Battle Creek Today

Life in the Cereal City one spoonful at a time

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News as an Author

Hello again!  I have been away for awhile in writing to this blog.  I have been working on expanding my personal publishing business and getting my eBook into print in the last few months.  I am happy to let everyone know that A Sample of some of Michael's booksas a Battle Creek resident and author I now have six of my books available in print, and two more to be released before Thanksgiving!

My website: is where I have all my current print books listed at this time, but they are also available through Amazon and other retailers.  To check out my author page on Amazon, go to: Delaware

I have also established a Goodreads page as well, which is here:

Finally, you can take time to ‘Like’ my Facebook page at:

As you can see I have been very busy on other projects in the last few months, but I will be posting more local articles again soon about the Battle Creek Community here.

Going Home… Renting to Home Ownership in 10 Easy Steps

Tired of Renting? Read this new eBook!

I recently released my newest book on Kindle entitled: ‘Going Home…Renting to Home Ownership in 10 Easy Steps‘.  It is a book I originally wrote in 2007, and never published.  It became a project that I set aside and moved onto other things.  Recently I pulled out the manuscript and updated it, and have not made it available.  It was originally a project sparked by the idea to help make the process of moving someone from renting to home ownership after seeing so many people who were struggling with this.

Going Home... Renting to Home Ownership in 10 Easy StepsGoing Home... Renting to Home Ownership in 10 Easy StepsI wrote the book to help address the common problems new home buyers face who have only previously rented.  One of the large barriers that is addressed in the book is overcoming credit problems.  With the declining economy in recent years, there are many people who are trying to get a fresh start after a rocky credit history.  This portion of the book will help them address those problems, although their steps may be longer.

Going Home…Renting to Home Ownership in 10 Easy Steps‘ also covers how to choose professional to work with, including Realtors and lenders.  It also goes into how best to approach looking at homes for the first time, and how to narrow your search to arrive at the right home for you, factoring in all your needs, as well as any requirements from your loan.

I have also covered in Going Home…Renting to Home Ownership in 10 Easy Stepswhat are some things one can expect at closing, and even once one moves into a home for the first time.  The book is intended to make it easier for people renting to achieve their goals to become home owners if they have that as their goal.  It also offers a comparison between some of the differences between renting and owning, as well as an examination of the financial perspective to consider.

The Art of Sales Management: Lessons Learned on the Fly = Free eBook Promotion!

Earlier this month I released my third eBook entitled: The Art of Sales Management: Lessons Learned on the Fly.  It covers four decades of experiences as a sales manager. I am making it available for free from today (February 23rd) through Monday (February 25th) 2013.  You can click on the image of the book or any image in this article to be taken to Amazon to download you copy today.

Cover concept FinalAThe ‘The Art of Sales Management’ is about the art of being a successful sales manager, and guiding the most talented people in an economy. The Art of Sales Management lessons imparted in this book consist of lessons learned over four decades in the field of salesmanship and sales management by the author.

The book is designed to be both a philosophical and practical text on the subject. Sales Management refers to the managing of a team of salespeople, and building them into a ‘team’ rather than having them merely function as a ‘group’. Teams work together as a cohesive unit, and ‘groups’ tend to be a collection of individuals working independently, often going in different directions. This book seeks to engage the sales manager in the excitement of building any group of salespeople into a cohesive unit or team; brand new or long established.

A selection of the important information covered in this book is:Game 1 small

• How to conduct successful sales meetings, and get results.
• How to train new salespeople.
• How to train a group and make them into a team.
• How to build a seasoned core of salespeople.
• How to make the entire sales activity into a game played by a team.
• How to resolve conflicts and commission disputes.
• How a manager should function with salespeople individually vs groups.
• Fifty Golden sales management lessons learned over four decades.
• Lessons from the Art of War by Sun Tzu for a sales manager to use.
• How to develop and follow a long range plan and unexpected changes.
• Creating organizational systems and efficiency in a sales office.
• What are good bonus systems, and which ones should be avoided?
• How to guide the group with a common purpose, and leadership.
• How to get a sales team into a magical rhythm of consistent production.

This book was written to be a lighthearted look at some of the daily lessons a sales manager learns, and at the same time offer insight into how to break a salesperson out of their personal comfort zone, and reach new personal heights of success.

The book is also interwoven with comparisons to the activity of sports, as well as the lessons learned about the warmth and spiritual nature of life itself when working to bring out the talents in those you lead. Here is a brief excerpt from the introduction of this book which best describes the magic within its pages.

boy ball small“I call these lessons ‘learned on the fly’ because the knowledge gained from the experiences connected with them were very much akin to the spirit of the outfielder in baseball running backward at full speed, looking towards the heavens, trying to not lose sight of the ball or fail to notice the sensation of gravel from the warning track under his feet as he knowingly approaches a solid wall.

His focused intention guides him into trying to make the catch to save the game for his team, his city and the harmony of his own moment. Decisions in these situations are made in an instant. One weighs the purpose of the game, the success of the catch and one’s own safety of survival in a fleeting moment, and in all hopes one lives to tell about it in the glow of great success.

Similar factors are in play when one is in the heat of managing others, factoring all the elements, and trying to not lose sight of the greater good, when making hard decisions for the company, the other players, the individual playsjpg_vector-baseball in the game and you. Such is the art of sales management.”

Finally, this book is not only about sales management, it is about leadership, teamwork and making each experience in life into a ‘moment’, and learning the lessons from those experiences and moments and thus becoming even better at what you do. It is about creating and experiencing the game of sales as it was meant to be played.

The Beauty of a Gambrel Roof Design

One of my most favorite roof designs is the Gambrel roof.  It typically refers to a sloped roof with two angles, very common in barns.  The word derives from the Medieval Latin word Gamba which literally means ‘Horses Hock’ or ‘Horses Leg’.  One can see this double angle influence in the roof slope.

Gambrel roof design with a porch.

Gambrel roof design with a porch.

When you research this design, it was first introduced to the Europeans when they first encountered the deign in Indonesia.   the double sloped design often had a window at the end to allow the smoke from cooking fires to more easily escape the house.  The design was brought to America through the colonialists, and it has become a popular traditional design all over the U.S.

The type of roof allows for the upper floors to remain roomy, including the attic, as well as allow water to flow off the roof.  Many variations of the Gambrel roof have been designed over the year, including this one pictured here in Nashville, Michigan which has the addition of a additional smaller roof edge to repel rain water and snow.

To me the design is classic, and can conjure  up so many memories of WWII era movies and other periods.  The rood design is also commonly associated with barns, as it allows the added space in the loft for hay.  It is perhaps the  roomiest style of design in two story home designs.  There are many of these style homes throughout Battle Creek, Michigan.  It is part of Americana.

Gambrel roof designs help to maximize space in the upper attic or floors.

Gambrel roof designs help to maximize space in the upper attic or floors.