My Favorite Animal

My Favorite Animal

Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.”   She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else in the class laughed.

My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA.   He said they love animals very much.

I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was.   I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, just like she’d asked the other children.

So I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken.

She sent me back to the principal’s office again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again. I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am.

Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most.

I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”

Guess where I am now. . .

Thursday, January 27th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Dianne’s Medical Visit Update -Monday, December 20, 2010

On Monday, December 20, Dianne and I visited MUSC for her scheduled and periodic pulmonologist visit.  The report from this trip was not the one we were hoping to get, or expecting.

Just prior to talking with her physician Dianne underwent a breathing test to determine how well her lungs were functioning.  The test showed her lung efficiency has decreased by 10% – a surprise to both of us.  While we both were keenly aware she was finding herself more easily winded with daily activities, like folding laundry or baking in the kitchen, we didn’t expect the results of the test to be so negatively significant.  Our doctor was also very concerned as he said anything over 7% was a serious drop.

For those of you following Dianne’s medical updates, you may recall she has two different lung diseases that overlap each other – myositis interstitial lung disease (only 2-11 out of every 1 million people have this) and scleroderma (a disease that causes scarring of the lung along with other organs).  The doctor stated again her medical condition is ‘very complicated.’

We also found out on this visit that there are two different types of scleroderma – one that is called limited scleroderma which scars the lung and affects the face, arms and legs.  The other is not limited – it scars the lungs, affects the face, arms and legs and also impedes the ability of affected internal organs to function.  Dianne has the latter one.  In addition to the normally affected areas it has apparently affected her digestive system.  This means she has trouble digesting and processing her food as easily as most of us.  To her it is also quite painful, as she has almost constant bloating and stomach pain from early in the morning until she falls asleep at night.

Beside the breathing problems Dianne has, she a fair number of other complications, but now the greatest she faces is the added difficulty of not being able to adequately digest her medications because her digestive system is not working properly.  This visit she was given medicinal instructions we hope to address that problem.  She needs to be able to digest the medicine to alleviate pain, address the other symptoms and hold her disease ‘in check.’

Her specialist recapped and told us there are three potential medical treatments to help her.  She was non-responsive to the first one.  We moved to the second one.  That is the one she is on now, and presently the medication is not working.  It may be because of her digestive issues.  The doctor is going to give it two more months, and if her digestive issues are not resolved or the medicine is not working, she will be put on the third and final medicinal option.  It will be a chemotherapy IV drip administered once a month (by the way, the oral medicine she is taking now is also a chemotherapy drug).

The doctor told us again that Dianne should have a long life.  Our question to him was a simple one.  What will her life be one year from now?  Or, three years from now?  He that told us that scleroderma is a very nasty disease and he’d answer that question for us in six months.

Dianne still has some challenges to overcome, but we are both confident that God has her in His hand.  We treasure your prayers on her behalf as she walks along the next health steps.  I’ll be joining you in asking God give her strength and healing according to His will.  And, I’ll be standing alongside her as her friend, lover and husband, being a strength for her, and pampering her every step of the way.

We appreciate all of you who ask about her and send her encouragement.

Her in-love-with-her husband,


Friday, December 24th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Are These Reports About You?

Recent reports named two problems that plague most adults (more than likely, most of the people you know have one or both of these problems):

  1. A big financial problem – most households spend 110% of what they make.
  2. A terrible health problem – more than two-thirds of American adults are now overweight or obese, and the past 30 years the obesity rate has doubled.

One of the questions we often ask when we find ourselves in trouble in either of these areas is “How do I get turned around and get back on a track?”  Unfortunately, there usually isn’t a fast and easy way to fix either.  Most likely, there have been years of weak or poor choices in behavior that have people in trouble.

I think the first place for an individual to get started is to recognize that one has to want to improve.   Almost every morning I’m up at 5am and then head out to exercise – a healthy run and bike ride.  Sometimes I exercise in the neighborhood, and sometimes I go to the local gym.  Even when I travel, I do my best to either run or use the hotel’s gym.  Sometimes that takes a commitment to get up and get going.  The discipline of eating right and exercising allows me to feel good about my body and my health.

Financially, I think it’s a little embarrassing at times when my colleagues and friends talk about my frugality.  We chuckle about it when we are in some of our social get-togethers.  But, today, more than ever I am conscious of the many difficulties I brought on myself because of poor financial decisions.  Almost all of them were grounded in weak financial discipline.  I decided I didn’t like being under financial pressure.  I changed.  First, in my thinking and then in my doing.  Now, I have a better grasp of how to manage, survive and grow financially.  My I’d like to think my frugality is a result of a better financial discipline.

My pastor recently shared what I think is a powerful quote, “it’s amazing what a person who understands money can do.”  I hope you learn to master and practice a stronger discipline in your financial life so that statement can be what comes to mind when people think about you.

Discipline yourself to eat right and exercise appropriately.  And, then use sound financial tools and principles to guide you to your optimal financial strength.

Man Up!!  Or, Woman Up!!  Start today and don’t become part of the negative statistics.  If you need someone to point you in a direction to get started toward a physically or financially healthier you, send me a note and I’ll recommend a few coaching sites and resources… you’ll be the better for it.

Monday, October 18th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Deal of the Century!

Deal of the Century

 If the McDonald brothers had turned down Ray Kroc’s offer to buy their restaurant company in the early 1960s and stuck to their original agreement to receive 0.5 percent of the proceeds of the franchises’ sales, they would have earned $318 million in 2008 alone.  Instead they asked for a flat $2.7 million in cash, which meant after taxes, each brother was a millionaire once over.                           

Source: “None Of Us Is As Good As All Of Us: How McDonald’s Prospers By Embracing Inclusion and Diversity,’ by Patricia Sowell Harris

Keep in mind that shortsightedness is the bane of those who aren’t visionary.  The above quote certainly demonstrates the result of shortsightedness, or at the very least, a lack of a healthy vision. 

In my executive capacity I work with corporate decision makers every day.  It’s always refreshing to talk with those individuals who see a positive future for their employees.  That is the mindset of every executive I talk with.  None of them are blind to the economic difficulties that abound in our country, or in the personal lives of their employees.

There are many personal stories around all of us of people who ‘almost got there.’  Be aware of where you are as you work to achieve your personal goals – keep your vision – stay the course.  And, if you need someone to coach you along the way, choose a coach who knows how to coach you to get there, not one who encourages you to sell yourself short!

Gregg (and Dianne)

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Someone Else Is Gone!

Someone Else Is Gone!!

Dianne and I were saddened to learn this month of the death of one of our business colleagues: Someone Else.  Someone’s passing creates a vacancy that will be hard to fill.  Else has been with us for many years.  Else did far more than the normal person’s share of the work.

Whenever there was a job to do, a meeting to attend, one name was on everybody’s list.  “Let Some Else do it.”

It was well known that Someone Else was the largest giver.  Whenever there was a financial need, we all assumed that Someone Else would come to the rescue.  Someone Else was a wonderful person, almost superhuman, but a person can only do so much.  Were the truth known, everyone expected too much of Someone Else.  Now Someone Else is gone!  We wonder what we are going to do.  Else left a wonderful example to follow.  So when you are asked to help, please remember: we can’t depend on Someone Else anymore!!

This was copied from a note without telling the author – I’d give credit if i knew who it was.  This is certainly worth sharing.

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

You have no idea what opportunity means!

You have no idea what opportunity means

“It takes a special person to see a solution where others only see a problem.  It takes an entrepreneur to recognize the solution as an opportunity.”  Unknown Author

Opportunity is all around you.  Everywhere you look, there it is.  The difficulty for you rests in two areas – one is your inability to ‘see’ the opportunity; and, the other is your willingness to ‘seize’ it.

Quite a number of my business meetings require me to travel by air from time to time.  Often I’ll spend my time reading.  Currently, I am reading through a set of history books given to me by my 92 year-old father-in-law.  They were written over a span of years from 1932-1944 by James Truslow Adams.  In one of the volumes, the author made the following observation about missed opportunity.

“The Northwest Territory had been developing rapidly.  Ohio had been made a State in 1802, Michigan Territory was carved out of the Old Northwest in 1805, and Illinois Territory (including the present Wisconsin), four years later.  The American pioneer had long been a woodsman and he could not, or thought he could not, utilize the open prairies and plains of the farther West.  Not only was the tough sod too much for his rude ploughs but the absence of timber for dozens of daily uses, including the two essentials of housebuilding and fire for cooking and warmth, made the “great open spaces” seem impossible of utilization.”

Wow!  What a misread for most of the American pioneers.  Thousands of towns and cities abound now in what those pioneers thought was useless territory.  Imagine how many lives would have been changed if they had only looked at the land around them instead of trekking across the country looking for the elusive ‘Eden.’

 Of course, you and I understand how that could have happened.  I’ve missed opportunities way too many times.  So have you.  You and I often look around and say something similar to those early settlers – ‘there’s no opportunity here.’  What often underlies that statement is the fact that we haven’t learned how to uncover or see what lies in front of us.

This isn’t a note to tell you of any specific opportunities you need to take advantage of – it’s a wake-up call to tell you to start paying better attention.  More than likely, you’ll can position yourself to help more people and possibly earn a good income while you do it.

I coach a handful of people to do just what I’ve suggested you do.  All of them have adjusted their income projections upward – all of them are, or will be, six digit annual income earners by December 31st.  Two are now income strong and asset millionaires.  What does that have to do with you?  Everything!  Start looking around and paying attention.  If you don’t see an opportunity, find someone who can help you see more clearly.  Then, if you need to, find someone to help you ‘seize’ the opportunity.

In this economy, more opportunities abound than ever.  Don’t get left out and left behind.  Get out there and do it.  You already know what you need to do, now act on it!

Gregg (and Dianne)

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Is ‘Your World Broke?’

Last week, I read the below headliner box on the FoxBusiness website. What a sobering question! It made me wonder if ‘my’ world was broke.

I’m pretty sure our world is not financially solvent. And, of course, I haven’t seen any global financial sheets. But, I am very aware of what the news media says is going in my community, nation and globally.

Yesterday, it came a little closer to you and me. As I ran on the fitness club treadmill, I watched the business news on TV. One of the newscasters stated about a dozen of our fifty states is considering filing bankruptcy. Wow! That’s bad. And, I can only imagine how bad it will be for those they owe money when they declare bankruptcy.

Both of these news stories drive home a simple truth. Don’t spend more than you bring in. It doesn’t matter who it is – this rule applies to everybody – the government, as well as to you and me. We can spend more than we bring in, but only for so long. There’s always a day of reckoning.

That’s my message to you. Don’t spend more than you bring in. Determine to get stronger financially. Right now. And do something about it. Discipline yourself to get debt free as soon as you can.

If you don’t know how, email me and ask – I’ll get you to information about a great resource that can help you do that. It’s the same resource I’ve been providing to small corporations all the way up to and including Fortune 100 companies. Help on steriods – I bet you could use that kind of resource!

Each of us deserves better than having to go to sleep at night wondering if the world is broke. Or, more importantly, if ‘my’ world is broke.

So, how do we fix all of this? It’s simple. Start with the person in the mirror. Get control of your finances before they get control of you. If your financial condition dictates what you can and can’t do, then get sound counsel and get on a path to do better. Be better. Be stronger. That’s what Dianne and I are doing.

We reflect that in our personal mission statement. I’ll sign off today by sharing it with you …

Our mission is to be financially independent, build a legacy for our children and grandchildren and leave a path others can follow so they can do what we have done. We will do this by developing and using our personal written business plan to guide us as we manage our revenue streams; we help others by coaching them to do what we’ve done as we share our business plan and strategies with them.

Dianne and I urge our colleagues to adopt our simplified mission statement as their own:

What do we do for a living? Dianne said it well – “we enjoy life!”

Dianne and I travel when and where we want, live a very comfortable upper middle income lifestyle, sleep as late as we want and romance each other constantly.

We teach other interested people how to do what we now do… so they too, might live their lives as they dream them to be – full of energy and free of financial restraints.

Gregg (and Dianne)

Friday, June 25th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

First Post

This is my first blog posting and is a reprint of a note I sent out in February. I’ll post more current notes as my proficiency increases.

It was cold this Friday morning!

Way too cold to get out of a bed jointly warmed by Dianne and me.

It’s the same thing every morning – I wake up around 5am in equal anticipation and dread. I’m going to get dressed and run. I love to run! But, in the winter I hate it. It’s not crowded where I run. Ever!! It’s just the iPod and me. For six miles! And, then I take my iPod for a twelve mile cycle ride while setting a cadence between eighth and twelfth gear.

Sometimes I think I’m a little bit crazy. And maybe that’s what it takes. But I love the feeling of accomplishment and knowing what I’ve done. Besides that, I really feel good the rest of the day. The satisfaction of knowing my personal self discipline overcame the lazy part of me that wanted to stay in bed. I really enjoy my exercise. It’s the getting up part that’s not always so easy. Every morning, I know I’m going to have to give up a warm cuddly space in our bed if I want to exercise. This morning it was 23 degrees outside. You’ve got to be kidding me … I could feel the cold air against my bare legs (I had my Nike running shorts on). And, even though Nike is the Greek word for “conqueror” I don’t think about being a conqueror in 23 degree weather. But, I certainly do feel like one after I’ve completed my run and ride every morning.

It takes that same type of commitment in my business – I love what I do. And anytime I complete talking with a prospective client, completing a sale process or tackling something that looked to be so daunting – I feel great! But using that telephone and calling the people on my prospect list is just not what I want to do. It’s that same feeling I have in the morning tempting me to stay in bed. Sometimes I’m more comfortable not doing what needs to be done. Calling people is not always comfortable. Why should I do anything I know is going to be uncomfortable? Call people on the phone on my prospect list – are you kidding me? I’ve got email to check, Facebook messages to read, and my retirement stocks to watch in Ameritrade. These are comfortable actions I like to do (of course, not a one of them accomplishes anything productive). Calling people to ask them to become clients or agents – whew – I can feel the freezing cold air against my legs.

But, I’m going to do it anyway. I’ll exercise when I don’t feel like it. I’ll call prospects when I don’t want to do it. Exercising when I don’t want to is so much like prospecting – I have to do it to position myself better. It’s the same with you. If you don’t exercise…well, you know the risks. And in business if you don’t prospect, you’ll find easier and easier the excuses to quit. You’ll become one of the ‘quitter’ statistics. What a terrible accomplishment that would be.

Exercise. You’ll feel better after you do it, not before. Make those calls to your prospective clients and agents. You’ll feel better after you do it, not before. I’m a veteran on not doing and doing. I choose doing because not doing makes me feel terrible afterwards. Join me – whether its exercise or productive business actions – you’ll look better in the mirror after you do it!!

Let’s get our pace faster and let’s build something HUGE!!

Gregg (and Dianne)

Thursday, June 17th, 2010 Business Plans, Leadership No Comments