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Contest Winners Announced – What is Success?
by On November 2, 2010

Roger SeipIt was clear from the variety of entries in the What is Success Contest that the word “success” means many things to many people.  After reading the comments, it was clear that everyone that entered put a lot of thought behind what they wrote. To all that entered, I wish YOU success in all that you do.  But I had to pick 3 winners, so here they are……drum roll please!

First Place and winner of an Expect Success Book (filled with positive quotes) is Debbie (#24):

“Success to me is putting my two feet on the floor each day and being happy in my own skin.”

Being comfortable in my own skin- so simple, so true, I love it!  Thanks Debbie!

Second Place and winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is Tom Owings (#10):

“The older I get (66) the more I’m convinced that the standard of success is set by you, not others; more than anything else, it’s doing what you want to do with your life. I think you have to feel good about what you do each day and that in some way you contributed to a better world. For myself, it’s really enjoying the work that I do. I can’t imagine getting up and going to a “job” that I hated. I had a job one time that I hated and I decided I had three choices: 1) I could quit (but I needed an income); 2) I could go find another job (but none were open in my area); or 3) I could make the job what I wanted it to be. I chose number 3. But what I changed was not so much the job as it was the attitude I had toward the job. In other words, making the job something I wanted it to be was up to me, not others. So no matter whether your “job” is a housewife or a CEO, success should be defined by you and your attitude toward what you do.”

Great answer Tom!  I totally agree that success must be your own.

Third Place and winner of a Book Light is Kevin McDermott (#14):

“Success is the self satisfaction and peace of mind attained in knowing that you made the best effort that you are capable of in regards to accomplishing the task or job at hand.”

Earl Nightingale said that success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal, and Kevin’s response says that too. Nice work Kevin!

All of the winners will also receive a Happy Highlighter and Be Free Sticker.

Thanks everyone and we will see you at Freedom Fest!

Be Free!

Roger Seip
Instructor

Contest – What is Success?
by On October 7, 2010

Roger SeipIf you want to be successful in life or any endeavor, you first have to decide what success looks like in order to know when you have achieved it.

Last month we posted a video on our blog entitled “What is Success”. In the video, everyday people off the street where asked to define the word success. That got me thinking how our clients and readers would answer that question. Which leads me to this month’s contest:

How do you define success?

To enter, type you answer in the comments section below.

Maybe it involves tangible or intangible objects. Perhaps actions you do or do not take. It could be what you think of yourself or what others think of you. However you define success, see if you can condense your answer to one sentence.

Winners will be based on how concise their answer is and how applicable their definition is to multiple situations.

Prizes:

First Place: An Expect Success Book
Second Place: Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle
Third Place: Book Light

All winners will also get a “Be Free” Bumper Sticker and Happy Highlighter.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 28, 2010. Winners will be emailed and announced on our blog Tuesday, November 2.

I can’t wait to read all of your thoughts and comments on success!

Be Free!

Roger Seip
Instructor

Contest Winners Announced – What Would You Tell Your 18-Year-Old Self?
by On October 5, 2010

Thank you to all those who contributed to last month’s contest. I really enjoyed reading and learning from the advice given. Time sure allows for great insight and I believe our 18-year-old selves would have been even more amazing to learn from such wisdom.

Here are our winners for the contest:

3rd Place and winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is comment #6 from Ginni Hoinacki:

I would tell my 18 your old self to not take yourself so seriously. To create a good work life balance. When I am at work be fully present at work and when I am at home be fully present at home. Remember life is a journey….it’s not a race. Think positive thoughts and that is what you will get…prep yourself to have a great day everyday…and always remember to laugh…out loud…and often.

What a great piece of advice. I am reminded of a phrase I picked up from a mentor of mine: Learn to laugh; at yourself, with others and about the negative of challenging situations in your life. When we take what we do seriously, but not ourselves life becomes infinately more enjoyable.

2nd Place and winner of an Expect Success book is comment #18 from Jim Bain:

find a mentor at the highest level you can and listen to him

This one answer has so many elements to it. By seeking out a mentor “at the highest level” we are acknowledging that we don’t have all the answers. Additionally, when we commit to listening (or, what I like to refer to as being teachable) then we are opening ourselves up to unbelievable levels of growth. What a great thing to understand at the age of 18.

1st Place and Grand Prize Winner of a laser pen is , comment #8 Lee Hauser:

Focus on what you LOVE to do, do it extremely well, with enthusiasm, and the income will follow. Let the small things go. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep learning from everything and you will get BETTER! Ignore those who don’t believe in you. Surround yourself with high quality people of integrity and success. Learn to love yourself and forgive yourself (and others) often.

Do what YOU love! This simple phrase can (I feel) do more to reduce anxiety, sickness & heartache than anything else. When we are pursuing and engaging in those activities that we are passionate about we are experiencing joy and living an abundant and full life. In other words, we are living our life ON Purpose. (Pun intended)

Thank you to everyone who entered 🙂

Be Free!

David Shoup
Instructor

Contest – What Would You Tell Your 18-Year-Old Self?
by On September 2, 2010

Last year I hosted the contest Hindsight is 20/20 and wanted to do similar contest this year, but with a twist.

Imagine you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age 18. Turning 18 is an exciting age – you are finally a legally recognized adult, you can vote and the world is full of possibilities. Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self?

Perhaps you would pass along a few words of wisdom. Maybe there was an opportunity you wish would have taken, or a mistake that you wish you could have avoided. Perhaps you would just pass along some stock tips 🙂

To enter, type your name, email below with your answer to this question:

What would you tell your 18-Year-Old Self?

Feel free to enter as many times as you like with each comment being a different piece of advice.

Winners will be picked based on how concise their answer is, insight gained from the past and quality of the advice.

Prizes:

First Place: A laser pen
Second Place: An Expect Success Book
Third Place:
– Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle

All winners will also get a “Be Free” Bumper Sticker and Happy Highlighter.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, September 30, 2010. Winners will be emailed and announced on our blog Tuesday, October 5.

I can’t wait to read all of your thoughts and comments!

Be Free!

David Shoup
Instructor

Winners Announced – Public Speaking Contest
by On September 1, 2010

Thanks for all of the great entries!  It was tough to pick a winner this month. There were many good questions and some of them were technical in nature and others were a revelation of the fear that many people possess. Our two winners seemed to really have some serious fear when in front of large groups so I had to award the prizes to them because of their honesty. Perhaps winning a contest will give them a reason to smile the next time they are about to present in front of a group and that will help loosen them up a bit. I think some of the answers that all of those with questions had can be found in the advice given by others or in my response below.

Wow! There was some awesome advice given out in this contest. If you are hoping to improve your speaking ability and confidence I would read all of these entries more than a few times and let them sink in. Nice work to everyone who shared, and thank you. Now, on to the winners!

Question #1 – What is your #1 question on how to be a better public speaker/presenter?

First Place and winner of an Expect Success book is Susan Alsted (#19)

Question #1 – What is your #1 question on how to be a better public speaker/presenter? Even though I have the knowledge of the subject, my mouth is so tensed up and before I know it, I freeze. I listen to others, I get tips and each time & try new ways, and it always seems the same outcome. A 20 min presentation takes me 2 mins and I am done. Small groups are a breeze but the large groups I simple fail at.

Question #2 – What advice would you give to someone that was nervous about giving a presentation to a large group of people? Just simply say “No thank-you” but I will be there to listen and encourage you. ;o)

Second Place and winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is Gina Gulliford (#27)

How do you keep your nerves under wraps while speaking? Sometimes I’m shaking so much I can hardly stammer the words out of my mouth. Thank you for the answer.

Some of my favorite responses for question 1:

11. Question #1 – What always goes through my mind: “How will this change the audience’s life for the better?” If I cannot come up with a good answer, what’s the point of the speech?
15. Question #1: (response) How can I inject humor into my presentations without it seeming forced or a cheap gimmick to get audience attention?
18. How do I get rid of the physical nervous characteristics?
19. Even though I have the knowledge of the subject, my mouth is so tensed up and before I know it, I freeze. I listen to others, I get tips and each time & try new ways, and it always seems the same outcome. A 20 min presentation takes me 2 mins and I am done. Small groups are a breeze but the large groups I simple fail at.
21. When asked to prepare to speak in front of a group of people who I do not share their passion for that particular cause. . . what should my focus be on?
25. #1 – how do I develop the skill that will help me speak in front of an audience to an impromptu question whether it if for a 2-3 minute response or a 10-15 minute overview of something.
26. How can you make sure the speaker is not just droning on in that put to sleep monotone that drives the listener nuts?
27. How do you keep your nerves under wraps while speaking? Sometimes I’m shaking so much I can hardly stammer the words out of my mouth.
34. What events in your life (outside of public speaking), have led you to be a better public speaker? For instance, was there an event that made you love being in the spotlight? Was there an event that helped you overcome fear? Was there an event that made you extremely confident? What steps (outside of public speaking) could one take to become a more competent public speaker?

Question #2 – What advice would you give to someone that was nervous about giving a presentation to a large group of people?

First Place and winner of an Expect Success book is Jennifer Rogers (#35)

Tips for gaining greater comfort in giving presentations:

1. Prepare your general speaking points and practice your presentation out loud in front of a mirror. You can even videotape yourself.
2. You can use index cards but only write key points on them; or use your room files from the Memory workshop to trigger key topics.
3. It’s helpful to know your audience – add items of importance or interest to them to customize your presentation.
4. Get some audience participation early on (example – show of hands on a question). It can calm your nerves.
5. Wear an outfit you’re comfartable & confident in.
6. Visit the venue beforehand & mentally run through the presentation there, if poosible. Plan ahead for success!

Second Place and winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is Brett Heffern (#37)

Question #2: “What advice would I give?” What are the most critical points to tell someone who might be nervous about getting up to speak in front of a group of people? Well…

– First and foremost, take some some really deep breaths before getting getting up to speak. This will help the speaker be more aware of their rythym.

– Secondly, keep in mind you’re not talking to your audience bur rather with your audience. Don’t think of a memorized speech that you have to remember word for word but an exciting, inner-active discussion with your audience. Include the audience by asking questions, throwing out ideas, etc.

– Third, make sure your speech has a point – and stick with it!

– Finlly, just have fun. If you mess-up on a word just keep going! The audience isn’t going to remember why you fumbled but rather how well you recovered.

Brett

Jennifer Rogers (#35) was our First Place winner for question 2. Jennifer’s tips were well organized, right on, AND she is about the only person who mentioned using Memory Training! Come on people!  The number one fear in the country is public speaking and the #1 reason for that is because people are afraid they are going to forget what they are “supposed” to say. Using Memory Training has changed people’s careers when they use it consistently to deliver speeches.
Jennifer also mentioned videotaping yourself. Video taping yourself is so much more valuable than practicing in front of a mirror. I do realize that a camera is much more expensive than a mirror, but with access to phones with video ability, and webcams you don’t need something super expensive. Here’s why that is better than a mirror. When you worry about constantly correcting yourself WHILE you are speaking then your focus is shifting back to yourself screwing up. Filming yourself allows you to focus on “how” you are delivering the words with emotion, inflection and you let it all go without stopping or worrying that your delivery was perfect. Then when you watch the film you can allow yourself to take notice of the things you would like to change.
2nd Place goes to Brett Heffern. Some big breaths before you start is great advice and keeping in mind that the crowd is normally very forgiving is great to keep in mind. I have found it to be true by wat
ching other speakers and speaking myself that the crowd generally accepts that everyone will slip up from time to time but the ability to recover and keep going or laugh at yourself is how you can win their hearts.

Some of my favorite responses to question 2:
10. Know your audience, the presentation has to be on target so you must know the target.
Know your material, don’t just memorize it…internalize it.
Make sure you give the audience not just information but a big piece of yourself.
Practice in from of someone your trust and whose opinion you value for feed back
Most importantly…HAVE FUN!!!
11. Question #2 – Remember that the audience doesn’t know what you’re going to say. If you goof, keep going. They may not even notice. Remember, if you’re nervous, your focus is backwards – the speech is all about THEM, not you.
35. 1. Prepare your general speaking points and practice your presentation out loud in front of a mirror. You can even videotape yourself.
2. You can use index cards but only write key points on them; or use your room files from the Memory workshop to trigger key topics.
3. It’s helpful to know your audience – add items of importance or interest to them to customize your presentation.
4. Get some audience participation early on (example – show of hands on a question). It can calm your nerves.
5. Wear an outfit you’re comfortable & confident in.
6. Visit the venue beforehand & mentally run through the presentation there, if possible. Plan ahead for success!

37. – First and foremost, take some really deep breaths before getting up to speak. This will help the speaker be more aware of their rhythm.
– Secondly, keep in mind you’re not talking to your audience bur rather with your audience. Don’t think of a memorized speech that you have to remember word for word but an exciting, inner-active discussion with your audience. Include the audience by asking questions, throwing out ideas, etc.
– Third, make sure your speech has a point – and stick with it!
– Finally, just have fun. If you mess-up on a word just keep going! The audience isn’t going to remember why you fumbled but rather how well you recovered.
43. When you are preparing to go up to the podium and you’re nervous and shaky, take a moment and remind yourself that it’s not about you. You’re nervous because you are focused on yourself doing a good job, but it’s not about you. It’s about those in the audience. They are the ones that want to learn and grow from your message. Remember that it’s about them and not you.

I did want to address two of the questions specifically from up the contest. “How can I inject humor?” and “How do you invoke emotion in an audience?” It is important to realize that “trying” to be funny rarely works. You have to be yourself in front of the group. Which is one reason that I think some people are afraid of speaking. Because the thought goes “what if I am myself and they don’t like me?” but that thinking only leads us down dark paths and more fear. Realize that people love genuineness and sincerity. If you are naturally funny that will come across in your speech and if you don’t feel naturally funny, then don’t try to add a bunch of someone else’s “jokes” to your presentation. They will bomb. I learned that one the hard way myself. In the beginning of my career, Roger sat me down and explained that I was funny but NOT when I was using other people’s jokes. It hurt to hear it, but it helped me create my own style.
And the only way to invoke emotion in an audience is by having emotion within yourself. When you have genuine emotion and passion inside yourself that will shine through and you don’t need any technique to show it. Just lay it all out for the world to see and understand that not everyone will share it with you but the majority will feel it and be moved in some way themselves.

Thank you to everyone that entered the contest.  Watch for the next contest on our blog tomorrow

Be Free!

Tom Weber
Instructor

Contest – Public Speaking – Are You Terrified or Confident
by On August 5, 2010

When it comes to public speaking, there are two extremes of the speaking spectrum – those who are terrified of presenting to a group and those who always jump at the chance to be in front of an audience. Most people fall somewhere between these two points depending on the size and make up of the audience. Where are you on the speaking spectrum?

In the business world, it is often our job to lead meetings, give presentations to clients and talk in front of rooms full of people. Being an effective communicator, both one-on-one and in front of a group, is necessary to inform, educate and persuade. The better you are able to express your ideas, the more success you will experience.

This month’s contest has two questions, one for each side of the spectrum, those that are tired of being terrified and one for those that already enjoy presenting to a group.

You can answer one or both of them to be eligible for a prize. Here they are:

Question #1 – What is your #1 question on how to be a better public speaker/presenter?

Question #2 – What advice would you give to someone that was nervous about giving a presentation to a large group of people?

Again, feel free to answer one or both of the questions. I will be picking two winners from each question AND giving my suggestions to the two most commonly asked questions on how to improve as a speaker.

Prizes:

First Place – Expect Success Book
Second Place – Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle

All winners will also get a “Be Free” Bumper Sticker.

Deadline to enter is Friday, August 27, 2010.
Winners will be emailed and announced on our blog Wednesday, September 1, 2010.

Be Free!

Tom Weber
Instructor (and Professional Speaker for over 10 years!)

Stress Management Content Winners Announced
by On August 3, 2010

Wow! Thanks for all the wonderful entries in this month’s contest. I’d like to add a suggestion to the stress management contest–whenever a person is feeling stressed, a great option would be to read all the comments in this post and follow what rings true at that moment. The entries go to show that there isn’t ONE correct answer for everyone, or even one option that works every time for the same person. However, there are LOTS of great ideas.

First place and winner of an Expect Success book is Jeff Johnson (#10). 

I reduce stress by praying and reading the Bible. I also find that surrendering my life to Jesus Christ has given me great strength and hope in times of high stress. He said that I will not add a day to my life by worrying. He is right, I will actually reduce my life expectancy if I worry or stress out!

Another thing I do is pretend that I am in a grand production called “life” and that everything going on around me is basically a play in which I am a character. Stressful situations definitely make for interesting theater, so I have to look at them like a good drama.

 I mentioned that not every answer is what every person would say, but since I get to choose the contest winner this month, I chose someone whose answer resonated with me deeply: surrendering to Christ and finding the strength and hope in Him. I also appreciated Jeff’s comments about watching the “life” drama and seeing himself as a character because I just wrote an article that said the same thing. So Jeff, you win the prize!

Second Place and winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is Sharon Esterly (#61).

Two very wise people gave me advice at different times in my life when I was super-stressed: one said, “Stay in the day,” which helps me to not look back at “shoulda’s” nor forward at “what-if’s”, and the other told me I had incredible power–too choose. “You are choosing to be stressed, and instead, you can choose to be un-stressed.” The minute you choose the latter, you begin to think more clearly and then can plan a strategy to deal with the stressors.

The two points she summarized are keystone ideas around Freedom Personal Development and have helped many people find relief from stressful situations–staying present and making choices.

Third Place is tie between John Misch (#44) and Michelle Kooi (#51)! John and Michelle have each won a Happy Highlighter and Tangle Puzzle. Here is what they said:

John Misch: 

My stress is triggered by events in my life that may or may not be real or in the present. I can be stressed out by something in my past or future real or unreal – think physical / mental / emotional. But it is my stress and I have full ownership. So how do I cope with stress:
1) Don’t blame someone else or pin it on an event – boss / wife / kids / work / money / whatever / economy / politics
2) Try to stay in the present – don’t deny the stress , it is what it is – denial will only give it more life
3) Random acts of kindness – stress makes us so full of ourselves – start giving back / sharing / mentoring
4) Prayer and Meditation – an exercise for the mind and spirit
5) Physical exercise / yoga –
So, I have tried all of the above and even drugs and alcohol aren’t working. Put your wounded ego on the shelf and ask yourself if being stressed our makes you feel important or alive or helps with self recognition? Seek out help.

Michelle Kooi:

Yoga helps calm my mind and release stress. Eating healthy and avoiding caffeine helps keep emotions steady. Being outdoors in nature really helps me relax and appreciate God’s beautiful design. Prayer helps me focus on what’s really important. Planning and being organized does wonders for preventing stress in the first place. Music – listening (and singing along sometimes) takes you to a different place.

 Both John and Michelle summarized a lot of ideas that were prolific in others’ responses. I personally appreciated Michelle’s comments about nature and music as both are so helpful for me. I also appreciated John’s thought that putting your ego aside and getting help–from someone…anyone–can be a big step in de-stressing.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest.  Watch for the next contest on our blog this Thursday.

Be Free!

Leah Simpson
Instructor

 

Stress Management Contest
by On July 1, 2010

In our everyday life, we often run into stress events ranging from deadlines at work, traffic jams and dealing with uncooperative people.  Life events such as a new baby, a death of a loved one or moving can add even more pressure.

Unmanaged stress can lead to high blood pressure, ulcers and even heart attacks.  Often times we cannot control the events that lead to stress, but we can control our response to it.

For this month’s contest, we want to know your advice on how to deal with the stressful events – big or small.

To enter, simply type you name, email and your answer to this question below:

How do you effectively manage stress in your life?

You can also give examples of stressful events you have overcome.  Winners will be based on the quality of advice.

Prizes:

First Place – Expect Success Book
Second Place – Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle
Third Place – A Happy Highlighter and Tangle Puzzle

All winners will also get a “Be Free” Sticker and a Personal Development Blue Light-up Pen

Winners will be emailed and announced on our blog Tuesday, August 3, 2010.
Deadline to enter is Thursday, July 29, 2010.

Be (Stress) Free!

Leah Simpson
Instructor

Contest Winners Announced
by On June 29, 2010

Man, there were some great entries for this contest – I especially enjoyed the ones where people are quoting me :)! This was tough to pick just three out of all the really great ways people start their day, but here goes:

1st Place and winner of an Expect Success Book (filled with positive quotes) is Marty P (#42), for its sheer thoroughness:

First thing I do is my 7 morning questions (got these from Tony Robbins)
sometimes I do them with my wife she is into it sometimes but would rather sleep the 5 min it takes.
1 what am I most Happy about in my life right now.
what about that makes me happy and how does that make me feel.
2 what am I most Gratefull for in my life right now.
what about that makes me Gratefull and how does that make me feel.
3 what am I most Excited about in my life right now.
what about that makes me excited and how does that make me feel.
4 what am I most Proud of in my life right now.
what about that makes me Proud and how does that make me feel.
5 what am I most enjoying in my life right now.
what about that makes me enjoy this and how does that make me feel.
6 what am I most committed to in my life right now.
why do I want to be committed to this and how does that make me feel.
7 who do I love and who loves me.
why do I want to love and be loved and how does that make me feel.

I then get up go over to my wife’s side and get her out of bed and give her a good hug.
she always likes this. sometimes a kiss but morning mouth is not the best.

then I make the affermation of somethig amazing is going ot happen to me today
while I go down stairs to get my water for the morning.

we work out 6 days a week together and I have been with my wife for 35 years.
its not always easy to do this but is is always good.
everyone at the Health club thinks I am on some sorta caffine high.
but no caffine needed.

2nd Place and winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is Tricia (#71) for genuine gratitude in the little things – I love it!

I start my day with gratitude! I do this before I even get out of bed, before my feet hit the floor, I thank my bed for being so comfortable and allowing me to sleep in it, I thank my blanket for keeping me warm and cozy. I thank my house for keeping me safe and dry. Then I think about how my day is going to be like, or what I am going to accomplish.

3rd Place and winner of a Finger Flip Football Game is Kelly Koplitz (#43) for surrendering yet taking 100% responsibility at the same time. Brilliant!

When I get up in the morning and as I am getting ready for work – I say the following things:

As I am getting up and going to shower:
“Thank you God for the breath of life today. I put this day in your hands; do with it what you will.”

As I am driving to work (30 minute drive):
“Lord, please keep me safe in my travels and free from trouble.”

As I am walking into the building at work:
“It’s going to be a great day!” with a long deep breath and a smile…:)

Thanks again to all who posted, we had 75 entries and I love hearing from you all.  I hope this contest caused you to consciously think about what you say to start your day.

Our next contest will be announced on our blog this Thursday!

Be Free!

Roger Seip
Instructor

Contest – What Do You Say to Start Your Day?
by On June 3, 2010

Nido Qubein taught me that there are fundamentally two kinds of people. There are those who wake up and say “Ooooh, good morning God!” Then there are those who say “Oh, good god…morning.” Which are you?

During the day, there are 2 times that your brain is most receptive to “programming”. One of these times is as soon as you wake up (the other is before you go to bed.)

Whether it is conscious or unconscious, the first few thoughts you have when you wake up will set the tone for the rest of your day. Spoken out loud they can be even more powerful.

So, how do you start your day? Do you say something positive (either to yourself or out loud) or are you grumbling about having to get up?

The question for this month’s contest is:

What 3 things do you say when you wake up?

To enter, type your name, email and answer to the question below.

If you are not sure, or want some great suggestions, check out these videos:

Morning Pep Talk from a Little Girl
Awesome Affirmations to Start Your Day

You must list at least 3 things to be considered for a prize. Winners will be based on the positive nature of his or her comments.

Prizes:

First Place: An Expect Success Book – filled with positive quotes

Second Place: Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle

Third Place: A Finger Flip Football Game (it is a blast to play – especially at the office with co-workers)

Be Free!

Deadline to enter is Friday, June 25, 2010. Winners will be announced on our blog and emailed on Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

Roger Seip
Instructor