CONTENTS Extraordinary Profiles 4
Kevin Sorbo —Fame, Adversity and the Will to Overcome: A New Man is Born
Scott Jochim—Technological Ingenuity That Transforms How Kids View the World
Minding My Business 20
Go the Extra Mile For Greater Success
Help! People are Unsubscribing From My List
Josh MacDonald—An Enthusiastic Young Entrepreneur Makes $100,000 in Software Sales
Secret Strategies for Successfully Responding to Questions When Negotiating
How to Choose the Best Professional Advisors
10 Tips to Go From Stuck to Unstoppable
Becoming Irresistible in the Workplace and Job Market
Glen Bolofsky—The Parking Ticket Problem Solver
Are You Afraid of Becoming a Super Achiever?
How Moral Dilemmas Reveal Your Child's Character
Turn Your Inner Critic Into an Internal Coach
Reach Your Investment Goals with Patience and Caution
Cover photo by Ash Gupta Cover design by Jeff Hayes
I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can't truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles. Zig Ziglar
Publisher’s Letter Dear Friends: I hope your year is going well so far. I am pleased to introduce our March/April issue, and we hope you will be inspired by the experiences shared by our guests. You will learn from famed Hollywood actor Kevin Sorbo about the importance of perseverance and having faith when life throws you a curve ball and everything falls completely apart. Stephanie King had an amazing career making a six-figure income before the age of 27, but she quit her job to join her veteran husband in a new business. Was it the right move for them? You’ll learn about the struggles they faced when her husband’s Iraq War-related illnesses changed their lives, and they lost everything. Rising from practically nothing, King shares her experiences about being thankful in the midst of devastation and how she has become a ray of sunshine in the lives of others in her community. Susan Panek-Rounds may inspire you to start a new business. As the owner of Pint Size Pies, she’s created a new way to bake and deliver fresh pies around the world. With a little ingenuity and good planning, you can also have profitable business. This issue is filled with amazing stories and lessons that will teach you how to rise above your circumstances and welcome new opportunities. You will also gain knowledge from career and business experts, as well as family and relationship experts, who share advice on how you can enhance these areas of your life. Embracing new opportunities opens up new, enriching experiences. Certainly, it requires risks but think of it this way, even if the experience doesn’t turn out the way you expected it to, your life will be enriched if you choose to learn from the experience. Be grateful for all of your experiences, and actively invite new challenges into your life. You’ll experience personal growth and enlightenment along the way. After all isn’t that what life is about, continuous growth and learning new things? We’re moving into a new season. Spring is here, so it’s time to spring into action and start something new. Take on a new risk, even if it frightens you -- watch great things happen! With every good wish for great achievements,
P.S. Send us your letters at www.exceptionalmag.com/contact.html. Tell us how Exceptional People Magazine has helped change your life. Exceptional People Magazine is not just a magazine. It is a life-changing experience. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 3
life will present you with what might seem like insurmountable challenges, but its really a test of your faith. How are you going to handle adversities?
After riding a huge wave of success for many years as the famed hero of “Hercules – the Legendary Journeys” and a host of other film and television roles, Kevin Sorbo suddenly experienced a health crisis that left him partially blind and incapacitated at the age of 38. The very same person who portrayed the role of someone who was invincible, now had to fight for his life and find the strength from within to make it through each day. “I was fortunate on the one hand that I didn’t die, but to have three of the strokes hit my brain -- two went to my balance and one went to my vision. It took me almost three to four years of fighting back, and I experienced numerous emotions -- panic, anxiety attacks, insecurity, shame, frustration, and anger. What helped me was having my wife on my side telling me, ‘You've got to get past this. This has happened to you. How are you going to deal with it now?’” I said, “I'm not going to let this thing beat me,” and, hence the title of my book True Strength. It was all about fighting those obstacles that get thrown into all of our lives. If I’ve learned anything, it is that everybody has a story. There are lessons to be learned in every life experience if we choose to recognize them. Sometimes when we are faced with catastrophic circumstances, we are forced to find out what we are truly made of. It is from these experiences that we often find a new purpose in life. Sorbo’s life has been transformed since experiencing such a devastating health crisis. He’s still enjoying success in Hollywood, but he’s also sharing his story through his book: True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal--and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life.
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Fame, Adversity and the Will to Overcome: A New Man is Born
Photo by Ania Okane
Sorbo took time from his busy schedule to speak with Monica about his career, his life-changing experience and his involvement with an extraordinarily successful mentoring program, A World Fit For Kids, which he chairs. Monica: As an actor you have achieved remarkable success. Acting, of course, is not something that anyone can immediately learn and do very well. You have to have some natural ability. When did you first know that you had the gift or the talent for acting? Kevin: I’m the fourth of five kids. We would act all the time. To get any favors from Mom and Dad, we were usually very good at faking a lot of different things. I knew from the time I was 11 years old that I wanted to be an actor, but it wasn’t until I got into college that I knew I was going to commit to it. I just said, “This is what I want to do. This is what I’m going to do. I know I don’t know a soul in Hollywood, but I’m going to move out there and I’m going to make it happen.” Monica: Oftentimes people say, “I want to be an actor,” but they don't realize what it entails and the patience that’s needed, and they become discouraged pretty quickly. I’m sure that you were turned down for quite a few roles, so how did you manage to maintain that persistence? Kevin: Look, I’m a 13-year overnight success. It’s easy to come out here. It takes a lot of time and patience. I think it was really while I was a caddy at a private country club. I asked very wealthy, successful guys, “How did you get to where you are today?” They all had the same story. They said, “I failed and I didn't let that scare me, and I failed again. I failed again, and I built up a business and lost it and failed again.” These guys didn’t give up and blame others and point fingers. These guys are the type of guys who said, “You know what, I am going to learn from this and I’m going to keep trudging on.”
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Photo by Ryan Green That really instilled a lot in me. Plus my father -- we didn’t have any money growing up. My dad taught 7th and 8th grades in public school. I wore hand-me-down clothes from my brothers. I remember powdered eggs and powdered milk and my dad crunching the budget at the end of every month, but one thing he instilled in all of us was hard work. He said, “Hard work will pay off.” He said, “Don't ever give up. Go after whatever you want to go after in your life, in your dreams.” So I told him I wanted to be an actor. My dad is an educator, and he knew it was an insane position and career path to choose, but he shook my hand and wished me the best. I think with a combination of all those things, I just kept going and going, because the whole business of Hollywood deals with rejection. It’s all about, “Why don't we like this person?” They want to get rid of you. I had door after door slammed on me. I was too tall. I was too short. I was too old. I was too young. I was too vague. They’re looking for all kinds of reasons to not give you 6 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
the job, and you just have to keep plugging. If you really love it and you love the craft, you just don’t give up. Monica: Speaking about business -- when you think about it, acting is a business. It’s just like any other business. From your perspective what do you consider to be key elements in maintaining longevity in the world of acting from an entrepreneurial standpoint? Kevin: I’ve mixed it all up. I started my own production company over five years ago. I helped to finance about seven of the movies I shot over those years. I shot about 45 movies over the last seven years since Andromeda finished. Gosh, it goes by quickly. I just never give up, I keep pushing. Even today, I’ve got three meetings all around the Los Angeles area to get these movies financed. I’ve got small business ventures going on right now dealing with healthrelated issues and, believe it or not, skin care for men and women. I do a lot of different things.
Monica: You are very well-known for the role that you played as Hercules in the hit series Hercules the Legendary Journeys, as well as many other roles that you’ve played. In that particular role was there anything that you incorporated into it from your personal life that helped bring that character to life? Kevin: I think my humor. I love humor. I love that. We did it pretty much in every episode, even Andromeda and every movie I do, no matter what the subject matter is. I also look for something that’s going to make people laugh, chuckle and smile. Monica: On the other side of that, what impact did playing that role have on your life? Kevin: Obviously, it gave me a career. It was amazing gift to get that series. What was going to originally be five small movies turned into a seven-year run in television, and it became the most-watched television show in the world. It certainly gave me the means to getting Andromeda, doing five years on that show and all the movies I’ve had since. I’ve been very fortunate. It’s been an amazing experience for me to become a part of all of this. This journey has been great, and I have no regrets. I still love acting and I’ve never gotten tired of the passion for it and being on the set. I’m not crazy about the whole process in Hollywood, but I stuck to my guns and I’ve worked real hard to get where I am today. Monica: Of course, you also have some excellent people on your team to help you. Kevin: Yes. There’s no question about that. When I first started out, I had a very good manager. She’s since retired, but she was hugely instrumental in supporting me and pushing me to go after what I wanted to go after. Monica: As the character Hercules, you portrayed the role of someone who was invincible, but as an individual, you experienced a health crisis that left you partially blind and incapacitated at the age of 38. Those characteristics that made you who you were as an actor were basically taken away from you at that time. How did that experience affect your perspective of who you were and your view of life at that time? Kevin: I was on top of the world, obviously, before the stroke happened to me, and I felt invincible. I felt like I
deserved where I had gotten because I was working very hard. I loved being on the set. I know my crew liked me because I was always very much a part of the gang, and we always had a lot of fun. When the stroke happened, everything was turned upside down for me. All of a sudden, I didn’t know if I’d have a career again. I didn’t know what my recovery was going to be. I was fortunate on the one hand that I didn’t die, but to have three of the strokes hit my brain, two went to my balance and one went to my vision. It took me almost three to four years of fighting back, and I experienced numerous emotions -- panic, anxiety attacks, insecurity, shame, frustration, and anger. What helped me was having my wife on my side telling me, “You’ve got to get past this. This has happened to you. How are you going to deal with it now?" I said, “I'm not going to let this thing beat me,” and, hence the title of my book True Strength. It was all about fighting those obstacles that get thrown into all of our lives. If I’ve learned anything, it is that everybody has a story. Everyone has things going on in their lives that they’re not happy with, and health issues happen to everyone somewhere down the line. How do you deal with those things when they happen to you? How do you fight back and not just listen to the medical profession, because a lot of times they put limitations on people. The biggest thing I preach is, “Don't let anybody put limitations on you.” Monica: You mentioned shame. Why did you feel any shame in going through what you experienced at that time? Kevin: Because I was in great shape. I was young. I was strong and I felt invincible, and suddenly I didn’t want people to see how weak I was. I think that’s a typical thing for any male to go through, if you have any type of confidence about yourself and you’re athletic and you feel like you’re strong, and suddenly those things are taken away. I felt inferior, and I was ashamed of what had happened to me. I was scared. I didn’t want people to see me that way. Monica: Sure. Of course, besides your wife, what kind of support system did you have? Kevin: Really it was my wife and, certainly, my family, but they were a long distance away. Nobody lived in the area that I was living in. I was down in New Zealand beginning my recovery. So if anything, it was just my wife, and that’s part of the reason the book was written. She bugged me to get it done, and the book is every bit as much of a love story as it is a story about recovery. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 7
Monica: What values and lessons are your children learning from you, based on your years of experience as an actor and as a person who had to overcome major adversity? Kevin: Number one, I’m grateful that I was able to survive and go on to have three children. They’re all very strong individuals, strong spirits, strong-willed kids who already know what they want to do in their lives. I want them to do what they want to do with their lives. I want them to learn the same things that I learned -- that nothing in life should be taken for granted and you shouldn’t just expect things from other people. If you want something, you have to work hard and go after it yourself. Monica: Absolutely. I would imagine that you had a specific view or definition of what success meant to you as a young person. This life-threatening crisis also changed your view of success. What is your definition of success today compared to your earlier definition of success? Kevin: I want to continue working. I love this industry. I want to be in movies, be in TV, and things like that, but it’s not the end of all ends for me now. As primary as I
make it, above that is family first and being with my kids. When I’m at home, I’m pretty much a cab driver. We spend a lot of time driving them to basketball, football, track and dance, karate, and everything like that. It is far more gratifying to watch them grow, learn, and change. It’s pretty amazing. I have wonderful friends I’ve had since I was in grade school. Yes, they’ve all been there for me as well. Monica: Talk a little about your book True Strength? Kevin: It’s a play on words in a way that True Strength is a pun on Hercules, because I was in good shape and I was strong. I think I’m athletic. I do a lot of my own stunts. I love doing the fight sequences, but it was really all the stunt guys that made me look like I was a big stud. So I give them all the credit in the world, and then really it is to find true strength within yourself. We all have it. You just have to find it and you have to believe in it. People change out of fear. They hold back because of this whole thing about fear. There’s a fear of the unknown. There could be bad situations in their lives that they could change. Everything’s a choice in life. A lot of people don’t make that change, because they’re afraid that something around the corner may be even worse. You’ll never find out if you don’t take that step around the corner. I believe you should find the true strength, find the strong will within yourself and push past all your insecurities. Don’t allow others to set your limitations. You can do what you want to do. You just have to believe that. Monica: Belief is a major part of healing. Kevin: Yes, no question about that. My wife gave me a mantra. I looked in the mirror every day and said, “I'm getting better. I’m getting stronger. I’m getting better. I’m getting stronger.” I kept saying it until I believed it. Monica: Of course, while going through that down period when you were recovering, you had to change who you were on the inside, as well as the outside. How has your life been transformed since experiencing such a devastating crisis? What are some specific things that have changed within your life?
Photo by Pierre Vinet 8 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
Kevin: I don’t sweat the little things. I don’t sweat change. If things happen, they happen. I
Photo by Paul Brown certainly relax and smell the roses a lot more than I used to. I’m a pretty easygoing guy, and I always have been. I'm a big believer in lists. I’ve got to keep myself busy. Monica: You will realize how much easier it is to work through a lot of the circumstances and problems when you adopt that type of attitude. Kevin: Oh, yes. No question. Monica: If you could sum up your book in a couple of sentences in terms of how it can help people, what would you say? Kevin: It’s a matter of just believing in yourself and getting over the bad things that can happen to you, because things will happen to you. You’re going to hit that crossroad in your life that you weren’t expecting. The one common denominator we all have is that we’re all going to get sick one day. We’re all going to come near death or have a death experience, and if you have a death experience, there’s nothing you can do about it if you die. It’s been amazing. People who come up to me -- not only stroke survivors, but cancer, heart attacks, and car crash survivors, whatever it may be -- said that after they read my book, it motivated them. To me, that’s the best thing I wanted to hear, because that’s all I really wanted to do with this book. I wanted people to relate to it. I wanted them to learn from it, and it’s been amazing. Monica: As a person who has experienced major setbacks and has overcome them, what words of wisdom can you offer others about faith, persistence, and perseverance?
Kevin: I hope that people have a faith. I’ve always been a Christian. I believe in God and I believe in Jesus. I tell people, “You know what, it’s all about attitude.” As I mentioned earlier, people don’t think we have a choice in life. We all have choices, and usually the right choice is always the hardest one, but we all have choices. Monica: There are countless individuals who are experiencing hopelessness and desperation today. One of your lifelong goals is to inspire others who have suffered acute illnesses or major setbacks and are having a difficult time overcoming them. In what ways do you plan to help them? Kevin: I have an afterschool program called “A World Fit For Kids!” We’re the number-one afterschool program in the State of California. I’m very proud of it. I’ve been part of it for 17 years as a chair and spokesperson. We work with over 12,000 kids from 1st through 12th grades and it’s a multilevel program. We train inner-city teens to become mentors of the younger children within their communities. We work with physical education -- childhood obesity is a huge problem in this country -- to fight against juvenile diabetes and other problems that come with obesity. We deal with their school issues, the problems they might be having, whether they’re social issues or school homework problems. The program is based in one of the worst school districts in all of California, the L.A. Unified School District, which has a 54 percent dropout rate starting as low as fifth grade. However, the 12,000 kids that we’re able to work with have a 98 percent graduation rate and a 67 percent higher GPA. I believe this program should be in every school system across the country. Monica: That is an amazing graduation rate that you have achieved in an area where the dropout rate is so low. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 9
Kevin: It’s a great program. We have so many volunteers and we’re a non-profit. If people go to worldfitforkids.org, they can learn more about it. Monica: The organization really serves as a mentor to these children. What impact do you believe mentoring can have on someone, both as a child and as an adult? Kevin: It’s huge. I’ve had to talk to people who are friends and say, “Just come down and spend the day with the kids and see what goes on.” We’re a society of laziness and everybody is filled with apathy. Every time I talk somebody into coming down, at the end of the day they’ll look at me and they feel good. They’re like, “You know what? That was pretty cool. That was amazing. It’s amazing what’s going on and what you guys are doing with these kids.” I think we become overwhelmed. We hear and see bad news over and over again, and we just get beaten up by it. The newscasters love to keep us in fear. If a storm occurs, they talk about what would happen if it had been a worse storm. It wasn’t a worse storm. This is what happened, but they love to keep us in fear and people get tired of it. I think people hide in their shells and they don’t do anything, and we become very apathetic about helping out and doing things. Here’s the reality, if everybody did something small -- imagine if millions of people did one little thing, a massive tsunami of good things would result. Monica: You mentioned that the program also tackles the issue of obesity. There are organizations that focus on that but on the other side, what can parents do to help? There has to be some responsibility on the parents’ part as well.
America has dropped down to 57th place in the world with regard to education. We were in the top five 50 years ago. Here’s the reality, Tiger Woods is a better golfer than me. I’ll never be able to golf as well as Tiger. Some people are better athletes, some are not. Some people are smarter than me, some are not. This is life and we have to learn to teach all grades, all levels of each grade to their maximum ability rather than saying, “Let’s all teach at the bottom down here.” We can make this world a better place, but how do we do it -- just sit back and dummy it down? It’s very sad. Monica: What do you find most rewarding about becoming involved and being a spokesperson for “A World Fit for Kids!”? Kevin: I love it. I was very fortunate. I grew up in a very nice environment. I had a wonderful neighborhood, wonderful parents, wonderful community, supportive community, supportive churches and schools. When I got out into the real world, my eyes were opened, because I grew up in a small town. I got out to the bigger cities and said, “Oh my, gosh. Look at everything that’s going on here,” and I knew things needed to change. I want to be part of that. Monica: As a person who has had a major impact on television viewers, what legacy would you like to leave them? Kevin: I hope people remember my shows and my movies with a smile on their faces. I hope they appreciate all the hard work that I’ve done, and I hope they enjoy the work -speaking of which, I have a movie that just came out called Abel’s Field. They can go to abelsfield.com to view a trailer. It’s a great family movie. Another movie called What If, is a story of finding your true purpose in life. It’s another great family movie for all ages.
Kevin: No question. Get them out there to work with their kids. Throw a football around, shoot some basketball with them. Go jogging. Jump rope with them. Lead by example. Be a parent. We have a percentage of kids who get neglected, and they get thrown into the world of playing Nintendo and Wii, which are fine. We have those things too, and they’re fun to play, but you have to engage your kids. Encourage them to go out and enjoy being outside, instead of being cooped up staring at a screen. The parent is the key to make things change, but also the school systems need to be overhauled. It’s a world I deal with in my afterschool program. I’m very much up-todate on what’s going on.
Poster and book cover by Ryan Green 10 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
January-February 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 11
Techno Technological logical Ingenuity That Transforms How Kids View the World
over a decade Scott Jochim has been transforming the way kids learn and view the world. Through his remarkable technological ingenuity, he has made great strides in everything from motion simulators that have been used by Toyota, Intel and Disney, to offering students the opportunity to use virtual reality as a learning tool. As a technological extraordinaire, Jochim also developed a product called Krysalis, a virtual reality cancer relaxation system to help cancer patients during chemotherapy. The success of Krysalis lead to a new product, the Virtual Reality Development Lab, which allows kids to create virtual field trips around the world. It is a system that help students and teachers learn and teach through environmental and spatial technologies. As the founder of Digital Tech Frontier, LLC, Scott’s products have facilitated many groundbreaking developments in the public sector and in corporate America, including over 200 school districts that are using his Virtual Reality Development Lab. The Augmented Reality Development Lab is yet another product he developed which revolutionizes the way students interact with their curriculum and enables them to learn and retain information at an advanced level. As the innovator of Popar Toys, Jochim created an award-winning series of augmented reality books and toys that interact with the Augmented Reality technology, which uses a computer or mobile device, a webcam and special patterned markers. These books give young kids an incredible reading experience -- allowing them see 3D objects and animations that
pop from the books, thereby greatly enhancing their learning experience. Jochim’s ingenious groundbreaking technological developments have had an amazing impact on lives through education, entertainment, and training. As an innovator, he is constantly seeking ways to use technology to improve the way we live and learn. Jochim shared with the founder of Exceptional People Magazine his passion for technology and how he is using it in a way that serves others at advanced levels. Monica: I want to thank you for the opportunity to interview you about some of the exciting things that you’re doing with technology. It’s amazing, and you have very unique skills. Not everyone can do that. Scott: We’re blessed to have a balance of technology and touch. I think a lot of the technology and some of the innovations that have come out over the last few decades are hits and some are misses. I think with the right convergence, today would be a perfect storm of technology, innovation, and willingness of the public to embrace technology. People are open to utilizing technology in ways which were not used previously. Monica: I’d like you to talk about the technology you’ve created, how it’s enhancing the lives of people and the impact it’s having in the areas of education and medicine. Scott: It’s based upon a doctrine at our company. It’s technology that has meaning and function. There’s a lot of technology in the marketplace that falls in the utilitarian category or the novelty category. It’s hard for us, as technology enthusiasts and technophobes, to realize which end of the
fence we’re on. For the last 15 years, we’ve been looking at technology from an experiential standpoint. What type of experience does someone get from the technology they’re using? I think Disney had it right years and years ago. We can start to attach to it a feeling and a memory and the fantasyland. It’s not just about the ride. The pre-ride and the post-ride are just as important. It’s standing in line, getting ready for that Indiana Jones ride or the Pirates of the Caribbean, hearing the music, and getting ready for that experience, not just 10 seconds of thrill. The minutes of exhilaration created an impact upon a lot of us here. We looked at Disney and said, “Okay. Experientially, Disney figured out how to capture not just the ride, but the environment to place people in the mood to have a full sensory experience.” We’ve got that same mentality here. When you look at a patient who may be going to chemotherapy, we have a lot of doctors out there who treat just the body. What about the mind and the mentality of, “I’m a survivor. I’m going to get through this, and I’m going to be better afterwards.” We were approached a few years ago by the Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, New York. They adopted the approach that treatment is of the mind and of the body, and the doctors were very good with the body, but they needed help with the mind. They wanted a technology platform in which to deliver a series of modalities to patients receiving treatment that would not interfere with their practice. So my job was to provide a bridge between the aroma therapists, the positive visualization therapists,
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the musician and the music therapy that would be attached to this type of treatment. I would bring all of these fields together through a technology platform that would allow doctors to administer chemo, but give patients the ability to relax and embrace the changes that are going on with their bodies. We created a product called “Krysalis,” which is an embodiment of change from a caterpillar to a butterfly. We view patients as butterflies. We said, “Okay, we’re going to get them over the hump into this world of flying free, even if it’s cancer-free, and embracing their new wings and their life.” So it was a sight, sound, smell, relaxation therapy, a positive visualization, as well as an aroma therapy tied into a machine that allowed them to swim with dolphins and whales, to fly with butterflies, to see the transformation of their bodies. This lasted for about 20 minutes during chemo.
things were transitioning, not just for people who sat in front of the TV for years, or people who’ve been typing their papers on a computer, but people who were yearning for more visual stimuli in the areas of therapy and teaching. When you went into the classroom and your teacher was writing on the chalkboard -- or maybe she was a little more advanced and used an overhead projector -- the kids were struggling. They weren’t paying attention. ADHD was really becoming prevalent in a lot of our school systems and in our society. No one knew where this was coming from, and a lot of people placed the blame on TV, latch key kids. Mom would come home and place the kids in front of the TV and that was the blame. The TV is the key. TV is a stimulus, and every few seconds, something’s
The most amazing effect that we’d gotten from doing as much research as we could, being a few hundred miles away, they shared their research and development platform with us. What we found is that 100 percent of the patients felt 80 percent better using our technology. That alone, saw a convergence of the technology that wellness in hospitals is not just about treating the body, it’s also about treating the mind. If you can have your patients feel better mentally and physically, they can begin to fight off some of those combatants with a much better mindset. This will lead to a more healthy lifestyle and attitude, which is very important. We were very happy with the results of our cancer visualization therapy, and it led us to a lot of products in the education area. We realized that 14 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
blowing up, music is changing, somebody’s speaking. Visually something is always going on and transitioning, and the classroom is where this was affected. The teachers had to combat this and adjust to it. What we came up with is a product called the Virtual Reality Development Lab. This lab was a fantastic implementation that allowed kids to create and share their own virtual field trips around the world. You’re going to Paris -- they go to the Grand Canyon, or Mesa Verde, or Monument Valley, and they bring the information back because they were there. Monica: Using that technology, how are the students benefiting from it other than being able to envision themselves, let’s say, in Paris? Scott: We did one of two steps. Where we sometimes find failure, we
find our biggest successes. We were first hired by the Department of Education back in 2001 to develop something called the ERS, the Educational Reality System. They sent us all around the world to capture places in 3D and panoramic video and still images, to bring back to the students to build a curriculum via state standards. The technology was ahead of its time and very engaging from a kinesthetic standpoint for kids, but something was missing. Teachers were saying, “We have some of these amazing monuments and educational platforms right in our back yards. Is there a way that you could give us the technology to build it ourselves?” That’s where we stumbled upon the VRDL, or the Virtual Reality Development Lab. That was our biggest success to date, because we became one of the largest
producers of a virtual world for schools in the United States. What happens is you’ve got a group of kids going to Mesa Verde, so they take our equipment along, and they actually build the textbook in virtual reality while they’re there. We get this group of kids who would normally learn from a textbook. They’re now going on field trips, capturing it, and then they’re bringing it back to the school, and the kids themselves are teaching other kids about their trip, about the geology, about the history. They’re learning everything through the kids -- kids teaching kids through technology -- a better way. Monica: Young people are much more enthused by the idea of being able to see things and watch things, and having this technology certainly
increases learning opportunities. They’re not just reading a textbook, they’re actually participating with their eyes and seeing movement. Scott: The engagement for them goes through the roof, because now they’ve built something they’re proud of. They can share at home. They can teach other students, and now the teacher has another piece of curriculum to share with students the next year, and they can choose to rebuild it. They can build upon it, or they can do something new. So this has a compounding effect in education. Rather than having a company like ours build this educational platform, we designed a way for digital paper and pens to be utilized, so that teachers can now expand on that overhead projector and that interactive display.
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same amount of money. You’re going to buy the book with pictures. That’s the business model we have embraced. Our books and flash cards just happen to be an amazing enhancement through little phones or your mobile device or your laptop that really come to life. So we look at it as a platform of giving people the ability to see enhanced products as an extension beyond the products that they currently see. Monica: How receptive is the educational arena in terms of the products that you’re offering? Scott: It’s overwhelmingly responsive in a positive manner because we’re books. We’re something that they’re used to from an educator’s standpoint.
The Smart Boards that they have can now be utilized in wonderful ways. It led us to the next innovation that our company has really pioneered in. We feel this will be the next big leap for engagement, training, teaching, and entertainment. It is augmented reality. Monica: With the technology that you have developed, children are now able to learn on a much higher level, because they’re minds and eyes are involved in the learning process. Scott: Most companies are either going to be Mac and PC, or they’re going to be mobile. We’re both, allowing school systems that have any device that has a webcam or a mobile device with a cell phone camera, to utilize our technology. What we decided to embrace as a business model is very simple. You
buy a book from Popar for $20 or a flash card set for $15. The software is free. If Jimmy gets a book on planets, and he brings it to school and the school says, “We’d love to see the planets book for our classroom,” he can let them borrow the book. They can download the software on their Pad without any cost and let it come to life in the school. Jimmy can take the book back when he’s done. It’s a unique business strategy that allows the book to become the profit center, not the app, which allows retail brick and mortar stores or school centers to offer the books for sale like they would regular textbooks. The enhancement is the augmented reality, but it’s not the cost. The book is the same price as a normal book. It’s the difference between someone putting on the shelf a book that doesn’t have any pictures and a book that does have pictures and charging the
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Monica: As far as the healthcare industry is concerned, do you plan to get more hospitals and doctors involved? Scott: We do. This is a hard industry just because of the changing healthcare system in America. It changed four years ago, it changed eight years ago, and it’s probably going to be changing again. We have the technology. We know it works inside hospitals and healthcare systems. What we are waiting on is a healthcare system that’s ready to embrace something that’s not just science-based. Monica: When did you learn that you had the talent and skill for this kind of technology? Scott: I was blessed in college. I went to school to become a psychologist, and I understood people’s interaction with products as a skill set early on. I watched people and interfaced products as easily as possible,
so products weren’t viewed as pieces of plastic. It should have been interfaced into our daily lives in an easy and humanistic way. The way I look at it is technology is touch, and were touching it as well. That's important for us to look at. I’ve been embraced by a few companies over the years, from General Motors to Toyota to cancer therapy centers, for my ability to understand that technology needs to be humanized. There’s so much going, not just the technology, because technology is just a tool. It’s what we can do with that tool to make people’s lives easier or better through therapy or, in my case, from a kinesthetic learning standpoint. Individuals like me help students struggle less and excel more. Monica: When you first began to work with this type of technology, did you apply it by working with someone else and, if so, how did you transition into creating your own business and starting your own company? Scott: When I started 15 years ago, we began with entertainment and education. Our first client was General Motors, surprisingly enough. We made NASCAR simulators for General Motors, allowing them to sit in the seat of a NASCAR and race around the track, while at the same time, learning about safety. Combining those things, we found great success with General Motors and Toyota. In the future we can combine a lot of our technologies to teach people, while they’re being entertained. The word for that in the ‘90s was “edutainment,” and that was a hip word back then. I realized that you can combine technology to teach or train or educate.
Monica: You provide technology for classrooms, but do you make anything that’s available for individuals, let’s say a parent, who is home-schooling their kid? Do you have anything that the parent can purchase to help homeschool their child?
they want students who are involved, augmented reality is the future.
Scott: Yes. Our books are only $20 each, which makes it very affordable for a home classroom to come alive. We had success with the Virtual Reality Development Lab and we developed the same labs for schools called the Augmented Reality Development Lab. It’s the same concept where I can build my own augmented reality curriculum. Our partner is Google. They have a product on the market called Google Sketchup and it’s free. It allows people to make their own Google models in 3D and put them on the Internet. Surprisingly enough, Google has over a half million free objects for educators to use.
Monica: With Popar toys, you said that you created 3D technology that is considered more gender neutral.
Monica: Do you expect more school districts to come on board with your technology?
We are a nation that loves to engage with digital media, as does the world. Why not bring those into the classroom?
Scott: We find that girls and boys are both embracing the technology. Boys love to play video games, girls love to interface in a social manner just a little bit more, but those lines are slowly being crossed. We're finding almost a 50/50 split between the types of video games that are being played. They’re a little less gender neutral, but video games themselves are literally a 50/50 split. Social interaction is becoming split as well. Most of our products have a gender neutral status where the interface is
Scott: I do because it’s such an open-ended platform. What we need are teachers who are willing to embrace the concept that their classrooms are changing. If they want students to engage, if March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 17
gender neutral. You’re pointing your phone at a book, and it’s coming alive. The kid can interface with Facebook and Twitter using our books because our books do three things: They allow you to read, see, and participate. Monica: What is your future vision for the company? Scott: To enhance consumer products, books, magazines and flash cards, to change the way that people view physical products in a way that allows them to interact, see and imagine themselves having a product that comes alive. We want to be the company that brings the idea of a Holodek to life -- to put up a poster in a kid’s room and have a planetarium spring to life, or lay down a single piece of paper and have a huge castle come alive for a kid who wants to play dolls. I want to put a board game on the floor, play castles and have it come to life for kids. I want to be the company that brings products to life for kids and ignite their imagination in their own world. I want to combine both the reality and kids’ imagination. Monica: With this type of technology and what you’re accomplishing with it, you have to make sure that you are partnering with people who understand what you’re doing and who are as creative as you are. As you grow your company, how do you go about finding people that you need to help you implement your vision? Scott: It’s finding visionaries. Finding people who are smarter than me, which means the ability to step up to their level, people who have more vision, people who have more knowledge, people who have more experience. It causes everyone to be better.
Monica: There are lots of young kids or young people who have wonderful ideas about technology -- maybe an idea about something that they want to invent. How would you encourage them to follow through on their thinking and their vision? How did you reach the point where you recognized your skill and your talent and you decided to move forward? Scott: I think, first-off, probably the best knowledge is stand up for what you believe in, and don’t tell people you’re going to do something, show them. Just do it. The best piece of advice I can give is, you can tell people until you’re blue in the face that you’re going to do something, but the moment that you show them that you’ve done it, they listen. Monica: What are the products that you are most proud of? Scott: I would definitely have to say Krysalis, the cancer therapy product that we developed. And Popar Books, books that come alive. We love the fact that both parents and kids are embracing these books. The letters that they to write me and the things that they say are exciting. I’m changing the way people thought books could be read. That’s exciting about something that’s been engrained in our culture and our history for a very long time. Monica: Your books, of course, are only good if you’re using the technology? Scott: No. The book is just a regular a book. That’s the great news about it. It’s a real book. It’s got color pictures and photos. It’s got a hard cover on it. The technology is the enhancement. Just point your phone or your computer at it, and it comes alive.
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We started submitting our books to companies, and we won Best Book of the Year. I don’t believe any toy or book product has won both Best Toy of the Year and Best Book of the Year during the same year. Monica: It shows that what you’re doing is truly amazing, because it is enhancing the learning process. Even though the product may be considered a toy in some cases, it is enhancing how kids learn.
Minding My Business
To learn your target market you must know the following: (1) who they are, (2) what they need, (3) when they need it, (4) where they live, and (5) why youâ€˜re the person they should do business with.
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Go the Extra Mile For Greater Success by Jack Canfield
If you want to really excel in business, school and life, go the extra mile. Give the people around you – your customers, your team, your family – more than they expect, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded with loyalty, referrals, opportunity and money. Successful people go the extra mile – and they stand out as a result. They get the promotions and the loyal customers. They grow their businesses twice as fast and attract the best employees. They receive financial rewards and job security. Best of all,
they go home at night feeling satisfied and bursting with self-confidence. Don’t Focus on WIIFM In Marketing 101, you learn that customers are always thinking “What’s In It For Me?” Although this might be common thinking, it’s the kiss of death when it comes to success. If you want to excel, stop focusing on what’s in it for you. Don’t worry about whether it’s fair to give more when you’re not being compensated or recognized for it. Don’t adopt the
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“it’s not my job” mentality. This type of attitude shows that you’re focused on yourself, but you’ll see bigger results more quickly if you make other people the focus of your attention. Going the extra mile shows that you pay attention to detail, that you consider all the small things that really make a business successful, that you care about your image, and that you belong with all the other people who work hard to achieve. You will attract new business and new opportunities.
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4 Questions to Ask Here are four simple questions that can help you evaluate how well you’re putting this principle into play in your life: What do most people expect? To know how to exceed expectations, you first have to know what the expectations are. What level of service do customers expect? What do your vendors want? How about your employees or master mind partners? Look at every important relationship you have, and discover what the minimum expectations are. Take a candid look at your performance. Do you exceed expectations? Do you surprise people with more than they were expecting from you? Do you look for ways that you could be of more service, or for projects that you could help out on? Or are you skating by, meeting expectations and providing average value? How are you willing to go the extra mile? What kind of extra service are you willing to provide in order to stand out from the rest? If you aren’t 100 percent willing to deliver service above and beyond expectations, why not? What can you do to exceed expectations? What added service would your customers love, but don’t expect? How could you better serve your boss and company? How could you provide more value to your students? When Mike Foster ran a computer store, he never let anyone walk out of the store without a box of components. He delivered the computer, printer, modem and other components. He then spent two hours setting up the system and training the customer on how to use it. He wildly exceeded customer expectations, and his
store dominated his local industry as a result. Hard Workers Become Success Stories Listen to any success story and you will hear of someone who worked exceptionally hard to get what they wanted. You’ll hear how they put in the extra time, did what wasn’t part of their job description, and overdelivered on what was asked of them. You’ll hear how they stayed with it until they broke through, and usually you’ll hear how it only took them a couple of years to do it.
Be willing to treat everyone like you’d treat your dearest friend. Don’t skimp on service. Don’t be mediocre or run of the mill. Show people what you are capable of. Show them that you care about your image and reputation. When it comes to success, the people who are willing to go the extra mile get there that much faster!
What have you been doing for the past couple of years? The same thing? How quickly have you advanced? How quickly has time gone by? Think of what you could accomplish if you made it a habit to exceed everyone’s expectations. Imagine what doors could be open to you if you decided to be of better service and value. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 21
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Help! People are Unsubscribing From My List – What am I doing wrong?
by Annemarie Cross
As a service-based entrepreneur, I’m sure you know that one of the most important business building strategies you should be doing in your business is building your list. As it can often take several messages (or more) before someone decides to invest in your services, regular communication with your subscribers through your blog and newsletter so that they get to ‘know, like and trust’ you – is essential. Seeing your list number increase on a daily basis is certainly exciting and rewarding, but receiving an email to let you know that someone has unsubscribed can be discouraging. However, receiving notification that dozens of people have unsubscribed from your list after a recent mail out is much worse. In fact, for an ambitious entrepreneur who genuinely cares about being of great value and service to your prospects and clients it can be soul destroying – right?! So, what happened? Firstly, you need to realize that there will always be people who will unsubscribe just as soon as they’ve received your free report/offer. Expect that to happen. And if it does – it’s probably a good thing. Why? These people were just there to get whatever information they could, and as soon as they did – were off to find the next offer. Let’s call them ‘list hoppers’. A list hopper will probably never invest in your services so by leaving your list, they’ve made room for someone who is interested in what you have to say and may very well become one of your best clients. On the other hand, if there are more people leaving your list than there are new subscribers OR you have a large 22 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
percentage of your list unsubscribing each time you email them – there are probably some things going on that you need to address. Cloud Social recently surveyed their list and they found that there were four common reasons that prompted people to unsubscribe.
• • • •
Emails come too frequently Content has become boring or repetitive Overwhelmed by the total amount of email they receive Content in your emails was irrelevant from the start
Top Reasons: [Source: Cloud Social – 2011] Here are three of the most common reasons why I have unsubscribed from lists, as well as some suggestions to avoid falling into these traps so that you can prevent people unsubscribing from your list in droves:
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1. The follow up information in their newsletter (and other emails) is irrelevant
and 10% of the content can be used to promote your products/services.
When joining someone’s list it’s because I believe they have the expertise to help me overcome a problem. I’m interested in what they have to say so I provide them with my email address in exchange for a report (or other product) to learn more about them and the work they do.
3. They’re flooding me with emails
However, in their follow up emails (or newsletter) the information they send me has no relevance to why I signed up with them in the first place. Action Step: Review the content you are sending out to your list. Is it relevant to your prospect’s needs and interests? Does it continue to add value and speak to the issue/problem that prompted them to sign up with you in the first place? If not, it’s going to be difficult to build your profile and reputation as an authority in your field. Get focused and continue to provide relevant information that your subscribers are interested in. 2. They’re bombarding me with sales messages (or affiliate sales messages) While I anticipate that I’ll get a few sales messages in subsequent newsletters, what I don’t expect is to receive ONLY sales messages. Or, promotional material about a product or service they believe: “I may just find helpful”, and which they represent as an affiliate. When I gave them my email address I didn’t give them permission to bombard me with their products/services, or their affiliate products/services. I gave them my email so that I could continue to learn more about them, benefit from the information they continued to share, with the goal of one day hiring them, after I’ve gotten to know them a little better. Action Step: Compare the amount of sales materials versus valuable content you are sending out to your list.
After many of my colleagues spoke highly of a particular person, I decided to sign up for his newsletter. What a mistake that was. He and his team sent me so many follow up emails on a daily basis that it flooded my inbox. Talk about email overwhelm. Recommendations as to the frequency you should be sending out emails to your list can vary depending on who you speak to. Some people send out emails on a daily basis; others twice a week. Personally, I believe that receiving an email (or more) each day is too much or even twice per week is just too much. I prefer to receive one email per week with some hints and tips to help me in my business. Action Step: Count the amount of times you are contacting your list. Are you flooding your list with emails? If so, try cutting back on the frequency to once per week and see if that makes a difference. Remember, when it comes to building your list think quality, not quantity. While it is nice to think you have thousands of people on your list, it’s pointless if the majority of people have no interest in the information you share. Aim to attract and build your list with people who are interested in what you have to say and continue to provide them with useful, informative content so that they begin to know, like and trust you as an authority in your field. They’ll be far more likely to hire and recommend you if you do. And, above all make sure that the information you send your list is relevant, informative and continues to showcase your knowledge and expertise. Till next time, stay inspired!
Is the information you are sending your list of value to them or are you constantly sending out sales and promotional material? Use the 9 to 1 rule; being 90% of your email/newsletter is providing informative content your list can benefit from March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 23
An Enthusiastic Young Entrepreneur Makes $100,000 in Software Sales
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Josh MacDonald’s passion for business began around the age of 10, when he began working in his parents' restaurant. Though he mainly washed dishes at that time, he had a bird's-eye view of how his parents’ business was run. MacDonald says that he would see everything that went on, such as employees wouldn’t show up, or someone would get injured, or customers would become upset and customers, as well as employees, could react in ways to bring a business down. At the age of 14, he decided to “break out” on his own and do something that many young kids his age had never done -- start his own business. As he puts it, “I began learning early, and working in my parents’ restaurant helped me understand everything earlier than everyone else.” With a “can do” attitude and great idea, MacDonald quickly proved to his parents that he could hold his own as a young entrepreneur. His love and passion for the internet and entrepreneurship inspired him to develop a unique software application. By age 16, MacDonald was busy making his first $100,000 in software application sales. This young lad is brimming with talent and has a keen business sense, which he continually improves upon. He’s set his sights on building his business and attending an Ivy League university in the near future. MacDonald spoke with Exceptional People Magazine about living his entrepreneurial dream and developing products to serve online businesses.
Monica: At the age of 16 you were a very successful entrepreneur, an age when most young people are not quite focused on what they want to do with their lives. You must have a great work ethic to become a successful entrepreneur. Where would you say your great sense of business comes from? Josh: I think it’s because I started really early. I started at the age of ten, working at my parents’ restaurant. I was on their payroll, and then I started my own business at the age of 14. So I guess I just started learning early, and it helped me understand everything much earlier than everyone else. I pushed the entire process ten years earlier, so now I know what everyone else would know at the age of 30. Monica: When you were working for your parents, what were some tasks you had to perform? Josh: I was washing dishes. That’s what I did, but I would see everything that went on, like employees wouldn’t show up, or someone would get hurt, customers would become angry and take revenge on a business, or the employees would do things to bring a business down -- those types of things. Monica: You made notes of those things, and that will certainly play a major role in how you run your company. What do your parents think of your latest endeavor and how are they supporting you? Josh: After I proved for the first time that I could make money and as soon as the first check came in the mail, they started believing. Before that it was hard to convince them. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 25
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My dad, he’s old-fashioned. He believes if you “work hard, you get paid more.” He’s not really into hearing about the guys in Silicon Valley and all that kind of stuff, so it was new to him. As soon as he saw the checks coming in the mail and they weren’t bouncing at the bank, he started believing in my ability to become an entrepreneur. Monica: Speaking of that, what advice can you give young people who have ideas, but their parents say, “Just focus on school, don’t worry about trying to do something new,” or, “You shouldn’t be concerned with this right now.” What would you say to them? Josh: I would just say try to start as early as possible and try to achieve some results to show them. As soon as they see the first result, they’ll start believing in you, and they’ll start bragging about you to their friends. From the start of high school, I began taking courses online through the summer, so I could have a low course load throughout the semesters, and I basically planned everything so my school wouldn’t get in the way. Monica: You developed an idea for a software program that has turned into a very profitable venture. Where did your interest in computer software and the Internet come from? Why the Internet as a business? Josh: I think it’s because my age is hidden. It’s hard to take a 14 year-old seriously. When you go online your identity is pretty much hidden, so I started a business online at the age of 14, and then at the age of 15, I started my first company and my first software development firm. My first company involved developing websites, pre-made websites that would generate AdSense revenue. Then, a need from that eventually gave me the idea for a specific type of software. When I learned that specific software was not on the market, I decided to make my own. Monica: How successful was the company? Josh: It was profitable enough to pay developers to make the next program. Some days I would get a $1000 paycheck and, of that, 20% profit margins. They were pretty small because I had to pay writers and developers who were coding the websites. The profit margins aren’t too big when you’re making pre-made websites, but it was enough to satisfy a 15 year-old. That wasn’t too bad. 26 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
Monica: This latest product that you have is an SEO product. There are many other SEO products on the market, so how does your product differ from them? Josh: Now they’re starting to get a little closer, so I would say they’re copying me, but when I came out with my product, I only developed it because I needed it for my service for my first company. That’s the only reason. I didn’t even plan on selling it until other people started liking it. I showed some friends, and they liked it, and then I started selling it. I wasn’t trying to get into the market, it just happened. Monica: It was by happenstance, but yet it turned out to be extremely successful. Josh: Yes. That’s how a lot of my software is coming along now. Basically, it’s just from a need that I have, and I just sell my own need and basically create my own niche. Monica: Do you intend to expand it or improve upon it? Josh: Yes. I’m going back and making adjustments. I’m making a Lite version, which will be only around $19. That would really be it, as opposed to my first software, which was $97. I sold 1,200 licenses, but I feel I could have sold more with a lower price point. The newer version will be stripped down to the basic functions that the customers really wanted. I try to teach them new and valuable features that would really help them, but that’s not what they want. I learned that if you give them exactly what they want, they’ll pay you. I think we’re planning to launch during the March break. That’s an awesome time to do that. I have partnered with two salesmen, and they’re basically going to be the affiliates handling all the sales for me. I’m basically just the idea guy. Soon after that I will be presenting another keyword tool, an updated version of a keyword tool I created earlier called Keyword Scout. I also plan to change the fee structure to a monthly fee instead of a one-time fee because the one-time fee really wasn’t as profitable. It could have been much more successful had I charged $20 a month as opposed to a hundred dollars for one time. Monica: You’re obviously still in school, which means you have to be able to effectively manage your time, so how are you able to balance running a successful business while attending school?
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Josh: As I mentioned earlier, I take online courses during the summertime, and that allows me to take “spare periods,” we call them here, or prep periods where we have time to just do homework basically. You don’t have to be at school, so if you have all your credits and everything you need, which I got through the summer, you can take a spare period or even two. We have four courses in a day. I take one easy course, one spare, computer science, which I think I have 100 percent in, and then I have calculus, so the only really hard course is calculus. I do all that homework on spares, so when I come home, it’s all business. School doesn’t get in the way at all.
uct, would you say that your target market is any online business, or have you narrowed it down to a specific type of business or customer? Josh: My customers are really just any webmaster -- anyone who’s interested in search engine optimization and local development firms and a lot of people who own AdSense websites and any affiliate website. Anyone trying to really make money online can benefit from my product. If they own a website, they can benefit from it.
Monica: Do you plan to attend college? Josh: Yes. I’ve applied to four in Canada and five in the U.S. Monica: Are there any particular schools you like in the U.S.? Josh: Ivy Leagues, of course, but I’m not sure of my chances there. My marks are not as good as I’d like them to be, but from what I’ve read and heard, they really love entrepreneurs at Harvard, so I gave it a shot and applied there. I applied to Harvard, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Boston University. Monica: I’m sure someone will contact you.
Monica: You mentioned earlier that you are developing other firms. Do you mean individual companies? Josh: Yes. I often come up with a lot of different ideas. I’m working on five different projects at once right now. Plus, I’ve been approached to sell a software program for someone, and we’re beta testing it. People like the software and I’m being given 50 percent to sell it. I think that’s pretty good. Monica: With so much going on and so many ideas that you have that you want to implement, in the next three to five years where would you like to be? I realize that you’re going to be incorporating school into that, but I mean business wise.
Josh: Yes, that’s what I’m hoping. Monica: Your business background will be a major plus with most schools. When they see that you have the initiative to start and run a successful business at your age, that's a positive mark in your favor. For your SEO prod-
Josh: I’m hoping to be a millionaire before the age of 20. I think that’s possible. I’ve proven that. I’ve got a little less than three years to go. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend a school like Harvard and meet other people like myself, and we may be able to make progress together. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 27
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I’m also hoping to get into a more stable business where I will have companies pay me on a monthly basis. Right now I’m working on security software. I’ve been studying web hacking and how to stop it, so I’m getting ready to develop a security software product. I’ve been looking at the profit margins, and people are paying three to five thousand dollars a month just to have a software program that checks your websites for security vulnerability. Monica: That certainly would be an excellent decision because you’ll never be out of business as long as the Internet exists. Josh: Exactly. I’ve been studying Inc. Magazine. They have a report every year on the fastest-growing companies, and number seven was security vulnerability. I think there’s a lot of potential in that market, so I’m going to try. Monica: What marketing and promotional methods are you using to currently grow your business? Josh: It’s mostly through affiliates. Basically, my job is to network with people and anyone I can see that has an email list; it doesn’t matter if it’s a list of 50 people or 500,000 people. I speak with them about doing an email blast and I’ll give them 75 percent commission, and hopefully we can make some sales from that. I start on forums. I talked to contact blog owners just to get the word out there about my brand. Monica: I would imagine that you’ve also had some success with referrals -- word of mouth. Josh: Yes. For sure, yes. It’s so much easier, however, to just find a person who has an email list of 15,000 people and have them mail it off. It’s much faster. Monica: If you don’t mind talking about it, what were some mistakes that you made along the way while building your business, and how did you overcome them, so that other young entrepreneurs can learn from you? Josh: I think the biggest mistake that I have -- you can’t even call it a mistake -- but it’s my age. One of the things I have to really overcome is payment processes. They require you to be 18, so it’s really hard to get a payment to someone who’s going to accept your money. I can 28 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
make the money. I have a lot of customers who want to pay me, but no one will hold my money for me. I’ve tried them all. In June I’ll turn 18, so that will be the day when I’m free to make money without restrictions. Monica: In the meantime since that is a problem for you, how are you handling that part of the business? Josh: I have two partners and we’re partnered together for my next launch. They’re going to accept all the funds and are going to wire them to me. I’m going to try that a few time for my next few projects until I become 18. Monica: What advice can you give young people about entrepreneurship and being prepared before starting a business? You can’t just one day decide to start a business and then build it without preparation. You have to be prepared in terms of understanding what entrepreneurship is about. From your point of view, what are some key components that they must have in order to become successful and to continue in business? Josh: I think one of the biggest things that hold back my friends at a young age is gaming. I try to teach my friends how to make money. They’re addicted to gaming. It’s so popular in high schools. I was a big gamer and then I eventually just said, “You know what, it’s a big waste of time.” I’ve slowly been quitting every year, I’ve been declining on it. I’ve almost quit all gaming. At my age, it sounds small, but it’s actually huge for the male population. I ask them what they’re doing and they say playing a game. I say, “Get off of that, you’re wasting your time.” That’s one of the biggest hold-backs for teenage males. But I think preparing to work hard and treating everyone good on your way up is very important, because you don’t know when you’ll need them. Monica: Your friends and schoolmates see that you have a successful business. Obviously, they may not realize how hard you work at it, but they do see that you have something that is successful. Do any of them ever ask you, “How do you go about doing this, and how did you get started?” Josh: Every day. They like the way I eat out for lunch every day, and they like the life I live. They want to know. They think it’s so easy. They think, “Josh, I’ve got to start doing this.” They say they’re going to start tonight, and I say, “You should have started at the age of 14 like I did, and you would have been where I am now.”
Minding My Business
Monica: For those who say, “I’m going to start doing this,” do any of them ever start to take that action?
Monica: It is good, of course, that they see what you can accomplish. They believe in you and your abilities. I certainly would imagine that they are 100 percent behind you.
Josh: No. They show an interest for a little while, but it dies off pretty quickly.
Josh: Yes, now they are.
The results take forever to show. I don’t think I made a single dime in my first 12 months. You’ve just got to keep going at it. It doesn’t matter if you’re making money or not. You’ve still got to sit down and work.
Monica: Do you think that the basis of all of your business ideas and the things that you want to do will be technology-related?
Monica: While you were going through those 12 months of dry spell, obviously you didn’t give up, but what was going through your mind at that time when you hadn’t earned even a dollar?
Josh: Yes, probably all softwarerelated. I’ve been working on all types of things wherever I can see that there’s money to be made in the industry. I’ve been looking at car dealership software. One of my dad’s friends, my dad told me he paid $100 a day for software to manage automobile inventories. One hundred dollars multiplied by 50 or 500 clients, that’s good money.
Josh: I knew that I wasn’t earning money but I was earning knowledge. I was making the mistakes early. At the age of 25 a mistake that I would make at 14, it could be detrimental. I could lose my apartment, or wherever I’m living. Who knows what could happen?
Monica: These days you can never go wrong with technology.
Monica: What do your parents think of your success? Josh: They brag about it a lot to friends. They don’t keep it quiet. At parent-teacher interviews, I try to stay modest with my teachers and I try to give them some respect. Certainly I earn more money, but I don’t want them to hate me. When my parents go to parent-teacher interviews, they always say, “You know he has his own company? You know he has 1,200 customers,” and they’ll say, “What?” Then my dad just keeps going on, but he doesn’t know the whole story, so he tries to piece it together. When they tell me, it’s funny.
Josh: Yes. The advantage that I have over others is that I’m a programmer. I’m not a perfect programmer, but I understand the theory of programming. So I know what can and cannot be automated and how easily it can be done, as well as how much it costs. I can look at something that’s done every day in everyday businesses and say, “I could automate that, and it would cost you this much, and I could have it done by this time,” and they’d buy it. Monica: What’s your last word? Josh: Failure is the best teacher. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 29
Minding My Business
Secret Strategies for Successfully Responding to Questions When Negotiating by Greg Williams Do you know the secret strategies that allow you to answer questions successfully when negotiating? Successful negotiators use these secret strategies all the time. If you don’t know what the strategies are and you’d like to unlock the door to more successful negotiation outcomes, take the time to uncover the ease at which you can discover and apply three secret strategies when you negotiate. You’ll increase your negotiation skills by using these secret strategies. When a question is posed that you don’t want to answer, ignore it. Instead, reply by making a statement that’s beneficial to your position. Example: You’re negotiating ‘price’ and you’re asked the question, “Don’t you think your price is a little high?” Instead of addressing the question, you might respond with, “The value contained in our product nets a 33% return on investment.” In this case, you haven’t answered the question, but instead you shifted the discussion towards a point that is more advantageous to your position. Of course, you have to be prepared to substantiate your claim. Listen to the way questions are phrased and observe the body language (nonverbal signals) that’s conveyed with them. Example: The other negotiator says, “Your price is not right“. (For the sake of highlighting his body language posture, envision him with raised hands, palms up.) In that situation, the phraseology, “Your
price is not right” is not very directive. By raising his hands, with his palms up (nonverbal body language signal), he could be indicating the price should be higher, or he may think the product cost too much. In such a situation, probe first. You might ask, “What do you mean when you state my price is not right?” You should ask that question, instead of responding by lowering your price. He may think the deal is too good to be true, which may be the real concern behind his statement.
If you want to be a more successful negotiator, you have to be adept at fending off questions that are not advantageous to your position. Once you acquire the skills to do so, you’ll be amazed at how successful you’ll become when negotiating … and everything will be right with the world.
When asked questions containing multiple parts, address the segment that suits your point. Example: “If we can come to an agreement, would you prefer Monday or Tuesday delivery?” If you were not prepared to discuss the ‘delivery’ part of the question, your response could be, “Let’s discuss the possible covenants of the agreement.” Thus, at that point, the other negotiator would not control the negotiation, you would. When someone asks you questions during a negotiation, consider his intent. When you understand what the questioner is seeking, you’re better prepared to address his ‘real’ concerns. Always seek ways to address his ‘real’ concerns by utilizing one of the strategies mentioned above, before responding.
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The Negotiation Tips Are … * Questions are used to enrich or detract from your negotiation experience. Be ever vigilant as to how you use them and how they’re used against you. * The person asking the questions is the person in control of the negotiation. As such, one way to control the negotiation is by asking probing questions that solicit additional insight and information. * Never be afraid to laugh at a question to highlight its folly. Just be sure to direct your gaiety at the question and not the questioner.
Minding My Business
Can you remember the reason why you started your business? Perhaps it was because you’ve always dreamed of working for yourself and you finally got the courage to follow your passion. Or maybe because being able to work your own hours would mean you could spend more time with your family. Whatever your reason, while running your own business is exciting and rewarding it can also be daunting – particularly if things don’t seem to be going the way you want them to.
You’ve been marketing like crazy but no-one seems interested in your products or services; You’ve put forward a proposal, however you’ve just heard that your prospect doesn’t want to move forward; or, You just don’t feel like you’re good enough when you see the great things all of your competitors are doing.
Can you relate? In times when you feel stuck and frustrated it’s what you do in that moment that will determine your outcome. So if you are currently experiencing difficulties and you just can’t seem to break free – it may because of these seven self-belief barriers. Recognize any?
Hit a Roadblock? 10 Tips to Go From Stuck to Unstoppable by Annemarie Cross 2. Got a problem? Instead of beating yourself up – look for opportunities to learn and grow. And, move on! 3. Prospect rejected your proposal? Don’t take it personally. THEY may not be ready yet. Be there when they are? 4. We are often our own worst critic. Is your inner voice causing doubt and fear? Stop! You ARE worth it. 5. Stop letting other peoples failures prevent you from achieving your goal. Just because they can’t, doesn’t mean you won’t. You CAN! 6. Constant comparison to your competitors will cripple your growth. Know what makes you unique. You DO have value to offer. 7. Doubting your ability to achieve is a big business barrier. STOP undervaluing yourself & your ability. You CAN!
Here are 10 tips that will help you refocus your mindset so that you can go from stuck to unstoppable:
8. The beliefs you hold will determine your outcome. Isn’t it time YOU believed you DO have what it takes to be a success?
1. Are you in earshot of a naysayer? Ignore them. Just because they can’t, doesn’t mean you won’t. You can!
9. Make regular deposits into your self worth account. It builds confidence & esteem. Both are keys to charging what you’re worth.
10. Doubting your worth? Recall all of the clients you’ve helped & the success you’ve achieved. That’s the value you offer. Can you relate to any of these tips? Have you had an ‘aha’ moment? Which tip are you going to remember next time you’re faced with a challenge and feel like giving up? Until next time, stay inspired!
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The Parking Ticket Problem Solver How did this unique idea come about? Bolofsky says, “I had an epiphany one morning because in New York and in many other big cities like San Francisco, LA, Chicago, and certainly Boston and Philly too, you have to get up in the morning per street cleaning rules, because the sanitation truck comes by to clean the streets. If you don't move your vehicle, they can ticket you and even tow your vehicle away. I became very knowledgeable on the subject of days that people could sleep late.”
When it comes to parking tickets and traffic violations, Glen Bolofsky is fired up and on the job. Not writing tickets, but helping those who have received tickets to eliminate them. Most of us have at one time or another received a parking or traffic ticket. For over 20 years, Bolofsky has helped motorists find ways to beat the fast fingered, quick-sighted ticket writers of Parking Violations Bureaus, who often enter incorrect information or don’t clearly understand the rules themselves.
As a result of his personal experiences, Bolofsky decided he’d had enough and he created a solution to help other New York City dwellers understand the parking rules of the city and save time and money. As is often said, the rest is history. Bolofsky is a serial entrepreneur at heart who has developed various products and services to help motorists cope with the overwhelming and often confusing rules of driving and parking in major cities across the country. His most successful endeavor, parkingticket.com, is what he calls the worry-free solution to parking and traffic tickets. “Overall, we believe that about 75 percent of all the tickets
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issued that we handle are either dismissed or reduced," says Bolofsky. Bolofsky enthusiastically shared with the founder of Exceptional People Magazine his passion for serving others in such a unique manner. Monica: You are an accountant by trade but you are also a very successful entrepreneur. For about 21 years, you have helped motorists find ways to avoid paying their parking tickets. How did that idea come about? Was it a personal experience that you had? Glen: Actually, yes, Monica. I had an epiphany one morning because in New York and in many other big cities like San Francisco, LA, Chicago, and certainly Boston and Philly too, you have to get up in the morning per street cleaning rules, because the sanitation truck comes by to clean the streets. If you don’t move your vehicle, they can ticket you and even tow your vehicle away. I had to deal with this in New York, and it was a ritual. Every morning you’d get up and move your car three or four days a week, and it was not fun. Nobody wants to get up early just to move their car, and by learning the different
Minding My Business
rules of when you have to get up, I became very knowledgeable on the subject of days that people could sleep late. This is very funny because the whole idea is information gives you time and money. Now people will be saving time not having to move their cars unnecessarily. That’s how it all started. It wasn’t because I received a lot of tickets but just because I wanted to save time and not waste gas. Monica: How did the idea form into providing a service to help people eliminate their parking tickets? Of course, I understand that it was merged into that idea when you’re talking about having to get up in the morning to move your car, but how did it become a full-blown idea of helping people to get their tickets dismissed, regardless of what the reasons were for the tickets? Glen: Well, you’re a very astute interviewer, Monica. A lot of people miss the connection and I want to compliment you. You did not miss the connection. They’re two distinct things and I had developed a very large distribution base of selling my book and calendars on this information that we first discussed, and people were buying my publications. I was an author. I became a publisher and I became a distributor. We had over a thousand points of distribution in the New York City metropolitan area right at the checkout counter at every supermarket, where they used to sell TV Guides, Woman’s Housekeeping and People and Us. I was able to get those pockets, which are prized, very prized retail space right at the checkout. It took a lot of knowledge and a lot of hard work. I was selling a lot of my publications, and people started coming to me asking me to distribute their
products, their ideas. One guy who came to me said, “Why don’t we write a book on how to beat your ticket?” I told him, “Joel, I don’t know anything about beating tickets. I only know how to avoid them.” He says, “Well, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t avoid them and they have to fight them.” He was an expert on fighting them and he taught me the process. He had obtained the official manual of the hearing officers of the City of New York and he gave me a copy. We became lifelong friends, but at that time we were just acquaintances. He had reached out to me because he liked what I was doing. One good thing led to another, and I became an expert after reading that manual, and I developed a computer program, web publishing and software publishing for companies. The companies would buy the program, license it and use it to track every ticket issued to their corporate suites, because yes, companies are getting a lot of tickets. I hired a programmer and since 1990, we’re still upgrading the program all these years. We’re constantly enhancing the program to optimize the usability, make it easier for people and more effective in terms of saving companies money. Monica: In 1993, you launched a software program called Alarm. Can you talk a little bit about that and the specifics of that particular program? Glen: Well, the program is designed for commercial use, companies that receive tickets every day while operating in big cities. The whole idea is to provide them with a simple way to track a very difficult process, because municipalities don’t make it easy. Even if they want to make it easy, they lack the entrepreneurial skill set, the skills and the love.
By having a lack of love, they don’t have any intuition or appreciation and, frankly, they don’t have respect for individuals or companies -- small, medium or large companies -- to ask them to comply with the rules. We became kind of an ally, an advocate of both the individual person and the business community in trying to bridge the gap. We’ve kind of dragged municipalities into the 21st century because when we launched parkingticket.com in 2001, there wasn’t even one municipality that would allow you to dispute a parking ticket online. It’s 12 years later and now all of the big municipalities allow you to do that. Monica: People can go to your website and work through the process, the information there, to help them prepare and hopefully, get their tickets dismissed. How does that procedure work for them? Glen: Well, let’s say you are the individual in Washington, D.C. Let’s say you go downtown to a nice restaurant. You look at the signs and you think you’re parked correctly, so you park, go shopping or go to eat, and you get a ticket. You get a ticket because either you didn’t understand the rules or the ticket agent didn’t know or understand the rules. Sometimes it’s both the driver and the ticket agent who don’t understand the rules. I used to train ticket agents also. Years ago, when I first started my publishing venture, I used to sell my books and calendars to the Traffic Agents' Union in New York, because they lacked information and leadership and they respected what we were trying to do. They viewed it as a good thing to do, to show leadership. The president of that union said, “Let me help my members feel better respected and more satisfaction on the
March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 33
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job by getting educated on the rules.” We did a good amount of business with those unions at that time, so a couple of different unions became involved. We came to other cities when we launched the website in 2001, because it’s the same issue everywhere, whether it’s New York or DC or anywhere else. It’s the same story. The municipalities don’t have any love, and they use vendors in municipalities to keep their costs low. There are various companies out there that assist them in the process and it’s all about profits. Monica: That’s fine. What I was asking was do you feel the reason why they don’t show very much love is because they realize that that’s revenue that they’re missing out on? Glen: Yes, that’s exactly what it’s about, and it’s very sad to me because I love our country. I believe in freedom. I believe in justice. I believe in doing the right thing. I’m very passionate about it because I grew up in the Vietnam era where friends and my brother and I were called upon to sub-
mit to the draft. Only by the grace of God did we avoid having to go to Vietnam and avoid getting killed in war. I grew up in that era that we had to fight for freedom, and freedom isn’t free. This really resonates with me that people are being taken advantage of, and that it’s by our own beautiful government and the people that our government hires to help them. It’s not good corporate citizenship and with the business model that they have, that cannot be sustained over the long haul. In Los Angeles, there’s a class action lawsuit against one of these companies for the very reasons I’m stating, which is that they’re looking only at the profit and they’re not necessarily giving people a fair shake. Monica: The system that you have in place can help people basically anywhere in the country. Glen: That’s right. Yes, anywhere. Monica: Now I’m sure that there are those who apply or use your system but they still don’t get their ticket dismissed, so how do you handle those particular customers? Glen: Well, we really try to go the extra mile both literally and figuratively. I’m a diehard workaholic
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seven days a week, going at it because they issue tickets seven days a week. No matter how hard we try to help people, we can never get every single ticket dismissed. That would be a very unrealistic thing to do because some people are not behaving properly, and that’s a problem when people don’t behave properly. They park at a bus stop or they park in a handicap zone. It’s not just about doing things right but it’s also about trying to dodge bullets and avoid problems. People sometimes create problems for themselves; they deserve the tickets and they should pay. Monica: A lot of people feel that it’s just so much easier and less painful for them to pay the ticket rather than having to go to city hall to fight it and having to deal with what they may consider to be interruption in their lives. How do you get through to people who just say, “Well, you know what, forget it. I’ll just pay it, even though I know I didn’t do anything wrong?” Glen: Well, we can’t possibly reach everyone but for those people, what we try to do is maintain a high, a very good reputation, so we get positive
Minding My Business
word of mouth. Positive word of mouth is very high. We have a ranking with the Better Business Bureau. It’s their highest ranking, and that’s very hard to get. The municipalities make it difficult for people even though we make it easy for people. They file a dismissal letter with the city or the District of Columbia within the timeframe required, say within 30 days, and the District of Columbia by law is required to suspend that ticket at that time, so you don’t receive any letters saying there’s a penalty or any letters saying that there are additional fines. They don’t have a vested reason to follow the law, so what they want - the billing often is not freezing or suspending the ticket though the law requires them to do so. The person receives a penalty notice in the mail, and now the fine has doubled with a threatening letter and people get nervous. They go ahead and make a payment that they shouldn’t have to make, so the municipality itself and their vendor are breaking the law and scaring the wits out of people. Nobody’s taking them to task. There are those people that are not acting for the benefit of public. They’re acting in a manner to make money for the municipality, or the state, or the federal government. By doing so, they’re enhancing their role in that position, giving them a better career opportunity so they can stay on that job. They can collect healthcare and salary benefits, accrue pension benefits and ultimately retire on a public pension that includes great medical benefits. Because the law has not yet been updated and no one has successfully challenged it, it’s gone all the way to U.S. Supreme Court many times. I’ve done a lot of research on it, and it’s a part of my life because when I fight City Hall, whether it be in New York
or D.C. or anywhere else in the country, I am now very cognizant of the fact that I’m dealing with human beings who are experts in the law. Monica: I’m sure there’s a lot of opposition to what you’re doing. What approach do you take to that? Glen: Well, what I do is I just go with the flow, because I can’t change other people. I was speaking to a complete stranger this morning who worked for an elevator company in New Jersey, and he sometimes goes into New York and gets tickets, and he and I connected instantly on the subject because he feels the pain. He gets those tickets. His company makes him pay for them. They tell him, “Park legally or you get a ticket, it’s yours.” He and I instantly connected on the unfairness of the process, how the ticketing agents have orders and how the judges are often unfair. I connect with the majority of the public -- only people in government who are not directly related to the issuance and hearings and collection of the tickets. They love me. It’s only those who have a vested interest in collecting the money from improper ticketing who don’t respect and appreciate what we do. Monica: You’re in a business that is somewhat unique because you are helping people keep money in their pockets, and when you run across people who are trying to eliminate you, so to speak, what kind of mentality do you have to adopt to stand up to that? Glen: The mentality I take on is that I believe in God and I believe in justice. I believe in freedom. I believe that David will slay Goliath. I hope to be at it for another thirty years.
ties and jurisdictions are now using technology to write tickets, what does that mean for your business? Glen: Well, what it really means is opportunity. The funny thing is that what one would think from the outside looking in is that computerized tickets would be perfect, bulletproof, unbeatable, but yet we came out of court yesterday in New York, and 81 percent of the tickets had been dismissed. How can we do that when these are bulletproof, computerized tickets? I’ll give you a few reasons. One, the signs are not clear to the people parking or to the ticket agents writing them. They write down incorrect information on the ticket, and the fact that the ticket comes out of a computer doesn’t mean it will be error proof. We all make key stroke errors, all of us. The ticket agents are not sitting in a comfortable atmosphere. They’re in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the snow. They’re also on the streets and worried about their safety and worried about their boss pressuring them to write tickets. They’re dealing with a very small device with small keys and it’s easy to make mistakes. It’s not a full-blown keyboard. The signs are confusing and the agents aren’t expert typists. Monica: What is the success rate of the company? Glen: Overall, we believe that about 75 percent of all the tickets issued that we handle are either dismissed or reduced. Monica: How do you promote your company?
Monica: With the growth of technology and the fact that these municipaliMarch-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 35
Minding My Business
Glen: Well, word of mouth is very important, and that’s something that we’ll never lose sight of because it’s very, very important to be good corporate citizens. Very important and again, I stressed before that we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and that’s not easy to attain. The truth is it’s very hard to make everybody happy, but the way we promote our business is through a lot of media, public relations. Monica: As entrepreneurs and business owners, we all can look back and learn from our past experiences. What would you say are some mistakes that you’ve made along the way that possibly could have been avoided had you been better prepared or thought things through more carefully? Glen: Ten years ago, we developed the first internet site, ten years before any municipality or big company who services them. We’re ahead of everyone. Now we’re still ahead because we’ve launched our services nationwide, which means we’re the first universal gateway nationwide for any
individual, any business, to take care of all of their parking tickets, all of their traffic tickets, no matter where they’re issued in any jurisdiction throughout the country. We are on the leading edge of technology. Almost everyone who’s ever driven for a period of time has received either one parking ticket or one traffic ticket. Monica: Oh, sure. Absolutely. How do you plan to expand and grow your business? Do you intend to stay just within the parking ticket arena, or do you plan to expand to other related areas? Glen: We’ve expanded now into traffic tickets. We’re assisting people in navigating the traffic ticket bureaucracy. Monica: You have a very unique and successful business. It’s amazing how an idea that you had so many years ago has turned into something that has the potential to help millions of people every year. Glen: Yes, and we’re having fun because we’re doing the right thing, making a living, not getting rich; getting rich is not our goal. It’s just to pay our bills, have health insurance, try and save money for retirement, try to put the kids through college and enjoy life. It’s nice to be on the right side.
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Monica: Obviously over the years, you have become sort of a serial entrepreneur because you’ve developed and implemented successful entrepreneurial ideas. What advice can you offer entrepreneurs about “sticking with it” and not giving up simply because something has not happened within the timeframe they expected? Glen: I think that there are a few things that guide every successful person. It’s the things that if we’re lucky and had a good mom and dad, the things that they would have told us. Find something you like or love and do it, whatever that is. It could be something where everybody else says you’re nuts. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy doing it. If you like it, you’re going to do it well. The other things are work hard and be balanced. Have a healthy mind and healthy body. Treat people with respect as you would want to be treated. If you do that -- yes, you’re going to have people who will try to knock you down, eat your lunch, but so does everyone else. The answer is do what you love, do it all day, and just work real hard at it and keep innovating.
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Food For Thought
ISSN 1944-9062 Founder and Editor-in-Chief
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy
“What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it? Would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.” Ralph Marston
Editors Jon Crump Marla Gem Beatrice Roots
Company Writers Donna Carletta Kathy Kentty Pat Markel
Other Writers and Contributors
“I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost 300 games; 26 times I’ve been trusted to make the gamewinning shot ... and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That’s why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
“People of character do the right thing, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world.” Michael Josephson
“It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are. If you don’t use your power for positive change, you are, indeed, part of the problem.” Coretta Scott King
“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind
him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” Walter Lippmann
Angie Brennan Annemarie Cross Catherine Galasso-Vigorito Dawn Abraham Dawn McCoy Doris Helge Dorothy Rosby Eileen Lichtenstein Greg Williams Inez Bracy Jack Canfield James Adonis Keasha Lee Margaret Paul Rosalind Sedacca Sharon Raiford Bush Shelley Riutta Sue Urda William R. Patterson
Exceptional People Magazine is published bimonthly by Atela Productions, Inc. The opinions of the contributors are not necessarily those of Atela Productions, Inc.
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Professional and Personal Development
Give all youâ€™ve got in everything you do.
How to Choose the Best Professional Advisors By William R. Patterson
In THE BARON SOLUTION, we often say that your network is a direct reflection of your net worth. This is also the case when it comes to your professional advisors. In order to maximize your financial potential you will need to assemble a strong team of professional advisors including: financial planners, brokers, insurance agents, attorneys, accountants, bankers, real estate agents, business consultants and personal coaches. Here are 5 BARON tips for choosing the best professional advisors:
laws. They should also have a reasonable number of clients, which will enable them to provide you with individualized attention. Step Four. Examine how each advisor charges for their services. Some will charge a flat fee, others a commission. You should also ask if there are any undisclosed or special costs you need to be aware of. For those individuals concerned about the high cost of professional advice, many services can now be obtained through discount or monthly payment plans. Step Five. Increase your financial knowledge so that you can make
Step One. Determine your goals and the level of assistance you will need in each area from financial and tax planning, to insurance, to legal advice. Step Two. Seek out financial and legal help based on references from other advisors, professional friends, and industry associations. Thoroughly research the backgrounds of your prospective advisors with their industry regulatory bodies. Determine if they’ve ever had complaints filed, been sued for malpractice or convicted of a crime. Step Three. Choose advisors with significant experience, who specialize in your area of need and are familiar with your state 40 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
suggestions and evaluate the information you are receiving from your advisors. Make sure you are always investing in profitable companies, know the level of control and access you have to your money, the rate of return achievable with each investment vehicle, your downside risk if market conditions change, and tax, estate planning, asset protection consequences of every financial decision. While some people might think, “I can’t afford to hire good professional advisors; they should really be asking the question, “how can I afford to hire good professional advisors?” Nowadays, many financial, legal, and insurance services have been structured in ways that are very affordable. It will just take a bit of research to find those that are appropriate for your needs.
As a job seeker in a competitive job market, it is important to distinguish and showcase your candidacy above your competitors by optimizing your marketability. Likewise, as an employee within the workplace, it is important that you consistently position yourself above your colleagues in order to enhance your credibility and ensure you remain valuable and marketable within a constantly changing workplace, particularly if restructuring and redundancies are on the horizon. Whether you are a job seeker or existing employee, one way that you can elevate your profile and status is by harnessing the latest advances that technology offers to position yourself as an expert, thus making you irresistible to a potential or invaluable to an existing employer. The term “expert” can often put people off, however according to Wikipedia.org, an expert is “someone who is widely recognized as a reliable source of knowledge, technique or skill and whose judgment is accorded authority and status by the public or their peers.” For someone to have reached the so-called status of expert they would have accumulated extensive experience, skill and/or knowledge within a specific field or industry. Another aspect of “expert” that can typically occur is the “perceived” expert – someone that has risen above their peers to stand out in a specialized area, being thought of as a leader in their field. How these people have risen to this status is not by accident, but rather through having contributed significant time and dedication in their fields while continually investing their energies into marketing their expertise.
Becoming Irresistible in the Workplace and Job Market By Annemarie Cross Strive for expert status by discovering your motivated interests and natural abilities.
Enhance your profile: become visible in the market and within your existing workplace.
While you may demonstrate general abilities across a number of areas, to truly shine and gain expertise across diverse areas may be difficult. Initially, it may be wise to pinpoint your focus around where your interests and natural abilities lie and continue to build up your profile in this area. Once you have mastered this area you can continue to expand your profile in other areas as well. To uncover your motivated interests consider the following questions:
One way to strengthen your credibility and recognition as an expert is to establish an online identity. This could include the following strategies:
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What are you truly passionate about? What topics of conversation do you typically become involved in? What motivates you to action and whilst doing that activity, time just seems to fly by? What type of work would you do even if you weren’t getting paid for it? What areas have you contributed to that others necessarily are not able to do?
• • •
Another exercise would be to question those around you (including colleagues or friends) to see what characteristics and talents they believe you have and have seen you utilize. Quite often those around us can recognize things that we don’t necessarily identify ourselves, as we can often take some of our skills for granted because they come naturally.
Developing an online Career Web Portfolio that can highlight your knowledge, achievements and contributions Creating a personal/professional Blog. Each blog entry will have your signature (being the author) thus also elevating your search engine ranking if a recruiter were to search for you on the internet. [Web logs (other wise known as ‘blogs’) have been around for some time, however, lately there seems to have been a sudden surge of people (young and notso-young) setting up personal blogs.] Establishing a professional profile using tools such as Ziggs, LinkedIn, or LinkMe Becoming active on other people’s blogs or forums of experts in your field Writing articles or stories of interest in your corporate newsletter
Branding specialists worldwide advocate the use of blogs as another medium and potential opportunity to communicate your personal brand and the overall value you offer. In fact, many recruiters and potential employers are opting to perform an internet search on suitable applicants to see
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what they can uncover, so you can see how a professional blog and/or career web portfolio could certainly support you in getting known and elevating your overall professionalism and credibility. Be aware that this can have disadvantages, particularly if your blog posts or forum comments are less than professional. While it may be tempting to post about your ‘bad day in the office’ experience, or ‘what you really think about your boss’ or about ‘what really went on behind the scenes at your last Christmas office party’, you need to remember that this is an online medium that allows access to anyone and everyone on a global scale, and what you post, may just come back to haunt you and dash any hopes of securing a new role. Remember to keep your comments and topics on a professional level. Before you begin writing, ask yourself:
Would I want my boss (or future boss) to read this?
Does this post continue to support me on a professional level? How can this post continue to build upon my personal brand and unique promise of value?
Here are some strategies to enhance your visibility within the company:
Become involved in cutting-edge projects Put your hand up for more difficult assignments, particularly where colleagues can see your strengths in action Become a mentor for less experienced colleagues Gain a reputation as a problem solver and solution seeker rather than a problem maker
• • •
Why you should continue being a proactive career activist. It has often been commented that people experience dissatisfaction in their jobs due to not feeling in control of their lives or careers, so becoming proactive in your career, continuing to position yourself as knowledgeable in your field, and offering strong skills and expertise will support you in regaining a sense of control of your destiny. Here are some other benefits:
Maintain your expert status.
Once you have achieved credibility and expert status it’s important to keep up with what’s happening in your field. Consider the following:
Regularly read printed publications to keep at the forefront of the industry
Subscribe to newsletters on the internet Subscribe to RSS feeds and industry blogs Expand your knowledge by continuing your education
You retain control of your career Become a valuable player with the organization Expert status can support you Be headhunted by recruiters and organizations
Avid achievers in the workplace have a high sense of self-awareness, understand their strengths and weaknesses while being able to pinpoint and strategically pursue opportunities that can support them and their career development. So what can you do starting from today to take control of your career advancement enabling you to become known as an expert in your field, either in the job market or your workplace?
To your success! Annemarie
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Are you sabotaging your potential because you are afraid of success, or worse, you have never taken the time to find out what success really means to you? Don’t be too hasty to answer this question. I see people all around me all the time that have incredible skill and ability but they remain trapped in unfulfilling lives with no meaning. Allow yourself to open your mind and to dream once again, to allow yourself to have huge expectations and to see all the possibilities that are available to you. Prepare your mind to become massively successful and to begin living a life of influence and meaning. This is best achieved if you follow this simple formula: 1) Take time to sit back and decide what success means to you. Until you know what success really means to you specifically, you will be chasing after something that you may not even want. Does “success” mean fame and fortune to you or is it simply the freedom to spend time with the people that matter most in your life? 2) Believe in yourself and dare to dream. See the possibilities that abound all around and allow yourself
Are You Afraid of Becoming a Super Achiever? By Andrew Horton to have huge expectations that are aligned with your unique concept of what “success” means to you. 3) Keep investing in your personal growth and keep preparing for the opportunities that are going to cross your path. As Oprah says, “Success is when opportunity meets preparation.” We all have many opportunities cross our paths throughout our lives. Make sure that you are investing enough time and resources, into your personal growth, so that you are adequately prepared when the next one comes your way. 4) Stop pursuing success and shift your mind away from “how can I get it?” and start asking yourself the question “What do I have to become to attract or deserve the type of success I desire?” Become a great steward of your existing talents and skills and invest energy into growing these into the skill and knowledge base you need to achieve everything you desire.
skills, then give 100% to that. Giving 100% commitment and effort, striving to be your best all the time is crucial when you want to succeed. Note I said give your best, not be the best. 7) Align your private and public personas, strive to always be authentic and show the world your true self. Always strive to project your true values and show integrity in all dealings with others. Keep preparing and expect the universe to show up with new opportunities at any time. Opportunities and connections with the right people and happy coincidences can happen in an instant, so invest time, energy and resources into preparing for the opportunities and success you deserve.
5) Allow yourself to break free from your trained expectation that all progress must be linear in nature. Stop thinking that you are only warming up for the success that is coming and start living every moment as part of the journey and allow yourself to enjoy every step in the process. Everything that comes your way is on the way to the success you desire. Nothing you encounter is ever in the way. 6) Always give 100%. If you are resting give yourself completely to rest. If you are working or learning new March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 43
Reaching Forgiveness By Dr. Margaret Paul Have you tried to forgive others, only to discover that you are still angry or judgmental toward them? Forgiveness toward others is the natural outcome of forgiving ourselves and of taking loving care of ourselves. When we judge ourselves, we will have a tendency to project that judgment onto others, no matter how much we tell ourselves that we have forgiven them. “How can I forgive my parents when they were so abusive to me when I was growing up?” “How can I forgive my spouse for cheating on me?” “How can I forgive my best friend for abandoning me?” “How can I face and forgive unforgiving abusers and manipulators?” “How can I forgive myself when others do not forgive me and throw my past in my face every chance they get?” These are some of the questions about forgiveness my clients have asked me over the many years that I have been a counselor. We have all been told that forgiveness is good for the soul, and it is. Yet forgiveness cannot be forced. We cannot will ourselves to forgive, because if we try to deny the anger, blame and judgment that may still be there, it is likely to come out at some point. So how do we reach forgiveness?
Forgiveness toward others is the natural outcome of practicing Inner Bonding, which leads to forgiving ourselves and of taking loving care of ourselves. When we judge ourselves, we will have a tendency to project that judgment onto others, no matter how much we tell ourselves that we have forgiven them. Let’s start with the first statement, “How can I forgive my parents when they were so abusive to me when I was growing up?” My experience is that as long as you continue to treat yourself in the abusive ways your parents may have treated you, you cannot reach forgiveness. It is your lack of self-care that perpetuates the anger toward others. As adults, we each have a wonderful opportunity to learn to treat ourselves with the love, respect, caring and understanding that we may have lacked as children. When we don't do this, the past becomes the present as we continue to abuse ourselves in the ways we may have been abused, and then continue to blame others for how we end up feeling as a result of our lack of self-care. "How can I forgive my spouse for cheating on me?" You will not be able to forgive your spouse until you fully take responsibility for your participation in the relationship issues that may have contributed to the infidelity. There are always ways you did not listen to yourself or honor yourself that put you in the position of being betrayed. As you practice Inner Bonding, looking deeply within and discovering how you might have betrayed yourself and learning to forgive yourself, you may reach forgiveness for your spouse, even if you end up leaving the relationship.
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“How can I forgive my best friend for abandoning me?” The world tends to mirror to us whatever is happening in our own inner system. When we feel abandoned by someone, there is a good possibility that we have abandoned ourselves - that we have failed to attend to our own feelings and needs and have failed to be a loving advocate for ourselves. Once again, you will discover that if you practice Inner Bonding and learn how to take loving care of yourself, you will find your anger toward others gradually disappearing. “How can I face and forgive unforgiving abusers and manipulators?” Others’ behavior actually has little to do with whether we choose to be judgmental or accepting and forgiving. When we learn to be compassionate rather than judgmental toward the wounded, manipulative side of ourselves, we will naturally be compassionate toward others’ wounded, manipulative behavior. Once again, forgiveness is the natural outgrowth of doing our Inner Bonding work, of moving out of self-judgment and into self-compassion. “How can I forgive myself when others do not forgive me and throw my past in my face every chance they get?” You will stay stuck in anger and judgment, and in feeling like a victim, as long as you make others responsible for whether or not you forgive yourself. Others’ forgiveness has nothing to do with your own decision to judge or forgive yourself. When you learn to move out of judgment and into compassion - first for yourself and then for others - you will find yourself forgiving yourself and others. Forgiveness is the natural outgrowth of compassion.
alone. Two neighbor boys are begging to play your new computer game. Will you let them in? Why or why not?
How Moral Dilemmas Reveal Your Child's Character!
It's important to get your kids to discuss dilemmas before they happen. When challenged to act, they’ll be ready.
By Jean Tracy, MSS
Parenting Tip - Family Meetings and Moral Dilemma Discussions: Family meetings promote moral dilemmas discussions. Your children will love participating if their ideas are valued. They’ll enjoy the attention and even ask for more family meetings.
Would you like to find out how moral dilemmas promote your child’s inner light? Would you like to be the one to keep it shining? Learn a fun way to share your family values and build character too. How character is the light in your child: “People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out but when darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross How to keep your child's character shining: Finding the time and knowing what to do isn’t difficult. Try discussing moral dilemmas. They’re easy to discuss and take little time at family meetings. Moral dilemmas light the way to character.
As a child and family counselor I enjoyed helping kids discuss moral dilemmas. Kids loved sharing their solutions.
Building character with moral dilemmas helps your child’s inner light sparkle. By listening to their ideas, you are creating a nourishing bond with them. This bond is the key to influencing their family values. Why not discuss moral dilemmas today?
Parenting Tips - Consider Discussing These Moral Dilemmas with Your Kids: Dilemma at school: Your friends are making fun of another kid’s clothes. They want you to put down the kid too. What will you do and why? Dilemma at home: It’s Saturday and you're supposed to help your dad weed the yard today. Your friend wants you to play ball with her at the park right now. Will you beg your dad to let you go? Why or Why not? Dilemma in your neighborhood: You want to make friends in your new neighborhood. The rule is, “No kids are allowed in your house when your parents aren’t home.” You are March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 45
Is your self-talk self-critical? Does your inner critic ever sabotage your success or happiness?
“You’re not good enough.” “You don’t deserve to have what you want.”
WHY IS YOUR INNER CRITIC SO POWERFUL? All of us sometimes want to take a jackhammer and blast away at the annoying part of us that jabs us with critical
Because your inner critic developed with noble intentions and has labored non-stop on your behalf . . . day after day, year after year . . . it is an integral part of your per-
Turn Your Inner Critic Into an Internal Coach By Dr. Doris Helge, Ph.D., MCC comments like, “You’re not good enough” or “You won’t succeed.” Your desire to kill your critic backfires. It’s like chopping away a concrete foundation under your home or business. Why? Our inner critic is a very robust part of ourselves. Instead of battling it, we need to learn how to use this powerful energy source to our advantage.
sonality. Every time you try to banish your inner critic, it ferociously fights for its life. That’s why trying to get rid of your inner critic backfires. Since your inner critic thrives on criticism, when you resist and criticize this part of yourself, it becomes stronger, louder, more resistant and belligerent.
What we resist, persists. We created an inner critic during childhood as a key survival tool. The original version of our inner critic helped us survive, avoid adult disapproval and stay out of trouble. The early inner critic protected us from harm when we were too small and powerless to do certain things. Over the years, well-meaning, protective messages became a consistent negative voice that belittled and shamed us. Here’s an example of how the nurturing, protective “Guardian” inner voice we heard as a young child became the disempowering inner critic we hear today.
DISCOVER THE POTENTIAL VALUE OF YOUR INNER CRITIC
The early voice of your Guardian: “Don’t even try to climb up and reach the forbidden cookies on the top shelf. You’re not big enough or strong enough. If you push beyond what you’re old enough to do, you’ll fall. You’ll be hurt. You’ll get in trouble. Adults will be upset and angry at you.” Please note: This was a heart-centered message with the pure intention of protecting you when you were a young, vulnerable child. Over the years, this nurturing voice became your inner critic. Now, you hear messages like this. “You can’t do what you want to do.” “Don’t try. You’ll fail.” 46 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
David Guterson, author of the bestselling book that eventually became the box office hit, “Snow Falling on Cedars,” is certain his self-confidence was not gained from external recognition. He credits years of practice in which he constantly critiqued his work. Bill Uhl, an enduro-racer who won five Olympic gold medals in Europe, sums up the value of his internal critic, “If I’m not always evaluating my performance, how will I keep getting better?” When managed effectively, the barbs of our inner critic prevent complacency and boredom while nudging us to improve our lives. We harness a powerhouse of energy when we face our shadow side. We discover that our doubts, fears and insecurities are tools that can help us become more confident, competent and complete. Trying to get rid of your inner critic is not the solution. Keep your critic’s feedback in perspective and discover how to use this exceptionally vibrant source of energy.
Empowerment Malkiel and Charles Ellis in their new book, The Elements of Investing. The higher a fund’s fees, the lower its average return over time.
Reach Your Investment Goals with Patience and Caution By Pat Markel
If you’ve been reading about investments, watching those hot-investment stories on TV, and wracking your brain over how to get the best returns, then take note of the following steps:
Forget the hot stocks. Too many go bad and end up in a loss. Instead of trying to predict tomorrow’s big winners, choose a mix of five or six funds that cover assets such as large and small U.S. stocks, foreign shares, bonds and another that invests in natural resources or other inflation hedges.
Invest for the long term, not for next year’s stock returns. You can’t pick winners year after year. Some will end up going down as fast as they went up.
Consider a fund’s expenses. You never hear people bragging about their low mutual fund expenses because high returns are more fun to talk about. Money advisor Stephen Lewis analyzed stock funds over a 15-year period. His conclusions agree with those of Burton
Don’t panic. The stock market goes up and down and sometimes crashes. Those who often lose a lot can’t blame the market entirely for their misfortune. When
things are going well, they put more into risky assets, making them more vulnerable. Realize that the market will turn around, so don’t sell your stocks or funds when prices are very low. The less you fiddle with your investments, the fewer mistakes you will make, says Lewis.
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Extraordinary Profiles 50
Derrick Boles—A Gentle Giant Stands Up for America
Your Turn Will Come, So Never Quit
Stephanie King—Challenging Others to Share Their Blessings
A Resurging New Economy For You In 2013
Susann Panek-Rounds—Serving Up Pint Size Pies and Changing Lives
The Lighter Side
Cover Design by
What I Meant to Say
Puzzles and Funnies
Writers and Contributors
Just as every pearl has its unique feature, each of us has a special gift that only we possess. Every gift must be recognized and revealed, so others can experience it.
A Gentle Giant Stands Up for America
As a young
child, Derrick Boles was raised in a single family household without a father, just as many young black children were then and are today. Boles explains, “Because of my low social economic background and educational history, my future was supposedly destined and projected for me to either end up incarcerated or deceased at a very early age.” Despite society’s pessimistic view and the bleak statistics that indicate such children will never amount to anything, Boles overcame many adversities and eventually stepped outside of the box in which society had placed him. As an extraordinary mentor for the NBA DLeague, Boles provided mentorship for young aspiring players who wanted to play the game at the professional NBA level. Like many other sports, the game of basketball can provide you with life-long lessons on how to work together as a team, become a team leader and how to use the coach’s constructive criticism as a spring board to strive for excellence.
What happens once the dribbling stops and there are no more free throws, or jump shots and the crowd is gone? How do you transfer that experience into a much larger vision beyond the court? As a mentor, Boles helped these young players develop the necessary life skills that would serve them well as players and as productive citizens in every area of life. He may not have played the game, but on the basketball court of life, Boles is scoring three pointers in communities across America and around the world in a brand new game, metaphorically speaking.
This is true, but to be a good commander you must clearly understand and know your life’s purpose. It is only then that you will understand how to you recognize your own strengths and help others reveal their hidden strengths. Leaders can help you recognize that which you cannot yet see in yourself, but first you must be willing to trust their instinct to guide you in the right direction. Boles has transferred his life experiences, while growing up, into a vision and platform that has helped him become internationally recognized as one of the top leaders and community developers in America. It’s not about self; it’s about serving others in a way that gives them the courage to step out of their comfort zone, realize their untapped abilities and turn them into confident human beings who enthusiastically grab life with vigor. A Leader of Leaders. As the founder of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST, Boles is using his Godgiven gift of leadership to change people’s perspectives and inspire positive action. The organization’s mission is to educate, engage, inspire and challenge leaders and communities to become involved. Through the organization, he has developed leadership programs for businesses, faith-based leaders and women, as well as prevention programs for youths, just to name a few. Stand Up America is an outgrowth of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST, another golden idea Boles envisioned that has begun to quickly take root. It’s about getting people off the sidelines and getting them involved in serving in communities across America. “This is not business as usual,” Boles explains.
Leader of Leaders
Boles provided the young men with a road map for life and a compass to guide them as they sought to fulfill their dreams on and off the court. Whether you're on or off the court, it is imperative that you understand your purpose, have a clear vision for the future and learn to lead by example. After all, a basketball career doesn’t last forever.
Aristotle once said, “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.”
A non-profit organization, Stand Up America’s mission is to challenge, educate, inspire and mobilize March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 51
community organizations and leaders to “Stand Up” to find solutions to social ills through community empowerment. If you expect changes to occur, you must begin with yourself. It’s not enough to speak about the ills of society and hope someone else will change them. You must be a participant in creating a solution. Boles is the perfect example of what it means to participate and “live by example.” The founder of Exceptional People Magazine was thrilled to speak with Boles about his vision for Stand Up America, his thoughts on leadership and his perspective on life.
Monica: You are considered to be a leader among leaders, and you have an impeccable background in leadership and organizational skills. At what point in your life did you realize your calling? Derrick: I wouldn’t say I realized that at a specific point. My last name is Boles, and our educational system is set up so that if you are called on to do something, it’s done in alphabetical order. So I was used to being called on first. I was not only the first one to be called upon; I was also the biggest student. Through those experiences as a young man, I was placed in leadership situations, whether I wanted to be a leader or not. Going through those experiences, I started to learn a ton about engaging people and helping people overcome fears. I feel as though it’s just a part of who I’ve been through my life. Monica: Why do you think some people shy away from leadership roles? Derrick: I think it’s actually quite simple; I think fear is one of the key components in leadership. I think fear ultimately prompts you to do one of two things, either you’re going to run or you’re going to stand up and fight and lead. So I think fear really is a deterrent to people who may have opportunities to lead or may be in a position to lead, but they worry about things that they can’t control.
Monica: For about 12 years you were a professional basketball player, and of course you were surrounded by coaches, basically your leaders at that time, and teammates as well. What impact did that have on your view of life after football and your choice to carve out a niche for yourself as a leadership expert? Derrick: I think a lot of men, both good and bad, have made deposits in my life. They have either become mentors and father-like figures in my life, or they have shown me the polar opposite of how you’re supposed to connect with and lead people. So through those experiences I have been able to decipher things that are invaluable in helping to bring the best out of people from a leadership perspective. There have been some great teachers in my life, whether they realized it or not. Boles takes a short break during his 1,892-mile trek with his ElliptiGo bike outside the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
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Monica: Do you believe that more African American leaders are needed?
Derrick: I appreciate that question, I love that question. There is such a dire need for leadership in the African American community. We are really struggling, especially from a male perspective. It think a lot of African Americans believed once we had our first black president, and we had that type of a position in our national spotlight, that everything would be much better in our communities. Unfortunately that has been a catalyst to really exploit the true need for leadership in the African American community. President Barack Obama has shown what’s possible, but he isn’t the end all, be all solution to social ills in the African American community. So we need African American leaders, both young and mature, to really become empowered and to become engaged and understand that it’s part of our responsibility to be leaders in our community. Monica: So many of our young people need to have that positive influence from black leaders. Derrick: Yes, I’m with you on that. I get fired up. I’m very passionate about issues in the African American community, in the black community, which partly is why I did what I did. Some of the stereotypes and perceptions and limitations placed on not just African American men, but just black people in general, I wanted to shatter.
On the flip side of that, while we’re seeing so much turmoil, so much chaos and confusion and breakdown, a lot of our leaders aren’t inspired. They are in positions of leadership, but they’re not leading. So that’s very interesting. You can have the power and the ability to make the decision and have the vote or whatever that system may be, but if people aren’t following you and you’re in a position of leadership, there’s conflict. If nobody’s inspired, then the people become disenfranchised and they start to not believe in whoever’s in the position of leadership. Monica: What is it going to take to inspire them at this point? Derrick: Great question. I think -- and I’m a very spiritual person -- inspiration is a derivative of in spirit. I think part of it is that people have become so disconnected from God in conversations.
Monica: You have traveled around the world working with communities and organizations, as well as corporations, helping people develop leadership skills, as well as achieve objectives and goals. What have you found to be most interesting in working with other cultures? Derrick: I think the most interesting thing just happened as a diverse experience with Taiwan and Japan and Australia. I believe one thing that is a commonality is inspiration. I think people who are inspired, people who have a purpose, a mission, a divine appointment, really emerge as very strong leaders. I
We don’t have to conform to the system that’s been created around us, because a lot of those systems are broken. So the black community, the African American males, we have a responsibility to begin emerging as leaders, not just in the African American communities, but in the country and in the world. I think that fire that we used to have when we were being held back has diminished.
say that because other people are attracted to the genuineness and the energy that’s created from being inspired. Across the country that common denominator exists. We have a lot of discussions about processes and procedures and flows and infrastructures when you talk about leadership, but the truth is none of that really matters if there’s no inspiration.
Boles with LSU Coach Dale Brown March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 53
As I was riding across America, I would always tell people God bless you or God speed, or I would always acknowledge God for what was happening. People would become uncomfortable. I think unless people really tap into that spiritual divine energy, they’re not going to become inspired. What our systems have continued to do is remove God from our conversations. Whether it’s education, government, et cetera, that inspiration is being removed. So when you look at these individuals who are supposed to be leading, they have no inspiration because they’re not connected to the source. Monica: Over decades God has been taken out of schools and many other places and the results can been seen everywhere.
Derrick: Absolutely, and nobody wants to talk about it, because we have created all of these systems and procedures and social norms of what’s accepted or what’s offensive or what’s not offensive. You ask what it’s going to take to bring about change. To be totally honest, I think a small part of the messaging that I’m trying to engage our country in is standing up. That is part of that. People know intuitively in their spirit, what they’re supposed to be doing, but they don’t do it. I always try to communicate that in the sense of every decision, every conversation, every relationship and every scenario. Different whispers on how and what you should be doing -- and most of it doesn’t make sense because it’s not in alignment with what the world tells us to do. People will suppress and block out what their spirit is telling them to do. People do it all the time, then they wonder why they’re not inspired, and they wonder why their projects are failing. Then they wonder why things aren’t working out. Well, you were given what you were supposed to do, but you decided because the world says “this is how it’s supposed to go,” you’re not going to do it. Then you’re going to talk yourself out of it. I’ve had that experience and continue to have those experiences in my
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Boles with former college basketball player Jared Mace and former Indianapolis Colts football coach, Tony Dungy, at mentoring event in Portland, Oregon
life, and I’m very obedient to what I’m being told through my spirit. Everything else I block, even though it doesn’t make sense, I’m going to do what I’m being told to do. Monica: I think today people are in a place where they would prefer to follow “the masses” or do what someone else is doing. They do it because society says you can do it. The question is whether it’s the right thing for you to do. Derrick: Absolutely, you hit it right on the head. There are so many people like us who see it and are trying to figure out, “What can we do?” It’s so obvious that things literally deteriorating. I have a 6year-old and a 10-year-old, and I have a new child due in July. I’m very blessed from a family perspective, but I worry about how their generation will endure. Am I doing my part to ensure it’s not going to be so out of control that they won’t be able to endure it? Monica: You’ve developed a leadership model called L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST and have built it into an amazing array of workshops, coaching sessions and curriculums. What is the overall mission of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST? Derrick: Yes, Leadership 1st -- we’ve been working since 2006. Our mission is interesting because I keep feeling like I’m listening to that whisper I’ve been sharing with you. I keep feeling like we’re getting things that are ahead of where we are at this exact time. In 2006, I was telling people that we were go-
ing to start having a void of leaders; we were going to start having a lack of leadership, a lack of character-based integrity, inspired leadership. The whole mission of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST is to preserve and develop leaders who would encompass and embody those character traits. L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST -- each letter is actually an acronym for the character traits of a self-directed, inspired leader. I’ll give them to you. L is loyalty. E is education. A is accountability. D is discipline. E is empowerment. R is respect and S is service. The H is for honesty. I is integrity and then the P is perseverance. Those are the things that leaders need to encompass first before anyone will follow them. When I developed that model, it was really a decision-making model for leaders. From that, it became curriculum, workshops, and training and then it broke out into different spaces. I said, “We need to really send energy in the business community because the business community influences a lot of our commerce.” Then it started to break out into civil authority. We do a lot of training with law enforcement and we work with probation and parole, a lot of at-risk youth. We expanded to athletics. We have a curriculum for each spoke that we can influence in an entire community to develop leaders. That’s the background on L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST.
Derrick: Yes. We spent a lot of time trying to help young people develop decision-making skills. It’s interesting because I spoke to 600 kids a short while ago in a prevention program. I used the analogy of an asteroid that almost hit America really hard, but I stated, “The interesting thing about it is people don’t see youth prevention in the right perception.” Youth prevention is two asteroids coming towards each other, and they’re very far away because young people are getting exposed to other things, but it’s coming at a fast rate.” And I said, “But what you want to do is to get one of those asteroids off target. The way that you do it is you have to hit it early if you can. If we hit it early, it’s going to miss or maybe just skim all of those issues, whether they are drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, or bullying. There are so many things
I have seen young people all across America who were willing to accept everything as is, but not willing to stand up and fight for change, and be proactive in making things better. It was just silence. That’s what youth prevention is about. We have to reach young people early, and we have to start providing them with tools so that they can avoid everything that’s coming at them, because it’s different from when I grew up. There’s so much more access to technology and information and opportunities, that if we don’t give them the necessary tools, they’re going to get bombarded and eventually get swallowed up. Monica: Do you believe that the youth of today are prepared to become strong leaders in the future? Derrick: They’re not ready, and I’ll continue to say this because there is an undercurrent that if things get a little too hard that’s it’s okay, it didn’t work out. I think we’ve developed a culture of not being able to achieve our goals, not being able to succeed. Even in terms of winning, I think it starts at a very early age.
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Monica: One of the components is youth prevention. Can you talk a little bit about that particular program?
that fall under the prevention umbrella,” and I said, “But, if we wait and we don’t start intervention and prevention early, it’s going to take so much more energy and resources to hit head on.”
I think that young people over the last 10 or 15 years have been taught that everybody’s a winner. Everybody gets a trophy just because they participated, and that’s not the reality of leadership. The reality of leadership is that leaders go first, and they’re at the forefront, and they are ultimately the ones who are overcoming insurmountable odds and barriers and challenges. But I believe our generation thinks that it’s a fluffy position, and we just haven’t seen the type of tenacity and perseverance needed for young people to be prepared.
I think there is a disconnect regarding black history for our youth, because they have no idea of the sacrifices, and the pain, and anguish that people have gone through for them. I often explain that Dr. King was just the face, but there were so many others who were leaders before him who were beaten, sprayed with hoses and sent to jail. I said that was leadership. Dr. King became the face and the voice, he was ordained to do that, but there were hundreds of thousands of leaders who were a part of that movement. We don’t have that type of spirit today, especially with the youth in our African American communities. They don’t understand the type of leadership needed to move the African-American community to the next level.
Monica: I’m certainly appreciative of the fact that that’s what you’re doing through your youth prevention program. How are you molding young women to become leaders of tomorrow through Your Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST program? Derrick: Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST is focused on shifting perceptions, again, of what’s acceptable as society continues to exploit, undermine and minimize the value of young women and women in general. What we’re trying to encourage young girls to do is become empowered and understand that they don’t have to succumb to all of the pop culture and social media influences that shape our society, such as young ladies who are promiscuous at an early age. I have a daughter and I’m fighting for her, too. I’m fighting for her so she understands that’s not okay. Not only is it not okay, but our society is so far gone that everybody’s going with the flow, because they want to be accepted, they want to become a part of what’s "in." That’s a road that leads to destruction, whether it’s early pregnancy, or being in abusive relationships, or being minimized in the workforce. There’s so much more that our young ladies need to be aware of. They need to understand that they have much more power than they are acknowledging. Monica: To become a leader, you have to be willing to step out into the unknown and separate yourself from the crowd. How do you measure the success of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST? Derrick: We have standard pre and post data collection where we measure perceptions of specific items or ideals or information. We’ll do a pre-test prior to starting any of our programs. We’ll have the participants go through the program, and then we’ll do a post-test. We’ll ask the same questions to determine whether there’s a shift or change as a result of being involved in our program. Monica: Over the years, what has been the success of the organization?
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Derrick: We’ve had some very high profile success. We’ve done a lot of youth prevention on drugs and alcohol, and we’ve been recognized on the national level as a best practice. We’re in the process now of
having a research study on our curriculum and how we deliver it. Monica: You recently created a new organization called Stand up America. Was the idea derived from L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST? Derrick: Stand Up America was birthed through L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST, but we branded it differently because of how quickly it developed. We knew we had to have something that would resonate with our country, but also have a symbolic message, even if we didn’t dive into the message or the vision of what we were trying to accomplish. Monica: What is the overall mission of Stand Up America? Derrick: The mission is to find solutions to social ills through community empowerment. In the simple form, we’re saying with all of things happening today, there are too many of us sitting on the sidelines and pointing it out. There are too many of us sitting around dinner tables and social events talking about what’s wrong. The challenge is very poignant and personal. It’s what are you doing and how are you standing up to become part of the solution? Monica: I often say that if each person did just one thing every single day to help support someone else, whether it’s for your neighbor or whether you volunteer at your local non-profit organization, or whatever it may be this world would be so much better.
Monica: As you’ve been saying all along, in order for change to happen, you can’t go with the flow, you have to break away and do something different. Derrick: You’re the founder of your publication, and I’m sure you had to break away. I’m sure you’re speaking from experience. It didn’t just happen. Nobody just gave you what you’ve been able to build. I admire people who have that type of courage because I do it too, so I understand. You’re not only stepping out on faith and having the courage to do it, but now you’re doing it every day. You asked me
Monica: The bottom line is place your belief and faith in God, or a higher power. Tell me about the exciting ride that you took on the ElliptiGO to New Orleans? Derrick: It was probably one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever done in my life, but the commitment and the symbolic message of what Stand Up America is about, is why I had decided to ride. I had to average between 50 and 80 miles a day. I was having so many questions on should I finish this, but little did I know how many people were being touched by it. I kept listening to the whisper, and one of the whispers was you have to finish this. There were probably between 100 to 200 times where I wanted to quit. Monica: What was the ultimate goal in doing that? What did you hope to bring to the forefront so that people would understand your message? Derrick: What I wanted to do first is I wanted to shatter stereotypes of what black men were about. That’s a part of it. A lot of people don’t understand that that was part of it. I wanted to show that not only do black men care about what happens in our communities, but we’re committed to doing something about it. I wanted to become a spokesperson for the black man. That’s a 6’5” black guy riding across America on an elliptical; which not a lot of people will ever do. Monica: Speaking of the fact that you were a black guy doing this, I can only imagine that a lot of people at first glimpse were saying, “This is odd.” Derrick: I was shaking people’s perceptions, and so I would get stopped all the time by all types of January-February 2013 || Exceptional Exceptional People PeopleMagazine Magazine || 57 51 March-April 2013
Derrick: We can do that. What you just said, we can do. How do you do it if nobody starts to lead that charge?
the question about followers. Most people will put their faith into systems, and their security into systems that they believe are going to take care of them. It’s just not the future of how our world’s going to work.
people who just wanted to find out who I was and what was going on. I probably talked to 300 people across America who wanted to ask, “Who are you and what is this thing that you’re riding?” As I communicated with them, everybody got it. Everybody got the message, and everybody concurred yes, we need to stand up. That was confirmation for me. Monica: How did you prepare for this, mentally and physically? Derrick: I had about 45 days, and I did three workouts a day. I would get up at 6 a.m. and do an hour and a half of cardio, and I would work until 11 a.m. Then I would do another hour and a half of cardio. That night I would either lift weights or do something anaerobic to build muscle. I was working out about five hours a day for 40 days, and I realized it still hadn’t been enough once I actually got out there.
Monica: How has the experience impacted your life and your view of life? Derrick: From a health perspective, almost a year and two months ago, I had a brain aneurysm. I was in an emergency room for seven days, everybody thought I was about to die. Today, from a health perspective, I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since college. I have been very blessed and my life has changed tremendously, because I lost 35 pounds. It wasn’t just the 35 pounds, I literally transformed my body. From a platform perspective, I’ve been approached by the National Police Activities League which serve 2.2 million youth across America. They have 377 chapters and they have asked me to become their national spokesperson. Monica: I believe what you’ve done is going to have a great impact on people. I think it’s going to help them realize that change doesn’t have to be something big. You don’t have to have a multitude of resources to make a change. You can start small. 58 ExceptionalPeople PeopleMagazine Magazine || January-February March-April 2013 2013 50 || Exceptional
Derrick: I think that’s also part of the message, 1,892 miles. People have asked me how I did it. I said I focused on 15 miles at a time. I said at no point did I think, “Oh, I’ve got 599 miles left.” I just kept thinking I’ve got 15 miles. When I got done with that 15 miles, I would take a drink, rest, and sit on the side of the road, and I would go another 15 miles. I would just keep eating the elephant with very small bites and never look at the entire elephant. Monica: I think that’s where people become lost. They become overwhelmed when they are looking at the entire picture, and when they see all that is before them, they don’t think they can handle it. You have to break it down into manageable parts. Monica: What are your plans for Stand Up America? Derrick: I’m excited because I’ve been in contact with several leaders from across the country from Phoenix to Las Cruces to San Antonio, Houston, and New Orleans, and they are mobilizing. We’ve started to talk about what it is each one of these communities is going to do to stand up. I’m going to help by hosting riding events in their city, a symbolic ride that the company that supported us with the ElliptiGOs has agreed to do. They have 250 dealers across the U.S., and they’ve agreed to donate the ElliptiGOs for the rides. That gives me goose bumps. In a very short period of time, it’s becoming a movement. Daily, I get an email, or a text, or something from someone who has heard about it and wants to know more or wants to become involved. Monica: What is your last word? Derrick: I think my last word is to be faithful. Be faithful and have faith. Understand that with faithfulness, you’re going to have opposition, you’re going to have darkness, you’re going to have negativity, and you’re even going to have words that sting from people who are close to you. I would tell people what you are being told to do, you may not see it as making any sense because of the negativity and darkness that comes with it, but you have to be faithful.
â€œPatience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.â€?
Inspiration Your Turn Will Come, So Never Quit By Catherine Galasso-Vigorito
we just don’t know where to turn or what to do next. We’re in limbo, tired of struggling, feeling run down and
discouraged. For after many attempts, we have not yet found the path that is right for us. Is there anything in your life not happening in the time frame or in the way you want it to transpire? What’s holding you back? Perhaps, you’ve tried to go in a new direction and failed or believe yourself doomed due to a rejection. Or, you are now in-between a relationship or a career, and doubts are plaguing your mind with concerns over your future. There will be times when you don’t see anything happening in your life. But where you are right now, is not where you are going to stay. God has not done all that He desires to do for you. He has thousands of extraordinary ways to bring you blessings. A new dream, another amazing opportunity, and more victories are en-route to you. Your turn will come, so never quit! A mother and her son, who was a writer and actor, sat in a darkened theater, as he sadly uttered, “This is it. It’s over. Mom, I am done.” They, along with scores of others in the movie industry, had just viewed this actor’s brainchild, the movie in which he passionately wrote and starred. When the movie concluded, everyone in the theater got up and left, without a word. Deeply discouraged and humiliated over this seemingly major flop, the son vowed to his mother, “I am going to go back with my dog and make a living somehow,” he said. The actor was living in a small apartment. He could barely afford heat, for it didn’t look like he’d have much of a future. Coming from humble beginnings and a broken home, all his life his dream was to be in the movie business and he never abandoned that dream. Agents weren’t interested in him. He had some physical limitations, because of complications with his birth. And, when the actor auditioned for acting calls, he was most always rejected. Things were not going well, and at times, he found himself at the end of his rope.
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Inspiration Yet, he persevered, and with each knockdown, he’d pick himself up, look ahead and try once more. At last, the aspiring writer and actor received his chance. Years prior, he was watching a boxing match, and he got a creative, inspired idea. Immediately, he acted upon it and started writing a screenplay. He had no film history or film knowledge; rather, he worked from his God-given instincts. Thereafter, with the script in hand, he attempted to sell it to agents and, again, he was turned down. Following many unsuccessful attempts, the actor was at a casting call, and mentioned the screenplay that he wrote to some producers. After reading it, they were interested in buying the movie script. However, the actor told the producers that part of the deal was he had to play the title character in the film. Nonetheless, the producers did not want an unknown to act in the lead role. Hence, despite the odds against him, boldly, the determined actor informed the producers, “If you want the script, I must play the title character.” They called him a week later, and soon, the producers compromised. They bought the movie and gave him the lead role. The actor poured his heart and soul into the project. And, now, after the movie was shown at the Directors Guild to a packed crowd of over 900, it appeared that all was lost, since there was no audience response. With no one left in the theater, the mother and son left the seating area. But, when they reached the stairs, they heard a loud swell of applause. The crowd of 900 was waiting for Sylvester Stallone and saluted him for his movie masterpiece, applauding his great screenplay and outstanding performance. At that extraordinary miracle moment, the pain of the past must have been forgotten, and replaced by unsurpassed joy, love and gratitude. Sylvester Stallone’s picture, “Rocky,” a rags-to-riches, American dream story, is one of the best inspirational movies of all time. It won three Oscars, including Best Picture, and “Rocky” established worldwide recognition, motivating millions of people from generation to generation, and catapulted Sylvester Stallone into a major film star. No matter what your situation looks like, if you really set your mind to a dream, you can achieve it. You’re not limited by how you were raised, shortcomings, lack of experience, or past setbacks. For, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8. Today, let the disappointments go and ask God to do something significant in your future. Every day is an opportunity to be better than yesterday, so press toward greater joys, relationships and achievements, trusting in God, even when situations don’t seem to be going as planned. The struggles are going to stop, for God has set before you an open door, and He is planning to do mighty things in your life. Breakthroughs are coming in your direction. Greater blessings are in store. It is time for you to shine! March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 61
On the path to adulthood King overcame many obstacles and established a very successful career. With a successful career working for the federal government, she was making a six figure income even before the age of 27. She was living her dream as a career professional. I thought I was doing something great, and I hadn’t given enough credit to God. Looking back, I thought, “Here I am. I made it. I knew that I was destined to go further, but I never thanked God for what I had. At that point I wasn't as appreciative of what I had accomplished. Having lost everything and then coming back, I think I was just a little arrogant.” But King did something few people would consider doing, she left her amazing career to begin a real estate business with her husband and shortly thereafter, they began experiencing one set back after another.
Stephanie King Challenging Others to Share Their Blessings It is often said that from adversity comes healing and the desire to serve others. Stephanie King is no stranger to adversity and neither is her husband who survived three bomb attacks while serving as a Marine during the Iraq War. She knew what it felt like to have very little. “I grew up in a family where there were literally probably ten people in a thousand square foot house. There were people sitting on the floor, and it was a situation that many people use as an excuse why they can’t succeed,” says King. 62 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
King says, “Things started happening one after the other. It was just constantly. One house went into foreclosure, and another property went into foreclosure, and we started selling pretty much everything that we had. It was difficult, but God put us in that position for a reason. We were losing everything. We were down to like a 900 square foot apartment, and we thought what in the world is going on? It was stressful. My husband just knew we were going to come out of it, but, it was hard for me, because I didn’t see the vision that he had.” Through all of the hard times, King finally realized that she was called to do something different and more powerful with her life, and that was to serve others. King graciously shared those hard times and the subsequent blessings that she received with the founder of Exceptional People Magazine. Monica: I want to thank you and your husband for your service, first of all. Stephanie: Thank you. He likes to tell me that he was a Marine and I was in the Army, so you know we always have that rivalry. Monica: Talk about the experience that you had when he was involved in three bomb attacks -- when you first learned of that. What went through your mind and how did you process that?
Stephanie: He came back from Iraq and he was in a reserve unit with the Marines, when I first met him, and I learned that he was involved in three bomb attacks. That’s when he said, “After all of that and I made it; I know God has something for me. He inspired me. He wanted to start his own business and real estate is where it’s at. I thought it was a crazy move, but it was like the Lord looked at me and told me to go with it, leave your job. At the time I was 27, making a sixfigure income, and everyone thought I was crazy. It was just the story that he had, not just his coming back. The idea that he really inspired me and that he’s here for a reason, I knew he was going somewhere. Of course we all like to become somebody with a vision, so that was what inspired me. Monica: When you met, both of you were out of the military at that time? Stephanie: Yes. At that time I actually worked for the military as a civilian. I was a logistics officer with the Army. He had just re-deployed from Iraq and had left the Marines and was going into civilian life. Monica: After you left the military, you still worked with the Department of Defense as a civilian. Even before the age of 26 you had a very successful career. How did you view yourself as a young person making a six-figure income?
lost everything. I’m certain there are many others, even those who have not served in the military, but civilians, who are in similar positions. You ended up selling almost everything that you had. How did you work through that as a couple? Stephanie: We knew that it was God who pushed us into that. Things started happening one after the other. It was just constantly. One house went into foreclosure, and another property went to foreclosure, and we started selling pretty much everything that we had. It was difficult, but God put us in that position for a reason. So when we were going through it, it was tough, and I had actually gotten pregnant before all that happened. So not only was I pregnant, but we were losing everything. We were down to like a 900 square foot apartment, and we thought what in the world is going on? It was stressful. My husband just knew we were going to come out of it, but, it was hard for me because I didn’t see the vision that he had. We got to the point where we had to get government assistance for healthcare during my pregnancy. I’d never ever been in this place before. When things became really bad that, to me, meant I was going to end up in the wilderness. God was speaking to me, and He said, “Look, I gave you all you had and I can take it
Stephanie: Well, I look back and look at it differently, but at that time, you know, I wasn't arrogant. I thought I was doing something great and I didn’t give enough credit to God for where He had brought me to. I grew up in a family where there were literally probably ten people in a thousand square foot house. There were people sitting on the floor, and it was a situation that many people use as an excuse why they can’t succeed. Looking back, I thought, “Here I am. I made it. I knew that I was destined to go further, but I never thanked God for what I had. At that point I wasn’t as appreciative of what I had accomplished. Having lost everything and then coming back, I think I was just a little arrogant. Monica: Talk about the experience when you realized that your husband’s injuries were getting worse and you got to the point where you March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 63
away, but you need to know how it feels not to have anything. That’s where I had my compassion for other people. I grew up not having a lot, but to have come so far and then to go completely backwards, to me is worse than losing everything that you have. When you’ve come so far, that’s difficult. There were many nights that we thought we were stressed, but we knew it was really a test of faith. We had to put our faith in Him in order to keep moving forward. Monica: That’s a great lesson for other people to learn. When you’ve lost everything or you are in the process of losing everything, you need that spiritual foundation in order to survive. Stephanie: I look back and I thank God for every single thing that went wrong. Even when we had to maintain a tight budget, we didn’t get as far down as needing food stamps, but we needed medical care and we had to get it from the government. I sat in that apartment and said, “We still have a couch to sit on. We still have a roof over our heads,” and that’s when I thought, you know, I may have lost everything but I’m still blessed. Monica: Absolutely, and it is those who are thankful for what they have, though it may not be much, who
usually receive an abundance of blessings. When you quit your job to work with your husband in real estate, were there any signs, looking back, that maybe you shouldn’t have quit your job at the time? Stephanie: Well, I actually had a lot of money saved up. You know, I pulled out my 401k. We are both planners, and we don’t make silly decisions, but we are led by what God tells us to do. When I went into the military, looking back now, it had to be God. I wouldn’t have done it had I known what I was going to experience. So when I quit, I thought “We’ve got it planned out.” We had $20,000 saved in the bank. We had money we were investing in our property, and we thought we were just going to jump right into the Promised Land and make millions. God gave us that drive, but we had to go backwards a little to get pushed into our purpose. My life is much more meaningful now that I’m working with Homeless Ministries and our real estate business. It’s already like three times the amount of what we left and we’re just getting started. Praise the Lord. Monica: You and your husband worked with the Veteran Affairs Department to get financial assistance. Based on your experience, what advice can you give to other veterans who may be in similar circumstances? Stephanie: It’s a very, very long process. I mean it doesn’t matter how bad off you are; it could take about a year to a year-and-a-half, because they’re just so backed up with veterans coming home. But the only thing I would say is contact a Veteran Service Organization. They can tell veterans this is what you need to claim on your disability, and this is how you get it back faster. Don’t try it alone because if you’re not an expert, the VA process will just eat you up. It’s a tough one. There are many of them. They’re just like advocates for you, so they keep a watch on your file when you submit it. Monica: From the standpoint of a military mother and wife, what advice can you give other wives and mothers who have family members in the military? Stephanie: Its rough being a military wife. Before I met my current husband, I had been previously married. I was in the Army and I was also an Army wife,
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because he was in the Army and I dealt with deployment. The advice I would give is get connected with a church, join a church group. If you remain isolated, when your spouse is deployed, it’s going to drive you crazy. Kids -- that in itself is a job. I think it’s one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had. So you definitely have to get connected with other people who understand what you’re going through and the churches that offer support in your area. Monica: That’s great advice. You literally turned your personal struggles into a blessing for others by starting what you call the “Be a Blessing Challenge.” Can you talk a little bit about that? Stephanie: Well, we used to tithe to a church. I mean we’re really big on making sure we give back what God has given to us. But there was a period of time where He really spoke to my heart about the fact that there are a lot of churches that are not giving back to the homeless people and others in their congregations who are struggling. A lot of times in churches we’ll push people along to nonprofit agencies, or basically say we don’t have enough money for that. Yet you go into some churches and they have muffins and Starbucks for the members. What really worries me is that the money is not getting to the people who need it. So there was a period of when God started speaking to me about that. He said go and bless someone once a month. Find somebody who’s in need, somebody who’s struggling because their kids have cancer, or they don’t have food, or you heard that their house had a fire. Take that money and bless them with it. So we were faithful with that for about a year, and then one night I was just frustrated. I thought, what do you really want me to do? I wanted to do something big, and God told me to gather people together to support others. I woke up, and He spoke to me said you’re going to bless a million people. So I just ran with it. I put up the website, I started contacting people. People from all over the country said yes, I want to be a part of it. They wanted to directly impact somebody’s life, or know that “I just sent somebody whose lights weren’t on a hundred dollars, and I know that they’re going to be able to turn them on because I helped them.”
I had a lot of good feedback in Dallas. God has really weighed on my heart for this area that we go out once a month every third Saturday. There’s a large group of us now, almost 100 of us here in the Dallas area. We go onto the streets and give things to the homeless people. A lot of people that we’re dealing with are people who don’t get into shelters, or they choose to live on the streets. Last December a homeless man froze to death behind a church in Dallas. That, to me, is just unacceptable. I feel there’s way too much money in the city, there’s way too much money in the churches. We have so much money and the ability to help these people, so that they don’t have to freeze to death. We can give them five dollar McDonalds’ gift cards and toiletry items and other things. I mean we have the money to do that, so all of the people who are gathered with us here are just so excited. What I would like to see is people all across the country going out once a month to connect with these people, to tell them we love you and we know that it’s hard being in your situation. God bless you, here’s something that we can give you to help make your life a little easier. We may not be able to pull them out of homelessness, but we can definitely help make their night’s sleep a little better, so they won’t have to sleep on concrete and freeze. Monica: How can others help you? Stephanie: What would help me is for them to join us. Go to the website, www.b2challenge.com, and say this is where I’m committed. I mean it’s those small things that add up across the world. The more we do those things -- we may not be able to help every homeless person or every person who’s experiencing difficulty, March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 65
but one person can make a huge difference. That’s how they can help me -- by committing to do something once a month in their community. Monica: Oh, absolutely. If every single person did something once a month, I mean it’s amazing what changes could take place. I’m certainly inspired by what you’re doing through “Be a Blessing Challenge.” I really appreciate all that you and your husband are doing to help the homeless and others within your community. Stephanie: The one thing that I always tell people is God wants people who He can funnel money through. That’s how you get blessed. I mean He’s not going to continue to pour money into somebody who doesn’t want to give back to others. You’ve got to have your heart open for it. I’ve noticed over the past couple of years we’ve continued to give back and make sure that we’re dedicated. We give our 10 percent at least, if not more. God has opened up the windows of heaven and poured out so much. I mean we can barely keep up with the number of clients that we have right now in business, as we continue to do that and continue to give our time and money to the homeless and others. We not only give to the homeless; we give if the need comes up. We’re just being obedient. Monica: You have to share your blessings with others, no matter the size of the blessing. Whatever God blesses you with, you should share with others. Looking back on your life, how would you sum up your experiences? Stephanie: I would say that it’s been rough, but it’s been worth it. I have purpose, so I know God has pushed me in the direction of my purpose. But you also need to have your own drive. A lot of the people that I grew up with -- my family, they’re just kind of comfortable. I mean they’re not risk takers and, you know, God wants to give things to those who will do something bold and drastic. So the people who want to stay comfortable and never do anything, they’re not necessarily lured to change. They blame their circumstances on other people or things. For me, all of my trust is in Him. I know whatever experiences He has brought me through, it was because He has a purpose for me. 66 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
Monica: I’m really happy that your real estate business is blooming and it’s taking off and doing extremely well. I wish you and your family many, many more blessings. Stephanie: Well, thank you very much. I pray to be blessed, so I can bless other people. I mean that’s a genuine prayer. Stephanie: You know, everything can be taken away from you, but God can bring things back bigger and better than before, if you’ll trust Him and if you become a blessing to others. Monica: Absolutely. That is so true, and He’s done that so many times.
A Resurging New Economy For You In 2013 By Cedric Dukes become faithful with God’s resources. He acts and lives prudently based on a predetermined plan to accomplish a set goal. A steward must have the ability to learn. We are to educate our minds to become mentally strong instead of letting someone tell us what to do with our money. We are given ownership and it is up to us to turn a profit. The final characteristic of a good steward is that of a risk taker.
Another year is upon us. How was your personal economy last year? If you listen to the experts they will emphatically tell you this year may be a bit rough but no one is telling us how to protect ourselves from it. We do not know what Washington will do but we can’t wait for them to act. We should not let the current economy dictate our future. That is called oppression. Here are a few timeless principles that will work in any economy.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 says that, “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” We have no idea what God is going to do in this climate. Will there be another recession or will there be an upturn in 2013? It’s up to Him. No matter the economic climate, be ready to take a risk. In the past recession, bonds took off for investors. Get a budget and stick to it One survey suggests that over 33% of people do not operate a budget properly. Habakkuk 2:2 says Write a vision,
Become a steward of your resources Psalm 24:1 declares that, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Everything we have on this earth is the Lord’s. We do not own anything. Stewardship is simply managing someone else’s resources to accomplish an objective and the objective is to ensure that our family needs are met in a time like this. Here are some characteristics of a steward: First, the steward must be faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 states, “Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” It is the responsibility of the steward to March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 67
and make it plain upon a table so that a runner can read it. A budget if operated correctly will guide, direct and even constrain you from splurging. Know this: Your budget can resolve all of your concerns. A budget should have three components: income, expenses, and net income (balance). Income is the most important aspect of the budget because the amount of income controls the amount of spending. For expenses, write down all of your expenses and separate your expenses into three categories (Need, Want, and Desire). A budget will give you the confidence to win any battle with finances. Give, give, and give The concept of giving has been given a bad reputation as most people are holding onto what they have. I am talking about the giving that helps people no matter their religion, nationality or culture. There are three areas of giving that can stimulate your finances. They are obedience giving, abundant giving, and sacrificial giving. Obedience giving is the type of giving sanctioned by God to support His church. This can be in the area of tithes and offering
found in Malachi 3:8-11. Abundant giving addresses a specific need through family, friends, or coworkers, etc. I am not talking about a handout but changing the lives of people who are in need. Abundant giving is motivated by love. Lastly, sacrificial giving is abstaining from your wants or desires to meet and or exceed the needs of others. One example is supporting foreign work or supporting those who cannot support themselves. James 1:27 states that pure religion in the sight of God means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you with their material things. Giving is a key not only for those who need it but for us as all of our needs will be met. God promises this when we give - God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others (2 Corinthians 9:7-8). Pray and Believe God Matthew 21:22 says, â€œAnd whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.â€? This may seem easy to say but when the reality hits this is all we have. Pray for sustainable faith to go through this period. Pray for those who are in leadership in our country. They need prayer just like us to make the right decisions in the best interest of the people. Ask God to turn their hearts to His. Lastly, continually pray that God makes you a blessing for others. That is why we are here on earth. When we follow these steps, the control in our finances is back in our hands and not determined by anyone else. Make it a great day!
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Susan Panek Panek--Rounds
Serving Up Pint Size Pies and Changing Lives It didn’t take much for Susann PanekRounds to realize there was larger mission that she needed to fulfill. As a veteran restaurant manager and owner, Panek-Rounds’ experience was second to none. She's always had a passion for food and for preparing delectable delights that tantalized the palates of everyone she served. After years of experience working in the food industry, Panek-Rounds’ desire to start a unique venture, Pint Size Pies, was born from her love for her grandson who is serving in the U.S. military in Afghanistan. He
would often ask for her deep-dish apple pie, but the amount of time it takes to ship items overseas made it impossible for them to arrive fresh. This setback encouraged her to develop a new way of preparing her tantalizing desserts, so that they would arrive as fresh as if they had just come from the oven. As the owner of Pint Size Pies, Panek-Rounds and her team bake pies that fit into pint-sized jars, making it much easier the keep them fresh and ship them anywhere in the world.
For every pie sold, a donation is made to the Habitat For Humanity Veteran Build, which provides housing solutions and volunteer and employment opportunities for U.S. veterans, military service members and their families. Panek-Rounds graciously stepped away from her delectable pies for a few moments to share her story with Exceptional People Magazine. Monica: Your grandson’s desire for deep dish apple pie inspired you to start a new venture called Pint Size Pies. How did you come up with the
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idea of creating these very small pies? What was the thought behind it? Susann: Since Alex’s Mom was stationed in Iraq at the same time he was awaiting deployment to Afghanistan, I knew it was taking three weeks for mail to be received overseas. Even if I had baked a pie and frozen it and shipped it in dry ice, I knew the condition of the pie was going to be such that it would probably arrive covered inside and out with green mold. I looked on the computer to try and find a way to bake and can a fresh fruit pie. There was no process readily available, so I created the process myself. I had it tested by Cornell Cooperative Extensions Experimental Lab. They approved the process, and I applied for a license with NYS Department of Agriculture. Monica: Your pies have a shelf life of nine months to a year, even though you use fresh fruit. How is it possible?
"If I cannot do
great things, let me do small things really well." Susann PanekPanek-Rounds
Susann: The process includes canning, which preserves the integrity of the product. We test each batch to insure that pH levels and water solubility requirements are met. We operate under very strict guidelines for the production of Pint Size Pies. Monica: Who’s on your team to help you run the business? Susann: Actually my husband and my cousin and two sisters help me when I go into production. They have all signed a non-compete and confidentiality agreement. Monica: Based on your years of knowledge and experience, what tips or advice can you offer small business owners about starting and operating a successful business? Susann: I have had the great fortune to have been able to take my dreams and run with them. Some have worked very well. Some have worked less effectively. I believe that a great idea is just that – a great idea. You must surround yourself with smart individuals. Ask for input and listen when it is given. It’s also important to have someone in your circle who thinks outside the box. Be able to adapt to unforeseen bumps in the road. If you have enough correct data and you make a decision that doesn’t work out the way you planned, use your back-up plan. Be sure of yourself, but realize that the best plans need to be redrafted occasionally. Believe in yourself above all. Monica: Can you offer advice to other individuals who may be thinking of starting a family business? Susann: If you include a family member in your business, they must contribute as if they were any other employee. My sons have all said that
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if they could work for me, they could work for anyone. And they are all very successful in their business lives. I am a tough task-master, but I expect more of myself than anyone else. Owning a business does not give you license to become uninvolved in your business. Watch the money. Say please and thank you. Offer a token of gratitude to your workers, even something small – a beverage or snack. People work for a salary, but everyone wants to feel appreciated. Monica: What are some unique aspects that need to be considered from a family business perspective? Susann: The expectations are no different than you would have for a business that involves people other than family. Monica: What lessons are your family members learning from you about running a successful business? Susann: Whether my business is a success or not is purely objective. It’s still a young business, and I do it for the joy and satisfaction rather than for the cash. It’s important to be successful of course. It makes me proud that I can give something back to disabled veterans who have so unselfishly served our country -- a country that allows me to start a business just because I want to. In some countries, of course, this is not possible, and I am deeply aware how lucky I am. Those lessons have already been learned from my past interactions with my children and grandchildren. They know I will work hard for anything I believe in and will fight for those I love. Monica: You’ve had many years of experience owning and managing restaurants and diners. Who or what
Monica: How do you plan to expand the business over the next few years? Susann: I hope to be able to automate aspects of the production. I touch every crust, every ingredient, participate in the baking process and oversee the canning process – my husband does that, but I am right next to him monitoring it. We must check the pH level on each batch of pies made. We are under very strict guidelines. Monica: What legacy would you like to leave your family? encouraged your passion for working in the food industry?
from their family. We are sending them pies and love.
Susann: I grew up in a generation that enjoyed a good meal and conversation around the dinner table. I learned so much from the restaurant business. If you can make someone happy with good service and a knowledge of your craft, it transcends into other opportunities in a career. I have done many things in my lifetime, but I have always returned to the food industry. It makes me feel good when someone enjoys what I have prepared or served.
Monica: What do you love most about running Pint Size Pies?
Monica: When you started Pint Size Pies, was there anything unique about this specific type of business that you had to learn in order to successfully run it? Susann: No one else does what I do. I am producing a product that is different from going to a bakery or a freezer and buying a pie. Marketing is very important because most of my audience is comprised of people away from home, whether in a nursing home, hospital, college or just away
Susann: Meeting the military personnel who have received Pint Size Pies, hearing from them, knowing that for a time they have a reminder of home when they are stationed in a foreign country, often in a danger zone.
Susann: I would like to leave them piles of money, but at this point in my life that’s not too likely. Over the years I have enjoyed my money and haven’t saved as much, but we have had some great times. However, they have a strong work ethic and are all people I would be proud to know, even if they weren’t related to me. I want them to know (and they do) that they are wonderful, contributing members of society and that I have an undying love for them and great pride in them.
Monica: What would you believe are the criteria for laying a solid foundation for any business? Susann: Expect more of yourself than you expect of anyone else. Be willing to sacrifice. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. There are worse things in life than failing, like never taking a step toward what you want and playing safe – that’s worse. Watch your money, be responsible for the losses as well as the gains. These are not new ideas. We need to keep an eye on our businesses. Don’t put anyone in a position to take advantage of you. Reward loyalty. March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 71
The Lighter Side
What I Meant to Say by Dorothy Rosby
When you tell the waitress, “I’d like the salad,” don’t you really mean, “I’ll ORDER the salad. What I’d LIKE is a bacon double cheeseburger, French fries, and a large chocolate shake.” Well, that’s what I mean. But if I said what I meant, it wouldn’t be too much later that I’d be saying, “I guess my eyes were bigger than my stomach,” and we both know I don’t really mean that. Clearly, we don’t always say what we mean. And I’m not necessarily suggesting that we start. If we did, both the unemployment and the divorce rates might be even higher than they are. Nevertheless, sometimes I find it refreshing when other people say what they really mean--as long as it isn’t offensive and I agree with it. For example, when someone is giving me directions, and they say, “You can’t miss it,” I know what they really mean is THEY can’t miss it. But, remember, THEY’VE already been there. Is it on fire? Blocking the road? No? Then I can miss it. When a dog owner says their growling dog doesn’t bite, what they really mean is, their dog doesn’t bite THEM. That’s because they feed it. When someone says, “Nothing is impossible,” they’re not recommending you try pouring tenounces of hot cocoa into an eight-ounce cup or attempt skydiving without a parachute. And no one who says, “I don’t have a thing to wear,” is thinking of going naked. Thank goodness.
it probably means children GET IN free. You shouldn’t get too excited if you’re in the market for one. When the trailer says the movie is for “mature audiences only,” chances are good it’s really for immature adults. And when you call up the doctor’s office, and the receptionist says, “Can you spell your name,” I think she already knows you can. Sometimes people say things they may or may not actually mean. But insecure listeners like me can easily take them the wrong way. Like when someone says, “You look nice today,” I always wonder if they think I don’t any other day. If they say, “You look like you’ve lost weight,” I wonder if that means they think I needed to. And if they say, “you can get away with it,” I wonder if they really mean they wouldn’t be caught dead in it. When somebody says, “No offense, but . . .,” I’ve taken offense before they get the rest of the sentence out. And if they say, “Don’t take this wrong,” I already have. When someone asks, “How are you?” don’t you wonder if they really want to know. When I answer “I’m doing good,” I certainly don’t mean it every time. If somebody tells you, “You’re not getting any younger,” I’m pretty sure they mean you’re old.” When they say, “Your heart is in the right place,” they’re implying that everything else is a little off kilter. And if someone says, “Well, it’s none of my business,” trust me, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to know.
If they say they slept like a baby, they probably don’t mean they woke up crying at midnight because they were hungry and wet. If the sign says “Slow Children,” it’s not a reflection on the families in the neighborhood. And if you see an advertisement with the words, “Children are free,” 58 | Exceptional People Magazine | January-February 2013
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The Lighter Side of Science: Actual answers given by 16-year-olds on tests. Name the four seasons: Salt, pepper, mustard, and vinegar. What causes tides in the oceans? Tides are a fight between the Earth and the moon. I forget where the sun joins in this fight. What are steroids? Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs. Name a disease caused by cigarettes. Premature death. What is a fibula? A small lie. What is a seizure? A Roman Emperor. What is a terminal illness? It's when you get sick at the airport.
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Quick and Easy Potato Salad
Ingredients 2 cups boiled red potatoes with skin left on 2 cups of boiled small white potatoes with skin left on 2 hardboiled eggs cut into small pieces 1 tablespoon celery seed 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise 1/2 cup natural yogurt 1 tablespoon sugar 5 tablespoons horseradish 6 tablespoons chipotle mustard 1 tablespoon of white vinegar 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/2 cup chives or bacon bits for garnish. Thoroughly mix all ingredients and serve.
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Delectable Rib Sauce
Ingredients 3 cups brown sugar 3 cups white vinegar 10 dashes salt 10 grinds pepper 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce 20 dashes Louisiana hot sauce 1 4-oz. bottle of honey Directions Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a medium-size bowl. Ladle or brush sauce over the ribs while grilling. Allow the sauce to caramelize. The ribs may also be baked for about an hour, constantly basting with the sauce. Then turn the oven to the broil position for finishing. Carefully watch the meat until the sauce caramelizes and hardens on the top but don't let it burn or become too blackened.
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A Quiche for Every Season
5 large eggs 1/3 cup cream or half and half 1/2 cup crisp bacon pieces 1/3 cup diced tomatoes 1/3 cup chives 10 spinach leaves cut into small pieces 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1/4 teaspoon garlic buds 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth and blended. Add cream or half and half, and crisp bacon pieces. Then add diced tomatoes, chives, spinach leaves and the shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Season with garlic buds, salt, freshly-ground pepper, and nutmeg. Stir the ingredients until they are well mixed and place in a nine-inch deep dish pie crust. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the crust is brown and its custard is solid. Slice and serve at any meal. This entrĂŠe can be accompanied by a cup of seasonal fruit or a spinach, nut, and fruit salad.
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Grilled Catfish Salad
For the Salad
3 catfish filets, 5 to 8 ounces each
(For the Marinade) 1/4 cup melted butter 1/4 cup Louisiana cane syrup 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper Salt to taste
6 leaves each of red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and curly endive 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced Cracked black pepper
In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients and mix well to ensure that spices are well blended. Allow fillets to stand in the marinade approximately thirty minutes. Then charbroil the fillets on a hot barbecue grill three to five minutes on each side or until fish is cooked. Remove and keep warm.
Place a red lettuce leaf on each salad plate.
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Cut up and combine the other lettuces and place a handful of the mixture on each red lettuce leaf. Cut grilled catfish into one inch slices. Place an equal number on top of each salad. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles and top with salad dressing. Garnish each salad with tomato slices and cracked pepper.
Part One Kevin Sorbo, Pg. 4, Fame, Adversity and the Will to Overcome: A New Man is Born, www.kevinsorbo.net Scott Jochim, Pg. 12, Technological Ingenuity That Transforms How Kids View the World, www.digitaltechfrontier.com Josh MacDonald, Pg. 24, Enthusiastic Young Entrepreneur Makes $100,000 in Software Sales Glen Bolofsky, Pg. 32, The Parking Ticket Problem Solver, www.parkingticket.com
Photo Credits Kevin Sorbo Cover Photo — Ash Gupta Blue Shirt On Couch, Pg. 4 — Ania Okane On The Railroad Tracks, Pg. 6 — Ryan Green Herk with Sword, Pg. 8 — Pierre Vinet Cowboy Shot, Pg. 9 — Paul Brown True Strength Book Cover, Abel's Field Poster, Pg. 10 — Ryan Green
Part Two Derrick Boles, Pg. 50, A Gentle Giant Stands Up for America, www.leadership1st.info Stephanie King, Pg. 62, Challenging Others to Share Their Blessings, www.b2challenge.com Susann Panek-Rounds, Pg. 67, Serving Up Pint Size Pies and Changing Lives www.pintsizepies.com
Additional Credits Graphics and Cover Designs: Jeff Hayes, http://www.plasmafiregraphics.com
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Writers and Contributors
William R. Patterson
Ranked as the #1 Business Motivational Speaker by Ranking.com, William R. Patterson is a three-time award-winning lecturer and international bestselling author who uses his trademark approach, THE BARON SOLUTION™, to coach, train, and motivate business leaders, sales professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors. His breakthrough book, The Baron Son, has been translated around the world and featured in the Forbes Book Club and Black Enterprise. William is an internationally recognized wealth and business coach who has been a featured guest on over 500 television and radio programs. William's website, BaronSeries.com, is winner of four 2009 Web Awards including: Best Speaker; Best Male Author; Best Business Advice Site; and Best WealthBuilding Site. For more information, visit http://www.baronseries.com
Annemarie Cross is a Career Management & Personal Branding Strategist, Speaker, Consultant, Radio Broadcaster, and Author of ’10 Key Steps to Ace that Interview!’ She is also the founder/ principal of Advanced Employment Concepts – Career Management and Corporate Career Development Specialists offering powerful programs for people striving for career success and fulfillment, as well as savvy companies committed to building and retaining their most important asset – their staff.
Catherine Galasso-Vigorito’s nationally syndicated weekly column, “A New You,” has endeared her to readers worldwide for over 15 years.
James Adonis is a people-management thinker and the author of three books including his latest, ‘Corporate Punishment: Smashing the Management Clichés for Leaders in a New World’. Thought-provoking and entertaining, James's keynote presentations and workshops show companies how to solve staff turnover, engage all generations, and win the war for talent. He has presented to audiences across Australia, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, with an impressive list of clients including McDonald's, American Express, CocaCola, Qantas, and Gucci. www.jamesadonis.com.
Known for her ability to uplift and encourage, Catherine has become America’s most beloved inspirational voice. Catherine is the founder and CEO of her own company, A New You Worldwide, developing and designing inspirational products. Her mission is to instill hope in the hearts of people everywhere, inspiring them to live a better life. She makes her home on the East Coast with her husband and three daughters. Visit her website at www.anewyouworldwide.com Searching for inspirational gifts - visit http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/app.nav/ params.class.K990/walk.yah.0101-K990.
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Widely considered a personal change agent and success catalyst, Annemarie has distinguished herself as being people-focused, caring, inspirational and life-changing in her approach. Annemarie can be contacted at www.a-e-c.com.au email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writers and Contributors
Recognized as The Voice of Child-Centered Divorce, Rosalind Sedacca is a Certified Corporate Trainer and founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network for parents facing, moving through or transitioning beyond divorce. She is the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook™ Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! which offers a unique approach to breaking divorce news to your children based on her own personal experience. She is also the 2008 National First Place Winner of the Victorious Woman Award.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a noted public speaker, bestselling author, workshop leader, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples, and led groups, classes, and workshops since 1968. She is the author and co-author of eight books, including the internationally bestselling Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?
As a Certified Corporate Trainer and Business Communication Strategist she provides consulting, speaking, training and Executive Coaching services to organizations nation-wide on marketing, public relations and business communication issues. She specializes in gender-related dynamics, marketing to women and employeemanagement collaboration in the workplace. To learn more about her book, free ezine, programs and other valuable resources on creating a positive ChildCentered Divorce, visit www.childcentereddivorce.com and www.howdoitellthekids.com. For more information about her customized programs, audio and videotapes, and other services, contact Rosalind at 561-742-3537 or Talk2Roz@bellsouth.net.
She is the co-creator, along with Dr. Erika Chopich, of the Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, and of the unique and popular website www.innerbonding.com. Their transformational selfhealing/conflict resolution software program, SelfQuest®, at www.selfquest.com, is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to the general public.
Sue Urda Sue Urda is an Author, Speaker, Inspirer and Co-Founder of Powerful You! Women’s Network, She was named twice on Inc. Magazines list of the 500 FastestGrowing Private Companies. Sue’s vision is to contribute to a global consciousness of women helping women succeed in business and in life and to open them to truth of who they are. www.sueurda.com.
Dawn Abraham is a Certified Life/Business Coach, and is an “Official Guide for Small Business Marketing at Selfgrowth.com. She also partners with professionals and entrepreneurs to help them create balanced lives while earning more money. Law of Attraction, Self Esteem, Abundance, Meditation, Motivation, Reiki, Private & Group Coaching, Free Life Changing Mp3's and Teleclasses are offered. http://www.qualified-lifecoach.com March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 81
Writers and Contributors
Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush
Sharon Dahlonega Raiford Bush is CEO of News Archives International. This multiaward-winning journalist writes and publishes news articles about productive individuals committed to making positive changes in their lives and in the world around them. She also writes and directs live performances for young, exceptional artists throughout the Los Angeles region. Sharon shares her life with her husband, veteran actor Grand L. Bush.
Shelley Riutta MSE, LPC is a Holistic Psychotherapist and Inner Bonding Facilitator in private practice specializing in Transformational individual counseling, presentations, groups and Workshops. To get her free workbook "What Do You REALLY Want: Finding Purpose and Passion in Your Life" or for information about the free teleclasses she does every month visit her web-site www.RadiantLifeCounseling.com or call her at 877-346-1167.
To learn more about Sharon, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Sharon_Dahlonega_Raiford_Bush and http://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonraifordbush. She can be contacted at https://www.facebook.com/TVwxGirl.
Dawn McCoy Dawn McCoy is author of "Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider's Guide to Success" http://flourishleadership.com/store/ index.html She is also is president and CEO of Flourish Leadership, LLC which provides coaching executives, public servants, and youth leaders. For author and speaker details, visit http:// www.flourishleadership.com.
Jack Canfield Jack is the founder and former CEO of Chicken Soup for the SoulÂŽ Enterprises, a billion dollar empire that encompasses licensing, merchandising and publishing activities around the globe. He is the Founder and Chairman of The Canfield Training Group which trains entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders and motivated individuals how to accelerate the achievement of their personal and professional goals. Jack is also the founder of The Foundation for Self-Esteem which provides self-esteem resources and trainings to social workers, welfare recipients and human resource professionals. http://www.jackcanfield.com/ 82 | Exceptional People Magazine | March-April 2013
Inez Bracy Inez Bracy is the host of her own radio talk show; Living Smart and Well and is a columnist for Senior Stuff a local ezine, the Orlando Examiner, a former columnist for the Island Voice magazine and the author of Rejuvenate Your Life in 21 Days. Bracyâ€™s radio show, Living Smart and Well shares tips on creating your best life and is heard globally on www.livingsmartandwell.com. Bracy is an author, a masterful coach, powerful trainer, and a dynamic speaker. With more than 20 years of experience working for educational institutions and non-profits, Bracy uses her knowledge to help people create extraordinary lives. http://overfiftyfineandfancy.com
Keasha Lee Keasha Lee is President of Striking Statements, LLC a company that provides public relations and social media strategy for small to mid sized businesses. www.strikingstatements.com
Writers and Contributors
Dorothy Rosby is an entertaining speaker and syndicated humor columnist whose work appears regularly in 30-plus newspapers in eleven Western and Midwestern states. She is also Community Relations Director for an organization which supports people with disabilities. She lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with her husband, son, mother, and hamster. Contact her at email@example.com or see her website at www.dorothyrosby.com.
Eileen Lichtenstein, MS Ed, CEO of Balance & Power, Inc. is a certified Anger Management Specialist, Career and Mid-Life Coach, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique ) Practitioner and a former Biofeedback Therapist and faculty at Hofstra University. "SOAR! with Resilience™: The Interactive Book for Overcoming Obstacles & Achieving Success" is the core material for many of her trainings and a motivational read for anyone struggling to take their personal or professional life to a higher level of success and satisfaction. www.balanceandpower.com
Angie Brennan is a humor writer and illustrator from Maryland. Visit her website at www.angiebrennan.com for cartoons, spoof advice, and more.
Cedric Dukes is an international author, speaker and leader on finances and self & career development. He is the author of two books, The Power of Time – Living a Life of No Regrets and Hostile Takeover – Manifesting God’s Plan and Purpose for Your Finances. Cedric’s books can be found at www.CedricDukes.com, www.amazon.com, and most major bookstores. His career includes management positions in engineering and purchasing. He has been a keynote speaker for churches, financial literacy classes, and credit counseling clubs as well as book clubs, seminars and conferences and has written columns for several national and regional publications.
Greg Williams Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator, is an internationally sought after speaker/trainer. He provides negotiation expertise to corporate and individual clients that seek to maximize their negotiation efforts, at the negotiation table. You can sign up for Greg’s free negotiation tips at www.TheMasterNegotiator.com – You can also view his Negotiation Tip videos at http:// www.youtube.com/user/ TheMasterNegotiator - Greg’s motto is, “Remember, you’re always negotiating”.
March-April 2013 | Exceptional People Magazine | 83
Thank you...Founder, Monica Davis
Take time to reflect upon your life experiences and become inspired to reach new heights.
Published on Mar 31, 2013
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