A couple of days ago, I was walking home from a nearby business meeting. As I stepped onto a sidewalk, I heard a teenaged girl who was walking behind me call out, “Excuse me, Mister?” Instinctively, I turned around and surveyed her facial expression and body language.
She was a petite girl, perhaps a life-hardened 18 or 19 years old. She seemed harmless but was clearly distressed.
She prefaced what she had to say with “I’m only 16 and I didn’t want to ask just anyone, so they didn’t take advantage of me.”
“Can you give me $.50 so I can take the bus home?”
She didn’t seem to be someone who was just putting on an act; instead, she seemed to be a young high school kid who had lived a hard life, not necessarily all of her own doing.
In a downtrodden tone of voice, she lamented, “Yeah, I don’t have enough money take the bus and I’ve got third-degree burns from being out in the sun all day.”
I noticed that her fair-skinned face was red and peeling throughout her cheeks. Unable to restrain myself, I instantly slid into doctor mode and said, “Well, those aren’t really third-degree burns, but they are pretty bad sunburns.”
She chuckled in embarrassed recognition of the obvious.
I pulled out my wallet, but since I didn’t have any change or small bills, I told her I would get change at the restaurant across the way. As she trailed behind me, she told me how grateful she was.
She seemed surprised and relieved when returned; in retrospect, she was probably afraid I was going to keep walking through the restaurant and out the side door!
I gave her the $.50. Then I wondered aloud, “Is that enough for the bus?” “No,” she optimistically replied, “It’s really $2.50, but I’m hoping the bus driver will let me ride anyway.”
So I said, “Here, take the other $.50.”
As I walked away, I heard her telling God to bless me.
I crossed a major street intersection still pondering this encounter. I wondered why she wasn’t in school. Maybe she was looking for work. Maybe she was running away from an abusive situation. I started making up all kinds of stories.
I wondered why she didn’t ask me for the full amount of the bus fare. If she had only asked, I would have given it to her.
This bothered me so much that I turned around and doubled back across the intersection to look for her. However, I could not find her; she had disappeared into the sea of cars in the crowded parking lot.
The lesson for all of us: Ask for what you need. You just might get it.
This girl asked for less than what she really needed. And that’s exactly what she got.
When I initially walked away after giving her a dollar in coins, I looked back and could see that she was scanning the parking lot, probably looking for who else she could ask for money.
For whatever reason, she was afraid to ask the full amount. Who knows, maybe she was afraid of being rejected. Chances are she was extremely embarrassed. Maybe she was afraid of being physically hurt.
You and I have been in this girl’s shoes before…
How many times has each of us been afraid to ask for what we really need?
And how many times have we gotten less than what we needed because that is all we felt we could ask for, because that is all we thought we could expect, or because that is all we believed we deserved?
When was the last time we experienced this? Today? Yesterday? Last week? Last month?
It’s an abundant universe.
Practice asking for what you need. Then be prepared to receive it!
“If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right.”
– Michael Norton, co-author, Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending
A lot of us have grown up hearing that money can’t buy happiness. But what if money doesn’t make us happy because we’re spending it on the wrong things?
Recently, I’ve been studying a lot about behavioral economics (the science of social, cognitive, and emotional factors on our buying decisions) through Dan Ariely, a professor at Duke University, founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and the author of Predictably Irrational. Through Dan, I came across the work of one of his former graduate students, Michael Norton, now a professor at Harvard Business School.
Mike and his colleagues ran a study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. They gave students envelopes filled with money, ranging from $5-$20. Some of the envelopes had instructions to spend the money on themselves by 5 pm. Other envelopes instructed the volunteers to spend the money on someone else, such as buying something for a friend or donating it to a homeless person.
The researchers called each volunteer at the end of the day and asked them what they did with the money and their level of happiness, compared to how they started the day.
They found that the people who spent money on themselves weren’t any more or less happy than how they started the day, despite getting the free money.
Yet, the people who spent the money on somebody else actually became more happy by the end of the day.
Wanting to assure themselves that this wasn’t a fluke, Mike and his team repeated the study in Uganda and found similar results!
What’s the practical lesson? Give a part of your money away, even if it’s a small amount; you’re likely to be happier when you spend your money on someone else, rather than yourself!
Inspired by this idea, I’ve made donations to a couple of organizations that I learned about through Mike:
DonorsChoose is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you. I donated to a local school so they could purchase plastic models of human skeletons.
GlobalGiving is a charity fundraising web site that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. I donated to a microlending program administered by students at Northwestern University.
Encouraged by my email dialogue with Mike, I was also inspired to begin offering one of my flagship training programs, Rapid Revenue Acceleration Mission Control, for “better than free.” I asked attendees of a recent webinar to make a donation of any amount to an organization of their choosing, send me a copy of their receipt, and then I’d give them access to my premiere training program. I didn’t know what to expect, but the response from participants has been uplifting. Some of them have made contributions ranging from $2.97 to $500 to organizations literally from around the world.
Want to learn more about making smarter spending decisions?
You can pre-order Mike’s forthcoming book, Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, which is being released on May 14th (I placed my order already).
Better yet, why not buy the book and gift it away?!?
And, if you want immediate gratification, I also highly recommend taking in Mike’s 11-minute presentation at a TEDx event.
Happy (and Smarter) Spending!
Chances are, you’ve been reading what I’ve written and spoken about recently related to creating a six-figure revenue stream in record-time. And perhaps you’ve been racking your brain about how to achieve these same results in your own business.
You know, there’s a lot of information out there about what you should do to build your business rapidly. But before you realize it, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and paralyzed before taking any action.
One of you even wrote to me: “[how do I deal with] information overload, too many experts saying different things?”
And I’d have to agree: Whatever strategies or tactics you’ve been hearing about, well, they all work… And they all don’t work.
You see, what works and what doesn’t work is highly individual. Your particular circumstances, strengths, weaknesses, motivators, and resources dictate what you can (or can not) do.
Ever Tried Cooking a Gourmet Meal with Whatever You Have in the Refrigerator Right Now?
Whatever resources you have to work with, whether you judge that to be a little or a lot, the best advice I can give is for you to work with what you have available right now.
If you’ll stop worrying about what you wish you had and start using what you’ve got right here, right now, you’ll stand a better chance of achieving those things that are most important in your business.
Admittedly, the challenge in applying what I just recommended is that you may not believe that you have enough to work with.
And while you may be right, there’s a better chance that you have more than you realize, more than enough with which to get started. You just might not recognize it. And maybe what you have just needs a little tweaking.
What if you DID have more than enough to work with and you simply don’t recognize it? What if, with just a little help, you were able to recognize it? Then what could you do with that?
Stop Trying to Figure Things Out on Your Own
If you haven’t done something before, it’s pretty hard to sort out what you should focus on, and how to apply advice that you cobble together from a lot of different sources.
Likewise, if you don’t already have experience in creating a six-figure revenue stream within, say 180 to 365 days, how are you going to feel confident about where to start, what to listen to, and what specifically to do?
I can help you.
Get on the Phone with Me for 30 Minutes for FREE
What, the king of the paid strategic sessions, offering free consultations? Must be a typo!
Nah. You see, if you’ve studied my approach, you know that I am NOT against free sessions; there are appropriate times and places for them. Like right now.
Lately, I’ve be exploring ways to contribute my expertise by paying things forward. I’ve been studying and plotting. Along the way, I stumbled upon what I think is a really cool idea:
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to gift somewhere between 10 and 15 telephone consultations. That’s right, complimentary consultations. My gift to you.
I’ll get on the phone with you for 30 minutes, and you can tell me what’s troubling you (holding you back) in terms of accelerating your revenue.
I’ll then give you advice specifically customized for your exact situation.
Oh, and did I mention that I’m going to do it absolutely for free? Well, sort of. Actually, I’m not asking you to pay ME anything.
But wait a second, another reader sent this comment to me recently:
“Actually I prefer to pay for training; however, cash flow being limited, I would like enough action steps to begin generating cash that would allow me to engage your services.”
Fair enough. So if you feel better paying something, I invite you to make a donation in the amount of your choosing to the Living Wisdom School of Seattle, the tiny school where my two boys attend. But it’s not a requirement. In case you’re curious, you can read more about the philosophy of the school here: www.livingwisdomschoolseattle.org
To get the ball rolling, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post, telling me your biggest frustration, problem, or challenge you have right now, related to building up your revenue quickly.
I’ll contact 10-15 of you by email, ask for a “snapshot” of your current situation, and then we’ll schedule a time to chat.
Then I’ll give you my ideas and insights about where I recommend you focus your attention, energy, time, and other resources. Sound good?
Great! Then together, we’ll get you pointed in the right direction in no time.
So start writing that comment below!
Several days ago, I picked up a voice mail on my phone from a someone I hadn’t heard from in over 9 years. He said on his message that he just wanted to touch bases.
I called him back last night, expecting to start a game of “voicemail tag,” but was pleasantly surprised to get a live person on the line! I know Alan from a number of criss-crossing paths. We first met when we were both taking the same series of personal growth and business training programs. Like me, his background is in the health care field. And for years, I’ve be a subscriber to the newsletter that he writes on the topic of health and wellness.
While it was fun to catch up, one thing he mentioned along the way just stunned me…
I asked his about a wellness program that he developed several years ago and how that had panned out. While he had done well with the program, he told me that a couple of years ago, he sought to expand his product and program offerings. On the recommendation of another colleague, he hired a “marketing consultant” to help him with his website and online promotions.
While I don’t understand all the details, this particular marketing consultant didn’t produce the results he was expecting: An updated website, educational videos, active online promotions, and so forth.
When Alan took steps to terminate the working relationship, something went wrong. Somehow, the marketing consultant took the end of their collaboration as permission for him to take ownership of the content that he had taken years to create.
This marketing consultant created an independent web site, including videos that he had been asking for, branded the material with his name, and began marketing the content online. And since then, he’s kept all the revenue for himself.
This story pains me, because such a situation was entirely avoidable. Alan didn’t understand the fundamentals of collaboration. So he hired, and eventually, partnered with someone without asking the right questions and establishing a durable working relationship.
He didn’t address critical issues, right up front, such as:
- Who controls the content and owns the copyrights from what gets co-created?
- Who controls the strategy and management of the collaboration?
- How will profits (and losses) be distributed? Equally? Unequally?
- How will we resolve disagreements?
- Under what circumstance and how will we dissolve the collaboration?
In fact, most people who associate in working relationships with others don’t think to ask such questions; they’re too excited to get on with the “fun stuff.”
It just so happens that tonight, January 17th at 5 pm Pacific, I’ll be co-leading a “Collaboration Catalyst” teleseminar with partnership and relationship expert, Dorene Lehavi, PhD.
During this complimentary 75-minute session, you’ll learn:
- How to select and choose good collaborators.
- What to make sure you include in your working agreements.
- What to do when things aren’t going well with your business associates.
- And much, much more.
As you might imagine, I basically begged Alan to join us, before he contemplates getting involved in another business partnership.
I hope you will, too, so I don’t end up writing about your business collaboration horror story.
Okay, I’ve said my piece and feel I’ve done everything I can to encourage you to become informed about the power and pitfalls of collaboration.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve written about the practical skills that any entrepreneur needs to develop, acquire, or hire into their business. Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 1 and Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 2. I wrote about the first six, which are listed below, and provided recommended resources. I’ve since refined that list and added one more: Turnkey Systemization.
- Time and Productivity Management
- Business Financial Management, including interpreting financial statements
- Verbal Presentation Skills
- Written Presentation Skills
- Visual Presentations Skills
- Lifelong Learning and Application Skills
- Team-Building, Collaboration, and Network Development Skills
- Turnkey Systemization
Today, I’m going to describe the remaining three critical skillsets:
- Lifelong Learning and Application Skills
- Team-Building, Collaboration, and Network Development Skills
- Turnkey Systemization
Lifelong Learning and Application Skills
Today, there are more resources than ever before in the history of mankind for obtaining information: the internet, Amazon, Audible.com, TED talks, and so on.
But all the information in the world has never made any difference. A few years ago, I wrote a blog called “Information Is Interesting, but…”
My point of the post is that information and knowledge are NOT power. That’s a myth. Information is, well, information. It’s what you do with the information that makes any difference at all.
Here’s my advice when it comes to reading books, listening to podcasts, viewing videos, and attending workshops, seminars, and trainings: Ask yourself, “How can I practically apply this information?” What do I need by way of resources to be able to apply this information?”
And if you are a provider of information, ask yourself: “How can I make the information, knowledge, and wisdom I have easier for others to learn and implement for themselves?” While I don’t have a specific resource for you here, try adopting this mantra:
“Information is interesting, but application means everything.”
Team-Building, Collaboration, and Network Development Skills
A lot has been written about “team-building,” “leadership,” and “networking.” But in this section, when I refer to “team-building, collaboration, and network development skills,” I’m referring to a new paradigm, one yet to be created and innovated.
A while back, I wrote an article called “The Collaborative Advantage.” In the article, I described how collaboration among kindergartens was more effective than the attempts of high schoolers to work together.
If you recall the adage that “necessity is the mother of invention,” we now have the presence of compelling necessity for mothering invention. And in the emerging “new global economy,” it’s the responsibility of entrepreneurs such as ourselves to innovate new solutions for solving the multi-faceted problems that we face today.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a practical recommendation for a resource that blends “team-building, collaboration, and network development.” But I’m currently involved in a collaborative project where we’re developing a program designed to catalyze various models of collaboration. If you’re interested in learning more as we progress, I invite you to add yourself to the Collaboration Catalyst Special Interest List
A lot of people, including “gurus” write and talk about business systems. But it’s a “wastebasket,” nebulous term that has lost its meaning.
I’m curious: What’s your own definition of a business system?
This is my working description of a business system:
A business system is a collection of steps, procedures, and processes. (In case you’re wondering, a procedure is a collection of steps and a process is a collection of procedures). In addition, a system provides a framework for producing reliable, repeatable results. A system must be documented with enough detail and clarity so that someone with a baseline level of experience, skill, knowledge, and expertise can follow the system and produce acceptable results. The system must be readily accessible and documented with sufficient detail that minimizes the effort required to learn the system and for developers to support the training on the system.
Still with me? So here’s the problem. When I ask most entrepreneurs what percentage of their business is systemized, they don’t really know, but a lot of them have told me it’s upwards of 50%. And when I’ve asked these numerous people where the system documentation resides, they sheepishly point to their heads. Enough said.
“Turnkey systemization” means that you’ve documented the critical aspects of your business – the areas that are most critical for the sustainability and profitability of your business.
I’ve read a lot of material about the theory and concepts of systemization. But I’ve rarely seen any programs that truly teach you the “how-to’s” of systemization. Unfortunately again, I don’t have a readily available resource to recommend here.
However, I’m currently involved in a collaborative endeavor where we are currently developing a “Turnkey Systemization Toolkit for Entrepreneurs.” If you’re interested in being one of the first to hear about it, once we’re ready to release it, put your name on the Special Interest list here:
In case you missed it, here are the links to “Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 1” and “Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 2.” I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on “Practical Entrepreneurship.” If you have any other areas that you think are practical skills that entrepreneurs need to develop, please post a comment and let’s share in our collective wisdom.
No, I didn’t disappear. I just spent the past week with my brother and sisters for a family reunion of sorts. We drove up to Vancouver, BC, and ended up at Grouse Mountain (www.GrouseMountain.com), where we “zip-lined” high above the tree tops, rivers, and valleys.
At the top of the mountain, there’s a brand new wind turbine. We went up into the attached view pod, about 200 feet in the air. Part of the floor is glass, so can you imagine the feeling of standing on the glass floor, looking past your feet at the ground, far, far below?!? Yikes!!!
Back to business. If you’ve been following my recent posts, you know I have a lot of stuff on pricing. It’s really important. So I asked you if there was interest in me creating a free Value Pricing Resource Kit.
And there was interest.
Now I want to update you on the Value Pricing for Prosperity Resource Kit and Training Program AND I want to take a step “back to the future” and invite you to be a more direct co-creator of what’s next for all of us:
The Final Call: Value Pricing for Prosperity Resource Kit
Recently, I sent out an e-mail asking if anyone was interested in a complimentary “Value Pricing for Prosperity Resource Kit” that I am THINKING about creating.
I didn’t want to make this thing, if you didn’t want it… so I first wanted to see if people were interested.
A number of you expressed interest, and as a result, starting tomorrow, only people on the “Value Pricing for Prosperity Interest List” will receive insider information on my upcoming Value Pricing for Prosperity Training Program and…they will also receive the free Resource Kit.
(Not everyone on my list is interested in pricing and business financial management strategies, and I want to be considerate of them and make sure they don’t get bombarded with information they don’t want or need, so only those who are interested will get the emails).
If you want to get the Resource Kit that’s coming shortly and all the good stuff I’ve got coming your way, I invite you to join the “Value Pricing for Prosperity Interest List” below now:
What’s Next for All of Us?
I feel very passionate about pricing and helping people who are not charging what they are worth. But not everyone needs — or is ready — to deal with how they price their programs, products, and services.
A lot of high-minded, big-hearted, service-oriented professionals are struggling out there, but not for lack of commitment and effort. Over and over again, I’ve seen on-going frustration with people’s businesses because they People aren’t even coming close to fulfilling on emerging possibilities.
Though I’ve been fortunate enough to have success multiple times in my life and to help others create it for themselves, I’m troubled by what I’m seeing happening all around me. Over and over again, I’ve seen on-going frustration with people’s businesses. People not even coming close to fulfilling on emerging possibilities. Down economy or not, I think it’s unfortunate that failure rates are as high as they are. There are so many people out there wanting to change, but aren’t getting it. And Especially motivated by the down economy and global social unrest, I think believe something needs to be done about this.
So here’s the thing:
I’m really enthusiastic about creating something for you, to build whatever it is you want. And this time, I’m NOT picking the topic. This is not about me, but instead, coming from a place of total service.
I want to make a free product for you guys, one that’s totally going to serve you.
However, I’ve noticed lately there are so many free products out there that are really nothing more than disguised marketing materials that don’t actually help you accomplish something or produce a specific outcome. What I have in mind is creating something that is going to truly help you out. And that means it’s got to have real “teeth” to it. This isn’t going to be me marketing for something bigger that you then have to pay for. It’ll be something with substance to it that will provide you with meaningful results.
This is what I’m wondering: If I do this, is this something you’re willing to invest back in, not in terms of money: I’m giving this away for free. This is going to be something that you’re actually going to be able to use, learn and apply.
I’m wondering if you’d be willing to help co-create this free product.
Look, we all have our hang ups, our fears, our doubts, and our concerns. We each have limiting beliefs, mistaken views of the world, and ineffective habits that hold us back. I know from my own experience, and from the work I’ve done with my own clients, that you can get past these issues and focus your efforts on things that really demand your particular skills, experience, and wisdom.
I don’t like standing around, waiting for something to happen, so I’m willing to invest my time and energy into making good things happen.
Would anyone be interested if I put time and energy into this? I just need to hear from you: What is it that you need to know? What do you need help with? What’s in the way of you becoming a solid success? So just let me know what it is by leaving comments below.
Based on the comments you leave, I’ll sort through the topics and we’ll “vote” on what to build first.
Together, we can make changes that will help you get the results you – and others — want. And that’s good for all of us, to help each other to thrive, prosper, and share our gifts. I’m willing to do my part here.
Are you up for it?
To freedom, contribution, and prosperity,