Archive for the 'Innovation and Creativity' Category

Anatomy Of A Great Business Card – Infographic

Looking to design a business card, have a look at the infographic below of the anatomy of a great business card.
Anatomy of a Business Card Infographic

Top Blog Posts Of 2014

Here are my picks for my top 10 blog posts of 2014.

  1. Top-10-Blog-Posts-2014There is nothing more powerful than 20/20 Foresight to know what’s coming in 2015…
  2. This is my favourite YouTube video of the year – brilliant – Word Crimes are committed by too many people’s.
  3. Antimimeticisomorphism is easier said than done – this example is priceless – poo pourri.
  4. The privacy pirates are still at it in 2014, maybe this guy’s one step ahead of them with his amazing mind reading skills!
  5. We all love our iPads… Who knew they are this versatile and useful?
  6. A metaphor can be the difference life and death, success or failure. This is one of my all-time favourites.
  7. This cute video says a lot about teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More.
  8. Looks do matter – even if you’re a shark.
  9. I hope your calendar doesn’t look this this! Notice the caribou? Another great metaphor!
  10. Somethings are better left unsaid.

Bonus Blog Posts:

An Oscar Award Winning Speech worthy of its own Oscar!

If Noah was alive today

Enjoy the best of 2014 and may 2015 bring you all the wealth, health and happiness you deserve!

Best Books Of 2014

I used to publish a list of my top books, but then decided to keep that list confidential for my paying clients only.

As a speed reader, I consume over 100 books in a year and thought I could share ten of the best books I’ve read in the past 12 months with you.

Here it is – I am not advocating you read them all, just that I think they are worth considering the next time you want to read a good book.

  1. The Family Business Suicide Prevention Guide. Published in late 2014, written by yours truly. This is a MUST READ!
  2. Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn. You probably know about it because of the movie – I recommend reading the book first – the asynchronous style of writing is captivating, original and refreshing. Business people could learn from this book’s outstanding story telling and innovative approach to writing a novel.
  3. Scarcity – How having so little means so much. This is my “Business Book Of The year” selection.
  4. Curiosity – Another great contribution to our understanding of what makes us human.
  5. Talk Like Ted. Ted.com is YouTube for smart people. Ideas Worth Spreading. This is a book worth reading about speaking.
  6. Gold Rush – By Olympian and World Champion Michael Johnson. I am biased having spent a few hours at his facility. He’s the real deal and the book is worth every penny.
  7. How To Be Interesting – by Jessica Hagy. Who doesn’t want to be interesting?!?!?
  8. Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us – Gordon Rugg. Self-explanatory wisdom we all need to hear.
  9. The Demographic Cliff – Harry S Dent. If you haven’t read this yet, I hope it’s not too  late!
  10. Wait – The Art And Science Of Delay – Frank Partnoy – No it’s not a justification for procrastination. You need to read it to get the nuances that are priceless and timeless.

There you have it – 10% of the book I’ve read this year. If you’d like to learn to Speed Read, get my program by clicking on the hyperlink.

Imagine read TEN TIMES MORE THAN THE LIST ABOVE – EVERY YEAR?!?!?

Retail Strategy: Book Blind Date

This is such a great concept I saw at Elizabeth’s Bookstore in Sydney!
Book Blind Date

Antimimeticisomorphism: Street Art

Today’s post is a collection of artworks that interact with nature is a very unique way. Click the hyperlink to be amazed by these artists’s creations!

 

Weird Al Yancovic – Word Crimes

All I can say is – WOW – what an awesome video.

I teach Killer Kopywriting and I will make this a must-watch component of the Pre Program Preparation for the workshop. So many lessons with captivating graphics.

 

Weird Al Yancovic – Mission Statement

I am not into buzzwords and business jargon even though I have my own list of definitions for what I do…

This video shows how you can talk a lot without saying anything… Courtesy of Weird Al Yancovic – the master of this art of parody.

Business and intuition

We have all had them – premonitions, gut feelings, the sense that something will happen before it does, knowing something we shouldn’t well before it seems logical or sensing something happening to someone close to you that is physically far from us…

Gut feelings… a sixth sense… by whatever name, intuitions can be informative. Many swear by them.

But in the investment world, mysteriously-generated feelings more often than not lead investors to make wealth-destroying decisions. In the business arena, the same is true – very capable, smart, hard working people travel down the wrong path with often devastating consequences. Working harder and harder based on a hunch or “opinion”.

There is a better way…

Nate Silver, statistics guru extraordinaire, put a face on the value of data and — when astutely analyzed — its ability to guide decision-makers toward the most desirable outcome. His CNN blog was widely followed during the 2012 American presidential election, because his statistical models proved more accurate than anyone else’s.

A year earlier, the Hollywood hit, Moneyball (originally published as a book), introduced the world to a unique idea: A data-driven, decision-making model can successfully overcome a lack of financial resources… allowing a stats-geek baseball recruiter to beat out deep-pocketed rivals who continued to rely on subjective intuition and gut feel.

When you look back, the writing’s been on the wall for years.
But very few want to read it.

The availability of troves of data — and the computer power needed to process it — has increased substantially over the last decade.

Yet, to some, the Big Data trend is scary.

The National Security Administration (NSA) spooked the world when Edward Snowden revealed the agency’s collection of massive quantities of our personal data. (Scary!)

Target stores reportedly have the ability to predict when a woman is pregnant — based on her spending patterns — even before she knew she was! (Scarier!)

And Twitter has analyzed billions of data points to determine which days of the week, and months of the year, we’re more likely to be happy. (Odd!) Here’s a graphic showing the analysis:

Twitter - Happy Day Of Week

Twitter, Target, and the NSA aside, financial markets are chock-full of data and, therefore, the ultimate playground for investors with a bent toward quantitative analysis. They even have their own nickname – quants!

If you’ve read my blogs for any length of time, you know I ONLY make decisions when my metrics show I have an edge…

I call it Management By Metrics.

Even though I am a fan of the power of the human spirit and readily admit that running a business is a balance of art and science, I NEVER make any major business (or investment) decision based on a gut feel. I am risk averse – why take a risk when you can reduce or eliminate it with some very simple, basic math?

I realise my pure and applied science and engineering background has influenced me. I spent several years immersed in the scientific method, which involves making observations about the real world, forming hypotheses (educated guesses) as to why the observations are what they are, and designing experiments to determine whether or not the hypothesis holds true.

Surprisingly, very few people in business use this method. Anecdotally I think it’s the popular aversion to mathematics as much as it is mental laziness. I am not suggesting you need to learn multivariate statistics, but just the use of Excel and a few simple formulas can take the guesswork out of most business decisions.

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I facilitate our Platinum Program where you can learn the skills to acquire what I call 20/20 Foresight – being able to predict the future or manifest the future you seek for yourself or your business. Founded on scientific principles, it is with reach of anyone with a basic understanding of math and a hand-held calculator.

The science is straight forward and simple – the repercussions for you and your business can be, well…. astounding.

Contact us if you want to get past your hunches and gut feeling decisions that are letting you down or keeping you up at night with worry.

One thing that is crystal clear and most “experts” agree – the volatility and uncertainty we are currently facing is NOT going away anytime soon and in fact many agree it will get a lot worse before it gets better. It is the ‘new’ way of the world, well documented and well understood. We are in a cycle that will continue to play itself out in very predictable ways – well predictable for those who know what I am talking about!

Give us a call and we’ll introduce you to very exciting and valuable concepts like this one, that will put you back in the driver’s seat of your business (and your life) so you can steer in the direction of your goals and dreams and get to your ultimate destination (achieve your ultimate outcome).

Innovative business thinking – case study

Today’s blog post is one of those “who thought of this?” cases that I just had to share with you. It was sent to me by Rangaswami Balakumar of Finpacific Treasury Systems. I am sure you’ll agree this is innovative business thinking at its very best! Click on the image below to download the case study!

Marketing Idea, Marketing Case Study

Click on the image to download the case study!

Late delivering Christmas orders?

If you are struggling to deliver your pre-Christmas orders, this is an approach you might want to consider…

This was sent to me by Bree Robbins of Paddington Pups in Brisbane

Funny work quotes

“A consultant is someone who takes a subject you understand and makes it sound confusing.” – Unknown

“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” – Edgar Bergen

“Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.” – Robert Orben

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, “Certainly, I can!” Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.” – Cannon’s Law

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” – Bertrand Russel

“Anyone who can walk to the welfare office can walk to work.” – Al Capp

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” – Gustave Flaubert

“Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Going to work for a large company is like getting on a train. Are you going sixty miles an hour or is the train going sixty miles an hour and you’re just sitting still?” – J. Paul Getty

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“A professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.” – Anonymous

“If A equals success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z. Where X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut” – Albert Einstein

“To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.” – Anonymous

“God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.” – Anonymous

“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” – Robert Frost

“The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” – Ronald Reagan

“Early to bed and early to rise probably indicates unskilled labor.” – John Ciardi

“I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.” – Charles Lamb

“Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.” – Homer Simpson

“I’ve developed a new philosophy… I only dread one day at a time.” – Charles Schultz

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

“I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by four o’clock.” – Henny Youngman

“The only thing that ever sat its way to success was a hen” – Sarah Brown

“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” -J.C. Penney

“When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: ‘Whose?’” – Don Marquis

“The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” – Abe Lemons

“Retirement means no pressure, no stress, no heartache… unless you play golf.” – Gene Perret

“When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch.” – R.C. Sherriff

“Show me a man who is a good loser and I’ll show you a man who is playing golf with his boss.” – Jim Murray

“Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.” – Jonathan Clements

“The easiest job in the world has to be coroner. Surgery on dead people. What’s the worst thing that could happen? If everything went wrong, maybe you’d get a pulse.” – Denise Miller

“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” – Muhammad Ali

“When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” – Henry J. Kaiser

“Work is a necessity for man. Man invented the alarm clock.” – Pablo Picasso

“If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.” – John Gotti

Exponential Thinking

Business Coaching Sydney, Melbourne Business Coach

An old gentleman lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, NJ. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,

I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.

Love,

Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

Don’t dig up that garden.
That’s where the bodies are buried.

Love,

Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next day, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love you,

Vinnie

________________________________________________________________

I know that most people who read this blog post will think it’s just a joke, but it is and it isn’t. I teach Exponential Mindset Thinking which embraces doing out-of-the-ordinary things to create extra-ordinary results.

Easier said than done.

Today’s joke is just another tool I use to create a pattern interrupt in my clients’ thinking – to get them to put aside limiting beliefs and think outside the square (or box).

Easier said than done.

If it was easy, everyone would be successful and rich…

 

 

Why Smart Business People Fail

In a previous blog post, I touched on several foundational concepts that can help you to go from establishing motivation to creating momentum. Today, I want to focus on the catalyst, the initial trigger(s) that can help you start the process. First and foremost, to get moving, you need to overcome inertia. Inertia is defined as “the predisposition for a body to remain in the state that’s it’s in.” That means if you are NOT moving, you want to remain still. If, however, you ARE moving, then you want to remain IN MOTION. Therein lies the first reward for taking action.

Once you GET moving, it’s easier to STAY moving.

 I know, I know… “Easier said than done”. Especially in the morning when you are lying in a warm, comfortable bed and the last thing you want to do is get up and go for a run, do exercise or get a head start on your day.

You have seen it first hand at the playground with a merry-go-round. The first pull is really hard, and then it’s effortless to keep it spinning. Success is just like that – it gets easier as you become (more) successful.

merry-go-round- first pullInertia is one simplistic answer that pop psychology likes to hone in on. I prefer to look a little deeper than the superficial factors that don’t provide much insight nor contribute to providing practical solutions.

One of the primary reasons people don’t do what they KNOW they should do is because of prior (negative) experiences. Yes, the psychological literature addresses a person’s predisposition towards positive affect (seeing the glass half full), self-efficacy (you think you can complete a task successfully) and self esteem, but those are all quite superficial and of marginal practical value.

Dont Look Back QuotePast failures are the #1 contributor to most people’s inability to take action on projects and opportunities that are (blatantly) beneficial to them. One of the most valuable lessons champions learn is that the past does not equal the future and past performance is NOT a predictor of future success.

Once again, and I apologise for repeating myself – “easier said than done.”

We need to fail to learn the difference between what works and what doesn’t. The quicker we fail, the quicker we learn the lessons and the faster we are able to turn our REASONS for not achieving into the RESULTS that we seek.

Simply stated:

We are reasons or we are results.

When you face the harsh reality of life, and really think about it, you’ll agree that when you don’t achieve a RESULT, there are REASONS. The more REASONS there are, the better. That is because there are MORE sources to solve the problem so you can achieve the desired RESULT.

Negative MindBut and there usually is a but involved – most people don’t want to face the truth and therefore kid themselves ignoring the REAL REASONS that deny them from achieving the RESULTS they seek and desire.

This is where self awareness becomes a key ingredient of extra-ordinary success.

A true champion (a super successful person) addresses these issues, one by one, removing the REASONS so the RESULTS can emerge, as if by magic.

But most people get discouraged with failures and shortcomings, get down on themselves and lose faith. The reason that it is so pervasive is that without the proper coaching, mentoring or assistance, more (wrongly directed) effort is futile.

Here is a new twist to the glass half empty or full question that I thought would be appropriate to introduce to you.

 

How heavy is this glass?

At first glance, you might guess 200 to 500 grams and you’d probably be right – technically. But if the question is metaphorical, it depends… glass-half-full

  • If you hold the glass for a minute there is nothing to be concerned about.
  • If you hold it up for an hour, then your arm will be very sore.
  • If you hold it up for a whole day, then the pain will be excrutiating.

And yet the weight of the glass did not change, but its heaviness certainly did.

The metaphor is simple: if you carry your past (negative baggage) with you, the longer you hold on to it, the heavier it gets and the more pain it causes you…

Think about it…

Flat TireThis compounding effect is devastating to the person who just does not know any better. The great thing about living in a developed country is that the tools for success are within EVERYONE’S reach.

For example, I have published over 4,000 pages of FREE content on my blogs.

Anyone with an Internet connection can access business building, career advancement and personal development tips, tricks and techniques at NO COST.

Of course, the Internet is filled with priceless and timeless data and information. But without a framework, it remains impotent – neutral, often useless.

You need a framework, a strategic intent that first creates a catalyst or trigger to get things going and growing and then an approach to maintain and build the momentum.

But and there’s that much hated word again – but… without a DECISION, nothing happens.

There is a saying that it is in our moments of decision that our destiny is shaped, however I, without meaning to be cynical, think it’s more a case of:

 

“It is in our moments of indecision that are dreams are destroyed” – Dr Marc Dussault

 

I have seen too many people hesitate, procrastinate and essentially self-sabotage their careers and business outcomes due to fear of making a decision. Fear of taking a stand. Fear of raising the bar. Fear of taking a chance (on themselves). Fear of creating the potential outcome that is within their reach – their ultimate destiny.

Take-The-First-StepOne of the key reasons is a concept called “perfect information”. If you Google it, you’ll end up on Wikipedia with the Game Theory explanation “perfect information describes the situation when a player has available the same information to determine all of the possible games (all combinations of legal moves) as would be available at the end of the game.”

Real life never provides “perfect information” so expecting it is a recipe for certain disaster and disappointment. Perfectionists and procrastinators seek this “perfect information” and get caught in the analysis paralysis paradox, a self-fulfilling vortex with no way out.

So where does that leave most people?

STUCK.

Stuck in the predicament they are in. Stuck in their mindset. Stuck in their current reality.

STUCK.

Without the desire, drive and determination to get UNSTUCK, they repeat the patterns of the past, over and over and over again.

The ONLY solution is to BREAK THAT PATTERN.

Here are easy ways to get UNSTUCK:

  1. Accept that perfect information does not exist and start moving forward WITHOUT knowing what the second step is. The first step will reveal it to you, but only once you’ve taken it. Break the vicious circle by taking the first step.
  2. You do not need to know ALL the steps to a destination to get there. You just need to know you WANT to get there and take the first step.
  3. Get advice from people who have achieved what you want to accomplish. You wouldn’t ask your car mechanic to cut your hair, so be careful WHO YOU TAKE ADVICE FROM!
  4. Remain committed to your outcome, or change it (your outcome or goal) if you must. Nothing worth achieving will come easy. Accept that otherwise don’t waste your time.
  5. Recognise that momentum, once created, is easy to maintain and build upon. You have seen it first hand at the playground with the merry-go-round. The first pull is really hard, and then it’s effortless to keep it spinning. Success is just like that – it gets easier as you become (more) successful.

For all of this to ‘happen’ – you need a BIG REASON to do ‘it’. You need something bigger than yourself, more important than “just making money”. You need to pick something that means something to you, resonates within you. Pick something that once achieved, will change your life and/or the lives of others you care about. You need a purpose.

When you find that “purpose” you will have the fire in the belly to get started. With that initial motivation and enthusiasm you will create the catalyst for change and the momentum will build from there to help you achieve your dream(s).

Without that “purpose”, you are impotent, stagnant, inert, blasé, bland, indifferent, STUCK.

Create the catalyst and you will soar to greater heights than you ever previously imagined… and you will embrace pushing yourself…

I’ve already published an extensive post on Victims and Martyrs that you can refer to.

Without being too much of an idealist, I believe that (almost) everyone can achieve their ultimate destiny – but – the number one thing that prevents that from happening is their inability to resolve the REASONS that prevent them from achieving the RESULTS they desire.

It really is as simple as that.

Don't look backSuccess is really not complicated, it comes down to wanting it bad enough for a reason important enough and then doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

Of course there is a HARD way and an EASY (Exponential) way…

It’s your decision…

MAKE IT.

Lack of resources?

“Whenever you face a deficit
in resources, you need to
replenish your inventory of ideas.”

– Dr Marc Dussault

 

How to leverage testimonials and case studies in a retail shop

This is a BRILLIANT example of a retail shop that knows the value of testimonials and “case studies”… It is so good, it’s self-explanatory!

Testimonials, Case Studies, Retail

Testimonials, Retail, Tackle Shop

How to find windfall profits in your business – look at your shoe laces!

Many business people search for complicated (and expensive) ways to grow their businesses… Often, the simplest and easiest things create the biggest results. This TED TALK video is an example of the concept of finding hidden assets in your business BY CHALLENGING preconceived thoughts and ideas.

In this video, Terry Moore challenges you on how you tie your shoe laces… Chances are you are not doing it properly!

The moral of THIS STORY is… chances are you are making other mistakes in YOUR business or career that are just as easy to fix!

Open 25 Hours

As you know, I am a proponent of Antimimeticisomorphism. This is an example of that kinf of out-of-the-ordinary thinking. This is a sign for a convenience store in Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

If you come across across examples like this – people doing out-of-the-ordinary things to create extra-ordinary results, please contact us and we’ll share them with our readers and subscribers. Of course we’ll hyperlink back to your website or blog so you get FULL SEO value for your contribution!

Lead Generation For Small Business

Sports Car, Fast CarAcross Italy, police are cracking down on Ferrari and Lamborghini drivers, but not because they are driving too fast.

Italy, like so much of southern Europe, is drowning in debt, so police are pursuing drivers to make sure they are declaring – and therefore paying taxes on – earnings that would allow them to afford cars worth as much as half a million dollars.

The lesson here is that as a business, you want to adopt antimimeticisomorphism thinking – simply put, think differently to get different results.

If you are struggling to find new leads for your business – start looking at WHAT your clients are DOING, WHERE they are going, WHO they are spending time with…

If it works for the police in Italy, it might just work for you!

For example, want to deal with better clients? Look at the help wanted ads – companies who are HIRING are doing better than the ones who are laying off workers. Want more out-of-the-box ideas like this to grow your business? Contact us.

Are you playing your instrument in the wrong place?

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk away.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Here is my Exponential Mindset Thinking Twist:

If you are Joshua Bell in your industry or marketplace, are you playing YOUR instrument in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Hmmm…. Something to think about the next time you spend time. money and effort on your next sales and marketing promotion.