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Have You Stopped, Looked And Listened Lately?

Just before Christmas we found out that our wonderful dog Chase had terminal cancer and only had a few weeks to live. Although we were quite upset, he had come through major health issues the previous year so we were not surprised. My wife and I agreed to keep him as long as he was doing fine, and as soon as he showed signs of a drop off, we would put him down.

I tried to play the “he’s just a dog card”, but that did not work. It was a very difficult time when he took a turn for the worst. We scheduled an appointment at the vet the next day. The following afternoon, my whole family was out, so I had a chance to sit with him on our deck.

It was an abnormally mild January day for Northern Alberta, which allowed him one last chance to hang out in the yard that he loved so much. He was not able to chase the squirrels like had had done hundreds of times before, but he was able to lie there as I stayed close.

As I sat with him and shut off the world around me, I stopped everything that I was doing, looked around at the place that he had called home for so many years, and just listened to all the sounds around us. I had not been in that relaxed a state for what seemed like months, and was able to fully disengage from the hustle and bustle of life to be in the moment with him. I became so relaxed that I actually fell asleep with him on the deck for one of the last hours of his life!

I reflected upon this event a few weeks after he had passed, and thought fondly about our time together in the yard taking it all in. We get so wrapped up getting through the day that we don’t take enough time to stop, look and listen. I can’t remember the last time I just sat with Chase in the back yard and hung out. There were always other things happening that seemed more important than just being with him.

Perhaps you may want to:

– Cut back on your workload to spend more time with family, friends and even pets
– Reduce your outside commitments so you can have some “me time”
– Take up a hobby again that you have been unable to keep up with because life got in the way
– Connect with people that you have not corresponded with in a long time


Stop, look and listen to everything around you. Take a breath and be thankful for everyone that you hold dear, and focus more on them. You never know how long they will be around for!

Saturday Music Memories – Let’s Have some “Fun”!

I must admit that I am not as up to speed as I should be on the current hot bands. The Grammy’s were an eye opener for me recently that I am missing out on some cool new bands. Take “Fun” for example. I mean, their name is “Fun”! How great is that?

Over 172 million people have viewed this video for “We Are Young”.

So your take away from “Fun” this weekend is have fun, laugh, and enjoy every minute.

Keep Smiling!

The Five Star 5 – Lessons I’ve Learned From My Sons

I was looking through old “Five Star 5” posts last night, and this one caught my attention. As many of you know, I now have two sons, and this message is more powerful as I watch both of them grow and develop each day!

I was looking for an old picture on my computer recently, and ended up spending an hour watching old videos of my son. Wow time flies by! It seems like only yesterday he uttered his first word, took his first step, and spent his first day at pre-school! Now my soon to be six-year-old is off to grade 1 in a little over a  month.

Sometimes we get so focused on raising them and just getting through the day, we forget how much they are developing at this young age and shaping who they will become in the future. There are lessons that we can all learn from kids, when we take the time to really watch what they are doing.

Here are five lessons that I have learned along the way from my best bud!

  • Smile and laugh when possible
  • Always be asking questions and trying new things
  • Don’t get frustrated when things don’t go your way
  • Try to do a good job at whatever you are doing, but don’t worry about being perfect
  • Be silly sometimes, it is ok!

And a bonus lesson…..

  • Be a good friend

Guest Post – Daniel Francis “Hit Reset”, And It Worked!

I had debated coming clean for a while and getting personal about my battles with stuttering throughout my life on this blog. I finally took a leap of faith and developed a post about it last week. It ended up being one of my most popular to date, and I wanted to thank everyone for their support. In case you missed it, here is the link again:

It caught Daniel Francis’ attention, and inspired this guest post. I have been connected with Daniel for many months now, thanks to him initially reaching out on Facebook. His content is inspiring, well thought out, and incredibly interesting to read. I am enjoying his book “The Cold Calling Bible” now.

Daniel was living a good life, but not a great one for 10 years doing what he thought he should in trying to achieve massive success and live what he thought were his dreams.  A reality check and some tough times ensued; but once he figured out what he was really good at, his life changed.

Check out his inspiring story, and try to relate. Are changes perhaps in store for you as well?

We live in a time when more is accessible to us than ever before. More information, more stimulation, more stuff.  Dream it, and the world may well offer you a crack at it, but have you ever chased the wrong dream? I have, and I’ve lived to tell about it.

Like many people, I wanted to live “the good life”, but my definition of “the good life” was, upon reflection, pretty selfish. In fact, I spent a decade chasing the wrong dream for the wrong reasons. What did I dream about? A Lamborghini.  Luxury condos in New York and Berlin. Life in the fast lane: travel, women, adventure.  You might call it Fortune 500 or James Bond 007 signed, sealed, and delivered.

My persona in those days was definitely that of a smart-ass. I was living and working in The Big Apple, the ultimate corporate pressure-cooker. My employers and clients seemed to think I could do it all, and they threw it all at me. I never flinched, I just took on more and more — even things that I simply am not good at. Now let’s be honest. There are things we do well, and there are things we don’t. Wisdom would have it that we eventually learn to distinguish between the two.

For ten years, I chased my dream with the enthusiasm, dedication and passion that I do everything – all the while creating expectations I could not fulfill because they involved doing things I am simply not good at. I was living beyond my means, above my limitations, offering more than I could actually deliver. You might say I had become very adept at flying by the seat of my pants. The problem was that I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time – balancing – and terrified of falling.  Of failing.  Everyone, and ultimately, myself.

Eventually, my life came tumbling down around me. Burn-out led to depression, with all the troubles, sorrows, and self-reflection that entails. It took some months and a lot of work before I discovered the secret to a successful life and healthy dreams: Focus on what you are really good at, therein lies the key to happiness.

I am the Cold Call Expert. I can get you in the door of corporate decision-makers faster than anyone. My friends and colleagues had told me this for years, marveling at how easy it is for me to get through to the CEO with a single call. I love it. I’m great at it. It’s what I do really well, and best of all, the people I call upon enjoy it too. More than once I’ve been told, “This was the best sales call I’ve ever experienced. Thank you!” I am a connector and I teach others how to connect.

Identifying and embracing my true strength changed my life. I stopped trying focus on skills that are outside my limitations. I recognized that I do, in fact, have limitations. I work healthier now, less intensely, but with greater passion. I earn a good salary, have a good life, and dream realistic dreams. I traded in my elusive Lamborghini to drive a reliable Volvo, and as I sit here writing, I am thoroughly enjoying a fresh slice of bread with chunky peanut butter. Simplicity, balance in work and recreation, and enjoying what I do each day makes for a truly great life.

If you are tired of chasing your tail, oops, I mean, your dream, look again. Maybe you are pursuing an unrealistic dream. Learn to focus on your true strengths. A better life is sure to follow.

Daniel Francès, author of The Cold Call Bible and experienced Cold Calling Trainer, was born with sales running through his veins. While other boys daydreamed of becoming firemen or famous soccer players, Daniel knew instinctively from the age of seven that he aspired to sell. Beginning his career in New York, he became first acquainted with the phenomenon of cold calling, and was intrigued and inspired. He immediately internalized this form of marketing as second nature.  

After studying, fine tuning and practicing his craft, Daniel became a master of the Cold Call. In 2010, obsessed with training others to master the Cold Call, he established The Cold Call Company dedicated to the art of cold calling. He now custom designs and delivers corporate cold calling training programs and is an adviser on how to gain new business using cold calling.

Daniel can be reached at:
PHONE: +31 20 77 42 836
TWITTER: @coldcallcompany

Paul Castain’s Important Message About Life and Family

Do you ever read something online that is so inspiring and memorable that you cannot get it out of your head? This happened to me yesterday morning, and I thought about it for the rest of the day.

Since it is the 4th of July for my American readers, I thought this would be a great time to share a recent post by Paul Castain about family and life in general.

This piece comes from the heart, and discusses looking forward (not back) but keeping memories “in a special place” that you can cherish for the rest of your life.


Happy 4th of July, and have a wonderful day!

Great message by Rupert! Short and sweet, and a quick reality check for success. Have a great Saturday…

Observations from a Business Insider

Oh Come on people!  I said this blog was about cutting through the crap in what people write about business not adding to it.  There aren’t just six or ten Top Tips to anything.  We’re all just lazy and wish that there were just a few simple things that we could do to ensure success.  

Well, please don’t shoot the messenger but the people who you see as successful have become that way through an infinite number of routes, through innumerable failures, through indecipherable nuances of established principles and there is no way for you to replicate it.  You can get to where they are at (or at least where you perceive them to be at) but you can’t get there in the same way that they got there.  The world has moved on and doors they were open to them are shut to you.  Look for your own…

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