Integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
What is integrity?
Integrity is doing what is right at all times, even when it hurts
Integrity is doing what is right, even when nobody is watching
Integrity is taking a hit for the betterment of others
Integrity is having rules and enforcing them
Integrity is understanding others concerns and addressing them
Integrity is the avoidance of arbitrary exceptions for even those who are closest to you
Integrity is hearing what people say, not disparaging them for what they are saying
Integrity is using power to empower others
Integrity is not using power for selfish reasons
Integrity is believing most men are good, not most men are crooks
Integrity is acting reasonably and not impulsively
Integrity is owning your mistakes and doing everything you can to rectify them
Integrity is saying how can I help you? Instead of, Why would you do that?
Integrity is following the rules at all times
Integrity is insisting those you manage, coach with, serve with, or employ follow the rules at all times
Integrity is not cutting corners, even though you know you could get away with it
Integrity is telling someone you will do something and knowing they are sure you will
Integrity is being consistent in all your actions professional or personal
Integrity is having the same expectation of yourself as you have of those around you
Integrity is being accountable to those closest to you and society as a whole
Integrity is being just regardless of the pressures life presents you
Integrity is offering forgiveness
Integrity is unconditional love
Integrity is returning a wallet full of $100 bills
Integrity is your friends knowing if they call you, you will answer
Integrity is your customers knowing if they call you, you will answer
Integrity is knowing that no matter how far a friend pushes you, they will always be a friend
Integrity is knowing that when I tell you I will be there tomorrow, I will be there tomorrow
Integrity is having a core group of values and then living by them
Integrity is not cheating yourself by cheating yourself
Integrity is closing your eyes and night and knowing you have done everything you can
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Every day it seems that life goes by faster and faster, but does it really? How often do you take the time to just sit back and reflect on everything that has taken place over the last year? The last 5 years? The last 10 years? It is amazing how much occurs in those short time spans.
Look back over any period of your life a year or more and it is amazing what you have accomplished. We need to remember this, especially in down times like this. Ten years in my life are pretty major. Ten years ago it was 1998. I was five years into my voice/data company and on the verge of huge success!
The .com revolution was about to begin and we were positions perfectly to capitalize on it. It was a wave that we surfed for about 4 years. Those were some good times! I am still paying the tax man to this day because of the boon we had then!
We had a thriving business, a boat, a condo on the lake, a condo in Myrtle Beach, brand new cars, and 50 employees. It truly was a license to print money. But just as fast as the good times came, they came crashing down as well. I was fortunate enough to be based just outside of Washington, DC and the growth there was exponential. But so was the demise.
During the boon times, we would get calls every day begging us to send fiber technicians out at $125/hour. There were not enough workers to meet the demands. People were building and building and we were installing miles and miles of cable and the electronics to support them. Again, it was out of control. All good things must come to an end.
First it was MCI going bankrupt, they set up there headquarters right in our backyard, they were a huge source of business for everyone in the area, then AOL left town. It was not pretty. The subsequent effect caused many businesses to go bankrupt and we were shorted over $200K in receivables. Could we have survived? Probably, but we would have had to completely reinvent the company, there was no longer much need for wiring, everything was going wireless and we were in no position to compete w/ those companies.
I tell this story not to depress you during the times we find ourselves in, nor to pity myself, but to show you how much can change in that short time. Ten years ago I was on the verge of huge success, why can’t I be now? Why can’t you be now? Look back at your life ten years ago, hell, I only had 3 kids and two babies then! Now I have 3 kids playing ball and another that will start next fall!
Now do this, it is truly a great exercise, look back 10 years, see yourself, where you were, what you were wearing, who your friends were, where you were hanging out, what city you lived it, who your girlfriend or wife was, what job did you have? Then take all that change that has happened in the last ten years and project it forward! Do the same exercise.
-Where do you want to be?
-Were will you be hanging out?
-What city will you live in?
-Who will be your girlfriend/wife?
-What job will you have?
-What career path will you take?
The only thing I know for sure is, wherever life takes you, you control that path. You make those decisions. As Yogi says, “When you come to a fork in the road take it”. One of my favorite sayings back in the good old days of my company was, “the only bad decision is no decision”. Failure to act results in no results. Even if we make bad decisions, we still learn from them and that is a positive. If baseball and softball teach of nothing at all, it is that we need not dwell on our failures, but learn from them and make our successes that much better. For a failure only means we are one step closer to success.
Where will you be in 10 years?
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I don’t know whether this is good or bad, but it appears they have done extensive research on the matter so I am good with it. This is why we pay our charter fees, so they can figure out important stuff like this.
Excerpt from Little League Letter:
As you may have heard in recent media reports, American International Group (AIG), the company through which Little League International offers liability and accident insurance to local Little Leagues, has experienced significant losses associated with the current worldwide financial condition. Those losses led federal officials recently to authorize taxpayer-backed loans that must be repaid by AIG with a defined period.
Little League International wants to assure local leagues that it has thoroughly reviewed its insurance plans, including those offered to local leagues through AIG. Little League agrees with the position of state insurance officials that the financial issues facing AIG do not affect its strong position in the well-regulated insurance segment.
AIG recently announced its intent to sell a number of attractive businesses to generate sufficient liquidity to help repay the loan balance. At this time, the plan does not include selling AIG’s domestic and international commercial property casualty businesses, which include Lexington Insurance Company and National Union Fire Insurance Company, the specific AIG companies with which Little League contracts for liability and accident insurance, respectively. Even if these companies were sold to a new carrier, the policies would remain in place.
Local Little League policies will continue to be underwritten by AIG for 2009. They will be handled through the Little League International Risk Management Department in Williamsport, as has been the case for decades.
Do you think they should have changed insurers?
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I was checking out new locations to market my Realtor skills when I came across a pretty cool site about Jacksonville Realtors. It lists five very qualified Realtors that can help you sell or buy property in the greater Jacksonville area.
The Realtors have to go through a screening process and meet minimum requirements to be included on the ClickSmart list. So rather than a long list of everyone, like we find everywhere on the internet, ClickSmart actually qualifies these Realtors so when you choose to use one, there is a good chance they are professionals.
Realtors in Jacksonville must have completed at least 10 transactions in the past year, be a member of the local board, be properly licensed by the state, and must never been disciplined by any state real estate commission or department. Fairly hefty requirements.
Yeah yeah, I know, my idea of fashion is a t-shirt that is too tight on my belly and a pair of worn shorts w/ holes in them exposing my whitey-tighties. That is pretty much my uniform day in and day out 365 days a year here in Florida. Occasionally the temperature gets into the freezing 50′s and I have to put jeans on, but I fight that with abandon! When I have to work, I actually put on a polo shirt and khakis. Man, I am the cult of fashion!
Enter fashionschools.org a site that boasts the ability to “find the right fashion school for you!” Looks like a pretty cool site to me. They have a link to fashion schools, fashion careers, fashion degrees, fashion articles, and fashion blogs. Looks like all things fashion to me! I would certainly be a challenge for them. I do have a cool haircut courtesy of my wife and her buzzers though!
fashionschools.org has researched fashion careers, schools and trends to help you connect with the resources needed to continue an exciting career in the fashion industry. Whether you are interested in design, merchandising, retail, or anything else, you can find your school and get attendance information from the site.
It seems that all paths lead me back to real estate. So I have decided to give in and just embrace it completely. I am at a point in my life that I can truly exploit this opportunity and I am actually excited about it.
I called one of my friends, a top producer at Prudential Real Estate, and within 4 hours had signed on to the firm! How about that for research? They are a great company, I have had my eye on them for a while now, and I believe them to offer me the best opportunity at this time.
The woman that referred me seems to be taking me under her wing as well. That’s good, because I need some help. I plan to dive in full force and help everyone in the office however I can. I have been practicing the real estate business for 18 years now, so this is something I know well, I believe I can be successful because I am committed to the hard work required to succeed in the business.
You have lost your mind!, you say, no, what better time to enter a market than when everyone else is leaving it? Kind of like a negative indicator for a stock. Everyone is talking about how bad the real estate business is in Florida, this reminds me of the shoe shine boy.
As the tale goes, a Wall Street investor stopped by the shoe shine both after he exited the subway on his way to work. The boy started discussing a great stock he had invested in and was making money on. The investor realized that if the shoe shine boy was buying and selling hot stocks, it was time for him to sell. This conversation is said to have taken place a few months before the great depression.
I don’t know if it is true or not, but the concept is good. When everyone was getting into real estate and it was officially a bubble, that was the time to get out, now, when everything is down, it is the time to get in. Make a few deals, save some money, and maybe make an investment or two. With some hard work and luck, I will be successful.
Oh, by the way, know anyone looking to buy or sell some real estate? I am happy to provide them superior service!
Apex Payday Loans is offering a way to receive your payroll advances online. Every day it seems more Payday Loan places are popping up all over the place. I see people going in and out and when you need to pay your electric bill, this is a good way to do it.
But why go down, wait in line, and humiliate yourself? Why not simply apply online? According to their site, just about everyone can qualify for up to $1,500 with no credit check required. Hey, the fact is, everyone gets behind. I know it happens to me all the time! With Payday Loans you can get your cash instantly deposited into the account of your choosing. Apply online right now to Payday Loans , avoid the lines and get your cash fast!
There are basically two types of bloggers in the world – reporters and experts – and some people perform both roles (usually the experts, it’s hard for reporters to become experts, but it’s easy for experts to report).
If you have ever taken an Internet marketing course or attended a seminar specifically for beginners, you have probably heard about the two different methodologies. Whenever the business model is based on content, and if you blog for money then the model is based on content, people are taught to either start as reporters, or if possible step up as experts.
I’ll be frank; you want to be the expert.
Reporters leverage the content of the experts and in most cases people start off as reporters because they haven’t established expertise. Experts enjoy the perks of preeminence, higher conversion rates because of perceived value, it’s easier to get publicity, people are more likely to seek you out rather than you having to seek others out, joint ventures come easier, etc… experts in most cases simply make more money and attract more attention.
Most Bloggers Are Reporters
The thing with expertise is that it requires something – experience. No person becomes an expert without doing things and learning. Bloggers usually start out without expertise and as a result begin their blogging journey by talking about everything going on in their niche (reporting) and by interviewing and talking about other experts (reporting again).
There’s nothing wrong with reporting of course and for many people it’s a necessity at first until you build up some expertise. Unfortunately the ratios are pretty skewed when it comes to reporters and experts – there are a lot more reporters than there are experts, hence reporters tend to struggle to gain attention and when they do, they often just enhance the reputation of the expert they are reporting on.
Don’t Replicate Your Teacher
If you have ever spent some time browsing products in the learn Internet marketing niche you will notice a pattern. Many people first study Internet marketing from a “guru” (for lack of a better term). The guru teaches how he or she is able to make money online, and very often the view that the student gleams is that in order to make money online you have to teach others how to make money online.
The end result of this process is a huge army of amateurs attempting to replicate what their teacher does in the same industry – the Internet marketing industry – not realizing that without expert status based on a proven record and all the perks that come with it, it’s next to impossible to succeed.
Even people, who enjoy marginal success, say for example growing an email list of 1,000 people, then go out and launch a product about how to grow an email list of 1,000 people. Now I have no problems with that, I think it’s fine to teach beginners and leverage whatever achievements you have, the problem is that people gravitate to the same niche – Internet marketing – and rarely have any key points of differentiation.
How many products out there do you know of that all claim to teach the same things – email marketing, SEO, pay per click, affiliate marketing, and all the sub-niches that fall under the category of Internet marketing. It’s a saturated market, yet when you see your teachers and other gurus making money teaching others how to make money (and let’s face it – making money as a subject is one of the most compelling) – your natural inclination is to follow in their footsteps.
If the key is to become an expert and you haven’t spent the last 5-10 years making money online, I suggest you look for another niche to establish expertise in.
Report on Your Process, Not Others
The secret to progress from reporter to expert is not to focus on other experts and instead report on your own journey. When you are learning how to do something and implementing things day by day, or studying other people’s work, you need to take your process and what you do as a result of what you learn, and use it as content for your blog.
It’s okay to talk about experts when you learn something from them, but always relate it to what you are doing. If you learn a technique from an expert it’s fine to state you learned it from them (and affiliate link to their product too!) but you should then take that technique, apply it to what you are doing and then report back YOUR results, not there’s. Frame things using your opinion – your stories – and don’t regurgitate what the expert said. The key is differentiation and personality, not replication.
Expertise comes from doing things most people don’t do and then talking about it. If you do this often enough you wake up one day as an expert, possibly without even realizing how it happened, simply because you were so good at reporting what you did.
You Are Already An Expert
Most people fail to become experts (or perceived as experts) because they don’t leverage what they already know. Every person who lives a life learns things as they go, takes action every day and knows something about something. The reason why they never become an expert is because they choose not to (which is fine for some, not everyone wants to be an expert), but if your goal is to blog your way to expertise and leave the world of reporting behind you have to start teaching and doing so by leveraging real experience.
Experience can come from what you do today and what you have done previously; you just need to take enough steps to demonstrate what you already know and what you are presently learning along your journey. I know so many people in my life, who are experts simply by virtue of the life they have lived, yet they are so insecure about what they know, they never commit their knowledge to words for fear of…well fear.
Blogs and the Web in general, are amazing resources when you leverage them as a communication tool to spread your expertise because of the sheer scope of people they can reach. If all you ever do is talk to people in person and share your experience using limited communication mediums, you haven’t much hope of becoming an expert. Take what you know and show other people through blogging, and you might be surprised how people change their perception of you in time.
Reporting Is A Stepping Stone
If your previous experience and expertise is from an area you want to leave behind or you are starting from “scratch”, then reporting is the path you must walk, at least for the short term.
Reporting is a lot of fun. Interviewing experts, talking about what other people are doing and just being part of a community is not a bad way to blog. In many cases people make a career of reporting (journalism is about just that), but if you truly want success and exponential results, at some point you will have to stand up and proclaim yourself as someone unusually good at something and then proceed to demonstrate it over and over again.
Have patience and focus on what you do to learn and then translate that experience into lessons for others, and remember, it’s okay to be a big fish in a small pond, that’s all most experts really are.
This article was by Yaro Starak, a professional blogger and my blog mentor. He is the leader of the Blog Mastermind mentoring program designed to teach bloggers how to earn a full time income blogging part time.
To get more information about Blog Mastermind click this link:
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