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Thank you for visiting jamesdodge.com. I plan on using this blog to share things going on in both my personal and my business life (and now my school life too!).  You can also find me on various different platforms by clicking any of the buttons to the right. Thanks again for stopping by – we’ll talk to you soon!!


This week, we submitted a paper we have been working on for the past several weeks.  We have been looking for someone to interview that we feel has been successful as an entrepreneur.  As I started this project, I decided to interview a close friend of mine, who has owned his own business for 20 years.

One thing that really stood out to me during this interview, was my friends opportunity to have a mentor, as he started to prepare to own his own business.  This really stood out, as it is a recurring theme that I see in many of the things we are being taught during this business class.

I am coming to realize the importance of mentors in our lives, and this interview has really helped to increase my desire to have more mentors in my life.  It is definitely helpful to have others that have gone down the path you are wanting to go down, to be there to offer help, and guidance.

If we choose to seek these mentors out, and really make an effort to listen to them, we can avoid so many potential problems in our lives.  We can also look for stories of success, and try to emulate them as much as we can.

I have really come to know, over these past few weeks, that having many mentors is something that I should be striving for.  This will help me to be successful, and to learn from those that have been in the places that I want to go.

However Long and Hard the Road

This week, in one of our readings, we got to read a speech by Elder Holland called, “However Long and Hard the Road.”

I’ve posted a link to the video on YouTube, and I think it is worth watching if you have a little time.

In this speech, Elder Holland tells us the importance of enduring and persevering no matter what may be thrown at us.  He tells of the many trials that will come to each of us during this lifetime, and the importance of learning how to overcome them.

This really stood out to me this week, and helped me to realize that trials are going to be a part of each of our lives.  And we must learn how to overcome them.  If we don’t, we will end up holding ourselves back, and not living up to our full potential.

As Elder Holland shared several different stories of trials by those that have come before us, it really helps to put in perspective just how much our ancestors have gone through to get us to the point we are now.  We must not let these people down by giving up as things get hard.  Instead, we must learn to push through, persevere, and overcome the adversity that comes to all of us.

The 7 Habits

This week, we finished up reading a book called Mastery, by George Leonard.  The book was great, and does a great job of telling us what we need to do in our lives to become masters over anything that we wish to be better at.

We also had a few readings to go through, one of which was a summary of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.  Of the 7 habits mentioned in this summary, I think that the first one, being proactive, stands out the most to me.

I feel that this habit is the most important, as it requires us to take it upon ourselves to start being better, and start on a path to become more than we currently are.  If we wait for someone to tell us to do it, or wait for someone to put a plan in our hands, we can sit waiting for years.  It is necessary to be proactive in all that we do.  We must prepare ourselves to move forward, and be ready to react to any situation that may come our way.

As we endeavor to be proactive, I feel that we start on the path of mastery that George talks about in his book.  We must have the willpower necessary to start on this path, and then we must be willing to stay on that path.  Doing so will help us to master anything in our lives that we wish to master.

I know that each of us has unlimited potential to do whatever it is that we want to do.  We must be willing to have the courage to start doing better, and practice at being better each day.  If we do this, we all can overcome any obstacles that may stand in our way.

Dominion Over Yourself

This week, in our business class, we had a lot of reading to do.  The week was a little shorter than normal, but we have a couple things coming up that we need to be planning for.  One, is a book report that’s due next week.  The other, is an interview we need to conduct in the next few weeks and report on.

One of the talks that I watched this week, was titled “Success is Gauged by Self-Mastery” by N. Eldon Tanner.  This talk really stuck with me this week.  In it, President Tanner speaks of mastering ourselves, and the importance of doing so.

This means that we need to be able to work hard, and be disciplined.  It is easy to become complacent, and not do our best in life, but we must overcome this feeling, and work hard each day of our lives.

This needs to be done in all aspects of our lives.  As we work hard, we need to remember to keep ourselves on the straight and narrow path, and not let ourselves deviate from the direction we are heading.  We must set goals, and then follow through with them, and work hard to achieve them.

I really enjoyed watching this talk, and I would recommend watching it, when you have the chance.  I hope to continue to work hard in my life, so that I may be able to accomplish the things I hope to do.

A Hero’s Journey

This week, we watched a video, titled “A Hero’s Journey”.  In it , we learned about the importance of choosing people to surround us that will help us to become better.  We learned that during the journey we are all on, as we strive to be entrepreneurs, it is important to remember that we should not be focused on an endpoint, but rather we should be focused on the journey, and becoming better each day.

I think that is important to remember that we need to surround ourselves with people that will help to mentor us, and to help us stay on the correct path.  If we go these people that we trust, we can start to realize what gifts we have that will then help us to share with others.

At one point during the video, it is suggested that we identify the things we won’t ever do during our lives.  To help us make sure that we don’t cross these lines that we set for ourselves, it is suggested that we fill out a paper, and put in into an envelope.  On the paper, we should write whatever necessary to help us remember why it is that we don’t want to cross a particular line.

During the tough times, when we are tempted to cross a line we know we should not cross, we should pull out the envelope and read the message to ourselves, to help us stay on the right path.

I think the lessons taught in this video are great and definitely something that we should all implement in our lives.

Deconstructing My Fear

This week, we had the opportunity to read about deconstructing our fear experiences.  We went through an exercise that had us list our different fear, list our strategy to help mitigate the risk, and then list how we would rebound if that fear were to manifest itself.

It was a great exercise, and the point was to help us realize that most of our fears probably won’t come true, and if they do, we can have a plan to get through it.  This should offer up some relief for us, and make it so that we don’t have to worry about things that may, or may not, happen.

As we finished this assignment, we were asked to respond to some questions as our journal posting for this week.  The first question asks what the chances are that our worst case scenario will really happen.

I think that, as long as I work diligently, and I seek out the guidance of my Father in Heaven, my worst case scenario will probably not happen.  I’m confident in my abilities, and I have great faith that my Father will help to guide me along the way.

The next question asks what themes might emerge as we list our various fears.  I think the theme that comes up as I populate my list of fears, is one of failure.  Almost all of my fears are based around not succeeding, and not fulfilling what I need to do.  This is where I need to act on faith, and know that I will be successful.

The last question asked, prompts us to think about what the risk is, in taking no action.  What would happen if we let fear take us over and stop us from moving forward.  I think the risk here, is not living up to my full potential.  I know that I can always go from one job to another, and more than likely continue to keep steady work.  But, the risk to me, is not building what my Father has made me capable of building.  I know that if I use my talents, and my resources, I can be very successful.  And I know that this success will lead to greater opportunities to share with those around me.

The lessons learned this week were very valuable to me, and I look forward to implementing them in my every day life.

Honesty and Integrity

This week, we learned about the importance of honesty and integrity in business.  I am grateful for this lesson, because I know the importance of honesty and integrity in our lives each day, and specifically in our business dealings.  I think it is so easy to think “it’s just business” in response to a variety of situations that help to justify something dishonest.  It’s important for us to remember who we are each day, so that we may be a good representative of the church, and of our Savior.

I really enjoyed a talk we read this week, by Elder Lynn G. Robbins.  In this talk, he discussed the importance of making sure that our motives are good in the work place.  He spoke of how it’s not only important to make a living, but that we need to focus on making a good and honest living.

As he continued with his talk, Elder Robbins spoke about the motives that drive people each day.  He showed us several examples of primary motivation and secondary motivation.  He then graded these different scenarios with an “A” being the best, and an “F” being the worst.

I think the grade of “A” is what we all strive for, which would indicate that our primary motivation is love of God and our fellowmen while our secondary motivation would be income.  From there, the primary motivations of people become worse with each drop in grade value.

This really helped me to realize where I am at personally, and where I want to be in the future.  It also helped to look at the company I currently work for, and the grade that I would give to it, using these parameters.  I realized that, not only do I want to be a better person, but I want to work for a much better company.

I’m grateful for the opportunities that are coming into my life, as I know that I will be able to build a company that will have an “A” reputation.  I’m grateful for the teachings this week, as it helps me to focus my attention back to myself, as I try to become a better disciple of Christ.