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How To Reduce Crime In Your Neighborhood

by Dan Groteboer

While we don't like to talk about it - or even think about it - crime is on the increase in North America, and throughout the world. The number of burglars, muggers, auto thieves, robbers, purse snatchers, etc., is growing at an alarming rate. Now you, as a resident, working with neighbors can help reduce the crime rate.

How? By organizing and/or joining a neighborhood program in which you and your neighbors get together to learn how to protect yourselves, your family, your home and your property. Working together, you can get the criminals off your block and out of your area.

There's safety in numbers and power through working with a group. You'll get to know your neighbors better, and working with them you can reduce crime, develop a more united community, provide an avenue of communications between police and citizens, establish on-going crime prevention techniques in your neighborhood, and renew citizen interest in community activity.

"Citizens Safety Projects" are set up to help you do this. It is a joint effort between private citizens and local police. Such programs have been started all over. Maybe one already exists in your community.

These organizations don't require frequent meetings (once a month or so). They don't ask anyone to take personal risks to prevent crime. They leave the responsibility for catching criminals where it belongs - with the police. This is NOT a "vigilante" group.

These groups gather citizens together to learn crime prevention from local authorities. You cooperate with your neighbors to report suspicious activities in the neighborhood, to keep an eye on homes when the resident is away, and to keep everyone in the area mindful of the standard precautions for property and self that should always be taken. Criminals avoid neighborhoods where such groups exist.

Through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, some of the things you will learn - and all free - are:

  1. What to do in an emergency.
  2. How to best identify a suspicious person.
  3. How to identify a vehicle being used in a suspected criminal activity.
  4. Signs to watch out for before entering a house or apartment that may be in the process of being burglarized.
  5. What to do in case of injury.
  6. What to do about suspicious people loitering on your street.
  7. How to identify stolen merchandise.
  8. How to recognize auto theft in progress.
  9. How to protect your house or apartment.
  10. How to recognize a burglary in progress.
  11. How to protect yourself and family - and much more.

    It's easy to get your group started. All you have to do is contact your neighbors and arrange a date, place and time for the first meeting. Hold the meetings at your home or that of a neighbor. Try to plan a time that is convenient to most of your neighbors - preferably in the evening.

    Then call your local police department. They will be happy to give your group informal lectures, free literature - and in many instances, window stickers and ID cards. Remember, police officers can't be everywhere. Your cooperation with them is for the benefit of you, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood.



Demand Strong for Treasury Debt

by Dan Groteboer

With major economic data, large Treasury auctions, and a Fed meeting on the schedule, it was a busy week for mortgage markets. In the end, it was the Treasury auctions which had the greatest impact on mortgage rates. Demand was very strong at the auctions, which pushed mortgage rates lower. Wednesday's Fed announcement and mixed economic data were roughly neutral for mortgage rates.

Much of the rise in interest rates we saw in late May and early June was due to concern about the enormous supply of debt the government needs to issue to pay for all the stimulus programs. The question was whether investors would require significantly higher yields to continue purchasing bonds. Strong demand from both domestic and foreign investors at this week's Treasury auctions eased those concerns for now and helped mortgage rates to reverse some of their recent increases.

As expected, the Fed made no change in the fed funds rate. However, investor expectations varied widely for the Fed's statement, but the statement revealed no significant shifts in policy. In particular, there was no change in the timing or the quantity of future MBS and Treasury purchases. In addition, the statement contained no discussion about exit strategies to eventually unwind Fed stimulus programs. Overall, the Fed simply held the course, and mortgage rates were nearly unchanged after the news.

In the housing sector, May Existing Home Sales rose 2.4%. It was the first time since September 2005 that Existing Home Sales increased for two months in a row. The inventory of unsold homes declined to a 9.6-month supply from a 10.1-month supply in April. A NAR survey revealed that 29% of sales were to first-time homebuyers, helped by the $8,000 tax credit, low mortgage rates, and favorable affordability levels.

Author:  Mortgage Time 


One reason keeping you in "commodity prison"

by Dan Groteboer

I’ve written about the importance of specialization before. If you’re not a specialist, you’re a commodity, which means you’re in a sort of prison. Commodity prison. 


Commodity prison means you can’t charge a premium for your product; you compete with your competitors based on price alone; your business is mainly prospecting driven (or spending your last few dollars on “hopeful,” usually ineffective marketing strategies) instead of attracting customers to you; it’s hard, if not impossible to establish customer loyalty. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Yep, commodity prison sucks. 


One key that will open your commodity prison door and grant you freedom into the land of specialization is purpose. Yes, purpose. I know, it sounds so fluffy, right? What the hell does that mean anyway? 


When you’re “on purpose” professionally it means you are leveraging your unique talents and abilities that you absolutely love and build a business around it. You generate your income from doing what it is you are super passionate about and innately competent with. 


Let’s address something right up front: many people I know and I meet are earning their income doing something they don’t love; in some cases doing something they absolutely detest. This is a road that usually leads directly into commodity prison. How the hell can you expect to stand out when don’t even enjoy your work?


You can’t. Here’s a perfect example of this situation and hopefully some inspiration to move you. A close friend of mine, John Strelecky, is currently an author. A best-selling author in several countries at that. He didn’t start out as an author though.


Several years ago, John lived in Chicago. He was a consultant at one of the big consultancy firms, flying all over the world working with companies, helping to make them more effective. Sounds awesome, right? 


Not for John. For him it was just a job; he wanted to travel the world on his own terms, on his own schedule and be in control of his income. And here’s the thing: John was making good money; but because he wasn’t on purpose, he would never move up the ranks of his behemoth company – he didn’t have the desire to work extra hard or be creative to stand out. You simply cannot access your creative talents when you're not on purpose (and what being on purpose provides for you).


So John decided to do something about it. He and his wife sold everything they owned, and with the proceeds plus his savings, traveled around the world for an entire year. Over the course of that year, John found his passion for writing and inspiring others, and wrote his first book, “The Why Café.” It took him about a year to do it.


He’s since gone on to author 3 more books and live a very healthy financial lifestyle. Most importantly, he’s on purpose. His books have a unique flavor that combine a fable with success principles that resonate with people around the globe. He’s now a specialist, and damn good at what he does. People buy his books and book him for speaking engagements without him having to lift up the phone. Pretty cool.


Purpose is essential to be at peace in your life and it’s an integral part of being a specialist. When you’re on purpose, you have the drive, determination and creativity to be different from your competitors and you find a way to stand out. In fact, because you’re doing what you love, differentiation is the easy part. Sometimes it’s your authentic passion around what you’re doing that creates separation for you.


Not sure if you’re on purpose? A great place to start is to read Dan Sullivan’s book, “Unique Ability.” This is a fast, simple read and when you’re done you’ll learn your innate, unique ability, giving you guidance to your purpose. 


It’s time to get out of your own, personal jail and taste the fresh air of specialization. Your life will be transformed when you do.

Author:  Marc Manieri


Michael Jackson: An Ordinary Man

by Dan Groteboer
So...Michael Jackson died last week. I don’t quite understand why people are so shocked.   It was really just a matter of time. In fact, I am surprised that he lasted as long as he did. He was so tortured inside that there was no other possible outcome. He was completely disconnected from himself in every aspect of his life; so much so that he lost sight of who he was. Certainly, a look in the mirror only served as a reminder of how far he had journeyed from the guy he was on the inside. Did the road he travelled lead to a successful life or was it ultimately the pathway to his death?

Over the weekend I caught glimpes of his story on TV.  I wanted to hear something new, something I hadn't heard before. I flipped from channel to channel until I finally settled on an interview with Stacy Brown, the author of a Michael Jackson biography entitled “The Man Behind the Mask”. He made a connection between Michael Jackson and Jesus, saying that Michael Jackson’s mark on the world could have left as much of an impact as that left by Jesus. Stacy Brown suggested that Michael Jackson could have really helped people make positive transformations in their lives… if only that was the choice he would have made. According to Brown, Michael Jackson was in the position to really have an enormous effect on the people he touched; far beyond just the music he produced. He had the power to help people recover from drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and other destructive behaviour. He had the ability to truly help kids in need, rather than create suspicion about his own intentions where kids were concerned.

He had the attention of millions and he blew it away. 

He was too focused on what other people thought of him, on how he looked, on trying to be perfect in the eyes of the public, and managing his image to really pay attention to the needs of others. The harder he worked on looking big on the outside, the smaller he got inside. He wasn’t all that different from many people I work with in private coaching. They spend so much energy worrying about other people’s opinions that they can hardly access their own. They lose sight of who they are and what is really important to them. I see this all the time through the Frame of Mind Coaching process. It’s really quite an ordinary problem. As extraordinary as he was, Michael Jackson was truly just an ordinary man grappling with ordinary issues. He just never saw himself that way. 

Even though most of us are not as famous as Michael Jackson, we all have the potential to have a positive effect on others. All we have to do is make the choice to do just that and focus on it. After all, what you focus on grows!

Author:  Kim Ades

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4





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