Thursday, March 24, 2011


Susan and I have been on an extremely fast paced trip visiting Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Taipei, and Singapore all in one week. Asia and especially Greater China is inspiring. The mood is highly positive, the energy off the charts, time is measured in 15 minute segments, and business is focused on results. The purpose of our journey to Asia is to extend, renew, and energize our Guanxi.

Guanxi is a fascinating “Secret of Life”. It is a Chinese concept of the power of relationships. Guanxi can best be defined as personalized networks of influence. It is the art of networking on a higher level, described in the Chinese world as a social currency based on traditional values of loyalty, accountability and obligation. Guanxi is your personal power of deep relationships that inform, educate and assist with access and connections. Why Guanxi?

“No man (woman) is an island entire of itself”. Life is about people, friends, family, community….it is about relationships. We need each other to survive, to thrive. The greater our network of interested, committed friends and family…the more powerful our Guanxi. In order to nurture our Guanxi we need to be “thoughtful”. We must take every opportunity to be generous of heart, to teach, give, support, love, do a good deed for someone without any immediate reciprocal expectation. This will build our personal Guanxi. I have often described this concept as “The Favor Bank”. Just keep depositing favors in the favor bank; it makes your life richer. Who knows, maybe someday when you really need help with something important, you may be able to make a withdrawal.

One of my most admired mentors, Bobby Sager, is an expert on Guanxi. He has spent his entire life networking globally with the world’s most evolved, talented, and powerful people. His Guanxi includes spiritual leaders such as the Dali Lama and Nelson Mandela, political leaders like Bill Clinton and several presidents and royal family members of African and Middle Eastern countries; athletes like Bill Russell and Bobby Orr; and even talented Rock Stars including Sting and Lady Gaga. He runs around the globe like it’s a little village, being thoughtful, doing good deeds, building powerful Guanxi. Bobby is totally focused on leveraging his network, his Guanxi to make this world a better place to live, learn, and grow.

In my life, I am blessed with the Guanxi of a community called Hearts On Fire. We are thousands strong, live in over 34 countries and share the same vision of making a positive difference in the lives we touch. Hearts On Fire is a global diamond jewelry brand that provides “Ultimate Recognition” for those perfect moments in people’s lives… what a wonderful mission. All of us at Hearts On Fire share in and contribute to the love, happiness, and celebration of Hearts On Fire owners. Many of these passionate, happy people become part of our extended Guanxi, adding to the power of our community. Guanxi is family…Guanxi is networks and social currency…Guanxi is a powerful “Secret of Life”.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Always Be Learning

Learn something new every day. We all eat, drink, breathe, sleep, move every day… Shouldn’t we be learning something new every day? If we are not learning, changing, and expanding as we travel through our personal journeys… Aren’t we contracting, shrinking, or even diminishing our lives? Learning is a priority, it drives personal opportunity… learning is a positive zone. A lifetime focus on learning is a powerful “Secret of Life”.

Learning involves discovery, change, and action. When we leave our comfort zone and move into our learning zone our lives become richer. We open ourselves to expanded opportunities, explore new ideas, and fuel our passion for life. The more we learn the more we earn, the more we learn the more we win, the more we learn the more we grow.

Learning means making mistakes, it means continuous practice. Learning requires doing things that we may not have done before, things we probably won’t be very good at the first time around. But if we only do what we already know how to do, then we won’t learn anything new.

In order to fully embrace learning we absolutely need to push our personal boundaries and get out of our comfort zone. Today I am high in the mountains of Utah enjoying a sunny beautiful day in a heavenly ski resort called Deer Valley… learning how to improve my snow skiing skills. It can be scary on top of a mountain. Not only does skiing require practice and pushing myself out of my comfort zone… I fall down.

In life if we don’t fall down we are not pushing ourselves, exploring unknown territory, overcoming our fears and learning something valuable. On the challenging ski slopes, I fall down and pick myself up… In dealing with the challenges and difficulties of life… I fall down and pick myself up. If I am too cautious, too careful, too afraid of something new and difficult, some situation I have not mastered before….I don’t really learn anything new.

We all need to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, for falling down, because without mistakes and practice we aren’t doing enough to learn. Learning demands action. It requires actually doing something. Learning means tackling the hard work of making something happen. In order to master a skill, become an Olympic star; achieve expert recognition in your field…. Life necessitates much more than grand dreams and inspired aspirations. According to the world renowned author on success, Malcolm Gladwell, it requires 10,000 hours of practice. 10,000 hours of repetitive action, of hard work is a long time to achieve greatness. That is why we need to start now and… always be learning.

Please share with me your thoughts, emotions, and questions about The Secrets of Life. Is anybody out there?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Positive Mindset

The most powerful force that affects our lives is the power of our mindset. The most powerful force that determines our happiness, our emotional state, our spiritual being, is the intensity of our attitude….our mindset. When we are positive of mind and spirit, when we generate positive energy, we attract positive outcomes. Negative thoughts, fear, and worry generate limited if not poor results. Negative mindset attracts failure. It is the “black hole” of energy that sucks the life out of us and those around us.

We are what we think about. If we believe in ourselves, believe in what we do, believe in our personal vision of life with unyielding determination…..we succeed. Winners believe!

Our mindset, our attitude determines what we believe and how strongly we believe it. We can’t truly fool our internal belief system by attempting to convince ourselves of something we know intuitively isn’t right. Negotiating with ourselves is always a losing proposition. We need to get out of our own way, overcome our fears, and silence the negative noise between our ears. The more positive our mindset, the more passionate we are about our lives….the happier we are in the moment. The fascinating and rewarding result of a positive mindset is that it builds on itself. Positive energy, positive vibes, positive ideas, attract positive outcomes and yield outstanding results. It is our perspective of life, the lens that we view everything with that determines whether we see obstacles or opportunities; whether we ask ourselves “why” or “why not”; whether we decide “can” or “can not”. Our mindset makes all the difference in our perception of who we are, where we are going, and if we will be successful and happy along the way.

When I get stuck in a “funk” and can’t get out of my own way, I move my body. Changing my physiology changes my psychology. And it works! Motion will positively affect emotion. At Hearts On Fire Company we combine both motion and sound to positively influence our mindset. We ring bells! Yes, when a successful sale is achieved, we celebrate by ringing bells and cheering. It’s fun! Imagine the benefits and positive power of ringing bells and cheering in a working atmosphere and how it fuels a passionate culture.

Changing our mindset is unique to each of us. The key is to recognize what works and use it. What works for you? Can you share with us one of your secrets of building and maintaining a positive attitude and mindset?