Category Archives: Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: Serendipity


” Image by Salvatore Vuono

I want to tell you about a REALLY special person I met through a phone call. Anyone who looks at my picture can tell I’m no “Spring Chicken,” so when I say I think someone is REALLY special, it comes from my long experience of meeting and interacting with people — lots of people.

A few days ago, I received an email from someone who saw this post on LinkedIn and wanted to talk about it.  So I called him.

Being an introvert, I’m not the best at phone conversations with people I’ve never met, but this gentleman instantly put me at ease with his friendly, easy-going manner. We chatted about our shared philosophy of helping others, a little about ourselves and about our businesses , and agreed to exchange some information. Sounds pretty cut and dried, doesn’t it? But in that brief conversation, he conveyed such wisdom, business acumen, and genuine kindness and concern that by the time we said “goodbye,” I knew I had just met a REALLY special human being.

I want to share his company with you because I believe it’s a good thing for anyone who wants to broaden their horizons and grow their business. Liked LinkedIn, it’s a place to make contacts, but unlike LinkedIn, it’s more personal. It’s called The Expert Directory.

theexpertdirectory.comI hope you will explore the site. You may not be interested in it now, but perhaps you know someone who would be. I receive no compensation for telling you about it. I just know the man behind it wants you to succeed. I believe he would like to see every one of us succeed. Truly. He’s that kind of person.

His name? Bill Doerr. You can look him up on LinkedIn. Great guy. Here’s what three of his many LinkedIn recommendations have to say:

“Bill is one of those rare people who loves to help others by making mutually beneficial connections. He does it with generosity and professionalism. No one I’ve met does it better.”

“He is one of those rare human beings dedicated to making a contribution to the success all who come in contact with him.”

“Superlatives are the only descriptors possible for Bill Doerr. He is stellar in every single aspect. As a colleague he could not be more intelligent, wise or giving. As a mentor, he is unparalleled. As a friend his deep kindness, compassion and soul is unrivaled. Business is business and there is absolutely no doubt he is a master in so many arenas. Ultimately, it all comes down to basic humanity. Bill is a well rounded human and that is the heart of business. Anyone can spout numbers, facts and tactics. Bill does it with soul and a cheerful, wise nature. He loves his work and it shows.”

One definition of “serendipity” is “the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it.” That’s what I found when I called Bill Doerr. Our conversation not only lifted my spirits that day, but also made me get more excited about my business and make some changes for the better. I hope you get to meet him some day, too.

Until later …


A Disaster Struck. Now What?

Hurricane Katrina

Photo via cgcolman on

Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods — natural disasters hit communities somewhere on the globe every day. While the first three I listed can be terrifying and cause great loss to life and property, flooding is the most common and causes tremendous damage to property. Whether you work from home or from a storefront, flooding can inflict a great deal of inconvenience and loss to your business.

The best way for you to get through a disaster is to plan ahead and be prepared when it strikes. There are simple things you can do while the weather is good that will help mitigate loss to your business.

  • Be Informed
  • Make A Plan
  • Build A Kit
  • Get Involved

The bullet points above are the first four headings on the website. There is a wealth of information here on how to protect your family and your business. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these resources. Learn about everything from protecting your valuable data to training employees on emergency procedures.

The Small Business Administration also has a good article about preparing your small business for disaster.

Did you know? When a disaster strikes, normal communication channels (landlines, cell phone towers) often go down and electricity is cut off. This is a good reason to keep your cell phone charged, and plenty of gas in your vehicle so you can charge your phone. Even if you can’t make a phone call, you can send a text message to say “Help, I’m stranded at “x” location.” or “I’m OK.” It may take a little longer to get through, but a text message will get through when a phone call will not.

If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, and a smart phone, you also can post to them. And by all means, please follow @HumanityRoad on Twitter. They are online disaster responders who stay on top of all disaster situations and offer continuous valuable safety information to people in disaster areas. They can be lifesavers during a disaster. Check out their website for more information about them and their work.

I know that, with all the other things on our plates, it’s easy to put disaster preparation on the back burner. This is not something to put off. Put it on your “to do” list or in your calendar today. Take five minutes to look at and bookmark these resources. Being prepared really pays off when the time comes, and it will come.

Until next time …


Thursday Thoughts: Overcoming Obstacles

Brick Wall

The brick wall

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” — Henry Ford

Do you ever have days when everything seems to go wrong? I have. It’s especially discouraging when I’ve made a plan for the day, I’m all psyched for it, I get up early, dress for success, feel great, and then everything seems to turn to muck. Car trouble. Bad news in a phone call. Computer crash. Turned down for a loan. Trip and twist an ankle. The shipment is delayed. Life sometimes throws us curve balls that we’re not prepared to catch. Sometimes they hit us upside the head.

Obstacles can be so discouraging sometimes that you want to give up, especially when you’re pursuing your entrepreneurial dream that everyone else said would never work anyway.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received was the Serenity Prayer, because it taught me to think about three things when obstacles arise.

1. Is it a problem I can do something about? If it is, then I need to take steps to solve it, starting right now. If I procrastinate, feel sorry for myself, or start throwing blame around, it only delays the solution. Even if the obstacle seems insurmountable, if I can think of a solution, I can take one little step at a time to chip away at it. Patience and perseverance.

2. Is it a problem I cannot do anything about? I cannot bend every circumstance to fit my will. I cannot change other people. I can only change myself, my perspective, my attitude. This is when creativity and a sense of humor are important. I know what my goal is, but the road I mapped out just got washed out. I have to look for a different route. Be the GPS voice: “Recalculating.” Again, patience is important while I regroup.

3. Wisdom to know the difference.  This is the hardest part sometimes. It helps to bounce ideas off people who support you or who have encountered similar obstacles. If you keep your eye on the goal, the answer will be found. The young man in this video has learned how to overcome his obstacles. I hope you enjoy his story as much as I.

Until next time …