Rank #1: 99 – Startups Unlimited Opportunities with New Technology
I keep on hearing people saying that they’re looking or they’re trying to think of something to do as a startup. Don’t think necessarily of just what you’re doing. Instead, think of problems that you, your neighbors, or other people that you see have. Solving a problem is what makes a business. I want to give you a ton of examples here just really to generate thoughts, generate ideas, and start thinking about things. Some of them are very simple, some of them are a little bit harder in the sense that you have to make something or do something with it. If you have an expertise, yes, you can teach it online now. This is just taking advantage of the technology along with your knowledge.
Remember what I’ve said in earlier episodes: Master what you know. Gain your authority by being the expert; not just by being recognized, but by being solidly known that you are an expert.
How many times have you heard: “Oh, there’s no new ideas”? I keep on hearing that from people, I don’t know whether they want to fund things or what they’re doing, or they want to just convince you to have their help to do it, but there are ideas every day. Sometimes when you’re watching TV and looking at the advertisements, look and see: “Wow, I never thought of that. Gee, that’s interesting.” Example, this weird thing that climbs stairs. It’s basically three wheels that rolls and rotates, and it gives you the ability to climb up the stairs more easily with whatever you’re dragging behind you, a package, etc., some heavy weight. It greatly reduces the ability. Somebody thought that up.
Even dash cams. What were they? They were nothing more – we already had cameras, phones, and everything. Somebody took that camera and the recording capability and put it up as a dash cam. Simple things like: Do you like crawling along the floor and wiping the baseboards? Somebody said: “Okay, I’m going to put a funny-looking cloth on a stick,” and it’s actually sort of a sponge, but it’s something that very simply you can walk along the area and clean your baseboards around your house without ever bending down.
You may remember, maybe about a year or so ago, I mentioned that there was somebody with cerebral palsy that interviewed me for her podcast, and she was the first woman or first person that had an exoskeleton, that is that support around the body to help her walk, and she was the first one this is a little over a year ago. Now they are taking AI (artificial intelligence) to modify the way that the brain is thinking that the person will walk or wants to walk because of how we learn to walk in the first place when we’re younger, it basically takes, responds, and helps and adjusts to your behavior.
Somebody came up with a problem, kids don’t like to carry around or they don’t have with them their bike helmet, they leave it behind, they do whatever. So what did they do? They created a folding bike helmet, and therefore it easily fits into someone’s backpack or anything that the kid has. They don’t have to have it under their arm.
Solar panels have been ugly. A lot of people won’t buy them or don’t want anything to do with them because they really make the outside of the house, at least in my opinion and a lot of others that I hear about, ugly. Somebody has modified the solar panels so that they fit much like an ordinary roof and you don’t see them, you don’t notice that they’re there.
These are all examples of there was a problem that somebody just solved. Isn’t that what inventions are all about? Some of them can be very simple, and you can get funded by GoFundMe or the Kickstarter campaigns, and find out ways to take your business and your creativity to the business world.
Example: This is the time, and what would you think about it? You think about right now this is the time for allergies; everybody is s...
Jul 04 2017
Rank #2: 102 – Target Marketing & Build Customer Loyalty
This episode addresses the following topics and questions.
Who are your customers and targeting your prospects?
Use the attributes of your product or service and describe well what it will do for them
They only care about the benefit to them
Watch and survey with customer satisfaction to either learn possible expansions or to at least find who they are and what they like and don’t like. It is the customers' perspective that is crucial, not yours or your friends.
What do they do?
Where do they live?
How do they use your product or service? They may id something that you didn’t think was in your marketing.
In an earlier episode, I discussed how to increase the probability of success in business.
Does the picture you had of customers before you started match your real customers
Why do they buy your product?
Why from you?
What excites them? What is valuable to them in your product?
If you can answer and reexamine these questions you wil be ready to market you product and will later be ready for expansion and growth!
Aug 02 2017
Rank #3: 100 – Business Strategy Comprehensive View
There are over 40 million people in the United States with side gigs. Now, these don’t even include people that have separated from there job and set up their own business. I wonder how many of those 40 million would be able to have a complete business if they looked a more closely at strategy. There are an additional 500,000 people per month starting new businesses.
This episode is meant to touch on the eight points that everyone, regardless of the size of their business, should be familiar.
The detail and motivation of each is contained in the audio of the episode. However, here is a brief overview of what they mean. Listen to the episode to understand why it’s important to anyone and any business. The eight categories are:
1. Product line - this not only includes what you’re selling now, but what you might want to sell in the future.
2. Targeting your market – while current trends and recommendations say concentrate on one person as you target your product or service, you may have to at least be aware of more segments.
3. Marketing - while much has changed because of technology today, much has also stayed the same.
4. Sales - there are diverse sales methods today because of online skills and techniques. However, each of these tend to attract different types of people and must be used differently.
5. Distribution – whether you have a product or service, distribution channels have expanded and your market potential depends on your distribution method and size of your channel.
6. Production - how is your product or service created? With today’s technology, however it is done, will probably be changed within the next couple of years
7. Labor - this is not only about the people you have, but how efficiently and how well skilled they are. It concerns the training. If you are one man shop with a limited time, then you need better time management, no matter how good you think you are.
8. Finance - probably the most important was saved for last. I’ve been told by my former accountant and read that 70% a business failures are caused by financial mismanagement. So, while it may be boring for some, this is a crucial area for any business.
There are a wealth of opportunities to start businesses today. However, you not only want to own a business you want to increase the probability of a successful entrepreneurial venture with sound ongoing business strategy.
Now, as I said this episode is to help understand the motivation and the reasoning why each of these is important to everyone in business. Over the next several episodes, each of these Will be gone into greater depth.
This episode was motivated by several questions I received and the observation of so many failures for lack of understanding of business strategy and for ignoring one or more of these areas.
You certainly don't have to be an expert in all these business strategy fields. That would be ludicrous as you would never get to do your business. But, you must understand an overview and be able to evaluate what kinds of advice you are getting and from whom.
Jul 18 2017
Rank #4: 98 – Branding, Position your Business and Self
I’m going to get to products very quickly and very soon, but first I want to talk a little bit about the positioning, and the scope and breadth of a brand or a strategy. If you have it too narrow a scope, you may have difficulty broadening your appeal. We’re always hearing about find your niche. Find your niche. If you define it so narrow you will not be able to branch out very easily. You’ll have to create a new brand or a different brand, it becomes very, very difficult. However, if you can position it in such a way that it implies something more even though you’re selling. Can it easily adapt to something more, that can be very different? It depends on how you position it, how you sell it. What you do with that brand as you’re marketing it, as you’re selling it.
Even Big Brands make Branding Mistakes or Over Reach
Look at some of the big brands that really stand out. As soon as you mention them you immediately know what they are and what they stand for. Colgate, Heinz, Harley Davidson, Xerox. All of them have very strong brands, and you know what it means as soon as you hear the name. Wasn’t always that way.
Yes, Colgate always was toothpaste, but they decided they had something else and they actually introduced lasagna. Can you imagine Colgate lasagna? Just the thought of it doesn’t seem realistic.
Harley Davidson came out with a cologne. Maybe that might work for some limited group of people who like the smell of Harleys, but for most people cologne and Harley Davidson just don’t match very well.
Heinz came out with another sauce. They were so good with the Heinz-57, the Heinz Ketchup, they came out with a green sauce. The green sauce for Heinz was at first attractive to a bunch of little kids. The kids thought it cool or fun, but they of course aren’t going to be the ones that are going to stay interested in something like that for a long period of time. It wouldn’t matter what the flavor and other things were. It just was not consistent with their brand image. It’s not appealing.
Branding even relates to your own image
You may have a very good product, but if the image of your company or your own image is very different… Relating to yourself, think in terms of social media. I’ve helped and guided several people and companies on social media habits, etc. I’ve tried to help others, but they just know better for themselves. What happens? Something like 30% of people are rejected in job interviews because of their social media content. They have branded themselves with social media. I have some people who I know who would like to expand and up-level their careers, but they’re so infatuated with the responses they get from their friends, they think: “Wow, that’s neat, that’s cool,” or whatever they say today. It fits into a narrative that may not mesh with places they’re trying to get into. While you’re branding your product or yourself you have to maintain that capability. You have to be able to have it so that you can transfer and move yourself, make progress.
Success necessitates Product Positioning Regardless of the Product
Success is usually includes moving from one place to the next with a different group of people. You can’t eliminate or become a distraction. On the other hand, you could have a bad product and there are ways to actually increase and develop good sales strategy even with a bad product. How do you do this? You match it.
I did this with Chrysler. If you remember the Chrysler Advantage campaign, they had horrible cars at the same. As a matter of fact, when I brought this campaign idea to them, they said: “We don’t have any advantages. We don’t have anything.” At that time they were in the depths of depravi...
Jun 18 2017
Rank #5: 104 – Future Marketing – Customer Sourced
Today, we’re going to continue from a previous episode where we talk more about what was going on with sales and the sales process. Let's talk a little bit more now about the technology and the future that’s coming up as well as what is existing today and what we have to look for.
Now, to carry on a little bit from last week, we talked about social media, sort of the final part, the final cut. With social media, you can, today, build relationships and build relationship with people who are influencers in your area or your field, as well as people who may potentially be influencers within the sales process of your business, of your product, but relationships can’t be abused. There are some approaches that are really weird and they reek of the time when people thought that they could do it with business cards.
There was actually even some car dealer or something or a used car salesman. He used to talk about and teach people how to just buy tons of business cards and leave them all over the place. Throw them places, et cetera, and it’s almost like we have some of those people out there. As you’ll notice in social media whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, et cetera, you go and make a contact and somebody sends you back an immediate message saying, “Oh, here’s what I do and here’s what I’m selling. Are you interested?” Well, that’s today considered very obnoxious. It's annoying and while it might work once in a while and will cause stories to be told about how I did this. Some will say I generated sales without thinking. It’s the without thinking part that really is troublesome because it’s not going to build a good business.
What will build a business today, and future marketing? Of course, more and more so, it’s customer service. Customer service now is always on. Think of not just like your instant TV but it’s always on. Customers have access today to more information from other customers, as well as ratings, et cetera, some of it false. You have to monitor things for that reason. It’s why you often hear that buyers are right now considered to be 65%, two-thirds of the way through the sales process because of research before they even reach out to the sales person in your company or any of the company for your product or competitive product. That number is expected and will probably grow easily to 85 plus percent. How do you get ready?
That tells us two things. Sales is rapidly removing the salesperson. What is it replaced by? Customer service, information, the things that make your company and your product more attractive and how comfortable that person is. Get back to building that relationship with existing, as well as potential customers. Today, you can already geotarget to such an extent. You are, say, a real estate agent in a particular area, you don’t need to blast in advertisement into the newspaper. A car dealer doesn’t have to blast an advertisement into the newspaper. They can actually target people who are interested in cars and thinking about buying a car based on social media characteristics that already exist within their very targeted market area.
Technology is changing even more and those changes are going to accelerate quite a few things. Before I talk about what they will accelerate, keep in mind why you need to be interested in this tech that’s coming out. Don’t say, “Well, I’m having trouble keeping up,” because quite frankly, this technological change that’s occurring gives you or your competitors the opportunity to substantially increase market share, become closer to the customer, and possibly step in front of you in the line of information that the customer’s seeking.
Aug 17 2017
Rank #6: 103 – Marketing Today; Social Media and Customer Focus
Now, marketing is different than it has been years ago, not in the sense that the customer has changed at all, not at all. However, everybody is able to focus so much better, and refine their marketing to such a degree, because of all the information available today, and the new ways of marketing that are available today. So you have to really know your customer better, and that's where, really, marketing today starts, and begins very much with customer service, customer satisfaction, and learning from those experiences and those customers.
This will all give you the ideas, of course, on how to attract many new customers and expand your market greatly, but the idea is to first understand them well through those means. Now, that means leveraging your community, networking with the customers, whether you have groups or information or whatever, run competitions. That is, if there's any way you can put together some sort of competition, or experience, or something that the customer can have with your product or with you, that can be a great way to both build loyalty and gain information. Starting off today, YouTube, webinars, et cetera, you don't want to waste time, or other people's time, but you see so much about how you can turn around and learn just about anything on YouTube today, or eHow, et cetera.
So one of the ideas is, of course, to put some out on your own. Yes, there may be others out there. Can you do it better? Can you do it well? Can you do it in such a way to demonstrate your product and how to use it; not selling at all, just engaging with the customer so that you become an authority. If you become an authority, or at least thought of as an authority, particularly if you're in a local area, you become more attractive. If you're worldwide, it's the same thing. So the idea is to give it away for free; that is a free class, free seminar related to your product, doing a demo.
You could be a local hardware store. Recently, interestingly, and that's why I mention it, I was asked how could they survive. They were talking about, you know, there's Lowe's and Home Depot, and how are they gonna survive. Well, first of all, keep in mind, they probably can't survive on price. So what do they do? They have to have other dimensions; know and understand your customer well, maybe you can survive or do better, or at least lengthen your lifespan, by turning around and being more informative. That is, teaching, more involvement with the customer, more involvement with the person walking through your store. Now, also look at who's coming in, or who is arriving as a customer, who's been thinking about you.
Learn from other businesses; what are they doing? Competitive analysis, again, is a great way to learn a great deal. What do they do, what do they present, how are they doing? Just because they advertise a certain way it doesn't mean that it's working, but it does give you some ideas. It does not have to be your industry, for some things. For example, when I was doing a lot of work with the automotive industry, what I used to keep, really files and files of, are the top advertisements for major hotels and luxury items. Why? Because what they were selling was style, luxury, et cetera. So that gave me some great insights and ideas also, that you just relate over to another industry.
Today the big thing of course is using videos to market your busin...
Aug 10 2017
Rank #7: 101 – Product Line Strategy, Service Strategy
There's an old adage in business; grow or die. I heard that for the first time from my accountant many, many years ago, 25 or so years ago. It really is true. But, let's take a look at how you might grow. If you're going to grow, most likely you're going to have to either expand your products and that could be to related products, or it could be variations of versions of the current product you have.
Now why do I say related products? A lot of products are complimentary in that you buy one, and you will probably have a large percentage of people who buy another. It reminds me of two different scenarios. One was when we studied early about complimentary products if you ever noticed in the ads in supermarket magazines, you'll see things like a sale on bacon or there might be a sale on eggs. Why is there a sale on one and not the other? Because the one draws you in but then you will buy the other more than likely. The same thing with peanut butter and jelly.
A lot of different things go together, i.e. complementary. I saw a commercial oh probably about 10 years ago that really made a point that I had been trying to make so many times and had made, but it was a lengthy thing. Now I could just point to the commercial. You might remember it but if not, I'll replay the idea.
There was a guy who worked in the store. This is a supermarket. He's over in the vegetable area, and he picks up a bag of those little bitty carrots and he says loudly, "Why are we selling these carrots?" Now all of a sudden a voice from overhead comes loudly and says, "Because the same people who buy those carrots are the ones who buy those expensive cheeses that we have in the cheese section."
Now another story was I went to a supermarket and they had ... it was a relatively small supermarket, but it was the one that was close ... nearby to us. They stopped selling whole milk. Now I went up to them and said, "What are you doing this for? How come you seem to have run out?" They said, "No, no we don't sell that anymore. There's not enough people buying it." I had to teach them a little bit of economics. You guessed it. I said, "Well, the problem is if you don't have whole milk and I want it, it is considered a staple, not just in my house but in many other homes. Even those few people who want to buy whole milk, if you don't have it, we have to go to another store. Now, are we going to come here and then go to another store just for milk or are we just going to go there and buy everything?" Needless to say, within two weeks they had reengaged and had started selling whole milk again.
Now this is just a quick lesson in how products are related. Now let's get back to your business. As I said, you have to plan ahead of time right at the beginning to sell more products and services to your existing customers but also to perform market segmentation analysis to understand what your customers want and how you might sell variations of products or other related products to them. Start by focusing on the products that you're about to sell or the product that you're about to sell or service or are doing right now and understand much more about your customer and that will not only decrease the marketing efforts but it will open doors to give you an idea of what other products might be related or relatable.
Now how do you do this? Well of course you target your new customer market or mar...
Jul 26 2017
Rank #8: 97 – Hiring Employees, Contractors, Advisors
Why do some companies have great customer satisfaction and others seem to be never able to attain it? I go through some of the thoughts and observations from wondering about this topic.
Comparison of Companies
I first noticed some of the great attitudes between companies and others where the customer experience is not so good. It raised many questions and I discuss those in the episode and then my conversations both about the hiring and training practices.
Those around you and Others
When you have some bad employees they infect your organization. Training doesn't help that may be attitudes people have carried for years. Remember your income determined by those close to you from the earlier episode (click here for more detail and understanding).
Training or Hiring Correctly
You might not be able to train good attitudes with the wrong people. How do you hire properly to raise customer satisfaction? Hiring employees is more important than trying the wrong employees. I discussed this topic with some good companies and found some interesting information. It seems rather clear that you should hire people with certain attitudes and experiences. In fact, it may be better to hire people without skills that can be taught but the desire.
May 31 2017
Rank #9: 96 – Short Term Goals vs Long Term Goals
Imagine that you have your life’s goal or your business goals for the longer term, and by the longer term then you’re able to turn around and see what you can do in the short term. That is whatever you’re doing, as long as it’s within those broader, wider, long-term parameters, you can continue on. You might change, technology might change.
Be careful as most systems that use SMART goals (see Smart Goals - Really? Get Real!), almost always forget the long term. It's alright only if your a minor worker and not involved in any strategic planning.
Without a Vision on the Long Term, You Miss Opportunity
Remember in 1986 and ’87 I said a lot, in both speeches and on radio, that we were about to go through a technological revolution that was going to make the Industrial Revolution look small. People thought that was crazy, absolutely crazy. In ’96 when Microsoft first got into the internet, etc. and I started going around, we were talking about how that was going to disrupt and hurt the bigger companies while everybody was trying to say: “No, no, no. They’ll drown out the small companies.” You have to take a look at how technology is affecting it and looking towards that longer term.
I’ve heard recently people thought about some of the things, and the slowdown in many ways of certain areas of technology: “What are we doing? How much more can we do?” Let me say, we’re just starting. It is incredible what’s happening and what’s about to happen. Some of it is actually quite dangerous, but that’s for another time or for your questions.
Watson was a Long Term Goal with Short Term Goals and Projects
So often we get bad examples of people really screwing up one way or the other, but here’s a great example of something that IBM did starting out with what you see now on TV: Watson. You see these little ads where Watson is out by an airplane or something, and they’re asking questions or asking Watson what do or what they should do. When that all started, think way back to 1997 when Watson first beat Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion (details at Wikipedia). Sure, that was a demo. They certainly didn’t get any money or weren’t expecting to make any money off of that. Even a few years later when Watson played Jeopardy against two others and won “a lot of money,” really, the money wasn’t there, it really didn’t do anything. It might have even been donated to charity, I don’t know, but that’s not important. They started to realize what they could do with artificial intelligence and decision-making. Keep in mind this started well before ’97. They built it and started to play with it, and started to do things. It wasn’t until 2014 that IBM was actually able to (and did) create a business unit around Watson.
Think of it: 2011, they won Jeopardy. They also started to look at clinical treatment in 2011 because of the massive amount of technical details and data within the cancer oncology area. Actually in 2013, ’16 and ’17 they signed different agreements with different places, including Sloan Kettering, for oncology diagnostics. They created a chatterbot for children’s toys so that the children would have better interactions with their toys, better conversation. As I say, it wasn’t until 2014 that they actually created the business unit, and that’s when it took off. The first real business use was about 2011, and here we are in 2017, only six years.
Keep in mind that I don’t expect you to create a new computer, world’s renowned computer operator or something, but I do say: If you’re looking at something business-wise, six years isn’t very much time, and look at what IBM is doing in the six years since they built it.
May 22 2017
Rank #10: 95 – Statistics Bias, Fake News, Question Authority
This may start out sounding a little bland, but I want to blow your socks off. It is also not about politics except as an example. You need to be aware because biased statistics has you following bad medicine; eating the wrong things and making bad decisions for your business or life. I may be talking about biased statistics, statistical bias, etc., but what are we really talking about?
We’re talking about the information you get and hear about every single day from the media, from teachers, from other people. If you’ve ever seen some of those movies or listen to some of the songs from the 60s, one of the big themes was: Question Authority.
Question authority is important for lots of different reasons, but what causes bias? Some of it is biased in the sample the way they choose people. Who do they choose to ask about a certain question? Some of it is actually that they don’t know any better, but many times what people are doing is they’re trying to influence you and give you some reason to believe in what they believe. Now, they may be thinking that they’re doing well, but they’re giving you bad information to base your decision on and trying to convince you or tell you what is the case.
I’m going to give you a lot of different examples of this, a lot of background, and a lot of things for you to think about, some of which you probably believe – but they’ve been proven wrong or certainly have not been proven that you should listen to them.
It’s one of my favorite topics anyway, but it came up because I was sitting there watching some things on TV, and they were talking about the popularity of Trump. I don’t really care whether you like him or dislike him. I’m trying to talk about the statistics. Both sides might do it, all kinds of people, I don’t really care about that. What I care about is you getting good information.
Politics only as a Statistics Bias Example
The reason I’m talking about it is not because of Trump or politics, but because if you’re doing a business, starting up a business, or trying to grow your business. You have to be able to discern and listen to true authority (how to establish authority), and understand a little bit about what may happen in statistics. People might be doing to convince you, convince you of their product, their company, or whatever. For example, what should you be investing in? What should you be joining or starting up?
There are different reasons that people have. Some of it is just bad information; they don’t know any better, they’ve just never really understood statistics enough to know what’s good or bad. I’ll give you an example of that, too, when I go into some of this.
First of all, what about that political example? Just recently Rasmussen and John McLaughlin of the McLaughlin Group came out, and they both have Trump’s favorability ratings at about 50%, and John McLaughlin was being interviewed because it differs so much from some of the results that you’re hearing about from the others. They are the Quinnipiac, Gallup, and Pew polls, which all had Trump down in the 30s someplace, low 30s to low 40. What was the difference?
This has got to be not ignorance but actually deliberate because it is so bad—in the Quinnipiac poll only 23% of the sample were Republicans, Gallup – 26%, and then in the Pew poll they sampled 51% Democrat. Now, in the last election only a few months ago the people that identified and voted as Republicans were 33%. They should have been polling something that was a reasonable sample of people who had voted or likely voters. You can only wonder whether this was deliberate in order to tell a story, and to sell their samples and to sell their polling.
Again, forget about Trump and all that other stuff. First thing, though, this was pointed out and then in the case of Fox News they continued to talk about the polls as if they were legitima...
May 02 2017
Rank #11: 94 – Startup Entrepreneurs – Older than Thought
Many Famous Startup Entrepreneurs began Later in Life
First, let me give you a few examples. Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s franchise, you may have heard, he didn’t start. Actually, he met the McDonald’s brothers when he was 52 years of age and that’s when he literally started with the idea. Wally Blume. You may not have heard of Moose Tracks Ice Cream, but age 57 was his starting time. Even though you may not know it, they are making 80 million dollars a year. The co-founder of LinkedIn was 35, that’s sort of on the young side actually. The founder of Curves was 40 years of age. It goes on and on.
Remember from Episode 01, an introduction to entrepreneurship and lifestyle success, the economic and technological change is a major reason to get a side gig or your own business.
Do you know that Martha Stewart was nearly 50 before she moved from the catering business into Martha Stewart Living and became that big magnet? There are even some people. If you remember the old TV show that had Justin Bateman on it, you’d think she wasn’t very bright. At age 48 she realized that some of the things that she wanted to do, she had to go back and she had to learn programming. She went back and learned how to program at 48. Vera Wang, she didn’t do her first dress design or any design until she was 39 years of age. It goes on and on.
Surprising Facts about the Age of Startup Entrepreneurs
Let me give you a few facts that you probably haven’t even thought of and that are really crucial for you to feel a little more confidence if you’re older and thinking: “Gee, what am I going to do now?” Remember the whole concept behind Life Unsettled is that if you’re a 50-year-old person then you have more years ahead of you than your entire adult life. Yes, living past 90 is greater than the 32 years you’ve been an adult, so plan on your next journey, plan on your next adventure.
A couple of little facts to help you out, too. What is the average age of an entrepreneur? It depends on where you are a little bit. It turns out in the United Kingdom it’s 47. For US, there was some research done by the Kauffman Foundation finding that the average age of a successful startup in the high-tech industry was actually 40. Yes, not 19, 20, 25, and all those years you heard, but the average age was 40. Gee, I thought they were supposed to be over the hill already for tech.
It turns out that high-growth startups are twice as likely to be launched by people over 55 than by people 20 to 34. Wasn’t it just a few years ago we were constantly hearing that it was the young people who were starting up all these neat, new companies? Yes, they may have started up Facebook and a few others, but a lot of the high-tech companies of today need a lot more breadth and a lot more in some other industry than a Facebook or something like that. Twice as likely to be over 55 than 20 to 34. I bet you didn’t know that.
Why Older Folks are Good Startup Entrepreneurs
Part of the reason I’m doing this is for you to think in terms of all the things that you have as your own experience, and in many cases how to meld technology. It doesn’t have to be technology. Vera Wing, that was designer. It can be technology melded with what you already know. The internet and technology have changed the world and they’re changing it very rapidly and continuing to change. Henry Kaiser of Kaiser Permanente, he linked together with a physician to form Kaiser Permanente when he was 63.
Colonel Sanders was Driven to Success at 'Retirement'
Harland David Sanders, yes, Colonel Sanders, you’ve probably heard that over and over again, he was 65 years old when he started his first little business. Actually, not a store.
Apr 17 2017
Rank #12: 93 – Overcoming Adversity; Aaron Curry’s Plateau & Breakthrough
Aaron Curry, one of the top linebackers entering NFL ever. You need to know why he failed and how he rebounded for your life lessons
Let me get on with it by first saying and introducing a football player, Aaron Curry. He was a tremendous athlete, one of the top prospects as linebacker for a long, long time. As an example, linebackers in general are not taken early on in the draft; there’s just so many of them. I think there’s only been four times, that somebody has been drafted as a linebacker in the top 10. He was taken number four overall. Let’s look at a little bit of history. It has nothing to do with football, except for the story which is really tremendous. His goal was to get an NFL contract and take care of his family. He defined well his major life goal. (click here about setting goals)
His Start - Overcoming Adversity
Here was somebody, started out, he grew up extremely poor. In order to reach the NFL, he would need to overcome adversity. His family basically didn’t even have quite enough to feed themselves. He got his breakfast and lunch at school, he was very underweight, etc. but he trained hard and he played football very hard. But he was very underweight. What happened was East Carolina was the only school looking at him. At the last minute, Wake Forest came in, liked him. Wake Forest came in, offered him a scholarship, and he was able to go. At Wake Forest he was able to gain the weight that he never had before. Why? Because of the training and the meal programs that they had.
Finally he was able to eat like a football player in training. He was able to put on the pounds, gain the weight, etc. What drove him so hard to do all of this? That dream of being able to get an NFL contract and of supporting his family, of overcoming adversity for his entire family. He had a “why” that was extremely strong and extremely driven. If you think back to one of the earlier episodes, that’s developing that overarching “why,” but you need more than that. How do you ensure goal success (this episode explains how to build your own drive to succeed)? He knew that if he did not succeed, he and his family would end up back in that situation. That image, that motivation is what kept on driving him to get into that contract where he’d be able to absorb and bring home the money to support his family.
Reaching His Big Goal
With the goals and with that drive, he exceeded and excelled. He was well-regarded across the nation, and was drafted number four by the Seattle Seahawks. That was in 2009. By 2013, he dropped out of football, he couldn’t succeed in the NFL. What happened? He got his great, large contract. He got the contract that took care of his family. His goals were reached, so he really did change the financial position of his family. They were now in a much different situation and well-situated with a huge contract. He was also far from home. Seattle from Carolina is a huge difference.
Remember I’ve talked before about hitting a plateau? What has happened, and what really is a plateau? Did that mean when he hit the NFL he reached his limit and was beyond his ability? No, not at all. What happened was he had realized his goals, he slowed down. He satisfied his goals that had driven him so far. The biggest enemy of success is success and losing motivation. The NFL, which changes the dynamics tremendously has more demands and nobody can just step in and do well. You may be a rookie, you may be slotted to be a superstar because of potential,
Mar 31 2017
Rank #13: 64 – College – Is It Worth It?
Colleges are forcing graduates into major debt. Is is worthwhile or are there better paths in life?
Just an aside, colleges and universities are really in trouble right now. They’re bloated, and they’ve had rising tuition for many years, decades actually, and now they’re trying to figure out how to make things match for the students, because quite frankly, it’s becoming more and more difficult for people to go to school.
The solutions that are being proposed are usually: “How do we subsidize the kids, or something else?” The real problem is the colleges themselves have bloated administrations, and bloated faculty in many cases, with incomes that are really unrealistic for what they should be getting. I say “should be getting,” because really, they’ve been negotiating from the standpoint that they always get this money from just raising tuition or alumni donations, pleading and begging for additional donations. Those two sources are not like you’re really negotiating directly with the person that pays the money. Somewhat similar, in essence, to the government. That’s just a little backdrop to give you where the problem really starts and started; not your solution to it.
You have to make the decision. First, college costs $40,000 to $50,000 a year. I hear several that are over 50, a few that a slightly under 40, but that’s an awful lot of money. Think of it in these terms: What is the ROI? What is the return on that investment? Let me give you some comparisons. If you took that $40,000 to $50,000, let’s say you took $40,000, and that 20-year-old child (not an adult yet), that was put away in some sort of trust for them that could not be opened until they were 65 – they would have a retirement that would take care of them the rest of their lives. The second one could have been put aside for a house when they’re 30 or 32. All of these things, because of the compounding of interest, would be great investments.
Let’s get back to college. If a parent, you have to say: Why? Everyone says that you have to get to college, it’s the ticket to a good or better job. Some say that it’s just what the kid wants. Ask the question: Is it worth it? Second: Does Jack or Jill deserve it? Three: Am I doing it because of peer pressure? Remember the peer pressure episode. Peer pressure, even indirectly. Somebody might not be saying to you: “What school is your kid going to?” but you see everybody else preparing their kids, and everybody else is talking about where their kids are going to go, and when they’re going to go to college, etc., and that indirect peer pressure. “Is it really worth it?” first of all.
Is there a strong reason for a potential career that requires or should have college? The reason I say this is because I see so many people that finish college, and I meet them every day, and what are they doing? They’re working retail in Best Buy or someplace else, or they’re doing something else that doesn’t require or shouldn’t have ever required college. If they’re working as a waiter, waitress, or bartender, they don’t need to have gone to college. Many other things don’t require it.
It used to be that college was a ticket to show future employers. It didn’t really prepare you by teaching you, necessarily, the skills; although, it did the skill of logical thinking, etc., but also perseverance and determination. It used to be 30-40 years ago, three quarters of people were failed out of college. Then they started more and more needing students to stay in to pay the bills, and they started with student evaluations of faculty, which when I was in college, they were just starting that, and I thought that was absolutely ridiculous.
Mar 14 2016
Rank #14: 51 – Jealousy in Business or Life Turned into a Positive
First, and most important is that they really do something to you both physically and mentally. They can make you angry, aggressive, depressed, etc., a whole bunch of things. As jealousy increases, your potential for success declines. Sometimes jealousy is a mental safety mechanism, in a sense, because you’re feeling a little jealous, you act as a way of realizing or accepting the fact that you’re not going to succeed in something, but let’s get that aside because we’re going for personal and business success.
First, one of the things that happens is others get desirable things that you don’t, somebody else gets something you don’t, whether it be a job, or a position, or whatever they got. First of all, life’s not fair. You’ve heard it over and over again. Get over it. But we have to go beyond that. You want to increase the odds that you’re going to get the things that you really desire. How do you increase those odds?
First of all, what is jealousy? By its very nature, if you’re jealous, it is a comparison to somebody else. Remember what I’ve said in previous episodes: The best way to succeed is you already know what you don’t know about a particular subject, you know what your weaknesses are within a certain area or expertise, so competing with yourself is far more productive and better than to be looking at somebody else. The only way you look at somebody else is to learn from others. If you have the slightest feeling of envy or jealousy, you should be identifying what it is and how you can learn. Why even compare yourself to others, except to learn and understand how to do something?
Also, a jealous person emits negative emotions that makes them both undesirable and undesirable to be around. A person will rarely receive help and any support if they’re extremely jealous or they emit these feelings that other people don’t like. What we want talk about is how to convert jealousy.
First eliminate the idea of the lottery. If somebody goes and wins the lottery and you’re jealous of them, that’s kind of silly, because when you think about it, what’s the chances of winning the lottery anyway? Something like 1 in 200 million? So really you’re going to be jealous about something…? If you’re actually putting your money into the lottery, you’ve got to go back to episode one and start over on the whole series, because if you’re putting any money at all in the lottery, you really have to go back and get yourself together, because that’s the way to actually just waste money. If you put that same money aside, you would get someplace.
Holding onto jealousy does no good either. We know that, so we need to expel it quickly, get rid of it quickly. Not just get rid of it, but get rid of it quickly. This isn’t something that’s over weeks; this is something that’s over seconds. First, change the perception. Yes, if you end up being jealous of something that somebody else earned, you really should be admiring what they are doing, or what happened, or how they got there, and/or how you can learn from it. The person who had success: What skills did they have? What did they do? How did they do it? How did they learn to do it? Yes, there are some places where you could say: “Well, the person was just in the right place at the right time.” Just make options available to yourself. How do you do that? If you’re focusing on success and expanding yourself and expanding what you know and you have, options open up all over the place. They open up because people see you as a growing,
Oct 18 2015
Rank #15: 33 – Ready with Alternative Income Ideas!
We are on with Greg Motes. Greg, welcome.
Greg: Hi. Thank you.
Thomas: Tell me a little bit about what your life was like before you went in the military. I’m not thinking just in economic terms; I’m thinking in terms of you, your personality, etc.
Greg: I grew up as a Military Brat. My dad was in the Army. We moved just a few times when I was growing up. I was lucky to be settled throughout most of my grade school and high school, which was fortunate, in the Midwest. From there, I had a typical Military Brat family lifestyle. I have two brothers, and we played sports, and we made our way through schooling.
Thomas: Okay, that’s a little different because we don’t have many people who have been in that situation, a Military Brat, but I guess you couldn’t be so much of a brat, but when you get into the military and started out on your own. Did you find the military changed you at all? I ask that because the beginning of the military literally changed my life for the future tremendously. I could not even expound on how much. What about you?
Greg: I very much enjoyed coming into the military. I was fortunate that when I came in, I went into the Armor Branch, and from Armor, I was out at Fort Irwin, California. Fort Irwin is a place where, every month, units from around the army would come to train against the opposing forces, and I was on the side of the opposing forces. It was a great environment to be in, because every month we got to go play on tanks and essentially play laser tag at 30 miles an hour across a playing field the size of Rhode Island. We would play four to six games a month. I say games, and obviously they were training, and it was very serious training, but at the same time, there was a mentality and an attitude about going out there and fighting to win and playing to win. I found a comradery that was very similar to what I had in high school, playing football and playing for state championship football teams, and then going into college and playing in intramural sports and things like that.
The army, to me, I think at the onset was very much as an extension of that teamwork to be able to go there. Of course, coming in as a Lieutenant, I was put into a leadership role, and I very much enjoyed doing that. I think it was a lot of fun.
Thomas: It’s interesting. Today, kids are playing video games; you guys play the real thing, which is really exciting. For all those kids, including myself, when we were younger and played army or cops and robbers, whatever you played, you didn’t have sticks or little plastic guns; you really had some good things to play with.
One thing I find very interesting and it’s sometimes hard for people to know, realize, and understand is that word “teamwork.” One thing that really struck me in the military was that my friends came from some wide array of places. It turns out there was one guy whose father was the General Manager of IBM in the West Coast branch, so he had a tremendous life, all kinds of different things. Closer friends to me later on were actually one guy who was from Watts in L.A., another guy who was from the ghetto in Houston, and lots of places like that. What happened is you didn’t realize and know that until later on when you wanted to stay in touch or something, and you would get their information. The reason you didn’t know and understand that is because everybody’s dressed alike. There are no outfits, there are no funny costumes or anything else.
Jun 04 2015
Rank #16: 21-CPA Make money in Entrepreneurial Journey
We hit on a major list of topics and I'm willing to bet there are some you never realized. Just a few include:
Why the legal structure is better not in your own name.
What might be the proper or choice of business structure.
How does it affect your net income
How health insurance is handled.
Why you might want a multi-structure business.
How structure affects your ability to maximize the tax code.
How your C corp may hire your S corp or vice versa
We discuss some of the popular dangers of the 'New Entrepreneur'.
The need to do some things before you start your business. YES, before that popular mantra, Take Action.
Why would planning for monthly and yearly revenue by product for a couple of years is important before you even know what your businesses first sale is.
2 Reasons why you must constantly market.
How a 19 year old boy trying to get a date is like a marketer looking for their next sale.
When/how to fire a client.
When can outside home maintenance be deductible.
How many personal decisions need to be know to your CPA.
How to get in touch with Gina Magel, my CPA:
Web Site: http://www.commoncentsaccountant.com/
Phone: (480) 529-5001
Nov 14 2014
Rank #17: Comfort Zone – A guide to Personal Development
The comfort zone is in a situation where a person is familiar, at ease and in control. Outside of the comfort zone there is increased anxiety and stress. So, the further out a person gets the greater the level of stress. The easiest definition I have found is from Wikipedia
The most comfortable place in usually not the best for learning or working.
If a person repeatedly leaves the comfort zone and has a successful outcome, they will actually decrease the stress of being outside the zone next time. While that may sound so easy, why do so few really leave the comfort of their familiar surroundings.
The very fact that so few venture out into new paths during their life, is interesting. The very reason this topic seems easy is that everyone thinks they understand it and do know it is crucial. If you ask people, most will say they do venture outside their comfort zone.
So many say they go out of their comfort zone, then why do so many stay in home towns that have no future or jobs they dislike? Why do so many follow the same path as their parents or neighbors? It is the most comfortable of places.
Success, by its very nature, means you have accomplished something. Therefore, success is always outside of the comfort zone. In order to have success, you need to do something new or different. Continual learning means that at least minimally, you constantly feel uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, the further out the greater the stress, anxiety and fear which can hold you back. Repeated success outside the comfort zone will increase confidence. As you increase experience, confidence increases, and these new experiences become part of your larger comfort zone.
Over time, you will grow accustomed to being uncomfortable and continually making progress. It all becomes easier. So, learning begets more learning. Success begets more success. The key is how to get to this point and to recognize the pitfalls and negative pressure from many around you.
Going outside may appear crazy.
On a humorous note, you might say that success is based you intentionally making yourself uncomfortable. You are intentionally outside your comfort zone. So, seemingly this is an almost masochistic behavior subjecting yourself to discomfort. Yet, this is a basic and key ingredient to success. So, if you truly are extremely successful, maybe you have to be a little crazy too.
The concept of the comfort zone is a very useful psychological tool. You can only grow if you step outside your comfort zone. You must be willing to learn new things and skills through new experiences to grow and be successful.
From time to time, you must re-assess and step out to new or revised goals. The process would only stop when you decide you don't want to go any further or want a break on the way your goals.
With greater skills and knowledge opportunities will increase. When your knowledge increases, your ability and opportunities broaden. You will also find it easier to make educated guesses and other ideas that come to mind will also become better. You will be better at evaluation.
It is very common to notice the success of so many immigrants. One of the reasons that many migrants succeed is that they are more willing to make additional trips far outside comfort zone. They already made some of the biggest changes, new country, new language and friends (see Immigrant Mentality).
Moving to a new country is also a reason that many of the educated immigrants assimilate more and are not just be entirely surrounded by people from their previous country. While they do have friends from their country they are more likely to have a broader diversity than people born here.
Why is it hard to leave your comfort zone?
Inside your zone is where you find enjoyment and find expected outcom...
May 24 2019
Rank #18: Career Change – Plan it or Take the Default
Career Change and paths to new jobs or professions are confusing and don't always go where expected.
Why now is one of the best times ever for career change and career
It may last 2-4 years, but you’ll need every one of those years to make the most progress.
Largely I am setting a framework for thinking about careers in this episode. It will be followed by more action-oriented episodes and hopefully ideas to motivate thoughts.
You should always be planning on changing careers.
On average people have 10-15 jobs during their lifetime.
Some of these jobs are completely new careers.
If you aren’t ready for a career change, it will happen by
default. Now, sometimes that may be an unexpected promotion. Most often, if by
default, you are in a situation that is less than you wanted.
So, if you want to grow and progress over time, you don’t want to let a change affecting you to be a default change. That is, a new job where you might not have a good choice or at a time of desperation. Start your research and include social media to gain contacts, but be cautious of what you say.
Think about it. You will see many changes, do you want to
plan and figure out how to maximize the results, or even just see progress, or
do you want to leave it to luck.
Also, if others around you are working toward positive
change, it may be like musical chairs and you were not ready when the music
Yes, the music may stop because companies are not living as long as they did fifty years ago.
Now for some great news.
Record Opportunity for Career Advancement
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 7.6 million job openings and only about 6.5 million unemployed. This is a remarkable time in history. There is such a huge shortage that companies are more willing to train career changers and even are hiring felons that seem to have true potential.
This will not last forever. It is a rare job market in history and caused by the strong growth in the economy and in both new and reinvigorated industries. Simultaneously, so many people left the work force by the end of 2016 that while unemployment appeared low, there was discouraged workers that gave up searching for good jobs. Companies that were looking for workers were trying to keep the hours below 30 per week to avoid large health care cost of the Affordable Care Act. Enough of that issue, we only are concerned with how to take advantage of today’s work environment and why we shouldn’t wait.
Over the next few years, many people will be retraining for new jobs and many are already returning into the workforce. You need to look at both what skills you have and what additional ones you may need. You probably have transferable skills that while not exactly requested, enhance your appeal and others you get through part time school or work. In any case, it is not a time that anyone needs to feel stuck in their position or status in the marketplace.
Both those that are returning as well as those are changing careers will make a transformation to target their skills and experience to new careers.
It is truly a time you can breakthrough to completely new career paths. I say paths because as learn and gain experience more opportunities open up and you may shift your focus.
The government will start increasing the H1 and other work
visas to accommodate corporations who need employees with certain skills.
It is important at the least to start thinking and researching new career paths now. The increase in work visas granted and others who return to the workforce finding new careers will lessen the opportunities.
Most Interview Problems are Just Social Skills
In spite of all these positive developments,
May 15 2019
Rank #19: Goal Setting for Personal Growth and Development
Your goals should be distant at the start of your journey.
You want to develop your own big picture of your future life. Success is personal. Are you on the correct path to reach your goal? Do you know what you want to accomplish this year, within 6 months and today?
While some might feel they don’t like to set goals, it is important for everything from health and family to wealth. This encompasses all factors for personal growth.
A goal should be thought of as similar to a map and directions to some long destination. The wrong decisions lead to wrong or unfavorable direction and can make the trip much longer or even impossible. You want your GPS to be accurate.
Goal setting process
Your goals are your personal goals. If you have a business or career you may be trying to use it for the wealth and financial freedom you desire or just something that makes you happy. However, all of these are the means to an end in your own personal goals.
They should be measurable goals, but I argue against smart goals. Smart goals are good and important for short term accomplishment. Do not use or set them until you have long term goals and a plan in place. In the longer term, you need to allow flexibility. As you learn and gain experience revision is often useful and sometimes necessary.
Big Goals and Life Change can Take Time
If you are after some big personal goals over the next 5 –
10 years, you are working toward something that you don’t already know well.
That is, if as you work towards it, you will find attributes of the new career
or business that you may not like or just don’t want to do. That is, just like
you had ideas and dreams of a future career in high school, college and later,
you changed your mind. Either your likes and dislikes changed, or your
understanding of the career changed.
Decide a reasonable time frame for your goals. In some careers, 5 years is more appropriate while other careers may only take 6 - 9 months. Choose according to the career or goals you are setting, either 5, 7 or 10 years. Anything shorter than 5 probably indicates you are aiming too low for a real life change. This complete change might include a new career, getting out of debt, i.e. debt free, owning a home in a location you want to be.
Let's say you use 5 years for your goal endpoint and you have a big picture of what you want your life to look like. Review your likes and dislikes. This should be a list just like a list of pros and cons for something you might decide to do.
Big Goals are the Ultimate Satisfaction
The ultimate objective or long term goal if a true breakthrough, will not be easy. You will almost certainly need to develop new skills and become familiar with new technology. If you didn't need new skills, you could step into the new career almost immediately. I'll get more into that in the episode on comfort zone and how to do it.
The steps for a goal will have many very satisfying parts. You may go through a series of positions or promotions that give you knowledge, experience and credibility. If planned well, your financial position and wealth will greatly improve.
A goal that is broken down in small pieces also will be easier to accomplish. However, if an end or final goal is easy, the competition will probably be extremely high. Competition will also be the highest for the most glamorous goals.
There are some things you do not like to do but will be necessary to achieve your goals. If you are aware of them up front, you can understand the importance and weigh them as part of overcoming obstacles.
Some of the most attractive are the hardest businesses as the competition is much higher. Owning a business, think of a restaurant, people imagine greeting people or being a chef.
May 15 2019
Rank #20: 106 – Everybody makes mistakes Learn from mistakes
This episode is extremely important but maybe a little bit more complex. As I understand the general logic that people have, you learn from your mistakes so you should expect them and you just keep on making them as part of the learning process. The more mistakes you make, the better off you are because you learn from those.
Well that sounds good, but what are some of the keys to making those mistakes and why and what circumstances is that a bad idea? First of course the good. Yes, by not worrying too much about mistakes and realizing you can correct them and learn from them, you have less fear, less hesitation. You move forward and take on new things and do new things. That's really, really important, and that's where most of the stress or emphasis is.
But that's also just in part. It is good in many situations, but when is it bad and how do you learn? Well when do you have to make a mistake? The idea is that first there's two types of learning. One is from actually making mistake, another is actually looking, researching, understanding, thinking through something logically. You have the two differences. I refer to one as wisdom and one as knowledge.
Knowledge is something that you can acquire, somebody can pass it on to you. Wisdom is something for some reason you just can't logically deduce it. It's why over thousands of years we tend to make as human beings some of the same mistakes over and over again.
I have a chapter in my book, "The Mechanics for Breakthrough Success", on that. You can find it on Amazon. Hopefully when they refer to mistakes, they are referring to wisdom, because otherwise you should be able to get it and learn from somebody else, something logically and then make progress a lot faster. That's going to be a key thing and that is the speed and time.
If they're referring to wisdom, what's wrong with learning from other people's mistakes instead of just your own? I have an episode there where we learn from other's mistakes, OPM. That's not other people's money. It's learning from other people's mistakes. That is when you see something else, observe it, think of the why, think of what happened, learn from that. Or if you have somebody who's a mentor or somebody that you truly trust in certain situations, in those situations should you take their idea over your own? One could say they already have the wisdom that you don't.
So if you disagree, should you take your own idea or somebody else's? I've explained that in another place where I actually was in that situation. As I thought it through, here was this some respected person. He was a professor at Hofstra University. He had an idea. He couldn't really convince me or logically explain to me why his idea was better. Nor could I explain to him why my idea was better. So which one should I take?
Well it turns out that almost everybody will take their own idea. What's wrong with that? Well, it makes think like the two of us staking our ideas like a game on it. Now imagine the Las Vegas odds makers are taking the bets and laying down the odds. What do you think is going to be the biggest odds on favorite? He will be of course. So why don't I take his? Either way I'll learn, but I might be on the right path. And it becomes even more important to be on the right path if it is time dependent.
What do I mean by that? What happens if you only get one shot? What if it's going into an interview? What if it's going to present something? Or what if it's for your retirement? You only have one opportunity to live your life for your retirement. So why should I care?
Sep 13 2017