Archive for March, 2010

A day of performances

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

What an event filled Saturday!  I went to the area Toastmaster contest in Gettysburg to support the Chambersburg club’s contestant, Steve Frey.  Steve presented very well and will be advancing to the next round in Frederick, MD.  I met some wonderful people and had a great time.  After the contest, I took part in a Speak-A-Thon where we got a chance to practice in front of a different audience than our usual and also be evaluated by someone new.  It was a great experience.  I learned so much just watching and listening to the other speakers today.  As for my own performance…many areas for improvement (watch the embedded video, if you’d like to see how I did) but I truly enjoyed the experience and always appreciate the opportunity to practice.  This was a new speech…I plan to use it as part of a presentation to a high school group next week.

Tonight I took my 6 year old daughter to our local high school to watch Alice In Wonderland.  The kids at Shippensburg High School put on a fantastic performance!  So much talent on stage as well as behind the scenes.  Abby loved it.

Book Review Tuesday: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

In Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shares some of the ideas and tools that he used to grow his family business from four million dollars to fifty million dollars in eight years.  Gary explains that if you pursue areas of passion, work very hard, and take advantage of social media outlets you can “crush” your area of interest.  You can become known as the expert in your area of passion.  At that point there are many ways to monetize your expertise.

Gary Vaynerchuk epitomizes passion.  If you’ve never seen Gary, watch this interview on Fox Business.  The Fox interview is not Gary at his most passionate, but it’s great information and he doesn’t cuss at all in that interview.  If cussing doesn’t bother you, watch some of Gary’s other videos on http://garyvaynerchuk.com.  The concepts are brilliant and may change the way you look at business, marketing, and even sales.  The internet has allowed a low cost of entry into business if you’re willing to hustle and put in sweat equity.

Crush It is not written by the most creative writer.  HOWEVER, Gary Vee’s passion comes through and he provides valuable insight that is easy to digest.  Well worth the 20 bucks.

A Fresh Start

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Here in south-central Pennsylvania, we are enjoying a beautiful first weekend of spring.  The sunshine and warm temperature are a welcome break from the cold, snowy winter we just experienced.  I haven’t seen so many people outside for months, enjoying life in the warm weather, shedding their jackets and boots (some could leave a few more clothes on!).

Spring reminds me how our seasons of life bring about fresh opportunities for growth and change even through the long, cold, dark days that we face periodically.  Springtime always follows winter and brings new happiness with it.

Joy probably looks different each springtime in our lives.  If your winter included the death of a loved one, a divorce, loss of a job, bankruptcy, or all of the above, don’t expect spring to bring about the same kind of happiness you had before winter.  Those are incredibly difficulties and may lead to a long winter.  When we finally emerge from the winter season into spring, we’ve matured somewhat, the joy is deeper and we are better able to withstand the next season of winter in our lives.

So get out and enjoy the weather!  If you’re going through a rough patch in life remember that spring always follows winter.

Book Review Tuesday: Chris Widener’s The Art of Influence

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I picked up Chris Widener’s The Art of Influence in the Atlanta airport this week.  I like Chris’s books because they are short, fun to read, and always packed with practical insights to live a more successful life.  Chris is also an excellent speaker.  As I listened to the CD in this month’s Success magazine, I heard the news that Chris is running for the US Senate.  I wish him the best in that race and hope he hangs on to his values when he gets into the political arena at that level!

In The Art of Influence, Chris once again weaves an enjoyable, fast-moving story.  This time, he takes us through four principles of influence.

Four Golden Rules of Influence:

Live a life of Undivided Integrity

Always demonstrate a Positive Attitude

Consider other people’s interests as more important than your own

Don’t settle for anything less than Excellence

I highly recommend this quick read.

Worst Retirement Advice of the Week

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidciani/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This week my wife, Becky, was in a store and struck up a conversation with an older gentleman.  At some point, Becky shared that she is a stay at home mom after working as an insurance agent for many years.  The man said he hoped she would be able to get back to her job soon so she would have enough time to build up her social security for retirement.  I thought this was a sad statement on so many levels…

It’s not like you work 40 years then kick back to a life of luxury thanks to your social security check…what’s the hurry?!

Mostly, it made me sad to think that in 70 years, the man hadn’t learned that there are better ways to plan for the “golden years”.

One such plan is to not give up–We live in an information age, shouldn’t a 70 year old have tons of information to share?  With the right tools or teaming up with a younger tech savvy partner, I believe our 70 year old could be making more money than he ever had in his life.  And having a blast talking/blogging/tweeting about his life-long passion.

Anyone else have bad retirement advice to share?

Book Review Tuesday: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

If you’ve never read Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss, you owe it to yourself to at least borrow it from the library no matter how old you are.  I recently purchased it for my 6 year old daughter.  She enjoys my reading it to her because it has the typical Dr. Seuss fun rhymes, silly names, and wacky illustrations.  I’m hoping the message of the book is sinking in and she’ll be able to recall it as she gets older.  It really is written for an older audience…in fact, my sisters will be receiving this when they graduate from high school in a couple months.  How’s that for motivation, Ginny and Joy?!

The book starts off with:

“Congratulations!  Today is your day.  You’re off to Great Places!  You’re off and away!”

From there we are treated to a series of encouragements even through some difficult circumstances.  It’s the kind of motivation we all need sometimes…does it matter that it comes in the form of cartoon characters?

“Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!

Who is Nathan Martin?

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Two people in the past 24 hours have pointed out that I need to put together a bio.  This is proving to be harder than I thought.  The following is what I have so far.  Those who know me, please chime in with any help you can offer…

Nathan Martin grew up as the oldest of nine children in rural Pennsylvania.  He married his high school sweetheart.  They now have two children of their own and once again live in rural Pennsylvania.

Nathan has a background in accounting and has been working in the book publishing industry for 10 years.  He has a passion for helping people reach their dreams, especially their career and financial aspirations.

For more about Nathan go to www.nathanmartinblog.com.

Book Review Tuesday: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself is the best Steve Chandler book I’ve read so far.  Based on how much of this book I’ve underlined, it is one of the most useful books I’ve read in quite some time.  As the title suggests, there are 100 short(2-3 pages each) topics that, if applied, will accelerate your personal development.  It has taken me a couple months to work my way through 100 Ways as I’ve been reading one or two a day and really absorbing and using the tools provided.  Some of my favorites:

  • “Create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that vision as if it were already true.”  –Arnold Schwarzeneggar
  • “The only thing over which you have complete control is your own mental attitude.” –Napoleon Hill
  • One hour of planning saves three hours of execution.
  • “Fear kills more people than death.” –General George Patton
  • “Make each day your masterpiece.” –John Wooden’s father
  • Advertise to yourself.  Posting pictures of your goals in various places that you’ll see them frequently.

Other books by Steve Chandler:

100 Ways to Create Wealth

The Small Business Millionaire