Friday, 24 February 2012




The vision for the Success Progress website is to help people utilize knowledge locked up in books to gain productivity. Most of the books are business related because small to medium sized businesses will dictate the future of America. "The Coming Jobs War " by Jim Clifton, Gallup CEO. With that being said, this is an excellent book that everybody needs to read.

From the top down, American looks pretty grim. We've seen wars and their efforts to police the world. Our currency is being debased because of incompetent spending. The education system is not working even though we throw close to $1 trillion at it annually. To throw another log on the fire, our healthcare costs are more than the banking crisis of 2008... EACH YEAR.

From the bottom up, America is still the greatest country in the world because we are free. I am American and very proud to live here. Entrepreneurial spirit lives in the blood of Americans and it is this basic horse sense and stubbornness that will fix the above issues. Jim’s book speaks in great detail about what it will take to get it done. His conclusion? The almighty JOB is the answer.

"The Coming Jobs War" is packed with 12 relevant chapters covering China, Joblessness, Innovation and Wellness. I am going to focus on four key aspects to highlight the book.

1. Joblessness- When there are not enough jobs, everything deteriorates. Jim profiles two cities in making this point. Why is Detroit a mess and San Francisco thriving? When cities lose jobs, tax revenue decreases and the downward spiral persists. I'm from Detroit and understand this first hand. Detroit was the 4th largest city in the U.S. and was an awesome place to live (before my lifetime). Today, the political and education systems are flooded with corruption and malfeasance. Leaders need to focus on Job creation at all costs to survive. Now it's even more competitive because every city in the U.S. is competing to create jobs not just with other cities, but with the whole world.

2. Behavioral Economics- Jim defines Behavior Economics as data that mathematically tracks what people were thinking before they did something. It focuses on "decision moments." Simple states of mind, like confidence, optimism, determination, creativity, hope and drive all exist before decisions that create the transactions of life. These bring GDP growth.

3. Customer Engagement- The key to creating jobs is to acquire new customers and new sales. It's that simple. Jim argues (with good cause) that behavioral economics create decision points for customers to buy or leave you. Thus, the real key is for business owners to focus on customer engagement. This simple concept is so strong that every business leader needs to have it printed on their forehead. To cement this fact, think about your own shopping habits. Have you ever walked into a store and been treated poorly or ignored? What did you do? Typically, people walk out and never go there again and tell 7 other people about the bad experience.

4. Employee Engagement-Organizations that have engaged employees grow their earnings per share 4 times more than organizations with disengaged employees. When I read this statistic, I did not believe it. I believe it now because we had an issue where one of our key thought leaders became disengaged and it cost us real money. The effect of disengaged employees on our company really put us back. Small business leaders need to focus on employee engagement to foster customer engagement which creates growth and new jobs.
I only touched on a few of the key points in this book. I recommend you read it because it will open your eyes. Jim Clifton brilliantly profiles our health care problems and says if they aren't fixed, we can't and won't win the Jobs war.
Be back with a new post next Friday. Have a good one!

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Saturday, 18 February 2012

How ordinary people make extraordinary money online


  Multiple Streams of Internet Income – Written by Robert Allen
    

Robert Allen is a successful writer and investor. He has written several books which are published and reviewed already on Success Progress. This book is now 5 years old which is ancient in internet years. Thus I will review a portion and give up to date tips on internet strategies for making money.

Why is this important to me?
I understand that I am asking you to spend 6 minutes with me on this video and then potentially a couple of hours reading this book. Thus the content has to be worth it. With that said, the content in the book is well worth the time. Years ago, one spouse could work and support the family. This country had what was called a middle class. Then we moved into the “DINK” era which is dual incomes with no kids. Thus both spouses worked to make ends meet. Today, you have both spouses working and families are still drowned in debt and suffering from money problems. Creating multiple streams of PASSIVE income is critical if you want to get out of the rat race and provide for your family. Contrary to popular belief, this does take work and focus. Typically when you hear about the overnight success, they never tell you about the 10 prior years they spent getting their asses kicked.

Creating multiple streams of income takes time but once you start doing this, you will see the power of passive money and compounding. Investors like Robert Allen and Robert Kiyosaki have typically done this with rental real estate. Robert Allen pioneered the billion dollar no money down real estate market. In my humble opinion, I think the internet offers much more upside opportunity with less risk. If anything, you can start building monthly cash flow from the internet and park it in cash flow real estate. This method will make you rich if you put in the time.

I am a big fan of the three stooges. This is the case because my mental capacity fits theirs. The question becomes then, how do we start to make money on the internet? I will save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars with one word – CONTENT. Do not spend money on traffic software, Google Ads or anything else until you understand that content is king. The reason the Stooges have been known for over 70 years is because of their content. Good content persists.

Enough with the esoteric stuff, here are some things you can do right now to get immersed in making money on the internet.

1. Content - Everybody has uniqueness and you need to start there. If you have a passion for a particular sport, hobby or animal then start there. Start mind dumping everything you know about that particular thing. A mind dump is where you take a sheet of paper and pencil and just start writing words that come to mind about your particular subject. Don’t worry about organization. That will come later.

2. Research – Now we want to do some research. This is why the internet is so strong. In the old days, when you wanted to sell something, you would have to make calls, bang on doors and send mailers. Today, the prospect funnel is already out there and all you have to do is use Google to start tapping into it. You can use the Google Adwords tool. Simply “Google” Adwords and you can put in websites or terms and see how many people are searching for that topic. This is very strong because if your content is good and millions of searches are happening per month then you are on your way to building an income stream.

3. List Building – Your list is critical and where the money is at. Do not buy a list of emails from brokers. Don’t spam. Don’t try to take the easy way out on this. To build a good list will take time but if you cater to the list with good content then it will pay you back 10 fold. You want to gather a following so start writing short articles about your topic and start submitting them to article sites. Sites like EzineArticles are free article sites that will help you build traffic to your site. You can create one article and submit it to several free article sites. Look up Article marketing for more details.

4. Social Media – Creating social media content is critical to creating and helping your income generation. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to start. Coordinate all of these things and your traffic will build.

After you have some content and did your market research, you need to know the end game. How will this be monetized?

1. Free partial E-book – You can write an e-book about your topic and give away the first few chapters free and charge for the whole book. Imagine selling a $2.95 e-book and offering it to a list of 200,000 people. If you get a 5% sale rate then you just made $29,500. There is power in small numbers. McDonalds is a billion dollar business selling 99 cent stuff.

2. Affiliates – Do you know that you don’t have to sell, collect, pack or ship anything? One of the biggest and most trusted affiliate is Amazon.com. There are others like Clickbank and commission junction that you can check out as well. You simple link to the affiliate product or service and as people buy, you get paid. 3. Advertising – Google and YouTube will pay you to have ads on your site. How cool is that? When you watch YouTube videos and click on an embedded ad, the creator of the video gets paid. Can you hear the money going into your account as you sleep?

4. Mobile Apps – Mobile applications are a huge opportunity. I am getting my feet wet on this now and will share the success as I go. If you think about IPhones, IPad's, Android phones and tablets, the sheer size of the opportunity is enormous.

All of the things I chatted about today are free to do. Once you start pumping along and building then there are cheap paid for services like Traffic Geyser, IContact and Keyword spy that will help you in your quest for internet streams of income. You will need to invest in a website and some design work. There are cheap outsourcers that can help you with this. Remember that you need to run this as a business and set realistic goals for yourself. If you are in a position that you hate your job then set a goal for one year to leave. In that time, work on your content, website, marketing and list building activities. If you give yourself one year then you will make money.

I hope you have found this short 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 CONTENT IS KING. People want good content. People love to buy and hate to be sold so when you have good content then they will love to pay you for it.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

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Friday, 17 February 2012

Down With Multi-Tasking! (to some extent)


If you're a frequent visitor of Success Progress, then you know who Tim Ferriss is because I've profiled a few of his books. Awesome author putting out some highly useful content. Anyway, Tim is an endorses of Leo Babauta's book, which should tell you the quality of work this book is. 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 always ask this question. 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. But then again, 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." I think this is an excellent metaphorical sentence to live by.

"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.

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's 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.

Have a good one, you guys. Be sure to check out www.successprogress.com for more similar content. Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Functional Exercises for Fitness and Combat Sports


Combat Conditioning – Functional Exercises for Fitness and Combat Sports
Written by Matt Furey
    
Combat Conditioning was the first book that introduced me to body weight exercises for functional strength and endurance. I was the type of kid in high school sports that was the proverbial “no talent ass clown.” What I mean by this was that I was very strong but natural talent escaped me. I always vowed that there are people that are much more talented but I would never be out worked. Growing up in the work out craze of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Pumping Iron” movie got me into weight lifting with all my friends. Now when you are young and you simple pound out weights to see how strong you are, bad things end up happening. When I received a physical before the starting season of Varsity football, the doctor looked at me and politely said - “Hey idiot, have you ever heard of stretching”? Needless to say the quest began to look for a better way to exercise and gain functional strength. Lawyer Note: I hate these but they are important. With any exercise routines, please check with your Doctor’s to make sure you are able to perform these routines.

Why is this important to me? This book will help you acquire knowledge on body weight exercises that help in three areas: Strength, Endurance and Flexibility. If these three things are not important to you then please save yourself 5 minutes and shut off the video. Otherwise please continue on with me. Have you ever seen any of the following: Great MMA fighters, Circ de sole or a gymnastics competition? All of these phenomenal athletes have functional strength. This means that they can do things with their body that 90 percent of the population cannot. The good news is that 90 percent can do these things if they change up on their exercise routines. Another book you should check out is Convict Conditioning. This focused more on muscle, joint and tendon strength. What is beneficial about that is you can keep that strength well into your seventies.

Don’t get me wrong – any type of exercise is better than none. If you are doing nothing and start doing weight lifting then please keep doing it. But if you want a cheap way to work out with compound results then this book is for you. One big problem with weight lifting by itself is that it utilizes muscle isolation. This means that if you do curling then you isolate the movement to the bicep muscle. This does nothing to create functional strength for your tendons or joints. The human body was engineered to work together so why not shorten your work out and do compound exercises to maximize your results. If you did a simple pull up then you still exercise your bicep but you also engage your back, forearms, shoulders and core along with creating functional strength.

Matt describes his Holy Grail of working out which he coins the Royal Court. I will explain each exercise. The Hindu squat is an excellent exercise. When you start out you can do a half squat like what is shown in the picture but as you progress and build up strength in your knees, you will want to do a full squat with the back of your thighs touching the back of your calves. Strong legs do a body good. When you work on your legs, you engage the whole body and burn calories all day even after the work out. The legs consist of the biggest muscles in your body and it shows the next day when they are sore.

When doing Hindu squats, work up to doing three sets of 100. Doing the royal court in 3 set cycles is a great work out that does not take much time. If you travel then this is a perfect routine because it does not take long at all.

The Hindu pushup is different than a regular pushup. Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart and your butt in the air. Push through in an arcing motion like in the pictures above. Try to work up to 3 sets of 50 repetitions. If you have never done these before and can only do a couple, do not get discouraged. Like anything new, it takes practice to build up. This exercise will help you with strength, back flexibility and endurance. Enjoy!!!

The back bridge gets a ton of bad press. People think that it is bad for your back and neck. Like anything else, please do what is comfortable for you. In the pictures above, I am showing three ways you can bridge. Note think of this as an exercise and NOT a stretch. You will feel your body warm up doing this exercise. You can start with a work out ball if you cannot do the neck bridge. Then as you progress, you can move into the neck bridge and then the gymnastics bridge.

Please note that if you never did these before then they will seem difficult at first. Do not get frustrated. Before I started bridging, I had terrible neck pain and back pain. Go figure because I was only doing heavy weight lifting with squats and bench press. Anyway, when I started doing the bridging, all of the pain went away.

The stretching in your back and neck feel great and the results will speak for themselves. Note: Do NOT force this exercise. Take your time and build up to it.

Combat Conditioning is a great book to introduce you to body weight exercises for functional strength, endurance and flexibility. I was watching a discovery show in which they were making a martial arts video game. They showed a man doing a unique exercise. There were telephone polls in the ground at varying heights in two rows. He was jumping from one to another and landing on one leg. He would jump to the other and do a one leg full squat with his other leg fully extended in a kicking position. This is a true test of functional strength and flexibility. Oh BTW, this man was 75 years old. Results that last a life time are something I am always striving for. I hope you have found this short 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 the royal court. Try it as part of your exercise routine for one month and chart your progress. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

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Friday, 10 February 2012

Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it

Book Summary: E-Myth Revisited – Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it –
Written by Michael E. Gerber
 
    
75% of small businesses fail in the first 10 years and 50% fail in the first 5 years. These are horrible stats that can be mitigated with the right strategy. E-Myth Revisited explains how to do this and why most businesses fail in the first place. Franchise businesses succeed 75% of the time over the same 10 year period. We will contrast the differences in this summary.

Why is this important to me? Michael argues that three personalities are required to run a business and they all have different agendas. They consist of 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. The problem arises 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.

E-Myth is packed great information. For the sake of time, I will cover three 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.

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 the importance of systems in your business.

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.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

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Thursday, 9 February 2012

Leadership Makes the World Go 'Round


Everything rises and falls on leadership. 
The fate of our country in the coming years will be determined by jobs and small/medium sized businesses. These organizations need solid leadership to run effectively. Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady do an excellent job profiling the five stages of leadership in their book, "Launching A Leadership Revolution." 
Leaders sell the difference between their vision and today’s reality. If the vision is compelling and the leader has character and integrity, people will follow. People need to be hone-able, honorable and hungry to become leaders. Leadership takes effort. I can personally tell you that leading people is not easy. I am also a beginning leader with a lot to learn. To gain mind share of people, you have to influence them and compel them to the cause.

"Launching A Leadership Revolution" discusses 5 levels of influence on the leadership staircase. I've briefly summarized them for you below.

1. Learning – Continuous learning is required now for any field especially leading. This needs to be a habit. You cannot influence people in mass if you are not willing to take the hits and do the work. Learning leads to better performance and enlightenment. The world is to sophisticated today for ignorance. You need to be a lifelong learner. 

2. Performance- It is not the number of hours you put into an endeavor but the effort you put into the hours. Leaders have to perform. NFL Coaches have a three year "life span" in the league. If they do not perform and create a winning team, they are fired. People expect performance and want to follow winners.cThere are a couple of keys to performance: 1. 80/20 Rule – focus on what matters and discard what doesn’t and 2. Parkinson's Law – Focuses on effectiveness and states that a task swells to its allotted time table. Shorten the deadlines on tasks and they will get done. In college, how many of you finished term papers in the last week before they were due? This is Parkinson’s Law in its negative affect. 

3. Leading – “To serve is to rule”-Leaders know that they have to serve others to get the job done. Selfish egotistical leaders will typically be stuck in positional leadership which is the lowest rung on the leadership ladder. Lee Iacocca was a good leader but not a great leader. He lost his focus and started focusing on his ego after the Chrysler turnaround. His focus became too “I centered”. To be a great leader, you need to be humble and have the collective put ahead of yourself. If you look at truly great leaders you will see this trait – Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and George Washington.

4. Developing Leaders-Developing other leaders is the real key multiplier effect. Having great people who lead allows organizations to scale. In business, this is the difference between being self-employed and owning a business that does not require your full attention. Do you have a local dentist? Typically what you see at these practices are very successful people that do all the work. They make an excellent living but cannot scale beyond a certain point because THEY can only do so much work and there are only so many hours in a day. Contrast this to Warren Buffett. Warren owns several businesses and does not run any of them. He buys them with excellent management and leadership in place. He provides additional leadership and capital to expand the business and scale. That is one benefit of developing leaders. 

5. Developing Leaders who develop leaders - This is the holy grail of leadership. Orrin gives a great example in the book. Christianity is 2000 years old and it is primarily that way because of the Apostle Paul. His ability to develop leaders who developed leaders was un-parallel in history.
"Launching A Leadership Revolution" is a good book that is worth the time to study. Orrin and Chris do a good job of profiling the key aspects of influence and leadership.

I hope you have found post useful. For similar content, visit www.successprogress.com. As always, I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for taking the time to read! Have a good one.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Fast Money in Slow Times


Book Summary: Cash in a Flash – Fast Money in Slow Times
Written by Mark Victor Hansen & Robert Allen

    
This book is a New York Times Best Seller and I can see why. If you are not familiar with the authors, they are hitters. Mark Victor Hansen is the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul with Jack Canfield. This book and series have sold over 65 million copies. That is really unbelievable. I read one of Robert Allen’s books back in the late 90’s called Multiple Streams of Income. This was and is a great book and is more relevant today than before. Think about it. Years ago, one person could work and support the family and then both spouses needed to work to support the family. In times like this, two people working are not enough because of the job situation and pricing pressures on living expenses. Multiple Streams of Income shows you the power of having your money working harder than you in multiple areas. I will profile that book in a future summary.

Why is this important to me? When asking you to invest your time to read two books in one, it has to be worth it. This book is worth it because it speaks to the importance of recurring revenue streams of income. Setting up systems that pay you ever month is the master key to riches. This concept eludes most people and that is why this book and the other books by these authors are worth the time to read.
Incentives drive behavior. This is one of the most powerful concepts of the human condition. Think about it. Have you ever tried to lose weight and have failed? What was your compelling “why” for doing it? If it was because you want your pants to be one size smaller then that is not a great reason but if your energy was drained and you were really unhappy then you MUST change and that is a compelling incentive. Compelling incentives drive behavior so when there is enough pain then change will happen.

This book caters to both the left and the right brain. It is two books in one. There is a fictional story of a mastermind group and there is a non-fiction book on facts, figures and “how to” actions. In this summary, we will talk about 3 core things:
1. Wow Now– Have you ever been wowed by something? Can you remember it vividly? Wow Now in a nutshell, has to do with you not only visualizing your future but virtualizing it. This means you need to imagine it with your whole mind and body. Remember that thoughts are things. The IPOD was born in somebody’s mind at Apple. Wow Now is designed for you to wow yourself by virtualizing your future with all 5 senses. Another critical component of this is to silence you inner whiner. Blair Singer’s book called Little Voice, speaks to this concept in great detail.

Your Little Voice if not controlled ends up being your inner critic. This is a big deal because it is the number one cause of inaction and a mediocre life style. This is the voice that says: “I am not good enough”, “I cannot do that”, “and Cash in a flash is a joke and not possible”. All of these excuses come from the primitive brain designed to protect you. It is fight or flight. If you see a bear in the woods, you don’t ponder what to do. Your adrenaline kicks and you react. The negative inner critic does not want you to fail and is very risk averse. This is why that 82% of Americans say they want to write a book and only 5% do it. Your dreams must be bigger than your fears!
2. The Inner Winner – The Inner Winner is your inner voice that comes from your heart. This is where the true passion for life lives. The Inner Critic comes from your head. In profiling several books, one clear point stands out. The highly successful people in ALL of the books love what they do for a living. None of them would call it work. Warren Buffett, the world’s greatest investor, loves to stock pile money and watch it grow. He does not want to make a few extra dollars, HE LOVES to STOCK PILE MONEY. If you truly listen to those words then you will see the difference.

3. Dream Team– In Napoleon Hill’s book, Laws of Success, he talks about the power of the Mastermind group. This concept is really simple. Two heads are better than one. Out of all the learning techniques, mentors and association are by far the best. The Mastermind allows you to emulate the best of the best. If you want to run companies like Steve Jobs then study him. Find out what makes him tick. If you want to grow your company from X to 10X then seek out a team that has already done it. This will save you years of heartache. Take it from me; I wasted a ton of time trying to figure it out myself. This turned out to be a big waste of time. Things that took years to “learn” by trial and error could have been completed in months through the use of masterminds and mentors.
Cash in a Flash is an excellent resource from two highly successful authors. Both bring their uniqueness to the table and the principles they share are sound. Once you bridge the mental limitations of your inner whiner, the “how to” stuff is easy. Creating cash flow strong income streams using real estate, licensing and information are very strong concepts that require little cash investment. It does require study and time.

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 the power of the Mastermind. When you have a problem that you want solved, talk to somebody who has solved it already which is the essence of the mastermind. Do this daily and good things will happen. With the power of the internet, anything is possible and almost all the answers are right at your fingertips. Get into this idea daily and your whole world will change.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

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Friday, 3 February 2012

Your Practical Guide For a Successful Career and Life


Book Summary: General Patton’s Timeless Leadership Principles – Your Practical Guide For a Successful Career and Life
– Written by Richard J. Stillman Ph.D.


    
Everything rises and falls on leadership. I have always been interested in George S. Patton. Some credit his work with winning World War II. Obviously, it was a great team effort that got it done but studying General Patton and his role as a leader is good for any inspiring leader

Why is this important to me?
I always want to ask this question as if I am sitting in your shoes. I don’t want to waste your time. Leadership is needed today more than ever. The generations after World War II have lived in good times. The coming storm of the debt crisis, terrorism and the world economy imploding can potentially result in some very hard times which will require resolve and leadership. The times hardened George Patton to become an excellent leader. He was born in 1885 and died in 1945. This means he lived through WWI, The Great Depression and WWII. Unfortunately today if the kids have to turn off Xbox then they pout because parents aren’t fair. This is a real problem and why leadership has to be studied.

Timeless Leadership Principles is broken up into three separate sections. Section one outlines all of Patton’s accomplishments during WWII. I highly recommend you study Patton’s history but in a nutshell, he covered more ground with Third Army and was instrumental in winning the war. For the sake of time, I will cover 5 major points from section two of the book. Note: Richard Stillman observed Patton for over a year when Patton commanded Third Army so he had firsthand knowledge of Patton’s Leadership style.

1. Be Physically Fit; Be Mentally Positive; Be Financially Secure – Third Army consisted of 400,000+ soldiers. In order to lead an organization like that, your house needs to be in order. If you are unhealthy, in debt or have a bad attitude then nobody will follow you. In war, leaders know that their direction and decisions are life and death and they need to focus on the tasks and goals at hand. The last things they need to be consumed with are the three basics of everyday worry regarding physical, mental and financial health. A quote from Patton sums this up – “High physical condition is vital to victory, Fatigue makes cowards of us all. Men in condition do not tire.

2. Lead by Example; Go for the Jugular; Be Audacious – Patton delegated authority better than anyone. He understood in order to win the war he needed to be close to the troops and focus on the most important tasks at hand. This included being in the field and walking around with the men in combat zones. He was not an ivory tower manager but an effective leader. Going for the Jugular and never paying for the same real-estate twice won us the war. With Patton, there was no defense. He attacked all the time and never stopped. This is an excellent leadership quality because you are either growing or dying, there is no steady state. These three principles require discipline. According to Patton – “Discipline is based on pride in the profession of arms, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle or the fear of death.”

3. Acquire Expertise in your Profession; Know Your Competition; Publicize your Accomplishments – Patton was an excellent military student of war. He studied history and understood why countries won and lost wars. He also was a student of his competition –German Commander Rommel. He read Rommel’s writings and knew how he did things. One of the greatest feats of WWII was the decoy of the Normandy invasion. The Germans respected Patton and bet that any major offensive would be led by him. Eisenhower knew this and used Patton as a decoy while the Americans stormed Normandy beach. This is the benefits of publicizing your accomplishments. If you are a smart leader, you can use your accomplishments to your team’s advantage.

4. Patton’s Fatal Flaw – Know Your Achilles Heel – Patton made some political mistakes throughout his career in WWII. He was the target of media scrutiny after he slapped a battle fatigued soldier in Italy. Patton was tough and did not want battle wounded men dishonored. After this incident he mistakenly insulted the Russians (not his intent) and it spread like wild fire costing him his command. According to Patton – “Stupid Goddam remark – I know better.” Do you know your Achilles heel? If not then learn it and otherwise it will affect you as a leader.

5. Be an effective writer and speaker – Most people do not know this but George S. Patton was dyslexic. Learning for him was a challenge but he did it anyway. To be an effective leader, you need to be a lifelong learner. Imagine controlling 400,000 lives in the biggest war that history has ever known. This requires dedication of self to the cause. This is much bigger and harder than simply running a business.

General Patton’s Timeless Leadership Principles is a good book and should be read by all aspiring leaders. Great leaders don’t get fired in today’s world and if they do then it is by incompetent people. If you commit yourself to continuous improvement toward a leadership goal then you can secure your future. The world is in short supply of great leadership. I hope you have found this short 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 discipline. Make discipline a daily objective around your true purpose in life. If you know what that purpose is then establish discipline and create the habits necessary to achieve your life’s ambitions.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Creativity Trumps Commoditization

Creativity creates great companies. A true a statement as you've ever heard of read right there.


The U.S. economy is driven by small business and small businesses need to be creative to stay alive. You are creative; you thrive. If you're not creative it results in commoditization of the business. This means profits are tight and price is the only differentiator. "Disciplined Dreaming" by Josh Linkner details a proven system to spark creativity throughout the enterprise. 

Now on to why this is important:
The key to economic growth is job creation. Job creation requires companies that add value and do not compete on price. Businesses have to differentiate themselves to foster profitable growth. Differentiation can be systematic using a proven system. Apple receives high marks for innovation but their landmarks to building a dominate company can be used by ANY business.

One critical component to creativity and differentiation is expanding the sphere of influence. Here is an example: The Apple laptop computers have a power supply that plugs in with a magnet. This simple differentiation is revolutionary to the computer world because if you kick the cord, your laptop will not fly off the table. This innovative feature was “borrowed” from the Japanese WOK. Steve Jobs expanded his sphere of influence and looked outside the computer industry for ideas. Innovation and creativity like this result in profitable growth for businesses and keeps you out of the commodity selling zone.

Disciplined Dreaming is packed with relevant information. For the sake of time, I will profile the 5 Steps to breakthrough Creativity. Josh has packed this book with tons upon tons of relevant information. As I am always respectful of your time (I am, aren't I?), I will briefly profile the 5 Steps to Breakthrough Creativity.


1. Ask – Defining the creativity challenge is the first step in the system. Asking questions around the challenge is the key to starting the process. Asking why, what if, why not. These questions bread concepts that have the potential to revolutionize your creativity challenge. 

2. Prepare – The key to preparing is to foster all learning environments. The biggest challenge to overcome in the prepare stage is to eliminate barriers. How many times have you shared an idea and the knee jerk response is – “That will not work for us?” 

3. Discover – Looking through a different lens is a great way to discover ideas. A simple example of this is to describe the ocean from a scientist’s point of view, artist’s point of view, surfer’s point of view, etc. When you do this, you will see a bunch of different angles to tackle the creative challenge.

4. Ignite – Josh lays out the 8 commandments in the ignite step. 

1. Thou shall not judge 
2. Thou shall not Comment
3. Thou shall not Edit,
4. Thou shall not execute 
5. Thou shall not worry 
6. Thou shall not look backwards 
7. Thou shall not lose focus 
8. Thou shall not sap energy. 

5. Launch – Selecting the best idea is important because you need to put resources behind it to make it a reality. Having an idea scorecard allows you to select the best idea based on fundamental criteria. Also, having a mindset of IDEA-SALES-DEVELOPMENT opposed to IDEADEVELOPMENT-SALES will save you big money. With Google today, you have an unlimited prospecting engine. It is very easy to sell ideas and get a true concept of demand before you put in the money on the development side. 

As you may or may not be able to tell, I am a big fan of this book. These are excellent ideas for fostering creativity in your enterprise. Even if you work for yourself, there are ideas to take hold of here. Josh is a very creative guy, and my affinity for this book only grows because his business (like mine) is located in none other than Detroit, Michigan.

Thanks for reading. It's Super Bowl weekend!

You can find more similar content at www.successprogress.com.

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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Better – A surgeon’s notes on performance Written by Atul Gawande

Book summary: Better – A surgeon’s notes on performance
Written by Atul Gawande
     
Dr. Gawande is an excellent author. Anytime I can learn from a Harvard graduate then I will spend the time on it. “Better” talks about certain simplistic conclusions from complex problems. Being a positive deviant is how Dr. Gawande characterizes being successful and making progress in medicine or any endeavor. 

Why is this important to me? Inevitably you will come across complex issues in your life. Taking a diligent approach to solving these issues will usually result in simple solutions. Better talks about how to do that. What does it take to be good at something in which failure is so easy, so effortless? Dr. Gawande tells a story of one of his patients that was admitted under his care when he was in medical school. The patient was stable and needed to be put under observation. She complained of insomnia and sweats the night before. The senior resident told him to keep a close eye on her and he agreed to see her mid-day. That one simple assumption almost cost the patient her life. The senior resident checked on her first and she had a fever and needed to be put into the ICU. She lived and was sent home fine a few days later. The point of this story is that a simple assumption to check on the patient in a couple hours could have cost her - her life. One simple thing to do separates life and death. 

Better is broken down in three main parts which I will touch on briefly and then we will talk about Dr. Gawande’s recommendations for becoming a positive deviant.
1. Diligence – Each year– 2 million Americans acquire an infection in the hospital and 90,000 die from that infection. Infections are complex as you can get. Where did they come from? How did it happen? When did it start? What type is it? All of these questions are valid and are part of the complex puzzle. After much study, the proper solution is WASHING YOUR hands. Now there is a strict procedure that doctors should follow, key word here is "should" and most don’t. There are little improvements that make HUGE differences that are profiled in the book. Here is a simple example. The nurses in the operating room would routinely run out of supplies and have to go get more. Thus they leave the room and come back in. Simple solution, make sure the supplies are fully stocked so you do not have to leave. This simple solution of just-in-time supply system eliminated infections by 90% in hospital surgical rooms that employed it. 

2. Measure – Another part of diligence is measurement. In the Vietnam War, when a soldier was wounded, their average time from field to the U.S was 45 days. Today it is 4 days. Gunshot mortality dropped from 16% in Vietnam to less than 5% today. The reason is not technology. It is in the process. Today there is FSU’s (Forward Surgical Units). They follow the troop battalions. Now when a soldier is hurt they perform mini-incomplete surgeries to make sure they live and then the rest of the surgery is completed after. This seems counter intuitive but it works.
The key to understanding why Forward Surgical Units work is to measure things. It became known that the time from wound to care is in direct correlation to life and death. Minimize the time – Maximize Life. Knowing this allows them to minimize the time in several areas.
3. Simplistic Relentlessness – Ingenuity is bread from measurement and diligence. Once your eyes are opened then the solution appears. This is slight edge daily behavior that creates huge results. Using simplistic relentlessness on identified problems creates explosive returns. This is the 80/20 rule on steroids. Most people would not look at the little things but a simple check list can save lives. A great quote from the book is: “What the best may have, above all, is a capacity to learn and change-and to do so faster than everyone else.” To that end I want to talk about the five recommendations to becoming a positive deviant. This is the term for using your ingenuity to solve complex problems. 

1. Ask unscripted questions
2. Don’t complain
3. Count Something
4. Write something
5. Change – These 5 things are designed to leverage the “collective knowhow!”

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 count something. If you don’t measure it then you can’t manage it. This is a big deal. Spend time and measure things that are important especially if you need to solve a complex problem. 

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

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