Nov 11 2015

Where are you?

Take a QUICK step back.


Take a DEEP breath. 


 Take stock of your SELF.

cartoon man in mirror           cartoon woman in mirror           

If your business is your life, you are obviously not in academia, not a corporate type, and not some government flunky. Only true entrepreneurs make their businesses their lives. And only true entrepreneurs need a crowbar to separate the two. This is good and bad. Good because you increase the odds that your business will succeed. Bad because–in the process–you increase the odds that you, the person, may not  succeed.

You need a “HOW GOES IT?” meeting

with your SELF — now, today, tonight, at

sunset, or tomorrow morning at sunrise!

You need to not make excuses for delaying it. At the rate government continues to ravage America’s 30 million small businesses, you cannot afford to go past this coming weekend. I know, I know, you have a family deal coming . . . you have to charge your iPad . . . your dog pushed you into stepping where you should have scooped . . . it’s your only chance to see  Lady Gaga . . . there’s a Shark Tank special . . . it’s year-end something or other . . .  it’s . . . STOP! Take some deep breaths.

This is not a half-baked suggestion to do some fancy inventory of your customers, branding program or finances, though it’s hard to do too much of that. This is an informal step-back-out-of-the-woods assessment point in time which successful entrepreneurs with healthy businesses make a habit of practicing every couple of months (at least quarterly).

  • Start with a quiet place where you will not be interrupted for two hours by cell phones, radio or TV reception, machinery, other people or barking dogs. (Sunrises are great!) Walk on the beach, through the woods or in a quiet park . . . or just sit parked in your car, but –given today’s day and age– remember to not “look suspicious.” 😉 Bring a pen and notepad (NO keyboards or keypads!).

  • Write down one single sentence that best describes where your business is right now. Follow that with another sentence that best describes where you are right now — physically, mentally, emotionally. Be honest. It’s just for your brain. No one else need ever see this piece of paper.

  • Next , write one single sentence that best describes where you believe it’s possible to take your business within the next six months. Follow that sentence with another one that best describes where you believe it’s possible to take your SELF (physically, mentally, emotionally) within the next six months.

  • Spend the next hour studying these four sentences and diagramming HOW (the process; the steps) you think you need to take to get from one to the other, and HOW you see them coming together or interdependent on one another. Then write down the three action steps you’re willing to take right now (AS you review your diagram) to get started moving from where you are to where you’re headed. Prioritize them.


Two hours out of your life that will positively improve your life (and your business) and you just saved all that business consultant and psychotherapy money.

You can be your own best shrink! (Unless you choose to put off having a “HOW GOES IT?” session with yourself —  in which case, the couple a hundred bucks an hour fees will probably be a worthy investment.)


P.S. When you get good at this process, start introducing it in your “big picture” work with employees and key customers. Everybody loves having the opportunity to participate in doing positive attitude-focused diagnostic workups and developing treatment plans aimed at improving work options and customer service performance.

# # #

Keep your head cool and your feet warm . . . and thanks for your visit!


Make Today A Great Day For Someone!




No responses yet

Nov 10 2013

Where Leadership Starts and Ends . . .



STOP thinking for a minute! STOP analyzing. STOP worrying. STOP strategizing. STOP getting to the bottom of things! It’s ridiculously easy to trip over our own feet the minute we lose touch with where we are. As soon as we start focusing on anything other than what’s right in front of us– where we want to be, for example (or worse, where we’ve already been), we run the risk of face smash!

Every great management leader, expert, book, course, and guru — and, for those with religious leanings, even the Bible– urges us to stay focused on HERE AND NOW as much of the time as possible. The minute we divert attention from that power saw or computer app or steering wheel we’re using, CHOP, CRACKLE, BOOM! Am I just imagining this? No, of course not. It’s reality.

Common sense, huh? But how many of us have the ability to exercise common sense once we’re absorbed with past or future issues which are not here, now, and are therefore actually make-believe? And how much of our “life is short” time gets wasted fantasizing? I’m not talking about dreaming. Every great leader makes time to be a dreamer, but great leaders stay in control. They use dreams.

So how what steps can we use to prevent many of those lost opportunities? How do great leaders keep from falling on their faces? There are as many answers to this as there are great leaders (and there are many!). But all the contortions aside, it seems to me that it all reduces itself to: What is your trigger p0int?

In other words, what happens to you physically when you spin off into the clouds or fly off the handle or back quietly out the side door? Your stomach growls, you get a stiff neck, feel edgy, jiggle a foot, play with a flash drive, get a headache, or backache, or crave something sweet? Each of us is different. But each of us has a trigger. Talk to yourself about it.

When each of us can identify our own individual, unique trigger point and become aware of it when it surfaces, we immediately put ourselves on the path toward advanced leadership driven by present moment happenings. That’s a GIANT step in the self-control arena. And, guess what? the more you tune in to your SELF and what makes you tick (especially if you’re in sales — and who isn’t?), the happier and healthier you can be — and you won’t need special vitamins or skin products or addictive behaviors to stoke your euphoric fires.

What’s to lose? Give it a try. Start here with this quick 4-STEP life-saver and then move ahead to taking SELF inventory. It’s not just about what’s good for what ails you. It’s about preventing ailments. It’s about doing a better job of being a leader. Oh, and it doesn’t even cost anything! Have a great awakening!

# # #


Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

No responses yet

Sep 23 2012


How un-balanced ARE you?


No matter how much you may think you are in tune or in touch with yourself, if you own or operate or manage a business –new. old, big, small, medium, family, self-employed or otherwise– take it from me who’s experienced all of the above firsthand: you are UN-balanced!

This means that negative stress is seeping in. It’s invading you even as you think it’s not. And it’s taking it’s toll.

How to regain control? First, you need to know where it’s coming from. Odds are it’s some combination of emotional, intellectual, and physical upset or dysfunction. The challenge is to isolate how much is coming from where and when, then to determine the how.

Once you have done an honest self-evaluation, you’re in a better position to reverse the flow and the damage.

Aaah, but this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Read that How to regain control paragraph again.

In some rare instances, it may be just a matter of seconds, minutes or hours to do all these analytics (and you thought analytics were just for SEO geeks doing website tricks?), but if you’re serious about rising to the occasion and getting your act together, be prepared to take days or weeks or months.

(Maybe years!)

Once you’ve done a be-honest-with-yourself inventory (like the doctor’s diagnostic work-up), separate and identify the key issues or stress points that seem to be creating or causing the most unbalance. Put them on paper or in a Word file bullet list. Prioritize by ranking them with 1-3 or 1-10 values in order of most critical (usually this translates to most immediate need).

Consider your own self-prognosis. What’s the best and worst you can expect in terms of timing and accomplishing the tasks associated with eliminating or minimizing the culprit behaviors or influences? What’s the quickest/easiest/smartest/safest way to get back in balance?

Okay, that’s the hardest part. Now initiate treatment. Simple? No. Painless? Pr0bably not. But much easier than the process steps needed to honestly assess and evaluate. After all, you are the only one who can unbalance you. And you are also the only one who can regain control. Bottom line: Nothing happens until you do!


# # #

FREE blog subscription Posts RSS Feed
P L E A S E   N O T E   N E W  D I R E C T   P H O N E   N U M B E R
HAL ALPIAR Writer/Consultant 302.933.0911, LLC
National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Dec 07 2010


A Wandering Mind


Gathers Much Loss


Every minute of every hour of every day, conscious and unconscious negative influences are fighting for your attention.


You own, run, manage, just bought, started, are planning to buy or start, or inherited a business. The last thing on your mind is your mind. You cast away all those inspirational quotes on Twitter and in church, and those gems of wisdom from your six-year-old.

You have no time for the You become what you think aboutwritings and teachings of Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, or the hundreds of other thought leaders. Yeah, you’ve heard the “As you sow, so shall you reap” line from the Bible. In fact, you have your own been-there-done-that style version: “What goes around comes around.”

But without being consistently grounded in this thinking, you run the risk each day of your thought-stream leading you down an unhealthy path. In fact, you can be obsessed with negative thoughts that create business loss and not even be aware of it.

Taking inventory might be a good suggestion. How can you find out if your mind has slipped over the top without you knowing about it? Try this illuminating exercise:

Ask some friends, associates and family members whose opinions you value to tell you what animal, what musical instrument and what song they most closely identify you with, and why.

They’ll probably laugh. Simply say you are doing a study and explain no further.

  • Be clear that you’re looking for their straight-out opinions.

  • Do not interrupt except to ask for clarification.

  • Do not refute, rebuttal or defend. Just listen, and take notes.

  • If you’re not sure you understand, ask for examples.

  • Whatever you get back, take it on the chin.


When you have the input of five or six people, decide if there’s any pattern or overlap. For example, do four of them think you most remind them of a snake (or wild boar?), and a kazoo, and a song like “Angry Eyes”? Well. Organize the input you get to see if it makes any sense. Prioritize. Evaluate. Decide how to get more positive stuff and less negative stuff.

Feeding on daily TV show lineups can produce a steady stream of negative-related people and situations which can take a toll on  behavior and prompt offerings of defensive reasons and excuses for every action. Dr. Andrew Weil has been known to prescribe “No News” for a week to some distressed patients.

If all your mind does is think about cancer, or your weight, or your age, or your bank account or bills, you are going to (like rolling a snowball) generate more of that kind of thinking.

When some one’s thoughts are preoccupied with having an affair, it will be hard to pay attention to their spouse. A new baby or puppy in the house can drain your ability to stay focused.


Behaviors. Behavior is a choice. A negative mindset is something we bring on ourselves. Directly or indirectly (and often obscurely), we make lousy behavior choices. Regardless of the who, how, why, when, and where, if you’re feeling misery, failure, or frustration, accept that you are choosing it.

Take some deep breaths and choose instead to change the channel in your brain. Self-control leads to leadership control. The world’s greatest leaders are masters of self-control. Self-control means exercising compassion as well as passion, and being focused on the journey –not the destination– as the source of achievement.

When your mind is healthy and you’re concentrating on something, it –like a spotlight illuminating the outer edges– will be fully aware of what’s going on around you as well as what you’re targeting in front of you. You can do it. Choose it. Practice it. Keep choosing it! (Yes, you can call me for a little coaching!)

If you work at it sincerely and haven’t experienced remarkable change in three weeks, I’ll be astounded. Yes, after thousands of success stories with zero failures, I will be astounded!


931.854.0474   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!

2 responses so far

Dec 27 2009


Happy Christmas


Recovery Time!

    Uh, are you STILL thinking stuff like this?…    


‘Twas the week after Christmas, and all through the house, were  new toys, new treats, Wii and a mouse. While I on my YouTube, Ma-ma all a Twitter, freshposts on Facebook to make Rudolph jitter.

OMG!  What to our wondering eyes did appear but a pile of wrappings, half-filled glasses of cheer; some wine in this one; in the other, some beer.

Then out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter, it was junior’s new pull toy descending the ladder that Santa had climbed to get up on our roof when Blitzen fell over and twisted her hoof . . .

Okay, okay.  Enough! It’s back to reality, back to business, and time to take inventory. It’s that time of year to itemize, sort out, assess, adjust and go forward. 

     SO … Answer these 10 questions for yourself about your SELF, and then answer the same 10 for your BUSINESS.

     If you are totally honest with yourself about your SELF and with yourself about your BUSINESS, you will positively gain some important insight!

  •      What didn’t work this past year? (Not “why?” which may take another year to answer)

  •      And what, pray-tell, is working NOW? 

  •      What needs to be eliminated? 

  •      What will work going forward? 

  •      What needs to be reevaluated?  

  •      What needs to be fixed?  Adjusted?  

  •      Completely overhauled? 

  •      What needs to be attempted? 

  •      What needs to be planned? 

     Remember, this is YOUR business and YOUR self we’re talking about here, so ONLY YOU can decide where to go next and ONLY YOU can choose how to get there. ONLY YOU know the real answers to all the questions about growing your self and your business! 

     And you can take hours researching and surveying, but the bottom line is –dear entrepreneur, dear business owner and manager– that in the end, YOU must charge forward by experience, instinct, and informed subjective judgement. 

     YOU must take REASONABLE risks to improve your SELF and your BUSINESS!

     What you choose as a course of action may be wrong, but:

A. SOME action is always better than no action, and

B. YOU are the captain of your ship, and YOU can adjust the course you’re taking at any hour of the day or night. Or, simply put into port for a short lay-over to get yourself more focused. Just choose what you want  (since all behavior is a choice!). 

     No excuses here. You need to be your own consultant. Step back. Take some deep breaths (For your SELF, for your BUSINESS, for your SPORTS performance, for your SALESMANSHIP, for your LIFE!) Oh, and after you breathe, get hopping! 

     The New Year’s bell is ready to ring. Are you ready to run? Have a Happy! 

# # #               

 Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US or comment below.

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

Make today a GREAT Day for someone! 

No responses yet

Oct 10 2009

Owners and Managers Self-Inventory

So, How Are You?

Tonight’s blog post (for the 2nd time this week!) is dedicated to my wonderful bride of 22 years, married at 10:10 on 10/10… and to me, she’s always been a perfect 10! I love you Kathy!        Happy 22nd! 

     When did you last  take stock of yourself? If it was more than a week ago, you’re missing the boat! I’ll bet you got asked “How are you?” at least a few times today.

     In fact, if it was fewer than a dozen times,  you are not getting out there on the front lines and dealing with customers and employees enough to boost your business up and over the economic disaster wall.

     Alright, so let’s get back  to the point: What kinds of answers do you usually give and get to this “HOW ARE YOU?” question that we all ask, and are asked every single day? Here are a few possibilities just to help you prime the mental pump a little:

“Good. You?” ~~~ “Fine, thanks!” ~~~ “Hey, ha-ha, y’never know, ha-ha!” ~~~ “Old and decrepit!” ~~~ “Erect!” ~~~ “Annoyed!” ~~~ “Fantastic!” ~~~ “Alive!” ~~~ “Vertical, which is better than horizontal, right? Ha-ha!” ~~~ “Super-Dooper!” ~~~ “Hot!” ~~~ “Cold!” ~~~ “Delirious!” ~~~ “Like scrambled eggs!” ~~~ “Angry!” ~~~ “Exhausted!” ~~~ “Freaked!” ~~~ “Not so great; yeah, y’see, I’ve got this…” ~~~ “Aggravated.” ~~~ “Miserable.” ~~~ “Drunk!” ~~~ “S t o n e d.” ~~~ “Ready!” ~~~ “Tired.” ~~~ No need to continue, right?

The bottom line is that:  

A) Nobody cares if you’re tired… or any of those other negative feelings. N-O-B-O-D-Y  C-A-R-E-S. 

B) Whatever you offer as an answer is YOUR CHOICE! 

C) Anything less than “GREAT!” (even if you don’t feel it, don’t mean it, and have a hard time bringing yourself around to say it) will cost you business.

     Why?  Customers don’t want to deal with negative attitude businesses and business owners.

     Employees want  to believe that because you are the leader you are always positive and exuberant about the ways you deal with yourself and others. They want some of the positive attitude magic to rub off on them.

     You are their surrogate parent!  If you don’t evidence positiveness 100% of the time, you risk losing their commitment, loyalty, and dedicated job performance. 

     And suppliers  who deal with negative customers (determined in a large way by how you respond to that daily “How are you?” question) will bad-mouth you to others (including customers) and drag your business under.

     So you have to lie?  No, you have to sound and act positive all the time because it motivates others to support your efforts, be your team, and follow your lead.

     And guess what?  Acting and sounding positive will actually end up making you positive… and your business will be more productive and more successful!   

# # #

Input always welcome “Blog” in subject line or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! Hal

Subscribe FREE to this blog list-protected RSS email…OR $.99/mo Amazon KindleCreative? Add YOUR 7 words to the 367 day 7Word Story (under RSS) Get new Nightengale Press book THE ART OF GRANDPARENTING See:  

No responses yet


Tag Cloud