Lakers clinched the lead in the 2008 Western Conference

Anyone who really knows me is fully aware of my love for the Los Angeles Lakers. I have been a Lakers’ fan since the early seventies and I do not intend on changing. The NBA 2007-2008 year has ended and the LA Lakers have clinched the lead in the Western Conference. This simply means that they will have home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoff.

There are major factors that go in to playing any sport.
The owners, coaches, and those who study stats are intimately aware of the factors that can have the pendulum swing in their direction. Those factors are the law of averages and the principle of persistence and momentum. Oftentimes, you will hear the announcer say, “Whenever the Lakers shoot fifty percent or more and score over a hundred points, they are 38 and 4.” What they are saying is that the odds are in their favor to win.

Momentum is a strange phenomenon because once it latches on it continues to increase. What happens with momentum is that it is mental. Once you think that you have enough points or wins, your mindset shifts to cruise control and then momentum is lost. This is why a team can be winning a game by more than 25 points, and they not only lose their lead, but they also lose the game.

When the mentality shifts to cruise control and the other team has narrowed the spread to less than fifteen, the cruise control mentality shifts to survival mode. Suddenly the team that once led by more than twenty-five points is now playing not to lose instead of playing to win.

Persistence is another plus which works in the favor of a team that displays more than a desire to win, but single-minded doggedness to conquer despite the odds.

I have seen this kind of perseverance in Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and now, Kobe Bryant. Once Michael Jordan had momentum in a game, he never played a team that he did not want to push the dagger into deeper. He knew how to keep the momentum until it worked like a dynamo.

Kobe Bryant can have a lasting legacy if he continues to play the game to conquer his opponent, instead of playing to convince the naysayer; and he will win the championship.

Neither life nor business is any different from sports. All are governed by rules and regulations that must be adhered to, coupled with desire, will, persistence, and faith. Challenge yourself to move off the pedestal of mediocrity and move into a dimension of the victorious.

The quality goes in before the name goes on

Have you ever visited a business establishment and asked the secretary or host a question, and they made you feel as though you were bothering them?

Today, this seems to be the quality of service that people are giving. When I look at the quality of work at many construction sites, it is atrocious to say the least. Even if the work is incomplete, the contractors want full payment for an incomplete job. What is worse, they do not care about the quality of their own work.

What is the quality of your work or business?

Do you have pride in what you do?

There is a restaurant that my wife and I frequently visit, and I cannot ever recall going into their restroom and finding it dirty. Generally, if the restroom is filthy at an eating facility, the chances are pretty high that the cooks and management have a low standard in terms of the quality food and service. In fact, this type of restaurant may not be a good place to eat.

I am a pastor who happens to own a casual, fine dining restaurant. One of the things that I continually gauge is the cleanliness of our facility, ensuring that the high level of service is maintained.

The same principle applies to my house, church, and quality of work. My motto is, “In Pursuit of Excellence.”

While growing up in the sixties, there was a commercial about a Zenith product that has stayed with me to this day. Its slogan was, “The quality goes in before the name goes on.” The indication was that unless the product meets the company’s quality standard, the product does not warrant the name of the company. They only wanted their name associated with a quality product.

I certainly would not want my name associated with substandard work. Your work speaks volumes about you as a person. Make sure that you place the highest quality in your business, work, or services before you tag your name on.

Are You A Good Money Manager?

“I believe that the power to make money is a gift from God.”
— John D. Rockerfeller

Most people have it all wrong about wealth in America. Wealth is not the same as income. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend. To bet on a horse is gambling, to bet that you can come up with three spades is entertainment, Money Manger to bet on cotton going up three points is business. You see the difference?

Money is the one common thread that ties all the nations of the world together. Poverty is the perversion of prosperity, and the parody of financial freedom is debt. The art of creating wealth works in reverse of how one creates debt. The lack of money creates debt. Debt is a product of what you cannot afford. Wealth is a product of the proper management of money. It’s not having a lot of money that initially creates wealth—it is knowing what to do with your money that creates wealth. You must initially see that debt and financial struggles (poverty) go hand in hand.

“Wealth…gives you freedom to make choices.”
— Oprah Winfrey

They say that money isn’t everything. That’s true—but look at how many things it is. In our society, money is everything. For Americans, it is how we keep score. A man’s treatment of money is the most decisive test of his character—how he makes it and how he spends it. Money doesn’t change a person; it exposes him or her for who they already are. If money makes you feel better about yourself, then you neither understand yourself nor the reason for your wealth. The Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” But it doesn’t say that money is evil. The personal secular methods that helped a man acquire a fortune are the very ones that keep him from enjoying it. Money itself is not evil nor is it good. Both good and evil can be done with money. The old maxim is, “Money may not bring happiness…”, but I say, “neither does poverty.” When a man respects the potential of money and learns to control its influence, he becomes a wise man. Are you a good money manager?