Increase Your Positive Energy

Every workplace has an energy about it. It can be positive, helpful, happy, and upbeat. Or it can be negative, grey, life-sucking, and downright depressing. You notice the feeling when you walk in. Often it is subtle, but sometimes it is very noticeable. What is your workplace like? Would you like it to be more positive? if so, you can help make it that way – Here’s how:

The energy of a place is made up of the collective energy of everyone who is present there. You are a part of your workplace environment and so you have a direct impact on the energy there. If you are more positive and upbeat, you move the needle to the positive side! As more people are happier, the needle moves even more to the positive side. Soon you can create a positive feedback loop that feeds on itself. Try this simple test: Give 3 people honest, positive complements each day. Pick 3 different people each day. At first it might be hard to think of something to say, but it will get easier each time. After doing this for a week, see if you can notice a change in the way people react to you and to each other.

If you want to take this exercise a step further, get a little “positive vibration” awardpositive vibration award for someone who exemplifies a source of positive energy. Do this each week or so. It doesn’t have to be much, just some sort of public recognition for a person with positive energy. Other people will notice and want to be recognized for their positive energy as well. You will soon see that you can have a huge positive impact on the energy of those around you!

Trophy Value versus Trophy Cost

Trophy valueWhen someone is presented with a trophy or award, it is usually to commemorate a special event or accomplishment, so there is an emotional link to the trophy. It becomes a symbol of the special event much like a wedding ring symbolizes a marriage. In and of itself, it has little trophy value, but as a symbol of a significant event or accomplishment, it has immense value. Trophies and awards are items where the cost or commercial value is extremely low in relation to the ultimate personal value. The value may diminish as the years go by, but it never goes away.

For this reason, when you are purchasing a trophy consider not only the actual cost of the trophy, but the trophy value – the value and worth it will bring to the person who receives it for years to come.

Garden Signs

Garden Marker Signsgarden signs are a new product line we have added at QuickTrophy this past year. Garden signs are used as formal markers in garden plots or arboretums. They are, for instance, used for recognition in community garden plots that are taken care of by volunteers.

We’ve had many requests for garden signs over the years and finally found a solution that works. They offer the customer a wide variety of choices in the size, shape and color of the sign. You can even change the font size and style to fit the “mood” of the garden plot.

For needs of a more permanent nature, we also offer some cast aluminum garden signs and park bench plaques with an engraved anodized plate. We offer these signs with a stake attachment for sticking into the ground, or with screws for attaching them to walls or park benches. Deep cast custom aluminum signs usually cost over $500 each, but these affordable signs are available at a fraction of the cost.

Dual Purpose Awards

A customer came in recently looking for ideas for Dual Purpose Awards – Something that could be presented as a trophy or award, but that had a practical use as well. Something like a belt buckle, a drinking glass, or some other custom gifts. He noted that his personal trophy case was full of trophies and medals and he wanted something to present to the contestants they could use beyond the event. Recognition for successfully completing a challenging event, even something as intense as a marathon or an ultra-dual purpose awardsmarathon, was great and well deserved, but he thought presenting an award that could be used day to day like a coffee mug, would be appreciated as well.

QuickTrophy offers several such items, such as the ever popular flasks. But with this practical suggestion by a customer, we plan to add more dual purpose awards to our trophy and awards selection.

Crystal Disc Golf Trophy

crystal disc golf trophyQuickTrophy has recently introduced what may be the most beautiful crystal award disc golf trophy ever. It is a piece of optic crystal 4″ high, 2″ wide and 1″ thick with a full color, digitally printed picture of a disc golf basket. The image is printed on the back of the crystal so you look through the glass to see the picture. This gives the award a great depth. Your personalized engraving is printed as part of the image. our digital printer uses a UV ink curing process that has an extremely high-definition, photo quality that is simply stunning.

Truly, this crystal disc golf trophy is more a piece of art deserving of a place on the home mantle!

Recycling Old Trophies

At QuickTrophy we get calls from customers on a regular basis regarding reusing or recycling old trophies that have accumulated over the years. After the events are long past and the commemorating trophies have accumulated dust, they sometimes shift from being a source of pride to a burden of “stuff”. What can be done with something that once Old Pickup Championship Trophyheld a special place in someone’s heart? It is difficult to just toss them, they deserve a better fate. Can’t they be reused and given to someone who will cherish them as much as the original recipient?

But when people buy trophies from us, they want them all shiny and new, and matching each other. Parts and trophy designs change over time, so the styles of columns and figurines used in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are different than those used today. And finding matching pieces from decades past is difficult, if not nearly impossible.

So what is the solution? Would people be open to receiving a “vintage” trophy? We could clean them up and put new engraving on them. They could be marketed as “Recycled Trophies” or “Vintage Trophies” or even “Legacy Trophies”. What do you think?

The Cost of Shipping

We often have customers comment on the cost of shipping – how expensive it is to ship them a trophy, award, or name tag. We do what we can to keep the cost down as much as possible, by offering First Class Mail shipping if the item ordered is light enough. But when we ship items by UPS or FedEx Ground, it costs $8 to $12 dollars just to ship an empty box, depending on your location. So a $5 trophy can easily cost twice as much to ship! With larger orders, such as 12 soccer trophies for the team, the cost to ship them is a much lower percentage of their value – it will typically cost $15 to $20 to ship 12 trophies. And with orders over $100, we will pick up the cost for Ground shipping.

We don’t control how much the shipping companies charge, but we do what we can to make the cost of shipping as low as possible. To see an estimate of what the shipping charges will be before you place your order, we have a Shipping Estimator built into our web site. It is not 100% accurate, but it will give you a ball park estimate.

Why Employee Recognition Awards?

Star AwardWhy do we hand out employee recognition awards? Are they a waste of money? Do we get any return on our investment?

Your employees work hard – but usually there are a few or one in particular that excel in their accomplishments. Maybe they pushed hard on a project to make sure it came in ahead of schedule, or they worked longer hours to make sure the system upgrade went smoothly, or maybe they helped to energize the team when things looked grim. Whatever the reason, when you publicly recognize an employee in front of their peers with custom corporate awards, the effect is amazing! Their pride generates a positive wave in the workplace and other employees are positively affected by it. They too, are encouraged to put forth the extra effort. The atmosphere is changed and charged up in a positive way resulting in a better work environment for all.

When you get right down to it, publicly recognizing your employees for a job well done and commemorating it with achievement awards – no matter how simple – results in a big payoff for the investment made. A waste of money? No way – in a big way!

Flowers or Trophies?

We often give people flowers when they are ill. Why? Is it because flowers represent life, spring, or new growth? But sometimes I wonder: What would be more appropriate – Flowers or trophies?

People who are injured or ill, or end up in the hospital for some reason are ofteflowers or trophiesn faced with a tough personal struggle. The healing and recovery process often requires a lot of personal sacrifice, changes in lifestyle, and hard rehab work. In many ways it is similar to an athlete preparing for an endurance challenge. When the athlete completes his or her event, we reward them with a trophy or award to commemorate the event and as a reminder that all the hard work paid off. But when someone goes through the same endurance challenge battling an illness or injury – in many cases a life threatening ordeal – we treat them with a bouquet of flowers. A nice gesture, but fleeting at best. I propose we develop a line of awards for those who have successfully won the battle of health. To let them know we recognize the struggle they have endured and to encourage them to continue in their endeavors.

In the any particular case, it will be up to you to decide which would be more appropriate – flowers or trophies?


Cycling: Tour de France

Lance Armstrong has dominated the news in the run up to this year’s Tour de France. The doping scandal rocked the cycling world to its axles last year. How can he take the lead from here?

Cycling’s premier tournament, the Tour de France, took a big hit in 2013 after the revelations of seven-time winner Lance Armstrong’s admissions of doping. It’s difficult to keep faith with a sport built on endurance and personal triumph when it’s revealed that the best of the best cheated. The sport is trying to clean up its act, but it’s like cycling up a mountain.

This year the Tour de France has started strong and gradually the news media are concentrating less on the past and more on the future. The focus is now where it should be, on the teams of riders battling through the 21 stages and the true winners going forward into the future.

Cheating is not New

Sadly despite the scandal last year when Armstrong confessed after being retroactively stripped of his wins between 1999–2005, doping in the Tour is not a new thing. As early as its beginnings in 1903 the dubious use of substances to enhance performance has resulted in disqualifications and bans. At the turn of the century riders used strychnine, cocaine, chloroform, aspirin, “horse ointment” and other drugs to give themselves an edge.

These days the drug of choice is something called EPO or Erythropoietin, a drug that helps oxygen uptake in the blood and is popular in all endurance sports. Lance Armstrong admitted he used EPO throughout his Tour career. Although he was by no means the first to cheat in this way, he was by far the most high profile.

The disappointment from fans and riders who take honesty seriously was huge. Sports are supposed to be about man versus his own limitations as a human being, not man assisted by chemistry attempting to bypass them.

The Tour de Force

The first race was in 1903 as an attempt to boost the sales of a magazine called L’Auto. The first 6 stage Tour was a success, leading to an 11 stage Tour the following year. The modern race takes place over 21 stages spread over 23 days.

Rest days and limits to the distances travelled were imposed in the 1960s after another high profile doping scandal, this time resulting in the death of rider Tom Simpson. Simpson died in 1967 on the 13th stage of the race after the ascent from Mont Ventoux. A diuretic combination of amphetamines and alcohol proved fatal to Simpson in the heat of the mountainous stage.

Now for safety reasons the stages are broken up with rest days and train journeys around France and the surrounding countries, while still maintaining a loop of some kind. The distances travelled in a day are carefully judged by sports medicine experts to ensure that the route is challenging but not potentially fatal.

To keep the energy up, the modern prize for the winner of the race is in the region of €500,000.

The Tour Going Forwards

Although doping is not a new phenomenon it is still a hot topic and causes dispute and anger among riders. Lance Armstrong didn’t help when he recently rather foolishly asserted that it was impossible to win the Tour without doping. Riders were understandably outraged. None more so than David Millar, a former colleague of Armstrong’s and a self confessed doper who is now a vocal anti-doping campaigner.

“What needs to change is that we need complete truth and transparency into what happened in the 15-year era of the 1990s and early 2000s,” he said in an interview in June with Eurosport TV in the UK “so we can understand what mistakes were made and we can make sure those mistakes do not happen again. Because I think racing has cleaned up a lot, I think the Tour de France can be won clean.”

Let’s hope he’s right. The trouble with cheating is it taints all other exponents of a sport. The eye of suspicion is on everyone, guilty or innocent. This makes all sport tougher. Not only are you attempting to surpass your own limitations, you now have to prove that it can be done free of illegal enhancements. For some sports people that pressure may prove too much.

But what we wish more than anything is that all the data showing that doping is on the decline are true, especially for the Tour de France the toughest bike race in the world. We need heroes we can trust.

Why Trust is Important

The purpose of sports is to be an example of heroism. You perform your sport to show what you can do through training and persistence. Doping scandals shake faith in sports, and diminish the efforts of those who achieved under their own steam.

The task of all athletes in the wake of doping scandals is to work to prove that sports performance and achievement is real. That sports people are real heroes.

Bicycle Economy TrophyWhen you look at the trophies on your shelf, no matter what they’re for, can you really live with yourself, knowing that they should belong to someone else?

As a sportsman or sportswoman you need to take pride in knowing that you not only did what you did, but you did it yourself. Cheating with performance enhancing substances is a lie and the person you’re lying to is yourself.

Further Reading