Greener Grass and Invisible fences

It is a beautiful autumn afternoon.

I drive quickly to make my meeting on time. 

The man I zoom past in my car sits in a lawn chair just inside his open garage door.

As leaves spiral slowly earthward, the man studies the busy highway from his secluded vantage point.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to sit quietly in a chair this afternoon and watch the world go by, I think.

The world has left me behind; if I only could enjoy the excitement of a full day once again, the man in the chair reflects.

Goal Planning for 2008

My 2008 theme banner from yesterday’s post, Visualize,Materialize,Capitalize, felt lonely on stage without company.

I came up with 9 goals for me to help support the theme. 

Why 9? 

Why not?

Write your own goals first; number them later.  If you have no written goals, start with this one:

1. My goal is to write my goals for 2008 in the next 7 days.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – –

9 goals for 2008

  1. Maintain the best Attitude-Rephrase the negative to positive (work that law of attraction, you never know)
  2. Eliminate Delay- stop shuffling paper, seeking perfection and get on with it
  3. Accelerate Decision Process-  Trust the facts and trust intuition and decide now
  4. Radiate Self Confidence- posture, thoughts, words, dress.  First impressions count.
  5. Focus over Distract-resist the siren call of distraction and maintain focus
  6. Prioritize everything
  7. Identify Truth from perceived reality
  8. Draw Inspiration and Guidance-spiritually, from associates, from thinkers and self
  9. Make time for rest and play

Theme Planning for 2008

It may seem a bit early to be planning 2008, but not if it arrives as quickly as 2007 seems to be disappearing!

My Friday afternoon mastermind group was discussing this subject and how themes for the year are helpful in staying focused on annual goals.  A theme, in the sense of a recurring unifying idea, is a terrific reminder of your objectives.

"What’s your theme for next year, Doug?", came the question from a group member.


Theme?  I dunno, I answered.

But, I know now:

Visualize, Materialize Capitalize.

Not exactly quotable like, "Veni, Vidi, Vici", but it helps me.

Visualize- If you can see the idea in your mind,

Materialize- then make it appear in reality and

Capitalize- take advantage of the opportunity it creates,

you’ll make great progress.

Whose Job Is It Anyway?

The organizational chart has been known to send chills down the spines of corporate ladder climbers in search of advancement.  So many people, so many positions to climb over on the ascent.

For the less ambitious, multi-tiered org charts can cure insomnia faster than a late night vegematic infomercial.

Small business owners seldom take time to create an organizational chart.  With a few part timers or a handful oHorse_bus_org_chartf full timers, everybody knows what their jobs are, don’t they?

Not always, I find.  An organizational chart is a helpful visual for planning, assigning additional jobs and for encouraging employees to better manage their departments. 

It works for all levels.  If the pitchfork operator knows his main responsibility is bedding and manure management, he’ll take pride in delivering his delegated assignments with skill and speed.

Marketing Methodically

It’s October and the holiday season is about to move from a trot to a full canter toward us.  While traditionally a slow season in many ways for professional horsemen, don’t ignore the gift giving impulses of many for riding lessons in 2008.

If you sell riding lessons in multiples, that is multi-week periods, semesters or series, it’s time to prepare for your launch to parents, relatives and spouses for 2008 pre-sales.  Get your offering ready for:

  • Printed flyers for direct mail
  • Verbal delivery at the barn
  • Website sales

The benefit is cash for your checking account and a pre booked season to look forward to during the dark, gloomy days of tight cash, winter weather and dismal post holiday spending.


North Is Always Right Where It Is

Recently, Will and I were driving in an area that he was not familiar with.  In an effort to orient him to the geography, I asked the 18 year old what direction we were traveling.  North, South, East or West?   He paused for a moment, grinned and said “North?”

“Close, you’re only off 180 degrees; we’re headed South”, I answered dryly.

“Well, North is always in front of you, and that’s where we are pointed, ahead of us”, he retaliated.

He got me.  He’s right about North, in a map reading sense.  Since North is usually at the top of a map and moving forward, or up, on the map moves you in the direction of North.

Therefore, in Will’s logic, what you see through the windshield is always North.  I suspect Chief Navigator will not be a job title he will ever hold, but his thought process is valid.

Navigation by dead reckoning is not as common as I’d like it to be.  The way others follow instructions is as predictable as the way they interpret compass directions.  It doesn’t take long to lose your way traveling, or lose your way completing a task or job directive.

Are your instructions and directions for employees clear for “dead reckoners”, landmark navigators and “seat of the pants” flyers? 

Be perceptive about perspective when giving directions.

Composting Horse Manure

It’s hard to say "horse manure" without cracking a smile.  The subject of countless jokes, a popular descriptive term for incredulous claims and the end product of equine metabolic function, it never fits in something as small as a crock, despite the frequent references you might hear.

O2compost Manure management consumes much of our day.  Bedding IN, soiled bedding, manure and unwanted feed OUT.  It’s an in and out flow to be dealt with every day of the year.

With fewer opportunities to spread it, limited space to store it and expensive handling costs, manure is a major expense item for labor and equipment.

Peter Moon of  02Compost has invested a considerable amount of time studying and advising horsemen about the benefits of composting manure.  He spent time with me yesterday explaining the benefits of composting using some fairly simple technology.  The principle is to accelerate composting time with the use of timed blowers and piping to keep a steady supply of oxygen to the rotting manure pile.

Even though he is a professional engineer, Peter is very good at explaining the process in a way that is easy to understand and does not require an advanced engineering degree.  If your manure pile(s) are beginning to look like Mt. Everest, take a look at Peter’s website and what he does for his clients. 

It’s good business sense.