Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Customer Service: Grounded in a Statement

July 1, 2015

When I was in high school I, like many of my classmates, decided that a practical class to take would be something in business, so I took DECA, as one of my courses.  DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, taught me many important lessons on things like store security, advertising, and of course customer service.  At the end of the class, we were supposed to give a presentation on a specific area, and mine was store security; more specific in my case was money, and how to spot counterfeit bills.

It was a result of this class that I started to develop what would later become my customer service statement, which is “I am not here to give customers what they want, but to give them what they need, and to help them make the most of what they have.”  Keeping focus on this statement has continued to help me give customers the best service I have in my power to give, for years.

Customer service is the culmination of what you’ve learned, and what you believe when it comes to how you treat relationships with individuals in a business setting.  Your interactions with customers will either enforce, or alter your beliefs in this matter, but when you take the time to write it down in a statement, it gives you a solid foundation to work from.  There are many situations I’ve personally come across that would have ruined my relationship with my customers if I didn’t have something to work from.

If you are in contact with customers on a regular basis, whether employee, owner, or self- employed, it would be a good Idea for you to come up with a customer service statement, that will  leave your relationship with your customers on solid ground.  I don’t want you to just copy mine, because you need to put it in your own words; this is the only way you can make it a part of your own business experience.  I will, however, go over the thought process behind my statement in order to help make coming up with your own a little easier.

I AM NOT HERE TO GIVE CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT

I don’t know who said it first, but no phrase in business makes me want to slap someone across the face more than “The customer is always right.”  Not only is this not true, but it has destroyed more business, customer relationships than any other philosophy in customer service.  Some customers want everything free, they want it now, and they don’t care if you break the rules as long as you give them what they want; in short, they want everything for nothing.  That is a very fast way to losing your business.

I used to work at Burger King (yes, I admit it.) and I was working the drive through.  We had a customer pull up to the speaker, and I began with my cheerful “Welcome to Burger King, how may I help you?”  To which the customer replied, “I’m not ready yet.”

“Just let me know when you’re ready to order.”

“OK, I’ll let you know.”  He replied.

5 minutes passed, then seven, which is when I asked, “Would you like a little more time?”

“Of course not,” he snapped, “I’ve been waiting here for ten minutes, for you to take my order.”  He quickly placed his order, and sped up to the window.  The moment I opened the window to accept the money, and give him the food, he started yelling at the top of his voice how we had the worst customer service, and how it was supposed to be “FAST” food, then asked for the manager.  The whole tirade I never said a word, because I figure it was better to let him vent, than to give him the satisfaction of letting him ruin my day.

The manager came to the window, and after the customer gave her an earful, she held up her hand, and said, “Then, sir, you should have never told him you would let him know when you were ready.” As the customer drove away red faced, and humiliated, I said in the most pleasant voice I could, “Thank you, have a nice day.”

In this case, the customer was both wrong and trying to bring me down with him. In many cases the customer will be wrong.  It does no good to yell back, because that will bring your day down, and prove the customer right.  The best way to deal with an irate customer is to acknowledge their error in a patient, and respectful manner.  They may have had a bad day, and are looking for someone to take it out on, so look for every opportunity to make their day better, instead of fueling their anger.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED

I don’t care what you do for a living, sales, marketing, service, whatever it is, your customers are coming to you to meet a specific need.  You wouldn’t go to a church to buy an apple, and you wouldn’t go the produce section of a grocery store to find Jesus, unless he needs an apple.

There are two very important things you need in order to supply your customers with what they need.  One is knowledge of what you are supplying.  If your job is selling computers, a good knowledge of computers can help your customers make an informed decision.  If, however, your knowledge is poor, your customer can end up with a piece of crap, and you could lose the sale, and the customer.

The other thing you absolutely need is the ability to listen.  Customer service is all about maintaining a relationship between a business, and the customer.  At the core of all successful relationships is communication, and a key to communicating effectively is listening to the entire message of the other person.  When you try to get ahead of the conversation, or cut the other person off before they’ve had a chance to finish speaking, you miss important parts of their message, and that could lead to miscommunication, and the ruin of that relationship.

One of the jobs I had was working at Inness Photo.  This is one of those stores that processes photographs, and sells cameras.  Being a nature photographer, I understand cameras, and what people can use to get the shots they want.  I can’t count the number of times a customer came in with a copy of Consumer Reports looking for the wrong camera.  The best example I can think of, and there are a lot, is the customer looking for a point and shoot to photograph birds.

Most birds are unapproachable, and point and shoots don’t have the range to get close enough to most birds.  She pointed at the 12x digital zoom, and I told her about the differences between digital, and optical zoom.  In the end, what I sold her was a Canon Digital SLR with a 300mm through 600mm zoom.

She came in a couple of weeks later to print her pictures, and to let us know how happy she was with the purchase.

HELP THEM GET THE MOST OUT OF WHAT THEY HAVE

This part of my statement came from my own philosophy of helping people get the most out of what they already possess.  I think the company that best illustrates their commitment to helping customers get more from what they have, is Best Buy.  In order to help customers who aren’t computer savvy, but who own computers, they came up with the Geek Squad.  Not only have they helped me find a decent computer, that fit in my budget, and equip it with the latest version of Microsoft Office, but they have fielded my calls with computer questions, and helped me in wonderful ways.

Another thing that has happened numerous times, at Inness Photo, is that customers will come in looking for help with camera equipment that they can’t yet figure out.  It was for these types of customers that I added this to my statement.

If I sell a camera to a customer and send them away, I would be no better than Walmart, whose sales staff, in my personal experience, knows less about the products than the customers.  If you can help people achieve more from a computer, camera, phone, whatever they have, you can not only gain a possible customer that you didn’t have before, but you can also keep an existing customer that you might have lost if you couldn’t help them.

This isn’t limited to just products. You can help customers get the most out of a service you offer, to help them save time, and money.

Here is something that just happened to me recently to illustrate this. My wife, and I have been Verizon customers for a number of years, and last February our latest contract was up.  It was time to see about their latest deal to upgrade from the I-phone 4.  I did a little research, and with the amount I saved up, I was able to go up to an I-phone 5.  I thought it was a great deal, so I went to Verizon to exchange my old phone.

The sales representative pulled up my account and shocked me with a bit of good news.  He informed me that as good customers, with a long history, we qualified for the edge program which meant we could get the 5s for a few dollars each month instead of paying for the phone now, and the only thing I would have to pay for at this moment would be any accessories I might want.  On top of that, because of staying with them so long, our monthly bills could go down, instead of up.

I agreed to the 5s, got the Otter Box, to protect my phone, and took the service changes, which ends up taking ten dollars off my monthly bill.  As he was processing my order, he made the comment that saving customers like that is great for the customers, but probably not for Verizon.  I told him what I will tell you now.  What he did was the best thing he could ever do for Verizon, to which he gave me a puzzled look.  I told him that what he did was keep a customer for Verizon.  It was his concern to save the customer money, and give the best deal that will keep me coming back anytime I need a new accessory, or help with a problem.

I’ve been working with customers, in one way or other, for over 37 years, and maintaining a good relationship with those customers, using this statement as my guide.  As you come up with a statement of your own, some of you will do it in only a few minutes, and some of you will take a while longer.  It doesn’t matter how long you take, just make sure it is a true reflection of your customer relations philosophy, and that it benefits both you, and the customer.

Success Sunday: How You Do Anything

March 8, 2015

How You Do Anything

I was listening to a Secret Seminar on Audible, and T. Harv Eker was having the audience stand up.  Some of the people weren’t standing as fast, and he said something that now makes perfect sense to me.  “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

Since my last computer crashed, one of the ways I found to keep me entertained was to add pool on my IPhone, where I can play others online.  I would play 20 or more games in a sitting, and spend most of the time losing, fast.  I would get lucky on some games, but for the most part I would lose, then, a couple of days ago, I remembered that saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”  (I know I said it in the first paragraph, but it is worthy of repeating)  I started playing to win, not just to play, and I started winning more often.  The first day I played 10 games, and won 9.  Even when I lose, now, the games are much closer.

I know it may seem silly talking about online billiards when discussing success traits, but there is a lesson to be learned from this.  How I treated these simple games is how I’ve treated everything in my life.  I approach my goals with the attitude of trying to reach them without the effort needed to excel.  It was only when I applied a little effort, and focus that I saw the results I wanted.

In all my successes in the past, and there have been a few, I saw the same effort and focus.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, or strenuous, to bring you to success, but there does have to be effort, focus, and you may have to leave your comfort zone to see the desired results.

I could go on and on with this subject, but instead of boring you with the War and Peace of success, there are just a couple more things in line with “How you do anything is how you do everything” that should be mentioned.  You must be persistent when doing things towards your goal.  You are going to run into temporary defeat, often, but if you are persistent, you will learn from your mistakes, and ultimately reach your goals.

The last thing I should mention is to prioritize your goals.  Life is full of distractions (like my wife, lol) and when you let those distractions get the better of you, you will eventually lose interest in your goals.  Yes, there are bills to pay, and there are chores to perform, but you must make your goals a priority, if you are ever going to succeed.  When you give your dreams the time and attention they deserve, you will be happier, and they will pay off.

Keep motivated

October 25, 2014

My fitness goal is to fit into size 32 pants by January 31, 2016. This goal is not that easy, and it was an 18 month goal in the beginning. With such a time frame to accomplish such a personal goal, I began to wonder what will keep me motivated for so long. This morning when I woke up, I was giving it some thought, and I jotted down some ways I heard that have helped others.
Don’t make it a job, and have fun. When doing anything, whether lifting weights, or learning an instrument, don’t be afraid to have fun with it. When lifting weights, be safe, but don’t be afraid to change up the routine. This will keep your body guessing, and moving in the right direction; it also has the effect of keeping you from getting bored with the same old routine.
Keep the end in mind. This is also called visualizing. Gymnasts visualize themselves performing perfect routines; runners visualize themselves crossing the finish line. When you are lifting weights you need to visualize yourself having that body you want, or getting into the pant size you want to fit into. Visualization allows you to go beyond where you are right now. When you do this, you need to see yourself already in possession of your desire. If you see yourself as not possessing your desire, it will tend to keep you exactly where you are.
Find people who encourage you. You can’t choose your family, and you can’t always choose who you work with, but you can, and must choose who you hang out with. Hanging out with positive people will make you feel good about yourself, and keep you motivated. Good friends will build your confidence, and give you that extra push when you hit the rough times. Negative people will only drain you physically, and emotionally, and try to hold you down on their level.
Be grateful for every success, no matter how small. The best way to accomplish a big dream is to break it into smaller goals. When I was growing up, my family would go camping in a particular valley, in the Rocky Mountains. In order to get to the camp site, we had to walk 3 miles down an old path. The first time I went, I was complaining how hard it was. My dad told me that every step I take brings me one step closer to the camp site. Over the years, I learned to be grateful for every step I take toward any goal, because it is bringing me one step closer to my dreams.
It doesn’t matter if your dreams are big, or small, the important thing is to be persistent and hold on to that feeling you had when you first had the idea. You will have good times, and you will have bad times, but if you have fun, keep the end in mind, find positive people to hang out with, and if you are grateful for every little success, you will keep yourself motivated to complete the journey successfully.
Allen

Controlling Fear

October 23, 2014

One of the things that always stopped me from success is the fear of what could happen; it’s not about what is, it’s about what if. Many of us try to live two steps ahead of the present, imagining only the bad things that can happen; “What if I try to climb a mountain, and fall hundreds of feet to my death.” “What if I can’t handle my new job, and I lose it.” “What if I walk across the street, and get hit by a bus.” While these fears may be in the realm of possible, they haven’t happened yet, and you can avoid them with the proper precautions.
When you let fear stop you from doing something, you are limiting yourself to a life of safety and mediocrity. You are not giving yourself a chance of living up to your full potential, and the best opportunities of your life are passing you by. Susan Jeffers wrote a wonderful book called, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. We all have fear, but if we want to live, we need to act on our dreams in spite of fear; don’t let the fear of tomorrow stop us from living today.
Out of all the books, and audio programs, I’ve been studying; I have never found one reference to getting rid of fear. Fear is a part of us all and spending time trying to get rid of fear only wastes our time and energy. Instead of letting fear stop us, we need to learn how to control fear, and put it in its proper place.
As with all things, fear has a positive side, as well as a negative one. The negative fear will petrify us, and leave us unable to proceed on our journey. Positive fear, once mastered, can warn us of impending trouble, and motivate us to learn what we need to proceed safely through the trouble spots. How can we keep fear from stopping us? There are three things I know that can help you master your fear.
Keep your dreams, and desires, strong. The best method I have heard of is to write down the desire, and read it every day, while allowing yourself to feel the same enthusiasm you felt when you first had that desire.
Be persistent. In every journey to success, you are going to have good times, you are going to have bad times, and you will even have times where you seem to be going backwards. The one trick successful people use is to keep moving, and don’t let anything stand in your way.
Follow your intuition. This one is a little more tricky, but with practice, you can learn to use your intuition as a guide to your dreams. Out of all three, this is the part fear will attack the most because it’s both very important to success, and it’s the most subtle of the methods. To illustrate the power of following your intuition, I will give you a recent example, and I’ll try to keep it brief. Cory Williams, from California, recently decided to move to Alaska, with his girlfriend. On one particular day the two decided to go on a drive, just to explore. They decided to drive down one road to see where it would take them. He found a sign that gave them a choice of right, or left, to two different lakes. He took the left road, found a semi-frozen lake, and thought it would be fun to skip a rock across, which produced a surprising sound. He recorded it, and his excitement, put it on YouTube, and the video went viral.
As the example shows, Cory’s intuition gave him several impulses, that he followed and they moved him further in his journey than being afraid of moving away from California could have ever moved him. As your intuition gives you the necessary impulses, your fear will make itself heard telling you things like your ideas are stupid, or that you aren’t good enough, or you can’t afford what you want. The best way to train yourself to follow your intuition is to use what fear tells you as a reason to do it. Don’t give fear the upper hand.
Fear is a part of all our lives. If you don’t want it to stop you from reaching your dreams, the key is to learn how to control it, instead of it controlling you.
Allen

Following the Steps

October 21, 2014

Have you ever tried to learn something new, only to have it blow up in your face? I’m sure we’ve all had that experience; however, contrary to popular belief it wasn’t because you couldn’t do it. You can do anything you want, so why do so many people give up on their dreams before giving it a real chance? I realize there are too many reasons to list, so I will give you my reason, as a former “quitter” in hopes that it might help someone else with a similar problem.
I can honestly say I grew up an impatient perfectionist. If you don’t know what that is, I will try to use an example. When I was 12, I wanted to play golf. I got some clubs, and had my brother teach me the basics before we hit the course. I went to the driving range, hit a bucket of balls, then we were ready to tee off on a 9 hole stretch. I found the game to be pretty easy, and I beat my brother my first time out. I don’t believe in luck, and I know I wasn’t a natural, I just followed the techniques he taught me, and I used them.
The problem was that I expected to get better every time I played golf, but I didn’t put in the time for practice, and I never got any better, so I gave up. I have found this to be a common theme in everything I quit in the past. The point is, I expected to be an expert after learning a few basics; and I didn’t believe I had to put in the practice to improve. In short, I tried to skip steps to accelerate my journey and reach expert status. When I did that, I would lose confidence in my ability, and eventually quit.
I still find myself doing this, and it’s still causing problems, but I have started to learn things that I am now giving the time to practice, and I’m not giving up when trouble starts to show up.
Like I said before, there is nothing you can’t do. If your dream is to become a pianist, practice every day. If you want to climb the highest mountains, get walking. Find your passion, start at the beginning, practice every day, and let the journey take as long as it needs to take. This is the way to see the results that will build your confidence, and ability that will lead you to your dreams.

Changing Perspective with a Focus Statement

October 17, 2014

It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyways, that 100 percent of people around the world have problems, and worries. The sad part of this figure is that 99 percent of the population have become victims of these problems and worries, and use these as an excuse of why they are unable to succeed. A few years ago, a small percentage of these people took it on themselves to speak for the 99 percent, and complain about those who learned to succeed in spite of their problems. Successful people have problems and worries, just like everyone else; they just don’t focus any attention on them. What we are talking about here is perspective.
When I first started with my job, I believed that my job was hard. I found it difficult to get through big nights, and my percentage remained at less than 90 for years. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get past that 90 percent. The supervisors would right me up, use threats of disciplinary action, all to no avail. A couple of years ago, I started studying success, and something hit me. I was focusing on the problems I was having getting my speed up. I was spending all my time worrying about the consequences of not improving. I was not focusing on what I wanted to see, which was a better percentage, and work speed. I then learned about auto-suggestion, and came up with a focus statement, “every day I am working faster, and more efficient.” I would start each day at work with saying that to myself, for 15 minutes. Within 2 months, I noticed that my percentage and speed was noticeably increasing to both me, and my supervisors.
I was recently able to give someone the same idea of a focus statement, and he’s been seeing similar results. Before he came up with his own statement, he asked what I thought about the statement “I don’t want to be slow.” The problem, I told him, with this statement was that he was still focusing on being slow. I told him that to make it work in a positive direction, it has to be a positive statement.
When we take a problem we’re having, and create a positive focus statement, we change our perspective, and open ourselves up to the positive. Here’s my way of overcoming my weaknesses at work. The problem was low productivity, and trying to justify why I was so slow. My first step was to take responsibility, and get rid of the excuses. I knew I didn’t want the low productivity, so I had to decide what I did want, higher productivity. Then I came up with my focus statement, “I am working faster, and more efficient.” Then I would repeat this daily until it became a regular part of my thinking, and whatever you focus your attention on will cause your body to react. Eventually your body will perform the actions required without thinking about it.
This is not the only way to change your life in a positive direction, but it is the one that has helped me the most. The only advice I have for you, if you have problems that still seem overwhelming, learn what others have done, and pick the method that works best for you.
Allen

Teaching Without Words

June 25, 2014

Notebook

The use of words is at the very core of most communication. We speak them, we hear them, we read them, and we write them, but let’s face it, not everyone can use them very well. In my own writing, I prefer a much more conversational tone, trying to write in a way everyone understands. Even though words are very important in conveying ideas, there are other ways to get certain ideas across.
I was recently listening to a program by Bob Proctor, in which he was saying that the mind does not see in words; it sees in pictures. When you hear the word candle, you don’t picture the word “candle”, your mind produces a picture of a candle. Paintings, and photographs, can convey not just an idea, but it can convey emotions, beauty, and action.
As humans, we are almost unlimited in the ways we can choose to communicate; so why do we place words so high above all other forms of communication. We can learn just as much about others viewpoints, and beliefs, through paintings, music, and photography, as we can from words. For those who have read my blogs in the past, you know how I have a problem with people trying to push the arts out of the school system. If you will permit me to use my little soap box briefly, without the arts we have no communication; without communication we have no relationships; without relationships we have no marriage, business, or even a future of any kind. We need the arts, plain and simple.
When we picture teachers, we think about a man, or woman, standing in front of a group of people, talking about something they themselves learned in books, or personal experience; but what about when you need to learn something at work, that you’re having trouble with. You don’t always need to have someone stand in front of you, and explain it. In many cases, you just need to watch them, and practice what they do. We sometimes learn better from actions, than words.
Since this is a blog, and I don’t want to lose focus, I will bring you one more important type of wordless communication, which is too often overlooked. When I was younger, I had seen a movie called Super Christian. The premise of this movie was that there are people who call themselves Christians, and once a week, they personify the perfect Christian, but the rest of the week, they are anything but. Regardless what you teach, or profess, those who are observant will be able to see the truth in your body language. Body language, to those who pay attention will either be proof of your hypocrisy, or a testament of your beliefs.
Not everyone can be a speaker; and not everyone can be a writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach. There are many ways to communicate, and only a small percentage uses words. It doesn’t matter if you’re good with words, or not, you have it within yourself to say what needs to be said without them.

The Danger of “Just One More”

June 20, 2014

just one more

I think it can honestly be said my reign as king of procrastination is going strong. For just over a year I have been studying success books, audio programs, and videos, but there is a huge difference between studying something, and putting it into action.
A couple of months ago I signed up for Netflix for entertainment; what a mistake that turned out to be. It started innocent enough. I watched a couple of movies, and then a couple of television shows I haven’t seen for years. This turned into marathons of what I missed, and before I knew it, I had fallen into the “just one more” trap. This particular trap has been the ruin of more would be millionaires than any other trap.
For those who don’t understand how this works, I will say it’s very sneaky, and will hit you before you realize it’s got you. As an example, I’ll tell you what’s been going on with me. This is not to run myself down, but it is to show you some dangers to watch out for.
Let me preface this with the fact that I literally grew up in front of the television. I was born two months before the original Star Trek was aired; not that this has any bearing on my viewing frequency, but it is one of the shows that has been taking some of my time on Netflix.
It always starts innocent enough. I just wanted to watch an episode of a show, to see if I would enjoy it, then they leave me with a question, so I want to watch the next episode to see how they will answer the question. Sometimes they answer it in the next episode, or they will leave it for another episode, but by this time, the damage is done. By the time I finish each episode, I tell myself, “just one more.” I may have plans for doing something towards my goals, or some job I wanted to accomplish for the day, but by the end of my day, I realize all I’ve done was sit at my computer, and get sucked into another episode, which has nothing to do with my dreams. Inevitably, I feel bad about wasting my time, so I try to comfort myself with, you may have guessed it, a movie. This will turn into other movies, and further waists of time. If it wasn’t for my job, and my wife, I could probably waste my entire life just watching movies, and TV shows until I either die, or become homeless; whichever comes first.
All this leaves me with one important question; have I wasted my life? I certainly don’t think so. I am a firm believer that it’s up to me to determine whether something is a failure, or an opportunity to learn.
Am I learning something from this? Without a doubt. Will I tell you the specific lesson I learned from this? No, and there are two reasons. One, the lesson I learned is based on my dreams, and goals. Second, I still have lessons to learn from this, and I won’t feel comfortable sharing something I still don’t have straight in my own head.

We all have a tendency to allow things in our lives that will slow us down, stop us, or reverse our progress towards our goals. There is no point in feeling bad about ourselves, or allowing them to stop us entirely. If we ever want to reach our dreams, we just have to learn from negative situations, and use what we learn to make us stronger.

Know Your Starting Point

April 17, 2014

IMG_0012

 

OK, you’ve expressed your desire, and what you want to do with the rest of your life, and you have the end in mind. This will leave you with just one question. “What next?”
Many people will tell you that the next step is to take action, and that is a very important step, but I believe that even before you take action you have to know where you are, and when you are.
There are two very good reasons for this. One, it shows you where you are starting from, and two, it helps you determine the direction you need to take. Imagine you are driving through a new city, to find a restaurant where you are meeting some friends. Whether you are using a gps, or reading a map, you have to know both where you want to start, and where you want to end up. If all you have is the destination you will never be able to find your way.
Let’s just say your destination is going to Denver. You want the most direct method to get there from your current location. If you don’t know where you are starting from, you will never know which way to go. If however, you know you are starting from Portland, Maine, you know you can hop on Southbound 95 to Baltimore, and head over to 70 heading west. That will take you to Denver. That may not be the most direct method, but the point is, in order to reach a destination, you must first know where you are starting from.
Now, let’s put that in a way that works with success. If your goal is to have one million dollars within the next year, it’s important to know where you are starting from. If you have 10 dollars in the bank currently, (yes, it can be done) the methods you use will likely be different than if you were starting with 100,000 dollars. This information is vital in choosing the correct path to act on.
By this point, you may be wondering why I also say when you are. The answer to that can be easily answered. It’s no secret that in order to reach your goals, you need to focus on the end result, and believe you already have it. By focusing on your past mistakes, and allowing them to haunt you, you can never move forward.
Your past is done, and can be useful in teaching you what not to do, but don’t let it spoil your dreams. Remember, the only place you have to start from is your current position. Don’t let your past ruin your future.
Once you know where you are going, and before you act, first figure out where you are starting from. It will give you a positive direction, and make the road to your dreams much smoother.
Allen
I realize it’s been a while, but my computer has been messing up, and I’ve been trying to learn how to use my Alphasmart word processor. It works great, by the way.

I Saw the Sign

January 12, 2014

I Saw the Sign

I am a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason.  In all of the books I’ve been reading, they all agree that if you want to succeed, you should follow your intuition.  This week something happened that brought both of those to the forefront of my mind.

Last Sunday, I was enjoying the first afternoon of my vacation, watching videos, when I heard a knock at the door.  One of my favorite neighbors was standing on the other side with a tray full of oil paints, and equipment.  Since the same time last year I have been re-learning my passion for art, and drawing.  My plan was to start with drawing, then work my way up to oils, which I planned to learn by the end of this year.

I wasn’t certain when I was going to start working on it, but with her knock, I felt like now would be a great time.  Before this point, I came up with the usual excuses; I don’t know where to start, I don’t have any good equipment, all the usual points of resistance.  I tried to watch some Bob Ross videos, but they don’t stay on YouTube long enough to get anything out of.

With no Bob Ross videos to watch, I came to another resistance point; how can I learn the style I like if I can’t learn from the best?  Then I told myself that I just have to ask the right question, and it hit me.  Look up Bob Ross style paintings, and through the results I found a guy who is teaching painting.  His name is Jason Bowen, and not only is his style very close to Bob Ross, his method of teaching is close.

Since that excuse is blown, I thought canvas will be expensive.  Through the Art Mart in Portland I found stretched canvas, 5×7, for 1.75 each.  Ok, so now I’m out of excuses for starting now.

I know, I could have let that inner voice have its way, and not follow my intuition; but how will I ever find out how much potential I have if I don’t start doing something about it.  I am hoping to have a painting finished soon to show everyone, but until then, don’t let that inner voice tell you not to start moving forward with your dreams.

Don’t let your current dreams become your future regrets; start now.

Enjoy,

Allen

For those who wanted to see the motivational prints I have available on my website, there were technical difficulties last time.  That has been fixed.  I will now start selling blogs on the site for 1.00 each.  The site is www.jrnytosuccess.com

Check it out.