Tom O'Connor Group

Economic and management consulting firm

Positive Ideas

This “Positive Ideas” news letter goes out once a week or so to about 750 friends and colleagues around the USA and in various locations overseas.

Tom O’Connor

The Tom O’Connor Group, LLC

Economic and Management Consultants

   A Veteran-Owned Company

571 332 2349

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Today I will do what others won’t,

so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.

~Jerry Rice

Action without study is fatal. Study without action is futile.

~Mary Ritter Beard

To be happy doesn’t require a certain set of circumstances,

it only requires a certain set of attitudes.

~Hugh Downs    …with a few edits

We can let circumstances rule us,

or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.

~Earl Nightingale



By Cherri Walston

The biggest obstacle to success for some people is the fear of failing. Failure is only a negative event when you allow it to become an obstacle to your success.

One year ago, I grasped the concept of failure when I decided to explore a new and different approach in my business. My first attempt bombed! The second attempt was slightly better, but I still don’t get the results I was hoping for. These attempts along with constant tweaks in the process showed me a new way of looking at failing that I’d never recognized in my past failures.

Here’s what I discovered in the process: Failing was a natural process for me to collect data and knowledge; so I could try it again. The quality and quantity of that data and knowledge was tied to my success. The faster I was willing to accumulate the data/knowledge, the quicker I could weed out dead ends and create the results I was looking for. The fastest way for me to increase my success cycle was to eliminate the fear by assessing my mistakes and implement a brand new action.

Don’t be afraid to try new things in your personal and professional life. The more you fail, the faster you learn and grow. The word (failure) conjures up negative energy, concepts and images for some people. Let’s say you tried something and the results weren’t favorable. Instead of giving up, use this opportunity to evaluate the experience. This is the time to step back and observe, tweak, plan and take action again. And it’s the easiest way to at look fear straight in the eyes; that’s what it takes to increase your success rate.

We also have to be aware of how our ego might be getting in the way of fear of failure. Is your fear of failure tied to your status, finances or position? And, are you more concerned with what others might think?

Life itself is failure-based. We wouldn’t be where we are and who we are if it wasn’t for our own experiences and mistakes.

So, fail forward. It’s a quick way to shortening your success cycle.


Cherri Walston is recognized for empowering women to live their vision and is the founder of My Big Picture Coach. She is known as The Big Picture Catalyst who is dedicated to helping women solo-entrepreneurs, small-business owners seize the most time in their day so they can generate more clients, make more money and have fun doing what they love – helping other people. She is also an author, inspirational speaker, facilitator and training. Her website is:


Action is the foundation, the key to all success.

~Pablo Picasso    …with a few edits


Read The Declaration

July 4, 2012 by Bob Livingston   …with a few edits

It has been 236 years since 56 brave men signed their names to the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming that the 13 original American Colonies were no longer willing to live under tyrannical British rule.

Those men, among them some of the most notable names in American history, risked their own safety and that of their families by signing the document; they were still in the earliest stages of a war against an enemy that outgunned them and was better trained. By signing their names to the very spirit of Patriotism, the men risked being hanged in the event of defeat.

But they were not alone. Thousands of the signers’ fellow countrymen had already taken up arms against the British in the name of American Independence. Seven bloody years after the signing of the Declaration and eight bloody years after the initial shots at Lexington and Concord, a new, free, republican Nation was born.

Those 56 who risked their lives by signing their names to a document that declared in no uncertain terms that they meant to create a better place where freedom reigned supreme might have trouble recognizing their Nation today. Given the state of political discourse and the tendency for bureaucracy to destroy freedom in order to increase centralized power, the Federal government has effectively come to represent much of what those men disdained in the Declaration.

Take the time to read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety. For a thorough historical background and to better understand the Declaration’s signers, read They Signed for Us which was written by Merle Sinclair and Annabel Douglas McArthur and first published in 1957. If you have a little more time, visit to request a free copy of the Declaration and the Constitution and add your name to the list of Americans who read the founding documents over the holiday. To top it all off, write a letter to your Senators and Representatives to let them know that you agree with the principles your Nation was founded upon, and request that they legislate accordingly.

The start is what stops most people.

~Don Shula     Former NFL Coach


Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure…than to rank with poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they choose to live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt  ….with a few edits


 Defeat is temporary, giving up makes it permanent.”

– Marilyn Von Savant   …with a few edits


Sustained effort – not strength or intelligence –

is the key to realizing  our potential.

~Sir Winston Churchill   …with a few edits


If you believe in yourself and have courage, determination,

dedication, and competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice for things that are worthwhile,

anything  can be done.

– Vince Lombardi   …with a few edits


Thanks for the good you are doing today

and the prayers you are saying today,

Particularly the prayers for those

Going in harm’s way on your behalf.

Move forward …resolute and confident

Tom O’Connor

Tom OConnor

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