Jul 072014
 
Win:Win Networking = Covey's Habit 4

Win:Win.

A crucial input to any business relationship/transaction – community/clientele/friend to friend/within a family – whichever, or all of the above.

How does it apply to networking?

Here’s a simple sketch – if any questions from those who read this blog, please feel free to ask, and would be glad to go into more depth.

High level: Be sure you are mentally prepared to expect to give and give before you anticipate/expect a return. However, once you do receive, you’ve cemented a long lasting business connection which won’t be based on a mere transaction, but on deeper bonds of trust, service, and selflessness.

Mid level: Get out there into the public and expand your network. Your network is not simply there for you; not even close! It is there to share with others in your network whom may need a product, service, or just a friend. Think ‘Level 4’ ( Interdependence ) and eschew/abandon ‘Level 3’ ( Independent ) and Level 2 ( ‘Dependent’ ) – you’ll find that the ‘air’ in this sphere of building and bonding is far longer lasting than when you look at someone as simply a transaction, or a sale as a utility.

Finally, at the lower level ( this is mostly geared for where I live geographically – please study ( go well beyond merely “googling” ) the groups in your area to see what’s available for you)

Options where there will be a LOT of people, and connecting for win:win will be more challenging, however, definitely possible:

* CBus Business First (Breakfasts/6-8x/year, Friday mornings)

* Big Fish Networking ( periodic events, mostly evenings, and also certain mornings )

Add’t options which are in smaller settings which are free form and not structured :

** DelawareO ( every 3rd Wednesday evening , location varies )

** COBB ( every third Weds. morning )

Micro options – very small groups which can range from just 2-3, to upwards of a dozen or two. Very informal, and free form like the above

** Meetup.Com ( many many different options – can either be an organizer, or just someone who attends )

Structured Options – These are pay to join and usually have some structure/scripting and a very firm time frame for meeting starts/ends.

** BNI ( Dr. Misner, founded 1985 -groups all over the country)

( there are also several others in this same space – Goldstar, AmSpirit, & Synergy National )

** Six Degrees Networking

** TORN

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With all of these, be sure to take the principles of win:win, as taught by Covey 20 odd years ago, bring Level 4 thinking ( Tribal Leadership ) and understand the crucial value of tribes and community building ( Godin & Block, respectively ). If you have the right mindset, you will meet so many new friends and grow your business all at the same time!

All best, always. Thank you for reading.

Aug 292013
 
By the hour, by the task, by the relationship, or by ROI

I’ve had the privilege to expand my formerly fixed pie mindset into that of a lifelong student with an ever growing pie mindset due to being on the ‘path less traveled’ which I’ve been walking down these past 3+ years.

In this time, I’ve read north of 100 books, listened to somewhere between 500 and 1,000 audio recordings, watched over 50 DVDs, read hundreds of blog posts, and been to between 100 and 200 different events where I am surrounded by creators/builders/eagles/climbers. All of these, summed up, has completely been transformational. Not an overstatement in the least!

As part of the above, one particular book, amongst many, serves as the inspiration/foundation stone for this post – that being ‘Cashflow Quadrant’. It was one of the first dozen books I read when I discovered what true education really was ( = liber/liberty/how to think ), and I constantly recommend it in the present, and will do so into the indefinite future:  It is THAT crucial — a must read.  In fact, I believe it should be required reading in all high schools, regardless of if public, charter, private, Christian, or one of the many home school curriculums.

Taking a high level view of the acres of material in this book leads back to the title of this post. There are four/4 quadrants —  each of them will appeal to people based on their core values, their personality traits/temperaments, and their willingness to be a student (read: humble, honeable, hungry).  Each of these can also be attached to one of the short descriptors;  let’s unpack them one by one, then will close off this post with a summation.

By the Hour

E > Someone who ‘lands’, chooses, or is shuttled here through the ‘system’ and/or programming most usually thinks in chunks — hour(s). Extended further out: days, weeks, with a mindset of “hump day”, or Friday is more important than any other day of the week. This is due to an ingrained mindset where he/she measures things in such time increments which are short term in focus and perhaps also in vision.  Often, someone in this quadrant will say he/she “has no time”, or is “very busy”. Chalk this up to a priorities/urgencies root issue, and the age old difficulty in being unable to do anything about the time v. money 1:1 exchange.

By the Task

S > Here is a quadrant where one also tends to be shuttled or programmed to put up stakes, although there is a definitive difference b/w it & its cousin, ‘E’. A person(s) here now thinks more along the lines of – how much can I earn (income) for task “X”, “Y” ?  Example is the trading of time for an appointment which requires the other party to pay ( e.g., Doctors, dentists, accountants, certain types of coaches/counselors, stylists, consultants, lawyers ). So, to extend, it is in the best interests of the person to squeeze as many clients-customers into a given time period as possible. The outlook here can usually be longer than a day or a week, although a person here can oft-times employ others, so he/she may also be marking off in his/her head the time between ‘now’ & when payroll is due.

 

We’ve now traversed the metaphorical wall/chasm between sides of the squared quad. What is the difference between them, one who has yet to read this landmark book may inquire?  Quite straightforward:  One’s incoming information, and subsequent thinking (and actions/application of the former two). Another way to say it:  You are no longer depend”E”nt nor are you a member of independent”S” Inc. (so to say)

 

By the Relationship

B >  The least understood corner real estate, yet within lies the most profound answers to many of life’s perplexing issues/questions. Such as?  :  Why can’t I ever seem to get ahead? — Why don’t I think I have enough time in the day to do everything I must get done? ( yet, the day is just as long as it was millennia ago ) — Why is there more week/month than what is in my paycheck ( net income ) ?  Just who are the folks who own (not manage!) those ‘chains’ = franchises that I spend all of my waking time or currency in?

When you quite likely have made your way into this quadrant, since a very small number will be born here, you will find that your thinking requires a reboot. And, furthermore, that much of what you learned before quite likely will need to be unlearned over time. To “B”, you are no longer the magic elixir. You’ve instead discovered interdependent life — its all about Resolution 11: Systems (Holism) & working in concert with a proven, duplicatable system. This system often takes the form of a recurring inflow of life changing information or, in some cases, it is a reference manual/guide/book that you can use over + over + over again to get the same result.

How does relationship(s) tie in?  This way:  Since you are interdependent, you are interlinked in many cases with others in common purpose. The others will either ensure your financial security through their prosperity; and/or they will be your extended term clients/customers as you have earned their unshakeable trust and loyalty; and/or, lastly, you are seeking to grow your tribe and expand your network, so you must know people skills and sharpen the human relations art & science abilities that are not nearly as well taught as an “E” or an “S”‘er. Folks here also have a strong understanding of financial fitness & are coming to the realization that you don’t retire — unless the word is re-defined to mean that you are retiring from your obligations.

This leads to the final corner >

By ROI

I > This is rarified “air”, as the % of those occupying the ground in this bottom right real estate are most always those who spent a good deal of time as a “B”, and they’ve earned their stripes and have become truly free:  In both time and in money. So, they can now put their money on the line in great big chunks, and become real investors. No, if you are “investing” in a corporate-industrial age retirement vehicle such as a 401(k) nor an industrial age one like a defined benefit pension plan.

In those two latter examples, you are not spending money, however, you have not leveraged money to get an ROI on money. The leverage here is purely monetary as opposed to a system from its cousin to the north, the ‘B’. Instead, this is building or creating of an asset(s) that kicks off cash flow. The book describes the levels of investors far better than I could attempt to dissect, so dear readers, please be sure to read, or re-read, this seminal book, then pay it forward to your friends, family, and especially, the younger generations.

In this quadrant, to cap it off – you are receiving so much inflow of currency from your dependent ‘E’ & independent ‘S’ neighbors across the wall, that your well being is set. You are a living breathing example of the maxim of financial fitness that its NOT where the $ starts, but rather, where it ends up that COUNTS.

 

In wrapping up, please be willing to always change. It is hard, however, beating one’s head against cement and expecting cement to crumble!  If you have those questions above, or simply are a student and wish to gain wisdom and knowledge to then turn around to apply & then pay forward to another, you have found (A) one of the best books ever written, and (B) a post here in the blogosphere which has attempted to explain it all from a slightly different perspective than others likely have already. ( since this book has sold so many copies, I know there are tons of links online talking about it! )

Be the best you can be. Live. Learn. Grow, And may you find & earn your dreams.

Aug 132013
 
Leadership correlates with education, education with freedom, and leadership engenders freedom: Connections

A couple months ago, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to hear a very moving talk from a well regarded, influential servant leader #. His ability to interweave leadership principles, liber education (self-directed/leadership), & the meanings of freedom seamlessly together is quite impressive. I’ve noticed that such an ability to synthesize concepts is often missing from today’s schooling, although its value is hard to underestimate in any context once you’ve experienced it.

That talk inspires this post. My wishes for the reader are to think independently; to understand that it is very important to grow his/her leadership abilities — in the ‘soft skills’ — and, lastly, that schooling and education are far from one in the same.

It’s been proven throughout history that freedoms that citizens enjoy are connected to their education. And, that information learned, studied, and applied is where wisdom originates. We cannot depend on faux ‘experts’ to determine anything — businesses large and small, schools, public, private, and home based, and other institutions crave and are clear need of leaders who are honeable, hungry to learn, and are humble, realizing that for every book they read, there are thousands yet to be.

Our freedoms, best described through the lens of either the ‘eight meanings’, or the ‘three types’ ( DeMille & McEwen, respectively ), rest with embracing the age in which we presently live, while renewing our past, and looking evermore into the future. A business model that combines servant/replacement leadership with education, and which filters out the best information from the noise and mis-information in our world today, is beyond priceless. It is troubling when so many citizens are struggling when we have more info at our fingertips today than even 10 years ago; so, let’s connect these together and serve first, to address our problems at their very root.

Businesses which are cutting edge often are very abstract and intangible —  it can be argued that Microsoft, let alone Facebook in the present time, are very much in this category. So, information that isn’t pure, which is not based on fundamental concepts and principles of leadership, nor which encourage any of the types or meanings of freedom, can get out into the marketplace through such an outlet. Think of all the banner ads, the advertising in the news feed, and such as cases in point.

Enter into the marketplace of our global world a similar model, based strictly on information and connecting people together who share a like-minded vision. Going further, the model teaches the soft skills to those who are hungry to invest their 86,400 seconds a day into those who own a share of it; let alone, existing to reach out to others who don’t yet own a share, but wish to do so since they realize that doing the same old, same old in the familiar zone just won’t get them ahead in life.

What may restrain the growth of such a fused model of self-directed education, servant/replacement driven leadership, & the impartation of freedom principles?  Alexander Tytler saw many of them coming centuries ago:  Complacency. Cynicism. Apathy. Dependence [ in this case, on big institutions, words instead of action/deeds ]. Bondage [ here, speaking of debt – spending much of your time plying a trade to pay creditors instead of focusing on what really matters ]. However, can anyone change this?  Of course!  Should you have some healthy skepticism that you can?   Sure. Just use the latter as fuel, and don’t catch the dreaded disease known as ‘excusitis’.

Dr. Schwartz taught us about this disease years ago in his landmark book ( a MUST read.); being “busy” and broke, let alone leaning back on your health as a crutch, all fit into this category of mediocrity. Breaking free from it by solving the idea and ambition problems is exactly what this type of fused model solves!  Leadership requires independent thought, & a different lens and thinking pattern. Education requires the same, and dispenses with much of the (more subtle) programming that schooling includes. And, freedom is precious, and requires one to lead from the front, educate constantly, and think in depth.

Don’t find yourself on the outside looking in while the “experts” attempt to solve problems in your town/city, county, province/state, or nation. Don’t let yourself be distracted from the real issues. Avoid living vicariously through others’ successes, inc. a favorite sports team(s). Curtail excessive entertainment that can become entrenched in your lifestyle, which will neutralize your potential to be great, instead of just average. Be extraordinary!  As Don Soderquist taught us in his book, live, learn, and lead to make a difference. This type of internet age model gives you the intangible tools to do all of the above & much, much more.

Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog & may your life be filled with all the things that you have earned by service before self.

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# Sending many kind regards to Mr. George Guzzardo. Please take the opportunity to visit his blog; he updates it frequently and his posts are filled with wisdom; the link/URL is in my blogroll.

Jul 242013
 
The Three Most Important Q's you will ever ask yourself

Who am I?

+ Do you know what drives your economic engine?  Your faith/spiritual walk?  Do you embrace liberty & know the meanings of freedom?  Do you have a family that means the world to you?  What is your WHY? +

Where did I come from?

+ What are your roots & even more to the point, do you know WHY you believe WHAT you believe?  Be an independent thinker at all times; let no media, PR/advertising, or other outside influence sway you without heart, spirit, and mind being engaged through your own research. +

Where am I going?

+ Do you see your future clearly, whether over present day obstacles/challenges, or clear as the blue sky above?  Do you have a 1,3,5, 10 year vision?  Is your subconscious mind pulling your conscious mind along for the ride to your dreams?  Do not plan more for your wedding, vacation, or your ‘weekend’ more so than your life. The latter is far too important to drift through w/o focus, hard/smart work, & chasing something far bigger than your present reality. +

 

Jul 082013
 
On a peak (of life)? in a valley (also of life)?

I recently put a cap on a terrific book called ‘Peaks and Valleys‘ by Spencer Johnson, M.D. What a truly inspired read! I compare it to the ‘Great Connnection‘ , ‘Leadershift‘ , and ‘The Ant and the Elephant‘ in terms of how much it impacted me through the lens of a business parable writing style. This post will not serve as a recommendation / review of the book ( please visit my other blog for that in near future ), but rather, I will sum up some immediate thoughts that I had about the book; it’s core themes can easily be applied to anyone’s life.

Five Major Themes

1 + ‘To Manage Your Good and Bad Times:’ > ‘Make Reality Your Friend’

What an on point, to the heart question Mr. Johnson poses! “What is the truth in this situation?”

How often do we allow ourselves to think independently, or use our self-talk as a positive, rather than a huge lead weight?  Let alone bringing the word ‘truth’ into the solution to a problem, however small or vexing, or seemingly unsolveable?

2 + ‘To Get Out of a Valley Sooner:’ > ‘Find and Use the Good Hidden in a Bad Time’

Fantastic perspective! How often have we heard that there’s a silver lining in every dark cloud?  This is a corollary of that metaphor. Yes, but it sounds so corny?! You may say..

Sure, you may respond that way, and it may even be the case, however, being able to laugh at yourself and have fun, even in bad times, brings levity and is like dropping some of the bricks from the bag which you filled yourself.

3 + ‘To Stay on a Peak Longer:’ > ‘Appreciate and Manage Your Good Times’

Absolutely. Comparing this to what I’ve heard on an audio multiple, multiple times — you should not eat your seed corn or wheat. These crops are akin to good times; one may also be familiar with the metaphor, ‘every good time must come to an end’

Don’t use these in any way but to be a good steward of your resources — financially, do not spend every penny that you make; ignore the incessant calls to borrow more money which will keep you in debt in perpetuity — relationally, always be humble, do what you have done to get to your peak. Turn the spotlight off of yourself, and onto others.

4 + ‘To Get to Your Next Peak:’ > ‘Follow Your Sensible Vision’

Mr. Johnson describes it well – “Imagine yourself enjoying a better future in such specific, believable detail, that you soon enjoy doing what takes you there

You cannot merely fantasize, wish, or pretend; you have to use the immense power of vision ( Resolution 4 ) combined with planning, doing, checking, and adjusting ( Resolutions 5 & 6 ) to make what you have dreamed about real!

Bastiat’s Law, one of the FLD, will tug you away from doing any of these last four action steps, making you want to play the lottery, or wait for someone to leave you inheritance monies, however, to scale a peak require real work and effort.

Lastly, 5 + ‘To Help People:’ > ‘Share It with Others!’

Simple, yes? However, don’t fall into a trap of human-ness, and want to hold these lessons close to you like a blanket in the winter; be grateful you heard them, and turn around and pay them forward. Resolution 13 is a clarion call to thinking well beyond you, and planting the seeds that will become great trees, or stalks of corn, or fruit in others’ lives; those whom you may barely know, or will never meet.

Whether you give this book out as a gift, loan your personal copy to someone, practice these lessons and be the example in front of everyone, or something else not listed, just be sure to get “outside of yourself”, and put service before self.

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Have a wonderful week~!

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Jun 072013
 
Mission --> Submission --> Co-Mission --> Transmission

Mission.

Comission.

Submission.

Transmission.

What do these words signify for those who are pursuing, studying, or are already (servant) leaders(hip)?  They are core themes, and are much like a step-ladder on the way up from the ground floor to being truly significant. We are well past survival ( which 85-95% of the population, regrettably is doing at most/best. ) and beyond success at this point — you, yes you, are pursuing truly making a ‘dent in the universe’, like Steve Jobs talked about before his untimely passing.

Let’s start with mission. The ground floor of a 5-10%’er, so to speak. This is deep, the petri dish where genius is born, and where potential is developed. The benefit of having your mission detected ( a term coined by Viktor Frankl, when discussing mission’s cousin, purpose ) is that you are able to lasso your true potential, bless others’ lives without expectation of return, and to truly benefit society.

Here’s a list of missions – with metaphorical thought, you may be able to come up with others beyond the below:

Feed the hungry.

Clothe the naked.

Liberate the captives.

Educate the ignorant.

Spread beauty.

Heal the sick.

Spread prosperity.

Restore families.

For me, I have two: spread(ing) prosperity & educat(ing) the ignorant. What is/are yours?

From here, we go deeper — level/stage two —  submission.  Don’t mis-interpret the definition or the context; this is a healthy and effective type – it is a mark of a truly successful person striving for significance who submits to a mentor: his/her thinking, taking direction, and realizing that there is a whole lot that you don’t know.

A great mission is worth submitting to; you are developing your genius, which is inborn within you, and oft-times lies fallow due to a lack of a vehicle, or the best quality information, to bring it to fruition.

A simple question to help shape:  Who is it for?

How about taking another step up that all-important creator/builder ladder?  Stage/Phase three is comission. Mission detected; check; submission to mentorship and more; check.

Co-mission includes two cores: omission & tribes/community.

First, face up to things, events, and persons that are blocking you from the first two phases, and stopping you from moving into a 5-10% leadershift mindset. Begin to omit these from your day to day life.

Second, you’re ready to travel the roads and carve a pathway as you polish your genius, much like a diamond. Is it not far, far better to be positively associating with those who have also detected their mission and submitted? Working together in a tribe and pulling together under the banner of something like ‘restor(ing) families’ = profound and powerful, is it not?  As a sidebar, recall that Jim Collins discussed a similar concept in ‘Good to Great‘ when he explained the ‘putting the right people on the bus’ mantra. Community is a skeleton key to so much great in our ever changing internet age!

We’ve now reached the final stage: The ladder has been scaled & you’ve learned so much on this Resolution 13-themed journey!  This is now moving into transmission. How do you take a stand between where the world is, and where you want the world to/should it be?  Ah, the power of service is so very strong!

At this point, you have turbo-driven your genius; you’ve empowered it in the direction of making a difference all the while being humble. After all, turning your mission loose on the world could lead to a big ego, and other maladies of (non) leadership without the proper grounding. Leadership can be defined in the context of this final phase as changing the world regardless of whom gets the credit.

How do you transmit the most effectively? You channel all your work, efforts, successes, strengths, challenges, fun, passion, connections/relationships, and failures/mistakes. With ”force of will“, you have charged your own motor and go out to impact the world positively. As you achieve this, please don’t forget to act like a window and hand out the credit to your community, and give the glory to God. You are just here for a whisper of time, and maximizing that time on this journey will make your life so fulfilling.

Are you willing to explore, think independent & inter-dependently, and commit to these steps?   I hope you do, and will join me. Thank you ever so much for reading!

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With every fiber of my gratitude, I extend gracious appreciation, thank you’s, and applause to Mr. Oliver DeMille, whose rapier sharp intellect, humble-ness, and service before self was beyond evident in the audio talk he gave that forms the entire backbone of this post.