“I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.” — George Washington
Great advice from one of our Founding Fathers. Pick up a good book today.
“I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.” — George Washington
Great advice from one of our Founding Fathers. Pick up a good book today.
By Mark Bowser
As he finished strapping the underbelly belt of the saddle around his horse, a chill went through his chest right to the bone. Was it the late winter breeze or something else entirely John Jones didn’t know. What he did know is that his life would change after tonight. It had to. Enough was enough.
John kissed his wife Betsy and their two year old daughter Jessica and off he road the five miles to the Richmond meeting. There was an important community meeting at St. John’s Church. It was rumored that George Washington himself would be there.
As John road along, he knew his life was changing. He was just a simple Virginia farmer. But he knew that the further that he rode from his farm that faithful night was symbolic of how far is life would travel from the farm…at least for awhile.
St. John’s Church was packed. John found a place to stand in the back. He was shoulder to shoulder with men on either side. There were farmers just like him. He saw Sam Jeffers who was a fellow farmer who lived on the other side of the county. There too, was Thomas Smith who ran the general store where he got his seed and supplies. And sitting near the front, John caught a glimpse of George Washington.
At that moment, someone yelled, “Open the windows. There is a crowd outside who came to hear too.”
It was disturbing what the speakers were talking about. Breaking away from England? Has it really come to that? “I don’t know.” thought John. “Sure, as of late, England had tightened her talons, but war?”
At that moment, John’s thoughts were interrupted by a man strolling confidently toward the lectern. It was Patrick Henry. Henry was a lawyer, but other than that John knew nothing else of the man.
A hush came over the vast assembly of humanity in the compact, Richmond church. Henry began to speak, “We have petitioned, we have remonstrated, we have supplicated, we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted…with contempt, from the foot of the throne.”
Henry addressed the fear that was ringing in the minds of John and so many others in the church that evening. “They tell us, sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger. Will it be the next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?”
All eyes were now on Patrick Henry. He was building to a climax like a weary climber who gains energy at the site of the peak. “Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle…Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me give me liberty, or give me death.”
They were strong words Patrick Henry spoke that night. Words with more validity to our current situation then we might think. The words he spoke that night can’t be verified historically. There is no recording, no video tape, no instant news that was hanging on his every word. Whether the speech on March 23, 1775 was of actuality word for word is of no concern to us. Our concern is of the truth of its message. A truth that has been passed down from one American generation to the next. A truth that must ring true again today.
We need another St. John’s Church meeting today calling a sleepy nation back to arms. No, not a call for guns and bullets, but one of words and philosophy. The Obama Administration has been taking apart our American liberties bit by bit. Each bit in and of itself is hardly noticed, but together are forging a chain of bondage so harassing that one day we will wake from our slumber unable to move for the America we knew is no more.
That is why I cry with full voice that we need Liberty Now! We must harness the courage and gather the troops for battle. Our brothers and sisters are already in the field. We must join them because we need Liberty Now.
Very soon, I will have a new book coming out called The Indispensable George Washington which is a look at George Washington’s Farewell Address and how it is a lighthouse and alarm ringing for us today. Stay Tuned! In the meantime, I encourage you to check my other books to the right.
Make it A Great Day! God bless you!
We are all beautiful in the eyes of God.
The late chaplain of the United States Senate, Peter Marshall, used to tell a story titled “The Keeper of the Spring,” which I think illustrates beautifully how God looks at each one of us. The story is about a man who lived in a forest in the eastern Alps overlooking an Austrian village. This old man had been hired years ago by a wise town council to make sure the mountain waters flowed freely into the wonderful spring which flowed into the quaint village.
The old man faithfully year after year removed leaves, twigs, and everything that could contaminate or clog the flowing water. As a result, the village spring was an attraction for vacationers and swans alike. The village was peaceful, happy, and blessed.
One night, years later, another town council began talking about the almost mythical keeper of the spring. They wondered, “Why are we paying this man? Does anyone ever see him? This money could be used for better purposes.” As a result, they decided to terminate the services of the old man.
For a while, everything stayed the same. The spring was beautiful and the village blossomed. But then came autumn. The trees began to loose their grip on their leaves. Twigs and branches broke off the trees and fell into the stream.
One day, someone noticed something different about their wonderful spring. It was changing to a different color. Soon a haze came over parts of the spring and a sickening smell began to hover around it. The vacationers left the lovely village. The swans decided to look for a new home.
The town council called an emergency meeting. They realized what a terrible mistake they had made by firing the old man of the forest. They immediately hired him back. The old man got to work and performed the miracle again. Within a few weeks, the life-giving water was flowing freely and surely to the village spring. Soon all was normal, healthy, and blessed.
Many times we treat people in our lives much like the town council treated “the keeper of the spring.” We appear to have no use for them and we take them for granted. But God looks at each of us much differently. He sees the beauty in each one of us. After all, He created us in His own image. When we look at people the way God sees them it puts a whole new light on them. Who knows? (God knows) … there may be a “keeper of the spring” in your neighborhood.
This article is excerpted from Mark Bowser’s book “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” It is on an Amazon.com promotion where you can download the Kindle version for free. Promotion only lasts till February 15,2013. Get it now from Amazon. Go to http://amzn.to/TPpuOw
By Mark Bowser
“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse”
Think about it. It was all started with a mouse. When Walt Disney created “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, he had no idea that Mickey Mouse would be the beginning spark that would create an entertainment empire that has no equal.
In fact, in 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. How about that? Now, that is success!
But, it didn’t happen over night. It was a gradual build up of success coupled on top of success. That reminds me of a story that goes something like this.
There was a farmer who had a mule who fell in a well. As the farmer peered down the dark, deep chasm, he could see the outlines of the mule at the bottom. The mule appeared dead. He was just lying there with no movement at all. The farmer figured he was dead and thought of the only logical action. Bury the mule in the dry old well.
So, the farmer began to shovel dirt into the well. As the first sprinklings of dirt fell on the mule, he woke up. He wasn’t dead, he was only unconscious. Do you know what this stubborn old mule did? He shook off the dirt from his back and stepped on top of it. As more dirt fell from the shovels, the mule continued to shake it off and step up on top of it. He continued to do this until the well filled with dirt and then he walked up and out of the well.
Amazing! But you see, we need to be as stubborn as that old mule. When adversity hits us and knocks us in a dry old well, we need to shake it off and step up. That’s what Disney did…and it all started with a mouse.
You may be saying, “But Mark. That is Disney. I am just little ole me.” That is a terrible way to talk about yourself. You were created by God to be a champion. But, you have to choose to be a champion. That is what Disney did. He chose to be a champion. He chose to be successful and so must we.
Disney was not the only one who has done this. There are people every day who hit their stride and create huge successes. You start small and you keep building. Let me just mention a couple of those huge successes as examples of what you and I can accomplish.
First, have you ever heard of a little gizmo called a Post-it Note? Did you know it was a complete failure and then it was a flop and then finally a success. In 1968,
Dr. Spencer Silver who was a chemist at 3M was attempting to perfect a super strong glue when instead and by complete accident developed a very low stick adhesive. What do you do with a low stick adhesive when you are trying to create a super strong glue? You get creative and create a new product.
Post-it Notes (then called Press ‘n Peel) were launched in 1977 in four cities with very disappointing results. It was a flop. Or was it? When adversity hits, that is when champions get stubborn like that old mule. And, on April 6, 1980, Post-it Notes exploded into the US market and as they say “the rest is history.”
Second, have you ever had a Coca-Cola? Silly question, isn’t it? Most of us have had multiple Cokes…even in a given day. But, how did Coca-Cola come to be? Well, in May of 1886, a pharmacist from Atlanta named Dr. John Pemberton mixed a drink in his backyard in a three legged brass kettle.
John had become fascinated with the soda fountain that was in his store. So, he decided to make his kettle concoction. John mixed a unique blend of ingredients to make his brown, syrupy drink. To this day, the formula for Coke is one of the world’s best secrets.
Coke definitely wasn’t a splash when it sold its first serving on May 8, 1886 from Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta. About nine servings were sold each day resulting in a whopping total of $50. It wouldn’t be a bad start except that the John’s expenses totaled over $70. The ship of Coke was sinking fast.
Then, in walked Asa Chandler a year later. Asa was a fellow pharmacist and a businessman. In 1887, he bought the formula for Coke from John for $2,300. With assertive marketing techniques, Coke became one of America’s most popular soft drinks by the late 1890’s and today is one of the best known and most popular brands in the world. And to think…it all started with a three legged brass kettle in a backyard.
So, the questions are: What will you create? Who are you becoming? You were created by God to be a champion. Choose to be that champion. Choose to shake off adversity and step up out of your well. Because, it all started “…with a dream and a mouse.”
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By Mark Bowser
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Impossible. Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it as “That cannot be….Impracticable; not feasible; that cannot be done.” But Walt Disney made it a habit of doing what others labeled impossible.
Hmmm, he made it a habit. Let’s think about that for a minute. Webster’s defines habit as “A disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition. Hence we speak of good habits and bad habits.”
Disney made it a point of repetition to tackle what others said was impossible. He believed in possibilities and he constantly took action on that belief. Because of that action and belief, today we have Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the list goes on and on.
So, how do we, like Disney, accomplish the impossible? I believe there are four pivotal steps in accomplishing the impossible. Let’s explore them together.
One, DREAM. Without a dream, possibilities wither on the vine. What do you have in your heart? If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? It was T.E. Lawrence who said, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” Let us all become a little more dangerous. Let us become men and women of enthusiasm, passion, and of conviction for a dream.
Two, have a GAME PLAN OF ACTION. Having a big dream isn’t enough. We must put those dreams into action. Break your dream down into bite size chunks and get to work on them. Paul J. Meyer said, “Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.”
Three, WHO CAN HELP YOU? No one can reach the top of success mountain all by themself? Disney had his brother Roy. He also had a team of dedicated believers. And even when Disney had thinkers of impossibles in his inner circle, he sought help elsewhere. Who can help you? Who has the financial possibilities? Who has the asset possibilities? Who believes in you and your dream?
Four, FAITH. To succeed at your dream, you have to have unshakable belief. Times will get tough. The road will become hazardous during your journey. What is going to keep you going? You must have faith and hope to keep going. A faith in God, in yourself, and in the importance of your dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
When you have those four steps in place, you can’t lose. Your dream is alive! After all, dreams do come true. We have a Walt Disney World to prove it. Disney was right. It is fun doing the impossible.
Get a copy of Mark Bowser’s book Three Pillars of Success. Now available in Amazon Kindle format and Apple’s iBook on iTunes.
The rebellion had been thoroughly crushed. On December 8, 1776, General George Washington took what was left of his battered troops and made his escape across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. As the last American troops began crossing the river, the first Redcoat pursuers arrived at the riverbank. However, they were unable to follow the worn out Americans because Washington had had the foresight to take with him every boat within fifty miles.
Freedoms dream appeared to be dead. The American forces had dwindled to only 5,000 soldiers. With enlistments about to retire at the first of the year, Washington could be left with only 1,200 regulars. The one bright spot was that the over confident British decided to hold up for the winter and take care of what was left of the rebels come spring. British General William Howe took his troops to New York City to enjoy the winter months in relative ease and comfort. Howe did however leave a garrison of German mercenaries called Hessians in Trenton, NJ.
The Hessians expected Washington to attack. In fact, they were exhausted by being on alert for more than a week because of this expectation. This worked to Washington’s favor and he did not disappoint the Hessians. At mid-afternoon Christmas day, Washington and 2,400 of his troops marched nine miles up river to McKonkey’s Ferry. At 6:00 PM, General Washington wrote in his diary, “It is fearfully cold and raw and a snow storm setting in. The wind is northeast and beats in the faces of the men. It will be a terrible night for the soldiers who have no shoes. Some of them have old rags tied around their feet, but I have not heard a man complain.”
During the darkness of night in a storm mixed with snow, rain, and hail, Washington and his troops began crossing the Delaware River. It took almost nine hours for the Continental Army to reach the other side. By 4:00 AM, the Continental Army had crossed the river. The Patriots were cold, wet, and exhausted. Washington urged his men forward. Some of the soldiers left a trail of blood from their bare exposed feet.
When the attack began, the Americans gained the upper hand partly due to the Hessians’ exhaustion. When the Hessians finally tried to assemble their troops, American artillery captain Alexander Hamilton was given the order to fire the cannons at point blank range. The battle was over within two hours. Freedoms dream was alive! That day, Washington and his men killed or captured 1000 Hessians and confiscated many supplies. Washington then took his troops, prisoners, and captured supplies back across the Delaware River victoriously.
This article was a selection from Mark Bowser’s inspiring book “Christmas Hope.” Available on Amazon Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00APHCBZU
Early this morning, we lost a giant of a man with an even larger heart. Zig Ziglar passed from this earthly life to spend eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He made a great impact on my life and he is missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ziglar family and my friends at the Ziglar organization. God bless you.
by Mark Bowser
In the comfort of his elegantly furnished bedroom, Donald woke up with a strange feeling. He had learned to rely on these feelings. He was just about to make a major mistake. He knew this now. His long night’s sleep had revealed this to him. How? He didn’t know. But…he did know. He wasn’t going to go through with it.
Let’s back up for a moment. Some time ago, a friend had called Donald on the phone. The friend was full of energy with the whole world in his arms. Or, so he thought. He propositioned Donald to go in with himself and some other investors on a sure bet. “You’ll double or triple your money in a matter of months,” he told Donald.
It did look good. There was a lot of promise in this deal. However, it wasn’t in an area of Donald’s expertise. But Donald checked it out and decided to go with it. The papers were being drawn up. This was when Donald Trump woke up with his revelation. The revelation was simple…don’t! Yes, don’t do it. In hindsight, it was a very wise decision. The investment went bad and Donald’s friend and all of his investors lost every dime they put into the deal. The only one who still had all his money was Donald because he simply trusted the don’t.
Mr. Trump said, “That experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.”
This is good advice from one of America’s most successful leaders and businessmen. Follow your gut. If your gut says “yes” then check it out and if it still says “yes” then go for it. But, if your gut says “don’t” then listen to your gut. If you do this then success is within your grasp. Now, go out there and make it happen.
Grab your copy of Mark Bowser’s Three Pillars of Success in Amazon Kindle ebook format. Read it over Thanksgiving. Only $2.99 Go to Amazon now
By Mark Bowser
In order to be successful, a leader must have credibility. In fact, unless you have credibility in the eyes of your team members, they won’t follow you. So, in this chapter, we are going to discuss the four tools in the Leader’s Tool Chest of Credibility. I want you to think about your tool chest at your house. Go out to the garage or wherever you keep it. Open it up. What do you see? I can almost guarantee that you will see at least two tools. Can you name them? That is right. A hammer and a screwdriver. In my opinion, you don’t have a tool chest unless you at least have a hammer and a screwdriver. These are the basics and some of the most important tools. Just like your tool chest, a leader must have a hammer and a screwdriver. These are the basic tools of a leader’s credibility and they make up the first tool in our tool chest of credibility and it is called Lead by Example.
Tool # 1: Hammer/Screwdriver (Lead by Example)
A number of years ago, I worked on the production staff of Peter Lowe International. They are the organization that put on the large SUCCESS seminars(today they are called Get Motivated! seminars). They are the largest business seminars in the world. One of my main responsibilities was to work with the product/resources (books, videos, and audio programs) for the events. I remember a very busy seminar. I think we were in Denver. We had a lot of people who were wanting to invest in the resources. So many people that we had too many customers. Now, this is a good thing but it still a challenge to service them effectively.
During the seminar, Peter Lowe’s number two guy came up to me and asked, “Mark, how can I help?” I said, “I need people.” What I meant was that I needed him to transfer some people from the other teams to my team for the short term. What he did was even more impressive.
He jumped behind the table and started serving customers himself. It was as if he rolled up his sleeves and jumped on the front lines with his team. That made an impact on me. He showed me that day that he wasn’t going to ask me to do anything that he wasn’t willing to do himself. He led by example. That day, his credibility went way up in my eyes.
Tool #2: The Power Saw (Words Mean Something)
I think many times, we as leaders use our words too casually. Words mean something. Communication can be one of our greatest dreams come true or our worst nightmare. Has anything like this ever happened at your office?
Team member: “Can I have Friday off? I need to take care of __________.”
You: “Sure, not a problem.”
Thursday rolls around and the circumstances change and you go up to your team member and say, “Sorry, you can’t have Friday off now.”
By doing this, what have you taught your team member about you and your word? That is right. That you can’t be trusted.
Now, I understand that sometimes circumstances do change but all I am really saying is be careful how you use your words. There is nothing casual about effective communication. Relaxed, yes. Casual, no. Words Mean Something and we have to do our best to always be truthful, accurate, kind, courteous, and clear.
Tool #3: The Tape Measure (Communicate the Vision & Mission Statement
Why does your organization or department exist? Where are you going? How do you plan on getting there? Not always easy questions. But they are some of the most important questions that you can answer for your team. Everything you do revolves around your vision and mission statements. Make sure everything you do or say runs through this filter. It will make a world of difference not only in your Leadership Credibility but also your results.
Tool #4: The Glue (Before you delegate, do some of the ugly tasks yourself)
If all you do is delegate the ugly stuff to your team and keep the nice, clean tasks for yourself, your credibility will drop like a muddy brick in a pond. My best advice is to do some of the ugly tasks yourself. Delegate some of the clean tasks. Why? Well, your credibility will go up in the eyes of your team. You see, the time will come when you will need more help and then when you delegate those ugly tasks, your team will jump in and pick up the ball. Because they know that it isn’t that you aren’t willing to do the ugly tasks (because they have seen you do them), it is that the team is in crunch time and you need their help.
Well, there you have it. Four tools to greater credibility. One, Hammer/Screwdriver, Two, The Power Saw, Three, The Tape Measure, Four, The Glue. Practice these four tools in your tool chest and before you know it your team will trust you more, believe in you more, and follow you more.
*This article was excerpted from Mark’s impactful book Three Pillars of Success. Now available in ebook format on Amazon’s Kindle. Go to Amazon.com.
By Mark Bowser
I have been thinking. Is there a linchpin that could start a domino effect that could devastate your business, career, or life? And, is there a tipping point that could start an avalanche of success like a runaway snowball?
Interesting questions, but are there answers? My wife and I love to watch the hit ABC TV show Castle. Last season, they had an intriguing two part episode that explored this concept of a linchpin. In the story, an economic linchpin was discovered that if put in motion would destroy the United States economy and start a downward domino effect that would lead the globe to World War III. It was a very entertaining escapade from our daily lives and in the story the bad guys almost succeeded? But, it got me thinking. Is it possible? Could one event in our lives do so much damage and destruction?
Well, as I continued to think about it, I began to believe that there very well may be a linchpin or a tipping point for our careers, business’, or even our lives. Let’s explore the linchpin first. What if you had all your eggs for success in one basket and you lost the basket? Do you see where I am going with this? Brian Tracy says that “Everything Counts” when it comes to selling. What if you or one of your associates kills (accidentally of course) the business with your largest client? What if that client composed 85% of your annual business? Could you survive…or would it be your linchpin?
So, what is the solution? We must avoid the business error so many of us are guilty of, including myself. We put most of our eggs in one basket and if we lose that business, we are headed towards economic devastation known as Chapter 11. We avoid it by spreading out our sales and marketing. By kicking into high gear our prospecting for new and more clients.
The only way to avoid the business linchpin is to make sure that no one event or any one client so controls the life blood of your business existence. Spread it out. Market more. Do business with different sized clients. From a personal standpoint, we have to make sure that we put aside a part of our income from every paycheck. Why? What would happen to you and your family if you lost your job today? How would you avoid a personal linchpin? In this economy, we all know friends and family who are currently out of work or were out of work at some point in the last few years. We must have a cushion of resources to fall back on. That strategy and discipline will kill the linchpin…and not you.
Now, let’s talk about the tipping point. Is there a point where all your marketing, all your sales, all your success converge into a place where it spills over to tremendous, incredible visibility, and success? I believe so. Why do some products go viral? I don’t think we can know the answer for sure…but we know they do. In fact, this article may go viral, but why this one and not another one? Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great book titled The Tipping Point. Go pick yourself up a Kindle ebook version today. It is awesome! You can get Malcolm’s book for $9.99. And while you are there, I invite you to take a peek at one of my books like Three Pillars of Success.
Your tipping point exists and it will find you…if you continue to practice business success. In fact, do more of it. Supercharge it. What will make you more visible? What will get you and your product or service more attention? How can you get your product or service into the hands of more people? How can you serve them more than you currently are? Seek the answers to these questions and take action on what you discover and before you know it, your tipping point will find you.
Three Pillars of Success by Mark Bowser on Amazon Kindle. Only $2.99
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