Sunday, September 30, 2012

PROSPERITY VS SCARCITY THINKING


Launching a Prosperity Revolution

The best time for prosperity is during hard economic times! Contrary to human nature? Yes,  Don’t blame the quarter outlook syndrome! How about some long term perspective? Entrepreneurs are contrarians by nature. It is like getting out of a stalled flying plane. The normal thing to do is to do more of what is not working; pulling the throttle is a sure way to die. The right thing to do is to tip the nose of the plane down to get speed then to turn the plane up again. This are times to do not the same, to do the uncommon things to get uncommon results. These are times to get set up for accomplishing things that truly make a difference and make history. What follows are things all of us can and must do to make a difference in a stalled economy. Imagine if we all did a little the impact it would have in America! We could even call it a revolution!

1) Do the inside job first. Work on self above all else. We can only change ourselves not others. By changing ourselves we can influence others to change. Example is not the main thing; it is the only thing we can do to make a lasting difference. Words and talk are cheap, the right actions and results are costly but the rewards are worth it.

2) Have an entrepreneurial mind. True entrepreneurs have initiative, ingenuity, imagination, tenacity. Define what success is to you. Opposite of success is not failure; it is quitting. If you don’t have the courage to be an entrepreneur, then at least have courage to be an intrapreneur!

3) Think and act unconventionally. Get information from the correct sources. How about doing a fruit check? Make sure the information is coming from those that have results. The world has plenty of people full of knowledge with little results. Correct knowledge applied gives results. A string of results revolutionizes the world in around us.

4) Have the hunger to chase your dreams. Hunger is the gap between your current reality and your vision. No vision, no hunger; no hunger, no vision! If your energy is not being channeled towards your vision, then it is time to hit the books.

5) We all need the motivation and the inspiration.  Motivation comes from the inside of us. Inspiration comes from the outside, from our associations, our mentors and coaches. Look inside you for motivation. People and businesses waste billions of dollars trying to get motivated when all they have to do is to do an honest self-evaluation and they will find the areas they need to get better.

6) Fallow a proven path.  If what you have been doing is not working, perhaps is reversing the process of what you have been doing. Why not doing a reality check? If I don’t have the results I want, it may be time to stop listening to myself! Define what you want first. Go learn from those that have what you want second, and then learn what they did to succeed and do what they did. Simple, yet the majority of people do the process in reverse. Old thinking is to go get training, start doing, learning on the job, and then their jobs define their life and their lifestyle.

7) Get better and better each day. A productive loop includes planning, doing, checking, and adjusting. Failing to plan is planning to fail. The right plans lead to the right actions. Check the results on the scoreboard. Have the courage to seek feedback. Make adjustments to go towards the targets.

There are the revolutions with bullets and the ones with books. Which one would you rather have? History shows that the current government method of taking from those that have earned and simply giving to those that haven not, calling it fairness or restitution, is a scarcity mentality that can end in a war with real bullets flying. The choice is always ours to make. A government is a reflection of its people. Time to elect the one that will launch the right prosperity revolution.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

DO OUR CHOICES MATTER?

OUR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS MATTER


Ideas and choices carry power in them and over time the consequences are profound for the course we take. Why don’t we think more about the choices and decisions we make? Thinking is hard, that is why so few of us do it. Here are a few choices we all have the freedom to think about and choose. As the saying goes, “the choice is yours” and I say, “and so are the consequences from our choices.” Here are 7 points to ponder about.

1) What we do on earth matters. Are we willing to wait until the end of time to be rewarded for the deeds we do here on earth? The longer we are willing to wait for the rewards of what we do, the greater our rewards will be. Say this to your teenage kid next time you hear complaints.

2) Would we increase the size of armed officer’s squads or the size of the libraries in our schools? Would we rather increase the size of the cars we drive or the size of our home libraries? What we do with our time and money speaks so loud others can hear what we say.

3) Do I really need to understand money? The understanding of money matters a great deal. The majority of people who say money is not important to them, don’t have any money. The crazy thing is this: people who say that money is not important to them: are working for money, in jobs they don’t like, to pay for things they bought with money they didn't have, to impress people they don’t like.

4) It is easy to lose what we don’t even know we have. This is happening with our freedoms. It is easy to spend what we have not earned. Now you know why Government spending is totally out of control. All government spend is third party spending. Who would be better at spending money? We the people or the politicians in Washington would get better bang for the buck? The book 1913 by Oliver DeMille, gives clear education on how politicians cleverly changed the constitution to have control over money collected and printed and how to spend the money. Our founding fathers and the architects of the changes depicted in the book 1913 will likely not meet in eternity. If you had a choice, who would you rather spend eternity with?

5) Others are always watching our behavior. Who we are and what we do matters. People copy 100% of what we do wrong and only 50% of what we do right. Yes, the bias is towards evil, always. We have to make a conscious effort to do as much good as we possibly can. Would we rather compound the positive or the negative we do? Always remember the negative tends to travel and spread faster. Politicians figured this out a long time ago!

6) We are what we eat. Someone once said, “The food industry creates the problems and the drug industry alleviates the symptoms.” We are ignorant enough not to see it that's why we buy into it. We create our health problems by our habits, then demand our doctors to provide solutions and we want the government to pay for the costs. An ignorant society will not remain free for long. We can vote every day with our dollars.

7) Would we choose to go to bars then on to casinos or to get together with your friends to learn and grow and deal with our decaying communities? Which choice leads to solving your life most pressing questions?

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Change is good!


Our view of the world is a reflection of ourselves! To change how we see the world we must first change ourselves.

1) Great books, leaders & mentors remind us of our responsibilities and encourage us to take action.

2) Remarkable strength is rooted in diversity of minds. True communities always rally when there is trouble or disaster.

3) Be honest with yourself where you are with the fundamentals of life. Is your dream bigger than a bad day at your job? Time is not equal money, thinking is. Most know how to make money, few know how to keep money. We don’t get what we want, get what we focus on.

4) Are you in need of a personal financial revolution? Change your citizenship from earth to heaven. All things that are seen are temporary. An idea whose time has come will never be stopped.

5) Personal ego and excellence never go together. We only grow when we know the truth. Do you have a thimble or a barrel capacity to hold truth?  Start a quest for excellence over the protection of ego.

6) Make learning about yourself the priority in your life. Put results and excellence instead of ego at the center of your life. Great courage allows others to follow you

7) Why aren't you waging a war on your bad habits that keep you in bondage? Lasting changes occur from bottom up & inside out.

Sound Advice on Change


Our view of the world is a reflection of ourselves! To change how we see the world we must first change ourselves first.

1) Great books, leaders & mentors remind us of our responsibilities and encourage us to take action.

2) Remarkable strength is rooted in diversity of minds. True communities always rally when there is trouble or disaster.

3) Be honest with yourself where you are with the fundamentals of life. Is your dream bigger than a bad day at your job? Time is not equal money, thinking is. Most know how to make money, few know how to keep money. We don’t get what we want, get what we focus on.

4) Are you in need of a personal financial revolution? Change your citizenship from earth to heaven. All things that are seen are temporary. An idea whose time has come will never be stopped.

5) Personal ego and excellence never go together. We only grow when we know the truth, 3 Do you have a thimble or a barrel capacity to hold truth?  Start a quest for excellence over the protection of ego.

6) Make learning about yourself the priority in your life. Put results and excellence instead of ego at the center of your life. Great courage allows others to follow you

7) Why aren't you waging a war on your bad habits that keep you in bondage? Lasting changes occur from bottom up & inside out.





Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do Entrepreneurs Care?



An Ex-Air Force Service Man Who Really Cares

The current top leadership professional in the world, John C. Maxwell, said “People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care”


Today I am writing about a young entrepreneur who cares; his name is John Acosta. John took an idea to market in less than two years. I knew John as a kid when his family lived in Marshall, Michigan. John’s dad and I used to work at the same company. Anyone could see then that John was an observant kid and a thinker. His family moved to Venezuela in the early 1990’s and my family visited his family in Caracas in 1992; then we lost touch. Twenty years later I met John and his family again at his wedding day back in Marshall.  John and his bride looked magnificent and happy. At the wedding reception John briefly mentioned to me about is 8 years of experience in the US Air Force and that he was soon leaving the Air Force to start his own company. We met for coffee at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in Battle Creek a week later for a chat. I realized then how serious and committed John was about his idea, his dream, and his company. Here are the phases an entrepreneur goes through to realize the dream and to savor the victory. What follows are a few nuggets from several phone and Skype conversations with John in the past 12 months.

1) The Idea
In early 2011 John Acosta’s family physician made the difficult decision to initiate home hospice care for his grandfather following a 12-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. While helping his grandmother care for her husband of 60 years, John became painfully aware of the lack of solutions available on the market to meet the particular needs of both the caregiver and the patient. As he watched his grandmother struggle to maintain her husband’s hygiene and dignified appearance, the seeds of his company, Comfort Care Clothing Co., were planted. The adaptive pajama top design represents the first of a comprehensive product line of adaptive clothing, designed to address the unique needs of critical care patients and the estimated 1.4 million Americans that participate in hospice care annually. You can learn more about the company at comfortcareco.com. Be sure to watch the short video.

2) The Dream
John’s dream is to change the process of how people die. He speaks with confidence that he wants to see people to die with dignity. His dream encompasses a lot more than a product. Typical of successful entrepreneurs, John is a big reader. He says that a great book that helped crystallize his dream was “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. The book inspired John to move forward with his dream. Great books have the power to clarify our thinking and to get ideas to lead us to action.

3) The Product Concept and the Design
While still at the Air Force in Louisiana John found the time in the gaps of his life and he went immediately to work to develop his idea into a concept and a design to share with his father and mother. John’s parents have been big supporters and encouragers of him right from the beginning. John used Windows Paint to create his first product. His parents gave him thumbs up and John kept moving forward.


4) The Company and the Capital
John went to his trusted circle of friends for support. He met with five of his Venezuelan friends and they helped him connect the dots. His friends loved the concept and provided the necessary capital in exchange for part of the company; John still owns the majority. Gabor Marquez is one of his business partners. Gabor works with John on a daily basis; they are the two people at the helm of the business making things happen. The initial venture capital provided the seed money to pay John a small salary and get the company on a fast track to launch the first product.

5) The Struggles
John talks about the normal struggles entrepreneurs go through like lack of time to work on his dream business, time delays during the incubation period, finding the right patent lawyer, developing a great Power Point presentation, developing a great website, creating a high quality and low cost video to spread his mission, finding the right companies to manufacture his product, meeting his goals, and moving to Miami, Florida to open the company’s office. The time came for John to leave the Air Force so he could go ahead full throttle to get the product to market.

6) The Adventure in the Journey
There is something about entrepreneurs about loving the journey they undertake facing whatever challenges comes their way towards their victory. John is no different. He is willing to face the challenges, make the decisions, sacrifice, and do whatever it takes to cross the victory lane. When talking with him, I can feel his enthusiasm, his passion and his energy. John Eldredge in his book “Wild at Heart” writes that a man desires an adventure to live, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue. John, you found your beauty, you are living the adventure, and you are fighting the battles to build a purposeful business. Press on living life as a thrilling adventure!

7) The Victory
Anyone talking with John, even for a few minutes, can see that he has the initiative, the ingenuity, the imagination, and certainly the tenacity to see his dream become a reality. John’s vision is to have a company dedicated to provide a much needed help for families with end of life care. His vision also includes a link to a powerful network where people can find resources to cope and deal with the loss of life. John talks about educating people about the possibilities to heal wounds and to grow when losing loved ones. Entrepreneurs compromise and care; that’s why entrepreneurs create a better future. John sees life as an adventure to live. He is quickly learning how to attach a caring business to his mission, purpose, and life; not a mission, purpose, and life to a business.

What a blessing it has been to reconnect and to learn from John Acosta. Your road ahead will be paved with more struggles followed by many victories. Johnny, the kid then would be very proud of the man you are today!

If anyone has the need for this incredible product, watch the short video, and spread the message to others. http://vimeo.com/49173003

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx – Leadership Education Consulting Services, LLC
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Complete Faith



Today's nuggets are about Wholesome Faith

Complete faith includes believing in Christ, behaving by living our faith, and belonging to a community in communion with Him.

1) Blessings will come when we do good deeds to those who cannot repay us. Doing is a servant’s language of devotion. Ask yourself, am I sending my treasures ahead to heaven? Imagine your eulogy: rich in good works, willing to share, stored treasures for eternity.

2) Everything we own is on loan. How about surrendering our treasures for God’s priorities on earth? Invest what you think you own now to get what is really your own in eternity.

3) Actions are worthless if motives are to build ego and reputation. Without love good deeds will not benefit the doer.

4) What kind of resume are you building for the judgment day? Imagine the face of your Savior when He reads your resume. Live with great anticipation for the greatest surprise that waits for you.

5) We all desperately long to do something more with our lives. Learn to serve on earth to receive your rewards in eternity.

6) We only start learning after we think we know it all. True change starts when we get the right information from the right sources.

7) The power of knowledge becomes effective when hitched to action. A true community is better than a coat on a cold day. Unkind people need kindness the most. Old friends help you grow old; new friends keep you young.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Words Carry Power


The Power of Words

It is not what we know that matters most, it is what we do with what we know that makes the difference is this world.

1) Blessed is the person who perseveres under trial. Have faith even if you can’t see the whole picture; the details will be revealed as you go along. Let your faith flow into your deeds. Take action and let God surprise you. 

2) We only find the deepest meaning and joy when we give our best in all that we do. Never forget that failure and tragedy are temporal, faith is eternal.

3) Lasting happiness only comes from the world inside you. We have all been built to run on love. You are blessed when you suffer for the benefit of others.

4) The irony of success is that you often become a target. Be patient with your false friends and true enemies. Those that attack you are not angry at you; they are angry at the lack of  meaning in their lives. 

5) People may tear down what you build; build anyway. People may shoot you down for thinking big; think big anyway.

6) Honesty makes you vulnerable; be honest anyway. The good you do may be quickly forgotten; do good anyway.

7) For the good you do you may be accused of selfish motives; do good anyway. People are selfish and egotistical, love them anyway. People needing help may attack you, help them anyway.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx


Monday, September 24, 2012

LIFE'S PRICELESS QUESTIONS


We become what we think.

Thinking is everything. Great thinking starts with asking and answering ourselves the right questions. Start by asking yourself - what is my life’s most pressing questions? 
Here are 7 to get you going.

1) Have I met the requirements (in belief, in behavior, in belonging) for eternal life?

2) Am I living the life I always wanted to live?

3) If I could choose to be anyone who would I be?

4) If I could be anywhere where would I be?

5) If I could dream only once what would I dream?

6) Would the kid I was then be proud of the person I am today?

7) What does my life's scoreboard reveal?

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Sunday, September 23, 2012

SHEEPDOGS NEEDED TO HEAL A NATION


Whose fault is it?

Whose fault is it for the failed economic policies and for a bankrupt government? Whose fault is it for our shrinking freedoms and the lack of hope in people and in our institutions? The fault, ladies and gentlemen is 100% ours. Yes, we the people are at fault. How could we allow this to happen under our watch? An ignorant society will not remain free for very long. An ignorant nation is ripe for a dictatorship. We need more sheepdogs to keep the wolves in check. We the people have the power to decide by casting our votes in the candidates that best represents the American ideals, the American dreams, and the American ideology. We are just over a month away from deciding what kind of America we will have in 2016?

1) A nation with bigger government controlling our lives or a nation with smaller government where we the people have more freedoms to pursue our dreams?

2) A nation with a shrinking and bankrupt centralized economy controlled by politicians or a nation with a thriving economy where entrepreneurs flourish in their communities?

3) A nation of people hoping in continued bigger government handouts or a nation of people full of faith and hope about a brighter future and destiny where individuals give hand ups to each other especially to its children and elders?

4) A nation where the government controls the education of our children or a nation where parents and local communities take the primary responsibility for their children's education?

5) A nation where healthcare is centralized and mandated by government or a nation where individuals take responsibility for their health by having healthy habits?

6) A nation lacking leadership without a strong vision for the future where the people believe our best is in the past or a nation with strong leadership with a crystal clear vision for a greater and brighter future than our past?

7) A nation with a weak military that no longer has the ability to bring criminal dictators to justice or a nation with a strong military able to keep an orderly society?

The following article is a powerful reminder of what happens to the sheep when the wolves come.

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman

By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...

"Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Understanding Money


The 7 Laws of Money

1) Money reveals your character, money reveals who you are. Be financial literate. Money is not good or bad. Good people do good things with money and evil people do bad things with money. Money is not evil; the love of money is evil. Learn the power of compounding money and knowledge. Applied knowledge leads to money.

2) Be a good steward of what you have. Count your blessings and you will be entrusted with more. Those that don’t care for a penny don’t care for a million.

3) Money flows to those who understand it, respect it, and invest it to make it grow. Delay gratification. If you cannot buy it cash, you have not earned it yet.

4) Invest in you by doing what is right for your personal growth. It if is right for you it will be right for your money. Have long term thinking.

5) Chase freedom instead of security. Those seeking security don’t accomplish much in life. Rewards are always proportional to risk. Learn to earn then save, invest, spend and share with those less fortunate than you.

6) Always know where and why you are investing. From neck down we are all worth the same. Why then most spend the most money there? Wealthy people invest in assets, poor people spend in liabilities.

7) Money has no power, you do. Never let money be your master. Money is a great slave. Put your hard earned money work for you as early as you can. Everyone has excess money. Live on 75% of what you earn and invest the other 25%.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx


Friday, September 21, 2012

Are You Chasing Money or Excellence?


Pursue excellence and money will follow

Words are cheap, the right actions can be very expensive but the price is worth it. Pay the price in the pursuit of excellence and you will never regret it.

1) Never let your job or career interfere with your education. Self-education is the only education.

2) When you work on what you love your energy is directed towards living your purpose. Your energy flows from an unlimited source, from the core of your being.

3) Allow your personality, skills and abilities come alive and you will express your desire when using your unique gifts to the world.

4) Have a deep belief in yourself. Self-expression, commitment, mindfulness are easy when you do what you love. Your problems will seem small and cannot withstand the continuous thoughts towards solving them.

5) There is a point when your subconscious mind, the software running your brain, takes over producing results that will surprise yourself. Connect your conscious and your subconscious minds.

6) Work becomes play not an addiction when work is an expression of your love. Make work a reflection of your vocation, your devotion to what you love.

7) Have faith in your ability to solve problems. Become an independent thinker and a great decision maker. Find the answers to your life’s most pressing questions and you will become a blessings to others leaving a legacy for centuries to come.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How Hasty Are You?


How Hasty Are You?

 “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible” - Francis of Assisi

Wise immigrants are hastier when it comes to taking action as compared to born citizens. Here are the 7 nuggets anyone can learn and apply to achieve uncommon results.

1) Be a fast listener, learners and doer; be a high speed implementer. Speed shift from problem to solution mode. Show your tail lights from your swift action and results. Recover fast from failures.

2) Be available and accessible to those around you especially people in need. Help others get what they need. Success is managed frustration.

3) Be a jack of all trades and a master of one. Choose what you love to do and do it with a zest and vengeance to master your core endeavor. Be nimble. Be a great starter and don’t forget to be a finisher in a world of starters.

4) Be a friendly and fun person to be around. Accept, approve and appreciate others by being like a reed; bending instead of breaking.

5) Have a thick skin and a soft heart. Accept rejection and humiliation as a way to grow your heart. Be a quick finder of talent and invest in people.

6) Lead others and help them grow by spending time mentoring them. Your security comes from the lifelong investments you make in others.

7) Take swift action and never settle for a mediocre life. The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can you find HUMOR in your struggles?


HUMOR

The six trait of successful immigrant is HUMOR.

When the phone goes GREEN GREEN GREEN I PINK it up and say YELLOW?

1) Failures make for great stories. Learn and teach through humorous stories. Find humor in all your struggles. 

2) Develop, grow and expand your network and your community. You have to create stories before you have great stories to tell.

3) Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself often and learn from all your mistakes.

4) Count your blessings and be a blessing to others. Be a go-giver of kindness and laughter to others.

5) Give tender loving care with humor. Give to those that cannot pay you back. Help others lighten the load they carry.

6) Be humorous to children and to your elders and everyone in between. Everyone can use a little humor at some point during their day.

7) Be humorous without being offensive. Never use foul language. Clean jokes work best because most people never heard them.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Humiliation to Humility


HUMILITY

Henry A. Kissinger - A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone.
Josh Billings - He whom prosperity humbles, and adversity strengthens, is the true hero.

Wise immigrants display humility. Humility is keeping ego in check. Here are the 7 daily nuggets on HUMILITY.

1) Accept humiliation to become humble. Be humble or God will do a better job. Be willing to do what other will not do and you can have what others will never have.

2) Be God made and not self-made. Appreciate what others do for you.

3) Have faith, seek and speak the truth. Learn from your failures and the experiences from others. Accept mistakes and quickly correct them quickly. Stop listening to yourself if you don’t like your scorecard.

4) Be unpretentious and live below your means. Always know that others are watching you.

5) Have a spirit of deference and submission to your mentors and those you lead. Find the greatness in people and build expectancy in them.

6) Always have your feet on the ground and build a strong foundation casted in your humility. Seek feedback and accept criticism.

7) The world is full of negativity; quickly get rid of yours. Reward the positive behaviors and redirect the negative ones.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Monday, September 17, 2012

Are You Honable?


How Teachable Are You?
HONABLE
Today we explore the fourth trait of wise immigrants, honability.

John Sauget said that if you sit at the feet of the master long enough, and they’ll start to smell. Knowledge is powerless; it is the application of knowledge that has power. Knowledge is only valuable if it propels you to act. Iron sharpens iron. Immigrants know upon arriving at the new world, they must learn, learn a lot, learn fast, and above all apply what they learn in order to survive and thrive. Five years from now we can be older and grumpier or healthier, wealthier and wiser. The choice is always ours. Read great books and associate with people smarter than you. Why not learn from them? Here are the 7 nuggets. Apply them and prosper.

1) Wise immigrants are teachable and transparent. They know everyone has something to teach them. They read, study, discuss and apply. They let no hardship go by without a learning experience.

2) They learn from those with results in their lives. They understand that if you are too big to follow you are too small to lead. Knowing and not doing is worse than not knowing.

3) They are reflective and observant. They are patient as growth in knowledge compounds over time. They know how to discover the desires of their hearts and pursue them with passion.

4) They let no failure to go to waste. They look for a victory in every defeat and a defeat in every victory. They never miss a teachable moment. 

5) They value and build on their language and cultural skills. They learn to relate to those different than they are. They are patient and encourage others. They know that we all have different ways of learning and coping.

6) They welcome and embrace change. They look inside themselves for growth and growth outside will come to them. They listen to others to find their blind spots.

7) They value the setbacks in life because they come to help them grow. They are committed to investing and reinventing themselves continuously.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Sunday, September 16, 2012

CAN I TAKE YOUR WORD AS YOUR BOND?


HONESTY

Today we will explore the third trait of successful immigrants, honesty. My mother used to tell me when I was a kid that “mentiras tem pernas curtas”, the Portuguese for lies have short legs. Tell the truth that way we don’t have to remember what we have said in the past and the past will not come to haunt us in the future. Here are the 7 nuggets that wise immigrants display at a higher degree the born citizens. 

1) Wise immigrants know that honesty is the best policy anyone can have. They build the character and fortitude to become what they promise themselves.  They have strong loyalty to people and causes bigger than themselves.

2) They build a high level of trust in all their important relationships. They take the time to feed and nurture their friendships.

3) They live by a single code of ethics. They know that there are no such things as ethics at home and ethics in business; only ethics.

4) They honor their commitments so miracles can happen in their life. They live with expectancy of succeeding.

5) They know themselves better than anyone else. They have the courage to work on their imperfections. Change is not foreign but a friend to them. They know that their word is their bond and their bond is their word.

6) They have high respect and learn from their elders. They seek their advice in moments of need. They honor the Ten Commandments and give all the glory to God. The are courageous followers before they become leaders. Immigration happens in waves. The very courageous go first then others will follow.

7) They take the required time to be in silence and solitude to reflect on their past and make the proper adjustments to go to their bright future. They never forget the journey to the new world. They often go back the initial journey to get the courage needed to go forward.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How Well Do You Know Your Heritage?


HERITAGE

The second trait of successful immigrants is that we know and value our heritage. It is very difficult to know where we are going if we don’t know where we come from, who we really are. Imagine building a great house on a faulty foundation; the house will eventually crumble when the tremors of life hit us. The majority of youth in America knows little about their heritage. Heritage encompasses so many things like language, foods, music, art, trades, professions, history, geography, etc of our ancestors. Why not go on a journey to discover your heritage so you can enrich your present by knowing where we come from? You can then define your path to a much brighter future. Here are the nuggets about HERITAGE.

1) We preserve our culture and are part of a proud heritage of survivors.

2) We value our history, beliefs, purpose and mission to preserve that heritage.

3) We have vision, a clear picture of where we are going.

4) We have a champion mindset to commit, prepare, and persists until the end.

5) We have strong faith in who we are and what we do. We value and chase freedom to get lifetime security.

6) We improve ourselves and understand that we can’t take our old self to a bright new future. We value our past but never let it rule our future.

7) We live simple lives, lives within our means, even if the world tells us otherwise rejecting us as outcasts. We sacrifice the good so we can have the great.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx

Friday, September 14, 2012

How Hungry Are You?


WHY IMMIGRANT SUCCEED AT A HIGHER RATE THAN BORN CITIZENS?

What are the traits immigrants carry in them to succeed at a much higher rate than people born in the country? What makes people from humble beginnings become successful in a new country while the born citizens with the same opportunity have difficulty to rise above their circumstances? A great example of immigrant successes include two Cuban born (Carlos Gutierrez, the ex-CEO of the Kellogg Company, ex-Secretary of Commerce and now Vice-Chairman of Citibank and Roberto Goizueta, the legendary ex-CEO of Coca-Cola). In the next seven days we will explore the traits that propel immigrants forward. The trait for today is hunger.

HUNGER

1) Immigrants have the hunger and ability to withstand the pain to realize their vision. They have a burning desire to succeed; that fire in the belly. They are willing to go against the current until the current turns in their favor.

2) They have an entrepreneurial mindset to be nimble, take calculated risks, solve problems, and work hard. They are always grateful yet dissatisfied with their current reality. They leave no stones unturned. Hunger is the gap between current reality and vision.

3) They go beyond success; they live a life of significance. They earn the respect, admiration, recognition and trust of those they admire. They have the entrepreneurial mind by living with initiative, imagination, ingenuity, and tenacity.

4) They work like their life depends on them and pray like their life is on God’s hands. They know that closed mouth does not get fed; a closed mind does not get free.

5) They live a disciplined life dedicated to serve others especially those in need. They know that they either discipline themselves or the world will discipline them.

6) They expand their efforts, their reach and their level of influence. They know that here is no competition for those with worthy dreams. Their purpose feeds their hunger.

7) They start or run many businesses and leave a legacy for centuries to come. They build a future for their children’s children.

Be blessed and a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx