PetWill Radio

Monday, December 17, 2012

Congratulations to all Goethe Challenge Endurance Ride Participants

Saturday was the Goethe Challenge Endurance Ride held in the beautiful Goethe Forest near Ocala, Florida.  There were more than 150 horses participating in this annual event.  Riders competed at 100, 75, 50 and 25 mile distances.

Congratulations to everyone who participated!  As they say, "it takes a village," and a lot of work goes into holding a great ride.  There are the riders, the horses, the vets, the ride managers, the volunteers, the crews, the families, the vendors - and lots more that all come together to make every ride awesome.

Congratulations to Liz Kanan and Amora who took 4th place in the 25.  Congratulations to my own Sierra who was 7th! 

I also enjoyed the company of friends Gayle King (finished 23rd), Caren Stauffer and Kelly Hersey.  Thanks for the companionship, support and the fun.  I'm looking forward to our next ride!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do you know where your service puppy is?

I am a first time New Horizons Service Dogs puppy raiser.  I recently got “the call” – the one where it is time to return Sienna, the puppy I’ve helped raise since she was eight weeks old.    

So, to paraphrase an old commercial, “It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your service puppy is?”  I ask this question because this is my greatest concern – that somehow I won’t know what becomes of the dog in whom I’ve invested so much time, energy, love and commitment (both financial and emotional). That somehow she will simply disappear from my life, forever.

I’ve shared my concern with the leadership at New Horizons Service Dogs.  I’ve been assured that I will know where she is – that I’ll be invited to her graduation, that I will see first-hand her partnership with the person she will serve.  Still, I have the emotions that all puppy raisers must feel – will she be happy, healthy and loved?  Will her partnership be successful?  What will happen if she doesn’t make it successfully through her advanced training? What if, what if, what if…

If you've had a puppy that was part of a prison training program, please share your thoughts about both the successes and challenges you’ve experienced. 

So, I’m posing the question – Do you know where your service puppy is?  I invite answers from service puppy raisers from all service dog organizations.  I invite input from those individuals and families that have service dogs – both those that have active service dogs and those that have had service dogs in the past.  What has your experience been like?  How would you advise me or other potential puppy raisers?  Is the effort worth the potential for heart break? 

My husband will be the first to say, “I told you so – I knew you couldn’t do it.”  I disagree because I became a puppy raiser for the purpose of helping raise a dog that could make a difference in someone else’s life.  I am still committed to that goal.  I want to hear your story, please share.  I invite you to post your story here or to contact me personally at  Your response can be anonymous. I appreciate your candor and your input.   
Peggy Hoyt, puppy raiser and animal lover

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Honestly, every day is a blur.  There is more to do than there are hours to get it all accomplished.  I'm sure you probably feel that way too?!  I'm having one of those rare weekends where I really don't have to BE anywhere but home.  Fun - I rode my horse with friends, Caren Stauffer and Lisa Dietrich,  this morning at Orlando Wetlands Park, one of my favorite places.  I came home, watched a movie - The Vow - available on Netflix, made me cry.  I love a good love story. 

Then I made the mistake of getting on my computer.  Next thing you know I'm completely overhauling my blog - like the new design?  Same background photo but new layout and new elements.  I'm pretty surprised I could even figure it out. 

My computer has been sick all week - had to get my friend Cisco Mantanona to fix it.  I think he finally decided the best outcome would be to reformat the hard drive and start over.  So, I've been spending some time re-loading programs and getting everything back in working order. 

Attended the memorial for long time friend Kirk Kirkconnell this week.  What an outstanding person - a great husband, father, grandfather and lawyer.  He was well loved and will certainly be missed.  Losing our friends and loved ones is just another sign of the times - it keeps marching on. 

I really can't believe it's almost October. What happened to August and especially September?  Remember when you were a kid and summer seemed to last forever?  What happened to those days?  I have queried some of my older clients and they confirm that time just keeps going faster and faster.  So, don't think just because you might retire someday and not have to go to work that you will actually have more time to get things done.  It just isn't going to happen.

So, I have lots of goals, plenty of lists, and not enough time.  Make the most of every day - it's the only one you've got. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

What I did on my summer vacation

I feel like I've been absent all summer - so much has been going on.  I never posted about my fabulous trip at the end of May with the Florida Bar General Practice Solo and Small  Firm Section to both London and Paris. I believe the Section may have even posted my diary of this event on their site. 

About forty people participated in the London and Paris program.  We had several super days of CLE with members from the English bar.  The information was interesting and entertaining.  We went to the theater, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court, had a riverboat ride on the Thames.  There was not a single dull moment and unbelievably the weather was incredible.  It was warm and sunny, despite a forecast that called for cold and rainy.  We made some new friends and can't wait for the opportunity to go back.

June was a blur with nothing special to report except that I must have been at the office because I can't think of where else I might have been.  I have been riding all summer keeping my horse Sierra in shape for the upcoming ride season.

Early July, Joe and I went to Virginia so he could be introduced to our new property.  We finally sold our Tennessee property and bought twenty-one gorgeous acres in Culpepper County, Virginia near Sperryville.  My sister Anne and her husband Dennis live nearby so we will have some friendly neighbors.  We also met some of our closer neighbors and we are looking forward to the opportunity to build our dream home there. 

From Virginia we landed in Silva, North Carolina to spend a few days with law school friends Julie and Ray.  We enjoyed a terrific few days of relaxation and had the chance to go white water rafting on the Nantahala River. The water was sooooo cold our feet were freezing by the end of the raft ride.  Needless to say, despite the high 90's weather, we didn't go swimming.

Barely back from North Carolina, Randy, Sarah and I spent a week at the WealthCounsel symposium in Denver, Colorado.  Unfortunately, we were there when the shootings took place in nearby Aurora at the movie theater.  Teresa, Patty, Kathleen, Randall, Scott and I stayed for the weekend and had a great time exploring Estes Park and visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Well you'd think after that I'd stay home.  Not to be - shortly thereafter I went to Montana and Glacier National Park with my mom and the Florida Bar Elder Law Retreat.  Check back for details on that trip. 

Hope you had a great summer!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Epilepsy Treatment - World Class Facility in Orlando at Florida Hospital

I had the most amazing opportunity yesterday.  Tom Kapusta of the Florida Hospital Foundation invited me to meet with two of the world's leading experts on pediatric epilepsy, Dr. James Baumgartner and Dr. Ki Lee.  You can read more about their cutting edge procedures. 

These two doctors are offering solutions for families who have children with epilepsy.  Epilepsy results from the misfiring of the brain and can result from a number of other disabilities including cerebral palsy and autism.  If you or someone you know has a child with epilepsy - no matter where you are in the world - these doctors have a solution. 

The doctors told me that if you are the parent of a child who has been on two or more epilepsy medications and is still experiencing seizures, they can help.  Many families wait too long believing the technology doesn't exist for a permanent solution.  Drs. Baumgartner and Lee are having a different experience.  They will provide ground breaking medical treatment to 100 patients this year.  Families from all over the world are discovering Florida Hospital's Epilepsy Center and these two outstanding doctors.  The Center is a Level 4 Epilepsy Center - the highest designation a medical facility can receive.  Drs. Baumgartner and Lee are treating more patients than anyone else in the country right now.

I have a special interest in epilepsy for a couple of reasons.  In my law practice as I counsel families about special needs planning.  Many of these families have children who have epilepsy.  These families now, for the first time, have an opportunity for the best medical technology available in the world right here in their own backyard.  Drs. Baumgartner and Lee have been in Orlando for less than one year.  Florida Hospital recently made the commitment to be a leading provider and sought out the best and the brightest.  The other reason I'm interested in epilepsy is my horse Tahoe also suffers from seizures.  When he was seven years old he started experiencing grand mal seizures.  Now obviously he's a horse and not a candidate for the services that Florida Hospital provides but the doctors had some great suggestions for me regarding his treatment.

Thank you to Drs. Baumgartner and Lee for the work they are doing to provide families with a solution for epileptic seizures.  Thanks to Florida Hospital for their commitment to this very important topic.  Additional research and resources are needed in this expanding area of knowledge.  Please don't hesitate to contact the doctors for more information on how your financial commitment can help make a difference for the world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

That's what I told my mom the day after my dad died.  "It's the first day of the rest of your life - a whole new chapter.  An opportunity."

Now, I'm trying to take that advice to heart.  I returned home yesterday after spending a week with my mom.  I feel like I've lost (not in a bad way) a week of my life.  My dad, John A. Hoyt, died on Sunday April 15, 2012, at approximately 9 a.m.  He had visited me earlier that morning in my dream - actually saying good bye - so I wasn't surprised to learn when I returned from my horse back ride that he had passed.  Also, during my ride, I fell off my horse.  Actually, this doesn't happen very often and it was one of the strangest falls I've ever taken.  It's almost as if it didn't happen.  Sure, my horse spooked at a cow and her baby who suddenly appeared out of the bushes, but the actually falling was so uneventful I did even get dirty and definitely not hurt.  I've convinced myself it was my dad who caught me and kept me safe.

I always knew when the day came that my dad was no longer the head of our family I would undoubtedly be the one that would take charge.  Everyone did their part and all the important tasks got done.  First things first - Monday morning mom and I went to the funeral home to finalize our prepaid arrangements.  We've had these arrangements for more than two years.  I took my own advice and made sure, in advance, that we knew what to expect.  In addition, my dad donated his brain to the Cure PSP organization so we definitely had to have a coordinated effort at the time of death.  The funeral home picked him up, delivered him to Mary Washington hospital for the donation and then took him back to the funeral home.  It actually all happened faster and smoother than I expected.  Since he had been out of the custody of the funeral home for a period of time, mom and I were required to identify him.  I wasn't sure this was something I wanted to do, but my mom seemed fine with it, so I joined her.  It was bitter sweet.  Finally, he was at peace.

Then, off to the nursing home to retrieve his remaining belongings.  Then, shopping for a suitable urn for his cremains.  If nothing, we are practical.  We didn't want to spend upwards of $600 on a funeral home urn when we felt we could probably find something we (and he) would be just as happy with.  And, we did.  It is a beautiful earthen ware urn in manly, but warm colors.  Our family plan was to include the cremains for two babies - one still born and one who lived just a few minutes - the children of my sisters Julie and Karen.
I don't think the phone stopped ringing all week.  The Humane Society of the United States took care of preparing a press release for all the major papers, including the Associated Press.  As a result, we received a lot of calls - friends, family, reporters.   Stories appeared in all the major papers including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the New York Times.

It seems like Tuesday we mostly received guests, flowers and food offerings.  It was a little more subdued, as if we really didn't have anything pressing.  We did spend considerable time thinking about the organization of the upcoming memorial service and all that would entail.  We actually came up with a format that we really liked - something for everyone.  Mom would play the piano for the prelude and the hymns, each of the children would read and even the grandchildren had significant roles from passing out bulletins to running the "boom box" to spreading flower petals on the grave.  Both Anne and Karen wrote poems or letters they wanted to share.  Mostly we read what dad had already written - from his book, "I Live But Once."

When we met with the minister on Wednesday he was probably surprised.  We already had the program planned - he simply needed to fill in the prayers and the sermon.  Shortly before my dad's passing he joined the Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church in Sperryville, Virginia. Pastor, Jon Huddleston welcomed my dad back to the church after my mother's church (also Baptist) wouldn't accept his request for membership.  My dad went full circle - son of a Baptist minister, Baptist minister, Presbyterian minister, member of no church from 1970 to 2011 and then a member of the Baptist church, again.  Pastor Huddleston had an opportunity to meet, but never actually speak, to my dad.  Still, he captured his spirit.

Thursday was gratefully a day without too many plans - mom had a funeral for a friend's granddaughter.  I went back to Sperryville and spent time with Anne and Dennis looking at property.  Found a gorgeous piece and everything for a future in Virginia seems to be falling into place.

Friday we dealt with the last minute details, including picking up dad, as we had to travel two hours to the funeral.  By this time we are mostly ready to have it over - not sure exactly how it will go.

Saturday dawned beautiful.  I picked the flower petals we needed for the grave.  Everyone showed up on time.  There were about fifty in attendance.  Mostly close family and a few friends.  All of dad's siblings were there and a few of the cousins.  The program was perfect - mom played the hymns and everyone had something to read or to say.  We opened the floor for comments from everyone.  We had both a church and a graveside service.  We ended by laying flowers on the grave site.

A very casual family dinner followed.  Then to the hotel for more socializing with family.  Sad that it takes a funeral to get people together.  It was good to reconnect and see our family in celebration of one man's life - John A. Hoyt.   

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thank Everybody for Everything!

Thank you to Adam Packard, a good friend who is reading a personal development book a day for 365 days!  You can check out his video series and the review of "Thank Everybody for Everything." 

I start every day by filling out my daily journal and recording three things in my Gratitude Expressions - Five year gratitude journal that I'm grateful for.  I can always find something to be grateful for - and it improves my attitude.  We have so much to be thankful for in our lives - family, friends, pets, loved ones, clients, team members, blue skies, rain for healthy grass and trees, even the unexpected things that we think are annoyances but turn out for the best. The list is endless.    I like to believe that all things work together for good - that was my grandmother Peggy's favorite Bible quote.

What are you grateful for?  Are you taking time each day to say your thanks and offer a big thank you for everything you have?

Thanks for everything! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Aloha - from Hawaii

This is our last day in beautiful Hawaii. The trip was possible because of SendOutCards and our CardDivas team. We (Teresa and I) qualified for the VIP Incentive trip. This is our second opportunity to spend time with the SendOutCards leadership and we have appreciated every minute.

We arrived in Honolulu on Tuesday Feb 28 after a long flight from Atlanta. The flight was bearable though - we called it a three movie, two meal, one snack and two beer flight. It was great to get caught up on some recent movies I missed - Crazy Stupid Love, Dolphin Tale, and Moneyball.

Upon arrival we got our car and easily found our hotel - the Modern Honolulu. Turned out to be a excellent choice. The room was beautiful, the service impeccable, the wait staff handsome and helpful. We were very near the Hilton Lagoon and Village as well as the Mauna Loa Mall - a very high end shopping center. We "shopped" at Neiman Marcus but saved a lot of money by leaving our purchases for later.

The first evening we ate sushi at the hotel and caught up on our sleep after a 29 hour day. We awoke to overcast skies but didn't let that dim our spirits. When the sun came out you'd find us at the pool trying to get what few rays we could.

That evening we met friends George and Sandy, also with SOC, from Arizona. We enjoyed mai tais at the Royal Hawaiian. We made friends with Milton from Australia who was finishing a 25 day holiday. Then Teresa and I headed to the Chart House for stuffed mushrooms, nachos and martinis - not exactly island fare but just what we needed. We enjoyed the two man guitar band and made friends with Derrick, the lead singer.

 Thursday morning we caught a few rays and then headed north to the famous North Shore and the Turtle Bay Resort. We stopped along the way for fresh pineapple, mango and coconut. We also scored a couple of native woven handbags to carry our "stuff".

The Resort setting is spectacular and every room has an ocean view. We upgraded to a suite and were glad we did for the extra space as well as a full on ocean view. We even saw some whales from our balcony! There was an SOC get together the first night. Time to say hello to both old and new friends. After the meeting everyone headed to Olas at the hotel for dinner.  Good food but no idea we were coming (200 of us) so the service was very iffy. 

Friday was a free day.  We took a long walk along Turtle Bay but sadly saw no turtles.  We visited the stables and I was able to get a few horse "kisses".  Then we went into town for Garlic Shrimp at Titas roadside "cafe."  Great food and we got to watch a young man try and eat a two pound hamburger - the Pounder!  He actually did it.  Then we were off to the Polynesian Cultural Center for a full day of immersion into the island cultures.  We learned lots we didn't know including the Center is run by the LDS Church and allows the young people who work there to work their way through school before returning to their home islands.  The weather got really rainy but we still had a good time.  We attended a dinner luau - food was really excellent and then an evening show - Ha! The Breath of Life.  The hula dancers, the singing and the fire baton twirlers were amazing! 

Saturday morning dawned rainy but we had a great time with the SOC Leadership in a meeting where Kody, Jordan Adler and Eric Worre were the primary speakers.  Always lots to learn.  We love knowing that our company is definitely headed in the right direction and Kody is firmly committed to SendOutCards becoming a billion dollar household name!  Nice to be a part of something so exciting with people we love!

The afternoon actually gave us some sunshine and the chance to watch some of our fellow SOC friends try their skill at surfing.  For dinner we had an on-site luau - again, amazing food.  Kody treated us to another performance by the young people from the Cultural Center including a very young man who performed the fire batons!

Sunday most of our SOC friends headed for other ports - either home or additional vacationing.  We stayed and enjoyed the wild surf from the safety of our room where we stayed dry and caught up on all kinds of things.  We were very satisfied with our entire trip and we were grateful with all of the new opportunities it presented.  We enjoyed a great Italian dinner at the hotel and started the packing chore to head home.

Next year we hope many of you will be with us at the VIP Incentive Trip, wherever it is.  However, you don't have to wait that long - join us on Monday March  19 at 6 p.m. at the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan Learning Center for a Basic Training and Opportunity Meeting.  A regional Treat Em Right is scheduled for Saturday May 5, 2012 in Tampa and the National Convention begins June 6 in Las Vegas!

SendOutCards is a great product and a great opportunity.  For less than $10 a month you can become a customer for life and start changing lives by sending a card a day!  For anyone interested in a business opportunity where you can surround yourself with really awesome people, this is it!  Hope to see you soon!  Aloha!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

National Random Acts of Kindness Day - February 17

I was having a conversation with my good friend and co-author Debbie Roser when she mentioned it would be nice if we could more often think of others than think of ourselves.  This prompted me to say, yeah, like random acts of kindness.  She agreed and since she was at her computer decided to see if there was a national celebration of random acts of kindness.  Well, here's what we discovered on Wikipedia:
Random Acts of Kindness Day is the name of an unofficial holiday increasingly celebrated around the world by localities or organizations, or nationwide, in order to encourage acts of kindness. The original founder of Random Acts of Kindness Day is unknown.[citation needed].
The holiday is celebrated annually in the United States on February 17 and in New Zealand on September 1.[1] In New Zealand, RAK day began at a national level in 2005[2] by Josh de Jong, Marshall Gray, Megan Singleton and Reuben Gwyn. It is not a holiday, rather a national day where the entire country is challenged to do something kind to a friend or stranger for no reason at all.

We really were tickled that here we were talking about this and it is this Friday February 17th - just two days away.  This gives everyone plenty of time to prepare for this awesome opportunity - to do something kind for someone without expecting anything in return.  What a novel concept!  The idea of giving to give - just for the sheer joy of it. 

Join us in celebrating National Random Acts of Kindness day this Friday!!!!

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Must Love Dogs

Dogs, dogs, everywhere dogs. I love dogs. I have six of them counting Sienna, the service puppy I am co-puppy raising. I have five of my own - Fawn, Tobie, Kira, Corkie and Leiden. All are funny, cute, sensitive, crazy in their own special way. I can't imagine life without any of them.

I've always loved dogs. My grandfather, "Pop-Pop" raised dogs. He raised champion hunting dogs - Pointers and Retrievers. As you probably know, I'm not a hunter and actually don't condone hunting. Yet, my Pop-Pop was a hunter. Mostly I think he loved being with his dogs, working them. He always had a whistle in his mouth to call the dogs. At four years of age, I can still remember running behind him to keep up with him and the dogs. At age 100 he was still going to the Bird Dog Club.

My first dog was Susie, a Cocker Spaniel. Apparently she was a lot of work for my mom with three small children because she "went to live on a farm." In this case, I still want to believe that's actually where she went to live.

 Our next dog wasn't really our dog, it belonged to our neighbors. They went to Japan for a year and we got their dog, Ginger while they were gone. Ginger was a poodle. Not my favorite dog to this day. We were supposed to get a puppy when they returned. She never had puppies.

Next was my first "very own" dog - Misty. Purchased for five dollars, she was the best investment I ever made. A shepherd/collie mix. What a great dog. I was ten and we went everywhere. I tried to teach her to be a seeing eye dog but ended up running into a tree. End of that lesson. She used to pull us on the icy roads (we lived in Indiana in those days). That was really fun. She died my junior year in college. I was away from home. Still sad. I'm still a shepherd lover to this day.

My next dog was Bandit, a sheltie/shepherd mix rescued from the shelter. He was with me until he was fourteen years old. At that time we also had Buddy, a pit bull/Mastiff. Dumb dog. Allergic to everything. Lived to age ten when he was hit by a car. Awful, awful - I had to bury him as Joe was taking his master plumber's exam that day. Bitter sweet - he passed, the dog died.

 Fiona, our border collie, was also a rescue. I found her while horseback riding in Ireland! She was the best souvenir ever. She had a very interesting life - stray dog on the moors, mini farm dog and in her final years, companion to autistic twins where she was the only dog.

Tiger was our black lab/pit bull/chow mix. She was a rescue. Took Joe a long time to find the right dog - she definitely was. Kind, sweet and had a face that took a little getting used to. Once you did, you believed all black labs should have a round face, black tongue and little chow ears. She died young - age six, of cancer.

That's full circle. Fawn and Tobie are my "junk yard" dogs rescued from Buddies for Life. Kira is my blonde shepherd rescued from Pet Rescue by Judy. Corkie and Leiden are both AKC registered. Cork was born to a neighbor's dog so she has always lived in Chuluota. Leiden was a gift from the Universe - she found me through her owner while I was having lunch one day in Winter Park - neat story that I'm always happy to tell. Sienna is our service puppy from New Horizons Service Dogs.

 I love dogs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

See you in Hawaii - Be there Aloha!

Teresa and I are off to Hawaii in a week or so! We qualified for the VIP Incentive Trip for SendOutCards. Qualifiers earned points for team building! We feel really blessed to be a part of this awesome trip!

It's funny, I really didn't think we had a chance of qualifying - in fact, I was begging my other SendOutCards friends to let me come along as their roommate! It wasn't until Mary sent me an email that we were right on her tail that I had any idea we might actually qualify ourselves! But, since this is a team building effort, it can't be done alone - it requires the activity of team members.

We have an awesome team! We are building an even better team for the future. SendOutCards is a great company with a great opportunity for anyone who wants to change their circumstances in life. In other words, if you want to build financial freedom, this is the way.

So, we are looking forward to Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore. We are also spending a two nights at the Modern Honolulu in Waikiki Beach. Can't wait to see all of our SendOutCards friends - so many wonderful people that we've come to know over the last three years - and those that we are still adding to our list of SOC friends.

You can be there too! Join our team - come with us. Next big adventure will be the Treat Em Right in Tampa on May 4 and 5, 2012. Then off to Las Vegas for the annual Convention June 6 - 9, 2012. We'll be at the Mirage Hotel. You should be there too. See you soon!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Where have all the entrepreneurs gone?

“I am attracting business builders.” That’s one of my daily affirmations. But where have all the business builders gone? These people are also known as entrepreneurs – people who see an opportunity and seize it. More specifically, an entrepreneur is someone who makes money through risk and initiative.
I see people every day struggling with finances, with personal freedom, with the ability to determine their own destiny. Yet, I see very few people willing to do what it takes to change their circumstances. It seems we’d rather complain about what we don’t have than take positive action toward change.

I call myself a serial entrepreneur. I can see a business opportunity in almost anything. I have more business ideas and money making thoughts in one day than I could ever hope to put into action. Yet, every day, I am taking action. I’m always building one or more businesses. I look for business opportunities that are a reflection of my personality. I want business to be fun, not something I have to do that I would dread.

And yet, daily, people go to jobs they hate and trade time for money. Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “The Business of the 21st Century” tells us there are four ways to make money. The first is as an employee – the person above who trades time for money. Since both are limited, ultimately, there is a limit to what can be earned. The second is as a self-employed person – in other words, a person who owns a job. Most so-called business owners fall into this category. The day they stop showing up at work, the money stops showing up too. The third way to make money is as a true business owner. A business owner is someone who can be away from their business and when they return, the business is still making money. Very few people actually fall into this category. The problem with being a business owner is it generally takes years (sometimes generations) to build a business that is large enough and successful enough to run independently of the owner. In addition, the commitment of financial resources is often substantial – bricks, mortar, technology, human resources, intellectual capital, etc. The fourth way to make money is through investments – letting your money make you money. This would ultimately be the preferred way, but as they say, “it takes money to make money” so choices one through three generally have to be the starting point.

When I was in my 20’s, fresh out of MBA school, I truly believed I would get a job with a big Fortune 500 company and make my fortune. Instead, I traded my time for money for a number of years before going to law school. After law school, I still traded time for money until the day I had an “entrepreneurial seizure” and started my own firm. Here was my chance to make it or break it. I was terrified. I was certain I had doomed myself to financial failure. Fortunately, thirteen years later my firm is still thriving and growing. I’m still self-employed, but getting closer to true business ownership every day.

A few years ago I was introduced to a new business opportunity. Interestingly, I didn’t see the opportunity at first. In the beginning, it was the product I was attracted to. It was a product I knew I could use in my law firm to enhance my current level of client interaction. It would help me do what I was already doing, but even better and at a lower cost. When I became aware of the business opportunity it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was exactly what I’d been looking for. A business that would be fun, easy and had the potential for significant residual and long term income. I didn’t have to hire anyone, inventory any product or spend a lot of money. Perfect.

You didn’t have to ask me twice. I immediately got involved and got busy. I got busy because I know there is no such thing as a get rich quick scheme and anything worth doing takes effort. I followed the system taught by the leading money earners in the company: 1. Every day collect names and birthdays – a minimum of three is good. 2. Send a card every day and send a least one gift a week. 3. Share the business opportunity by giving away DVDs and magazines. You can lead Opportunity Meetings, but only if you want to. 4. Let people try the product without cost or obligation. 5. Teach others how to do the same thing.
Could there be anything easier? Or really, more fun? Sending cards and gifts and sharing the opportunity to reach out to people in kindness. Sounds like rocket science huh? It doesn't require a degree, doesn't require any special skills - what could be better? Oh yeah, and you get to meet a ton of new people and get some new friends.

If you want to know more, you can contact me directly or you can attend an Opportunity Meeting. Yes, I’m one of those people that like to do educational workshops. My next one is on Wednesday February 22, 2012 at 6 p.m., my office. Mike Bass will be the guest speaker. I’m located at 254 Plaza Drive, Oviedo, Florida 32765. You can RSVP on Facebook, to me at or by calling me at 407 221-3614.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Here we go again - seeking a communications coordinator

Just when we (The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan) thought we had a found our new communications coordinator (the face and voice of our firm often referred to as the receptionist), we are looking again. A few months ago we hired a young lady who seemed eager to learn and capable of handling the job. She also projected she would be committed as a loyal member of our team.

Well, about 90 days into her employment we are looking again. The reasons are unimportant. The reality is she won't be a permanent member of our team. The media tells us we have a high unemployment rate. As a result you might think there would be lots of talented individuals looking for a new work home. That's what I thought too, but I was wrong. It makes me wonder what has happened to the ideals of work ethic, personal and professional development, and loyalty?

That's not to say we don't have a full complement of people who have those qualities. We do. I am fond of saying, "I have the best team ever!" And when I say it, I mean it. There are members of our team that would be truly difficult or impossible to replace. There are people who have been with our firm for years and years. One has been with us for more than ten years, a few others more than five.

So I'm confident we don't have a terrible place to work. We try to be generous with salary, bonuses, time off, paid health insurance, and even a retirement plan with a match. We rarely require any overtime or weekend work commitments. We celebrate our team regularly. We have great clients and a beautiful office. We support our team in both their personal and professional development opportunities.

Here's where I get stuck. Why can't we find someone that wants to make the same commitment to us that we are willing to make to them? I'm hoping this is not just a rhetorical question to which there is no answer. So, we keep trying. Randy and I stay out of the hiring process until the team has had the opportunity to meet the candidates and evaluate their fit with the firm. We provide training, regular feedback and periodic reviews. We believe we offer a great place to work. We are busy and keep our team fully engaged Yet, here're we are, looking again for one of the most important positions in our firm.

The right person should be attractive, personable, have good phone and people skills, know how to competently operate a computer and be able to work within a team environment. Age, experience and education are really irrelevant. People skills, a learning aptitude and the ability to multi-task are really the more important criteria. An unwavering commitment to success (ours and theirs) would be a real plus.

Do you know someone who fits this description? If so, I wish I could clone this person. I currently know three (and maybe more) firms looking for the exact same person with the exact same described qualities. Are we seeking the impossible person? I don't think so. We've successfully found them several times before - its just those people now hold even more responsible positions within our firm. Every time we find the right person, they get promoted. Then we are back to the beginning. Looking for our next valued team. It's harder than it should be.

I'm open to your suggestions and advice. Thanks.