Take Charge

Taking charge of your life is essential. The fact is if you don’t take charge of your life many others will try to co-opt you for their purposes. And they will use almost anything to do this.

The question used to be ‘do you work to live, or do you live to work?’ I would like to rephrase the thought just a little bit. Are we working to fulfill our dreams, or someone else’s?

We all need to live. And to exist in our economy, we must work. Even those with money must work not to lose it. And although we would all like to work for ourselves, it is not always realistic or feasible. Remember, no one comes up with an idea and automatically starts at the top of the heap. A great friend reminded me yesterday that the only people who start at the top are ditch diggers.

The best of ideas still requires support and funding. Many of the Impressionist painters whose works are worth tens of millions of dollars each today, had to have paying jobs working elsewhere so that they could live while they were painting them. Van Gogh whose works sell for hundreds of millions today, only sold one painting while he was alive for I believe about 150 francs.

If you have a good idea and are building a business, figure you’re income chart is going to be flying near the surface for 2 to 3 years and then you’ll see that curves start to accelerate up. And to make that climb happen there many parts of the business you will be feverishly working for those years until the success starts to pour in.

Remember it’s your business, and I am willing to bet you love the idea, or else you would not be working at selling your goods. Remember though, there is no vacation, no time off, no sick days and if any of these occur, the business work does not get accomplished. Because when you start, you are usually a one-person shop, mainly because you haven’t earned enough money yet to hire help. I am not telling you this to cause you apprehension, just to prepare you.

If you don’t give up and don’t give out, and if you have an idea that resonates with the public and can get the people to come and look at your venture, in time you just might make it. You need to keep your faith in yourself and your product and work harder than you’ve worked for anyone else. And there’s one more ingredient. Luck plays a part in all of this. I call it serendipity.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.



You Are A Good Person

Before we go off for the weekend, the mean old Master Sergeant only has one question for you, “Are you a good person?” And of course, when a mean old Master Sergeant looks you in the eye and asks that question, there is only one answer that is acceptable. “Yes Sergeant.”

It is the only acceptable answer because it’s the only correct answer. How do I know? I spent years teaching people and helping people with resumes. When I first started, I had people who were feeling dejected and not worthy of a new job. They felt sad and beat up. I even thought I heard a snore or two from the back of the room. There is only one way to pull someone back from that state. You have to remind them of what their fundamental being is.  And, all things being equal, people are good.

How do I do that? This is how. If you doubt your answer, the correct one is, “Yes Sergeant.”

  • Sergeant: Are you a good person?
  • Answer: “Yes Sergeant.”
  • Sergeant: I cannot hear you are you good people?
  • Answer: “Yes Sergeant. (Louder)”

Now I hope you see how this goes.  I will put in the Master Sergeant part, and you know how to answer.

  • If they give you a job will you work hard at it?
  • Will you give them your best?
  • You are good people, aren’t you?
  • OK tell employers on your resume?

If you ever start to doubt yourself, stand in front of the mirror and ask and answer these questions.  If you have something to add, do so, and keep the question and answer positive to you.  If you share added questions with us in the comments, then others can benefit from your additions.  Then, you are even a better person.

Thank you for being with me today, I hope to be with you again soon.