Category Archives: Self Development

Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids

The world is a very dynamic and complex place.  Developing countries are growing economically at rates that stagger the mind, and at rates that are increasingly putting pressure on our country’s ability to compete.  In addition, our homegrown corporations are increasingly tapping the talent that exists overseas on the cheap, which is creating a population gap of people who lack the skills that are necessary for organizations desperately needing to stay profitable.

Therefore, I will say it! If we are going to compete as a country, we will need to start making some dramatic changes now.  As a country that has experienced so much material wealth in the past century due to the successes that the American manufacturing complex helped produce, we are either in for a rude awakening, or a forced shift.  Recently, I came across an article on USA Today that mentioned how many companies are actually profitable right now regardless of the layoffs, and that on average, the countries GDP has grown.

What this tells me, is that our work force, and therefore a large portion of our society, is in need of retraining or more education.  It appears that the ideas and education of the past has not placed our population in a position that is not conducive to staying competitive on a global scale for long.

So we need to change, as a whole from the ground up.  Where does it all start?  I would say it all starts in the classroom.  We have students being trained in this day and age for being engineers, IT professionals, doctors, lawyers, and general laborers.  This is a problem it seems, especially since many of the aforementioned will be made available in other countries for almost nothing if not already, and the doctors and lawyers are so few in number that a large portion of society is going to have to wake up and activate themselves.

As far as I can tell, one of the most important developments in our population is going to be in the creation in more designers, creators, artists, and business people.  This is going to be the area where will need to develop and become to compete globally. It seems like the manufacturing sector is being overtaken by cheap labor, and in many cases so too the engineering and higher skilled positions.  Hence, we will need to make a shift as a country to being creators and business people, versus laborers and technicians.   So it is going to start with the teaching of business skills and entrepreneurship skills to kids, including art and design.  The teaching of these subjects as primary subjects versus secondary subjects like they have in the past is going to be our ticket. Of course this is only my hunch.  What do you think?  Feel free to comment to let me know what your ideas are on our countries place in the global economy.  I am curious to know, whether or not you think changing the education system’s philosophy on what is most important in preparing the future of America’s workforce is important?

Here is a great post that includes 5 great entrepreneurship education resources to help you get started.  To take a look [Click Here].

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Laws and Principles Entrepreneurs Live By

Pareto Principle  | Parkinson’s Law  | Law of Averages  |  Law of Association

4 Laws & Principles every Entrepreneur should know and live by:

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle is a very popular law …my guess is that you’ve probably come across it or have even heard of it numerous times throughout your life… however it was most likely referred to with a different name.  If you’ve ever heard of the 80-20 rule, or the law of the vital few, or even the principle of factor sparsity….then you’ve been exposed to the Pareto Principle.

Essentially this law states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  And naturally this applies to a great many things and events especially concerning to the entrepreneur.  For starters….  as an entrepreneur….you’ve probably wondered why the distribution of wealth is the way it is….observing that just about 20% of the population has much of the wealth, while the other 80% doesn’t.  Who knows, maybe this keen observation on your part is the exact reason you are an entrepreneur…. so you can in fact make your way to the top 20% :).

This principle is also very relevant for the entrepreneur for purposes of time management…..20% of the things you do will account for 80% of your results while 80% of the things you do will account for 20% of your results.  I know…a bit depressing when you think about it….but this knowledge can be useful for creating and perfecting your plans of action.  In addition, the principle will come into play when trying to understand why some customers buy your goods and services, and why some….let me rephrase that…many, don’t.

So when 80% of the people you approach with your products, services, or opportunities say no….just keep in mind that it’s not you….and most likely not what you’re offering, and that it’s just a bit of the Pareto Principle at play.

Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law is something all entrepreneurs should be aware of.  Like the last law… you’ve probably experienced this one in the past but just haven’t been introduced to it formally.  So…I’ll do the honors.  Parkinson’s law was first articulated  in an essay of The Economist in 1955 and has been made more or less mainstream by author/blogger/entrepreneur Tim Ferriss.

The law essentially postulates that…  work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.  So if you have ever had some friends or co-workers who were given an easy task to do with a somewhat large amount of time to complete….and yet they  somehow managed to stay extremely busy, spending an inordinate amount of time on a task that you could have finished in a day….. well then, you’ve been acquainted to Parkinson’s Law.

This is essential knowledge for an entrepreneur….especially those new to being their own boss and in charge of running their businesses efficiently.  The understanding of this law will help the new entrepreneur combat the programming received while they were an employee who wasn’t 100% vested in how long tasks actually took to complete.  Ultimately, if one truly cherishes their time and leisure, and doesn’t want to be a slave to their business….knowing this law is critical.

Law of Averages

This is a great law for us.  It’s the idea that probability will influence all occurrences in the long run, that one will neither win nor lose all of the time.  For example, If it rains every day this week, by the law of averages we’re bound to get a sunny day soon. This colloquial term is a popular interpretation of a statistical principle called Bernoulli’s theorem.  As an entrepreneur or professional, this law becomes important to you when  you decide to start going after the deals, the partnerships, and the sales.

The more you experience the no’s and failures in the pursuit of your ventures….the more likely you are over time, to experience that crucial yes and ultimate success.  A fantastic example I like to refer to, is the baseball player….  he strikes out 7 out of 10 times….and still get’s paid 5 million dollars per year.  The same success awaits the entrepreneur who  understands that with every no…they inch that much closer to their YES…and indeed their SUCCESS!

Law of Association

This law is often looked over for striving entrepreneurs but is crucial in moving towards the achievements you set for yourself.  Basically this is a law which suggests that we become like the average of the five people whom we spend most of our time with.

Meaning….that everything about you will average out to be similar to those five people whom you are currently spending most of your time with.  For instance,  your income will tend to be the average of your five best friends’ incomes.  If you want to raise the quality of your life, hang out with people who have already been there and done that…and who are living the quality life which you seek. If you want to become a better communicator, hang out with great communicators.  If you want to be more positive, hang around with more positive and up beat people. If you want to be a terrific parent, spend lots of time with men and women who have mastered the art of parenting.  If you want to start making at difference….get around those who are out there making some waves of impact.  So in essence… birds of a feather flock together.

But…do you know why birds of a feather flock together? It’s because they’re all going in the same direction. They share a common vision. So if you’re going after a goal, any goal, go and find the people who have already achieved that goal, or who are well along the path to attaining that goal, and then be with them, hang out with them, camp on their doorstep if you have to. :).  Joking aside…this is an important law to live by….so get out there and make some connections with those whose lives you want to be living.

And if you find your self in a situation where making critical associations with people is difficult because of your location, or because you just need some time to gain the courage to reach out, remember that the next best thing to associating with great company is reading great books.  It was Rene Descartes after all who once said “The reading off all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries”.

To Your Success!

“Our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts…our thinking can be no wiser than our understanding.” – George S. Clason

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Economics 101 – What are You Worth?

Wow! What a hiatus. Last month was an undoubtedly action packed one. I took a trip to Paris, got engaged, and started participating in a new flag football league all on top of the business activities I normally partake in. Of course the blogging suffered a bit due to “all the activity” and of course a small mishap which had my blog temporarily deactivated. However, the good news is…. I am back!

So today I wanted to touch on something that has been on my mind a lot lately, Economics. I guess I am really writing this now because of a certain essence that seems to pervade the internet, the television, heck the world. This essence manifests itself as a blatant misunderstanding of Economics and economic principles. It is an essence that can be summed up in a mentality known all too well as “The Get Rich Quick Mentality” or “The Something For Nothing Mentality”.

Now, it is understood that this type of thinking may never go away, but perhaps it can be curbed a bit through people talking about it or blogging about it. Who knows?  So hopefully I can save someone some valuable time by helping them realize that they shouldn’t start something if they don’t really intend to be in it for the long haul and put in the necessary work (and yes anything worth doing requires work). In addition it would be nice if this post could help save someone, anyone from quitting too soon…all because they felt their expectations were not being instantly met. (Hello…..things take time!!!)

So, here it is….a pithy point to keep in mind or to share with a friend/acquaintance who is suffering from this dreadful mentality…..

It is…that you can’t get without giving!!!! Seriously, there is actually a law of economics which irrevocably controls the system that neither recognizes nor tolerates, at least not for long, getting without giving. So….what this means is, that there really is only one dependable method for legally accumulating and holding true riches, and this without a doubt is…………….. by providing useful service.

Now how does one provide useful service and why is it important you ask? Answer….  first understand Economics! Which you can find a bit more about in this neat little video.  To your success!

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Wages Vs. Profits

profits

A mentor of mine, Jim Rohnwho I’ve been following for a couple of years now, uttered a phrase that caught my attention, more so than usual while studying  him recently.   He had such a strong and significant impact on me  on the day that I heard him say “profits are better than wages. Wages will make you a living, profits can make you a fortune.”

I found the phrase sage like.  I remember repeating what he said to myself  and then thinking about how truly difficult  it most likely is to get rich on just wages alone, and how readily profits can be made if we focus our efforts on accumulating them.  It was a pretty outstanding moment of clarity for me, and I still get the goose bumps whenever I think about it!

Following that phrase,   Jim Rohn went on to make a point about how profits  can actually change your whole attitude, even if you start part-time.  I really warmed up to his suggestion, and perhaps you will too, because he states that it doesn’t matter if it’s part-time on your entrepreneurial business,  your network marketing company, or your service business.

To Jim it didn’t matter.  To him it could be a real estate business, a tutoring business as a teacher, a website design business, a landscaping business in the summer, a consulting practice, woodworking, or a hobby,  heck, he even goes so far as to mention a business of hanging Christmas lights in the winter.

The magic he says, comes from the moment you start investing effort part-time into your own business, because it is then, that you will find how much more exciting it is to get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and go to work on your fortune, even if it is only a small portion of your schedule,… something like 10 – 15 hours per week.

How empowering  would it be, to be able to go to work on your fortune every single day rather than going to work to just pay the rent or the bills?    So you don’t get me or Jim wrong I will quote you some words directly from him when he says ” Now – it is noble to go to work to pay the rent, but if you could also parcel out part of your time – go to work to make your fortune.  Your whole attitude changes; your spirit changes. It is in your voice.  It is in your face.  It is in your gestures.  And then you can say, “I am now working full-time on my job and part-time on my fortune because I found a way to make profits.”

Wow….how amazing is that?  Slightly magical isn’t it?!!  What do you think on the idea of Wages Vs. Profits?  Have you taken any steps to learn how you can make profits vs. wages?  Are you teaching your kids these kinds of concepts?  If not, why not?

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6 Activities To Activate You

So I was journaling this morning and had a small reminiscing moment.  I am not too sure what triggered the flash of old memories but I noticed it took me back to a place that was roughly about three to four years ago.  What I saw was some pretty interesting stuff.  I was simply astonished by my realization of how much has actually changed in such a short period of time and I am not talking about the external world.  What really stood out from my memories was how dramatically my outlook has been altered and even more so, my approach to life!  And I think it would be safe to say that it has been at least a 180 degree shift and all for the better, which I am sure some of my closest friends might agree with. …. Hopefully 🙂

So, since I had this amazing flash back and since I feel all these changes I’ve made in the past couple of years have been blessings, I thought I might share some of the activities that I think I owe it all to.  So…here they are:

1.)  I started reading 2 – 3 books per month

2.) I started journaling

3.) I started meditating

4.) I started running.

5.) I started waking up early to do a Power Hour (1 hour just for me)

6.) I started doing incantations

Well, I sincerely hope the 6 activities that have activated me most will activate you.  Give them a try!  What do you have to lose…besides your old self?…..

To YOUR GREATNESS!

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What if?

What if…..you decided to do something different, make some changes, and take some action?

For example, what if ……you decided to create a website that had a sole aim of collecting one penny from every person in China and India, and then decided to direct those funds to a charity?  With these two countries having a population of roughly 2.6 billion people combined, you would be able to amass $26,000,000 to ultimately do some good.  What if you went bigger and attempted to get one penny from every person in the world?  With a world population of  roughly 6, 700, 000,000  people / 100 =  you would have $67,000,000.  Now that would be a nice chunck of change to do some serious good in the world.

What if….you decided to better yourself by one percent each day.  Focusing on ways to be more effective at work, ways to be more creative, socialable, friendly, caring, giving, or just more human.  With a 1% change a day, you would be 31 – 33 % better after a month.  Imagine the amount of change you would experience in all these areas of your life after just a few years of compounded personal growth.

What if ….you decided to read one more additional book per month.  You would have read an extra 12 books per year,  48 in four years, 96 in 8 years,  192 in 16 years, and whopping 384 extra books in 32 years.   You would be a freaking sage.  Your friends and family, and even me,  would be compelled to start calling you professor.

What if…. you decided today to meet one new person per week and befriend them?  After one year you would have 52 new friends, after 10 years you would have 520 friends, after 20 years you would have 1040 friends.  Imagine the amount of possiblities that lie within reach of knowing so many people who trust you.  Imagine the influence you would have with such a group of friends.

What if…… you decided to take some extra risks and push through those inevitable walls set up to test our dreams and deter us from being the passionate revolutionaries we truly are?  Imagine you got through those barriers and received everything you’ve always wanted….

What if you took action? What if you don’t?

What if?

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Your Personality Sucks

I was surfing the net last night and I came across this blog by Rohit Bhargava.  Initially glancing through hist posts I was attracted to one tab in particular.  So I clicked on it and took a good look through it and began reading some of his postings for that blog (because he has two) and sure enough I came across his book which he titled Personality Not Included (PNI for short).  The book caught my attention because it wasn’t too long ago when I was listening to some Napolean Hill audio tapes in my car (I am geek what can I say), which incidentally was focused on personality and how important it is to ones success. 

Interestingly the Napolean Hill personality bit was a slightly different in its recommendations as it was primarily talking about the importance of positive mental attitude, tactfulness, and being courteous to our peers and customers in order to secure more business and in turn be more successful.   Now Rohit’s bit on personality was more about how it is vital in this day and age for your business to have a personality of its own, and how authenticity is key if it is to become and/or remain successful.

The cool thing I captured in being open to both ideas on personality is that basically if your business is not doing good or if your career is going nowhere fast, it’s probably because of your personality.  So in an attempt to be respectfully brutal in my honesty….if your business or career sucks……. it’s probably because your personality sucks.

So…. what are you waiting for?  Start working on your personal and organizational personality.

“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”
Jim Rohn

 

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YouPublish…Info for the Infopreneur

I watched a video of  Mark Victor Hansen Author of the Chicken Soup for The Soul Series yesterday and learned some pretty insightful info from him on the business of books.  Mark is a very animated fellow and spoke rather quickly and enthusiastically and so so hopefully I can convey some of his enthusiasm about book business.  Essentially, I’d like to relay some of his most poignant ideas about the business.  One of Mark’s primary ideas was that we all have a book inside us, a uniqueness unlike the world has ever seen…a masterpiece waiting to be produced, and of course I really agreed with this idea since the Educated Entrepreneur feels we all have an entrepreneur inside of us just waiting to be let out.   Another idea which Mark spoke of, was his belief , which again is very similar to mine, that there is much power in the written word and that the medium has much potential to create dynamic and significant changes to not only a person on all levels, be it…economic, social, personal, spiritual, but also potential to change the world.  

The most fascinating topic which Mark spoke about, was on the details of the book business.  He actually painted a very convincing picture of how writing a book can be one of the best ways to starting a business.  He propounds becoming influentiall with your ideas, works, and expertise by creating an influential book business empire, and then if you choose, you can splinter off  with success as your base in any direction you wish.  You can move into public speaking, training, coaching, managing, television, movies, you name it…  He even created a term for this type of person, he calls them infopreneurs.  So, I highly recommend you look into the guy and read one of his chicken soup books or check him out on his website or look him up on wikipedia.  He has a lot to teach if you are willing to learn.  Also if you are really curious about the possibility of becoming an infoprenuer,  be sure to check out his free self publishing website called youpublish.com.

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TGIF….but If not NOW, then When?

Your Life…Your Design  (Image courtesy of dryicons.com

It’s Friday, yahoo!!, the weekend is just around the corner and I am tempted to turn off the laptop, take a nap, go to the pool, and then maybe even prep for a nice night out on the town.  It’s exciting!  So much “FUN” waiting to be had, but, then I realize I have some things that I really want to accomplish.  Activities that I really would like to begin…things I wrote down yesterday and promised myself I would do today.. creations and dreams that are dying to be manifested.  So…what should one do?

I understand the choice will be different for everyone.  Many will choose to “go have fun”…”live it up”….”let their hair down” ….release their Dionysian spirit so to speak.  And this is all good,very tempting, and even healthy(when done in moderation of course…else you end up like Jim Morrison).  And some…more than likely a very select few, will choose to channel that energy into something else.  They will use it to create their dreams, do their  “perpetually procrastinated pet project”, write a book, work on themselves, give back to the world, or become something more than they were yesterday .

What will you do?  Are you going to do the usual, give in to your habits, do what’s easy and more enjoyable, and what everyone else is doing?  Or are you going to put off a little bit of that excess fun to do a little bit more of those activities which you are always complaining about not having enough time for?  And hey, if you choose to go out and play… awesome TGIF!!… please have a brewski for me, but remember this, if you don’t make time for your biggest plans now, then when will you?

Before you decide, process this quote that John C. Maxwell said so well…   “Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”

Have a Phenomenal Friday!!!

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The Networking Mindset

 

I picked up some really terrific ideas from Ivan Misner, the father of modern networking and founder of BNI a couple of days ago and figured I would share them since networking is something that anyone can utilize to enhance their current personal, professional, and business circumstances. 

Essentially Ivan suggests 3 primary areas to focus on in terms of our mindset as professionals, business people, and/or entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on in our networking activities.   

First we must be sure we are following the law of reciprocity.  The law of reciprocity is the idea that we should expect to give before we get, or at least to give back an amount equivalent to that which we have received from another. 

Second is to make sure our network is full of diversity, and no, we are not talking about an old old wooden ship used during the civil war Ron Burgundy!   The more diverse our network, the more exposure we have to a variety of individuals from different clubs, countries, careers, and genders,  etc… the more effective our networking efforts will be.  I mean think about it…If we keep exchanging ideas and business with people who are the same as us, who are in the same business as us, who think like us, or who are doing the some of the same things as us, how much reach and significance will our business efforts get us?  Probably not very far in comparison to the individuals who are mixing it up with anybody and everybody.

Finally, we should understand that networking is more about farming than hunting.  It’s ultimately about creating and cultivating relationships, not forcing our product or service upon every person we meet and then expecting them to refer us to others or want to do business with us.  Ivan said it so well…It is not what you know, or even who you know as we all might sometimes think …but how well you know them. 

Well…have fun with this info..I hope it helps, and I hope you apply it.  Be sure to check out Ivan Misner for some really detailed insight into networking if you are looking for more successful ways to increase your business through referrals.  Remember…there is more to networking than mereley exchanging cards, especially if you seek the results that are to be attached from a successful campaign…  More Business!!. 

Best! and To Your Success!

 


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