By k | January 21, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

It is so easy to do “busy work.” 
Things that take time but
don’t really accomplish anything. 
It is my most frequent way to procrastinate. 

That is why goal setting is essential. 
If goals aren’t achieved,
then there hasn’t been any true effort. 

Mark Cuban puts it better
“It would have been easy to judge effort
by how many hours a day passed
by while I was at work.
That’s the worst way to measure effort.
Effort is measured by setting goals
and getting results.”

By k | January 20, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Chief Restructuring Officers have a tough job. 
 
The companies hiring them are
in deep financial trouble and 
as turnaround specialist Randy Benson states
“People have to come to grips with the fact
that there isn’t enough to go around, and
they’re going to have to compromise.” 

How to reach this compromise?
 
Surprisingly the time pressures help.  
“Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging in the morning”
is Calin Rovinescu’s favorite saying and
nothing gets a decision made like a clock ticking. 

By k | January 19, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Years ago, I walked into an open house. 
I took a look around and
commented on the kitchen cabinets
being two different shades of white. 

The real estate agent looked at me with admiration
and said “wow, you noticed that right away.” 
I felt intelligent. 
I felt good. 
I bought the house. 

Studies show that the average person
feels he or she is more intelligent
than the average person
(80% of students think
they will be in the top 50% of their class). 

This real estate agent used that bias to help land a sale.

By k | January 18, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

My favorite Warren Buffett quote is
“Somebody once said that
in looking for people to hire,
you look for three qualities: 
integrity, intelligence, and energy. 
And if they don’t have the first,
the other two will kill you. 

You think about it;
it’s true. 
If you hire somebody without the first, 
you really want them to be dumb and lazy.” 

I recently saw this in action.  
A friend went into business with
a highly intelligent, immensely energetic
yet ethically challenged partner.  
He thought the man’s brilliance
would offset his lack of scruples
and it worked…
for a while. 

Until the partner figured out
that stealing my friend’s identity
was much easier than building a business. 

By k | January 17, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Duct Tape Marketing had a great post
on what John Jantsch calls
the Most Relevant Conversation. 

This concept takes the traditional
Unique Selling Proposition and
flips it so it is customer driven. 

There are multiple unique selling propositions
for my business based romances,
business lessons, the language, a resource page, etc.  
In early promo opps,
I’ve tested each angle. 

The most successful? 
By far? 
That the hero or heroine loves
being a businessperson
(i.e. they’re not frustrated painters or writers).   

As soon as I talked about how sexy business was,
I moved from leading the conversation
to being simply part of it.  
“Selling” went from challenging to easy.   

By k | January 16, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There is a “rule” in fiction that
there shall be no bibliography,
no resource listing
lest the reader confuse a fictional work
with a non-fiction work. 

I’m working around this rule by
putting my resource listing in my acknowledgment page
but many fiction writers don’t have
as flexible a publisher.  

So nothing is listed.  
These writers don’t acknowledge sources at all. 
Despite spending years doing research. 
Despite using that research in their novels.  
Leading to allegations like those
against historical writer Cassie Edwards
(these allegations go one step further into outright plagiarism).  
Allegations that are easy to prove 
due to the internet’s ability to phrase match. 

What does this mean? 
I believe the ruling of no bibliography in fiction
is about to be overturned. 

And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.       

By k | January 15, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The new C2 line from Taser
had a product development cycle
of less than 2 years. 

How could the team develop it so quickly? 
By using “cheats.” 

Developer Milan Cerovic admits that
the core fashionable colors were based on
the very popular Motorola razor line
(the very hot and premium priced leopard print was added later). 

Look at your product development. 
Can you leverage the lessons in other industries to shorten it? 

Oh, and the tagline for the C2.
The very clever…
Fashion With A Bite.

By k | January 14, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I asked a loved one, a teacher,
what she learned at a recent all weekend seminar. 
Her face lit up as she told me. 

She learned about folds,
hamburger folds (folding width-wise),
hot dog folds (length-wise), and
taco folds (on the diagonal).  

For anyone outside of the target audience,
it may seem unnecessary,
or even silly
to add paper folding to the agenda.

But for at least one participant,
a woman who spends hours out of her week
explaining how to fold paper to restless kids,
that fifteen minute presentation made
the costly seminar well worth the investment.

Know your target
and give them what they want.

By k | January 13, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It is two weeks after New Year’s and
29% of us
have already neglected our resolutions. 
In 3 months,
that percent will climb to 50%. 

How to increase your odds of
being in the successful 50%? 

Revisit your resolution every day.  
For major goals,
I take 2 minutes every day and 
write them down again
(I’m a visual person). 
A friend repeats her goals out loud like a mantra.  

Want to stop with the repetition?
The solution is simple…
achieve the goal.     

By k | January 12, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

When I started my career, 
older partners at the accounting firm
insisted that women wear skirts,
instead of pants suits. 
It was seen as more formal, respectful. 

Then I joined a manufacturing company. 
First day on the job,
a female manager complimented me on my skirt. 
Before I could say thank you,
she added “never wear it again.” 

Wearing a skirt or high heels meant
if there was inventory to be counted,
or a labor dispute with the line workers,
or a capital calculation requiring first hand observation, 
someone else would be chosen. 
I couldn’t do my job while wearing a skirt.  

Never let your sense of fashion
hurt your career.