Aug 20 2015

Now is “your time!” NOW. This minute!





Get your eyes off this blog post for just ten (10) seconds and look around you! Serious. Turn around! Scope it out! Look at what’s behind you! Go ahead! I’ll wait.

What do you see? And do you all of a sudden hear or smell or taste something you didn’t notice when you had your face buried in your screen? Odds are you hate, or are afraid of, looking behind you. Why? Because doing that puts you in touch with the awful or distant or useless or sad or irrelevant past.

Perhaps your unconscious mind is simply trying to get you to be so busy racing for the finish line, you have a “no-time-for-that” excuse for avoiding intimacy with others, or situations, or your self? So you may be acutely aware (or–the other extreme–) completely unaware of your clock ticking.

                             upsidedown clock

But the bigger question is: are YOU ticking? Are you so absorbed in making the most of every minute that you lose track of what you’re actually doing, where you are, what you’re looking at, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling?

Do you spend so much time looking so far ahead of yourself so often, that you forget about eating, or sleeping, or using the bathroom? Do you push yourself to achieve so much that you lose track of appreciating what you have already made happen?

It’s one thing to be independent and self-sufficient and yet quite another to barricade yourself into a brain-numbing tunnel of private pursuits. Some scientists may be . . . but great entrepreneurs are not and have very rarely been . . . hermits. Working in a vacuum makes it hard to breathe.

Besides instinct and all the “hustle” traits we hear about, the cornerstone for successful entrepreneuring is successful networking. Referrals come from networking. Ideas come from networking. Strategic partnerships come from networking. Marketable product and service enhancements come from networking. Investors come from networking. Sales come from networking. The contacts we truly need in our lives come from networking. Hermits don’t network.

No, social butterflying is not the answer. Engaging with and helping others with their pursuits is a great thing but if you don’t make a point of learning from such experiences, you are essentially helping others from a position of weakness, and that’s not much help to you or to those who win your good intentions.

No one can function as effectively by her or him self with running a business, a family, even a career, as he or she can with the support of a network.

Business and professional practice people exchange business and professional practice ideas by email and text messages and on sites like LinkedIn and Referral Key and Merchant Circle to help one another start, grow, expand, downsize, revitalize and re-invent, but nothing replaces face-to-face and telephone-voice-to-telephone-voice for effective networking.

So the solution is simple: Stay grounded in the “here-and-now” as much as possible. (Deep-breathing helps.) Telephone and in-person network whenever humanly possible. The challenge is in disciplining your SELF to build these practices into every day. Three weeks of consistent effort can turn your life around.

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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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Aug 02 2011


Are you on drugs?


Is someone in your family?


Someone who


works with you?



The stress of owning and/or running a business is enough to make almost anyone crazy. It’s also almost enough –and occasionally more than enough– to prompt entrepreneurs, family members, and employees to resort to drugs. Do you ever feel like sometimes the whole world is on drugs?

Just swipe your eyes over some pharmaceutical and alcoholic beverage industry numbers. Scary stuff.

Factor in all the illegal Mexican drug cartel trainloads. Add illegal outputs from Colombia and Brazil and Turkey and Scandinavia and the Orient and thousands of other supply chains around the world. Scarier yet. (Hey, look at the people running our country. Now that’s scary.) Wheee! Drugs all around. And it’s not even Woodstock!

The trouble is that talk like that draws snickers from many, and it’s just not funny. Individual lives, entire families and businesses, whole nations have been wasted and destroyed by drug and alcohol dependency problems that literally drag them out of being in touch with the present here-and-now, into past and future fantasyland.

There are very few things in life more destructive than drug and alcohol dependency –even cancer– because in addition to also being degerative, drug and alcohol addiction that’s not brought on by parental genes and/or birth conditions (e.g. “crack babies”), is a disease that is often the result of (usually unconscious) self-destruct choices.


If addiction is a struggle of yours, you’re obviously smart enough to be doing something about it, or you wouldn’t be reading this. If it’s someone else’s struggle that you are somehow engaged with, be careful, first of all, that you don’t get sucked into the whirlpool, because it is not a forgiving experience.

Everyone who’s battled addiction (their own or someone else’s) knows that it’s difficult if not completely impossible to be “under the influence” and to own, operate, or manage a business of any kind without “outside” professional help to monitor and guide a structured program of rehabilitation. But shop carefully.

There are a zillion helpful individuals, groups and organizations out there ready to pounce on a tollfree call of crisis and desperation. Unfortunately though –unlike a latex glove– one size doesn’t fit all, and it seems that most of these well-intentioned helpers are, in the end, very limited in what many affected people will allow them to achieve.

Many who say they want help, really don’t want help; they want only to say that they want help! Like trying to stop decay once it starts, addiction carries an ever-increasing degree of both business and social irresponsibility. This quickly disintegrates into a growing sense of apathy for everything except the next drink, the next fix. 


In trying to teach me to swim, my father who was a great swimmer, threw me off a motor boat a mile out into the ocean. I failed to learn anything but fear; he had to hire a swimming instructor. I spent many years as a group counselor and stress management trainer, but couldn’t help some of those most in need who were closest to me.

It’s hard to shake off emotional connections when pragmatism and self-discipline are called for.

The bottom line is that if you or someone close needs help with an addiction problem, you/she/he has to be coherent and genuinely dedicated enough to want help, and to go out and find it, and to follow the path. No one else can push anyone into a resource situation that doesn’t fit or feel right, and expect some overnight miracle.

Addiction is a mental, emotional, and physical disease. Just as it takes time to “catch it,” it also takes time to work it out of your system and get rid of it. And some never do. Regardless of caregiver credentials, pedigrees, or intentions, others truly cannot help those who are not willing and eager and able to help themselves.


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Hal@Businessworks.US 302.933.0116 

 Open minds open doors

 Thanks for visiting.   God bless you. 

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Mar 27 2011


“So you work from home, huh?”


Hey, it’s not everyone who can flap around the house

–or up and down the stairs– in her or his bathrobe

all day, and call that work… and get paid for it!



First of all, congratulations for getting yourself out of mainstream corporate and incompetent government arenas, for putting yourself in a work environment that you control, and presumably enjoy more than some sterile cubicle or make-believe “dress up” conference room.

Yes, I know, I know, there are some great exceptions. I work with a few. (And they ARE exceptions!) The point is that you are clearly a cut above average intelligence (and hopefully below average stress) level to be functioning out of your basement, attic, bedroom, garage, kitchen, bathroom, porch, closet, pantry, workshop, shed, or tree house.

But now that you’ve made your bed, laying down there can be unnerving, right?

You keep getting up and walking around; you drive to the convenience store for social stimulation; you bring home stray dogs and cats for company.

You get bleary-eyed staring at the computer screen and keep taking munchie breaks.

Uh, oh. A new bathrobe belt?


Your family admires your independence. Your friends are jealous. Your in-laws think you’re a waste of a good loyal corporate sheep or lemming. But you like the freedom and you’re making a go of it. It’s just not quite working out the way you think it’s should. It’s the missing money in your pocket thing? Ah yes, sore spot! Pockets usually are.

So how do you get from where you are to where you want to be without having to give up your new-found entrepreneurial freedom? It’s called step back and revitalize your sense of self-discipline. Stepping back is easy. Seeing yourself in a revitalization mode is also fairly simple. Both of course are choices. Now comes the challenge.

Self-discipline. Maybe you have to trick yourself. Maybe you have to figure out some way to make it all a game. You know about the mice on the treadmill deal, and Pavlov’s dogs. And you’ve even watched the American Kennel Club finals on TV, so you know all about the perform/reward stuff. Well? Okay you’re not a mouse or a dog, but . . .

There’s something to be said for challenging and rewarding yourself.

Get this next task done and you can have a chocolate chip cookie.

When you’ve made the next three calls on your list, treat yourself to a fresh air walk around the block (uh, depending on where you live, you might want to change out of your bathrobe?) 


Try it! What’s to lose? It’s a little hard for most non-contortionists to pat themselves on the back, but surely you can figure out some reward system that will motivate you and not result in you no longer fitting your bathrobe. Instead of doing tasks of avoidance, try doing tasks of reward for NOT avoiding.

The whole thing, be reminded, is your choice. If you want to choose to over-stress yourself, be my guest. If you seek instead to choose success and make money, choose to keep trying every technique that comes along until you find one that works for you . . . one that makes your home-based business pay for itself, and give you cause to celebrate!


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                                                            or 302.933.0116 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!

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Mar 13 2011

Balancing Work and Workouts!

Thanks, Angela Current, for today’s topic




It’s never easy to balance two large critical chunks of your daily existence –like your work and your exercise– without experiencing some feelings of inadequacy, and wondering if you’re cheating yourself.

Why can’t I make both of these things work? What do I have to do to make both pieces fit my daily timeline? Life is no longer feeling like a series of opportunity windows . . . it’s more like locking and unlocking prison gates. HELP!

There are no magic-trick answers. What there is, is discipline. And self-imposed discipline is the hardest to follow. Grumble though we may, it’s almost always easier to follow someone else’s schedule of discipline.

“Your report is needed for a 3pm meeting,” says the boss. “Two more laps around the track!” yells the coach. “Parade Rest!” orders the CO

Ah, but all of those external discipline situations include real or imagined consequences for failure.


You’re saying you can only perform when there’s a perceived threat involved?

Maybe you need a shrink?


You use self-discipline to get through every hour of every day. It’s called living a mature and responsible life. What you make of your self-imposed discipline is what draws the line in the sand between your existence and productivity and achievements, and the existence, productivity, and achievements of others

If you’re an extremist, you might be choosing three hours a day, seven days a week, of pumping iron. This can of course severely cut into any kind of reasonable work schedule, and this is not even to mention the time that must be used to be selecting, preparing, and eating the specialized diet that needs to accompany such a commitment.

But hopefully you’ve figured out how to harness your compulsiveness by combining interests — by running or managing a gym, or functioning as a personal trainer or exercise physiologist or physical therapist, or perhaps by being a professional or Olympic athlete.

Now this may be an even bigger stretch, but let’s assume instead that you are fairly “normal” (HA! and you’re reading this?)

Okay, you’re a typical entrepreneur who’s preoccupied with making your business idea work; you put in longer business hours than most of your friends and family.

And you’re trying to maintain a reasonable exercise schedule, right?


As with anything in life, success doesn’t drop from the sky. You must apply yourself. In this case, you must set up your own disciplined approach to doing the kinds and amounts of exercise that you believe you need (or that a healthcare professional has prescribed), and commit your mind and attitude to working around that!

Put exercise times down on your calendar for every day you decide you need to exercise.

Pick times (usually best kept consistent from day to day) that do not interfere with essential work hours. For most, early mornings fit best; some prefer early evenings (late evenings are not generally recommended by professionals); others use their lunchtimes to exercise, and nibble healthy snacks throughout the day rather than sit-down lunches.

Some set flex schedules.

The point is that once you choose the times, record them on your daily calendar — put an X through the time slots involved.

Then work everything else in your life around those X’s.

Unless it’s an emergency situation, simply elect to not schedule any meetings or conference calls in those X-boxed times.


Make excuses if need be, but protect those Xs because they are indicators of investment you are smartly choosing to make in your SELF. No one but you can do this. And no one but you can make it work. Reinforce your X hours by watching and/or listening to motivational programs. And keep marking your calendar, always  a month in advance.

Oh, by the way, when you’re occasionally forced to miss an Xd-out time block, don’t torture yourself. Make it up as best you can, when you can. It’s not the end of the world. It’s an opportunity to make adjustments.


# # # or 302.933.0116 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! 

One response so far

Nov 11 2010

Customer Service Lessons From Our Military!

Adapted from an original archived blog post on this site…






What?  You think this isn’t true?  I’ve got news for you.  The comparison is not even close. 

Pick up your phone and call any U.S. Military installation with a request for information about any aspect of life on the base you’re interested in—from when’s the next parade, to how do you reach the person in charge of the USO lounge or the family service center, to whether it’s possible to arrange a tour for your child’s school class—and see what you get! 

Besides the standard “Yes, Sir!” and “No, M’am!” courtesies, you will (I’m willing to bet) be treated to honest, direct, friendly responses.  And sincerity.  I actually hear sincerity coming across on the phone. 

Oh, and odds are pretty good you’ll also speak with a real live human being and, on top of that, a real live human being who’s not sounding like you’ve just demolished her or his hopes for having a nice day with your interruptive call. 

You might even get someone on the line who sounds interested in what you have to say! 

Positively, you won’t be hearing sloshing ice cubes, straw-sucking and cracking gum on the other end. 


I’ve had this positive military telephone courtesy experience a number of times in recent years, but never gave it much thought until getting dissed or badgered or completely misunderstood in a few calls to big companies in attempts to identify the best and most economical services to buy. 

Then, I had the good fortune of making half a dozen ”blind” or “cold” calls to Dover Air Force Base to try tracking down a couple of sales prospects for a client of mine, and “like sunshine on a rainy day,” one after another, the nicest, friendliest, most helpful people I have called in months.  (And not so incidentally, they all spoke fluent English!) 

Each listened carefully without interrupting.  Each asked questions to help qualify my interests.  Each suggested names and numbers and situations I might want to consider and no one rushed me. 

One even gave me a very candid and objective assessment of what she though my odds would be with each of the four other officers she referred.

All I kept thinking was why can’t tech companies, as a prime example, take a page here?  Why does it have to be so difficult to be treated appreciatively and respectfully by a company I’m looking to spend my hard-earned money with? 

Why aren’t corporate telephone people standing on their heads to exude overkill courtesy to prospective and actual buyers?

Anyway, besides the fact that our blessed troops take pride in what they do, and are proud of the nation, and we the people they represent, it seems to me that the sense of discipline (and resultant self-discipline) our military personnel buy into is the single training difference (from businesses) that most impacts external public relations. What do YOU think? 

     Before I forget saying what should be said,

to every past and present member of the

Armed Services, not just today on

Veteran’s Day, but every day by all of us:


Thank you ladies and gentlemen


for your service to our country! 


     So, do companies need to give demerits and KP duty?  Hmmmmm might be a damn good idea, actually!


302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

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

and God Bless all of our U.S. Troops and Veterans.

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

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

May 30 2009

Successful Business Owners Listen Harder

Read My Ears!


     Like a lot of communication practices, it seems most of ustend to slack off, get careless, and periodically get to a point of not listening carefully. Y’hear? It’s normal for our minds to drift off every few minutes when we’re listening to someone else… attention peaks and valleys vary with each individual. [The average American’s attention span has been reported as 12 minutes!]

     If I were, for example, reading this aloud to you, and included a sentence that mentioned the word “football,” as in the size of my 100-pound Golden Retriever on the day I brought her home, your mind might zoom away to the touchdown you scored in high school, or the Superbowl game that cost you $87,934.56 per seat, or the neighbor’s kid’s football you just leather-pancaked as you backed out of the driveway.

     Okay, you say. You’re guilty, you say. Now what? you say.

     Maybe it’s a good time to take personal inventory in how you come across to others. Why now? When business is “off” you certainly want to make the most of your potential to succeed, to make additional sales, to make efforts more productive… all of that starts (and often ends) with maximizing communication skills.

     One of the best and most immediately productive tools available to get started with is because it relaxes your muscles and makes your brain more alert—the perfect combination for receiving and delivering effective communication.     

     Next, it makes sense to do a little survey of those who share the inner business circle of your life. To keep things abstract and impersonal (i.e., not threatening), you can, for example, ask each person privately what musical instrument she or he most identify you with in the ways you come across to others.

     Ask for clarification, but do NOT criticize any one’s response. Say thank you and smile and walk away, then study the list you get back. What does it tell you about yourself?

     You, for instance, may think of yourself as a versatile keyboard able to perform almost any type of musical message, and someone may tell you you remind him or her of cymbals, crashing into discussions with a finalizing punctuation point of percussion, or a flighty little piccolo that dances around issues while brightening everyone’s day, but not addressing real needs or solving problems. If this exercise doesn’t bear fruit, replace musical instrument with animal.

     Once you have a better sense of what others perceive as less than optimal, focus on ways you can change that/those assessment(s) for the better. Take a quick visit to and then initiate a plan of action for yourself with daily and weekly goals geared to disciplining yourself to come across better by listening more attentively, more actively, more responsively. Remember when you can respond instead of react, you can never over-react! 

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Input welcome anytime: (”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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