Apr 19 2013

What’s Your Expiration Date?

Are You Expired


Or Inspired?


When did you last check your expiration date? What did it say? What does it say now? What happens if you go past that date? You rot? You crumble? You turn green? You become poisonous? You get taken off the shelf? People pass you up and reach way in the back behind you to bring up some fresh dude who doesn’t expire until 2015?

If this describes you, or you worry about it, or you think it’s inevitable, you’ve got a problem, brother (sister), and it’s time to take a few steps on your own behalf. First off, do a few chin lifts and take some deep breaths.

Don’t run to look in the mirror. Just imagine yourself looking driven and productive and successful as you once were, or perhaps you presently are but feel like you’re on the wrong side of the hill.

Contrary to popular belief, life is not all about discovery. It’s about making the most of what you’ve got to get yourself and others to where you and they want and need to be. It’s about energy and drawing on strengths, acknowledging but by-passing –not struggling to overcome– weaknesses. It’s like knowing what you can and are willing to spend before you go shopping.

Yes, you’re right! That’s called leadership! Genuine leadership has no expiration date. It may shift gears at certain ages or after certain accumulated experiences, but true leadership –like true grit, true integrity, true honesty, true passion– doesn’t fade or need to reinvent itself. It simply is.

How to get it? How to keep it? How to have it take you far beyond someone else’s (or your own) imagined idea of your expiration date reduces itself to being forever on the alert to what INspires you rather than to what EXpires you. So it’s a matter of attitude? Hmmm! That’s over-simplified! Hmmm? There’s more to leadership than attitude! Hmmm?

Well then, if leadership is all about attitude, what does anyone need to read a blog post for, since attitude is a matter of choice, and we can just choose it? Do you trust yourself to just choose it, and stay with that? So maybe the difference between expiration and inspiration is self-trust? Hmmm.

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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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Jun 02 2011


Yeast, the Sun,


and Leadership.



I get (and agree with) what Paul Ryan’s advice to Mr. Obama was all about when he visited the White House yesterday and reminded the man that “leadership starts at the top,” but I take some exception to the semantics of what that advice might suggest as it is applied to the rest of the world. 


Leadership, like yeast, like the sun on the horizon, rises from low places. It starts, often below the surface, and grows to recognition, then to love and respect or –sadly, in many cases– to fear and loathing, with little room left in-between those two extremes for tolerance and apathy. The problem is that yeast and the sun are fairly predictable.

Some aspects of leadership are also predictable.

Qualities like being able to inspire and motivate others, for example, are part of almost every description of leadership since the beginning of time.

Truth and reality, however, measure all leadership by one word alone.

What’s your best guess?

What single word sums up “leadership” most definitively?


Surely you know the word if you think about it enough. It’s authenticity. Authenticity of character, of personality, of purpose, of attitude, of responsiveness, of courage, of self-image, of the nature of the people involved, of the nature of the tasks to be done. It cannot be manufactured, pretended, stolen, replaced, avoided, dismissed, disregarded, or disarmed.  

Almost never to be found near government or political enterprises or management: authenticity. And rarely does it appear in corporate life when it isn’t guarded — easy to understand when UN-authentic people hovering at the top feel threatened. Yet, say many, true authenticity must also be free, so how could it be guarded?

Okay, so cross off corporate authenticity. And what are we left with? Family life and small business. Why? Because there is less need to lie, make excuses, and cover one’s butt, and because entrepreneurial attitudes are not so affected and convoluted by status-ladder-climbing and artificial allegiances.


TEN EXAMPLES of authenticity:

  1. Giving credit where credit is due.

  2. Speaking up for what you believe in and supporting others who share your purpose.

  3. Accepting responsibility without excuses.

  4. Acknowledging screw-ups and owning up to your mistakes, also without excuses.

  5. Taking immediate corrective action when called for instead of analyzing and seeking blame.

  6. Being focused on the present “here and now” moment as much as possible.

  7. Always acknowledging the human factor in every decision and action, even when others pass it over. Business transactions are impacted by illness, injury, and family issues.

  8. Nurturing (and cultivating) positive and productive behavior and attitudes consistently.

  9. Soliciting and respecting the opinions of others . . . praise in public and criticize (constructively) in private.

  10. Treat every employee and every customer like the special people they are, the way YOU want to be treated, every day, all of the time, without exception.  


How do you measure up, stack up, size up, match up? What three steps do you need to take now to give rise to more of that authenticity you have inside you? Can you take that first step right now?

It is, you know, a choice. 


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“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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Oct 04 2010


Inspiration can run deep,


but it’s what you make 


of it that counts!


Another Milestone. Another Published Book. This one a 300-page commissioned memoir that took me ten months to write and four months to edit and prepare for printing.

The first copy arrived today, and I am pleased. It is not for sale. It was done for a man with a heroic and inspiring life leadership story who wanted it for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He hired me (from a phonebook listing, no less!) to write his life story for him because he was 89-years-old and in punishingly failing health and because he worried his history on Earth would never get recorded while he was still alive.

The title of his authorized memoir is “GOOD LUCK!” Wisdom from a Life of Leadership in Turbulent Times. He died four days after giving the final text a rave revue.

I mention this here for a number of reasons, besides that I am proud to have known him and to have done him justice.

His final words to me were the highest compliment a writer could have:                                                       

“I always thought I had an interesting life, but I never knew it for sure until I read what you wrote about me; thank you for making my life so special for the children who could never know me otherwise.”


GOOD LUCK! is the story of a 15-year-old child who arrived alone in New York Harbor, speaking no English, aboard a ship from Germany, on the good fortune forefront of time, out from under Hitler.

A door-to-door salesman, egg farmer, opera lover, decorated U.S. Army Sergeant, U.S. citizen, multi-millionaire small business success, and trusted advisor to six governors (half GOP and half DEM) . . . yet a low media profile, even with walls-full of awards.                                                                       

He was a prominent yet quiet leader in government, military, business, academia, civil rights, and in service to his family, church, community, state, and his country.

He didn’t have to be any of these things.

He chose them.


I also bring this story to light because the successes this man achieved evolved from his commitments to himself, to live a life of rigid discipline interwoven at every corner with humor, a passion for excellence, and profound caring for and service to others. Enigmatic maybe but it worked.

Consider for a minute what might be written of YOU and the differences you will have made during your short stay on Earth.

Will your accomplishments be limited to small, confining wins because you’ve always been easily satisfied and quick to say, “Oh, I couldn’t do that!”? Or will they warrant a memoir for future generations to appreciate your life of rising to the occasion, and making your time really count for something important?                                                            

Is what you are doing right now

leading you to where YOU want to go?


Are you trusting and believing in yourself enough to stand strong in troubled waters? Have you ever thought about your legacy before? Are you moving in the direction you truly want to be moving? Can you make some positive mid-stream adjustments? How can you start doing that today? Tomorrow morning? It is, after all, your choice!   


www.TWWsells.com 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 01 2009

PAUL HARVEY, 1918-2009

RIP Paul Harvey,




The greatest radio commentator

in American history


You touched our hearts!


Thank you and bless your soul for your “Good Morning’s” and “Page 2’s” and “The rest of the story.”

And thank you especially for all the professionalism, daily inspiration and good humor that you brought to so many for so very many years.

You were truly a man among men, and will stand for all time as one of the world’s greatest salesmen. Your mastery of both news reporting and voice delivery will never be matched.

You have set the example and held it aloft for all public figures everywhere to follow, the torch of trust that is most dearly needed in today’s world.

With God’s blessings, may we all learn from the light you have cast, and pass it along to brighten the darkness of others. We will miss you, Paul 

 . . . Paul Harvey . . .

. . . Good Day!


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  Open Minds Open Doors 

 Thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 


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Nov 18 2008


Kick your own butt? 


     Yesterday, we talked some about the importance of being genuine (apologies to all you Ernests out there), and we did a brief inventory to see how obnoxious we were. 

     We touched on some ways to shore up the self-indulgence landslide brought on by trying to impress others, by acting controlling, by exaggerating, by glossing over, by constantly talking and posturing, by trying to act like the boss instead of just behaving like a leader. 

     Being more authentic as a human being earns respect.  Being more of what genuinely makes you tick may feel risky at times but in the end, commands loyalty, sets powerful examples, and delivers sales.  That was the gist of the message.  Of course I tossed in a couple of spoonfuls of my Father for good measure. 

     Today I want to know how much more authentic you can be than you were yesterday?  How much more conscious of your need to grow in this direction are you, or do you need to be?  What will work best to kick your own butt?  Can you start being a more authentic person the minute you click off this screen?

     The point here is that no one can really tell you what you need to do or how you need to do it except you!  YOU are the only human being on the entire planet who knows the REAL you, who knows your real potential.  Are you measuring up to what you know you’re capable of? 

     Or are you feeling like a downed-out failure?  With thanks for the referral to worldclass Internet “HARO” network genius Peter Shankman www.HelpAReporter.com, try this quick-fix for your brain (P.S. Kathy says we should watch it regularly!):   


     Oh, and on your way to becoming the very best you can be, get in the habit of making something wonderful happen every day before you go to sleep –like right now! 

     No excuses.  What were you planning to do after reading this page anyway?  Take an extra minute.  Think of some outstanding happy thing you could do or say that could make the whole day a great one for you or someone else — some words or action that will make you grin as your head hits the pillow tonight.

     If you already did something wonderful today, congratulations and thank you and go to bed!  You’ll need the sleep.  Why?  Because when you wake up tomorrow . . . you will be facing the greatest opportunity of your entire life!  Halalpiar

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Nov 10 2008


If today were


the last day of my life,


would I want to do what


I am about to do today?”


Apple founder Steve Jobs in an inspirational commencement address video my son sent me http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-3827595897016378253&hl posed the question above while noting that he asks it of himself every morning when he wakes up. 

To the young graduates he’s addressing, he says, “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life!”

How many of us wish we would have heard that advice when we were younger, and of course be able to be tuned in and mature enough to have acted on it?  There is, Jobs points out, “no reason not to follow your heart.”

The point is, it’s never too late.   

I met a 40-something-old plumber today (not “Joe”) who loves plumbing.  I met with two dedicated auto dealership clients (the 40-ish President and the 30-ish IT Manager) of www.igburton.com  and two bright young men (the President and an Account Manager) of www.Delaware.net (eCommerce Services, Custom Web Development, SEM, etc) who clearly enjoy the work they do and the world their business lives in. 

All in the same day, I also spoke with a 50 year-old mother of three who loves mothering, and bought coffee from a (looked to be almost 70) checker at WAWA who obviously liked being a checker at www.wawa.com

Unusual?  ABSOLUTELY.  I sometimes go for weeks on end without encountering anyone who’s happy with what she or he is doing. 

In fact, I’ve heard some study findings that report 90-95% of Americans are not happy in their jobs.  Even if this happens to be only half right, then the bottom line is that a majority (or close to majority) of people in the U.S. are doing lousy work!  What?  If someone’s unhappy at work, he or she is not performing well, and vice versa.  Now just look at this post again before you click off . . . it’s a whole plateful of food for thought!  Halalpiar  

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