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Awesome Issue of SUCCESS August 28, 2012

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I think my next 4 posts are going to be based off of the September issue of Success Magazine. What a fantastic issue! What I want to share on this post is what John Maxwell shared in this issue.

If you don’t know John Maxwell, then you have never heard of the Guru of Leadership Training. After many successful books, he is by far one of the most noted experts in leadership. Well, I have to say, the brief excerpt and dialogue he gave in this issue is in regards to Accidental growth vs Intentional growth was worth discussing.

Every one of us knows the accidental people. These are the people that will start tomorrow, depend on luck, only learn from mistakes, play it safe and pretty much stop learning after graduation. The intentional ones…a little harder to find. They fight for good habits, work hard, try to learn before mistakes happen and….NEVER STOP GROWING. Big difference between the two.

The Accidental Growth is very disempowering. It leaves everything to chance or to outside forces and ultimately removes you from being responsible for your own success. If you do happen to have some measure of success this way…it is truly luck. Almost all the time, this approach to leading, or growing is not productive nor empowering. If you try to lead your life by just thinking things will happen for or against you, you are not playing an active role in learning from your troubles or how to improve them. Just think about this. We all have dreams. Why have the dream if you will not work towards it? For that matter, why should you have it if you are not willing to grow and make that goal valuable. That which is given for free is not valuable at all.

That brings us to Intentional Growth. If you have goals in life, taking an active approach to achieving them in the long run is what will reap rewards, even if the goal changes or is not what you anticipated. The important difference here vs accidental growth is the difference in mindset and approach. Sure, you want to make money in sales….but you were never trained in sales. You could say well, I’m not trained that way so I wont succeed. Why bother. The other choice: start reading, start learning…hey actually fail forward doing it. During that process your mind is active, its learning its problem solving. Before you know it…you might actually be good at sales.

Many of us know probably way to many people who fit the accidental category. That is unfortunate. Yet most of us admire and even aspire to be like those who grow Intentionally. What makes the successful just that has less to do with talent or circumstance. It has to do with how active they are in growing and learning. By the way, if you think they don’t fail, have doubts, and even have quit at times, they have. But its just like the old saying goes: Its not how many times you get knocked down, its how many times you get up.

It is my hope that each of you grow with Intent. Grow with purpose. Do not approach your dreams or goals like a tree. Trees simply grow vertically. You are more than that. You are the ONLY creature on this planet that can have a thought…a neurochemical reaction….and make it a PHYSICAL reality. That is no accident. So act with the Intent that created YOU!!

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Why are you adding me?? August 5, 2012

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So….Why are you adding me to your network? Good question. I think this issue is more pertinent with LinkedIn than perhaps the other networks. I can see adding or following people simply because they write interesting stuff. But LinkedIn…thats another story.

LinkedIn is not what I would consider social in the way the others are. I dont think it was designed to be. However, it was meant to connect businesses and business owners to possible clients and partners. Great concept!! Here is where I get a little foggy. I have about 402 connections on LinkedIn. I think out of those I have managed to actually speak with 10 of them. The rest, I either get no response by email, by phone, direct message or otherwise.

So lets get the brutal truth answer out the way for those thinking of it…Maybe David they have no interest in what you have to say. Great answer. Entirely possible. Of course, my profile being public and stating exactly what I do might tell someone…before they add me, that perhaps I’m not what they are looking for. Next answer…they never check their profile or messages. Entirely possible.

So here is the point. If you are on the network…To NETWORK, why would you add me to begin with and 2nd, why would you not be at least polite enough to acknowledge a message or request. The answer is quite simple: ITS NOT AS SOCIAL AS WE THINK IT IS. On the networks we can ignore, or trash messages. These are not things people do when face to face. Its considered rude. Not here though. Here its more about adding to get to who you really want to talk to in someone else’s network.

So that leaves the million dollar question on the table: What is the real value of a business social network if you wont even respond to an email (since you dont leave a number of course). Maybe I’m a little flustered by this. I have always heard that social networks have redefined business because of the access it gives you to so many people. So true. But access means squat without connecting. There is where I see the biggest issue. People add and dont try to connect. Hey, yeah you found me on LinkedIn. AWESOME!!! Now what?? You have a great picture amazing references, but you have no contact number. Only an email.

I’m sure there are plenty of you on the NETWORKS out there. What are some of your thoughts on this? I welcome….THE CONNECTION

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Selling is Evil?? July 15, 2012

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Everyone has an image of a sales person right? The pushy guy at the dealership convincing you can afford the $50,000 car. How about that telemarkerter that somehow got your number and is
offering the vacation of a lifetime. Sure we all have these notions of sales people being annoying to deal with. But…is selling really evil?

Well courtesy of an article I read in Success Magazine, the answer is no. Much of this has to do with perception as you can see from the above examples. To describe how to best approach sales the article defined it great with a quote from Dan Sullivan of Modern Marketing:

“Selling is getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.”

So what does that mean
My take on that is the following: To get someone intellectually engaged about what you offer, you must learn about what the person wants….NOT what you want. This is where the perception issue comes in. If you are not listening or seeing what your prospective client is telling you, you are not engaging them. The examples above show that. The dealer just wants to move the best car on the lot. The telemarketer is already starting a pitch and they have not even bothered to ask if you are interested. I guess you have to like hang ups there.

Selling, with its poor perception, is vital to our economy. Think not. Ok. How does your hospital know that one antibiotic should be used more or completely over another to treat an infection. Part is just the science. The other…sales reps. Yes they compile data from the competition and show them why. Does not always work but it happens. The article mentioned Martin Luther King Jr. He sold his vision of the future before it existed with regards to racial discrimination. He sold it well and engaged the whole country till it became real. Sadly, there will always be the pushy rep who is just plain sleezy that will keep the Evil perception going.

Sales is not a bad thing when its done considering the needs or wants of the person. But the key is leaning about the person first. You must offer value to a customer or it wont matter what you have. More and more, especially now, people are less trusting of large companies and corporations. The customers want to know who they are dealing with. So if you are in sales….Engage the customer or client. Learn what they want first before the pitch. You are not evil so long as you show concern for the customers wants, not yours.

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Diversify Your Income April 28, 2012

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Well its been a while since my last post. I thought I might touch on a topic that I know is really on everyone’s mind…..money. How can we make more to cover expenses in an ever more expensive society? Im’ 4 years into a refinance of a mortgage and I’m paying more than when I refinanced due to tax hikes. So trust me…I’m in that boat.

So what is the most common income attained that everyone goes for? LINEAR. Everyone goes out, gets a job where so long as you are present, you get paid…LINEAR. However, with a poor economy where there are pay freezes, lay-offs, the rules get changed and there are less…LINEAR options. Here is where the cliche think out the box comes in. What many have done is seek more options in PASSIVE and RESIDUAL income. This is where the diversification comes in.

If you continue to isolate your income to something that requires your PRESENCE to get get paid, think of what would stop your money…illness, lay offs, going out of business, becoming obsolete and I’m sure there are other factors. So the minute your gone, so is your money.

Where possible while times are descent and not falling apart you need to try investing where possible. Try stocks, bonds etc…PASSIVE INCOME….In other words the ability to make money without doing something for it. If you develop some sort of portfolio you have some leverage and assets to fall back on or liquidate. Of course, in light of the Wall Street collapse, this is not as popular as it once was but should still be reviewed and used.

The next best option is to CREATE a form of Residual Income for yourself….Income that continues to come in after doing something once for it. Honestly, this is really in my opinion the best possible option. So what are some examples? Well, if you are reading this post…this is one way. I dont consider myself an expert blogger. However, there are those who really enjoy writing. Turn your passion into money. There are many who do. They learn how to use affiliate marketing to make money blogging. This day in age, as I’ve mentioned ion other posts, the social media age has empowered individuals. So its makes Blogging a very viable business option.

The one option that this author put (http://financialhighway.com/diversifying-your-income-alternative-income-lessons-from-recession/) that for some is not so popular is Direct Sales or MLM. Yes, its true, it really is an option. When researched properly, this avenue of business affords people the option of getting into a business at an extremely low cost. Where many people have issues with it is the reputation the business has, largely over past transgressions and unscrupulous individuals. That being said though, the model has seen over the past years astounding growth and success across the country. My advice here…DONT expect instant money because you are already looking at it wrong and may lead yourself to quitting. When done consistently and patiently, this avenue can lead to income. Try not to be swayed by the instant comments people come out with….Its a scam, a Pyramid, Not a real business. Many who say it have quit, or have little or know REAL knowledge about the model.

Finally teaching or getting into rental properties is an option also. With the real estate bust here in the U.S, I know property is something that seems taboo. However, never lose sight of one thing…we all need a place to live. If you can educate yourself well enough, learn how to get capital for your purchases, real estate, long term, can be a viable residual option. Just be sure to insulate yourself well because non-paying tenants will be in your future at some point.

Some things appeal more to people than others. But in a day where many are looking for solutions to long standing issues, breaking away from just the LINEAR thinking is almost vital. There is nothing wrong with having a job. At the same time, its certainly great to have money coming from more than one source.

How can Social Media Help my Business? April 14, 2012

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By this point if you have not at least heard of one of the top forms of social media, I would say you are living under one giant rock. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter and the many others out there, these platforms have literally redefined business and the ability of those on “Main Street” to influence the world even more.

In an article written in Home Business Magazine, there was a great interview with Anil Sabharwal who is the senior product manager for Google Apps. He discussed how to properly leverage social media to start having some measure of success in your venture.

The biggest point he drove home was to stay involved in your respective communities. That means if you join a forum, get involved. Interact with stories, tell your own stories (no one want to hear from corporate giants anymore, they want to hear from people). The key is is not to just see your presence there as what you can get out of it. The people there can tell and dont gravitate to someone who is…just there. If you can approach the group with the attitude of sharing and reciprocation, then you will get noticed.

If you are going to be writing, as I am now, make sure you are doing it and not outsourcing it. It comes across more genuine and readers want to get a feel for a person. That was Anil’s second point.

One point that I think is very important is developing an identity for yourself online. If you are here to conduct business in a particular area, dont hide it. Tell others the WHY of you being here. For instance. My facebook profile is straight forward…I am here to interact with others and share what I do to help the people of North America find health and financial solutions. So my posts and my discussions are geared to this. But in order for your activity to be meaningful, you must stay consistent.

I think the biggest reason that Social Media is going to help your business is simply because of its potential viewership. You have millions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. If you can manage to stay involved, be up front about who you are and what you bring to the table, you can have massive exposure to people which even with the best networking skills on the planet, you could never duplicate just on your own through traditional means.

In my attempt to keep things personal and real, I invite you to share your thoughts on my blog and what I post. I consider this a learning experience but more than that, this is a great venue to share ideas. Thanks and I hope the post was helpful.

The New Entrepreneur March 21, 2012

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So Norman Brodsky recently wrote an article in Inc Magazine about the new breed of entrepreneurs. Essentially these are people who are starting on line businesses vs traditional business. So what exactly is the difference?

The biggest difference is start up cost. This directly relates to risk. The greater it is the more you lose. Norm points out that more and more people are moving to on-line businesses vs traditional. In my opinion this is to be expected. The presence of social media like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have redefined the markets and essentially allowed individuals to have greater impact and leverage when it comes to business, news, marketing etc. However, Mr Brodsky brings up one fearful point. As people, we act and move differently typically when everything is on the line vs when its not.

In operating an on line business, its possible to still work and have a safety net which conversely makes you less likely to push for business solutions. If finding that solution was life or death…you would push harder. This is true in my on line business. Many who attempt it quit because of early setback and learning curves. Which brings us to Mr Brodsky’s concern. With this outlook from the new entrepreneurs, what could this mean for the economy?

My opinion on the matter is this. It is a concern. However, this down turn in the economy has awakened a spirit in many people who never thought they had it. More people are turning to on line businesses because its all or nothing already. People need opportunity. They want to pursue their passions. The collapse of Wall Street has forced people to look more to their ingenuity to make a living and make a difference. That in an of itself is a good thing. The All or Nothing in terms of financial risk has come but in a backend way. Personally, I have had my fair share of failure in 3 years of doing my business, but I have had successes. Learning is sometimes a long and hard process. If those who at the very least come to the the table with their commitment in hand and this concept firmly entrenched in their mind…will be a successful New Entrepreneur guiding this country to its financial rebirth.

If you have started your own on line business or are looking to go into one I would love to hear your comments and feedback.

The Internet-Road to Financial Security May 27, 2009

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This is perhaps one of harshest economic downturns the world has ever seen.  Many of the largest institutions that were though untouchable before are in trouble or out of business.  News of massive bonuses, Ponzi schemes, poor leadership from a president, a war on 2 fronts…this has all shifted consumer sentiment to a new direction.  You could describe what has been happening for a few years now as a paradigm shift in how the Unites States, the world, and people operate.  I think we are seeing business as a whole becoming democratized.  Where most of thew growth and change has come from has been the Internet.  It has been the one ever evolving tool that places enormous potential and growth in the hands of individuals…specifically those looking to have a business of their own.  Don’t think so?  Look at these examples.  

YouTube…the ability to place recorded video on a platform that ANYONE can view.  Why should that matter right?  Well, the public and consumers, increasingly want to know, see and to a degree trust who they deal with.  Well, if you recorded your own promotional videos, posted commentaries, showed how to videos just from what you already know, could that not catapult a viable business?  

Facebook/MySpace etc.  Leveraging Social Network sites again allow people to know you.  You can use them as platforms to get free advertisement in a non-invasive way.  As people want to get to know you they will know your business , if you choose. Not only that, most businesses cannot survive without exposure to their products or services.  As you join groups, talk with others, connect with others, your potential to have some of those individuals seek your products or serive grows.  Here is the plus….what would you have to have paid for that?  This is actually called Inbound Marketing…allowing the consumer of a good or service to come to you instead of you hounding them (outbound marketing). 

How about this platform, Blogging?  Some of you will pass right over this post or read it.  I am expressing ideas and concepts that may be of use or interest to you.  Do you have an opportunity to contact me?  Is this more personal to you than reading a newspaper or magazine?  If I were selling a service, could this have been a great platform?  Perhaps.  

The biggest draw to the internet at this point in history is that allows individuals to potentially grow and learn a new business at there own pace, specifically in a down market.  Start up costs are typically lower.  For those willing to learn and grow, it can offer an immense source of information that can turn your financial picture around.  All that is requires is your persistence, determination and vision to goal you desire.  Here are some useful articles to look at:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1890387-1,00.html

http://homebusinessmag.com/business-start/selecting-business/selecting-right-business-tough-economic-times

I hope this was of some help to you.