Archive for July, 2011


is your brain diabetic?

You are what you eat, but did you also know you are what you read? The mind and spirit, just like the body, operates on the principle “trash in, trash out.”

Read a bunch of vampire books to experience a Draculicious hunk with pale skin. Read fantasy and fiction so you can escape. Aldo Nova was wrong, life isn’t just a fantasy. It’s one triumphant pageant of pain and ecstasy.

I’m not saying never have a sugar cookie, just keep your diet balanced. Too much sugar will rot your teeth as well as your brain and throw you into an intellectual coma. Things will be foggy and fuzzy and you won’t quite feel like 100 percent.

If you look at what a diabetic should eat, it’ll be full of nutrients and sustenance designed to complement the human condition. There are many tremendous books out there that possess just such powers.

It’s simple. If you need to be physically fit and healthy, eat good food. It you need to be mentally fit and healthy, read good books. If you need a positive mental attitude, hang with positive thinkers. Junk food, trashy novels, reality TV shows, and negative people can put your body, mind and soul into a coma and are to be avoided in large quantities.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by Tremendous Life Books, a meat and potatoes publishing company. Our consultants are ready to analyze your library and put you on a healthy reading regimen. Contact us today and we’ll get you started on a personalized healthy reading program guaranteed to make your mental muscles bulge!


5 Ways to Maintain a Winning Attitude

A guest post by Mary Anne Davis, author of “The Sales Messenger: 10 Lessons for Sales Success in Your Business and Personal Lives

A plant manager was disappointed yesterday when I told him one of his key people is a “falling star”. He said, “but he knows the job and our processes better than anyone”. It was painful for him to hear me state this, but after ten training sessions I did not see a winning attitude, or leadership qualities. Attitude is the will that sets people apart from the pack and that creates leaders and winners in both business and life. Here are a few quick tips to maintain and convey a winning attitude.

1.  Know Your Business: Learn not only about your products and services, but also know your competition, your customers’ business, and the trends for your industry. You can do this simply by joining associations that are linked with the industry you are in or the ones you serve. This gives you the opportunity to network and learn from experts in the field, gives you access to publications they offer which will report on leading-edge technology and processes that may help you be more successful. Find a way to get involved and see if they have social networking sites like LinkedIn or Twitter that keep you tuned in.

2.  Practice Reciprocity: Give and you shall receive. Whatever role you are in, do a little extra, smile a little bigger, help others, and pay attention to quality on the tasks you touch. People will be willing to give back and help you when you need it. Another way to invoke reciprocity is to ask people about their opinions, experiences, values, and beliefs. By doing this you are giving them credit for their intelligence versus being the know-it-all. Guess what? They, in turn, will respect you because you respected them. 

 3.  Enter the Learning Zone: You can do this with continuing education courses at community colleges, extension programs, or you can simply “just read”. Did you know that managers who read seven books a year earn 230% more than those who do not? On average, successful CEOs read four books a month. Consider listening to audio books when driving; reading a business book or magazine when commuting by train, bus, or plane; or go the electronic route with an e-reader or phone app. To get you started on a reading program, below are a few titles I would recommend

4.  Feed Your Mind the “Good Stuff”: It takes discipline to keep the “good stuff” coming into your mind. You can do this by surrounding yourself with positive people, finding a study group, and sharing ideas with like-minded people. When you feel the need, you can re-motivate yourself using the experts as your personal coaches by listening to webinars, teleconferences, or pre-recorded self-improvement programs. And this is my favorite: find your motivational theme songs. My favorites are Gloria Estefan’s Get On Your Feet, and Carole King’s, Beautiful (“You have to get up every morning with a smile on your face…”). Of course you can also use the tried-and-true method of reading or listening to programs by motivational experts to keep the “good stuff” in front of you. Listen when they tell you to remove the words can’t and should from your vocabulary and replace with I can and I will. If you need some ideas to get started, below are some of the items I found useful:

5.  Relax and Rejuvenate. There’s no time for today tomorrow. If you do not take time, then you may experience burn-out or stress-related illnesses. Look after yourself by taking time for yourself and your family. This can be an annual  quarterly vacation, a quarterly get away, movie night with the family, family dinner night or simple time alone working on a hobby. If you do not have a hobby, find out about something you have always wanted to do and figure out how to learn to do that. Would you like to learn a new language, take up needlework, exercise more, or fly a helicopter? Even if you decide it is not really for you before you finish the project, just the simple act of learning something new will expand your mind and get the brain off of work for a little while.


somewhere in America, a sales office is missing a slug, a snake, and a jackal


As a business owner, I get the responsibility of selecting the products, goods, and services we are going to pay for. Since returning home to run the business, I have been the recipient of sales tactics so egregious they would make Og Mandino roll over in his grave.

Here are three things I have learned over the past two years. I hope you can learn from my mistakes.

1)      “I Want Leads Without Having to Work for Them”: I call this lazy salesman the Slug. I recently had someone call me and request a face-to-face meeting, which I said yes to. He said he wanted to come hear about my business. We chatted for about 30 minutes when this individual, who had printed out my list of LinkedIn contacts, proceeded to ask me to go over them line by line, and tell him which connection might need his services. Lesson learned: Ensure you get specifics as to who your visitor is and why exactly it is they are coming to see you. Also, don’t give in to his prospecting method. This is how this person ended up calling me.

2)      “I Will Lie on my Business Card to Gain Your Trust”: There’ll be a special place in Sales Hell for people such as this. You would think their business cards would go up in flames before they’d even reach a potential client’s hand. I call this lying salesman the Snake. I recently had a business print “BBB certified” on their business cards when I fact they had an “F” rating and were the endless source of customer complaints on blog boards. Lesson learned: ALWAYS look up someone or something on the Better Business Bureau website and/or any other search platform before entering into any type of agreement. Just because they print it doesn’t mean it’s true.

3)      “I Will Over Promise and Under Deliver just to keep enough money coming in so I can buy a new iPad or tech gadget. Then I’ll move onto someone else”: I call this opportunistic and scavenging salesman the Jackal. This is especially prevalent among social media “gurus” who claim to be able to boost your SEO visibility to the ends of the galaxy, make you go viral at the speed of light, and promise to create a website that will draw them in like the Death Star’s tractor beam. They spout out questions about what analytics you are using (you fool!), how clunky and lame your existing website and backend software is, and how you’ve got to add value, value, value!!!  Lesson learned:  If you’ve got more Twitter followers and Facebook fans than those doing the pitch, you might want to pass. And just be sure that you get verifiable references from clients who can trace the work back to a specific metric. Question: How can you tell if someone is a social media expert? Answer: If they say so.

These real-life situations cost me tens of thousands of dollars and weeks of valuable time. I get convicted when I think of what I could have done with those resources had I taken the time to really do my homework, but I know that I learned valuable lessons about how to maneuver myself in the world of unethical salespeople. They’ll have to deal with their own accountability when the time comes. So beware slugs, snakes, and jackals! The next time one of you crosses my path I’m going to open up a can of salt, mongoose, screaming eagle, and/or whoop ass and take you down!



i’ve found the answer to everything i’ve ever needed….me!

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” Galileo

If only we truly believed this we’d stop running from jobs and people in order to find what makes us happy. In truth, we’ve got everything we need already inside ourselves.

I am blessed with the ability to fall asleep. I learned in the military to go into REM sleep during a five minute break. Power naps have become a staple in my life. I also am an incredibly light sleeper. Even the sound of my cat walking on the carpet in the room wakes me up. Needless to say, white noise has become a staple of my life.

Last March I stayed at a hotel that had no ambient fan noise to turn on in the rooms. I heard every word, laugh, child’s cry, foot step, door slam, elevator ding, ice cube dispense, and catering-cart rattle while I was trying to sleep. I went to the sundries shop and bought ear plugs in an attempt to block out the outside noise. Problem was, although I now couldn’t hear anything external, I heard every breath and heart beat inside my body. I think I could even hear my cells dividing! At the end of the three-day stay I was exhausted from lack of sleep.

I have another trip scheduled to this same hotel and have been searching for a white-noise machine to take with me. It had to be small enough so that I could lug it with me on the plan as I already had a ton of meeting material and other electronic gadgets to drag along. As I was lamenting my situation, my coworker told me to check out my phone, which I’ve had for two years, and see if there wasn’t an app for that.

I am tech savvy but I only use my phone for purely functional, non-entertainment reasons such as storing contacts, email communication, GPS directions, phone calls, and my schedule. I have one free app on it, and that’s the phases of the moon. (I always wanted to be an astronaut:-) When I looked at my phone, it was right there! A free-white noise app to download with numerous gorgeous background noises with which I knew I could slip into sleep-replenishment mode quickly.

What I needed was right there all along! I didn’t need to look elsewhere; I had it! And as I wondered at how simply my dilemma had been resolved through the assistance of a friend, I reflected on Galileo’s quote. What else am I struggling with right now, yet I have the answer sitting right in front of me? The answer is everything. I just need someone to help me find it.

Many of us are teachers, parents, writers, mentors, coaches, salespeople, or consultants. But it’s a great point to always remember that we can’t “teach” anyone anything. We can only help them find it within themselves. And if we can do that, we have truly transformed an individual’s life.

Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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July 2011

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