No More Excuses

My friend Randy Snow lost his legs at 16 in a tractor accident. The fact that it ended a promising professional tennis career never got in the way of Randy’s thinking or attitude as he went through life. He achieved success in a number of fields, including sales, professional speaking and even tennis. The founder of wheelchair tennis said about him, “Randy Snow was simply the best wheelchair player to have ever played the sport.”

Randy died in November 2009 while volunteering at a youth tennis camp and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame after his death. Now bear in mind, this is the same Hall of Fame that also counts Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and dozens of other tennis greats as members. And that’s just the beginning of the story because Randy is also the only person in a wheelchair ever inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, because he became a star in other sports besides tennis.

But this post really isn’t about Randy Snow, it’s about his message, NO MORE EXCUSES. And it’s a about a young six-year-old who understood that message from the very earliest age. Watch this video about young Reece Holloway and then decide if its time for you to get rid of all your excuses. Btw, if this video moved you like it moved me, how about hitting one of the share buttons on this post and sharing it with some others.

The Gift of Problems

I was sitting at my desk the other day pondering a pesky problem that I’ve been having. And frankly, it was all I could do to keep from letting negative thinking about it overwhelm me.

When I went to check my email, my weekly message from my long-time friend Phil Humbert was in my box. The subject line of his email? The Gift of Problems.

How timely and what a great piece that Phil wrote (he puts out some great writing and always has!).

I contacted him right away and told him I wanted to share it with you. He graciously gave me permission so here it is in its original and uncut version:

“When we’re stuck or frustrated, I don’t suppose anybody really likes problems. But problems are the source of wealth, fame, power, progress and most of the good things in life. Without problems, I fear we might still be living in caves. Thank goodness for the gift of problems!

Do I really mean that? Yes, I do! But do I really feel that way all the time? No. I find it especially hard to appreciate problems when I have one of my own!

But the truth is that most of us earn our living by solving other people’s problems. In that sense, while I may be frustrated by my own problems, I am extremely thankful that other people have problems I can solve!

We had a minor mishap with Mary’s car this week. The passenger-side mirror got knocked off, and of course, it has the electric gizmo in it so there was no way I could fix it myself. We had a problem. And since it wasn’t scheduled, and I didn’t want to be bothered that particular day, it annoyed me.

But I noticed the guy at the body shop saw it very differently! Turns out that with his knowledge, experience and tools, he didn’t have a problem at all! For him, it was an easy way to make a couple hundred bucks! What a delight! Lucky him.

In a diversified economy, problems make the world go ’round! When I have a problem with my car, the mechanic makes money. When I have a problem with my computer, the tech guy makes money. When my clients want to grow their businesses, enrich their lives or have difficulty achieving their most important goals, I get a call. Thank goodness for problems!

The truth is, that if you want to make more money, you must (yes, I said, MUST) learn to solve more and bigger problems for more people. People pay to have problems solved.

This is easy to understand when the problem is also a crisis. In an emergency we want a doctor to stop the pain. When they break down, we want our cars fixed. When we’re traveling and need food or lodging for the night, we gladly pay someone to help us out. Those problems are obvious. But when we buy entertainment or furniture for our homes, or even a book to read on vacation, these are also problems we pay someone to solve for us.

Whether your customer is one person called your “boss” or the thousand people who come to your restaurant every day, they all have problems to be solved. If you want them to pay you more, you must find ways to either solve the same problem for more people, or learn to solve bigger or more complex problems. Your income is always a pretty accurate reflection of the value customers put on the problems you solve for them.

Thank goodness for problems!

And as an extra bonus, consider the amazing gifts problems give us, free of charge! Problems challenge us. They stretch us. They make us creative. They teach us things and force us to learn from or collaborate with very smart people. Sometimes I think of problems as God’s gift to the human race!

When we are totally relaxed and comfortable, laying in the sun with no problems of any kind, we are unlikely to be motivated. Sometimes, we even doze off! Without problems we do very little. We invent nothing and build little of lasting value. Only when we are hungry, frustrated, worried or challenged by a problem do we rouse ourselves, rally our resources, and get to work. Problems (and their solutions) have created the world we enjoy every day.

So, do I really enjoy problems? Well, not always. Like most people, I get frustrated or annoyed by unexpected problems. But I do see them as opportunities to learn new skills, to grow, and in some cases, to grow rich! Problems give me a chance to meet people with skills I don’t have, to extend my network, and to learn from people with expertise in areas I can’t handle myself.

I think it was W. Clement Stone who observed that, “Every problem has within it an even greater opportunity.” I think he was right. Examine every problem for the gold that lies within it. Problems make us stronger. They teach us skills, and over time, they make us rich!”


If you enjoyed Phil’s wisdom you can find more of it at:


How Are You Playing Your Cards?

Found in a box in a park in the middle of an Iraqi war zone and taken to an orphanage, Emmanuel Kelly didn’t have the greatest start in life. But as the saying goes, it matters not what cards you are dealt in life, it only matters how you play them.

Watch Emmanuel and then stop and think about all of the excuses you’ve been letting get in the way of your dreams. As Emmanuel sings, I-M-A-G-I-N-E what you can do and where you can go when you forget your excuses and drive on!

This 6-Year-Old Is A Hero!

When her husband left on his deployment, her 6-year-old son could not walk on his own because of cerebral palsy. Doctors originally said that he would never walk or do much of anything. While daddy was away, he learned to walk. For his homecoming, she set it up for Michael to walk to his daddy for the first time ever! Watch this video and share the triumph of TWO heroes!

Kony 2012 — Spread The Word

If there was oil at risk, or some other financial motive, our military would already have invaded to stop this nonsense. But instead, it’s just a bunch of kids at risk… So what, they say. ¬†Watch the video, do your part, and share it!

Motivation and inspiration to maximize your personal growth from motivational speaker and author Vic Johnson.