Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Recipe for Failure and the Path to Success!


Some businesses become so distracted by committees, meetings and the “push” of their immediate attention, the vital questions are no longer asked. It’s assumed all resources or possible processes are in place. Nothing could be further from the truth. The larger the organization the easier it becomes to fall into this mindset.
Poor leadership with little accountability from the senior management is the tip of the iceberg. The incompetence flows down to middle management and the lack of proper assessment continues. When the culture of a business is in a state of flux or change, fear becomes the only thing that matters.
Consequently, the organization is spending unnecessary funds, cutting services or budgets to compensate.  The focus on the results never leads to the correct question to improve the situation. Wash, rinse, repeat.
The denial continues because of fear. Nobody wants to be “that guy or gal” and risk their job by taking charge of making decisions or pointing out the real issues. It becomes solely about survival.  

The Recipe for Failure

·        It’s far easier for middle management to blame upper management and vice versa.
·        It’s far easier to spend time putting out fires, than to seek the source.
·        It’s far easier to rubber stamp everything instead of the risk of stepping on someone’s toes.
·        It’s far easier to assume all of our ducks are in line.
·        It’s far easier to operate by fear, instead of leadership.
·        It’s far easier to tackle problems we believe we can resolve, instead of the real issues.
·        It’s far easier to attend a “generic how to seminar” or hire a company who wants to tell you what you want to hear in order to achieve re-occurring business.

The Path to Success

 
Management and employees need to have the ability to offer suggestions and ask “why?” When the sub-culture of an organization is based on fear the costs are staggering. The manifestation of a larger problem exists when the culture of a business isn’t in-sync with the organizational goals.
I am now offering consultation advice services for businesses that want to turn their situation into a successful business strategy. Let me assist you in discovering the recipe for success. It doesn’t cost a small fortune and the only requirement is to have an open mind and willingness to change the internal dynamics of your business.
Don’t allow fear to permeate throughout your organization. The first step of any successful philosophy is admitting a problem exists. I have the ability to discover and develop a structured plan to resolve what is keeping your company from “doing something meaningful.” 
I won’t tell you what you want to hear. I will address the action needed to turn your organization into a winner. Together, we can map a plan of success for your business!
Please contact me, if I can be of assistance to your organization, business, or non-profit. Thank you!
 Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Consultant, Author and someone who cares about:
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com

Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

The Problem of Mass- Just ask General Motors!


 
We’ve seen the history of mass during the Industrial Revolution. It has taken the form of: production, factories, transportation, food, retailers, riots, consumption, marketing, start-ups, dotcoms, healthcare, layoffs, moving overseas and closures. Anyone see a mass pattern here?

During the 1960’s, it was common to find several gas stations at any major intersection in the United States. They attempted to offer free drinking glasses or soda (6 packs, 12 packs, or even a case) to compete for your business. Many offered full service car repair. The service stations paid employees to wash your windows, check your oil and pump the gasoline.

Near the end of the long tail, service stations offered free 2-litre for enticement, but the auto services and attendants began being replaced with mini-market stores inside the business. Check your own oil, wash your own windows, pump your own gas or air into your tires (no longer free). The money was being made from the food and merchandize sold inside the market, not the gasoline product.

Gas card have become the only form of enticement and serve as a form of customer tracking, while some outlets feature a car wash. Few gas stations offer any type of mechanical service.

Slowly gas stations in cities became less prevalent. The economics of the industry changed. Retailing to the masses was no longer sustainable.

Many of those street corner businesses have been replaced by drugstores. Where you find one pharmacy, you’re likely to see another close by.

The same with big box stores replacing grocery stores, hardware and retail stores. Businesses designed to market to the masses by offering one-stop shopping.

Healthcare is another industry falling into the mass trap. Many healthcare businesses are expanding, merging systems to reduce cost and increase services.  This reduces the competition and one company is committed to serving the masses.

The biggest problem of scaling to mass is- it just doesn’t last. One large change in economics, technology or market share can bring a giant to its knees. Just ask General Motors.

The problem of mass:

·        Lower wages (unless unionized).

·        Loss of personalized service. Mass is about numbers, not people.

·        Customer service suffers. Familiarity is gone. Nobody knows you.

·        Quality becomes lost in the focus of mass (replaced with a chant).

·        Lack of standardization of employee roles becomes a morale issue.

·        Consistency from employees between roles, location and businesses differ.

·        Growth is all that matters.

The biggest problem with mass is once the threshold of growth is met, the scale of the business becomes about reduction. Then the pain begins. When you cheapen something to obtain mass acceptance, offering less at the lowest price is the only option. The race to the bottom is all about someone else doing something cheaper!

It’s far better to offer services of exceptional value with customer and employee satisfaction to sustain or grow a business. Natural growth built on a sound business foundation is far sturdier than scaling to mass.

It’s no secret.

Just ask General Motors!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com


Disclaimer- Books, products and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Power of Believing in Someone!



While attending a funeral, I spoke with the Pastor prior to the services. We discussed the importance of the power of belief in our fellow man. The value of belief can be unmeasurable and is magnified throughout history in stories of success with life changing results . Here is one example of the powerful lesson of belief. 

 The Pastor told me a story of a music instructor that took him under his wing and taught the young man how to play an instrument. The young man had transferred between several different school systems during elementary and junior high school and was unable to play a note or read music.

One day the music instructor called him into the office. He said to the student: “You don’t know how to make a sound out of your instrument do you?” The student shook his head. The director promised free lessons, providing he practiced and made a solid effort. The director also informed the student that one day- a favor would be asked in return. The student agreed to the proposal.

The kid was in awe. Someone actually believed in him and was willing to take the time to teach the skills necessary to play his instrument.

The young student attended the lessons, practiced daily and progressed. He enjoyed performing with the band and establishing friendships within the band program.

Then one day the director called the student into his office. The student thought he was in trouble. The director said: “Remember when we made the agreement- I would provide you with free lessons and one day a favor would be asked?” The student nodded his head.  The director continued: “Well, this summer you will be a freshmen and I want you to go to band camp and play in the marching band.”

The student was ecstatic. Once again, someone believed in him enough to mentor him and provide encouragement. The student participated in various music activities during his four years of high school. Discipline, leadership and perseverance were taught in the music program.

Had it not been for the band director, the student would have quit band and perhaps followed the wrong crowd. He may have never felt the inspiration of someone believing in him.

Today, Dr. Dave Atkins leads a ministry rescuing orphaned babies and children in Thailand. A majority of the ministry is spent rescuing young girls from a life of prostitution. Many of the young girls contract AIDS and die by the age of fourteen due to the sex slave trade market in Thailand, a corrupted Government and Western tourism. It’s a daily human meat market in Thailand.

Warning: Some may find this video offensive or shocking, but it serves a valid point against the degradation of children involved in the barbaric sex slave trade industry.

 Dr. David Atkins is providing many of those little souls with their first real hope of opportunity in life and saving the lives of boys and girls.

All because one man- David A. Wells; believed in him.

That is the power of believing in someone.

 It touches lives and produces a domino effect.

Provide hope and inspiration to someone today. It is priceless!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com


Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Rust Belt Chronicles: Gate A is Now Open- Proceed with Choices!

The Rust Belt Chronicles: Gate A is Now Open- Proceed with Choices!: We are no longer limited by our choices! Enjoy, Jim Carver

The Rust Belt Chronicles: Replacing Stress with Success!

The Rust Belt Chronicles: Replacing Stress with Success!: Do you believe your strees is unique? Enjoy, Jim Carver

Replacing Stress with Success!


Your business and life aren’t as sophisticated as you believe.

The inability in keeping situations simple stops you from succeeding.

Keep it brief, short and concise!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com


Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gate A is Now Open- Proceed with Choices!


In 1975, I graduated from high school.

Back in those days the options available upon graduation were:

·  Attend College
·  Join the Military
·  Get a job (most likely in a factory)

Gatekeepers controlled information and access to everything.

Our choices and lives were limited and predictable.

The Internet is changing us to a non-permission based society. It has created opportunities and challenges to be discovered in the form of new careers, freedom and stewardship. Every day we have access to data never available to previous generations during their entire lifetime!

We are no longer isolated from the world and each other.

The gates are now open.

Proceed with care.

Follow your passion and live your dreams.

Until We Meet Again,
Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com



Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.





A September to Remember


September is nearly over. We had initially planned to attend a conference or workshop during September.  Our plans backfired due to some unexpected bills and extending my vacation days over Labor Day Weekend to clean-up the house.



Although we missed both of this year’s events, we are already looking forward to next year!

I recently read successful people attend workshops and conferences in order to mix ideas, communicate, meet new people with similar goals and become recharged about your passion in life.
Here in the rust belt, we could use a little motivation to fire-up our passion.

Coaching with Excellence

My original plan was to attend Dan Miller’s Coaching with Excellence workshop in Franklin, Tennessee. Dan Miller is the best-selling author of No More Dreaded Monday’s and 48 Days to the Work You Love. Dan Miller recently released a new book co-written with his son, Jarad Angaza entitled- Wisdom Meets Passion: When Generations Collide and Collaborate (read the book review here). Dan Miller also has two websites with loads of community assistance, classes and podcasts at 48days.com and 48days.net.   
From the reviews of the three-day event we missed an excellent opportunity to learn about our abilities and choices in the coaching field. The event was full of insightful knowledge and it was an opportunity to meet new friends with the same interests. Did I forget to mention the food is excellent?

Quitter Conference

Jon Acuff’s Quitter Conference was held late last week in Brentwood, Tennessee. Jon is a successful speaker, blogger and author.  Jon is the author of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Dream Job. Jon is a team member of the Dave Ramsey staff.
The event was sold out and it would have been a great time listening to Jon and his guest speakers. Many of those attendance have authored books, established their work in the coaching field and technology. The opportunity to meet and speak with many of those faces I’ve seen or heard online or read their books and material would have been inspirational as well!

Wrecked

Writer Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked was a featured speaker at the Quitter Conference and subsequently was able to interview Jon Acuff.
This is one of the reasons building a network of people is so important. Opportunities grow from the circle of friends established. One of the neat things- is it happens when you least expect it!

Speaking of Least Expecting



I signed up for Twitter the other day. One of the people I am following is author Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity and The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.” Surprisingly, Chris is following me on Twitter. Twitter is a pretty neat application. I don’t know how people find the time for all this activity. I’ve discussed Chris previously in my work.
Chris just returned from visiting his 188th country- Seychelles. He only has 5 countries left to complete his goal of visiting all 193 countries in the world. What an amazing life having the freedom as an entrepreneur on your own terms.

 

 

Seasons Change

Soon the leaves will be changing colors and it will be a nice time to take a short drive to Amish country. It’s always a laid back trip to observe the goods, lifestyle and entrepreneurship of the Amish community.
Did I forget to mention the food is excellent?


Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”Something Meaningful that Matters!
www.successthroughmusic.com


Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NFL Replacement Refs- Good or Bad?


After the ruckus following some of the NFL games last week, I don’t know if the substitute officiating is such a big deal or if something bigger is at play. What I’ve seen so far in regards to officiating is somehow refreshing.

Whose got the Ball?

 

I only follow one team, but the officiating mistakes appear to be honest and the consistency isn’t bad. I’ve often thought the regular referees are too fixated on whatever the commissioner’s office advice is for each week, based on the previous week. Consequently, the referees zero in on specific criteria, while other possible penalties are missed.

When officiating becomes a marketing extravaganza it takes away from the game. Watch any NBA playoff series to experience the hype and overkill.  Sometimes the NBA refs control the game and at other times- just let the players play. This may prevent tempers from getting out of hand, while another popular opinion is the control and tempo keeps the games close.

What Happened

 

Last week (week 2), the NFL coaches and players lambasted the referees. With the enormous popularity of the game, illegal and legal gaming interests at stake; I must ask a few questions:

·        Has the referee lockout affected television ratings?

·        Has the referee lockout reduced NFL game attendance?

·        Are the betting parlors in Las Vegas losing money?

·        Has the officiating made a difference in illegal gambling outcomes?

·        Will the coaches and players  tone down the hostility towards the refereeing this week?

·        Is the refereeing actually any worse than any other season?

·        Or is the heated controversy just a union ploy to end the lockout?
 

No Challenge Flag in Those Days


A former Cleveland Browns player on the old WEWS- Quarterback Club television show years ago mentioned the Cleveland Browns played in two games during the 1960’s which were investigated by the FBI and proven to have been fixed by the mob. One of those games involved the Dallas Cowboys back in the days of Bob Hayes. I am unable to recall the other game mentioned. The former player stated the games were fixed by the refereeing.

Interestingly, I was unable to find any information from any Browns-Cowboys game in reference to game fixing on the Internet. Although during the 1960’s, several players were investigated for ties to gambling and the mob.

Bottom Line

 

I don’t believe the NFL is dirty, nor do I believe the NFL has any direct ties  to organized crime. I’ve always trusted the officiating in the NFL. So trust isn’t the issue.

Is the question of the substitute referees about the performance on the field or the color of the field (money)?

What’s your opinion?

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com


Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

BloggingTips and Secrets


I’ve spent a great deal of time in the last week attempting to increase my blog viewership. I’ve tinkered with everything from SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, metadata and coding. Life was much simpler just focusing on writing.

Content is King!


Some folks believe it is all about content. Content is king! Forget about algorithms, SEO and attempting to understand what makes the search engines the happiest.

What is SEO?


My Blogger blog site rates my own blogs high in a Google search, but I noticed once I log out of Google+ the ratings plummet. Google Blogger doesn't seem to play well with other search engines. I attempted to add metatags information inside my code to allow other search engines to find “keywords” and rate posts higher. Some experts believe the attempt is no longer valid in the SEO game. From my own experience, I believe they’re right.
The experiment didn’t seem to improve my ratings within Bing or Yahoo.

SEO is kind of mysterious function. The rules within the cycle of parameters sometimes change. It’s similar to the Federal Reserve (lots of secret information).

WordPress- A Bloggers Best Friend


I experimented with the free version of WordPress (WordPress.com) in my early blogging days. I found it easy to use and the search engine results are stellar! The only problem with the free version- it doesn’t allow affiliate marketing. So I switched to Google Blogger.
In the near future I will probably switch to the pay version of WordPress (WordPress.org) using the Thesis or Genesis Framework Themes. For hosting I will likely use Go Daddy or Bluehost.
Note: WordPress.org allows you to add affiliate marketing links and you own the content posted.
Why spend valuable time worrying about SEO, when the Thesis or Genesis framework can optimize my work and reach possible viewers?

Keep it Simple


This brings me back to focusing on clarity and writing. That’s what it’s all about. Without quality content, it doesn’t matter what or where the material is displayed if nobody is interested or I can’t earn your respect and keep your attention.

List of Blog Rules

·        Choose a catchy, popular or interesting topic.

·        Write a catchy headline.
 
·        Content is King!

·        Use sub headings (a plus with search engines and a great way to divide the story and keep it interesting).

·        Use  bullets or numbering to breakup blogs and allow easier readability.

·        Blogs should be limited between 500-600 words.

·        Blogs with fewer words are a better idea (Seth Godin is the king of pithy blogs), keep it short and easy to read.

·        Respond to comments and treat your followers with respect.

Stats Tracker


 I’ve done a fairly decent job of attracting new viewers (a third or more of all viewers are new) each month and my page views double each month. Overall, my visitors average over 8 minutes on my blogs per visit. Not bad at all.
Google Blogger features its own statistics tracker, but I really like the functionality of using Google Analytics (and it’s free).

Find your Niche and Build a Tribe!


My biggest concern is reaching out and finding my tribe of followers. Expecting everyone to read my blogs or like what I have to offer is unrealistic and a recipe for failure. One of the biggest secrets to online marketing and writing is to find your niche and build a following.

Give Credit where Credit is Due


So, I thank all of you for reading, following, and commenting on my writing. Without you- none of the inspiration would be possible to continue to do something meaningful that matters!
Thank you- from the bottom of my heart!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com


Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lifestyle of The Minimalist?


ArmchairBuilder.com
My wife and I spent a couple of weekends working around the house on junk removal. We moved into our house quickly and really didn’t have the time to sort through items. We’ve accumulated over thirty years and it was time to seek the help of a waste removal service.
I’ve read a lot recently about writers who become minimalists. Minimalists are people who sell or do away with nearly everything they own. This allows the freedom to relocate, travel and reduce living costs dramatically. Less distraction equals increased focus on what matters in your art or life!


Lifestyle of the Minimalist


·        No vehicle, car payment, insurance, gas, upkeep and repairs.

·        No house payment, insurance, upkeep, services, appliances and taxes.

·        No TV and monthly cable costs.

·        No excessive waste of resources.

·        Wages become less a factor.

As you can see this eliminates some of the largest expenses during a lifetime. Instead try renting a small apartment with minimal furnishings or travel the world. A laptop could be used for entertainment, reading and writing. Minimalistic living sounds simple, especially if you’re single, young and want to experience life.
Would this lifestyle work for us? Only if we had several storage sheds to keep many of our possessions from our childhoods, hobbies, activities, books, and music. It’s nice to know if things become desperate, instead of feeling like we're trapped; we have the ability to become instantly mobile. This actually opens many new possibilities for experiencing the fulfillment of life.

Wait a minute. Oh yeah, all the critters, what would become of them? I guess we will have to wait a few more years.

Those with the Least Toys Aren’t Broke


I’ve worked around several people who retired early (and wealthy) just from driving a motor scooter, riding buses or walking to work and shop. We always thought of those folks as odd. I now know they saw the world differently and their goals were successful.
Those folks were early stage minimalists, never caring to follow the pack or keep up with their friends and neighbors. Their reward was early retirement and freedom from saving money.

The new lifestyle is an alternative to work or travel, go wherever you want, whenever you feel the urge. No strings, nothing holding you back-just a huge world in front of you! Interesting concept.

One Man’s Junk…


The folks offering junk removal are making a good business in recent years due to scrap metal prices and home foreclosures. Trash removal was once thought of as a dirty business. In recent years it has become quite lucrative.Today's waste management services aren't like Sanford and Son
I must admit there is a certain feeling of power throwing away junk into a waste container. The house is more organized, I can find my way through the basement and it was invigorating to separate yourself from things with no real value. Clothing and items of any value can be donated or sold on eBay. Scrap materials can be sold. Perhaps a new side business could be started with some increased knowledge and a truck.

Keeping up with the Jones’s (they’re broke too)


It’s ironic how we follow the crowd and attempt to keep up with the Jones’s. We become so ingrained in our lifestyle never noticing the forest through the trees! Spending money and living broke. 

Hoarding?

During the process I found it easier to relate how a hoarder must feel with an insurmountable task of sorting, decisions, stress and guilt. Not an easy job!

We figured we are getting older and why keep objects never used? If we want to become minimalists or move, the next step will be less cumbersome!

So roll up your sleeves, go through closets, shelves, drawers and cubbyholes. See what treasures you can find. Discover what you could give to someone in need. The rest of the objects are placeholders, occupiers of free space, most commonly known as junk!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver

Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com


Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.