Tag Archive for auto transport quotes

Anti-Aging Fiery Grandma Hangs Ten in Changing Tide of Business

Anti-Aging Fiery Grandma Hangs Ten in Changing Tide of Business

Anti-Aging Fiery Grandma Hangs Ten in Changing Tide of Business

Moments of reflection

Reflecting over the past year in business, I have learned many things. Many have propelled me forward into areas of business that I did not know about. Some made me scared while others were familiar to me. I think the most inspiring thing I learned was how to face the reality of business head on without fear, taking the emotion out of the decision.

One thing has not changed and that is I am a woman, wife, mother and grandma who loves people. Besides being a student, coaching other students and running a business I have learned how to turn back the clock. That lesson turned me into an anti-aging, fiery grandma of four who looks and feels like she is twenty something again.

Being able to bounce back after making a life changing decision has not always been easy. The first decision of that kind happened back when I decided to leave my first network marketing business. When my friend and mentor, Gary called me to let me know he was leaving, I remember how I felt and what I did. Handing the phone to my husband, Rich I raced to the bathroom and threw up.

Today when making a decision of that magnitude some of the same emotions wash back over me. However, having learned that it is “nothing personal, it’s just business” has helped me to deal with it head on.

I have learned that you must think on your feet or wash out to sea by the ever-churning tide of the marketplace. Another lesson under my belt is that when making the right decision and standing by it you come out a winner every time.

One of those stark reality checks happened last Thursday. I really cannot say it was much of a surprise, yet the result still stung a little bit. Any human being has to deal with emotions otherwise, we are nothing short of being a robot. What is it I am talking so passionately about?

Live your passion

In our auto transport business, there are many things I am passionate about, mostly the people who work in the industry. The job tasks themselves anyone can learn how to do them. Running a successful auto transport business for over six and a half years has proven to be lucrative, fun and worthwhile.

One season of our business took us to serve our fellow broker friends. We provided free information that we had learned over the past few years in business. As the year progressed, we developed coaching programs to help them get started in business. Many friends and business associates benefited from those programs.

As my skill at teaching improved, we hosted a free teleconference to give yet more information to those wanting it. Yet, many more wanted additional information. It really seemed that the request for details came faster and faster yet did not result in increased revenue.

Business decisions are not always popular

This is when the rubber had to hit the road or not. For the good of the company, we made a decision, yet I did not want to face it. It took a strong coach to show me how to continue profitably. A solid plan for my life, what did I want it to look like and why?

So, in watching and listening to the marketplace my husband and I have decided to change our focus. It is time to look to the future with today in mind. It is time we start living the life we have dreamed of for a long time. We have finally taken the time to define what that means and go for it.

As the tide of the marketplace has shifted, it is time to recognize the timing and start working on a back up plan. Therefore, we are starting to build our retirement business part-time.

While still working our auto transport business, we are focusing on helping others find what we did. At our age, to recapture our youth, reverse health issues and financial woes is timely. It is time to add to our bank account. When we focus on serving others and focus on helping them get what they want, our goals and dreams will follow, too.

Join us won’t you? This anti-aging, fiery grandma of four found out how to turn back the clock. She found the youth of her twenties. Ask her she will share her secret with you, too.  Click here to join us at our new home, with a new look and focus.

Please leave your comment below and join the discussion.

Friends help friends, share by clicking the “Like” button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won’t want to miss out, be sure to “re-tweet”, too. We can not do what we do without you. Thank you for helping all you can.
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
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Losing Weight on a Tight Budget

 

 

Losing Weight on a Tight Budget

 

Can I really do this?

 

After six years of working my auto transport business from home, I had to face reality. I had allowed myself to gain more than fifty pounds. I do not know about you, but the weight somehow just appears on my body overnight. By the end of the year another ten or twelve pounds had packed onto my butt, midriff and thighs.

I know, I can hear you laughing…come on you pack them on too, be honest with yourself. It seems the older I get it is easier to justify why I am on the heavy side. Gosh, my mom and grandma were heavy I guess being over weight is just in my genes. After all, my brother and sisters are all over weight, why should I think I am any different.

When I shop at the local Wal-Mart I see lots of larger men and women, I am not so bad off. Why do we justify what we are what we look like or feel like? Have you ever done that? Come on; tell the truth, have you? Well one day I wondered if I were really over weight compared to what the doctor's weight chart says.

That was my defining moment, the moment of truth! Crap, I was not overweight I am obese! Nasty word isn't it. Fact of the matter is for my height, frame and weight, yes, I am obese I am not over weight. Now I got depressed.  Every time I look at the pictures of me visiting with my grand-babies and their other grandma, I am the "chunky" one, she is the slim one. I do not want the kids to remember me for being the "chunky" one.

   

Then, I remembered something else…my grandmas were – one tall and thin and one short and "chunky". No! History was going to repeat itself. Faced with the reality, did I want to be the fat grandma or did I want to do something about it? Did I want to live a long, healthy life or cut it short to satisfy my never-ending craving for spaghetti, lasagna and French bread?

I cannot afford it

When I was finally ready to face the music, I was in Chicago at a business meeting. One of my fellow students shared some interesting information with me about blood sugar and stress. She explained how it affects our body's ability to gain and lose weight.

Renee told me that with my schedule in the auto transport office the plan of "grab and go" meals would work perfectly. It sounded great, but I really could not afford it – so I said. The reality was that I was scared. I had tried so many other diet pills, diet plans, shakes and foods that I did not want to spend another dime on something that was not going to work for me.

Since my kids left home, I did not spend a whole lot on food and what we did buy was, okay I will admit it…junk. Foods that really did not count as food, you know Doritos, granola bars, cold cereal, many crackers, different types of breads and more. These were foods that I grew up eating. Foods that families buy to fill little stomachs that they cannot afford to feed properly.

Then, Renee helped me to see that part of my problem was a mindset issue. Food was a comfort to me, it made me feel safe to fall back on what I knew, what I grew up with. She also helped me to see that if I wanted to lose weight permanently I would need to change. Oh, that awful word…change.

Together we can do it

Like most new things I was scared to death, again I didn't want to fail this time around. Somehow I felt safe, secure in knowing that my friend would not let me down. I was the one that did not need to let me down this time.

She assured me that together we could use this program of "grab and go" meals to burn off this fat. I was excited and scared all wrapped up in one, but I got started.

When my "grab and go" meals arrived I called her. She went over each meal and explained how I was to eat, every two to three hours. That was the scary part for me, what if I got busy in the office. No excuses, she told me to set a timer and I did.

I thought I would be hungry, another excuse. Hmmm, how could eating make me hungry? I did not eat before that was my problem and how I had gained the weight. I was using my auto transport business schedule as an excuse, a lame one at that.

The end of my first week it was time to weigh myself, something I never did because I did not want to know what I weighed, period. Very nervously, I stepped on the scales.

I had cried the week before when I actually saw with my own two eyes what I weighed. That number staring back at me was the biggest number I had ever seen in my life. Never before had I weighed so much. How could my husband love such a fat wife?

The scale never lies, unlike me. Now though I anxiously looked down as the red needle came to a halt. Oh my, I had lost four pounds! In all my dieting years never before had, I had a loss like that. Usually it was one or two pounds max. My clothes fit nicely now instead of showing rolls of flesh poured into the too tight jeans and tee shirts.

This was just the beginning of my weight loss journey. Today, as I sit here in the office I just finished one of my "grab and go" snacks. We are going to the Farmers Market to buy some fresh tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, cucumbers and peppers. Maybe we will find other green vegetables to go with my lean meat for dinner tonight. Should we fix shrimp, chicken or a steak? Hmmm, let's wait and see what I feel like when I get home.

Until next time, here is something for you to think about. When is the last time you were honest with yourself? Have you noticed you are over weight, or are you kidding yourself as I did myself?

Remember, I was obese, not overweight. Stop kidding yourself. Address the issue head on; take charge of your thoughts and behaviors. Ask for help. I did, because together we can lose those unwanted pounds even if we work in an auto transport office.

Please leave your comment below and join the discussion.

Friends help friends, share by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. We can not do what we do without you. Thank you for helping all you can.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
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Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
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Disappointed in What You Are Not or Happy With Who You Are?

 
 
Disappointed in What You Are Not or Happy With Who You Are?
 
So, you are not happy
 
This afternoon the phone rang in our auto transport office. Being Saturday I normally would not answer it, yet for some reason I picked up the receiver and took the call.

On the other end of the line was a woman interested in becoming an auto transport broker. We had emailed back and forth a few times yet she had a few more questions. She explained to me that she is not happy at her current place of employment and is interested in becoming an auto transport broker. She wants the freedom to call her own shots, work from home and be with her family. Today was her first step toward taking control of her life and happiness, she took action.
 
Many questions not enough time
 
We have systems of process in place to deal with incoming calls pertaining to questions like this. Settling into the office chair I felt it was time to give my client what she was looking for. “Calling the shots” when you are a business owner, allow me to make changes when time allows. Today I had a few moments to give her.

Addressing her direct questions was an easy task for me to do. With more than six years of experience, it is sometimes hard to withhold information. Why would I do that? Well, it is like feeding a baby…you cannot pour the whole jar of food down their throat or they would gag, choke or throw up, right?

The same goes for providing information to those looking for what you have. We must give them bite-sized chunks then allow them to chew, swallow and digest it before giving them another bite.
 
Business and social media today

One question in particular stayed with me after we ended our call. That question was “how do you set yourself apart from other brokers, what makes a customer do business with me”. Funny, when I got started I had the same question. The only difference was I had to figure the answer out for myself; I had no one to explain or guide me through the process.

Before she called, I had been watching a video on You Tube. It was an interview by Bryan Elliott from “Get Behind the Brand”. He interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk who is a wine connoisseur, marketing expert and successful businessman and author. Thank goodness for FaceBook because I never would have found this valuable information without a friend sharing a post with the link.

Gary said some timely things on the interview. I took copious notes. One key point he brought out was the statement about most people focus on being disappointed in what they are not, instead of being happy with whom they are. His point was this, in America we focus on working on our weaknesses instead of our strengths. His belief is just the opposite. When we focus on building on our strengths, we get good, excel at those qualities, tasks, and can share those with others.

The interview is so good and so relevant to answering my client’s question that I thought I would share it with you here, today. I realize it is lengthy, but save this or come back to it if you must, it is that important to your success.
 
 

Most pressing question answered
 
As we finished the call, I shared how I concluded and answered the questions she had about setting yourself apart from others. People connect with other people. Your prices, products and systems may be the same, higher, different or whatever…it does not matter. The prospect on the other end of the phone, sitting across the table from you or sitting in a chair at a meeting will connect with YOU.

When you take time to show that you care about them, provide them with a higher level of service, when you go beyond you set yourself apart from the other businessperson out there. By accepting what you are good at and working on being the best YOU, you can be your best asset.

How am I different from the hundreds of auto transport brokers out there in the marketplace? I am different because I am ME…there is no pretense, what you see is what you get. Either you connect on a personal level with me or you will not. Will I land every deal that comes across my desk or the phone lines? No, do you think I should? If that happened that means there is no competition or the world ended and someone forgot to tell me about it. ;)

Therefore, to set you apart do what I did. Recognize what you are good at and get better at doing it repeatedly. It will take practice and time. As they say, “Rome was not built in a day”.  You will not build your auto transport business in a day, or a night or a week either. One customer at a time, one relationship at a time you can do it, we can do it together.

Please leave your comment below and join the discussion.

Share this with your friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. We can not do what we do without you. Thank you for helping all you can.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



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Caleb’s High School Graduation and Falling Forward

Caleb's High School Graduation and Falling Forward

Preparing for our youngest nephews graduation

Friday morning rolled around and my usual routine of making coffee, feeding the animals and booting up the computer was to change. For just this one Friday, I would not even open the auto transport office door. The night before our trip, I had set the phones to mute. I did not forward them to my cell phone, as I normally would have in the past.

My bag packed fresh batteries in the camera and my cell phone carried a full charge. I had downloaded all photos off my memory chip in the camera. After all, I did not want to run out of space at the ceremony.

It was about 8:00 AM when my parents arrived and parked the minivan in the driveway. Tossing my luggage into the back, I settled into the passenger seat behind my mom, she took first shift of being the driver. This would surely test my nerves and control I had or not over my tongue.

I will let you in on a little secret about my mom. She is in her seventies and recently told me she is developing a cataract in her eye. It troubled me that she would be driving, but after all, I am the daughter and she the mother. My sister, Cheryl and I shot each other "that look" and grinned, agreeing to go with the flow.

Giving my husband, Rich a quick hug and a kiss we shut the door and off we went on our way to Fort Bragg, California and our youngest nephew, Caleb's high school graduation.

Potty break and driver change

A few hours into the drive, we all needed a potty break. Mom and dad drove Highway 20 often whenever they traveled to Fort Bragg to visit my sister and her boys. There was a convenient gas station and store before we hit the small town called Clear Lake. Taking this opportunity to stretch our legs, refuel our snack and water supply we were ready to hit the road again.

This leg of the trip my dad would be the driver. Although my sister and I offered to drive, both parents informed us that they were fine. Looking at each other my sister made a wise crack about have loose wires (that was our code for oh no). If you happened to be on FaceBook that day, you saw my post. Now you know what I was referring to when I say she had a few wires loose in her head. (smiling)

Dad's driving was fine as was mom's while on the freeway. As we made our way around Clear Lake the highway narrowed and became curvy making the 30 MPH speed limit necessary. The drive around the lake was beautiful. Due to the increase in rain this year plants and wildflowers were greener, the colors more vibrant and beautiful.

The short drive up Highway 101 to Highway 20 took us through lush grassy meadows and thick-forested groves of tall pine trees. The last time I had been through this country was during an extreme drought and everything was dead and ugly. Now, the scenery was breathtaking and I could not help but think back of all the family vacations we had enjoyed years ago with our family.

Then, out of nowhere, my sister gasped and yelled out, "Dad, watch what you are doing"! He had reached down for a toothpick and headed straight for the mountainside. After our hearts stopped pounding out of our chests, we laughed…nervously laughed and said our prayers.

Fort Bragg, family and the graduation ceremony

When we arrived at my sister's house, no one was home. What did we ever do before everyone started carrying cell phones? Even my parents have one of their very own. We were able to track them down to a local restaurant and joined them for lunch.

By now, we were all tired of "grab and go" meals and wanted a real homemade, hot meal. My sister, her two boys, their dad, and his family were all present. We had a good time catching up on what had gone on in their lives over the past year and our meal was scrumptious, too.

It was now time to return to their home and get ready to head over to the high school as graduation started at 5:00 PM. We stopped by our hotel and freshened up, checked in and loaded our jackets and cameras. It did not take long and we were back in the minivan headed for the commencement ceremony.

Hopes, dreams and Denzel Washington

As the graduates filed onto the field to the band playing "Pomp and Circumstance", my thoughts went back to when I was the graduate. My hopes and dreams of becoming a successful businessperson was all I could see. When life did not go exactly as I had thought it would, I found myself falling and picking myself up. I wondered if life would deal a hand like that to my nephew, too.

Usually the speeches given at graduations do not really catch my attention. However, this speech did. The Chairman of the Board shared a quote by a famous actor, Denzel Washington. He had been a keynote speaker at the graduation of the University of Pennsylvania. Rich Schulman wrote, "It is no surprise that a great actor like Denzel Washington would provide some great expressions during his speech. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

 
"Some people say that you always need something to fall back on, but he never understood that", he said.

"I want to fall forward. I figure at least this way I'll see what I'm going to hit", he said.
 
I wondered if the graduates were listening. This was sound advice from someone who had been sitting right where they were year's earlier and found success. He went on to say that, this is and has been the time of their life. Enjoy each lesson, embrace what it gives you whether a failure to learn by or a success to celebrate.
 
As the chairperson handed the diplomas to each student, a sense of responsibility came over each one. Their expressions showed all over their faces. For some this was the end of their formal education and they would move on to join the ranks of working America. For some, like my nephew it is only a rest stop, a fueling station. Caleb is continuing on to college.
 
My Mom, Caleb and My Dad
 
It did not matter the student's destination in life, each family celebrated this day with balloons, Hawaiian leis, shell necklaces and bouquets of flowers. Barbecue dinners and parties followed the formal ceremonies and the class party at the school followed those.
 
One of my favorite past time activities is scrap booking our travels. This hobby has found its way into our family's hearts too. My gift to my nephew, Caleb is to journal his special day with pictures for him to treasure for years to come.

Today, you get to share my gift and view it here…Enjoy!

Click here to view this photo book larger

What is the lesson for this auto transport business owner? I, like Denzel Washington, want to fall forward. I do not want to see what I could fall back on; I want to see what I will land on. I, too have failed, picked myself up and moved forward.

Making each day the best I can, I want to serve my clients with my whole heart and soul. Helping each person regain his or her health, lose weight, or build an auto transport business as we did excites me.

Whatever is in our future, we want to embrace it and share with our friends, family and clients. To serve another makes my heart beat proudly within my chest.
 
What is it you take away from this lesson? Please leave your comment below and join the discussion.
 
Share this with your friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. We can not do what we do without you. Thank you for helping all you can.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.

Business Owner Decides to Work Part Time Earns More Money Part 2

 

Business Owner Decides to Work Part Time Earns More Money, Part 2

Benefits of a coach

A year and a half ago I made a decision to bring our businesses online to increase our visibility and profits. Highly intimidated by technology I was scared to death. This was an area I had neither interest nor experience in, what would I do. Like most people I have met and talked with at length, I fumbled around online searching for the right person to teach me how to market online.

Because I did not have, knowledge in what or who I was looking for cost me dearly. Spending money we did not have I tried every coach, system and product out there, or nearly every one. Did I see success? Nope. Matter of fact I nearly gave up.

Then she appeared. This woman with a strategic loud voice showed up on FaceBook. I knew her from our part time home business. She had attended some of those personal growth training seminars, too. As I watched her, it seemed she knew what she was doing. Gradually my trust started to build and I purchased one of her training classes.

The woman I am talking about is Sandi Krakowski. She is currently my business coach teaching me everything from how to build an e-commerce website in WordPress and social media marketing to lead generation for our auto transport business and part time networking business. It has been a journey and one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to build a business online.

Let's not forget the major decision I talked about earlier. Sandi is a genius at marketing and listening to what the market wants. She knew my loyalty and love for my home business, products and the staff of the company. She honored my decision to remain loyal to that staff, our product quality and compensation plan. She kept reiterating to listen to what my market was asking for. Did I get it? No, I did not understand.

You see learning marketing is like being in college. When you are a freshman, you will never understand mathematics like a senior, right. The freshman starts with algebra and the senior finishes up with calculus, it is a progressive learning curve. The same goes for learning anything new, you must pay the price, practice, learn, and implement to build your skill.

Major decision launches trips to bank

Have you ever heard the term "Can't see the forest for the trees"? Well, that statement described me for the longest time. A coach is someone who is there to encourage you, show you your strengths, to root you on to success and not dwell on your weaknesses. They lead you to resources to help you over hurdles they see you need to cross but it is not in their area of expertise.

It was during one of our coaching calls that the past years worth of lessons, techniques and practice all came together. Finally, the light went on and I realized what I needed to do to propel my businesses forward. I had learned to step up and out of my "employee mindset" and think like a true business owner. Remember my friend, the one who told me "it's nothing personal, it's just business"?

I had been holding onto a dying part time home business, the part time business that I came online to grow. After more than a year of working my butt off, I had not sold one product, not enrolled one business partner…not one!

It was that realization that propelled me to listen to what my clients, truck drivers and friends on FaceBook and Twitter wanted. They did not want what I had. After banging my head on that proverbial brick wall, voila! Bingo and hallelujah I got it!

Therefore, after more than fourteen years loyally dedicated to one product line, one company and the staff I decided to step back. To look at providing the market what it wanted. The result?

In just 90 days, our checks are as much as our checks after fourteen years with the other company. We have more business partners actively working with us than we EVER had before. We are having fun, our auto transport business is in full operation and our dispatch center is blooming, too.

Sometimes those tough, gut wrenching decisions are the ones you are suppose to make. That is your test, to jump off that bridge and be a business owner who decides to work part time and earn extra money or remain loyal to a dying business. It is your choice, what will you choose?

We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Please leave your comment below and join the discussion. Do me a favor? Share this with your FaceBook friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. Thanks, you are the best.

 

Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.

Humble Country Western Star Teaches Enchanting Customer Service

 

Humble Country Western Star Teaches Enchanting Customer Service

I grew up listening to country western music

This past weekend one of our son’s customers, Randy Givens treated us to a country music concert. Randy showed his appreciation for the enchanting customer service he has received from our son, by giving him tickets to the concert. We are so proud of our son, Dan. He has grown into a wonderful young man and an exemplary employee.

Any parent would be happy to see that their hard work raising their children paid off, right? It was especially exciting to watch first hand the interaction between Dan and Randy. Each man was just himself while putting the needs of the other ahead of their own. This mom's heart almost burst with pride.

There was no way we could know in advance that the events of the evening would teach us such a big lesson. Popularity and stardom does not necessarily mean a person has to be arrogant or rude. This star was salt of the earth. He displayed the humble traits of a true country boy. Joe Nichols will always hold a place in my family’s heart due to his actions after the concert.

Yes, part of our admission included a “meet and greet” with Joe himself. I have to admit, I had no idea what this really meant, but it was an event we will not forget for a very long time. Joe Nichols has mastered the art of enchantment with his fans and followers.

Cold drinks and meeting friends

Arriving early, Randy treated us to ice cold drinks to quench our thirst. The temperature was a balmy 85 degrees and humid. There was a slight breeze. It kept us cool as it touched our sweating brow. The cold drink washed away the dust kicked up by the crowd in front of us at the fair.

Our son introduced us to his friend and customer who graciously gave us the tickets. Randy, a local businessperson is very involved in his community and a solid family man, too. Watching him throughout the evening, you could see he has a true servant’s heart. He was constantly making sure everyone was having a good time, even giving up his personal seat.

Crowd watching has always been a hoot for us. People from all lifestyles came to see Joe Nichols, famous country singer and performer. We saw cowboys and cowgirls right off the local ranches. Teenagers dressed in short shorts and cowboy boots gathered in circles excitedly chattering about the impending show. Business people from the community brought their parents, grandparents and children, too. Grandma and grandpa held the hands of the little ones. One little girl even had small pink cowboy boots on. She was so adorable. People of all ages were ready to enjoy the sounds of country music.

Let the show begin

It was finally time for the concert to get started. The sun had set a few minutes earlier and now the stagehands cranked up the stage lights. The warm up band, Curtis & Luckey had the crowd clapping their hands, swaying to the music in anticipation of the star of the show making his grand entrance.

Now I would learn first hand how to “self-promote”. After the warm up songs and entertainment ended the lead singer announced, they had a gift for everyone in attendance. Sending their promotion crew into the audience, they handed each guest a postcard. This card was promoting their new hit single, “I Have a Dream”. There was also a link to download the entire album FREE. Click here, I'll share my gift with you, too!

At the bottom of the postcard were three small bottle cap pictures…can you guess what they were? Each picture represented a different social media site. Yes, Twitter, You Tube and Face Book were clearly marked so we, the fans, could find and follow them on social media. Do you think we should follow what they are doing in country music to promote their business?

Country Boy, Joe Nichols rocks the house

By now; the crowd was primed and ready for the main performance. It was very refreshing to see men as well as women excited to listen to and engage with Joe in his music. Unlike many performers today who have groupies in their following I did not see any that evening. There were no tears, no extravagant dress and definitely no screaming at the top of their lungs to drown out the concert. 

I had to wonder though…maybe I am getting older, maybe I cannot relate to the younger generation and the extremes they go to wanting to fit in. Each person in attendance that night remained who they were. No pretenses, no airs put on, just down to earth country folks from all over the country.

Many of the songs Joe sang had stories within the words. One in particular got my attention. It is titled “The Impossible”. It made such an impression on me that I had to share it with you. Watch the video and really listen to the words.

Country music written from each writer's heart tells his or her story. I think it is the same for you and me. When we feel passionately about an issue, our job or business is when we are most effective at helping others. Don't you think that is true?

Meet and Greet

When the concert was over, we headed down to the secure area behind the stage. We all were a bit nervous never having met a big country western star before.

Joe Nichols was born in Rogers, Ark., on Nov. 26, 1976. His father drove a truck but also played bass and sang. Nichols would hear and watch his dad perform at VFW dates. Like Nichols grandfather and uncles, his dad played classic country music.

Like many other country western musicians stardom and success did not come easy for Joe. His first major hit was in 2002 after his father died. This is the story behind the song that shot to the top, "The Impossible". You can read more of Joe's biography on CMT.com.

The manager had us line up single file. Joe spent a few moments with each person. His warm smile and sparkling eyes made his tanned face glow. He gave a quick hello, thank you and a hug to the women and girls. Each man received a firm handshake and firm hand on the shoulder. You could feel his genuine gratitude.

His manager arranged for one of his crew to snap photos of everyone using their iPhones, cameras or both. Some of the fans had him autograph their cowboy boots, hats, tickets and jackets. The beauty queen contestants presented their sashes for autographs along with their sparkling smiles.

My husband and I were in line about midway when we noticed our son and his friend at the end of the line. We decided to stay put and take our turn. Joe expressed his thanks to us for taking time out of our day to enjoy his passion with him. Wow! That was out of the ordinary, that statement surprised us.

We had our tickets and Rich's ball cap autographed, clicked our picture and off we went to wait for our son. Soon it was our son Dan's turn. There was yet another surprise coming. The country music star called us back up to talk again. When he found out we were Dan's parents he told our son, "You need a picture with them. Again, this man's sincere thoughts and actions were enchanting!

Finally, Joe put the icing on the cake. For our family photo with him, he put his arm around Rich on one side. Dan was next to Joe with me on the outside. Joe stretched his arm over Dan's shoulder, guided me into his loving hug of our family, and said, "This is family". Overcome with emotion at his attention to every detail I was speechless. What country western star do you know enchants like that?

Floating on Cloud 9 we all left the area chatting like baby robins in the nest. We all were shocked at the personal interaction of such a well-known man. I bet his momma is proud.

Next stop, souvenirs

We made our way through the crowd to find the table filled with Joe Nichols souvenirs. Tee shirts representing different songs done by Joe were plentiful. There were key chains, wristbands, ball caps, pictures and CDs. My family wanted an autographed tee shirt and I wanted a CD.

While waiting in the long line we were watching people, again. When you listen to what others talk about you can get a good sense of what they want. These fans wanted to see Joe, up close and personal.

However, the meet and greet was over. I wondered how they would get what they wanted. Then everyone went crazy. We could not figure out what the commotion was and then…there he was. Joe had left the secure area and come out front, to the masses for pictures, handshakes and autographs.

He spent the next hour greeting his fans, taking pictures and thanking them for supporting him and his dream. I overheard him tell a young girl, never give up, always follow your heart. He took his time with each fan, not to rush them and not to forget anyone. Each person left with a big smile and a huge place for him in their hearts.

Unexpectedly we were back face to face with the star once again. With a big grin, and his cute sense of humor he said, "Back again". My son, with an equally funny sense of humor said, "You are so good we came back for seconds". We all laughed, clicked even more photos, and got more autographs and a bigger hug.

We will never forget the love and appreciation shown to us by Joe Nichols and his staff. None of the fans at the Lassen County Fair in Susanville, CA July 22, 2011 will ever forget him either. This is what remaining humble will do even when you are a big country western music star. When you keep your focus on your customer, when you make them happy then your dreams and goals will come true, too.

Thanks, Joe for the lesson in enchanting customer service.

We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Please leave your comment below and join the discussion. Do me a favor? Share this with your FaceBook friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. Thanks, you are the best.

Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Would you like to use this article on your website, blog or ezine? You have my permission to share it in it's entirety with the following attribution and a link back to our home page.
 
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in healthy auto transport.
 
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Wrestling Your Pesky Finances into Submission in Three Simple Steps

 

Wrestling Your Pesky Finances into Submission in Three Simple Steps

Finances, pesky finances.

Even those of us who seem to have our finances totally under control have bad days.  And those bad days may extend into weeks if we don’t nip it in the bud.  It usually comes from overwhelm.

As with any other part of our busy lives, we expected that computers and other new technologies would make life simpler and leave more time for plain ol’ living.

However, in the past we only had to check our checkbook balances and look at paper receipts to know what cash we had spent and what we had available.  Today it’s ATMs, online purchases from bank cards or Paypal, automatic deductions, phone-based text message contributions, debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, and so on.

And how do we keep track?  We have invoices and statements that are mailed to us.  Others are online.  Some, like Paypal, we have to go hunting for.  We might use online services like Mint.com or CommonSense or Quicken (to name but a few) to consolidate things.  Or we might try to do it all manually.

Now that’s just our current personal finances.  Not to mention any investments, IRAs, etc.

And that load might double if we own a business!

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and stretched too thin, you have the right to take off that Superwoman cape every so often.  Turn off the incessant chatter in your head.  Take a day or two where you give yourself permission not to keep rehashing what a mess your finances are in.  Breathe.

But not for too long.  Because the world didn’t take that day or two off with you.  Life moves on regardless.  And any backlog will just get worse.

Once back and focused, you do have a few choices of how to handle the situation.  Some are healthy and some are not.

1.    You could stick your head in the sand and totally ignore things.  Known as the Ostrich Method of Personal Finance, this one catches up with you eventually and by then the chaos is so great, you might find yourself facing bankruptcy.  Or at least your credit will be in shambles.  Not wise.

2.    You could just deal with the “screamers.”  (As in “He who screams loudest gets my money.”)  Those are the bills that have red letters on the outside of the envelopes.  Or the calls you’re getting from creditors … or collectors.  Again, your credit will be ruined and your nerves will be shot from the anxiety.  And eventually the whole thing will come toppling down on you.  Not smart.

3.    You could keep juggling things the best you can, trying to remember all you have to pay, what’s due when, what’s where, what’s siphoning off which account, what credit’s left on what credit card, and all the little expenditures you don’t even feel yourself making, called “bleeders.”  But not for long.  Eventually you’ll wear yourself out, or forget something that triggers a spiral of late charges, unpaid bills and worse.  Not good.

4.    Or you could take the time to give yourself every chance to succeed with your finances.  You could “wrestle” them into submission in three simple steps:

Step One:  Do a handwritten brain dump. First, take a deep breath.  Then do a handwritten download of everything you can think of that needs to be done regarding your finances.  (No computers here!)  Unless you have a clear picture of what you’re dealing with, you will see your situation as worse than it is.  (Overwhelm will do that.)

Writing it all down on paper becomes a sort of cathartic brain dump.  That, in turn, frees up space in your head for you to be more creative in your solutions.  And it doesn’t matter if you hate writing and haven’t held a pencil in your hands in years.  It’s important to have the physical sensation of writing and visualizing what’s going on … in your own letters and numbers … for you to own where you are and feel the true impact of what you need to do.

Step Two:  Simplify, simplify, simplify your life. Besides all the payments you have, you also have all sorts of open loops:  car insurance you keep saying you want to re-quote to lower your premium; rebate forms to send in; charges on your credit card statements that you don’t recognize; or doctors’ bills that didn’t go through the insurance company and you know you don’t owe that much.  These are soul-suckers.  So, unless you’re rich enough to tear them up and forget about them, make a list.  Cross off the ones you decide aren’t worth the effort.  For each one that stays on the list, gather the backup information, plus contact numbers, and pick a day when you promise yourself to clear them all up.  And do so.

Next, look at everything you can get rid of:  pay off credit cards with tiny balances and stop using them so you have one less statement to deal with; pick one debit card and lock all the rest away so they don’t get used; consolidate bank accounts that don’t have any justification other than your laziness to close them; get radical in paring back every financial tool you can live without.  But don’t overlook any impact such an action might have on your credit rating (for example, don’t shut down credit cards, just sideline them).

You’ll be amazed at how many things you can do without, with minimal inconvenience.  So many were just added over the years, without removing old ones.  And by lowering the number of financial tools, your finances are easier to get under control.

Step Three:  Systematize or delegate. With far fewer financial tools to deal with, it’s easier to set up systems for what remains.  One thing that helps is to have all bills coming due at the same time, unless you’re paid twice monthly, on the 1st and 15th of the month.  In that case, you might want to split bills between the 5th and the 19th to be sure your deposits have cleared.  A simple call to a service provider will usually result in a changed due date, with a one-time prorated adjustment for the extra days covered.  At that point, all you need to do is schedule an appointment with yourself to pay bills twice a month.

If you have a friendly bookkeeper, you can delegate some of the tasks to that person.  But remember, you are only delegating the act of paying, not the responsibility.

Out of chaos, comes order.  And out of order comes clarity regarding the inflows and outflows of money.  Out of clarity comes a feeling of control … critical control that frees up time and energy to make more money, save more money, and release the financial genius you know down deep you are!

Sharon O’Day is a money expert with a successful career in global finance and marketing, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in helping entrepreneurial women over 50 remove the obstacles to making and saving money, and to becoming financially free. For more information on how to be “Over Fifty and Financially Free,”  visit http://SharonODay.com

 

Bio: Sharon O’Day lost everything at age 53:  her home, her business, everything.  But how could that be?  She’s an expert in global finance and marketing with an MBA from the Wharton School.  She has worked with governments, corporations, and individuals … yes, she was the secret ‘weapon,’ if you will, behind many individuals in high places.  But yet she did!  Since then, Sharon has interviewed countless women and done extensive research to understand how that could have happened, especially with her strong knowledge of numbers and finance.

The surprising answers will be shared in her upcoming book “Money After Menopause.”  Today her mission is to show as many women as possible how to become financially free for the long term, through her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” coaching programs.  She has developed a step-by-step plan to get past all the obstacles that keep women broke and scared … and from reaching the financial peace of mind they so deserve.