PDCA will solve 99% of the problems you are facing.

PDCA stands for: Plan, Do, Check and Adjust.

For the last year I’ve been using these 4 simple letters to intentionally change the things in my life that I was not happy with. I first heard about PDCA on a Life Leadership audio CD, and I’m using it to fix stuff in my life.

PDCA can be used to fix your marriage, your finances, even your health.

I wasn’t happy with my weight, so each day I began tracking everything I ate as well as my overall body weight. In doing so I’m searching for the lowest calorie number to lose weight and when I hit that goal weight the lowest number to stay at that weight.

My goal is 170 pounds, using PDCA I’ll get there in the next few months.

The simple act of writing down every blasted calorie made me much more mindful of what I ate.

You don’t need a fancy gym membership, expensive equipment or exotic foods, you just need to monitor the energy in and the results. My weight started to drop right away. All I did was jot down everything I ate with an approximate calorie count next to it.

How much does a pen and a piece of paper cost?

It only takes a few seconds to read labels and learn basic calorie counts. An egg is 70 calories, a glass of milk is 120, a handful of nuts is 150. The cursed Bloomin’ Onion at Outback is 800 calories, not including the dipping sauce.

You can google calorie counts on everything. I drank a 16 ounce IPA yesterday, but when I googled it I was horrified to learn that there were almost 500 calories in one glass! Knowing this I reduced the other calories later in the day and still kept under 1,600 calories.

I used PDCA to create a plan to go debt free.

About a year ago I cut up my credit cards and began reducing my business debt as well as my personal debt. Part of this was about increasing my income, so I actively went out and created some additional residual income as well as more cash income by filling restaurant gigs here in Tampa.

In December I earned an additional $1,500 filling balloon gigs in Tampa. I’m also seeing monthly Amazon commissions come in from e-book downloads of We Twist for Tips. I spent 300 hours writing in the summer of 2014, that investment of time has created a modest residual income.

I canceled my landline and cable channels, and my family stopped eating out in restaurants because cooking at home is less expensive. If you have mounting credit card debt you need to stop eating out, especially in sit-down restaurants.

My goal is to pay off my home mortgage by my 43rd birthday. Every single month I write down my debt balances in my planner (check) and every month that number gets smaller. I might not hit my goal soon, but I can always look at where I’m at and adjust accordingly.

Losing the weight also goes towards going debt free because I can wear all the nice clothes that fit me at 170 pounds, instead of wasting money on a new suit because I got fat.

PDCA can even be applied to relationships. If you are not happy with your marriage, or any other relationship in your life you can start to read relationship books (plan) then change your actions towards that person (do) then see if the relationship gets better (check). I’ve found that it takes time for other people to come around, so this may take a while.

In my marriage I began investing daily time in my wife and focusing on her. This gave us the time we needed to find alignment, we also created our plan for going debt free together. Finances are a big source of stress in most marriages, so when you and your spouse start to fix the money side of things other parts of your marriage begin to improve as well.

The first part of PDCA is “Plan”, so if you identify your challenge and you don’t know where to start you’ll need to find an information source to go to. In my case I learned new techniques from Life Leadership audio training in my car.

Life Leadership has comprehensive audio training and books on all the various challenges we face as human beings; from relationships to health to finance to faith. I’ve been a student for the past year now and my results in life have changed for the better.

More info on Life Leadership:     http://www.lifeleadership.com/61414939

-Ben Alexander

Leave #Him in.

When I started writing my most recent book it was supposed to be a simple “life guidebook” specifically for the young people who worked for Balloon Distractions. In the course of writing the chapters I realized that this could be a book for a much wider audience; young entrepreneurs everywhere, Shark Tank fans, and anyone else who wanted to effect positive change in their life.

Some of those chapters touched upon prayer and faith, and described my resistance to both for much of my adult life. When my daughter Claire shared with me how she prayed each night I felt moved to write a chapter about this, I felt that there might be a young person out there who really needed to hear those words. Perhaps the chapter about Claire’s experience would stay their hand and keep them from doing something rash in a moment of despair and hopelessness.

I had a conversation with my editor as to whether we should “tone down” the faith aspect of my first book. After all, if I had resisted faith for much of my life, how can I write about it now? I’m a flawed human being, one who has made huge mistakes, I moved away from Him, I even denied faith, so who am I to tell folks about God?

But then I realized that during those long years of resisting faith I still read books by writers who openly shared their faith; Truett Cathy, Zig Ziglar, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and many others. Even though I disagreed with them (at that point) I still felt a comfort in what they wrote, the faith of these authors did not deter me from learning and deriving a benefit from their books!

Having realized this I am keeping “Him” in my book. Without God I would have nothing, neither fingers to type, a brain to form a sentence nor the heart to feel his presence in my life. If you do NOT have faith at this moment I hope that these words lead you to it, I am praying that everyone who reads my book is moved closer to God, and not further away from Him.

God is about love, He accepts you and loves you exactly where you are right now, with all your flaws, with all your past mistakes, with all your imperfections. He wants you to reach out to Him in prayer, to ask for guidance. He can help you with the heaviest of burdens, but first you must turn to him and hand those burdens over.

All it takes is a simple prayer.

-Ben Alexander

September 17, 2014

3 things you NEED to do each week to earn an extra 40K this year.

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This blog is for Balloon Distractions Regional Leaders who want to earn an extra 40K this year by building a region with us.

If you are not in our organization please move on… these are not the droids you are looking for…. go watch reruns on TV, or spend the next 4 hours watching funny cat videos on YouTube.

Still with me? Great! There are three activities I need you to do EACH week, starting NOW. Here is a simple summary:

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1. Have a conversation with potential team members and current team members.

2. Have a conversation with potential clients and current clients.

3. Learn.

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Here is the break down:

1. Have a conversation with potential team members and current team members.

You should be holding interviews and training sessions every week with potential team members, and talking to the Entertainers on your team at least once a week. Look at your roster and identify any Entertainers who have not booked gigs lately, call them and see what is going on in their life.

Calling people and just making a connection shows that you care about them, so does training them to MOVE UP in our organization.

If you have a sharp Entertainer on your team bring them with you to the weekly interview sessions and teach them how to interview and develop a crew. You WILL earn far more as a Regional Leader if you develop 20 Trainers over a large geographic area. The greatest leaders, the wealthiest people in the world, have all become adept at developing OTHER leaders and adding value to their lives. In terms of the expansion of our company the entire USA is WIDE open, we are barely scratching the surface of our potential.

2. Have a conversation with potential clients and current clients.

Even if you are light on staffing you are probably filling gigs in your region. Talk to the managers, ask them how you can do a better job, ask the GM about how you can get this concept in other restaurants in that specific chain. Ask the GM if he knows OTHER managers in other brands.

If your Entertainers have populated the entire schedule get out there and land tryouts in new locations!

If you JUST did a tryout get on the phone and close the deal!

Every new client you land will earn you $2K to $3K per year depending on how you price it out, so if you want to add $40K to your income you need to find 16 to 20 new recurring clients.

There are 980,000 restaurants in the USA, I’ll bet 1,000 are within 40 minutes of your front door.

3. Learn and GROW every week.

If you are a NEW Regional Leader with Balloon Distractions start by reading and LEARNING our manuals on Building a Crew, Selling Restaurants and Building a Region. This is the foundation for earning that extra 40K this year. Get that learning curve out of the way FIRST, everything will proceed from there.

Get on our weekly Regional Leader conference call.

BUT ALSO…. get on Wikipedia and read about the restaurant biz, here is the story behind Chili’s:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Brinker

You can also read about Applebee’s, IHOP, Texas Roadhouse, etc. The more you know about the client the more you can use that in your sales pitch.

And what about your own personal development? Right now I’m reading the Dave Ramsey book in the pic, NOTE that the TV is turned OFF.

I like Dave Ramsey, Jim Collins, Pamela Meyer, Steven R. Covey, Zig Ziglar, Dan Miller, Norman Vincent Peale, Earl Nightingale, Max Lucado, etc.

There are AWESOME teachers out there who will teach you everything you will ever need to know about success.

You can buy used paperbacks on Amazon for $3, and if you order several books from one seller the shipping will be less. Surround yourself with books, I have them in the bathroom, my car, my kitchen table and all over my home office.

Readers are LEADERS.

You can also watch these authors on YouTube or buy audio CDs and podcasts that you can listen to in your car.   

Here is a live stream link to Dave Ramsey’s radio show on the internet:

http://www.daveramsey.com/show/archives

Your income will not grow until YOU grow.

Turn OFF your TV, log OFF Facebook and get out there and tackle these action steps.

BTW, if you have read THIS far you probably need to work with us, please check out this link:

http://balloondistractions.com/build-a-region.html

-Ben Alexander

February 12, 2014

BenAlexander@BalloonDistractions.com

#SharkTank forced me to #Learn:

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When I filmed Balloon Distraction’s Shark Tank segment back in September of 2013 and FAILED in HORRIFIC fashion I came back to Florida and took an honest look in the mirror and realized that I was the problem.

I needed more work, more learning, more improvement as a business owner and also as a human being. I needed to improve MYSELF before I went out and found the team we needed to move forward.   

So I began to read, all the time, over the last 4 months.  

I’m currently reading ALL of the books in the picture during my downtime, at the same time.

Turn off the TV, stop looking at silly gossip on social media, and just READ A BOOK.

Garbage in, garbage out, GOOD stuff in? Positive results.

We all have flaws, we ALL have stuff we need to work on. For about $3 per book I bought a whole bevy of used paperbacks on Amazon, almost a mini library.

(I can not believe that it took me THIS LONG to finally read all of Dave Ramsey’s stuff, awesome!)

Amazon.com made this easy, for a few bucks you can buy used books and they arrive in a week.

Using the least expensive shipping each used paperback will set you back about 8 bucks.

Of course, you can also read this stuff off the internet, and reading actual BOOKS is kinda old school… but I love the feel of a book, and I write notes in the margins as well. Hard to do that on a Kindle or Ipad.

You can also Google all these writers and watch YouTube clips (except for the Bible).

So, if you are not happy with WHERE you are and WHO you are please start reading, learning, growing and then DOING!

-Ben Alexander

Jan 30, 2014.