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Training is Not the Same as Exercising
by On November 30, 2009

been. If you’re a salesperson, make more calls or appointments in a week than you ever have. PUSH yourself to new levels of focus and effort. Will this require some discipline? Absolutely! In fact, it will actually hurt a little. But that kind of pain is temporary and if you’ll work through it, the growth in your life and your pocketbook will make you forget that pain quickly. Life Feeding If all you do is push with no recovery, growth does not occur. Quite the opposite, in fact. Once you’ve stretched your limits, it is important to feed your mind and your life just like you eat to replenish your strength. Some “recovery tips” for your Life:

  • Celebrate your victories. When something goes right, when your “pushing beyond” actually gets the results you desire, enjoy it for a little while! Reward your wins and you get charged up to want more of them.
  • Take time for yourself – by yourself and with those you love. Quiet time alone for a little bit each week is absolutely necessary to recharge your batteries. Just as important is quality time with family or those you care about. This is often the first thing a busy professional sacrifices, which is why so many are burned out. It doesn’t need to be tons of time, but it has to be some.
  • Feed your mind systematically. The practice of reading an inspiring or uplifting book for 15-30 minutes daily is absolutely the most refreshing and life-changing habit you can develop.

If you want to grow, you must have BOTH the workout and the recovery time. Find the balance and growth is inevitable. Not easy, but inevitable. Be Free! Roger Seip Instructor

Attitude of Gratitude – Happy Thanksgiving
by On November 25, 2009

We are thankful and grateful for our clients, friends and families that make up Freedom Personal Development.

“We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.”
~ Author Unknown

Have a joyous Thanksgiving Holiday.

Be Free!

Top 10 Things to be Grateful For
by On November 24, 2009

gratitudeWith Thanksgiving this week, take some time to think about what you are truly grateful for – that is the reason for the holiday right?

Make sure to enter our gratitude contest too!  All you need to do is answer this question:

What 3 “outside of the box” items are you truly thankful for and WHY?
Submit Your Answer

Here is a Top 10 List of Things to be Grateful for:

1. You’re breathing. You owe your life to the world not the other way around. How are you sharing you natural gifts with others?

2. You have a roof over your head. I’m guessing that you do if you have time to read Top Ten lists!

3. You have enough food in your stomach. Again, an assumption but if you’re reading this, I bet its true.

4. You have a computer. You’re reading this on it right?

5. There is something beautiful that you can look at right now. It may be in your home or outside -check out that
flower or cloud.

6. You have online friends. You do, don’t you? If not, join us on twitter.

7. You have opportunities and possibilities. Yes you do. Unlimited. Really.

8. The sun will rise and set. And you don’t even have to do anything.

9. You can read -therefore you can keep learning. Life long learning rocks.

10. You’re able to read Top Ten Lists. Fun, huh?

This Top 10 List was taken from

How to Read Faster by Talking Less
by On November 23, 2009

Abby Marks BealeMany people learn how to read by sounding out words and hearing them in their head. This works well for learning words but not for reading faster. Once you have a solid sight vocabulary, you do not need to read every word.

Pure subvocalization, also know as mental whispering or hearing all the words in your head as you read, slows down your reading speed. An average untrained reader has an average reading speed of 250 words per minute; however, mental whisperers average only 100 to 150 words per minute. We CANNOT GET RID OF this talking but we CAN REDUCE it.

While subvocalization is useful when reading things like poetry or plays or while studying or memorizing, it slows you down with your other reading.

Try these 10 ways to REDUCE the talking in your head:

1.  Catch yourself doing it!
2.  Read faster (you can’t talk as much this way)
3.  Put your index fingers to your lips
4.  Read key words (3 letters or longer)
5.  Mumble or Hum
6.  Use your hand or card to speed you up
7.  Put toothpaste (or other strange flavor) on your lips
8.  Gently bite your tongue
9.  Chew gum
10.  Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth

It is important to try each method for a reasonable period of time in order to evaluate their effectiveness at reducing your talking.

Looking for more ideas on how to be a faster and more effective reader?  Check out the Reading Smart Workshop – it is filled with exercises and tips to increase your reading speed and comprehension.

Be Free!

Abby Marks-Beale
Reading Smart Instructor

Abby Marks Beale is founder of The Corporate Educator, a professional speaking and training company specializing in helping with busy people work smarter, faster and just plain better. Go to

Happy 13th Anniversary Freedom Personal Development
by On November 20, 2009

Freedom Personal DevelopmentToday Freedom Personal Development celebrates its 13th year in business!  It seems fitting that today’s post takes a look at where we have been and where we are going.

The Freedom Personal Development Story

In November of 1996, Eric Plantenberg and Roger Seip had a vision to take their passion for helping people succeed and turn that into a company. At first, Eric and Roger weren’t sure how they would improve their client’s professional and personal lives or what service they would offer. What they did have was a tremendous conviction and a burning desire to help people achieve more at work and in life. Thus, Freedom Personal Development was born in a small two bedroom apartment.

With solid backgrounds in sales, sales management and training, Eric and Roger began a two person training company working, with The Memory Training Institute, to deliver Memory Training Workshops in Wisconsin. In conjunction to the memory program, Freedom Personal Development opened a speaker’s bureau and Eric and Roger started presenting their own training programs to companies across the country. Increasing in size and staff, the operations moved into an office building.

After experiencing a few years of success with this business model, the two decided to teach their memory selling system to other speakers around the area. At the same time, Freedom Personal Development took over the operations at The Memory Training Institute, the company that they, only a few short years before, had worked for. Seeing there was more potential in selling these programs exclusively, the speaking bureau component of the company was closed.

After working out some of the early bugs in their selling model, the system had been perfected and Freedom Personal Development has continued to hired and train speakers nationwide, offering classes in 20 cities nationwide..

The Freedom Team continues to grow each year as new markets are launched and new programs are developed. Most recently, the Reading Smart Workshop was introduced nationally and has been receiving rave reviews from participants.

What the Future Holds for Freedom Personal Development

Our purpose has always been clear: we exist to serve by Delivering Freedom. By our definition, this means delivering, “the capacity to exercise choice,” to ourselves, to our clients and to our partners.

As history has shown, growth is an important part of the Freedom Personal Development culture. In fact, in all aspects of the business, whether it’s adding speakers and trainers in new cities or expanding the variety of course offerings, growth is a number one priority, for the company, for the team members and for their clients.

Today, we are continuing to help thousands of companies and individuals achieve their own levels of personal success. When we look ahead, we see ourselves offering programs in 50 markets throughout North America and expanding our business internationally. 2010 will bring our training programs to a broader audience by offering online training.

Firmly rooted in our core values of Integrity, Joy, Freedom, Excellence and Profitability, the future looks bright indeed.


PS – Wishing a very happy birthday to our president, Eric Plantenberg, today too!

How to Live a Life of Freedom and Be Successful
by On November 19, 2009

Eric PlantenbergI recently received this email from a friend that asked me how to live a life of freedom and be successful. I wanted to share it with our blog readers since I feel his question and circumstances are what many people find themselves in.

I would be happy to answer any of your questions on living the life of your dreams. Simply post a comment below.

Be Free!


How are you Eric? I’m glad that you added me on Facebook. I frequently visit your website and also check your Facebook.

You’re just amazing Eric . Since we met on Mariner of the Seas, about 2 years ago….I read a lot of books. I found myself wrong in living my way of life. I read Napoleon Hills, Robert T. Kiyosaki, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Anand Khrisna,..etc. I attend seminars and trainings on self-improvement. Last seminar that I attended is Tony Robbins’ “awaken the giant within”.

A year ago I decided to run business on a restaurant..but It didn’t run well. This restaurant closed. Then I opened a coffee shop but it doesn’t show some progress yet. To me I don’t regret of trying a business. Now I comeback on board to get some capital to start another business again.

Eric I have a question for you….”How can you be successful like this?” visiting amazing places in the world …and still going on…build great company…build great relationships…Hmmmm..would you please share some of your principles or ways to me?

[my response]


It’s great to hear from you (:

All is really well with me – thanks for asking…. and thanks for the kind words. I am very impressed to hear about your commitment to your Self Development. That you would ask this questions of me “How can you be successful like this?” is very humbling as i don’t really look at it that way. I am just living my life. Two things that come to mind that have helped me to live my life in a way that works for me are this:

1. I actively work on the picture of what i would like to experience. I Dream. I plan. I set goals. I imagine what could be.

2. I live in the moment. I believe that whatever is happening in my life is exactly what is supposed to be happening. I can’t remember the last time i “failed.” There have been MANY times when things didn’t go the way i planned them to – and then i saw that that was exactly what was supposed to happen to help me get to where i am now.

Be Free!

Eric Plantenberg

The 2 Most Impactful Exercises for Professional and Personal Growth
by On November 18, 2009

Leah SimpsonIn my coaching experience, I have found these 2 activities the most impactful for your professional and personal development. What are they? Self-talk and visualization!

These activities ARE the most impactful, BUT the easiest to overlook and skip. So don’t skip it! Also, I encourage you to use self-talk and visualization not only as a salesperson or a professional, but in every capacity of your life.

However, for the next few minutes, we’re going to focus on using self-talk and visualization to improving our professional life by treating it more like a business with you as the business owner.

Definition of self-talk: The words you say to yourself.

That may sound odd, but the truth of the matter is, you talk to yourself all day long, whether you are aware of it or not. More importantly, whether your words are positive or negative, they are impacting you.

So…listen to the thoughts that run through your head. Catch those negative phrases that treat your professional life as a job and not as a business that you are in charge of. Here are some examples of job orientated self-talk phrases: “That’s not my job.” “I don’t know. (period).” “I’ve worked all my hours for the week.” “Ask someone else.” “It’s not my responsibility.” “That’s not in my job description.” “That doesn’t affect me.”

Now add business owner statements, such as: “I can handle it.” “I’d love to help you.” “I don’t know, but I would be happy to find out.” “Everything at this company affects me.” “What can I do to improve?” “I own these responsibilities.”

What about visualization?

Your mind plays movies all the time. For example, preparing for a sales presentation or conversation, you might start to worry. As you do, your mind plays what you anticipate or fear might happen. Use this same skill to your benefit by play a movie of you owning your business and succeeding.

Take 5-minutes, and visualize yourself working as a business owner. Visualize yourself growing personally, being recognized more, impacting people, making more money, and enjoying what you do.

If you take a few minutes a day to go through these exercises, you will see your thoughts become a reality. It sounds so simple, and it is, but you have to do it! Actually, you do use self-talk and visualization all the time—just not consciously. And our natural instinct is negative. It takes 6 positive statements or visualizations to replace a negative one, so you better get to work!

Remember that people who treat their work as a business grow more personally, receive more recognition, impact more people, make more money, and enjoy more of their working hours than those who treat their work as a job. I’d love to hear your stories or questions by posting a comment below.

Be Free!

Leah Simpson

Top 10 Personal Development Books
by On November 17, 2009

readLooking for a great read? Pick up a personal development book and invest in yourself and future.

Do not think you have time to read? Check out our Reading Smart workshop where you will learn how to read faster and increase your comprehension.

Top 10 Personal Development Books

There are tons of personal development or self help books out there. Some are good, some are terrible. So how do you tell the good stuff from the mediocre?

This list will be a great starting point, as it lists and briefly reviews ten of the best personal development books out there. These books cover a wide variety of sub-genres within the personal development area, but all of these can help you get into the right frame of mind and on your way to personal growth.

  1. Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins
    Tony Robbins is the absolute guru of self improvement, so it should be absolutely no surprise. It was between this one and “Unlimited Power” as to which one was best. Robbins set the standard for much of self help, and while there is some criticism about some of the advice being “fluff,” the majority of the advice is very solid, as can be seen by the sheer number of copycats. This book is a great addition to any self-help library.
  2. Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anywayby Susan Jeffers
    The number one obstacle that gets in the way of people wanting to change their lives is fear. Author Susan Jeffers attacks this obstacle head on in this classic self improvement work. Jeffers bravely uses many personal examples from her own life, discussing the crippling effects that fear has on every aspect of your life, and how to work on yourself to get to the point where you can conquer it. Learning that failure is not a big deal, but that seeing chance as an opportunity to do something great (as opposed to a chance to fail) is the fundamental lesson behind this book that has helped thousands to achieve their goals and push ahead in life.
  3.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    It’s an older book that has been around for quite some time, but classics are classic for a reason. This book was released in 1990, and has remained in print ever since. This was a groundbreaking book when it was released and has sold over 10 million copies. This book is different in that it doesn’t give you a quick list of “easy actions” to take, but requires a deeper paradigm shift that helps you chance how you think, act, and approach problems. This is a book you will take copious notes over as you study this book in detail – this isn’t one for skimmers?
  4. Coach Yourself to Success : 101 Tips from a Personal Coach for Reaching Your Goals at Work and in Life by Talane Miedaner
    One of the instant appeals of this self improvement book is that there are a large number of tips, many of them practical and allowing for instant action. It can be difficult to make a huge change of thinking in your life, while many smaller steps are so much easier to implement. This has been a favorite among many self help fans.
  5. Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life by Bill O’Hanlon
    Bill has the credentials, as he is a certified professional counselor, marriage therapist, and author of 16 self-improvement books. This book is written with short easy to digest chapters, focusing on concentrating on fixing the current day instead of spending a lot of time digging up the past. This book is also divided into three parts, each based on a different part: changing the doing of the problem, changing the viewing of the problem, and applying solution-oriented therapy. This focus on changing the now instead of dwelling in the past is the breakthrough many need.
  6. Create Your Own Future: How to Master the 12 Critical Factors of Unlimited Success by Brian Tracy
    “Create Your Own Future” is a quality self help book that combines the two goals most common with people looking for a quality self improvement text: improving the personal life, and making a lot more money. This book concentrates on twelve principles that can help you achieve both, and gives examples of actual real world plans that show you how you can accomplish these goals.
  7. Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser
    This self-improvement book is specifically aimed at teaching individuals to clear their minds of all the every day distractions that make goal setting impossible. The power of clearly writing down goals, wishes, and the small steps to take to get there comes out clearly in Klauser’s book. Her techniques are intended not only to clarify goals, but to help with the self-confidence needed to accomplish them.
  8. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris
    This book is one of my personal favorites, and rates right up there near the very top of my own list. This book won’t be for everyone, but it is a great combination of focus on personal change and improvement (which directly leads to changing your life), changing your thought process, and gaining independence and freedom in the work place and life. This book works for normal employees as well as entrepreneurs, and the stories, additional resources, and challenges to conventional thinking make this a quality work helpful for anyone wanting a radical change in both their personal and business life.
  9. The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren.
    This one obviously has a religious Christian slant, so it may not be for everyone, for many of that faith this book has been nothing short of life changing. Some “spiritual but not religious” people have found this best seller helpful and useful, as well, since many of the lessons focus on concentrating and looking honestly at your own life and working on small steps to improve yourself that add up and help bring meaning into your life.
  10. Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.
    This one is aimed specifically at businesses, but not only is Seth Godin’s unique look good for building your own business, but the mentality of this book and great allegories can apply to your personal life, as well. Thinking differently from the majority is a skill that never hurts, especially in improving (if not outright changing) your life.

Written by Shane Dayton, August 22, 2008,

How to Write More Effective Business Communication
by On November 16, 2009

on the right path.

Try to keep your writing to one page or above the fold for email. Granted, there are certain things that need to go on several pages, but if possible one is better than 2. Less is more. cialis Happy writing! Be Free! Ken Budka Training Coordinator

Video – The Don't Quit Poem
by On November 13, 2009

Inspirational video based on the famous Don’t Quit Poem.

Excert from the Don’t Quit Poem:

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but don’t you quit.

Watch the video for the rest of this inspirational poem.

Be Free!