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1/30/11

Would you pay $9.99 an hour to get more clear about your life's purpose?

I have a question for you: How much would you pay me to work for you or teach you?

Seriously. If you could hire me to teach you, coach you and train you - how much would you be willing to pay for it? Would changing the direction of your life for the better be worth $39.95 a month?

If you could learn new exercises, techniques and strategies for planning your life, building a business, increasing your income and understanding your purpose, would it be worth the price of a meal?

FIRST, some feedback from one of my protégés

"Thank you for your help! Thanks for calling me this morning. Talking with you was a great help. I think it is worth mentioning again that you have been an inspiration to me over the years. Also, I have accomplished quite a bit based on the knowledge I gleamed from you over the years that I have known you.

Now, I feel I am at a place where I need I am no longer able to maximize my potential and need to surround myself with people who are accomplishing great things and who have the capacity and desire to accomplish great things. At this point in my life, I am ready to expand my vision and expand my tents and I need the counsel of others to accomplish all that God has in me to do."


Here's another one...

"Some good words for a good man...From the get go Mark became a very inspirational figure for me. Not only did he motivate me to work harder for my goals, but he helped me get one step closer to them. When I needed help and guidance he has been there for me. I know that I can count on him for help, great advice, leadership, or even just an ear. :-) Thanks again!"

The stories continue. I have given a number of people a couple of tips that transformed their lives, but then realized that it would be much better if I put together Mastermind-Accountability-Power Groups to help even more people. I now have so many projects that I'm usually not available to be hired to teach, coach and mentor people one-on-one.

HERE'S THE POINT...

Very rarely, I create a small "Inner Circle" or high-end coaching program, and these normally range from a few hundred to a few thousand per year in tuition (and again, this is for GROUP training and coaching).

And honestly, because I've invested the last several years of my life creating the VERY BEST training programs for all key areas of success with life, business and money - it's actually BETTER to go through one of my highly-organized training programs with a group to benefit from everyone's feedback.

Right now, I'm opening up a new group for a purpose, money, wealth and business training program that I'm going to be teaching over 60 days.

Included in this package of training are some of my very best online business and life-mapping education programs.

I just did a little bit of quick math and realized that when you register for this program, you're paying about $9.99 an hour for the incredible training you're getting.

Under ten bucks an hour.

And I (and will be able to) PREPARE for each of the segments that I facilitate in this training - so it's very conscious, very focused and very effective.

Now, the reality is that I've probably invested at least a thousand hours reading, attending live seminars, learning from mentors, coaching others, testing and implementing the techniques you're going to learn in this program to succeed in life and business...

So it's more like hiring me for pennies an hour to do the research, then asking me to summarize it all for you in easy-to-understand and easy-to-use formats - so you can succeed faster than I did (which many people who have used my trainings have done).

As you can see, I'm trying to give you another perspective on how to think about this important investment in your education and your future success. If you don't educate yourself about life, business, money and wealth, I can guarantee you success won't happen by happenstance.

This program is only open for registration for a few days. I really want you to see the incredible value that you're going to get when you participate in these trainings with me - so
I'm offering a no-commitment guarantee.

You cancel the program at any time if you don't like it, all you have to do is send me an email and let me know that you gave it a shot, but it's just not right for you.

The only thing you've got to lose is your fear, uncertainty and weakness about life, business and money...

Email me today! I hope to see you in the program!

Mark Anthony

P.S. Think about what I said about the $9.99 an hour. This is a real opportunity for you to get trained by me for a bargain.

Please take a few moments to check out my "Live Big. Die Empty." Forum and Blog! "Live Big. Die Empty" contains some of the techniques that I used to start taking my life in a better direction - to start living bigger so that I could bring to fruition everything God placed in me.

You can begin to “Live Big and Die Empty”, too! Start by "Liking" this page http://www.facebook.com/LiveBigDieEmpty and then order my book and you're on your way!

Pre-order your copy of "Live Big. Die Empty" today for only $17.95 and get the guidance you need to take your life to a new level. Filled with powerful exercises and observations that will revolutionize the way you look at yourself and your life, you need this if your tired of living a small life. Pre-orders get an autographed copy and this special introductory pricing!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=38MCJ4F2VAQ9U

Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live Big, Die Empty" a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MARKMCCRAY and http://www.twitter.com/LiveBigDieEmpty

1/28/11

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” [FREE DOWNLOAD]


“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

If we really understood those words, it would change our lives. I can tell you the very day I got on the path to true success because it was the day that I realized that the whole process started between my ears! I was then and I am now what I believed I was.

You are who you think you are! No more. No less. In your heart or soul - the collection of your mind, emotions and will - you have created a definition of yourself and so have I. All of us do this. And our outer world continually manifests what that set of definitions in the same way that a thermostat will always adjust the temperature of a room back to its setting.

I call this "The Thermostat Principle" and you should keep reading! It's the subject of my next book.

Click HERE if you want a free copy of the James Allen masterpiece "As a Man Thinketh"

Think about it this way. If the thermostat of a room is set for 74 degrees, what happens when the door is opened on a hot day? Right! The air conditioner will turn on and begin to blow cold air until the room gets back to the level for which it’s been set: 74 degrees. If the thermostat is set for 74 degrees and it’s a cold day outside, the furnace will kick on and blast warm air into the entire house just to get the temperature in the room back up to 74 degrees. The entire system is set up to make sure it returns to that setting – the definition of “comfortable” with which you have set the thermostat.

Our systems – our lives, relationships, work, habits – everything tend to line up to bring us back to our internal setting. When I first really, truly understood this it made me kind of sad and somber. I looked at what I felt like was a lack of productivity and a lack of success and realized that I had created my own world. For better or for worse, I was 100% responsible for what I saw as a result of how I thought.

I had set my thermostat to “Just Above Average” and left it there for years! Therefore, no matter difficult things became from time to time, I was always able to get my life back to just above average. When I would experience big successes, I would follow them up with a setback or something that would bring my life back down to just above average. If new opportunities came to me, I would habitually choose the ones that produced more just above average-ness instead of the ones that opened a door to possible greatness. My thermostat was constantly adjusting my world.

Through it all, at least my thermostat was working! I could take some victory from that, right?

So then it made me happy after I got over myself! I got happy because I knew that I was just as close to changing my life by changing my thoughts! If the way I thought and the way I thought about myself had created a just-above-average life, then elevating my thoughts could elevate my life! Right?!!

Exactly.

There’s another thing, too. If you leave the door open so that it’s difficult for the temperature to come back to the proper setting, the air conditioner or furnace will literally go all day and all night trying to get back to the setting for which they are programmed, burning up a lot of energy in the process. This is what happens in a lot of our lives. We burn ourselves out and used a lot of energy to try to change the circumstances in our lives – our temperature – but we don’t realize that it’s more productive, faster and costs us less energy to just change our settings.

My next task was to begin to search for ways to rewire my brain. "Live Big. Die Empty" contains some of the techniques that I used to start taking my life in a better direction - to start living bigger so that I could bring to fruition everything God placed in me.

You can begin to “Live Big and Die Empty”, too! Join me on Facebook!

Are you looking for more guidance on building and expanding your business?  Get your copy of "From Idea to Ignition: How to Get Your Business off the Ground" today and also check out "The Sales Monster - 10 Ultimate No B.S. #MonsterTips to Help You Sell More and Earn More Money NOW!"  Both are packed full of information and insights you can take to the bank!  Available for download right to your Inbox after purchase with tons of bonus material!





Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!



He can be reached in the following ways:
Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
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For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://www.gigsalad.com/mark_anthony_mccray_houston







1/22/11

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage




A number of people have asked me about the book I referenced a few days ago, "His Needs, Her Needs" so here's a PSA. You can click below and order it right from here! After you read it, tell me what you think about it! Tweet your thoughts to me at http://twitter.com/livebigdieempty

From "His Needs, Her Needs" by Dr. Willard Harley...

"The Top 5 Things a Woman Needs in a Husband"

#1 AFFECTION:

"Physical affection symbolizes security, protection, comfort, and approval."

Affection is important in its own right and it has nothing to do with sex. Affection says "I Love You" without "I Lust For You." Hugs, kisses, hand-holding, touches, gifts, back rubs, affectionate words, etc. all fall under the category of affection. Harley says that the "typical male" sees affection as foreplay to sexual encounters and is normally aroused by affectionate physical gestures. A man who growls, 'I'm not the affectionate type' while reaching for his wife's body to satisfy his desires for sex, is missing a chance to meet one of her deepest needs.

#2 CONVERSATION:

We usually put our best foot forward before the marriage and are trying to get acquainted with each other as well as letting the other person know how much we like them. In order to do both, we are usually engaged in a lot of conversation. Long talks at night.
Long conversations on the telephone. Walks where we tell each other about ourselves.

After the wedding, we know about each other and the conversations we used to enjoy seem to be very limited or come to an end altogether. Harley says that men do not seem to need conversation, but women seem to enjoy conversation for its own sake. The most
satisfying conversation is one that focuses on getting to know each other, showing an interest in each other, and discussing topics of interest to both. It is important that she feel a genuine interest and caring for her.

Harley says that the average woman needs 15 hours of quality conversation a week.

#3 HONESTY AND OPENNESS:

"A sense of security is the bright golden thread woven through all of a woman's five basic needs…To feel secure, a wife must trust her husband to give her accurate information about his past, the present, and the future."

#4 FINANCIAL SUPPORT:

"Humorous anecdotes abound on women who marry men for their money, but my counseling experience has taught me not to treat this tendency as a joke. In truth, a woman does marry at man for his money -- at least she wants him to earn enough money to support her as well as (or better than) her father did when she was growing up."

#5 COMMITMENT TO FAMILY:

"A woman has a powerful instinct to create a strong family unit. They want their husbands to take a leadership role in the family and to be a
good father. This means having "good family time" and playing an active role in raising the children."



"The Top 5 Things a Man Needs in a Wife"

#1 SEXUAL FULFILLMENT:

‎" The typical wife doesn’t understand her husband's need for sex any more than the typical husband understands his wife's need for affection. This need in men is so strong that it must be satisfied -- in or out of the marriage. When a man binds himself in marriage, he makes the assumption that his wife will be available to him sexually. If that is not the case, it it sets the stage for an affair -- which will be destructive to the marriage."

#2 RECREATIONAL COMPANIONSHIP:

The need to have fun with his partner is the second need Harley identifies for men. As already stated, we often put our best foot forward in the courtship and this is another area where there may be disappointment after the "I do". "Why don't you do this with me anymore?" is a common lament. Harley cautions wives that having fun together doing the things that you both like is essential to the marriage. "Men place surprising importance on having their wives as recreational companions."

#3 AN ATTRACTIVE SPOUSE:

‎"A man with a need for an attractive spouse feels good whenever he looks at his attractive wife. In fact, that is what emotional needs are all about. When one of his emotional needs is met he feels fulfilled, and when it's not met, he feels frustrated. It may sound immature or superficial, but I've found that most men have a need for an attractive wife. They do not appreciate a woman for her inner qualities alone. They appreciate the way she looks."

#4 DOMESTIC SUPPORT:

He needs peace and quiet. There may be a cultural change/demand that says that men need to take more responsibility in the home for domestic chores, but most men are not embracing this change. The male has a deep need for his wife to "take care of things" -- especially take care of him.

#5 ADMIRATION/RESPECT:

HE NEEDS HER TO BE PROUD OF HIM
Why do males have this need? Admiration energizes and motivates a man and he often expects his wife to be his most ardent fan. He needs to be appreciated for what he IS, not for what he COULD BECOME. While criticism causes men to become defensive, his wife's encouragement enables him to become more confident and enables him to achieve far more.

You can order your copy of this great resource here!










Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!

He can be reached in the following ways:

Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
Phone: 281-846-5720
Twitter: @LiveBIGDieEmpty
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LiveBIGDieEmpty
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markanthonymccray/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103149858138414160703/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/markanthonymccray
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/markmccray/

Click HERE for information on Mark as a speaker or presenter and HERE to learn about coaching programs to help you realize your potential and live more prosperously!

Feeling Lost? Think "What Would Bear Grylls Do?"

Don’t Panic!

Experts will tell you that the number one reason people die when lost in the woods, jungle or desert is that they PANIC. This is just as true of people capsized from a boat, stuck in the path of a tornado or caught in the perfect storm of a mortgage crisis. Pick your example. If you are anything like me, as a real estate professional, there have been many times over the last year that I have felt alone, stranded and sometimes clueless. As the economy imploded around us, it often became difficult to figure out not how to thrive in these times, but just survive. The regular rules no longer apply when you’re not able to even figure out what game you’re playing.

When the regular rules don’t apply, we are all well-served to consult with people who have come through life threatening, fear-inducing and emotionally paralyzing circumstances. So, this article is about survival – how to stay in the game long enough to figure out your path back to thriving – how to make sure the wild doesn’t win. And who’s better to consult when it comes to survival strategy than the world’s most famous survivor, Bear Grylls?

Who is Bear Grylls?


C’mon! Really? If you have been living under a rock and have no idea of whom I’m writing, Bear Grylls is quite an interesting figure who is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild, shown on the Discovery Channel, and for being one the craziest sons-of-a-gun walking the planet. This man will drink or eat almost anything. After all, you’ve got to get your vitamins! (Pronounced with a short “I” sound and said very, very quickly.)

I came across his show a couple of years ago, purely by accident, and became mesmerized by this guy who seemed to be a real-life MacGyver. He could make a shelter out of leaves and toothpicks, make a raft out of trash and bones and make a meal out of some of the strangest and least appetizing plants and animals that God ever created. I developed a man-crush before the first episode was over and I was absolutely hooked. Bear could and would do anything it took to survive! Bear was, simply put, the Man.

Sure, his program is sensationalized, but it’s still impressive (and repulsive) to see a man gut a sheep, eat its eyeballs, make a water bottle out of its stomach and sleep in its skin. Therefore, not only as a fan of his work, but as deeply invested and committed real estate professional, it occurred to me that my life looks a lot like some of the episodes of Man vs. Wild that I had seen over the last couple of years.

It all got me pondering what Bear would do if he were in my position and how might his rules of survival apply to my life? So, I did some research…meaning that I watched some more television…to catalogue the most persistent rules of survival that Bear preaches. Then, I started looking at my experiences as an entrepreneur to find parallels and determine how much of his training and strategy I could apply to my own life. Here is what I believe he would tell you and me to do:

The Bear “Essentials”

1. Stop and get your bearings.

The first thing to do when you find yourself lost and feeling overwhelmed is to stop and figure out where you are – to the best of your ability. For a mortgage broker, this could mean spending a little extra time in the newspapers and online on the industry inside information sites trying to understand market trends a bit better. For me, it means taking a little extra time talking to my active lenders to hear where they feel like things are in the market.


2. Plan a route back to civilization.

The second thing to do is survey the landscape and chart your best path back to where you want to be. When talking with banks and lenders, ask them where they see the opportunities. Then look at your own practices to determine whether there are some adjustments that you can make to your business model or your marketing plan. Maybe there is a new approach that you can use in your targeted marketing?

3. As soon as you’ve determined your direction, get moving.

Once you have figured out which way you want to go, don’t waste any time – get moving! Standing still doesn’t do you any good and it can waste precious resources such as sunlight, supplies and emotional energy. Using the example of targeted marketing, an imperfect plan executed is going to be better for your bottom line than a perfect plan unexecuted. If you’ve decided to go after the multi-family market, start making some calls and writing some letters – today!

4. Find water and food from any source necessary. Maybe even eat some eyeballs.

You can’t afford to be picky when your alternative may be starvation. Perhaps it’s time to work with Clients that you would normally screen out? Maybe you can find work in another industry as you build your practice back up? Maybe it’s time to partner up with others seeking new opportunities, as well? In any regard, one of the most important rules in the wilderness is to get some nutrition. You’ve got to keep your strength up. You’re not out of the woods yet.

5. Make shelter and fire.

It might take you longer than you hoped to get back to a safe and prosperous place. When you see signs pointing that way, you may have to stop and make yourself shelter and fire so that you can stay warm and plan the next day’s movements. For mortgage professionals, this could mean reconnecting with old friends and joining some networking groups again. Gaining some encouragement, trading some war stories and – more important – some good tips for turning things better could mean the difference between being warmed or freezing out in the cold.


6. Avoid danger as you progress.

The woods are full of predators. It’s possible that there are more dangers lurking than ever before. It’s truly a wild landscape in real estate these days. Watch your step. Study more than you’ve ever studied. Do your best to read the signs further out ahead of your steps. It can be helpful to adopt again the mindset that you may have had when you first started: be curious, be cautious, but be excited again about relearning the pluses and pitfalls of your industry.

7. Master your emotions and try to enjoy a few thrills along your way.

It’s not going to be easy, but you can’t let yourself get down and stay down emotionally. Part of the art of survival is to try to make it a game. If you keep pressing on, each day can have its own small victories and joys. Everyone suffers losses in this business. You’re not unique. But you’ve got to celebrate the small victories to keep yourself in the game for the big wins to come.

For a number of business owners, these are very trying times. However, if you still love your work, you may be looking for ways to stay in as opposed to getting out. If I can be of any encouragement to you, it would be to continue to look for ways to serve customers and solve problems. There is no shortage of problems out there to solve, so the world is still in need of smart, talented and driven people to solve them. In doing so, I am confident that you will find your way out of the woods. When Bear makes it out of the woods, he usually ends the show with a huge shout for joy…a kind of rebel yell. I am looking forward to hearing yours!

Now, I want to hear from you. What are some survival tactics that you’ve used or seen that have worked well? Please email me. I am working on putting together a new guidebook for people like you and I who are always looking for better ways to get more customers. Also, if you ask, I will send you some bonus ideas that might work for you.


Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live BIG! Die Empty." a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LiveBigDieEmpty.

Getting Down To Business: Two Things You Must Know Before Starting Your Own Business

“Keep going until something stops you, then keep going. Tenacity is not giving up when everybody else says you should. It is keeping on your path even though you feel in your heart that you might get pushed back or your journey goes slower than you thought. Accomplishing things worthwhile takes time. Every group you deal with craves the unyielding person; everyone wants determined leaders. Hold firmly to your aspirations. Tenacity breeds tenacity as success breeds success.” ~ Leading Business Consultant Debra A. Benton from “How to Think Like a CEO”

Entrepreneurship is becoming big business. The last several years have witnessed an explosion in the number of colleges teaching entrepreneurship and the number of local governments spending money on development programs.

Selling business self-help materials like books and seminars has become a booming industry in its own right. Statistics indicate that a new business is launched every ten minutes. So, with all these resources, assistance and activity, why does success elude so many enterprising people? Many people aren’t experiencing success in business because they haven't first taken proper inventory of the most important part of the equation before they commence: themselves.

Before you start any business, there are two questions you should ask yourself. Not only should you answer the questions, but also I strongly recommend that you write down your answers.

Writing can be a powerful tool in helping you form clear, concrete thoughts. It may seem an unnecessary step, however, I have witnessed countless numbers of people fail on this very point. They may have had all the motivation, personal contacts, financial resources, and brilliant ideas. What they did not have was the clarity of purpose that a written set of objectives can produce. As the great General Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” The process of planning and strategizing gives you the edge that most people never develop.

The two crucial questions are as follows:
(1) What are your true motivations for starting a business?
(2) What are the goals that you hope to accomplish?

Discovering for yourself the answer to each of these will place you more firmly on the path to independence and success no matter what you decide to do in your career.

What are your true motivations for starting a business?

Why do you want to go into business for yourself?

Do you feel that you were meant to be an entrepreneur?

Have you always desired to be your own boss?

Is working within a corporate structure driving you crazy?

Do you need to find ways to earn more money than you make in your current job?

Knowing why you’re doing something helps to keep you focused. Without this focus, most people will not be able to stand up to the rigors of private enterprise. Needless to say, everyone does things for different reasons. You might want to work at home to be closer to your kids. Whatever you want to accomplish, put it on paper. There are no right or wrong answers. I am not going to tell you that there are more honorable motivations than others. What is important is that you are honest with yourself about what is driving you to explore owning and operating your own business. Only then can you stay true to yourself, a key to building a business that will last. Investing a few moments to do this might help you last a lot longer on the battlefield. Ask yourself why you want to be an entrepreneur, and then write your reasons down on paper.

What are the goals that hope to accomplish?

Your answers to this question need to be as specific as possible. Use numbers and specific dollar amounts. Use times and dates. One goal could read something like this, for example: Within six months I hope to be earning an extra income of $500 per week by selling 30 widgets. Within a year, I want to receive $1,000 per week. After one year, I want to diversify my business and offer two new types of widgets. In other words, take some time out to dream and visualize what would make you feel as if your work was fruitful and worthwhile.

A goal is much more than a desire. A goal is a destination that you would like to reach. A good one has several qualities:
* It is motivating
* It is written
* It is time-specific
* It is measurable, and
* It is always in front of you.

If it is not all of these things, it’s not a goal. It’s just a wish and it may not have the power to help propel you forward.

Some could have the goal of paying for their next car with cash or making a million dollars by the time they’re forty years old. Don’t be afraid to enjoy dreaming. How would your life be different if you were earning $4,000 per month over what you’re bringing home now? Would you be driving the same automobile? Would you be wearing the same clothes? Do you think you would be any happier? The process of visualization (and writing down your goals) is important because it allows you to mentally associate pleasure with your accomplishments providing additional motivation to succeed.

Here’s a first step towards goal setting that you can take right now. Follow the guidelines above and jot down ten things that you want to accomplish in the next year. Make sure that pursuing them will stretch your mind and that you’ll need to work hard to reach each.

Then get going after every target that you’ve set. As soon as you accomplish one, mark through it and add another to the list. You’ll be surprised at how well the whole process works. Keeping your focus on your milestones will help keep you moving closer to where you ultimately want to be in life.

If you can commit yourself to exploring your motivations and pinpointing your goals, you will greatly increase your chances of succeeding in any new venture. A lot of people are profiting off the latest wave of entrepreneurship. By knowing the most important part of your business (you) before you launch out, you’ll be in a much better position to profit as well.


Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live Big, Die Empty" a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MARKMCCRAY and http://www.twitter.com/LiveBigDieEmpty and http://www.twitter.com/TheKoholeth

The Need for Speed: Why Your Company Needs to Move Faster & How You Can Speed It Up

"Speed kills." - Jimmy Johnson, World Champion Football Coach

That single quote embodied Jimmy Johnson's entire philosophy of building championship football teams. Why? Because all athletes make mistakes while in the fevered pace of the game. However, fast players can get back into the proper position, which allows them to execute despite their errors.

Likewise, in basketball, the most productive rebounders aren't normally the tallest or biggest players. That's because, in that phase of the game, smaller and quicker beats bigger, stronger, and slower just about every time.

Speed is also the Great Dominator in business.

I would like to show you why the speed of your business decision-making, planning, and execution might be the difference between you making it to the next level or remaining part of the pack. We'll talk about why companies are slow and how you can pick up the pace, and when you have finished reading, my hope is that you'll be inspired to go faster and, thereby, go higher in your profession.

Why is Speed So Important To a Business?

The Silicon Valley rule-of-thumb is that any good idea is being contemplated by at least five other people at any given moment. Therefore, you're always in a race whether you know it or not. How many times in your life have you seen someone get rich off an idea that you had also? Probably lots of times. What was the difference between you two? It was probably not intelligence...raw intelligence is not necessarily the primary success factor in entrepreneurship. The difference was execution...often, the speed of execution.

Second, speed is important because time is actually a more precious resource than money, especially for a start-up company. "You can always get more money, but you can never get more time," says Jeff Levy, Founder, President, and CEO of eHatchery, an Atlanta-based business incubator. In Mr. Levy's industry, just like in yours I'll bet, ideas and money are more plentiful than the ability to execute the plans. The fastest entrepreneurial teams win the races to the consumers' doors.

Third, speed is important because it can be your only advantage when going against the giants. This concept allowed young Michael Dell to beat Big Blue (IBM) in computer sales. It has allowed Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to chip away at Intel's market share steadily and surely. AMD used to be constantly behind Intel in developing faster microprocessors. Now they are a major force in pushing technology advancements. AMD became a player by drastically cutting the time it takes to get updates of their microprocessors to the market.

This thought is best expressed by David Allen, productivity coach and founder of David Allen & Company, who said, "power comes from speed, not from muscle." The speed with which he swings the golf club allows Tiger Woods to make the longest drives from the tee. In baseball, it is bat speed that creates many home runs. By the same token, speed can allow a small company to overcome the large staffs, enormous budgets, and entrenched market positions of the big boys.

Seven Things You Can Do to Speed Up Your Business
So now that you can see from the above examples that speed is lethal, how do you go about speeding up your operation? Here are seven attitudes that you can adopt right now to help you and your staff pick up the pace.

1. Cast fear aside. Bigger companies start to think that they have more to lose than the little guys and this concern slows them down. Ironically, even though they are right, they are also wrong. A large company can indeed suffer big losses by making mistakes. But the large company can also afford to recover. Look at Coca-Cola with New Coke. They blundered and recovered and are still growing strong. Seth Godin, Entrepreneur and Author, captured this well by offering this statement: "Businesses are not slow because they are big; they are slow because they are afraid."

2. Focus. It is impossible to run as fast as you can while looking at your competitors around and behind you. Every time you lose focus on your immediate objectives, you slow down. Every time you slow down, you increase the chance that you'll not reach your ultimate goal.

3. Stop being a perfectionist. Being excellent is more important than being perfect. First, you'll never be perfect, so stop being obsessed by it. Second, some things are worth doing first, even if done poorly. In some markets, you'll do better in the long run if you can get there first. Hopefully, you can be improving your services by the time your competitors are moving in. Finally, Relax! An axiom from martial arts states: the tense muscle is a slow muscle. You've got to be stress-free and loose to get the best out of yourself and your team.

4. Eliminate bottlenecks in your company, even if you are the bottleneck! Make decisions faster. Napoleon Hill says in his best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, that he noticed that financially successful people developed the habit of making decisions faster than others, but changed their minds about their decisions more slowly than others. When you have to make a decision, make it.

5. Do more planning. Moving faster will do you no good if you can't be effective. As John Wooden, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach used to tell his players, "Hurry up, but don't rush." You can eliminate rushing by planning more of your activities. Time and efficiency experts estimate that each hour of planning eliminates three hours of execution.

6. Develop a sense of urgency. Urgency means having an attitude that the job should have been done "yesterday." This comes from a deep-seated belief that you don't have time to lose. Whatever the source of your urgency, use it to your benefit and urge yourself to make the most of every moment.

7. Have more fun. People do what they enjoy doing. In fact, most folk rarely procrastinate when it comes to having fun. They delay doing things that they associate with pain or fear. Here is my suggestion: turn work into a game. Tell some jokes. Enjoy your days. If you can make your work fun, I can guarantee that you'll get more of it done more often.

Now get up and getting busy right now. Make a commitment to yourself to focus and finish faster. You'll be that much closer to your next success!


Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live Big, Die Empty" a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MARKMCCRAY and http://www.twitter.com/LiveBigDieEmpty and http://www.twitter.com/TheKoholeth

"One Page Business Planning Guide"


A lot of people have requested this from me over the years, so I thought I would post it to my Blog. It's a simple, but helpful guide to the questions that you should ask yourself as you begin to plan any new business or venture. Appropriately, it's called the "One Page Business Planning Guide" and I hope you put it to good use!

(Friendly Tip: It's not first on the outline, but my experience is that you're going to have a more productive planning session if you start with the "Marketing" Section. This helps you know whether you really, in fact, have a business opportunity or not!)

Mission Statement "What is your goal?"
Briefly describe your team's mission statement. For example, one company’s mission can be described as, "We democratize venture capital." (About 10 words)

Elevator Pitch "What are you doing?"
Briefly explain your team's business concept. Give a summary of your team's vision and how you plan to successfully implement your idea. Imagine you are riding an elevator with a potential investor. Be brief and clear. (About 100 words)

Business Model "How will you make money?"
Summarize how your business will generate revenues and profits. What is your sustainable competitive advantage? Can this business model benefit from scale? Is there an opportunity for subscription-based and/or residual income? Does the business benefit from the “network effect” (customers’ benefits increase as more people become customers)? (About 100 words)

Technology "How does it work?"
Discuss the underlying technology, product development, and/or manufacturing process for your product or service. (About 400 words)

Marketing Plan "How will you get the word out?"
Describe the target audience you plan to reach, as well as the Unique Selling Proposition, pricing strategy, and marketing plan you will employ to market and sell your concept. How will your strategy evolve as you grow? The Positioning Statement is a great way to conclude this step. Use the following outline: For (targeted customers)…who are dissatisfied with (the current market alternatives)…. Our service is a (product category)…. That provides (key problem or pain addressed)…Unlike (product alternatives)…. We have assembled (key whole product features for your specific application)… Geoffrey Moore, Crossing the Chasm, Harper Business, 1999, page 154. (About 400 words)

Distribution Plan "How will you get your product or service to customers?"
Describe your distribution and sales strategy. Will you use a sales force and physical distribution system? For example, will you utilize a direct, 2-step, or more complex distribution channel? Is there an opportunity to bundle your product with another, perhaps more established, product? (About 300 words)

Top Concerns "What could go wrong?"
Explain the top three obstacles that your team's business concept could face in the near future, and how your team plans to overcome such obstacles. (About 300 words)

Competition "Who's in your space and how will you defeat them?"
Explain the competitive advantage of your team's business strategy. Who are your primary competitors and how will they affect your success? What trends prevail in the industry? How will your business affect the market space? (About 400 words)

Financial Plan "How much money do you need?"
Estimate how much capital your team will need to successfully implement your business plan. What investment sources will your team solicit for funding, how will you utilize this capital, and how much money do you plan to make? (About 400 words)


Want more help working through the details of your idea?  Make sure you get a copy of "From Idea to Ignition" today! It's for you if:

You want a simple approach to business planning...
You want a simple approach to developing your launch budget...
You want to understand the twelve winning qualities of a successful launch...

Read more and purchase HERE!








Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!

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7 Ways to Make Mastermind Groups Work for You!

I was looking for an "accelerator" for my life and vision, so I decided to start a mastermind group. I've always hated that name. I suppose by writing the word with a lowercase "m" I am striking back at Napoleon Hill in my own way. Darn you, Napoleon Hill for trying to help us all while giving us a horrible name!

Benjamin Franklin called his mastermind group a "Junto" - which serves to prove that no one has done a great job with naming these things over the course of centuries. But I digress...

I took the initiative to begin my group along with several friends beginning with an open invitation to all of my friends in my social network. Since we were all over the country, we used online forums and conference calls to stay in touch with each other. Starting with twenty people, we eventually came down to a stable group of eight at the point where we were able to make some real progress together.

Some people were "ahead" of the group overall and some were "behind" the group. A few were dropped because they didn't do the assignments. We eventually stabilized and it was a very good thing. I learned a lot about how to conduct these groups very quickly.

Here are the top lessons I've learned from my first mastermind experience:

1. It works if everyone is in the same place in life. By being in the same "place" I am suggesting that everyone should value the idea of working together as a part of a group. Everyone should feel like they're a ready to benefit from the dynamic. If they're not at that place, it's not a problem. They're just not ready for the mastermind.

2. It works if you have assignments. Everyone has friends. Everyone needs friends. However, mastermind groups are about working. We had assignments. Tasks were structured to make sure each person was participating and progressing personally.

3. It works if everyone does the assignments. Unless each person does the homework, there is no way to build cohesion. Unless each person does the homework, there is no one to help one another. If people don't work, there is no point.

4. It works if everyone is transparent. Honesty and transparency must rule. Again, there is no point to being in a group setting unless you have an interest in helping one another. To do that, you have to know what each person thinks and needs. If you hold back you become a brick wall, to which no one can relate.

5. It works if you set a regular meeting time and don't vary. Self-explanatory. It takes time and discipline to develop new habits and regularity is essential for masterminds to be fruitful.

6. It works if people make one-on-one connections outside of the group. I encouraged our team to talk with, work with and pray for and with one another outside of our meetings. I feel that's where we got the most power! I enjoyed watching folks getting real help with their business and life challenges from others who could help. As great as our group was and as much as I enjoy facilitating, my own ability to help is always limited. Entrepreneurs found real life connections that made them real world money as a result of our group and, for that, I am eternally proud!

7. It works if everyone makes efforts to give as much as they get. This is connected to the above point. Make efforts to give and encouragement as much as - or more than - you seek to receive them. If every person has this attitude, you can birth something truly extraordinary.

Those are my guidelines. I enjoyed and benefited from the experience so much that I now organize mastermind groups for others. I've seen the power of mutual accountability and vision-sharing. It's a beautiful thing!

What are your experiences with mastermind groups? Contact me if you want to know more!

Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live Big, Die Empty" a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MARKMCCRAY and http://www.twitter.com/LiveBigDieEmpty and http://www.twitter.com/TheKoholeth

"Rules for a Club Established for Mutual Improvement"

Recently, I reread the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and the edition I picked up included several other selections from his writing. Among them, his 1728 "Rules for a Club Established for Mutual Improvement."

The rules were used for the group Franklin founded in 1727, Junto. To whit:

"Rules for a Club Established for Mutual Improvement"

Previous Question, to be Answered at Every Meeting

Have you read over these queries this morning, in order to consider what you might have to offer the Junto touching any one of them? viz.

1. Have you met with anything in the author you last read, remarkable, or suitable to be communicated to the Junto? particularly in history, morality, poetry, physics, travel, mechanical arts, or other parts of knowledge.

2. What new story have you lately heard agreeable for telling in conversation?

3. Hath any citizen in your knowledge failed in his business lately, and what have you heard of the cause?

4. Have you lately heard of any citizen's thriving well, and by what means?

5. Have you lately heard how any present rich man, here or elsewhere, got his estate?

6. Do you know of a fellow citizen, who has lately done a worthy action, deserving praise and imitation; or who has lately committed an error, proper for us to be warned against and avoid?

7. What unhappy effects of intemperance have you lately observed or heard; of imprudence, of passion, or of any other vice or folly?

8. What happy effects of temperance, of prudence, of moderation, or of any other virtue?

9. Have you or any of your acquaintance been lately sick or wounded? If so, what remedies were used, and what were their effects?

10. Whom do you know that are shortly going voyages or journeys, if one should have occasion to send by them?

11. Do you think of anything at present, in which the Junto may be serviceable to mankind, to their country, to their friends, or to themselves?

12. Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meeting, that you have heard of? And what have you heard or observed of his character or merits? And whether, think you, it lies in the power of the Junto to oblige him, or encourage him as he deserves?

13. Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up, whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?

14. Have you lately observed any defect in the laws of your country of which it would be proper to move the legislature for an amendment? Or do you know of any beneficial law that is wasting?

15. Have you lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties of the people?

16. Hath anybody attacked your reputation lately? And what can the Junto do toward securing it?

17. Is there any man whose friendship you want, and which the Junto, or any of them, can procure for you?

18. Have you lately heard any member's character attacked, and how have you defended it?

19. Hath any man injured you from whom it is in the power of the Junto to procure redress?

20. In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, assist you in any of your honorable designs?

21. Have you any weighty affair on hand in which you think the advice of the Junto may be of service?

22. What benefits have you lately received fron any man not present?

23. Is there any difficulty in matters of opinion, of justice, and injustice, which you would gladly have discussed at this time?

24. Do you see anything amiss in the present customs or proceedings of the Junto, which might be amended?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wow! This sets a whole new paradigm for a group like this, doesn't it? And yet, it's nearly 300 years old!



Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live Big, Die Empty" a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MARKMCCRAY and http://www.twitter.com/LiveBigDieEmpty and http://www.twitter.com/TheKoholeth

1/20/11

Becoming UNSTOPPABLE & Disciplines Towards Greater Success


I was reflecting on the disciplines that have served me well in times wherein I've achieved more of my goals and enjoyed more success. Here's what I came up with as reminders for the habits I need to continue to nurture in my life:

1. Begin to pursue favor. Ask for it from God and from man regularly
2. Honor those who show me favor
3. Sow into my own education and professionalism every day.
4. Fight to make progress towards my goals everyday.
5. Walk in the promise; walk in faith.
6. Pray with my family and friends regularly
7. Have an attitude of abundance.
8. BECOME UNSTOPPABLE!

There is a saying/definition that I really like. "The opposite of Success is not Failure. Failure and Success go hand in hand. Sometimes you fail several times before you succeed. The opposite of Success is quitting. Once you quit you will never succeed."

But how do we become unstoppable?

Think about what makes you stoppable? To become unstoppable you have to face your challenges/problems and take steps to resolve them. They don't have to be big steps but they do have to be steps to climbing over that hurdle. Don't exist, accomplish!

What would an unstoppable person do if they had no money? If they had no money then they would use their time to accomplish things. What would an unstoppable person do if there sales were low? They would talk to more people. What would an unstoppable person do to expand there business? Look for and implement creative ideas. Try new methods. Find what works for them.

Being unstoppable is an awesome learned trait. Your life will greatly improve by being unstoppable. You will be able to resolve problems easier and faster by your learned experiences. Your stress level and worry level will decrease. You will live a life of accomplishments. You are UNSTOPPABLE! Be it, Do it, Become it!

Stay in touch...I'll be sharing more tips on becoming UNSTOPPABLE over the next several weeks!

Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live Big, Die Empty" a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MARKMCCRAY and http://www.twitter.com/LiveBigDieEmpty and http://www.twitter.com/TheKoholeth