Archive for December, 2013

Economic Dance

Ben Graham taught, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”  Your business success plan for

"Failure to plan is planning to fail."

“Failure to plan is planning to fail.”

2014 must include providing high value to the customer and receiving high value for your business future.


Value: a 2 way street


Christmas day has passed.  The discarded wrapping paper has gone to recycling, gifts are put away and thank you notes either are in the mail or on the “to do” list.  With New Years day knocking on the door, it is time for reflection and future planning.


Economists predict interest rates, mortgage rates, GDP, global economic trends and the impact of technology.  These are only indicators.  As business leaders do we pay attention to these indicators and trends?  Of course, we do.  These factors are the minor players in your success plan.  The major indicator is how you are feeling about your business and the value you are providing and receiving.


The global economy has been increasing on a pace near 3% for 2012 and 2013; however the prediction for 2014 is closer to one-half of one percent to three-quarters of one percent.  The good news is that globally the economic indicators are headed upward.  United States has experienced four years of subpar economic growth of closer to 2%.  The expectation for United States for 2014 through 2016 is closer to one percent per year which would place America on a slightly better increase rate than the global forecast.


Up is good.  At least the economic forecast is better than the doom and gloom of 2008.


The business economy, like the weather, can change from day to day.  One little blip here or there can send a temporary trend skyrocketing or plummeting.  The economic dance can be a bit of a roller coaster.  You can scream “oh no” on the way down but know that you are not going to die because it will rise again.


Economic Dance


Value to the Consumer


Staying ahead of the competition continues to be a focal point of your business success plan.  There is always a relentless focus on what sets you and your company above the competition.  What differentiates you from all other segments of your target market?


Value is key.  When the consumer perceives that you are providing more value for the price than other businesses, your business grows.  Simple economics.  The key is the value in the mind of the consumer.  Giving more value creates a positive impression in the marketplace.


What does the consumer want and need?  Unless they both want it and can justify some emotional, physical or financial need for your service, it does not hold value for them.  Provide value in the mind of the consumer.


Value to You and Your Business


The business economic dance is providing the value the consumer wants, but at a price which still yields profit to your business.  Warren Buffet said, “Rule number one is never lose money.  Rule number two is never forget rule number one.”


Unless you provide a product the consumer wants, needs and will pay for, you do not have income.  Unless you provide that product at a profit to your company, you do not stay in business.


One of the keys to dealing with a fluctuating economy is adequate positive cash flow.  More businesses have crashed due to positive assets and negative cash flow.  Positive cash flow is more money coming into the business than all of your operating expenses.  Value is a two way street.  Your success plan must be carefully crafted and frequently reviewed to be certain your cash flow is positive.


The economic dance is to look carefully at your market and anticipate where the consumer trend may be, should be or could be headed.  If you feel good about the value provided and received from a market standpoint, cash flow standpoint and your faith in your business potential, go for it.


Are you seeking more success in your life and career, Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to

Your Mind is a Fertile Garden

Your mind is a fertile garden.  What you plant, you will reap.

Think with passion

Focus on a truth you can accept and heal


Thinking = Results


When you have a tough day, it is easy to plant seeds of discontent.  Plant discontent, discouragement and doubt of your ability and you will harvest more negative results.   You will always receive more of whatever you give your time, energy and focus.  Thinking negative thoughts yields negative feelings.  How much positive action have you ever observed in yourself or others as a result of negative feelings?


Concentrate on gratitude, joy, and inner peace and you will yield results of events for which you are thankful.  What you think about, you bring about.  Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are right.  It is the thinking that makes it so.”  Positive thoughts create positive results.  Create a success plan centered within positive thoughts.


How many times have you seen an athlete or a sports team make a series of mistakes or get behind in the scoring?  The winners shake it off and bounce back.  Winners know that positive thoughts are an essential part of their success plan.  The ones who allow themselves to become mentally defeated will also be defeated in the scoring.  Once they make a few mistakes and become upset with themselves or the situation, they compound the problem by increasing their mistakes.  The downward momentum accelerates and the results plummet into a negative hole.

Byron Nelson had a goal of buying his dream ranch and he created a success plan to earn the money.  Byron won 11 golf tournaments in a row by focusing on earning the money to purchase his dream ranch.  After he accomplished his dream of purchasing the ranch, he won another 7 tournaments that season.  Imagine winning 18 tournaments in a season.  When Byron was asked how he accomplished that feat, he replied that all of his thoughts and energy were focused on earning enough money to buy the ranch.  As for the last seven tournaments he said, “I just felt so good that I kept on winning.”  His focused positive thoughts propelled him to positive results and feeling good continued the winning streak.


When you feel negative thoughts creeping into your mind, replace them as quickly as possible with positive thoughts.  Your success plan must be centered within positive thoughts.  Positives create positive results.

Take a walk outside and gaze into the distance.  The fresh air, sunshine and exercise will clear your head and your spirits.  If you love the beauty of nature as much as I do, you automatically feel better, think more positive thoughts, and feel more positive feelings when you gaze at a field of flowers, a beautiful blue sky or a bunny rabbit scurrying along the trail.  Throughout history all of the aristocracy took daily walks.

Listen to your favorite music, play with your pet or think about people you love.  Think of something you are grateful for in your life.  Focus on positive thoughts in order to create positive results.  Include a list of actions which make you feel better in your life’s success plan.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career, Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to

Your Thoughts Create Your Results

Do you like what you have in your life right now?  You created it.

Your thoughts create or remove emotional blocks

Your thoughts create or remove emotional blocks


Before you hit the DELETE button or the Back button, pause for a moment and consider the possibilities.


Your Thoughts Create Your Results


Facts:  We know we receive more of whatever we give our time, energy and focus.  Earl Nightingale first introduced this concept back in 1956 with his gold medal recording of The Strangest Secret.”  Earl phrased it as “You get what you think about most of the time.”


Les Brown echoed this concept, “Accept responsibility for your life.  Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”  Actions count.  The process starts with your attitude.  The process starts with your thoughts.  Your thoughts create your results.


When your thoughts are positive, it opens the door for creativity and productive action.  If your thoughts are negative, your actions will be less productive.  Actions count, but actions are less effective if they are accompanied by negative thoughts.  Your time, effort, and resources will all become more productive when your thoughts are centered on what you truly want and believe you can achieve.  Your thoughts are the key to your success plan.  Until your thoughts are focused on believing you can receive what you truly want, you are wasting your time, energy and resources.  You are spinning your intellectual and emotional wheels with zero forward progress.  Your thoughts create your results.  The Secret rejuvenated the popularity of this concept in 2006 based on the law of attraction.


This is not a flash in the pan fad when the concept persists for over fifty years.  Whatever you really, really, really want, you will get.  Whatever you really, really, really do NOT want, you will also get.  What is the difference?  How do you control what you receive?  Create a success plan centered on what you truly want and believe you can and will receive.


Simple Answer


Whatever you think about with power, intensity and belief, you will receive.  The key is whether or not you are focusing on what you want and truly believing you will receive it or if you are focusing on it with doubt that you will receive it.  Another caution is focusing on the lack of receiving it or on the doubt that you will receive it.  Your success plan must be centered on what you truly want and believe you will receive.  When you believe that you will receive it, you will.  When you doubt that you will receive it or are thinking about the lack of having it, you are creating more doubt and more lack.  Stop the process and select a goal you can truly believe you will receive – no doubts or lack, total belief that you will receive what you truly want.


Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”  Your thoughts create your results.  Your success plan must be centered on what you truly want and believe you will receive.


The importance is focusing on what you want with power, intensity, duration and belief that you will receive exactly what you want.  If you believe you can have it, you will.  If you doubt you will receive it, you will not receive it.  If you focus on having it, you will.  If you focus on the lack of having it, you create more lack.


Your thoughts create your results.


Key Point


It is your thinking which controls your future.  What you think about, you bring about.


Are you seeking more success in your life and career, Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to

Healing Starts with Your Story

Think with passion

Focus on a truth you can accept and heal

Healing starts with your story.  You have heard that “There are two sides to every story.”  Actually that is not true.  There are several perceptions of a situation.  “How could that be true?  I was there.  I know what happened.”


Are you open to considering the possibility that there can be other impressions?




  1. You know the story you have been telling yourself and perhaps others about what happened.


  1. The other party involved probably has a different impression of what happened.


  1. The truth is probably somewhere between your version and theirs.


  1. Others who observed or heard about the situation have probably formed yet another version of the situation.


  1. As time goes on, your story, their story and the third party story have probably evolved.


The longer the time span is between the actual event and the acceptance and resolution, the greater the divergence from the actual truth.  This may not even be intentional; details are forgotten.  Emotions change the perceived meaning of words or actions.  Well-meaning, or not so well-meaning, friends add their opinions to their story and probably to your story.  Create a success plan for your story where the versions come closer together.


There is the story of two monks traveling together on a long journey from one monastery to another.  They came to a wide river which they needed to cross to reach their destination.  They walked along the bank until they reached a narrow and shallow portion of the river.


Standing at the edge of the water was a beautiful young lady in a simple silk gown.  One monk asked her “What can we do to help?  You look troubled.”  She replied, “I don’t know how to swim and I’m scared to go into the water.”  The monk offered to carry her across; she happily agreed.  The monks waded across side by side with one monk carrying the beautiful young lady.  When they reached the opposite shore, the monk set the lady on her feet.  She thanked him.  The two monks proceeded on their journey in silence.


At the end of the day one monk broke the silence with an angry outburst, “How could you do such a thing?  We took a vow not to have anything to do with women.  You not only spoke to her but you touched her body.  You violated your vows.  How could you do such a thing?”  The monk who had carried the beautiful young lady said, “I set her down on the other side of the river and left her there.  You have been carrying her all day.”


We do that with our stories.  We can either carry them for days, weeks, months, and years or set them down and move on with life.  In order to live a successful life, it is advisable to create a success plan for our story which allows us to release the burden of holding on to old stories.




Discover the story you can accept, live and heal; this new story opens the door to achieving your success plan for your life.  This is a process of separating your current story from a version in which you take responsibility for your contributions, both positive and negative, to the truth.  Once you re-craft your story into a healthy version in which you accept your responsibility, forgive yourself and forgive others you will be able to release the burden from your shoulders.  You will finally become free to live, enjoy and move forward.  You will be able to set your story down on the opposite bank, leave it there and move forward with your life.  A successful life depends on a success plan for your story or stories.


Are you seeking more success in your life and career, contact Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to

Incorporation Protects Assets


Incorporation: Which State Wins?

“You have been selected for an IRS audit” are dreaded words.  Those words instill shivers in every spine.  How would you like to save legal hassles and lower the probability of an IRS audit?  Incorporation is the key.  Let’s make the process as painless as possible; which state has the lowest fees and highest asset protection?


Why Incorporate?


Audit Probability – Did you know the IRS is far more likely to audit a proprietorship or partnership than an LLC or C Corporation? The IRS knows the temptation of the small business owner to slip a personal lunch into business expenses.  “What’s the harm of paying a credit card bill or two out of the business?”  The odds of personal to business expense crossover are less likely with a corporation.  The average taxpayer has about a one percent likelihood of being audited; small business faces a 2.5 percent chance of an audit.  Expense crossovers and mistakes trigger IRS audits.


Taxes – If you want to save taxes, and who doesn’t, filing IRS form 2553 may allow your LLC to be taxed as an S-corporation rather than at the higher corporate tax rate.


Asset protection – Being sued is not on my list of top five favorite things.  Losing everything we’ve worked hard to accumulate isn’t on our list either.  One major advantage of incorporating as a limited liability corporation or a C corporation is creating a barrier protecting personal assets from any potential business liability exposure.  “Piercing the corporate veil” is poking a hole in the protective barrier of incorporation.


Which state is best for your corporation?


When Shawn Petersen started, he intended to stay small.  High quality products and service propelled to #54 on Inc.’s 2010 list of fastest growing privately held companies.

"Failure to plan is planning to fail."

“Failure to plan is planning to fail.”

If there is a possibility of doing business in multiple states, internationally or ever moving your business to another state, consider which state is best for your corporation?


Why choose a different state in which to incorporate?


Incorporating in your home state may be easier, more expensive and higher risk.  We tell our kids “easier is not always better.”  Choose the state where you receive the optimum protection for personal and business assets.


The three leading contenders for asset protection and freedom to do business are: Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming.




Delaware led the field and declared their corporate law as “equivalent to American corporation law.” Nevada rose to prominence several years later and Wyoming is the newest kid on the incorporation block.


Delaware hosts over 900,000 corporations including half of the United States corporations and 63% of Fortune 500 corporations.  Delaware’s ”Court of Chancery” is legendary pro-business; Delaware’s legal history and “flexible corporation statutes” include a price tag.


Caution – Delaware requires 8.7 percent state corporate tax, reporting stock number and value, and director and officer contact information.   Nevada and Wyoming do not.


Delaware make it easier for the IRS to retrieve information than Nevada or Wyoming.




Read the fine print; the difference is in the details.  Nevada has several positives and one negative.


Positive – Nevada surpassed Delaware in protecting small business rights.  Nevada protects corporate officers from monetary penalties; Delaware does not.    Nevada provides protection against undisclosed personal benefits to officers or directors and acts or omissions prior to statue adoption; Delaware does not.


Negative – Nevada does require a company tax payer ID number and a personal guarantee on the state’s business license.




Wyoming challenges Delaware’s most pro-business claim by professing a four year ranking of “the most business-friendly tax system.”


Lowest fees – Wyoming state fees are 70% lower the first year and 84% lower going forward.  Nevada requires a $125 officer filing fee and a $200 state business license fee. Wyoming requires a $100 business license fee and a $50 renewal fee.


Wyoming does not require US citizenship in order to incorporate.


Wyoming professes simplified filing, closed LLCs and limited asset disclosure, i.e. less paperwork.  (Simple and “non-disclosure” of assets is inversely related to asset protection.)




Delaware                                          Nevada                                     Wyoming

8.7 % state corporate tax          no state tax                             no state tax

Officer list and fee                        Officer list and fee                 no officer list

Stock number and value           no stock list                            no stock list

US citizen registered agent      US citizen registered agent     not US citizen

Business license                            Business license                      Business license


The deal is in the details. If your goal is protecting your assets, avoiding an IRS audit, saving yourself money and headaches, seriously consider incorporating.   With legal matters, “do it yourself” may not be best; consult a professional to incorporate.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career, contact Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to

Quandary – Bragging or Humble

If you were raised as I was, you were taught that it was better to be humble than to brag on yourself.  In


Who controls your public impression?

fact, my father stated, “Girls are to be modest, quiet and submissive;” that takes humble to silence and beyond.


Fine Line


Where do you draw the line between self-aggrandizing and humble?


School – You do your own work and receive a grade on that work.  Your grades are recorded on your report card.  It  certainly would not have been wise to say, “Oh no, that report was a team effort” or “I didn’t do that work, Susie Smart did that report for me.”  Teachers take a dim view of cheating, having someone else do the work for you, or you doing the work for someone else.


Career – As life and careers progressed it became obvious that it was important to acknowledge accomplishments.  Granted it was preferable to have a third party praise you rather than to praise yourself.  At some point and in some manner you do need to receive some credit for your achievements.

Where do you draw the fine line between acknowledging your achievements and remaining humble?  The line becomes fuzzy and perhaps even wavy.

If you choose to progress in your career, you must perform in a manner worthy of advancement.  To rely solely on others in this regard is not wise, reliable or expedient.  Management expects an individual to demonstrate leadership and exceptional job performance in order to receive more leadership opportunities and more responsibility.

The quandary remains.  How do you demonstrate leadership and exceptional job performance and remain humble simultaneously?

Success Plan

How many times have you encountered someone who was so full of themselves that they literally repelled others?  High school star athletes or the “We are so hot” popular girls leap to mind.  Unless you are part of the in circle they appear to consider themselves above everyone else. Some professional athletes, rock musicians and Hollywood stars have received negative publicity for unacceptable behavior.

Negative publicity and appearing egotistical is not the ideal impression for career advancement, but neither is the mousey “I’d rather hide in the corner and appear invisible” impression.  The quandary is where is the magic spot to draw the fine line?

The quandary extends beyond employees.  The owner of the company must project enough confidence, accomplishment and company value to attract new clients, retain current clients and attract highly competent employees.  The owner must also remain humble enough to extend credit to the employees who are contributing time and effort to the company success.

Recently this exact quandary appeared in a social setting.  A service organization initiated a major fundraising endeavor which had the potential to benefit thousands now and continuing for years.  The man with the official title from all outward appearances and his own statements had not exerted much effort.  Another member of the organization was given the assignment of visiting all 67 clubs all over the state.  This meant driving 200 to 300 miles a day for five days a week for four months, extensive coordination and a tremendous time commitment all at her personal expense.  Who should receive the credit for the wonderful results achieved?  In this instance she credited the results to a team effort.  The important fact in this organization was the results of the success plan; raising over $200,000 in funds to provide benefits to deserving individuals.

Solution to the Quandary

In the question of a career situation, a documented report detailing the assignment, the specifics of the success plan, steps taken to achieve the goals in the success plan and the results of the project would be appropriate.  In a career situation, the employee has a right to be recognized.  Writing the report in a more factual manner rather than blatant bragging would be well received.  Adding a section on the long range benefits to the company as a result of the success of the project would also be wise.

The quandary of where to draw the fine line between bragging and being humble persists.  In the case of a career, draw the line closer to acknowledging your exceptional job performance.  In a social setting draw the line closer to being humble and team oriented.  Design your success plan for more long-range benefit rather than immediate reward; benefit to the company and the organization first will also bring the most long-range benefit to you.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career, contact Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to

Expressions of Appreciation

Life is precious.  Express your love to those you cherish.  A friend called today to tell me of the unexpected

Thinking positive thoughts as I send the bear to a child.

Thinking positive thoughts as I send the bear to a child.

death of a 25 year old young man.  From all outward appearances he had a fantastic life: handsome, athletic, popular, loving family and a thriving career.  Why such a promising young life is suddenly lost is something beyond my comprehension.  The fact is that his life has tragically ended.  How is not important either.  Gone is gone.


Attitude of Gratitude


What is important is the action we can take each and every day.  We can express our love and appreciation to others around us.  Notes of appreciation are lasting reminders of tender feelings.


Sometimes we are so busy looking ahead of us that we do not take time to enjoy where we are today and who is in our life right now.  Lift up your head, smile and appreciate those who are close beside you emotionally or physically.  Avoid taking people for granted today as they may be the ones you need or miss the most tomorrow.  It only takes a moment to express your appreciation and love; it may the most important moment for your future and theirs.


Notes of Appreciation


Should we live in fear of loss?  Absolutely not! It is not a matter of fearing loss but of appreciating people today.  Jotting a note of appreciation and tucking it into a child’s coat pocket or snack pack can generate a smile which will last through the day.


It has been said that we must fill a child’s bucket of love and confidence all the way to the top before they leave the house each morning.  Imagine that there is a hole in the bucket and confidence leaks out or pours out all day depending on the events of the day.  Unless the bucket is full at the start of the day, it may be empty before they return home.  Sending a note of appreciation with them helps keep the bucket of confidence from draining away.


An occasional note of appreciation attached to the car visor, grocery list or briefcase can add a smile which makes the recipient even more eager to return home in the evening.  Play with it and have fun.  Be discreet about where you place it just in case it drops out in front of the boss, but even then it would probably not be a bad indication.


Employees, co-workers and the vendor on the corner


Everyone enjoys appreciation.  In some cases the appreciation could be a smile or a kind word.  Notes of appreciation are more lasting reminders; however, a smile, handshake, or pat on the shoulder serves a happy purpose as well.


November and December are traditionally the months where we demonstrate our appreciation of others the most frequently.  Send a token or note of appreciation not out of obligation, but out of genuine gratitude and joy.


Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist, humanist, and journalist was struggling to receive recognition for his work when he received a note.  The note simply said, “I am not blind to the wit and wisdom of the Leaves of Grass.  I greet you at the beginning of a great career,” signed Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Walt kept that note. Not only was it a note of encouragement but it was from Emerson, the man who inspired him to write Leaves of Grass.   Whitman spent his entire life writing and rewriting Leaves of Grass.  It was first published in 1855 when Whitman was 36.   36 was the beginning of his great career.


Little notes of appreciation can be the fine line that provides one more burst of energy.  How would you feel if you knew your little 2 line note was the one extra spark that propelled someone to achieve their dreams instead of giving up?


Who is it in your life right now who needs a little 2 line note of appreciation from you?


Are you seeking more success in your life and career, stay tuned to   Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to

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