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SENIOR REINVENTION – Rules and Guidelines

January 3, 2013 in Personal Growth, Senior Reinvention, Seniors Changing Careers, Uncategorized

As seniors, we have the life earned ability to look back at years of experiences, education and decisions. Good and bad, these are all part of the events that have shaped our lives into who we are today. Many of us are pleased about where we are in life and many of us wish that we had made better decisions. Some of us have regrets about things we did and others of us have regrets about things we did not do. In all cases, we are probably thinking about how we are going handle life and all its changes - now that we are seniors.

Here are some rules I have learned over the years that may help many of you regardless of where you are on the comfort scale. I am following all these rules to one extent or another. Some I have been successful at following, while others I am working hard to complete. I hope they help you, too.

PERSONAL REINVENTION RULES

  1. KEEP WORKING! Don’t fall into the “Retirement trap” prematurely, only to find that life stops and you cannot get back on the train.
  2. GET RID OF DEBT! Credit card debt, property debt, personal debt, etc. all have a damaging affect on your life at anytime. At no time is this debt more damaging than when you are in your senior years, running out of time and less possible ways to generate income.
  3. REDUCE EXPENSES! Get rid of the big house, second home or property that continues to eat away at your financial base. Anything with an association fee, taxes, or upkeep maintenance will only add to your frustration after suffering loss of financial resources.
  4. STAY EDUCATED! Continue your education on new technologies and advancements associated with more efficient living. Make “computer” you middle name. Learn how to communicate with your friends, family and other advisors while away from your home. If you are not computer or communication savvy, get with it. “I’m too old” or “they frighten me” are sorry excuses for avoiding what you need to be doing for yourself.
  5. REMAIN INDEPENDENT! Stay living on your own for as long as possible. This does not mean avoiding being with family but it means keeping your own space and plenty of it.
  6. KEEP NETWORKING! It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you do not develop and maintain a network of contacts, both personal and professional, you will miss the very things that will help you the most. We are not islands. Life is too short to keep inventing a new wheel when others have already created a new one and moved on. You need to stay up to date and the best way is by networking and talking.
  7. AVOID PITY PARTIES! The worse thing you can do when you are being challenged is to encircle yourself with other people in trouble who are not afraid of dumping their problems on you. This is a killer! Pity parties accomplish only one thing…Misery! Misery loves company but does not love moving on. Get with positive people who are going forward.
  8. TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! Regardless of your success or failure, the tendency to look back at past mistakes or wrong decisions is only human. However, looking back and using either success or failure as a measurement for going forward is akin to driving 70 mile per hour while looking in the rear view mirror. You can see where you have been but you will never know what you are about to hit until it is too late.
  9. STOP BLAMING OTHERS! Unless someone held a gun to your head when a decision was made, you cannot blame anyone else for your situation in life. While taking personal responsibility involves the ability to forget, the ability to stop blaming others involves the ability to forgive. Not forgiving is a trap and a deep hole that only gets deeper as time goes on.
  10. NEVER LET AGE SLOW YOUR THINKING! Getting older has its detractors. Teenagers think twenty somethings are old. Twenty somethings think forty year olds are “stuck in a rut”. Forty year olds think sixty year olds are old fashioned. And Fifty year olds think that Seniors are “out of touch”. The truth is that age is nothing more than an attitude and it has very little to do with life at hand.

Career Change – Going into Real Estate

December 21, 2012 in Personal Growth, Seniors Changing Careers, The Economy, Uncategorized

I am 66 years old. Big Deal! Everyone faces a time when they must decide on what job and career to pursue or follow. Young people face this in high school and then in college and again while they go through their work years as twenty and thirty year olds. This is normal. Rarely do people not change jobs many times while staying on the same career path.  But, what about seniors who are over age fifty, sixty or seventy who are contemplating doing something new that could be considered a career change? Is making a career change decision even relevant at these ages and should someone just stick with what they know at this point?  Is it possible as a senior to make a career change that is both rewarding and fun? Absolutely yes! If you have your health and energy, why not do something new? If you need continued income or you just need to stay occupied, you should not fear making any change into something new.

Now when many my age are retiring, I decided to go into Real Estate. This is something completely unrelated to my other experiences in aviation and product marketing. Here, I am going back to school and through the learning curve within an industry that has dramatically changed. Even seasoned real estate pros are having to relearn the art of servicing their customers.

Why am I here as a "newby"?

More to come....

As We Grow Older – Keeping a Proper Perspective on Problems

November 30, 2012 in Personal Growth

As we age as individuals, one might surmise that problems and challenges might become easier to handle. For some people this is true. They have the ability to let things not bother them. For most others, problems and challenges later in life can become huge burdens. Much of this burden is based on the fact that we may be slowing down physically and just do not have the energy we had when we were younger. We may also be slowing down mentally. Perhaps, we are tired of working or of facing the challenges of raising a family and meeting the responsibilities of caring for others. There are many reasons why problems and challenges seem more burdensome but perhaps having a better understanding of how these events can be be held in proper perspective will help.

In a study of people and how they react to "Life's Events", the following results provides perspective in decreasing order of impact importance.

  1. Death of a spouse
  2. Divorce
  3. Marital Separation
  4. Jail Term
  5. Deat of a close family member
  6. Personal injusry or illness
  7. Marriage
  8. Fired at work
  9. Marital reconciliation
  10. Retirement
  11. Changes in family member's health
  12. Pregnancy
  13. Sex difficulties
  14. Gain of new family member
  15. Business readjustment
  16. Change in financial status
  17. Deat of a close friend
  18. Change to different line of work
  19. Change in number of arguments with spouse
  20. Mortgage or loan over $10,000
  21. Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
  22. Change in work responsibilities
  23. Son or daughter leaving home
  24. Trouble with in-laws
  25. Outstanding personal achievement
  26. Spouse begins or stops work
  27. Begin or end school
  28. Change in living conditions
  29. Revision of personal habits
  30. Trouble with boss
  31. Change in work hours, conditions
  32. Change in residence
  33. Change in schools
  34. Change in recreation
  35. Change in church activities
  36. Change in social activities
  37. Mortgage or looan under $10,000
  38. Change in sleeping habits
  39. Change in number of family gatherings
  40. Change in eating habits
  41. Vacation
  42. Christmas
  43. Minor violations of the law

Looking at this, it can be seen that the first mention of anything related to money is #16 "Change in financial status". There are items on this list that may not apply to seniors but this list does provide a good way to gauge what is important and what is not. As we grow older our personal health, ability to stay independent and our relationships with family and friends become the key drivers.

Hope this helps some of you facing key challenges.

Are Your Eyes Wide Open?

November 28, 2012 in Personal Growth, Your Business Help

Are Your Eyes Wide Open?
By Michael Angier

The Stockdale Paradox I'm a big believer in having a positive mental attitude (PMA). But, I'm, amazed at how many people pooh-pooh the idea of PMA.

Perhaps what makes people skeptical is that some of those who THINK they have a positive attitude really are living in another world. They have a "Pollyanna Attitude". They aren't thinking positively; they're simply avoiding the truth. They have their head in the sand, and they refuse to acknowledge their problems and obstacles.

In doing so, they avoid reality and obfuscate their ability to achieve their best.

In Jim Collins' book, "Good to Great", he writes about something they call The Stockdale Paradox. Admiral Stockdale (retired) was known for his unique perspective on addressing difficult situations.

It goes like this: Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. AND at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality—whatever they might be.

I can't think of a more balanced and positive outlook.

Action Point - Make sure you're being positive as well as realistic. Be honest with yourself about where you're being positive and where you might simply be ducking the truth. By employing the Stockdale approach, you'll be a positive person with your eyes wide open.

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Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and businesses grow and prosper. Get their free Resource Book ($27 value) of products, services and tools for running your business more effectively. And most of the over 150 resources are FREE to access and use.
http://SuccessNetResources.com
http://SuccessNet.org

Forget Your Failings—Focus on Your Feats

November 27, 2012 in Personal Growth, Your Business Help

Forget Your Failings—Focus on Your Feats
By Michael Angier

Your "Win List" and your "Significant Accomplishments List"

It seems to be human nature to remember the things we messed up more than we do the things we did well. Most of us tend to focus on what’s wrong rather than on what’s right.

Even people with positive attitudes fall into the trap of discounting their successes and inflating their failings.

The fact is, we’re being programmed all the time, and most of it isn’t helpful. Problems, negative news, complaints and criticisms get more of our attention than accomplishments, good news and compliments.

The wise person understands this and takes charge of his or her programming. They use affirmations, they visualize and they listen to good tapes and read good books. They hang out with positive, supportive people.

I urge you to incorporate two lists into your life—lists you maintain and review. Use these lists to help you stay focused
on what works instead of spending so much time and energy on what doesn’t.

These two lists are: your “Win List” and your “Significant Accomplishments List”.

One of the things my Diamond Team is beginning to document are their accomplishments. This helps them to increase their focus on their progress and help theIr members of the team be more motivated and inspired.

My team is just getting started and already their progress is substantial.

I highly suggest that you start YOUR Win List today. Begin tracking all the good things that happen to you, the things you fix and vercome, the goals achieved, new clarities, etc.

The Significant Accomplishments List is important, too. It may take awhile to recollect all the things you’ve achieved and list them for easy—and hopefully, often—review.

It’s human nature to discount the value of what we’ve done—especially when it didn’t seem that hard for us. But even if it didn’t require a lot of struggle on your part, it’s still a good thing to put it on the Significant Accomplishment List.

Action Point: Get started today building your Significant Accomplishments List and your Win List. Review them often. Bask in the good things you've drawn into your life. Watch your attitude improve and your accomplishments increase.

What we focus on expands, so let’s focus on the right things. Building and using these two lists will do just that for you.

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Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet.org and helps people and businesses grow and prosper. By being a Diamond Club Member of SuccessNet you can expect to reach new heights of achievement by creating the support structure you need to accomplish your objectives.
http://SuccessNetDiamonds.com
http://SuccessNet.org

Criticism

November 27, 2012 in Personal Growth, Your Business Help

Criticism
By Michael Angier

There's an old adage that goes like this: to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. If you want to get ahead in the world, you'll have to do all three. So you should expect to be criticized.

The key is to discern what is helpful criticism (most isn't) and what you need to shrug off.

The ability to be unflappable in the face of criticism requires a healthy self esteem, self confidence and a tough outer shell. I call it having a thick skin and a soft heart. The trick is to never mix up the two.

If you're never being criticized, judged or disparaged in any way, you're likely not doing all that much and you probably need to move up a few notches on the "Go-for-it-Scale'.

All criticism should be listened to, but not all of it is valid.

A friend of mine used to say, "If one person calls you a horse, well that's just an opinion. If two people call you a horse, you may want to stop and think about it. If three people call you a horse, you may want to start shopping for a saddle."

Action Point: If you trust the source—or you're getting the same criticism from several people—consider the validity and take corrective action when it's warranted. If it's not, thank the person for sharing, and forget about it.

Recognize that everyone has their opinion and that you don't always have to defend yours. "Let the dogs bark; the caravan moves on."

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Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and
businesses grow and prosper. Get their free Resource Book ($27 value) of products, services and tools for running your business
more effectively. And most of the over 150 resources are FREE to access and use.
http://SuccessNetResources.com
http://SuccessNet.org

Top Ten Reasons People Don’t Achieve Their Goals

November 27, 2012 in Personal Growth, Your Business Help

Top Ten Reasons People Don't Achieve Their Goals
By Michael Angier

Here's a quick rundown of most of the things that keep one from achieving the success they seek. If you're not accomplishing your goals or not reaching them as easily or as quickly as you think you should, use this as a check-list to see where you might be missing out.

1. Not Knowing What You Really Want.  Mark Twain said he could teach anyone how to get what they want; he just couldn't find anyone who truly knew what they wanted. I agree. Most people don’t know what it is they really want to achieve. They often know what they don’t want, but then that’s where their focus and energy goes—to what they don’t want.

Being unclear on what you want is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success. Paul Meyer says if you’re not achieving the success you desire, it’s simply because your objectives are not clearly defined. Your goals need to be written, specific and measurable. When you talk to others about your goal(s), they should be able to understand it quickly.

2. Lack of Focus. You can be clear on your goal, but if you don’t stay focused, if you take on too much (have too many or conflicting goals), if you fill your life with busy things or operate inconsistently, you will likely fail.

Focus creates power. A river’s might is harnessed by a dam and focused into electrical energy. Some people say you can achieve everything you want. I don’t believe that. But I do believe you can achieve anything you want—with the right focus.

3. Not Enough Reasons. This one is often overlooked. Reasons come first, answers come second. If you have strong enough reasons, you can accomplish anything you desire.

Significant success demands passion. When your why is strong enough, the how will come. And your desire will sustain you when the challenges and obstacles come your way.

4. Distractions. All too often we're distracted by other things. Some are outside of our control. Stuff happens. People do things. Events take place. At other times, we become distracted by our own choosing. I call it BSO Syndrome—Bright and Shiny Objects. You begin one goal or project and then start chasing after another.

Sometimes your "great" ideas can work against you. Your next "big idea" can be the enemy of your current project.

We encourage people to work on no more than three major objectives—ones that can have almost daily action toward their achievement. Focus and discipline is needed here (see Number 2 and number 10).

5. Lack of Belief—in Yourself and/or in Your Goal. This is often related to worthiness, but there’s more to it. You need to believe in yourself and in the creative process. Winners expect to win. A shortage of belief causes many people to give up or never begin in the first place. In many cases, it causes one to take shortcuts that sabotage their success.

Many people simply don’t feel worthy of success. This is a tough one. I can tell you it’s based on an erroneous belief, but you have to get that for yourself. Read the books. Listen to the tapes. Hang out with people who can help you see your highest and best. You deserve to be successful. There is no reason for you not to have what you want unless you ignore the principles of success.

6. Deficient Knowledge. A worthy goal usually requires learning new things. Buckminster Fuller said, "You can’t learn less." Perhaps you’re not sure what it is you need to learn in order to get where you want to go. Find out. But don’t let lack of knowledge keep you from starting. If you wait until you know it all, you’ll never begin. Start from where you are and build the bridge as you walk on it.

7. Insufficient Skills. Most likely there are certain skill sets you lack which will hinder your progress.
Discover what these are and start today in gaining the necessary skills. Perhaps you need to learn how to effectively use a computer and the Internet. Maybe you need to up-level your communication or
time-management proficiency. Even a good attitude is a skill. Enhancing your skills is a lifelong investment that will pay you big dividends.

And if you need a skill that you don’t see yourself getting good at or enjoying, find a team member that IS good at those things and focus on what YOU'RE good at doing.

8. Not Enough Money. Most people think this is the number one reason why they haven’t achieved their dreams. They think that if they just had more money then they would be successful. But it’s rarely a
money problem—it’s usually an idea problem. With good ideas and a tenacious spirit, you can get the funding you need.

9. Low Energy. Vince Lombardi said, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." In order to have the energy and stamina to win, we need to take care of our bodies. Get adequate rest, eat the right foods and refrain from careless and unsafe behavior. Our achievement is our production. Our bodies, our minds and our
intuition make up our production capacity. If we don’t properly care for ourselves, we’ll be unable to produce.

10. Inadequate or Nonexistent Support. Everyone needs help. You don’t need to go it alone. I’ve seen far too many people fail because they weren’t willing to ask for help or didn’t know where to turn in order to get it. There are always people who can help. Bring in talent and resources from others and make it a win-win situation. Align yourself with organizations that can help you succeed.

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Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet.org and helps people and businesses grow and prosper. By being a Diamond Club Member of SuccessNet you can expect to reach new heights of achievement by creating the support structure you need to accomplish your objectives.
http://SuccessNetDiamonds.com
http://SuccessNet.org

Is Your Company The Real McCoy?

November 27, 2012 in Personal Growth, Your Business Help

Is Your Company The Real McCoy?

By Michael Angier

One of my favorite Gary Larson cartoons is the one with the cardboard cutouts of a hillbilly family onthe lawn of their mountain shack. The caption reads: The Fake McCoys.

The term "Real McCoy" most likely comes from a railway invention by Elijah McCoy that automatically dripped oil to critical parts of the train instead of having to stop and let the oilman do it
manually.

Even though Elijah applied for and was granted a US Patent, there were many imitators. But none of them were as good as the "Real McCoy".

How about you and your company? Are you the Real McCoy?

Or are you trying to be something you're not? Are you trying to imitate your competition instead of being yourself?

I see far too many small companies trying to look like big companies. I see big companies doing their best to come across as a small-town company. There are old enterprises attempting to look fresh and new, while brand new ones are trying to appear well established.

All of these efforts burn up time, energy and resources. They rarely work well—if they work at all.

People like to do business with people they like. And they like people who are like themselves.
They don't really do business with a company—they do business with the people IN that company.

Buyers today are savvy. They have more choices than ever before. And they can tell—at least at some level whether or not the company and the people in it are congruent. They seek out, resonate with and tend to be loyal to companies that are authentic.

It's not only a good thing to do, it's good business.

Your uniqueness and the things you're best at doing are all part of your differentiating position. It's who you are—your identity. It's what people can relate to. If there's anything false, made up or covered over, your prospects will sense it. And they won't even be able to tell you why they didn't buy.

As Emerson said so eloquently, "Who you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say."

The company that knows who they are, knows what they're really good at and communicates that effectively without trying to be all things to all people —is usually way ahead of the pack.

Is it easy? No, I don't think so. But it IS easier than trying to be something you're not.This principle—authenticity—is the most challenging and yet perhaps the simplest of all the 10 Pillars. Much like your core values, your authentic self isn't something to create but rather something to discover.
Be who you are—no one else is better qualified.Most people—and most organizations—have never really thought about this. It starts with realizing that this process is worthy of some introspection.

And it requires that we answer some tough questions.Who are we? Who are we being? How do
we come across? What do we stand for? What are our core values? This goes far beyond our mission and our vision. It may be based on mission/vision, but it's more about the culture of our
organization and how that culture is showing up in our business dealings.

And this process is never complete. It demands that we get real. If we don't, we should prepare to become real irrelevant.

If we're diligent to the task, and honest and true to ourselves and those we serve, we can have a company that everyone will know as the Real McCoy.

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Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and businesses grow and prosper. Get their free Resource Book ($27 value) of products,
services and tools for running your business more effectively. And most of the over 150 resources are FREE to access and use.
http://SuccessNetResources.com
http://SuccessNet.org

When is it Time to Make a Change?

November 27, 2012 in Personal Growth, Your Business Help

When is it Time to Make a Change?
By Michael Angier

I've been thinking a lot about change lately.

Here in Vermont, fall is in the air, the Canadian Geese are returning, and the days are getting shorter. At the same time, there have been some significant changes in my life. My oldest daughter was married last weekend, Dawn is working with me almost full time, and we no longer have any kids living with us.

Whether we adapt well to change or whether we resist it, we all have to change from time to time.

And after publishing this newsletter for almost ten years, it was time to make some adjustments. For several years, I've wanted to switch from plain text to HTML. I've always felt that it was a better medium for delivering information, ideas and resources to our valued subscribers.

But not until recently did our surveys indicate that enough people were ready. Because it doesn't matter what we want.
What matters is what you want.

We think you'll like our new format, and we're always happy to hear from you as to what you think. Rest assured. We remain as dedicated as ever to providing you with new ideas and reminding you of the things that will help you operate at your personal and professional best.

We all need to change from time to time. We must adapt to new technologies and to the changing needs of our customers. The challenge is to change at the optimum speed. You don't want to change so much you cause people to get confused. You also don't want to move so slowly your customers and prospects see you as being behind. It's a delicate balance.

I try to follow Napoleon Hill's advice (gleaned from the most successful people of his day). And that is, make decisions quickly and change them, if at all, very slowly.

It could be said that we were slow to move to a more graphic format. And we'll never know for sure. Like any decision, we must weigh the expected benefits with the risks and, in the end, give it our best shot. I like to stick with what works, and I don't tend to do things just
'cause they're hip or in.

What about you? Are you quick to make changes? Do you tend to err on the side of caution or are you a risk-taker?

People often say entrepreneurs are risk-takers—and there certainly is risk involved in doing business. But I think the success-
ful entrepreneur is the one who takes only very calculated risks.

Action Point - Examine your decision-making process. Do you "shoot from the hip"? Do you change quickly or do you resist change? How do you react to change that feels forced upon you? You may even want to ask others what they think about how you make changes.

This line of inquiry should give you real insight into yourself and your ability to manage change. In the end, you have to do
what works best for you.

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Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet.org and helps people and businesses grow and
prosper. By being a Diamond Club Member of SuccessNet you can expect to reach new heights of achievement by creating the
support structure you need to accomplish your objectives.
http://SuccessNetDiamonds.com
http://SuccessNet.org

Ten Ways You Can Adapt in a Challenging Economy

November 27, 2012 in Personal Growth, Your Business Help

Ten Ways You Can Adapt in a Challenging Economy
By Michael Angier

Here are some ideas on adjustments you can make to keep business up in a down economy. And they work in an up economy
as well.

1. Focus on Relationship - Build stronger relationships with your customers. Find ways to help them. Tap into the social networks like Twitter, Linked In and Facebook. Remember that business is like tennis—if you serve well, you will usually win.

2. Target Market - Has your ideal client changed? Maybe it’s time to shift your focus to another target market or aim at a smaller segment of your current target market. Which ones want what you can deliver?

3. Benefits vs. Features - Are you truly communicating your benefits? Oftentimes, what we think is a benefit is really a feature. And
people don’t buy features. You have to interpret a feature for them into a benefit. “It’s small” is a feature. “It fits in your glove compartment
for easy access” is a benefit.

4. Re-examine Your Top Marketing Strategies - What worked ten years ago may not work well now—maybe not at all. List your
top ten strategies and give them a good hard look. How are they working? How do you measure their efficacy? What might work better?

5. Watch the Expenses - What expenditures are no longer giving you the pay-off they once did? In any business there are always
expenses that continue but rarely, if ever, get examined for their usefulness. Look for automatic recurring charges you can eliminate. Think like someone who buys your business. One of the first things a new owner does is look for ways to cut costs and improve the bottom line.

6. What Are People Buying? - Right now with unemployment in the U.S. approaching 10%, SOME market segments are seeing sales increase. Netflix movie rentals are up over 20%. Low-ticket indulgence sales are on the rise. Health care doesn’t seem to be affected by the downturn much at all.
What does this mean for YOUR business? How could that change what you sell--or how you sell it? Think about the shifting priorities of your customers and shift yours where you can.

7. Update Your SWOT Analysis - SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Review the one you have or create one now. Get some help from staff or stakeholders on this. My wife and I just updated ours, and she came up with several
assets that I had never listed before. Create strategies and projects that will help you exploit your assets and opportunities and minimize or combat your weaknesses and threats.

9. More/Less ~ Start/Stop - A great way to dig deep into your strategic and operational methodologies is to list what you would like to see
more of and stop doing what doesn’t work. Then you can also brainstorm what you would like to start doing and what you would like to stop doing. Sounds simple—it is. And it can be very insightful.

10. Stay Positive - Being positive doesn’t mean to ignore challenges and difficulties. It just means not to dwell on them and focus
on what you want. It’s never a good idea to bury your head in the sand. I like to practice the Stockdale Paradox: maintain the belief we will prevail while brutally confronting what challenges we face.

So be aware of your challenges, but never give a lot of energy to them. Instead, pivot from this awareness to what you want to have happen. Stay focused on where you want to go, not on where you are.

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Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and
businesses grow and prosper. Get their free Resource Book ($27 value) of products, services and tools for running your business
more effectively. And most of the over 150 resources are FREE to access and use.
http://SuccessNetResources.com
http://SuccessNet.org

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