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Rick Floyd

Choosing a one word resolution

Did you start this year off by making new year’s resolutions? Like most people, they were probably about quitting smoking, losing weight, spending more time with family, or improving some quality about yourself and your life.

But did you know that 9 out of 10 people will fail in keeping their resolutions? 50% of people don’t even make it to the end of January…

I say that not to depress you, but to offer you an alternative.

The bestselling author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon - someone I look to for inspiration - is challenging his followers to pick one word to define their year, and not specific or complicated resolutions that you might not keep.

His words over the past several years - Purpose, Surrender, Serve, Pray, rise, forgive, still and connected.

Those mean different things to different people, but the idea is pick a guiding principle that you want to live by that year, and stick to it. Maybe you’ll lose weight, maybe you wont, but if you live your life with purpose, or you live to serve - that’s something you can do every single day.

Gordon says most years, he doesn’t choose the word - it chooses him… Something in his journey leading into the new year becomes obvious to him, and that’s how he arrives at the word.

So think back on 2018, and look forward to 2019 — what one word will you choose to guide you through this year?

I’d love to hear the word you picked in the comments below, and as soon as I pick mine, I’ll make sure to share it with all of you.

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Santa is an inspiring leader

It’s the holiday season, so I thought it would be fun to take a slight detour this week, and talk about Santa Clause… Yep, the jolly fat one with the white beard and the reindeer!

I never gave Santa a lot of thought, but Jon Gordon, an author and motivational speaker who inspires me posted this on twitter — 7 reasons why Santa Clause is a good leader.

So let’s go through them…

First, he spreads laughter and cheer… other than the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge, who doesn’t like being happy?

Santa also encourages his reindeer… Ya know, on dasher, on dancer… That kinda thing.

He rewards good behavior, and doesn’t tolerate the bad behavior, just like a good leader.

He also empowers his workforce - the elves - because if he doesn’t who’s going to make all of those toys before the big night?

He’s humble and hungry… I mean.. I can put down a lot of cookies and milk, but at some point, I’d hit a wall.

And most importantly, he inspires all of us, young and old, to believe.

Aren’t all of these qualities that a good leader demonstrates?

So in that spirit, thanks Santa Clause for being such a positive example, and thank you for checking out this week’s episode.

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Avoiding the Holiday Stress

The holidays are upon us, and in addition to turkey and stuffing, you’re probably also thinking about the stress of having family members over.

Here are just a couple ways to help keep the holiday stress to a minimum.

First, don’t gorge yourself on holiday foods.

Sure, we all love deviled eggs, and sweet potato casserole, and those amazing pies, but the more you eat, the more sluggish you’ll feel, and that can make you more irritable.

A better choice — eat all of those foods, but maybe not all at one time.

If you insist on eating all of it - let’s be honest, I probably will — try and take a walk afterwards.

This helps you not only work off a few of those thousands of calories you just ate, but it also helps get you away from the chaos for a few minutes.

You don’t have to be rude, just say you have to walk the dog… and if you don’t have a dog, well…. just tell your family you’re watching the neighbors dog while they’re away!

Finally, do your best to let it go…

Sure, Aunt Millie drives your crazy… Your parents will probably ask you to help setup their new tv, and your kids are climbing up the walls… but family is family, and the holidays are just a few days out of the year when everybody gets together, so keep it light, and leave the big drama for another time.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

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Black Friday Tips Abound

This week we’re talking about Black Friday deals. I have a few tips to share from consumer expert Clark Howard on how to get the best deals, and beat the crowds.

First, figure out what you really want.

All of the Black Friday sales flyers come out a week or two ahead of time, so think about what you really want, and make a plan to get it — even if that means shopping at 2 in the morning.

And figure out which things you really HAVE to have… Sure, that slow cooker may be $2 cheaper on Black Friday, but unless you’re willing to fight somebody for it, spend the extra two bucks and get it later.

Look for things that have HUGE savings, and aim for those.

If you want even more discounts going into Black Friday, check out sites like, which sell discounted gift cards to the stores you’re shopping anyway. Cards for stores like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart can be bought at a discount ahead of time, and will help save you even more cash on Black Friday.

Next up — if you’re not getting heavy stuff, skip the shopping cart. Navigating carts around crowded stores with small aisles is tough on a good day… on Black Friday, it can be nearly impossible.

And finally, have backup plans… If the item you want is already sold out, either have a backup store online where you can get it, or have a backup gift idea in mind.

Nothing is more frustrating that watching the guy in front of you get the last cheap TV, so don’t let it break your heart.

And finally, a personal tip from Clark’s mom — don’t wear red to Target on Black Friday… You’re probably going to get a few questions about where the discounted microwaves are.

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Just be kind!

In the age of social media, it’s easy to look at peoples’ carefully curated lives online, and believe that their lives are going amazingly well, but it’s always important to remember that everyone is struggling with something.

Maybe they have family members who are ill, maybe they dislike their jobs, or maybe their marriage isn’t as rosy at it seems.

I say this not to bring you down but to ask you to remember to be kind to other people.

If somebody snaps at you too quickly, is quick to judge, or just isn’t very friendly, ask yourself what may be going on in their lives that causes them to be that way… And if that person is a colleague, a friend or a partner — ask if you can help.

And if the grumpy one is you, take a hard look at why, and if you can, make changes in your life that help you be happier.

The author Jon Gordon, somebody I look to for inspiration, recently announced he was suffering from some medical issues. His point in telling his readers about it was not to complain, but to underline this point: While we may not be able to control our circumstances, we can control our response to them.

It’s an important lesson to remember, and one I hope you carry with you this week.

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Making your home smarter

This week we’re talking about travel gadgets… And specifically, Smart Home tech that helps you stay connected while you’re on the road.

One of my favorite new types of gadgets is the connected doorbell. The most popular ones are the Ring Video Doorbell, and the Nest Hello.

Both of these little gadgets replace your current doorbell, which does nothing but ring inside your house!

These video doorbells send you an alert on your smartphone when somebody rings the bell, allows you to see video of who’s out there, and even talk back to them if you’re not home.

They both run about 200-bucks, and the Nest Hello connects to your existing doorbell wiring. The Ring Video Doorbell makes both hard-wired and battery powered options…

Next up, the connected thermostats. The most popular is also made by Nest, and allows you to control both your heat and A/C from afar. It also learns your habits, and automatically adjusts the temperature when you’re not home to save on energy costs.

If you’re on your way back from a trip, log on once your flight lands, and start cooling the house down… or heating it up…. It’ll be nice and ready by the time you get home.

The Nest Thermostat starts at 169 bucks, and is compatible with most existing thermostat wiring.

Finally this week, smart switches.

There are lots of different brands out there — Belkin WeMo, TP Link, Lutron — but they all do the same thing. Allow you to turn on and off lights, and other plugin devices remotely.

This is handy if you’re across the room, or across the globe… allowing you to turn lights on and off to make it look like you’re home, turning the radio on for your dogs, or just turning on the fan before you go to sleep.

Most of these smart switches are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa system and Google Home, which makes them even more convenient. Control your lights and appliances with your voice, simply by talking into your smart speaker.

We’ve come along way from The Clapper, haven’t we?

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Picking better road food

This week, we’re talking about food… in particular fast food.

I’m on the road all of the time, and when I’m in a hurry, I’ll be honest, I stop for fast food sometimes, but as I get older, I'm thinking more about making healthy choices.

There are ways to eat healthy, even in the drive thru, so here are a few tips I got from a nutritionist for eating on the go.

First, there are a lot of healthy fast food restaurants popping up - from Panera to Zoe’s Kitchen, and a bunch of build-your-own salad places, so keep an eye out for those first.

Another good option could be a sub place - Jersey Mike’s, Subway or Jimmy Johns — and ask them to make your sandwich as a salad, or scoop out the bread.

If you’re going with traditional fast food places - Wendy’s, McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, Arby’s, KFC or Taco Bell… Don’t worry, there are healthy options there too.

To build the healthiest meal, start by picking the right side dish. Skip the fries, and instead, replace it with a salad, a baked potato, or fruit.

You all know Diet Coke is my thing... When you’re picking a drink, stay away from sugary sodas, and instead go with water, unsweet tea, diet soda or coffee.

And for your entree, look for grilled options instead of fried, leave off the cheese and fatty condiments like mayo, and even consider losing half of the bun… Or the whole thing if you’re more adventurous.

Be careful with condiments too… Ketchup and bbq sauce are loaded with sugar, and creamy sauces like ranch and mayo can be full of fat.

Of course all of these restaurants offer salads too, but don’t automatically assume it’s a healthier choice.

And remember, just because you get it through a window, doesn’t mean it has to kill your diet…

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How to develop your personal brand

This week, we’re talking about your personal brand. What is it that makes you, you… and how do you get people to relate to you.

Studies have shown that people connect more easily with people than with companies, so you’re selling you - not a product, not a company.

How do you define your personal brand? First, identify your unique qualities. I’m a mortgage lender, I’m a dad, I’m a UGA football fan… And those are all things that inform my personal brand.

Then, take time to understand who your ideal client is, and think about what you have in common with them.

People want to connect with other people like them, so take those areas where you overlap, and drive your branding towards those things.

Tell stories that your customer can relate to, share news articles you know they’ll be interested in.

This makes your clientele feel like you “get them,” and in turn, will make them think of you as a trusted friend in whatever business you’re in.

Of course, be genuine — don’t make up a personality, or invent things to help yourself be relatable. It has to be authentic to shine through.

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Just Plane Trivia

Like me, many of you are on the road all the time, so this week, I’m going to share a little airplane and airport trivia with you, to make your next trip just a little more interesting.

First, did you know that the Wright Brothers’ first flight covered less distance than the length of a Boeing 747 is today? That’s right… Their first flight was only 12 seconds, and 120 feet long… The queen of the skies, well, she is 250 feet long and can fly almost 10-thousand miles.

The 747 can take off weighing just over 910-thousand pounds too…

Let’s talk airports… If you’ve sat on the tarmac for hours like I have, you have noticed that each runway has a number… Do you know where those numbers come from?

The number on a runway represents the direction it’s facing on the compass… So runway 2-7 faces 270 degrees or directly West… Runway 0-9 faces 90 degrees, or directly east.

And depending on how the winds are blowing that day, runways can be used in either direction, so runway 09 and 27 are actually the same runways, just taken from different ends.

Here in Atlanta, at the world’s busiest airport, almost 300 planes takeoff and land every hour of every day…

Finally this week… Have you ever wondered what those white trails are that form behind airplanes flying in the sky?

Conspiracy theorists call them “chem trails” and say it’s the government spraying various chemicals on unsuspecting citizens below…

They’re actually called “con trails” or condensation trails, and they’re ice crystals formed from the exhaust from the airplanes engines.

Environmental conditions have to be right for these gasses to form into ice, which is why you don’t always see them, but rest assured… They’re not harmful to you, or the environment.

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Growing positivity in the workplace

This week, we’re talking about negativity in the work place… Actually, let’s look at it from a different angle… We’re talking about positivity in the workplace, and how to keep negativity from creeping in.

The first step - make a conscious decision with your team to not allow negativity to sabotage your hard work.

Workplace gossip, snide remarks under your breath about others’ work, or ugly text messages during meetings, can all sabotage workplace morale, so decide collectively to avoid it.

I’m inspired by the author Jon Gordon, who uses the term “energy vampires” to talk about people who bring negativity with them wherever they go.

If you have one on your team, have a conversation privately with them, and find out what you can do to help make their work experience more positive.

Many times, you’ll find its things outside of work that are making them that way, and just taking time to understand what’s wrong can help make them a more positive team member.

You can also institute the “no complaining rule” — that is, don’t just complain for the sake of complaining… Come with one or two possible solutions to the problem before you even bring it up.

Complaining helps keep you focused on the problem, and not the solution.

And finally, don’t be afraid of conflict. If there’s no disagreement on your team, you’re not trying hard enough!

Innovate, don’t be afraid to break things, and don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations around your teams’ choices… But make sure the disagreements are constructive. That’s the only way forward.

To leave you with a quote from Gordon’s books - Being positive wont guarantee you’ll succeed, but being negative will guarantee that you wont.

So go out there, and be the positive force for your team!

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