Friday, 18 May 2012

These Guys


Gallup chairman Jim Clifton says that the most important thing in moving societies forward are jobs. There are 7 billion people in the world and every one of them will need a job sooner or later. Without work, a society does not progress and sustain itself.  Entrepreneurs create jobs, simple as that.

So, I clearly think this is important information. I don't want to waste your time. The fastest way to financial freedom is
through a business. Successful businesses create wealth and jobs.  Leveraging OPM, OPE and OPT (other people’s money, expertise and time) will explode your results. With the technology today, the network is another huge function of success. Metcalf’s law states, the value of the network is the square of the number of members.  This is why Facebook is valued in the billions of dollars. Learn to leverage associations through the network, provide value and lever other people’s assets and you have a formula for success. World Changers profiles 25 entrepreneurs. For the sake of time, I am going to profile three of them with some commentary.

1. Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon – Jeff is a brilliant guy who has a keen sense for the customer. He sees Amazon in permanent beta only to be improved with the customer in mind.  Jeff is a really smart guy and he learned a valuable lesson from his grandfather. He made an observation about his grandmothers smoking and instead of her being impressed with the quick math, she started to cry. The lesson – Cleverness is a gift. Kindness is a choice. This really sums it up because you cannot build an impressive organization unless people care. You can be a hard boss and expect the best but if you are cruel in nature and vindictive, the talented people will leave.

2. Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines – Herb is a lawyer by trade and he decided to go into the airline business. At the time this would be like my high school football team playing the New York Giants.  The odds of success were slim and none. A today Southwest airline is a great place to work and has never had a year in which they were not profitable. This is unheard of in the airline industry. Here is a story to sum up Herb’s creativity and passion for the customer. Southwest was young and Braniff decided to start a price war. The decisions were either, match the price and go bankrupt or leave the price the same and go bankrupt. Since Herb knew his customers were business travelers, he did the next best thing, he decided to lower the fair a bit and give them a free bottle of booze with every flight.  The strategy worked perfectly and Southwest became the largest purchaser of spirits in that three year period.  Needless to say, Braniff went bankrupt and Southwest became the most valuable airline in the world.


3. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank – You may not be familiar with Muhammad but I recommend you read about him. He is an incredible person who is changing the world from the bottom up.  Muhammad invests in the underdog. Microfinance is banking for the poor. They do loans for $35 to poor people. These loans have helped to transform societies in India. People are motivated by pain and pleasure. When you are poor, there is no greater pain so Grameen Bank provides a way for poor people to get out of pain. The reason this is so successful is the work ethic and will of the people. Muhammad is a true social entrepreneur. This is what charities should focus on. Opportunities bread success while entitlement corrupts. I picked those three entrepreneurs because they all have some level of connection with people. All of these people faced unbelievable odds and the skeptics predicted failure. That really is the essence of this book. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to overcome hurdles and work your ass off.

Lastly, know that if you leverage hard work with smart work and keep an open mind, you will achieve success. Enjoy your Friday.

-Joe

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Friday, 11 May 2012

Happiness: It's Not About Doing it All

Chip was kind enough to send me his book and since I have an affinity for business, I read it. Success and Happiness are correlated but causation needs to be studied. What I mean is Success does not cause happiness and happiness does not cause success. The correlation of success to improve happiness may be there if you have your priorities straight. 

Success and Happiness are important to everyone and the Holy Grail in life. I wonder why they don’t teach it in college. Jim Rohn said “Make rest a necessity not an objective. This thought is the key to unlocking the mysteries of life. Chip and Vernon dedicate 240 pages to success and happiness and one critical detriment is laziness. When you make rest an objective, you grind 5 days a week in a job you hate to simply load up on the weekend or wish for retirement.

When rest is a necessity, you are now busy crafting your life around your “compelling why”. Unfortunately people will spend more time planning a vacation then they do their life blueprint. This simple act is the biggest cause for an unfulfilling life. Utilizing the power of slight edge behavior and compounding, you can craft any life you choose. Think about this for moment. Can you commit to improving .1% per day in your activities? This is one tenth of one percent. If you did just that and did it daily, you would have improved yourself by more 30% in one year. The reason this is so strong because the improvement compounds on top of the last improvement. The opposite is also true. If you add one can a coke to your diet per day then in three years you will gain over 30 pounds. 

Chip and Vernon cover all facets of life in this book. I will cover a few key points for the sake of time. 

1. Strategic Contrarian – This is a mindset to go against the grain. This is very helpful in many aspects of life. The easiest example is seen in stock market investing. Logic dictates that you buy low and sell high to make a profit. Everybody knows this but consistently the herd buys when the market moves up and sells when the market moves down resulting in lost money. Using strategic contrarian thought in different aspects of your life will help immensely. Another example is job mindset. How many people do you know that say “it is not my job”. This is a career killer yet many people feel entitled. Contrarian thought dictates you work hard and smart now and the money will follow.

2. You can do ANYTHING, but you can’t do EVERYTHING – This is great advice. Trying to accomplish everything sets us up for failure and unhappiness. Having realistic goals and to do’s allows us to enjoy the wins without the guilt of not finishing everything. Striving for everything causes undo stress and burn out. Think with the end in mind. If this was your last day on earth then it makes sense to focus on the “ANYTHING” and not the “EVERYTHING”. 


3. Vernon’s definition of happiness is when a person makes peace between his ambitions and his limitations. This is really profound advice. I may want to be a pro football player but genetics stand in the way. Understanding “true limitations” is the key to happiness. This does not mean make up an excuse and call it a limitation. This definition is critical for people that are truly “type A” personalities. 

There are some great resources in the book and tools you can use to sculpt your life’s script. I think Chip may have a PHD in Microsoft Excel. He has a spreadsheet to track anything you want as it relates the life cube laid out in the book. 

Until next time,
Joe

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Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Four Agreements - A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom


Book Summary: The Four Agreements -A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom -
Written by Don Miguel Ruiz

 
    
This book has a very powerful message. Toltec’s are ancient people of wisdom. Don Miguel Ruiz explores the concept of heaven and hell on earth as it relates to your life. Eliminating poisonous behaviors and thoughts through the Four Agreements will lead to enlightenment. This is not a religious book but driven more toward happiness.

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 life. Don Miguel Ruiz summarizes the whole point of the book like this: “We all have a choice: to suffer our destiny or to enjoy our destiny.” Beginning with the end in mind is critical and that end is to design our destiny and live it each day.

Our book of law is our belief system. These are beliefs that we have and assume to be true. This is where the big paradox of life comes into play. Our beliefs are no more than our opinions on what is right. They are not true facts yet they are OUR facts. This is a big deal because as you start to question the validity of your beliefs, things will change.

The Four Agreements highlights four basic rules that you can apply and work toward to make massive change in your life. I will highlight each agreement.

1. Be impeccable with your word – Your word is your power to create. In true Yin/Yang fashion, your word either creates black magic (a living hell for you) or white magic (a living heaven for you). Here is an example: Hitler and Gandhi. They both used words to drive a message.

2. Don’t take anything personal – If you do sales for a living then you understand the power of this agreement. Just because somebody gives you an opinion, does not make it right. If you are called fat, lazy or stupid, these are all opinions from that person. It does not make the opinion right unless you believe it. This is where your beliefs come from. As a child you were raised a certain way and these beliefs became a part of you even if they are not true. Example: How many times have you seen a beautiful woman who has self-image issues because she thinks she is fat and ugly? Oprah Winfrey has made her fortune dealing with misconstrued beliefs like these. Don highlights, the immunity to poison in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement. That is a very powerful statement. Think about it………

3. Don’t make assumptions – We assume that our assumptions are true which creates confusion, angst and problems. It is always better to ask questions then to assume because assumptions set us up for suffering. You see this in business communication all the time. Assumptions create more bureaucracy and waste more time than any other thing in business. How many times have you received an email and it was totally misconstrued? You assumed the wrong intent and bad things happened. You hear these stories all the time. The big problem with assumption is that we ASSUME people think the way we think, feel the way we feel, and judge the way we judge and abuse the way we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make.

4. Always do your best – This agreement is about implementing the other three. Doing your best daily is about action. Taking action and committing to the four agreements is the manifestation of heaven on earth.

Humans wrestle with fear, uncertainty and doubt daily. These fears are driven by our belief system. Implementing the four agreements is the path to eliminating fear and false beliefs.

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 eliminate the gossip. This is easier said than done. Look at reality TV. This has a huge market and it is all gossip driven. People in general like to talk about other people. Eliminating gossip has the ability to revolutionize your life. Try to eliminate one gossip session each day and see what happens and notice the change in your life. This may start out small but will have compound effects over time.

Joe Mosed
successprogress.com

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Friday, 4 May 2012

Be Nice!

The Kaplan Thaler Group is an advertising firm with $1Billion in revenue. The founders attribute its success to the hard work and “the Power of Nice.” Any book written by business women doing a billion in revenue is worth reading. Some things to consider when being NICE: Nice is luckier in love, Nice makes more money, Nice is healthier and Nice spends less time in court. 

Two critical points about fostering team work is sharing the credit and being nice. Jay Leno, the host of the Tonight Show, celebrated their tenth anniversary by giving each staff member $1,000 for each year of service. He did this out of his own pocket. Some members have been with him the whole time and there are 175 people that work on the show. Jay is the ultimate nice guy. The title of the show is “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” not The Tonight Show STARRING Jay Leno”. This subtle difference sums up the whole book.

Linda interviewed Warren Buffet and read in his bio that he loves Cherry Coke. When she met him, she gave him a Cherry Coke and his response was “Linda, I will tell you everything you want to know because you brought me a Cherry Coke. Simple gestures can move mountains. The Power of Nice consists of 10 chapters and is an easy reading book. For the sake of time, I will profile three key concepts

Sweeten the Deal – When you work with clients or prospects, feed them. This simple gesture will win you more business. Your caring has to be genuine and not phony otherwise people will see right through you. We are unique with all of our sales calls and service installations in our business. We bring bagels, muffins and coffee to each engagement. I can tell you for a fact that we are the only company in our space that does this and I can tell you that this helped us win four of our biggest deals in company history. People want to work with a considerate team.

Help your enemies – Business is circular and you never know where people end up or who they can influence. If you strive for win/win relationships and you know your competitor can service a type of account better than you can then you need to pass the business to them. You never know what the future holds. George Washington insisted that prisoners of war be treated well. He knew that after the war, these people would be neighbors to the soldiers. Today’s enemy is tomorrows ally.

Shut up and Listen – Active listening builds rapport plus you cannot learn when your mouth is moving. Listening and asking questions affords you the luxury of helping people discover their issues without criticism. You also want to tell the truth because if you are faking being nice then people will smell that a mile away and not work with you. People want to work with people they like.The Power of Nice is a book worth reading. In a rushed world, the simple principles are sometimes forgotten. Being nice to people will come around for you full circle. Emerson’s law of compensation basically says if you want more then give more. True givers are NICE and kind people.

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 to question your criticisms. Instead of being critical or attacking a behavior of somebody, ask a question about the result. If the window is open, don’t say “Shut the window” instead ask “Is it cold in here?” The result will be the same – a closed window. 

Have a superb weekend. 
-Joe 

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