Being Bruce -: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do You Have a Full Belly? Do You Wish Everyone Could?

Hello Folks,

An organization that's near to my heart is a finalist in the BBC 6th Annual World Challenge 10 - a "a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grassroots level."

The Full Belly Project, based in Wilmington, North Carolina in the U.S. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "Design and distribute income-generating agricultural devices".

Here's a link to The Full Belly Project.

Their signature device, designed by a local guy, Jock Brandis, is:
The Universal Nut Sheller (UNS): The UNS is a hand-powered device made of concrete and simple metal parts that can shell 125 pounds of peanuts per hour. It can also shell a number of other crops, such as coffee, jatropha, shea, and neem nuts. The Universal Nut Sheller costs about $50-75 dollars to make in a developing country, depending on the price of local materials, and can serve the needs of a village of  5,000 people.

So anyway, one of their projects, called "In A Nutshell" which is in progress in Malawi in Africa, is one of the 12 finalists in the World Challenge 10.

Here's a link with info about "In A Nutshell."

And a video:

So this post is a blatant, but heartfelt request for your vote for "In a Nutshell" in the World Challenge 10.

So, if you'd like to support this fine organization with a great project and technology to encourage and feed people around the world, please go to World Challenge 10 , click on "Vote Now" and go to the bottom of the list of finalists to select "Malawi - In a Nutshell."

With love, respect, and appreciation,


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We Are Supposed to Have Fun

Yesterday afternoon Marge came running to my office and exclaimed, full of excitement, "I've got it! I've just had a breakthrough! It's about having fun!"

[So first off, I oughta mention that that type of conversation is not uncommon for us, in fact we relish it and it's a significant factor in our working and personal relationship. And actually, there's not much of a line between our working and personal lives any more as we continue to shape our lives so our work is ever more aligned with our passions. But anyway, me running in early in the morning to wake up Marge with a cup of coffee and a new idea or her running to me in the afternoon with a strong insight are regular occurrences, which tells you a bit about our relationship, our daily work habits, and our respective times of highest creativity.]

Okay, so anyway, the rest of the conversation ran something like this:

Marge: "Here's the part people sometimes don't get. Working with your passions, building or shaping your business around your passions isn't supposed to be a struggle, and it's not supposed to be all serious and focused. There's a place for work and structure and focus, but overall, it has to be fun! It's supposed to be fun!"

Me: "Yeah."

Marge: "We've been setting up workshops and coaching groups on results and business plans and marketing plans and social media and all that's great, too, but where's the fun? If people don't get that living your passions is exciting and fun, they don't really understand what it's all about! It's supposed to be fun! People want fun!"

Me: "Yes, I see that."

Marge: "Let's sleep on this and talk tomorrow about how we can work to convey the idea of having fun in life and having fun in your business or life work is a lot of fun. People like fun, people want to have fun even if they're not topline aware of it."

Bruce: "Okay, good idea, let's think about it overnight and see what we come up with."

[Skip ahead 12 hours to roughly 4AM this morning, which is MY highest creative time.]

So this morning, when I went through my morning exercises of engaging the universe via cogitation, meditation, and social media, I put up the following two inspirations from my alter-ego Being Bruce.
"Be like the kid who goes to a park and has a great time and helps others have fun, too." - Being Bruce 

"Today I'm going to take having fun and being fun very seriously." - Being Bruce

I posted those two quotations not with any end result in mind, but because they came to me, I liked them, and I wanted to share. I put them up on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a few of the other usual suspects (I post to multiple sites simulataneously using a utility called, which saves beaucoup time). I also posted the first one on another forum I frequent, (an international forum of folks with a philosophical leaning). 

Anyway, imagine my surprise, and delight, when I received this response within minutes of posting the first quote above on from someone from New Zealand, "Yay! I get to be like a kid again!! Tonight I decided to move back to the U.S. and go back into teaching. (-: Your quote is awesome, Bruce. Thank you." - I won't mention her name to protect her anonymity.

My heart is smiling and happy. My #2 Passion in Life is "Being a significant positive change agent in the lives of as many people in the world as I can to help them live extraordinary lives." Check.

So, hmm, looks like Marge is on to something. People like to play, they like fun, and the memory of the energy and fun of being a kid playing in a park can spark and/or support people - at least one person - to make significant work/life decisions. 

Go Marge!! Woohoo!

We are supposed to have fun!

I think now I'll take HER a cup of coffee and tell her what she/we did! 

So how about you? Do you have fun in your life? How about specifically in your work life? If you don't, or if you'd like even more fun and joy in your life, consider taking The Passion Test with either Marge or me. For an increasing number of people, that's where it starts. Check out what some others have said about taking The Passion Test with us at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Social Media Strategy

Okay, so you’ve decided it’s finally time to start using social media for your business, or if you’re already doing so, you’ve figured out that having a strategy will give you better control and understanding of what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it as well as the costs and benefits.

While to an extent it’s arguable that many businesses should have a presence on social media just because most businesses are already using social media in various formats, the stronger case can be made that your social media implementation should reflect your unique business, its strengths, its market and clientele, its mission, and certainly its personality.

So how do you determine exactly what your social media strategy should be? Take it back to the basics.

First off, let’s assume you already know:

* What social media is, and is not.
* What social media is best for, and is bad for.
* Which social media you should be using or at least considering (and if Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and maybe LinkedIn aren’t on the list, go back and think again).
* Who your market is and which social media they frequent. (This is a trick question, because the answer is, “It depends.” You have to find out, there’s no one answer for all businesses.)

With those basic but important pieces covered elsewhere, let’s get to strategy.

First, here’s a form you can use, or a format you can recreate with software or on paper:

The purpose of the Social Media Strategy Worksheet isn’t to restrict, but to serve as a simple tool for structuring what can otherwise easily be a very random, unsatisfying experience.

My suggestion is that everything starts with your Big Why, in this case, not “why” to use social media, but what’s the Big Why about your company? Why should people want to hire you or do business with you? What is it that makes you unique among others in your field? What do you do better than anyone else or any other company you know? Only you can answer these questions (and perhaps your advisers or board of directors if you have one).

Rather than using a (typical) shotgun approach to social media and showing up everyone and responding to everything, I strongly suggest you focus your social media contributions and conversation on those topics or activities that support and underscore your Big Why.

It’s imperative with this still relatively new technology with many and a rapidly increasing number of moving parts that you remember who your market it and be sure to direct your social media efforts toward that market. It’s not the case that all “eyes” are the same on the Internet. Techniques that exist just to build traffic and get you “the top of the first page in Google” many not be in your best interest – unless those eyes that find you are absolutely the eyes of your very specific, tightly focused target market and ideal clientele.

Okay, so this gets you started. Once you have a clear sense of your business’ Big Why and the how you will translate that on social media. The next steps are to determine:

* What will be the actual the contet?
* Who in your company is the best person to accomplish and be responsible for creating your company’s social media content?
* Where – meaning on what social media sets will it appear?
* When – how often will you publish information?
* Measurement – how will you determine if you are getting the desired results from your social media strategy?

Note the form above also has three columns:

* Initial.
* Implementation.
* Next step.

It’ s important to realize that your social media strategy will change. It will change for two reasons:

* As you learn what works and what doesn’t work, you’ll want to make changes.
* As new types and methods of social communication with your market emerge you’ll want to evaluate and, when appropriate, work them into your strategy.

Designing your company social media strategy is key, and the the definition is individual to your niche, your clientele, and the personality you convey with it. As a work-in-progress, you’ll want to confer with our business advisors and possibly enlist the aid of coaches or consultants for your strategy. If you would like to discuss it with us, contact either of us for a free 15-minute consultation.

Bruce Brown,
Marge Brown,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Energy for Sports Performance - Want More?

Here's an invite for athletes and other folks in the Greater Wilmington area who are interested in performance and personal energy.

This Tuesday I had coffee with my friends Megan Kopka and Katie Medina of The Kopka & Medina Group of Merrill Lynch. I took a quick photo, that's Megan on the left and Katie on the right in the photo below

I mentioned doing a workshop on Sports Performance Mental Edge training for the Walk-Run Group at the Wilmington TrySports store the night before.

It's highly coincidental that Katie and Megan are sponsoring a free workshop called "Energy for Performance" that relates directly to athletes (but also applicable to other people who want to Step Up and live full out). Anyway, the workshop is being put on by a guy from JanusLabs. Now Janus, is, I understand, an investment fund company, or something (I'm not really sure), but the workshop is not about investments and Katie and Megan aren't sponsoring it to sell anything, they decided to sponsor the workshop when they learned about its contents and they're inviting a few Wilmington area folks who are into sports and physical fitness. Cool! So, here are the deets:

Date&Time: October 13, 5:00-6:30PM
Place: BlueWater on Wrightsville Beach (drinks and heavy appetizers included)
Cost: Free
It is limited to 25 people total. If you want to go, sign up in advance via email to

I got a sneak peak at the presentation outline and I am pumped (Marge and I are going to attend). It's going to be all about managing energy, energy cycles, and maintaining peak performance. Good stuff. Plus a chance to hang out with some nice people, not to mention BlueWater's food and refreshments. Good stuff, indeed.

If you are interested, and will be able to make it that day (it's a Wednesday), email soon to reserve your spot. I'm going to mention it to the folks at TrySports and at BikeCycles and I'm not the only trainer/coach in the area they've told about this, so act fast to reserve your space.

Oh, and if you're interested in what I do with competitive athletes in the Sports Performance Mental Edge programs, click here. I'd be happy to speak with you about it. You can email me at

Sports Performance Mental Edge Training

What's Your 3-Step Program?

I encourage you to Step Up!

Life's full of 7 steps to this, 4 steps to something else, 12-step programs, quicksteps to success (playing with words a bit here to combine dance and motivation, two of my favs), and even stairways to places you really want to go.

I suggest, however, that to make it simpler to understand and to act, you can bring it all down to three steps. So here's my Being Bruce's 3-Step Program.

The subject matter: You and Life (or you could substitute "You and Opportunity" if you wish).

So here's the deal, when you are presented with opportunity, when life says, "Hey, here I am, here's something you can do!", you have three choices:
  • Step Down
  • Step Aside
  • Step Up
 If you Step Down, in my mind you're saying "no" to life and to opportunity. Sort of a, "Okay, I'm getting off the stage, I'm not in this play." It's certainly your choice, and your right, but why back away from life?

If you Step Aside, it may be this opportunity, this part of life isn't right, doesn't feel right, or for whatever reason (good, bad, or whatever) you're just not going there. But you're not taking yourself out of the game. You stay on stage, you remain in the game, looking for what's coming next. I suggest you be careful about being too quick to Step Aside, however, or doing it too often, because it can be a way to avoid  making decisions or to not really be in the game and just on the sidelines. (And, switching metaphors once again, you know what happens to people on the sidelines .... they often get run over by the active players!)

When you Step Up, that's when you say, "Okay, I'm in. Bring it on, let's get started, let's see what we can make happen with this."

So that's it. My Being Bruce's 3-Step Program is simple. I encourage you to Step Up to life, to opportunity, to chances to help yourself, your family and friends, the world, and the universe.

(Hint: the world needs you!)

Please watch the video, same message, but simpler!

If you'd like more information on how to apply my Being Bruce's 3-Step Program in your life, whether it's in your business or career, in sports, or 'just' in being who you are and who you know deep down you're meant to be, please contact me. Email is usually the quickest:

You can also check out
or sign up for our newsletter "Bruce and Marge at the Edge"
or check out our coaching services at Quantum Results Coaching Services

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sports Performance Mental Edge Training

Last evening I gave a one hour talk on Sports Performance Mental Edge Training at the Wilmington TrySports store at the Mayfaire Town Center. I met with some folks from the TrySports Walk-Run club who are training for the Run for the Ta-Tas fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness on October 2nd.

It occurred to me that others might be interested in the techniques and tricks I spoke about with the group. The following is the summary sheet I sent to the attendees at the talk.

Sports Performance Mental Edge Training

Techniques and tips:

1.Thought stopping—Just say “No” when a negative thought or concern appears.

2. Mental Akido—When a negative thought appears, notice it, let it pass by, and don’t dwell on it—or spend ‘any’ time feeling bad about having a negative thought.

3. Focus on Your Favorite—If you’re engaged in a part of an activity you don’t like, focus instead on the feelings you have when you’re doing something you love to do.

4. Positive Imagery—See yourself as a winner and mentally practice experiencing your desired results.

5. Go to Your Safe Place—Construct a mental image of a place where you feel safe, secure, serene, relaxed, and loved. Spend time filling in the details of sights, sounds, feelings, and thoughts. Practice going there often so you ‘know’ it well.

6. Triggers—Learn more  about triggers and how you can use them to good purpose. For example, use a red dot of nail polish on a watch face. The  way you would use that as a trigger is  when you start to feel fear or negative, immediately look at the red dot and have that be the trigger to take you to the feelings of being in your safe place.

7. Breathing—Someone has said the only difference between fear and excitement is how we breathe at the time. Breathing can be a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to relax, center yourself, and focus. The way it works is to pay close attention to the triangle of your upper lip and your nose—experience your breath as you breathe in and out. Listen to it, feel it, smell it, be completely aware of your breath—with practice you can use this with great ease and power.

8. Progressive  Relaxation—Find an audio file on the Internet to use as a guide and make your own recordings of progressively contracting and relaxing various muscle groups. Make a short recording (3-5 minutes) of only major muscle groups and a longer one (10-30 minutes or as long as you can stand it) in which you get very specific. There are plenty of examples on the Internet.

9. Self-Hypnosis—A state of ‘relaxed concentration’ - use all of the above, especially #s 3-8 to help yourself relax and focus on your desired results, attitude, and experience.

Sign up for Bruce and Marge at the Edge, a free personal and business development e-newsletter and get a link for a copy of Marge Brown’s 31 Days to Personal Mastery: Create Abundance Through Giving. To subscribe, go to:

Monday, September 20, 2010

What Do You Do Better?

I have an extremely serious question for you.

What do you do better than anyone else you know? If nothing comes to mind immediately, that's okay, but think about it some more. It can be very important for you.

If you figure out what you do better than others (and it doesn't mean you have to be the best in the world, or even in the country, just better than anyone you know), that can be a huge career or business clue for you.

In some cases, your answer to this question might be an actual business. For example, if you arrange flowers better than anyone you know, you  might want to consider a business as a floral designer.

Other examples might point to abilities you can use in multiple businesses or careers, but knowing your greatest ability, particularly if you do it better than most others (at least everyone you know), you can look for ways to excel or prosper by using that strength. For example, if you negotiate better than anyone you know, there are many businesses that could use your skills, but you would be best served to present and use your specific ability, not just be in a business that can use it.

What if you can do several or many things better than anyone you know? First off, I'd suggest doing a reality check to be sure, and then maybe widen your range a bit to find out how far your prowess extends. Imagine, if you are the best in the world at something, wouldn't it make a lot of sense to pursue it, both to serve others and to profit from it?

If it turns out that you really are better than anyone you know at multiple skills or activities, then you're fortunate in general, but also in this important exercise, because next you get to choose which of the things you are really good at you'd like to do. Prioritization is important here. If you're multi-talented and multi-gifted (and many folks are) self study is important to prioritize and choose a course of action that can eventually incorporate all your top skills and gifts with a plan that lets you give sufficient focus and attention to one at a time so you can develop each to a satisfactory level.

It is possible, of course, that you are the best of everyone you know at a particular skill or activity that you don't  enjoy. If that's the case, look wider for other applications of your skill that you would enjoy, or if that just doesn't  work, find another of your top skills and focus on that.

Maybe you can't think of something at which you excel. And no one says everyone has to be the best at something...but first really check it out to be sure you're not missing something. Ask your family, friends, co-workers, anyone you know who will give you a straight answer. If you're serious about discovering your strengths, you're much more likely to get good data from people because most people love the opportunity to help others, and you are giving people a chance to help you and say something nice, which for most folks is a double win.

If you're stuck making a business, career, or life decision, your position of strength won't be to look around to see what's available. Doing that could result in selling yourself extremely short. The best tactic is to do some self study, to find out what you do best!

Have fun finding what you do better than anyone else!!

If you know this process could help you but you aren't sure how to start or if you don't think you can be "tough" enough with yourself or that you might sell yourself short or if you aren't sure what you'd do with the information once you found it, well, that's what coaches are for, and that's what Marge and I do to help people in their quest to live extraordinary lives. See for our range of coaching services, or email me at

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SHIFT!?! - Here's Your Magic Wand. What Big Shift Would You Make In Your Life?

I hear a lot of talk about various shifts in the world today:
  • More eco-consciousness
  • More right-brain influence in business
  • A shift to the Divine Feminine
  • More spirituality
  • More emphasis on living to purpose
  • Greater sense of one world-ness
Okay, that's all good, in my estimation, and I'm grateful for any positive change.

We know that any real change in the outer world starts with our inner world. (I think we all know that, right?)

Ghandi said, and many of us quote him, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

So what big change do YOU want to make? What big shift would you make in your life?

Let's just pretend for a moment there are no limitations. No limits imposed by others and (shudder) no limits imposed by ourselves. (We all do get that all limitations are self-limitations, right?)

So I'll ask again, with a magic wand firmly in hand, "What big shift would you make in your life?"

And to play fair, here's one at the top of my list:

I want to be more bold in helping others live the extraordinary lives I know they are capable of.

So how about you?

What's your big shift?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wilmington Tweetup at Holiday Inn Express

The Wilmington Tweetup group met at the Holiday Inn Express to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina on September 16, 2010. Food was donated by Holiday Inn Express and The Bagel Shop.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Colorful Networking Event at Crescent Moon

Our friends Joan and Mike Loch own Crescent Moon, a glass art studio located in The Cotton Exchange in the historic district of downtown Wilmington, NC. They recently joined the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce and yesterday we had a ribbon cutting there. A good time was had by all. Check them out at

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marge and Bruce's Menu of Coaching Services - breaking the rules

Okay, so this blog post breaks several major rules for blogs (not laws, mind you, but rules of 'accepted' practice and what's supposed to work and all that).

Here are the rules I'm breaking with this blog post:

1. it's blatantly commercial
2. it's way too long
3. it's mostly text.

Here's why I did it (and yes, I know my high school friends will say it's because I've always been a rule-breaker, but let's let that one go...for now):

A. We've had questions from family, friends, past clients, and even current prospects about what it is we "really do". We've been in transition for the past three years and now are on a pretty clear path - clear to us, that is, but it hasn't always been clear to others. So this post is our attempt to answer those questions.

B. We're also pretty tickled with the array of services we've developed. This menu-style format helps us help prospects and clients choose what's right for them at any given time and also gives us a clear overall view of what we're up to.

So that's it. Here's our menu:

Individual Coaching
Passion Test One to One Consultation—Two sessions—You will gain clarity in personal, career, business, and relationship direction and decision making.

Private Coaching— Ad hoc, hourly by arrangement—You will have a strong partner in personal or business development.

Harness a Lightning Bolt—Short Term Intensive Coaching (10 days) – For those with a sense of urgency seeking significant change business or career change or development in a short period of time.

Quarterly Private Coaching Programs—Three month programs—Accomplish one to three major goals.

Sports Performance Mental Edge Training– Customized training in visualization, relaxation, and positive mental techniques for competitive athletes.

Full Day Intensive Coaching—One person, couple, or single company (2 people) results-focused program

Group Programs and Coaching
 Passion Test Workshop—Three hour participatory workshop—Learn the process for discovering and working with your passions.

Bruce and Marge Live! – Weekly coaching teleseminars with email participation—Presentation and study of a variety of relevant business and personal development topics.

Passions Lead to Profit Kick Start Program— A month-long program to learn and apply the Passions Lead to Profit program to your business.

31 Days to Results—Mini-Mastermind Coaching Groups—Topic-specific, results-focused month-long small group projects with defined deliverables.

Full Day and Multi-Day Intensive Coaching—Two-to-six person results-focused programs

Digital Publications
Bruce and Marge at the Edge—Weekly newsletter—Personal and business development articles and connection with us.

31 Days Mastery Books—Self-paced business and personal development mastery book series.

Passions Lead to Profit—Ebook and home study program to build business in alignment with passions. (In development)

Passions Lead to Clients—Ebook and home study program for client or customer attraction via passions. (In development)

Passions Lead to Purpose—Ebook and home study program to find your life purpose via passions. (In development)

Support Services and Products
Fat City Cards—Greeting Card Marketing System

Bruce's Six-Head Strip - Try It Yourself!

Serious stuff here, for me (and of course, being me, also a bit silly and playful). I've found that photos of myself, smiling and making eye contact with the observer, are a helpful mechanism for staying in touch with my Observer, that part of myself that knows who I am and why I'm here.

Try it, string 5 or 6 photos of yourself smiling with direct eye contact. I'd love to see what they look like and hear how it works for you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bruce and Marge at the Edge Newsletter - What's In a Name?

We've changed our coaching newsletter name to Bruce and Marge at the Edge. As we continue to find the best way to present our ideas and to share resources, tools, and strategies for personal and business development, some decisions are tough to make and others are easy - this one was a slam dunk.

If you don't already get our  weekly newletter, we invite you to subscribe by clicking this link. When you go there not only will you sign up for  Bruce and Marge at the Edge but you'll also be sent a link to download Marge's recent book 31 Days to Create Abundance Through Giving as a gift.

Previously our coaching newsletter was titled Passions Lead to Profit, which remains the major theme of many of our coaching programs and services. That name will continue to appear in some places while we move around the web and our various blogs, web sites, and social media sites to change it to Bruce and Marge at the Edge.

Why does a name matter so much? Why not stick with one name? Originally we called the newsletter Bruce Brown at the Edge but changed in favor of our major program theme. Now we've switched back to the people and included both Marge and I, which feels very right to both of us.

While the e-newsletter name has changed, a couple of times now, who we are hasn't  changed and our respective purposes and passions remain the same. We, as individuals, as a couple, and as a company are driven to help other people live extraordinary lives. We focus on both personal and business development coaching because we know that the most successful and happiest people never stop learning and growing in their own development as well as developing their business.

So please join us At the Edge.