Thursday, December 26, 2013

You can fool some of the people

You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

And you certainly cannot fool yourself.

Be true to yourself because in the end YOU know, and that is all that matters. I see it all the time, people that do not treat others with respect and think of nothing but themselves and their wallet.
They ALL ultimately fail. Some take longer then others but trust me they fail. Their loved ones see it and soon they are very lonely people.

It is all about the ride- the experience- the journey. If you look past the people around you or think that you are better then them you don't get it. Life is about constant self evaluation, growing, learning and trying to be the best person that you can be.

You will have tough times, you will mess up and get angry and frustrated. That's ok that is all part of the journey and the learning. Do not take the easy path because you are afraid to fail or blame others.
Stand up.

Those that think money will solve all their problems are fooling themselves. I often wonder why people hate or lie or backstab somebody and always comes back to money and power.
That is unfortunately what drives most people- money and power. They think if they have more power they will get more money and therefore be happy so in order to gain more power they lie, cheat and steal. I have seen the opposite, people that do it the right way, they work hard, help others and stay true to themselves and they too have success. But their success is much deeper and long lasting.

Work hard, find the truth and stay true to yourself -FIRST AND ALWAYS.


 There are lots of different ways power can manifest itself.

 And for that reason, it’s important to realize that power exists in all of us. It’s also possible that you have different kinds of power with different groups or situations.

To help you identify your workplace power, take a moment to think about how you try to influence others.

How do you talk to your labor, your fellow drivers or dispatchers. Not only in the home office but in other agencies across the country.

You have the POWER to make things pleasant even on a difficult day.

Truly evaluate yourself on how you did this year and you should do the same at the end of every day. How could you have improved ? Could you have handled a conversation differently?

Work on yourself first and how you can influence others and the situation.

More Twain

5. Release yourself from entitlement.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

When you are young your mom and dad may give a lot of things. As you grow older you may have a sort of entitlement. You may feel like the world should just give you what you want or that it owes you something.

This belief can cause a lot of anger and frustration in your life. Because the world may not give you what expect it to. On the other hand, this can be liberating too. You realize that it is up to you to shape your own life and for you to work towards what you want. You are not a kid anymore, waiting for your parents or the world to give you something.

You are in the driver’s seat now. And you can go pretty much wherever you want.

6. If you’re taking a different path, prepare for reactions.

“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

I think this has quite a bit of relevance to self-improvement.

If you start to change or do something different than you usually do then people may react in different ways. Some may be happy for you. Some may be indifferent. Some may be puzzled or react in negative and discouraging ways.

Much of these reactions are probably not so much about you but about the person who said it and his/her life. How they feel about themselves is coming through in the words they use and judgements they make.

And that’s OK. I think it’s pretty likely that they won’t react as negatively as you may imagine. Or they will probably at least go back to focusing on their own challenges pretty soon.

So what other people may say and think and letting that hold you back is probably just fantasy and barrier you build in your mind.

You may find that when you finally cross that inner threshold you created then people around you may not shun you or go chasing after you with pitchforks. :)They might just go: “OK”.

7. Keep your focus steadily on what you want.

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

What you focus your mind on greatly determines how things play out. You can focus on your problems and dwell in suffering and a victim mentality. Or you can focus on the positive in situation, what you can learn from that situation or just focus your mind on something entirely else.

It may be “normal” to dwell on problems and swim around in a sea of negativity. But that is a choice. And a thought habit. You may reflexively start to dwell on problems instead of refocusing your mind on something more useful. But you can also start to build a habit of learning to gain more and more control of where you put your focus.

8. Don’t focus so much on making yourself feel good.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

This may be a bit of a counter-intuitive tip. But as I wrote yesterday, one of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to make someone else feel good or to help them in some way.

This is a great way to look at things to create an upward spiral of positivity and exchange of value between people. You help someone and both of you feel good. The person you helped feels inclined to give you a hand later on since people tend to want to reciprocate. And so the both of you are feeling good and helping each other.

Those positive feelings are contagious to other people and so you may end up making them feel good too. And the help you received from your friend may inspire you to go and help another friend. And so the upward spiral grows and continues.

9. Do what you want to do.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

From Mark Twain

“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

“Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

“When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.”

You may know Mark Twain for some of his very popular books like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He was a writer and also a humorist, satirist and lecturer.

Twain is known for his many – and often funny – quotes. Here are a few of my favourite tips from him.

1. Approve of yourself.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

If you don’t approve of yourself, of your behaviour and actions then you’ll probably walk around most of the day with a sort of uncomfortable feeling. If you, on the other hand, approve of yourself then you tend to become relaxed and gain inner freedom to do more of what you really want.

This can, in a related way, be a big obstacle in personal growth. You may have all the right tools to grow in some way but you feel an inner resistance. You can’t get there.

What you may be bumping into there are success barriers. You are putting up barriers in your own mind of what you may or may not deserve. Or barriers that tell you what you are capable of. They might tell you that you aren’t really that kind of person that could this thing that you’re attempting.

Or if you make some headway in the direction you want to go you may start to sabotage for yourself. To keep yourself in a place that is familiar for you.

So you need give yourself approval and allow yourself to be who you want to be. Not look for the approval from others. But from yourself. To dissolve that inner barrier or let go of that self-sabotaging tendency. This is no easy task and it can take time.

2. Your limitations may just be in your mind.

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

So many limitations are mostly in our minds. We may for instance think that people will disapprove because we are too tall, too old or balding. But these things mostly matter when you think they matter. Because you become self-conscious and worried about what people may think.

And people pick up on that and may react in negative ways. Or you may interpret anything they do as a negative reaction because you are so fearful of a bad reaction and so focused inward on yourself.

If you, on the other hand, don’t mind then people tend to not mind that much either. And if you don’t mind then you won’t let that part of yourself become a self-imposed roadblock in your life.

It is, for instance, seldom too late to do what you want to do.

3. Lighten up and have some fun.

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Humor and laughter are amazing tools. They can turn any serious situation into something to laugh about. They can lighten the mood just about anywhere.

And a lighter mood is often a better space to work in because now your body and mind isn’t filled to the brim with negative emotions. When you are more light-hearted and relaxed then the solution to a situation is often easier to both come up with and implement. Have a look at Lighten Up! for more on this topic.

4. Let go of anger.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Anger is most of the time pretty pointless. It can cause situations to get out of hand. And from a selfish perspective it often more hurtful for the one being angry then the person s/he’s angry at.

So even if you feel angry at someone for days recognize that you are mostly just hurting yourself. The other person may not even be aware that you are angry at him or her. So either talking to the person and resolving the conflict or letting go of anger as quickly as possible are pretty good tips to make your life more pleasurable.

More tomorrow

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Gift

From the book- Orr The Story , about Bobby Orr the Hall of Fame hockey player for the Boston Bruins.

On Role models...

" If someone is looking to you as a role model, chances are you have been very lucky in life. You may have worked hard, but you also received some pretty spectacular gifts. That doesn't mean your better than anyone else, and it doesn't mean you deserve what you've got. It just means you received a gift. In my view, that means you've got an obligation to share that gift. "

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Be Strong

good ways to be

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

When it comes to giving gifts, we all think about things we can purchase or make. But to give a gift whose value endures, give it from your heart.

 The best gifts are given from the heart.

A gift that is given from the heart, given to the right person at the right time and place, given with expectation of nothing in return, is a gift that will keep on giving.
In the language of the heart, giving translates as offering a part of yourself to someone who, at that moment, needs it more than you do.
So give from the heart to those who need to receive the most:
To those who feel betrayed, give the gift of loyalty.
To those who feel anxious, give the gift of tranquility.
To those who feel isolated, give the gift of belonging.
To those who feel ambiguity, give the gift of certainty.
To those who feel pain, give the gift of comfort.
To those who feel vulnerable, give the gift of safety.
To those who feel insecure, give the gift of confidence.
To those who feel lost, give the gift of guidance.
To those who feel dissatisfied, give the gift of contentment.
To those who feel envious, give the gift of worthiness.
To those who feel empty, give the gift of admiration.
To those who feel distressed, give the gift of calmness.
To those who feel unheard, give the gift of listening.
To those who feel angry, give the gift of  love.
The most meaningful gifts are often the ones that come from the heart and are given in compassion and love.
Giving is a way of filling your own heart, but the true gift will be in the receiving.

As we look beyond the gifts we have been given to those we are receiving, know that there is a plan and purpose in these gifts, just as there is a plan and purpose within each new challenge and adventure.

Lead From Within: By giving from the heart you not only honor others, you also honor yourself because you are allowing your heart to do what it was made to do – give and receive.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.
Muhammad Ali

I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.

When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character.

No man is a failure who has friends


  1. Coercive power is associated with people who are in a position to punish others. People fear the consequences of not doing what has been asked of them. It doesn’t always have to be a fear of disciplinary action. It could be a less favorable work schedule or a boring work assignment.
  2. Connection power is based upon who you know. This person knows, and has the ear of, other powerful people within the organization. Connection power comes in handy when a person needs to ask for a favor or needs help with a project.
  3. Expert power comes from a person’s expertise. This is commonly a person with an acclaimed skill or accomplishment. Expert power isn’t always about letters after someone’s name. They could be a subject matter expert or the guru who always seem to know how to fix the copier.
  4. A person who has access to valuable or important information possesses informational power. Being able to curate data in this world of technological noise, can make a person very powerful.
  5. Legitimate power comes from the position a person holds. This is related to a person’s title and job responsibilities. You might also hear this referred to as positional power.
  6. People who are well-liked and respected can have referent power. Being popular is very powerful. That’s why people want to be a part of “the cool kids”.
  7. Reward power is based upon a person’s ability to bestow rewards. Those rewards might come in the form of job assignments, schedules, pay or benefits. 

Season's Greetings


Paul Arpin would say that " without our drivers we are nothing". From everybody at Arpin Van Lines we want to wish all of our drivers a very happy and safe holiday season. Thank you all for the sacrifices that you make every day and your dedication to your profession.

May God bless you and your family today and every day.

Trucker’s Christmas Poem

It was the night before Christmas and all through the truck stop,
Truckers were wishing their load they could drop
They were all snug and sound and asleep in their racks,
Most of em were snoring cuz they slept on their backs.
Their engines were off and their stacks all set high,
In hope that St. Nicholas would soon be by.
They were wanting  St. Nick to bring them a load home tomorrow,
To offset their loneliness and ease all their sorrow.
Through snow and sleet and all sorts of stuff
A trucker does truck and they have to be tough,
They’re gone all the time and they are hardly at home
Across this great country they all have to roam.
So St. Nicholas please keep us truckers in mind
And on Christmas day, our families we find.

Wishing all our trucking families a safe journey home for the holidays,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Credibility and Trust

Credibility and Trust are two ingredients that you need to be a good leader, boss, employee and friend.

How to gain credibility and trust? 
Follow through and stand by your word.

If you want people to trust you then do not lie to them. 
Do not just yell orders, lead by example.
Be there when they need you.
That is how you gain trust.

In order to gain trust you need be credible, people need to trust you.
If you change direction or get caught in a lie you lose your reputation and people will have a tough time falling in line and believing in you.

Reputations are very tough to change, perception is reality.
People talk.
You can have a good reputation or a bad one. 
If people feel like you are on their side and want to help them, they will defend you to others and in turn build your reputation for you. 
Or they will speak negative about you and therefore destroy your reputation and trust me a negative reputation is much more difficult to change.

It's pretty simple, just do your job and be honest. Care about the other guy and it will come back to you. Walk all over the other guy and that too will come back to you.
The choice is yours.

Credibility and trust.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

From Driver Skip...

Road Warrior has left a new comment on your post "The Media": 

Funny thing is....I was walking through downtown Phenix City,Alabama,the other night....We all know that small towns like this roll their sidewalks up after dark...Well?...We(my wife and I)came upon a shoe store,and,there,right in the window,was a great pair or shoe's for her.The right size and everything...She looked at me and said"they shure would look good on me",I picked up a brick and through it through the window,she has a new pair of shoe's.....Two stores down,a manican was wearing a dress in her size and the comment was"it sure would look good on me"another brick,and now she has a new dress......

Two more stores down there's another mannican,this time with a Mink coat on it....She looks at me and says"that sure would look good on me"I looked her in the eyes and said"WHAT DO YOU THINK I'M MADE OF?BRICKS?????

The moral to the story is-To live within your means,times get tough,figure out where to reduce your costs...Me,Obamacare has dropped a thousand dollars off my health costs(dunno how long that will last),dropped my home phone,eliminated un-needed costs for faxing,ect.and hopefully we will be ok until spring... 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Media

In today's world we are inundated with images of Christmas from the media. We are told that it is all about buying expensive gifts for each other. 

In today's challenging economic times it is a tragedy that parents spend way more than they can afford to try to please their children.

 The sad truth is that, "money can't buy you love".

 A holiday is about the time spent together with loved ones. 

It is about gifts that come from the heart, and it is the about the thousands of years of tradition that mark the holiday season.


The people we tend to forget who work so hard on the holidays are our troopers, our paramedics, and hospital staff.  Enjoy this beautiful story..

Just try

Life can be full of excuses.

Just try.

You may surprise yourself, my motto to myself has been - why not me?
As I grew older I realized that those people that were older then me and in charge or owners of businesses were no smarter then me. In fact I found out that in many cases I had a better work ethic and could organize better.

It amazes me how many people in power, or own businesses , do not roll up their sleeves and get in there with their workers. How else do you know what is happening and steer the ship?
There is no easy road.

Why not you?

Get in there.

Stop looking around or blaming others, roll up your sleeves and do it.
You will stumble, make mistakes and get frustrated but you will learn and grow.

I tip my hat to every owner operator in the household goods business . You are doing it.
You own your own business, you are trying. You are in it.
Do not give up when times get tough. 
Dig in.

No one knows any big secret to success that you do not know.
Stay organized and focused and do not give up.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More on Leadership and the self

It is never too early and never too late to lead.

Leadership of the One Is More About Leadership Presence

Eventually, when you are trusted with a position of authority, the authentic test of leadership will be at the forefront.
When others look to you for direction and guidance, there will be no place to hide, no room for doubt and no time for experimenting.
 Professional golfers treat every practice putt like the one they need to win the tournament. Likewise, we must practice leadership at all times —and as early and as often as possible.

Leadership of the one is more about leadership presence: It is an attitude we practice in every role we are engaged in, in every business decision that comes in front of us, whether we are the ones making the decision or not—a luxury we will not have when we are in the driver’s seat.

I believe strongly that leading the one (self) is as important as leading many, because all our journeys start there.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Learn to Lead

Learn to Lead Yourself Before Leading Others

The drive to achieve greater things starts with a fire that we light within ourselves. It starts in our core and becomes a reflection of our values.

And it can ignite other fires.

Think about it for a moment: How can we inspire others if we don’t inspire ourselves? How can we drive others to greatness if we can’t seek it within ourselves? How can we expect more from others who are willing to follow us if we don’t expect more from ourselves?

We often forget that before we lead by example, we must exemplify to ourselves what we expect from others. These individual challenges are the most testing of all because we often have to go through them alone, and each learning experience is a battle.

Friday, December 13, 2013

God Bless our Veterans and all of our brave Military members and their families

Wreaths across America honors our Veterans during this holiday season. Arpin's driver Steve Meyer and his wife Angie volunteered to go to Maine to pick up a trailer full of wreaths and deliver them to Arlington Cemetery where they will be placed on the graves of our brave fallen soldiers. 

Paul Arpin


In February 2011, the Moving & Storage Institute pre-sented its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service posthumously to Paul G. Arpin, Sr., former chairman of the Arpin Group, Inc. The award was accepted by Mr. Arpin’s son David, president and CEO of Arpin Group and current AMSA board chair.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Paul began working in the family business at a young age under the tutelage of his parents and grandparents. Upon returning home from WWII, Paul, a D-Day survivor, began working at the company full-time and succeeded his grandfather as president in 1945.
Throughout his career, Paul’s goal was not to build the biggest moving company, but to build the best. His inspiration to grow the company so the customer received the most value for every dollar spent was paramount. Through his compassion and tenacity, and by combining the best people in the industry for one goal — to provide superior customer service — he knew that he would develop a loyal customer base that would span generations. Today, adults whose parents relocated the family using the Arpin Group are turning to the company again to help move. It is a testimony to Paul’s leadership that the business, originally established in 1900 by his grandparents, continues to "[Create] Customers for Life."SM

Paul understood the need to invest in his company. Although he was an "old school" businessman, he hired people to develop the company’s infrastructure to better serve customers, agents and drivers, and to remain competitive. Paul also recognized that drivers are the lifeblood of the industry, and he was always concerned for them and their families. He helped many establish themselves as Arpin agents.

In addition to the success of Arpin Group under his leadership, Paul’s legacy is tied to his many charitable pursuits. He is remembered for his spirit of giving — through countless donations of transportation services and manpower to help facilitate community projects, environmental initiatives to re-duce the company’s carbon footprint, and matching employee contributions to help support a range of meaningful causes.

"May the work I do speak for me" was a deeply felt commitment that was expressed by many who spoke of him at his funeral and wake, following his death in June 2010.

Paul Arpin, Sr.’s legacy and vision continue to live on through the fourth generation of Arpin family members to operate the privately owned company, sons David (Arpin president & CEO) and Peter (executive vice president). These men, along with their father and members of Arpin’s agency family, helped to transform the company into the nation’s fourth-largest household goods carrier group, with strategic service centers located throughout the world.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Great leaders have inspired millions of people throughout history. Likewise, today’s great business leaders at all levels motivate employees to transform their enterprises and help them reach new heights of accomplishment. They instill confidence that enables their followers to achieve what others might consider impossible.

But it’s easy to forget, or fail to note at all, that these leaders have one other thing in common: They all had to lead themselves before leading others.

Leading oneself to inspiring one’s own heart and discipline one’s own ego is the first step any great leader takes before embarking on a great leadership role. The backgrounds of all great leaders reveal struggles that molded their character, helping them conquer fears and doubts, and making them more passionate and resilient.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tough Decision? 3 ways to get moving

So what’s a procrastinator to do? Here are three suggestions:
  1. Just do something. Anything. Have you ever noticed that if you are trying to push a stalled car off the road, it’s very difficult to get it moving initially? But once it is moving, it’s relatively easier to keep it going. Physicists call this “static friction.” It’s harder to move things that are currently stationary than things that are already in motion. You might think of it as activation energy.
  2. Don’t delay. There is a business theory that delay is better than error. Actually—no, it isn’t. First of all, the opportunity you’re putting off now will not be identical to what might be the case in the future. It will likely become more complex as you hold off taking action. Conditions change, and dilemmas usually intensify. Secondly, doing something provides you with some helpful information because you’ve got observed data. Call it a “pilot,” if you prefer. Keep in mind that very few decisions are absolutely final. During implementation, there will be opportunities for adjustment.
  3. Pick a small first step and add that to your to-do list. Don’t write “Income tax.” Write “Get forms,” or perhaps “Gather expense receipts.” The smaller the line item, the more doable it will seem. And put a deadline on it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Want and Need and Marketing

Do most people even know the difference anymore between WANT and NEED ?
And what part does marketing and advertising have to do with it?
People get flooded now with pictures and videos and commercials of all these nice new toys and cars and gadgets normally all attached to a scantily clad young lady or muscle toned young man.

Years ago before television and the internet people did not have all these images thrown at them hundreds a times every day so what they had they were satisfied with.
They wore those jeans till they had holes and then some.
Their was a difference between want and need.
The man on the commercial was not telling them that your life would be better with a new pair of jeans and girls would be falling all over you so you just wore your pants till you NEEDED another pair.

Couple that with the Credit Card and you have people living above their means and buying things that they cannot afford.
Yea, that's right people did not always have credit cards.
If they wanted something they saved up for it or put it on Law-Away until they paid it off then they bought it and took it home.
Credit cards helped people BUY into the WANT rather than the NEED.
It also helped get millions of Americans in debt and therefore having to work more and maybe more than one job.  They work more now so they can afford what their friend has or what they think will better their life not necessarily for what they need.

What do you really need ?


Remembering Mandela: His Three Timeless Workplace Lessons

3 lessons for the workplace

There is an educational theory that we absorb great ideas through reading the great books. Although we look for prescriptions and formulas for leadership, business or safety success, there is no substitute for reading about great leaders and the times in which they operated.
Take them off their pedestals and you’ll learn much from the errors of George Washington, Lincoln and Grant. And yet, the last time I checked, they changed the world.
  1. Learn from Mandela’s life. He was a shrewd man as well as genuinely noble. Ivory Tower types didn’t defeat Apartheid or lay the foundation for a new society. As one Black survivor of Apartheid excitedly told me, “some day we’ll even have a white president!” These leaders screwed up, took risks, and determined to do the right thing. Learn from them.
  2. Manage that anger. Don’t make excuses. Were you locked away for 20 years literally breaking rock in a silica ridden atmosphere? If not, control that temper and tongue; especially in the workplace.
  3. Regardless of your political persuasion, don’t focus on “diversity efforts” or politically correct behavior. You’re setting far too low a bar. Use our continuing challenge to build a merit-based color/race/sex blind workplace as a motivator to practically work out how to be a responsible supervisor and a compassionate co-worker.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


The one common thread I have seen in business owners and contractors is they all seem to have a bit of rebellion in them.
For the most part thy do not like being told what to do. 
That is why they have their own business. 
I am not saying that is the only reason or even the biggest reason but I do think it is what helps drive them.
Being rebellious is a good thing, it gives us the opportunity to question the normal or, I believe, gives us the chance to put our own stamp on things. That said the challenge is to know when to listen and give in.
Sometimes losing is winning. Listening to those you do not agree with can sometimes open your eyes and let you learn or even those you may agree with, remember you do not like told what to do or that you may even be wrong.
There is a time to stand and there is a time to sit and listen.
Understanding this process helps us understand ourselves more.
 The older we get the more our views may change or bend. 
Being tough is good, being understanding is better.
Not having to bend to " the man " is what drives you to be independent and allows you to reach beyond what you think you can do. I think your journey begins with you wanting a better life and to do better and along the journey we need to learn how to bring in all other views and suggestions. 
Having the rebellion gene is a good thing but learn to grow with it and your possibilities are endless.

Friday, December 6, 2013

More- tips for delivering excellent customer service this holiday shopping season:

  1. Never deny a customer’s problem. Problems are an undeniable part of the hectic, stressful holiday shopping season. And problems exist when the customer says they do. You can’t wish a problem away because it is something no reasonable person would be upset about, because it’s not your fault, or even because the customer made a mistake.
  2. Fix the person first. Real problem solving cannot happen until the issues are out on the table. And that requires getting past a customer’s emotional reaction. Breaking through the icy calm defenses of an upset customer is just as important as coaxing a “raging red” customer out of a temper tantrum.
  3. Listen and then probe for information. Customers, particularly upset customers, don’t always explain everything clearly or completely. Ask questions about anything you may not understand or need clarified. Then, when you feel you have identified and clearly grasped the problem, repeat it back to the customer for confirmation.
  4. Ask the customer for problem-solving help. Involving customers in generating solutions not only starts to rebuild the relationship, it gives them the feeling that your business really is interested in satisfying their needs. You’ll find that most customers bring a sense of fair play with them and will often expect far less than you’d think.

Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

tips for delivering excellent customer service this holiday shopping season:

  1. Rely on winning words and soothing phrases. A simple but sincere “Thanks for your patience” or “I’m listening” can go a long way toward defusing a holiday shopper’s frustration, anxiety, or panic. Develop a repertoire of short, easy to remember phrases around issues that are important to customers. Practice until the words come naturally.
  2. Communicate with silence. Remaining silent while your customers are talking is a basic courtesy, and nodding tells them you’re listening and understanding what you hear. An occasional “uh huh” or “I see” tells them you’re still listening without interrupting.
  3. Make customers feel seen. Making eye contact acknowledges that you see your customers as individuals. But there’s a balance to be struck here: staring can make your customers uncomfortable, too. Also keep in mind that eye contact is governed by specific cultural rules. A good rule to follow is to give as much as you get.
  4. Never underestimate the value of a sincere thank you. Thanking customers when they offer comments or suggestions says that you value their opinion. Thanking customers for complaining says that you value their loyalty. Customers who tell you they are unhappy are giving you a second chance. And that’s quite a gift.
  5. Use the well-placed “I’m Sorry.” Don’t assume that you’re not allowed to say “I’m sorry” when a snafu occurs. Actually, a sincere apology delivered in a timely and professional manner often heads off potential further problems. When you show your willingness to make sure your customers receive what they expect to receive, you relieve them of the need to even think about starting an argument.

5 Tips to Stay Positive in Negative Situations

1. Shift your mindset

Although it might not feel like it at the time, most negative situations contain a learning experience. If we’re going through the discomfort and pain of dealing with a negative situation, we might as well take the opportunity to learn something from it too.
Shifting your mindset and looking for the lesson in the situation isn’t about blaming yourself or anyone else for what’s happened. Instead, the purpose of doing this is to get something positive out of the situation and, hopefully, to prevent it from occurring again in the future.

2. Get support

You don’t have to deal with a negative situation on your own.
Getting support from friends or family you can trust can not only help you get through this tough time, but it can also strengthen your relationships with the people around you.

3. Focus on what you can control (and let go of what you can’t)

We can’t always control the situation that we find ourselves in, and we can’t please everyone. What we can do when we find ourselves in a negative situation is to take ownership of our actions and make amends for our mistakes.
If you find yourself in a negative situation, trying to take responsibility for things you have no control over will only make you feel worse. It’s also self-defeating as, if you don’t have control over something then there’s usually not much you can do to change it.

Check in tomorrow for two other tips to stay positive...

Monday, December 2, 2013


 I Can Handle This

A lack of confidence in handling tough times can add to stress. One of the best things to remember is that you can handle tough situations. Even though you might feel angry, hurt, disappointed, or sad, it won’t kill you. You can get through it.

 Something Good Will Come Out of This

No matter how bad a situation is, it’s almost certain that something good will come out of it. At the very least, it’s likely that you will learn a life lesson. Perhaps you learn not to repeat the same mistake in the future or maybe you move on from a bad situation and find something better. Look for the one good thing that can result when bad things happen.

 I Can Accept What’s Out of my Control

There are many things that aren’t within your control. You can’t change the past, another person’s behavior, or a loved one’s health issues. Don’t waste time trying to force others to change or trying to make things be different if it isn’t within your control. Investing time and energy into trying to things you can’t will cause you to feel helpless and exhausted. Acceptance is one of the best way to establish resilience.

I Have Overcome Past Difficulties

One of the things to remember when you’re facing difficulties, is that you’ve handled problems in the past. Don’t overlook past difficulties that you’ve dealt with successfully. Remind yourself of all the past problems you’ve overcome and you’ll gain confidence in dealing with the current issues.

Staying positive in Negative Situations

4. Practice self-compassion

Every negative situation is a chance to practice a valuable skill: self-compassion. The amount of self-compassion we show ourselves is directly proportionate to our quality of life. If we’re able to practice self-compassion, we’re more likely to be resilient in the face of challenging situations and we’re more likely to take risks that further our personal and professional development. We’re also more likely to take steps to amend any role that we played in creating the negative situation in the first place.
Self-compassion is not the same as giving yourself a free ride or not taking responsibility for your actions. Instead, it’s about accepting that you are a human being with human experiences.

5. Remember it will pass

As I mention above, life is a process of highs, lows, and everything in between. Just as this means that negative situations are an inevitability, it also means that they will inevitably pass and make way for more positive times.
Our job is to take what we can from the negative situations, whether it’s a lesson well learned, or a renewed trust in our strength and resilience, and to enjoy the good times while they last.
Finally, remember that negative situations are uncomfortable, even painful at times. But how we approach these situations has a huge influence over how we experience them. By implementing these five tips: looking for the lessons, getting support, focusing on what we can control, practicing self-compassion, and remembering that the situation will pass, we’ll be in a much better place to handle negative situations as they occur and carry on along the roller coaster.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A working class hero

I know another working class hero, he is my son-law's dad- Jim - 
Jim is a regular blue collar working guy married over 30 years, has three children and two grandchildren.
His middle child has autism and is a wonderful young man. I am sure that having a child with special needs changes a man and the family. This young man, Matt, could not have been born into a better family. His mom and brother and sister along with their dad are special people themselves. 
The most giving and caring people that you will ever meet.
Jim works very hard and is one of those guys that is very handy, I think he can do just about anything from stripping a antique car and rebuilding it to remodeling a house.
He always has time for his family and friends. If you need help there is Jim.
Simply amazing how much time he gives.
He owns a few duplexes that he bought a good price because of the economy and the fact that they needed a lot of work. But Jim does not mind work so he does it all himself. 
That way he can be there for his family when they need him.
His patience with his kids and grandkids is just natural, he loves them.
He gives time to a theatre group, a non- profit organization in Providence that put on wonderful shows in the basement of a very old church. He does all the casting and the stage set up and design. I have no idea how he finds the time.
Jim does not have a false bone in his body. He is THE most genuine person that I ever met.
He restores my faith in people- Their are still people out there that do things just for the sake of helping, no motive, no objective, just wanting to help.
He is truly a working class hero.
A working class hero is something to be.