Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It’s Time to Choose…Our Silence is Deafening

December 10, 2009

For too long, we’ve been silent.  Our “silence is consent.”   It is time to stand.  And it is time to choose.  We have allowed the biblical values and founding principles of our nation to slowly slip away.  The sound of apathy is deafening.   But the drum beat of freedom calls us to move.  It’s time, through our actions to stand with the prophets of the past, the morally intolerant of their day.  It’s time to move to the choreographed steps mapped out by the cries of the heroes and heroines of our history.  The motions inspired by The Harriet Tubman’s, the Wilberforce’s, the Adams, the abolitionists, and the Martin Luther Kings.  Living without compromise, we must follow the steady rhythm of our convictions and act in congruence with our beliefs.  Embracing moral intolerance, we must dance in such a way that creates our own legacy, where posterity and history look back at us and call it good.

What do you think?

An Issue of Motivation

December 4, 2009

In this month’s issue of Entrepreneur magazine, a business owner wrote in and stated,

“I’ve been totally ground down by 2009.  How can I get my motivation back?”

While this seems like a straightforward – enough question, especially in light of how businesses have battled the recent economic downturn, I couldn’t help but think of how the brave men and women who founded our nation would have responded.

You see, when they faced a challenge, obstacle, and even imminent death, it was THEN that their motivation was the most fierce.  Even as their neighbors died of starvation or dropped beside them in battle, it was motivation and commitment that kept them going.  In fact, all throughout history, when we look at great accomplishments, most were inspired by an immense and usually prolonged season of  challenge and struggle.  It was the STRUGGLE itself that inspired the motivation to keep going.

Yet, something is very different today.  When we struggle, when we are challenged, and when things can be described as less than “smooth sailing”, we question our path.  We are no longer inclined to use obstacles as an excuse to “recommit”.  Instead, we lose motivation, hope and courage.  If there is no easy button to push, we far too often throw in the towel.

I am certainly not above this tendency myself.  But I am committed to continuing to develop my character… the same way I deliberately develop my physical, mental and professional skills:  with purpose, passion and practice.

Tougher Than The Times, Archive, Rolfe Carawan, Leadership, Keynote Speaker

October 20, 2009

Tougher Than The Times, Archive, Rolfe Carawan, Leadership, Keynote Speaker

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Raccoon Trails

September 10, 2009

Lea’s dad loved to feed nature’s bandits, the neighborhood raccoons, that is.  Behind huge open windows, we would watch nature’s parade of curious and hungry creatures.  RaccoonLoaded with piles of dog food, the back porch was an open invitation that provided a pretty entertaining spectacle.  We’d stare as these furry little guys poured out of the woods and made a beeline to the food.  As many as 30 raccoons would trample through the grass, rushing to gorge themselves on the delicious morsels.  We’d sit in amazement at the little paws that would reach up and touch the windows as if to say, “More, please!” It’s safe to say, we had the fattest raccoons in all of western Washington.

For more than 20 years these raccoons would carve trails in and out of the woods.  But when Lea’s dad passed away, the raccoon trails disappeared underneath the new vegetation.  Even after generations of raccoons had destroyed nature’s beauty, the woods sprang back to life.

There’s a picture.  Patterns of thought are a lot like trampled raccoon trails.  Whatever you feed puts patterns and imprints on your mind. Consequently, if you stop feeding it, the wildlife will grow and be lush and beautiful again.  If we quit feeding negative thoughts, then our tendency to view life negatively will weaken and eventually disappear. “Take captive every thought” (2 Corin. 10:5).  We must learn to isolate every thought before it spirals into a raccoon trail.

“Learned optimism works…through the power of non-negative thinking,” says Dr. Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness.  Change patterns of thought by isolating a negative thought and responding to it.  “It is how you cope with negative statements that has an effect,” reiterates Seligman.  Challenge a negative thought and attack it with the truth.  It is only then that wind will blow and the dust settle, leaving a clean, unmarked trail path.

A 22 Year Profitable Relationship

September 4, 2009

Rolfe&Lea

It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon.  The couch is comfortable, the snacks appetizing and the game’s a close one.  As I plop into the sofa, remote in hand, I no sooner flip the game on, than I feel my wife, Lea’s hovering presence in the room.  Completely engrossed in the head-banging, I do my best to ignore her.  The hovering presence, however, keeps hovering, and I soon realize she isn’t planning on leaving.

“Everything ok, honey?” I ask half-heartedly.  One look from Lea and I realize my football watching is finito.  But, being the wonderful husband I am, I graciously turn the game off to focus all my love and attention to my lovely bride.  (Granted, we have TiVo, so all I did was hit the pause button, but that’s beside the point.)

I immediately face Lea and snap into my counseling mode.  I’m nodding my head profusely, making eye contact and making appropriate gestures, when mid-way through pouring her heart out, she stops.

“Forget it, we’ll just talk about this later,” she says, abruptly.

“What, what did I do?” I say, feeling wrongfully accused; I had been doing everything a trained counselor is supposed to do.

“Just forget it; she says more adamant than before”

Exasperated I say, “But I’m right here. I’m looking you right in the eye. I’m listening!”

“You don’t care.”

“What?!  I have to care, too?”

I was flabbergasted.  I had been doing all the right things.  I stopped watching the football game, nodded my head and even made eye contact!  But that was just it; I was just going through the motions and Lea saw right through the façade.  Behind the glazed over look and empty head nods, she knew I wasn’t listening.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and miss out on relationship.  We pass by people with fake smiles and a rhetorical, “How are you?” when we don’t really want to know.

So, in response to my question, yes, we DO have to stop and care.  Investing in relationships, whether it be family, friends or co-workers, will always pay off.  Sometimes we just need to slow down and make the deposit.

ACN – Ingenuity in Tough Times

August 24, 2009

ACNWhat if you discovered electricity? What if you had known about the internet before it exploded? What if you were privy to technology’s latest and greatest advancement before anyone else?  Imagine.

In today’s spiraling rat race in technology, very rarely someone paints a picture with a sheer stroke of entrepreneurial genius.  But every once in a while, a stroke is made and a business born.  This time ACN holds the coveted paintbrush.  ACN has emerged as an undeniable leader in the telecommunications industry, as the largest direct seller of telecommunications and home services in the world.  This up and coming company got its stamp of approval from the man himself – Donald Trump, and was even featured on his last season of Celebrity Apprentice.  What’s their secret?  What the business world has been waiting for…the videophone.

Awarded “The Success Award” in the July/August issue of Direct Selling News, for “reinventing their business building tools for ACN representatives,” their future has only gotten brighter.  This company offers something 100% of Americans use every day – phone, web, security and now VIDEOPHONE services. They hit the jackpot of all marketplaces. Their product is practical and they are relevant.

Forward thinking entrepreneurs have joined the ACN opportunity and one local representative has taken it to the next level, literally.  Promoted to a Team Coordinator in just 4 months, international superstar Art Sandler is definitely not joining the recession.  His generosity, work ethic on behalf of others, and perseverance through the tough stuff is a true testament to the quality of ACN representatives.

In the face of tough economic times, innovative, forward thinking pays off.  So pick up the paintbrush and make a stroke.  Even Donald Trump agrees.

Check out the videophone for yourself at  http://rolfe.acnrep.com

Did you see me on GMA?

August 10, 2009

GMA It Factor

On Saturday, August 8th, at approximately 8:41 AM, I “officially” made it onto Good Morning America’s Weekend edition.  Well, sort of….It was more of a “Where’s Rolfe” version of the popular “Where’s Waldo” activities, but still… =)

Months ago, I was asked to contribute to a volunteer initiative to help people who were recently laid off find profitable employment.  I was so happy my schedule allowed me to participate.  So, I spent an evening in a coffee shop talking to each member of the It Factor Job Club about what I call their “sovereign foundation” and gave personality assessments to each member and discussed it with them.  I love to watch people learn more about themselves and embrace what makes them unique.  It was even more fun to watch these job club members determine that their “next job” would be one that would use their innate talents and gifts. 

After a few months, EACH of these job club members found employment and the club’s success was featured on Good Morning America.  As you watch the video clip, if you look really closely, you will see that one of the computer screens the camera captures is on my linked in page.  So, I – or at least my linked in page – finally made it onto a national tv program. 

You will also notice a woman wearing bright yellow in the video.  That is our lovely Executive Administrator, Rachyl Johnson.  We met Rachyl at the job club event and are so pleased to have her join the Carawan Global Group team.  You can read more about her participation in the job club here:  http://www.itfactorjobclub.com/2009/07/college-graduate-goes-from-0-interviews.html

Rags to Riches

July 27, 2009
Rags to Riches - JK RowlingJ.K Rowling is the author of the best-selling Harry Potter series, which is “all the rage” with audiences today.  Here is what you may not know about this woman,born “Jo” Murray,  who is now reported to have more money than the Queen of England:
 
“Joanne Murray” is a British author who has a fabulous rags to riches story.  In fact, she went from being a single mother and living on welfare to being a multi-millionaire in the span of only five years.  Yet that is not what most impresses me.
 
After writing the Harry Potter series (and still living on welfare) she sent her manuscript to countless publishers.  They all turned it down… calling it a “silly farce” that would “never sell”.  But she remained optimistic. 
 
And because she BELIEVED optimistically, she BEHAVED optimistically. She submitted that “silly farce” to another publisher… and then another… until she found one that saw its potential and took a risk on a then unknown author.  The rest is history. 
 
However, EVERY future would be better if we followed her lead… FIRST, BELIEVING optimistically and THEN, BEHAVING optimistically.  It was her “secret” to success.  And yours. 

New Orleans’ Entrepreneurs Show U.S. a “Blueprint for Economic Recovery”

July 20, 2009
New Orleans Entrepeneur
Four years ago, I was horrified as I watched Hurricane Katrina batter the town of New Orleans.  Just this year, Lea and I were able to visit the city when I spoke for the New Orleans Association of Opthamologists.  While the levees and floodwalls gave way just 48 months ago, it is evident that the will and optimism of this unique and creative city have not. 
 
This month, Entrepreneur magazine profiled four entrepreneurs who are breathing new life into the economy of New Orleans. The cover story headline read : “NEW ORLEANS:  A Blueprint for Economic Recovery”.   Could the new wave of entrepreneurs making New Orleans their home really provide the rest of our nation with a detailed blueprint for economic recovery? 
 
Only time will tell, but it looks promising.  See, in the past (i.e. Pre-Katrina), New Orleans was associated more with “big industry confabs” rather than a great place for a “start up”.  But, as with every crisis moment or ongoing challenge we face, we can choose to give in or we can choose to get “Tougher than the Times”.   It is made evident by just one quote in the article that this new “start up nation”,  laying down roots in New Orleans as you read this post, is choosing the latter. 
 
New Orleans fashion designer, Seema Sudan, says of the current economic calamity, “Everyone’s going through Katrina right now.  When I go elsewhere, I feel what’s going on in the world.  When I’m here, I feel the optimism.” 
 
FIRST STEP in an economic blueprint for recovery:  Recognize that you are not alone…. and that you are not “the” victim.
 
SECOND STEP:  Employ one of the most profitable mental technologies available to all of us:  Optimism. 

Rolfe’s “Unique Selling Point”

July 6, 2009

Web_Rolfe_Carawan_Business_Standing

 

As a sales professional, business owner, or even a job seeker, the “experts” tell you that you MUST take the time to create your own “USP” – or your “unique selling point”.  In other words, why would I buy from or hire you instead of any other option available to me?  It wasn’t long ago that I figured out my own distinct and most marketable selling point as a coach and consultant… and I PROMISE you it’s not what you think it is. 

 

My “unique selling point” is this:  The most VALUABLE thing about me as a coach and consultant is that I know that there is NO VALUE in what I know.  (Go ahead…. Read that sentence again to make sure you are reading it correctly.  P.S. You are.)  This, of course, is in stark contrast to most other corporate “gurus” who want to sell you their proprietary information.  But, I have worked with far too many companies and within far too many industries to buy into the “information” trap.

You see, the only TRUE VALUE in hiring a coach or consultant does not lie in the INFORMATION they can impart.  Rather, their (bottom-line) value lies in their ability to drive results in your company thru IMPLEMENTATION.  So, I’ll say it again. The most valuable thing about me is that I know there is NO VALUE in what I know… In fact, I’ll take it a step further and say that information’s value (in general) is directly tied to your willingness and ability to implement what you have learned. 

So, the next time you are in the position to hire a coach or consultant… see what they are selling.  Is it simply a better widget, a “blueprint” system for you to implement on your own, or are they offering to walk with you as you customize and implement best practices for bottom-line success?  At Carawan Global, we are ONLY interested in the latter. 

P.S. If you are bold enough to contact the ONLY consultant who believes there is no value in what he knows… well, email me and let’s see what we can create together for YOUR business or organization!