Jan 04 2016


What will you do with


your time this year?



FACT: As of Jan. 10th, you will have already spent 14,400 minutes of this new year that you’ll never get back!

QUESTION: On a scale of 1-10 (10=best), how would you rate your 2016 accomplishments so far? 

ONE MORE QUESTION: What will you do with the remaining 340,666 minutes (511,000 minutes minus 1/3 for sleep) in 2016?



Can the last question really be answered? Of course not. How could you possibly know what situations and circumstances will impact your intentions? So maybe intentions are not such a great thing. We’ve heard, after all, that they pave the road to hell, hmmm. And they’re kind of like expectations, right? And expectations breed disappointment, yes?

So where does all this quibbling over semantics actually leave us? Hopefully . . . (aw, wait a minute, isn’t “hopefully” like an intention and expectation combined?). Well then, is this an end to planning as we know it? Do we throw the goals out with the posts? (A little pun there for football fans.) Do we stop having objectives to pursue?

Planning is essential, but it is not a trigger for compulsive pursuit at all costs. Why is this important to consider NOW? Because:

Entrepreneurs are business junkies.


How do we know that strict, rigid planning fails? Because planning (i.e, goal setting) has been long proven to be successful only if the process of goal setting adheres firmly to specific criteria, and one of these is flexibility. The less flexible, the more stress. The more stress the greater the odds for failure.

There is something to be said for the thrust and direction of many, if not most, entrepreneurially-spirited engines . . . something that is most succinctly put as “living for the moment.” Entrepreneurs instinctively seek immediate gratification and are more focused on the “here and now” present moment than those in other careers.

It’s that old thing grandpa used to say about not putting off ’til tomorrow what you can do today. Entrepreneurs have a powerful need for a quick fix when things start to flounder or deteriorate, or when last week’s “high” begins to wear off. Sound familiar? It’s true.  Look around. Ask around.

Small business owners and operators have mostly learned the hard way –through trial and error and intuitive “street smarts”– that ongoing quick-fix actions are the only ones that get results, and keep businesses moving forward when the tide is changing or the current is a backwash.

But swimming upstream for any period of time can be exhausting to say the least, so the idea of taking immediate corrective/adjustment action needs, in reality, to be tapered only with the commitment to take only reasonable risks in the process, and to always imagine the worst case scenario before proceeding.

Try repetitively asking yourself the following question all during any crisis or critical period, hourly if need be:

“Is what I’m doing right this very minute

leading me to where I want to go?”

# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US          931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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May 10 2011

Hope and Expectations

You can count sheep, but


don’t count your chickens.



“Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched!” my mother always warned me. As usual, she was right. God rest her soul. Were she still here, she would have been marching around the White House with “SAVE SMALL BUSINESS” placards, and made herself a thorn in the side of the sooo-unbusinesslike Obama Administration.

Mom would have waved her finger at Mr. Obama, and lectured him on the need for the nation to rely on small businesses to reverse our ever-deepening economic quagmire. She would have looked him in the eye and might have said something like:

“Son, you need to know that hope and 

 expectations breed disappointment.

And you just better get on with it!”


Mom knew what the White House fails to know, and that professional practice and small business owners and managers –and, yes, all professional salespeople everywhere know in their heart of hearts (but often forget):

Only by taking steps to get things

done, do things actually get done!


No, she wasn’t a polisci major. Mom quit high school at age 16, when both her parents died, to become mother and father and housekeeper to her three younger sisters and two “good-for-nothin'” lazy older brothers (who grew up to be lazy “good-for-nothin'”‘ uncles). She supported her “sibling family” working at a telephone switchboard.

After marrying my mailman father, she became a full-time homemaker (in the days they were called housewives). Mom knew hard work and tough economic times, but worked through it all with smiles and prayers. Her bottom line advice would be:

“Y’know, the more we sit around and plan and analyze and hope and expect, the less that happens. Because,” she would thump on her kitchen table, mocking my father’s pretend toughness, and say things that you could interpret to mean: “Because the game delays that result from energy expended could instead have been devoted and directed toward stepping up to the plate and swinging the bat.”     

(Mom was a big baseball fan.) 


Regardless of whether you are a photographer, accountant, publisher, undertaker, precision parts manufacturer, pizza parlor franchisee, shoe salesman, crime scene cleaner, mattress retailer, or social media marketing mogul, you can be sure that absolutely nothing works for your business if you don’t make it work. 

So get off your butt, get you glove and get in the game. If you prefer to be hoping and expecting, send in an application to become a monk, or join the White House staff. If you seek results and growth, listen to my mother who would tug your sleeve and tell you “Action speaks louder than hope.”

She would have concluded by saying something like:

“If there’s anything to count after you’re done with sheep and chickens, count your blessings, count your lucky stars, and count ON yourself. You and they (your blessings and stars) are all here and now . . . real. You and they are what you have. Make the most of you and them. And visit again soon.”


Thanks, Mom.

# # #

           Businessworks.US or 931.854.0474

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Feb 15 2011


The best way to inspire 


your people is to accept


them as your internal


customers . . . and not


your puppies.



Did you ever think of your “inner circle” of employees, your key support staff, as a pack of puppies? Not the same as a litter; those are all the same breed. A pack! A pack of puppies. Some are more aggressive than others. Some are more animated. Some bark louder. Only a few pay serious attention to the tasks at hand. They run and jump in every direction, except at dinnertime — they all like to eat!

And all will, of course, perform as challenged

for the smallest of treats.


They look up to you as their leader. They pay off your expenditures of energy and time (which they sense or understand) and money (which they do not understand) with unsolicited admiration and unquestioning, unchallenging instincts to follow your commands and your examples. They won’t cross you because they don’t want to risk missing dinner and . . . because they know you’re “the boss”! 

As they grow, they become more set in their ways. Regardless 0f temperament, most like to explore –the woods, the beach, the basement, maybe only their own paws, but some thing. They can get discouraged though quickly when explorations are frowned upon.

Have you seen employees become discouraged when management emphasis is having them learn to stay in line, follow orders, and continually focus on past events and future plans at the expense of the present moment.

Puppies and free-wheeling innovative employees are present-moment creatures.


To keep things manageable, you coax them all (puppies and employees alike) into a the security of a routine. As if almost in a trance-like state, routines tend to be non-threatening and predictable. But, wait! Is that what you want for your entrepreneurial mission? Are you in search of  innovators or household pets?

The trouble is that as the relationships grow over time, and the reward treats become bigger and more expensive, there seems to rise from the ground in a great cloud of smoke, an irresistible temptation to mix up that smoke with some mirror tricks, and/or become lackadaisical, dependent, and reliant on the leader for direction.

Consider the ultimate corporate and (excluding military, police, fire, and EMT services) government life routines of: 9 to 5, paychecks, benefit plans, and (for those lucky-but-mostly-come-to-be-unappreciative few), holiday turkeys. These are wonderful reassuring kinds of expectations for cultivating employees to behave like pets.

It keeps them in control, and makes healthy, fun-loving life companions out of them. But (and you know what’s coming):

Entrepreneurs and small business owners and managers can no longer afford compliant, obedient, do-nothing employees.

Despite preachings you may hear from the White House, there is no denying that these are, and continue to be, tough times.

Trying to be profitable in a country that is virtually broke is like trying to play inspired World Cup Soccer in a silent, empty stadium.


Employees must be catered to as much as customers. Innovation needs to be ignited and encouraged daily. Employees are your key internal customers and they will either drive business for you, or they will quickly transform from entrepreneurial puppydom into corporate and government sheep, waiting for you to sheer and feed and shepherd them!

# # #


302.933.0116   Hal@BusinessWorks.US

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Nov 10 2010

“Great Expectorations!”

When expectations


breed disappointment


(and they always do!),


expectorate them!


Better yet, when you see planning start to cross that ever-so-thin line into expectations a little too often, you may want to consider working harder to not have any expectations to start with.

They overwhelm and underwhelm at the same time. They are the stuff that emotional upsets, frustrations, and another “ex” word –exasperations– are made of.

Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future are self-imposed, self-destruct avenues (sometimes “erringly” made into missions!). Herein lies the key to big-time sales! 

Most people can see that dwelling and worrying are not healthy pursuits that can lead quickly to far worse consequences than a headache. But few seem to realize that expectations can be just as damaging to one’s well-being.

Expectations can quickly lead us out of the present moment. Anything that takes our minds off of our work when we are at work and “on the job,” can be a genuine (and sometimes permanent, even all-pervasive) threat to productivity.

Lost productivity = Lost revenues = Lost profits.

. . . an increasingly difficult path to reverse

in an increasingly difficult economy.

Staying tuned-in to each passing “Here and Now” moment as it occurs may not always be easy, but it is always a choice. So why choose misery?

It’s been said that Einstein only used 10% of his brain. Where does that leave the restof us? Scientists further make a strong case for humans who could use 100% of their brains being able to separate molecules and walk through walls.

Hmmm, that conjures up a thought or two. Presumably, if we could live in the present moment every moment, we would never have illness or accidents.

Well, that sounds great, and knowing it’s a choice thing really rubs our noses in it, doesn’t it? But as truth will out, consider that being in the here-and-now as much as we possibly can, offers us greater protection from accidents and illness.

Imagine the implications and possibilities for business. For leadership. For teamwork. For building long-term business relationships?

I don’t know about you, but it seems (and, personally, has proven time and again) worth the effort to minimize expectations by increasing focus on the present moment. The potential rewards far outweigh the expenditure of effort.

Where to start? Try some of the direct links noted throughout this post, and punch words into the search window! Because they are generally more diligent and and constantly active than other senses, be aware that staying tuned-in has more to do with what you take in through your eyes and ears than anything else — except, most assuredly, your breathing. take some deep breaths.

Of course, suddenly smelling a dead skunk, or touching something hot or cold or sharp, or experiencing a great or foul taste can all have a jarring effect. But touch, smell, and taste generally need to be triggered for us to start paying attention. Bottom line: work at sharpening all of your senses.

Realize that you can stay alert without having expectations. You can anticipate without having expectations. You can be prepared without having expectations. And, get this: you can even expect something without having expectations! Give that one a little thought.


931.854.0474 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

3 responses so far

May 20 2009

STRESS Kills Sales Quicker Than The Economy

“I’m Sick of Worrying!”


     An important followup note on last night’s blog post topic: “Worry” as noted comes from being too over-focused on the FUTURE, which ignites weapons of self-destruction fuses and pulls the pin out of expectation grenades that inevitably breed disappointment, followed by negativity, depression, stress…

     This is all true, but as I re-read the post, I see that I failed to include being too overly-focused on the PAST as a worry trigger as well. Consider getting caught up in giving either too much attention to future plans and expectations, or in over-and-done-with past events, as “partners in crime.”

     These “bad guy partners” are out to get you, and you can stop them short, before either one ever gets close to delivering harmful effects to you, your family or your business. Success means simply that you need to exercise more of your brain power to deliver increased personal awareness and increased self-control to your SELF! (Considering Einstein reportedly only ever used 10% of his brain power, just imagine what’s possible.)

     Thinking about the past can be productive, relaxing, and instructional, but not once it reaches the point of dwelling on past events. As with allowing future thoughts to become worrisome, our balance and stability as humans is equally threatened by dwelling on the past. 

     The past is over and cannot be changed. Worrying about and dwelling on it is a nonproductive (actually counter-productive) waste of time and energy. Conscious or unconscious, the fact remains that paying over-the-top attention to either the past OR the future—instead of the (much-healthier) present—is a choice.

     To get past the “points of destruction” in your mind, you need to be a detective about yourSELF. Figure out what it is that trips your circuit-breaker, that gets you “lost” in past or future thoughts and issues. Once you know what your “trigger” is, then every time you are aware of it coming to the surface, let it serve as a reminder to pinch yourself or feel your pulse or heartbeat, or take a deep breath…and return yourself to what’s going on right in front of your face.

     Oh, but that’s hard and I don’t know how to do it! It’s hard if you CHOOSE for it to be hard. You can just as easily CHOOSE for it to be easy. As for how to do it, just start paying closer attention to your own behaviors…how you respond and react to others, to situations.

     Keep track of your words and actions. Write your observations down someplace and review your notes every few days. Keep asking yourself what you are learning about yourself right this minute.

     You’ll surprise yourself. And odds are you’ll far exceed your own expectations of what you believed to be possible for your own physical, mental, and emotional health and happiness. Try it. You’ll like it! But don’t wait too long. There’s no time like the present!      

# # #      

Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar              # # # 

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