Archive for October, 2011

October 13, 2011

Keep It Simple

Earlier this week, Netflix reversed a decision it made just 3 weeks before, when it said that its traditional DVD-based movie rental service would be spun off into an entity called Qwikster. Customers who were previously renting movies either through streaming or DVD delivery would have to create separate accounts on 2 different websites, Netflix and Qwikster.

What a mess. This was at the same time they announced a price increase, which in any economy, is never met with enthusiasm. But making it more complicated for their customers to do business with them was the real kicker. Separate accounts where there had only been one before? That’s as if I were to order a Value Meal at McDonald’s and then told to go next door to pay for the soda.

Keep things simple, and make it easier for customers to work with you, not harder. You never hear a customer say to a business owner, “It’s too simple to do business with you. I need somebody more confusing.”

October 6, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs

With yesterday evening’s sad news of the passing of Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs at age 56, I recall an excerpt from his 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” (–Steve Jobs, June 12, 2005)

So I encourage you, whether your goal is to start your own business, to find your next great opportunity, or to make a career change, to remember these words from one of the greatest innovators in history. What made him great was not only the ability to come up with ideas that resonated with millions, but also the ability to motivate others to turn those ideas into reality through execution. As I have always said, great ideas are abundant, but great execution is rare.

Find out what your heart and intuition are saying, and have the gumption to do something about it.

Dream. Act. Thrive.

October 3, 2011

Be Apart from the Pack

I recently saw a sound byte on YouTube from Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of resort and casino properties in Las Vegas and around the world. He summarized his advice for success as this: “Just do things in life, the way other people don’t do them. Change the status quo.”

And that’s what I mean too, in the subtitle from my latest book where I say “don’t be a part of the pack, be apart FROM the pack.” Whether you’re looking for your next job, looking to grow your business, or hoping to start one, think of doing things in ways that make you stand out. Don’t do what everyone else is doing.

Here are just a few things to get you thinking:

  • Send a handwritten thank-you note instead of sending an email.
  • Pick up the phone to call someone you haven’t spoken with in awhile, who isn’t someone you want something from.
  • Instead of complaining about something, think up a solution for the problem.
  • Don’t be a victim of whatever situation you’re in. Take charge and take action.
  • Know what you’re good at, then seek or create opportunities for you to apply what you’re good at for someone else’s benefit.

C’mon, stand out from the pack! Do things differently.