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

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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

Teaching #Leadership to our young people, adding value to their lives.

In the picture above my daughter Claire is the young lady on the right, training her first new entertainer, Haley. Claire and I will be in a restaurant with Haley this Friday afternoon, showing her how to approach tables and getting her ready to fill her first gig.

Claire has been by my side as I’ve built Balloon Distractions since she was in kindergarten, she is helping me train new staff here in Wesley Chapel, and in the process Claire’s becoming a better entertainer herself and learning what it takes to develop and motivate a team.

Being an entertainer with our company takes a certain level of personal mastery, Claire has demonstrated that she can successfully fill bookings and garner compliments from restaurant managers. Proving yourself as an entertainer is the FIRST step. As a trainer Claire must recruit a team and influence her team by teaching them a skill and showing them how to earn an excellent income.

In this manner Claire is learning Basic Leadership 101, as she builds her crew her income will increase as she gets better at influencing her team in a positive direction.

Since the beginning of 2014 I have been taking the Life Leadership course, a system of monthly books and audio CDs that teach the dynamics of leadership in an organization as well as the importance of character and integrity in all aspects of your business. The lead authors of the series are Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, I read the books every morning and listen to the audio CDs in my vehicle.

Our Regional Leader Randy Crain introduced me to this system and my only regret is that I did not get this training ten years ago when I started my business!

Balloon Distractions has very specific training regarding balloon art, recruiting a crew and selling restaurants, but we did not have comprehensive leadership training, until now.

As a company we are paying half of the monthly cost for any of our trainers or regionals who want to take advantage of the monthly training. We want our people to pay for at least 50% of the cost because we feel that people value what they buy more than that which they are merely given.

As the leader of my organization I’m seeking to influence our people in a positive way by teaching them leadership and getting them involved in ongoing professional development.

In this way I wish to ADD VALUE to the lives of all the people on our team, including my daughter!

Happy Twisting!

-Ben Alexander

August 6, 2014