Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I love my Work

I read this inspiring piece by Peter Bregman on cnn’s website. Here are some excerpts. He challenges us to rethink what we spend the bulk of our day doing and enjoy spending some time with people. And he says go get some training in this downtime – hey we can help you with that. Don’t let the media get you down, enjoy today, every minute, do it again tomorrow and you will have a joyful life.

The recession provides an opportunity as well as a challenge

By Peter Bregman
Special to CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A friend of mine, a senior leader in a pharmaceutical company, spends all her spare time doing yoga, taking classes,reading about spirituality, speaking with others about their beliefs. Just talking about it energizes her.

Which is not how she feels about her day job.

"Why don't you leave your job and do something with this full time?" I asked her.

"I've thought about it. But I could never make the kind of money I make now."

She might be right. But the question isn't whether she could make as much money- she's unlikely to do that in this economy.
The question is far broader and more interesting. What would her life look like -- in every dimension she values -- if she decided to pursue her passion full time?

She needs to consider the contribution she'd make. The relationships she'd foster. The fun she'd have. The feelings she'd carry with her throughout the day. Her engagement in her work. In short, what her life would mean.

And, of course, also the money. Which, as it turns out, might actually be greater if she were more engaged in her work. Gallup has collected data on 5.4 million employees in over 137 countries and concluded that engaged employees are more productive and customer-focused. And more profitable. Which could mean more money for her.

But why are we even having this conversation during the worst downturn this country has seen in the last 70 years? Isn't she lucky simply to have a job?

Yes. And, because of that, she's also stuck. For better and worse, she probably won't leave.

But maybe you're not so lucky -- you've been laid off or might be soon; you're a student coming into the job market; or like several people I know, you've been thinking about a change.

Well, this is your opportunity. You didn't want to risk a change when things were going well. There was too much to lose.

But this downturn, this economic mess we're in, could be your chance. When everything was going well, we spent money we didn't have thinking we would make more tomorrow. Well, tomorrow came. It's easy to point a finger at Bernie Madoff (and he deserves the finger), but the truth is, it's not just him. We're all victims of our own little Ponzi Schemes. But now we know.

The life we've been living, the debt we've been incurring, is unsustainable. Maybe the layoff is a favor. You were treated as expendable. But were you, working those long hours to keep a job you didn't love, treating your self as expendable too?

Depressing? Sure. But now that we know, we can do something about it.

I don't want to be cavalier; I know food on the table is a necessity. We still need work and money. Here are our new rules for finding it:

Rule #1: Don't spend too much time looking for your next job. As I discuss in my article for Harvard Business, "Need to Find a Job? Stop Looking So Hard," searching for a job more than 1-2 hours a day will actually make it less likely you'll find one.

Rule #2: Focus your time on what you're truly passionate about. Get more training. Expand your comfort zone with new activities, new people. Studies show that 80 percent of jobs are found through networking. Which is what you're doing when you pursue your passion with other people. So do it without guilt. Spend your newfound spare time doing what you enjoy with people whom you enjoy.

Rule #3: Let those people know you want to make your money doing these things. Don't hammer it in. Just mention it. Once.

Successful people are passionate, obsessed. And obsession isn't motivated by money. It's deeper than that. Find your obsession. Let it loose.

Employers want to hire someone who is naturally driven. Self-motivated. You'll work at your obsession all the time because you want to. And that kind of persistence, that kind of focus, is worth a lot of money.

But don't make the mistake of chasing the money. That's what got us into this mess in the first place. Let the money chase you.

Most people are afraid to do that. Afraid of the risk. Afraid of the gap in their resume. They try to cover it up. Find ways to explain it away. But my advice to employers is hire for the gap. It's often the most interesting part of a person's life. What does a person do when they don't have anything they have to do? What do they do in their spare time? If you can hire someone for that, you'll find your star.

This isn't the time to be afraid of risk. It's too late. You're already in the risk. You might not have chosen it, but why not take control and act as if you had?

Remember my friend working at the pharmaceutical company -- the one with the job? By staying in work she doesn't love, she's taking a risk too. She's risking her life.

Imagine how great she would be, how much she would offer, how much she would gain, if she devoted herself to her passion?

Now how about you?

Let's become a nation of people who love what we do.

I do love what I do, helping people get what they need to succeed through freight brokering and through training. So I repeat Peter’s question: How about you?

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, March 30, 2009

Recent Graduates

Last week we finished up our monthly live Freight Broker Training classes. I can’t wait to see the success each graduate experiences.

Ron and Suzy Moore taught our course in Ontario, California and Brandi headed up the instruction in our Dallas/Fort Worth class. Wishing all our graduates much success. Call us anytime with questions or to celebrate your latest load. Here's what they said about the week long course-

From Ontario:
Ron and Susie, thanks for all of the wisdom and extra effort you both put in to convey all of your knowledge and experiences. This class was not only enlightening, it left us all with great usable information. - Floyd Willis
Thank you for your expertise, knowledge and time. It was a pleasure to meet you and learn the freight brokerage business from Ron and Susie. I am sure I will become a successful agent with the information you presented. - James Binford
From Dallas/Fort Worth

Very energetic, motivational and influential. A very great experience. Highly recommend Brandi.
- Daphne Jones

I found the class to be very informational and allot of fun. The experience was wonderful and has helped me to be prepared for my new career.
- Oscar Ramos

The instructor took you from the "cradle to lave" process of the business with advice on the pros and cons of several aspects of the business. The actual working of leads helped and provide me confidence for real time issues not just simulations. Great positive and helpful attitude of the instructor.
- David Hlavenka

Clear explanation of every aspect of the business. The hands on work of qualifying leads and cold calling clients was of inestimable value.. Brandi is an absolute amazing teacher. Her passion for the subject was very evident.¬
- Ivan Lowe

Does this Sound like a learning opportunity that you would enjoy. Join us next month. Full class schedule is on our website.

Moving forward,
Jeff Roach

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Wife's Vibrant Life

My brilliant and very resourceful wife received her Bachelor of Science from Baylor University in Geology. So she went out and was a geologist for some years (a very cute geologist, I might add). But over time, looking at rocks and charts in an office became too confining since she is a very social being. So she started a chain of amazing Christmas stores with a few friends. They did a lot of high end home decorating and creation of glitzy trees and arrangements. That led to her desire to expand to interior decorating. So she stays busy helping families create a warm, attractive home suitable to their lifestyle.

As if that isn’t enough she pretty much runs my training school as well. She teaches a couple of days a month in the live class. She took a year to write our online course (while recooperating from a back injury). As a facilitator of the online course we stay available to answer any questions the students have as they are learning in their pajamas.

My wife is a great example of a creative, successful business woman. She is multi-talented and uses all those talents to thrive and encourage others.

In a shaky economy you can panic or you can look for opportunity. I think now is a great time to learn something new. The more you know, the more diversified your opportunity. Don’t box yourself in. Most people say they are math and science minded OR creative and language arts minded. My wife is proof you can succeed in both if you expand your mind.

Browse through the thousands of courses available through justintimefreight.com (our online course listing) and find something that interests you, even if it has nothing to do with your current job. You never lose by learning. You may not think you will ever use what you learned but just the process of learning expands your brain helping you expand your thinking.

My expertise and thus my career have always been in transportation. I love it (most days) but I realize freight brokering is not for everyone. When we teamed up with Gatlin Education (the largest provider of online education) to write an online version of our training course I learned of the thousands of courses they offer. So when we went live with our online course we decided to also offer other Gatlin courses that might be of interest to our browsers.

A key in business success is truly enjoying what you do, the field you are in and the people with whom you work. So…if you work alone, that means you need to like yourself then find a field that fits you. Take a moment and think, what would I most enjoy spending my day doing. Evaluate you talents (natural abilities) and skills (learned abilities) and brainstorm what fields use those gifts.

Our elearning center has featured courses as well as a plethora of other courses. Experts in the field write the courses. No matter how talented you are, education is key in business success and maximum earning potential.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Freight Broker’s First Year

One of Brooke Training’s graduates told me of her first year journey in this fast paced life in the transportation Industry. Here’s her story, can you relate?

“Brooke is a wonderful place to start your career as a Freight Agent!!! I took Brooke Transportation Training Course a year ago then became an agent for a broker who came to class on Friday to recruit. The class was great preparation. I refer to my manual often. The broker and the trainers at Brooke really want me to succeed! I am making some money now and every day gets better.

Considering this career field? Here are my tips… be organized! Be dedicated! Be patient! Make and keep goals. Building relationships with the people takes time and attention. Keep track of whom you talked to and everything said. I write down things like: “talked to Jennifer, helped her figure out how to make a kitten costume for her daughter”. Then when I call her back I remember to ask how the costume turned out.

I’m building bridges to people. I LOVE IT!!! I am a social person, not a salesperson. Talking to people is such a blast! I make a game out of making at least 50 calls a day. I don’t take what they say personally. Some days are tough but know that you can do it. Put notes to yourself around the desk that uplift and encourage you and have a broker that will help you through the rough days!

Don’t go into this thinking you’ll get rich quick or you will get discouraged fast! Plan on not getting a check for 3 – 6 months. If you make it earlier that is frosting on the cake. Be patient and enjoy the ride!”

If you are considering going thru the Brooke Training and have some questions, feel free to call me. I will answer any questions you have, without any pressure! I will let you know if I think you will succeed. Because I truly want to better the industry, one broker at a time, by helping those suited for this business succeed with integrity. Good Luck!

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

3 Things

Shari Waters shares some simple but brilliant ways to stay ahead in this tight economy environment. She writes to retailers but the ideas are effective for the transportation industry as well. I edited this a bit to apply to our biz.

By Shari Waters, About.com

It's inevitable that your business will have some form of competition. And while you can't control what your competitors do, yhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifou can minimize their impact on your business. Here are three ways to rise above the competition.

1. Reduce Expenses, Not Advertising

Take a look at your Profit and Loss statement, or itemize all of your expenses, and ask yourself how each line can be eliminated or reduced. Find out where you can cut back. A little here and a little there will soon add up. However, the one expense you do NOT want to reduce is advertising. In fact, many increase their marketing efforts during slower sales periods because there is more competition for fewer dollars.
2. Get Creative

Get creative and use unconventional marketing methods to distinguish your business from the competition. A unique marketing campaign attracts more attention and lands more sales. Also, look for some new untapped market you and your competitors overlooked. You may uncover a niche market you can dominate with little or no competition.

3. Provide Outstanding Customer Service
By going the extra mile to provide good service, outlast the competition. Make dealing with your company a memorable experience. People like to do business with those they feel comfortable and where they feel the owner truly cares about their wants and needs.

I was rewarded some new business recently that I will blog about soon. I got creative and offered my customer something unique. I also rolled out many red carpets to serve the specific needs of this shipper. We live in a great land where opportunity still abounds for the diligent. Working hard and serving another's need feels great.

Moving forward,
Jeff Roach
www.justintimefreight.com (online classes)
www.transportationtraining.com(live classes and more)

Monday, March 23, 2009

End of Life Reflection

This is Cindy Kapp, marketing director for Jeff Roach’s group of companies. Since I help him get his blogs posted there have been none in the last few weeks because of a tough season in my life. My mother went on to be with the Lord. I am confidence she is in Heaven with my dad, her parents, her sister and with the King of Kings. And thus I am confidant I will see her again in life eternal.

Losing my mom was very different than other deaths I have experienced. Just as no two lifes are the same, no two end of life experiences are just alike. My father died after only 2 weeks in the hospital. The quick home going caught me off guard. I was emotionally overwrought at his funeral. My mom on the other hand has been taking a slow slide down with Parkinson’s for the past 6 or 7 years. This last year she had heart surgery from which she fought hard to recuperate. She had made much progress when something caused her to stop breathing. The EMS brought her vital signs back but she never truly returned. For 10 days we took turns standing by her bed, holding her hand, stroking her head and talking with her. She never responded yet we had a hard time leaving her side. Finally she breathed her last. I was able to truly celebrate her life at the burial and memorial service because I had already done a lot of grieving.

I pondered and prayed over why God didn’t just take her home earlier. I don’t know the answer in full but I did see some divine purpose in it all. My sisters and I spent many hours together we would not have in the busyness of life. I had time to morn losing my precious mom over a period of time instead of suddenly. I spent some quality time talking with God and getting to know Him better. I enjoyed remembering all the grand times my mom orchestrated.

This past year my mom, who was a brilliant woman, became less and less able to think clearly, she spoke less and less and she was tired physically. This temporal body we have on earth does waste away. My mother had a great ability to make anyone feel welcome in her home. She had an incredible generosity. God had blessed her with money to share. She was amazingly wise in a very humble way. She made sure everyone found joy in their life. Because she did not hoard, He continued to bless her and all those she loved.

Her name will not be in history books but her legacy of love, wisdom and generosity will continue through those she touched.

Moving forward for Jeff Roach,

Cindy Kapp, creative pursuits