinced me to read a book titled Steal Like An Artist, and the author pretty much said this same thing, that being very few things are actually new in today’s world. People either improve them or make them different in some way so that people believe they’re totally new.
If you’re using the excuse that “it already exists” or “why would anyone buy from me”, get rid of it now. Create your product, put it out there, market it, work it, and sell it; go ahead and do your thing. Even if it doesn’t become the next blockbuster thing that makes you a millionaire… you created a product! 😀