Color Olors Kindle Book Soaring on Amazon Rankings

World of Color OlorsNina Carothers’ The Wonderful World of Color Olors, which was released in Kindle format last month, was chosen for a week-long giveaway of the digital book by publisher All Star Press.  The complimentary book is available on Amazon now through Friday, February 21.  Within hours of the initial giveaway, the Kindle edition was soaring through the Amazon rankings.  It is now in the top 6 of two different Children’s book categories and it is #731 overall in the Kindle store, an amazing ranking given the number of kindle books available through the bookstore behemoth.

The Wonderful World of Color Olors previews the first 13 Color Olors characters.  Children absolutely love the 13 different colorful characters, such Pink Ink, Yellow Ellow, Red Ed and more!

This fun 40-page full color book introduces each character in the Color Olors series to your child.  They can then pick and choose the characters that they love the most.  Here is a preview of this adorable new book:

Welcome to The World of Color Olors, a great place to be. Filled with strange and silly characters, as you will see. Pink Ink, Purple Urple, Orange Range and more. Their world is filled with colors, so let’s explore.

There is Black Lack, Red Ed and Blue Lue.

Come see Gold Old, White Hite and Gray Ray, too.

Brown Rown and Yellow Ellow will make you smile.

Green Reen is a healthy one. Silver Ilver has style.

Click here for the Kindle edition.  Keep in mind that Kindle books can be read on all sorts of devices, including home computers.

Pick up the print edition today:

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

The Wonderful World of Color Olors is ideal for ages 3 through 8, and this work is the third in a series of 14 books by author Nina Carothers for publishing house All Star Press – Books that Change Lives. In each book the child learns one or more life lessons.

Each of the books in the series are illustrated by accomplished children’s book artist Chris Padovano.

40 pages, full color.

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Sleep Great for Life: Two Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep

Do you sleep well?by Richard Nilsen, author of “Sleep Great for Life”

There are two easy steps for helping many people obtain a better night’s sleep.  Here are two methods that I found to be extremely effective when I started to overcome my sleep disorder.

1) USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Don’t want to miss that favorite television show that starts at 10:00 p.m.?  Well, that is what DVRs and VCRs are for. DVRs are wonderful in that you can set up a regular, scheduled taping every time your favorite show airs. You can also easily record the remainder of a show if you find yourself getting sleepy. If you don’t have a DVR, then get one. Most cable and satellite providers will give you the box for free, and the monthly charge is typically around $7.

Use modern technology to your advantage. Your sleep is too important.

2) WRITE DOWN YOUR PROBLEMS

I am a firm believer that by putting your thoughts to paper, it helps release them from your mind.  It allows you to wake up the next day and, at that time, begin to address the issue(s). Another benefit of doing this is that you will not lose that great idea that you just had while lying in bed!

 Make sure you do not go to bed with your mind racing or with problems still pending.  Put them “to bed” for the night, and then you will be able to put yourself to bed – peacefully.

Note:

“Sleep Great for Life” offers an easy-to-apply procedure can help you overcome insomnia in less than 3 weeks. The book is available in both Print and e-book formats.

Experiencing Back Pains? Stress Can Be the Reason

by Ryan Rivera of CalmClinic

Anxiety is a normal human response. The “fight or flight” instinct is hardwired in the human mind. A person in this state will experience increasing blood pressure and tightening of the muscles. The brain simulates the body to react faster and work harder to overcome the perceived obstacle. This reaction can inadvertently lead to physical pain and soreness especially if there are too many stressors involved. This is why patients who are suffering from muscle and back pains are often evaluated for anxiety disorders to make a better diagnosis.

The Relationship between Stress and Back Pains

Traditionally,  people associate back pains with old age and hard labor. These days though there are many cases of young people who are already suffering from back pains. Most of them are working casual office jobs, yet they also suffer the same chronic back pains that afflict heavy laborers.

There have been many studies conducted to prove the connection between stress and back pains. The results of these studies have been very helpful to correctly diagnose people suffering from muscle pains. Understanding the real source of the pain helps in providing an effective treatment.

Symptoms of Stress Induced Back Pains

Here are few of the symptoms associated with stress induced back pains.

  • Muscle pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tension
  • Pressure
  • Soreness
  • Spasms
  • Immobility of the back muscles

There could be more than one muscle group affected when the pain attacks. The pain lasts variably, some lasts for a long time while others in less than a minute. The attack can happen without warning and persists even when there is no particular stressor around.

Debilitating Effects of Stress Induced Back Pains

These back pains can cause great distress and discomfort to a person. In some cases, a person can be totally immobilized because of the intensity of the pain. Other parts of the body can also be affected. This creates a heavy toll towards the body which may be irreversible. Early diagnosis is vital in treating the person. It also prevents complications.

Treatments for Stress Induced Back Pains

There have been many treatments developed to treat people with stress induced back pains. Because of the nature of the source, different methods are followed to make sure that the treatment is effective. For short term relief, pain relievers and antidepressants are given to patients. Some may need to undergo therapy to overcome stress. Doctors strongly advise exercise and lifestyle change to improve the body’s immune system.

Fighting Stress Induced Back Pains

It is impossible to avoid stress, but there are ways to reduce it or defend oneself against it. It all starts with pumping the body with the right nutrition and care to withstand such pressures. Eating healthy foods will strengthen the body against external stressors. Exercise will also keep the body tempered against the physical demands from the job. These measures will make sure that the body can keep up with the different pressures and stressors.

Aside from the body, it is also important to fortify the mind against stress. The roots of stress can be traced back to the person’s mental disposition. Work and personal time should also be balanced to avoid strain. Back pains and stress go hand in hand. Managing of the latter will surely help in the prevention of the former.

Hot New Release: “My Wild Ride”

All Star Press' My Wild Ride by author Susan Bump

#2 in the Kindle horse racing store behind Seabiscuit

“MY WILD RIDE: The Untamed Life of a Girl with No Self-esteem” was released last week by All Star Press – Books that Change Lives. Within three days of release, the life story of ex-Thoroughbred trainer and exercise rider Susan Bump hit the #2 in the Amazon Kindle store behind the mega-best seller Seabiscuit. Positive reviews have been pouring in on Amazon since the long awaited release of Susan’s book.

“‘My Wild Ride’ is a must read for those who are warmed by feel-good animal stories, who are curious about life at the track, who are challenged by a past that holds them back from experiencing their own self-worth! I laughed, I cried, and found a new respect for the life I live having seen life through the authors eyes,” stated reader Debbie Joswick.

“This story is absolutely riveting,” explained Debra Lyn Daly.  “Anyone struggling to overcome the scars of growing up in a dysfunctional family will be deeply inspired by Susan’s story. I couldn’t put it down!”

The life story of Susan Bump, although sad at times, is ultimately a story of triumph.  The child of two alcoholics, she overcame her tragic family upbringing to pursue her dream of training Thoroughbred racehorses.  When the dream no longer served her, she quit training and became an activist, protesting for animal and human rights.

There is never a dull moment in My Wild Ride.  The ‘untamed life of a girl with no self-esteem’ offers lots of tears, but lots of laughs, too.

“My Wild Ride” is available in PDF format for instant download. Only $4.97 and, of course, no shipping or handling on this e-book!

Buy Now

ABOUT AUTHOR SUSAN BUMP

A former trainer in Southern California, Susan Bump broke and trained horses for over 30 years.  She had to quit when she realized that she was part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Susan eventually became a human and animal rights activist.  A member of San Diego Animal Defense team, Susan successfully protested inhumane pet stores in San Diego leading to criminal charges against the owners.

She was arrested for trespassing in the small town of Valley Center, Ca. when she gave water to dying animals on a hot summer day.   Her story made front page news in the local paper, The North County Times.  So many animal lovers supported her in court that the newspapers called them her ‘entourage.’

She currently lives with her 8 wonderful dogs on a 47,000 acre, Arizona ranch in a 100-year-old adobe house in the magical town of Arivaca.

Susan Bump was the daughter of an alcoholic and bipolar mother, and an alcoholic abusive father, and consequently, she grew up hating life.

After realizing that she was indeed special, and worthy, her life has become fantastic.  This is her Wild Ride.

 

Resume Fundamentals – What You Have to Know to Succeed

(reprinted from “Getting Seen: The Ultimate Guide to Creating the Most Important Document of your Life – Your Resume”)

by James Hale, author of “Getting Seen”

In the mid-1970’s, over a billion resumes and applications were screened each year by potential employers, and that number may well have quadrupled since then.

These days, it’s not unusual for a large organization to review more than 50,000 resumes in a year.  That’s a lot of people trying to market themselves.  And any given company will only hire about one to two percent of these applicants, maybe even fewer.

The only way businesses can sort through this avalanche of applicants is by becoming very good at screening, judging, and categorizing resumes.  With the advent of Internet recruitment, resume evaluation is likely to continue as the most important pre-employment screening device.

Look at it this way: Face-to-face interviews cost businesses time and money, so by screening out most of the potential candidates during the resume evaluation phase they save themselves countless hours and dollars.  They know lots of people will do anything to get their foot in the door – including lying – so companies do everything they can to eliminate any resume that has the slightest hint of a problem.  Understandably, businesses want to avoid their own form of “buyer’s remorse” – hiring someone who looks fine on paper, only to find out that they missed something important in the resume or interview.

A good resume serves two very important tasks. The first is to get you interviews – not just one or two interviews, but lots of them. You want your resume to consistently generate interviews, which leads to its second function. The second function of a resume is to enhance and supplement your professional image throughout the entire interviewing and hiring process.  Everything else is inconsequential.

A good resume is like a personal publicist, an information desk, and a cheerleading squad all rolled into one – a document that will consistently remind hiring managers that you’re the right person for the job.

Both of these functions are equally important. If your resume doesn’t get you interviews, it doesn’t matter how nice a polish it puts on your professional image. If it doesn’t get you in the door, sitting across the table from an interview panel, it’s worthless.

THE JOB APPLICANT AS A TEACHER

As you’ll discover while reading this book, it’s important to understand the mindset of the person who’ll be reading your resume. That will often be a recruiter.

The principal function of a recruiter is to find qualified candidates for a specific job opening. She then has to sell these qualified candidates to her client and convince the client to interview them. Since a recruiter doesn’t get paid by a client company until the qualified candidate is hired, it’s up to her to convince the client that the candidate is qualified and should be hired. Put simply, a professional recruiter makes money by finding qualified candidates that her clients are apt to hire.  If she messes up and recommends a jerk, no return business.

So how does this recruiter obtain a qualified candidate for her client’s job openings? They find qualified candidates by placing employment ads, reviewing company websites, scrutinizing online job sites and job boards, working with referral agencies, and maintaining a database of potential employees. Hence, much of their day is spent sifting through resumes, reading cover letters, evaluating referrals, surfing the Internet, sending and answering email, networking, making cold calls, and talking on the phone with other human resource professionals. Their short-term objective is to find qualified candidates for their clients. Their long-term goal is to generate a pipeline of qualified candidates.

In terms of the likelihood of any one resume actually resulting in a job, most recruiters receive over 1,100 resumes for every one job opening. In addition, nearly all recruiters receive at least 50 new resumes per day. These are subsequently added to databases that already contain detailed information on anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 job applicants.

In other words, recruiters see a lot of resumes. In order to get yours placed on the pile that will get you interviews with employers, you first need to shift your mindset and adopt three new beliefs about resumes.

New Belief #1:  Resumes must be written to teach – they are not an advertisement or a marketing tool.

A resume is a specialized teaching tool.  It is not a marketing piece or an advertisement.  This is in contrast to what most resume “experts” will tell you.  But think about the mindset of a marketer.  Marketers pull out all the stops and do whatever they can to get us to think we need their product.  They spend millions researching logos, product names, color usage, and advertising campaigns.  They exaggerate product claims about what their products can do for us (check out the weight loss and get-rich-quick infomercials), sometimes crossing over the line by lying or at least providing false hope to the general public.

Or they use the “bait and switch” approach where they offer us something that looks too good to be true.  They don’t tell us the “typical” results people get; they only telling us about the rare and lucky flukes.  (“I lost 35 pounds in a week eating nothing but Oreos and ice cream!”)  The marketer doesn’t reveal that the product rarely works this good.  Then, after we have bitten the hook, they “up sell” us by telling us we need an additional product or feature to get the full benefit.  It’s all a marketing scheme, grounded in well-researched persuasive psychology and walking the line on legality and the ethical high road.

Marketers don’t care what buying their product will do to your budget, and they don’t have your best interest at heart.  YOUR best interest is not THEIR job  –  their job is to make money.  If they don’t make money, they lose their job and their kids go hungry.  Their job is to play to your emotions, your intellect, and your sense of urgency so that you leave the house right now and go buy their product.  That’s their job.  It doesn’t necessarily make them bad people; it just means that they don’t care that much about you.  You are not like a marketer.

Lots of people writing their resumes think of themselves as self-marketers.  They try to present themselves as bigger than life, greater than great.  Studies indicate that over 60% of resume writers exaggerate the truth on their resumes.  Some research indicates this number could be as high as 90%.  And, as a hiring manager, I’ve sometimes fallen for this.  The result:  I’ve hired people who SEEM to be a good fit for the job, but after a while, they don’t work out.  They’ve sold themselves to me and end up not being a good fit for the job.  Everyone pays a price for this:  the manager, because he’s hired a person who is unable to do the job; HIS boss, because he now thinks the hiring manager is incompetent;  and the person hired, because he is not able to do the job he convinced the manager he COULD do.  As a result, the employee can end up with disciplinary actions against him, which could result in termination of his employment – not to mention all the associated stress caused from his failure on the job.  Or he may have just locked himself into a job for life because his incompetence means he won’t be promoted.  Or, if the company finds out he falsified information to get the job, he could end up at the wrong end of a lawsuit.

Experienced managers can smell self-interest marketing techniques.  They intuitively identify someone who is trying to sell themselves.  When an experienced manager senses that someone is trying to sell themselves in a resume or job interview, the manager sees the person as desperate and self-centered.  The manager will run away, because the applicant sounds like a used car salesman trying to unload a junker.  It’s like the applicant is holding a big “WILL WORK FOR FOOD” sign – People tend to look the other way.  As a resume writer, you are trying to teach managers what you can do for their particular business, not trying to sell yourself as the best thing since sliced bread.

The purpose of a resume is to teach – not to market yourself.  When you draft your resume, think about the characteristics of great teachers.  This takes the pressure off of you.  You don’t have to become a salesman.  But, in teaching the hiring manager, you must adhere to teaching basics:  First, eliminate distractions.  Remember how easy it was in school to get distracted by things going on outside the windows or things the class clown was doing?  And sometimes you were so bored in the class that you probably LOOKED for things to distract you.  I know I did.  The hiring manager is the same.  If your resume is too wordy, has a distracting layout, or has any other attributes that distract the manager, it will be headed for the trash can.  More on this later.

 

Resume advice for job huntersSecond, educational psychologists have found that people need to hear a message at least three times before they remember it.  If you give students a piece of information once and never bring it up again, they are sure to forget it.  So what does this mean for you?  I want you to remember that 3 X 3 does not equal 9 x 1.  Here’s what I mean:  Giving a manager examples of three skills you have and repeating these skills in three different situations is much more powerful than giving the manager nine different skills and mentioning each only once.  The nine won’t make an impression, but the three will make you look like an expert.  For example, if a company is accepting resumes for a team leader, you are better off using three different examples of when you’ve successfully led team projects, rather than nine different skills you have, one of which is team leader.

 

But, James, won’t I be falsifying my application using this technique?  Good question!  And my answer:  Absolutely not.  Many jobs are so diverse and involve multiple duties, so writing out a complete description of the job gets long and windy.  Condense and emphasize.  Otherwise, you end up hiding your qualifications behind too much data and trivial facts.  In writing your resume, you will have to choose what to include and what to leave out of each description of your past and current jobs.  Leave out irrelevant details and emphasize necessary qualities for the job you want.

The hiring manager has the right to hire the very best person for the job.  They get to choose – that’s their job.  It is their right and their responsibility to the company.  Your job is not to sway them that you are better than some other job candidate.  Chances are you don’t know the other people the hiring manager is considering.  But your job, on the other hand, is to teach them who you are.  You have the right AND the responsibility – to yourself and those affected by your employment decisions – to put your very best in front of the manager for him to consider.  You are an educator, not a sales person.

This is a complete mental shift for most people.  Every day many great applicants are passed over because they are selling themselves, not teaching the manager.  If a manager can look over your resume and know what you have accomplished and what skills you could bring to the job, you have succeeded as a teacher, regardless of who gets the job offer.  But, remember, most people draft their resume as a sales tool.  Draft your resume as a teaching tool and you WILL stand out.

New Belief #2: Resumes must focus on the needs of the hiring manager – they are not autobiographies.

Hiring managers don’t care AT ALL about you, your needs, or your goals. You’re nothing to them but one of perhaps hundreds of names they see on pieces of paper every day. They don’t care about your career goals.  They don’t care if you become fulfilled and self-actualized, or if you really need this job because of your financial setbacks.  They have their own needs.  Your agenda isn’t their agenda.  The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll be able to create a resume that speaks directly to what they’re looking for.

From the hundreds of managers I’ve talked to, here are the top eight motivators for most employers:

1. Maintain or increase profits

2. Speed up or streamline processes

3. Comply with legal mandates

4. Solve specific problems

5. Take work off someone else

6. Move into a new market

7. Improve company image

8. Improve customer service

As employees of the company to which you’re applying, the hiring managers are operating with a set of their own needs, like pleasing their bosses, getting that next raise or promotion, and not looking stupid.  These needs influence their choices.

When you look at it from this perspective, it seems obvious:  You need to write your resume focusing on how you can meet their needs, not all about your history.  The change in mindset is somewhat subtle, but the results are powerful.

Yet very few resumes are written with the psychology of what a hiring manager wants in mind. In fact, some resume writers not only ignore these factors, they actually create resumes that work against them by focusing on issues that are of interest to no one but themselves.

Your target audience is hiring managers. To create a resume that generates lots of interviews, you have to look at life from the hiring manager’s perspective. If you don’t thoroughly understand their point of view, you’ll dramatically reduce the odds of getting an interview with a great company.

Novice resume writers often go wrong by trying to:

* Make themselves look important

* Impress their family and friends

* Secure a management position

* Get paid as much as possible

* Make their resume look like they can do things they really cannot

* Make the document fit on one page

* Demonstrate their career objectives

* Bend the truth, exaggerate qualifications, or lie outright

Once you know what’s going on in a hiring manager’s mind, it’s easy to see that the mistakes the novice writer makes have nothing to do with the manager’s motivations or that of the companies they represent. In fact, these motivating factors are so at odds with each other that they’ll most likely result in that resume writer rarely getting an interview with a great company. Which brings us to the third rule.

New Belief #3:  Resumes are truthful – you must never exaggerate the truth, and NEVER EVER lie on your resume

You know people who have done it – some of them high profile individuals.  Or maybe you’ve done it yourself – in the past.  That stops today.  Some people do it to get an advantage.  Others think they can do a job and all they need to do is get their foot in the door.  Still others do it to avoid a black mark that exists in their past and don’t want the hiring manager to know about it. I’ve talked to professional, highly paid resume writers who encourage people to “bend the truth.”   If you were a hiring manager, would you want potential employees exaggerating the truth or, even worse, lying?

There are three reasons you must not lie on a resume: 1) If discovered, you can lose your job, be publicly humiliated, or both; 2) If you land a job based on falsified data, there is a good chance you will not be able to do the job, which can cause a whole host of problems; and 3) It is wrong.  I’m not going to talk about this much.  You know in your heart what I mean.

Sixty to ninety percent of the people writing a resume will lie or exaggerate the truth on it.  Good managers see right through people who think they are marketing themselves, and like used car salesmen, such managers distrust people who they see as self-promoting marketers.

 

Getting Seen, the ultimate book for job seekers.

Click here to download “Getting Seen”

With all the ethics scandals today, good managers often are refreshed by someone who is confident enough in themselves to tell a manager what they can and cannot do.  Many people have painted themselves as being able to walk on water and – through deceit – have worked their way into jobs that were not a good fit for them.  Over time, they become miserable because they recognize that the job is a bad fit.  Coworkers, the manager, and the company look bad because they hired someone who doesn’t have the skills to do a job.  Honesty is seen as refreshing and demonstrates a welcomed trustworthiness that today’s managers appreciate.

Now I’m not saying people will be more likely to hire you if you put in your resume that you’ve robbed banks and committed all sorts of felony offenses.  But you don’t have to describe yourself as another Bill Gates to get hired by a computer company.  Don’t list all your transgressions in highlighted, bold text.  But don’t misrepresent yourself or your accomplishments.

In summary, in your resume, write about YOU while designing it for THEM.   You must know what motivates the hiring managers in the specific business you are applying for.  If you are an experienced chef, for example, your resume will look different when you apply at the upscale steakhouse chain than when you apply to a family-owned vegetarian restaurant.  It is critical that you do your homework on the company, finding their successes, their fears, and their dreams, and what their top motivators are from the list in the previous section.

Looking at all three new beliefs together, you can see that resumes are fundamentally teaching tools that must be designed to meet the underlying needs of the hiring manager and, by extension, the company they represent.  And while you are the item that’s being taught about, your resume will fail if it’s too self-serving.

This is the single most difficult concept for inexperienced resume writers to master. Write about you while designing it for them. However, if you think about the recruiter, the hiring manager, and the company’s needs, you’ll ultimately get the jobs that you desire because you will be addressing their motivations and fulfilling their needs. On the other hand, if you ignore this primary directive, you’ll be looked over because they won’t see you.  Or, worse, you’ll wind up in a job you are ill-prepared to handle.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:

Getting Seen by James Hale is the book you need to set yourself apart from the job competition. Getting Seen: The Ultimate Guide to Creating the Most Important Document of your Life – Your Resume is available for only $4.97 in all e-book formats.

Help for Those Grieving the Loss of a Loved One

As helpful as friends and family can be, often times they cannot provide the understanding you need because they don’t know what you are going through after suffering a devastating loss.

In “The Road to Recovery” you learn that you come to a crossroads in life when you lose someone very dear to you. To help you choose the right path, it is vital to read the work of someone who knows full well the deep sorrow you feel and can provide both comfort and practical advice that works. The author lost his college sweetheart and wife of four and a half years in a commercial airline crash in 1997. She was only 27 years old. He wrote this book to help other through the grieving process.

Grief HelpWhat Others are Saying about “The Road to Recovery: Overcoming & Moving Beyond Your Grief.”

“The contents are amazing and profound. Your words rang loud and true when I read them. Wish I had found this book earlier.” – Terry Welch, sister to Michael Ryan lost on Comair flight 5196, Aug. 27, 2006.

“This book contains so many insightful, appropriate and helpful ideas and suggestions. God bless you.” – Kelly Markillie, pastoral counselor at The Cathedral of Christ The King, Atlanta, GA.

“I lost my son in the World Trade Center [911] and I found your book so comforting.”Patricia Noah, mother of Leonard M. Castrianno, Cantor Fitzgerald, 105th floor WTC. 

Excerpt from this grief support guide:

If grief can be summed up in a nutshell, it is how we feel now that an important person is no longer in our life. In essence, we hurt and feel sorry for ourselves. Our focus is usually on what WE lost. Grief, of course, is a normal reaction to the loss of someone or something. Each of us will handle these feelings in our own way and in our own time. There is no blueprint to the process and no timetable to how long you will hurt.

Author J. William Worden describes four facets of mourning:

1 – Accepting the reality of the loss

2 – Experiencing the pain of grief

3 – Adjusting to an environment without the lost loved one

4 – Reinvesting emotional energy in life

Having been through the complete grief process, I can relate to each of these “steps.” Accepting the loss almost immediately helped me move on with my mourning quicker, although it didn’t make anything easier.

I cannot help you acknowledge the reality of your loss. Only you can do that, and hopefully you are well past that stage by the time you receive this book.

Sometimes, intense feelings of grief will catch us by surprise. It may startle you when you fall “into the pits” several months after the tragedy. It is at this time that many people will be expecting you to be over your loss. Don’t believe them. It is only normal for this to happen. Just remember your grief is unique. No one else is just like you. No one else had the same relationship with the person who died.

Understand that a main purpose of grief is to help you reach the point in your life when you can remember without the pain.

What I present in this book are several steps to help you get through the grieving process in a positive way.

 “The Road to Recovery: Overcoming & Moving Beyond Your Grief” has now been reduced to only $0.99 (effective Summer, 2014). Available in instant downloadable PDF format:

Buy Now

 

“Grief only comes in one size, extra large.” — Dennis Manning

Adding the Five Percent

5_star_image_prefby James Hale,

In an interview with authors William Doyle and William Perkins, a successful partner in a management consulting firm credits attention to detail for her success.

She says, “I believe that battles are won and lost in the last five percent of detail.  Everybody gets the first 80%.  Most people get the first 95%.  What makes the difference is the people who get the last five percent.”

I can relate.  One day, a colleague of mine and I were partnering up to pitch a major training program to the General Manager of one of the largest hotels in the Southeast.  With over 900 employees, this was a big deal … for the GM and for us.

We put together our cost estimates, mapped out the series of classes we would offer, and projected the hotel’s return on the investment.

On a sunny summer day, my colleague and I walked into the GM’s office to make our presentation.   The GM was a surly, ‘numbers kind of guy,’ focused keenly on our ROI projections and the metrics we would use to measure project success.  With a furrowed brow, he put his hand on his chin and said, “There’s a lot of soft stuff in your proposal about training managers how to coach their staff and teaching staff to work as a team … what if we cut that out and focused on work flow, process streamlining, and maximizing efficiency?”

My brain started thinking about the edits we would need to make and how cutting out the content would reduce our time and therefore save on project cost.  After all, he’s the customer, right?  We need to deliver what he wants, right?  Before I could open my mouth to ask specific questions about the modifications, my colleague said, “No, that’s not an option.  This company was built as a family.  The founder made it feel that way.  He had a 5 star hotel that he was proud of and that was a place of dignity for the employees.  I looked you all up and you are not a 5 star hotel anymore.  You’re 3 stars.  3.5 at best.  Your performance has steadily slipped since the founder passed, and it is because of the degrading trust within this organization.   I ate at your restaurant last night and you could feel it in how the staff interacted.  Efficiency, work flow and process streamlining are the byproduct of an environment where managers coach well and people work together towards a common goal.  We cannot maximize the results of our training without the soft skills.  If you take that out, we are not the people to deliver the program.  We can’t be part of a company that doesn’t believe in teamwork and trust … that’s not how this empire was created.  It would be disrespectful to the founder and to the legacy he created.”

Then, there was the dramatic pause.  My mouth dropped open as I stared at my colleague.   I could have killed him.  This was too big of a project to be that forceful.  Sure, I was impressed with the boldness he had shown, but a major contract was on the line.

The meeting didn’t last long after that.

Then, in the elevator on the way down, my colleague told me about some research he had done.  He told me that  the hotel is family owned.  It was constructed by the father of the current owners.  He built the hotel floor by floor on a cash-flow system, building a new floor only when he had the funds to pay cash for the work.  An amazing man.  In addition to showing wise restrain in his money management, he had quite a reputation in the community because of the commitment to his church, his generosity to local charities, and his way of treating employees like they were family.  When my colleague ate in the restaurant the night before, his waitress talked about how this man gave her a chance when others wouldn’t because of her low education and her race.

We ended up getting the project, and the GM told us that the deciding factor was my colleague’s boldness … and because he had gone the extra mile in researching the history of the company.  He new the importance of the family legacy, and that made all the difference.

That’s what I mean about that last five percent:  attention to detail made a difference in the overall impression we left with that client.

Was it worth it?  I think so.   It’s that last five percent that separates the marginally successful people from those that will rise even higher.

When making an impression, go the extra mile by attending to the last 5%.

How to Stick to your New Year’s Resolutions – 7 Steps

New Years ResolutionsWell, it’s January 11, 2013 already. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

The Today Show on NBC recently featured some helpful tips on not only setting but also keeping your New Year’s resolutions far beyond January. Most people tend to quit after the first month of the year. Let that not be us!

1) Be Honest with yourself – know what you need to change and admit it.

2) Write down your goals – putting specific goals to paper is required for reaching them.

3) Start a journal to track your progress, including why you may not have stuck to your goals in the past.

4) Establish positive feedback. Set up a dangling carrot; in other words, a prize or reward for accomplishments.

5) Be present in the moment. Appreciate today’s good moments.

6) Establish stress reduction. This could be Yoga, meditation, quiet time, or whatever helps you cut down on the stress levels in your life.

7) Gratitude makes you happy, so acknowledge all of the blessings in your life.

Keeping your New Year’s resolutions is not easy, but these seven steps should be very helpful to anyone looking to make life improvements in 2013.

Best of luck!

 

Five Truths: Part 5, Luck Favors the Prepared

Climb A MountainIn 2004, Pixar and Disney Studios released a brilliant movie called “The Incredibles.”  It was an animated film about a family of superheroes and their struggles to live in normal society.  There is a minor character in the film named Edna Mode.  Ms. Mode is a half-Japanese, half-German fashion designer specializing in custom-made outfits for superheroes. It is apparent that she feels infinitely superior to all other designers in the world and shows much disregard towards runway boutiques and modern fashion models.  She is very talented, overachieving, and a success in her special career niche.

Ms. Mode has several clever lines, but the one that applies to the job search is one she makes when questioned about all the flame-resistance, stretch ability, bullet-proof features, and attention to detail she provides in her designs, which her client views as unnecessary add-ons.  “Luck favors the prepared.”

Whether you call it divine intervention, attention to detail, or simply luck, the world provides advantages to those who invest time and attention to their life.  Whether it’s the job search, health of your relationships, or your dedication to what you are passionate about in life, more opportunities are presented to those who work to prepare themselves for the opportunities.  Luck does favor the prepared.

Bond Voyage – Scene Two

Hello, Fifi. Goodbye, Fifi

“Miss LaChance. Miss LaChance.” The knocking on the door and accompanying voice confirmed to Bond that he was not having a bad dream. Dazed, he stumbled to the door and opened it to view the room steward, immaculately dressed in white. Upon noticing the occupant’s indisposed condition. He excused himself and uttered in broken English, “So sorry, sir. Did not know you were busy. Will come back later.” Were it not for the blood on Bond’s hands, the steward would have done just that. However, on seeing this, he asked if something was amiss.

Bond Voyage - the gun“Better fetch the ship’s captain, my good man. There’s been a terrible accident.” He closed the door as the smallish man went running down the narrow corridor of the vessel. Bond turned the light on and, finding his clothes neatly stacked on a royal blue faux leather chair, he slowly dressed. His first thoughts were of the decapitated young lovely on the blood-soaked bed. Could he have departed from his own cabin more hastily to answer her plea for help? Why him? He had never seen her before in his life. But that name – LaChance, LaChance. Could she have been socialite Fifi LaChance, millionaire owner of last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, King Fleet? He recalled reading how this beautiful woman was an orphan who was later found to be the only living heiress to the fabulous LaChance fortune. Everything she touched had turned to gold until now.

Captain Haverford reminded Bond of his own mentor, the impeccable M. Cold, penetrating eyes and gray, almost-white hair gave him a distinguished, fatherly appearance. When the captain sighted the headless body, he lost his composure as M never would have been human enough to do. “My God, what has happened here?”

“Well, she certainly did not cut herself shaving.” Bonds words cut deeply into the morose atmosphere and were looked upon scornfully. Why he said something in such poor taste was beyond even his own comprehension, probably to relax the tension which so obviously permeated the cabin. James walked over to the bed, placed one last kiss on the beautiful face, and covered the body with a sheet.

“How long have you known Miss LaChance?” asked the ship’s chief officer.

“We spoke for the first time shortly after the ship’s departure from New York.”

“Come now, Mr. Bond. Surely, you do not expect me to believe that bundle of utter hogwash. How, then, could you be found stark naked with a stranger just a few hours after sailing? That involves an incredulous stretching of the imagination. Have you no reverence for the poor girl? Must you defame her character after she is no longer among the living?”

“Look, Captain, I am in no mood for your heinous accusations. Miss LaChance rang me at approximately 5:10 P.M. and said she desperately needed my assistance. How she knew me, Heaven only knows. Shortly thereafter, I reached her cabin and was knocked unconscious as the lump on my head clearly attests.”

“How can you explain the fact that Wong found you unclothed?”

“That, I cannot answer. Someone must have a morbid sense of humor. When I regained consciousness, I found this beautiful creature lying next to me in her bed.”

“And, when she resisted your atrocious advances, you killed her!”

“That is a lie!” Bond said angrily, feeling cheapened by the atmosphere the captain had created. “She was dead when I kissed her.”

“You certainly do not expect any reasonable person to believe you were making love to a dead woman, without a head, no less.”

“You may believe whatever you bloody well please. I’m returning to my cabin.”

With that flurry of words, James weaved his way through the crowd that had gathered and headed for the peaceful serenity of his cabin.

“All right, ladies and gentlemen, let’s disperse. There is nothing more to be seen. Closing the door behind him, the captain ordered Wong, “Clean up this mess and seal off this cabin so no one tries to enter.”

Used to more menial tasks, Wong beamed with pride at having been given such an important responsibility.
“Aye, aye, Captain. Wong will guard this room with his life.”

Having returned to his cabin, James fell across his bed, trying to blot out the ghastly memory of Fifi LaChance. He wondered what kind of madman would do such a deplorable thing. Surely, whoever did it is mentally deranged. He then thought how neatly the lovely head had been severed from her carcass, as though a razor-sharp guillotine had been employed. The shrill ring of the telephone on the nightstand brought Bond back to reality.

“Mr. Bond, if you want to know who killed Fifi LaChance, meet me at the swimming pool on La Playa Deck.”

Whoever it was quickly hung up, providing no clue to the identity of the indistinguishable male voice. Bond opened the dresser drawer and lifted his .25 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, which had been peacefully encased in the soft, tan leather shoulder holster. He removed his blue serge jacket and placed the gun in the uncomfortable, yet familiar, underarm position. This time he would not be caught with his defenses down. Although he never had the pleasure of meeting Miss LaChance, while alive anyway, Bond still wanted to avenge her death. She had much too much to live for to have met such a wicked end.

The elevator stopped on La Playa Deck, and Bond exited. The night air was bracingly cool, and a bright full moon shone brilliantly on the calm Atlantic. As he sauntered over towards the deserted swimming pool, his flaring nostrils detected a familiar, pungent odor. It was unmistakably the stench of burning flesh.

“Over here, Mr. Bond,” came a voice from the shadows obscuring the 16’ by 32’ swimming pool.

007 ducked behind a wooden chaise lounge, listening for any strange sounds in the night. He heard nothing, so slowly crept towards a small puff of smoke smoldering about ten yards forward of his secured position. As he approached, the putrid odor intensified. On reaching the origin of the smoke, Bond recoiled and had to fight off a strong urge to vomit. There, lying in the middle of the oversized barbeque pit was the charred body of a very dead young woman.

Swiftly, catching Bond completely unaware, a life preserver crashed into his skull and knocked him headlong into the swimming pool. There was no movement from the water save soft waves created by the gentle swaying of the pleasure cruiser.

 

To Be Continued on the All Star Press Authors Blogs