Saturday, September 18, 2010

Give the Guy a Buck - Take Action #16

This week I was driving in the city and passed one of those guys with the sign that says “Hungry, Homeless”.  I must pass these folks at least 3 times a week.  In fact when I was in San Francisco, I saw a person begging every 3 blocks.  AND a couple of the men had a sign “Why Lie, I need a drink” – gotta give them credit….or it was a great marketing ploy.  One lady’s sign said “Need food for my dog” – to appeal to the animal lovers out there.  A young guy had one “Poor college student.”  Anyway, I never usually give to these guys.  But for some reason a couple of days ago, I reached out the window and gave the guy $2 – he was so appreciative.  I’m not sure how I feel about it because you never know if it is a scam to buy a pack of smokes or beer or if they really have 10 kids at home that are hungry.  Either way, every once in a while we need to help someone.  We can’t control what they do with the money, we just hope they use it for good - and really, what's a dollar or two?
If you are not yet financially supporting a non-profit, church, ministry, or organization, today your Take Action to-do is to find an organization you can support.  I strongly believe that in order to receive more in life, we need to give.  Some good organizations run by some awesome people and friends are below.  If you can’t give financially, how about time?  Our time is worth $/hr – so give some time in lieu of money.  These organizations always need money.  AND if you give to a 501c3, it is tax deductable – unlike the couple bucks I gave to the homeless guy at the corner of Grand and 44.
I also got some great feedback from friends on Facebook about Generation Big, which is a book about how Big people are changing the world.

Take Action by Giving Back!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Take Action #15 - Back-up your Phone Contacts

Remember that post I made about backing up your computer?  Well, just for good measure, go ahead and back up your data on your phone too.  Not sure why I have to learn these things the hard way but….maybe it’s so I can share them with you.
I bought a phone for my daughter today and the first thing he had her do was create a Gmail account so that he could transfer all of her existing contacts to the Gmail account.  Then when she activated the new phone, she could download her contacts via e-mail.  He said I should do the same thing just in case anything happens.  We also ordered insurance on her phone since it is one of the nice ones.  He reminded me that I had insurance on my blackberry.
So – I get home from the Sprint store and gather some things to get ready to run out the door again.  I tuck my cell phone in the bra strap (sorry guys but it is a good holder in emergencies).  This allowed me to have both hands free.  Unfortunately one of the hands had a cup of water.  I bent over to get something off the floor and the cell phone fell from my shirt into the cup of water.  OK – I GET IT – BACK UP EVERYTHING – I didn’t even have time to create the dang Gmail account to do the download.  Thankfully, most everything is also on my computer –which yes, is now backed up.  AND thankfully I also have insurance.  I ordered the phone ($100 deductable thank you very much) and it will be here tomorrow – so they say.
For the first time in a decade I am without a phone for more than a couple of hours.  However…..I did discover something quite clever.  Since I no longer have a LAN line, I found myself needing to somehow let my kids know that I didn’t have a phone and my ex know that he needed to pick up my youngest from play practice.  I found a tutorial on how to send texts from your computer.  I was able to go to and send a message from my Sprint account online.  I also found out how to send a text message from e-mail.  AND because my daughter set up a Gmail account today and I was standing there when she did it, I was able to send her an e-mail to her new phone and she worked out transportation for me.   Here’s the link for the how-to text from computer.
So – Take Action item for tonight is to back-up your cell phone contacts and info to a Gmail account or something similar.
Tomorrow’s Take Action will need to be something I already know.  This learning stuff is for the birds.  I am supposed to be teaching, not learning!  Oh well…’s to Taking Action every day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take Action #13: Thank someone - in WRITING

Today's action item is simple.  Write a thank you note by hand.  There is nothing more special than a hand-written note that comes in an envelope with a real stamp and real hand writing on the envelope - not a printed envelope or one with a label.  Don't know about you but 80% of my e-mail is spam or newsletters or mass e-mails.  I have to weed through 100's of e-mails a day just to see if there is one that needs my attention.  If you really want to get the attention of someone, send them a note in a colored envelope or odd-sized envelope - not a traditional business envelope.  Of course this action item came to me because I have at least 2 thank you notes to send, one birthday card and a sympathy note.

Some friends that are great at hand-written notes are Karen Hoffman, Laura Schact and Joe High.  Karen will even tear out articles that pertain to something I am working on and mail it with a note.  Laura sends me notes every once in a while just to tell me she likes me.  We even have the same birthday and she will always send a card - I, on the other hand will call and bring by beer......  Joe has a system for networking that includes sending notes, a book, documents needed before your first meeting with him, etc. 

When to write a hand-written note:
  • After an interview
  • After/before meeting someone for the first time
  • When someone goes above and beyond
  • When a client places a big order
  • When a vendor saved your butt
  • When a colleague goes out of their way to help you out
  • When you need to say you are sorry
  • When you are thinking about someone
  • When you love someone
  • When someone dies
  • When someone is sick
  • When someone divorces
  • When you are praying for someone
  • When someone makes a charitable donation

When do you send hand-written notes?  When was the last time you sent one?  Share your ideas here!

Enjoy Taking Action!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Take Action #12: Get Over Yourself!

Over the last couple of years I have been feeling sorry for myself (sometimes). My life has turned upside down and everything I thought was going to happen – didn’t. Everything I have ever judged, I have had the “opportunity” to experience. At the moment, my dad is dying, my teenage son is challenging me beyond what I am humanly able to handle, and I lost my hard drive last week.  So, I gave myself a little pity party (other things have happened along the way that I won’t share – but just know, it has been more than “challenging”).

I woke up this morning thinking of my friend Judy. I was thinking that I really need to catch up with Judy – maybe I will find her on Facebook. Then it dawned on me that Judy is sight impaired or blind. I don’t know what or if there is a politically correct way to say anything anymore – but the bottom line is that Judy has lived her life without the ability to see.

Then I started wondering if Judy was even able to “get” Facebook because so much of it is “visual” – the way it is laid out, the videos, the links, the messages, the icons, the ads, the millions of photos, etc. Judy is one of the most amazing women I know. She was the first blind person to host a weekly TV show and has produced and hosted approximately 760 TV shows. You can learn more about Judy here.

Judy was first a friend of my mother. I was going to see Zig Ziglar and other speakers at a huge motivational event in September of 2004 at the Savvis Center downtown. My mom was not going to be able to go and asked if I would meet Judy at Savvis Center with her guide. I was not crazy about the idea because I didn’t really know Judy and I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone. So right after I met the guide, he said he was leaving. Mom neglected to mention the part where I was going to be Judy’s guide for the day. Then I was really agitated. I thought, “I am coming here to get motivated and inspired by all these great speakers, I don’t want to deal with this!” Well that day I was humbled more than I ever have in my life.

Judy taught me how to be a guide – talking her through steps, stairs, turns and people. We also had a great conversation and I was absolutely dumbfounded by “who” she was. I was talking about how I was so excited to hear Zig Ziglar speak and she said “Oh he’s a wonderful man; I interviewed him for my show this morning.” My jaw dropped to the ground. I said "WHAT??? How did you get an interview with Zig Ziglar?" She said “oh we go way back, I just called him and asked if he would be on the show and he said yes. I’ve talked with him before…..” Still a little dazed, I said “You just picked up the phone and called Zig Ziglar???” She indeed did. She is an awesome entrepreneur, mother and business woman. I served with her on the board of NaNa’s House for several years.

I visited the set of her show and was amazed at how she directed the folks around her as her hair and makeup got done, lights set up, cameras, etc. Her guest showed up and she interviewed the guest as she always had – seamless, effortlessly, profesionally. You too, will find her amazing – she has a beautiful family and I have never heard her “whine” about the inability to see. She doesn’t know what it’s like to see, so she is not missing it. I found it interesting when I would drive her home, she would know if I missed an exit, she would know all the restaurants and gas stations and streets as I was passing them.

Isn’t that how life is? I went through childhood moving every year – sometimes twice a year. I didn’t know anything else. I thought that was normal. I thought living in one house your entire life must be boring. A person with a handicap does not know what it is like to not have the handicap. Recently, I was sent a video on Facebook and was reminded of the guy who has gone through life without limbs – Nick Vujicic - again, amazing. I have a client, Gerry Davidson with Century 21 Prestige who continued to operate her business while suffering from esophageal cancer. She came into the office even while undergoing treatments, motivated her team and kept showing and selling houses. She was always positive and never complained or talked about her illness unless someone asked, and she always said she was blessed. If anyone had an excuse to be mad at the world or God, she certainly did. As far as I know, she is in remission and doing awesome – although she would continue to operate as usual even if the cancer was back.

I challenge you to really think about how you are “challenged” and take into account the stories of these folks and Get Over Yourself! Someone always has it worse than you and be thankful for what you do have – even if at the moment you feel like there is nothing to be thankful for. Surely you have food, shelter, clothing and someone who loves you. You can’t take it with you – so cherish the day!

Here’s to Taking Action by being Thankful!