Friday, December 19, 2008

Tis the Season

Am I the only one frustrated that the media is trying to steal my joy of the season by hyping on consumers’ lack of confidence? Lack of confidence – hmm. I am going to spend a little less this year but I am still plenty confident. My life is full, my stomach is full, my home is full and my tank is full. Just because my investments have gone down in value and business is slow is no reason to forget the meaning of the season. The adage “he who dies with the most toys, wins” is clever but not truth. I enjoy my “toys” as much as the next guy but my real treasure is my family, friends and a businesss that fulfills my need for accomplishment.

I am actually thankful that we consumers are getting a wake up call. As a community we spent the 90s buying up what we wanted, mostly on credit. Now that our nation has over consumed and over borrowed we are having a crash. Why didn’t we see it coming? The depression generation only spent what they had. When they ran out of money they entertained themselves for free, ate beans and rice and didn’t redecorate their humble abode.

We all probably know in theory that stuff is not what makes us happy but we have been in the habit of running out and getting stuff, spending a bunch celebrating at a restaurant, etc. Have a creative Christmas filling it with good times with loved ones that cost little but pay big dividends in the memory bank.

Happy Holidays.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Little Thanks would be Nice

I just finished reading my Friday story of the day on Zig Ziglar’s daily quote. The author reminded me to appreciate my blessings. Lately because of our economic turmoil, job loss reports, new presidency transition and bad news press it is hard to stay in a thankful spot. Read a little of David Leonhardt’s insight.

Consider how much we have. More than any of our ancestors, we live in the Land of Plenty. We have more than anybody who has lived at any time before. And for those of us who live in the developed world, we have more than most people on our little planet have even today.

I'm not just talking about our abundance of "stuff”. We throw out more "junk" than we ever could find a use for in the first place.
But we have so much more than just 'stuff'. Consider the following:

FREEDOM AND CHOICE: More of the world lives in a democracy than ever before, and democracy is becoming more open or "democratic" with every year (perhaps in part due to the Internet).

OPPORTUNITIES: With freedom and affluence comes opportunity. We have more opportunity to make money, to earn it the way we wish, to choose our careers, our location, even our lifestyle.

KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION: Even the dumbest among us has more knowledge than most people who lived a couple centuries ago. (I said more "knowledge", not more "wisdom", but that's another topic.)

HEALTH: Just surviving past childhood used to be a major success. Now we expect to live comfortably into our 80s or 90s. And we expect - no, we demand - to have exceptional health care all along the way (even those who are afraid to go to the doctor!).

This list could keep growing.

Whatever you have, you can either appreciate or not.

Sadly, we who are drowning in luxuries can't seem to find the time to appreciate what we have ... but we still make time to whine and complain.

The secret to feeling the appreciation is in expressing our gratitude vocally or in writing.


David Leonhardt is author of a self-help happiness book. He also runs a Liquid Vitamins Store and serves as a SEO/SEM website marketing consultant

To read all of David’s story go to

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brain Power

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge. Let your imagination, the key to learning and memory, unleash that brain power and propel you along at ever-increasing speeds. It’s not an exclusive path with access granted only to those with a special gift for learning. It is, instead, available to everyone who has a brain. Anything’s possible!”
~ Dominic O’Brien: World Memory Champion.

I read this quote on Zig Ziglar's quote of the day and was encouraged so I thought I’d blog my thoughts on this today. I was definitely convinced that I had some major learning issues and so thought my path was limited. I had a “lazy eye” when I was a child so my school plunked me in special ed. My eye didn’t really affect my brain (well maybe) but the “professionals” must have thought it did thus the alternative learning group for me. I overcame, graduated college with help and continue to learn and teach others. Even still I need to be reminded of the incredible potential God put in my little brain. The brain is powerful.
Our brains are unique, so my learning interests may vary from yours but we all have a world of new lessons to learn.

I am challenged by all there is to learn in the virtual world as well as the real world. I love that so many books are available on tape so I can challenge my brain even while driving. I talked with a bank auditor friend who is learning a new language…for fun. I asked what language. She said Mandarin. I thought that was a fruit. Anyway, she chose a language that doesn’t even have the same characters as English – you go girl.

What new can you learn today? Who else can you take along with you on a new learning adventure?

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Death to the Sales Script

What’s so wrong with a phone sales script? By Jeff Roach

If you are a carrier or a broker/agent you are always looking for shippers. To get shippers you make calls. You need a sales script, right??? Anyone who knows me knows I go crazy when a student asks for a script when calling shippers for the first time.

Now imagine yourself after working hard all day and the phone rings …you’re hoping it is your fishing buddy. The black bass are hitting all over lake Travis, I'm thinking with a smile and then to my surprise it's a telemarketer.

We all hate to be bothered by these people who invade our space. How dare they? You see when you read a script you come across as a telemarketer. Then you start believing and acting like a telemarketer. Telemarketers are pests who are trying to sell us something we probably don’t want or need. A Freight Broker is offering a service the shipper vitally needs.

Be confidant knowing people buy from you because you have invested in education, you’re a giver, and you have a great attitude. Being new at the job can be a bonus. Tell the shipper you’re new and you want to help them solve their problems.

Get to the right person at the shipper firm and ask if it is an okay time to visit. If the say yes, ask them when's the last time you needed a truck and couldn't find one? Wait as long as possible. Silence is golden.

Listen to what the customer is telling you. Take notes and ask to go over the notes. Ask: What are the goals are of the shipper? Then purpose to help them reach those goals. Become part of the team.

It takes 7-9 touches before a customer makes a buying decision so do not quit after four. They say about 80% of sales people stop calling on a prospect after 4 times. Every sales book in America will tell you it takes 7-9 touches before a prospect will buy from you. What is a touch? A note in the mail, an email, a phone call...

I promise, once the traffic manager trusts you because you did what you said when you said you were going to do it, you will get business.

You will get customer for life.

The customer chooses everything including when to buy, how much, and how often. The vendor they trust the most will be the one who gets the lion share of business. Rates are often talked about but in reality most shippers will pay more for out of this world service. Read Customers for Life by Carl Lewis.

The investment in time will pay off. Your goal is to make a customer, not a sale. I don't claim to be an expert on sales but I know for sure that if you treat the shipper the way you want to be treated - you will be a superstar sales pro.

I used to work for a great guy who owned a large trucking company. He’d say,” You will get a Gold Star on your forehead when you close a big account.” Funny thing I closed some whoppers and he never gave me those stars...He did give me an education and for that I will be always be grateful. You can’t replace education.

The more you earn, the more you learn.

My girls say artists are the smartest.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank a Veteran

Today, November 11 is the day set aside to honor our veterans. On church Sunday pastors across the nation recognized veterans and they received standing ovations. That is how it should be. I’m humbled to think of the scores of men and women who have put their lives on hold to defend freedom in far parts of the world. I googled Veterans day and found a site full of information on this day and other American traditions. Below find a few of the things the site explains. Learn about what has been done throughout our nation’s history to uphold our freedoms and help other countries enjoy those freedoms as well.

The Origins of Veterans Day -- World War I ended on November 11, 1918. On the same date three years later an unknown soldier from that war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. November 11 eventually became the date when America honors all who have served the United States in war.

* The History of the Purple Heart Award -- It is one of the most recognized and respected medals awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces. Introduced as the “Badge of Military Merit” by General George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart is also the nation's oldest military award.

* The Flower of Remembrance -- Learn how a simple red flower came to symbolize a perpetual tribute to those who have given their lives for the nation's freedom.

* The Story of Taps -- Based on a French signal to end the soldier's day, the melancholy bugle call now is also heard at military burials and memorial services.

* Arlington National Cemetery -- America's best known national cemetery still buries service members and some veterans.

* The United States Flag -- How "The Stars and Stripes" design has changed since 1776.

* The Pledge of Allegiance -- The words, and how they are delivered, have changed several times since 1892.

* "The Star-Spangled Banner" -- Francis Scott Key's poem and a British tune became the national anthem.

* "Old Glory" -- The story behind the affectionate name for the U.S. flag.

* The Origins of Flag Day -- The Continental Congress established the basic design of the U.S. flag on June 14, 1777, but many years passed before America officially observed National Flag Day.

• Guidelines for Display of the Flag -- Do's and Don'ts to correctly show respect for the national banner.

Don’t let this day end without thanking a vet for their sacrifice.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, November 10, 2008

No Sick Days

I remember training a disabled veteran to be a freight broker. I told him that this is a serious business and requires major discipline to get your business off the ground. "Working from home on the computer all day is not easy", I said. I tell it like it is.

He looked me square in the eyes and said, "you don't get sick days in the military Jeff". I said, “ Yes sir. I am sure you don't.”

Discipline and integrity are not just words to some people. I find the most respectful, humble, hard workers to be disabled. They have already endured more than most. Those things we endure squeeze out the real in us. When life is easy we can hide our true character. But when the going gets tough you start to see what people are truly made of.

I’m honored that my school is approved as a training school for these brave young men and women. Come to school with the best.

Our School number: S2133

Disabled Vets, contact your counselor to see if you qualify and give them our school number then please ask your counselor to contact Janis Roach at (817) 999-5398 to confirm if you qualify. This is the same process for all applicants wanting financial aid with either the Department of Rehabilitation Services,DARS, or through the Veterans Affairs Administration.

If you call me I’m not going to be a slick salesman just trying to get you to send me money. I’ll challenge you to search yourself to see if you have the stamina to push through to the profit stage in this business. You truly can make a lot of money as a broker. You determine your own financial future. In an unsure economy I like having the most control over my bottom line. Once you start finding loads and truckers to move those loads you are invigorated to go for more.

This is a great work from home based business; however, it takes 3-6 Months to get your business rolling so save at least 6 Months in living expenses prior to taking the course. Everyone will get placed with a broker as an agent if you want or you will have the knowledge to open your own brokerage and recruit agents.

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Votes are Counted

I cast my vote and thus was a part of a nationwide effort. Even when the vote doesn't go our way we need to recognize the priviledge to be able to make our choice known. Now that voting is over we must let go of our animosity and work together to be the great united nation the world admires. Obama truly does represent the freedom we have in America to pursue our dreams and to overcome great odds.

I found this on Family Research Council. It was written yesterday.

After 22 months of non-stop election coverage and oftentimes bitter debate, the American people are tired. The lines to vote are long, the polls seem lopsided, and the Left is already counting values voters out. So, why bother? In the words of one Iraqi woman, who had waited her entire life for the opportunity, "We are voting for our country." This newcomer to democracy summed up more about our freedom in that one sentence than many of us could after exercising it our whole lives. Today, the American people are not voting for any one man; we're voting to preserve the moral fiber of our nation, for U.S. soldiers on the battlefield, for the persecuted church in faraway lands, for millions of unborn children, and for the memory of the men and women who died so that our ballots might count. "Always vote for principle," John Quincy Adams said, "though you may vote alone...cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

No matter what the outcome or who prevails, God is still on His throne. He gave us this liberty, not that we might sit idly by, but so that His church would speak the truth. The Lord granted us our freedom to make a difference-it's our responsibility to exercise it.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

This has been an amazing election season. I find it a bit frustrating that the candidates start campaigning earlier and earlier each year. I suppose early campaigning does help us know the candidates through out the seasons. It is not unlike dating (from what I remember from my youth). You can date someone for quite awhile before you see their true colors, especially those practiced con artists.

The candidates can put on an act for a season, but their true beliefs come out as the campaigning stretches on. I am encouraged that the stark contrast between the two candidates has fired up voters. I think back to convention time and the number of candidates vying for the nomination; McCain and O’Bama were not the ones I thought we’d be deciding between. The wisdom of a grandpa type war veteran with a pit bull of a female running mate versus a young radically inventive senator teamed up with an older senator. We vote for the one we think represents our views and us most closely. The blogosphere has been overflowing with both sides passionately expressing their views. The top topic seems to be the economy. As a small businessman I really want to vote for Joe the Plumber because he expressed my views very well. I love the freedom our country has afforded me to reach for my dreams. I’ve had great years and challenging years but I have appreciated a country that puts few limits on small business and encourages innovative thinking.

I am a praying man and I am fervently praying for our country right now as we face mountain size issues at home and over seas. Jesus said that if we have the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains. I am only one man but I will push on my part of the mountain as long as I am given that opportunity.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, October 27, 2008

Excellent Class

We finished up a super class last week in Dallas. I wish all the graduates well. Enjoy your jump into the dynamic world of freight brokering. Make your 50 calls a day, you will succeed. I’d value seeing you again in our advanced course. Thanks again for coming to our course and participating to the full. Here are some of the comments we were honored to get from this most recent class of freight broker training live.

Well-organized class. Students get both a good learning experience as well as the opportunity to network for potential agent positions. Definitely time well spent.
Krishna R-

Worth every dollar! Caring for each student’s success was evident. Speakers and teachers shared real life experiences. All extended themselves after class to answer questions. Audrey M.

I would recommend carriers take this class. Very informative! Provided understanding of the other side of the business. Albert. A

Covered every aspect of brokering freight with a variety of expert teachers. Excellent.
John H.

Thank you for allowing me to attend this class…we can do this. Jeff Roach is a great motivator and teacher. Dotty H.

Really enjoyed speeches by Krish Dhanam, Roy Meyers and Josh Allen. They all helped me understand the agent process better by giving their hands-on input. Jeff and Janis Roach went beyond their duty to ensure we succeed. Janice K.

Class surpassed my very high expectations. Speakers were very informative. I feel confidant that I know what I want to do when I grow up. This class was a spiritual moment in my life. Ron

If you have ever spoken to any group you know that hearing “job well done” from your audience is priceless. Our next class in Dallas is the week of November 10th. So come fill up with knowledge before you fill up with turkey.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, October 24, 2008

Inspiring Courage

We train many disabled vets because our course is approved by the Texas Workforce Commission as a career training program, so this article caught my eye. I applaud the courage to overcome whatever debilitates. We all have things in our life that could paralyze us from moving forward. Learn to overcome those obstacles and you will always have success. True success is not counted in dollars but in accomplishments, in encouraging others, raising great kids, passing on kindness, teaching what you've learned to others...etc. Give and you will get back in ways you never expected.

Quadriplegic Veteran Plans Adventurous Trek

Washington, DC (PRWEB) October 21, 2008 -- Local veteran Paul Christian is on a mission...from his wheelchair. Paul will be spending the next eighteen months traveling America alone to meet with fellow wounded or ill veterans and other people overcoming disabilities. He will be blogging his preparations and the trip itself on his website, Seize Adventure (, as he speaks to veterans groups about the technology and benefits available to them, volunteers at the Disabled Veterans Summer and Winter Sports Clinics, and volunteers at both the 2010 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada. He also hopes to visit much of the American countryside and its people, whom he has spent so much of his life protecting as a soldier and defense contractor.

A quadriplegic due to his service in the Army as part of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq (1991), Paul is motivated by the challenges he sees the current generation of severely-wounded veterans facing. He wants to show them that debilitating injury or disease does not mean the end of independence and accomplishment. As he writes on his blog, "We do not have to lay in bed hating life...If you're willing to reach out and grab ahold, you can still Seize Adventure."

Paul's attitude wasn't always so positive. After he was paralyzed, he at first spent a lot of time laying in bed, unwilling to pursue the physical therapy that could improve his condition. He rarely left home, seeing himself as entirely dependent on someone else to go anywhere or do anything interesting. That perspective changed when a friend pointed Paul to the website of adventurer Ben Saunders (, who at the time was in the middle of a solo trek across the North Pole. On impulse, he emailed Saunders, who took the time to reply from his position at the Pole and encouraged Paul to get back to physical therapy in order to regain as much mobility and independence as possible.

Paul now considers Saunders a mentor and credits that email with a major shift in his life. He writes, "If it hadn't been for that message from Ben, I may not be in the position that I am now. While I am still paralyzed, that physical therapy was crucial in getting back a lot of movement and self sufficiency...Now I find myself on the cusp of this great adventure."

In preparation, Paul has worked with a number of individuals and companies to modify his vehicle, his equipment...even his clothes, so that he can completely dress and care for himself independently. He is also in the process of lining up sponsors, including Soldiers' Angels (, Kobold Watches, PerMobil Wheelchairs, and his local American Legion post, though additional sponsors are still needed. If he is able to get the rest of the sponsorships required, he hopes to seize his adventure beginning early in December.

For more information and to follow Paul's progress, see


A volunteer-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, Soldiers' Angels provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the U.S. military and their families. Comprised of 200,000 volunteers in over twenty different teams and programs, its activities include letters, care packages and comfort items for the deployed, and support for their families at home. The organization also provides assistance to the wounded, continuing support for veterans, remembrances and comfort for families of the fallen, and immediate response to unique difficulties. See for more information.

Go Paul, we'll be cheering you on.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, October 20, 2008

Class in Session

We started a new training class today. I love the week of live training. It is incredibly inspiring to meet people so excited about learning and about affecting their future in a great way. I get the great priviledge of meeting a variety of people. Some of our students have been in this industry for awhile:

I have been in the trucking industry for a number of years but this course was very entertaining. I learned a lot of new information. I really recommend this training to anybody wanting to become a broker or agent.
Solomon A.

Some students come with no knowledge about the transportation industry:

When I first came in I was a little nervous because I knew little about this business. I was amazed at the knowledge I accumulated in only a week.

Owner-operators enjoy this course:

As an owner-operator this class is the best investment I have ever made. The info is excellent not only for those desiring to be brokers or agents but also for owner-operators who would like to become carriers. This class opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of the industry.
Julio E.

Some choose to take the course online:

I thought an online course could never be as good as a live class, until I decided to become a freight broker. I looked through a lot of online courses and thought this one was worth the price.

I couldn’t have picked a better way to invest my money. Jeff Roach is the best instructor that I've had.

The way he teaches is incredible, understandable. It is like having a live class in your home. The course covers every detail. I never had a doubt or a question after each module. The narrative learning course is fantastic, and my favorite part is the fact that I only have to listen. I highly recommend the course for those who want to understand the Freight Broker Industry.

We meet students from many nationalities:

Class gave me more knowledge about brokerage. I learned and understood about software and skills I will need.
Yan Ling A.

I meet fascinating people. I get to stand up and tell my jokes. I teach from what I’ve learned with my decades in the business. I get to work alongside my wife. And I partner with every graduate to encourage them towards success. I’m very sad when one doesn’t become successful as a freight broker but I’m glad by the number of students that tell me they gained much more than the how to be a freight broker. We purpose to pass on a message of inspiration and integrity. So even if one of our graduates decides not to pursue freight brokering I am confidant they gain knowledge that is useful for a successful life.

This class was fabulous, inspiring, wonderful.
Taneka N.

The testimonials quoted are on our website with a bunch more. I look forward to what this week’s students have to say about their experience. Go out and make it a great day.

Moving forward
Jeff Roach

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Working from Home

As a freight broker and trainer I have worked from home, rented an office, worked on a house boat, worked from other offices and hotels so I’ve moved around. I find a change of atmosphere is necessary for my sanity. (I have a couple of yappy Chihuahua that can get on my last nerve) I have always purposed to meet with mentors so I have outside input to bring reality to some of my crazy ideas I come up with while holed up in my home office.

Is working from home right for you? I found this article from Patrick Erwin quite informative. Enjoy:

Pros and Cons of Working at Home

If you have traditionally worked in an office, the option to work at home sounds like paradise. A recent survey indicated that 27 percent of employees telecommute at some point throughout the year.

But this perk has its benefits as well as its pitfalls, affecting both performance and career advancement. We talked to several people who work from home to get a sense of the best and worst aspects of their work arrangements.

The comfort of home

The flexibility gained from working at home is the biggest bonus. "This is truly the best aspect, as my husband travels quite a bit," shares Sandra Diaz, a publicist for TCI-Smith Publicity in New Jersey. "I have two children; I am here to spend time with them before school and when they get on the bus and off the bus."

With gas prices at a record high, avoiding a commute is another big plus. Tom Stanton is an employee of Jaffe Associates, a business development agency in Chicago. He likes the 10-step commute to his office. "With gas prices and Chicago winters, that's really valuable to me. Plus, it saves so much time that I'm able to get work done."

Some workers who find office environments are filled with distractions enjoy working from home to bypass those interruptions. David Wegner, director of communications, marketing and public affairs for McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, is one of these people. "I realized how much time is used up in the office by conversations about what a co-worker did the night before, a retelling of a TV episode or whatever; 20 or 30 minutes could go by with idle chatter."

The flexibility of working at home also appeals to workers in creative industries. "I find the organic movement in and out of the home space very good for creative businesses," reports Dr. Linda Seger, an author, screenwriter and script consultant. "From a creative standpoint, it allows the mind the variety it needs to think creative thoughts."

The Downside of Distance

Working at home may not be an ideal scenario for everyone. "It requires greater time-management skills and boundaries between work and family," declares Janet Scarborough Citivelli, a career development expert with Bridgeway Career Development. "Most professionals find themselves working more when they work from home if they don't take charge of their schedules."

Many workers feel that perceptions about their work -- and the value of that work -- are inaccurate. As writer Heather Corley notes, "Working from home doesn't seem as official to many people."

Wellness expert Beverly Beuermann-King agrees. "Others may not value that you are working just as hard. In a time where telework is becoming more and more valued by employees, company structures and attitudes have not adjusted to value output as much as face time."

These perceptions can have an impact on the career path of a home-based worker, who may miss out on job advancement opportunities as a result. A recent Workplace Index Survey, commissioned by office furniture manufacturer Steelcase, indicates that 64 percent of workers believe their lack of daily contact with their employers hinders their chances for a promotion.

Some employees feel that they miss out on the benefits of interacting with co-workers. Rob Graham, vice president of training at The Laredo Group, misses the feedback he gets from those interactions. "Without office mates to use as a sounding board for ideas, you have the tendency to become a focus group of one and start to believe that every idea you have is brilliant," Graham remarks. "It's not a bad thing to have dissenting opinions from time to time."

Home-based employees can also run into communication issues, making it very easy to feel out of the loop. "Phone, e-mail and instant messaging do an OK job of communicating business needs, but sometimes nothing beats the value of an office hallway chat to help pull things together," Graham says.

Avoiding the Pitfalls

Employees who work from home should take some steps to avoid drawbacks and capitalize on the benefits that this arrangement provides.

Keep the lines of communication with your managers and co-workers open, and use them frequently. Schedule a check-in time every day (or several times a day). Keeping everyone in the loop will help dispel any negative perceptions about your performance.

Avoid isolation, which can have professional and personal repercussions. If you are feeling constrained by the four walls of your house, vary your surroundings and hit the coffeehouse, park or zoo with your laptop.

When there are complicated projects or staffing shortages, consider heading to the office for at least part of your workweek. Striking the right work/life balance is a constant, ongoing process, and you may need to make adjustments to address demands in your professional and personal life from time to time.

Patrick Erwin is a writer and blogger for He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Copyright 2008


Friday, October 10, 2008

Why Blog?

People ask, why do you blog? Does that help your business?

The real reason I started blogging is because my online marketing advisor told me I needed to. I was skeptical. But I’m not lying when I tell you it has brought students to my training class and business to my freight brokerage associates. Blogging gives me an opportunity to share information I find educational and inspirational. Blogging gives my readers the opportunity to know a little about who I am, what interests me and inspires me. I figure most people prefer to work with someone they relate to and who is giving. I know without a shadow of a doubt that you get what you give, you reap what you sew, and do unto others as you would have them do to you. A good teacher’s greatest accomplishment is the success of their student. I hope that my blogging helps graduates of Brooke Training to stay the course and find success.

I just previewed a few comments I received from my blog. One newbie told me my article helped inspire him to keep on plugging away at his calls. That encourages me. I truly started training because I thrive on helping others and raising the integrity level of this industry one student at a time. I know finding loads to move and trucks to move them is not a fast sell so it can get discouraging. Always think each call is a potential new relationship. They may become a customer, they may not but they all are people of value who have something to contribute.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, October 3, 2008


I read this on a blog forum and found it quite compelling for our economically stressed times:

“It doesn't matter what type of business - they all require smart marketing and sound business fundamentals. Why is it that some plumbers, or flower stores, or restaurants, or printers or whatever are going broke while others are prospering beyond their wildest dreams?

Those that fail don't know their business skills, including market research and effective marketing. The more information a person can gather on their own, the more informed they will be. The more willing Freight Broker Training websites are to dish out FREE, honest and realistic information BEFORE collecting one single dollar, the more successful these trainers will be…”

There will always be a market for freight brokering until we learn how “to beam” products from manufacturing to distribution channels. I really like the approach this forum contributor praises. I’m an educator both in the brokering classroom and in the brokering business. You educate your carriers on how you’d like to help them keep their trucks loaded, moving and profitable. You educate potential shippers on how you assure them their products are moved from origination to destination. Sometimes you have to educate each end when something gets off schedule. So long as you keep everyone informed with the information they want to know, you will be highly regarded in this business. You will succeed if you make your calls, find your market, truckers to work with and products to move.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You Influence Others

I decided to blog this prose I got from a friend. If I purpose to make the right choices even when I don’t think anyone is looking, I may influence others. Even if no one really sees, God sees. Remember most of what a child learns is “caught not taught”. Children are our future.


A message every adult should read because children
are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my
first painting on the refrigerator, I immediately
wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a
stray cat, I learned it is good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my
favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little
things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a
prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a
meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I
learned we all have to help care for others.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of
your time and money to help people who had nothing,
and I learned that those who have something should
give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care
of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you
handled your responsibilities, even when you didn' t
feel good, and I learned that I would have to be
responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come
from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
hurt, but it's all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you
cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of
life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and
productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and
wanted to say,'Thanks for all the things I saw when
you thought I wasn't looking.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sales Letter with Punch

How To Write An Emotionally-Charged Sales Letter
From Mike Jezek, for

Are you frustrated that your sales letter isn't getting results? Do you wonder how to improve your sales letter writing?
The solution to lackluster results: Emotion. Buying decisions are based upon emotion and later backed up by logic.
Legendary sales letter writer Robert Collier once said, "Appeal to the reason, by all means. Give people a logical excuse for buying that they can tell to their friends and use to salve their own consciences. But if you want to sell goods, if you want action of any kind, base your real urge upon some primary emotion."
Here are 3 ways to emotionally-charge your sales letter writing:
1. Stir Up Pain: Focus on how they have this problem (that your product/service solves) and that because of this problem, they're hindered, frustrated, troubled and unable to attain their deepest desires because this problem lingers.
2. Mesmerizing Stories: Stories evoke emotion. Weave stories into writing your sales letter that stir up hope in attaining a goal, avoiding trouble or achieving a dream. Fear of loss is more powerful than desire to gain for most people.
3. Use Emotional Words Instead Of Logical Words: It's no surprise that some words fire off stronger emotions than others. Words like abortion, pro-life, Soviet, or dictator have an immediate effect. Other less controversial words such as mom, dad, family, home, friends, sister, and brother have strong emotional impact. You need to evaluate your target market and find out what key words your market really reacts too.
Ideally you want to use many small, one syllable words that your prospects can relate an emotion to and subtly plant them throughout the sales copy to spark an emotional reaction.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Enticing an Investor

With all the bickering over how to solve our economic woes, getting credit has just gotten even tougher. I think getting credit should get tougher so that we become more responsible with our choices, tighter with the money we have, more focused on profit rather than borrowing, but credit is usually essential to keep a brokerage growing.

I found this article on on how to maximize your business’s ability to get needed cash by writing a winning business plan. I’ve edited it a bit to be a quicker read.

Why Business Plans Don't Get Funded
by Akira Hirai, Cayenne Consulting

Investors see thousands of business plans each year, even in this down market. Apart from a referral from a trusted source, the business plan is the only basis they have for deciding whether or not to invite an entrepreneur to their offices for an initial meeting.

With so many opportunities, most investors simply focus on finding reasons to say no. Every mistake counts against you.

Avoid the most common errors found in business plans:

1. Content Mistakes/ Failing to relate to a true pain

You are in business to get paid for making pain go away.

Pain, in this setting, is synonymous with market opportunity. The greater the pain, the more widespread the pain, and the better your product is at alleviating the pain, the greater your market potential.

A well written business plan places the solution firmly in the context of the problem being solved.

2. Value inflation

Phrases like "unparalleled in the industry;" "unique and limited opportunity;" or "superb returns with limited capital investment"—taken from actual documents—are nothing but assertions and hype.

Investors will judge these factors for themselves. Lay out the facts—the problem, your solution, the market size, how you will sell it, and how you will stay ahead of competitors—and lay off the hype.

3. Trying to be all things to all people

Many early-stage companies believe that more is better. They explain how their product can be applied to multiple, diverse markets, or they devise a complex suite of products to bring to a market.

Most investors prefer to see a more focused strategy, especially for early stage companies: a single, superior product that solves a troublesome problem in a single, large market that will be sold through a single, proven distribution strategy.

That is not to say that additional products, applications, markets, and distribution channels should be discarded—instead, they should be used to enrich and support the highly focused core strategy.

You need to hold the story together with a strong, compelling core thread. Identify that, and let the rest be supporting characters.

4. No go-to-market strategy

Business plans that fail to explain the sales, marketing, and distribution strategy are doomed.

The key questions that must be answered are: who will buy it, why, and most importantly, how will you get it to them?

You must explain how you have already generated customer interest, obtained pre-orders, or better yet, made actual sales—and describe how you will leverage this experience through a cost-effective go-to-market strategy.

5. "We have no competition"

No matter what you may think, you have competitors. Maybe not a direct competitor—in the sense of a company offering an identical solution—but at least a substitute. Fingers are a substitute for a spoon. First class mail is a substitute for e-mail. A coronary bypass is a substitute for an angioplasty.

Competitors, simply stated, consist of everybody pursuing the same customer dollars.

To say that you have no competition is a fast way to get your plan tossed—investors will conclude that you do not have a full understanding of your market.

The "Competition" section of your business plan is your opportunity to showcase your relative strengths against direct competitors, indirect competitors, and substitutes.

Besides, having competitors is a good thing. It shows investors that a real market exists.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Communication is key

My friend and business affiliate contributed today's blog:

Every Freight Broker, Shipper and Carrier knows that on any given day hundreds if not thousands of freight loads go bad. The possibilities for a load to go bad are endless, since there are so many aspects and people involved in the moving of a load. It has been my personal experience to have had everything go wrong from a carrier not showing up for a pick up to a carrier getting sidetracked in Vegas while he had my load. The sidetracked Vegas trucker eventually ran out of money and fuel thus stranded a day away from his destination. I’ve had a load stolen (though no fault of mine...load was recovered). Carriers however are not always the problem. Snowstorms, bad weather, trucks breaking down, DOT and even the shippers changing plans or load details at the last minute can turn a load into a nightmare. The key to controlling a situation like this is communication. Shippers are not new to these types of situations and can be very forgiving to a Freight Broker providing they are kept in the loop. It is essential for the broker to contact the shipper as soon as he finds out about an issue with the shipper’s load. The worst thing that can happen is that the shipper finds out about a problem from someone other than their broker. Make sure the shipper has a clear understanding of the situation and tell them what you are doing about it. Keep in touch with them periodically even if you have no new news just to let them know that you are still on it. Regarding the carrier, make sure you have the dispatcher’s phone number, the driver’s phone number and an after hours number. It is imperative that you can reach the driver and dispatcher during a crisis. Make sure to talk with both the dispatcher and driver to get all the details of the situation. Sometimes you don't get the whole story by just talking to one. Stay on top of the carrier to make sure that they are doing all they can to handle the situation. We had a situation occur with a first time shipper the other day. A carrier cancelled the load an hour before picking up on a Friday at 5:00 (good luck finding a replacement truck) and after all was said and done, the shipper had this to say "don't worry about it, appreciated the good communication, you and I are all good". Let me tell you again, communication is key to keeping your shippers.

Douglas Dillon
G First Logistics
357 Longbush Lane
Webster, NY 14580
Ph 585-368-5643
Fax 585-368-5650

Thanks Doug. Communication is vital. When things don't go as planned we can cope much better when we are thoroughly informed along the way.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Both Sides of the Street

When we talk about building a freight brokerage business we tend to focus on the shippers. Of course you need stuff to move but just as important are competent carriers. The carriers I know are golden grassroots folks. They are hard working people who keep our country supplied with essentials and fun stuff too. It seems obvious that we should know as much about our carriers as we can but no one spends time talking with them.

Carve out some time to meet carriers in your area. Call on them. Great questions include: What are your needs? What are your lines? How often do you deadhead?
How can I help you?

Ask questions then sit back and let them talk. With the price of gas having dropped a little, they should be in a good mood. The more you know about both sides of the transportation chain the better able you will be to serve their needs.

Stay dry to all you in the Gulf Coast area as you prepare for Hurricane Ike. Have a great weekend.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Internet Lead Generation

My name is Daryl Clark Jeff Roach the owner of this blog is a client and friend of mine. I'm the guest blogger today (thanks Jeff!).

My specialty is helping small and medium size businesses take advantage of the Internet as a lead generation tool. One of the questions I frequently receive is, “How do I compare my website traffic with my competitor’s traffic?” Until recently there weren’t many options available. Many people use but the problem with Alexa is their statistics come only from the people who have downloaded the Alexa Tool Bar and added it to their computer. This is a small sampling of Internet users so the data is highly questionable.

The next source I really like is The nice thing about is it also gives you an idea of what keywords people use to find your competitor’s websites.

The last and newest source is Google Trends for Websites. This new service from Google gives you a great picture of the long term traffic pattern of your site and your competitors but if you run a small business it doesn’t provide you with any data. I can say it is a great source for qualifying lead generation firms or firms that approach you to advertise in their websites though.

If you would like a free review of your websites true potential fill out my free evaluation form at

_ _ _ _ _

Daryl Clark
Internet Search Marketing
Ph. 1-866-909-0839 or 1-951-303-0839
Fx. 1-951-303-2136

Daryl has helped me tremendously in this whole new world of internet marketing. It may not seem new to some of you youngsters, but in the scheme of things it is a revolution for the way we all do business. And the technology is always changing, improving and getting even faster.

Moving Forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

My nephew asked, “why is it called Labor Day when no one works?” I used my handy wikipedia to come up with an intelligent answer. Here are some highlights. Cick to read the whole article.

Labor Day originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union (of New York City) sought to create "a day off for the working citizens".

Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894 the first Monday in September.

The celebration of Labor Day was to be a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations," followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

Today, Labor Day is often regarded as a day of rest and the traditional end to summer. In addition, Labor Day marks the beginning of the season for the National Football League and NCAA College Football. The NCAA usually plays their first games the weekend of Labor day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day.
Labor Day traditions

Wickapedia listed several Labor Day weekend events. My favorite:
Mustaches on the River is an annual event that takes place Labor Day weekend. Traditionally participants grow mustaches for this float down the Russian River in Healdsburg, California. Mustaches are judged at the end of the day and all proceeds benefit charity. The event is seen by its participants as an exercise in self image and free expression.

Popular fashion etiquette dictates that white should not be worn after Labor Day. Western fashion marks labor day as the day to change your hat from straw to felt.

Enjoy the day off, stay dry if you are anywhere near Hurricane Gustof, and be thankful we live in a country of great opportunity.
Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Concerns Continued

Yesterday I blogged the top five concerns of trucking in 2007. Here are the bottom five. I think these are an interesting read but don’t get bogged down with worry. Obstacles can slow us down or be the impetus for more creative thinking. I can’t say I like it, but I know I have grown more through tough stuff than through status quo. As I quoted yesterday it looks like 2008 will be a growth year so be prepared and may hay while the sun shines.

6. Tolls/Highway Funding. As the survey was conducted last year, the industry perceived an increase in the number of tolled roads in the US and the potential for what was characterized as the “balkanization of the US transportation system.”

Murray notes that as this Presidential election year moves on to November, Congressman James L. Oberstar, the powerful chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is frustrated because he hasn’t heard the word “transportation” come up once from either set of candidates. “He’s getting really nervous,” claims Murray, “since there will be a new administration. One way or the other a new funding bill is coming to guide us for six years and no one seems to be carrying the torch on this one. All the more reason I think highway funding is going to become more prominent than less.”

7. Tort Reform/Legal Issues. “If there weren’t so many zealous lawyers, this might not be as major an issue,” says Murray. “When you look at government statistics, automobile drivers are responsible at a minimum—the smallest number we’ve ever seen—for more than 55% of all truck-automobile crashes. When the automobile driver is responsible for the vast majority of these accidents but the tort law allows you to sue the person with the deepest pockets, it’s very clear that no matter how hard we work to reduce crashes and minimize the truck driver’s responsibility, we’re going to have law suits. It’s essentially an equity issue and tort reform would fix that.”

8. Driver Training/Driver Education. This made the Top Ten list for the first time in last October’s survey report. In the short run, this issue will become more prominent. It will be extremely critical when the industry finally pulls out of this weak economic period. Murray speculates that there will be new regulations detailing minimum driver training qualifications. They will require substantial accreditation, including 120 hours of classroom and 44 hours behind the wheel.

“Trucking companies will have to become accredited schools if they do anything with entry-level drivers,” he says. “It’s sort of the perfect storm. When the next economic up tick hits, there’ll be a major driver shortage again and we’re building a system that almost will not allow us to bring new people into the market. So I expect this issue to go up a notch or two.”

9. Environmental Issues. Anti-idling regulations and other emission reducing efforts are having a strong influence on carriers. “I suspect the thing that’s put Environmental concerns in the Top 10 is its complexity,” says Murray. “For instance, we have air quality issues requiring 200 or 400 pound anti-idling devices which ironically may improve their quality but diminish fuel efficiency. The heavier the truck gets the less efficient it is. So you have almost conflicting Federal policies between fuel efficiency and air quality.”

10. On-Board Truck Technology. Last October’s report was the first in which this issue made an appearance in the Top Ten. “The majority of respondents were not talking about technology mandates,” claims Murray, “but proactive technology solutions. We have tens of thousands of road stability devices hitting the marketplace: lane departure warnings, some of the new collision warning systems, integrated systems. They are bought because they can give really quick paybacks on efficiency and safety. That’s one of the few items on the list because industry is excited about some of the new on-board technologies.”

Looking to results of the next study, Murray says he thinks, “safety, highway finance and congestion are going to be right at the top in 2008 and they are all inter-related to each other. With the new transportation bill in the works, I think we’re going to see some programs that deal with truck funding and truck safety mandate.

Thanks to Greg Williams Director, Financial Analysis and Business Development
of Exel Transportation Services, Inc. for sending me this information.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, August 25, 2008

Panic or Patience

Some say we are in a recession but in my neck of the woods it sure doesn’t look like it. The shopping malls are buzzing and restaurants serving up lots of food. Predictions are that the trucking industry will lead the way out of economic issues but still much burdens our industry.

For the past three years, the American Trucking Associations has commissioned the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) to survey the industry and define the major matters being addressed by carriers. Its Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry—2007 was issued in October last year. Even in this short period of time, some of the Top 10 issues have changed their place in the order, moving up or down the list. Here’s a look at those 10 issues as defined last year with additional insights by ATRI’s vice president, Research, Daniel Murray.

1. Hours-of Service (HOS). While this was the top issue last October, edging out Driver Shortages which had previously been number one, its importance has diminished over the past few months. “I think HOS is a relatively stable issue and I would expect that would drop at least several places on our survey,” observes Murray. “This really came out during the height of the instability—court cases, interim rules and even congressional action. There were so many unknowns regarding HOS at the time that I now think we can go back to running companies with HOS in the background.”

The most recent District Court ruling preserving the 11- and 34-hour provisions of current regulations, the HOS controversy may be put on hold for quite a while.

2. Driver Shortages. Though this was a major matter in last October’s survey, with the lessening of demand for freight transport there has been less need for drivers. As always, it’s not just the need for drivers, but the requirement for those with good driving records and skills.

“Talk about a dull edged sword,” says Murray. “There’s an easing on the driver shortage issue because of how bad the economy is. But we all assume that’s a temporary situation.” As the overall economy recovers and demand for more freight movement ratchets up, so will the need for more drivers. It’s an issue that’s not going to go away.

3. Fuel Issues. The reason for this issue being third in October was given as the ability for carriers to recover some of the expense through fuel surcharges. Of late there is increasing focus at many levels on developing and using alternate fuels, ranging from ethanol to hydrogen and everything in between.

4. Congestion. This issue has moved up considerably from year to year as a headache for those using the highways. ATRI points out that average truck speeds and system reliability within many urban areas continues to decline. While several suggestions are offered to attempt to find initiatives to begin solving the problems attendant to congestion, there is obviously no panacea.

5. Government Regulation. While those surveyed in the October report weren’t specific on the matters that caused them concern, the sheer number of them were a burden. “When we went into the issue of Government Regulations,” recalls Murray, “as we surveyed this was a time of major rule making—everything from HOS to EPA engine standards for 2007, driver education. There’s even niche stuff, at least investigation of roll stability mandates on vehicles. They had done that on automobiles and everyone knows they are doing the same on large trucks.”

Exel director Greg Williams sent me this article. I’ll give 6 – 10 tomorrow. I heard on the radio that the decrease in gas prices is likely to continue as consumers are thinking through and not using as much gas as they had. Bus ridership is up. People are actually walking places. It’s all good.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What are the Fuel Formulas?

One of my online students asked me a tough question: How can I take the EIA fuel info and figure out how everyone comes up with the Fuel price for that week? I had to think about that one. The truth of the matter is I really don't have a clue. I do know companies use several formulas but they all change weekly. A large company like Landstar will have different data than a small broker who has four or five employees. Landstar is a multi-billion dollar broker. They most likely have an entire department to handle this assignment.

Since you can easily find this fuel surcharge info on most load boards and even on our site I never bothered to learn the formula.

One of my math savvy customers figures out the fuel costs. She sends it to my web master. We update weekly on You can also track LTL shipments from the website.

So all that is to say this is the first time in my career that I could use some kind of advanced math. My artistic kids have been telling me they do not need math. I have been telling them yes you do, but put a gun to my head, I could not do this formula LOL.

I suggested my student call my customer who understands the fuel formulation. We were all impressed with my student's need for detail. With that kind of tenacity this student will surely make it in this business.

My elearning students experience a narrative learning experience. They watch, read and listen to modules that are entertaining and very detailed. We discuss anything they want to help them get the education and then I do my best to help them reach their goals. It is a blast. I love teaching on-line. This e-course was a year a half in development with a Team of Experts. I am amazed at the course. I get the chance to meet eager, intelligent, thoughtful students on line This young lady is going to make some broker a great agent. She wants to know everything and I love it.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, August 15, 2008

My First Load

We had just had our first baby girl. Amanda Brooke Roach. She was a gift from God. I had just quit my 50k a year sales job (that was good pay back in the day) and opened my own freight broker agency. I had a mentor that told me that if I would work for him for six months he would teach me everything I needed to know about opening my own brokerage. We were living in my parents’ garage while saving money for our first house so to say money was tight is an understatement. If it took .50 cents to get around the world I could not get out of sight - I mean I was broke.

So off I went to the west cost/El Paso. That is where my mentor had his brokerage. He showed me his operation and then sent me home on a 30% commission deal. That means I would make 30% of any money I made while working as an agent for Orion. His brokerage.

I always could sell - can't explain it but selling was natural for me. I was the kid in school that won every contest for selling stuff for fund raisers. I am not a good athlete so that was my way of telling everyone in school - lookout here comes the best selling kid in elementary school. Well you can imagine how far that got me with the ladies back then.

Anyway - he gave me a manufacturers guide and a carrier guide. The internet was really not a viable business tool in 1992. So we called shippers from my small little dining room table and sure enough old Jeff had an account within 2 weeks. The deal was this - I had 5-6 trucks a day of fiber going to Amarillo and the shipper said he would not pay more than 575.00 per load. According to every carrier I called in the carrier guide that was not a good rate. I knew because of the way they laughed. We started carriers on Monday and starting with the A's and by Wed we were still calling A’s and I believe it wasn't until the next Wed we finally got to the F's.

FFE. Frozen Food Express out of Fort Worth Texas. This time he didn't laugh at me. He said,”young man what exactly do you have? Again I told him,”I have 6 loads a day of fiber coming out of Waco going to Amarillo and I could only pay 425.00. (150) profit per load.” He replied,”I am sending empty trucks from Dallas to pick up loads of meat in Amarillo.”

TA DA...I found my carrier. For six months we moved six loads a day every day from Waco to Amarillo and we made around 150.00 per load. That calculated to 300.00 a day for me and my new broke family.

Just think if we had quit after the E's and not made that next call. In our case we had no other option. They say the best employees are poor, smart and motivated. Believe you me, that was me.

90% of success in life is showing up. Doing the work. Working out of the house, I catch myself sneaking into the next room to watch ESPN. It is okay and healthy to take a break but schedule those times then get yourself back to work.

Way to grow!

Jeff Roach - President
Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Freight brokers, are you marketing on a shoestring…or on the plastic thing on the end of a shoestring? My marketing consultant specializes in helping those of us with tiny marketing budgets but big ideas. The main thing about marketing or advertising is figuring out the best way to get your name in front of your shippers when they need a broker. Easier said than done, eh? The problem is you don’t really know when they are gonna have a crisis and need one more truck than they have or a fleet to move a shipment they weren’t expecting, etc. So you need to try to have your name in front of them at all times. That would be no problem if you had the same marketing budget as Coca Cola. So think of ways you can contact your potential customers inexpensively…without becoming a pain in the butt. Vary up your approach.

My daily blog has been a great boost to my business. I’ve used online contact companies like constant contact. You can set up a regular emailing to go out to your potentials with a tip for the week, a interesting quote, compelling statistic, testimonial from a satisfied customer, suduka puzzle, etc. The idea is to have your name seen and associated with something memorable or entertaining. Your contact information should be on the bottom of each correspondence.

Tuck a business card in with any snail mail. I had a vendor whose service I rarely needed. But my sales rep was always tucking a couple of business cards in with any mailing her company sent out. She was top of mind when I did need that rare service. You never know when someone who uses you infrequently will grow and need you for greater things.

Go to chamber of commerce meetings, breakfast clubs, industry tradeshows, training courses and other networking opportunities. Pass your business card out like water. Follow up with anyone you meet referencing what you talked about, etc.

As opportunity presents do something memorable. I like to use humor. It sometimes falls flat but that’s o.k. I figure my imperfections can be endearing…I hope so anyway. It is good to know what kind of image you want to establish for your company. I want my company to be seen as full of integrity but not stuffy. So I do what I say, own up to my mistakes and try to make customers be totally comfortable working with me.

There are volumes written on marketing ideas. Try to read business books to get fresh ideas. Test ‘em out. Incorporate avenues that give results over time. The key, as I stated before, is to have your name in front of your potential customer when they need you. Find out what they read, advertise there if you can afford it. Find out what kind of coffee they drink and send them a pound or a gift card. Find out whom they currently work with and meet with them to see if they will call on you for an extra hand.

Set aside an hour each week to brainstorm with a mentor on what you’ve tried, what has worked, what hasn’t worked and what might still work. Weigh all costs associated with each marketing effort. Seek professional counsel. Work at it everyday, you will reap benefits.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Gotta Have Goals

Goals - we talk about them... and we think they are good to have... but how do you really set goals and achieve them?

I define a goal as a dream with a deadline. Always write your goals down, set a deadline date then do something every day to achieve those goals.

Does the goal seem too big? If you’ve been to one of my classes you’ve heard me say - "how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Make a list. Your dream list. Write everything you can think of that you want to have or that you want to be. What would you do if you had six months to live? Next Consider what would you be doing if money were not an issue?

Make sure your list is in line with your values. Cross off the things on your lists that are not realistic. For example, I would like to have a helicopter but I am afraid that my neighbors would not like it so I crossed that one off.

Remember you’re the only one that can make you happy so this has to be your list. Not a list to impress anyone else. Most people buy stuff they don't need with money they don't have to impress people
they don't like...don't do that.

Think of where you want to be in the next 5-10-20 years. If you’re 46 like me then the next five years is important because I have 3 girls which means 3 colleges and 3 weddings -yikes.

Think about where you want to live and with whom and what you would like to be doing. Imagine you’re funeral and think of what they will be saying about you. Who will be there? What will be your legacy?

Go over your dream list and narrow it down again considering these other aspects. You should now have a fairly good list of goals that are in line with your values.

Ask yourself what obstacles need to be removed to achieve these goals. What can I do every day to achieve my long-range goals?

Use other sources to establish goals. I recently looked through one of my books on the Internet that I bought six years ago. I wrote down some specific goals for my companies that I got from the book. This blog was one of them. I can't tell you how important it is to write down your goals.

Write down goals for every area of your life - physical, spiritual, family, friends, financial, career, community.

If you just have one major goal for each area of your life and do something every day to reach those goals you will be amazed at what you can do in your life.

We are built to achieve. God made you unique - you have your own gifts and talents - but you must decide to use them and if you do then the sky's the limit...

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach - President
Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Online is Fine

Yesterday I blogged the testimonials from July's live class. I got this kind email from an online student I thought I'd share with my blog readers today. It is rewarding to hear from students that they benefit from a class I facilitate. I was certainly not the most accomplished student in my formal education years so to know that I'm a good teacher is truly miraculous. God is good.

"When I thought of an online course my first thought was that it will never be as good as a live class, until I decided to become a freight broker. I looked through a lot of online courses and thought this one was worth the price. I finally took the Gatlin Freight Broker course. I couldn’t have picked a better way to invest my money. It’s not only the course itself, but Jeff Roach is also the best instructor that I've had.

The way he teaches is incredible. There is no way that the material can not be understood. It is like having a live class in your home. The course covers every detail and I've never had a doubt or question after each module. The narrative learning course is fantastic, and my favorite part is the fact that I only have to listen. I highly recommend the course for those who want to understand the Freight Broker Industry."
J.V. Spring 2007

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach - President
Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Pat on the Back

We had another great class in July. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what some of the graduates said about head instructor Lance White, our motivational speaker and they even mention me and my beautiful bride Janis:

Excellent choice of motivational speakers. Paula H.

Lance is an excellent teacher! Very knowledgeable tin the transportation arena. Keeps it interesting. Paula H.

This week has been great! I enjoyed the instructors’ ability to explain complex information of the broker business. They placed emphasis on “honesty and character” . However, beware of Jeff Roach and his dancing. Lance was very informative on the technical lay-out of the business. He answered all of the questions we had. – Marvin G.

It is very refreshing to see that there are still companies who pride themselves in customer service. Jeff and Janis exceeded every expectation to ensure my traveling experience went well. I can’t put a value high enough on the knowledge these folks provide. – Jeremy C

As a long time professional broker, I found the course provides a good base to build a career. Instructors were informative and friendly. Guest speakers provided inspiration and motivation. The vendors offered systems and tools needed to succeed. Dan E.

I liked it a lot. Jeff, Janis and Lance helped me understand the freight business in a nice, fun environment. – Marcela V.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home Makeover Gone Bad

Do we all secretly think, “my life would be so much easier if I won the lottery…or a rich aunt left me a million dollars or… my business finally hit it big?” In the end no matter how we fall into money, it is how you manage that money that really matters. In my career life I haven’t always made the best choices so I try to teach my students to realize every penny you get is a gift ultimately from God so be good stewards. Save some, give away some and use some. Keep on living prudently.

Here’s the story of a family who was given an amazing gift but 3 years later are in trouble again. What can we learn from them? I believe we are blessed so we can bless others. We shouldn’t just give our disgards away but give those who can’t afford it some really nice things. But be sure to mentor them along the way.

"Best Bargain Gone Wrong" edited
by Donna L Montaldo

I enjoy watching ABC's "Extreme Makeover" and always end up shedding a tear when they "Move That Bus!" although I do not come close to the tears which predictably are shed by design team members. The program is successful at creating a lot of warm fuzzy moments while we a family's life forever changed for the better.

At least that is how things are supposed to work.

The Harpers' Story

The Harpers, while living in the projects in Brooklyn, New York, suffered the loss of their 2-year-old son who choked to death before paramedics could save him. The Harpers needed a change. Desperate to get away from the projects, took on extra work until they had enough money to buy their first home.

Wanting a safe place for their children to live, they found their first home in Clayton County in Georgia. But the house turned out to be a major money pit. The roof was filled with holes and a broken septic tank would fill the home with raw sewage.

Their new house became so intolerable that many times they would be forced to sleep in their van, until the van was wrecked.

Having spent all their money on buying their home, the Harpers were unable to afford the desperately needed home repairs.

Then their lives took an extreme change. The ABC program, "Extreme Makeover," saw the decrepit condition of their home and came to the rescue. Together with Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA and several volunteers from the community, the Harpers received a new home. But it was not just a home, but rather a sprawling 4600 square foot mini-mansion. The inside of the home was filled with top-of-the-line appliances and home interiors, four fireplaces on the main level, a solarium and a home office plus a three-car garage.

All the construction costs and the labor were free. Total value of the project was an estimated $700,000.

We all slept better knowing that the Harpers' had a beautiful and healthy home and could now focus on the future.

But unfortunately that is not how things have played out for the Harpers. The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently reported that the house is up for auction because the Harpers used it as collateral for a $450,000 loan to start a construction company which failed.

Squandering or Financial Ignorance?

Usually when you give a gift you have no claim to what happens to it, but I suspect if you ask some of the volunteers who donated money, time and expertise to help the Harpers, they may not be happy with this news.

Was it squandering or financial ignorance which caused the situation? Perhaps their dream of starting a business seemed possible with much of their other financial burdens under control. And possibly it could have worked had one of them had a good understanding of finances to make sound decisions.

ABC said they advise all families who got a new home to find help from financial planners. It could be possible that the Harpers looked to the money lenders for good financial advice.

Why So Grand?

Many of those selected for "Extreme Makeover" appear to be living frugal lives as a necessity. Often the homes built for them tower over that of their neighbors, almost to the point of being ostentatious.

For some, managing taxes and other financial responsibilities of owning a large home could become a financial disaster. I’ve always wondered why ABC producers feel it is necessary to build such big homes rather than sensible homes, but then I guess they would have to change the name of the show to just Makeover.

Moving forward,
Jeff Roach

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Keeper

We live in a time when professional organizers are very popular. Stay lean and mean. Travel light. If you haven’t used something for a year – throw it out. My wife is a saver, like her mom who grew up in the depression and her mom who raised three girls in the depression. Grandma would wash aluminum foil, eat around the bruises on a pear (not just toss it) and sew most of their clothes from scratch. I on the other hand clean out my closet by tossing it all except my one pair of really broken in pajama pants. I got this email from Cheri Kelley, MSW. LSW. It made me think twice about what I value and what society deems valuable.

A Keeper

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a housedress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return. So...While we have it... it's best we love it...And care for it...And fix it when it's broken..... And heal it when it's sick.

This is true...For marriage...And old cars...And children with bad report cards...Dogs and cats with bad hips... And aging parents...And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special...And so, we keep them close!

Good friends are like stars...You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, July 28, 2008


A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel. Proverbs 1:5 (NKJV)

In other words, you are one wise guy if you learn from others. I think we often think it shows weakness to seek others advice rather than figuring things out on our own. Tell the truth, when you get lost is it hard to stop and ask directions…and even harder to ask your spouse if they know how to get to wherever? Or do you gladly take advice from others? To take advice I have to first recognize I don’t know it all. In other words I have to swallow my pride and admit I could actually learn from another.

Have you ever been working through logistics with a co-worker or your spouse and you both think your method makes the most sense? So then you fight over which method to employ rather than realizing, it doesn’t really matter which way we do it, either way will get the job done. It is kinda crazy how much time can be wasted on how to do something when if one had just backed down, the job would have been completed already.

I have 3 main mentors that have helped me a lot in business, in spiritual struggle as well as life in general. I interviewed them and am in the process of trying to get the tapes into a written form so I can offer an ebook of some of the simple yet life transforming advice they gave me. I have benefited greatly from their wisdom and from reading a bit from Proverbs regularily. If you’ve never tapped into the wisdom of the book of Proverbs in the Bible you are missing out. It has 31 chapters, so you can get a chapter full of wisdom every day of the month.

Start this week out wise.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beat Time Wasters

I appreciated this article I found on aol. To best use your time figure out when you do your best work. I know I am most productive early…sometimes like really early. My peeps enjoy my 3 a.m. emails.

Get a Life!
Beat Those Time-Wasters at Work

There’s the Monday Blues. Wednesday is hump day. Then TGIF! This cycle we call the workweek shapes our lives. But, what we don’t finish during the week, we carry home with us in the form of stress. How do you stay productive throughout the week while reducing your stress level? How can you leave work on Friday energized for the weekend? Some say time is money. It’s also your life. And time management is key to being in control of your own happiness.

Terrific Tuesdays
On which days of the week are you at your best? Typically, we don’t think much about plain old Tuesday, but, according to an Accountemps survey, Tuesday between 10 A.M. and noon is considered to be the peak of our productivity. Monday was the second most popular day for people feeling at the top of the game. According to Max Messmer, Accountemps chairman and author of Managing your Career for Dummies, “Tuesday serves as a catch-up day after the weekend and many regularly scheduled meetings occur on that day, which may decrease the time available to complete tasks.” Most view Tuesdays as an opportunity to focus their efforts and establish momentum for the week.”

Find Your Rhythm

Are you the first one in the office in the morning? Or does the morning bird annoy you? Do you feel refreshed after lunch, or fall asleep? Learning your own personal “power hours” is essential. Also, be sensitive to how your peak performance times mesh with others’. Whether it’s asking for a raise or sharing your thoughts for increasing your company’s bottom line, timing is everything. Use down times to your advantage. When you’re on slow mode, doing tasks that take less brain-power is a good use of time. Professional athletes know this. No runner can sprint for long periods of time. The longer you work without a break, the less efficient you become. When you’re very tired, you may not even realize it and errors creep into your work. When totally exhausted a nap might be your best strategy. Research shows that a quick 20-minute “power nap” increases productivity.

More tomorrow…

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, July 21, 2008

Use Your GI Bill

Want to use your GI bill to train online to be a freight broker…or for another career? We are proud to be approved by the Department of Rehabilitative Services to train vets for a new career. Our course and others are offered through 400 colleges across the country.

Our online partner, Gaitlin Education recently received a letter from one of our honorable veterans asking if he could use his GI Bill to for online education. Here is the (edited) answer to his letter with lots of links that should be helpful to many:

Hello Mr. Campbell,

Thank you for your request to use GI Bill towards a GES online program. One of our partners, Excelsior College, has several Gatlin Education programs (including Freight Brokering) approved for GI Bill benefits, and I am sure they would be more than willing to help you with the benefit process… When using the GI Bill benefit, Excelsior has two options of fulltime attendance and half-time attendance. The administrators at the campus will provide you with the information needed to process your GI Bill. Thank you for your patience, and please do not hesitate to contact me again if you do not find what you are looking for.

Your requested program’s website is:

Freight Broker-Agent Training

Your favorite client – an up-and-coming fashion designer in New York City – needs to have a large order of samples in Los Angeles by Friday. She’s trusting that you’ll find the right carrier and meet her deadline; and you will. Matching shippers and carriers is what the freight broker business is all about. Adding great customer service? That’s what you’re all about.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the Freight Broker business is one of the top home businesses to own. It requires little upfront investment – all you need is a computer, telephone, and fax machine – and you have the potential for earning a six-figure income.

The school’s website is :

For Gatlin Education Services loan and payment plan information view or for information on our courses, please view or call our admissions team at 817-870-2870 for assistance.

The administrators’ names are: Mr. Walsh, D. and Ms. Cooper, D.

Thank you for your interest.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, July 18, 2008

Leaders Value Time

“Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait.” Thomas A. Edison

To say that time is money is an insult to the power of time. Leaders know that time is their most precious commodity, valued even above wealth. They hold the currency of twenty-four precious hours in their hands. The use of these hours will determine success or failure, want or gain. Effective leaders lord over time. They make its minutes and seconds their slaves in order to accomplish their purpose.

They start meetings on time and end the same way. They set sensible borders to house deliberations or planning.

They don’t use ten words when one will do. Their presentations are well-planned, relevant, and interesting, but also concise.

They relax, but never dally. They are alert to their prime time – the hours of the day when they are most effective. They pause to regroup physically and mentally.

Effective leaders plan their time well. Each day has an agenda, whether formal or informal. Nothing is done without a purpose, even if that purpose is rest.

A leader considers killing time to be a capital crime.

Todays blog is from Minute Motivators for Leaders by Stan Toler. A great little book for quick inspiration.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

People are Watching

Krish is a guest speaker at my school. I had a chuckle over this story he tells in his book:

By Krish Dhanam
The American Dream from an Indian Heart

(Upon completing a training course I led) I found myself standing outside a hotel waiting for the airport shuttle. The shuttle driver was running late and I decided to be proactive, pick up my own bags, and place them in the shuttle. My thought process was fairly simple. If I put the bags in we would save that amount of time when the driver arrived and we could be on our way.

My ethnic looks, coupled with the traveling gear I was loading in the shuttle bus, led to some mistaken assumptions by my fellow travelers. You can say that they mistook me for a baggage handler who could not speak English, as was evidenced by their respective actions. The first random act of ignorance was committed by the woman standing next to me as she beckoned me to repeat the process she had observed me under take. Simply put She used nonverbal commands to ask me to place her luggage in the shuttle. I obliged and returned to my rightful spot and continued to wait.

The next act of ethnic profiling was committed by a gentleman who suggested I do the same with his luggage. Once again I obliged. This time, however, I needed to make a statement of my own. Instead of reacting I remember Zig Ziglar telling me once that in life you need to respond because people are always watching.

As a training ambassador for Ziglar Training Systems I have an obligation to represent my company with the highest standards of which I am capable. Yelling at those people that day would have satisfied me more than anything. I am an educated, honest tax-paying citizen and people assumed I was a baggage handler – many of who I must tell you are also educated, hard-working, honest, tax-paying citizens…Most people would have reacted but I chose to respond. So with a smile I extended my open hand to each of them and netted nearly $4.00 – what a country!

…When I boarded the shuttle and the man realized that he had made a mistake. He simply said, “I wish all my employees had your disposition.”

I appreciate what Krish says. I don’t have brown skin like Krish but I did have a lazy eye as a child. Because of my eye, teachers assumed I wasn’t smart enough to be in regular classes. People may be ignorant but if we give them a break by responding rather than reacting perhaps that grace will rub off.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vets Come for Free

I go about my day and often forget all about our military risking their lives to preserve freedom. I’m proud that our school is approved by the Vocational Rehabilitation Department to train our veteran’s for a career as a freight broker.

Veteran’s may qualify for 100% financial aid for our basic training course AND for our advanced course. Here’s a recent testimonial from a graduate of the advanced course taken after he’d completed the basic course:

I highly recommend the advanced course to all who want an inside, up-close view of the freight broker industry. Lance (instructor) took ownership of the course ensuring I obtained industry knowledge and experience on a higher level. Thanks for the newfound knowledge. Jesus A.

So if you are a vet here’s the info you need to consider a new career in the world of transportation. No matter the state of the economy freight brokers are needed to help move food and other goods across the nation so we all stay well fed and clothed.

You must have a counselor in order to qualify. Contact your counselor, give them our school number (S2133) then ask your counselor to contact school director Janis Roach at (817) 999-5398. Only Disabled Veterans and Vocational Rehabilitation counselors call this number.

This is the same process for all applicants wanting financial aid with either the Texas Workforce and Veterans Affairs Administration AND the Department of Rehabilitative Services.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, July 14, 2008

Parachute Please

Take a chance, go ahead jump but don’t forget the parachute. Just read this article about an old skydiver. Jumping into a new career can be scary too. Getting the training and support you need is like checking you parachute. Jump without preparation and you may die. The parachute doesn’t guarantee a perfect landing but is great assurance that you will most likely make it.

Fulfilling a dream: 89 year old goes skydiving

Journal Times
YORKVILLE — In his long and varied life, Paul Rusch has seen and experienced some amazing events.

In his younger days, he helped a friend run an airport near the Texas/Mexico border. During World War II, he met former President Eisenhower and General George S. Patton .

He then had a long work life in engineering and human resources.

But he never was able to go skydiving — until Sunday.

Rusch, who will turn 90 in December, was the oldest of approximately 50 veterans who took up Skydive Midwest’s offer to provide free jumps on Saturday and Sunday to disabled veterans and discounted jumps to non-disabled veterans.

Cybil Rose, publicist for Skydive Midwest, said that the veterans who participated ranged in age from a man in his 20s injured by an explosive device in Iraq, to veterans who use wheelchairs from the VA hospital in Milwaukee to a 61-year-old veteran from the Vietnam era.

Rose said Skydive Midwest proprietor Keith George, a former Marine, hosted this weekend’s “Tandem for Troops” event as a way to thank troops from all generations for serving the nation. Rose said some of the jump proceeds from the weekend, as well as proceeds from a raffle and food sales, will be donated to the Rehab Institute of Chicago, where work is under way with therapy and prosthetics for injured veterans.

It was Rusch’s daughter-in-law, Adrienne, who signed up her father-in-law for the jump, unbeknownst to him.

“I called right away and gave a brief history of my father-in law and asked if he would qualify,” Adrienne said. “She (the reservation taker) asked ‘does he know you’re doing this?’ and I said ‘no’ and she said ‘well, if anything changes, let us know.’ ”

Rusch was happy when he learned that he was going to jump. It fulfilled a longtime wish.

Although he flew in his younger days, a degree of color blindness kept him from air duty during World War II. He stayed on the ground as an engineering officer.

But while he was stationed in England during the war, he saw paratroopers preparing for their jumps into mainland Europe.

After the war, Rusch hoped to resume his flying, but economics and family responsibilities kept that from happening.

“When I learned to fly (in the 1930s) it was $5 an hour. After the war it was $60 an hour,” Rusch said. “I needed about 15 to 20 hours and I didn’t have that kind of money. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have any money, so I went to school instead.”

Using the GI Bill, Rusch got a degree in personnel management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He worked as an engineer and in held human resources until he retired from full time work 25 years ago.

Rusch looked anything but nervous before his jump Sunday.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal, but everyone else does,” Rusch said.

After a few hours of waiting, Rusch made his way with other jumpers to the plane.

A few minutes later he was among the several small dots that were parachutes descending to the ground. With strong gusty winds blowing, Rusch and his tandem jumper made it to the ground in a not-so-soft landing. But he came out unscathed.

“Oh man, I have to catch my breath,” Rusch said. “It’s harder work than it looks.”

Noting the general age of the jumpers at Skydive Midwest on Sunday — men and women mostly in their 20s and 30s — Rusch urged people to pursue their dreams.

“Do something when you’re young,” he said. “The probability to do something like this when you’re older is less and less.”

With family members planning a jump to celebrate grandson Joshua’s 18th birthday in April, would he do it again?

Rusch on Sunday was not so sure. But he’s happy his youngest grandson, Jacob, 11, is showing an early interest in aviation, even considering joining the Civil Air Patrol, his mom, Adrienne, said.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach