9 Jan

John Deere

In 1962, a University of Illinois archaeological team unearthed the exact location of the blacksmith shop where John Deere developed the first successful steel plow in 1837. The site is now preserved by an exhibit hall complete with a simulated conversation between John and Demarius Deere talking about their every events on the farm and his development of the self-polishing steel plow that eventually opened the prairie to agriculture.

GO WEST YOUNG MAN

As a young journeyman blacksmith in Middlebury, Vermont, John Deere soon gained fame for his considerable workmanship and ingenuity. It was a golden age of the burgeoning pioneer and John headed west to join the adventure. It took him many weeks by canal boat, lake boat and stagecoach to reach Grand Detour, Illinois – a journey of more than a thousand miles that could easily be accomplished in 16 hours by car today.

BLACKSMITH

The cast iron plows the pioneers used were designed for sandy New England and proved no match for the rich Midwestern soil. So Deere decided to come up with something better, he took an old steel saw blade and made a plow with a properly shaped moldboard and share that scoured itself as it turned the furrow slice, basically it was a self-cleaning plow blade that made the hard work fast.

MASS APPEAL

In his day it was common practice for blacksmiths to build tools as customers ordered them, however seeing the future as it was, Deere decided to start hammering out the new plows without orders. It was an entirely new way of doing business and made John Deere a very popular man.

NOTHING RUNS LIKE A DEER

Ten years after he developed his first plow, Deere was producing a 1000 plows a year. Many years later in 1911, the company purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company and tractors were added to production line. By 1955 they were the leading producer of farm equipment in the world. Today, the company has become globally renowned with net sales exceeding $640 million dollars.

COMMITMENT

Constant research and development has always been key to the John Deere company, as Deere himself once said, “They haven’t got to take what we make and somebody else will beat us, and we will lose our trade.” To this day, the company spends more on research and development than most other companies in its industry.

LEGENDARY

February 7, 2004 marked the 200th birthday of John Deere, the man. His one man blacksmith shop in 1836 has spawned one of the most celebrated equipment manufacturing companies in the world.

LEAPING FORWARD

The famous leaping deer logo has gone through several changes over the years. Deere first registered it for use in 1876, it read “John Deere – Moline, Illinois”. Interestingly, the first deer to appear on the logo was an African deer and not the American white tail used today. Over the years the wording changed and the deer was simplified into line art versus the illustration style of the original. Eventually the deer as the only thing on the logo and it simply read, “John Deere”. The clean cut 1968 version was updated in 200 with the deer leaping up and forward rather than down and forward. The famous green and yellow leaping deer logo has become a hip and modern symbol of John Deere’s and Americans’ ingenuity and integrity.

The John Deere Classic, a charitable golf tournament is played on a course built in the Friendship Farm in Illinois. For many years the farm had been one of the top Arabian horse breeding operations in the United States and the property still maintains a natural beauty to this day. In 2003, $1.5 million dollars was donated to more than 400 charities to benefit children, families and handicapped individuals. This is just one of the many reasons that John Deere was named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2002 by Business Ethics magazine.

Copied with permission from: http://plrplr.com/63460/john-deere/


9 Jan

Coaching Celebrities

I have clients that still call me periodically for coaching that used this cell phone years ago. They like knowing that I’m just a call away if they need me. Several of these clients would probably have names that you might recognize, and don’t use a coach on a regular basis, but if the need arises, they know I’m there.

I’ve spent a large part of my career working with and for celebrities. Whether I marketing for them, do PR for them or consult and coaching with the them, I’ve made a part of my career working in that market. As a result, I’ve gotten to know many agents, publicists and Event Planners.

I also coach individuals in business. Right now, it seems that a large bulk of my clients are in new jobs, businesses or about to make a transition. I don’t work by contract, only on an as needed basis. Some of my clients show up every week. Others are clients that are only once a month. I’m flexible because my clients are busy. So am I, and I’m fine with them rescheduling with me a day in advance.

I started coaching this way because the high profile clients that I served couldn’t meet on a regular basis. They were traveling or unavailable at normal business times so I made allowances for them. As my business and experience grew, I found that working with high profile types was going to be different than a traditional client that may be.

I work on a project basis with many of these high profile types. Some of them are high level executives, besides celebrities and I’m there as a personal consultant that they call upon for many different issues. Most of them found me through the communication coaching that I provide and we’ve kept the relationship going through the years. Whenever they call I merely write it down and keep a log. I usually bill once a month. On projects, I’ll estimate a cost for the project and always try to come in under the estimate.

I have clients that will fly in for the day and for that, my fees are a bit higher than on the phone. It’s a concentrated coaching session that can deal with family issues to creating a work out schedule or recreating a brand or speech. We’ve discovered projects to create that they can market and we’ve written the outline of books.

I noticed right up front that celebrities are keenly aware that people try to make a buck off of them so I actually charge them less in some cases. Regardless, overestimating the bill is the way to go, and they always appreciate the financial break. I learned this early on when I had a repeat customer and I sent a bill that she questioned. She didn’t feel that I had put in that much time with her so I told her that I had struggled with the bill myself because the project was so “off and on”. So, I told her to rip up my invoice and to pay me what she thought she should. I got a nice check in the mail that was just a little bit less than I had originally charged and it had a nice note attached. It was definitely the right decision because I’ve continued to coach this person here and there over the last many years.

Coaching high profile types are a great gig if you can get it. But don’t make the mistake of holding to your exact requirements or you might lose a client in the process. The ones that I know appreciate my willingness to be flexible with my schedule and to reschedule if something else comes up. I’m fair with the money and I always try to deliver more than promised.

I love the coaching people who are successful, energetic and ambitious. They never refuse a challenge and they’re always up for new ideas. They appreciate others who are hard working like them.

That is why I keep my cell phone number the same. Being available to these people is the name of the game.

Copied with permission from: http://plrplr.com/63469/coaching-celebrities/


9 Jan

How Do You Know What An Autographed Is Worth

There are several sources to find out how much your collectible or autographed collectible is worth. The internet has open a world at our finger tips, with online auctions to online stores, published price guides that can be purchased at most bookstores offer a ” rough estimate”, mainly it is worth what someone is will to pay for the item. Online Auctions are now a great source of finding out just that.

The key points that influence the value of autographed memorabilia is supply, demand, condition, form, content, subject, rarity. There is a demand for certain celebrity autographs and people willing to buy and sell them. That creates the market, which determines the value which is understood by both buyer and seller. Collecting autographs usually starts with a particular interest in and individual or occupation or interest in a certain subject. It is one of those hobbies that once you dibble in become a passion. Then in time become a very nice investment as those of you who have inherited collections and were surprise to find out that their value was more than you had ever imagined.

Many categories determine the price of a signature from an individual. The following abbreviations are used to help describe the type of letter or document that is being offered for sale.