By Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services Inc.
Editor's Note: It is with mixed emotions that we, at The Green Sheet, acknowledge it is time to bid farewell to Jason Felts as the author of Street Smarts. Twice each month for the past year he has written accessible, informative, inspiring articles that share the wisdom he has gained in his highly successful bankcard career.
Jason's deep caring for his colleagues and clients is palpable, and we are certain his articles, archived online, will aid the feet on the street for years to come. We hope Jason will continue to contribute his insights and views to the publication whenever he can find the time.
We have tapped two up-and-comers, Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang of 888QuikRate.com, for the 2009 - 2010 Street Smarts series. Focused, decisive and soaring in their chosen profession, they are eager to share what has worked for them so far and what they are learning as they continue to grow their relatively new business in the coming year. Their dedication and commitment is bound to help all of us find the rewards our industry has to offer during these challenging times.
You'll get to know Jon and Vanessa better beginning with our April 13, 2009, issue (09:04:01). In the meantime, please enjoy Jason's final Street Smarts article. And many thanks, Jason, for pulling through superbly deadline after deadline.
Sprinkled throughout my 24 Street Smarts articles are suggestions that you write down your goals, identify your purpose and embrace your dreams. I'm returning to this theme to reinforce and build upon this essential aspect of creating the life you desire. What are you striving toward? Why do you want to accomplish that dream? And how, specifically, will you make it happen?
Once you've identified this roadmap for your life, attack your dreams and goals with passion. Hold your chin high, remain steadfast and continually advance toward whatever your individual desires might be. The climb can seem strenuous, challenging and sometimes even impossible. Perseverance and determination are the fuels that will take you to the top.
To bring about desired results, the formula looks like this:
Many great achievements were accomplished by tired and discouraged men and women who kept on working despite themselves. You must be persistent in your discipline and habits; relentless in the face of adversity, hardship and challenge; and determined to achieve your dreams no matter what.
If you want to reach a goal, you must "see the reaching" in your own mind before you actually arrive at your destination and achieve your goal.
Identify your dreams and then never, never, never quit. Vince Lombardi said, "A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
I'm often amazed by how quickly people give up on their dreams and settle for mediocrity. Sure, there will be many times you will want to quit working toward your goals and go back to doing something easier. But the one quality that will guarantee your success is the willingness to stick with it, to see it through to the end - to refuse to settle for anything less than the realization of your dream.
Adversity and discouragement are inevitable. No matter how well you plan and how well you execute your plan, you are bound to meet disappointments and failure along the way to your ultimate triumph. Sometimes you'll encounter what seem like overwhelming odds. And sometimes, the universe will test your commitment to the goal you're pursuing.
I've had many trials along the way, some private battles and others more public. Don't ever assume "it could never happen to me" because, not only can it happen, you can rest assured that something unexpected will indeed happen. Life is funny about providing all of us with a roller coaster ride.
Sometimes you are climbing and even cresting the top; other times you feel like you are free falling; often you just need to hang on during the twists and turns. The good news is that you can handle whatever portion of the ride you are on if you remain steadfast and determined to reach your destination.
Sometimes adversity is exactly what you must face to become successful. The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will happen in your favor. No matter how hard it seems, the longer you persist, the more likely success in your life will be.
The going may be hard, and may require that you learn new lessons, develop new techniques, create new methods and make difficult decisions. But adversity is a great teacher. It gives you the opportunity to develop inner resources of character and courage.
It tests you and makes you stronger. Remember, the diamond only becomes a stunning gem after enduring enormous pressure. More than 4,000 years ago the Chinese philosopher Confucius wrote, "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
Whenever you confront an obstacle or run into a roadblock, stop and brainstorm three ways to get around it, over it or through it. And for every potential obstacle, come up with three different strategies for handling it. Any number of ways will work, but you will only find them if you look for them. Always be solution-oriented. Persevere until you find a way that works. You must be determined to achieve your dreams - no matter what. Refuse to settle for anything less than your dream.
Millions of unknown people throughout the ages have retreated after facing the "brick walls" life placed in their paths. But history records and celebrates those who refuse to take ownership of the word impossible, finding a way, as painstaking as it may be, to break through or navigate over or around their "brick walls."
Do you have what it takes to rise above the sea of mediocrity, taking control of your own destiny?
When it comes to meeting and conquering negativity in your life, what can you do, starting today, that will make a difference? What can you do during economic chaos? What can you do when everything has gone wrong? What can you do when you've run out of money, when you don't feel well and it's all gone sour? What can you do?
Let me give you the broad answer first. You can do the most remarkable things no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances. People have the ability to succeed in the face of enormous adversity. Are you willing to do what it takes?
Humans are remarkable. We are unique. When a dog starts with weeds and mud, it winds up with weeds and mud. Why? Because it's a dog. But that's not true with human beings. We can turn weeds and mud into plentiful and productive gardens.
We can turn absolutely nothing into something, pennies into fortunes, indeed, even disaster into success. Try reaching down inside of yourself; you'll come up with some more of those remarkable gifts. They're there, waiting to be discovered and employed.
With your natural gifts, you can change anything you wish to change. I challenge you to replace considerations of retreat with creativity. If you don't like how something is going, change it.
If something isn't enough, change it. If something doesn't suit you, change it. If something doesn't please you, change it. You don't ever have to be the same after today.
If there is one thing to get excited about, it's your ability to make yourself do the necessary things to get a desired result, to turn a negative into success. That's true excitement. How dramatically you can change your results is largely a function of your imagination.
Can a poor person become wealthy? Of course. The unique combination of desire, planning, effort and perseverance will always work its magic. The question is not whether the formula for success will work, but rather whether the person will work the formula. That is the unknown variable. That is the challenge that confronts us all.
With some sadness, I must say the time has come for me to say good-bye to Street Smarts. My commitment was for one year, and this is the final article before I pass the torch to the next author, actually authors. Let me leave you with a few final thoughts.
We can all go from wherever we are to wherever we want to be. No dream is impossible provided we first have the courage to believe in it. Expect the best. Be prepared for the worst. Capitalize on what comes. Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.
It's been delightful to serve you. Hasta la vista!
Jason A. Felts is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida-based Advanced Merchant Services Inc., a registered ISO/MSP with HSBC Bank. From its onset, AMS has placed top priority on supporting and servicing its sales partners. The company launched ISOPro Motion, its private-label training program, to provide state-of-the-art sales tools and actively promote the success and long-term development of its partners. For more information, visit www.amspartner.com, call 888-355-VISA (8472), ext. 211, or e-mail Felts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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