Who’s Number One?

If you are a college football fan like me, you’ve probably been amazed at all the volatility in the BCS standings, especially with the top ranked teams. It seems that on a weekly basis, there has been a major upset and whoever the new #1 and #2 teams are, they have been bounced out by someone else. It happened again this past weekend when Kansas was defeated at home by Missouri, who then claimed the #1 spot themselves. I can’t remember a football season that has been as unpredictable as this one. It makes for a very entertaining time for football fans.

How volatile is your business? Do you go through stretches where things seem topsy-turvy in your world? That may not be as entertaining to you as a college football season. The reality is that change and volatility are part of any business or industry. How you respond to it will decide your success or failure.

The one constant you always have is how well you present yourself. There’s an old saying that a great salesperson will never be without a job. That’s because regardless of the times, if you are a dynamic and persuasive presenter, you will be highly sought after.

Take preventative measures to offset the change in times for your business. Don’t overlook the most important business skill that can put you head and shoulders over your competition, regardless of volatility. Communicating and presenting will make sure you stay #1!

Dan

P.S. Need some help with your presentation and sales skills? You’re in luck! My next Panic to Power Boot Camp is scheduled for March 18 in downtown Seattle. Your investment will pay dividends over and over again in increased sales, improved confidence, and more money in your pocket. To register and take advantage of great Early-Bird discounts, click here.

Apple Cup at 100

It’s Apple Cup time again, this time for the 100th time. I’m heading to the big game tomorrow to root on my Dawgs with my daughter Kelli. Both teams have struggled this year, but there’s no doubt everyone will be up for this one. The pride of our state and schools are on the line.

Rivalry games like this create a great bond, not only for the fans on the same side of the ball, but with everyone. As long as respect is a factor, which it should always be, good natured ribbing and fun is always a great part of the game. I have many friends that are Cougs (really), and we always have a great time getting on each other. I have even had an annual running bet for a beer during next golf season with good friend who matriculated at WSU. Fortunately for me, I’ve been on the winning side most of the last few years. I just hope he doesn’t want to do the same thing with hoops!

Here’s hoping for a great game and of course another Dawg victory. Go Dawgs!

Dan

The Big Ouch: Blondie’s Best Lesson Saved for Last

“She’s gone.”

Simple words spoken by Dr. Monica as the shot laced with an overdose of anesthesia gently ended the life of our family dog Blondie at 5:15 pm on November 19. We had scheduled this time because we brought Blondie home as a 6-week old puppy on Monday, June 1, 1991 at 5:00 pm. Sort of a fitting end. The 6,016 days in between were full of love, loyalty, and friendship.

I’ve been compiling for some time lessons I’ve learned from Blondie. Maybe I’ll write a book on them because they are lessons we humans can use at any stage of our lives.

The final lesson she taught me through this process is this – we are blessed with gifts and in some cases there is a time to give them back. The reality of letting go and helping a loved one through the dying process is a fact of life. No matter how well you prepare, until you go through it there is a huge unknown. Now, even though every death in our family will be painful and different, Blondie has taught me that it can be done with dignity, courage and love.

Yes, I know she was a dog, not a human. She was also a binding member of our family for 16 years; a common bond of love for not only our immediate family, but our extended one as well. Parents, siblings, and friends have all shared their sorrow with us. In fact, one of my daughters close friends left a bouquet of flowers on our doorstep last night. That’s one of the many gifts pets bring. They can be the “glue” that brings people more closely together Giving back the gifts are painful, yet always with a lesson to be learned. I want to thank all of my friends and family who have wished us their condolences. Each one is special and appreciated.

Finally, I want to especially thank the wonderful people at Poulsbo Animal Clinic, especially Dr. Monica and her assistant. The opportunity to say farewell to your pet in the privacy of your own home is something I can’t say enough about. Blondie hated going to the vet and this way it was just like having visitors to the house. No other people, no sterile environment; just peacefully passing away at home with your family by your side. Isn’t that the way we would all want to go?

Dan

The Gettysburg Address – November 19, 1863

Today is the 144th anniversary of one of the greatest, if not greatest, speeches ever delivered. It’s short…for you fellow Toastmasters, it’s about the length of a Table Topics. But its powerful. In honor of this day, please see the text below. You will also see the only known photograph of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg per the Library of Congress.

Dan

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow, this ground — The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Only the Shadow knows…

Today, I have the privilege of having a guest shadow me for the day. Our Rotary Club came up with a brilliant idea of having teachers shadow business people for a day so they can in turn pass on insight to their students. The business people then will usually make an appearance and address the students. I hope I can carry out today without boring my shadow too much!

Any time teachers and business can work together, it’s a win-win situation. Business and entrepreneurship has changed in the 25 years since I’ve been in school, and young people need to know how it works. The teachers also gain value. Actually, I can say that the business people in turn also gain great value from learning from their shadow. That and the opportunity to present to a bunch of teenage kids is something everyone should have to go through at least once.

Cheers,

Dan

P.S. Fearful to speak in front of a bunch of teenagers or adults? Panic no more. My next Panic to Power Boot Camp is right around the corner on March 18 at the Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle. To register now, contact me at 360-271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com.

The ONLY way to watch an NBA game!

That’s me at courtside of the Sonics-Pistons game last Sunday. The Sonics are a new client of mine and they were gracious to put me and my family at courtside for the game after we met (thanks to Chris Fryar). This opportunity came about because of my presentation at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. For those of you who are professional speakers, do what my mentor Darren LaCroix always says – Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time. The more you speak, the more opportunities you will have. Who knows, you may end up in the front row!

Dan

P.S. I’m just announcing my next Panic to Power boot camp in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, March 18. Details to follow on my web site. If you can’t wait (and why should you), contact me now to register at dan@danweedin.com. I have a very special Early Early-Bird special!

Do You Need Accounting?

I recently hooked up with someone to be an accountability partner and have been very pleased with the results. Doug Petch (www.dougpetch.com) and I met through the World Champion Speakers Edge program and found we had similar goals. Doug is an expert on leadership and provides a very cool service with his 60-Second Seminars. He lives in Lexington, KY and I’m out here in the Pacific Northwest. We talk each week just to make sure we are doing what we say we want to do.

In fact, this week Doug asked if I had completed a task that I said I would. Ugh! I didn’t quite get it done so now I really have impetus to complete it this week.

That’s the great thing about having another person keep you accountable for your goals. With technology, it even opens it up more to build relationships with people all over the world.

Find a kindred spirit in your type of business and see if you can develop an accountability partnership. If you’re like me, you will find a great benefit from it.

Dan

P.S. My first Panic to Power Boot Camp was a great success. I have another one scheduled for march 18 in Seattle. I should have it ready for registration on my web site next week. If you just can’t wait, contact me now and I will sign you up. I have a very special extra early bird special going. Call me and find out!

Finding Balance on Gilligan’s Island

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt totally unable to function? Last night, I was staring at my computer monitor trying to get a little work done after a busy weekend. My oldest daughter Mindy had been home from college for several days and my wife Barb was taking her to the airport. I was at home because our old dog Blondie is starting a steep decline and we didn’t want to leave her alone. Lack of sleep, a helter skelter few days, and a debilitating overtime loss by the Seahawks had me completely distracted. You probably know that weird feeling of just staring blankly at e-mails!

That’s about the time I realized that balance was needed right then and there for my life. I subscribe to Alan Weiss’ newsletter, The Balancing Act (which I highly recommend – www.summitconsulting.com). Alan is constantly talking about life balance. In my case, sometimes you just have to take a break.

My method for taking a break was to turn off the computer (so as to not be tempted to come back), pour a smooth glass of wine, and watch my Gilligan’s Island DVD. Now you may be thinking “Gilligan’s Island! Is this guy a kook?” Maybe so. But, at that point and time, I needed a good dose of slapstick humor and relaxation to re-charge my batteries. After a relaxing evening and a good night’s sleep…I was able to tackle the next day with more vigor and focus. If I had continued on my path of work the night before, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had the same focus.

What about you? Are there times that you need to reward your mind and body with a much needed break to find balance? Now, you may not find Gilligan’s Island to be the right remedy for you. But a nice walk, a game of chess, or a quiet dinner with your spouse or significant other may be just what the doctor ordered.

Workaholics abound in our society. The desire to get ahead at all costs often lead to high blood pressure, stress disorders, and failed relationships. One thing I have learned in my life, and continue to be reminded of, is that balance is good for the mind, heart, and soul. Remember that next time you are staring blankly at your computer monitor.

Dan

Family Time

My daughter Mindy is home for a few days as her college is taking a four-day weekend. She goes to school 2500 miles away so we decided to bring her home for her birthday. She’s been away for nine weeks and will be back again in six more, so the timing is perfect.

I don’t remember being as excited to pick someone up at an airport as I was on Wednesday night. My wife, Barb and I were literally giddy. If you’ve never experienced having your children go away to college, it’s hard to explain. For as many challenges that the teenage years bring to parents, you never grow tired of spending time with your kids, especially when they’ve been gone for awhile. We’ve had a great couple days and I’m already dreading taking her back tomorrow.

This is a great lesson for me, and maybe for you, too. Time as a family can have many challengers. Boyfriends (and girlfriends for those of you with sons), school, and friends can sneak in and rob some of that precious time. As your kids grow older and move away, take time to relax and really enjoy the moment. I realize that pretty soon, Barb and I will be official “empty nesters”. In my early 40’s that seems strange.

One last note for you young adults without kids. Remember to call every once in awhile. Cell phones have made that much easier than when I was younger. We are fortunate that Mindy calls us a lot just to talk and give us updates. I can’t imagine if she didn’t. Always keep those lines of communication flowing…you never know how much time you actually get. Relax and have fun with your family. It’s the only one you have!

Dan