It’s time to explore the world!

I used to think about traveling the world and visiting places most people only see on TV. For a long time, I’d forgotten about that dream because I was caught up in things that prevented me from enjoying my life the way I always wanted. I want to continue to be in business because that’s part of who I am. But I realize that there are other sides of me that want to explore, experience and do more in life… as we all do.

It’s interesting how we get caught up in life and forget about the things we always dreamed of doing. And oftentimes, when an opportunity presents itself to experience something we’ve always wanted, we pass on it because we’re so used to our routine, or we’re somehow unable because of our day to day obligations… and it leaves us feeling stuck or unsatisfied.

I don’t make resolutions because I don’t believe in them, but this year Island VacationI’m moving towards a business that will enable me to travel and move around more… for both business and pleasure. I don’t know exactly what that business is yet, but I know it will present itself to me sometime this year as I am finally ready for it.

Interestingly, every business that I’ve ever had in the past has just come to me. The idea popped into my head one day and I miraculously had the resources to pursue it. And each business prepared me for the next. When I started my trucking company, for instance, I was working for a manufacturing company coordinating logistics. (I’d also done local residential moving and tried cross country as well but didn’t like it.)

Then, one day it occurred to me how simple, yet profitable trucking was. I thought to myself “I can do this!” I bought a truck with my credit card and was in business in a few months. What made it easy was that I had already made connections in the industry, so some of my contacts provided me with business to get started. And from there the business grew without much effort on my part.

So many people think it’s difficult to move from where they are to where they want to be. It may not always be easy, but I can assure you that it is possible if you’re serious about it. When you know what you want and you believe you can have it, opportunities tend to magically present themselves… at least in my experience.

One key to taking advantage of opportunities is to be aware and looking for them because they’re always around you. You might see a billboard or TV commercial that gives you an idea. You may hear someone’s conversation that sparks a thought. Or, as with me, you may just have people calling you that outright suggest and/or offer it to you!

As an example, just recently I had a friend call me because he wanted to introduce me to one of his associates in another part of the state. We talked on the phone that same day and started doing business immediately. It was the best deal I’d had since we started moving servers for Facebook back in 2009. (Coincidently, I’d just been talking about how I was ready for new business.)

Another key to finding opportunities is to talk to people. This is essential because almost every opportunity you have will come through other people. Why? Because the people you know, know people that you don’t. And if nobody knows you’re looking for an opportunity, you can be sure that nobody will offer you one. So, be sure to tell everyone you know what you’re looking for, or that you’re looking to do something new and/ or different.

Finally, and I mentioned this earlier, you have to believe that new things are possible for you. If you don’t believe it, you won’t be looking for opportunities, you won’t talk to people, and you’ll continue doing the same things you’ve been doing. And because of the law of Cause and Effect, you’ll keep getting the same results you’ve always gotten!

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Enjoy more success the easier way!

Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the time and effort I put into my trucking business and how stressful it can be at times. All jobs can be stressful, of course, but when it comes to drawing the boundaries on how much you can and should tolerate, you have to evaluate what you’re putting in, what you’re getting out, and whether the payoff is worth it.

As much as I enjoy the trucking business, there are a lot of things I don’t enjoy, which has brought me to the point that I’m evaluating the skills I’m good at and the things I love about business: talking to people and making the deals… and how I can focus most of my time on these two things,

So many people go through life chasing their tails and being unsatisfied with their jobs and/or income because they don’t know: 1) what their core strengths are, 2) what part of their job they enjoy doing, or 3) what they’re good at. Ask anyone who has worked for me and they’ll tell you that management isn’t one of my core strengths… and I must say that I agree. LOL

I know I’ve improved a lot over the last ten years, but I blame the perfectionist in me for always wanting everything done just right. In all honestly, my approach is always in the best interest of our customers. You have to provide the products and services your customers need when they need them. (And if you don’t, what good are you to them?)

Although I know what my core strengths are, I’m finding it difficult to position myself to focus on them because there’s always something happening to throw me off course. Example, I had a driver resign the other day because his duties with a specific customer we have were too much for him.

This week I’ve been running a truck to pick up the slack and I can honestly say that I can’t blame him because handling time critical shipments all the time is stressful. I think the major issue is always working against the clock and fighting traffic day in and day out… after a while it starts to wear you down.

A few months ago we started shifting the direction of the company away from time critical shipments and more towards working with larger customers full time (also know as dedicated transportation). I should have done this a long time ago, but I held back because time critical shipments bring in more revenue for the same time and resources—and the thought of having a few big customers scares me.

If you’ve listened to my audio course Secrets of Living Like a Superstar Now, you’ve already heard the story of my big business failure in the early 2000’s. Back then, we were moving servers for Google and other companies all over the Silicon Valley and business was booming because of the growth of the Internet.

I had trucks running all over the place, a warehouse, and a full staff. Then the day came when my primary customer, Google, moved their server operation to Atlanta… and 75% of my company’s revenue went with it! That was a very smart corporate decision for Google for a lot of reasons and a very hard lesson for me.

As hard as it was to recover from that lesson both mentally and financially, I actually thank them for it because I learned it on a relatively small scale. Not to mention, I know better than to ever make that mistake again. In a lot of ways, they actually made me an even greater success. Thanks Google!

With this new issue of time critical shipments being too much stress, change is very welcome.  It’s going to take a while and it will affect our revenue in the short term, but over all I know everyone will be happy with the transition once it is complete as less stress is always better.

When you’re in a difficult situation and you need to make a change, the most important things to think about are: 1) how you want your life and/or situation to be, and 2) what you need to do differently to enjoy that result in your life… because it’s always what we’re doing or not doing that creates the results we have. And as obvious as it seems, unless we do things differently, we’ll always have the same result.

Success doesn’t always come in leaps and bounds like we hope it will. Instead, it tends to come as the result of small shifts made over time because the adversities we face make us stronger, teach us important lessons and build us into a wiser, more capable person.

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Go natural and lose weight without trying!

After years of personal experimentation, research, and polling people on their day-to-day eating habits and weight gain, I have a new mantra: “Man made foods = Body fat and bad health!” It sounds extreme, but you’ll understand why I’ve adopted this mantra in a moment.

We’ve all heard that there are foods that are supposed to be “healthy” for us and are not as great as we’ve been let to believe they are. Take whole grain bread for instance. Yes, assuming you can see the whole grains, it is healthier than white bread or brown bread colored with molasses. (Oh, you mean you thought all brown bread was whole grain? Wrong! That’s a food manufacturers trick to make us believe that their bread is whole grain when it really isn’t. Sneaky, isn’t it!)

But even the organic sprouted wheat berry bread that you find in the finest natural food stores contains one of those ingredients that has been debated as to whether it is really healthy or even fit for human consumption: wheat. (Corn and Soy are two others.)

Now I’m not siding with anyone by saying that wheat is bad or not healthy for us. But like most foods that must be processed to be consumed, in my experience, it probably isn’t a good idea to eat too much of it, and it actually causes me to build up a stomach when I eat it regularly in moderation.

For years I suspected that wheat based products were keeping me from being as lean as I wanted to be. In 2009, I cut wheat out of my food choices completely in favor oats and I got as lean as ever. Last year in October when I was doing my Wolverine Workouts, I performed a conservative test on myself since I hadn’t eaten wheat in so long to see what would happen.

The results: after only one month of including minimally processed bran cereal and organic sprouted wheat berry bread in my daily routine—which does not contain the processed flour that we attribute to weight gain—I’d put on almost 5 pounds right in my belly in spite of only eating 2400 – 2700 calories per day.

Obviously, things didn’t go as I’d planned. Oh well, at least I figured it out fairly quickly and eliminated the culprit for good. And since I’m fairly lean anyways, I knew I’d blast the extra pounds off in no time.

Fast forward to this January, I’m back to eating sweet potatoes, brown rice, red potatoes (eaten cold for a lower glycemic index), and fruits and vegetables along with my chicken and lean beef. Funny thing, not only did I start getting leaner once I stopped consuming wheat based products (man made foods), but I was doing it while eating 3000 calories a day!

That’s right! I was eating more food and getting leaner. How can that be?

Simply stated: unprocessed foods are easier for the body to use for energy, while processed foods are typically harder on the body because they contain additives, preservatives and/or other ingredients (chemicals) that are foreign to the body.

Speaking of foreign ingredients, MSG is one of those additives that is considered to be a “natural flavoring” and in many cases is NOT listed on food labels or is hidden behind crafty names. Yet, scientists have used MSG to fatten up lab mice and make them obese.

Check out this link here if you want to read a study on it: The induction of obesity in rodents by means of monosodium glutamate.

In case you didn’t catch that, let me repeat it again: Scientists have used MSG to fatten up mice on purpose!

What’s the problem?

Granted, you and I are not lab mice. But if MSG induces obesity in them, in spite of NOT having any calories, what do you think it does to us? I don’t really think I need to say. And that’s just one problem with MSG.

Another issue with MSG is that it is classified as an excitotoxin*, which has been linked to brain cell death, migraines and other serious health issues. (Aspartame is also a very popular excitotoxin* and a common ingredient in many sweet, low calorie foods and beverages.)

I could go on and on about MSG, Aspartame and other additives and/or preservatives in many of the man made foods today and how they make us fat or ruin our bodies, but you get the idea: They’re not good for our health and we should avoid them whenever possible.

One more HUGE problem I want to touch on with man made foods is the nutrition labels food manufacturers provide us with. They’re supposed to be “transparent” and tell us what is in our food by law. Problem is, food manufacturers use so many chemicals, additives and preservatives that we can’t even pronounce that it almost doesn’t matter. Not to mention, the labels don’t really tell us the truth anyways.

Sugar Label

Take a look at the image of the food label on the right. The first ingredient is sugar, and different forms of sugar are listed in at least three other places if you look closely. (Dextrose, Invert Sugar and Corn Syrup)

Yet, the label tells us that it has 0 grams of sugar—in spite of it being the first ingredient, which is an indication that sugar is what the product contains the most of. (By law, the first ingredient on the list is supposed to be the most prominent in the food.)

Today, to really understand what is in our food, we either have to be a scientist or research each ingredient individually. Seriously? Like most busy people, I don’t have the time to conduct research to find out what they’re putting in food. I just want to eat!

That’s one of the main reasons why I like natural foods. Assuming we buy them organic and in their natural state, sweet potatoes have one ingredient: sweet potatoes. As do brown rice, red potatoes, chicken, beef and other natural foods.

See what I mean?

By eating natural, I’m NOT putting chemicals or other additives into my body and the wheat weight is disappearing. And long term, what we put in our body is one the determining factors in how long we live and how healthy we are. After all, the human body was made to process food—not food like products.

“Man made foods = Body fat and bad health!”

Any questions?

*If you want to know more about excitotoxins, and I highly recommend that you do get educated on them because they may be quietly destroying your family’s health, simply Google the word “excitotoxin” and you’ll come up with plenty of educational links. Here are a few to get you started:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excitotoxicity

http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/review-excitotoxins-taste-kills

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7854587

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Do you think that’s food you’re eating?

Recently, I went to the grocery store and it occurred to me that the “real” food area of most grocery stores is getting smaller and smaller. By “real” food, I mean the area where you can find all of the fruits, vegetables and natural foods that are unprocessed and come from the earth in their natural state.Pop-Tarts

The rest of the store, as far as food is concerned, is filled with man made food like products that are boxed, bagged, packaged or preserved in some other way: breads, bagels, snack foods, cereals, baked products, etc. (Many of which claim to be “healthy” for us!)

Although most of us believe that this is how food is supposed to be because we’ve grown up watching commercials that have told us what is cool to eat and drink since we were children, go back to the years before 1950 and you’ll discover that the world was a very different place—before mass production of food products became popular, and obesity, heart disease and diabetes began destroying the health, bodies and lives of the people we love.

Back then, when you went to the market (it was usually called a market instead of a grocery store), you would typically make a daily trip to get all of the fresh foods and ingredients you needed to make breakfast, lunch or dinner that day.

Sure there were canned foods, bread and a few baked products. But for the most part, almost everything at the market was fresh and unprocessed—the way nature intended it to be. And back then, before labs came up with ways to preserve food almost indefinitely, even bread had a shorter shelf life. But today, food products can last for weeks, months or even years without spoiling.

wafflesFoods are made to last for greater convenience, right? So what’s the problem?

First and foremost, regardless of what food marketers and manufacturers want us to believe, we are NOT eating real food. And if it has more than one ingredient, in most cases, it is NOT natural. Once something has been added or its natural state has been altered in some way, it becomes a processed food product.

In essence, in my opinion anyways, processed means man made foods. And natural, according to food manufacturers and marketers anyways, means minimally processed. Natural should mean natural, but the FDA allows them to get away with their slick marketing because of the economic benefits product sales create.

Sad, but true!

And although food manufacturers would never admit it, it is the processing and preserving of foods that is causing most of our health problems today. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but if you’re still eating processed foods, you may not completely understand the health risks many of them pose.

I say this because I had heard it all too. I assumed because it was on the shelf and it was popular it must be safe and good for us to eat. The FDA (government) wouldn’t allow companies to sell us products that would be bad for us. They care about us and they’re looking out for our best interest, right?

Wrong!

Today, the words natural, whole grain and healthy are regularly abused. We would like to think that the FDA (government) is looking out for our health before the well being of our economy. Unfortunately, economics (money) comes before people these days—which is really stupid because we end up paying for it double time with health care expenses and loss of productive time at work.

Call me a health nut if you want, but since I was 14, when I started figuring out that it was the food that had made me obese, I’ve watched a lot of people become obese, get sick or even die because of illnesses and diseases that have been attributed to processed food products, additives and/or preservatives.

At the age of 13 I was almost 200 pounds at Fruit rollupsonly five feet tall—a cheeseburger away from a heart attack. And I’d probably be over 400 pounds and digging my own grave if I’d continued eating like most American’s into my adult years: hotdogs, pizza, burgers and fries, soda and plenty of snacks.

The truth is that we’re all busy and sometimes it seems like creating the time to prepare a meal isn’t possible. But what we need to realize is that we need to make the time because our health is everything. Without health, we can’t work, we can’t spend quality time with the people we love, we can’t do the things we enjoy and we can’t enjoy our life.

If that’s the case, what’s the point of living?

Next time you’re having a meal or a snack, take a good look at it and ask yourself if it is making you healthy. And if not, is it worth your life? A snack once in a while is okay, but in today’s society, food marketers and manufacturers want us to snack all of the time because it feeds their profits.

Asking yourself if every snack or meal contributes to your health may sound extreme, but in the end, that’s the price we pay if we spend our life eating unhealthy foods—even if we’ve been innocently led to believe that they are healthy.

Want to know what foods you should be eating or avoiding? Check out these articles:

Are carbs making you fat?

Sugar… the choice of a new generation

3 tips to start losing weight now

Can I eat whatever I want if I exercise?

Do low carbohydrate diets work?

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Simple Weight Loss: How to eat the foods you should and avoid the foods you shouldn’t

Have you ever known someone who was a big story teller? And even though you and everyone else already knew that they were only telling a story (lying), they seemed to believe their story… regardless of how silly, ridiculous or unrealistic it was?

As funny as this usually is, chances are that that person really did believe their story for one reason more than any other: whatever we tell ourselves we begin to believe over time, and doing so can work for us, or, it can work against us.

Although this is an unusual example, this method is commonly called self-suggestion, or, if done intentionally for some type of self-improvement purpose, it can also be called a positive affirmation.

For the liar, self-suggestion obviously works against them and makes them look foolish. But for us, it can actually be very useful for changing our habits, replacing any non-supportive beliefs or consciously directing our thoughts.

If you’re having trouble losing weight because you can’t seem to give up some kind of food, drink or dessert, for instance, you can begin changing your belief about the item by telling yourself that it just doesn’t taste as good as it used to.

And whenever you talk to others about it, you can reinforce the self-suggestion even further by making subtle comments about how you don’t like it as much any more, or how you’re losing the taste for it.

Sound too simple to be effective?

Maybe, but I can assure you that it does work because this is exactly how I stopped indulging in my favorite desserts, chocolate, pizza and even French fries. I used to love these foods many years ago and I would eat them often. But today, I don’t eat them—and honestly don’t care to eat them—because I’ve told myself (through subtle self-suggestion) that I don’t really care for them for so long.

Coincidently, or not, I have a lot less body fat, I’m leaner than I’ve ever been, and avoiding weight gain is completely effortless because I’m no longer eating the foods that were causing me to gain weight or preventing me from losing it.

It’s very simple, but that’s the power of self-suggestion!

Now, this may not be so simple at first because your mind will probably reject your suggestions, especially if you know that you really do love chocolate. But, if you continue to repeat the suggestions, over time, they will eventually sink in and whatever you are suggesting to yourself WILL become true for you.

How long will it take for the suggestions to work?

For everyone the time frame is different, and depending on how much you like the food and how long you’ve been eating it, like forming a habit, it could take as little as 21 days. While there is no definite time frame for suggestions to start working, one factor that greatly influences how fast they work is our DESIRE to lose weight. With that stated, the real question here is:

How big is your desire to lose weight?

The bigger your desire, the faster the suggestions will begin to work. Either way, however long it takes, if you keep at it and you keep making the suggestions on a regular basis, they definitely will work.

Sample Suggestions:

(Insert name of food here) just doesn’t taste as good as it used to.

I don’t like (Insert name of food here) as much any more.

For some reason, I’m losing the taste for (Insert name of food here).

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