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MARCH 2000
Success Harmony Newsletter


Every so often, an email virus arrives on my computer. I figured that, as my service to society, I should give my non-techie two cents' worth about virus prevention. So here:

1) Do you have a virus detection program? If you do, great. Even if you do, don't rely on it 100%. Have you ever had a flu shot and got a flu anyway? Do you know why? Flu bug DNA mutates quicker than vaccines are made. Same with computer viruses. Your detection program is only as good as the date you bought or updated the program.

2) Don't open ANY attachments unless a) you know the sender, and b) you know of the attachment. NEVER open an attachment which has an .exe extension, such as PrettyPark.exe or Happy99.exe - these are two of the most common viruses which cause havoc on your computer and then send themselves to everyone on your email list. You WON'T be popular! An executable file can cause changes to your computer. Yuck!

3) When sending files, send them as part of the text in the body of the email rather than as an attachment, if at all possible. This should protect others' from viruses you may have.

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If you can't talk to your Mom about your finances, who can you talk to? I had a chat with my Mom about money the other day and she gave me an interesting perspective.

She said, "If you make one dollar less than you spend, you are poor. If you make one dollar more than you spend, you are rich. So $2 separates the rich from the poor!" Huh? That kind of throws out all the ideas about needing millions of dollars to call yourself rich. A friend knows someone who makes $13 million dollars per year. Cool, right? Rich? No, not really. Apparently, that person spends $14 million.

It isn't about how much you make but it is about how much you keep. How much do YOU need? That depends on you. I know people who swear $500 a month is fine and others who couldn't live on less than $10,000. Whatever you need, make sure to make at least a dollar more than you spend. The peace of mind is worth it!

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Much of my coaching work has to do with clarifying marketing messages for my clients. A sales or marketing message could be a flyer, a phone call, a contract proposal, a resume, and even getting your two-year old to bed or solving a conflict with another person. How do you get YOUR message and point of view heard?

1) Understand the needs, wants, and quirks of those you're dealing with. If you're looking for work, for example, don't think like someone needing a job. Think like the over-stressed manager who is hiring you. What are his/her problems and wants? What keeps him/her up at night?

2) Prepare, in advance, to meet those needs to the greatest extent possible. Anticipate and deal with any roadblocks. Send or say the message out the way it will be heard or read by the receiver.

3) Never make anyone wrong. Show them you understand their way and show them how YOUR way will get THEIR needs met!

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I got another training lesson from my horse the other day. It wasn't a pretty sight. We had done some jumping training last summer and she was getting quite good at it. We had taken time off from that kind of training this winter so I thought I would start her slowly. One small jump to go over. I would hand-walk her. Great idea. Except, she wasn't watching her step and got her feet tangled up in the jump. She got really scared and would not try going over the jump again.

Actually, "would not try" is not quite true. She turned into a lunatic as she must have thought the jump intended to eat her alive, right there and then. I knew that if I let it go at that time, she would only remember the fear of the jump and that would be hard to get rid of. If I could only get her to go over a few times again without an incident, she would remember that in fact there was no threat to her. Sounds good in theory.

I don't know if you have ever tried to play tug-of-war with a 1200 pound animal but the odds are greatly stacked against us on power alone. I tried and I was not winning. I coaxed and pulled. I even got a bit angry at one point, "hey, you're not being reasonable here, it won't eat you!" NO way, she said. "I don't trust that thing! And, I don't trust YOU 'cause you made me hurt myself when I trusted you!"

Have YOU ever tried to play tug-of-war with yourself or someone else who was "unreasonable" about something? Were YOU successful at it?

I finally remembered to use some compassion. I got a smaller pole and just laid it on the ground. Even the pole was scary for the horse but, after letting her sniff at it and talking very gently to her, she went over. Lots of praise followed and we were able to do it again a few times over, and she got less afraid and more trusting.

If someone (even you) is afraid, be very compassionate with them. Fear is not logical or reasonable. It makes us fight or run. We CAN overcome fear, though, by imprinting a different and non-threatening response over time!

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Recently, I was part of a conversation with an American IBM sales manager who complained about his sales staff inability to "get out there and talk to customers". Apparently, there is still a fair bit of the "we're the best, we don't need to build relationships" mindset that goes on in some people's minds.

Funny enough, another person in the conversation was someone with the ability to influence computer buying decisions. His innocent reply was beautiful. He said, "well, yeah, in our department, we had these guys coming from Sun Microsystems. They would come in, introduce themselves, come by once in a while without being intrusive, and just sort of be friendly with us. Then, at some point a while later, we were at a point when we wanted to upgrade our systems and these guys were the most convenient choice. We had never even heard from the other companies other than maybe once."

I like IBM and their products but there is a lesson here. It has been said that, in sales, repetition is key. It used to work OK to show up once, hammer the customer over the head with a pitch, make them sign on the dotted line, and disappear into the sunset. That no longer works. With the internet and such, customers go where they choose. They will still prefer to go where they feel good, special and where the choice is convenient! Stay in touch with your clients and you'll do well!

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"Apparently, lasting marriages are based on one simple formula - a subjective feeling by the partners that the good times outweigh the bad times by at least five to one. In customer service, it is said that it takes seven things done right to correct one thing done wrong. Self-esteem has to be based on much of the same - every self-critical thought must be balanced out by more helpful and encouraging thoughts if we are to be happy living with ourselves."

Pavla Michaela Polcarova, Power Thoughts Journal






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© 2002 Pavla Michaela Polcarova, CPR Coaching Services, Vancouver, BC, Canada