Thursday, February 17, 2011

Have Faith in Humanity

Yesterday afternoon, as I was taking soda cans and assorted other recyclable material to our bin, I looked at our neighbor's house and for no apparent reason I remembered that I had ordered candles from their oldest daughter, as part of some school fund raiser. There was no rhyme or reason to this memory... I had placed this order last October, $20 for 2 candles, cash upon order.

The memory evoked the same exact feeling that I had when I placed the order... I may never see these candles or the money ever again. I say this because I asked if she needed the money up front or when she returned with my order. Not that it was a big deal, it's only $20. But when I asked, she paused for a moment, looked at her friend, and replied "I need the money now."

As you can guess, I didn't ever get those candles... never saw my neighbor's daughter outside playing. I figured they probably needed the money more than I needed the money. Her father, a construction worker, had been in and out of jobs many times over the past months. Her mother works 2 jobs. And they are outstanding people, and great neighbors.

So I seldom gave the $20 any thoughts, other than to hope it did them some good. Maybe they used it for bills, or to buy some additional groceries. That's probably what happened, in these tough economic times, they decided they should feed their 3 children instead of placing the orders for candles. A difficult decision to make, but who could blame them?

Anyway, last night my smarter half and I were sitting down to watch The Good Wife, which we had recorded the previous evening, when the doorbell rang. Smarter Half got up and looked out the window to see who might be at our door, and stated, "It's a kid."

Usually that meant that the neighbor kids wanted to play with our dog, or maybe looking to do some simple chores for us in exchange for cash. So Smarter Half opened the door and went outside to talk with "the kid." After a few minutes she returned... and handed me a $20 bill.

Yes, the $20 from the candle order. The story neighbor girl gave was that she was ill on the day she was to turn in the order form. Interesting story, given the amount of time since I placed the order. Even more interesting is how I felt about it... it was as if I'd just won $20 from a scratch-off ticket!

Even though I given neighbor girl this money several months ago, if felt like karma was looking out for me. I'd assumed that I had given my neighbors this money without looking for something in return, and there was karma, rearing her beautiful head.

I do understand that it is very likely that neighbor girl's parents asked her to return the money when they found it. Once again, I repeat, they are wonderful people, and I'm lucky to have them next door.

But back to the point. Have faith in humanity... do something selfless... make today a better day than yesterday and then do it again tomorrow. And each evening ask yourself "What am I going to do tomorrow to make the world a better place to be?" (with apologies to Harry Chapin for borrowing the title of one of my favorite songs)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Updated Program... and we're delighted

Hi everyone. I'll get right to the point. We unveiled our greatly improved "Quit Smoking" program this week. Yes, the link takes you right to the page that describes what and how our program will help you become and remain a non-smoker.

See, that's the important part... remain. And it's the hardest part. So we looked deeply into our old quit smoking program, found a few weak spots, and dramatically improved not only the program, but with it, your ability to finally kick that nasty smoking habit.

If you're like most smokers, you've quit at least a few dozen times. Use the patches, or gum, or some big pharma product... all with little success. We've got the answer. We'll even tell you right here what the answer ready?  Here it is:

You're not addicted only to nicotine, you're addicted to smoking. Therefore, you have to beat the nicotine addiction and the smoking addiction at the same time! If you're interested in learning more, check out our program and FAQ page by using the Quit Smoking NOW link.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't Quit Without One!

OK, alright already... I know it's been a long time. So much has happened since my last post. And eventually I'll get you caught up on those happenings. But most importantly, let's get you up to date on the most critical of these changes.

As you can see (that is if you knew what we were about over the past 2 years), we've changed the focus of what we do. Now we're about helping people like you, instead of businesses. And frankly, it's significantly more fulfilling! Those of you who are still employed likely understand this. It is so much more enjoyable to facilitate individual growth that improve business processes.

But now to the point... my last post is even more relevant that it was before. I'm certain you'd agree that a good business doesn't make changes without understanding how those changes will impact their business... and also understanding exactly what it takes to make those changes.

This same concept applies to any attempt to become a non-smoker. You need a PLAN.

I'm not referring to those silly New Year's resolutions to quit smoking... those are just dreams. Sure, you may want to stop smoking, but did you really think about how you're going to accomplish that dream? Did you consider how it may effect you both physically and mentally? Or did you just say the words so that you'd have a resolution for this year?

The good news is we can help you quit smoking. We have recently improved and upgraded our smoking cessation program. And we'll help you create your very own customized plan to stop smoking once and for all.

Send a note to with the words Smoking Info in the subject line and we'll be delighted to discuss how you can quit smoking.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why Have a Plan?

This morning while I was reading email and looking at my daily schedule, I was also listening to Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN2 as background noise. A typical morning for me... respond to emails, check some traffic statistics, and half listen to whatever I choose for noise that particular morning.

Today was a little different... and it caused me to change my daily schedule. I hadn't intended to write in the blog today, but I heard a quote that I had to share. Herman Edwards, former NFL coach and current NFL analyst, said the following about the Washington Redskins front office:

A dream without a plan is just a wish
While I can't positively state that it is true about the Washington franchise, it is very true when it comes to personal growth. Having a dream or desire is the easy part of self-improvement. We all do it regularly. But how often do you achieve that dream or desire?

And similar to business process improvement, the critical step in attaining your personal wish, to acquire what it is you desire,  is to have a plan. Your dreams won't come true just by wishing for it to happen. You must take positive steps in the direction of your goal in order to achieve it!

But what are those steps? Your personal success coach can guide and mentor you through not only the creation of your success plan, but also help you achieve those goals more quickly than you might on your own. 

What is your dream? What are you wishing for? Let me lead you to acquire the dreams. Visit us at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why I Love Tuesday Morning

Let's get past the obvious first... Tuesday is not Monday... there's none of that beginning of the week startup uncertainty. I'm no longer worried that someone is taking an emergency week off from work... I have a good plan of action for the week's tasks and goals... and no NFL games to keep me up late for a few more days.

 So aside from a little Monday night football fatigue (that is, if I stay awake until the end of the game), Tuesdays mornings are off to a beautiful start. My mind is clear to begin the early morning ritual of reading and returning emails, checking on my website traffic statistics, and then viewing what's new on Facebook and Twitter.

Perhaps you're wondering what's so wonderful about Tuesday. It's certainly not what I just listed as the start of my work day. I do that almost every day... I can't say it makes Tuesday more special than any other day of the week. Tuesday is great because it's my babysitting day!

Yes, babysitting day... I get to supervise my 18-month old grandson while mommy is off to college. What makes it so great is during that 2-3 hours I'm not thinking about adding to content to the website,  I'm not thinking about Google, or Six Sigma, or any other business matters. I get to play!

We get to do things like climbing doors, yes I said climbing doors... he just loves climbing the patio door! We go for walks, play with building blocks. I get a steady diet of Sesame Street (do you know they redid the opening music?), Curious George, Make Way for Noddy, and Sid the Science Kid.

I realize that those are programs for children, but hey... they're not reruns to me! I've learned some interesting facts by watching... for example, Curious George plays soccer, and Sid has a rather vivid imagination.

But I digress... there's really nothing that compares to my Tuesday mornings. Where else can you have this much innocent enjoyment? Is there anything more joyful than your grandchild climbing up the sofa to give you a nice long hug?

There is one thing I need some help with though... is there someone out there who can translate infant-talk into English... I'm having trouble with the phrase "Ma Na Ma Na Ma Na."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Carpenter Group is Blogging... we've finally joined this decade!

I know, I know...but better late than never! Yes, we're behind the curve a little, but we've only recently decided to increase our web presence. I'd personally like to thank the marketing arm for the good swift kick. Been meaning to do this for a couple years.

Like most other accomplishments, it didn't occur without a plan. I've been saying it for years... have a plan, follow the plan, adjust the plan as required by any roadblocks encountered, and follow through until completion. I listened to my own advice. Kind of like self-induced business coaching.

Once I identified the goal, it became a matter of plotting a direction to achieve the goal. Years in Six Sigma taught me to organize the tasks required into an easily read form... like a Gantt Chart. Next establish a time line for the tasks. Then get at it... it's time to enact the plan created.

But here's the thing, self-induced coaching doesn't work for all people. If you aren't motivated or goal oriented, this could be a recipe for disaster!  I've experienced one too many in this latest economic decline.
Who needs another disaster!

That's just one of the aspects of enlisting a coach. Coaches will keep you engaged, keep you motivated, and help you determine how you define success.

Today's Quote
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.- William Faulkner