Jul 27 2013

Business Owners/Operators and Managers

Innovators: KEEP OUT!!!

I’ve been called an entrepreneurship evangelist. I’ve worked with thousands of doctors, business owners/operators and managers, market innovators and entrepreneurial thinkers. Like most, I’ve spent a lifetime taking (reasonable) risks, rejecting authority, breaking rules, and regularly working long into the night,

And I developed a nothing-is-taboo attitude[So don’t tell me what to stay away from!]

But — what’s the old saying?– “The truth will (win) out!” And my experience says that the truth is if we are to make a success of  business, professional practice, career, and life pursuits, we need to set success goals that include what to avoid, as leaders, as people.

My top 7 suggestions of what to avoid and why:

KEEP OUT of jail. Let’s face it. There’s not much of anything positive or worthwhile to be had, or add to your resume, by being in jail. Yes, a handful of inmates out of millions might learn a life lesson or two, but jail is hardly a breeding ground for success at any level. So, stay away from it. Question your motives before you act or speak.

KEEP OUT of courtrooms (unless you’re a lawyer). Courtrooms can be just a stress notch away from jail. The attached anxieties alone are enough to topple years of hard work and good intentions. You may think that courtroom appearances are not always your choice, but if you don’t choose to initiate a legal event, you do choose to set yourself up or put yourself in position that could lead you there. No it’s not always avoidable, but much of it is. Bottom line: Can your business afford for you to put business time, energy, and funds into a pursuit that’s not your business?

KEEP OUT of doctors’ and lawyers’ offices (unless you’re a doctor or lawyer). If you are constantly and consciously choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, you can often avoid doctors and minimize  situations beyond routine healthcare.

Remember that once a doctor sends you to another specialist, you are IN THE SYSTEM, and the most tenacious efforts to escape it’s time and money-consuming clutches rarely succeed. For the same high stress reasons to avoid jail and courtrooms, choose to minimize lawyer visits and limit them to essential  occurrences and preventive maintenance.

KEEP OUT of hospitals (unless you work for one). Contrary to the onslaught of misguided hospital marketing that blankets this country, hospitals do NOT spawn good health. They treat those who no longer have good health, and –in many documented cases– actually contribute to the exacerbation of ill health. This is not to question professional dedication or skills. It is simply a reminder to strive for life directions that have the best odds of helping you avoid hospitals.

KEEP OUT of hiding places (unless you’re playing hide-and-go-seek with the kids) when it’s time for family and church and community. These are the times that define you and what you’re all about as a human being.

KEEP OUT of fights (unless you’re a boxer). Disagreements can be healthy, but disagreements require self-vigilance to prevent them from accelerating to the point of getting out of control. Anger, mean-spiritedness and grudges can ONLY work against you and quickly become the undoing of all you’ve worked so hard at to put together.

KEEP OUT of nonproductive relationships (unless you’re a shrink or a cop and your career calls for engagement). In other words, stay around positive-minded people as much as possible and pursue opportunities to surround yourself with others who consistently demonstrate positive, upbeat attitudes. This: will come back to help you!


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Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

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

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

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May 24 2011

No one MAKES you do it!

FEELING: Angry? Depressed? Embarrassed? Happy? Sad? Disappointed? Frustrated? Anxious? Afraid? Lonely? Poor? Dumb?







Nah!  That’s not possible,” you say?  Hey, it’s not only possible, it’s true. And it’s true  100% of the time! 

We CHOOSE our behavior. 

No one makes you mad.  You choose to feel mad about something someone says or does or thinks.

No one embarrasses you.  You choose to feel embarrassed about something you or someone else chooses to do or not do or say or not say or think or not think. 

And it IS your choice

Anger. Depression. Embarrassment. Humiliation. Envy. 

Jealousy. Guilt. Hatred. Fear. Loneliness. 


These feelings don’t just fall down from the sky and land on your shoulder.  You, we, all of us, choose these emotions and we also choose the time-wasting behaviors that come along with them. 

So, maybe you don’t like hearing that, or thinking about it because you don’t want to have to admit that you’re that wimpy, wussy, weak-willed, fragile, malleable, and stupid. So you conjure up all kinds of defensive excuses and scenarios to discount the validity of it. But you can’t. There’s no discounting the truth.

Maybe you didn’t choose to get in that car accident, but you did choose to get in that car. You knew there was a risk associated and you knew that other drivers were not always as careful as you, and you chose to drive or ride anyway. But you had to BE someplace else. Wasn’t that a choice also?

It’s not that we make bad choices. Everyone on Earth does that. It’s that we convince ourselves that bad stuff is not the result of making a bad choice. We didn’t make a bad choice; circumstances were bad. Ah, but we chose to put ourselves in those circumstances by either direct or indirect choice. We did! At some point in time, it was a choice. 

I mean why would anybody CHOOSE to feel angry?  It’s much easier to blame others for the upset negative feelings we have and the accompanying nonproductive behaviors.  Isn’t it? 

That moron cut me off in traffic!  He’s a jerk!  He makes me so angry I think I’ll race up alongside him, give him the finger, and then cut HIM off!  I’ll show him!  Hey, that’s great . . . the stuff road rage heroes are made of, right? 

Why not instead choose to STOP for just a minute and take a deep breath, collect your self-control and mentally step back from the nutcase driver who just prompted you to choose to feel angry, and, instead, think to yourself that:

     A)  He’s in some kind of emergency situation or under great duress, or

     B)  I am not going to choose for that nut-job to cause me to choose to feel upset.  He’s not worth it!  

Since many choices are in the unconscious mind, when you find yourself choosing negative and upsetting behavior, pinch yourself, take that deep breath, remind yourself that you are in fact making a choice.  Change the channel in your brain from “Bad News” to “Mellow, Happy Music.” 

Remember that you always control your own brain.

(Ask any POW survivor or cancer survivor about that).


No one reaches inside your brain and causes you to think or act or react in a negative or unsettling or upsetting way.

You do that to you.


You can just as easily choose for something hard to be easy, something risky to be safe, something maddening to be calming, something impossible to be possible, a problem to be an opportunity, the glass to be half full . . ..

Go ahead and run the risk!

Choose to overcome the negatives by bringing in the (There’s a really old song my parents used to sing: “E-limi-nate the neg-ative, ax-cen-tuate the positive…”) awareness that you need only blink and then choose –instead of creating or adding to an uproar– a positive, productive behavior, thought, action, response.

Go for it! The more you do, the easier and happier it gets. Hey, it’s your choice.


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 931.854.0474

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 26 2011


Let’s get real,




There’s not much room


left on this planet


for more anger!



We can moan and groan all we want –and justifiably– about the pathetic, ill-conceived, mismanaged, misdirected, arrogant, naive, incompetent, overbearing, scathingly stupid behaviors fostered by the White House since 2008. It adds up to total lack of leadership and complete lack of vision . . . a branding program of anti-reality.

But bitching gets us nowhere. Attacking people personally for their attitudes and behaviors makes us no more reasonable than they are, and doesn’t achieve anything beyond stirring up more anger.

Anger doesn’t work.


It’s not working in Libya, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Northern Ireland, or -today– not in London either. Certainly, it has never worked in the United States. It only serves to shorten fuses and make things worse.

Yes, we, as business owners and managers, have had enough. We are fed up with meaningless run-off-at-the-mouth oratory and reckless spending of our hard-earned tax dollars. We are fed up with attempts to have creeping socialism overpower democracy, our Constitution, and the free-enterprise system that built America.

Hope, Mr. Obama,

doesn’t work either.


It’s time for the federal government to back off and abandon its incessant attempts to smother small business. It is time instead to support the small business owner and startup entrepreneur world if there is ever to be a true economic recovery.

It is simply not true that America’s economy has turned the corner. Falsified unemployment numbers and make-believe claims that home sales are up and foreclosures are down couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Reality is that unemployment continues to worsen. Foreclosures continue to go up. Home sales continue to go down. And a rocket science degree isn’t required to size-up the impact on our daily lives; we need only to look at the gas pumps.

We are being lied to by government-controlled media stooges and greedy union thugs.

Yes we feel angry, but we are smarter than those who pose as leaders, and their contingent of talking heads. We know in our hearts that achievement and accomplishment will not be sidetracked if we maintain balance and control of the businesses we own and operate and birth. 

By working hard AND smart, by never forgetting that America is the product of entrepreneurial growth and our ever-guiding national motto:

“In God We Trust”

. . . by honoring and respecting all who we encounter, including the ignorant, we who own and manage small and family and home and garage businesses can lead America from the darkness of anger and fantasy.


It will take perseverance and it will take speaking up for what’s right instead of complaining about what’s wrong. Can we turn our anger into productivity? Are you willing to work harder at it?

What can you do to get started now, today?


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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!

4 responses so far

Jun 29 2009

In Response to Dealth and Dying

The World’s Greatest Expert


on Death and Dying–


Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD


–Points to Five Stages:

  • Denial and Isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

     She said we –all of us–  must experience each of these five stages to one degree or another in the order they are shown above with every loss experience. The only exceptions being instances where people get stuck in a given stage and never get beyond it.

     So as business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs, some of us experience bits and pieces of these five stages everyday with daily losses.

     Kübler-Ross said that losses are not limited to human death, and can  include the loss of a limb or faculty, or ability… loss of a valuable possession (a home, a car, a business), loss of companionship (including divorce and separation), loss of freedom (including jail), loss of a job, loss of a client, loss of a prospect or opportunity, loss of self-esteem, loss of authority, etc., etc.

     And to a lesser degree, we even experience these stages when we lose a dollar, a photograph, a letter, an address, a contest, and so on.

     So what’s the point? Healthy successful people do everything humanly possible to channel all their energies and mental focus on reaching the level (or “Stage”) of ACCEPTANCE as quickly as possible, and on maintaining themselves at that level as permanently as possible.

     Everything else is non-productive. Everything else leaves us feeling deflated and defeated and negative. Some people stay in these places their entire lives. Some are institutionalized. Some do themselves in.

     Stages 1-4 are pure torment. We must go through them, but the goal needs to be to move through them as rapidly as our minds and bodies allow us to. Getting through the maze may take friends and rescuers to stand by shoulder to shoulder. We have all performed that function for someone else, but perhaps have forgotten?  

     Keep always in the front of your mind that no matter how out of control it may feel to be stuck somewhere in denial and isolation, or in anger, or in a bargaining position, or a state of depression, it IS a matter of choice!

     The minute we choose to accept loss, the quicker we can get on with a happy and productive existence and make the most of the short time we each have here on Earth…make the most of the relationships we’ve been blessed with: with other people and places and purposes.

     We need not choose to lock ourselves into suffering and misery. Life and business life are way too short to have wasted time and energy with anything besides being happy and healthy and in active pursuit of our dreams.  

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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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One response so far

Jan 29 2009

Want to help someone through a job loss?

Lost Your Marbles Lately? 


Probably the world’s greatest expert on the subject of death and dying was Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whose definitive book, “ON DEATH AND DYING” has now become a true classic in the worlds of psychology, psychotherapy, social work, and caregiver counseling. 

     So what?  What does that have to do with your job, or the job of someone close to you going down the tubes?  A lot! 

     The dynamics that Kübler-Ross devoted her life to studying are the same for virtually ANY loss.

     So, the “5 Stages” of death and dying that she defined apply to loss of life, loss of limb or function, loss of possessions, loss of health, loss of friendship, loss of a spouse or parent or child, loss of a home, loss of money, loss of a pet, loss of business, and –yes– loss of a job.

The 5 Stages are, in order of occurrence:

  1. Denial and isolation

  2. Anger

  3. Bargaining

  4. Depression

  5. Acceptance

The ultimate goal for any of us when we experience loss, has to be to move through the first four Stages as quickly as possible, and get ourselves to that 5th Stage point of Acceptance.

     Some succeed at this.  Some get stuck at Stages 1, 2, 3, or 4 along the way.  [Thes would probably be the majority.]  Some never make it to Stage 5 Acceptance, ever, and live the rest of their lives, for example, angry or depressed.  Those who don’t achieve a sense of Acceptance (as well as those who do but who require a particularly long time to get there) set themselves up to be in an emotionally unhealthy place in life.

     What is it that makes these failures and long delays emotionally unhealthy?  Denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, and depression all live in fantasyland.  The only reality there is on Earth is the one that is happening right this very split second as you are reading these words and thinking about them.  It’s a state of balance and harmony.  It means being focused on the present moment as much as possible.

     Often a “rescuer” or professional “coach” is needed to assist the sufferer of a loss in accelerating and smoothing the way to transition, to Acceptance.  If you want to help someone through a loss event or loss period of time, you must be prepared to be extraordinarily patient, empathetic (putting yourself in her or his shoes) and encouraging. 

     You need to help the individual or group or family pass through each stage and let go of each stage before moving to the next level, and to help him/her/them from slipping backwards.  Keeping those with loss issues and upsets focused on the immediate present moment that’s in front of their faces as much of the time as possible can be frustrating and emotionally draining for the helper(s). 

     It is not always an easy task and –while I heartedly recommend that responsibility for this function is best left to professionals who are trained to provide proper guidance— you can always lend a support system to encourage pursuit of professional assistance, and you can help prompt a sharper “here and now” awareness level simply by keeping your SELF focused on the present, and calling attention to it.     halalpiar

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