Dealing with Challenges in 2015

Challenges are unavoidable. Sometimes we feel that challenges are an annoyance, however we also know that nothing worthwhile comes easy. Often a challenge will stretch our abilities to achieve goals. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone, is often a challenge, but in order to expose yourself to opportunity you have to go beyond your normal routine.


Whats your challenge?

Only by taking some risks, personal or professional, can we exceed our expectations. Setting our goals and achieving them comes with meeting and reaching past those challenges.

What are some challenges that are overlooked? Are you faced with “unseen” challenges? Are you often investing your time in activities or people that steal your time or divert you from your goals? One challenge is to recognize those challenges and also how to get past them. They can come disguised as television, cell phones or any number of small diversions. Keeping focused to obtain those goals are a challenge. Often when faced with a challenge there are many opportunities to pass it off as an annoyance and miss the benefit of going “outside the box”. Do you have challenges such as: health goals, financial goals, personal family goals? How are you reaching them, and if not, what is your plan to overcome those challenges? Keep persevering and meet the challenge!


211° is hot, 212° is boiling!

What is the difference between being motivated to go forward and being effective in making something happen? Hot water can be uncomfortable to have your hand in, however boiling water will certainly prompt you to take action!

tea kettle

tea kettle

Steam is a very effective tool from taking paint off the wall to moving a steam engine down the tracks. What is your motivation? What changes your direction from your daily routine to the fast track of achievement?

Finding your personal motivational key, helps you to continue to modify your actions and resources to achieve your focused end goals.

Creating a habit of putting aside everyday distractions and interruptions that tend to delay your final goals, is a “work in progress” achievement. As our exposure to outside information and stimulus increases through the ease of immediate access to cell phones, the internet, radio, television and cable, etc. it is even more essential to be selective about where you invest your limited time and personal resources.

Evaluate your time and personal resources. Determine for yourself where your personal goals and values fall into place. Recognizing your limitations of time and energy, provides opportunity to create a priority list – in your own best interests! Call it a bucket list, or a “must do” list – but make the most of your day and your future.

Techniques for Repeatable Success

Success is a wonderful thing. Repeatable success is even sweeter! To achieve that goal – you need to start with the foundation. Not a news flash, but an integral part of the process. If you have a goal, the best way to reach it, is to create a road map. Once the road map is established, and you have won the prize – the aim is to repeat that success. The old adage of “not recreating the wheel” comes to mind. If you have already “created the wheel” for your business or your focus, keep the momentum alive by using that platform to launch your next level of success.paper trail

Documentation and ear marking your steps is essential to continued success. The ISO System of documentation is an intense process to guarantee repeatability. Depending on your particular goals – they need not be as formal. When in business, the quality of your service and/or product depends on the customer receiving the same value for the exchange every single time they interact with your company (or you).

Creating flow charts, or SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) allow the repetitive procedures to be recreated without additional input or energy on your part. That allows you and/or your team to focus on the “icing on the cake” strategies that separate your company or service from your competitors. As with most things, start with the basics, ex: phone procedures-etiquette, packaging your product, product work flow. Document and test those procedures to assure they are the quality and efficiency you want to repeat. Then turn your energies to more complex procedures, as you evaluate and create those repeatable patterns, they will become second nature, creating additional opportunities to advance to the next level of your business and personal success – and then, repeat!

The Man-Month Myth; Does Manpower Equal Expedited Productivity?

The book The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks is an insight into the relationship between time, energy and productivity.

When examining the prospect of adding more hands into a project, it is more complex consideration then the concept of: more people equal more work.

elves at work

More hands on deck does not always equal more output. The complex balance of skill, timing, physical output on the tangible side have a balance. However, the creative thought processes are not measurable by hours or people. You can’t order “2 hours of creativity” from Amazon with free shipping. Creativity is a process that is motivated by external input and personal interpretation.

The process of determining the time frame or expense of a project is as multi-faceted as the project itself or the people involved in it.

When watching the Olympics and you witness a “gifted” athlete who displays talents that make their performance appear effortless – the hours, people, expense, sacrifice and time invested in that outcome do not equal the moment in the sun (for us) any more than the great works of DiVinci are reflected in each creation.

When you are planning a project, take some of the points in the works of Mr. Brooks into consideration. Your expectations will have a better foundation and more realistic opportunity for success.

Small Business Technology ~ how does it serve clients in 2015?

Utilizing technology enables small businesses to operate like a big business. Technology provides the opportunity for businesses to respond more efficiently to meet the needs of their clients. In business and in our personal lives we have a limited amount of time ~ to spend that time wisely is in the best interests of the client as well as the small business.
old computerReducing the stress for the client and the business equates to a transaction that will entice them to become a repeat client and a business that becomes more profitable as  less time is spent in recreating its redundant procedures.

As technology evolves it opens up new avenues of opportunity. However staying up to date on the the skills required to capitalize on that technology can become a full time endeavor. The same technology that enables us to move forward can be utilized to help businesses to achieve those goals. Utilizing these multifaceted platforms and time saving  measures can propel our advancement towards serving customers more efficiently and reaching our goals. From communication to production using the tools available currently and in the future can determine  the difference between success for clients as well as stability in our business.

Aftermath of the ice storm, February 2015

iced barbThe storm of February, 2015 left a lot of devastation. The trees suffered serious damage from being overloaded with ice and consequently breaking. The trees brought down the power lines, thousands of people were without electric.

What did come into the foresight however was the camaraderie that resulted as people banded together to lend a hand throughout the community. You see the best or the worst in people during a crisis ~ in this case, it was the best. Kudos to Crossville and the surrounding area for rising to the occasion!

What is not seen, is not missing in your garden

When you do a visual checklist  of your garden, you can appreciate all your efforts and the beauty and value of Mother Nature. What is in your garden that you don’t see? Underground, there is a whole additional world going on. There are billions to hundreds of billions of soil microorganisms in a mere handful of a typical, garden soil.

wild violet

Wild violet

That single handful might well contain thousands of different species of bacteria (most of whom have yet to be classified), hundreds of different species of fungi and protozoa, dozens of different species of nematodes plus a goodly assortment of various mites and other micro arthropods. Almost all of these countless soil organisms are not only beneficial, but essential to the life giving properties of soil. The “no till” version of gardening and agriculture has evolved with respect to not only the value of labor reduction, but with respect to the interaction and intense infrastructure of the inhabitants underground. So, the next time you are in your garden, tread lightly!

Books will survive!


I love books

Do you read e-books or hard copy printed books? Being a printer by trade, I have a passion for the written word. I also, have more printed books than I have bookshelves to house them! I have friends that love their e-books and friends that love their printed books.  The technology of today allows books to be printed on demand as opposed to printing and warehousing them. I spend more than enough time staring at a computer screen, so for me, it is an indulgence to sit and read a book. There is a book for every occasion, entertainment, education and every topic in between – the sky’s the limit! Enjoy!!!

March 2014 Lion or Lamb?

Peach Tree Identification tag


Spring is dragging its feet this year! It can’t seem to arrive and stay. We will just keep cheering it on and sooner or later ~ the winter will have to subside! Along with the spring being inspired to stay, our best intentions will follow. Gardening, hiking, and all the other activities that have been put on hold will spring forth as well.

What are you waiting for? Spring Forth!