12 Essentials for Financial Independence and Time Freedom

If you are going to put all your energy, your time and, most importantly, your reputation into building a business from home you MUST do your due diligence first. 

We used the following checklist before choosing our company 16 years ago and we have always been so glad we did. So many “great opportunities” and fancy offers have come along in that time and most of them were gone within a few months. Nothing is certain in life but we can definitely keep the odds in our favour so would like to share the list with you.

You MUST be able to tick off ALL 12 to create long-term residual income

1. COMPANY TRACK RECORD
Because most companies fail within the first 5 years its best to pick
a company thats been in business for a minimum of 5 years but 10 years would be better…and is it still growing or is it in decline?

2. FINANCIALLY SOUND
If you are going to put in time and effort you need to ask – will it last? The company you choose needs to be financially healthy and if it is free of debt that’s a big bonus.

3. STRONG MANAGEMENT
Strong Fortune 500 style management is preferable and the company should NOT be ran by MLM guys. They can end up owning the downlines and start making decisions to make themselves wealthy off the backs of everyone else

4. UNIQUE CONSUMABLE PRODUCTS
Products must be highly consumable by ALL and the kind of things people are already buying. People’s budgets can’t be changed especially at a time like this so they must not be required to spend any new money.
I’ll say it again for emphasis. NO NEW MONEY.

5. COMPETITIVELY PRICED
Products must be considerably less expensive than the supermarket they are already shopping at, or of noticeably better quality.
Smart shoppers want you to give them great valuefor being a customer.

6. HIGH MONTHLY REORDER RATE
You want your customers to stay for years so there needs to be overwhelming value and as many reasons to stay as possible so they want to keep ordering month after month whether or not they’re in it to make money.
Hint. (A 95% monthly re-order would be an impossible dream for most companies but it can be done)

7. LOW PERSONAL PRODUCTION REQUIREMENT
Low monthly order requirement and no monthly quotas no matter what position they advance to in the company. They should only have to buy what they can reasonably use in their own home that month.

8. LOW ENTRY FEE
There needs to be a very low cost for anyone to join and the enroller
should not be paid a bonus on the joining fee. The fee should be small enough that anyone can open their account ‘right way’ and they must not be buying inventory with their entry fee

9. TIMING
Don’t go for so called ‘ground floor’ deals since most deals fall apart in the first 5 years
Bad news travels fast and when people get hurt and lose money, they tell everyone they know. That’s why most MLM companies get a bad name so it’s best to steer clear of MLMs.

10. KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE
You should NOT be penalised for enrolling someone better than you
nor should you lose a person’s volume because they do better than you do. This is the hidden drawback in many companies compensation plans.
Leadership development should be rewarded… not penalised and a company should be built on a sense of gain… not a fear of loss so check this out before joining anything. 

(Hint. You should actually be hoping and praying that you find a few guys or gals who are better than you are and when you do, cheer them all the way to the top.)

11. NO RISK
There needs to be a 100% Money Back Guarantee on all products and
on the opportunity itself… no questions asked! It needs to be safe for everyone… and everyone needs to feel safe whether they are customers or intend to be business builders

12 IN ALL BUSINESSES THE WELL KNOWN 80-20 RULE APPLIES.
(if you don’t know what that is don’t feel its silly to ask, there are no daft questions here)
But wouldn’t it be great if there was a business that even the 80%’ers could do? Make that a part of your thought process when deciding on your company…Can a single person bringing up children do it? Can a person do it in their retirement years to supplement their pension? Can a very busy person do it in just three or four hours a week? The question you are really asking is…Can I do it?

A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

● Which one of these 12 points would you be willing to forego and still throw your time, energy and (I’ll say it again because it is the most important thing) YOUR REPUTATION into the business?
● Are you looking for the next ‘rising star’ opportunity… or are you looking for the last one you’ll ever need?

If the company you are a part of doesn’t meet ALL 12 of the factors, and you’re looking to find a business model that does, we’d love to talk with you. We’ve been building a solid business that aligns with ALL 12 of the factors. We would love to tell you how it all works and what’s involved.

10 years after…the Blue Moon is still in the ascendancy.

To me it was the day the worm turned. An FA cup semi final against the old enemy and though none of that team is around today, they and their manager Roberto Mancini will always have a place in the hearts of every City fan.

The Stretford Enders at Old Trafford were finally made to eat their words and their wretched banner, the door was finally closed on 35 trophy less years. That was 10 years ago and apart from one blip City have finished above United in every season since.

Right now it’s almost one full year since crowds have been allowed into the nations football stadia. Locked out and locked down, socially distanced and subjected to all kinds of other draconian measures supposed to fight a global pandemic. Enough said.

City went to Goodison Park to play a very against a well organised parked bus and took until the 84th minute before Ilkay Gundogan scored the breakthrough goal. Six minutes later as they entered time added on Kevin DeBruyne made it 2 and killed off Everton’s hopes. It meant another semi-final, this time again Chelsea in April. City were already booked to go to Wembley in April to meet the Spurs in the Carabou Cup Final and it looks like the Premier League is all but sewn up with them being 14 points clear with 8 games to go. A Champions League Quarter Final Borussia Dortmund is the next step on the road to a possible(almost impossible) quadruple but see of us are beginning to dream.

BLUE MOON GOES DOWN A TREAT AT LUNCH…THEN RISES AT TEATIME SEMI.

It was 17th April 2011 when I first posted the following.

Henry’s Wine Bar on Piccadilly was a great place to gather our strength for the big match.  We had taken Shanks’s Pony round the Streets of London. Grace had never been to the big, big city before so we had to see the Eye, a Captain Jack Sparrow look-a-like and some guy stood up a ladder escaping from chains and padlocks. Then we crossed the bridge to get a closer look at the seat of government, and the big clock and we were thinking about going into Westminster Abbey but the queue was too long and they wanted 16 quid a head. Clearly no-one has told them that my Fathers House is not to be made a place of merchandise?

The beer may have been cloudy but there were no clouds on the horizon

So what was left but to sit outside Henry’s, enjoy a very pleasant steak club sandwich and down the Blue Moon.  It was cloudy to look at but tasted like nectar. To be fair it would not have mattered what it tasted like. It just seemed to be the right thing to do on the day the other blue moon was due to rise over Wembley Stadium.

The best team in the land, and the only football team to come from Manchester were about to end the treble hopes of the London Reds. “This city is yours, this city is yours, we’re going home now, this city is yours”, rang round that half of the national stadium that was dressed in sky blue as the defeated red army scurried hastily away.  Someone pointed out the fact that they are not good losers but that’s probably because they have not had as much practice at it as us.

Rob with Grace and Esther before another big match

I think that victory marks the point in history where we will look back and say the worm turned.  For twenty minutes it looked like the trophyless misery might continue for another year but when the Silva Spaniard picked up the game by the scruff of its neck hope began to rise in the hearts of the blue clad tribe. The half ended all square and a different team came out after the tea break. They took their time. I thought they weren’t coming but when they did appear all those good things we expect and hope for were more apparent. Like commitment, drive, passion, precision passing and the vital ingredient from Toure Yaya.  The GOAL.

The girls were so excited. “I hate this game” one of them said as she hoped we would desperately hang on to the end, and then the extra 5 minutes that’s customary when Fergie is in attendance, even if he is banned from the touchline and conducting his orchestra electronically from the stands.  Unusually for me there were no nerves at all at that point. I could see they were a spent force. Scholes had left in disgrace after trying to emulate former Kung Fu heroes. All they had left to do was spit their dummies out because Super Mario flashed his badge toward the stand long vacated by the now distraught red army. Calm down Mr Anderson. Never mind Rio, go home and tweet, it’ll make you feel better. But get used to this. The Blue Moon is rising.

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Is There Such a Thing as a Business Where Everyone Wins?

We are proud to promote a company that really cares about the planet we all call home.  In our considered opinion it’s a company where everybody wins: and we would like to tell you why in exactly 500 words.

Direct customers may purchase great products online that make their homes a healthier place by eliminating toxins and improving nutrition.

Preferred customers get all the above plus 30-50% discounts off those products.  If Preferred Customers place their monthly orders before the 25th of each month they get 15% back in points with which they get free products. Because there are nearly 200 products in the range being able to try new ones for free is a nice little incentive.

The Company wins because it always knows in advance what quantities it needs to manufacture of each product. This also benefits the customer because since the ingredients  are natural, they are best when they are fresh.

Preferred Customers also have the choice to come Marketing Executives at no extra cost which means they can introduce other customers  to the company and be paid a little commission on every order those customers place as long as they both remain customers. This commission may start small but it rises according to the number of customers they introduce and there are many bonuses for encouraging their customers to do likewise. This can result in a few pounds off the monthly shop, a few hundred to set against household bills or a full time replacement income with no ceiling. It is entirely up to the individual.

The Manufacturer wins because it gets more customers without paying for advertising. Advertising and distribution is a great expense in business and a lot of the money saved is shared out with the Marketing Executives. Some of the money saved goes to market research and some goes for better safer, natural ingredients in the products.

So the customer wins because they get better quality products, their children and pets win because their homes are safer.

The wider environment wins because there are no harsh chemicals entering the ecosystem through the drains and landfills.

You may be thinking, “Surely somebody must lose if all these people are winning?” Actually no! That’s the great thing about it, contrary to popular thinking that there must always be a loser if there is a winner there is often a way for everyone to win…we just have to look for it.

We were so glad when we found it we have been partners with the company for the last 14 years…what is it called?  Melaleuca, the Wellness Company.

We have travelled the world, we’ve met so many people who have become lifelong friends. We have seen people build solid second incomes that have made a huge difference to their lifestyles and others go all out and develop 6 figure businesses out of their own front rooms. Truly anything is possible

 If you would like to know more, especially how we can help each other send me a message in the comments.

Long live the Resolution

New Year’s resolutions are a complete waste of time! You probably don’t want to hear that but you will have to admit it’s the truth…it’s the last day of February as I write and most people will have once again concluded that…

They might work for a few people but for most of us nothing really changes. For one single mum I know those resolutions made a couple of years ago have multiplies her income by five to more than six figures…and its increasing every month… so if she can surely anyone can?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…shes a one off, so be honest, have you or anyone you know actually achieved the New Year’s resolutions that were burning so brightly on the 31st of December waiting for the kisses and the fireworks?

Actually its not all bad and she’s not the only one, surveys say about 8% do see them through to the end; so if you are one of that elite group allow me to congratulate you…and if you were just on the point of lapsing let me encourage you. Even if in previous years you have found yourself among the 90% maybe we can still do something to turn it around this time.

And even if it is too late, if you failed already, who says we have to start on Jan 1st. Every new day is a good day to change if we really want to: you could actually make a March Hare resolution tomorrow if you like, but we all have to stop making excuses. Of course most people don’t have excuses, they have excellent reasons why they didn’t manage to drop that stone in weight or stay sober or finally give up that expensive habit.

A lady told me on December 31 that she was going to read a new book every 2 weeks.. Honestly by the 3rd of January, when I asked her how was it going she already felt it would be impossible because she couldn’t even make their mind up about which book to read first. Said she was too busy on the 1st and too tired after the revelries of the holiday period on the 2nd. Maybe she will try again next year. But haven’t we all found ourselves making resolutions in years gone by just to see them lying in ruins within a few weeks?

“Yeah but 2 days Rob? You’re having a laugh.” Alright I agree, never even starting is an extreme case, and dangerous too, because if we will give up so easily on something like that then we will probably be a pushover in other areas of life as well. But don’t be too hard on my friend because so many are unable to keep up with their resolutions beyond the first few days of the year… Maybe a book a week was too big an ask, what if she had said I will read 10 pages a day and see where that takes me?

Serious studies tell us that nearly 70% of people who make New Year resolutions will have abandoned them within the first two weeks! So if you are not already in that magic 10% how do you get into it? What is the difference between those who actually achieve their goals and those who don’t? None of us set out to fail do we? We THINK we’re on the right track to reaching our goals but then something always seems to happen. John Lennon told his son in the song ‘Beautiful Boy’, “Life is what happens while your busy making other plans”

So what separates those that DO from those that Don’t? The truth is we are all creatures of Habit…and New Years Resolutions are a head on confrontation with what is probably one of our most powerful negative habits. It’s obvious really, the thing we hate most about ourselves is bound to be the accumulated results of our worst, and most deeply entrenched habits. Why else would we want that to be the thing we change on the first day of a new year. Here is the truth of it…

Successful people have success habits. However, they were not born with them, and they probably didn’t just decide to make a change one day and bingo, they were a new creation with a whole new set of habits. It doesn’t work like that. As humans we don’t like change and we are resistant to changes to our behaviour, but that doesn’t mean all efforts to change are doomed from the start. It just means we have to come at it from a different angle. Lasting change can only be achieved through the power of habits.

It is a law of nature that only a new habit can subdue and replace another habit. Bad habits are a slippery slope to certain failure so we must find a way to take on that bad habit and replace it with a new and better habit, one that will serve us and take us toward our definite major purpose in life. It is possible to fail even with well thought out “specific goals,” if we are not aware of or able to make the small changes that need to happen in order to actually achieve them. And what’s even worse, this failure to achieve goals plagues every aspect of our lives, from our relationships with friends and family, to our jobs and businesses!

So if we humans are all creatures of habit we have become what we are through the repetition of our behaviours. Actually experts tell us that more than 40% of all our daily activities are simply routines that require little conscious thought. So if we really want to create different results in your life, it’s imperative that you break bad habits and replace them with good ones.

So how do we get rid of those age-old habits? I promise to carry on with the rest of this discussion in my next blog post in a few days… For now let me give an example of how I changed years of failure into measurable success in only the first three months of 2021.

I was 65 years old in February. I have tried to make the internet work for me for years but if I am honest I have not really tried at all. I have expected a free lunch. I have usually asked my sons to handle the technology and they have obliged in the past as sons do but that meant I have never learned to do it myself and that in turn conditioned my brain to accept I never could learn.

I began to think I was too old a dog to learn this particular new trick even though I have always been a quick learner in other areas. I began to create the habit on January the First. I too had celebrations the night before like my friend who was going to read a book a fortnight. There were days when it got very late at night before I could get free. This time I was pressing through and it was not many days before I had built up a head of steam. I read the tutorials on WordPress, I watched the youtube videos, I googles my questions and worked through the answers and I am building this very site that you are reading even as I write. I wanted to build a parallel site on WIX and I have the design clear in my mind. I asked a lady called Holly and she helped me with the technology on another parallel site on WIX. You can see it at the2020Vision.co.uk…its simple but it does a job I’ve been trying to do for years.

I was learning every single day …never missed a day.

You should know that I have spent thousands over the years on courses. but now I know I didn’t need any of them. Because I am working on it every day I have created a good habit and I have replaced another habit which was hurting me, a habit of always looking for the next thing, flitting, butterflying, call it what you will.

My goal was to create interest in my Network Marketing Business where we have enjoyed a measure of success for 16 years but where we have always had to work hard to find new prospects. I will still have to work hard of course but with automated help to take up much of the heavy lifting.

We also own a renewable energy business as well as the Network Marketing thing and we are beginning to generate enquiries for that too. Its all about saving the planet and we know we will save thousands in advertising costs while we save our customers thousands in energy bills and get them wholesale prices of better safer grocery products.

I little effort has turned the lights on for this 65 year old technophobe who was wandering around in the dark for years. It’s exciting stuff, I will even stick my neck out and say it’s easy, but only if you commit to make it a habit and that means doing something every day.

The Law that always Replaces Failure with Success.

I may have a different philosophical view to the lady I am about to quote below but I have read her work and wholeheartedly recommend it, particularly Atlas Shrugged which I regard as her masterpiece.

If we only read books by authors who tickle our ears…who we know write in line with our existing viewpoint, how will we ever learn and broaden our horizons? If we are not secure in what we believe and are afraid to debate and discuss then our faith will falter eventually anyway since it is not really faith but dogma. If we dare to believe we already know all we need to know we are sadly mistaken and are in a dangerous place.

“It is the Communists’ intention to make people think that personal success is somehow achieved at the expense of others and that every successful man has hurt somebody by becoming successful.” – Ayn Rand

I wrote in my previous blog post about the power of words and what can happen just by changing even a single word…if you read the post you will remember we had a card on which we wrote a task to be completed by a certain deadline. In the beginning we referred to the card as a “Chore Card” and then we switched its name to “Service Card.” The atmosphere around the card and the task changed instantly and although the goal was the same the personal pleasure derived from good performance was far greater. If I am doing a job to tick a box I can’t get very excited but if I am serving my fellow man, well that’s entirely different.

Ayn Rand’s comment above is not peculiar to communists. I have often heard people who see themselves as unsuccessful refer to those they perceive to be more successful as having cheated in some way, deprived others to gain what they have. Whilst this is not helped by the television soaps who seem to depict successful business people as rogues more often than not it is no excuse because we are all responsible for our own thoughts and the words that follow.

In truth very few rogues have ever made it to the top and stayed there.

I recently heard a quote. “People say, “It’s lonely at the Top” but they don’t know, they have never been to the top because nobody gets there on their own”.

In truth the great majority of people who achieve and maintain success are the people who serve the most people well. They take other people with them on the journey and they recognise that greatness comes with humility and a desire to serve.

The Master Teacher said “if any would be great among you let him first be your servant”

If you are not currently as successful as you would like to be you are the best person to change that situation and you can start right now.  I want you to take action immediately. If you have in the habit of using negative words regarding other people because you are jealous of their success I want you to apologise right now. I understand they are not with you and you may not even be able to name a particular person. That doesn’t matter, you are apologising to yourself for your attitude to others in general. Do you see, you have never been able to affect anyone else by your attitude and you have not diminished their success but you have bound yourself. If you resent someone else riches and say so your thoughts and words have cursed you with poverty.

So now repent…say out loud “I am sorry I have taken such a churlish attitude regarding people who have done better than I…I see now that their success has been achieved because of their willingness to give and serve where I have too often expected something for nothing.  I forgive myself, I ask God’s forgiveness and I resolve to change from this moment on.

I will no longer see my work, even though it may be menial right now, as a chore but I will do it proudly as a service to others. I will guard my heart for out of it come the issues of life, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Then I will guard my lips and ensure that only words of praise and encouragement come from them. If I feel negative emotions or unhelpful thoughts come into my mind I will not try to suppress them. I will use the Law of Substitution and immediately begin to replace them with new thoughts of something good, something great, perhaps I will sing a song of Praise, croaky and difficult at first but rising in tone, clarity and volume. Soon I will be lifted higher. I will get to work and I will do the best I can and I will resolve to read in my profession so that I can do even better tomorrow. I will learn to use positive words. I will eliminate idle curse words from my vocabulary. If I cannot think of something good to say I will say nothing.

Can I promise you if you will do that for even a few days you will feel better, you will soon begin to see better results. People will begin to favour you and if you maintain this new positive attitude of yours for thirty days it will become a habit and will sink deep into your inner man and you will be a new person. True success is available to every person…it is never achieved at the expense of anyone else and in fact you becoming successful will be a service to many around you. You may have heard it said, “A rising tide lifts all the boats”

6 Things You Must Do Before You Can Build the Future You

Before we can build something monumental we must lay a strong foundation. Before the foundation can be laid, the land must be cleared and any rubbish or debris removed. All truth is parallel and so what applies in the physical, for say a tract of land, a river or lake, also applies to the human experience, our education, our physical bodies, our spiritual life. To build something new we have to remove the toxic waste of the past. I am not saying all past experience is toxic, there will be much we can bring forward and use out of our past experience. I am saying that we must remove those objects and memories and even relationships which are toxic and are preventing us from moving forward.

Let me give an example from the great City where I have lived for most of my life.

On the East side of Manchester there were thousands of acres of land that had been used for generations in heavy industry, paint manufacturers, chemical plants and so on. There had been steady decline and decay over several decades and the area was one of the poorest in the region. Businesses were struggling, many of the houses were outdated and some were rat infested. Huge tracts of spare land were so contaminated with chemical waste that thousands of tons had to be taken away and replaced before any new building work could be undertaken.

Fortunately the City of Manchester was awarded the 2002 Commonwealth Games and a new stadium was to be constructed for the track and field events. This was combined with the councils ideas for a regeneration project in the Eastlands area. A deal was struck with one of the local football clubs who agreed to use the stadium on a permanent basis after the games were over. It would require a second phase of construction to make it suitable for football but the agreement was that Manchester City Football Club, a part of the fabric of Manchester since 1885 would move from their outdated, although much loved Maine Road Stadium on the other side of the city and become the new residents of Eastlands.  Leaving the old ground was hard for many who had known it all their lives, some just did not want it to happen but the progress train was on the move anyway.

The ideas and the developing project attracted enormous interest and huge financial investment from the UK and abroad. The football club became more attractive and was the subject of a takeover which has changed the face of world football.

It has also changed the whole landscape on that side of Manchester with thousands of new modern houses, a state of the art training centre for the football club but with facilities also being used by the general public. The stadium itself was renamed The Etihad Stadium by the new owners in agreement with their main sponsor.  Local businesses are thriving now and the whole atmosphere on the East side of Manchester has changed beyond compare. The football club even started winning trophies after a barren period stretching back over 35 years. In fact in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020 they have been the most successful club in England. Not bad for what a certain rival manager called the ‘noisy neighbours’.

The physical structure, the body of the area has been rebuilt.  The soul of the area has been renewed with people’s attitudes soaring as they have found new jobs and clean living conditions and this has paved the way for a spiritual revival which we are beginning to see across the whole city.

So much for the example…but how is that going help us to build something special out of our lives. Well that will be the ongoing subject of the Personal Growth Program,  the highlights of which will be recorded here. Lets start with 6 steps to clear the ground.

6 Steps to clear the ground. 

1     Forgive… and that means shut up and move on.

The very first thing, without which there is no moving forward, must be forgiveness. We all need it sometimes and we all need to give it too.

More physical and emotional health problems are caused by the unwillingness to forgive than any other single reason. The bitterness that a refusal to forgive causes spills over into every area of life resulting in addictions, financial problems, fights and arguments, emotional stress and physical illness.  At no time ever is there a positive outcome to the harbouring of an old grudge.

Now please hear me, I understand some people have gone through some terrible experiences often caused by other people, either maliciously or maybe through negligence or accident and life may be damaged as result. But will the refusal to let it go fix it…will it make it better? The answer is always no, it is never yes.

Sometimes the perpetrator of the evil is no longer around so how is hating them possibly affecting them? People hold grudges against people long dead. I always say there is a judge, but it’s not me.

I know two halves of a broken marriage and I love them both and try to be impartial when speaking to either one, which is not always easy.  The lady was a lovely outgoing person who did not deserve to be treated the way she was, but then again who does?  Sadly she has become reclusive and is carrying the rejection very badly, she is consumed by a hatred that she is actually convinced is love. She is suffering terribly with Rheumatoid Arthritis which came on as a reaction to her husbands infidelity. I sometimes ask her how her love/hatred/unforgiveness is affecting him.  Actually I know the answer, it isn’t, three nights a week he is out dancing, he is not a bad man, he made a big mistake and he has also paid a price for it but he has asked for forgiveness and though it has not been freely given he has now moved on.

So who is the bitterness affecting most? You know the answer… and you also know if you need to remove the toxic waste of your own past experience, I hope not, I would not wish it on anybody but if you do let’s start right now.

However deep it goes you need to make the decision to forgive…and it is decision only you can make. Speak out the words that you have forgiven…decide to live to the best of your ability as if it had not happened…every single time the thoughts return say it again out loud… I forgive, I release him or her, or God or myself or whoever it may be that you are bitter against.  Complete release may take time but the enemy inside that’s trying to destroy the rest of your life will get weaker and weaker every time you confess your forgiveness out, until one day soon you will be totally free.

2    Take personal responsibility for  you own future.  

Don’t blame the government or the place you work, or ‘the system’ or anybody else.                     Having forgiven and released the past it’s time to take personal responsibility for the future. It’s your future after all.  Don’t give the power to determine what happens there to anybody else. Repeat after me…If it’s to be it’s up to me… If it’s to be it’s up to me.  Write it on a 3×5 card and carry it with you. Repeat it 20 times every morning and every night until you absolutely know.  It’s up to you.  If you think that’s silly just trust me…it really isn’t.

3   Don’t hold on to things of the past.

Have you ever heard the story of the African tribe that eat monkeys. Them crafty monkeys are pretty hard to catch aren’t they? Well actually they are not…the even more crafty hunter cuts a hole in a tree that’s just big enough for the monkey to get his hand in and grab some shiny object that really fascinates that monkey. Once he wraps his little fist around it he can’t get his hand out. All he has to do to get free is let go…but guess what…he can’t, or rather he won’t and the hunter knocks him on the head and has roast monkey for dinner.

Think of that monkey that won’t let go! What is it you won’t let go of that’s preventing you from receiving what life wants to give you next. It’s time to make another decision, can you let it go? Of course you can…but the real question is…will you?

4   Work hard to keep the unity.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.  Don’t just think of this as a religious thing, no-one achieves anything alone…we function best with a life partner…we work best in teams…it’s just who we are. But unity isn’t automatic and there will be disagreements if we are to progress. The best advice I can give anyone and it is one I have always preached and tried to practice. Never show division to anyone outside the team or partnership, have your disagreements, even fights and arguments if it comes to that, behind closed doors. You will work it out, every time, but once someone else is involved they can lose confidence in you and in your ability to achieve the goal. Even worse pride can come in, nobody wants to be first to back down and that can make agreement harder. Chose to work and live with people you can rely on and make sure they are able to rely on you. One thing though and this is important, to rely and to depend are very different things. Don’t ever get in the place of dependency on anyone or anything else and if someone looks like they are becomings dependent on you don’t walk away…run.

5    Never say you can’t when its clear that it has to be done. 

Maybe you think the task is too big, and right now it might be but don’t let failure come out of your mouth.  If it’s ever been done before or if it is possible for someone to do it you can find a way. Why don’t you add this to your 3×5 card, or make another.  I CAN, I WILL, I MUST.

Affirm it until you believe it. If the assignment requires a skill set you don’t have, then find someone who does have it. Nothing is impossible to those who believe. One of the things we will be covering over the coming weeks is how to acquire new skills and to take the skills we already have to a new level. But remember point number 4. No one achieves great things alone,  if it’s going to be an ongoing need and you can’t learn the skills yourself then invite people with different skills to be a part of your team.  If it’s a one off need then pay the best expert you can afford. But never confess it can’t be done…Rather ask the question “How can I?” Find a way to win.

6    Ask yourself,  “Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing?”

There is nothing more tragic than working your way to the top of a ladder to find it was leaning on the wrong wall all along. Do you enjoy what you’re doing? Is it taking you towards your life purpose? Are you good at it which is quite important or at least are you confident you can be? If the answer to any of those questions is no then may I kindly suggest you get off the ladder. Remember the monkey, is it something you need to let go of? If it is you don’t need to just jump and hope. You can sit down and think, discuss with your partners your ideas about the way forward and make a proper exit plan. Don’t move out of something without knowing what you are going to move into. But if you are in the wrong place, the wrong job, harmful relationships or whatever it may be get out sooner rather than later.

If you are in the right place and you have been taking it for granted.  Maybe you have been giving it less than 100% effort. If so it’s time to change…not sooner or later but RIGHT NOW.

Full speed ahead, take personal responsibility for it…even if no-one else cares very much…you be the one to take it to the next level.

If this post has helped you then please share it with others you think might benefit.  

How We Chose our Business Partner

A lot of people ask me the same question and I heard it again only yesterday.  

“How did you choose which company to partner with once you had decided that the Home Based Marketing Profession was for you?

They tend to say things like, “It seems to be a  minefield, and there are so many companies out there. We don’t want to put in lots of effort to find it all fizzles out when the company leaves the country or goes out of business altogether. We’ve heard that happens a lot.”

We felt exactly the same way when we started. Over the years I had been approached to join dozens of companies very few of which are still going strong. The great majority actually folded within a very short time meaning any investment made in them has been lost.  Time, money and effort seem to be the biggest concern on the surface but the loss of credibility and the emotional expense is actually far greater, some people find it hard to get over the disappointment and some have even turned bitter against the whole profession.

Actually in its early days and with some of the sharp players who were involved it deserved its reputation and you could not really call it a profession but times have changed and now many huge corporations use what has become a perfectly legitimate method of moving great products from manufacturer to consumers.

Still I suppose it’s only human nature to be careful. Perhaps a little fear is a good thing if it makes us think more carefully next time…but too much fear could paralyse us for life. Fear and faith are polar opposites.

So how do we pick a company to partner with that will be around for years to come and will continue to reward our efforts fairly. Here are a few of the requirements we had all those years ago when we first started out. Of course times have changed, for instance the internet and social media are certainly playing a much bigger role now, but the fundamentals are still the same. Its always been a people business and it always will be. The computer is an important tool but talking to a real person on the telephone and face to face in meetings or one on one over coffee are just as important as ever, maybe even more so.

Obviously there are no guarantees, even Woolworths closed their doors in the UK, but you can still do your due diligence and give yourself the best possible chance.  If we forget about the Network Marketing type Companies for a moment and consider all types of business startups we find that most of them fail in the first couple of years, in fact 90% go under in the first 18 months and at 5 years only 1 in 1,000 is left.

Who would stake their time, money, and probably most important, their reputation and all their goals and hopes and dreams on a 1000-1 chance.

Not me or Steppy. We figured it would be best for us to choose from those companies that had overcome the early hurdles and were at least 5 years old. Actually the one we chose was almost twenty years old at that time and has gone from strength to strength since. We did not just want to build a business that would last our lifetime but we want to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren too.

Next we considered various products and services, telephones and utilities were very popular then, some of our friends took that route and one or two have done very well indeed.

We started with 12 essential ingredients which I have covered in another post, and we insisted that we should be able to put a tick against every one of them.

We did look at the utilities company. It was excellent and it did fit all the criteria, but Steppy just couldn’t get excited about electricity and gas and our last and most important criteria (not actually on the list of 12) was we must be in complete agreement. How can two walk together unless they are in agreement.

We were looking for a consumable product that if they were better than what people were using now they would come back for them month after month, year after year. The one drawback with utilities was the fact that if someone else came along with a cheaper deal many of the customers would switch again, so we weren’t keen on price alone being our USP.

We didn’t want to educate people on why they should use a product they didn’t already use, we preferred to just ask them to switch stores and try different brands that were not so different than what they were already using. Of course they would have to be top quality and they would need to compete fairly on price or why would anyone swap? There were a few companies that worked but we were certainly narrowing the field down.

We wanted a privately owned company that could prove it was financially sound and a strong, stable management team was also important. We saw lots of videos of owners and big hitters in their flashy cars and big mansions but to be honest all that hype turned us off.  When I wanted to talk to these people to ask a few questions and get the feel of how they might think of their workforce it proved very difficult. In most cases it was virtually impossible, like trying to meet Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley. So when I finally was able to meet the CEO of one of these multi-national companies and found him to be a humble, family man who seemed like he genuinely cared I suppose I was sold. His name is Frank and he brought nearly two years of research to a close in an hour long meeting. His parting shot to me was “Welcome aboard, I hope we grow old together”. I’ll never forget that. We have spoken several times since and it is always a pleasure for me, and it never seems to be too much trouble for him either.

Our choice might not be the right fit for your family but whatever company you choose let me encourage you to do all you can to get a feel for the character of the people at the top. I don’t care what car he drives, actually I have no idea, all I know is he wants me to succeed in an honest and ethical way…his motto, “Exceptional products at reasonable prices” his company Mission Statement…   “To enhance the lives of those we touch by helping people reach their goals”…and something else I have heard him say many times at various meetings and conventions that sums the man up…  “there is never any need to exaggerate, the truth is always enough”.

So let me finish there, in promoting your products and your business you will have to tell your story time and time again, sometimes to people who know and trust you and sometimes to people who you only just met but if you can’t put your hand on your heart and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about your company, then you should either pick another company or get out of the business altogether.

Network marketing has come of age, it is a worthy profession, a great way to earn a living or for those that put in the greatest effort, to make their fortune. Jumping around from deal to deal looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is not very professional…many do it and good luck to them, some do make a fast buck, but at what cost?  

As for me and my house we have chosen to build on solid foundations.

Success Starts and Ends With the Man in the Mirror

If you could be celebrating some great big accomplishments of your own design just 90 days from now, how would that make you feel?

Or you could be looking back at another quarter of mediocre results, still hoping that next quarter will be better. (I like to think in quarters because years seem to be going by so quickly and I reckon if things are not going as well as they could be, the sooner we change it the better.) Unfortunately, most people are in the latter camp and just struggling along in the same old way.

You may have heard it said…“If things don’t change they will stay the same.”

Its really up to you whether or not you stay with the apathetic majority or decide to change things and become the individual you were born to be.

Let me ask you a question…

What could you DO differently, starting RIGHT NOW that would make the rest of your life bigger, brighter, better, and more profitable than you have ever thought possible?

And don’t panic, it’s doesn’t have to be such a big thing.  Don’t say I’d like to do something different Rob but it’s a bit frightening what you are saying. I will come back later when I have time to read this properly.

If you haven’t got time now you won’t have time later either, you are really saying I am going to stay the same…and that’s OK by me, if you are comfortable, you stay there. But remember, great accomplishments are not generally found in the comfort zone.

So Let’s Make a Start

About 600 years before Christ Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I don’t believe he was thinking about walking a thousand miles so I will assume it was his way of saying however big the goal, whatever it may be, you will need to get started.

Mary Poppins said  “Well begun is half done.” (Actually she borrowed that from Aristotle.)

And the rest of the journey will also be made up of many tiny steps too: so every day if you make a step in the right direction you can be pleased with yourself. If you take no step at all or worse, take steps in the wrong direction you know you have to make some changes.

All great achievers know that they must meet with setbacks along the way. Even at the thousandth step they may meet with danger or difficulty but there will come a time when success is just around the next bend in the road; just a few more steps, but unless they take that next step, unless they go round that bend in the road they may never know just how close they were.  The road is littered with the corpses of those who never took another step, those who lost hope and gave up on their dreams.

Achievers are always willing to take another step, and another and yet another until the goal is accomplished.

Dreamers fantasise about the expected rewards but never actually get to hold them in their hands because they are not willing to do the hard mental work to achieve them, and most of the work is mental. I think we have all been dreamers at times, thats why I am talking about change.

Achievers know they must first look in the mirror to understand where they are.  Then they form a clear picture of exactly where they want to be.  They meditate on the goal, they focus on it until they can see it, until it is real in their spirit and they approach it with a definiteness of purpose that will make them unstoppable.

Because those two ends of the journey are firmly fixed it all the various ways to get there just seem to come into their minds and as they decide which is the best way for them right now they are already taking the first physical steps on the journey. Each subsequent step becomes automatic because progress becomes habitual. When we do something repeatedly it becomes easy, when it is easy it is a pleasure to do it and when we do something with joy we do it well.

We are taught and we have tended to believe that we have free will but actually we are all slaves to our habits whether they are good or bad. If you are going to be a slave it is better to have a good master. Benjamin Franklin observed “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.”

When you look in that metaphorical mirror you might ask your self some questions.  Here are a few which may seem trivial, but could possibly be foundational examples…

•Am I getting enough physical exercise?

•Am I eating for pleasure in the moment or with an eye on tomorrow?

•Am I reading regularly and is the quality of the material building me up?

•Do I work on improving myself every day

•Am I using social media well, is it the best use of my time ?

When I asked myself those questions a while back, and no excuses, I had asked them many times before, corrected them and subsequently backslidden, but I found that…

•I was exercising but not regularly enough.

•I was eating too much sweet food and had gained weight

•I had not read as much as I should have over the past year although I have been reasonably selective, I am happy with the quality, but not the quantity.

•I had done some self improvement stuff but not recently

•I was wasting a lot of time just chatting on Social Media, honestly, I still am. It’s a tough nut to crack.

So that’s me, baring my soul again, now what about you? What does your mirror say?

It’s Time for a Check-Up

It’s time to give yourself a check-up and identify the habits that are hurting you. There may be more than one habit that you need or would like to replace with habits that will serve you better but we can’t boil the ocean so lets take them one at a time. It is a law of nature that the only way to get rid of a habit is to replace it with another habit. And the only way to bring about lasting change and so get better results in life is to change old habits for new ones.

To quote Welsh rugby star Jack Dixon  “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.”

So back to the two ends of the journey. Once you have a clear picture of where you are now and you know where you want to be…It’s time to take a scientific look at how we human beings form and can change our habits.

Step 1  Decide what really matters.

Determine what the end should look like and focus on getting there.

Focus…What will be more important on the journey to your legacy, checking on the football scores or writing your blog or the first chapter of your book. Is it better to watch a TV show or spend the time preparing for the interview for your dream job? The answer may be obvious but the dreamer will get to the important thing tomorrow, today they need their relaxation.  For me enrolling my next Business Builder and helping him or her achieve a six figure income in our business is the number one goal right now.

That demands maximum effort. It requires me to do the first things first. To make the best use of every hour.

Napoleon said the thing that made him great was that he knew the value of five minutes. Don’t tell me about Waterloo, everyone meets one of those in the end but he did pretty well up until then. So if you have been in the habit of butterflying from one thing to another, even double minded, come to an agreement with yourself about what really matters to you and let’s get on with it.

Step 2  Create Some Unbreakable Rules

I learned from my friend Craig Ballantine that creating rules for your life will help you stay on the path to success and wisdom. You may slip now and again but it is better to have rules than not, and its better to do your best to keep sound well thought out rules and fail than to end with the  regret of knowing you didn’t do the best your could.

With your written rules posted for you and everyone else to see your habits will be easier to establish, and each of those tiny steps to success much easier to make. Some things that are easy to do are also easy not to do so making yourself accountable will recruit the help of all who care about your success.  Thus you will have a much better chance of getting the important things done first.

Step 3 Choose a Cue

Create or choose a Cue or Trigger that initiates an automatic response in your brain which kickstarts you into action.

The simplest of examples for me, I wanted to get up half an hour earlier every day to spend some extra time reading and praying, but getting up earlier sounds good the night before but when the music starts playing in the morning it is not so attractive. I started by putting the phone which I used to wake me on the other side of the room so I had to get out of bed just to switch it off. I managed to train myself not to get up in the night for a loo break, it’s amazing how even that becomes a habit.

So when the music played I leapt out of bed hit the button on the phone and the next stop had to be the bathroom, it was urgent. The bathroom light would have woken me if I had not been too tired to open my eyes but that was not as easy as it sounds.

So the next step was the electric toothbrush in my mouth, that lovely Melaleuca Peppermint sensation hit my taste buds and by the first buzz of the brush at 30 seconds my eyes popped open and my brain switched on. By the time I had flossed and rinsed, the plans that I had written down the night before were now top of mind.  I bet you think I am joking, it might sound ridiculous but that’s really what it took at first. It was only a week before I woke a minute before the music every morning, and was able to head it off before my wife was disturbed. After a few weeks I decided to get up an additional half hour earlier and this time it was much easier.

So as we begin to replace an old habit and establish a new one we must first…

Choose a New Cue…one that will trigger an effective response.

It could be setting a timer like I did or what if the habit you want to get into is taking a run after work to get in shape? Perhaps you could pin a poster on the wall or on the sun blind in the car. Perhaps a picture of someone with the body you are aiming for.

You can try different cues, and experiment with different combinations of them until you figure out what works best for you! If one starts to get stale change it up for a new one.

But remember it’s YOU who wants to establish these habits. It’s all about you and it’s all for YOU. They are your rules and in this case rules are definitely not made to be broken.

It’s OK to start small, getting up half an hour early to read and pray was quite small. It’s an hour and a half now and it is having a big impact on my life.

Cartoonist Robby Gilbert said…”First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.”  

I am not perfect yet, probably never will be this side of eternity, but I am winning. I find the rules keep out most of the things that might hinder my progress and make the formation of the new habits easier.

Time-wasters must be eradicated

I will give you one more little example because it is the little things that make the biggest difference in the long run.  I was wasting a lot of time browsing through other peoples trivia on Facebook and Twitter, and to a lesser degree on LinkedIn; which would actually have been more useful for me. I do use these media to promote myself and my business, I will promote this post through Facebook for example and that is a decent use of my time. What is not worthwhile is reading somebody else’s outdated opinions on an election or referendum that took place over a year ago, and then becoming embroiled in a worthless discussion with them about it.

“Guilty as charged and full of remorse your honour!”

So I set some rules regarding the times I would allow myself look at social media…and also I am learning how to create and preload several posts that will come up at preordained times over a period of a few days or a week. That will mean I can spend three or four hours preparing and loading them and not have to look at Facebook so often.

Meanwhile my sales systems for the Network Marketing side of the business are all automated as are the lead producing systems. This frees up hours every day for reading and research, writing, thinking and doing the physical things that only I can do like the energy assessments in prospects homes where I am needed to personally design and sell the appropriate renewable energy systems. If someone else can do it cheaper or better I pay them to do it so I can use my time in the best way possible.

To make a great habit solid, we all like to reward ourselves so that’s the final step in our new habits formation plan. The reward needs to provide instant motivation, so that you’ll immediately have a strong desire for it the second your cue triggers your brain. This step also needs reviewing occasionally, especially if the reward no longer has the  same motivational power that it first did. Just choose a new reward, bigger better and brighter, more in line with the progress you have been making. Remember you are your best asset…

If you don’t motivate you, no one else will. So choose a new reward in order to continue building a more powerful habit.

WARNING! Never miss a day, never miss even one time and think to yourself that you will pick it up later. Never, never, never.  “Stay with the Program,” Cue-action- reward, cue-action-reward. Staying motivated is extremely important, particularly when establishing new habits.  I will finish with one last  thing that has helped me stay motivated more than probably anything else.

Keep a journal.                                                                                                                              It’s something I learned from the late great Jim John many years ago and it’s so simple the more you do it the better you get at it and the more you enjoy it. Jim’s recommendation has probably been my most effective motivational tool?

Here’s why I think it’s a good idea to Keep a journal.…

I have found it more important than any monetary reward, it’s so powerful in the tough times when you think you’re not making any progress to look back and see how far you have come. I have more than a dozen books filled with my scribblings and observations over many years. Maybe my children will benefit from reading those notes one day when I have gone home to glory. Maybe they will help or inspire someone: I hope so.

I find creating meaning from even the tiny daily actions is a great way to get the brain excited and the juices flowing. The occasional profound thoughts that lead to breakthroughs and quantum leaps seem to have been growing underground like a volcano getting ready to blow and I am sure it is from the accumulation of those little jottings, tiny thoughts, staying in the game, always being curious, never thinking nothing matter. Even the bad things seem to work out for good in the end.

We all have to deal with setbacks and negative input as part of daily life but by keeping a daily chronicle of progress towards your goals, you’ll be able to reflect on the positives, however small, and the feelings of accomplishment and fulfilment will drive you on.

I often just jot a few things down several times each day in a notebook, I recollect and capture what I achieve over the course of the day, but at least once a week I sit down for an hour or so to think and write up the story of that week, what I did, what I learned, new people I met, places I went to and so on…

Start a Blog

Maybe you would prefer to type it up on your computer. I like to write in a book but I like the blog concept too. So I do both.

If you publish what you have learned it might help someone else on the journey. It is so encouraging to receive comments from total strangers who say how much they needed to read what you have written. That motivates me more than anything. It has become a regular habit now for me. Just one more little thing that’s making a great big difference in my life and in the lives of those I care for.

Join the Eco Army and save much more than money…

If you’ve seen Blue Planet II, you’ll know how clogged the oceans are with plastic. All kinds of marine life are finding it more and more difficult to survive.  It’s haunting…and surely it’s our responsibility to fix it not only for our own benefit but for future generations.

If we are going to leave the environment in a better state than we now find it we must tackle the single-use plastic that kills over a million animals every year, from turtles to birds.  There is an organisation that has cared passionately about this for over 30 years…since before most people even thought it was an issue…Together we have saved 205 Million pounds of plastic, thats 83,000 tons…thats the weight of 6,560 London Buses in plastic that has not finished up in the landfills or more importantly the sea. Together have also saved 41 Million gallons of fuel and 46 Million pounds of Harmful Exhaust Emissions, and every customers has saved money too.

Turning this situation around seems like a very big ask, I have actually heard people say its already too late, but I still believe it’s possible if enough people do something now.

ts not just the environment we need to be concerned about though, even the most selfish among us should pay close attention to what’s coming next.

Shocking information has recently come to light in a new, independent study based on 20 years of research the results of which you can read below,

Don’t believe it? Here is good way to check for yourself: (I don’t recommend this unless you really are a total sceptic).  Go and stand in the middle of the detergent aisle in any major supermarket and take a couple of really deep breaths. Make sure you have a trolley to lean on. Honestly, after using these healthy products at home for 14 years I struggle to even walk past the end of those aisles.

So what can we do about it?  And prepare for a blatant pitch for you to join us.

We have partnered directly with a manufacturer who is making it possible for more and more families to live cleaner by providing safer, more effective products. No chlorine bleach. No ammonia. No toxic chemicals at all. Just concentrated goodness, helping you create a clean and healthy home and because they are concentrated they greatly reduce plastic waste and lower your impact on the environment.

Whats in it for you?  Why should you join us? I know you are not selfish but that doesn’t mean you should not be incentivised to keep on doing your bit. As much as 63% of all we spend at the Supermarket goes in distribution costs, such as advertising, warehousing and to pay for the stores themselves. Melaleuca prefer to use much of that to reward their loyal customers while using the rest to pay for better ingredients, and further scientific research.

  • Better, safer products, not just to clean the home but personal hygiene and nutrition all at between 30% and 50% discounts
  • Save time and money by ordering online once a month
  • Free products and special offers
  • A good amount of the value of your every order will go to support a very good cause. (If you join through us we will tell you about the choices there)
  • If you refer one or more friends Melaleuca will reward you every time they order. (It may not be much but it could cover the cost of your order)
  • Or if you like you can get really enthusiastic, fight the war full on, refer lots of people and earn full time wages.
  • The real warriors receive a very handy car bonus too.

When you read the research findings below you may be shocked to discover that women are much more badly affected than men.                                                                                          To redress the balance it so happens that on average women who take this seriously earn significantly more than men whilst working from home.                                                                    Talk to me about it on 07590 065454, text me if you like…I don’t do automated sign ups, I want to know who I am working with and I want them to know me.  If we are in this together it’s for the long haul…If I know what you want, ie. just to shop, earn a little, earn a lot, then I can help you get it.

Anyway back to the point, apart from saving the planet the main benefit of making the commitment to change is to get products that are…

Better for your family…the best of Science and Nature

EcoSense® cleaning and laundry products combine leading-edge technology and plant-derived, biodegradable ingredients in a synergistic blend of science and nature. They’re better for your family, safer for your home, and considerate of your budget. And, of course, they work so efficiently and effectively you can spend less time and money on those stressful daily household jobs, and do more of the things that really matter.

Clean Your Toilet Without Losing Your Breath

Shocking information has recently come to light about household cleaners that rely on chlorine bleach and other harsh chemicals: they are dangerous and come at great expense to our health.

A new, independent study based on 20 years of research shows that the vapors created by cleaning your toilet with grocery store brands as little as once per week is as damaging over time to your lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years! Why? Breathing in chlorine bleach vapors has a detrimental effect on sensitive lung tissue. It can literally scar the inside of your lungs, depleting your ability to absorb oxygen!

safe mighty toilet cleaner

For decades, Melaleuca customers have been acutely aware of the dangers of grocery store brand cleaning products. And they have replaced them with Melaleuca’s safer, more effective Ecosense products. These smarter shoppers accomplish all of their household chores without subjecting themselves or their families to the toxic chemical agents used in so many of today’s cleaning products.

We created Safe & Mighty with natural thyme oil and organic cleaners like citric acid to clean the toilet bowl.  The result? In comparison tests, Safe & Mighty proved to be vastly more effective than products like Lysol® and Clorox with Bleach®, and was even two and a half times more effective in removing stubborn grime and buildup than Clorox® Tough Stain Remover! And it did it all without a drop of chlorine bleach.

Clorox promises their Clorox ® Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach packs a “one-two punch.” They don’t mention the third punch: the toxic dangers of chlorine bleach.

Safe & Mighty takes care of grime and buildup without creating the dangerous fumes and residue that can have serious long-term effects on your lung health. So you can take pride in a sparkling toilet bowl and a healthier home!

Tub & Tile Cleans without any Dirty Secrets

Tub and Tile is safe
Ex British Judo Champion with Asthma says Tub and Time is the only thing he can use

Those friendly little scrub brushes pictured on Scrubbing Bubbles® Foaming Bleach Bathroom Cleaner look so cute, don’t they? What isn’t cute is the toxic chlorine bleach this product uses to clean. Bleach is toxic to people, animals, and our environment and it can irritate your nose, eyes, skin, and lungs. That’s why the label on every bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles recommends you use it in a “well-ventilated” area and wear protective gloves! Why take the risk?

The hazards of common cleansers aren’t just hearsay. New research shows that toxic cleaning agents, like those found on grocery store shelves, are more damaging to human health than had been previously understood! A new, independent study based on 20 years of research reveals that cleaning with products like Scrubbing Bubbles as little as once per week is as damaging over time to your lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years! In fact, the researchers concluded that toxic, airborne ingredients like the vapors from chlorine bleach used in the cleaning products sold at grocery stores are among the most dangerous culprits.

Of course, none of this has surprised Melaleuca. We’ve been aware of the dangers of grocery store cleaning products for decades. And we’ve been developing safer, more effective alternatives to accomplish all of your household chores without ever subjecting you or your family to the toxic chemical agents used in so many of today’s cleaning products.

Tub & Tile is the perfect example of a safer, more effective alternative. Only Tub & Tile delivers superior results without any of the toxic side effects. Soap scum and water spots dissolve harmlessly with the power of citric acid—the kind found in lemons. Your health isn’t endangered and your family isn’t put at risk as you rinse your tub, sink, or shower to reveal immaculate, shining surfaces.

It isn’t really open for discussion anymore—it’s imperative for the health of your family and your environment to immediately get the toxic chemicals out of your home. The toxic ingredients in Scrubbing Bubbles cleaners are harmful to women and everyone in your family, and they leave behind a toxic chemical footprint. All Tub & Tile leaves behind is a fresh fragrance, a sparkling clean bathroom, and incomparable peace of mind.

Scientific Study on Household Cleaning Products and Women’s Lung Health Explained

women cleaning damage to their lungs

A new, independent, 20-year research study reveals a sobering fact: cleaning your home with common, well-known grocery store products made with ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfectant compounds, and other dangerous chemicals significantly damages lung tissue in women. In fact, the study showed that cleaning with such products as little as once per week over time was as damaging to respiratory health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years! 1

About the Study

Starting in the 1990s, the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS III) began tracking a large population of 6,235 women and men with a beginning average age of 34 at 22 health centers in multiple countries. Over the next 20 years, participants were quizzed about their use of both spray and liquid home cleaning products and had their lung capacity tested regularly. Lung capacity was measured by breathing into a spirometer, an instrument that measures how much air you can exhale. Those with compromised lung function are not able to exhale as much volume as someone who is healthy.

Fifty-three percent of the participants were women and 44% were lifelong non-smokers. Analysis was adjusted for smokers and those with doctor-diagnosed asthma. Participant data was extensive, ensuring that each subject was well characterized, significantly reducing the likelihood of misrepresentation.

Once twenty years of data had been collected, the results were compiled and analyzed by a top team of 28 international researchers from nine countries, led by scientists at The University of Bergen in Norway. The study was recently published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The results confirm what Melaleuca has known for years: toxic chemical ingredients in home cleaning products take a toll on the health of those who clean with them. The extent of the devastation is only now beginning to be uncovered.

Finding 1: Weekly use of home cleaning products is as damaging to lung health as smoking 20 cigarettes per day.

By now, just about everyone knows the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Among their many hazards include depleted lung capacity—the result of damage to the tender internal tissues of the respiratory system. Lung capacity is important because it is a marker of overall health and fitness. The body depends on the lungs’ life-giving ability to oxygenate blood and expel carbon dioxide—the waste product of metabolism.

Decreased lung capacity can lead to obvious declines in fitness, but since the body is so dependent on oxygen exchange, whole systems of the body can be compromised when the lungs become even partially debilitated.

Shockingly, the ECRHS III study concluded that women who used home cleaning products at least once per week saw the same reduction in lung capacity as those who smoked a pack a day over the same period. According to the authors, “Women cleaning at home or working as occupational cleaners had accelerated decline in lung function, suggesting that exposures related to cleaning activities may constitute a risk to long-term respiratory health.”

Finding 2: Women are affected far more than men.

Though there was a clear correlation between women who cleaned and respiratory illness, there was no correlation for men. While the scientists pointed out that the total number of men regularly using household cleaning products was significantly lower than women, the study summary also points out previous research that elaborates the increased sensitivity in the female respiratory system.

While not completely unaffected, male lungs have been proven to endure greater exposure to environmental pollutants including cigarette smoke and wood dust before experiencing a similar drop in lung capacity. 2 3 4

This finding is particularly concerning when considering that the most sensitive members of the population are also those engaging with these products with the most frequency.

Finding 3: Cleaning at home is just as, if not more harmful, than being an occupational cleaner.

The ECRHS III survey categorized participants as “not cleaning,” “cleaning at home,” and “occupational cleaning.” While the “not cleaning” subset of women saw only expected, age-related change in lung capacity, the “cleaning at home” group saw the same decreases in lung health as “occupational cleaning.” How could this be the case when cleaning professionals are using cleaning products on a daily, ongoing basis, versus someone performing chores less frequently in their own home?

First, consider that occupational cleaners are most often required to use protective gloves, clothing, and even masks while performing their duties. Those at home casually disregard warning labels and use cleaning products without adequate protection. Additionally, professional cleaners move from room to room, working in larger spaces with better ventilation than someone at home. In fact, using cleaning products within the relaxed, comfortable confines of home may actually lend to a general complacency that ultimately leads to impaired health.

Finding 4: Liquid cleaners are just as dangerous as sprays.

Study researchers originally suspected that products delivered through a spray or mist would prove more dangerous than those applied as a liquid, gel, or wipe. Surprisingly, the study found no significant difference between cleaner delivery types. The implication is that the chemicals in liquid cleaners become just as available for inhalation through evaporation as those used in sprays.

liquid cleaner spray products lung danger

Finding 5: Ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfectant compounds, and other dangerous chemicals appear to be primary culprits.

In their conclusions, the researchers stated, “one could hypothesize that long-term exposure to airway irritants such as ammonia and bleach used when cleaning at home could cause fibrotic or other interstitial changes in the lung tissue, thereby leading to accelerated decline of FVC (forced vital capacity).”

Finding 6: Women who regularly use cleaning products have increased rates of asthma.

Researchers found increased rates of asthma within the groups who used cleaning products regularly. This echoes multiple recent studies that have clearly linked the use of dangerous chemical cleaning agents with the onset of asthma.

Finding 7: Damage is cumulative over time.

When chemical agents like ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfectants, and other dangerous compounds are regularly inhaled into the sensitive tissues of the lungs, it makes sense that the long-term consequence would be serious respiratory problems. “It is biologically plausible,” the researchers wrote, “that exposure to cleaning chemicals could result in accelerated lung function decline and chronic airway obstruction; low-grade inflammation over many years could possibly lead to persistent damage to the airways, alternatively, persistent damage could result from continued exposure after onset of cleaning-related asthma.” They added that it is already well documented that, “airway irritants such as ammonia and bleach” cause “fibrotic” changes to the delicate lung tissue, essentially scarring the lungs.

Simply stated, regular exposure to the toxins within the home never allow the respiratory system an opportunity to heal, creating a condition where internal damage accumulates. Dr. Cecile Svanes, a professor at the University of Bergen and senior author of the study said, “We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age.”

What the Study Means for You

For most women who try to keep a clean, safe home, the results of the ECRHS III study is an imperative call to action.

If you haven’t already, rid your home of the cleaning products that contain ammonia, quaternary disinfectants, chlorine bleach, and other dangerous chemicals! What kind of products use such ingredients? Most all home cleaning products including disinfectants, bathroom cleaners, toilet cleaners, shower and tub cleaners, scrubs, stain removers, floor cleaners, degreasers, window and glass cleaners, and surface cleaners.

Though the research results have gained some immediate public interest online and in the general news media, it is up to you to not only take care of your own home, but to warn friends, family, and neighbors of the very real consequences of using these conventional home cleaning products.

Only Melaleuca Offers a Solution

For more than three decades, Melaleuca scientists have formulated cleaning products that perform the household chores required of them without reliance on the cheap, available, and now documented-as-dangerous chemicals cited in the ECRHS III study. Our EcoSense line has taken a firm stance on ingredients like ammonia, quaternary disinfectants, chlorine bleach, and other dangerous chemicals. We don’t use them! We never have and never will!

This is why our cleaning products are so safe, no child safety caps are required.

What’s more, EcoSense products are proven to perform. They clean as well or better than the competitive products that use dangerous ingredients. They provide a clean that is far greater than water alone could ever provide. And their advanced formulas clean better than other supposed “green” products by measurable margins. There is a reason Melaleuca has been the leader in safer-for-your-home cleaners for more than a generation.

Melalueca products are safer for your home and family

Better Health Starts at Home

Melaleuca is committed to providing the products our customers need for the ultimate in healthy living. We are the Wellness Company. From supplements to foods to home cleaning products, the products you bring into your home do make a difference.

We are pleased to see the scientific community draw unequivocal conclusions about topics we have been aware of for years. We are confident that as the facts about our competitors’ products become more widely known, more consumers than ever will seek out the products that only Melaleuca can provide.

Full Study: Cleaning at home and at work in relation to lung function decline and airway obstruction

1. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Feb 16. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201706-1311OC.
2. Silverman EK, Weiss ST, Drazen JM, Chapman HA, Carey V, Campbell EJ, Denish P, Silverman RA, Celedon JC, Reilly JJ, Ginns LC, Speizer FE. Gender-related differences in severe, early-onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000;162:2152-2158.
3. Foreman MG, Zhang L, Murphy J, Hansel NN, Make B, Hokanson JE, Washko G, Regan EA, Crapo JD, Silverman EK, DeMeo DL, COPDGene I. Early-onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with female sex, maternal factors, and African American race in the COPDGene Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011;184:414-420. 31.
4. Jacobsen G, Schlünssen V, Schaumburg I, Taudorf E, Sigsgaard T. Longitudinal lung function decline and wood dust exposure in the furniture industry. Eur Respir J 2008;31:334-342.

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Though your sins be as scarlet I will make them white as snow Isaiah 1:18

When I was a child my mother told me that every time I told a lie I would get a little black mark on my soul. She truly believed that, she was brought up in a strict Irish Catholic house and although she had long since rejected the religion it had left an indelible mark on her soul.

That was a horrendous picture for me and I really believed it too (doesn’t every child believe their Mum).  The problem was I couldn’t help covering up my misdeeds with those little lies and as I got older they just got bigger. One day I realised that my soul must be completely covered by these little black marks. My conscience was completely severed and I knew there was not much point in even trying to be good any more. After that I made no effort and actually excelled at being bad. I enjoyed the notoriety and I thought it would be more profitable… it may have been for a time but eventually it took me to very low place in life.

I found the way back from that dark place but it wasn’t in any way I could possibly have imagined it would be. It was such a turnaround, such a revelation, so life changing, that it still drives me, nearly 40 years later, to try and help others to grow in every area of their lives. From being a lost sheep I eventually became an entrepreneurial business leader and then a Church Pastor and and my strongest motivation is to teach anyone who will listen how they too can experience Personal Growth.

If you are going to the top and want to stay there for any length of time you have to build on solid foundations. That means starting with a clear conscience before all people. The rest of this short essay may seem to you like it concentrates solely on the spiritual aspect of our growth and if you don’t feel you are a spiritual person then you might assume it’s not for you. You would be right on the first point, I certainly am more concerned for your eternal spirit than for your immediate prosperity but the freedom to choose will always be yours… so on the second point I am asking for a little patience from you. The principles are important even if you have no religious affiliation at all.

To be congruent we must keep a clear conscience with all people and whatever your idea of God, even if your god is yourself, you cannot be at odds with him. You must find peace and agreement with yourself in order to have a clear conscience if you are going to enjoy long term success.

Let’s discuss the events at a real life kangaroo court case held in around 60AD where the main characters are the Jewish High Priest and a lawyer who had once been in total agreement with the High Priest but had changed his point of view to include some new ideas regarding the Messiah they were both looking for. The lawyers name was originally Saul of Tarsus but by the time of this event he had changed it to Paul.  

The bold writing below is taken from the Bible, the Book of Acts to be precise and starting at Chapter 23.

23:1 Gazing intently at the high council, Paul began: “Brothers, I have always lived before God with a clear conscience!”   Instantly Ananias the high priest commanded those close to Paul to slap him on the mouth.  But Paul said to him, “God will slap you, you corrupt hypocrite! What kind of judge are you to break the law yourself by ordering me struck like that?”   Those standing near Paul said to him, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?”   “I’m sorry, brothers. I didn’t realise he was the high priest,” 

Paul had been brought before the Jewish leaders charged with bringing Gentiles into the inner court of the Temple, a crime punishable by death.  But Paul knew he was innocent and he was ready to give a proper legal defence. The Jewish leaders however were not so keen to give him an honest hearing. They had been dealing with these pesky Christians for almost 30 years by this time and they were just about fed up with them. And in the eyes of the Sanhedrin, Paul and those close to him were the most dangerous faction of all the Christian community.  It was bad enough that people revered Jesus as the Messiah and even worshiped Him as God. But Paul was broadening the movement by taking the Gospel to the Gentiles: the strangers, this was unforgivable! And these people may have been very religious but they had not grasped the concept of forgiveness.

In verse 1 Paul began: “Brothers, I have always lived before God with a clear conscience!”

I would like us to think about that for a moment.  Paul said that he had always lived before God with a clear conscience.  This is the same man who had stood and watched in full approval as they stoned Stephen, the first Christian Martyr to death, as you can read in chapter 6. The same man who breathed out murder against every Christian he could find. What could he mean when he talked about a clear conscience?

How would you define a clear conscience?

One person put it this way.  “An inner freedom of spirit that comes from knowing that you are right with God and all other men, and that no one can point a finger at you and say, ‘You wronged me, and you never tried to make it right.

’”In the first letter he wrote to a young man called Timothy, Paul tells us that next to our faith, a clear conscience is our most important weapon in the Christian life –

I Tim 1:18,19 Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles.  Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. 

Paul was concerned that Timothy should keep his faith to the end, but also that he would maintain a good conscience. Faith in Christ  defines a Christian but Paul puts a good conscience as the next most important thing for Timothy suggesting that if our conscience is not clear we will lose our spiritual battle against Satan.  Is that what Jesus meant in John 14:30 when he said “…for the prince of this world is coming, and has nothing in me.”  Jesus’s conscience was always clear…Satan could not defeat Him. If Satan came for us today, would he find anything in us?…It maybe something nobody else in the world knows, but we know…its on our conscience and that would be enough for Satan to defeat us with it.

Peter tells us that all our telling people about our faith is useless if we don’t have a clear conscience: he writes – Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.  But do this in a gentle and respectful way.  Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.  1 Peter 3:15-16

– You can shout your beliefs from the roof tops all you want to, as we often see happening in other faiths too, but when people sense that you don’t have a clear conscience before men they will have cause to speak badly of you, and believe me, they won’t miss their opportunity to do that.

John says that we can’t even pray and be confident of an answer without a clear conscience – which could be translated, if our own hearts condemn us but he writes in his first letter.  1 John 3:21-22 – Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

I will come back to 1 John 3 to look at those commands but first I want to look at a couple of objections I often hear from Christians who want to enjoy the Christian life don’t want to get right with someone with whom they have a problem. One lady recently pointed out that she had not been a believer at the time of the offence and that she had asked God to forgive her for the things she’d done, and as far as she was concerned, it was under the blood of Christ and so it was over and done with. The other person was not even a Christian, they still carry the emotional wounds of her misdemeanour and quite frankly they don’t care whether God has forgiven her or not. I wonder how she thinks her refusal to make restitution or even to apologise might affect that persons view of the God she now claims to serve?

In the very next chapter of The book of Acts Paul says, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people. Acts 24:16  All people he says, not just Christians, and Paul is saying that it is not enough to have a clear conscience before GOD; we must also have a clear conscience before all PEOPLE.  Remember the story Jesus told of the prodigal son who had wasted his inheritance and found himself starving in the pig sty

Luke 15:17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,  and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”

’When he returned home, he used exactly the same wording he had rehearsed in the pig sty, which is a good lesson for us about the importance of carefully planning what we are going to say when we want to repent, apologise and offer restitution in order to gain a clear conscience.  The prodigal son didn’t assume that because he had made things right with God, everything was automatically right with his father. He knew he must get right with his father too if he was to truly have a clear conscience.

There was once a notorious tax collector named Zacchaeus who wanted to see Jesus when He was passing through Jericho one day? He was a short man and he couldn’t see over the crowd so he climbed up into a sycamore tree.  Jesus saw him up in that tree and told him to come down.  The Pharisees ridiculed Jesus because they said he ate with tax collectors and sinners, and they were right, He did and He was not ashamed of it.

Jesus admitted it, He said he did not come for the righteous but for sinners and so He went to have lunch with Zacchaeus house that very afternoon. Zacchaeus met with God in his own dining room and his life was changed for ever, and the lives of quite a few others as a result.

As the tax collector he had over-charged people as often as he could because he got to keep for himself anything above the official tax.  It had made him rich. When he was converted his eyes were opened to see God but he could also see that he needed to make things right with all those people he had cheated as well. In Luke 19:8 we read: Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”     It was then that Jesus responded…in the next verse  “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.

It wasn’t until Zacchaeus resolved to clear his conscience with those he had overcharged that the reality of his salvation was evident.  The truth is that we can’t truly have a good conscience before God if we don’t have a good conscience before man.  Thats why Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount  “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Matthew 5:23-24  Jesus was saying if you don’t have a clear conscience with another person, then God will not recognise your sacrifice to Him until you are reconciled with that person. Once you have a clear conscience on the horizontal level, with men,  you can enjoy fellowship with God on the vertical level.  Thats why Jesus taught in that same seminal sermon,  when you pray say, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…and since forgiveness is an act of the will, we must also determine to make restitution and seek forgiveness from any against whom we have trespassed…as Zacchaeus determined to do. It’s only when we do this that we can experience full blessing in our lives.

Coming back to 1 John 3,   earlier we read verse 21  Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.  but let’s carry on now… verse 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.  back in verse 16 John had written  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

It’s no small thing to lay our lives down for one another, but it is all we have to do.  Paul couldn’t make restitution for Stephen’s death,  but he willingly laid down his own life more than once in the same cause…like Stephen he was also stoned and left for dead on at least one occasion…maybe he was dead…maybe he wasn’t… I don’t know, but I know God raised him up… The important thing is this…when Saul persecuted the church he honestly thought he was serving God. I believe there are those today who persecute members of other faiths in various ways, in some places even to the point of murder who honestly believe they are serving their God. The identity of their God is a question for another time but it cannot be the God who laid down His life for all mankind and commands us only to love Him and to love one another.

Actually Jesus had known this would happen. In John 16:2 He said… “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” so Paul could honestly say  “Brothers, I have always lived before God with a clear conscience!”  because he did believe he was doing the work of God by trying to wipe out what they thought to be  a heresy that was being called “the way.”  But as soon as he knew the truth he became responsible to live a different way.  Christians are called to live a different way. We are all stewards of the revelation we have as soon as we have it and we must live according to it.

Look how the high priest responded in our passage.  Acts 23:2 Instantly Ananias, the high priest commanded those close to Paul to slap him on the mouth. But Paul said to him, “God will slap you, you corrupt hypocrite! What kind of judge are you to break the law yourself by ordering me struck like that?”  Those standing near Paul said to him, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?”   Listen to Paul’s answer.  “I’m sorry, brothers. I didn’t realise he was the high priest,”

Paul new perfectly well who he was…he was dressed like the high priest…he was sat in the position of high priest…everyone was gathered round in reverence for him because he was the high priest…so what was Paul saying?  “I’m sorry, brothers. I didn’t realise he was the high priest,”  Why? Because his words and his behaviour were not those of a high priest.  

What about us? Will people say, I’m sorry I didn’t know you were a Christian.This is purely for the believers of course, if you don’t yet have the revelation of who Christ is you can only be responsible for the revelation that you do have. However , if you are refusing to believe because you don’t want to know: that will not exonerate you at the last judgement. We will all be judged, but those who admitted their guilt on earth and asked for God’s forgiveness in Christ will have the price of all their confessed sin paid for by the death of Christ. If that is still too hard a concept for you to grasp let me recommend you read Lee Strobel’s book “The Case For Christ” or if you are feel the book might be a stretch you can watch the film on DVD which is readily available on Amazon.co.uk for less that £8.00. It could be worth much more than money to you.   Back to the Christians, will people say of you, I’m sorry I didn’t know you were a Christian?

We have an advantage over the High Priest…He didn’t have the Holy Spirit to help him because he was not saved… all he had was his Jewish law…but even the high priest was not able to keep the law… That’s why Paul said What kind of judge are you to break the law yourself by ordering me struck like that?  According to Paul the high priest was under a curse…he wrote to the Galatians.   For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”  Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, Galatians Chapter 3:10-12

Sadly the high priest was not redeemed…he was trapped under a law that he couldn’t keep. So what then was the purpose of the law. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:23-25

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.  Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Christian Faith, the kind that changes lives and saves souls is synonymous with Christ. The Bible says there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.  People try all their lives to keep the law and fail…you may have tried to live by rules and regulations…and it just isn’t working out, you are not alone…all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, even the high priest…but there is an answer, there is a power that can change your heart in a moment, A transforming power that will continue to work in you for your lifetime.

It’s the same power that hit Zacchaeus that afternoon in Jericho.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead…

And its available to you right now.

It is only a sincere prayer away from any of us. If you believe in your heart that God did raise Jesus from the dead and confess with your mouth that He is Lord over all but especially over you. If you confess your sins and ask Him to forgive them he promises to forgive you that instant. If you resolve to leave the past behind and follow Him, He will give you guidance and the ability to get right with all people.

And if you do that I would be so blessed to hear about it.