How To Gain Perspective After A Major Challenge

How to Gain Perspective After a Major Challenge

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King Jr. Stephanie Nielson and her husband Christian’s lives were changed forever when they were involved in a terrible plane crash in August 2008. For three and a half months, Stephanie slept in a medically induced coma undergoing countless procedures. The 27-year-old mother of four woke up to realize, first of all, that it was a miracle that she was alive and second, that she had burned the majority of her body and was horribly disfigured. Her arms, legs, hands, and face were covered with third- and fourth-degree burns—the worst occurring on her face. Through her personal faith as well as love and support from her family, friends and community, she was able to accept her new life and move forward with strength and hope. This was a completely unexpected event in Stephanie and Christian’s lives. How many of our lives have been touched by tragic circumstances or had a family member or friend go through them? I’m willing to guess almost everyone has. Personally, we lost our son Kenny who died in a car accident five years ago. Was this devastating for our family to go through?…

Read More
Constitution Of The United States Of America

Constitution of The United States of America

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - Declaration of Independence Considering the very important election happening this week in the United States, I want to choose the Constitution of the United States of America as my November Book of the Month. It is the document that serves as the foundation upon which our country was built and operates. (If you want to do more reading about the formation of America, I recommend the book 1776 by David McCullough.) I have no intention of being political on my blog or to endorse a party or any candidates. However, I do want to ask my US readers to realize that they have the right and privilege to vote. I am thankful for the brave Americans who have shed their blood over the years and for those today that are defending our right to live in a land free from tyranny where we do have freedom of speech and the right to vote. My wife and I were blessed to have been born here…

Read More
Coaching A Successful Team

Coaching a Successful Team

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” -John Wooden In 1948, Wooden became the coach of the UCLA Bruins—one of the weakest teams in the Pacific Conference. Setting records that still stand today, his UCLA teams went on an 88 game winning streak, securing 10 NCAA Championships in just 12 years, 7 of them in a row, and amassing 885 victories with just 203 losses. No coach had ever been so successful. But Coach Wooden didn’t count awards, medals, and championships. For him, success was not about winning. To paraphrase his words, success was the peace of mind found when you know you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. Coach Wooden developed a success system called the Pyramid of Success to teach his players on how to not only win on the court, but to win in life. The blocks of Wooden’s pyramid were important attributes that a person must exemplify to “win” or achieve their highest goals. The foundational bottom row included industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation and enthusiasm. Stacked above these basics were upper-tier qualities such as self-control, initiative, skill, confidence and poise. Wooden told his players…

Read More
The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy Pausch For my October Book of the Month selection, I thought I would choose a short book. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a book that has wisdom that is timeless. It was a national bestseller in 2008 and as many of you may have read it, I think it is worth picking up and reading again. Randy understood that three of the most important things in life are family, focusing on really living and leaving a legacy of having lived a life that mattered and continues to matter from the impact that you have in this world. I really try to focus on these three things in my life. I would love to hear how this book either impacted you in the past or your thoughts if you re-read or read it this month. Summary A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we…

Read More
The Power Of Events

The Power of Events

Last week I had the great honor to attend and speak at Zija International’s Summit convention. Over the years, I have been to many conventions for companies that I’ve owned as well as other organizations’ events. The incredible energy that I feel from attendees never ceases to amaze me. Why are events so important to attend? By attending the event you are showing your support and setting an example to your team The company will outline their vision and goals for the future Exciting announcements will be made such as new products, technology, sales tools etc. You will be one of the first to get this information and be able to purchase the new products/tools You will receive in-depth sales and product training from corporate leaders and top distributors You will participate in celebrating rank advancements whether your own or your teams You will hear other’s inspiring stories about how the products and business opportunities have blessed their lives You will feel a greater camaraderie with company employees and your team which hopefully leads to greater teamwork, trust and a feeling of “family” You will be motivated, educated and energized to return home to build your business I believe that…

Read More
Malcolm Gladwell Transforms Our Understanding Of Success

Malcolm Gladwell Transforms Our Understanding of Success

Success is not always easy to describe since people have different definitions of what success is, what it looks like and how to achieve it. In the book I’ve chosen for September, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell takes on the subject of success and tells a different story than we’re used to hearing. He is also the author of The Tipping Point which changed the way we understand the world and Blink where he changed the way we think about thinking. I hope you enjoy the book. Please let me know what you think. Summary In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the experiences of their upbringing. He examines how a person's environment, in conjunction with personal drive and motivation, affects his or her possibility and opportunity for success. Along the way he explains the secrets of software…

Read More
Book Of The Month – August

Book of the Month – August

If you understand your Why then the How and What become clearer. For August, I’ve chosen Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them. Summary Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way -- and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with "why." It was their natural ability to start with "why" that enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things. Sinek calls this powerful idea "The Golden Circle," and it provides…

Read More
Why Network Marketing Is Positioned For Hyper Growth

Why Network Marketing is Positioned for Hyper Growth

Over 40 years ago when my partners and I started putting cayenne pepper into capsules, I never imagined how far this industry of sharing products person to person would come. Back then, there were only 6 companies and a handful of people who knew what network marketing (multi-level marketing or direct selling) was. Now, 20 million people engage in some form of Direct Sales generating over $36 billion in revenue, according to the Direct Selling Association (DSA) in 2015. In fact, more individuals generated more revenue in 2015 than in any previous year since the DSA has been documenting it. Network Marketing has come a long way since those early days and I think the best is still ahead of us. By now, many people understand the benefits of getting involved in Network Marketing (low cost of entry, potential tax advantages, autonomy, personal development, etc) Here are a few additional things to consider why it may be the best way for any individual to generate an income in the future: Trend Toward Entrepreneurship People are rushing to create their own opportunities. With an unreliable economy, perceived lack of career prospects and diminished job security, it’s no wonder that people want…

Read More
Is Integrity Becoming Extinct?

Is Integrity Becoming Extinct?

Without integrity and honor, having everything means nothing. -Robin Sharma Celebrating our American Independence day this week always causes me to ponder on my personal patriotism and love for my country. This in conjunction with a national public figure blatantly compromising their personal integrity has caused me great reflection. Consequently, I’m going to take the opportunity to discuss something that I’m extremely concerned about in our American society and which also affects the entire world. I want to start off with the definition of integrity because I’m not sure that some know what it means anymore. Merriam-Webster defines integrity as the quality of being honest and fair; firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. What does it mean to be honest? Being honest is simple - it means telling the truth and making decisions that won’t compromise your values. I think we can take this one step further and seek out the truth and not let others just tell us what their truth is and believe them. Being fair is applying the “golden rule” which is doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Taking this principle one step further would be to…

Read More
Book Of The Month – July

Book of the Month – July

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow them and People will Follow You by John Maxwell is the book that I am recommending as my July Book of the Month. Maxwell supports his 21 laws with real business stories and leadership anecdotes. I’m confident that these 21 laws will benefit you along your leadership journey. One of his laws is the law of addition which states that leaders add value by serving others. As a leader, I strive to look for how I can serve others. I appreciate the leaders in my life that have been a wonderful example of service to me. Summary Many books on leadership are long on theory, but don’t help the reader understand how to put the theory into practice. Maxwell does not fall into that trap. At the end of every chapter, he lists three activities you can do to apply the law to your life. Not every leader will have a proficiency in all 21 Laws. Maxwell admits that there are laws that he still has to work on. In the Appendix, Maxwell presents a short leadership test to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the laws. Instead…

Read More
6 Ways To Boost Your Confidence

6 Ways to Boost Your Confidence

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” -Norman Vincent Peale Perhaps because I was an only child, I was pretty quiet and introverted, not very outgoing except with my friends. I didn’t like being an introvert. So I remember very deliberately asking myself, “How do I overcome being an introvert? How do I become something that I’m not? I knew that I had to get out of my comfort zone and force myself to be comfortable in front of large groups of people and at least act like the person I wanted to be. Then I figured I could become that person. So I literally jumped onto a stage and took high school drama. I took part in multiple plays. This accomplished its intended job; it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I portrayed characters who were outgoing and it began bringing me out of my shell. In my junior and senior years, I won the “Thespian of the Year” award. This experience gave me a lot of confidence going forward. Throughout my career I have had many chances to…

Read More
Looking Back…Looking Forward

Looking Back…Looking Forward

One year ago I launched my website www.kenbrailsford.com and wrote my first blog post. I started blogging because I wanted to share insights and lessons that I’ve learned regarding entrepreneurship, personal development and leadership. I’ve been pondering what I’ve done and learned this past year and what I’m looking forward to this next year. My website, blog and posting on social media have enabled me to reach many people. I’ve appreciated hearing from people through their liking my posts and their comments. It’s amazing to think about the global influence everyone can have through these channels. What a powerful way to build a network and your businesses! The world has come a long way since I started doing business in the 70’s. What an incredible opportunity it was to write my memoirs My Life Encapsulated: The Path to Success last Summer. I had been meaning to write this book for years, but knew that last year was the right time to do it. I wrote the book to tell my story and for the readers, not for myself.  I’ve heard many positive reviews which is always nice to hear. Writing my blog led me to write my Manifesto. This document…

Read More
Book Of The Month – June

Book of the Month – June

I’m recommending the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown for my June Book of the Month. Because of the demands we have on our busy lives, it is “essential” that we prioritize and evaluate the necessity of everything on our “to do” list. Excellent time management skills will only allow you so much productivity if you have too many things on your list. Book Summary The way of the essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so you can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. By forcing you to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers you to reclaim control of your own choices about where to spend your precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for you. Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader,…

Read More
3 Things All Champions Share

3 Things All Champions Share

“A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.” -Pat Riley   To uncover the mentality of true champions, a recent scientific study was done by the Institute of Coaching and Performance at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. Their results showed 3 things that all champions shared to reach their peak performance whether it was in sports or business. They were driven by an internal need to perform rather than any particular external goal like fame or fortune. The very best were never satisfied - no matter how fast they ran or how many accolades they won, they still wanted to push themselves to be better. Setbacks just made the highest achievers more determined to win. What are you willing to do to unleash the champion in you?

Read More
What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is both challenging and rewarding. Our society sometimes glamorizes entrepreneurs by talking about their easy and rich lifestyle of working a few hours when they want, in their home office, in their pajamas - a life of leisure if you will. I’m not saying that this couldn’t become the case eventually if that is what your dream is, but first you will need to be realistic and dedicated to work really hard and smart to make it happen. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. I want to highlight 2 important things that I think you need as an entrepreneur to succeed: 1. Willing to take risks If you are seriously considering entrepreneurship, then you instinctively know that it is risky and yet it still appeals to you. You know that this may not work out, but you’re willing to give it everything you’ve got. In the past, you have been willing to try new things when others wouldn’t. You know that taking big chances has the potential to win big victories and this is exciting to you, not discouraging. You’ve taken other risks in your life that have worked out. (This shouldn’t be the first big…

Read More
Book Of The Month – May

Book of the Month – May

I'm happy to announce my May Book of the Month book is The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea co-written by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It's pages include an inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the proverb "give and you shall receive." I must let you know that this isn't a book to be skimmed over and to not be deceived by how short this book is. There are important principles taught that will hopefully lead to life changing conversations and actions. Even if you've already read this impactful book, it is a great one to pickup and read again. Book Summary The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious man name Joe who yearns for success. One day he seeks advice from a legendary consultant named Pindar. Over the next week, Pindar's friends share with Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and teach him how to open himself up to the power of giving. Joe learns how to change his focus from getting to giving by putting others' interests first and adding more value which ultimately leads to unexpected and huge returns. He also learns that genuinely successful companies and people know…

Read More
How To Say “No”

How to Say “No”

The right “no” spoken at the right time can change the course of history. To give one example, Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her seat was exactly the right moment to help propel the civil rights movement forward. Have you ever said yes to avoid conflict? Have you ever felt too scared or timid to turn down an invitation or request from a boss, colleague, friend or family member? Do you have a hard time saying “no”? We have great reasons to fear saying no. We worry that we’ll miss out on an opportunity. We’re scared of rocking the boat, burning bridges or disappointing someone that we like and respect. We feel guilty. We are worried about damaging our relationships. As hard as it can be to say no, failing to do so can cause us to become over-committed, resentful, feel self-loathing and increase the likelihood of dropping the ball and/or burning out. Here are some things to consider when someone wants your time and how to say “no”: Separate the decision from the relationship - remember that denying the request is not the same as denying the person. Consider that if someone truly cares about your well-being, then…

Read More
Don’t Walk When You Can Run

Don’t Walk When You Can Run

Excerpt below is from my memoirs My Life Encapsulated: The Path to Success As a teen, I always worked. I wanted to make money. So I worked hard. My first job was at  a Thrifti Mart in Bakersfield, CA. I was a cart boy. On the weekends, I collected all the shopping carts from the parking lot and brought them back into the store. I even helped little old ladies out with their groceries. When I was hired, bless that manager forever, he taught me the most valuable lesson with one sentence. “Ken, I never want to see you walking.” Now I would push eight to ten carts at a time and I never walked that whole time I worked for him. I always looked around at the other guys and couldn’t figure out why they were walking. Didn’t he tell them the same thing? But I didn’t criticize them. I just kept going as fast as I could, running if possible, except for when I carried groceries out for the little old ladies. Many of these ladies wanted to tip me a quarter, but I never took it because the manager had also told me not to accept tips.…

Read More
8 Ways To Build Trust As A Leader

8 Ways to Build Trust as a Leader

“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” -Booker T. Washington “Trust me.” When was the last time you heard these words? Did you trust the person that said them? Trust must be earned and takes time and effort. However, losing trust can be done by just one action or a few words. Once trust has been lost, it is extremely hard to ever regain. Among all the attributes of the greatest leaders, one stands above the rest - they are highly trusted. One of the biggest mistakes that a leader can make is to assume that others trust him simply by virtue of his/her title. So how do you build trust as a leader?  Be an example In our cynical society, it is easy to not trust anyone until they earn it. Start with trusting your team; assume that they are trustworthy. If you want a strong work ethic in your organization, then you need to model it yourself and trust that your team will work as hard as you. Demonstrate your competence in your role so that they will develop trust that you are…

Read More
Avoiding Burnout

Avoiding Burnout

I’ve seen entrepreneurs learn the lesson of “burning out” the hard way - either by physical and/or mental collapse or emotional stress that comes from damaging their relationships by working too many hours. When burnout occurs productivity wanes, energy lessens, motivation disappears, and a sense of despair can occur. You are far more likely to make poor decisions, doubt your competence, develop a bad attitude or give up and quit when you experience burnout. I’ve put together a few suggestions to avoid burnout 1. Prioritize every morning If you are constantly thinking of everything that you have to do you will get overwhelmed before you even get out of bed. What do you need to accomplish this month? Break it down into 4 weeks, then break your week down into daily tasks. Each day choose your top 3 priorities and start your day by getting these priorities done first, then move onto other things on your list. 2.  Schedule in a break for 20 - 30 minutes per day This break is for you to have some quality alone time each day. Some ideas could be to read, pray, meditate, work on a hobby, take a walk etc. No texting,…

Read More
  • 1
  • 2