Winning Doesn’t Mean they Lose

Whether you’re a business owner, a manager, or a professional, you are competing for business with someone else.  Most people believe that in order for their business to succeed, their competitors should fail.  That, however, is a fallacy.

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“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,” Proverbs 24:17 ESV.

In the book of Proverbs we learn about being a good sport.  It’s a great way to make sure your heart stays kind, and it’s a great way to ensure that your life remains stress free (not to mention you show the love of Christ).  But we can extrapolate this to more than just being a kind person.

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What I no Longer Believe

Not long ago Ramit Sethi posed an interesting question.  The question can be used as an icebreaker.  It can be used to learn more about people with whom you interact.  And it can be used as a way to look inside yourself and learn more about who you are.  The blog post was pretty short, and simply asked, “What do you no longer believe?”  I took a few minutes, and came up with three things that once shaped who I was, and now I have a totally different worldview.

A change in your worldview

Naturally these viewpoints might change again throughout the course of life.  But these worldviews shaped who I was, and who I turned into.  As you read, think about what you no longer believe and why.

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How to Overcome Pain

I’m in a couple of business groups.  One, Elevate Leadership, is designed around helping me grow to become a better leader and business owner.  The other, Biz to Biz, is designed around helping me grow the business and ensure that there is plenty of money coming in to take care of employees and family.

A friend and former colleague, Jeramie Meadows, was in both of those groups, and recently gave a talk at Elevate.  He made reference to something his father-in-law used to say all the time, something that on the surface sounds a bit silly, but when you dive into it, it really isn’t.

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It will feel better when it stops hurting.

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S.T.E.M. Enhancement at Home with Kiwi Crate

A few months ago I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I came across an ad for Kiwi Crates.  I don’t remember the exact ad, but it was created well enough that I was intrigued.  I clicked to see what it was all about, and ended up ordering a crate.  The reviews I could find online were mixed, and most were over a year old, so I wanted to see what it was all about for myself.

kiwi crate review

Here’s the bottom line: if you want to have great projects that help your child think, explore science, technology, engineering, and math, and you don’t want to have to try to come up with all of the projects on your own.  Then these are for you.

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The Never Ending Quest for a Better Home

A couple of years ago I did a post on how I was working hard to update my old house.  We had a hail storm come through Billings in 2014 that did significant damage to the roof and to the siding.  The result was that an insurance claim provided enough money to not only fix, but also to upgrade parts of the home.  Doing a lot of the work myself made the money go further.

Updating my old house in Billings

Before and After… except not quite done.

In the previous post I had only gotten as far as the roof.  Now, a little over two years later, there are some major improvements that have been made.
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Keep Your Eyes Open to See Success

There are a lot of people out there that love to complain.  They complain that life has dealt them a bad hand and blame fate for their problems.  They complain that they can’t get ahead in their career and blame others for their lack of success.  They complain that nothing works out for them and blame just about anything they can.  Sometimes they complain loudly, other times they complain quietly.  But often, they don’t blame the party that’s responsible for their lack of success: themselves.

Sure there are times when you truly have been dealt a bad hand.  There are events that are totally outside of your control.  But we can always control our response to those influences, and we can always change some aspects to adapt to those that we can’t change.

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“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.” Proverbs 20:13 ESV

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Innovation is a Requirement for Survival

Many people think of innovation as something that only a select few get to do.  They think of people like Steve Jobs innovating and revolutionizing the smart phone world.  Or James Dyson and his vacuum cleaners.  Or perhaps, on a more local level, Big Sky Collision Center innovating and turning the auto repair industry on its head.

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But those are just the big examples.  Those are some examples that shook up industries and became immensely popular in our culture today.  Innovation, however, happens many times throughout the day on a much smaller level.  In fact, you have probably innovated today without even realizing it.

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We Can Learn a Lot by Watching Nature

There’s a saying, it’s been around for quite a while, that idle hands are the devil’s workshop (sometimes play things is swapped in here).  The exact origin of the saying isn’t quite known, but the phrase has stuck around for centuries.  And it’s often taken the wrong way.

Be productive by following the ant

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6 ESV

Fortunately, we have many other sources of wisdom other than a vague notion that the devil is using our hands when we’re not doing anything else.  Let’s consider for a moment what is meant by idle hands, the ant, and the art of being productive.

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An Argument for the Quest for Knowledge

In 2013, American adults read 12 books.  Actually, half of them read fewer than 5 books, and half of them read more than 5 books with the average number read by any given adult sitting right at 12.  That comes out to one book per month.  Each year I make it my goal to read at least 12 books on top of any journals, articles, posts, or newspapers.  If I hit that average, I am reading more than most Americans do.

If American adults are already reading as much as they do, why is this titled “You Need to Read More”?  There are a variety of reasons, and they stem from a quote in a book I recently finished.

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“Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.” The Judge, page 207 in Blood Meridian

As a human, you should have a thirst for knowledge.  Many Americans have a thirst for knowledge when it comes to celebrities, friends, and family.  They want to know what’s going on.  But when it comes to more practical matters, they couldn’t care less.  They allow things to exist, function, and act without their knowledge and without their consent.

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How to Deal with Uncontrollable and Controllable Events

I recently read the book Chop Wood, Carry Water by Josh Medcalf.  Then, over the previous couple of months, my Biz to Biz group has been going through and having a bit of a discussion on it.  I had the opportunity to talk about one of the chapters last week.  If you haven’t had a chance to read it, then you need to pick up a copy, it has a ton of valuable information.

 

I was assigned to Chapter 23.  During preparation, I was able to glean a bunch of insights; and the words of Ben Sweetland rang true, “We cannot hold a torch too light another’s path without brightening our own.”  Here is what I discovered in my journey.

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