Finally! Your Freedom to Travel...

I have a special treat for you —  Robert Van Arlen has mentioned us on his trip to Europe. Make sure you take a look at the video at the bottom of the post.
I’d also like to share an excerpt from Robert’s blog so you can see why we’re lucky to have him as a fan. Enjoy!
Robert Van Arlen:

Some of the best lessons come from the most unlikely places. This month I share my insights learned from a very special person in my life who brings a wealth of experience we can all benefit from.

Thanks, Grandma, for reminding me of these important business and personal lessons.

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We just entered a new decade and I was thinking of the person in my life that inspired me the most during what Time Magazine called the “the decade from hell,” the first decade of 2000. There is only one person who really stands out, and she is the same person that has inspired me my entire life. Her name is Salvina Walls, and you won’t find her on Facebook or Twitter, nor does she have an e-mail address. It’s not because she could not figure It out, because believe me she continues driving, even as she turned 89 last month, and she loves her cell phone. The lessons I’ve learned over the past decades from her will undoubtedly carry me through this next decade, which I believe will be the decade of positive change. Here are a few.

Never Lose Faith
No matter how tough it gets or how difficult it seems, just keep believing it will get better, and it will. She is one of those people that truly understands that growth comes during difficult times. We seem to turn off our growth spurt when things are going good. I discovered enrollment is at an all time high for a lot of academic institutions as I spoke around the country at various colleges and universities the latter part of this past decade. As I begin this year, I’m thinking about ways I can retool and invest in my personal growth because I do believe opportunity comes to those that have skills and are prepared.

Always Help Others

We think about helping those in need around the holidays, but what can we do on a consistent basis?  I was very fortunate growing up to see Grandma Walls open her home to feed the children and families in her neighborhood. She gave them an inspirational message of hope every time.  That sounds like coaching to me! It’s awesome to meet the people whose life she impacted in a positive way. The pay-it-forward mentality is the inspiration I receive from hearing their stories.

Earn the Respect of Family and Friends
Grandma Walls is the nucleus of our family and her friends.  She garners the utmost respect from everyone and is known to tell it like it is. I wonder what she would say to Mr. Tiger Woods. In some cases she doesn’t respond right away, but chooses to think and pray on the situation first. When she does decide to respond, it is meaningful and reveals a profound solution. I think about the opportunities I have to tell it like it is as I kick off this decade of change. I will take what I’ve learned from Grandma to earn the respect of my audiences, telling the truth of what will make a difference for each of them and their organizations.

Make a game plan and stick with it
Every year, Grandma Walls makes a commitment to her church. She determines what she wants to do in giving her support and makes a plan. She knows that there will be challenges along the way, but she stays committed and focused on what it will take to achieve her goal. I remember one year she committed to raise a certain amount and decided the best way was to bake her famous sweet potato pies. She established a price and knew in advance how many she had to sell to achieve her goal.   Grandma was very confident she would achieve that goal.  Having a plan combined with commitment and confidence are the winning ingredient for this upcoming year. I started mine in December and I’m happy to say it’s the most exciting plan I’ve ever developed. I’ve decided to dig deeper into new opportunities with new added strategies.  The bottom line is I’ve expanded my global reach with innovative marketing approaches. Now all I have to do is commit, be confident and never give up.

I wish everyone a successful 2010 and please don’t forget the lessons from Grandma Walls.