Why Weigh, Count and Measure? By: Jim Rohn

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Three key words to remember: weigh, count and measure. But why? To see what your results are from your activity, your attitude and your philosophy. If you find that the results are not to your liking, there are only three places to look. Your philosophy needs to be fine-tuned, your attitude needs to be strengthened or your disciplines need extra skill. Activity, attitude and philosophy create results.

Now on results I teach that life expects you to make measurable progress in reasonable time. But you must be reasonable with time. You can't say to someone every five minutes, “How are you doing now?” That's too soon to ask for a count. Guy says, "I haven't left the building yet, give me a break!" Now you can't wait five years—that's too long. Too many things can go wrong waiting too long to see how you're doing.


Here are some good time frames:

1. At the end of the day. You can't let more than a day go by without looking at some things and making progress. Old Testament says that if you are angry, you should try to solve it before the sun goes down. Don't carry anger for another day. It may be too heavy to carry. If you try to carry it for a week, it may drop you to your knees. So some things you must get done in a day.

2. A week. We ask for an accounting of the week so we can issue the pay. And whatever you've got coming, that's what you get—when the week is over. Now in business, there are two things to check in the course of the week: your activity count and your productivity count. Because activity leads to productivity, we need to count both to see how we're doing.

My mentor taught me that success is a numbers game, and very early he started asking me my numbers. He asked, “How many books have you read in the last 90 days?” I said, “Zero.” He said, “Not a good number. How many classes have you attended in the last six months to improve your skills?” And I said, “Zero." He said, "Not a good number. In the last six years that you've been working, how much money have you saved and invested?” I said, “Zero,” and he said, “Not a good number.”

Then here's what he said: “Mr. Rohn, if these numbers don't change, your life won't change. But if you'll start improving these numbers, then perhaps you'll start to see everything change for you.”

It's the numbers that count—making measurable progress in reasonable time. The best accounting is the accounting you make of yourself. Don't wait for the government to do it; don't wait for the company to do it. You've got to add up some of your own numbers and ask, “Am I making the progress I want, and will it take me where I want to go now and in the future?” You be the judge!






18 Percent of Arizona Homes Still Seriously Underwater

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Eighteen percent of Arizona homes are seriously underwater in value giving the state the ninth worst rate in the U.S., according to new numbers from RealtyTrac. That's an improvement from the depths of the recession but still worse than 41 U.S. states.


The real estate research firm 's third quarter numbers show Nevada has the worst underwater rate with 31 percent home valued far less than outstanding mortgages. Florida is next with 28 percent of homes underwater followed by Illinois (26 percent) and Michigan (25 percent), according to RealtyTrac. Arizona is tied for ninth worst in the U.S. with Connecticut. The national average is 15 percent. When it comes to local markets, Las Vegas has the highest underwater water rate at 34 percent, tied with Lakeland, Florida.


Phoenix is not among the worst local markets for underwater home values. The rest of the worst top 10 includes several Florida cities, Detroit, Cleveland and New Haven, Connecticut. The local Phoenix housing market has regained some values and foreclosures have slowed considerably. But sales, housing starts and prices also have slowed significantly this year, according to RL Brown Housing Reports and other housing analysts.


At the other end of the market, states such as Hawaii, Vermont, New York and markets like San Jose, Southern California and Honolulu gained the most equity in the third quarter, according to RealtyTrac.


GSEs Close to Reaching Agreement to Minimize Repurchase Risk

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) are reportedly close to reaching an agreement to make sure lenders can be assured they're not at risk of repurchase requests, a move that supporters hope will help jumpstart flagging mortgage activity.


Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Wall Street Journalreported Friday that the two GSEs and their conservator are nearing an agreement with lenders that would set clearer definitions of when a loan is considered to be in breach of GSE selling requirements. The agreement could be announced as soon as next week, according to the publication.


A spokesperson for Freddie Mac did not immediately return messages seeking comments or confirmation. Both Fannie Mae and FHFA declined to comment. Companies have been reluctant to grant loans to borrowers in the past few years as banks have been forced to buy back billions’ in mortgages that the agencies said violated their agreements.


Though FHFA has taken steps to help allay those fears with new rules, lenders have remained confused on the agency's definition of fraud. The agreement would clarify what mistakes constitute fraud, the Wall Street Journal reported. In a separate agreement the GSEs and FHFA are also reportedly considering programs that could reopen the door to guarantee some mortgages with down payments as low as 3 percent, including loans to first-time homebuyers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fannie Mae stopped taking such loans last year, while Freddie Mac stopped guaranteeing them years ago.


If completed, the agreement would mark a departure for FHFA, which focused largely on diminishing the GSEs' presence in the mortgage market under the leadership of former Acting Director Edward DeMarco. With Director Mel Watt now in place, the agency seems more bent on expanding credit access to American borrowers who have been unable to purchase a home under today's tight credit conditions.


Foreclosures Rise in Q3 Despite Falling to Eight-Year Low in September

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Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, inched upward nationwide in Q3 despite dropping to their lowest level in eight years in September, according to RealtyTrac's Q3 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released on Thursday.


A total of 317,171 residential properties in the U.S. reported foreclosure filings in Q3, which is a decline of 16 percent from the same quarter in 2013 but an increase of 0.42 percent from Q2. It was the first quarter-over-quarter increase reported since the third quarter of 2011. RealtyTrac cited a 2 percent increase in default notices and a 7 percent jump in scheduled foreclosure auctions as the reasons for the quarterly increase in foreclosure filings. The number of bank repossessions (REOs) declined by 12 percent from Q2 to Q3.


The number of foreclosure filings in September (106,866) was down 9 percent from August and down 19 percent from September 2013. September was the 48th consecutive month in which foreclosure filings declined on a year-over-year basis. With the recent decline, foreclosure filings nationwide are at their lowest level since July 2006, a total of 98 months. "September foreclosure activity was back to pre-housing bubble levels nationwide, in large part thanks to a continued slide in bank repossessions," said Daren Blomquist. "However, a recent rise in scheduled foreclosure auctions in many markets across the country shows lenders are continuing to clean house of lingering delinquent loans. This rise in scheduled auctions foreshadows a corresponding rise in bank repossessions and auction sales to third party buyers in the coming months."


The five states with the highest foreclosure rate were Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, and Illinois. The five metropolitan statistical areas with the highest foreclosure rates were Orlando, Florida; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Macon, Georgia; Ocala, Florida; and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida.

Meanwhile, the foreclosure process is taking longer nationwide. In Q3 of 2014, properties were in the foreclosure process for an average of 615 days, an increase of 7 percent from Q2 and 13 percent from Q3 2013. It is the longest average time for the foreclosure process since RealtyTrac began tracking the data in 2007. New Jersey had the longest average foreclosure time of any state at 1,064 days.


The number of default notices nationwide in Q3 increased by 2 percent from the previous quarter but declined by 11 percent from the same quarter a year ago. It was the ninth straight quarter in which default notices declined year-over-year nationwide. Ten states saw a year-over-year increase in default notices in Q3, led by Indiana (up 59 percent), Oklahoma (up 49 percent), Massachusetts (up 38 percent), New Jersey (up 19 percent), and Iowa (up 12 percent).


Scheduled foreclosure auctions in the U.S. totaled 139,721 for Q3, up 7 percent from Q2 but down by 1 percent from Q3 2013, marking the 15th straight quarter in which foreclosure auctions declined year-over-year. The number of scheduled foreclosure auctions rose on a year-over-year basis in 22 states, led by North Carolina and Oregon with an 85 percent increase each, New Jersey (66 percent), Oklahoma (58 percent), and New York (57 percent). Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased in 32 states quarter-over-quarter, led by Michigan with a 34 percent hike, followed by Maryland (up 30 percent) and California, Texas, and Arizona with a 25 percent increase each.



REO activity is down nationwide; in the third quarter, lenders repossessed 74,271 residential properties in the U.S. in Q3, representing a decline of 12 percent from Q2 and a drop of 38 percent from Q3 2013. It was the 16th consecutive quarter in which REO activity declined year-over-year. Still, REO activity increased in Q3 from the same period a year ago in seven states, led by Maine (up 24 percent), Maryland (up 19 percent), Oregon (up 13 percent), Georgia (up 11 percent) and New Jersey (up 5 percent).

23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie Stores Set To Close

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Bi-Lo Holdings will be closing 23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie stores due to poor performance. These locations, most of which will be shuttered on or before Nov. 19, represent less than 3 percent of the total store base. “With much of our attention during the last two years placed on merging 207 Bi-Lo and 480 Winn-Dixie stores, and integrating 163 acquired Delhaize America stores.


On Friday, Oct. 3, “We notified associates and local community leaders of 23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie grocery stores that we have made the difficult decision to close those stores due to underperformance,” she said. “While closing underperforming stores is never easy for any retailer, we look forward to opening more than 25 new and remodeled stores during the remainder of the fourth quarter of 2014.”

The store closures are spread out across six of the eight states in which Bi-Lo Holdings operates: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina.


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