Finish Strong in 2018!

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I am going for 100! How about you?

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When was the last time you thought about how long you want to live? My goal is to make it to 100…but not just make it to 100. I want to feel good, mentally sharp and still playing and enjoying golf. How great would it be to have more time if you are blessed to have kids, grand kids and great grand kids.

The real question is not life span but I think it is health span or vitality span. If you are not on track right now and you know you need to get it together – WATCH THIS VIDEO now!

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Get Disgusted – Confronting Brutal Facts

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One of my hero’s and mentors Jim Rohn used to say that: “Disgust and resolve are two of the great emotions that lead to change.” I worked for Jantzen Sportswear as my first job out of college. I loved it. I had been promoted twice in four years and then suddenly fired after the 2nd time the company had been purchased and they cut the sales force in half.
I moved down to San Diego in a relationship I thought would last but soon broke up. I was discouraged and needed money. I took a job selling earthquake bracing for mobile homes. After  about 6 weeks I was crawling under a stinky mobile home in Escondido, CA and had a moment of clarity.
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Avoid Your biggest risk of SUDDEN DEATH

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I had another friend die this week of a sudden heart attack out of the blue. The #1 cause of death in America is heart disease and 42% of the time the first symptom is SUDDEN DEATH. The person never makes it to the ER. If you are on that track you need to take action NOW. You are your #1 Asset – the best gift you can give others is by taking great care of YOU!
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11 Ways to Have the Best Summer Ever

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Aruba with my family 2004

You will never get this summer back! I am not sure how old you are, but imagine you live until 80. Do the math. How many do you have left? If you have young children, there are only so many summers before they get so independent you hardly see them.

I have great memories as a kid of the basketball camps I attended, times at my aunt’s lake place, golf with my dad, lawn dart championships in the back yard (yes they did exist, now banned), floating the Little Spokane River in tubes, family picnics with my mom’s fried chicken, and the road trips in the family station wagon to cool places in the Northwest.

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When do you know you will be successful?

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Chip at Pure Romance

When do you know you will be successful? It really depends on how you are wired internally. Some will need to do something many times before they feel they competent. Others will get that feeling much quicker – in a moment. Remember when you got promoted to a new position or took on a new challenge in the past? Typically there is some fear or doubt for awhile as you struggled to find your way. You can question your ability to succeed. Doubt breeds fear and poor performance.

 

Then one day something special happens. It could have been a difficult sale you finalized or a project you completed and your boss gave you special praise. It could have been you see your success in advance so clearly you know it will happen. One moment can change everything!

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Breaking Through the Boring Convention

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What was the highlight from the last convention you attended? Can you remember the last one? What about five years ago….ten years ago? It is rare that you can. Would you say there were too many sessions you don’t remember, too many Powerpoint slides and not enough unique experiences that really stuck and got you involved?

I can promise you that when I get the opportunity to do my Breakthrough – Breaking Barriers Experience, it is remembered five, ten or every twenty years later! I just finished my new video about the program with the help of the team at Primeau Productions. I really think it turned out terrific and wanted to share it with you and ask a favor.

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Building Commitment at Conventions and in the Office

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How effective is your team making and living their commitments? Having a culture where people hold themselves and others accountable is essential. I came across a simple yet powerful idea this week that will build commitment and accountability at your next convention and in the office.

I was chosen to customize my Get Switched On program for a large pharma company this week in NJ. They are working to have their managers drive empowerment to their front line teams.  I saw an interesting idea I had seen before. So often at the end of events or conventions there is not a clear call to action. Have a Wall of Commitment created like the one in the picture. Commitment cards are printed for everyone (quality card stock, 3×5/4×6, company logo, room for My Commitment and Why). Talk about this during the event so people can begin thinking about what they will write. Also have them choose an accountability partner to stay in contact with.

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A letter to my 18 year old son

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My oldest son just turned 18 years old. A milestone that I wanted him to remember and I struggled with what I could give him that would make a lasting impact. I decided to write him a letter with the goal being it could be a compass he can return to over the years to set his course in life. Here is the letter. Perhaps you can get some ideas for writing a letter to your kids in the future. I shared this letter because I got the idea from someone else who had shared their letter.

Happy 18th Birthday Davis,

Today is a day you will long remember. Today you become a man. At least you are the legal age of maturity according to our culture. But it’s true. You can vote. You can drive. You can enter into a contract. You can fight and die for our country. Voting, driving, signing and fighting don’t make you a man. Being a man is about more.

I believe you were born for greatness. You were born to make a difference. Inside you are the seeds of greatness. Being a man means digging deep, finding those seeds, believing they exist, being able to delay gratification, being patient, thinking long term and watering and tending to them diligently. You must also be willing to take a close look and pull out the weeds that can ruin everything. I tell you this because I know you and what is possible for you. Our family has a long history of success and you will continue that legacy.

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What is UP with your USP? Are you standing out?

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I could not take my eyes off of it! The sparkle was truly exceptional and it made me think. It had been awhile since I gotten my wife a “just because” gift of any magnitude. Luckily I was in the right place! I was chosen by Hearts On Fire diamonds to open their convention in Las Vegas last week. We did an exceptional interactive experience for all 550 – my Breaking Barriers – Board Break Experience. It is one of the few interactive team-building programs for a group that large and they loved it! Here is a picture of everyone.

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What Will You Remember in Your Rocking Chair?

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How many really close friends do you have? You might think about that one day in your rocking chair. Sometimes I envy the people who still live in the hometown they grew up in and they have those long term relationships they have maintained in person. I have been gone from Spokane, to Eugene, to Minneapolis, back to Spokane, to Salt Lake City, to San Diego when I joined Tony Robbins…then almost 6 years traveling to most major cities in the US for two months at a time, to Australia, to the UK, back to San Diego, then Atlanta and now we have settled in Knoxville for the past 16 years.

Wow, I have never written that down before. Needless to say I have friends all over the place but because of the distance between me and them I do not get to see them that often. I have two friends that live in Connecticut. We have gotten together just a few times for a meal and golf the last 30 years. Both are fraternity brothers from my Chi Psi house at the University of Oregon and we were very close. But as often happens, life gets in the way of getting together.

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Sales Motivation

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It tends to happen this time every year – a lack of sales motivation. For many of us, summer seems to be winding down because their kids, like ours in Tennessee are starting school NEXT week. Yikes that came quickly. For others whose kids go back in September you are saying what? Your kids go back in early August!

I don’t know about you but my business tends to run in cycles. The cycle of doing many events and the cycle of when the bookings for that new business comes in. That gap can be difficult to deal with even for me. Sometimes the gap is impacted by the “summer swoon” of people being on vacation and seemingly deferring decisions until “later”. Sometimes it can be the circumstances of the economy like 9-11 or the GFC (Global Financial Crises) of 2008.

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Buffalo, yes that Buffalo!

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When was the last time you had your preconceived notations about a place blown out of the water? I was hired by Ingram Micro to speak to their Apple Distributors in Buffalo, NY.  Yes that Buffalo! I had been to Buffalo before, but it was a 18 months ago in February with Davis when his travel hockey team qualified for the National Championships. It was freezing when we visited Niagara Falls.

I have always taken our kids over the years a few times a year and this time our youngest Lucas came with me. We arrived on Thursday afternoon and returned home Sunday night. Buffalo can get a bad rap and my experience from the 1000 events and hundreds of cites I have visited is that every city has something unique to offer.

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How many do you have left?

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Summer’s here, I’m for that. Got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat. Got my cold beer, I’m just glad that it’s here.” That is the opening line to a classic James Taylor song. You can listen to it here. If you’re not in a ‘summer mood’ yet,  you will be after listening to that. Virtually everyone I know seems busier than ever. Stress levels are high and summer has arrived just in time….and it will go by quickly.

I want to you challenge yourself to make this summer exceptional.

A good place to start is to sit down and brainstorm by yourself or with your family what will make it exceptional? When was the last time you did a simple search for fun things to do within a few 100 miles of where you live? You don’t have to take a long or expensive trip to have fun. TripAdvisor is an excellent resource to find ideas.

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Big Ass Fans and Big Ass Goals

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Big Ass Fans! You have got to admit that is a memorable name. I was just in Lexington, KY and had the opportunity to tour their offices and product development area with a client of mine in the building industry who is one of their customers. They used to be called HVLS as in High Volume, Low Speed, not too catchy. They changed after their customers kept calling and asking if they were the ones who made, “those big ass fans. They make them up to 24 feet wide and have some big ass goals to go along with their fans.

It was so rewarding and validating to see a company who had put in to practice so many of the strategies I have recommended over the years with such great success. Their culture is not for everyone and that is maybe why it works so well. It attracts winners with a growth mindset who have the attitude that once hired, they will effectively “run their own business” within the company. Founder Carey Smith wants to build a company to last. Literally the plan is to become a 200-year company that always acts in the long-term interests of its customers, employees and suppliers.

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Honey Can You Please Pass the Prozac? – Depression in America

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Honey can you please pass the Prozac? Maybe not as common as salt and pepper, but the last 20 years has seen a meteoric rise in depression and the use of anti-depressant drugs. The NY Times in 2013 reported that ONE IN TEN Americans and ONE in FOUR women in there 40’s and 50’s are taking the drugs. Are there really that many unhappy people in the USA who can not deal with these feelings on there own and need drugs (legal or illegal) in an attempt to change the way they feel? One in four…one in ten…that is really hard to comprehend. What is “depression”? When should drugs be involved? That article states the primary problem:

“Depression is being overdiagnosed on a remarkable scale.”

Real time update on this story. It is actually worse, NBC News in December 2016 reported – ONE IN SIX adults are taking anti-depressants. Usage has increased over 400% in the last 20 years and overdose deaths have quadrupled! Anti-depressants are the most prescribed drug in our country. Isn’t that amazing! It is a huge business over $13B.  We are blessed in the USA with so much abundance and reasons to be happy and optimistic. We have the richest country and have the highest rates of depression. Nigeria is desperately poor, corrupt in a legendary way, generally filthy and has a shortage of food and water. The depression rate is 0.8%, by far the lowest of all countries surveyed.

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Your ENERGY level is NOT an accident!

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Once I learned I could manage my energy level like a programable thermostat life became easier. How is your energy at work and when you get home after a full day of putting in maximum effort? How about when you roll out of bed? I like to use a simple 0 – 10 scale to gauge it. What number would you give yourself on a typical day? Seriously, what is your number? What is that compared what is possible? 

Some believe that as you “get older” you are just naturally going to put on a few pounds, have more aches and pains and slow down. It is just the way it is. THAT IS GARBAGE!!! Maybe you have been making excuses like that and accepted it. Isn’t it time to change now? When you get out of the shower do you look in the mirror and say “oh yeah” or “oh s!@#”? One of my mentors Jim Rohn used to tell me, “Disgust can be a powerful motivator!”

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Keeping Score and Personal Accountability

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Keeping score is fun! That is a belief that has served me well for my entire life. I think it started with my Dad and the way I was raised. He was a Ford dealer and from a young age I would go with him to the dealership on Saturday mornings to sweep, clean cars and a special pancake breakfast. I would make a few bucks for my efforts too!Dime Kitty crop

We started a savings account and I collected dimes in special holders to take to the bank for deposit. Anyone remember those? I still have about a dozen with Mercury dimes – these were called Dime Kitty. You saved 30 dimes per folder.

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Be Accountable for the New Year

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Starting the new year is a good time take a look at your results and to count a few numbers. Accountable means to count! This video will help you reframe your life span and look at your Health Span. My personal goal is to be healthy and vital until age 100!

When was your last blood test? I just had one for a life insurance policy and the results were terrific and validated that what have been doing works. There are some key numbers you need to be aware of before they get too out of whack to correct easily.

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Celebrating My Mother, Not an Ordinary Obituary

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My mom passed away from a long illness this past week and my family asked me to write the obituary. I know the typical obituary is a boring summary of a life, but I did not want to write the typical version. Dianne Eichelberger, wife of Frank “Hardrock” Eichelberger, gardener, chef, pianist and accomplished traveler died on December 2, 2016 at age 85. She was a lover of home grown tomatoes, John Wayne, any old western movie, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and a good romance novel. She and dad never met a crossword puzzle they could not knock out eventually. Periodically they would call to ask a puzzle question on more “recent” culture questions.

mom-and-dad

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Meijer Testimonial

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10 Ways to Start Your Prospecting AND Make it Enjoyable!

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mark-hunterLet’s face it. You can’t prospect if you don’t start, and starting is the problem too many salespeople have.

The number of excuses salespeople can come up with range from logical to just plain avoidance.

Here are 10 things you can do right now to help you stop procrastinating on doing the prospecting you know you need to do.

 

 

1. Make your first call to an existing customer, with the objective to gain input from them about how much they enjoy working with you and your company. By using an existing customer to motivate you, it’s amazing how much more pumped you’ll be to go find more customers.

 

2. Plan your prospecting call list the day before.

Never start a day not knowing exactly who you will be reaching out to. Easiest way to do this is by making the last things you do each day is build out out the next day’s prospecting list.

 

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Sit/Stand Desk Solution for Home Office

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sit-stand-desk-pic-1mHow much are you sitting during the day? I have been searching for a sit/stand desk solution for my home office to work with my EXISTING office set-up now since I was selected to speak at the national sales meeting for Workrite Ergonomics. They are the leader in the sit/stand desk revolution and in my research I realized I had to get a solution for my home office. I did not want a new desk, just something that would work – I found it. Their Solace product is amazing.

Research shows that SITTING not being overweight or lack of exercise is the strongest indicator of heart disease. Check out an earlier blog post that has more info – here is a short excerpt.

Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, a researcher at one the nation’s leading obesity research centers says that sitting, not weight or exercise, is a key factor in determining a person’s overall health. 

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Live with High Energy Every Day

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dreamstime_m_42465730How can you be more like a “thermostat” and less like a “thermometer”? Being able to self-regulate your energy level is an essential skill. I call it Getting Switched On –  some call it SHOWTIME and others bringing your A Game! I think you get where I am going. What are your strategies to have consistently high levels of energy, low levels of stress and excellent performance?

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How To Improve Sales

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I have been hired to be the closing speaker for Fred’s Pharmacy to help them improve sales. I will be speaking to their 650+ store managers and executive team. Their locations are typically in the southeast in towns under 10,000 population. My research has been interesting as I prepare my message. Competition is of course up as the “Dollar Stores” (Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General)  continues to expand at an aggressive rate.

Why do you shop where you do? For example, you likely have a favorite between Lowes and Home Depot given a choice? What was the moment that motivated that loyalty beyond proximity? I believe that one surprising act of service can build long term loyalty. 

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Ways to Energize Employees – First 5/Last 5

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What is your routine for the first five minutes when you arrive at your business or office? What do you do the last 5 minutes before you leave? Think about it. What do you typically do? I want you try something different for the next few weeks.  When it works keep doing it! You don’t have to be the “boss” to use it. Anyone can do it and be perceived as a more effective leader. Let’s look at what you can do to energize employees in the first 5 and last 5 minutes of the day.

20946766 - 3d illustration of leader with his followers
I know this simple way to energize your employees to start/end the day work. The First 5 and Last 5 minutes of the day set the tone of energy and motivation if you have a strategy that works. Over the last 20 years I have shared this with thousands of leaders in a wide variety of business models. It works if you have the courage to try a new strategy. It may take a few weeks to get into the grove and make it your own. Be willing to do it poorly before you do it much better.  Write a note and put it in your car to remind yourself in the morning. Put one on your computer to remind you about the last 5. You can also set alarms on your smart phone to go off twice a day.

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How to Make this Summer Count!

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Hello summer,watercolor lettering with watermelon

If you have seen me speak at an event,  you may remember I asked you to close your eyes and imagine you are 80 years old. This 80 year old you knows ALL about you. I then asked what advice that 80 year old YOU would give YOU today?

What would you tell you? It can be life changing!
About 17 years ago know after an event in Jackson, MS I asked the audience that question. A girl named Georgia Ann approached me and said her grandmother had given her some advice. I asked what did she say? She told Georgia Ann, “Child remember you might only get 80 Summers. Make them count!”

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A story about overcoming challenges in your life.

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Woman for Donna Summers post

Here is an email I got last week from Donna Summers from Gables Residential. It is shared with her permission. “I wanted to thank you again for coming to speak to our group. I was very excited for you to come back for two reasons. One, I wanted to be hear you again and I wanted my team to hear your message about overcoming challenges as I thought it was a powerful one that would impact them greatly. Two, I knew that this time I would break the board. You see, for me, not breaking the board that day many years ago was life changing. As I mentioned I had fibromyalgia for many years and my journey of healing was a long one.

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Too Many Meetings Destroy Morale and Motivation

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25154856_s

I have an event this week with a group of key directors at Yahoo. In one interview I was amazed at the number of meetings he had to attend. Some were face to face and others on virtual platforms with employees in the US, APAC and Europe at all hours of the day. He said sometimes he is going until 1 am. He mentioned how Google had gone to a NO MEETINGS ON WEDNESDAY (NMW) policy. I had not hear of that before. There are other companies like ASANA who have been doing this with success.

That got me thinking. I have been self-employed for well over 25 years and I had not spent much time thinking about having to attend too many meetings. Not having to attend many is one of the great benefits of being on your own. The best benefit is no commute to work each day!

I have interviewed thousands of business leaders in research for my events over the last twenty years. Finding a time to set an appointment “between their meetings” is always a challenge. It seems almost everybody agrees it is true, just do a simple search – “too many meetings”. The articles are everywhere complaining about it, but there are very few with advice on what to do about it. Here are some simple suggestions you can implement.

According to a survey by Office Team, 45% of senior execs responded that their teams would be more productive if their companies banned meetings for at least one day a week. The impact of too many meetings has been an expanding workweek for many professionals well beyond the 40-hour week to 50 , 60 and even 70 hours or more. Those extra hours do not always lead to greater productivity.

In Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson’s classic book The Time Trap they revealed:

“Ask any group of managers in any country in the world to list their three most time-consuming activities. Invariably, ‘meetings’ will appear among the three. I have asked this question of more than 200 groups, and in every case but three, more than three quarters of each group indicated that half their time spent in meetings is wasted.

A recent finding in a Clarizen/Harris Poll Survey said employed Americans spend over 9 hours a week on meetings and almost 50 percent of respondents would rather go to DMV or watch paint dry. The challenge is when they get in the way of people being productive, you need to take action to change it.

Meetings need to be eliminated that have no agenda or clear outcomes, are too long, no clear time parameters, endless PowerPoint slides, one way “data dumps” or a leader who runs on endlessly with material that does not impact you.

In my research I do not see many companies doing much about it. Please do not schedule a meeting to decide if you have too many meetings! The first step is to simply be open to the idea that your organization can improve their process around meetings.

Question everything about your meetings:

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Do you have a “Got to” or a “Get to” attitude?

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Trucks Canada - smallerOur attitude dictates the quality of our experience in life. I was up in Canada last month for four TechTour Live events sponsored by DOW Agro Sciences. I spoke to over 1200 farmers who came together to learn about how to be more efficient in planting, spraying, increasing their crop yields and enjoying their lives. That’s were I came in. My message was about remembering they are the #1 asset in their operation. They must remember what is really important, stay connected to a compelling vision, have a clear game plan and have a growth mindset.

At the last event in Brandon, Manitoba there was a late spring storm and the roads were a little dicey. They are a hearty bunch in Canada, used to driving in the snow and virtually EVERYONE drove a 4 wheel drive truck. You can see the trucks in the parking lot on a snowless day in Saskatoon.

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