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READ: Psalm 127

Children are a heritage from the Lord. —Psalm 127:3A friend of mine wrote recently, “If we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family left behind would feel the loss for the rest of their lives. Why then do we invest so much in our work and so little in our children’s lives?”

Why do we sometimes exhaust ourselves rising up early and going late to rest, “eating the bread of anxious toil” (Ps. 127:1-2 esv), busying ourselves to make our mark on this world, and overlooking the one investment that matters beyond everything else—our children?
Solomon declared, “Children are a heritage from the Lord”—an invaluable legacy He has bequeathed us. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth” (v.4) is his striking simile. Nothing is more worthy of our energy and time.

There is no need for “anxious toil,” working night and day, the wise man Solomon proclaimed, for the Lord does take care of us (Ps. 127:2). We can make time for our children and trust that the Lord will provide for all of our physical needs. Children, whether our own or those we disciple, are our lasting legacy—an investment we’ll never regret. — David H. Roper

Our children are a heritage, A blessing from the Lord; They bring a richness to our lives — In each, a treasure stored. —Fasick

Time spent with your children is time wisely invested.

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In action-adventure movies of a certain era (like “Apollo 13”), there always seems to be that critical scene in which the stalwart, battle-tested commander addresses his men and says: “Gentlemen, failure is not an option!”

I won’t deny that it is one of those lines that sound very good, especially if it is delivered in the form of an order. Unfortunately, reality is quite a bit less certain than Hollywood scripts. Failure always remains an option, particularly when it comes to business. Quite simply: We don’t live in a world where everyone gets to be a winner.

Sadly, for a good many businessmen, a solid, plausible excuse is all it takes to accept failure. It is one of the more bizarre symptoms of what intellectuals call our post-modern age that assigning blame has somehow surpassed solving problems as a national trait.

For a good many people, failure has become more than an acceptable option just as long as there happens to be a convenient person or persons on which to heap the burden of blame. Today, those folks are in luck. The failure option has never been so enticing.

Regardless of political orientation, there are no shortages of reasonable excuses to fail or scapegoats to blame. We are currently experiencing an absolute glut of plausible justifications for tanking. It is, as they say, a target -rich environment. Culprits abound.

One can blame the current President, the previous President, Wall Street crooks, the European Union, the Federal Reserve, China, large corporations, and the downtrodden economic realities of the hometown, the state, the nation or the world. A single week of reading the headlines and watching the evening news provides all the material needed to artfully shape a very credible and wholly convincing reason to fail.

Of course, a good many businesses fail for perfectly legitimate reasons that are entirely beyond the owners’ or managers’ capacity to counter, and there can be no denying that these are tough times. However, a large percent of businesses do go under needlessly during stormy economic weather — and very often they fail for reasons completely different than those conveniently delivered at little or no cost by the nightly news or the morning paper.

None of this is intended to “blame the victim” for all failures. However, it doesn’t take much effort to look over the history of past recessions and depressions to see that many businesses of all sizes not only survived, but actually prospered during the most turbulent economic times. Their success was really no secret at all — it was based on running efficient organizations, taking carefully calculated risks and adding bottom-line value for their customers, whoever they were. For the managers and owners of these businesses, failure was an option they worked hard to avoid, and did.

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Use of your time

One of the truths for new traders is that they usually have not been trained, nor have an understanding about the importance of a trading plan.  The truth of it is, few traders have actually created any real plans and fewer yet have a comprehensive working plan.  The next problem is that those who do have a plan, often do not have the discipline to follow the trading plan that they have created.  Those that do, often find it difficult to follow their plan in the heat of the day.  One of the reasons this can happen because many traders often do not spend their time properly before, during and after the market.

Of all the time a trader can devote to their occupation, most new traders usually fall into the schedule of spending 90% of their time actually trading the market.  They spend 5-10% of their time preparing for the market, either the night before, or the morning prior.  They spend 0-5% of their time following up on their trades after the market.  Unfortunately, for new traders, this can be a big down fall.  Getting caught up in the excitement and overtrading without stopping to evaluate trades is a bad combination that can lead to failure.

It is fine to be with the market all day.  Just make sure your trading plan identifies what times you should be trading, and use the rest of the time to review trades (from the prior day), to test new strategies, to complete record keeping, to print charts, or to keep refining your trading plan.  It is a great idea, when you start out, to use about a third of your time following up on your plays and reviewing them, one third preparing, and only one third actually trading.  This is very different from where most new traders are.  Many feel like they are missing out on something if they are not part of every possible trade.  Patience will pay off for those who are selective and take the time to review each of their trades and learn from the ones that did not work out.

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Word-of-Mouth marketing may be the oldest form of advertising but, as a marketing discipline, “WOM” is a relatively new phenomenon. Viral marketing, buzz marketing, blogging, community marketing, customer evangelism and other “consumer-to-consumer” techniques all inspire people to recommend your product or service. Properly executed, WOM marketing is an incredibly effective weapon in your marketing arsenal, because the message comes from a trusted source. The key ingredients of any word-of-mouth marketing campaign are:

  1. Giving people a reason to talk about you.
  2. Making it easy for people to share information about you.
  3. Engaging and energizing those people to spread the good word.


Action Steps
The best contacts and resources to help you get it done

It starts with customer satisfaction
A happy customer is a potential advocate and an influencer. An unhappy customer is even more powerful – one survey of “customer rage” found that 85% of unhappy customers share their experiences with others. If you don’t have a good story to tell, there’s nothing pleasant to buzz about.
I recommend: Measure your customer satisfaction by asking your clients whether they would recommend you. This “customer loyalty” metric can be the most important number you can track. Learn how to apply it to your business with
The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld.

Give your customers a voice
Make it easy for customers to recommend your product or service. Facilitate communication. Establish user groups, fan clubs, message boards – anything that encourages positive conversation about your business.
I recommend: Start by adding a “tell-a-friend” component to your website with companies like
Tell-a-friend Wizard or free services like bpath.com. Or give Internet ad agencies like Bzzagent.com and Buzzoodle.com a try. They offer custom word-of-mouth marketing services, training and consulting.

Find and equip your customer evangelists
These are the “sneezers,” or influential customers who will tell their friends about you. Think of them as your superfans. Give them inside information and reward their evangelism with recognition and support.
I recommend: Look for ideas and inspiration at the
Viral & Buzz Marketing Association. Learn about “tech-fluentials” and “mom-fluentials” at Burson-Marsteller’s E-fluentials site.

Join the blogosphere
A business blog creates a two-way dialogue with your customers and facilitates active discussion among your fans. Blogs are the perfect tool to encourage open communication and information sharing.
I recommend: Build your own blog in minutes with
Blogger or TypePad. For a taste of the world of blogging, see Technorati.

Listen and respond to feedback
Your blog also provides instant feedback from your customers.Participate in the online conversation and take the pulse of your supporters – and your detractors.
I recommend: Use sites like
FeedBurner to track and analyze your blog traffic.

Keep it honest
Good word-of-mouth marketing is honest, transparent and real. Stealth marketing, “shilling” and spam tactics are unethical and should be avoided at all costs!
I recommend: The Word of Mouth Marketing Association has taken a leadership role in WOM ethics. Before you begin your efforts, see the
WOMMA Code of Ethics.

Tips & Tactics
Helpful advice for making the most of this Guide

  • Other forms of WOM include cause marketing, referral programs and product seeding.
  • Turn your message into a story that is easy to pass along. People don’t repeat ad messages, they share experiences.
  • Popular books on WOM include “The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing” by George Silverman and “Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff” by Mark Hughes.

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Personal Development

All good things in life are upstream, but the natural flow of life is that downward, negative pull. To combat that downward pull, you need a plan, a map to help you reach your desired destination.

Mr. Earl Schoaff, taught me that it’s not what happens that determines the major part of our future, because what happens, happens to us all. Instead, he taught me that the key is what we do about it. If we start the process of change by developing a plan, doing something different in this next year than we did the previous year, it won’t matter how small those efforts start. Start doing different things with the same set of circumstances – the ones we’ve always had and cannot change – and see what miracles occur. If we start the miracle process and change ourselves, then everything changes. And here’s what is interesting, the difference between success and failure is so subtle. Let me explain by giving you my definitions of failure and success. Here it is: Failure is a few Errors in judgment repeated every day. The man says, “Well I didn’t walk around the block today and it didn’t kill me, so it must be okay.” No, no, it is that kind of error in judgment that after six years has him out of breath and panting as he walks from his car to his office. You can’t make those kinds of mistakes; it will end up costing you.

Now, here is my definition of success: A few simple Disciplines practiced every day. Do you see the distinction? A few disciplines… Here’s a little phrase we’ve all heard, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And my question to you is, “What if that’s true?” How simple and easy is that plan?

The fact is, when you look at successful people, you will almost always discover a plan behind their success. They know what they want, they work out a plan that will get them where they want to go, and they work their plan. It is the foundation for success. We as humans have the unique ability to affect change in our lives; it is through our own conscious choice when we engage in the miracle process of personal development that we are able to transform our nature and our lives.

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