• Dennis Kelley

    David Kelley

    Dennis Kelley is a seasoned professional with over 30 years experience leading teams and coaching people to success. Dennis is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, trainer and an author... Read More

    David Kelley

  • Inspirational Quote

    “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -- Michalangelo
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  • December 2018
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Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time

“Step by step. I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything.”

                                                                                                 – Michael Jordan

When you take a look at the goals you have set for your business and your life, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed? Does it seem like a very large leap to get there from where you are today? Don’t worry. You don’t need to try to get there in one

big leap. Your journey to success will be a progression of thousands of little steps. It’s like eating an elephant. When you look at the elephant you think, “Man, there is no way I am going to be able to eat that whole thing.” The only way to do it is to take one

bite at a time since you certainly can’t swallow it whole!

 Vision without action is simply a daydream, but trying to tackle too much at one time is simply unrealistic.

You still have your daily life you need to live. Going to work each day, taking care of your family, your home, all your other responsibilities, plus having some fun along the way still needs to happen. You can’t just put everything in your life on hold while you pursue your goals. You can do this in conjunction with everything else you have to do. You will still be able to achieve unlimited success by taking one-step at a time.

In the John Whitmore book, Coaching for Performance, he tells the story of John Nabor and his incredible journey to Olympic history. It all started in 1972 when a young swimmer by the name of John Nabor watched Mark Spitz win an amazing seven gold medals for swimming in the Munich Olympics. After watching Spitz win, Nabor decided he too would win an Olympic gold medal. He wanted to win his medal in the 100- meter backstroke. He set a goal to accomplish this in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Nabor had already won the National Junior Championship, but he was still nearly five seconds off the pace he knew was necessary to win the gold. Now five seconds doesn’t sound like much, but when you are competing at that level of competition, it is a huge deficit to make up. Undaunted, Nabor decided to break his goal down into manageable steps. He began by asking himself how much he would need to improve in each practice session to achieve his goal. By taking the number of hours he could practice over the next four years before the Olympics and dividing it into the number of seconds he needed to improve he arrived at his goal. His goal – he needed to improve by one- fifth of one eye blink for every hour of training. That’s right, one fifth of one eye blink an hour. Suddenly he had a goal he could understand and accept as doable. So, he worked diligently and hard over the next four years improving one little bit at each training session.

By 1976, he had improved so much that he was made the captain of the American swimming team, and he won not just one gold medal, but two. He won the gold medal for the 100- meter backstroke and the 200-meter backstroke, the first one in a new world record time and the second in a new Olympic record. He ate the elephant one small bite at a time and exceeded his goal. He achieved his dream and created the success he sought. Nabor was motivated by an end goal he was passionate about and chose a process that created a path for him to achieve success.

Take responsibility to determine how you will break your goals down. You must take your long-term goals and break them down into 90-day objectives. Each 90-day plan will take you a step closer to your end goal. You get to choose how you will break them down further to what you need to do each day. Every morning ask yourself, “What can I do today to make positive momentum toward my 90-day objectives?” Breaking the goals into small steps will get you there with an ease you never expected. The action you take will not be hard work; it will be exciting and fulfilling. Your positive attitude and belief in yourself, along with your satisfaction at seeing progress, will make you proud and give you the motivation and courage to continue along your path toward success.

Add an extra 15 minutes each day to the time you invest in yourself and to working on your success plan,
and you will have added an equivalent of more than two weeks each year to the achievement of your dreams.

Imagine the exponentially powerful progress you will make by taking 15 minutes away from watching television, or surfing the internet or even sleeping and applying it to developing the life you want. Imagine what would happen if you invested an hour or more each day to your success plan! This investment cannot be matched by any other thing you can possibly do. Invest more in yourself than you do in your business or career, and you will see everything in your life move in the right direction.

Make an extra contact knowledgeable in the area you are working on improving, or read another book, or attend another workshop, or anything that gets you closer to where you want to go. The important thing is just to do a little more each day and the rewards will be great.

To Your Success,


5 Reasons Most People Fail at Goal Setting

co_obj_114Now is a great time to review your goals for the year and determine how well you are doing at accomplishing those things you wanted to get done this year. If you are like many people, you probably have a few goals that you haven’t made much progress toward achieving. You may even have some that you haven’t even started. Maybe you started to set some goals but never even went back and finished them. Many people avoid setting goals because they tried it once and when they didn’t achieve them, they decided goal setting just doesn’t work.

The fact is the people who are most successful in the world are avid goal setters. They are driven to accomplish what they set out to achieve and they know what they are aiming for. That is what goal setting really does for you – it gives you a clear target to aim for. You are much more likely to hit a target if you have one to aim for.

So, why don’t goals work for most people? The reason goal setting fails is because the goal setter has not followed the steps necessary to establish clear, focused goals that create a roadmap for success. Here are the five reasons most goals don’t work and how you can avoid these mistakes to create powerful goals that lead you to the wealth, success, happiness and prosperity you seek.

1. Generic goals – many people set very generic goals that do not create a vision of what they are trying to accomplish. Goals such as, “buy a new house,” “increase my profits,” “save money for vacation,” do not inspire action and do not give you a specific target to achieve. If you want to buy a new house then set a specific goal for what kind of house your want to buy, where it is located, how much it will cost, what it will look like, how big it is and what amenities it has. Create a very clear picture of what you want and write your goal accordingly. Determine what your goals are and BE SPECIFIC. That is the key to avoiding the mistake of generic goals.

Be as specific as possible. Create a clear vision of what you are aiming for. Whatever it is, be specific when setting the goal. If you are trying to increase the profits of your business – decide exactly how much more you want to produce. Pick a dollar amount or a percentage increase you are determined to make. If you are planning a vacation and want to save for the vacation, then determine an exact amount, where you will go and what you will do.

No matter what the goal is, the more specific you are the better chance you have of achieving it. Why? Because the more clearly you define what you want the more solidly it will be locked into your subconscious mind. Locking your goals into your subconscious is a critical component of achievement. Once you have created a clear vision of the goal and locked it into your subconscious then you will find that the actions you take tend to lead you toward the accomplishment of the goal.

2. Inability to measure results – if the goal you set does not allow you to measure your progress then how will you know if you are getting closer? Specific goals will make it much easier for you to measure progress. Generic goals that cannot be measured are doomed to fail. Measuring your progress allows you to make adjustments along the way so you stay on track. Make your goals measurable and they will be more powerful.

3. Setting unachievable goals – if the goals you set are so outlandish that you simply cannot reach them in a reasonable time period then you will become discouraged and give up. Establish stretch goals but not unachievable ones. It is good to establish goals that make you learn and grow and challenge you to reach them. However, don’t hurt your chances of succeeding by being unrealistic. Strong goals are those that are realistic and achievable.

4. Setting goals that are not relevant– make sure the goals you set tie into your long-term plans and mission for your career and life. Too many times people set goals that sound good in the moment or are relevant to someone else’s plans but not yours. Make sure your goals support what you are trying to accomplish or else why pursue them at all. Don’t waste your time chasing unimportant goals.

5. Not setting a timeframe for achievement – if you set goals that are not time bound then it is easy to let yourself off the hook and not take action. Setting a timeframe to meet the goal creates an accountability to take action. It also allows you to adjust your activity and make corrections along the way. If you create a goal to save enough money for a dream vacation in June two years from today then you can regularly check your progress and adjust as needed. If you didn’t set a timeframe and waited until you were ready to go then you may be surprised by not having the money and have to delay your dream. That would be a shame.

Avoid these five common mistakes and you will find that you accomplish more than you thought possible. Another important point is to make sure you put your goals in writing. Once you commit your goals to paper they move from a thought to an action and you create a commitment. Share them with someone else and the accountability increases dramatically.

To your success,

Do You Love What You Do?

60The recent economic crisis has caused many people to reevaluate their business or career interest. As a result of the turmoil, I have had the opportunity to speak with different individuals and groups about the concept of finding your true passion in business. The idea that what you do is what you love to do. Knowing yourself, finding your true purpose in life, is the essence of true and real. You have to be, before you do, to have lasting inner peace. In other words, making a living is not the same as making a life. Find what makes your heart sing and create your own music.

Many people work all their lives and dislike what they do for a living. In fact, I was astounded by a statistic in a USA Today survey that said 53 percent of people in the American workplace are unhappy with their jobs. It is amazing that the majority of people don’t like their jobs. How can you be productive and dedicated to something you don’t like to do? Loving what you do is one of the most important keys to living a “true and real” life.

You can’t fake passion. Passion is the fuel that drives any dream and makes you happy to be alive. However, the first step to loving what you do is to self-analyze, to simply know what you love. We all have unique talents and interests, and one of life’s greatest challenges is to match these talents with career opportunities that bring out the best in us. It’s not easy – and sometimes we can only find it through trial and error – but it’s worth the effort.

Ray Kroc, for example, found his passion when he founded McDonald’s at the age of 52. He never “worked” another day of his life.

John James Audubon was unsuccessful for most of his life. He was a terrible businessman. No matter how many times he changed locations, changed partners, or changed businesses, he still failed miserably. Not until he understood that he must change himself did he have any shot at success.

And what changes did Audubon make? He followed his passion. He had always loved the outdoors and was an excellent hunter. In addition, he was a good artist and, as a hobby, would draw local birds.

Once he stopped trying to be a businessman and started doing what he loved to do, his life turned around. He traveled the country observing and drawing birds, and his art ultimately was collected in a book titled Audubon’s Birds of America. The book earned him a place in history as the greatest wildlife artist ever. But, more importantly, the work made him happy and provided the peace of mind he’d been seeking all his life.

Can you say the same about what you are doing today? Do you get out of bed every day looking forward to your job or to running your business? You may love the work you do but maybe struggle with some of the challenges you face. Don’t give up on what you love…find a way to get the support you need to find your sense of fulfillment. Of course, if you’re not doing what you love then it is time for some self reflection and maybe a change.

The current theory is that this economic crisis has changed the way we will live our lives for some time to come. Now is the perfect time to take a critical look at yourself and your passions and determine what changes you need to make to help you live the life of passion that fuels success.

To your success,

The Movable Mountain

I just finished reading a chapter in the book ThinkerToys by Michael Michalko. I have found this book to be fascinating and highly recommend it. Michael has packed this book with a ton of creative ways to look at business problems and attack them to find solutions.

One thing that struck me today was a summary he gave for a chapter on a Tug-of-War strategy to problem solving. He summed it up with the following;

“Once there was a man who died and found himself in Hell, with the road to Heaven blocked by a huge mountain. Although indignant that he was in Hell, the man assumed he could do nothing to change his situation and settled down to an eternity of suffering. He never discovered that the mountain was on wheels – to reach Heaven he needed to only push the mountain aside.”

He went on to say, “Once you identify the forces operating in your challenge, they become as negotiable as a mountain on wheels. You can either learn to live with the negatives by limiting your options and compromising your goals, or you can change their position and neutralize their impact.”

Wow! How many people accept their current situation and settle down for a life of mediocrity or, even worse, misery? What are the forces operating against your goals? Have you created options to get them out of your way? Don’t compromise — create a plan for your life; determine what is in your way and find creative solutions to remove them. Once you move the mountain out of the way, there’s nothing to stop you but you!

To Your Success,

ps. if you need to get out of your own way to achieve your goals then pick up a copy of my book, Achieving Unlimited Success, and get started building the business / life you always wanted!

Are You Ready to Give Up the Dream of Affluence? Me Neither!

The headlines are coming at us from everywhere. There are numerous stories all over the internet, in your local paper, in the news magazines and on the television news telling us that the age of affluence is over. This week my Time Magazine arrived in the mail with the cover page headline, “The New Frugality.” Peggy Noonan, a respected journalist wrote this headline in the Wall Street Journal, “Goodbye Bland Affluence” USA Today ran an article about a family giving up on pursuing a life of abundance and instead opting for something they describe as “a simple self-sufficient lifestyle.”  

The premise is that the current economic crisis has forever changed our future. That we no longer control our own ability to achieve and acquire the wealth and abundance we desire. Noonan states that the future a lot of people are hoping for is a pared down lifestyle. They are looking for a smaller place to live where they can grow much of their own food, sew their own clothes and become what USA Today calls the “21st century homesteaders.”  

The idea seems to be that we need to change our consumer culture of deciding what we want for ourselves and move to a thrift culture where we take whatever comes our way. Time Magazine states, “A thrift culture invites us to be grateful for whatever we can get.” Since when did it stop being okay to want to create the life you desire and instead have to settle for whatever we can get and be happy with it? 

These pundits suggest that we will stop spending money on luxury items or personal care and accept a life dictated by others. Noonan writes, “People will be allowed to grow old again. There will be a certain liberation in this. There will be fewer facelifts and brow lifts, less Botox, less dyed hair among both men and women. They will look more like people used to look, before perfection came in.” She goes on to state, “the new home fashion will be spare. This will be the return of an old WASP style: the good, frayed carpet.” 

Time Magazine says that we are stripping down and starting over. According to their research, “most people think the pain will be lasting and the effects permanent.” It seems they want us to believe we will be in a permanent new reality that makes us re-think the way we live our lives, what we can accomplish, own and do. Frankly, I just don’t buy it. 

When you started your business, you had a reason to do so. There was some type of goal and hopefully a dream that you wanted to achieve. There is no reason for you not to continue to pursue that dream with all your heart and passion. There are probably many reasons why the media wants to sell this new reality. Quite frankly, it really doesn’t matter what they are. What matters is what you believe. 

It is certainly possible that the recession will cause you to make some modifications to the tactics and plans you had in place prior to its start. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams, lower your expectations and take whatever you get. Continue to take charge of your activities that will get you closer to where you want to go. Find ways to adjust accordingly and pursue your path. 

About thirty million people saw a wonderful example of not giving up on your dream and being willing to put yourself out there to get what you want. The name Susan Boyle is probably very familiar to many of you. She is the forty-seven year old woman from Blackburn, Scotland who performed on the hit show “Britain’s Got Talent.” 

Susan is a very unassuming woman from a small village in Scotland. When she stepped onto the stage to perform, all the judges, including the fan favorite Simon Cowell, were visibly unimpressed. They asked her why she was there and she said it was because she had a dream. Her dream was to become a professional singer and sing in front of a large audience. The judges rolled their eyes, made skeptical faces and snickered. The audience did the same thing. It was obvious from the giggles and laughs coming from the audience that they expected a bad performance. 

All that changed as soon as she sang the first note of her chosen song, “I Dreamed a Dream,” from “Les Miserables.” She sang a beautiful rendition of this wonderful song that made the jaws drop of every one in the audience, including Simon Cowell. Within the first minute of the song, the audience was on their feet giving her a standing ovation. It was a very uplifting experience to see her take the risk and be rewarded for the effort. If you haven’t seen the video yet, you owe it to yourself to go and check it out. 

Be like Susan and go for your dreams. Just as Susan didn’t let the skepticism of others intimidate and hold her back, you should not let the media, politicians or any other naysayers hold you back. Don’t buy into all the hype. 

Entrepreneurship is still the best way to build the life you desire. That is not likely to change anytime soon. You are in control of your own destiny. Make whatever adjustments you need to not only to survive the recession, but to grow and come out of it even stronger than before. America was built on the ideas, guts, hard work, innovation and creativity of the entrepreneur. It will continue to prosper under those same ideals. 

The media stories seem to me to be no more than a way to inflict guilt on those who wish to pursue a life of purpose, wealth and abundance. There is no guilt involved in being successful and pursuing your passion. Your success allows others to also grow and succeed. Stay the course and build your own reality. 

To your success,

Create a Road Map for Success

tree-winding-roadFairly soon people will start the process of planning for their annual vacation. There are a lot of deatils that go into making that decision. You have to determine how much money you can spend, how long your trip will be, where you will go, how will you get there, where will you stay, what you will do when you get there. The list goes on and on.

When you start building your vacation plan the excitement will build. The idea of getting away from your job or business, the dreams of the fun you will have, spending time with your loved ones, the new experiences awaiting you. All of this creates a sense of desire to build a great plan and execute it flawlessly to have a great experience.

Almost everyone who plans a vacation will go through this process. They will give every detail a great amount of attention. What’s interesting is that only about two people in every thousand know precisely what they desire from life and have workable plans to get there. These people are the successful ones; the people that have achieved wealth and are living a life they love.

Typically, these people have no more education, personality, or luck in life than everyone else. The difference is that they took the time to dream, plan and develop a road map for what they wanted and how they were going to get it.

If you aren’t sure what you want from life, start now – today. Decide exactly what you want, how much of it you want and when you will achieve it. Write out a clear mission statement for your life. What is the one thing you most desire — that when you accomplish it you will call yourself a success.

Next, write out a clear plan by which you intend to achieve it. Establish the goals you need to focus on to get you there. Then decide on a time line and commit yourself to it. Keep this plan, your goals, and your time line in a place you can refer to them often.

Achieving success does not happen just by chance. Plan your success the same as you plan the details of your vacation. They payback will be a life of happiness and meaning that you can be proud of.

If you need help developing your plan order your copy of Achieving Unlimited Success today and follow the steps to build a plan to get everything you want in life.

To Your Success,

Get SMART – You’ll Be Rewarded Accordingly


Set Your Sights High

 Success does not have to be so complicated and difficult that achieving it requires great feats of super human effort. Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world, is quoted as saying, “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.” However, without written measurable goals, life is a huge squirrel cage and you spend its precious seconds, minutes, days, months and years running frantically, in circles and getting nothing more than exhausted.

 Written goals are the road you will follow to reach your annual business plan. Your business plan acts as the game plan for the coming year. Your goals will become the accomplishments or outcomes from the plan. Once you have identified the goals, the next step is to create the action steps to get you there.

 Be sure to write your goals down; don’t just think about what they are. There is power in committing your goals to paper. Once committed to paper, your thoughts are no longer imaginings; they are real.  

Studies have shown that only 3 percent of the population have written goals, and that group controls 97 percent of the wealth.

People with written goals have a clear path they are following and a way of telling if they are on track to achieve wealth and success. Amazingly, 70 percent of people have NO written OR verbal goals or plans. These people will have a tough time, especially in the current business climate!

 The SMART Formula

 There is a common format used in many training and coaching programs for writing goals. The format is called the SMART format.  It goes like this:

 S pecific
M easureable
A chievable
R elevant
T ime bound

 In order to make your goals come to life you have to make sure they meet the SMART test. If you simply write a goal in a generic way then how do you visualize achieving it? How do you know if you are on track if you can’t measure progress? 

 Let’s go over each one and cover the importance of them individually. 

 Specific refers to making sure you are extremely clear on what it is you are aiming to accomplish. You have to be as specific as possible and that means you need to visualize the outcome you want.  What is the thing you desire? What result are you aiming for?  Knowing the result you want and being as specific about it as possible in the goal setting process is the first step.

Measurable means that you will be able to measure your progress toward your objective. You can track where you are in the process and if you are moving in the right direction. Being able to measure your progress allows you to keep focused on the objective and correct your strategy as needed.

 A goal must be achievable or why even write it? Let’s say your goal is to become a multi-millionaire and you want to do it in the next month. Well, that might be possible but unless you are already well on your way to it now, that timeline is probably a little unrealistic. Don’t make your goals so impossible that you can’t possibly get there in the time you want and frustrated, you give up. That outcome will occur if you set goals that are not achievable – you will simply give up.

 A goal must be relevant to your overall plan to be effective.  Ask yourself: Is this goal going to get me closer to achieving my plan? There is no reason to set goals that will not move you closer to living the life you want. 

 The goal must also deliver a result to be effective. A goal should give you a defined outcome that you desire to achieve in order for it to be relevant. Do not write a goal as if it is the action step you need to take, but write it as the result you desire to achieve. Your action items will come from your goals and should not be mistaken for the goal itself. To be relevant to your vision, make sure you are defining clear outcomes.

 A goal that isn’t time bound doesn’t put any pressure on you to go out and take action. Set a date when this goal will be done so you can develop a plan to get there and then take action on the plan. The use of a timeline keeps you focused and on track.

Creating 90-day Objectives

Once you have established your annual goals, use them to create short-term objectives of the immediate action you will take. These objectives will define specifically what you will do during the next 90 days. 

This is a very important step because it gives you the immediate task list of what you must focus on. A 90-day time frame is manageable and allows you to become very specific with your action steps. Remember, it is the action you take that will determine the results you will get.

You may not accomplish everything identified for this 90-day period. If that occurs, then ask yourself if this is a real priority, and if so, what got in the way. Did you over commit or did something else happen? If you need to carry it over to the next 90-day period, then do so. If you determine that it is not really a priority, remove it from your objectives. 

Once you have completed those 90 days, set your plan for the next 90 days and do it again. This is a never-ending process and will lead to the ultimate success you desire. Our minds are built to think short-term and to concentrate on the task at hand.  Setting objectives is the perfect way to keep you working on those things that will accomplish your goals. 

Take your business plan and turn it into quantifiable goals that meet the SMART formula and then decide what your priorities are for the first quarter. Get started on those priorities right away. If you created a realistic plan for 2009 that matches your long-term objectives then you will begin to see real progress in building the business of your dreams.

Visit www.AchievingUnlimitedSuccess to download a SMART Goal and 90-day plan template you can use to develop your goals. It will make your planning process simpler. The Companion Workbook is also a great tool to help you work through your planning process.

To Your Success,