Friday, 1 February 2013

Improved Brain Performance


I am always curious to find accelerated learning methods and brain enhancing programs. Brain Rules is a roadmap to better brain health and brain efficiency. This is an excellent book and a very quick read.

Why is this important to me? I ask this question as if I am sitting in your shoes. Will this help people if they read it? I hope so but I can tell you specifically that it has helped me. The brain runs on two things Oxygen and Glucose. Increase both and brain function improves. The quickest way to increase blood flow to the brain is exercise. Think about this, you can survive for a month without food, 7 days without water but go more than 5 minutes without oxygen and you are brain dead.



Think Smart is an easy read and very actionable. There are 3 key points that I will point out for the sake of time.
John Medina profiles 12 Brain Rules. For the sake of time, I will profile my top four.
1. Rule # 1 Exercise Boost Brain Power – Exercise increases blood flow and reduces toxicity benefiting the brain. Remember that the brain weighs about three pounds and is responsible for sucking up 25% of the energy needed by your entire body. Exercise increases endurance and energy benefiting brain function.

2. Rule # 4 – We don’t pay attention to boring things. – People speak at roughly 200 words per minute and you think at a conscious level over 800 words per minute. This leaves a 4X gap for boredom. The worst way to educate is to lecture in a classroom environment because it is one way learning. If you watch kids learn they use their whole body with all of their senses (Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic). Also, multi-tasking does not work. Every excellent EXECUTED idea required focus. Multi-tasking is the biggest waste of time on high value projects. Studies show that interruptions lengthen work by as much as 50%.

3. Rule #7 Sleep Well, Think Well– Studies show that sound sleep accelerates learning. The brain learns during sleep by encoding knowledge and new things. We process new ideas and learning during sleep. Several great inventions have been attributed to dreams and visions. A 25 minute nap each day has shown to increase productivity but 34%. There is not one management strategy that can boast this type of productivity gain with such a small investment of time. The problem is, most companies and schools do not encourage napping.

4. Rule # 8 Stressed brains do not learn the same way– Our brains are actually three brains in one. The fight or flight action is the key to our survival. Back in history without this survival mechanism, we became lunch to the predators. Adrenaline and cortisol are the key ingredients moving from zero to sixty instantly. The problem with both is consistent use is damaging to the brain and body. Stress creates cortisol. Stress inhibits learning and growth. The stronger the negative conflict, the more learning is inhibited.
John Media knows what he is talking about. The national education budget is $1 Trillion per year in the U.S. and the system is failing. One conclusion John makes, fix the home and the students will flourish. Remember that cortisol (stress) inhibits learning. If kids are beaten and broken in the home then the last thing they care about is school. Control stress in the home and improve education, it’s that simple.

I hope you have found this video summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is exercise. Simply start with a 30 minute walk per day and your world will change and brain function will improve.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

I am always curious to find accelerated learning methods and brain enhancing programs. Brain Rules is a roadmap to better brain health and brain efficiency. This is an excellent book and a very quick read.

Why is this important to me? I ask this question as if I am sitting in your shoes. Will this help people if they read it? I hope so but I can tell you specifically that it has helped me. The brain runs on two things Oxygen and Glucose. Increase both and brain function improves. The quickest way to increase blood flow to the brain is exercise. Think about this, you can survive for a month without food, 7 days without water but go more than 5 minutes without oxygen and you are brain dead.



Think Smart is an easy read and very actionable. There are 3 key points that I will point out for the sake of time.
John Medina profiles 12 Brain Rules. For the sake of time, I will profile my top four.
1. Rule # 1 Exercise Boost Brain Power – Exercise increases blood flow and reduces toxicity benefiting the brain. Remember that the brain weighs about three pounds and is responsible for sucking up 25% of the energy needed by your entire body. Exercise increases endurance and energy benefiting brain function.

2. Rule # 4 – We don’t pay attention to boring things. – People speak at roughly 200 words per minute and you think at a conscious level over 800 words per minute. This leaves a 4X gap for boredom. The worst way to educate is to lecture in a classroom environment because it is one way learning. If you watch kids learn they use their whole body with all of their senses (Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic). Also, multi-tasking does not work. Every excellent EXECUTED idea required focus. Multi-tasking is the biggest waste of time on high value projects. Studies show that interruptions lengthen work by as much as 50%.

3. Rule #7 Sleep Well, Think Well– Studies show that sound sleep accelerates learning. The brain learns during sleep by encoding knowledge and new things. We process new ideas and learning during sleep. Several great inventions have been attributed to dreams and visions. A 25 minute nap each day has shown to increase productivity but 34%. There is not one management strategy that can boast this type of productivity gain with such a small investment of time. The problem is, most companies and schools do not encourage napping.

4. Rule # 8 Stressed brains do not learn the same way– Our brains are actually three brains in one. The fight or flight action is the key to our survival. Back in history without this survival mechanism, we became lunch to the predators. Adrenaline and cortisol are the key ingredients moving from zero to sixty instantly. The problem with both is consistent use is damaging to the brain and body. Stress creates cortisol. Stress inhibits learning and growth. The stronger the negative conflict, the more learning is inhibited.
John Media knows what he is talking about. The national education budget is $1 Trillion per year in the U.S. and the system is failing. One conclusion John makes, fix the home and the students will flourish. Remember that cortisol (stress) inhibits learning. If kids are beaten and broken in the home then the last thing they care about is school. Control stress in the home and improve education, it’s that simple.

I hope you have found this video summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is exercise. Simply start with a 30 minute walk per day and your world will change and brain function will improve.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

Friday, 25 January 2013

Pitch Anything

You need to be able to sell in every profession regardless if you are a lawyer, accountant, doctor, dentist or microbiologist. Again all fields require you to sell. If you have an idea that will drive your team then you need to sell it. Lawyers and accountants have to have clients to do work for which requires selling. 

Why is this important to me?

I am not doing this summary to waste your time. It is my vision to provide concise action steps that you can adopt right now to enhance your financial life. In order to be effective at selling, you need to be able to influence and persuade, PERIOD. These two attributes require confidence and guts. Bottom line is that 95% of the sales people today are not qualified to do the job. Most will show up and throw up features and benefits and hope you will buy.

Hope is not a strategy. One required sales activity is to book a meeting with a prospect. Here is an example – An amateur salesperson makes a follow up call on marketing lead and says – “I see that you downloaded our e-book, was it informative? – Yes – Great, is there anything else I can help you with? – No – Ok well how about I follow up with you in 6 months to see if things have changed. – Sure! This simple interaction is being said right now by thousands of sales people who think it is working. This solidifies that hope is not a strategy.

Pitch Anything really focuses on the meeting and presentation portion of the deal. I will talk about three main concepts and dive into the What, Why and How answers.

Frame Control – What is a Frame? Oren discusses several types of frames – Power Frame, Analysts Frame and Time Frame. Frames are energy fields and perspectives between people. Controlling frames is critical in winning deals. This is rooted in brain development and Oren spends time discussing the Croc Brain which is the primitive brain. Frames are rooted in the croc brain. The croc brain controls your flight / fight and friend / foe chemical reactions. Think of frame control as being the alpha dog or pack leader.

There are countless examples of Frame Control throughout Pitch Anything and I have experienced all of them. I want to give more examples and outline successful pitches from my perspective that illustrate Oren’s point. There are two critical things you need and they are guts and humor. Pulling off gutsy techniques require humor because anytime you piss people off then they will not want to work with you.

Pitch Anything is rooted in neuroscience and brain function. Oren has studied this for over 10,000 hours and I can say that it works. I want to profile some examples: 

1. My biggest deal – My team and I walk in and are ready for the meeting. I am prepared with a tight script and ready to go. There are 20 people in the room and the winning bidder will bag a seven figure deal which is large considering the average PO in the industry is $25,000. I know that controlled interaction within a room environment is critical for success. Here is the opening dialog and battle for frame control: Me: Thank you for inviting us in , what I would like to do is go around the room for introductions and have you state two main goals you would like to get out of this meeting today. Prospect: You were given the agenda and no questions or dialog will happen until after the presentation so we will not go around the room, now get started with your software presentation. At this point, my underwear is around my ankles and lost total frame control. I knew I had to get it back so as we started through our presentation I would ask questions and then pull back and joke with the group that it was not allowed. The big boss asked a question of me and I said – I cannot answer you yet. This removed all tension and showed the prospect that I was confident. Once I joked with the main boss then I knew I had control back. 

2. Hot Cognitions – Oren defines hot cognitions as things that trigger pleasure centers in the brain. For simplicity, I will simply say that people buy emotionally and make decisions intellectually. This means that you need to trigger emotion in your presentations and after give them enough cold cognitions (intellectual crap) so they are comfortable with their decision. Back to the big deal scenario above. My team and I understand this concept and used emotional words and storytelling to get their hearts pounding. We also knew that the 4 competitors after us would talk about their size, their expertise, the corporate structure etc. All this crap means nothing at the heart of the pitch. One last thing we did was take 3 minute breaks every 10-15 minutes. Your average person now has the attention span of a nat. People retain information in story format in 10 minute increments. We had two hours for this pitch and proposal review so we knew that data chunking was important. Also, with these breaks people loosen up and you know where you are at within the pitch as you mingle for the 3 minutes. 

I need to tell you that your income is directly tied to the level of your ability to persuade and sell. Most people do not think they have to sell for a living but I am telling you every interaction is a sale. You either agree or disagree to do something. Persuasion, influence and leadership are critical to winning deals. To master Oren’s methods you need to understand human interaction, have guts and eliminate the neediness. I have worked with several salespeople throughout my career and I can tell you the reason 95% of them suck is because they are “I centered”, Pushy, and very needy. This desperation is called sales stench and is why most fall out and don’t attain their dreams. 

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is guts. You have to build your gut level and take risks in sales situations. To consistently win, you have to control your meeting and that requires guts. You also need to have an imprint on your brain and it is this: “I am financially independent and I do NOT need this business.” Once you ingrain this in your psyche then the prospects will feel it and want to work with you. Ingrain it even if it is not true yet because it will be. Remember – don’t be cocky but be confident. 

Have a great weekend.

-Joe at Success Progress
You need to be able to sell in every profession regardless if you are a lawyer, accountant, doctor, dentist or microbiologist. Again all fields require you to sell. If you have an idea that will drive your team then you need to sell it. Lawyers and accountants have to have clients to do work for which requires selling. 

Why is this important to me?

I am not doing this summary to waste your time. It is my vision to provide concise action steps that you can adopt right now to enhance your financial life. In order to be effective at selling, you need to be able to influence and persuade, PERIOD. These two attributes require confidence and guts. Bottom line is that 95% of the sales people today are not qualified to do the job. Most will show up and throw up features and benefits and hope you will buy.

Hope is not a strategy. One required sales activity is to book a meeting with a prospect. Here is an example – An amateur salesperson makes a follow up call on marketing lead and says – “I see that you downloaded our e-book, was it informative? – Yes – Great, is there anything else I can help you with? – No – Ok well how about I follow up with you in 6 months to see if things have changed. – Sure! This simple interaction is being said right now by thousands of sales people who think it is working. This solidifies that hope is not a strategy.

Pitch Anything really focuses on the meeting and presentation portion of the deal. I will talk about three main concepts and dive into the What, Why and How answers.

Frame Control – What is a Frame? Oren discusses several types of frames – Power Frame, Analysts Frame and Time Frame. Frames are energy fields and perspectives between people. Controlling frames is critical in winning deals. This is rooted in brain development and Oren spends time discussing the Croc Brain which is the primitive brain. Frames are rooted in the croc brain. The croc brain controls your flight / fight and friend / foe chemical reactions. Think of frame control as being the alpha dog or pack leader.

There are countless examples of Frame Control throughout Pitch Anything and I have experienced all of them. I want to give more examples and outline successful pitches from my perspective that illustrate Oren’s point. There are two critical things you need and they are guts and humor. Pulling off gutsy techniques require humor because anytime you piss people off then they will not want to work with you.

Pitch Anything is rooted in neuroscience and brain function. Oren has studied this for over 10,000 hours and I can say that it works. I want to profile some examples: 

1. My biggest deal – My team and I walk in and are ready for the meeting. I am prepared with a tight script and ready to go. There are 20 people in the room and the winning bidder will bag a seven figure deal which is large considering the average PO in the industry is $25,000. I know that controlled interaction within a room environment is critical for success. Here is the opening dialog and battle for frame control: Me: Thank you for inviting us in , what I would like to do is go around the room for introductions and have you state two main goals you would like to get out of this meeting today. Prospect: You were given the agenda and no questions or dialog will happen until after the presentation so we will not go around the room, now get started with your software presentation. At this point, my underwear is around my ankles and lost total frame control. I knew I had to get it back so as we started through our presentation I would ask questions and then pull back and joke with the group that it was not allowed. The big boss asked a question of me and I said – I cannot answer you yet. This removed all tension and showed the prospect that I was confident. Once I joked with the main boss then I knew I had control back. 

2. Hot Cognitions – Oren defines hot cognitions as things that trigger pleasure centers in the brain. For simplicity, I will simply say that people buy emotionally and make decisions intellectually. This means that you need to trigger emotion in your presentations and after give them enough cold cognitions (intellectual crap) so they are comfortable with their decision. Back to the big deal scenario above. My team and I understand this concept and used emotional words and storytelling to get their hearts pounding. We also knew that the 4 competitors after us would talk about their size, their expertise, the corporate structure etc. All this crap means nothing at the heart of the pitch. One last thing we did was take 3 minute breaks every 10-15 minutes. Your average person now has the attention span of a nat. People retain information in story format in 10 minute increments. We had two hours for this pitch and proposal review so we knew that data chunking was important. Also, with these breaks people loosen up and you know where you are at within the pitch as you mingle for the 3 minutes. 

I need to tell you that your income is directly tied to the level of your ability to persuade and sell. Most people do not think they have to sell for a living but I am telling you every interaction is a sale. You either agree or disagree to do something. Persuasion, influence and leadership are critical to winning deals. To master Oren’s methods you need to understand human interaction, have guts and eliminate the neediness. I have worked with several salespeople throughout my career and I can tell you the reason 95% of them suck is because they are “I centered”, Pushy, and very needy. This desperation is called sales stench and is why most fall out and don’t attain their dreams. 

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is guts. You have to build your gut level and take risks in sales situations. To consistently win, you have to control your meeting and that requires guts. You also need to have an imprint on your brain and it is this: “I am financially independent and I do NOT need this business.” Once you ingrain this in your psyche then the prospects will feel it and want to work with you. Ingrain it even if it is not true yet because it will be. Remember – don’t be cocky but be confident. 

Have a great weekend.

-Joe at Success Progress

Friday, 18 January 2013

Less is More (Really)


This book is endorsed by Tim Ferriss who wrote the 4-hour Work Week. I really like Tim’s work so I read the book. Leo knows what he is doing and has a blog with 230,000 subscribers at zenhabits.net. Needless to say after reading this book, he has one more subscriber.

Why is this important to me? I don’t want to waste your time but do you ever notice that everybody is too busy. I realize this becomes the de-facto excuse for getting out of things you don’t want to do. Sometimes I wonder why people (including me) fill their lives with non-essential crap. Leo digs in and gives great examples of how to reverse the trend.

Two simple principles that Leo points are "Identify the essential and eliminate the Rest."

The Power of Less is broken down into two main parts – The Principles and The Practice. For the sake of time, I will touch on two concepts from each part.

In the first section on principles, Leo talks about setting limits. You need to do this in each facet of life. The best place to start is by asking the following questions. Which areas of my life are overwhelming? What would I like to simplify? Do I want to limit the number of possessions I have, information I receive and responsibilities I have? These questions will help you clear away the clutter.

The second principle is focus. The power of focus has to be one of the strongest human elements for effectiveness. Multi-tasking is overrated. It is an excuse to do several things halfhearted. Multi-tasking low level tasks is fine but if you are focusing on important things then focus and single tasking has to be the priority.

The practice takes energy, focus and motivation all of which are limited.
1. One project– We need to work on one project at a time until completion. If the project or goal is large then you need to focus on the three MITs (Most Important Tasks). Complete one task fully and move it to the completed section of your calendar. This will save you time and energy. The cost of interruptions in business is significant. Productivity drops every time a thought leader is interrupted.

2. Email – I am guilty of being buried in email. This is a problem that I created with multiple mailboxes and control issues. There are three things you can do to control email hell.

1. Check email and 12:00 Noon & 4:30 pm and respond. Give yourself 20 minutes to do this and limit responses to 5 sentences or less.

2. Do not check email first thing in the morning. This kills your mojo. If you have all your priorities and you start by working on your first MIT then checking email will get you pulled off the MIT (Most Important Task) and the rest of the day will be lost.

3. Tell people your email schedule. Let people know that this is how you work so they know that if it is a real emergency then they can call you. This is important and allows you to guard your time and focus on what is most important.
The Power of Less is a really good book. Leo knows what he is doing. He is an author, father of six kids, blogger and exercise freak. He does all of this because he focuses his attention on the essentials and eliminates the rest.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is make a list of your essentials. The information in this book will not work if you don’t know what your essentials in life are. You need to ask yourself this question and prioritize the top 5 or 10 things you want to focus on in life. Once you do that then you can start eliminating the non-essentials. If you have trouble doing this at first, make a list of things that annoy you. This will be a good start to eliminate.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!
-Joe Mosed, Success Progress

This book is endorsed by Tim Ferriss who wrote the 4-hour Work Week. I really like Tim’s work so I read the book. Leo knows what he is doing and has a blog with 230,000 subscribers at zenhabits.net. Needless to say after reading this book, he has one more subscriber.

Why is this important to me? I don’t want to waste your time but do you ever notice that everybody is too busy. I realize this becomes the de-facto excuse for getting out of things you don’t want to do. Sometimes I wonder why people (including me) fill their lives with non-essential crap. Leo digs in and gives great examples of how to reverse the trend.

Two simple principles that Leo points are "Identify the essential and eliminate the Rest."

The Power of Less is broken down into two main parts – The Principles and The Practice. For the sake of time, I will touch on two concepts from each part.

In the first section on principles, Leo talks about setting limits. You need to do this in each facet of life. The best place to start is by asking the following questions. Which areas of my life are overwhelming? What would I like to simplify? Do I want to limit the number of possessions I have, information I receive and responsibilities I have? These questions will help you clear away the clutter.

The second principle is focus. The power of focus has to be one of the strongest human elements for effectiveness. Multi-tasking is overrated. It is an excuse to do several things halfhearted. Multi-tasking low level tasks is fine but if you are focusing on important things then focus and single tasking has to be the priority.

The practice takes energy, focus and motivation all of which are limited.
1. One project– We need to work on one project at a time until completion. If the project or goal is large then you need to focus on the three MITs (Most Important Tasks). Complete one task fully and move it to the completed section of your calendar. This will save you time and energy. The cost of interruptions in business is significant. Productivity drops every time a thought leader is interrupted.

2. Email – I am guilty of being buried in email. This is a problem that I created with multiple mailboxes and control issues. There are three things you can do to control email hell.

1. Check email and 12:00 Noon & 4:30 pm and respond. Give yourself 20 minutes to do this and limit responses to 5 sentences or less.

2. Do not check email first thing in the morning. This kills your mojo. If you have all your priorities and you start by working on your first MIT then checking email will get you pulled off the MIT (Most Important Task) and the rest of the day will be lost.

3. Tell people your email schedule. Let people know that this is how you work so they know that if it is a real emergency then they can call you. This is important and allows you to guard your time and focus on what is most important.
The Power of Less is a really good book. Leo knows what he is doing. He is an author, father of six kids, blogger and exercise freak. He does all of this because he focuses his attention on the essentials and eliminates the rest.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is make a list of your essentials. The information in this book will not work if you don’t know what your essentials in life are. You need to ask yourself this question and prioritize the top 5 or 10 things you want to focus on in life. Once you do that then you can start eliminating the non-essentials. If you have trouble doing this at first, make a list of things that annoy you. This will be a good start to eliminate.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!
-Joe Mosed, Success Progress

Friday, 11 January 2013

What Do You Want?


It is interesting how things fall into place. Needless to say, Chris Guillebeau has the right idea. People are sleep walking through life. They get up, work, go to bed and get up again. Before they know it, they're 60 years old and wondered what the heck happened. 
Let's consider some things. Education today in the U.S. is a bit of a joke. We rank 25th of all the industrialized nations. This is horrible. Worse than that, kids are graduating college with mountains of debt and not getting jobs. Education cost is the only market that has been rising steadily and far exceeding growth in other areas. 
Why is Education so expensive and not really helping in the job market? There is so much loan money out there that the universities know they can charge more because there is money to be borrowed. It sounds like a bit of a paradox - students cannot afford college so let them go get money and pay for it for the rest of their lives. Worse than that for every engineer/tech person that makes stuff, our universities graduate 18 Lawyers and 50 MBA students. This means that one person creates actual utility and 68 people manage it. With stats like this you really need to evaluate what you want out of life and the direction you need to take to solidify your future.

"The Art of Non-Conformity" will show you some absolute great ideas and concepts that you can utilize, but it all comes down to this: What do you really want out of life? Chris talks about 11 ways to be average. I highlighted three kickers.
1. Accept what people tell you at face value. This is a classic one and you need to question everything. Remember half the knowledge we know today will be proven wrong in the future.

2. Don't try to learn another language, everyone else will learn English. This is just simple I-centered crap. I will admit that I only speak one language and frankly I am ashamed of it. This is currently being remedied.

3. Get the largest mortgage you can and spend the next 30 years trying to pay it. I can follow this one only if your money will be put to something with more utility. Remember that your house is a liability because it does NOT spit off monthly cash flow. 
Chris's book is packed with excellent ideas and a ton of non-conforming thinking. I will touch on three key points for the sake of time.
1. Remarkable work - You need to define what this means for you. We touched on in the last slide how you can be average. The remarkable life needs to be defined in terms of health, happiness, relationship and work. Give this some thought and cut out the clutter

2. Reclaiming Work - Chris tells a story about a person who was interviewing for bosses. Instead of putting a resume together and hoping to be picked out of a 100 people, she put out a blog post for an ideal boss and decided to work at that level. This is classic out of the box thinking. To reclaim your time, you need to use the stop doing list. This is a powerful tool for cutting away the clutter. Once you define what it is you want then you want to cut away all the crap and focus on what is important. If you work for other people then this exercise will free up your time and get you promoted. This is contrary to popular belief because people think there boss just wants them busy. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you work for a company that cares at all about growth then they want you to focus on the 20% of the work that creates 80% for the results.

3. Alternative Learning - For those of you that don't know me, I am a big fan of self-learning. With all the tools out there and the internet the possibility for learning is unlimited. The key is to focus on what you want to learn. I realize that some of you are going to want the degree which is ok but if you are smart about it and short of cash then there are several ways to get it without going into major debt.

This is one of my favorite quotes:
"The dumbest people I know are those who know it all." -Malcolm Forbes

Have a great weekend, thanks for reading.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

It is interesting how things fall into place. Needless to say, Chris Guillebeau has the right idea. People are sleep walking through life. They get up, work, go to bed and get up again. Before they know it, they're 60 years old and wondered what the heck happened. 
Let's consider some things. Education today in the U.S. is a bit of a joke. We rank 25th of all the industrialized nations. This is horrible. Worse than that, kids are graduating college with mountains of debt and not getting jobs. Education cost is the only market that has been rising steadily and far exceeding growth in other areas. 
Why is Education so expensive and not really helping in the job market? There is so much loan money out there that the universities know they can charge more because there is money to be borrowed. It sounds like a bit of a paradox - students cannot afford college so let them go get money and pay for it for the rest of their lives. Worse than that for every engineer/tech person that makes stuff, our universities graduate 18 Lawyers and 50 MBA students. This means that one person creates actual utility and 68 people manage it. With stats like this you really need to evaluate what you want out of life and the direction you need to take to solidify your future.

"The Art of Non-Conformity" will show you some absolute great ideas and concepts that you can utilize, but it all comes down to this: What do you really want out of life? Chris talks about 11 ways to be average. I highlighted three kickers.
1. Accept what people tell you at face value. This is a classic one and you need to question everything. Remember half the knowledge we know today will be proven wrong in the future.

2. Don't try to learn another language, everyone else will learn English. This is just simple I-centered crap. I will admit that I only speak one language and frankly I am ashamed of it. This is currently being remedied.

3. Get the largest mortgage you can and spend the next 30 years trying to pay it. I can follow this one only if your money will be put to something with more utility. Remember that your house is a liability because it does NOT spit off monthly cash flow. 
Chris's book is packed with excellent ideas and a ton of non-conforming thinking. I will touch on three key points for the sake of time.
1. Remarkable work - You need to define what this means for you. We touched on in the last slide how you can be average. The remarkable life needs to be defined in terms of health, happiness, relationship and work. Give this some thought and cut out the clutter

2. Reclaiming Work - Chris tells a story about a person who was interviewing for bosses. Instead of putting a resume together and hoping to be picked out of a 100 people, she put out a blog post for an ideal boss and decided to work at that level. This is classic out of the box thinking. To reclaim your time, you need to use the stop doing list. This is a powerful tool for cutting away the clutter. Once you define what it is you want then you want to cut away all the crap and focus on what is important. If you work for other people then this exercise will free up your time and get you promoted. This is contrary to popular belief because people think there boss just wants them busy. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you work for a company that cares at all about growth then they want you to focus on the 20% of the work that creates 80% for the results.

3. Alternative Learning - For those of you that don't know me, I am a big fan of self-learning. With all the tools out there and the internet the possibility for learning is unlimited. The key is to focus on what you want to learn. I realize that some of you are going to want the degree which is ok but if you are smart about it and short of cash then there are several ways to get it without going into major debt.

This is one of my favorite quotes:
"The dumbest people I know are those who know it all." -Malcolm Forbes

Have a great weekend, thanks for reading.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

Friday, 4 January 2013

Power of the Network

Reid Hoffman is the founder of LinkedIn and he talks about this and the power of the network. There is nobody better to articulate those benefits than Reid. 

Entrepreneurship is required today because the old adage of go to school, get a good job and retire, is dead. You need to put yourself in a position to make sure you have security. You need to help yourself first and then you can help others. This is not a selfish act. If you look at what Warren Buffett has done for charity, he created his fortune first and helped in a much bigger way later in life. 

"The Start-Up of You" is broken down into seven parts. In this blog post, I will focus on three.







1. Develop a Competitive Advantage – All successful tech companies know this. Otherwise they would not be successful. What value do you bring to the table? What unique skills and insights do you possess? In the business world, this is known as your unique value proposition. In our software company, we spent a lot of time creating a unique value proposition and it has made all the difference in the world. You need to do the same for yourself. This is true if you are going to start a business or work for a company. People need differentiation. 

2. I to the Power of WE – This signifies the strength of your network. Your network consists of both strong and weak links and both are very valuable. In LinkedIn, if you have 170 first level connections then you are only three layers away from connecting to over 2 million people. This is very important especially if you are looking for new opportunities or for specific expertise to advance your company or yourself. The power of who you know makes all the difference and can shave years off of obtaining your goals. 

3. Pursue Breakout Opportunities - This one is straight forward in theory but sometimes hard to execute. How do you know if they are breakout opportunities? In our business we have sold products in the past that had very little market. This is not recommended. This was early in my career and there is nothing better than learning a lesson with a baseball bat. This simple lesson costs us years in time and a lot of wasted money. Have you ever watched the show Shark Tank? On the show, people have to pitch the billionaire panel and ask them for investments in their ideas. These billionaire's sniff out in the first 20 seconds the market for the idea. If the market is small or commodity then they do not invest. 

"The Start-Up of You" is a really good book that I highly recommend you read. Remember that one of the fastest ways to success is following somebody who has already done what you want to do. This can save you years of work if executed correctly. 

I hope you have found this short summary useful. Don't hesitate to reach out of you have any questions; I am more than happy to answer them. Thanks for reading! T

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com
Reid Hoffman is the founder of LinkedIn and he talks about this and the power of the network. There is nobody better to articulate those benefits than Reid. 

Entrepreneurship is required today because the old adage of go to school, get a good job and retire, is dead. You need to put yourself in a position to make sure you have security. You need to help yourself first and then you can help others. This is not a selfish act. If you look at what Warren Buffett has done for charity, he created his fortune first and helped in a much bigger way later in life. 

"The Start-Up of You" is broken down into seven parts. In this blog post, I will focus on three.







1. Develop a Competitive Advantage – All successful tech companies know this. Otherwise they would not be successful. What value do you bring to the table? What unique skills and insights do you possess? In the business world, this is known as your unique value proposition. In our software company, we spent a lot of time creating a unique value proposition and it has made all the difference in the world. You need to do the same for yourself. This is true if you are going to start a business or work for a company. People need differentiation. 

2. I to the Power of WE – This signifies the strength of your network. Your network consists of both strong and weak links and both are very valuable. In LinkedIn, if you have 170 first level connections then you are only three layers away from connecting to over 2 million people. This is very important especially if you are looking for new opportunities or for specific expertise to advance your company or yourself. The power of who you know makes all the difference and can shave years off of obtaining your goals. 

3. Pursue Breakout Opportunities - This one is straight forward in theory but sometimes hard to execute. How do you know if they are breakout opportunities? In our business we have sold products in the past that had very little market. This is not recommended. This was early in my career and there is nothing better than learning a lesson with a baseball bat. This simple lesson costs us years in time and a lot of wasted money. Have you ever watched the show Shark Tank? On the show, people have to pitch the billionaire panel and ask them for investments in their ideas. These billionaire's sniff out in the first 20 seconds the market for the idea. If the market is small or commodity then they do not invest. 

"The Start-Up of You" is a really good book that I highly recommend you read. Remember that one of the fastest ways to success is following somebody who has already done what you want to do. This can save you years of work if executed correctly. 

I hope you have found this short summary useful. Don't hesitate to reach out of you have any questions; I am more than happy to answer them. Thanks for reading! T

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

Friday, 28 December 2012

"The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A fable for mangers and their employees" By Patrick Lencioni

There are several schools of management thought and thousands of books on the subject. Management theory can get pretty deep and technical. That's probably why most of it doesn't really work. How about your employees? I realize managers try not to know their employees on a personal level because one day they may have to fire them, but what does this do?

 People spend over 30% of their time on work related tasks. This is time spent away from family, friends and other activities. Gallup shows that 91% of employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged which means that they hate their work. Why do something you hate? All work has aspects that you will not like doing. Regardless, hating something that encompasses 30% of your time is really heart breaking and costly. Can this be fixed? The short answer is yes.

 "Three Signs of a Miserable Job" spells out three principles that are notoriously simple. The level of simplicity is probably why most organizations do not do it. I will chat about each one.

 1. Anonymity – People cannot be fulfilled in their work if they are not known. Belonging is a core requirement for humans one rung up from safety on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Belonging is so strong that you can parallel this to gang life. Gang members relate to each other and will do anything for another member because their desire to belong is human nature. Managers fear getting close to their employees because they may have to fire them one day. This is really unfortunate and can be fixed. The success of Facebook and social media companies today solidifies this notion that people need to belong. As an effective manager, it is your job to be genuinely interested in your people. There is an old saying in sales that applies here: People don’t care what you know until they know that you care and people buy from people they like. Why would it be any different from an employee / manager standpoint? It isn’t.

 2. Irrelevance – Everybody has a purpose and wants to perform. The goal is to help people become more of what they already are and help them perform for the company. In order to do this, people need to understand how their work is relevant and who depends on them. This is a bit easier to identify if you are customer facing but if you are in the back office then it is harder to see unless your manager points it out to you. Here is an example in our organization. Our software developers have to build great products or we cannot sell and create revenue. If they make bad products then our support staff’s lives become a living hell because customers are unhappy. Development makes a huge impact on customers, service and the company. EVERY position in the company has an effect just as powerful as this one. If we don’t acquire new customers as sales people then it does not matter how good the product is because the company will go out of business. Everyone needs to know that their job matters. It is the manager’s job to bring this out and show it to their direct reports.

 3. Immeasurement – College and professional sports generate billions of dollars per year in revenue. People love sports and love to compete. Would they love it if there was no scoreboard? Would they watch if there was no winner and no loser? Absolutely not! The same holds true for every job in every company. Each person has to have their own scoreboard and they need to be concrete and tied to relevance. This is the secret to great cultures. This is how to build employee engagement. Organizations with engaged employees grow 2.6 times faster than organizations with disengaged employees. You compound that year over year and you have the makings of an outstanding organization with huge competitive advantage.


I hope you found this short summary useful. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

 Until next time,
Joe at Success Progress
There are several schools of management thought and thousands of books on the subject. Management theory can get pretty deep and technical. That's probably why most of it doesn't really work. How about your employees? I realize managers try not to know their employees on a personal level because one day they may have to fire them, but what does this do?

 People spend over 30% of their time on work related tasks. This is time spent away from family, friends and other activities. Gallup shows that 91% of employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged which means that they hate their work. Why do something you hate? All work has aspects that you will not like doing. Regardless, hating something that encompasses 30% of your time is really heart breaking and costly. Can this be fixed? The short answer is yes.

 "Three Signs of a Miserable Job" spells out three principles that are notoriously simple. The level of simplicity is probably why most organizations do not do it. I will chat about each one.

 1. Anonymity – People cannot be fulfilled in their work if they are not known. Belonging is a core requirement for humans one rung up from safety on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Belonging is so strong that you can parallel this to gang life. Gang members relate to each other and will do anything for another member because their desire to belong is human nature. Managers fear getting close to their employees because they may have to fire them one day. This is really unfortunate and can be fixed. The success of Facebook and social media companies today solidifies this notion that people need to belong. As an effective manager, it is your job to be genuinely interested in your people. There is an old saying in sales that applies here: People don’t care what you know until they know that you care and people buy from people they like. Why would it be any different from an employee / manager standpoint? It isn’t.

 2. Irrelevance – Everybody has a purpose and wants to perform. The goal is to help people become more of what they already are and help them perform for the company. In order to do this, people need to understand how their work is relevant and who depends on them. This is a bit easier to identify if you are customer facing but if you are in the back office then it is harder to see unless your manager points it out to you. Here is an example in our organization. Our software developers have to build great products or we cannot sell and create revenue. If they make bad products then our support staff’s lives become a living hell because customers are unhappy. Development makes a huge impact on customers, service and the company. EVERY position in the company has an effect just as powerful as this one. If we don’t acquire new customers as sales people then it does not matter how good the product is because the company will go out of business. Everyone needs to know that their job matters. It is the manager’s job to bring this out and show it to their direct reports.

 3. Immeasurement – College and professional sports generate billions of dollars per year in revenue. People love sports and love to compete. Would they love it if there was no scoreboard? Would they watch if there was no winner and no loser? Absolutely not! The same holds true for every job in every company. Each person has to have their own scoreboard and they need to be concrete and tied to relevance. This is the secret to great cultures. This is how to build employee engagement. Organizations with engaged employees grow 2.6 times faster than organizations with disengaged employees. You compound that year over year and you have the makings of an outstanding organization with huge competitive advantage.


I hope you found this short summary useful. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

 Until next time,
Joe at Success Progress

Friday, 21 December 2012

Mitigating Failure in Small Biz


E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work 
and What to Do About it
by Michael E. Gerber



FACT: 75% of small businesses fail in the first 10 years and 50% fail in the first five. These stats are horrible and with the right strategy, can be mitigated. E-Myth Revisited explains how to do this, as well as why most businesses fail in the first place. Franchise businesses succeed 75% of the time over the same 10 year period. We'll contrast the differences in this summary. 

Michael argues that three personalities are required to run a business and they all have different agendas. They are the technician, the manager and the entrepreneur. The tech wants to just do the work, the manager wants to organize the work and keep order and the entrepreneur wants to strategize about the vision and the future. Problems arise because most people who start the businesses are technicians only. They have to do everything themselves and end up buying a job and working triple time to get everything done. The personalities are required for a business to be successful but when there is only one person i.e. the plumber, hair stylist, dentist etc. who start the business then these personality types conflict. 

Here I cover three of Michael's key points:

1. Infancy, Adolescence and Maturity – These are growth stages in any business and if they are not handled correctly, then bankruptcy is the conclusion. Infancy consists of starting the business with you doing all the work. Adolescence is when you hire your first employees. Typically what happens is that the employees are thrown into the job with no training and they become your right hand. Maturity happens when the business finds its legs and is able to scale growth.

2. Why do franchises succeed and small businesses fail? The number one reason is that the franchise is a crafted system and the small business is started on a whim with no real experience. The franchise model is strong because it gives all the necessary training, steps and systems to succeed. McDonalds is the greatest franchise to prove this. They can hire low skilled workers to run the system successfully. This is important because everything is covered and checklists are required. The system is the business. The small business does not have this luxury and usually dies because of it.

3. Systems and Scalability – We can learn a lot from franchise businesses. They are always honing and creating better systems so the business can run by itself. I can personally attest to the power of this. My business is in enterprise software. When the business was first starting, 80 hour work weeks were standard. We did everything without a roadmap just to keep the business going. When I stepped back and asked for help, it allowed me to work on the business instead of in it. We now have systems in place that allow us to control quality, deliver on time and keep happy customers. This is not easy to do. System thinking is detailed oriented and is a culture change with the people. I can tell you that if you have a small business and want to stop trading HOURS for DOLLARS then start scripting and creating systems so the business can run without you. 

The goal of creating a business that can run without you is lofty but definitely attainable. The best example of this is Warren Buffett. He owns excellent businesses and does not run them at all. He has the right people in the right places and it frees him up to do what he does best which is capital allocation.

Work on creating business systems so you can have more time to either grow your business or spend time with your family. Working a 100 hours per week and having the business stress for a simple pay check is not the way to a happy life style. Creating systems is the way to true income independence and freedom. 

TGIF & Happy Holidays,
Joe



E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work 
and What to Do About it
by Michael E. Gerber



FACT: 75% of small businesses fail in the first 10 years and 50% fail in the first five. These stats are horrible and with the right strategy, can be mitigated. E-Myth Revisited explains how to do this, as well as why most businesses fail in the first place. Franchise businesses succeed 75% of the time over the same 10 year period. We'll contrast the differences in this summary. 

Michael argues that three personalities are required to run a business and they all have different agendas. They are the technician, the manager and the entrepreneur. The tech wants to just do the work, the manager wants to organize the work and keep order and the entrepreneur wants to strategize about the vision and the future. Problems arise because most people who start the businesses are technicians only. They have to do everything themselves and end up buying a job and working triple time to get everything done. The personalities are required for a business to be successful but when there is only one person i.e. the plumber, hair stylist, dentist etc. who start the business then these personality types conflict. 

Here I cover three of Michael's key points:

1. Infancy, Adolescence and Maturity – These are growth stages in any business and if they are not handled correctly, then bankruptcy is the conclusion. Infancy consists of starting the business with you doing all the work. Adolescence is when you hire your first employees. Typically what happens is that the employees are thrown into the job with no training and they become your right hand. Maturity happens when the business finds its legs and is able to scale growth.

2. Why do franchises succeed and small businesses fail? The number one reason is that the franchise is a crafted system and the small business is started on a whim with no real experience. The franchise model is strong because it gives all the necessary training, steps and systems to succeed. McDonalds is the greatest franchise to prove this. They can hire low skilled workers to run the system successfully. This is important because everything is covered and checklists are required. The system is the business. The small business does not have this luxury and usually dies because of it.

3. Systems and Scalability – We can learn a lot from franchise businesses. They are always honing and creating better systems so the business can run by itself. I can personally attest to the power of this. My business is in enterprise software. When the business was first starting, 80 hour work weeks were standard. We did everything without a roadmap just to keep the business going. When I stepped back and asked for help, it allowed me to work on the business instead of in it. We now have systems in place that allow us to control quality, deliver on time and keep happy customers. This is not easy to do. System thinking is detailed oriented and is a culture change with the people. I can tell you that if you have a small business and want to stop trading HOURS for DOLLARS then start scripting and creating systems so the business can run without you. 

The goal of creating a business that can run without you is lofty but definitely attainable. The best example of this is Warren Buffett. He owns excellent businesses and does not run them at all. He has the right people in the right places and it frees him up to do what he does best which is capital allocation.

Work on creating business systems so you can have more time to either grow your business or spend time with your family. Working a 100 hours per week and having the business stress for a simple pay check is not the way to a happy life style. Creating systems is the way to true income independence and freedom. 

TGIF & Happy Holidays,
Joe