How do civil wars happen?

Tyranny Vs LibertyAn interesting read from an anonymous source about how a civil war looks in today’s America.

Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge.  That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results [like conservatives did with Obama], you have a country. When you stop accepting election results [like Leftists have with Trump], you have a countdown to a civil war.

The Mueller investigation was about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this. The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.

What do sure odds of the Democrats rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win. It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.

 That’s a civil war.

There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party.  You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country.  But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

Your very own dictatorship.

The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is it’s own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So, what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.

Our system of government is based on the constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country. The Democrat’s system is that any part of government that it runs gets total and unlimited power over the country.

If the Democrats are in the White House, then the president can do anything. And I mean anything. He can have his own amnesty for illegal aliens. He can fine you for not having health insurance. His power is unlimited. He’s a dictator.

But when Republicans get into the White House, suddenly the President can’t do anything. He isn’t even allowed to undo the illegal alien amnesty that his predecessor illegally invented. A Democrat in the White House has ‘discretion’ to completely decide every aspect of immigration policy. A Republican doesn’t even have the ‘discretion’ to reverse him.  That’s how the game is played That’s how our country is run. Sad but true, although the left hasn’t yet won that particular fight.

When a Democrat is in the White House, states aren’t even allowed to enforce immigration law. But when a Republican is in the White House, states can create their own immigration laws. Under Obama, a state wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom without asking permission. But under Trump, Jerry Brown can go around saying that California is an independent republic and sign treaties with other countries.

The Constitution has something to say about that.

Whether it’s Federal or State, Executive, Legislative or Judiciary, the left moves power around to run the country. If it controls an institution, then that institution is suddenly the supreme power in the land. This is what I call a moving dictatorship.

Donald Trump has caused the Shadow Government to come out of hiding: The professional government is a guild. Like medieval guilds. You can’t serve in if you’re not a member. If you haven’t been indoctrinated into its arcane rituals. If you aren’t in the club. And Trump isn’t in the club. He brought in a bunch of people who aren’t in the club with him.

Now we’re seeing what the pros do when amateurs try to walk in on them.  They spy on them; they investigate them and they send them to jail. They use the tools of power to bring them down.

That’s not a free country.

It’s not a free country when FBI agents who support Hillary take out an ‘insurance policy’ against Trump winning the election. It’s not a free country when Obama officials engage in massive unmasking of the opposition. It’s not a free country when the media responds to the other guy winning by trying to ban the conservative media that supported him from social media. It’s not a free country when all of the above collude together to overturn an election because the guy who wasn’t supposed to win did.

Have no doubt, we’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and a leftist Democrat professional government.

 

The Differences Between the Left and the Right:

The Conservative understands that the brokenness in the world starts with the brokenness in us.

The right believes it is our choices, not our circumstances that are the cause of all problems.

The left believes the brokenness is caused by our poverty, lack of education, or in other words – circumstances.

To be truly Conservative, the means are just as important as the end.

To the progressive liberal, the end justifies the mean.

The Republican Party is dominated by people who favor smaller government, lower taxes, strong defense, traditional moral standards regarding abortion and marriage, the promotion of a Constitutional Republic democracy, strong loyal nationalism and the promotion of a free market economy. These are consistent with biblical teachings on government and a biblical worldview.

By contrast, the Democratic Party has come to be dominated by people favoring larger government, one-world government by elitists, higher taxes, more reliance on negotiations rather than superior military force in defeating our enemies, opposition to biblical moral standards on abortion and homosexual “marriage” and promotion of a more Socialist leaning economy that is highly controlled by the government. These views are at odds with biblical teachings regarding government.

Why Christians are feared and persecuted:

No totalitarian authority nor authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge that state and its actions.

Christians, not the namby-pamby professing christians, but the Born Agains with a Biblical Worldview (BWV), have that absolute in God’s revelation.

Because Christians have an absolute universal standard by which to judge not only personal morals but the state, we become enemies of the totalitarians in authority.

Source: How Should We Then Live? By Francis Schaeffer

If we Christians do not speak out against the tyrannical authoritarian government growing in our country, eventually our children will become enemies of society and the state and the current civil war will destroy them.

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Cash is the Ultimate King

Cash-Is-King

Successful businesses do two things #1 they make money and #2 they generate cash.

You can make a profit and still go out of business because you have a negative cash flow.

Remember this statement: Cash is King and in the context of the following discussion, this means positive cash flow – taking in more cash then you are spending.

Positive cash flow will keep the doors open, long after profitability will. [Amazon is a good example – 20 years of no profit???]

Making money is about your profitability and cash is about the wealth-generation of your business.

You can’t spend profit; you can only spend cash.

Positive cash flow gives you the financial cushion – and confidence – to implement changes AND make your BIZ more attractive to future potential buyers because they won’t have to commit funds to working capital.

Let’s define cash flow before we discuss how to improve it.

Cash Flow is the total amount of money coming in & going out of your business.

We know that the majority of small businesses fail within the first five years. U.S. Bank conducted a study and discovered the following reasons for this. They found that 82% of the time, poor cash flow management or poor understanding of cash flow contributes to the failure of a small business. (from Jessie Hagen of U.S. Bank, cited on the SCORE/Counselors to America’s Small Business website http://www.score.org )

  • 82% – Poor cash flow management skills/poor understanding of cash flow
  • 79% – Starting out with too little working capital [cash or line-of-credit]
  • 78% – Lack of well-developed business plan, including insufficient research on the business before starting it
  • 77% – Not pricing properly or failure to include all necessary items when setting prices
  • 73% – Being overly optimistic about achievable sales, money required, and about what needs to be done to be successful
  • 70% – Not recognizing or ignoring what they don’t do well and not seeking help from those who do

How do you know if you have a cash flow problem?

To state the obvious: You know you have a cash flow problem If your expenses exceed your cash…then you have a cash flow problem.

If you take in $400 today and spend $500 you have a cash flow of $900 but a negative cash flow of $100

Too many small BIZ owners think that the answer to cash flow problems is to sell more and increase revenue and far too often that only exacerbates the problem.

When you chase growth based on Revenue too often it causes you to make bad decisions because you are operating from the notion that everyone is your market and every product or service you sell and inventory should be sold – there is nothing further from the truth.

When revenue is your end-game and everyone or everything -is your-market is your mind-set, you spend money foolishly on things that don’t matter for customers that don’t matter.

When you take an 80/20 view to cash-is-king, you will discover that you have expenses and inventory for the 80% that are generating little to no profit.

There are several factors to consider before leaping to the “sell, sell, sell!” mindset to reverse a cash flow problem.

  1. Track & Categorize your spending. Make this categorization your first step. You need to know exactly what you’re spending and where you’re spending it.

 

  1. Benchmark Best Practices. You need to know how other businesses within your industry and market are spending their money and use those benchmarks to spend similarly. You don’t want to spend more cash than you have, so regardless of the benchmarks you’ve discovered from other companies, adjust accordingly depending on your available cash.

 

  1. Manage Your Spending. “It takes money to make money,” is a common belief and can cause business owners to fall prey to overspending, especially in the early stages of their business. While it’s true it does take money to make money, not all expenses are created equal. Stay aware that every dollar you spend is subtracting from your profit margin, so be especially diligent during the early stages of your business, it is important to consider the cost Vs benefit of every single expense.

 

10 Ways to Improve Cash Flow

  1. Reduce your Delivery & Invoicing Turnaround Time

Once you sell something, expedite the turn-around time for delivery & invoicing. The faster the delivery & invoicing, the faster you will receive your cash.

Amazon is a great example of perfecting the Cash-Is-King model. Not only does faster delivery ensure a delightful customer experience but also improves their cash flow.

  1. Improve Your Inventory Model – stock & sell only what your TOP clients [the 20%] are buying 

Inventory only what your TOP clients buy and turns quickly.

Think of it this way – and keep in mind, this is an extremely abbreviated way to explain this principle. In real life, you may experiment and track over a bit longer period of time, but this will give you the gist of the principle:

You own a bunch of soda vending machines with 10 rows of different flavors in each row and you fill them every week.

At the end of week one, rows 1 & 2 are completely sold out. Rows 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 are partially full and rows 9 and 10 are still full – they had no sales.

Replace rows 9 & 10 with one of the flavors in rows 1 and 2.

The next week you discover rows 1, 2, 9 & 10 are now also completely sold out.

You continue with this tracking and sequence until all the rows sell out completely every week.

It will mean you may only be selling 2 or at most 3 flavors, but think about the positive effect on your profit and cash flow.

 

  1. Have a CYA Cash Reserve

You should maintain some cash reserves to tackle business downturns like economic depression, sudden fall in sales or natural calamity (like the current COVID-19] etc.

As a thumb rule, you should never have less than 90 days cash reserve and as you build your BIZ, shoot for 10-12 months.

Example: If your business’s monthly operational expense equals $10,000 then you should go for a CYA cash reserve of $30,000 as a minimum and $100,000 to $120,000 optimally.

 

  1. Tweak the Payment Process

Instead of collecting the sale amount after delivery, can you make the customer pay in advance. One way might be to simply offer them an attractive discount for pre-payment.

The earlier the payment, the stronger will be the cash flow.

 

  1. Negotiate for More Favorable Credit Terms

Ask for longer payment and terms (example: lower interest rate, extend out payment times, etc) on your payables (those you owe money to) and shorter terms on your receivables (those who owe you money).

Implementing Win-Win negotiation skills become crucial in this strategy.

 

  1. Stay on Top of Receivables – know what the probability of non-collection rate is for your business or industry.

As receivables age, the probability of collection diminishes.

There comes a point where, for cash flow forecasting purposes, you should no longer consider a receivable as collectible. For my dealership that was 120 days.

Here’s an example from a local small business:

Cash_is_King_Receivable_matrix
Someone in your organization needs to be responsible for and held accountable for consistent follow-up with your customers to help in faster payment of receivables.

You can use multiple communication channels like phone, email or post.

Remember that you need to follow up regularly & frequently. 

For smooth execution of this strategy, I recommend using a spreadsheet for tracking the due dates, payment date, 1st follow-up date, 2nd follow-up date & so on.

Also, the follow-up personnel needs to be in direct contact with the owner for daily or at a minimum, weekly updating of this sheet – I call it the Cash-Is-King meeting.

  1. Consider Leasing of Assets

Leasing requires little to cash up front and means taking possession of an asset in return for periodic installments. This ensures that there is no immediate cash outflow burden.

You can lease things like:

  • Real Estate – Office, warehouse, plant
  • Production machinery
  • Computers
  • IT Equipment
  • Autos

You will need to factor the cost difference (outright purchase is generally cheaper in long-term) before committing to improve cash flow via this strategy.

  1. Take on Only Expenses that Generate Revenue

Most businesses or startups get carried away with unnecessary expenses like:

Fancy/prestigious office space or office furniture

Over-marketing: Marketing to an audience that doesn’t care. Implement 80/20 Sales & Marketing.

Over-Marketing example: Marketing to an audience that doesn’t care. A restaurant where 80% of their customers come from within a ten-mile radius but they advertise on regional tv or radio stations with a 100 mile radius.

Over-hiring: If you have to let someone go or they quit, before re-hiring, ask:

  • Are there parts of the job that someone else on our current team would like to do?
  • Do we even need to hire for this position? Is there anyone or a team of people already with us that could do this job?

How do you know if an expense is really worth it? Simple. If the expense helps your business to generate revenue keep it; If it doesn’t, consider getting rid of it.

Maintaining control of your expenses is critical to not only sustaining profit but also positive cash flow.

When you take an 80/20 view to cash-is-king, you will discover that you have expenses and inventory for the 80% that are generating little to no profit.

 Track & Categorize your Expenses.  You need to know exactly what you’re spending and where you’re spending it.

For each expense ask the following questions:

  • Does my business absolutely need this product or service?
  • If the answer to question 1 is NO, then eliminate it.
  • If the answer to question 1 is YES, then ask:
  1. Do I currently have the least expensive plan, delivery system or item that covers my current needs? If the answer is “no” then change your plan, item or delivery system. (For example, instead of paying an assistant to schedule your appointment, you might use an online scheduling program).
  2. Can I renegotiate my contract? This is always worth trying.
  3. Is there another, less expensive provider that can give me the same result? If so, then switch.
  1. Increase Income Through 80/20 Marketing & Selling Tactics
  • Determine who your Ideal Top Customers are – the 20% that generate 80% of your revenue, profits & cash flow.
    • Fire the deadwood
  • Identify your Unique Offering
  • Create your one-line Unique Selling Message which answers these questions:
    • What does your product or service do that your competitors does not?
    • Why should I buy from you instead of someone else?
    • What guarantee can you make that no one else can?
  • Nurture and protect your Ideal Top Customers
    • Do you have an email list? Are you using effectively? Are you sending out emails at least weekly with offers?
  • Build a referral system from your Ideal Top Customers
  1. Bring in a Guide

Last but not the least, you may deem it prudent to hire a guide to help implement Cash-Is-King strategies and tactics.

It could be a CPA or some other type of Guide. [Is this where we might collaborate w/Tony Busch?]

Such professionals can help you to understand your cash flow problems in more detail, and guide you through implementing solutions.

Conclusion

So, we have covered possible practical ways to improve your cash flow, prune expenses and prune inventory. All are equally important & powerful.

You may decide to use or not to use any one of them depending on your particular case.

No matter what business problems you face, positive cash flow gives you the financial cushion, the time and confidence to implement changes for growth.

Without cash, you are down & out.

And as I stated earlier,

Never forget this: Cash is the Ultimate King. The more cash you have, the better chance for your business to grow fast and sustainably.

 

 

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Raising Responsible Adult Citizens

Raising Responsible AdultsRaising responsible, mature adults should be the desired end result of all parents.

Three Characteristics of Maturity:

  • Self-control – not ruled by emotions and passion
  • Wisdom – rational
  • Responsible – 1st Habit of Private Victory of Highly Effective People

Liberalism is the natural characteristic of the human heart. It is the natural result of our fallen nature.

From birth, we are driven by emotion and passion.

We want what we want when we want it and we refuse things we do not want.

Children start off with the will to be gratified; we need to be taught self-control, wisdom, and responsibility.

“The emotional intelligence of parents today is depriving children the opportunity to learn through adversity. Most adolescents from affluent families have all the useful accessories – cell phones, credit cards, computers, and cars – but they have few of the responsibilities that build character…indulged children become susceptible to self-absorption, depression, anxiety and lack of self-control.” – Ed Shipman

Ten principles for shaping our children’s character and grooming them with self-control, wisdom, and responsibility:

1. Children must be helped, through proper training, to rein in their passions.

Children start off life with the will to be gratified. If that will is allowed to go unchecked, a child will grow up to be ruled by his passions rather than reason. A person ruled by his or her passions will then make decisions based on what gratifies them rather than on wisdom or responsibility. Such a person will not be governed by objective logic or personal integrity, but by what is merely expedient.

To prevent that from happening, the primary goal of parental training must be to help children learn self-control.

The military learned long ago that the best followers make the best leaders – group consensus destroys effectiveness.

Children, because of their innate desire for gratification, do not need to exercise leadership, but to follow strong leadership. This is why, for the first few years of their lives, we must offer strong leadership, giving them little say in the decisions we make for them.

Children raised to think they should have a say in all decisions that affect them grow up self-centered, demanding, impatient and ungrateful.

Parents who encourage their child to always speak his mind may never have to second-guess his opinions but they inadvertently feed his contempt for authority.

As our children head into adolescence it certainly may be wise to solicit thoughts and opinions from them. After all, we love them and they are people who deserve the respect of having their thoughts and feelings heard but, the family is not a democracy.

Childhood is a season of learning to accept leadership with grace and humility.

2.  Children’s happiness must not be the driving force of the home.

Watching children laugh and play is a tremendous joy, even for the biggest curmudgeon however, we must not live to gratify our children’s every desire and make our decisions based on their responses.

The happiest children seem to be those who are secure in their parents’ LOVING authority.

They obey the first time they are spoken to and know they will be rewarded with the trust of their parents and be held accountable with disciplinary consequences if they obey.

They are happy because they have found safety within the boundaries established and enforced. They are at peace because they do not have to carry the load of helping their parents run the home.

3. Children must not be indulged.

Indulging our children with everything for which they cry, beg or pout does NOT satisfy their will-to-be-gratified – it actually does just the opposite.

Indulging them includes things like buying them every new fashion-wear, video game or getting them a cell phone with unlimited minutes.

We indulge them when we offer freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want, with minimal accountability or when we permit them to talk back and voice their opinions about every instruction they receive. And we inflate their sense of self-importance when we make family decisions based not on what we think is wisest or best, but on their moods and reactions. An indulged child ultimately runs the roost. Constantly gratifying our child’s desire for pleasure creates in them a sense of entitlement and a general lack of appreciation.

The truth is that life does not give us everything we want and we better instill that early in our child’s training.

4. Children must not be rescued from every hardship.

When our children are infants we listen for their cries to know when they are suffering some discomfort and need our attention.

The problem is that too many parents never distinguish the difference between their will-to-survive and their will-to-be-gratified as they get older. They continue to rescue them every time they pout, cry or grumble.

Examples of rescuing are when we permit them to complain ungratefully about what they have been served for dinner, or worse, mom goes back to the stove to cook them something different. Or, jumping in to provide entertainment in response to the complaint of being bored.

Whenever their feelings are hurt, we do them no favor by rushing to their defense by attacking the offender.

However, we DO harm them ourselves if we do not teach them how to endure offenses and handle the inevitable “difficult people” in life. We must model for them that other people’s words or opinions of us need not determine how we react. If we are not careful, we will raise our children to be thin-skinned social wimps who blame others for their own inability to handle offenses.

Learning to face and overcome life’s hardships is a key part of developing maturity.

5. Children must be allowed to suffer the consequences of their actions.

When we continually rescue them from having to suffer the consequences of their actions, we keep them from developing a proper sense of responsibility.

Responsible people are not only reliable to their duties but do not depend upon others to clean up their messes or pay for their own obligations.

Restoration and restitution are key expressions of responsibility.

If we do not hold our children accountable for themselves but rescue them from the consequences of their actions, they grow up to believe that the pursuit of pleasure without consequences is their supreme right. They develop a “victim” mentality, thinking they are not responsible for the circumstances they have brought upon themselves.

Parents also teach irresponsibility by issuing too many warnings or reinforcing bad behavior. When a child is caught sneaking dessert before dinner, parents encourage bad behavior by merely admonishing him not to do it again and allowing him to finish eating what he took. This is no different than what is happening in many of our public educations schools today of the teacher permitting students to turn in assignments past the due date without any penalty.

Consistently allowing children to behave irresponsibly without consequence encourages future misconduct.

6. Children must be required to obey the first time they are spoken to.

An important key to remember is that parents must give directives just once.

Parental directives must be spoken calmly and only once, with an appropriate disciplinary consequence for disobedience.

When an authority figure habitually repeats directives or gives multiple warnings, it produces several negative side effects in our children.

  • Children permitted to continually disregard instructions grow up with their will-to-be-gratified strengthened.
  • Children consistently permitted to disregard their parent’s voices will lack the capacity to obey quickly at the threat of danger.
  • Those that have authority but are reluctant to exercise it, foster disrespect in those they lead. Parents who lose their children’s respect can often trace it back to this.
  • When parents repeat themselves, their anger may build until they are driven by rage to bring punishment. Raging parents can be tempted toward abusive parenting.

7. Children must be taught to obey without always knowing the reason why.

If parents establish firm behavioral boundaries for their toddlers, without offering a reason why they should obey, and limiting their personal choices, by the time their child is four years old will have learned self-denial and will be well on the path to self-control.

If children are offered reasons to obey before they have learned to obey without them, they will not learn the self-denial that is the foundation of self-control.

To grow in wisdom, children must be taught the reasoning behind parents’ commands but the time in childhood to begin making them wise is only after they have demonstrated they can consistently obey without needing to know why.

Children must learn that they are to obey first and then return for a full reason why.

Sassy and argumentative children who think their parents owe them convincing explanations usually get their way because parents justify all their instructions.

Children raised in such homes tend to grow up insubordinate toward teachers, law enforcement, employers and others in positions of authority.

8. Children must be required to treat parents and other adults with respect.

Respect for all authority, whether for people or rules, is learned in the home. Being required to obey parents and communicate respectfully teaches self-restraint and emphasizes that not everything one feels or thinks needs to be expressed. It reinforces the self-control inherent to maturity and helps children grow up to be good citizens.

9. Children need oversight of their moral diet.

By virtue of their years and life experience, parents have a greater understanding of cause and effect than their children. They know the wisdom behind the statements such as, “Eat your spinach,” You need your sleep,” and “Stay out of the street.” All a child knows is that he craves junk food, likes to stay up late, and the street seems a fun place to play. Because the average child has little life experience and his thinking is clouded by his “will-to-be-gratified,” he is the last person to know what is good for him. Parents must realize that they do not need their children’s permission to be parents – they already have that role. They must simply act on that authority, without apology. Children will not protect themselves from their appetites, so parents must take charge and protect them physically, mentally and morally.

Studies overwhelmingly show that children who saturate themselves with entertainment marked by senseless violence will be more tolerant or prone to violence; those who watch movies or music videos containing sensuality will increasingly express themselves sexually; children or adults with a diet of entertainment involving illicit relationships will treat marriage and wedding vows with less honor.

A child’s character is formed primarily by what good goes into him, and not only by what is kept from him.

And no one is in a better position to sow into his like Mom and Dad.

Unlimited use of computers, video games, television, etc. has become standard diversion tactics for too many parents.

Parents must decide that their children are worth a daily investment of time in teaching them character and a Biblical Worldview.

10. Children must be loved.

Parental love means doing what is best for children no matter how they might respond. One very poor reason modern parents are so soft on their children is because they crave their acceptance.

America has raised a crop of insecure parents who fear their children’s rejection.

Parents more than fifty years ago knew that life was hard and took the responsibility of preparing their children for the coming life very seriously. Today’s parents are afraid to let the kids cry. Afraid to make them mad and dread the thought that their children may hate them.

When we give to get affection back, we ARE NOT loving them – we are using them to elicit good feelings about ourselves.

When our children are young and vulnerable, they dearly need our leadership if they are to grow up to become mature, responsible adults.

There are some parents who may be congratulating themselves right now thinking they are really good parents because the negative consequences we’ve discussed don’t apply to them or their children. Let me caution you, however.

There are some who intimidate their children into subjection but fail to win their hearts. Their children may submit to discipline and control, and listen respectfully when parents speak, but their hearts will be far away. A parent who does not have their child’s heart will eventually discover that all compliance and respect was simply an expression of self-preservation. Such a child may patronize his parents and outwardly honor them during his early teen years, but flee their authoritarian rule the first chance they get.

Parents who are able to maintain influence over their children’s hearts, which is crucial in the first 12 years of their lives, are those who have cultivated rich, loving relationships with their children.

A character formed in childhood is a key element to true maturity.

Influencing behavior is not the same as influencing hearts.

Parents who give supremacy to their child’s happiness tend NOT to raise happy children.

Here’s how we can help our children and grandchildren to develop an informed and thoughtful Biblical Worldview (BWV):

1. Talk about Worldview early and often.
2. Explain non-Christian worldviews.
3. Strongly encourage your kids to read good books. Books by design are sequential and linear. The internet is not. A book takes you from pg 1 to page 2, then 3 and so on. On the other hand, start on page “Google” and you go wherever Google determines.
4. Discuss ideas whenever possible.
5. Ask good questions [Smart Questions (SQs)]

Sources: Born Liberal Raised Right by Reb Bradley, A Practical Guide to Culture and Tactics by Greg Koukl

 

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Climate Change Predicted in Revelation:

Revelation 6 through 8 predicts the destruction of the earth’s ecology during the Tribulation.

The first four trumpets (Rev 8:1 – 9:21) announce the divine destruction of the earth’s ecology.

So, in a sense, these leftist climate change mongers are correct.  Earth’s ecology is going to be destroyed, which WILL facilitate the destruction of billions of lives; what they get wrong, is that there is nothing we can do about it.

Yes, as commanded by God in Genesis, man is to be responsible overseers of and protectors of the ecology, and there are actually some good ideas by these climate change mongers, but the full agenda they advocate is not Gods will, but rather likely Satan’s.

You can even see the anger, deceit, and hatred (all characteristics of the father of lies) these people espouse that borders on insanity.

It comes back to world 🌎 view again.

In the final analysis, there are really only two worldviews.

God’s, the Creator of the universe – which is called a Biblical Worldview (BWV) and all others, which we can call Satan’s.

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Think Like Jesus: A Biblical Worldview

At the time Barna took his survey [2003] there were 210M adults in America of which 175M or 83% claimed to be Christian but when asked questions that reveal their true nature, we get a different view of reality.

Professing christians, call themselves Christian but have not made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ or do not believe they will go to heaven simply because they accept Jesus as their Savior – these are labeled “Not Born-again Christian.”

Questions Designed to Determine Whether ONE IS A Born-Again Christian:

Have you ever made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Don’t know

The following statements are about what will happen to you after you die. Answer which ONE of these statements best describes your own belief about this issue. Which comes closest to what you believe?

  1. When I die, I will go to heaven because I have tried to obey the Ten Commandments.
  2. When I die, I will go to Heaven because I am basically a good person.
  3. When I die, I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.
  4. When I die, I will go to Heaven because God loves all people and will not let them perish.
  5. When I die, I will not go to Heaven.
  6. I do not know what will happen after I die.
  7. Other (Explain):
  8. Don’t know.

NOTE: A respondent is categorized as “born again” if they say “yes” to the first question and choose option 3 above in response to the second question. All other response patterns classify the individual as a non-born-again Christian.

The next level are those we can label Born-again Christians [80M; 38% of the 210M or 46% of 175m who profess to be christian] which includes people who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as their Savior but have not yet accepted Him as their Lord. They do not believe in absolute moral truth or make choices by following Biblical Principles or do not possess a Biblical stand on the six belief statements regarding salvation, trust in the Bible, personal responsibility to evangelize, Satan’s existence, Jesus’ sinless life, and the nature of God.

The final level, are those who are Born-again Christian with a Biblical Worldview (BWV). Only 3% of the total American population is Born-Again Christian with a Biblical Worldview – 7 million of the 210 million adults!!  [9% of the Born Again Christians; or only 4% of “professing christians”].

These are people who have accepted Jesus as not only their Savior but also their Lord; they accept there is absolute moral truth and make their moral choices based on the principles of the Bible; trust Christ for their salvation; and have a worldview that reflects the six key faith issues (salvation, trust in the Bible as the absolute inerrant and infallible Word of God, Personal responsibility to evangelize, Satan’s existence, Jesus’ sinless life and the nature of God).

Having a Biblical Worldview (BWV) will help answer these 7 critical questions:

  1. Does God exist?
  2. What is the character and nature of God?
  3. How and why was the world created?
  4. What is the nature and purpose of man [humanity]?
  5. What happens after we die on earth?
  6. What spiritual authorities exist?
  7. What is truth?

There is no more critical thing you can develop within yourself than that of a Biblical Worldview.

Those without a BWV will make wrong decisions on some level for almost every issue under the sun.

Why? Because they start with faulty, wrong, or corrupt assumptions. And when you start with wrong assumptions, you come to wrong conclusions.

Living without a BWV also makes you a SNIOP – Susceptible to the Negative Influences of Other People.

SNIOPS are easily influenced by the superficial – like fake news because deep down they know they don’t know.

[Swiped from the book by George Barna of the same title]

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The principle of completed staff work.

The power behind completed staff work helps address the greatest challenge in the business world today which is not being able to get everything done with the time and resources available.

Part of the problem is not knowing what to say ‘NO’ to.

Years ago I learned about a principle Henry Kissinger instilled in those who worked with him called “completed staff work” that helped address this problem.

The concept is about developing effectiveness in yourself and others and getting it right every time.

Completed staff work requires people to give you their best thinking, their best recommendations and ultimately their best work.

When a staff member came to Kissinger with a recommendation from a delegated task, before even reading it, Kissinger asked: “Is this the very best recommendation you could come up with?”

More times then not, the staff member would answer something like, “No, I can strengthen this recommendation with additional research and detail.”

Each time they come back with an improved recommendation, Kissinger would keep challenging them “Is this your very best?  Is there room for improvement?”

When I implemented this in my car dealership, I asked 5 times before getting the final version and finally reading it.

The idea of this is to empower your staff to reach their highest potential and make better contributions.

Unfortunately, many small BIZ owners have not learned to trust the principles of delegation and empowerment. They continue to do it all themselves until ultimately, they burn out.

Five elements of effective delegation and employee empowerment for greater effectiveness:

  1. Know What You Want and Clearly State it. Establish clear desired end results. Help employees to understand that they will be expected to give their best thinking in solving problems, making decisions and formulating recommendations.
  2. Ask Questions. As the manager or co-worker ask “What is your recommendation? How would you solve this or how would you implement this policy?’ Get in the habit of soliciting ideas and buy-in for those around you.
  3. Clarify Assumptions. Different assumptions have sunk more than a few good ideas before they even had a chance. Before walking away, always ask for clarification of what the other party heard vs what you said.
  4. Give People the Tools They Need. Provide the necessary resources, time and access to information.  Make yourself accessible for providing info and feedback.
  5. Provide an Environment for Success. Give people the time to present their recommendations and time for you to ask clarifying questions.

The principle behind completed staff work is simply a means to teach people to do their own thinking and to think accurately.

When done correctly completed staff work has the benefit of saving everyone’s time and produces better results – a true 80/20 win-win for all stakeholders.

[Source: Stephen Covey]

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Even Though the Economy is Good Don’t Make These Mistakes

Great news – the economy is on a roll. 

For most businesses and owners, it seems like they can do no wrong.  There are more opportunities than many can handle.

Therein lies the “rub”.

Everyone who has been in business for more than 5 years knows this won’t last. In fact, the rumblings on the street are that we have maybe 6 months to 18 months left in this good economy, and then the sloppy and the lazy are going to get killed.

We have all experienced the sloppiness and laziness anytime we walk into too many businesses or call on the phone.  Too many businesses are beginning to believe they are “gods” and can do no wrong.

Yikes! The reckoning is a-coming folks.

One of the first places bad business practices raises their ugly head and we see the first signs of “slop”, is on the phone and it’s the easiest to fix.  Poor communications skills, no follow-up and follow-through, less than stellar attitude, poorly educated on the culture, immutable principles, and Unique Selling Proposition [USP] of the business are all the first places to look.

Another area of slop that is getting overlooked is marketing. Cultivating and nurturing relationships with existing customers and especially with your best ones – the 20% that are generating 80% of your revenue, profits and cash flow.

When the economy is good and it appears you have more customers than you can handle, it can be hard to focus on the Wildly Important.

Your existing clients are your very, very best source of growing and stabilizing your business.

Those who are going to not only survive the next downturn but actually grow, expand and take market share, are the ones who are proactive now in creating and nurturing trusting relationships with their very best, ideal clients.

There are 3 main ways to increase sales and profits in any business:

  1. Acquire more new customers to buy from you.
  2. Increase the amount of money your customers spend each time they buy from you.
  3. Get you customers to buy from you more often.

Most businesses, small and large, spend the majority of their time, effort and money focused on number 1:  getting more customers.

Just adding more customers is rarely the best strategy.

But by implementing 80/20 sales and marketing you will avoid the mistakes your competitors are making in this great economy and besides there is far more money to be made with far less time, effort and expense by focusing on numbers 2 & 3: increasing the amount of money your customers spend and getting them to buy more often and the best and easiest way is with your existing BEST clients.

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The Exponential Effect of Combining 8020 Online and Offline Marketing

 

Adding 8020 online marketing and selling to your brick & mortar business has to simply be a part of any marketing and sales process.

Regardless of the business, making sales and providing real service are two of the most vital measurements of any 8020 business.

Yet, the vast majority of small business owners don’t adequately use their online presence (website, social media, Email marketing) to complement and enhance their offline marketing and sales process.

Implementing 8020 online business strategies and tactics is fun, highly leveraged and can be outrageously profitable.

In fact, adding 8020 online sales and marketing strategies, systems and tactics to your brick and mortar business is probably the easiest way to increase your cash flow fast without the aid of a mask and a gun.

Best of all, it is moral, ethical and the easiest way to ensure you never break the laws of God or man.

8020 online marketing helps and serves your prospects and customers while adding extra profits and cash to your bank account while at the same time bringing stability to your business.

Too many small business owners make the mistake of thinking they can make a fortune in their brick and mortar business selling products and services without integrating solid 8020 online marketing methods.

When you combine various elements of 8020 online and offline marketing and sales into your prospecting, sales, and follow-up process the potential to increase your profits and cash flow grows exponentially.

And that can be multiplied by increasing the amount of money each customer spends every time they purchase and increases the likelihood of them referring like-minded new prospects.

There are 3 main ways to increase sales and profits in any business:

  1. Acquire more new customers to buy from you.
  2. Increase the amount of money your customers spend each time they buy from you.
  3. Get your customers to buy from you more often.

Most businesses, small and large, spend the majority of their time, effort and money focused on number 1:  getting more customers.

But by implementing 8020 sales and marketing there is far more money to be made with far less time, effort and expense by focusing on numbers 2 & 3: increasing the amount of money your customers spend and getting them to buy more often.

Also, which I’ll share with you at a later time, when you really take time to build trusting relationships with the 20% that generate 80% of your sales, profits and cash flow, through education and exceptional service, you build a steady stream of high quality 8020 referrals.

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The Big Secret to Selling more.

The very first foundational principle of 80/20 marketing and selling is: Seek First to Understand…and I’ll add: with a Servitude Heart.

Until you completely understand what your market as a whole or individual customer wants you can’t help them.

Almost 100 years ago, Dale Carnegie taught us that selling and persuasion was as simple as finding out what people want and then give it to them.

Simple back then but so much today.  Why?

Because it is extremely difficult for most people to articulate what they want, so today you have to become a little bit counterintuitive in your methods, an expert at asking the right questions, of the right people, at the right time.

There are two questions everyone can answer accurately:

  1. What they don’t want, and…
  2. Questions about their past behaviors. 

When it comes to figuring out what their market wants, most business owners and sales people make the same costly mistake: They either assume they know or they simply ask people what they want and then sit back and think they’ll tell them and then wait for the money to roll in.

Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses’”.

And Steve Jobs said “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

So, if you want to know what your market wants, stop asking them…or at least you have stop asking them directly.

Being an 80/20 marketer and seller is a lot like being a doctor.  

There are five stages: Discovery, Diagnose, Prescribe, Create and Implement.

The first stage is the Discovery stage.

Think about the last time you visited your doctor’s office. When I check in the first question they ask me is “Have you traveled outside of the country in the last 6 months.”

That’s the beginning of getting to know me. 

Once I sit down with my doctor, he’ll start asking me questions about what are the symptoms that motivated me to come see him, when did they start, under what circumstances do they occur, how often, etc. etc..

As an 80/20 marketer or sales person, the better I know my market, their pain points, their motivation, what “language” do they speak… I’m not talking about English or Spanish or Croatian…, I’m talking about how to I speak to them so they understand and can wrap their head around what I’m saying. When I truly know them like a friend, the better I’m going to be able to help them get what they want.

I first learned this truth 30 years ago when I was selling cars.

It helped take me from a 10 car a month salesman to a 25-30 car a month salesman.

The most effective questions were the ones I asked about what they didn’t like about their current vehicle and how the way they used their vehicle in the past no longer was suitable today.

The salespeople I trained in this method and implemented it, also dramatically improved their sales.

So if you want to know what your market wants and get better at selling more, you have to become counterintuitive and find out what they don’t like and extrapolate from there.

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How to Use 80/20 in Your Marketing and Selling

The 80/20 Principle or Pareto’s Law, has become almost a platitude in today’s world, especially the marketing and selling part of business.

But… very few have a deep understanding of its tremendous power to leverage everything in your world. When you truly understand it, it becomes transformational at every level.

It will multiply your time, effort, people/relationships, free up your critical resources and exponentially increase your revenue, profits and cash flow, because it changes the way you think and thus act.

Over 20 years ago, just after I had purchased my new car & truck dealership, I hired Jay Abraham to be my marketing coach and I spent a year with a small group of other highly motivated entrepreneurs periodically traveling out to Los Angeles to be coached, prodded and grilled by Jay Abraham.

At about the same time I picked up a book by Richard Koch called “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Success by Achieving More With Less” and I began my journey into combining the 80/20 principle with what I was learning from Jay Abraham in my sales, marketing and business practices.

These two encounters turned out to be the most enlightening years of my business life.

One changed the way I thought about marketing and selling and the other changed the way I thought about the principle of Putting First Things First. And when I combined these two new paradigms, it took me closer to what I called Effortless Power…how to get more and better results with less time, effort and resources.

When you understand the 80/20 Principle you will see the world through a different lens.

You will see immediate opportunities for increasing your profits & cash flow by recognizing not only what is wildly important but also what is a waste of your time and efforts.

There are highly leveraged implications for your employees, vendors, suppliers and all other stakeholders as well.

You will view your talents and passions differently.

You see 80/20 is not just a handy rule-of-thumb. It is a principle of life.

In general:

  • 80% of your revenue, profits and cash flow comes from 20% of your customers, employees and/or products.
  • 80% of your problems come from 20% of your customers or employees.
  • 80% of your productivity comes from 20% or your time.
  • 80% of what you need to know comes from 20% of the book you are reading.
  • 20% of your customers, in any bucket, have the potential to spend 5x’s as much as they are right now.

And so on and so on…

From a purely marketing and selling stand-point, the real gains come from identifying and understanding that 80% of your marketing/advertising efforts only influence 20% of your sales and 80% of your current customer list produces 20% of your results.

If you are treating all customers the same, then that means that 20% of the customers who could be upsold to a higher level of service or product or who would purchase more often if asked with the proper messaging are being wasted.

When you identify the 20% of your ideal target audience that is likely to respond positively to your offer, you suddenly stop wasting money, time and effort on the wrong crowd and instead, you have five times more money and effort to expend on the right audience – the 20% that will produce 5x’s or more.

Here is How it Looks from Your Employee Side.

Let’s say you have a team of 10 sales people. The 80/20 principle says 2 of them are generating approximately 80% of your results and the other 8 are generating the remaining 20%.

Example: Your team of 10 generate $100,000.  The top two likely account for $80,000 or $40,000 average each, while the other 8 generate $20,000 or $2,500 average each. That means man-for-man, the top two are somewhere in the area of 16x’s more effective the than the other eight.  The top 20% generate four times the results with one fourth the people.

The unbelievable news? 20% of the top 20% [4%] produces 80% of the 80% [64%] and 20% of the 4% [.8%] generates 80% of the 64% [52%] of the results.  The leverage continues like this until you can’t measure anymore.

How does knowing this and who your top performers change the way you think about finding, hiring and keeping only the 20%’ers?

This is why I love 80/20.

When you improve the effectiveness of the most important 20%, 4% and then 1% of your business [i.e. marketing, salesmanship, operations, etc] your results improve exponentially.

When you have identified the 20%, then the 4% then ultimately the 1% to focus on, you gain more productive time, more profits and cash flow, more and better results from fewer customers and or employees and you do it all with little to no waste.

The Good News: It is not unusual to make only a few changes to see your profits increase by 20% then 30% the 50% or more in less than 90 days. All this  depends only on your willingness to change the way you think.

What if you could better predict your market, business, potential bottlenecks, problems and pain points?

What if when all of your competition were flying blind and with a certain sense of fear because market competitiveness was causing their profits and cash flow to dwindle and become inconsistent,  their costs to acquire customers kept creeping up and their returns from these customers kept going down and you, on the other hand, had the secret formula on how to identify the ideal customers and employees, the ideal products and services and you were making 1.5:1, 2:1 or even 4:1 more on every transaction.

If you could see your marketing and selling world around you in a totally different way – would you take it?

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