Sunday, February 19, 2017

Failure does NOT have to be final

Failure does NOT have to be final

Quitting is final; improving and learning goes on forever. Failing our way to success is a truism. Failure is only final when we quit. We will be attempted to quit anything worthwhile pursuing. Quitters never win and winners never quit. 
Why do so many people fail and then quit? The chief reason dabblers fail and quit is that they do not have a clear purpose, vision, and mission to get their goals and dreams in life. Now more than ever, we are bombarded with one liners and messages of instant success. This microwave thinking is poisoning our minds and leading to final failures. It doesn't have to be that way. 
Success is simple and predictable, but it is not easy. Success only comes to those that are willing to do the hard work, the smart work, and to let the time compound their small victories into massive success. Success requires mental fitness and fortitude to endure what the average person is not willing to endure. Never forget that if you follow the crowd, if you do what the average person does, by following the crowd, you will get what they get, and that is not much, a survival state at best. 
One of the greatest businessmen of the last century, Sam Walton, is the perfect role model for us to learn from. Sam swam against the current. He found out where the competition was going and ran the other way, and boy he ran fast. No wonder he built what became the largest company in the world.
Let’s take a closer look at why winners win.

1.    Information.
Winners place great value in getting the right information.
Winners are always in search of better information from better sources.
Winners get their information from the right sources, other proven winners.

2.    Thinking
Winners learn proper thinking from those that think correctly.
Winners develop their correct thinking by plugging in the right information.
Winners know how critical it is to make the right decisions and stay the course.

3.    Advice
Winners value and follow the advice from their mentors.
Winners place urgency in the right learning and application of learning.
Winners get advice from those that have the results they are looking for.

4.    Process
Winners follow a proven and duplicatable process.
Winners develop the right habits that compound over time.
Winners consistently follow the pursuit of their goals and dreams.
5.    Practice
Winners have laser focus on improving the right skills.
Winners know that practicing the right skills leads to excellence.
Winners master their craft by relentlessly practicing the right skills.

6.    Adversity
Winners expect and deal with adversity head on.
Winners have strong mental fitness to deal with a negative world.
Winners swim against the current long enough until the current turns in their favor.
7.    System
Winners know the power of leveraging the correct system.
Winners become champions by mastering the right routines.
Winners know that the magic is in the system, not in themselves.
Winners know the compounding effect produced by the right system.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

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

“Managers influence numbers, leaders influence people by inspiring them to pursue excellence”

Monday, February 13, 2017



We don’t lack time and/or money, we lack priorities
We don’t lack intelligence, we lack is faith

Correct thinking: Believe>See>Do>Improve>Succeed

Faulty thinking: Succeed>Improve>Do>See>Believe

Why aren’t we listening to Warren Buffet, the greatest investor of all time? Buffet said - the more we learn the more we earn. Playing defense is not enough to win the game of life; we must learn to play offense and the rules of the game. What is not explicit in this simple truth is the why, what, how, who, where, and when of learning. 

Learning for the sake of learning does not contribute to our earnings. The big difference maker in the game starts with why – the learning must be intentional, deliberate and purposeful, leading to the application of knowledge. The problem with the information age is the excess of useless information.  What – getting the right information from the right sources, from those who have the results in life we are looking for. What – what community of learners can I belong to so I can be part of the right mastermind group? Now more than ever we must play in a great team. How – the how always comes after the why; the multiple ways of learning. As Henry Ford said, those who know how will work for those who know why. Who – who do I need to become? Be>Do>Have, not Have>Do>Be. The world will tell you go the wrong way. We must rise above the average if we want a shot to play and win the game. Where – where can I find a proven system filled with practical and applicable tools, principles, methods and techniques to live they life I have always wanted? Just like Buffet’s holding period for a financial investment, when or how long to learn, is forever, so start now

Fall in love with learning and applying what you learn and you can reap a 100 fold return on the investment in yourself. How can you find a financial investment that will be a 100 bagger during your lifetime? The more we know from the application of knowledge, the greater our capability to solve problems and the better our chance to outscore the competitors. Applied knowledge compounds faster than money. The future belongs to the voracious practical learners and doers. Now, more than ever before, the future belongs to the self-learners, the self-educated entrepreneurs. The marketplace rewards results coming from the right set of skills and not the right diplomas and certificates that so many people are still chasing. Start looking forward, through your windshield, instead of looking through your rear-view mirror, so you too can see a brighter future ahead. Start playing offense in the game of life. Stop getting advice from your past and start getting advice from your future if you want to live that life you have always wanted.

Let me give you a perspective on why I decided a decade ago to invest heavily in myself. I have said here before about investing three times more time and money to feed my brain than spending them into feeding my stomach. Let me break MYSELF into 42 powerful questions. At first these questions will be greater than your answers. Take the most important step, the first step, and answer the first question today. Then, answer one question per day and in 42 days you will be a different, better you. If you are an overachiever, go ahead and answer all the questions. Be patient as you dig in deep into yourself. Perfection kills production. Perfection is another word for procrastination. The exercise will introduce you to you. 

Keep in mind you don’t want balance in your life; you want abundance. Abundance only comes from mastering the offense in the game. Build yourself and your success will come. Prepare and your chance will come. Don’t dwell or spend too much time in your past, dwell and focus instead on your future. The exercise will help start decluttering the things that are distracting you. Answer these questions and you will start your transformation journey immediately. This will put some pressure on you and self-imposed pressure is good. Self-imposed pressure will lead to some drama and it will stir your emotions. Stirring emotions stir your soul and lead to massive action. Stop being a spectator in life and start leading you. Spectator pay and leaders get paid.  Warning!!! Thinking will be required. And, you will be criticized for going against the grain. True wealth follows excellence; it always has, it always will. Only the disciplined are free! May 217 be your best year yet!

1.      M = ME
Who am I?
What is my identity?
Why I need to believe in myself?
Why do I deserve to be successful?
Why do I need to grow and evolve?
Why do I need to learn from others?
Why do I need to become a better me?

2.      Y = YES
What do I want to have in my live?
What do I see for myself in 5-10 years?
What human being do I need to become?
What is the legacy I need to leave behind?
Why do I need to commit to my own vision?
Why do I need to say YES to my dreams and my purpose?
Why do I need to say YES to self-knowledge and self-education?

3.      S = SERVE
How can I be a role model to others?
Why do I need to serve other people?
Why do I need to care about other people?
Why do I need to be productive and positive?
Why do I need to become a great public speaker?
Why do I need to become a better communicator?
What is the value of me being a master communicator?

4.      E = EXECUTE
What do I need to practice?
When do I feel most energized?
Why do I need to get into action?
Why do I need to produce results?
How can I be effective at prioritizing?
Why do I need to be a problem solver?
Why do I need to pay attention to my scorecard?
5.      L = LEAD
What do I know about leadership?
Why is my character so important?
What does leadership mean to me?
What do I bring to the table as a leader?
When do I the leader achieve the best results?
Why do I need to build relationships with people?
Why do I always need to work on my foundational qualities?

6.      F = FOCUS
Why do I need to be consistent?
Why do I need to have laser focus?
Why do I need a sense of urgency?
Why do I need to master self-discipline?
Why do I need to practice the right tasks?
Why do I need to be tenacious and persistent?
Why do I need to PDCA (plan, do, check, adjust)?

I cannot change others but I can change MYSELF and that is way more than good enough! Let me know how you enjoyed the exercise.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

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."

Monday, December 26, 2016

What Will 2017 Be Like?

What Will 2017 Be Like?

Before you write your New Year resolutions, read to the end, take action on these 7 steps, and maybe this year your resolutions will stick. What will the New Year be like for you? It will be up to you to determine what kind of year 2017 will be like. One year from now you will look back again and realize 2017 was another average year or it was the best year you have ever had. For another average year you don’t need to do much just keep on doing what you have been doing, keep on going with the same kind of thinking that has taken you to today. The world will tell you that being average is better than being obsessed. I am here to tell you that it is another big lie so you can continue to be part of someone else’s plan. Choose to live life instead of allowing life to live you. However, if you want a great year, you will have to change a few things in your life. What is easy to do, it is even easier not to do. Never forget that you will have as much time to accomplish anything as you allow yourself the time to complete anything. 

Here are some thoughts to make 2017 your best year yet:

1.    Clear purpose and mission in life.
Make sure your subconscious mind has the right programming. The HOWS always become obvious and easier once the WHYS are clear and strongly pursued.

2.    Crystal clear vision to the destination.
See the path to where you are going. Create strong mental images of the finish line. Mentally live and relive the emotions of crossing the finish line.

3.    Achievable dreams and goals.
Keep the goals in front of you and date your dreams on a daily basis.

4.    The burning desire to possess the wants.
Let the positive strong tension inside you drive your actions.

5.    Solid plan to get to your destination.
Execute the plan and drive doubt out of your routine.

6.    Stellar attitude and professional work ethic.
Have a positive uplifting attitude backed by an exemplary work ethic. Kill procrastination and get the little things done well consistently.

7.    Keep eyes on the scorecard.
The scorecard is critical to track progress and make appropriate adjustments.

                        Pray like it all depends on God, work like it all depends on you.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

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."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What You Can Afford = What You Cannot Afford Not To

7 Reasons To Be Self-Educated

In the fast paced world we live in today it is paramount we continue to learn, adapt, change, and transform the world in and around us. Self-education has never been as important as it is now. Self-education is the only true education; it is the way to transform ourselves to achieve the levels of success and significance we desire. We all have different learning styles. Some of us learn by reading, others by listening, others by watching, and others by associating with likeminded people. Champions use all forms of learning. The best way to learn comes from doing, experiential learning, the application of what we already know. Significance comes from being a hungry learner and quick at applying what we learn. Be the fastest from problem identified to problem solved and you will be a big winner in anything we pursue. If we know and we do not apply what we know, then the knowledge we have is of little or no value at all to us and to those we serve in the world we operate.  The investment in the right self-education brings 100 fold return, yet most people lack the will to be self-educated because they lack a strong enough reasons to do so or they allow their excuses to overpower their reasons. The world is full of starters (full of reasons) but also full of quitters (full of excuses). Why not be a finisher in a world of starters? Here are the 7 reasons to be self-educated and to finish big, finish strong in life:

1.    Expand your mind
Feeding our minds with the right information is critical to expand our thinking ability. Our brain is the most valuable asset we have, yet most people disregard this truth by feeding their minds with frivolous information. Once a mind is expanded it will never go back to its smaller size. Social media is flooding our brains with information of little use thus robbing our time (our second most precious asset) each and every day. A self-educated mind is a healthy and productive mind. Expand your mind to contain the right information, better knowledge, and more wisdom.

2.    Program your thinking for success
We can program and re-program our thinking for success and significance. All it takes is continued feeding of right bite size pieces of information which becomes knowledge once being processed by our brains. Applied knowledge turns into valuable experiences to accomplish bigger and better things. Proper thinking is hard work and that is why so few do it. Many people are losing the ability to think properly due to over feeding their brains with wrong information. We satisfy and entertain our minds with information that actually kills our ability to develop the proper thinking and reasoning. Develop the ability to continuously improve your thinking.

3.    Fall in love with learning
There is no more powerful habit than that of continuous learning and application of knowledge. Learning is the best form of leisure. Opposite from entertainment, leisure leads to a great life, while entertainment leads to higher levels of craving for what will eventually lead to a smaller and less significant life. Entertainment has its place but it should never be at the center of anyone’s life. Make learning your life long pursuit and live the life you once dreamed to live.

4.    Develop self-discipline
We either discipline ourselves or the world will discipline us. Self-discipline is a trait found in all champions. Champions do what others are not willing to do thus the chief reason they achieve what others will never achieve. Champions are not smarter or even talented; they have the discipline to do more than others on a consistent basis. Little can be accomplished by those who allow the world to discipline them. Go on the offensive and develop the self-disciple required to win at the game of life.

5.    Achieve your true potential
We will never know and achieve our true potential if we don’t develop our talents and abilities through practicing and mastering the skills required to become what we were created to be. The continuous feeding of our brains with the right information produces better thinking and better quality of decisions. The right decisions compound over time producing the desired results. Success is a habit that can and ought to be developed by everyone. Success comes from a direct attack at our current reality. A productive loop is another trait in the lives of champions. Never allow another day to go by without doing something that reveals or refines ability.

6.    Develop the winner mindset
Winners are not smarter than anyone else, they just think different because they fed the right information into their minds. Most individuals think they know how to choose the right information yet their results in life proves otherwise. In an information flooded world, there is a very high return on investments made to get the right information. Quitters never win and winners never quit. Persistence and tenacity prevail when it comes to getting the right self-education. Develop the right mindset so you can see the world around you with a new set of lenses.

7.    Find the right associations
We become the average of the people we associate with. Every human being has the right to choose the right or the wrong associations so choose wisely. Choose to associate with people you can learn from. Choose to associate with people who will uplift you to higher levels of success. Technology has the ability to bring us together or drive us apart. We either leverage technology or technology will leverage us.
Is technology getting the best of you or are you getting the best out of technology?
How is technology helping you to be a better person and a better professional?

I hope the above inspires you higher levels of achievement.

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

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."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Going Anywhere?

How Far Do You Want To Go?

Going somewhere? Read it and profit from it!

Yes, you can get anywhere you want to go if you …
Ask the right questions to the right person at the right time.

I am sure you heard about this powerful truth and as you think about it you are probably wondering how I do that. If you become good at applying this truth in your life you can go anywhere you want to go. You can get to the essence of others, to their core, and then be able to help and serve them. You can make friends and you can find needs in others. Above all, you can establish trust and communicate effectively with others. Effective communication is a transfer of felling that often leads to action. Asking the right questions is more important than having the right answers. Always make your questions bigger than your answers.

The quality of our experiences in life is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves and those we associate with. Ask the right questions to learn what makes someone tick. Ask the right questions at the right time and watch them come alive. The skill of asking the right questions to the right person and the right time is a great skill to have; this skill only comes with extensive practice. Read the following and takes a few minutes to internalize it and it will change the way you conduct yourself during the next conversation.

Let me help you by breaking this powerful statement into 7 nuggets that will set you on a course to get anything you would like in your life. Of course, before you do anything you must know where you want to go.

1.    Know what questions to ask them.
Start with simple questions others can and will answer. This is the key to start any conversation or relationship. Some folks call it small talk; I call it the smart talk. Great and lasting things are built on the right foundations. Listen carefully to their answers and they will give you clues for what questions to ask next.
Where did you grow up?
Are you from around here?

2.    Ask important questions about them.
Ask open ended questions they will be glad to answer. This is important so they will start telling you key information to build a foundation of trust for any successful conversation or relationship. Ask why questions.
What is new in your world?
Who is your hero?

3.    Ask questions to get to know them.
Don’t get too personal in your questions until you have established a connection with them. Start with questions that are already public knowledge to bring information to the present conversation. Here you are building a foundation for the next level of questioning. Their answers will help you know what their most important issues are.
How did you get started doing what you are doing?
Why did you decide to move to this city or state or country?

4.    Ask questions that are important to them.
Ask the simple personal and professional questions. Listen carefully and you get the clues for the next questions to ask. This is critical as you get more specific about the questions you will ask next. This has to flow naturally as part of any great conversation or new relationship.
Why do you like being an engineer?
Why do you like working in the medical field?

5.    Ask questions that arouse interest in their wants.
You can only ask this type of question after you know what is important to them. Here you can ask questions to establish common ground, things of common interest. When do you feel most valued and appreciated?
What makes you come alive?

6.    Ask appropriate questions at the right time.
Timing is everything when it comes to asking questions. Best questions are part of the conversation flow. Never ask any question you would not gladly answer yourself. The timing of a question is important to move to the next steps in questioning. This type of question helps to summarize the progress made in any conversation.
Where do you see yourself one year from now?
Why do you think you can live wonderful dream?

7.    Ask questions that leads them to action.
Lead them to come up with answers to the questions by asking sequential questions.  Help others to come up with their own answers based on their own values and beliefs. Questioning values and beliefs has a place but only after you have established high trust in a relationship. The best way to get anyone to do anything is because she or he wants to do it.
What would a day in your life look alike if you achieve such worthy goal?
What did you learn today that you can apply in your life immediately?

                                                         The more you learn the more you earn!

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

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."