The Difference Between Winning and Losing

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Ever so often I send an email that resounds with a number of people. The one I sent a week ago, 9/3/08, was one like that. Here it is again. Thank you all for your kind comments.

The past year and a half has been the most challenging I’ve ever faced since I’ve been in business. And last week, in the worst storm in Phoenix’s history, a tree went through our roof. It was a bad enough storm that I looked under the trunk the next morning for little witch’s feet, but apparently it wasn’t that bad. (That was a Wizard of Oz reference, by the way.)

There was a time in my life when this would have been devastating. Now, it’s a hassle, but not the end of the world. Since our son David came to join our family, I’ve found that I think a lot more about my reaction to things. I strive to be the adult that I want my son to become. And I’m better for that.

So, what is the lesson that I should take away, and teach my son about, from all the turmoil that’s come our way? There are a number of them:

• There is a fine line between winning and losing. My friend Joe White sends out a daily inspirational message. Drop him an email at if you want to be included. One of my favorites is his reminder that the difference between 211 degrees and 212 degrees is just one degree. That’s it. But, it’s also the difference between water just sitting there and water boiling. Just one degree to push that water over the top and create a boil.
LESSON: What would it take for me to go that one extra degree to completely change everything?

• Are you “Three Feet From Gold”? If you’re a fan of Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” like I am, you might recognize the reference. In this international best-seller that still tops the charts after 80 years, Mr. Hill told the story of the prospector who gave up and sold his equipment. The man who bought the equipment went back to the claim and kept working. And, there, just 3 feet from where the first man had stopped, was gold.

LESSON: Never give up. You don’t know how close the prize might be.

• The way you do anything is the way you do everything. When times are harder, the worst of people comes out. I don’t think it changes people as much as it reveals people. If someone is willing to cheat and not be truthful in little things, they’ll do the same thing in much bigger ways when times are down.

LESSON: Be very selective in future partnerships and joint ventures. If people are out of integrity in little things, they will be in big things too.

• My associations are the most important part of my business. I am truly blessed with innovative, ethical associates now. One of the benefits of a business shake-up is that you always find the bad seeds. It’s easy to find lots of people to work with when it’s easy, but when you are building something new and there is actual work involved, not everybody wants to play.

LESSON: A further reminder to surround myself with quality people and amazing things will happen. Hint on where to find amazing people: If you’re not yet a member of the First Class Lounge Forum, check us out for 30 days free at Benefits of Joining,then sign up for the monthly program. You will probably want to convert to the annual or lifetime program after you’ve had a chance to check us out.

It’s hard to pick the most compelling story that has come out of the FCL Forum. Here’s one of my favorites.

The whole forum (over 1000 members!) has been with vanloan79 (his forum name) since he first started pitching an idea to investors. And then on 6/24/08, he posted for all to see the date of his leap of faith:

“Well for those of you that have followed my tales on building a business, I’m about to go past the last point of no return. I’m giving my employer my 2 weeks notice, so in 2 weeks my income will depend entirely upon my rental property and the business. We’ve still got a few things to finish up before we launch but I should be up in running very soon. It’s a scary time but I can’t wait to see what I can do with an additional 50 hours each week. So the clock starts ticking.”

You can check out his website at Take a look and if you have some words of encouragement to a true entrepreneur, please visit the First Class Lounge Forum and say “Way to go vanloan79!”

There are a hundred stories like that from people who have said the First Class Lounge Forum is unlike any other forum out there. We’re mostly seasoned business owners and investors. Got a question about merchant accounts? We’ve got an expert. Got a question about employee issues? We’ve got a lot of experts. In fact, if you’re facing any challenge with your business or investments right now, chances are someone on the forum has the answer. Come join us. Remember the first 30 days are free and then it’s just $9.97/month after that.

And one more lesson that is the one closest to my heart –

• My joy is in my family. I never truly appreciated how special my husband and my son are, until I experienced how caring and nurturing they both were over the past few months when some stuff started to get to be too much. Six weeks ago we made the decision to move to our San Diego home. It’s smaller, but the weather is beautiful, maintenance will be less and at night we hear the sea lions barking at each other. In the morning, we wake to the sound of the fishing ships going out early in the dawn. (We’re on the bay side, so no waves where we are.)

LESSON: This is perhaps more of a personal one for me. Family is what you define it to be. Each of us: Richard, David and I, had gone through at least one traumatic personal tragedy before we met each other. We call ourselves the survivor family. It makes us unique and binds us together more. But, that’s just us. It doesn’t matter what you call your family, friends or group, or who comprises it, having people who truly care about you and that you care about can be what make bad times bearable and good times extraordinary.

Warmly, Diane

P.S. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing about the doom and gloom! Hey, it always works out in the end. And if it hasn’t worked out yet, it just means it’s not the end.

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