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Defining Great Service

Defining Great Service

What is good service? When guest expectations are low, and we exceed them … not too exciting. But when guest expectations are high, and we manage to do even better, then we have accomplished something. In order to be able to seize every opportunity to do the things that help to create guests for life, we first must be able to identify those opportunities. Being aware of what is going on around us at the moment—and knowing what is going to happen in the future—helps.

A guest may refuse assistance with their luggage as they struggle to carry their bags up the stairs, but this does not mean we can’t run up the stairs ahead of the guests to open the door for them. What is the alternative? Watch the guest carry their bags and then open the door for themselves.

Our focus and mindset must be “What can I do to make a positive impression on every guest that I come in contact with?” It takes initiative, anticipation, caring, and sometimes a little hustle.


When you recall your most memorable hotel, dining, or other hospitality-related experience, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the room, the view, or the food?


When I think of memorable all-around top service experiences, the first one that I can recall happened soon after I was promoted to general manager. I was headed on a vacation to Florida with a buddy. The owner of the hotel arranged for us to play golf at The Jupiter Hills Club. Knowing it was ranked in Golf Magazine’s top 100 courses, I had high expectations and was looking forward to playing.


You only have one chance to make a first impression, and boy, did the Jupiter Hills Club get off to a great start. To this day I am not entirely sure how they pulled it off, but when we arrived at the security guard station and I rolled down the window of the rented minivan, I was immediately made to feel important when the guard said, “Welcome, Mr. Ruby, to Jupiter Hills,” as if he had been anxiously waiting to meet a celebrity. My buddy and I shrugged our shoulders and without saying a word we both knew that this was going to be an excellent day.


The staff seemed to sense we were out of our element and anticipated our every need. We were then escorted to the bag drop where an attendant opened my door and again greeted me by name. The attendant took our bags, the valet took care of the van, and a locker room attendant said, “Please follow me, Mr. Ruby,” and brought us to our lockers, which of course had our names on them. We were then escorted up to the pro shop, greeted by name by one of the golf pros and then introduced to our fore caddie who took us to the first tee.

We finished playing the front-nine, and we were just starting to get used to our caddies doing everything except actually hitting our balls for us …  (However, out of mercy, I think my caddie used a wedge when he thought no one was looking so I would avoid an impossible shot). We were instructed that it was time for lunch.

A table was already reserved for Mr. Ruby, and the hostess acted like she had known me for years. Every staff person I encountered was not only polite and proactive; they also seemed to genuinely enjoy making two twenty-something average Joes from Chicago, who were not members, feel special.


The service afforded us was unforced, and providing hospitality, was clearly more than just part of their job. Every staff member seemed to have put themselves in our golf shoes and knew how to make two regular guys feel like rock stars for a day. The bottom line is I have no idea what my score was that day, or if played well or poorly. I can’t even remember anything about the course aside from I am pretty sure there were more hills than usual in Florida—and I have no idea what I had for lunch.


But the one thing I will never forget about that day was how the staff made me feel. Almost thirty years later, I can think back to my day at The Jupiter Hills Club when I need an example of what I consider to be great service.

Mission

The Owl Network is determined to transform the world by encouraging and helping others to lead the life they are destined to share with the World.

Deep down inside every one of us, we secretly desire a dream in which we are happy, fulfilled, and an asset to the planet Earth. All too often, life and its experiences sidetrack us to living in the world rather than with the world. We all have been given gifts that if we allow ourselves to share with others, we enrich the lives of everyone. The Owl Network wants to provide encouragement, but more importantly, provide the tools and information we can use to transform our lives.

We are dedicated to providing a group of people who are authentic and know what they are talking about. We want to provide a direct pipeline so you can hear from the experts directly, and not through the filter of the media. And in the process, we want to encourage you to contact us to share your experiences and the knowledge you have gained by making changes in your life.


When will the owls cease to be Watchers?

Owls have been known to perch among the branches—and have been accused of watching the world go by. While Truth has it that owls have been long sought out as birds of wisdom, so too does it tell that owls are tremendous observers.

And that the watchers of society need to heed the wisdom inherent in owls. For, although it is granted that owls do indeed see everything, they tend to be pictured as aloof—above the fray. And yet, in a turmoil-boiled world, comfort can be derived from the fact that owls are designated to observe, comment, and inspire.

Maybe, it’s not the owls’ aloofness that bothers watchers. But rather the owls’ ability to transform a moment of silence to a flutter of activity within a once tranquil sea of conformity.

Or maybe, it is the unknown quality behind those pictures of owls that seem to frighten people.

There seems to be a power gathering beneath the owls’ surface which will eventually be released—when the owls cease to be Watchers.

We are all Entrepreneurs

Work vs Life
Work vs Life

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a business executive, we are all running a small business, which is called our life.

Head Case: A Very Painful Healing Journey

Head Case: A Very Painful Healing Journey

Congratulations to Herbert Stepherson on his new book from Joshua Tree Publishing.

“It is in sharing our struggles and vulnerabilities that we connect with others and inspire change in them. Empathy and experience are some of our most powerful connecting points. By offering my own personal struggles, I hope to let others know that they are not alone, and that there is always hope, even in the darkest of times.
“No one should ever feel ashamed for struggling mentally. Going to therapy for mental health should be as normal as going to a doctor for a broken leg. No one is a lost cause, and no one should ever be made to feel that way. Each and every human being on this planet should be given the opportunity to experience love and be given opportunities to turn their lives around. We never truly know what someone has gone through in their personal life. If we want to truly help someone, the most important thing we can do is listen to them. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have been through, you can become anything you set your mind to. I hope you overcome the struggles you tell no one about.

“This world needs the healed and healthy version of you.”
Herb Stepherson founded Genesis of Recovery, an intervention firm that helps any and all who suffer from the disease of addiction. Since beginning his own recovery and healing journey, Herb has authored two books, given a TEDx talk, founded a domestic non-profit organization, and given his heart to God.

Though he will undoubtedly struggle with mental health issues for the rest of his life, his mission is to make this world a better place.

For more information, visit
GenesisOfRecovery.com
Junkboxdiaries.com

An Entrepreneur’s Dream

When I first started my enterprise, I was sharing it with someone. It was their dream. Not mine. Since one can only accept a Dream, sharing it is the only thing to do. Once you believe in a dream, do not stop! Otherwise, how would anyone know when you are serious? No, once you accept it, you have no choice. For unless you complete it, it will haunt you. 

Revenue ideas are all right, but Spiritual ones are better. It all really depends on the mix.

~

Patience is what is called for. Why hurry the process as if you are the one to decide the outcome? No, this event isn’t your staging. We are talking about Dreams. Not your everyday ordinary Reality, are we now, Mate? You already know about that reality, don’t you? Otherwise, why would you be here?

In Dreamland.

No, there are other rules here. We shy away from them, especially when they are not compatible with the Scheme. No, this land is not going to be easy. Everyone is doing it up here— but for real!

~

The computer is a special kind of human. It isn’t. Oh, you can capitalize it but only if you know the right key. You can let it whip out multitudes of comparisons of yourself. The Programmer. You can tell that instrument what to do. A constant healer.

But the Truth is. A handshake does not do it anymore. No, we have created a pile of manure between you and that handshake. After all, here is what it boils down to: 

If the World is where the action is, where is your niche? It is no good to be on the outside looking in. Lyrics for a song, maybe.

If you are out in left field, nobody is going to know that you are in the game. Home plate is definitely where the action is intended to be. So everybody is trying to score. 

Hit pay dirt. Land the big one. Hollywood. 

Whether you be more in line in some areas than others . . . 

The Big Eve comes.

CES 2024

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® announced a star-studded lineup of celebrity appearances coming to CES® 2024, January 9-12 in Las Vegas.

“CES has a long history of welcoming celebrities and ambassadors for the world’s most well-known brands, and this year is no exception,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “We are excited for their participation at CES. These individuals and the brands they represent put a spotlight on important issues in the tech industry.”

As the home for the advertising, entertainment and content community at CES in Las Vegas, the C Space Studio brings together the world’s leading brands, advertisers, media platforms and content. This year, the C Space Studio interviews on January 9 and 10 will feature celebrities including:

  • Robert Downey Jr., the actor known for roles including Iron Man, will join MediaLink’s Marketing Reinvented conference session on January 9
  • Blake Griffin, former NBA player for the Boston Celtics
  • Ryan Kalil, television producer and former NFL player for the Carolina Panthers
  • T-Pain, music artist and record producer.

As part of the AgeTech Collaborative from AARP at CES, which brings together a network of startups, investors, enterprises and creatives in the AgeTech ecosystem, celebrity guests will be featured, including:

  • Utkarsh Ambudkar, actor and music artist
  • Freestyle+ cast, members of the Tony Award winning Broadway show Freestyle Love Supreme
  • Howie Mandel, comedian and television actor
  • Guy Raz, host and podcast creator whose work includes two of NPR’s most popular programs, TED Radio Hour and How I Built This
  • Anthony Veneziale, cofounder at freestyle+.

Additionally, the following celebrities are expected to make appearances at CES:

  • Steve Aoki, DJ and music producer
  • David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss, television writers, producers and co-creators of Game of Thrones – see them at the Netflix booth on January 9
  • Bianca D’Ambrosio, Emmy nominated actor, producer, executive of Mirror Image Films
  • Chiara D’Ambrosio, Emmy winning actor, producer and founding executive of Mirror Image Films
  • Esther Choi, chef/owner of mŏkbar and mŏkbar Brooklyn
  • Mark Cuban, businessman and tech entrepreneur, as well as, part-owner of the NBA team the Dallas Mavericks, Shark Tank investor, and co-founder of Cost Plus Drugs, will be speaking about healthcare transformation on January 11
  • Daymond John, businessman and Shark Tank investor
  • Geoffrey Moore, New York Times bestselling author
  • Ludacris, music artist, actor and businessman
  • Chip Wade, businessman, Emmy-winning host and executive producer
  • Will.i.am, music artist and singer-songwriter, will be joining CES exhibitor Mercedes
  • Wu-Tang Clan, music collective
  • Bo Yokely, actor in Apple TV’s Swagger.

These celebrities also join a recently announced slate of senior government officialsand keynotes from CEOs of some of the world’s most innovative companies. Stay tuned and follow CES social media channels for more celebrity announcements.

Vision of an Entrepreneur

As an Entrepreneur, you are most concerned about yourself 
since you are trying to build an extension of yourself . . . EGO.

If that is what you really want to do, then that Spirit must be built with a delicate hand. 
Go to where you feel at ease. For, if this Dream is to happen, then that is where it will happen.

However, if you reap Negative thoughts, those will happen too. 
But only consider the amount of energy needed to change them to Positive will be the same. 
Turn your cheek to the Negatives for your Dream will come true, if you believe.

For every Entrepreneur runs after their rainbow, their Dream. 
Yours is no less valid than any other. 
In fact, it really does not matter which one you pick. 
Your Attitude will decide what will happen to you. Why fight?

If every person desiring to make a statement. 

Any statement. 

Would.

123123 New Year’s Eve

As this year comes to an end,
Know that the New Year brings
Love and Happiness to those
Who seek to serve Mankind.

And know that your Son
Has found his real Father
Who art in Heaven.

So as the New Dawn approaches,
Be assured that a New Age awakens.
For those who humbly ask to
Serve God and the Divine Plan.
And know that there is a Divine Destiny.
For your son. Dreamland in Reality.

And know that He opens His Heart
To you as you have so loved His Son.
And may your New Life be filled
With the Gold which is in Your Heart.
And let it flow out to those in Need.

For a Holy Man I have known
And Loved.
So fear not the Future,
For she provides your wants and needs
As my Father has for me.

So let us give Thanks
For the Moments we have shared
And Grown In.

For He saw His Son.
And He was pleased.

In Love & Peace.

Written 12/31/1979

Veterans and Veteran’s Day

Remember Honor

The first day on the road to becoming a veteran is long and strange.  An early morning gathering where a group of strangers raise their hand and take the oath and are inducted into a branch of the U.S. military.  Whether a cold, snowy wintery day or a sizzling hot summer day, there are likely to be similarities for most, if not all who go through the process.

The group of strangers travel by various modes of transport to arrive at the end of a long day (such as it was for this writer) at a so-called “reception” station.  Our reception included nothing to drink or eat.  We were received and greeted by a group of men yelling.  They wore starched olive drab green fatigue uniforms with stripes on their sleeves, encouraging us to exit our buses and get in a formation.  

The pavement was painted with examples of how we should stand at attention in our traveling civilian clothes.  There were shoeprints on the pavement.  Our feet angled to cover those painted shoeprints, and this would be our initial military formation.  Our “greeters” continued yelling until everyone from numerous buses were out and in formation.  We had enough recruits to form a new basic training company. 

Here, I digress to underscore an important facet about induction, basic training, and military service.  In 1948, President Truman signed an Executive Order (No. 9981) that abolished segregation in the U.S. military.  The Executive Order states, in part, that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin”.  Given the year of this Order, it is safe to say that the overwhelming majority of today’s veterans served after President Truman signed this Order.       

For some, military basic training provided many “firsts” in their lives: the first time they had been away from home for an extended period, the first-time firing weapons, the first time experiencing group punishment because of the actions of one individual.  There were many firsts, the first time sharing living space with complete strangers.  One of the significant “firsts” is living in the barracks with people of a different race or from a very different ethnic background and religion.    

The weeks, months and years that follow that day of induction are about mission, teamwork and, above all, readiness and national security.  The time in the military should also deliver some insight and educate military members about people from those different backgrounds, whether racial or religious, and the reality of all working toward a common cause and objective.

During a period of our lives, we veterans lived and worked with people from across the spectrum of ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.  Despite those fundamental differences, we took an oath to protect others who are different, and we served with them, taking the same oath of service. 

In a country that is now engulfed in division, much of it promoted by elected officials, veterans need to step up and reject efforts to divide by race, color, religion, national origin and the new issue of division, sexual orientation.  Veterans need to engage in some introspection about what they are for: a country allowed to be divided by superficial, self-promoters or those who are committed to evidence-based realities even when they are inconvenient or don’t align with personal views.  

Veterans who continue to be committed to the oath of service cannot be allowed to stand by phrases and sayings like “My Oath of Enlistment has no Expiration Date” but then support those who succeed and profit from creating and embracing increased divisions among the citizenry.  Indeed, if today’s veterans still believe in the oath taken upon induction to protect and defend the constitution then there must be a return to accepting facts, rejecting the rhetoric of division and efforts to undermine the very foundations of the democracy we took an oath to protect. 

This Veterans Day, like the ones before, politicians will wrap themselves in the flag and attempt to convince us of their patriotism, yet conduct themselves every other day in ways that contradict not just the oath veterans once took, but the oath of office they took.  Veterans, like the rest of the population, will not agree on everything, but it is incumbent on this subset of the overall population to remember the oath taken and to continue to defend the constitution in the face of today’s challenges.  

God Will Lead You Home

The $5.00 Airline Ticket

There is no more important principle to learn as an entrepreneur than that God will lead you. In all my years of traveling and pursuing my dreams, that is the only constant I can communicate to you.

It is really not an overwhelming principle, but one learned by taking small steps, seemingly insignificant steps when you feel you should. We have all heard about that wee little voice in our head which seems to nudge us at the right time to make the right decision. Who knows how it all works. But work it does if you let it. 

I relay this story to you not so much so I can brag how wonderful I am. How faithful I am. Because I am not. I am just like everyone else who constantly seems to fall short of what we know we are capable of. And yet, I have found hope in those small accomplishments when I have listened to the small prompting which tells me that I need to act. Yes, act.

While God’s world is about listening, it is really more importantly about acting. Taking action. When we act on our nudges, we endorse the presence of God within us. We acknowledge that those promptings have a significance to our lives.

Once again, I relate this story so you might see some similarities within your life. That you might re-evaluate the promptings you have had in the past . . . and failed to act on. That you in the future might, just might, give them a chance by acting on them.

And here is the key: this is a process. There is no magic formula to learning to listen, to discern. Rather it is a process where you act on certain impulses and observe their outcomes. The more you are willing to act on the small nudges, the greater God will communicate the bigger ones to you. So simple, yet so complex.

For you see, life is there for the asking. God is there to help you. But He cannot do it alone. He needs you to be His accomplice. So, He can lead you to the life that He wants you to lead. The life that deep down within yourself you know you want. That is the nature of God.

So, as I try to relate this story to you, I will try to acknowledge my shortcomings, but if it sounds so wonderful to you, don’t forget it all started with a $5.00 airline trip.

******

Every year there was a BookExpo which was the largest booksellers’ event in North America. I had been attending the convention since 1999 when I began to think about expanding into book publishing after thirteen years of publishing my Owl Media Guide’s Nevada Media Directory reference book. That year BookExpo was in Los Angeles, and I attended. In 2004, it was to be held in Chicago. At the time, I lived in Las Vegas. I knew I needed to attend, but the previous month had not been financially rewarding. I kept wondering when I would be able to have enough money to make a reservation . . . and to go. Three weeks before the event I still had not made a reservation.

During this time, I had been monitoring a megachurch’s website in the Chicago area called Willow Creek to see if and when my former Senior Pastor was going to be teaching. He had left our Las Vegas church nearly a year before. He had been a strong influence on bringing me back to church and inspired me to becoming a better person by being an authentic person himself. I checked daily for weeks . . . imagining what it would be like to fit in church and the BookExpo. More on that later.

Well, the BookExpo ran from Wednesday night through Sunday the week right after Memorial Day. I was coming closer to losing the best chance at an airfare. I constantly played out scenarios in my mind about how to get there and the cheapest possible way to spend time there.

On a Friday night about two weeks before the show, I was sitting in my living room in Las Vegas. I still had no money. I kept thinking that I was not going to be able to go. And then it hit me . . . rather it nudged me.

Go check out reward travel . . . tonight.

Well, I did not have enough reward miles to get a ticket . . . I was 150 miles short for an AmericaWest airline ticket. I wasn’t even close for a United ticket . . . 8,000 miles short. I knew I could buy miles to make it over the edge, but even that would cost me $50.00 for the reward ticket.

“God if I only had $150.00, I could buy a ticket and save my miles. Yeah right, I am going to get a ticket. What kind of ticket could I get for the $7.00 I have in my bank account,”I said.

Nudge. Go online and look.

So, after procrastinating for awhile, I went to my computer and went to the AmericaWest site. I punched in my reward number and selected flights. I got to the point I selected some tickets which would at least get me to Chicago and a shot at seeing my pastor on Wednesday night before the Book Expo started. 

Hmmm, maybe this was going to work.

I went all the way to checkout. I thought I outconned the system. I was going to get my ticket to Chicago.

Then the dreaded screen came up.

YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MILES FOR A REWARD TICKET. 

YOU CAN PURCHASE MILES FOR $50.00.

I no longer was king. My lack of miles had been discovered. They had tantalized me to the point I thought I was going to get away with it. And then the door shut in my face.

“But I don’t have $50.00. Make an exception. I am so close. I won’t tell anyone.”

The screen did not magically change and grant my wish. Maybe, God had forgot to tell them it was OK to give me the ticket.

I closed out the browser and started over again. Afterall, AmericaWest should have another chance at giving me the ticket. A fresh chance.

So yes, I started all over again. That’s right. I logged back into the site, punched in the dates and city, selected the flights, and pushed Order Tickets. I knew God had enough time to communicate with them. He is omnipotent. Click.

I was horrified by what I saw on the screen next.

YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MILES FOR A REWARD TICKET. 

YOU CAN PURCHASE MILES FOR $50.00.

“Huh. Didn’t you get the memo from God? He sent me one while I was on the couch to get my tickets.”

The screen did not flicker. The infamous blue screen from Microsoft did not overcome my computer.

I did what any sane person who do. I haughtily got up from my chair, walked over to the couch, sat down, and turned on the television. But my mind kept saying:

“God, what’s the deal? Are you testing me? Well, I passed. I went over to the computer and tried. But God you didn’t do so hot. I got no tickets. Omniscience. I thought you knew the mileage requirements for a reward ticket. At least now you do. Thanks a lot.”

“Or is the Devil teasing me?”

Who cares? Let’s get back to watching the boob tube. Enough of this nonsense. And that is where I left it for the next hour.

“Go get your ticket.”

Yeah, right. I continued watching TV. I would tell you what I was watching, but I don’t remember. Time marched on.

“Go get your ticket.”

In defiance, I stood up. Sure, makes sense. I am sure the rules have changed in the last hour. What was I thinking? They say insanity is marked by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I was being mocked. Well, I am going to do this. And show the world. I went to the computer.

Guess what. AmericaWest’s site worked very well and, on the screen, came:

YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MILES FOR A REWARD TICKET. 

YOU CAN PURCHASE MILES FOR $50.00.

Third time is the charm. Duh. Well, life is not always the way we want it to be. Call the white jackets. I am ready to be admitted. Not really, but I was feeling melodramatic. Self-pity flooded me.

“Go get your ticket.”

I can’t say why I did it. But when insanity has been declared, you look for different answers. I decided to let United Airlines mock me too.

I punched in my ticket request knowing I did not have enough miles . . . about 8,000 miles short to be more precise.

I went through the routine of picking days and times . . . trying to see my pastor and get to the BookExpo and out of town as fast as possible. I tried the red-eye on Tuesday and the 6 a.m. on Wednesday so I could get into Chicago for church and leave late Sunday after the show. Four days in a hotel max.

Having crafted my timetable of efficiency and expediency, I hit enter.

Rejection is never a pleasant experience. United was not buying this itinerary. I added a day at a time trying to get a ticket.

“No thank you,” said United. “Try again.”

I had the church’s website in one window. United in another. BookExpo in another.

I must have played with it for fifteen minutes trying to get something to qualify for a ticket . . . I would have even been satisfied for a reasonable ticket, even though I had no money to buy it. Some small victory at least.

“Go get your ticket.”

At this point in trying, I was at the Saturday before the BookExpo opened (5 days in advance) and the Tuesday after BookExpo (2 days after the event closed). Ten (10) hotel nights. Ten (10) days of car rental.

Yeah, this is smart. This is going to work. Oh, what the hell! 

Click.

I don’t recall what actually happened next. It was either “Select Your Seats” or “Confirm to Continue.” Or something. It was one of those moments that time stands still. You can’t believe your eyes. You wander if you are hallucinating. But there it was.

“As a way of introducing Ted, our new airlines, this United Airline’s special promotion requires only 15,000 miles.”

Miles Used: 15,000.

Total Amount Due: $5.00.

$5.00. Five Dollars. 

Where is that decimal point? Count the zeroes. Breathe. Don’t touch the keyboard. Remain calm.

I had 18,000 miles in my account. 

And then my mind turned a new way. Yes, I will be honest with you that the following occurred. I am not proud of it, but I do acknowledge it.

“Well, that’s great God. $5.00 for a ticket. Such a deal. Ten days in a hotel. Ten days in a rental car. That $5.00 is going to cost another $1,000.00 to pull off. I have $7.00 if I combine both of my bank accounts. I think I am going to be short.”

All this to the God of the Universe. The provider of all things.”

“Go get your ticket.”

Well, I really have nothing to lose . . . except for $5.00. I opened another window and logged into my bank. I transferred $4.00 from one account to the other. I now have $6.72 in my business account.

I enter my business debit card information in United Airlines site. I click Order and hold my breath.

The hourglass appears. My blood pressure is rising. Tension is in the air. After what seemed an eternity:

Congratulations! Here is your Confirmation Order number and Itinerary.

I am going to Chicago.

“Got your ticket?”

I inwardly smile.

“Yeah, I’ve got my ticket.”

I was just looking in the wrong place. Not exploring all the possibilities. Doubting myself. Limiting the God of the Universe.

And yet, setting all my self-doubts aside, I tried. I acted.

******

Several weeks later, I sat in Willow Creek Church on Sunday morning.

Faithfulness was the topic. How faithfulness was a quality of a follower of God. How we need to be faithful to our word. Faithful to our family and friends. Faithful to God.

Tears filled my eyes. My heart swelled with emotion. I thanked God.

All this because of a $5.00 ticket.

July 4th: Fissures in the Foundation

A month ago, millions around the world took a moment to recognize the 79th anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1944).  Though not a national holiday in the United States, perhaps it should be.  The footage of allied forces, including thousands of young American men, storming the beaches in France have been seen by many whether in documentaries or in movies. 

Generally, Germany, Japan, and Italy had strong central governments to control and direct all aspects of individual life through coercion and repression and had taken up arms to expand their rule across Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.  Millions of Americans traded in their civilian clothes for uniforms of the armed forces to fight in World War II.  The battle was against the totalitarian government of Germany, an authoritarian government of Japan, and a fascist Italy.  

In the space of one lifetime, there is significant evidence in the United States exposing us as susceptible to the very threat that millions of Americans fought against in World War II.  A troublesome aspect of today’s U.S. political environment is that many who have at some point in their lives sworn to protect and defend the Constitution have taken up arms to actively undermine the foundations upon which the country was founded.

In view of what our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought against and fought for in World War II, it is beyond discouraging to learn that of those participating in the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, a significant percentage of them had a military or law enforcement background.  According to an NPR March 2023 investigative report[JO1] , approximately fifteen percent (15%) of those prosecuted had either a military or law enforcement background.

Sometimes, going back to basics is important and is worthy for us to remind ourselves of these basics.  There is something fundamental and common when serving the United States.  Whether one is an eighteen-year-old enlistee into the military, or one elected to the U.S. Congress or taking the office of the President, there is an oath for each.  The similarity of these oaths, despite the differences in magnitude of responsibility, is striking. 

By law, any person enlisting in the U.S. armed forces must take an oath.  An enlistee states that  “I, (his/her name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  So help me God.”  

At the end of the oath above, it makes clear that a service member must follow orders “according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”  The fine line reading requires an understanding of following legal orders and not following illegal orders. 

The U.S. Constitution provides the language of the required oath of a person taking the office of the Presidency:  “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The core element in both oaths is the obligation to commit to protecting the Constitution of the United States and by extension all laws enacted under the powers granted to the Congress and the President.  Theoretically, we do not get to pick and choose what laws should be enforced and who should be subject to those laws when no specific individual is exempted from them.

Whether it was the outcome of the November 2020 election that resulted in President Biden’s election or the recent indictment of Donald Trump relating to classified documents, both events were subjected to the legal process.  Literally dozens of court cases found no evidence of fraud or a stolen election in 2020.  The conduct of numerous attorneys attempting to challenge the result of the 2020 election through their filing of complaints before the federal courts has resulted in sanctions imposed on attorneys for failing to engage in the type of due diligence required before filing complaints in court.  

Unlike the courts, media personalities who seek to gain broad audience appeal and attention can say or do practically anything with impunity.  However, those attorneys who seek to overturn an election without proper evidentiary foundation can find themselves on the wrong side of an ethical line.  While the general public may consume all the media rhetoric spilled by various “news” outlets, judges expect fact-based submissions supported by evidence.  

The latest series of developments regarding classified materials and the case against the former president have again raised the issue of law enforcement.  It is ironic that for millions who would usually complain about the rich and powerful being treated under a more lenient set of rules and laws, so many now find it appalling that the former occupant of the White House is being subjected to the type of investigation and examination that many have been in the past for the same legal infractions.  

The continuing barrage of rhetoric, some of which is to incite and encourage citizens to violence because of an indictment supported by evidence of wrongdoing pulls back the curtain and exposes both office holders and citizens willing to undermine the rule of law in the United States.    

As another Independence Day comes upon us, we find ourselves in some disarray.  How can it be that so many who once swore allegiance to the Constitution now encourage and incite others to take up arms or engage in violent conduct against the upholding of the laws of the United States?  How can so many who are law enforcers or officers of the courts, having taken an oath to uphold laws and the constitution, consider it acceptable to ignore their oath of duty when off-duty?

The reality is that July 4th is no more significant on the calendar than any other day.  Every day is significant when considering the future of a constitutional democracy where citizens do expect that the rule of law will be respected and applied to all.  And, rather than succumb to political and media personalities, their own vested interests in riling up the citizenry for profit and adulation, we as citizens should expect more of ourselves as more educated and discerning individuals willing to take a few minutes to ensure that we are not manipulated and easily swayed so that we continue the hard work of a more perfect union. 


Recognize the Changes Needed to Reach Your Dream as an Entrepreneur

As an Entrepreneur,

you are most concerned about yourself

since you are trying to build an extension of yourself…

EGO.

If that is what you really want to do,

then that Spirit must be built with a delicate hand.

Go to where you feel at ease.

For, if this Dream is to happen,

then that is where it will happen.

If you want to become an entrepreneur, your dream will reveal the type of person you want to be and the life you want to lead. To realize your dream, you must nurture your Spirit and become that person. You need to merge with your vision in order to become the person you want to be. And turn your dreams into reality.

Your dream will oftentimes reveal a fresh, new exciting person who wants to emerge from within. Your vision will, more often than not, require you to change in order to become this new person. You will need to transform yourself so that this new person can emerge.

Why do I say that? 

Because your dream will often highlight a part of you, in which you are not satisfied. Maybe you do not currently see yourself achieving the goals you want in your life because you lack perseverance. Perhaps, you lack commitment and have a problem maintaining your focus on your dream. Maybe, you become distracted too easily.

Whatever the roadblocks your dream may expose, there are also answers to reaching your dream. Those answers are within you. 

Dreams reveal to us what we, at first, might not consider our destiny. And yet, we all have a vision of ourselves fulfilled, satisfied, and happy. But often our life experiences—and current situation—seem so very different than where we imagined we wanted to be.

Our everyday life often becomes so overwhelming that we soon forget that we create our own reality. We get caught up with living for the day and not creating the life we truly desire. 

Stay out of that trap.

For as long as your focus remains on today and its realities, you lose your focus of where you are going and how to get there. 

Let your dream or vision reveal its path to you.

So simple, yet so complex.

Maybe you see yourself as a highly successful person running your own business. Examine your dream to see where it takes place and what type of person you must become to merge with that image. As you nurture your dream, more details will become clearer to you.

Ask yourself these questions:

How do you look in your dream? Are you fat? Are you thin? How are you dressed? What type of personality do you have? Where does this dream take place? What are you doing in your dream?

These are the keys to understanding where it is you want to go. You will need to make the necessary changes in your life to realize your vision. Unless you merge with your own personal image in the dream, you will never fully experience your dream.

For example, if in your dream, you are thin and well-dressed, you will not achieve your dream until you reflect this image. Yes, this means the fat has to come off. Yes, that will require work on your part, but the payoff is reaching your goal, your vision.

How can you expect to reach your dream unless you become the person in it?

Your dream will reveal the image you seek. You must work to become that image in your conscious thoughts. Even if you do all the other mundane things involved, you will never reach the pinnacle of your dream unless you merge with your own personal image.

Of course, you can have all the other ingredients. Let’s say, you see yourself as a doctor. You surely can go to college and then medical school. You can finish your residency. But until you merge physically, mentally,and spiritually with your image, you will never experience the success your dream envisions of being a doctor.

A very important part of this process is to go to where you feel at ease. We have all experienced how some places work for us—and how others don’t. To be successful, you need to find the place where you feel at home—where you can nurture your Spirit as you begin to journey into yourself. For my Entrepreneur, the essence of your dream is you. You will never arrive there unless you become the reality you desire.

If your dream occurs in a certain city or country, you will have to travel there in order to become what you envision. It may not be today that you leave for your destination. Sometimes you have to make other improvements and changes before you reach your destination.

Most of the time, we are only willing to make changes when we are frustrated and no longer feel we are progressing. Use that frustration as a guide. It means that a new life awaits you if you are willing to do whatever is necessary to change. Simply moving to another city is not the answer—even if you see yourself in that city in your dream. You may have to make other changes physically and mentally before you proceed.

In order to create a new life, you have to examine your old one. What have you created so far?  What do you need to remove before you can proceed? 

Roadblocks exist in all our lives because we create them. 

When you realize that you have created your own reality, you will also become aware that you can change it—so your new life can begin. You will still have to deal with all the things you have created. Your lifestyle. Your debts. Your children. Your family.

All these factors must be addressed and cleared before you can proceed with your new life as an Entrepreneur. You must discard the old and make room for the new. This is the way of an Entrepreneur.

So look at your dream and where it wants to lead you. Prepare yourself for its inception by preparing yourself. It may seem difficult to address all these issues, but you must before you can make real progress.

Consider who you want to be. Where you see yourself doing business. Where you see yourself living. The more you focus on your dream, the more details will be revealed to you. 

Then you will know where this journey into Dreamland in Reality is leading you.