Business

Taking Care of Business

Ed Foreman taking care of business while taking care of business

Ed and Earlene have learned, like Elvis did, “taking care of business” (TCB), is important and can be done anywhere. With today’s modern electronic communications, cell phones, etc. you can handle calls, follow ups, enrollments, instruction… you name it… wherever you are!

From their lake cruiser fishing the waters of Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada, at a shore lunch, guide orientation sessions, early morning and late afternoon sessions with a variety of top level leaders, they conduct business and help their clients practice an enjoyable, full-filling life of outdoor adventure, healthful physical exersize, mental gymnastics, and a variety of skills to make life into an exciting game. They truly do lead you along the path to an invigorating journey to health, wealth, and happiness.

Happy, Healthy leaders build successful enterprises and make life an enjoyable experience.

Does It Have Any “Long Term” Lasting Benefit?

According Paul Thayer, former Chairman and C.E.O. of LTV Aerospace Corp, it does!


PAUL THAYER
FOUR FOREST PLAZA
12222 MERIT DRIVE
SUITE 115O
DALLAS, TEXAS 75251

Dear Ed:

It’s hard to believe but it’s been almost a quarter of a century since we first met. In looking back on that part of my life, I must conclude that no other one person, other than my wife, Margery, has exerted such a positive influence on me, particularly during some pretty dark days that now we hardly remember. And, it’s about time I told you so.

In the late sixties not too long after we met, as you will remember, I accepted your invitation to spend a long weekend in Kerrville attending my first SUCCESSFUL LIFE Course. By Sunday afternoon, you and Earlene had managed to persuade me that I was not quite as motivated as I thought I was. The most impressive result of the entire three-day event, however, was to watch some rather shy, not-so-confident members of the class emerge as laughing, living, and loving personalities ready to take on all the challenges they had been holding in the background.

At this point, I was the Chairman of LTV/Aerospace Corp. and succeeded in convincing some of my associates that they too should plan to spend a weekend in Kerrville. Many of the executives were less than enthusiastic about the prospect before going but returned convinced. As the word got around and “I’m Terrific” became a password in the hallways, the follow-on groups got their own momentum. Needless to say, many of the problems that faced LTVAC in those days were met with much more force and finesse than before we were injected with “Foreman’s Formidable Formula.”

Then in June of 1970, I was “anointed” by the LTV Board to the Chairman and CEO of the parent company. I didn’t really want the job because I was having a lot of fun in the aerospace business. I was convinced it was the right change to make, however, when a couple of the Board members mentioned that if I didn’t accept their offer, they would have to hire me a boss and I might not like him.

Well as you know, at the time LTV had a lousy financial picture – roughly two billion dollars in debt; negative cash flow; under collateralized; unable to service debt and in technical default with the banks. So among other things, we exposed many of our management people to the “Foreman Magic” and two years later, we were profitable with most of our financial problems well on the way to being solved.

So, in looking back about 23 years, Ed Foreman, it’s clear that you have been a moving, tangible force in my life. And along with a few thousand others, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a great and dear friend.

Cordially,
Signed Paul Thayer
Paul Thayer

Mr. Ed Foreman, President
Executive Development Systems
14135 Midway Road, Suite 250, L.B. #7
Dallas, Texas 75244


Defender Direct, Inc. Uses The Successful Life Course To Fuel It’s Astonishing Growth

Defender DirectDefender Direct, Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a privately held company that sells and installs ADT security systems and Dish Network Satellite TV to homeowners across the U.S. Its President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dave Lindsey started the business out of his home in 1998, making the transition to entrepreneur from security sales. He used $30,000 of his and his wife’s personal savings to fund the start-up, which he called Defender Security Company.

Since its humble beginnings in the Lindseys’ spare bedroom, Defender has become one of the largest security and satellite dealers in the Midwest, experiencing an average annual growth rate of 60 percent over ten years. In 2008, Defender generated $78.1 million in revenues, and earned the rank of 387 on the Inc. 500 list of “America’s Fastest-Growing Companies. With 1,500 employees, the company had a national footprint of 120 offices in 40 states.

Dave Lindsey explains, “Defender has grown faster than its peers not because we are better at selling and installing security systems, but because our people have grown. Our sales have doubled because the capacity and talents of our leaders have doubled. A few years ago we stopped trying to double our business and realized the way to grow was to double our team members’ enthusiasm, optimism and skills. Send people to seminars, leadership conferences and self-help programs. Build a culture on purpose, not by accident.”

Defender is now sending a total of 30 people (15 employees plus a spouse, significant other, parent, or other guest of their choice) to participate in each session of the SUCCESSFUL LIFE Course. Dave attributes Defender’s success to its culture, which he has built around each employee’s “personal growth.” As he says, “Another word is TERRIFIC. We talk about being terrific every day, and we choose to be that way. We coined a saying,

“Businesses don’t grow—people do.”

I don’t want this to become a cliché around Defender because it’s been our secret sauce. All of us had to grow. We’ve accomplished this reinvention through good books, good tapes and networking with good people motivated and inspired through the SUCCESSFUL LIFE Course. Our ability to forgive each other is one of our greatest strengths and it’s the glue that allows us to stay at this breakneck speed.”

The SUCCESSFUL LIFE Course can be the secret ingredient to inspiring your team to be and do all that they are capable of accomplishing. Other clients, including BWI Inc.; Ferguson Integrated Services; Quality Care; Rinderle Door Company, Caterpillar, Milliken Textiles, et al, have also contracted to send their people to each session of this life-enriching experience. Join us soon for a session to see for yourself why business leaders from throughout the world are so enthusiastic about the results they, and their teams, have achieved as a result of applying these successful daily living principles to their business and personal lives!

The Goal: The Process of Ongoing Improvement

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One of the most outstanding business books I have ever read is
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox.

The book is an easy read. (The audio version is even better). Even though the book is an introduction to the Theory of Constraints, it is written as an enjoyable novel about a new manager who has 90 days to turn around a failing manufacturing plant or lose it. You follow him as he and his team, with clues from a mysterious consultant, come to grips with a new way of managing their business. The insights they find are incredible and can be applied to any type of business.

If I were to tell you the bottom lines to the Theory of Constraints, more than likely you would not recognize the huge impact it can have when properly applied. I’ll give you a hint, though. In the process of trying to save his plant, this manager learns that he can make a profit selling some of his products below cost!

If, after you finish The Goal, you want more information about The Theory of Constraints, Goldratt has a new book called Beyond the Goal: Eliyahu Goldratt Speaks on the Theory of Constraints (Your Coach in a Box). This book is a discussion about the application of the Theory of Constraints to businesses, including software companies. (Again, the audio book is better. Eliyahu explains the details himself). But, don’t skip The Goal and go straight to the new book! You will really regret it.

If you’re tired of dry, boring business books, The Goal will be a welcome change.

What Recession?

question

I just got a call from a friend of mine. She is president of a company involved in construction and remodeling.

Thinking I already knew the answer, I asked her how her business was doing. Surprisingly, she said “Great! We almost have more business than we can handle! Our challenge is getting enough good people to do the work.”

When I mentioned that a lot of businesses, especially housing related businesses, are experiencing a recession, she simply said “Not over here!”.

What do you think would happen if she started thinking, “Oh no. The economy is falling apart. And the housing market is the worst. I better pull in the reins, cut costs, not take on so many jobs in this risky environment, and start a hiring freeze.” ?

Exactly. It would be a self fulfilling prophecy.

So, does that mean we should just stick our head in the sand and ignore what we see? Of course not. But in every situation, there are opportunities for people that look for them.

If some of your customers are buying less from you now, think of ways you can provide more value to help them through difficult times. Not only will your business grow, but you’ll gain some very loyal customers.

Be like the late Sam Walton. When asked for his opinion of the 1991 recession, he said, “I’ve thought about it, and decided not to participate.” Within only two years Wal-Mart’s share price was up 200% !

If you are a huge multi-national bank or investment company, then ok, maybe you’ve got a steep hill to climb. But, if not, then ignore the exaggerations of the media, and just take care of business.

Like Earlene Vining says, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.

Are your employees happy?

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Recently, I was reading a book by one of my favorite authors. I’m not going to tell you who for reasons that will become apparent.

He is right on point with most things, but I think he is way off on this one. He was pooh-poohing the “new age idea” that an employer should care about the happiness of his employees. He said that was not an employer’s job. A boss’s only concern should be how much they can get employees to produce. Who cares if they’re happy?

I would like to go on record as saying that is pure BS (capital B, capital S)!

When it comes to personal matters, I agree that it is none of the boss’s business. But, concern for employees’ success & happiness will do more for your business than anything else you can do. Who talks to your customers? Who controls the quality of your products? What kind of message are your employees sending out?

If you are an employer, and you if want the greatest success, it is in your own best interest to create an environment where every employee can be successful. Give them the opportunity to learn skills they didn’t have before. Some ask, “What if I train them and they leave?” Well, what if you don’t train them and they stay?

Case in point: A few years ago, my employer sent me to Ed Foreman’s Successful Life Course. The course teaches a lot of skills useful in business, but the main focus is on each student’s personal happiness and success. Recognizing that fact was the turning point for me. I had been so against going to a “rah-rah company” event, that if there had been a way to get out of it, and keep my job, I would not have gone. Somewhere into the first day, though, they said something (I don’t remember what it was), but it finally struck me. That class would help me personally. It wasn’t just about the job. It was about ME. From that point on, I was hooked…on the class, on the boss that sent me, on my job, and on being successful.

My story is not unique by any means. I think that most first time SLC attendees are sent by their company (or by a previous graduate). And it is obviously paying off because, if these companies were not seeing results on the bottom line, they just would not keep sending people.

It’s an easy question. Do you do your job better when you’re happy? Do you get along better with customers and co-workers when you’re happy? Of course you do.

Or turn the situation around. If you work for someone who lets you know, in no uncertain terms, that the only thing they care about is how much money you can make for them, how loyal are you? Would you go the “extra mile” for that kind of boss? Or would you do the minimum to get by, and jump ship at the first opportunity?

Exactly.

You might get some temporary success pushing people for more…more hours, more days, more work. But it won’t last. When companies get known as being “sweat shops”, the really good employees, the ones you really want on your team, won’t even apply.

As Zig Ziglar put it, “You can get everything you want in life, if you’ll help enough other people get what they want.”

Give me a call…

227191_blog“Hey, John. It’s Frank. Give me a call.”

How many times have you received a voicemail message like that one? It communicates no information other than Frank called. Usually the next step is for you to return the call, only to find that Frank is now “on the phone or away from his desk”. So, you leave a message to let Frank know you called him and now it’s his turn. It’s a popular game called “phone tag”. “Popular” may be the wrong term here, as no one really likes it.

Consider, instead, a “virtual conversation”, or a “time-shifted phone call”. It goes like this:

Hey, John. It’s Frank. I am making travel arrangements and I need to find out what time the Orlando meeting is expected to start.

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. We know what Frank wants and we can easily respond to it. Even if Frank is not there when we return his call, we can simply leave the information in HIS voicemail. Both of us deal with the phone call on our own schedule and there is no wasted time.

How’s that for GTD?

Three Feet from Gold with Ed Foreman

The book “Three Feet from Gold” expounds on the discoveries made by Napoleon Hill when he interviewed the wealthiest and most successful people of his era. This new classic in the making updates Hill’s findings by including insights from current captains of success, it also presents the principles in an accessible story.

For this book, author Greg Reid, with the aid of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, interviewed people who have achieved their goals and lived their dreams, including Ed Foreman (A millionaire and the only person in this century to be elected to Congress from two states).

Here is the interview with Ed Foreman:

A film by Jon Dixon
Music by Burnie Stevenson

Multi-Streaming for Financial Security

A friend of mine called me a few days ago. He told me that he was going to be out of a job in a couple of weeks. I was floored. I know him to be a hard working, honest, friendly, and successful person. It turns out, though, that in this case, none of that matters. The company that he works for is merging with another. The office is moving across the country. And the long and the short of it is that most of the employees here will need new employment.

This re-emphasises something that I’ve long believed in. The only way to be financially secure is to have multiple INDEPENDENT streams of income.

We all know the importance of diversification in our investments. We would never put all of our money into one stock, but we often have only one plan, our current job, for income. And, for one reason or another, that usually leads to some inconvenient times, like my friend is experiencing.

I suggest that you begin immediately to develop some new ways of earning income, that have nothing to do with your current job. No, I’m not suggesting you get a second full-time job! I’m talking about ways of making money that don’t require your presence all the time.

Rent out some property. Sell items on the internet. If you’re reading this, I know you have some internet skills. Start an internet business.

You say that you can’t come up with any ideas that would earn enough money to make it worthwhile? Many people think that they need an idea worth thousands before they get started. Another friend of mine, Dennis Becker, wrote a book about using ideas that only earn five dollars a day. You start one, get it running, and then move to the next one. Combined, this leads to some serious income. For a complete description, I recommend that you get his book.

Note that your incomes need to be completely independent of each other. Life Happens, and you must be diversified to be safe.

Multiple independent streams of income (multi-streaming) can give you security like nothing else. You know that if any one of your income streams fail, you have others.

Three Rules of Selling

From the Business Success Tips podcast, here are three rules of selling:

1. Use the Best Communication Means Possible.

As a general guide the best communication methods are, in order:

  1. In person
  2. By phone
  3. Email

One of the first things you want to do, is find out from your customer, how does she prefer to receive communication from you. Using her preferred method shows that you are listening and makes her more receptive to what you have to say.

2. Sell Yourself First

To be very successful selling something, you must be sold on the product/service yourself. When you believe that it is the best solution to your customer’s problem, it shines through. It’s very easy to explain the benefits enthusiastically. As someone said, “Do you know anyone with an iPhone that won’t shut up about it?”. I have an iPhone and I could go on and on about the many things I like about it. If you can’t get this excited about your product, why should your customer?

3. Always Act in the Best Interest of the Client

People buy from those they like and trust. If there is a conflict between what you want and what the client needs, the client has to come first. Making a mistake here may get you a short term sale but will kill any chances of a long term relationship. The opposite is also true. When your customer sees that you are really looking out for his interests, you gain the trust that leads to multiple sales down the road.

When you incorporate these principles into your selling process, your chances of success skyrocket!

Happy Selling!