manufactured housing

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

You’ve probably seen this before. 12 million of you have. It is worth seeing again.

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.

Brian Tracy: If You Could Achieve One Goal in 24 Hours

Self-made millionaires have been studied extensively throughout the years. The good news is that success is not an accident. Success can be learned and it leaves tracks. The great news is that you can follow the tracks of successful people to arrive at your ultimate destination. In this upbeat presentation, Brian shows you: Ways to get off Someday Isle and move your life in the right direction; How to develop a sense of control and sense of coherence in life; 16 qualities or learnable skills that will virtually guarantee your success; The 20-idea “mindstorming” method to find your self-purpose.

What does it take to Change?

Two maxims set the stage for this topic of change:

  • “If it is not broken, don’t fix it.”
  • “To keep doing the same thing in the same way and expect a different result is the very definition of insanity.”

We read and hear about change all the time. In the manufactured housing industry we are told or personally express the need to change and adapt. But what does it mean to change, and what does it take to change and effect change personally, organizationally or in an industry?

First of all, change is constant. We measure time by measuring change:

  • the change of the position of the earth in relation to the sun for the seasons,
  • the earth’s rotation in 24 hours to measure hours and minutes,
  • we grow older minute by minute, day by day…
  • so change is something that simply is constant. Only those in denial, the irrational or the simpleton don’t accept or understand change.

But effecting change, adapting to change, that is a different question! What is that process for change? When should we make changes?

The two quotes at the top point the answer in very clear and direct terms. If what you are doing works, don’t change it. But make sure that it truly is working, you have to be objective. You can’t make excuses. So are you doing better than 1 year, 2 years, 3 years ago? If not, then you need to consider and implement some positive change! If all is well and growing already, then perhaps you should stay your course or consider only those changes that would further enhance your performance.

Let’s presume that all is NOT well. If you business is suffering from ups and downs, and more downs lately than ups, there is a need to change. Period.

The process for change is as simple as acceptance. Be open to the change, and then take the first step…

The moment we accept and are open to a change, we can begin the process of adapting and growing with it.

  • The change may be as simple as how we comb or brush our hair (if we have any…),
  • to how we see our role in our household, work place, industry and society.
  • change may be how we deal with Industry image issues,
  • how we face financing challenges,
  • how we work with public officials or
  • how we relate our co-workers, customers, suppliers or to others.

For some, change comes when a two by four strikes us on the side of the head. Meaning, change comes during a crisis. In fact; for people and organizations, this is often how change occurs, when it is forced upon us.

What causes you pain? What makes you irritable during the day or sleepless at night?

For those who are wise, change comes as a result of analysis, planning and implementation. Change should ideally be a thoughtful process.

Check these articles out. Be open to change, think them through, be ready to do something new when new is needed.

Hire a pro if you need to, read a book or article to ‘do it yourself’ if you can. But do what it takes, don’t become a statistic that wouldn’t change and failed as a result.

Don’t say ‘no’ to some change because it is different, or because ‘you have always done it this other way.’ As an industry and for many companies in it, it is OBVIOUS that change is needed.

If that ‘tried and true’ way is producing a great result for you and your company fine. But the truth is we fall into patterns and habits. We get stuck in our ruts, which Zig Ziglar defined a rut years ago as an ‘open ended grave.’

If what you once did no longer serves the purpose – it no longer moves you ahead – then think: what change do we need to make?

Then reach out to the resources that will help you make that change effectively. You can start with the resources found by the hundreds right here at, you can turn to your state or national association, turn to a colleague or to a trusted friend.

Be open to change. The future, your future, starts one moment from now. When it is time to change? The sooner you begin, the faster you will get to where you need and want to go. # #

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

Publisher, MH Marketing, author and the Masthead blogger at
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management online industry trade journal at: or

Kseniya Simonova’s Amazing Sand Drawing

We all need moments of inspiration. We all have some creative element deep within. Seeing the creativity of others can inspire us, regardless of our profession or theirs.

Kseniya Simonova is an artist who tells a story using sand and music. It is a tale from her native Ukraine, starting before WWII and then it progresses into the war itself. If you wish a copy of the narrative, please email with Ukranian Sand Artist in the subject line, and request the narrative in the body of your message.

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Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of “America’s Got Talent.” She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and “sand painting” skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.

How to Dance in the Rain

It was a busy morning at our clinic, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman
in his 80’s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had another appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an
hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch
and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got
the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of this, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat
breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized
him in almost five years.

I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled as he patted my hand and said,

‘She doesn’t know me… but I still know who she is.’

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, ‘That’s the best kind of love to have in your life.’

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

I hope you share this with someone you care about. I just did.

‘Life is not about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.’

Submitted by Tim Connor

Lessons from Bags of candy for Manufactured Housing

The following is based on a true story.  The study this account describes was done back in the days of overcrowded classrooms.  It describes elementary school age youth, and I was a kid myself when I heard this report. That means it was done “a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”. Here is the story followed by it’s life lesson for manufactured housing professionals.

A classroom of some forty children was given a bag full of candy.  They couldn’t open the candy up until the teacher and the study leader gave them the okay.  With great anticipation, back in the day when a bag full of candy was not so common  and thus quite a treat, the children awaited their instructions.

‘Class, we are going to make each of you a deal.  You have sitting on your desk a bag full of candy.  You can have that candy today if you wish.  Or, if you agree to skip the candy today, and wait until tomorrow at this same time, we will give you two bags full of candy instead of the one sitting in front of you.’ The students were asked if they understood the instructions and the offer.  One bag today, right now, or a second bag full if they waited until tomorrow.

What did they do?

Two of the forty some children went for the one day delay to get the second bag of candy.  Two out of forty, or roughly 5% of the class.  The others went for less, happy to accept what was in front of them rather than get double the result.  Now to a child, tomorrow may seem like a long time off.  But how often do we adults do similarly?

The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.

~ Thomas Merton

A professional friend of mine reminded me this past weekend about a Ross Perot vintage bit of wisdom.  It went something like this, ‘Too many corporations are thinking ten minutes to ten days ahead, instead of planning ten years ahead.’

Back in 1998 manufactured housing sales reached over 372,000 shipments nationally.  In some parts of the country, manufactured housing sales reached 1/3 of all new housing starts.  Things had never been better in decades for the Industry.  Too many businesses took the ten minutes to ten days ahead approach.  Too many failed to look ahead at the consequences of ‘burning a lender’ in one form or another, too many lenders (knowing what was going on) turned a blind eye to common sense, and too many customers were given less than stellar treatment.  We could have owned the future of housing then.  But instead of planning ten years ahead and doubling the manufactured housing business again, too many took the bag of candy sitting in front of them…

Are you ready to double your business?  Get involved in the various calls to action by MHI and MHARR reported on the Industry Voices Guest Blog.  Invest in yourself, your firm’s image, marketing and people daily.  Do what is right today, and every day.  Don’t give yourself an excuse, or wait for someone else to do it for you.  Then you’ll end up having two bags of candy on your desk tomorrow. # #

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management

(Outsourcing, Consulting, Coaching & Publishing) – 847-730-3692, cell 832-689-1729

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