Remote, no office required – Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson


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The future, quite literally, belongs to those who get it.  Do you think today’s teenagers, raised on Facebook and texting, will be sentimental about the old days of all-hands-on-deck Monday meetings?

The big transition with a distributed workforce is going from synchronous collaboration to asynchronous collaboration.  Not only do we not have to be in the same spot to work together, we also don’t have to work at the same time to work together.

The city is the original talent hub. Traditionally, those who ran the engines of capitalism thought: “Let’s gather a large number of people in a small geographical area where they must live on top of each other in tight quarters, and we will be able to find plenty of able bodies to man our factories”.

The new luxury is to shed the shackles of deferred living, to pursue your passions NOW, while you are still living.  What’s the point in wasting time daydreaming about how great it will be when you finally quit?

If you are struggling with trust issues, it means we made a poor hiring decision.  If a team member is non producing good results or can’t manage their own schedule and workload, we aren’t going to continue with that person, as simple as that.  We employ team members who are skilled professionals, capable of managing their own schedules and making a valuable contribution to the organization.  We have no desire to be babysitters during the day.

Most people WANT to work, as long as it is stimulating and fulfilling. And if you are stuck in a dead-end-job that has no prospects of being either, then you don’t just need the remote position, you need a new job.

American Fidelity Assurance (AFA) cited the ability to continue helping customers even during disasters as a key reason they are sticking with remote work.  When they needed to close their headquarters in Oklahoma City for inclement weather, their remote workers all worked from  home and customers never knew the difference.

Meetings are major distractions. They require multiple people to drop whatever it is they are doing and instead do something else.  If you are calling a meeting, you better be sure pulling seven people away from their work for an hour is worth seven hours of lost productivity.

How often can you say that a given meeting was worth it ? Remember, there is no such thing as a one hour meeting.  If you are in a room with five people for an hour, it’s a five-hour meeting.

Meeting prospective hires in person:  We usually let the candidate go out for lunch with their potential team coworkers instead of their manager.  The prospective hire is going to be working with their teammates a lot more than their manager, so it is important that the team get a good feel for this person.

We have created a number of ways to eradicate roadblocks. First, everyone gets a company credit card and is told to “spend wisely”. There is no begging to spend money on needed equipment to get work done, and there are no expense reports to fill out ( just forward the receipts to an internal email address in case of an audit).

Second, workers don’t need to ask permission to go on vacation or specify how much time they will take. We tell them: just be reasonable, put it on the calendar and coordinate with your coworkers. If you let them, humans have an amazing power to live up to your high expectations of reasonableness and responsibility.

They gray line between work and play can be hard to see on the best of days, but almost impossible when you use the same computer for both.  Sure, you could quit your programs for chat and email when you are off the clock, but you won’t do it.  That sort of discipline is not for mere mortals.

A more plausible, human strategy is to separate the two completely by using different devices: simple reserve one computer for work and another for fun.

“In thirty years time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed” – Richard Branson

 

The Education of Millionaires – Michael Ellsberg

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Around two years ago, at the age of thirty-two, I came to a shocking realization. Not one penny of how I earned my income was even slightly related to anything I ever studied or learned in college.

All the money in the world provides little comfort if we are lonely, sick, or forlorn of love.

All of us—at least the most idealistic among us—want to make a difference in the world, whether it’s in business, the arts, politics, philanthropy, science, or technology. At the very least, we want to make a difference in our communities. This is what feels meaningful to us: making a difference, having an impact, living for a purpose.

So, how do we reconcile our deepest dreams of making a difference in the world—our dreams of leading a meaningful, impactful life, a life of purpose—with the stark reality that the world doesn’t always care what kind of difference we want to make or give us an A for effort? Navigating these rocky existential waters is one of the most important aptitudes you could develop. Err too far in either direction, and it’s very unlikely you’ll end up happy in life. Err too far on the side of reaching for lofty dreams within your career, without any attention to existing market risks and constraints, and you may end up, as David did at twenty-one, in a hospital for malnourishment, at least metaphorically speaking. And few people who end up in that place of starving-artist-hood have the fortune to get out, as David eventually did. Yet, err too far in the other direction, giving in to fear and sticking to the safe path, without even a nod to the larger impact you want to make, the greater purpose you want to achieve, and you may end up feeling like you missed out. You may enjoy some level of predictability or security in your income, but it won’t feel very satisfying to you inside. Few people would call this “success.”

If you want to become wealthy or famous, which I presume you do if you’re buying and reading a book on success, then you’re going to need to make a difference in the lives of many people.

Making an impact on large groups of people involves leading them in some way. Yet, seeking to be a leader is akin to seeking what economists call a “positional good.” A classic example of a positional good is a penthouse apartment. You can’t have a penthouse apartment unless there are apartments below it. Not everyone in society could have a penthouse apartment.

Those who do end up leading often achieve leadership, amass wealth, fame, or support, or make an impact on the world, largely through the effects of word of mouth. Followers/customers/fans convert other people to followers/customers/fans, who convert more people to followers/customers/fans, until a big group—which business author Seth Godin calls a “tribe”—has amassed around that given leader, company, or artist.

Another way to see it: at any point in your career, you’ll usually be choosing between one path that is safer and one path that has the potential to feel more meaningful to you, between one path that is more certain and one that offers more of a chance for a sense of purpose and heroism. It’s hard to be a hero if there’s no risk involved.

there are also a lot of unacknowledged risks to not following your passions, of sticking too close to the beaten path in the name of safety and predictability. These include: “[T]he risk of working with people you don’t respect; the risk of working for a company whose values are inconsistent with your own; the risk of compromising what’s important; the risk of doing something that fails to express—or even contradicts—who you are. And then there is the most dangerous risk of all—the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”3
Randy calls the safe-and-narrow path, which pretends to incur no risks but which incurs the biggest risk of all (regretting your life at the end of it),

So, according to what I’ve described so far in this chapter, we face a serious dilemma: Either we follow our passions and purpose, and incur a significant risk of ending up as a starving artist, or we follow a safe, predictable, boring path, and incur a significant risk of ending up full of regret in our lives. Neither option sounds very palatable. Is there a way out of this bind?

It’s just so different—and better—figuring out how to make a difference in the world and find meaning in your life when your bills are covered and you have a secure roof over your head. It’s way less stressful than trying to do it when you’re broke.

I’m amazed at how many people won’t go for their dreams because they’re scared of that 95-percent failure statistic or some version of it. Let’s consider an analogy. While I have absolutely no scientific data to back this up, it seems to me a reasonable guess that 95 percent of all dates are failures. Now, imagine what would happen to our species if all people, when they heard of the low success rates of individual dates leading past the first date, freaked out and said, “OH MY GOD! I’M NEVER GOING TO GO ON A DATE AGAIN! I MIGHT GET REJECTED!” This generation would be the last. Fortunately, when it comes to dating, humans see that there is a big difference between the high likelihood that any single date will fail and the very low likelihood that all of your dates for the rest of your life will fail. Doing something entrepreneurial is, much like dating, a numbers game. If you can keep your financial and emotional losses low each iteration, and not jump off a building if the business (or date) fails, well then, you can keep trying and trying. Eventually, most everyone can find a creative blending of passion and money that works for them, just as eventually most everyone can find a great date that leads to something more.

I got into the world of marketing and sales. I discovered a lot of the past marketing and sales geniuses, like Claude Hopkins and Eugene Schwartz and John Caples and David Ogilvy, and read all of their books. I read Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which was very impactful on me.

So, if you want to recruit powerful mentors and teachers to your team, the secret is giving. Giving. Giving. Support them. Figure out how you can help them, and do it. Be the water beneath them, pushing them up the fountain. Be enterprising about it—figure out ways to give and to support them that will blow their mind.

So, if you want to recruit powerful mentors and teachers to your team, the secret is giving. Giving. Giving. Support them. Figure out how you can help them, and do it. Be the water beneath them, pushing them up the fountain. Be enterprising about it—figure out ways to give and to support them that will blow their mind.

(If you feel you need to brush up on your own social intelligence—including your sense of tact—a great place to start is the book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman. I highly recommend this book: social intelligence is something we learn almost nothing about in our formal education.)

You should definitely read The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford, and Networking with the Affluent by Thomas J. Stanley, two of the best books on high-integrity, no-sleaze connecting I’ve read.

Your self-study and learning in one of these areas of advice giving is highly liquid; it can often be traded for learning in another area. Because few people are truly well-rounded, if you become well-rounded in these areas of marketing and sales, health and nutrition, spirituality and personal philosophy, and interesting hobbies and passions, you will almost always have something to help people with. It’s like a Swiss army knife of service, ready in your back pocket for any occasion. And, as you give more, and serve more, you’ll eventually attract the right teachers in all these areas, who will help you learn more …

It turns out, Eben doesn’t often do consulting. He’s so busy working on his Internet business, which brings in $30 million a year in revenue (close to $100K per day), that it just doesn’t pay for him to take hours away from his workday to focus on paid hourly labor. If he spends several hours on someone else’s business for pay, he gets the pay, but he never gets the products of his labor back. If he spends a few hours creating an Internet video that he sells, he can keep selling that video for the rest of his life. The gift that keeps on giving. Leverage. Scalability.

We get paid less and are valued less by other businesspeople with whom we might want to connect because these skill sets have a lower impact on business results. We’ve basically just trained ourselves to be cogs in a machine. Now, with highly educated Chinese and Indians happy to do this kind of by-the-book work for us, many of us are finding that these skills we’ve been training sixteen years to develop have no impact in the workplace at all; we’re out of work. Software programs might even take our job.

in a capitalist economy, in general (and with some significant exceptions) money flows to the people who make the most impact on the most people who have the most money. That’s just the way the game works. You can rail against it, you can call for a socialist revolution. But as long as you’re still opting to play the game, you might as well learn the rules of the game.

$50,000 in a day—because your skill set was that highly valued on the marketplace—and give that money.

In my experience, the skill of success breaks down into three things. The skill of marketing. The skill of sales. And the skill of leadership.

In the Fortune 1000, what position is the most highly paid? You think it’s the CEO? Nope. It’s the #1 sales rep. Second most highly paid? The #2 sales rep. Third most highly paid? VP of sales. Fourth? CEO.

What I still didn’t realize—and what most people who are resistant to learning sales don’t realize—is that there’s a lot of room between just hanging out your shingle and hoping people show up, on the one hand, and forcing and manipulating people to buy things they don’t want, on the other hand. Most people, for reasons of integrity,

Thedagroup.ca

If you want to earn more money in a different field or industry than you currently work in, how can you gain the experience you need in your new chosen field without abandoning your current cash flow? Perhaps you could learn at night or on weekends, or start small and moonlight in the new business. Perhaps you can “learn while you earn” in some way. Maybe you can find people out there who are already successful in that field, who can mentor you for free, or with whom you can apprentice for free.
The point is not that debt is always bad—it’s that the decisions you make when you’re spending your own hard-earned money now, rather than spending “play money” on credit, tend to be more realistic, focused, and reasoned, and less risky and speculative.

It turns out that the millionaires I’ve been talking to who did not complete their formal education didn’t forsake education at all. They were simply following andragogy rather than pedagogy.

Take some of the best books on entrepreneurship. Maybe Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker. Or The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki,

“You wake up in the morning, you go brush your teeth. You walk to the kitchen, you make your breakfast. You get ready for work, you drive to work. You get to work. You count the hours until your first coffee break, then its lunchtime. And then you get home from work. You’re exhausted. You don’t even want to talk to your spouse or your friends because you are so tired. You get on the computer and you just numb out and you surf the Internet. Then you go to bed and repeat. That was how my life felt. I knew I had to make a change. I knew I had to do something. I didn’t know how I was going to do it or what it was going to be, but I had to do something.”

At some point in his sales career, he had learned about a concept called “the five-minute rule” from one of his sales mentors. This mentor, a high school dropout and now a successful sales manager, had told Hal: “You’re going to have customers who aren’t going to buy from you. Some might be rude to you or cut your appointment short. You’re going to have days when you don’t reach your goals. And it’s OK to be negative sometimes. But not for more than five minutes.

I can’t change what happened to me. There’s no point in feeling bad about it. If I feel down on myself, or sad or depressed, that doesn’t change anything, it just makes me miserable.”
After I made all these excuses to this guy as to why I wasn’t successful, he said, “Well, if there are other people doing well in your industry, and you’re not, there’s nothing wrong with the business you’re in, there’s something wrong with you.” And I said, “Well, no, no, no, you don’t understand . . .” and I went through a whole other list of excuses as to why the business wasn’t working. “I’m good at what I do. It’s just a really tough business. I want to get into a different, better business, which will be easier.” He said, “Look, young man. You’re like most people. You think the grass is greener on the other side. What’s going to happen if you go into another business is you’re going to spend another six months, another year, another two years, learning the technical skills of another industry, so you can go out and repeat the same bad business habits that have caused you to be a failure in this business. “What you need to do, young man, is learn fundamental business skills. Because once you do, you can apply those to any industry. But until you learn how to make a business work, it doesn’t matter what industry you go into, you’re still going to fail at it.” That was probably the most profound advice ever given to me, at a time in my life when I was willing to hear it, and have it sink in.
they engaged in deep inquiry about what outcomes they specifically wanted to create in their lives, and then relentlessly engaged in only the activities directly related to producing those outcomes in their lives.

If you look for and take care of what’s needed in a situation, rather than what’s requested by your boss, your teammates, or your clients, you’ll always be the first one up for promotions, the first one to win new business, and the last one laid off.

Schooling is important if you want to become a lawyer, a doctor, or a professor. But it’s not as critical for being an entrepreneur.

The Startup Genome Project (http://www.startupgenome.cc). The Project is inspired by the work of successful serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, who argues in his books and teachings that a startup is an organization that should be designed specifically to learn.

He has traded theoretical education in college courses, which cost him a fortune, for real-world education in his own startup, in which he’s instead earning money while he learns. He has simply bypassed the higher education bubble.

Its just so different – and better – figuring out how to make a difference in the world an dfind meaning in your life when your bills are covered and you have a secure roof over your head. Its way less stressful then trying to do it when you are broke.

It turns out, Eben doesnt do consulting. He is so busy working on his business, which brings 30 million a year in revenue, that it just doesnt pay forhim to take hours away from his workday to focus on paid hourlylabor. If he spends several hours on someone else’s business for pay, he gets the pay, but he never gets the products of his labor back. If he spends a few hours creating an Internet video that he sells, he can keep selling that video for the rest of his life. The gift tat keeps on giving. Leverage. Scalability.

Its hard to help poor people when you are one of them.

In my experience, the skill of success breaks down into three things: The skill of marketing. The skill of sales. And teh skill of leadership.

“Andragogy” its literal meaning, I found out, is “man-leading”, and it is contrasted with “pedagogy” which means “child-leading”.

Books to read: Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker, Theart of the start by Guy Kawasaki.

Firsts Steps to Wealth – Dani Johnson

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Whatever wealth you think you want or need, getting it requires something I call TEEM: Time, Energy, Effort, and Money.

I somehow felt compelled to reach out to this woman. I wanted to know why she was working at McDonald’s. Initially I imagined it was because she wanted to work, or maybe she was bored in her retirement age and wanted something to get her out of the house. But when I saw her resting after wiping each table, I quickly tossed out those assumptions and decided to start up a conversation. I went over, sat next to her, and said in a soft voice, “Hi.” She smiled at me and said, “Well, hello there, honey.” Her sweet smile and gentle-yet-raspy voice touched my heart. After a few minutes of chitchat, I had to ask a question. “How long have you worked here?” “Oh, for a little while,” she said. “Do you like what you do?” “Well, honey, I am just glad to have a job.” “Really? Why is that?” “Social Security and my husband’s pension just is not enough to live on, so I have to work.” “What? Are you kidding me?” “No, sweetheart. I wish I was.” “If you don’t mind, can I ask you a personal question?” “Sure.” “How old are you?” She sighed and chuckled before saying, “I am eighty-nine and will be ninety next month.” Tears welled up my eyes as I heard this. I was so upset at this injustice! I wanted to tell her to quit her job right then and there so I could support her and her husband financially.

Then the reality set in. I could barely take care of myself, let alone this sweet, elderly couple. Where were their kids and grand kids? Who was letting her work like that? What kind of a family did they have? There I was, twenty years old and looking at my possible future.

Now, back to that shocking information that I had learned briefly before meeting the McDonald’s lady. It was a statistic that 98 percent of the population will end up dead or dead broke by age sixty-five. Let me repeat that: 98 percent of the population will end up dead or dead broke by age sixty-five. Only 2 percent of the population will succeed financially.

As I have travelled around the world I have encountered scenarios similar to the McDonald’s lady’s time and again – people living life by default instead of by design, and working breathlessly hard throughout their lives only to end up broke at the end of their race.

Ninety-eight percent of the people I come across are miserable. They put on a game face to convince themselves and others that everything is okay, but it is not. They are working too hard, they are maxed out on credit cards, their marriages are unhappy, and they do not know how to handle their children. They are filled with regret and confusion and do not know how to fix the situation. They have no clue what the end of their path even looks like, let alone how to get there.

Number one, he said, “If you give me one excuse, I will not work with you.” Since that time – in the twenty-two years of being in business and working with tens of thousands of people from all over the world – I have found that people spend more time creating excuses than they do creating results. They spend more time justifying their failures and mediocrity than they do creating results. It takes so little time to create results, but most people spend more time coming up with excuses instead of creating results. Let me give you the definition of an excuse: a well-planned lie. 

At one point I was in a meeting with a man who was making $500,000 a month. It was a private board meeting with several men who were all making a lot of money, and they were sharing ideas. I thought it was an invitation to share ideas, so I piped up and said, “Hey, listen, I have an idea.” He slammed his hand on the table and said, “You are so stupid.” My blood started to boil, but I kept quiet. “How much money do you make?” he asked. “I am just getting started, sir,” I said. “How much money do I make?” “Half a million dollars a month.” “That is what’s wrong with you 98 Percenters,” he said. “You are so busy trying to size yourself up to my success that you’re missing the opportunity to learn from me. If I pay attention to your ideas, I am going to go broke just like you. If you pay attention to my ideas, you have a chance of making half a million dollars a month.”

How do you want to live? It’s up to you. Do not live your life by default – live it by design.

The media sold us the fantasy that buying is the way to be successful and wealthy. The part they did not tell us, though, was the pain, stress, and emptiness “stuff” brings. Or the money and time it takes to maintain and clean the five-bedroom house with six bathrooms. They didn’t tell us about the burden of debt and the stress it causes on a marriage. There is a lot of pressure that goes along with keeping up with “the Joneses.”

Here is a real easy rule of thumb for success and creating wealth. Find out what everyone else is doing and do the exact opposite. The masses historically are wrong, so go in the other direction.

I have a holistic approach to wealth. True wealth to me is accumulating money without sacrificing your marriage, kids, health, or fun.

I have discovered three things you need to know about money: • How to make it and more of it • How to keep it • How to turn it into your slave.

Money is always looking for a place to go. If you do not direct it, your money will get sucked into department stores, grocery stores, and the Internet. It will be sucked into those companies’ bank accounts instead of remaining in your bank account.

Will you be part of the 98 percent who are dead or broke at age sixty-five? Or part of the 2 percent who are living a wealthy, successful, favored life?

So what is your specialty? Is it gossip? Do you specialize in excuses? Sports stats, collecting fashion magazines, junk food, watching TV, Tweeting? Your specialty is where you spend your time. Unfortunately, 98 percent of the population spends its time specializing in things that don’t lead to wealth or happiness.

When you are an entrepreneur, you get paid for results. You do not get paid for time wasted with unproductive feelings.

Desire always reveals design and destiny. An eagle was designed to soar, and it has the desire to soar. The eagle was perfectly designed for it to soar. It was not designed like a chicken. It doesn’t have the desire to cluck around on the ground with a destiny of being deep-fried. Its destiny is soaring. Is the baby eagle designed with a skill to soar? Absolutely not. The baby eagle has to get on the momma eagle’s back and the momma eagle takes the baby soaring. Then the momma eagle tilts her wings and drops the baby off her back. That baby eagle flutters and, I am sure, has a heart that pumps incredibly fast. It works hard, yet it does not soar. It sinks fast in the air. But have no fear. Momma eagle swoops down, lifts the baby onto her back, and then soars up. She tilts her wings and lets the baby off her back again. She does this repeatedly, day after day, until the baby has the skill to fly.

Ego Keeps You Broke, Ego will render you broke for the rest of your life. Ego says, “That is not me” or “Gosh, I would never do a business like that” or “What would my friends think if I was doing something like that?” Ego says it is everybody else’s fault and takes no responsibility. Ego focuses on everybody else’s failures and not your own. Ego wants somebody else to pay for how you feel and somebody else to admit they were wrong.

Make a commitment to stop hurting people and to be someone who is building people up and creating good relationships. Be a source to other people. Be part of a rare breed of people who is achieving success and wealth while honoring others.

Why is it impossible to succeed without the Law of Forgiveness? Because there is one guarantee in life: We are going to face troubles with other human beings. So to succeed in life, in relationships, or in business, you have to know how to deal with people.

I had that sick feeling that I was supposed to do something I did not want to do. I knew it was the thing I was supposed to do, but I did not like the answer. I had to weigh my ego against my bank account. Desperation was not going to afford me the luxury of spending a year looking for the right business. I wanted desperately to be no longer homeless or a failure. I needed to change my life.

If I had ignored that weight-loss box in the back seat of my car and searched for something else to do, I do not know where I would be today. I am so glad that I was desperate and did not have time to be picky or to “find” my passion. I did what was in front of me, working with excellence and diligence. It was clearly worth it!

Then I had heard a voice say, “If you can be faithful with what I have given to you – Hans and the kids – then I will multiply your efforts.”

I have a question for you. Where is your focus today? When you are sitting at your place of work, whether you own the place or you work for someone else, where is your focus when you are at work? Are you answering personal phone calls? Are you texting? Are you Facebooking? Tweeting? Are you searching the Internet? Are you IM-ing – sending instant messages to – friends and forwarding joke e-mails to your office and personal friends? If you are doing any of those things, your focus is split in many different directions and you are not using the Law of Focus to your benefit. You would be amazed at how much more you can get done in your life when you focus.

The Law of Promotion is not just associated with influence and money, but it does correlate with time. If you waste time, you lose it forever. Time is something you never get back again, and it is more valuable than money. If you’re not faithful with your time, your life spins out of control. Your life gets sucked into destruction. Your life gets trapped in an unproductive cycle that destroys your confidence and eventually leads to depression. However, if you are faithful with your time and if you focus, you will be given more.

It is not always the products and services that make people happy. It is the relationship you have with them that makes them happy about being your client. How they feel about it is more important than the product itself. People are not loyal to the products, they are loyal to the people. If they like you, they will do business with you. If they do not like you, they will do business with somebody else.

If you want to be wealthy, you have to know how to sell. But selling is not about trying to get people to like you or buy your products; it is about building relationships and growing your influence. It is about honoring people around you. It is about making people feel valued. Influence is where sales take place.

It is so easy to influence people. It boils down to this simple thing: Give people what they want. What do people want? Everybody wants to feel special. Every human we pass by every single day wants to feel valued. They want to know they matter to somebody. It is easy to gain influence in another person’s life simply by valuing him or her.

Treat everyone like he or she is a friend. This is a very powerful concept. You are happy to see friends and happy to be with them. So if you treat all people with that same sense that you are happy to see them and you like being around them, the same energy is produced as with being with a friend. That is how you should communicate with every person you encounter. Your attitude toward people makes a huge difference. If you are flying on a plane, your feelings toward the airline will be very different if a flight attendant treats you courteously instead of rudely. We have all been talked to in a way that provokes us to give that bossy broad a dirty look and keep our cell phones on. We have also experienced the ones who are sweet and speak to us in a friendly manner, which makes us want to turn off our cell phones. The “Friends First” concept is simple. Talk to every stranger the way you talk to your friends. Be friendly, warm, and inviting. Use the same tone of voice and make them feel comfortable. This disarms strangers and helps them relax and become interested in you.

You can do this by asking questions using something I call FORM. “F” stands for family. “O” stands for occupation. “R” stands for recreation. And “M” stands for message. Asking people about their family, occupation, and recreation is a way to find out what people are interested in and to show interest in them. So get people talking about those three simple things.

When you are FORMing people, you are specifically looking for their SIGN. It’s not their horoscope – it stands for Strengths, Interests, Goals, and Needs.

You should honor, value, and recognize the people all around you, and act in your job as if you own the place and want the people to stay there. It is a natural progression that they will pick you when a management position opens because you are fair and good. You will have gained the people’s favor.

You cannot influence people or get to high levels of influence if your heart is not in the right place. Eventually, the truth comes out about exactly who you are. You will make decisions that will expose who you are, and what you build will not last. Your business will be shaky. You will not sleep well at night knowing you have manipulated people. You will develop a reputation as being untrustworthy and you will have to bribe people – with gifts or money – to be your friends. If you are going to be wealthy, be a wealthy person with an outrageous reputation for treating everyone well, not just the rich and famous or the important people. Be trustworthy in everything you do.

Instead of trying to get something from someone in return, have the larger view of trying to make a difference in the world and in your community. You will be amazed at the outcome and where it will take you.

I expanded my mindset to influence people not for selfish reasons but because I want them to have a better life.

If you have an appointment with a Sapphire, do not expect him or her to be on time. When you get upset with a Sapphire who is late, it is your fault for getting upset. That’s the way they are wired – love them for their strengths. Tell them thirty minutes earlier than you need them and bring your computer so you can get some work done while you wait. You will wait.

Emeralds can be more productive if they remember it is not about perfection, it is about getting the job done with results and testing the results. Why try to learn everything in advance when you may already have a baseline of skill and things you did not have to learn? You wasted time learning some things you did not need to, but if you test the results, you will see the areas where you need to focus.

Rubies always have to have the next step, a goal, or a challenge in front of them. They constantly have to be moving in a forward direction because that is what they were born to do.

The Law of Promotion means to prosper where you are planted. If you show you can be trusted with what’s in front of you, you will be made ruler of much. A lot of people think they will treat people a certain way when they are successful, or they will give to charity when they are wealthy. But you have to treat people that way now, and you have to give to others now. Invest in your job like it is your own company, and that’s how you will get promoted. Turn where you work into something better than it is. Ninety-eight percent of the population thinks they deserve a raise just for showing up. A raise means an increase – and you get an increase by increasing. You have to get better than when you got there, and you have to make it better. You have to make a difference instead of just sucking up oxygen and expecting a paycheck. Ninety-eight percent of the population wants to find a job that they love, but that is not how it works. If you find a way to love your job now, you will be given more. If you cannot manage your current job, how can you manage a bigger one? If you cannot manage your employees now, how can you manage them if your business grows? One of the basic steps to wealth is to take care of what you already have.

That same message has hit me in many areas of my life, from my marriage to my business: If you cannot respect and honor what you have now, and you do not take care of it, you will never graduate to the next place.

You have the ability to change your environment without changing your physical location. Your environment is in your head. It exudes out of your being. Hating your job never opens the vault to blessing, but it will decrease your production. It will open the door for you to gossip about your boss, to going on Facebook, to e-mailing friends, and to forwarding jokes while you are supposed to be working. Hating your job will cause you to avoid your boss and to avoid the people who are at the top and who need to see your good attitude, your good work, your excellence, and your diligence. Hating your job will never help you to become diligent or proficient or to find shortcuts that will help you raise the company’s revenue or to make you more valuable in the workplace.

Ask yourself every day, “How can I increase my value at the job?” This will happen with communication – communication with the boss and communication with other people. Build a foundation of making yourself incredibly valuable to your job, to the boss, to the company, and to clients. Is your boss frustrated with you, or does your boss feel as though he or she could not live without you? You become valuable to your boss if you get the job done and relieve stress for him or her. But it is more than just getting the job done – it is the working relationship. Do not think of your work as just a job, something you have to do. You are a partner on a team, and you want that team to be successful. When the time is right, sit down with your boss and have a frank conversation. First, thank your boss. Second, practice the Law of Value. Ask your boss: Show me, tell me, and coach me on what I can do better on the job to help this company succeed.

Thank-You Notes: When was the last time you wrote your boss a thank-you card? Learn your boss’s personality so you know how to communicate to your boss.

Many employees are trying to focus on twelve things at the same time: answering text messages, checking their personal e-mail, instant messaging their friends, forwarding e-mail jokes to a couple of co-workers and friends, listening to the news, and checking their Facebook page – all while trying to work. When you have your focus divided in all of these directions, you are totally unproductive.

To get a raise you have to raise your value to the company. There is always a way to make yourself more valuable so your boss wants to pay you more for doing the same thing.

I taught you to honor people by FORMing them – asking about their family, occupation, recreation, and message – as well as asking about their signs – strengths, interests, goals, and needs.

The most common question I get is, “Dani, how did you do it? How did you go from homeless to making millions?” My answer is always the same. I decided never to return to being broke again. I decided not to end up like those who had raised me. I decided not to be the failure everyone said I would be. I decided no longer to be the failure I had become.

When you make a solid decision it is always followed by action, and action leads to success.

If I were a chiropractor, I would say to every potential client, “There are a lot of people who are in pain yet not deadly serious about their health. I am just interviewing for a couple of clients who are truly serious about attaining good, solid health to make sure they are going to go the distance with me. How serious are you about getting your back straightened and living a pain-free, healthy life? I am after your long-term health. I want to get you well so we don’t have to see each other very much.” That is turning the tables on the prospect. They are expecting you to sell to them, so don’t. Make them want you instead. I was no longer selling. I was interviewing, and that’s how you have to think if you are marketing something. You have to interview instead of sell. Selling causes people to guard their wallets. Interviewing causes them to impress you and tell you why they need you, versus your having to tell them why they need you.

There is a philosophy out there of finding something that’s within you, what you would like to do. If I had followed that line of thinking, I would still be homeless. Did I like sales? Heck no. Was I good at it? No. Was it one of my natural-born talents? Oh, my gosh, no! What were my natural-born talents? I didn’t have any!

You do not have to love what you do. Start where you are.

Do something that makes a profit. Or find somebody else’s profitable idea and do that. For example, housekeepers are a dime a dozen. What could you add to make your service a little different from every other service in the area?

Some people go in and out of being teachable. Most people start off unteachable. They say, “I’ve got it all figured out.” But it takes failure to bring people to a place of being teachable. And usually then they only stay teachable until they have a little bit of success. Once they have that little bit of success, they figure they have the rest dialed – until they fail again. So they go on this rollercoaster – and some never get off the rollercoaster to be teachable.

Entrepreneurship is people and finance.

Financial pressure is not a great way to start a business for most people. Some of us can do it. Sometimes it is the financial pressure and the squeezing out on all sides that makes you desperate enough to drop your ego and do whatever it takes to be able to make money. But if you are spending eight thousand dollars a month, you are not there yet because you will start a company and spend the same way you do now.”

This process is the pathway to bigger profits. It has three simple steps: increase exposure, increase conversion, and increase scalability.

Testimonials need to be short, quick, and to the point. They need to be about the results of the product/service and the problem that has been solved for your clients who use it.

You cannot have the attitude that just paying them is enough because people care more about recognition and approval than money. Edifying them makes them feel special and important, and that means more to them than the actual paycheck they receive.

As an employer and would-be employee-preneur, it is also important for you to have systems in place that reward others for their efforts. You want to be able to pay your people well and to have a bonus structure in place that will help motivate your internal team.

I had a massive awakening. My things had consumed my life and I hadn’t even realized it. I saw that I was crippled by greed. I was a slave to money and a slave to recognition. I had grown up in poverty and although I had made millions of dollars, I still had the poverty mentality, which spends everything that is made – and for what?

Wealth is accumulated and then passed down for generations to grow the wealth even bigger. I was accumulating stuff instead of wealth. You kick poverty when you are able to keep the money. It has nothing to do with how much you make. It has everything to do with how much you spend.

Do not pass down debt to your children who will pass it down to their children. Instead, choose to pass down wealth, which is what I believe you were designed to do. Choose to give them the gift of wisdom of accumulating wealth and understanding how money works and the freedom that it brings.

You were designed with wealth in mind. We know that to be true because the Law of Desire states that if you have the desire for wealth, it is because you were given the design to have wealth. You bought this book, First Steps to Wealth, because you have a desire to become wealthy. When the Great Designer put you together, he did so with all that I showed you in Chapter 1. The desire is not for stuff; it is for freedom.

Your monthly income is supposed to grow something, just like a seed, but most people live from paycheck to paycheck, which means they are eating all of their seed. They have nothing to plant and grow. Your seed is supposed to reproduce itself. It is not supposed to be all eaten. But instead, people spend their money on cell phones, televisions, food that goes to waste, and clothes they do not wear left hanging in their closets with tags still on them.

Another question, how did we ever get suckered into financing a depreciating liability?

Ninety-eight percent of the population has lived under a false sense of wealth because we can afford to waste money.

Only 2 percent truly understands wealth. Ninety-eight percent of the population will eat all of their seeds. Money is seed. It is supposed to multiply, and it cannot multiply if you are consuming all of it. You have to stop being a consuming human being and start being an income-producing human being.

Do you know what happened to the money you made in the past five years? Two percent of the population knows exactly where the money goes. Ninety-eight percent of the population doesn’t have a clue.

You have been allotted a certain amount of money every single month. You exchange your skill for that money. This money is the financial territory you are in charge of governing. Let’s say your allotment is two thousand dollars a month. If you are faithful with that two thousand dollars a month, then it is going to good use and you are multiplying the money. When you are multiplying the money, you will be given more financial territory to govern. But if you spend all you make every month, you will not be given more territory. You have to be faithful with the two thousand dollars a month to get four thousand dollars, to get six thousand dollars, to get ten thousand dollars, and to get a hundred thousand dollars a month. Once you realize that this is the financial law and you start playing by the rules, you will start gaining more financial territory and accumulate wealth.

Two percent of the population knows exactly where the money goes. The other 98 percent hasn’t a clue.

The 98 Percenters use credit cards to buy stuff, whereas the 2 Percenters use credit to build wealth.

If you are financially independent, you can have the big house or five Lamborghinis if you want. Live the life you want to live. But if you are in debt, you do not have the right to be shopping at the mall every week.

Your debt-free lifestyle is in your pantry, closet, and garage. You have the money for a dream vacation, but it is wasted in small things.

All debt is based on greed. Your mortgage is also a type of debt. As I said in the last chapter, your mortgage is making the bankers rich, while you are enslaved in debt, paying interest.

Give a dollar for every ten dollars you make, and your needs will always be met. The wealthy use this principle.

Debt is evil. When you have debt, you become a slave to money.

The impoverished spend their money on stuff. Middle-class people spend their money on what they think are assets, but it is really just stuff. The wealthy invest their money on income-producing assets.

Invest in what you know. Investing is all about risk; it is all about calculating and running your numbers. It is about learning new skills.

Do not buy according to ego, but according to what is wise. Buy below your means, not above. Buy an older, small two- or three-bedroom house and rent it for almost double of what your mortgage will be.

I only possess the skills I have because He wrote how to get them. Everything I have talked about in this book came from the Bible.

When I finally came to God, I realized I had been practicing a lot of His principles already, and I did not have to be a pastor to do God’s work. I decided to read the Bible and seek the answers myself. I learned that Abraham was a wealthy businessman, not a pastor or an evangelist. Isaac was also a wealthy businessman, and Moses was a politician and judge. He was not a pastor as we see pastors today. He looked and dressed like an Egyptian and I believe he had tattoos. He would be harshly judged today by many churches in the world that care more about their rules of how to dress and how to look like a “good Christian” than they do about what the Bible really says. Joseph, a former slave, learned how to become an architect and business manager. He managed laborers and did engineering. He was an excellent administrator and had some incredible accounting skills. He was not a pastor. He too looked like an Egyptian with tattoos, short skirts, a wig, and eyeliner. He looked so much like an Egyptian that when his brothers saw him after being separated for many years, they did not recognize him. They thought he was the Egyptian ruler, and in reality he was. These famous men who have been talked about for thousands of years were not the heads of a modern church -those structured buildings and organizations did not exist then. God used everyday average people with professions in the marketplace to develop a people, and He raised up an army that would impact people’s lives for the better. David – the apple of God’s eye, the one God promised that He would establish His kingdom forever – was a political leader, singer, songwriter, military leader, and businessman.

It is almost like your timeline gets synced with God’s. It is the right whisper in your heart at the right time. It is the right voice in your head that gives you the exact answer you were looking for. That voice speaks to you when you train yourself to listen to it and obey. That voice wants to bless you so much that you fall to your knees and thank Him for everything He has done.

Your business and work are also ways to impact people’s lives. What kinds of seeds are you planting there? What will people be saying about you fifty years after you are gone? Will they even know who you are?

Although Hans and I make money in our businesses, our business model has always been about helping other people. We are making a difference not only with our staff and our employees and their families, but also with our clients.

You will never be able to convince your family that your crazy ideas or your new mindset is the way they should be thinking. It is like a crab that is trying to get out of a bucket, and the rest of the crabs try to pull him back down. Some are jealous; some are scared for you – they are overprotective because they do not want you to fail; and some maybe have an inkling that you might succeed and your success will make them look bad. Whatever their motives are, none of that really matters. What matters is this: The only thing that determines success is results. So do not try to convince your friends and family to dig into all of this information and to buy investments or start a business. Get results – they speak louder than anything you can say. When your friends and family see your results, they will be begging for you to show them how. That is how you will get their attention.

 

The Pumpkin Plan – Mike Michalowicz


Interested? Check it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PQGZf6

There is something absolutely irresistible, something magnetic about being the extreme. Be it the strongest, or the fastest, or the most unique. The farmer with the most extraordinary pumpkin inthe field wins. Every. Single. Time.

The same is true for entrepreneurs. Yet most entrepreneurswork their tails off, only to end up with small, ordinary, unre-markable pumpkins. Compared to the giant pumpkin, the companies these struggling entrepreneurs grow are insignificant, so insignificant that customers often don’t see them, or squash them,or leave them to rot in the field without a second thought. To grow a successful business your company must be irresistibly magnetic. The average lose and are left to rot. It’s the most unique—the best—who win.

Turns out that they, of all people, hold the “secret formula”for big-time entrepreneurial success: plant hearty seeds, identify the most promising pumpkins, kill off the rest of the Vine, and nurture only the pumpkins with the biggest potential.

I tried to become Frank’s definition of an entrepreneur, which,I later learned, is the only definition of an entrepreneur: “You’re not an entrepreneur yet, Mike. Entrepreneurs don’t do most of thework. Entrepreneurs identify the problems, discover the opportunities and then build processes to allow other people and other things to do the work.

“List your Clients in order of revenue,” Frank told me. “Then, take your top-paying clients and separate them into two categories: great clients and everyone else, from the ho-hum clients to the clients who annoy you so much, you cringe when they call you. Keep the great, top paying clients, and cut the rest. Every single one.”

Bruce wears so many hats, he’s not only broke, he’s a freakin’mess-o-stress. No big shocker here— there is always a direct correlation between diluted focus and a diluted bank account.

Eric is making more money than most people in his field, and he has sustained a career in a highly-competitive industry he absolutely loves. This wouldn’t be a problem if Eric wasn’t perpetually working, missing out on time with his family, answering phone calls from clients 24-7. He’s become a slave to his business because it is a hundred percent dependent on him—his knowledge, his contacts, his unique approach to racing. Eric has falleninto the other trap—trading time for money. He’s maxed out. Hehas no balance, becoming more machine than man. The irony.  He’s just as stuck as Bruce is, only he makes more money.

When I asked Eric how he could scale his business he said,’When you figure it out, let me know.” Like so many one man bands, Eric believes his knowledge and skill set isn’t teachable, and if you can’t teach it, you can’t systematize it. And if you can’t systematize it, you can’t grow it. Period. If you’re making good money doing what you do, you can get stuck in the mindset that you’re the only person on the planet who can do what you do. Youb ecome blind to the trap you set for yourself.

You could argue a million ways to Sunday that the other computer guy is better than the Geek Squad. I should know; withOlmec l was the other computer guy . . . and l was better because I could handle more complex stuff. But my customers didn’t care. The customer doesn’t have years or decades to understand your craft the way you do. So as a customer, you look for the obviousand easy-to-understand differences. You make a decision, often, onless than one percent of the information, because you have to. Ifyou want to communicate your differences quickly to customers,change your label. Don’t cram yourself in with all the other guys.

Remember in the Introduction when I said this book holdsyour key to entrepreneurial liberation? Well, this is exactly the’aha’ moment you need to break free. If you’re finally going to stop working for your business, and instead have your business work for you, you must ensure that not one ounce of your deliverable—not one thing that the client experiences—depends on your doing it. When you achieve this, your main job becomes building repeat-able systems in order to ensure that every client has the same, theidentical experience, every time.

Nothing is constant except change. 

For example. we all know Walmart is a price leader. Price is their game. and they win Ilmoat every time. So what happened when they tried to get into the convenience game with their own online DVD rental service. intending to compete with Netflix and Blockbuster? They didn’t just lose; they bombed. In true WaI-Mart fashion, they undercut Netflix and Blockbuster“: monthly fee, but in less than two years they had only 300,000 subscribers. At the time, Netflix had ten times that (Blockbuster had just over 800,000 subscribers). And. Wal—Mart did not have the infrastructure in place to compete ono convenience—Netflix had more distribution centers, no they could deliver more DVDs to more people, faster than Wal-Mart. Even the mighty WalMart can’t compete in an area outside their core competency of cheap price. And you can’t either.