Tuesday, August 19, 2008


According to folks that know, a blog needs to be updated about everyday in order to be read consistently. I'm sure I'll learn that lesson well as I continue to blog. According to my notes here, my last entry was on the 13th, when I was in Orlando.

On Thursday, Teresa and I headed to coastal North Carolina, for a long weekend at the beach. Part of the draw was the opportunity to interview a potential new client that wanted to sell his business, as well as some real estate he had accumulated.

At the moment, I haven't decided that we will add this gentleman as a client. However, Teresa and I had a good time. The weather was perfect. Some sun, some overcast skies, and plenty of time to sit in a chair at the beach and read. Everyone enjoys different things. We enjoy hours of quietness, given to reading.

We missed the little one, but did get to see her once we got home Sunday evening. Monday it was back in the saddle, riding off to rescue the world from all the vultures that would separate well meaning folks from their money.

So, how was your week?

Until next time,


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Business

It's common for business advisors and coaches to suggest that each year, business owners or CEO's should build a business plan. Often this is an activity that takes place in the September time frame, perhaps earlier or later depending on the size of the organization.

As a matter of business practice, we have done that for years. Included in the plan is a revenue target for the coming year. There is also a discourse on what activities we will engage in to develop new clients, as well as our estimates as to the source of the new clients.

What I find interesting is that we hit our revenue targets. However, when I review the source of the new business, it seldom comes from the sources we identified in the planning process. In many cases, the source of new business appears to be totally random.

That has happened again in 08. What we expect to be one of our larger clients came through a referral to someone I'd met six months earlier, and had a very pleasant conversation with. Over the course of almost 30 years in business, that type of conversation has occurred thousands of times. Why would this time be different?

Perhaps it would be nice to have some answer, or to identify some logic behind this randomness. On the other hand, does it matter? Maybe the best approach is simply gratefulness.

What is your experience?

Until next time,


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Imagination and Work

Earlier today, I was listening to an interview about how children play. The conversation got me to thinking about a couple of things.

Many of us may remember playing as children with a refrigerator box, or washer/dryer box. We could have fun all day, while the box served all kinds of purposes for us and our friends or siblings. The same thing could be said about branches, boards, bricks, blankets, and chairs. Take a few basic items you find inside or outside of the house, add a child's imagination, and you can create a terrific world.

My granddaughter has lots of toys, thanks to the pocketbook and determination of her granna. These include plastic stuff, as well as a good selection of books and CD's that help her learn. Overall, a decent selection.

The thought that crossed my mind is whether the toys that come designed for pre-determined use somehow inadvertantly limit creativity and imagination by prescribing uses for the toys based on their design. Could there be some benefit, or could we enhance the development of the imagination or creative side of the little ones, if we simply let them play with whatever was at hand, rather than the vast selection of toys at Wally World or ToysRUs? Of course, this strategy adopted enmasse wouldn't do much for the fortunes of Fisher-Price.

What about books and movies, in the same vein? Any number of books have been made into excellent movies. I've found one of the beauties of books is that as I read, I can develop the pictures of the scenes in my mind. Probably someone else reading the same book, would have somewhat different scenes in their mind.

When we see a movie, the producer has put their interpretation of the scene on the screen for us to see. Does this arbitrarily limit the use of the imagination by the viewer? Of course, Hollywood and authors won't stop creating movies from books simply because I believe movies dampen the imagination. The whole thing is food for thought, though.

In fact, I heard someone say one time that the mark of a good author was his or her ability to direct the imagination of the reader. That's well put.

Until next time...


Monday, August 4, 2008

Mass Transit

Today I had the opportunity to travel to downtown Atlanta. Since I had an appointment in Buckhead, I decided to ride the local train, MARTA. MARTA offered a stop in downtown Atlanta, just a block from my meeting place.

After that meeting, I headed back to Buckhead, where I was able to exit the train just two blocks from a lunch meeting, and about the same distance from a 2pm meeting. After wrapping up a day of meetings, I was able to take the train back to my car, which had been parked most of the day, in the shade.

The total cost of transportation and parking for moving around different parts of the city was about $6. While there may have been some additional minutes used that wouldn't have been used otherwise, I wasn't impaired from using my phone. In fact, the train time gave opportunity to catch up on work that seems to sleep in my briefcase.

Compared to gas at $4 a gallon, and parking at $2 per hour, it wasn't a bad deal, overall. Interesting experiment that we may try again.

Until next time...


Sunday, August 3, 2008


There is something special about a Sunday afternoon. Especially one of those days when the house is quiet.

Often, when the children were growing up, we would make a homemade meal for early afternoon, and invite a number of their friends over after church. This was always a big hit, as so few of their peers enjoyed home cooked food on a regular basis.

It was a treat for me as well, since Teresa is a master of the kitchen arts. Our son left for Tech, and our daughter for boarding school, in the fall of 99, and the house became fairly quiet. Sunday afternoons were sometimes used to run errands that didn't get taken care of during the rest of the week.

My favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon is to simply read, maintain an unschedule, and take a nap. Some of those naps are 30 minutes, some have been two hours. Whatever their length, they speak to the fact that for this day, there are no appointments to get ready for, no deadlines to meet, and nothing pressing that can't be postponed.

Yes, there are occassional family get togethers, or other activities. However, both of us have found real value in simply a quiet, unscheduled day. The absolute best type of Sunday involves going absolutely nowhere, once we get home from church. We have recognized the wisdom of the six and one design that has been in place for centuries.

All of us need time and space away from things that occupy our mind and time the other six days a week. I have found myself more ready to engage, mentally more prepared, and looking forward to time with all my responsibilities, when I clear my calendar for rest and refreshment.

What about you?

Until next time...


Friday, August 1, 2008

Domestic Oil

My good friend Michael Cross, an Alpharetta attorney, was kind enough to offer his thoughts about drilling for oil in the U.S. In his opinion, the USofA has a moral responsibility to drill for oil, on our territory. After reviewing his thoughts, I must say that I agree. Here are his thoughts about the issue, offered here with his permission.

The underlying assumptions are:

1. The actions undertaken by any society on our planet impacts our environment,

2. Large scale impacts to the environment in one area of the planet effect the environment in other areas,

3. Oil is a necessary ingredient for our present global society to function, and, regardless of the innovation that arises, will continue to be a necessary ingredient for the foreseeable future,

4. Those who drill for oil haphazardly and without exercising good stewardship foul the earth and impact the world,

5. Americans have the ability to drill more cleanly and efficiently than any other country in the world,

6. Americans care as much for the environment as the citizens of any other country in the world,

7. Those who urge America not to seek oil within her boundaries cause harm to those in other areas of the world that lack the ability or sensitivity to concerns of conservation thereby causing harm to the inhabitants of other areas,

8. Those most harmed by reckless oil exploration and extraction are those with limited means, who may have little means of protection,

9. If America engages in further oil exploration and extraction within her boundaries, fewer people in the world will be harmed by those who cannot, do not, and/or will not act as well as Americans do in the pursuit of oil extraction.

Given these assumptions, which I am inclined to do, then if Americans care about others in the world, it is our moral duty to engage in oil exploration and extraction so as not to cause undue harm to the oppressed.

Until next time...