Tag Archives: mentors

Leadership Words + Insight

Trevor Gay,  who  spent 35 years working in healthcare management shared some great insights on his blog Simplicity. He wrote the following:

Feeling in a reflective mood, I thought I would list the most outstanding qualities of the most effective leaders I’ve ever worked with or for.

These were the 5 words that came into my head after not very long thinking about the question:


Strange how words like Hard, Decisive, Ruthless, and Disciplinarian did not come into my head. That probably says more about me than anything else.

I agree with Trevor.  During my 17 years of management experience I have come to the same conclusions

I would add:

Example-Lead by what we do, not what we only say.

I have seen leadership as a stewardship and huge responsibility. I perhaps see my role to “encourage the heart. and empower and celebrate learning and the growth of others”

Currentl my company gives it’s leaders the opportunity to do the above and I feel lucky to be working , growing, learning and teaching here.

What are others thoughts?

Humbly submitted,

Devin Willis

Resources That Are Helpful:

Servant Leadership, Stewardship and Winnie the Pooh
Wayne Stewart, February 2005,PDF/Adobe Acrobat

Ken Blanchard – Situational Leadership By mftrou.com

First issue of BusinessWeek + “Trouble at the Office ” can help you succeed! August 22, 2008, Devin Willis, My Discoveries on the Road to Prosper and Learn

Concepts of Leadership A Big Dog, Little Dog and Knowledge Jump Production.

Inspirational Blogs on Leadership and Management August 12, 2008 , Devin Willis

The Top 100 Management and Leadership Blogs That All Managers Should Bookmark” By HR World Editors on June 10, 2008

Ethan Willis in the News! E-strengths assessment helps others – posted  on Modern Kung fu July 24, 2008 found  by Devin Willis

Totally Consumed HR Jeff Treder– he also , correctly pointed  out  I , ” missing some of the heaviest-hitters,” including: All Things Workplace , Managing Leadership , Flowing Motion , Ripple Effect :Human Markets Ask a Manager and Totally Consumed HR .:

Leadership vs. ManagementSyque



Filed under Leadership

Sales Through Service

I read a great article ”   Sales through service: The start of social business

” By Jennifer Kirkby.  We have been doing this at Prosper for about a year and our students that were sold through service  are very happy! Please read and let me know your thoughts? She wrote the following:

‘Sales through service’ is a simple concept, and one that is becoming increasingly popular as organisations look to drive their contact centres into profit centres. But sales through service requires a lot of hard work to get it right. Jennifer Kirkby explains what it is, why it’s important – and how it can be implemented successfully. Jennifer Kirkby,shares examples of sales through service:

  • Key account managers, whose role is to understand client’s needs and find solutions from his company. The best do this through personal conversation, like the IBM client manager for an airline who spends most of his time talking in the airline’s staff canteen.
  • The Dyson field service team who, whilst carrying out servicing in the customer’s home, find out through conversation what issues and needs the customer has. They are well versed in all the products and connected to operations to put right any issues. Customers have been highly delighted with this ‘time saving’ service.
  • John Lewis thought that leaving customers to browse was what they wanted, but customers thought staff were being aloof and unfriendly. After a five year sales through service programme, staff now acknowledge the customer, open up conversations and close sales by matching product to need as closely as possible – even if it means selling a lower priced product than the customer had intended to buy.
  • Amazon, which was founded on a sales through service philosophy.
  • O2, which supplies service contact centre staff with information on the customer’s risk of attrition, and the three best offers (sales or service) to make to that customer based on propensity modelling and the content of the call. Around 6% of its 50 million annual calls now generate revenue, and customer satisfaction is reported to have risen.

All the examples emphasise that sales through service is not just about revenue generating sales, it is about exchanging value. That may be free upgrades, helpful advice or customer care, in exchange for customer engagement, recommendations, valuable data – and yes, at some point sales

I agree, after being involved in Prosper customer/Student care for many years. We have found that Jennifer Kirkby is 100% right on point!

Resource Sales through service: The start of social business” By Jennifer Kirkby-28-Aug-2008-MyCustomer.com


Devin Willis

Explore Related Resources:

Sales Through ServiceThe Forum

Achieving new sales through serviceChartered Quality Institute,

Prosper Learning’ Student Care Vision-Steve Gross-

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dr. Nancy Wasson, Ph.D, and Lee Hefner are Helping Couples Have Better Marriages

Dr. Nancy Wasson, Ph.D, and Lee Hefner of Birmingham, Ala., have taken their Internet business to new heights. They have helped many families!

Dr. Wasson and Hefner, who are married, co-authored Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says “I don’t love you anymore!” and Wasson provides marriage coaching. The couple market their products on-line, and publish a web-based newsletter using the education and coaching support Prosper provided.

“Over the past several years, our newsletter has grown from nothing to having over 18,000 subscribers world-wide today. The great thing about our success is that we know we’re helping couples have better marriages,” said Hefner.

I have been reflecting on the last twenty years with my best friend and wife Julie , and I know and continue to learn that showing my love through my actions and remembering  say the words “I love you; I need you; I think you’re beautiful; I appreciate you; thank you” and you help me so much; you are such a great mom; you’re one of the most intelligent people I know.” I look forward to an eternity with Julie and my hope is all of my readers happiness in their relationships!


Devin Willis

Related Resources

How to Stay in a Marriage When Times Are Tough-from EzineArticles.com written by Lee Hefner

How to Strengthen Your Marriage with Three Good Habits from EzineArticles.com written by Lee Hefner

Alabama Couple Reaches Wider Audience Thanks to Prosper-Provo, UT, June 26, 2008 —Jason Russell-Prosper Inc . Press Releases

Ethan Willis and E-strengths assessment helps Martial Artists- By JamesModern Kung fu-Total Combat!

One Minute Entrepreneur + Martial Arts business Could help By JamesModern Kung fu-Total Combat!


Filed under prosper learning, Uncategorized

I Love Talking with Our “Prosper Learning” Coaches!

Some Tips and Wisdom I found helpful!

I was talking to one of out coaches (@ Prosper Learning) and he refereed me to our success center . I found  a  great article “Manage Your Finances” that stated

“.. It sounds obvious but few people do it. Financial management is an ongoing, unending process. Start with the most fundamental elements; know your net worth and track where you money is going. These are both very simple tasks. Track every penny you spend. Use a day planner or spreadsheet or whatever is easiest for you. It is impossible to manage your finances if you don’t have the necessary information at hand. Your net worth is figured by simply totaling all of your assets (what you own) and subtracting all of your liabilities (what you owe). If your net worth is increasing month to month you are on the right track…”

Coach Gail Long  Posted the following

“…Just as the Boy Scouts have “Be Prepared” as a motto, we need to have a Prepared Pantry. This is not just for major disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or earthquakes; it can be as simple as an increase in gas prices, loss of a job, or even no overtime at your job. In these uncertain times it is necessary to build and maintain our pantries so we can always feed our families. It may not be their favorite meal, but no one wants their family members to go hungry. Each family is different and has unique food needs.
FEMA has lots of additional information on preparedness, for additional information from them go to
Are You Ready?
Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness (IS-22) is FEMA’s most comprehensive source on individual, family, and community preparedness. The guide has been revised, updated, and enhanced in August 2004 to provide the public with the most current and up-to-date disaster preparedness information available.

In an article titled “Taking the Bite Out of Food Storage” (“Random Sampler,” Ensign, Mar. 1992, 72-73) four steps were listed to ease your way into a Prepared Pantry.

Step 1: Learn the basics of home storage. Doing so will save you time, money, and effort.
Step 2: Acquire an emergency supply of life-sustaining foods and water and store them properly.
Step 3: Build up your storage gradually. It’s amazing how fast storage shelves can fill up when you buy commodities in double quantities—for example, one can of beans for regular use, the other for storage
Step 4: Eat what you store and store what you eat. For more Tips


Prosper Learning Personal Finance – written by The Prosper Financial coaches-These coaches have established a strong reputation for success by helping thousands of students learn effectively manage their personal finances and investments. The department currently has over 100 years of personal financial experience.

Prosper has assembled one of the most experienced, qualified financial coaching organizations in the world, and has made financial independence affordable for virtually every family in America. Prosper’s program combines interactive learning and veteran coaching to guide clients through the process of creating their unique Financial Independence Plan. Our coaches are more than cheerleaders. They are educators, advocates, and mentors of the mind. The proven principles we coach include the following areas

  • Goal Setting
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Risk Reduction
  • Accelerated Debt Elimination
  • Emergency Planning
  • Small Business Philosophy
  • Investment Planning
  • Tax Reduction
  • Retirement Planning
  • Creating Wills and Trusts
  • For more … http://blog.prosperlearning.com/financial/

Save Your Money in 5 Easy Steps
Five Tips to Saving Money

Prosper Learning coach Brice Hogan shared the following:

“…Marching your way to financial freedom takes a lot of discipline. So I want to impart some wisdom on how to keep a little more money in your wallet when you shop around for things.


My wife says that I am the king at grocery shopping, and I am. That is because when I go I try to look for the best deals possible I bring a list and stick to it. Generally I go during the busiest time of the week which is either the weekends or on Mondays. These days the store will have a lot of discounted. So shop on the busiest days. Better Deals. Also if the store has a frequent shopper club join it and you can get additional discounts. The grocery store I shop at, if I purchase a certain amount I can get 5 to 10 cents of gas. These days it’s totally worth it.

Dollar Stores

If you have a dollar store in you area use it. I find it a good place to find household cleaning products, bathroom cleaner, laundry detergents, some food items. Take advantage of these places they also stock some name brand products so it can be an effective way to save on your budget.

Find your Coffee Factor

David Bach has an excellent book called Automatic Millionaire. In it he describes what is called a latte factor. This is basically a vice or habit you spend a lot of money on. It could be cigarettes, eating out, excessive shopping, etc… If you have a vice or habit you spend a lot of money on cut it out completely or scale it way back to save you some coin.

Reviewing Insurance Policies

A great way to save some money is to review your auto insurance. Just by increasing the deductible to a manageable amount you can save $5 – $10 a month and maybe more. So call your insurance agent up and ask.

Bundle Away

You can save a lot of money these days on tv/internet/phone bill by looking into bundles. Companies have made it cheaper for you to buy bundle packages. I have seen packages for $100 in some areas which can save you a lot of money in the long run for you.

These are just some tips that might be able to save you a little money during the month.


5 Practical Steps to help Save You Money-April 3rd, 2008 | Category: Personal Finance-Prosper Learning Personal Finance – written by The Prosper Financial coaches-These coaches have established a strong reputation for success by helping thousands of students learn effectively manage their personal finances and investments. The department currently has over 100 years of personal financial experience.

Get out of Debt Slowly?

Micah Richards share’s the following insight “..Our main focus is to get out of debt, and take the next step in building our own financial independent. These are some huge goals, and will not be something we can do in a week, or even a month. We may even need to wait a month to see any results.

A good idea is to write down ten short time goals you can accomplish in one week. We need to focus these ten goals on items, habits, or struggles we are currently having with our personal finances.
Here are a few sample goals that will hopefully give you some more ideas of what types of goals we are looking for:

1) I will bring a sack lunch to work all week.

2) I will walk to any location I need to go, that is within 1 mile.

3) I will bring breakfast each morning to work.

4) I will go to the grocery store once!

5) I will avoid vending machines, and coke machines.

6) I will eat before I go shopping.

7) I will go through my fridge, and eat all the leftovers.

8) I will read one book on how to achieve financial freedom.

9) I will watch one program on how to achieve financial freedom.

10) I will listen to a financial guru, either on the internet or on CD.

The above examples are once again to get your mind thinking of what personalized goals you can use.

I have also included a very simple document to use. It is so simple, you do not need excel or another program to run. You can cut and paste it, and even print it. After you have completed the goal for a week, you check it off. You will see a difference in your spending habits, and also see a psychological difference that you believe more in yourself, and that you can achieve the longer goals of getting out of debt. Good luck, and have fun! After a few weeks, if you feel confident, change your goals to a month.

Number CHECKLIST OF 10 Weekly Goals Check when Completed



For more great tips go to Prosper Learning  Personal Finance Blog-written by The Prosper Financial coaches-

I remember trying to figure out grants and hen it was explained to me by one of our mentors Dane here at Prosper Inc.. anyway I cacme across this post I thought would be helpful to anyone ! Most experts agree that a mentor helps us h avoid costly mistakes!

I really enjoyed author Grant Gary thoughts in his article. He wrote

“…Funding from grants is often at the core of a successful technology plan, but writing proposals requires a bit of magic and a lot of time. Grants can be a good way for educators to collaborate on building strong programs, but some creative thinking is also required. Here are eleven hints that can help you rake in the funds…”
#1 Find a brighter idea
#2 Get better organized
#3 Prepare an elevator spech
#4 Get a support group
#5 Set your watch
#6 Fill in the holes
#7 Judge for yourself
#8 If you got it, share it
#9 Known when to stop
#10 Make it a practice
#11 Party and give thanks”….For more tips click here

(Resource –The Better Ways to Win a Grant Gary A. Carnow from Tech&Learning)

I hope you find the tips helpful,

Devin Willis


Filed under Uncategorized

Over 100 Useful Resources for Entrepreneurs

. There are many resources online and I wanted to to share this valuble information. It is from Adnan who, is still in high school and I believe we he be doing great things soon!

As longtime entrepreneurs Ethan Willis and Randy Garn have  run Prosper Inc. with one simple objective: to celebrate its success of others!

Let me share some of Adnan’s list for you:

Communications / VoIP

The internet brings great opportunities to do business all with people from all around the world, and fortunately there are also a number of resources to help with the communication that is necessary. The resources here will allow you to communicate inexpensively with others:

    1. Skype – Free calls over the internet to other people on Skype for as long as you like.
    2. Vonage – Leading provider of VoIP internet broadband telephone services.
    3. Gizmo – Low cost international calling and free calls to users on Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Windows Live users and SIP networks.
    4. Vonics Digital – Plans start at $12.99 per month.
    5. VoipBuster – Free program that uses the latest technology to bring free and high-quality voice communications to people all over the world.
    6. SunISP – VoIP Plans

Finding Funding

Many entrepreneurs will need some type of funding for their ventures. If this is the case for you, these resources may be helpful. Locating potential funding sources can be a bit easier be taking advantage of the resources that are available:

1. GoBigNetwork – Angel investor network/venture capital.
2. Fundability – Puts your company in front of qualified and interested investors.
3. Find That Money – Formidable presence in consumer finance.
4. Venture Deal – Venture capital database.
5. American Capital Advance – Fast Business Loans.
6. Financing: Where to Find It

For the full list click here


Devin Willis


101 Useful Resources for Online Entrepreneurs March 10th, 2008 ·Blogtrepreneur.com

10 Social Networks for Entrepreneurs -May 13th, 2008 · Blogtrepreneur.com

Gaebler VenturesResources for Entrepreneursassembled some great resources for entrepreneurs and are constantly updating our entrepreneurial resources so check back frequently.(http://www.gaebler.com/)


Filed under Blogroll, devin willis + prosper, Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

Two students shared, links of Success!

Rentometer– Two students shared this INFORMATION with me;0). They found it to be an interesting way to determine whether you’re getting the  the right rent amount from renters t. At the time, we checked it for our area .  We found out that we charge on the low side for my area.  Give it a try! (www.rentometer.com/)

Another  resource is Trulia If you’re planning to make a real-estate-related move, “…It has financial information as well as details about school districts and communities….” see

LivePads provides real estate professionals, home buyers, and home sellers the necessary tools for all real estate needs.  People can search for homes, sell their homes, utilize social networking, and find valuable web resources for real estate.

Roommates 4 You is a public absolutely free internet service that puts the power of the World Wide Web behind your roommate or room share search. Find your new roommate. Find a room available for rent. Search by city, zip code, rent price range. We give you thousnds of choices in all 50 states to help you find your next home or roommate. Updated daily by over 700 internet resources and America’s leading local newspapers.

RealtyTrac: There are dozens of foreclosure sites on the Internet, but this site comes the closest to representing the Web 2.0. RealtyTrac is a search engine that allows agents and buyers to find foreclosure properties nationwide. The foreclosure process offers three bargain-buying opportunities, an the pre-foreclosure, public auction, and the purchase of bank-owned properties are represented by six different property statuses on

RealtyTrac. Buyers must pay a fee, as with any other foreclosure site, to view all information about the foreclosed property.

Thank you Ann and James!!

Devin Willis


Filed under links of Success, prosper learning, tips, Word Of Mouth

Are You going to force your kids to Graduate? Will this help them Prosper and Learn?

Yesterday , I was asked if I was going to force my five kids to go to college ? My answer shocked this person when I said “no”. This person stated “don’t you know without an education your kids will fail? I just smiled and excused myself and left the conversation.

How many times were you told that a college degree was a must  for a good career ? Now , I am not saying anything is wrong with getting a degree, but it is not a “golden ticket” In fact , Trent stated some interesting facts,  we should at least realize:

“…I intend to encourage their critical thinking skills as much as I can and try to expose them to as many areas as possible while still at home. They’ll try musical instruments, various art forms, sciences of all kinds, and so on, and we’ll see where their natural magnet leads them.

I’m also going to strongly encourage them to be entrepreneurs in their spare time, from selling lemonade to mowing lawns. Or maybe even starting their own blogs – I’ve discovered some amazingly successful bloggers early in their teen years….” See the entire Post at- Is College Really Necessary For All High School Graduates? : The Simple Dollar

In our family growing up , we had a saying :

“If you have will there is a way ,” if there is a way, there is a Willis!”

We were taught to be an strong advocate for all people, no matter what their status or race, learn at high levels and that all things are really possible that is why ,all of us following or parents example and helping others through creative ways, most of us didn’t need their college education and become successful entrepreneurs!

However, IT MUST be noted all of us have learned the principles from “prosper learning” high quality programs and have found Success . our families success Here are a few of them, both contemporary and from the past,.

Brent and Phelecia Hatch– Phelecia is my sister and is a wonderful mother and friend. Brent who has been a successful entrepreneur in many areas! But the project I love the best is “Raising a G-Rated Family in an X-Rated World.” (http://www.howtobehave.com/)

Damon Willis– He opened an successful L.A Boxing in Orem Utah. he is an associate instructor under Master Toddy and an Instructor under Willis Combative s. He also has a great instructor who also teaches at his gym named Chuck Costello :: MMA Professional Trainer And Fighter! see Orem :: LA BOXING Instructors

He has over 500 members and enjoys working with his staff to give them the best training anywhere!

Ethan Willis -is one of the founding partners of Prosper , Inc. (http://www.prosperlearning.com) and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors. Ethan is responsible for the development of the company’s core business model-providing leadership in the advancement of outcome-oriented education.

During his time at Prosper, Ethan has founded three other companies: Adcafe.com, a leader in online lead generation; TSN, an online business tutorial with over 20,000 members; and Education Success Inc., which has sold more than 400,000 downloadable business courses.

Ethan is coauthor, with New York Times bestselling author Ken Blanchard, of The One Minute Entrepreneur:

I have taught Self Protection to many people though the last 20 years. Julie (My wife) and I helped co-invented the Guardian Keychain that is being used all over the world by thousands of people. Our goal in developing the Guardian was to make it easy , effective and affordable.

We also donate key chains and training to groups that need them(low income-womens group)Please contact me via the website or this blog;0)

What are your thoughts?

Devin Willis


Filed under Leadership