It's a great day - Thanks Zig!

If you want things to be different,
then you have to start doing different things
- Zig Ziglar

In September 1991 I was in the Hosier Dome with 50,000 other Amway reps at an event called Free Enterprise. You knew who had gotten there early because they had the seats up close. Me.......I was in the nose-bleed section under the very top rafter.

Those on stage were pretty small and this was before the big screens! Yet, when Zig came out on stage he looked right straight at me, pointed his finger and said

If you want things to be different, then
you have to start doing different things!

His first suggestion was to answer the phone, every time, by saying

"It's a GREAT DAY, this is Zig Ziglar!"
Of course he suggested we use our own name! ziy Saturday morning and I thought about answering the phone this way the rest of the weekend.

Monday morning though......I couldn't get it out. I just couldn't say it. Finally, after trying it over and over, I answered the phone on Thursday and said "it's a great day Danny Smith." (Close enough) It wasn't so bad except Charles Bridges, who I shared an office with and had been setting next to me in Hoosier Dome, laughed so hard he almost fell out of his chair. He had no idea I had been trying to answer the phone this way.

This wasn't me, totally out of character, but I wanted to change some things and Zig said I need to do something different.

That was over 20 years ago and it's rare I don't answer the phone "it's a GREAT Day Danny Smith."

Thanks Zig.

Ponder this - all work has dignity

All work has dignity because it reflects God's image in us,
and also because the material creation we are called to care for its good
- Tim Keller

I have some interesting conflict going on inside me this morning. I say interesting because, in one sense, it's like I want there to be conflict but I'm not sure I have any.

Here are the issues -

1. I believe all work has dignity and not just from a "I have an opinion point-of-view." I've studied the subject for over 20 years, read 3-4,000 pages about God and His purposing of work. There's no doubt in my heart or head.

2. I'm introducing a friend of my this morning at a breakfast club. Larry Megason is the Executive Director of Restore-A-Voice (RAV). RAV is a non-profit dedicated to helping minors and women rescued from trafficing (prostitution). Larry is speaking to MBC about RAV and the problem this non- profit is addressing here in Austin, Texas; human trafficking of women and minor girls.

So, I repeat..........all work has dignity.

To that end............surely there's a conflict.

Ponder this - Do you know why you want to do what you want to do?

Do you know why you want to do what you would like to do?
This is the motives question - John C. Maxwell in
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

I enjoy repeating some things. A good book is one of them. A discussion about a good book is like adding a creamy frosting to an already delicious cake. A discussion with an engaging individuals is like adding Blue Bell Moolinium ice cream.

Live from the Hurdie Burk Radio Network: Lloyd Leblanc, The Golf Zen

Everything rises and falls on leadership, even golf

Lloyd reminds us that golf is a game and needs to be fun. When it stops being fun, stress creeps in, muscles tighten and it becomes less fun.

Click here to listen to Hurdie's interview with Lloyd Leblanc. Lloyd's website is and here are a few pointers (not just golf) I picked up from Lloyd -

More graves than homes, but still gave thanks

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. 
No Americans have been more impoverished than these
who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving
- H. U. Westermayer

I'm thankful for a lot of things and people. I'm thankful for God sending His Son to live, die and be resurrected. I'm thankful for Him choosing me. I'm thankful for Him going to the Father to prepare a place for those who believe in Him. I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit nudging, pushing and pulling me.

I'm thankful for family, friends, business acquaintances, opportunities, passion and Grace. I'm thankful for the desire to never stop learning, to grow with Christ and have the room to fall down but get up again, and again, and again. I'm thankful that tomorrow is a chapter that's behind me and today I can start writing my story again.

Influencer! - Juli Carter with PuroClean

Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less

Juli Carter is in Business Development with PuroClean Property Damage Specialist and is one of the best "connectors" I've ever encountered. I've only been around Juli 6 or 8 times over the last few months but every time I walk away impressed with her interest in people and connecting people to people.

Live from the Hurdie Burk Radio Network: Austen Smith, Mortgage Loan Officer

Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's
level of effectivemess - John C. Maxwell

Going on a live radio show for the first time will cause anyone to stretch a bit. Thanks Hurdie for raising Austen's lid!

Click here to listen to Hurdie's interview with Austen.

Austen is a bit of a different type loan officer. As a licensed mortgage broker and a Certified Mortgage Planner he provides his client options not found through normal mortgage channels.

I love what he says - "there's a difference in planning for a mortgage and just shopping for rates."

More about Austen and the Impact he makes can be found at


Removing clutter by raising the lid

The clutter rushed in late yesterday. Actually, it snuck in and slapped me. Some things I'd rushed on 2 weeks ago started coming apart, I overbooked myself late in the day (knowing I was doing so) and when I finally decided to shut down last night my desk was a mess.

Maybe that's the way I just function.


I'm more energized when the clutter is gone, when I'm creating (which seems a bit natural) and cleaning.

I woke this morning thinking how much of a "lid" this is to my ability to really get things done. Reflecting back over the past few days I not just accept, but understand, Maxwell's Law of the Lid. The way I act sometimes you'd think I was Hurdie Burk and had a double! And I don't...dang.

Today's "to-be" list: keep fighting to remove clutter from my desk, my desktop (just thought about what a mess that is), my calendar and my need to keep working in my weaknesses.

And pay attention to Cathy when she says "focus. Hey! FOCUS."

To that end....I pray "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and bring others along side me that can fill those gaps that can be filled, give me the courage, strength and energy to make a positive impact where I can, and wisdom and discernment to know the diference. Please Lord, give me my daily bread, living not just one-day-at-a-time, that can be too long, but one moment-at-a-time, putting one foot in front of another - trusting you with each step. Amen"

Ha! Another realization - I've got Someone better than a double!


What-could-be can become the new-what-is

People are anxious to improve circumstances, but unwilling
to improve themselves. Therefore they remain bound.
- James Allen in As a Man Thinkth

I was referring Scott Carely and his time management training/coaching to a colleague (Rick) and Rick made a comment about managing emails. He was a bit frustrated about the way his team managed their emails. Later I was telling Scott about the conversation and he commented...yea, the

#1 Time Management distraction: Checking your email first thing
in the morning before you plan your day! 
ALWAYS plan your day around your priorities, not your email.

That was two days ago and I've noticed so much clutter (what-is) because of the way I manage my emails. Yesterday was a good day, less clutter, but "what-is" (email rhetoric) kept yesterday from being "what-could-have-been."

To that, I'm closing a timing gap by managing email. And I what-could-be becomes a NEW-WHAT-IS! One, bite, at, a, time.

Scott, thanks for the impromptu coaching on Commanding My Daily Routine - I needed that!

What-is vs what-could-be

Your environment will drain or energize your impact on today

I reflect on "what-is", and wonder about "what-could-be." What-is: I have a lot of ideas and lot's of things going on and lot's I want to do each day. What-could-be: making a bigger difference and making money doing it and being less stressed in the process.

Yesterday I did a better than normal job of focusing. That was due primarily to

1. cleaning up some clutter on and around my desk,
2. working at not creating more and
3. very purposefully working my calendar; not just yesterday's, but today, tomorrow and the rest of the month

I recognized (a little help from the Holy Spirit I'm sure) that what should be done on a regular basis might get done with more impact if I'd just go ahead and schedule it. Little recurring events like - reviewing calendar the night before, writing blog posts, walking Bubba, inputting new names into CRM, social media, follow-up with recent face-to-face contacts, returning emails that are non-active client related, etc, etc, etc. That also includes those events that have a direct impact on my income; reviewing loan files!

Scheduling plenty of margins in my calendar is important to my positive impact also.

Thanks to Coach Scott Carley for that reminder about "planning your day with your calendar before reviewing emails." Thanks Scott.

So, I spent time on that last night and hopefully have less clutter today. Thus, a more energizing environment to work in today and what-could-be could happen!

To that end.............blessings and influence well today.


Cleaning the clutter

Don't just have a to-do list, have a to-be list also
- Melissa Malueg, Faculty Member
w/John Maxwell Team

Last week I had a good list of things I wanted to get done. I wrote them down, had my calendar in great order and when all was said and done, when the week was over..........I looked back and many were left un-done. Others did, but some that didn't were important. The here-kitty-kitty-kiity syndrome impacted part of it, but I KNOW that is going to happen. What happened? The question-behind-the-question is "what could I have done to completed the important items on my list?"

Setting here this Monday morning, I know I'll get side-tracked. I already have.

If Cathy was in the room and detected I was wandering she'd remind me - focus. That's all she has to say - focus. FOcus. FOCUS (sometimes louder than others). Austen's even picked-up on it!

So, what keeps me from focusing? One of many things is Clutter. On Saturday I was listening to a Q&A session on the Law of the Lid and Melissa Malueg talked about how clutter keeps her from getting things done.

Thus, I'm raising my lid this week by -

- Cleaning up clutter

This gives me room to be more creative and create more clutter.

To that end..........what clutter is keeping you from what you want "to be?"

Election Results

I'm up and leaving for a very early breakfast meeting at Austin's Metropolitan Breakfast club. Today I'll interact with many sad and then other (many) elated people about yesterday's election.

Polarized is the word being used to describe our country; polarized.

My friend Steve Heston speaks to my heavy heart here

Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason

At the end of each day, you should play back the tapes of your performance.
The results should either applaud you or prod you. - Jom Rohn

Yesterday around 6pm this blog had 42 hits and I don't know why. Looking back at posts to Tweeter, Facebook and Linkedin and I see there were no new posts around that time.

A bit before 6pm I did get an email from a borrower refered to me by REALTOR® Cynthia Mattiza (@CynthiaMattiza) and that could have caused some activity, but probably not 42 pageviews.

Whatever the reason, I like the activity, thanks Cynthia for the referral and I'm wondering why I didn't have any social posts going out during one of the two peak periods of the day!

To that end..........go VOTE! (even if you're not for my candidate)

Live from the Hurdie Burk Radio Network: Sales Trainer Kerry Martin-Moore

The very essence of all power to influence lies in
getting the other person to participate
- Harry A. Overstreet

Kerry Martin-Moore was Hurdie's guest last week on the Hurdie Burk Radio Network.

Kerry's goal is to "help you succeed yours!" and you'll get some great insight to how she does that by listening and paying attention to this audio.

To that end............make it a great week!

Looking in, out and up: made for stewardship

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear
fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can
you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
- John 15:4

I'm attending a mastermind group focused on John Maxwell's new book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. John Griffin, a Maxwell certified coach and trainer, is leading the study and gave us an assignment to bring 2 questions about the Law of Curiosity to the next meeting. While these 7 weeks together doesn't give us time to do more than hit the top-of-the-waves, the book and Griffin's poking has caused me to dig, as I was hoping. Yet, I wasn't necessarily expecting the digging to be in regards to work.

Click here to continue reading....

Being Bias in a discussion leads to an arguement

I asked Cathy her opinion of something, she gave it to me, I asked it a different way and gave her a comparision, she stayed with her original statement, I got frustrated and an arguement developed.

Thinking back through the dialog, I wasn't soliciting advice, but was trying to solicit MY answer. I wanted her to validate MY feelings about the subject and and then I wouldn't have to present an issue to someone esle.

She wasn't buying it. She wasn't going to lie to me and thankfully she was willing to stand up and not back away.

My lesson? If I don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

And the feelings I was trying to validate, the issue I was willing to argue with Cathy instead of someone else? Ha. They were stupid to begin with.

To that end....