Archive for November, 2012

Home for the Holidays!

November 19th, 2012
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My   nephew, Sam, shipped out to Afghanistan last month.  I was writing him a letter earlier in the week and realized that this will be the first Thanksgiving in 20 years that he won’t be at our home for Thanksgiving with the family.  Home for him this year is FOB Sharana in Pakita Provence on the border with Pakistan.  As Aunts and nephews go, we’re tight.  While in boot camp, I think we exchanged letters at least 3 times a week.

I’m not sure which of us will miss the other one more this holiday, but knowing that he couldn’t be here, I thought maybe we could send a bit of home to him over there.  It morphed! My whole team adopted him and the next thing you know we were gathering a Thanksgiving package for his entire Platoon.  The assortment and sheer quantity of their offerings simply amazed me.  From Twizzlers and Beef Jerky to enough Chapstick, bubblegum, and wet wipes  for a Company,  the gifts just kept pouring in.  I don’t know who is or will be more thankful, me or him. Read the rest of this entry »

In a wide blue ocean, a solo boat with a big red sail really stands out!

November 12th, 2012
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Twelve years of coaching some of the top performers in the country have taught me that to beat the competition you have to stop competing with them.  There’s a whole herd of people that employ the same marketing strategies, have memorized the same sales pitches, and who subscribe to the same practices and, in this crowded space, it is hard to distinguish one from the other.  When there are too many of them and not enough sales to go around, they end up competing in a ‘bloody red ocean’ of price.

The consumer assumes that in this sea of sameness, the only differentiator is cost.  This applies to many of the complimentary industries we, in the mortgage industry, serve such as Real Estate Brokerages, Builders, Remodelers and Settlement service providers.  There is certainly risk associated with sailing off into uncharted waters, but the greatest opportunities exist when you can create a Blue Ocean Strategy.  According to W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, authors of Blue Ocean Strategy, “instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space.” Read the rest of this entry »

“Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”-Winston Churchill, November 1947.

November 5th, 2012
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We complain about the negative nature and sheer number of campaign ads every year that there is a major election.  Twitter and the blogs land on any sound bite that gives ammunition to the opposing party.  The great news is that we have the right to speak our opinions freely and after careful deliberation of the real issues facing our country, make our one vote count.

 There are people all over the world risking their lives in emerging democracies, to exercise their right to vote. The permanent ink on their thumbs takes days or weeks to wear off and identifies them as having exercised one of the greatest gifts a democracy can bestow; the right to choose who leads them.  When our country was young, one of our founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams made this statement: “Posterity will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom.  I hope you will make good use of it.” He also said, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” Read the rest of this entry »