September 5, 2013

Objection, Your Honor!

In courtroom dramas, we see opposing attorneys object to things, and the judge settles it with a “Sustained” or “Overruled”. In life, it’s not such a convenient situation when someone objects to what we’re saying or proposing, whether it’s in a business or a non-business setting.

This article on the American Management Association website offers tips on how to deal with objections. The author offers 4 steps to keep in mind: clarify, acknowledge, respond, and confirm.

How do you deal with objections?

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September 3, 2013

The Meaning of Success

Last year, in a survey of 26,000 Americans, Parade magazine and Yahoo! Finance found that almost 60% said they regretted their career decisions. I find that an astounding revelation, and feel even more thankful that I have forged my own path with my own business pursuits.

Success is something that means different things to different people, but part of this involves making your life meaningful to you. In a recent Fast Company article, Wharton Business School professor Richard Shell offer 5 insights on what could make life more meaningful. One I was happy to see was #3, “Discover what you do better than most.”

In my mind, that’s how you start laying the foundation for success and fulfillment, whether you have your own business, or work for someone else.

August 13, 2013

Lesson from BlackBerry

BlackBerry, once the dominant market leader in smartphones, just released the news that it is looking at the possibility of selling all or part of the company. They practically created the smartphone device market, and had a stranglehold on the corporate device segment. Now, they’re in danger of becoming irrelevant, despite adding singer Alicia Keys to its Creative Design group.

The reasons for BlackBerry’s dramatic fall are being debated. And you might say that this has nothing to do with any of us because BlackBerry is a large public company. But as small business owners we can learn something from this.

One of the reasons BlackBerry is in the situation it’s in is because it didn’t react to changes in its marketplace, as new devices emerged with full size touchscreen displays and “soft” keyboards (think iPhone). It seems that the BlackBerry guys felt that their customers would continue to prefer BlackBerry’s physical-keyboard devices. With such a large market lead, they started to believe they were invincible.

The same thing can happen to a small business. Its customers could be singing praises, and the business owner feels he or she owns the market. Things change, but the owner’s not listening, because of the previous adoration. Then the company fades, and this is one story that doesn’t make the press.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what you think about how good you are. It only matters what your customers think.

July 17, 2013

Don’t Get It Backwards

One of the common mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make is to come up with a product idea before they figure out who to sell it to. They fall in love with some concept they’ve been thinking about, perhaps to solve a problem they personally have. Then they create a product to address that problem, and maybe even come up with a good solution for it.

But if very few other people have that same problem, the potential market won’t be very large. The entrepreneur could experience what I call “terminal success”: achieving 100% market share after 10 sales. You’re awesome if you reach 100% market share, but if your market consists of only 10 possible sales, you’re sunk.

Don’t get it backwards. Focus on finding a potential problem to solve, figure out if it’s a big enough market, then create a product to address it. It’s way cheaper to change your focus before you build a product, then to build a product first and find out the market’s too small.

July 8, 2013

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

The Second Boom has arrived, for Baby Boomers who want to start their own businesses. It’s not too late — I talk about it in my series of 3 training videos that are absolutely free just for opting in. Go here to find out more:

http://www.TheSecondBoom.net

Some people say that Boomers are past their primes. I say, baloney, it’s not too late to figure out a business that fits your passion and knowledge. And an old Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Start your Second Boom. Make it big.

June 25, 2013

Stay Tuned for The Second Boom

My latest training is soon to be released. I’m reaching out to my fellow members of the Baby Boom Generation with the message that it’s not too late to start a business that could become your Second Boom. I’ve prepared a series of 3 videos with useful tips and methods.

Boomers, stay tuned! If you’re not a Boomer, I’ll make you an honorary one, because you don’t have to be a Boomer to benefit from these tips.

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March 27, 2013

On Extreme Productivity

I came across a recent article by Jeff Haden in Inc. magazine, which appeared in the Huffington Post website, on personal productivity. These 8 steps or tips are things you should keep in mind as you try to get more out of your work or personal day.

The only thing I would add my comment on is #8, “don’t quit until you’re done”. Be sure the task you define is something that can be done in that period of time you have in mind. If you underestimate that, you could be back to where you started from, working indeterminately until you’re done.

And that means you need to know how to take really big projects and cut them into manageable pieces. It’s like the eating contests some restaurants have … “Eat a 48-ounce steak in 45 minutes and it’s free.” I don’t recommend it, but the guys who do this know how to take that 4-pound steak and break it into bite-sized pieces. They certainly don’t try to cram 4 pounds in all at once!

January 10, 2013

Happy New Year

Been on a little bit of a hiatus, working intensely on a new course that I’ll be telling you about soon, but I’m re-surfacing to wish one and all a Happy New Year and best wishes for success and happiness in 2013. Go out and make some stuff happen, with your career, your business, or toward your personal goals.

November 12, 2012

On Hiring “40-Somethings”

A LinkedIn post on Sunday night by a business owner in Belgium created a firestorm of reaction by Monday morning. In her post Why I hesitate to hire forty-somethings, Inge Geerdens put her point across on this delicate subject. As I read it, I could actually see her post being interpreted in one of two ways, either being discriminatory and almost biased, yet also being cautious on how she invests her salary dollars. Or, perhaps, a combination of both.

You read it, and see what you think Geerdens was trying to say. The next day, after she realized the reaction she created, she posted again to explain herself: “I hire on ability, and nothing else.” From the reactions to the more recent post, it’s not clear to me that she was successful in making her point any clearer to them.

With today’s social media technologies, yet another example of how people really must be extra careful of how they express their points of view.

November 5, 2012

Being Productive Working from Home

In a recent guest post entitled “2 Tips for a Productive Freelancer’s Home Office,” which I wrote for the blog $200K Freelancer, I shared 2 tips to help freelancers create a more productive environment from a home office space. These are applicable to anyone in any industry working from a home office, so check out my post to find out what those 2 things are.