We Are at War Here Folks – It’s Time To Heed The Battle Cry and Fight Back!

We Are at War Here Folks – It’s Time To Heed The Battle Cry and Fight Back! 

A Speech by Brian Hazelgren

 

How the Battle of Little Round Top Saved A Regiment, an Army, and A Nation and What We Need To Learn From It

 

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We’re fighting against inflation, unemployment, a government bent on spending us into oblivion thinking we can just keep on spending…

We are fighting against a new medical care system that has not only put companies out of business, it has created more confusion than a cat among hungry wolves. It has everyone nervous…

We are fighting against keeping our children properly educated and allowing parents to still even have a say in what our children are being taught. 

We are fighting against outrageous politicians who only care about being re-elected and do not care what the people who voted them into office want. They are drunken with power, and greed, and self interests, and wanting to be politically correct.

We are fighting against a national media who some day will wake up and say…”what have we done? We were supposed to report to the people of America what is going on and how they can protect themselves and their family…but we chose to read off the script that was handed to us by our government.”

We are fighting against ourselves. Sadly enough, there are far two many factions in this country who only care about themselves, or their often mis-guided and self-serving cause.

We have forgotten that we are Americans, protected by the most magnificent document on the planet…the Constitution. That we live in free nation…under God…indivisible…with liberty…and justice for all. Do we remember those words?

It’s time to heed the battle cry and wake up!! It’s time to stop being so complacent and act on things. If we don’t act, then we will be acted upon.

The Founding Fathers did not agree on everything but they did agree that there needed to be a document that would supersede any personal or special interests. They, and our veterans of various conflicts have fought for liberty, freedom, and justice for all.

Today there are some pretty staggering and overwhelming things on our minds…

Top Five Things Americans Are Worried About…

  1. Stock Market Bubble
  2. Economy Artificially Propped Up
  3. Health Care Costs
  4. $17 Trillion Deficit
  5. Protecting & Preserving What They Have

The Employee Benefit Research Institute has released some startling numbers about what is on the minds of people and retirement. 

 

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You can view these and other charts and graphs by the Employee Benefit Research Institute by visiting: “Why Americans Are Worried About Retirement” 

http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-are-worried-about-retirement-2013-3?op=1

 

The Unsettling Truth About Unemployment & Inflation, And a Strategy To Redefine How To Survive The Bursting of The Bubble…

 

Why does my gut tell me that we’re headed for the cliff – but all the financial numbers show that the economy is booming?

 

The president is bragging about super low unemployment rates that I know is not correct, because of millions of Americans are out of business or out of work. People are afraid to spend money. 

 

Inflation is still being reported to be very low, so low that other nations would be envious to have the inflationary rate we have – that our government is telling us.

 

It turns out that my research shows that the “real economy” has more to do with the old Soviet Russia, than anything remotely close to a prosperous society.

 

The unemployment rate is being shown a 6.7%, but if you look around and see your neighbors who are still struggling to find a job – you have to question that number.

 

So what’s happening here … the government has two options in reporting Unemployment: In order to tell the people how to keep this number so low-they either need to 1) create jobs…or 2) change the definition of what “unemployment” is. 

 

So what did our government decide to do…? Of course they did what anyone would do when they want to hide something…they put a big rug over a gaping hole, and they did it by changing the way the “unemployment rate” is calculated. 

 

Here is how they redefined the rate of unemployment: “The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits.” It doesn’t matter that people have not worked in the last two or three years because in the government’s eyes – if you have not received unemployment benefits then you are NOT unemployed. 

 

But when you follow the method the government used to calculate unemployment before the 1990’s our unemployment rate would literally be 21%-or three and a half times greater than what is being reported today. That is what our nation was faced with during the Great Depression! 

 

Here’s the sad reality of some of these numbers… there are more than 95 million Americans… 95 million Americans…that are unemployed! That’s the entire population of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, and Texas. That means that 86 million Americans who are working are supporting a populace of 317 million… That kind of math simply does not work! So now the average American worker has to carry four people on his or her back.

 

If you think unemployment is scary, and it certainly is, now we have to consider what it’s evil cousin looks like… and that is inflation. If you feel like the propaganda that we’ve been receiving is false – like the inflationary rate only at 1.5% per year is wrong, then you are absolutely right. 

 

When you look at your bills coming in, and the money going out, you know that there’s no way inflation is that low. That would make us stable like Switzerland or Germany.  Medical costs would be steady, food prices wouldn’t keep rising, and gas prices wouldn’t go through the roof like they are. 

 

Something fishy is going on here and none of this adds up. Are we going to stand up and fight, or just let things keep getting worse?

 

Inflation is looked at by using the numbers from the Consumer Price Index or CPI. CPI is like a basket of all the goods and services that people buy. So here is what the economists and the government does – they manipulate – or change the goods and services that will go into this “basket” that is calculated. If you can change what goods and services you actually count as what people are buying – then you can manipulate the perceived inflation rate. 

 

So if the government decides to change the products and services that are used to calculate the CPI to something more like electronics or appliances, you might be able to save face and show a more rosy picture. They literally can do that at anytime. And since we love to buy computers, and smart phones, and video games, and electronics, and appliances as a nation – that inflation rate is going to look super low.

 

If we replace what’s in the basket with things like the cost of food, gasoline, utility prices, education, or medical costs, the inflationary rate becomes very unsettling. And by the way it’s not just the current administration that does this – this has been going on for a couple of decades now.

 

But just focus on the past five years for a moment. Let’s look at the price of gasoline five years ago – it was  $1.84 per gallon. I bought gas this past week and paid $3.49 per gallon.

 

In 2008 – right before the crash – a Big Mac at McDonald’s cost $3.20. But now six years later with the economy “supposedly doing better” the price of a Big Mac is $4.32.

Here’s the problem if we go back to before 1980 the way the government used to calculate inflation rate – today it would be over 11% and not the 1.5% rate that we are being told.

 

Here’s another example – when you look at the food we consume – especially the food that is packaged, you get a different view of true prices that you pay verses what you actually get. 

 

Next time you open up a candy bar, a bottle of water, a loaf of bread, an energy bar, a box of cereal…take a look at the size of the product inside the package. Is it smaller than what you remember it being? The simple answer is yes. The more complex question is “Why?” 

 

Food producing companies are forced to have smaller packaging, and smaller portions but still charge the same price or maybe just a little bit higher. The cost of manufacturing is driving this…fuel costs…shipping costs…healthcare costs are all driving this insanity!

 

Cereal boxes are a clear clue that something is different. When you look at the box straight on it looks the same as it did a few years ago. But, if you turn it to the side it’s actually slimmer today than before a few years ago, and it contains less cereal inside the box. 

 

Inflation is even creeping in the size of the rolls of toilet paper… the toilet paper rolls are not only getting shorter – they are also narrower.

 

Because of this hidden inflation the value of the Dollar is becoming erroded every day. Politicians are definitely aware of the fact that this hidden inflation is there – but they cannot let Americans know about this because they will have an absolute revolution on their hands. 

 

The scary thing about what is unfolding right now is exactly what happened in the 1980s in the Soviet Union. The government was hiding the numbers and manipulating the propaganda that was being told to the people. Production managers were falsifying reports and told if they did not falsify the reports dire things would happen to them and their families. Now, I’m not here to say that our government will cause dire things to happen to anyone and their family, but I am saying that we are not being told the full truth.

 

Inflation is way higher than being reported. Unemployment is at Great Depression numbers. So what are we to do?

What are you going to do with your financial future?

Take a real, hard look at your strategy…

The Wealth Protection Conference and the Dream Team of Financial, Legal, Tax, Business and Commodities Advisors is here to help all of us find our way through this crazy maze of confusing financial data. 

 

The Fed can’t stop quantitative easing, and it has vowed that the economy will never fail, even though Common Sense says to stop printing money…the Fed needs to keep printing more than $75 billion month. Everyone reports that the QE has been reduced to “only” $75 billion per month, but where does that money actually go?

 

Small business has now also become a problem to big business because they can make things with less cost going into the product or service. So then Big Biz goes to the lobbyists who then tell their senator that a fat contribution is waiting for them when they put things in place to hurt the small business, and benefit Big Biz. 

 

For years, we as Americans have had a huge advantage over the rest of the world.

 

We are the only country that can simply print more currency to cover our debts.

 

That’s because the dollar is the world’s “reserve currency” – the one currency used to settle all payments in international trade and finance.

But as you know, we’ve turned that advantage into a huge liability by printing ourselves into oblivion. The dollar is the laughing stock across the globe, and Americans’ savings are being rendered worthless at an astonishing pace. Unfortunately at this point none of us can stop this and the dollar will most likely be replaced as the world’s reserve currency.  

Knowing WHAT will replace it is absolutely critical to your financial future.

 

There is  overwhelming evidence that the next reserve currency will be decided this year, beginning with a shocking announcement. It’s a story that’s not in the headlines. The reason is simple, it would cause massive panic. 

 

Growing up, my Parents had the choice of two retirement plans: take it or leave it. Today we have more options available to us. The Dream Team of the Wealth Protection Conference is here to help steer each of us through these shark infested waters. These individuals are highly respected experts in their field, and the are going to share a treasure trove of information that will help you stand up and fight and succeed at building a solid financial future. 

 

Here’s a little parody about being too complacent about important things: Two golfers ready to tee off, a funeral procession goes by and one of the golfers stops, takes his hat off and waits in silence as the procession goes by. The other golfer notices and says, that is really nice Bob….Bob then says, “oh it’s the least I could do…that was my wife. Ready to tee off!” Fortunately this doesn’t happen, well at least not to most of the people we know…although I guess I do know of a few avid golfers who would never miss a tee-time for anything! The point is that we need to start paying attention to what really matters. 

 

Are you familiar with Joshua Chamberlain, an outstanding leader from the Civil War? In the Fall of 1862, Chamberlain’s regiment was part of the attack on Marye’s Heights during the Battle of Fredericksburg. Though the regiment suffered relatively light casualties, Chamberlain was forced to spend the night on the cold battlefield using corpses for protection against Confederate fire. Escaping, the reginment had a sever bought of smallpox outbreak which left them incapacitated for a while. 

 

Fast forward to 1863, and the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.  Union forces were recovering from initial defeats and hastily regrouping into defensive positions on a line of hills south of the town. Sensing the momentary vulnerability of the Union forces, the Confederates began an attack against the Union left flank. Sent to defend the southern slope of Little Round Top, Chamberlain found himself and the 20th Maine at the far left end of the entire Union line. He quickly understood the strategic significance of the small hill, and the need for the 20th Maine to hold the Union left at all costs. The men from Maine waited until troops from the 15th Alabama Infantry regiment, charged up the hill, attempting to flank the Union position. 

 

Time and time again the Confederates struck, until the 20th Maine was almost doubled back upon itself. With many casualties and ammunition running low, Col. Chamberlain recognized the dire circumstances and ordered his left wing (which was now looking southeast, compared to the rest of the regiment, which was facing west) to initiate a bayonet charge. From his report of the day: “At that crisis, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough.” 

 

The 20th Maine charged down the hill, with the left wing wheeling continually to make the charging line swing like a hinge, thus creating a simultaneous frontal assault and flanking maneuver, capturing 101 of the Confederate soldiers and successfully saving the flank. Chamberlain’s heroic defense of the hill earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor and the regiment everlasting fame.

 

My friends, we are being flanked by the enemy. And whether or not our nation, and our own personal wealth will stand, still remains in our hands. We are facing the enemy every day on both flanks, and it is very overwhelming, but take comfort in the fact that you still have a voice and a vote. Use your voice, tell the politicians that you have had enough. Stand up and fight! And while you are standing to fight, know this, there are experts who are also standing with you who are ready and willing to fight along your side. I speak of the leaders who have wisdom and expertise that we should seek out and listen to the information they have uncovered. 

 

It’s time to heed the battle cry and wake up!! It’s time to stop being so complacent and act on things. If we don’t act, then we will be acted upon.

 

Brian can be reached anytime at brian@brianhazelgren.com

 

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A Valiant Daughter – A Poem to My Mother

Today my sweet Mother had to undergo heart surgery to repair three blocked arteries. It obviously has been a stressful time for the family, especially my Dad. But through it all we have come to rely more on God, and to rely on each other. I decided to write down a few words to honor my Mom, and although I like to keep things private, I felt these words may also help others to reflect on how precious life is…to remind you to tell your Mom and Dad how much you love them, and how much they mean to you. Mom is doing much better, and we are grateful to the medical professionals who have worked with her, and continue to provide the care she needs. Here is the brief poem…

A Valiant Daughter 

My Mother is special gift from God who came to this earth

With a primary purpose of fulfilling a great earthly mission:

To bring joy and happiness to her family and posterity.

My Mother is also a valiant daughter of Heavenly parents,

Entrusted to earthly parents who taught her how to

Love unconditionally and place others needs before her own,

As she taught these principles to her children, she has given us a glimpse of the simple things that matter most:

To Love God; to stand up for yourself and for others; to look for opportunities to serve and show compassion; to keep your name in good standing; to make life fun and enjoy the journey; and to always be available to help someone in their time of need.

If a measure of one’s life is to count the special moments and memories

Created through acts of kindness and service, then my Mother’s cup is full and overflowing,

Yes, we would need a cup the size of a stadium to hold those remarkable recollections of feeling unconditionally loved.

My Mother cares about her family more than mere words can express,

And as she wakes each day to face the dawn with its triumph’s, new challenges, opportunities to serve, and ways to bring joy to someone,

She anxiously engages her thoughts to how she can lighten the load,

Or bring joy to someone who may need a little lifting.

A simple card, a quick call, a kind word, or an excuse to hold a family gathering,

These are the things that occupy the mind of a wonderful woman ready to serve.

My Mother magnifies her calling of a loving companion, a caring mother, a trusted friend, a compassionate leader, and a valiant daughter.

A priceless gift far more precious than gold, silver or platinum,

The love and companionship of a loving Mother makes one stop to reflect

On the moments of time that this special woman gives of herself to make someone smile,

And to bring a little joy, and a glimpse of heaven into their life.

The blessings of life are made sweeter by the tender moments shared

With someone who loves you no matter what, and who looks to lift you up.

We see God’s hand in the beauty and majesty of the earth and heavens,

So see we the hand of a loving Mother by the fruits of her labors within her family,

Friends, and others whose lives have been made better by the tender association

Of a valiant daughter of God, and my Mother.

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Veteran’s Treatment Courts Are Expanding

Veteran’s Treatment Courts Are Expanding

I have become a huge advocate of Veteran’s Treatment Courts. Veteran’s courts have emerged as a vital form of therapeutic and collaborative justice with proven effectiveness. When focused upon the unique challenges and trauma that afflict combat veterans, and drawing upon mentors, who themselves have been in combat and understand the frame of mind and spirit resulting from putting one’s life in harm’s way, veterans are able to again become contributing members of society. Having risked their very all to secure our liberties, our veterans deserve nothing less than the opportunity to heal that these courts provide with superior force and effect.

The first veteran’s court opened in Buffalo, N.Y. in 2008. The veteran’s court model is based on drug treatment and/or mental health treatment courts. Substance abuse or mental health treatment is offered as an alternative to incarceration.  Typically, veteran mentors assist with the programs. An important issue that has to be addressed is the eligibility for veteran’s courts in terms of whether charges involving felonies or crimes of violence will be allowed. The inclusion of offenders charged with inter-family violence is also of grave concern to policy makers.

Currently there are 143 veteran’s courts in operation, with several states having multiple courts. That is truly a tremendous leap of support and collaboration over the past six years! States that have five or more veteran’s courts operating are as follows:

States                   Courts

Pennsylvania          16

Michigan                14

Texas                     12

Florida                    12

California                11

Illinois                     10

Wisconsin                8

Alabama                  7

Washington             6

Arizona                    5

Georgia                    5

Missouri                   5

Indianapolis             5

All veterans are eligible in other collaborative courts, such as drug court, homeless court, and mental health court. Combat veterans court survives despite the fact the law no longer limits veterans courts to combat veterans, quite simply because the system works.

State penal codes permit courts to specially handle any veteran who was a member of the military forces and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, military sexual trauma, or psychological problems as a result of that service.

Several judges have programs that center on the specialized needs of combat veterans. Families have observed that each time their soldier returns from a deployment, their problems are worse. They demonstrate more and more hopelessness and disillusionment. The judge accepts those who had no problems during school and no contacts with the criminal justice system before joining the military.

A collaborative team decides which veterans will be admitted to veteran’s court. The court does not see a typical array of career criminals in combat veterans court – because the team selects those who demonstrate a commitment to reform themselves as soon as possible. Three simple rules must be followed: 1) The veterans must be honest, 2) show up, and 3) try hard. It is a four-phase, highly structured program lasting a minimum of 18 months. While the veteran must plead guilty to the charges at the outset, upon successful completion, many walk away without a criminal record.

Before a court session begins, numerous professionals meet in a room behind the courtroom. The group includes the judge, two probation officers, a deputy district attorney, a public defender, a Veterans Administration representative, a liaison between the court and the VA, two representatives from the county mental health agency, and sometimes an army captain who works as a judge advocate, assisting veterans boggled down with noncriminal disputes. The team decides which defendants will be accepted into the program and discusses each vet scheduled to appear in veteran’s court that day.

The judge still has the final say, but it is the team, not just the judge, that makes almost all the decisions. A judge is concerned about letting the team down in deviating from the collaborative team’s decision. However, the judge has the final say and may override the team’s decision.

Mentors try to be in court when their veteran mentees appear. Between court dates, each relationship just depends on the two individuals. Some communicate once a week by telephone. Others send e-mails or text messages. Some occasionally meet for lunch or coffee with their mentees. There appears to be a correlation between what happens in court with how much the mentee seems to lean on the mentor.

Estimates indicate that, as of 2012, the U.S. veterans’ population was 23,442,000 (National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics). Of those, 84,000 have already been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD (Maimon, 2008). This does not account for the numbers of veterans with PTSD or other serious mental-health problems that remain undiagnosed. Research indicated that the actual number of veterans with PTSD or major depression is around 300,000 (Maimon, 2008). In regard to substance abuse, research indicates that in 2010 alone, 256,000 veterans needed treatment for illicit drug use; however, a mere 20% of those veterans had received treatment (Office of Applied Studies). In addition, many of these veterans are facing other issues that further compound the problem, including unemployment, strained relationships, and homelessness (Tanielian and Jaycox, 2008). Either because of, or in addition to, these untreated diseases and compounded social issues; more and more veterans are processed through the criminal-justice system.

Conservative estimates are that veterans currently make up about 12% of individuals in prisons and jails, and the 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics report (cited in Department of Veterans Affairs, 2006) indicates significant rates of mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness among veterans in the criminal-justice system. The first veteran’s court in Buffalo was a response to the growing number of veterans appearing on their mental-health and drug-treatment-court dockets.

As the mentoring model grows it would behoove the courts and its constituents to share notes on best practices in training and utilizing mentors. What about other programs available to assist veterans?

Business Training and Mentoring are two areas that are sorely missing from the line up of services offered to the veterans that are enrolled into the program. GO*VETS Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit organization established to offer these types of services. The primary services of GO*VETS are to offer training in Entrepreneurship and Leadership for Business; and also assist veterans in polishing their image to be ready to be re-employed in the civilian world. The veterans enter the program and go through a series of online distance learning modules; in person bootcamps and workshops; and a six-month mentoring program. (www.govetsfoundation.org)

I believe we need to add more areas of common sense practices to help our veterans lead a normal and healthy life – and business training is the ticket! I’m very glad that the Veterans Court has expanded into so many states over the past six years, with hopes that additional services can be offered to our veterans. 

email: brian@brianhazelgren.com

Training Our Veterans to be Entrepreneurs

Helping veterans launch a new business, and find re-employment should be at the top of our list to help re-ignite this country. It costs $37,056 annually to support a veteran and his family who is unemployed. In May 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the national unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2%, but the unemployment rate for veterans spiked to 12.7% — more than 4 percentage points higher than the national average. When you start focusing on specific veteran groups, for example post 9/11 veterans, the unemployment rate in Arizona is 27%.  Arizona is proud to be home to 531,910 veterans, and if the same 12.7% unemployment rate is applied, supporting veterans and their families is very costly. To support 12.7% of veterans in AZ (67,553), it costs approx. $2.5 billion annually. Even if we were to only focus on 5% of the veterans who are unemployed in the state, it would save the State of Arizona $125 million annually. Source: U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs 2013.

Not only does this Camo to Company initiative help reduce costs to state governments, it also helps create new jobs. On average the entrepreneurs who take our training go on to create 10 new jobs. If we can effect about 35% of those going through the training, that equates to 3,500 jobs for every 1,000 trained.

Back in 2011, I started a foundation to help our veterans. GO*VETS Foundation was created as a 501c3 charitable cause to assist our military veterans with their transition to the private sector and being more self reliant by helping them launch their own company, expand their existing small business, or find employment. (www.govetsfoundation.org)

The purpose of the Foundation is to give back to our military veterans who have courageously served their country, by providing intense business training in a system that is vastly improved over what has been available.  This Entrepreneurial Training system has been tested and proven for 10 years as the basis of an entrepreneurial system at a major university in the U.S. Over 3,500 MBA students were trained. From those trained, students launched over 1,000 businesses that created over 12,000 jobs.

I built this system, and helped develop the entire Entrepreneur system at the university including competitions, local business leader mentoring program, the curriculum, materials and a degree in entrepreneurship.

Through our network of corporate partners, GO*VETS Foundation is also in a position to help facilitate employment opportunities for veterans not ready to start their own business. Through this Re-employment initiative, we teach innovation, leadership, strategic business tools, looking for opportunities, forming strategic partnerships, along with many other traits that we need in our businesses. The bottom line is this, if they are not ready to start a business, that is totally fine. They will be better served in the company they end up working for, as they learn these new, innovative and entrepreneurial skills.

You can always check out my website and see how we are doing this, and providing training for entrepreneurs of all walks of life, including our military heroes! (www.brianhazelgren.com)

Jeff Foxworthy: A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Sometimes we just need to take a break and listen to a little humor. Jeff Foxworthy is funny, down to earth and a man with common sense. I thought you might want to see his new comedy about A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots. When you boil it down to how simple this really is, I keep asking myself…”what country do we live in?” Enjoy a little humor…but try not to get to angry with the reality we now live in…

 

A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots

by Jeff Foxworthy:

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was diligently sought, but couldn’t be found — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

What a country!

How about we give God a reason to continue blessing America !

Failing Forward

John Maxwell is an author that I highly respect. His writings are simple and straight to the point. More importantly, his words resinate with many people because he can say what the rest of us are thinking, and then he mingles in some excellent advice. So, to share with you some of his writings, this blog is about what John Maxwell terms as “Failing Forward.” I hope you enjoy what he is trying to tell us. Here it is…

Failing Forward

The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you’re going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.

Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. 

When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic.

Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward. 

Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.

Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside.

Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?

Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem.

Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living.

Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward.

Everything in life brings risk. It’s true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don’t try anything new.

The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success.

If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you’re not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve. 

The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. 

Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action. 

The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying?

Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. 

Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence.

Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might.

If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail. 

The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface.

Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” 

― John Maxwell, Failing Forward

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Ridiculous Salaries For Athletes, Or Creating Jobs? I’m Weighing In!

December 6, 2013 Leave a comment

I think I have had enough of how far we are willing go to keep up this stupid game of professional athletes and agents trying to outdo the salaries of others. Somebody has to say it, and call out the ridiculousness of professional sports contracts. This past week we have seen Major League Baseball contracts rise to an obscene level. This morning I wake up to the news that Robinson Cano will receive a $225 million contract for the next 9 years to play baseball for the Seattle Mariners…but the deal is not yet totally finished. He wanted a $305 million deal for 10 years, but did not get it. Wow. Really? This of course is on the heels of other contract negotiations that happen every year at the conclusion of a professional season – whatever the sport. Is it never enough?

As a former four sport athlete who did pretty well in my day as an All-American in two sports, and All-State in all four in high school, I had to hang up my jersey during college due to devastating injuries. But life seemed to go on for me. As an athlete who has played on high school state championships, and a collegiate national championship team, and to watch my kids play sports, I am so excited to watch athletes participate in the sport of their choice! But I have to say something here about these ridiculous professional sports contracts that seem to have no end of how much athletes will be paid.

In comparison, I run a foundation today for military veterans to help them with their struggles of lack of employment, and help them start businesses. It is truly an honor to server those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf. Doing this kind of work is also a great eye-opener to how screwed up our thinking is. An athlete who is coddled, and pampered and given millions of dollars each year to entertain is a stark contrast to the comparison of our military heroes who have fought for our freedoms. Our soldiers come home to oppressive debt, uncertainty of making a living and supporting a family, and very high unemployment…to the tune of 30% unemployment for young veterans.

Can you image what the impact would be, or how many jobs could be created, if small businesses had access to the same amount of even one highly paid athlete? I have done a little number crunching, and I can tell you that if small businesses had even a fraction of the money spent on these athletes, they could create billions in revenue, and tens of thousands of new jobs.

Since I helped create the Entrepreneurship system at a major university, and have taught over 3,500 students to specifically learn how to launch and grow a successful business, I have seen what the numbers look like. Here is a quick overview of the impact that $225 million, or in this case $225 million over 9 years could be for creating jobs based on a 10 year study of creating, launching and teaching entrepreneurship to 3,500 students.

The numbers from my experience are laid out like this: 3,500 students taught, roughly 34% ended up starting a business (1,190) and these small businesses created an average of 12 jobs. (Several of the businesses created hundreds of jobs, but on average it is about 12). The economic impact is 14,280 new jobs created, and roughly $92 million in annual revenue. Staying on our theme of 9 years – the combined 9 year revenue is about $835 million. On average these new companies raised about $57,000 each to launch, which comes to about $67 million raised to launch 1,190 businesses. The revenue produced with these 1,190 companies is 12X the initial investment!

Let’s get back to my question, “can you image what the impact would be if small businesses had access to the same amount of even one highly paid athlete?” If you take the same kind of formula, it would equal $2.7 billion! Now I realize that there is not an exact comparison of these two examples of athletes and business owners, but the notion of creating jobs for many, versus a ridiculous number being paid to one person, it really is crazy.

I also know how much time and effort, blood sweat and tears athletes put into building their career. That is not in question here, what is in question is how much are we willing to keep shelling out to be entertained? And, when will we stand up and start helping small businesses get to the next level of creating jobs, generating revenue, and growing our economy?

Millions of people love to watch athletes perform, and I am certainly one of them. It’s time to start thinking more clearly about creating more jobs. What if we took it even one small step further…what if we had the athletes take 10% of their pay and donate it to a charity that will do good in local communities? Now that would be something that is newsworthy and worth writing about!

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