Morning Cup of Joe – The Inevitable

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You know it will happen yet you cannot prepare for it. It occurs daily, hourly, in fact it happens every second. Throughout your day you experience this and throughout your life it will continue to transpire.

This is perhaps the one thing, no matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid. What I am talking about is change. Change is inevitable.

Step 1: Change the way you look at change.

Change brings about new opportunities for you to grow and learn. While many of us have accepted that change will happen in our lives, countless others struggle to adjust. Stay away from and do your best not to join nor create a group of whiners, complainers and antisolutionists. Yup, I totally made up that word but here’s what it means: An antisolutionist is one who always finds fault with change and never offers up any solutions.

If you are a guilty of being an antisolutionist, there’s hope. Your primary goal should be to maintain an understanding and accept the fact that change must and will happen and it can potentially be a good thing. How you respond to change is more important than the change itself.

Think about a time when change was necessary. A good example is a failed relationship or a negative work environment. Many people choose to stay where they are because they are comfortable. Being comfortable is not something someone who wants to be successful subscribes to. Being successful means you have to learn how to roll with the punches and adjust accordingly. When you inevitably face change, adjust your strategy in order to win.

Remember, the only thing that is constant is change.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – One Step Back

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Recently I spoke to a friend who was looking for work and was actually going on interviews. After several weeks of interviewing with a multitude of companies, he was finally offered an opportunity. Once he received the call for the opportunity, the employer explained that he was not being hired for the position he applied for rather he was being offered a lower position. Much to the employer’s dismay, the friend respectfully declined the offer. When I asked him why he declined, he told me that he has a master’s degree and that position is below what he is willing to accept.

While he is well within his rights to decline such offer, I personally would have accepted it. Here’s why. You never know where a particular opportunity will lead. Although it was not what he expected, this opportunity could have been the one that lead to the one he really wanted. Opportunities are exactly what you make them. At times, an opportunity will seem less desirable but it will take you to make it what it should be.

Sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take one hundred steps forward. I have accepted opportunities that at first glance did not seem like I should have yet they led to even greater opportunities. You should never think that you are too good for an opportunity. Do not be misled; I am not saying to lower your standards, I am saying that you never know where a road may take you if you never travel on it. Some opportunities may not be the one you hoped for but it could be the one that leads you to the one you’ve always wanted.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Challenge Accepted

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Don’t ever turn down a challenge. One summer while conducting my annual leadership summit for our Summer Youth Leadership Internship program, one of the organization’s senior leaders suddenly walks in and says “I need a volunteer”. Without hesitation, one of my star interns raised his hand having no clue of the challenge at hand yet accepted anyway. She didn’t tell him what she wanted done before asking for a volunteer but he accepted anyway. That’s what winners do, we accept challenges without the specific knowledge of the task at hand yet are confident that we can execute it to the best of our abilities.

About a half-hour had passed before he quietly eased his way back into the large conference room. Once he returned from his “secret” mission, our entire group was eager to hear about what she had asked of him. Before he could answer that question, I asked him a different one. I asked him, “why did you say yes to something without the specific knowledge of the details?” His reply made complete sense. He said “I accepted because I figured whatever she was going to ask me to do, she clearly felt that one of us had the ability to do it”. And I thought, Bingo!

Accepting a challenge even if you don’t know the specifics is essential to your growth as an individual and as a leader. By accepting new challenges you are able to learn new skills and strengthen your abilities overall. Never turn down an offer to be better. What doesn’t kill you will certainly make you stronger.

Learn to recognize the life lessons that are learned by accepting challenges and learning as you go. I challenge you to start saying “Yes!” to opportunities that increase your overall value.

Do you accept this challenge?

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Opportunity Knocks

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A couple of weeks after I relocated from Los Angeles to Orlando, wanting to become better acclimated to my new environment, I decided to attend a Toastmasters meeting. The meeting was well attended and I even won an award for “Best Table Topics” speaker. “Table Topics” are 2-minute impromptu speeches where you are forced to think on your feet. As I neared the exit, a member approached me and said “I heard you mention that you are in Real Estate, are you currently working with anyone?”. I replied, “Actually, I’m not”. After two interviews, a tour and signing a mountain of disclosures, I began working as a Senior Real Estate Consultant. I felt like the luckiest man in the world. I mean, I’m a few weeks removed from LA and I’m already working a sweet gig. Pure Luck.

I did not realize it then but I was absolutely wrong. Luck had little to do with it. The obvious reason why I received that opportunity is because I was there. I was at the right place at the right time. That is truly what it takes to be a winner; showing up. It’s difficult for opportunities to meet you half-way if you don’t show up. The opportunity was already at the meeting; I had to literally show up to claim it. It is imperative that you understand the importance of showing up. You cannot reasonably expect your situation to change if you are not the change agent. Opportunity knocks on doors that aren’t closed.

Showing up is truly the only way you are going to position yourself to make a difference. I know it can be challenging at times and the motivation and discipline necessary for success may be in remission but I plead with you to not give up. We have all been in a position where we were inches away from our blessing but for whatever reason decided to not go the extra mile. Many of the obstacles we face are a result of our actions and/or inactions for that matter. We sit and wait for the blessing to knock on our door all the while the blessings is waiting for you to simply show up. Miracles happen when you and God are both hard at work.

Remember, if you don’t show up someone else will claim your prize.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Road to Success

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Problems are actually opportunities in disguise. It is critically important that you start to recognize the opportunity in your problems. Whatever the issue, you certainly cannot compare it to the end of the world. Yes, the end of the world is a bit drastic but compared to that, do you really have any problems? I’ll answer for you; no, you truly don’t. The opportunity that inevitably arises from overcoming an obstacle is what you should always remain focused on; not the problem itself. Learn to look pass the problem to find the opportunity.

Think back to a time in your life when you encountered a difficulty and how you overcame that difficulty. What did you do to overcome that particular obstacle? What is it about you specifically that made you overcome that obstacle? The answers these questions should serve as a “How to” guide to fixing your problems. The fact that you have not experienced a similar difficulty is proof that you have learned the particular lesson you were meant to learn through that experience. Even if you did experience it again, there’s a valuable lesson learned in every human experience.

Embrace the obstacles that may come your way as they are designed to increase our awareness that we are going down the right path. Most roads that are travelled are laden with bumps; the road to success is not exempt. The tools you need to get over this hump are the same tools you used to get over the last one; the only difference is the problem itself. Opportunities come several times a day, it’s up to you to recognize them as opportunities and chase after them no matter the cost. More problems means more opportunities.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Blessings in Disguise

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For most of us, our pride restricts us from recognizing clear and apparent blessings. During a recent conversation with a friend who is actively searching for a job, I was able to discover a fundamental error in the way he was viewing his circumstances. He expressed to me that he has participated in over twenty job interviews and has received over nine offers but none of them matched the salary he felt he should be paid based on his years of experience and his advanced degrees. He feels as if they were insulting him by offering him the opportunity at such a low salary. After he shared this story with me, I scratched my head and thought to myself “he turned down nine answers to his prayers”.

Sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take 1000 steps forward. Just because an opportunity doesn’t perfectly match your expectations doesn’t mean it isn’t the opportunity for you. Opportunities are such that you can autonomously mold it into what you think it should be. For example, had he taken one of the nine job offers, he could’ve easily changed the scope of that opportunity by putting forth maximum effort no matter the circumstances. This action will always yield positive results. So what if the salary isn’t up to your standards, the fact of the matter is the salary they are offering is much greater than the nothing you are currently earning. You never know if the opportunity that gets you in the door is the same opportunity that will help you climb the ladder. First you must accept the opportunity then make it what it should be.

Stop turning down blessings that are specifically meant for you. Many of you are guilty of not accepting blessings then blaming God for not giving them to you. Learn to recognize when your prayers are being answered. Just because the opportunity doesn’t appear to be fruitful, it is an opportunity nonetheless. Remember that cream eventually rises to the top; even if you accept an opportunity that doesn’t meet your standards work as if you are the President of the corporation and inevitably the title will catch up to the work. Do not decline opportunities because you are too proud; your pride will keep you penniless and hungry.

It’s not the opportunity that is offered to us but what we do with that opportunity that matters most.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Road Less Traveled

There are no accidents. There are no coincidences. Everything that happens in your life happens as it is designed to happen. While some may say that the aforementioned claim lacks credibility, I challenge them to prove differently. Everything that has happened in your life up to this point has gotten you where you are today; the trials, tribulations and triumphs have all been part of your design.

Your successes and failures have also contributed to your current state. Do not be misled, for the most part, where we are today is a direct result of the sum of the choices we’ve made in our lives; good and bad. The thing about choices is that when we choose, it simply means we have options. Imagine driving down an unfamiliar path when suddenly you run into a fork in the road; you cannot go straight, you have two options, left or right. The choice you make will ultimately determine where you end up. Choose, don’t just sit there and wait for a sign. The choice you make will always be the right one for you.

Don’t be afraid to try a route you’ve never traveled; you truly never know where it might lead. Some people restrict from making choices because they don’t know what might happen. This may come as a surprise to some but you will never know what might happen if you never take a chance. Remember the fact that there are no accidents, so no matter what choices you decide to make, know that it is a part of the ultimate plan.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Blessing In Disguise

One morning I woke up unmotivated; imagine that. I woke up and really did not feel like facing the world. I think most winners are entitled to at least one or two of these types of days per year. The key is to snap out of it the second you’re being drawn in. Simply, as soon as you start feeling down, press the proverbial pause button, gather your thoughts and do not accept the negative path that your subconscious mind may be trying to lead you. Press pause and regroup.

That same morning I had a meeting to attend. It was not a mandatory meeting but it was certainly one that I should attend. Still feeling unmotivated, I gazed at the ever ticking clock hoping there was a pause button for that too. Finally, I decided to drag myself out of bed. I knew I was going to be late but I decided to show up like I promised. This wise decision would end up changing my life. After the meeting, a person who has a connection with the paper came up to me and expressed how they heard that I write a blog and wanting to do a feature on me.

The message I’d like you to take away from the aforementioned experience is that even if you don’t show up on time, it is better to be late than not show up at all. There are divine appointments that have already been set for you; your goal is to simply meet these appointments half-way. Had I not shown up to this meeting, I would’ve not been able to connect with my divine appointment. The person that was specifically sent for me based on what I asked of God through prayers coupled with His omniscient understanding of our hearts desires was right there waiting for me to simply show up.

No matter what you do, show up. Ninety percent of winning is simply being at the right place at the right time. The right time is when you decide to show up, even if it’s a little late.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Lack Of Direction

There was a conference being held in Orlando which featured some big names including Bobby Bowden, Tony Robbins, Colin Powell and Zig Ziglar. Yes all of these folks in the same building spreading powerful and motivational messages to folks willing to listen. The event was being held at the Amway Arena and I can assure you that it was a packed house. As we entered, the staff asked us to place our business cards in a huge bucket-like contraption in order to be considered for a drawing. Each speaker would pull one card from this bucket and that person will win a prize from the speaker; a set of books, tapes, videos or a combination of them.

After a few speakers, Zig Ziglar was up. I have always had an affinity for Zig because one of my mentors, Jeff Hoffman, introduced me to Zig through his books. He encouraged me to read as many of his books as I can and to retain as much information as it would change my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Zig Ziglar completed his incredible talk and it was time for him to pull a name from the bucket. The odds of winning were 1 in 20,000. He reached his hand deep into the bucket, shuffled around and pulled one out. “Joe Paul” he said. “Come on down here and get a set of these good books and CD’s.” The co-workers I attended the event with were as shocked as I was, particularly due to the fact that the odds were not in our favor. In a strange way, I sort of knew that he was going to call my name and he did.

I had a chance to speak to Zig Ziglar for a brief moment and began reading more and more of the dozens of books he’d written. A few of his unforgettable quotes that have become part of my mantra includes;

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” – Zig Ziglar

One of my all-time favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar is “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” It’s so funny when I hear people say “I don’t have enough time” or “there aren’t enough hours in the day to get what I need done.” I always wonder what they are doing with the 24 hours they have, most likely not utilizing it to its full potential.

Zig Ziglar was a major influence in my developing a passion for motivational speaking coupled with my testimony to serve as an example of what’s possible when you don’t allow your past to overshadow your future. I encourage you to read one of his books, I hope it will inspire you in ways that it has inspired me.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Always Watching

You may not know this or even believe this but someone is always watching you. Not in the weird or scary sense of being stalked but in the sense that you are being watched to see what type of example you are setting for yourself and those around you. For instance, I worked at a company where I was hired to supervise a team of seven to twenty-one counselors who were tasked with assisting hurricane victims. When I first arrived, the culture was a bit more relaxed than I was used to. Most of the employees wore jeans and dressed down. I had a choice; I could either conform to my surroundings or serve as an example of professionalism. The choice was not as easy as you may think; after all, who wouldn’t want to wear jeans to work every day?

I made the conscious decision to wear a suit daily although my job description and the environment did not necessarily warrant it. Each day I would show up in a suit and tie and never once encouraged others to dress professionally. I simply served as an example. Amazingly enough, after a short while, the people there started to change their dress code without me saying anything. The gentlemen began to wear slacks and tuck in their shirts and the ladies started dressing more businesslike. Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” never rang more true. It made perfect sense to me; if I wanted to change my environment, I had to be that change and my environment would follow.

Well, it didn’t stop there. Our program was a pilot program so we were constantly visited by senior officials in the organization. Unbeknownst to me, there was one official who was watching me because I “stood out” from the rest of the people who weren’t necessarily dressing professionally. I subscribe to the notion that you don’t dress for the job you have, you dress for the job you want. About seven months into my assignment I was called down for a meeting with one of the vice presidents who noticed me and they asked me if I was interested in a position with them because they were so impressed with me. This new opportunity would not only be a promotion but it would double my salary and it turned out that it was something that I was passionate about, so I graciously accepted.

You never know who is watching you so always do your very best to be the very best. It was not my intention to look for a promotion or a raise; I simply dressed and acted the way I thought a consummate professional should dress and act and was rewarded for it. There is no need to look over your shoulder if you are doing the right thing. Maintain the understanding that if you want to advance professionally, it is imperative that you start emulating those at the top of your organizational structure. If you want to be a CEO, start looking like a CEO.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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