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UFB Issue #021 Choose Your Attitude
February 27, 2004
"The key to family business success"
ISSN 15465640

A free monthly e-zine with articles and tips from Family Business Experts who understand family values and business systems.

February 26, 2004 Issue #021 Family Business Experts

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Enjoy, and here's wishing you, your family, your clients... much success!

Don Schwerzler, Managing Director
Family Business Experts

This newsletter edition will be a bit different.

As you know, I have a web site consulting practice as well as being the Family Business Experts web master. Earlier this week, several of us were exchanging thoughts about some of the negatives we seemed to be encountering more frequently than usual, and we were speculating that it might be due to outside factors. After all, here in the USA, we are bombarded daily with much negative and even vitriolic material within one major political party and between parties as we approach a Presidential election. Canada is having a crisis within the government over some atrocious fiscal dealings. Britain's Prime Minister is still under the gun for aspects of the Iraqi involvement. And so on.

Whether influenced by these types of factors or not, I certainly see an ATTITUDE problem amongst a group of potential clients. Fortunately not all by any means, and not even a majority, but enough that I thought I would share some of my thoughts and an e-mail that I recently received from a good friend that I think has some very powerful thoughts in it.

The ATTITUDE I am finding amongst some is one of entitlement, of expecting something for nothing. There seems to be an expectation that setting up a web site or running a business is a simple process that will ensure great riches. Granted, we are bombarded with I-don't-know-how-many messages every day in our e-mail and pop-ups promising riches with no effort.

Success is attainable, but it takes a lot of hard work, planning, execution...

For many people the first step to success is to choose to change ATTITUDE. Continuing in this vein of thought...

Choose Your Attitude
to Determine Your Results

As I said above, success can be boiled down to a matter of ATTITUDE. And you can control attitude -- that means you have a choice. That choice starts with you and how you approach life, people and work. And in that vein...

This is an e-mail that I received from a good friend. I normally delete things like this due to a lack of time, but I started reading and it pulled me through to the end. Its truth is profound -- I hope it has the same impact on you, especially if you find yourself struggling with your business, with family problems, with life itself. If that is you, make today the first day of turning it around.

Because, at the end of the day, we ALL have the power to choose.


Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say: When someone would ask him how he was doing, He would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how they could look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. Yes, it is," Michael, said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. Your bottom line: "It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Michael said.

Soon after, I left the company to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of my soon to be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live." Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, "he's a dead man". I knew I needed to take action.

"What did you do?", I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. "Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled...


Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."

You have two choices now:

1. Delete this.

2. Forward it to the people you care about.

I hope you will choose #2. I did.



Web Master


We are currently in production with several exciting additions to the site...

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  • a fascinating interview with Adam Bellow about his book "In Praise of Nepotism"

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