Friday, January 29, 2016

Smart Money Dumb Money

Smart Money Dumb Money

My dad used to say that it is more important what you do with what is left than how much money you make. Are you the smart or the dumb money?


Chart by Chris Brady

1.      The smart money says I will earn and save it.
The dumb money says I will borrow it.

2.      The smart money says I will save before investing it.
The dumb money says I will spend it because I deserve it.

3.      The smart money says I will not buy it until I have the cash.
The dumb money says I will finance it.

4.      The smart money says I will buy it with cash.
The dumb money says I will borrow to establish credit.

5.      The smart money says I can wait so I can buy nice things.
The dumb money says if I wait I will never buy nice things.

6.      The smart money says I will earn, give, save, invest, and then spend.
The dumb money says I will spend, earn, spend, earn, and then spend some more.

7.      The smart money says the total cost, including the interest, is too high.
The dumb money says I think I can afford the monthly payment.


Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Please share with others.  
Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."
I would love to do a podcast or a blog interview and share my Nuggets with your audience!



Thursday, January 28, 2016

What is the best use of money?

What is the best use of money?



You have worked hard, achieved success, and earned some good money. How best can you use it? I often hear people say that money cannot buy happiness. Can money buy happiness? I will leave that for you to decide. Money is a great tool that when used appropriately can enrich our lives and the lives of others. We all use money differently depending on our understanding and views of money. What are your preferred ways to use your money?

1.      Basic needs. Money can buy things like food, shelter, transportation, etc. for our basic needs. Shift from materialism to altruism.

2.      Invest in experiences. Money can be used to invest in great experiences. Seek experiences that will make you wise.

3.      Invest in memories. Money can be used to invest in great memories. Live a life of no regrets.

4.      Invest in travels. Money can be used to invest in fun trips. I am a big proponent of creative leisure where meaning we work, learn, and have fun and the same time. Seek creative leisure in all you do.

5.      Learning and relationships. Money can be invested in learning and relationship building. Invest more to feed your brain than what you spend to feed your stomach.

6.      Buy time back. Money can be invested for it to grow so we can buy our time back. How good is it to have money when we no longer have the ability to put money to great use? There will be a day in your life that it will be too late.

7.      Invest in others. Money can be invested in others so they can grow and prosper. The first best use of money is to invest in yourself, the second best, is to invest in those you care about.

Are you putting your money to great use? Why not?

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Please share with others.  
Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."
I would love to do a podcast or a blog interview and share my Nuggets with your audience!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Critical factors for business success

Critical factors for business success


The business landscape is going to change drastically in the next five years. Many businesses are going to falter, even household names, and many little known businesses are going to succeed. We are now seeing the powerful impact the internet is having on any business. Here are 7 important factors for business success in this new and tough world economy. Even during economic crisis businesses that pay attention to the following will fundamentals will prosper.

1.      Leadership, vision, and deep knowledge of the business. Leadership has never been so critical like now. Everything rises and falls on leadership. It is during tough times that the real leaders emerge. A clear vision is critical to avoid doing the unnecessary or the wrong things. It is critical to keep both eyes on the horizon for the waves of changes. It is critical to know what the core of the business is all about. Everyone ought to know these things, not just the leadership and management of the company. Transparency is an absolute must.

2.      Deep knowledge and control of finances. In a difficult or unpredictable business environment it is critical to avoid overleveraging the business. Excessive debt, even at low interest rates, works against the ability to invest in the right things at the right time. Cash is king during difficult economic environments.

3.      Development of people. This is probably where most businesses get a D or an F grade. It is critical to recognize and reward the right talents and skills. In businesses today there is a lot more talk than do when it comes to succession planning. With many baby boomers retiring, the next few years are going to be challenging for many businesses to attract and retain top talent. It is critical to invest in people development, not just in training. Training deals a lot more with learning the practices from the past to the present. Development deals a lot more with preparing people to lead into the future.
  
4.      Development of systems. The critical processes and components of what makes a business succeed must be identified, documented, and understood by those running the business. Stay away from documenting bureaucracies and faulty processes in the business. Stick to the core and do it superbly well. Robust systems can withstand tough economic environment.

5.      Service to clients and/or customers. There is no question that the quality of service in many businesses has declined in the last decade. In the age of smart consumers no one can afford to lose the precious consumer loyalty; it is costly or even impossible to get it back once lost. Have you tried to connect with a business consumer hotline lately? No wonder it is called a hotline! Either machines keep you going from voice to voice or human to voice and voice to human before anything can be resolved. At least some businesses are putting English speaking people to answer the phones. I am not even going to get into the customer services through websites.

6.      Boost trust, ethics, compliance, and culture. Yes, a great business can still be built on character and integrity. It is common for businesses to fail because of lack of leadership and vision and the common reasons are trust erosion, shady practices, and lack of compliance to the fundamentals of running a great business. Organizations talk a lot about their cultures but have done little to make it better; it takes great leadership to do that.

7.      Keep one eye in the leading indicators and another on profitability. The eye on the bottom line is important. What is even more important is the eye on the leading indicators, those that lead to new products, new customers and new sales besides the existing customers and existing sales. Keeping a watch on the budgets is important, but the great businessman never forgets that sometimes a budget can be bad for business, especially during times of change and great opportunities. A full understanding of risk is critical during this amazing times we all live in now.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Please share with others.  
Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."

I would love to do a podcast or a blog interview and share my Nuggets with your audience!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

More Suggestions for 2016

More Suggestions for 2016



1.      Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. You were created to be somebody. Do not compare yourself with anyone else. Everyone has their own challenges and adversities to deal with; endure and deal with yours gracefully and patiently.

2.      Connect with your subconscious mind. Prayer is one of the best ways to build a solid bridge between our conscious and subconscious lives. Use your imagination to create the right mental pictures of where you want to go.

3.      Listen to the soft voice of love. Love is a powerful force. While many other voices scream at us; the still voice of love is quietly there in each one of us. Take daily breaks from the noisy and loud world we live in.

4.      Leverage the power of gratitude. Let’s be grateful for all that comes in our lives. It is easy to be grateful for the good things. However, our lives are only changed when we are grateful for the bad, the sorrows, the failures and the rejections that come our way.  

5.      Trust. Trust is the basis of everything, in business and in life. Without trust none of us can live fruitful lives. Above all, trust our Creator. Trust those around you so they will be there to catch you when you before you fall.

6.      Let self-rejection go. We will encounter enough rejection as we go on living our lives. Stop beating yourself up. Let’s have the courage to listen to the soft voice calling us God’s sons and daughters. Miracles happen in all our lives; it is up to us to find them and become a witness to the world.

7.      Be a light in a darkening world. Let’s take the next step and trust that we will have light for the step the follows. Rejoice in the light and keep on lighting the path. Significance comes from the compounding of little steps and deeds in the right direction. Be the one to turn on the light wherever you go!

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Please share with others.  
Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."

I would love to do a podcast or a blog interview and share my Nuggets with your audience!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Suggestions for 2016

Suggestions for 2016

After a long break the 7 Daily Nuggets is back!

2016 had a rocky start. Instead of making predictions on what will happen, here are 7 things we can do, things that are in our control, to prepare us for the unexpected. As Dorothy would say, I have the feeling are no longer in Kansas, toto. We are in a new economy where the information age changed the rules of the games we play. May these suggestions help you in the entrepreneurial age.



1.      Get back to learning. The only way to thrive in times of fast and ferocious change is to learn. If you are not reading at least one great book a month, you are falling behind. Read wide and deep. For the voracious readers, go for 3-5 books a month. Belong to a community of learners by associating with learners.
  
2.      Gain control of personal finance. The Financial Matrix is running rampant everywhere we look. Focus on eliminating debt. Launch a business to generate new streams of income.

3.      Improve health. Focus on prevention. Better eating and more exercise are a must going forward. No matter what politicians do in Washington, healthcare cost will still go up.

4.      Live your purpose. If you still don’t know what your purpose is, it is time to detect it. Do what you love or love what you do. Do what you are passionate about or be passionate about what you do. Money follows excellence. Become a professional in your craft.

5.      Seek creative leisure. Combine the right work with learning and fun. Prioritize the work and guard your time; take control of your schedule. Seek learning experiences. Start having more fun in all that you do.

6.      Focus on serving. Provide better service for those you serve. Keep attitude in check. During tough times, the world is full of grouches. Who does not want to be served with a smile? Get those old people skills, dust them, read them, study them, and apply what they teach.

7.      Work on yourself. In this new economy, rewards come from skills, not diplomas. Self-educate yourself. Get the right mentor to grow and prosper faster.

Hope the above was of value to you, was it?
Which one(s) of the above are you going to focus on? Hint. It is probably the one that you paused for a second and thought about it.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Please share with others.  
Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."
I would love to do a podcast or a blog interview and share my Nuggets with your audience!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Com os olhos da minha irmã

Com os olhos da minha irmã

Ja li milhares de livros mas o livro Lucy de Lucy Kortz me prendeu a atenção com poucos outro livros. Todos deveríamos ler este livro, pois esta repleto de sabedoria em forma de historias com fatos verídicos de sua vida. Os relatos de Lucy Kortz são testemunho de uma vida cheia de obstáculos e conquistas onde a perseverança vence qualquer tipo de preconceito e dificuldade na vida, especialmente na vida de pessoas com necessidades especias, como na vida de uma cega. Lucy é um livro poderoso que transcende religião, cultura, línguas, profissões, etc. Tive a honra de conhecer Lucy Kortz no dia 21 de dezembro de 2015 em sua casa em Santa Maria, RS, Brasil. Tivemos uma conversa muito boa junto com suas irmãs Wilma (também cega), Carmen e Noemi. Senti feliz em estar na presença de pessoas maravilhosas, cheias de alegria a paz. Obrigado Lucy, Carmen, Wilma, e Noemi por receber-nos (com a Cristina) em sua casa. Lendo o livro podemos tirar lições valiosas de um relato cheio de amor, fé e esperança. Recomendo que leiam este livro, Lucy. Aqui estão a 7 pérolas extraídas do livro.

1) Se apegue a Deus. Deus é verdadeiro; Deus nos protege e nos guia.

2) A felicidade vem da simplicidade. Aprenda a simplificar as coisas. O belo esta no simples.

3) Todo ser humano tem um valor inestimável. Todos fomos criados na imagem de Deus.

4) Fomos criados para viver em comunidade. Estamos aqui na terra para ajudar-nos uns aos outros.

5) A educação verdadeira vem da aplicação de princípios bíblicos. Como pais temos a obrigação de ensinar a nossos filhos os valores que vieram dos nossos antecedentes.

6) Todos devemos que deixar algo útil às gerações futuras. Todos temos uma história a ser contada para que sirva de testemunho de amor, fé e esperança aos outros.

7) Com Deus tudo é possível. Mesmo sendo cega Lucy consegue ver com os olhos da irmã Noemi e com sua mente. Lucy não só pode ver mas ter visão usando sua mente para criar um mundo maravilhoso ao seu redor e em todos os lados por onde andou.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Please share with others.  
Be blessed and be a blessing to others

Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."

Friday, December 4, 2015

Are you one of them?

Are you one of them Rascals?

THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THE RASCALS
Safety is never found in mediocrity. Security is no longer where it used to be. Security is only found in our ability to learn, to change, and above all else, to perform. Rascal entrepreneurs are owners of the new economic age. It takes guts and courage to be a rascal. One must leave the past behind and sell out to a new future. The rascal entrepreneur is part of an elite group of warriors willing to go where others don’t dare to go, to the land of their dreams. So what are these rascals like, what are their traits that make them uniquely qualified to dominate the new economy?

1.    Their focus comes from their vision.
They know where they want to go. They have clear dreams and goals and are willing to sacrifice to achieve them.

2.    They play strong defense to protect their dreams and visions.
They prepare mentally. They are great simplifiers and know how to prioritize. They are often saying no to the good so they can pursue the great.

3.    They attach a business to their purpose and mission.
They are insanely passionate about who they are and what they do. They are dealers a bright future, enlisting others to be part of their mission and cause. They are community builders focused on improving the lives of those around them.

4.    They play by the rules until they create new rules.
They are work maniacs, seeking and banking on opportunities to innovate and grow. They adapt at a ferocious pace.

5.      They game plan then they work their plans.
They do what others aren’t willing to do and they do it well. Their strong discipline comes from a driven determination to win the games they play. They execute each task at hand like it is the last task they will perform in their life.

6.      They play strong offense.
They are guided by strong intuition. They see what others can’t see and are guided by inner wisdom from their strong sensory perceptions.

7.    They are mentally tough and resilient.
They are unwavering confident. They have thick skin. They are unpredictable because they are guided by radar that is on all the time.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Please share with others.  
Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."
I would love to do a podcast or a blog interview and share my Nuggets with your audience!