What gives anything worth? What makes gold, silver, your services, or products, valuable commodities? It's their perceived value. We put a constructed worth on everything we encounter. From relationships to retail products, diamonds to donuts, and homes to horses, each item in our lives is accorded some type of meaning. And...that meaning is often translated into a value system of one type or another.
When businesses and individuals try to create worth they often forget that it's the perceived value that other people see in what they're "selling" that gives it any meaning whatsoever. Who needs a college education? A new car? Some fancier clothes? Or...the latest knowledge about technology? Well...you do, if you think it brings you value.
Here's the rub - if you give value, people will recognize that whatever they're spending - whether that's time or money - is well worth it. And - if you go "above and beyond" the initially stated product or service and provide even more value than the "customer" thought they were going to get...you're on the road to building great relationships and a solid business.
It's value that the business and individual should look at first, not revenue. Because...if the value is what you say it is (or beyond what you say it is), then - most assuredly, the revenue will come.
Look first at what value you provide and then build your business and/or individual relationships from there.
No matter who you are or where you live, you have an effect on those you interact with. Your energy sends a message to the people and other beings around you. Do you exude knowledge, wisdom, excitement, innovation, fun, happiness, contentment, kindness, compassion, and/or love? Or...does your energy give off arrogance, stubbornness, ignorance, hate, intolerance, negativity, paranoia, lack of confidence and low self-esteem?
Whatever it is that you convey, others (both human and other animals - and some may argue...even the greater energy of universe) can readily "pick it up" and feel its effects. Having others look forward to your presence and feel comfortable around you is not always an inherent trait. It can be, rather easily, learned if you're willing to spend the time to open your mind and heart to understand you strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
The first step is to understand who you are. "Look" at yourself when you converse with others. How and what does your tone of voice, body language, content of your message, and use of words, convey to others. Step back and watch yourself. Are you a person who displays the type of energy that evokes positive emotions, or do you repulse others and cause them to rapidly move away, physically and/or mentally, from you. If you are too judgmental, it can be relatively certain that those around you will "turn you off" after your negativity has been on constant display.
The easiest way to have a positive effect on others is to listen to them. We live in a world where listening has become a prized commodity. Since so many of us are pulled in an ever increasing amount of directions (see my previous post), our ability (or desire) to listen to others has - from a societal perspective - been stymied. Showing that you are willing to listen non-judgmentally, and REALLY actively doing it, can create a positive effect on how you are viewed and...make you one of the people that others want to interact with.
Listen and you well, most certainly, see.
Business should be about passion. It's as simple as that. You should look forward to starting, building, working at, or conceptualizing your business and/or business day like you do when you think about, or have, your morning coffee or tea. Even if your business IS coffee and/or tea.
Why else would you want to go to work? Yes...I know it's about money. But, life only comes around once and if you're miserable at work, what's the point? Business success is derived from the energy you, and your team, put into it.
"Homework" is the drudgery of business, yet...it's essential. When I started my optical company I spent a lot of time dissecting the industry, its affect on population, the pricing policies and marketing of other companies, and the overall concept that people had of the field. Then, I "went to work." And - it worked! Researching if your product or service is needed may seem like it's taking time away from your goal, but...if you love what you're doing yet no one needs or wants it, I suggest you rethink your idea.
Once you've decided to "jump into the game" - and remember, business is a game - stay focused. Lay out your strategies and tactics, gather your resources, put your management and marketing plans together, and start rollin'! Whether you're creating something entirely new, or "improving" on something that already exists, you have to let people know. Marketing is the key!
Study marketing; it's effectiveness, when and how to use it, and who your customer/client base is. It doesn't have to take a lot of money, but...you should definitely be tenacious if you want to be successful. And...be sure you're ready to handle what you just told the world you're selling! Otherwise, it will all be for naught. I'm sure you don't want that to happen.
As we move forward, in both my blog posts and my videos, I'll be writing and speaking about the different aspects of creating business success. So...I suggest you check out my new video series, Soaring to Success™ on my youtube channel: DanG4u2 (as well as take a look at my other videos), follow my blog posts on the subject, and send me your questions and comments both here and in the comment section on youtube. I look forward to hearing from you. And, I invite you to get involved, but please - don't get stressed. After all...it's only business!
With the moon's spectacular display last night, once again I thought about how incredible our universe truly is. The heavenly bodies enable us to watch an amazing show every day and every night. The sun, the moon, the stars, and other entities floating in space, allow us to experience both the vastness of the heavens and how tiny, yet powerful, each one of us really is.
The Earth is but a "grain of sand" in the hugeness of space and we are only tiny individual inhabitants of that "grain." Yet...our intelligence and abilities to dissect information, as well as recognize that we are those tiny inhabitants, gives us a perspective about ourselves and our place on this planet that will, hopefully, bring some humbleness to each of us.
Perhaps we, as a species, need to spend more time thinking about how "small" we are in addition to the "bigness" of our hopes and dreams. Maybe, if we spend more time realizing the oneness of everything, we'd be able to understand how important it is to appreciate each other and the things that bring us pleasure, without bringing harm to those people and things around us.
And, then...we might even find that we can revel in the wonder of a peaceful existence and be in awe of things that enable us to see the beauty of life - like...a full moon on a June night.
Life has its trials and tribulations, as we all know. One day a person may be filled with joy, the next day he or she may be deep in sorrow or worry. The human condition is not an easy state for many people. There is, however, a way to mitigate one's problems.
For too often a person will begin to wallow in their own "bad" situation. Negativity morphs into worry, regret, jealousy, fear, and other self-defeating and/or self-sabotaging behaviors. The more a person wallows, the deeper they get stuck in the muck. Walking in a field of muck and mire is extremely difficult. If you've ever done it you know that you can sink so far down that your shoes or boots may become "extracted" from your feet...too heavy to lift in the suction of the dense and gooey earth. Yet, some people get through it with relative ease, while others give up. Why?
Perspective helps us deal with the muck and mire of life. One person's mucky field is another person's opportunity for success. The pessimist sees a place to get "swallowed up," while the optimist sees an area to grow crops.
When one is caught in the muck they often lose perspective. However, that soggy field is almost always just another part of a road that leads you to success. Sometimes getting stuck enables a person to stop, look around, and collect his or her thoughts, figure out how to remove one's self from the mire, and start the next "leg" of their journey.
You'd be amazed to know how many people have used "disaster" as a stepping stone to success. They've taken the lessons learned from their "negative" experience and used it to sculpt a new aspect of their life.
As I've often said, "Keep moving forward!" While, in actuality, life does that for us anyway, in the more colloquial sense...it's really up to you and your perspective. Change your mindset and you can change your life, for the better, very quickly. Don't change it, and...you may have to hope someone hears you, as you're stuck in the muck, and - that they're carrying a "lifeline."
A positive state of mind is not just an expression, it's a way to lessen your burdens and help you deal with life's situations in a manner that enables you to grow, build, and succeed.
A short talk on analyzing your passions and how to make them productive.
Or...banking on the fact that: "People can never get enough of what they don't really need."
For years I owned a marketing firm. Still dabble in it. In fact...I teach it at the university level.
During my firm's early years I had a partner who had worked for a well-known national magazine. He was the publisher of special guides that would come out during the year focusing on different categories of products. Cars, electronics, clothes, etc. would be the highlighted in all their beauty. I remember him saying that they would be lighted and displayed in such a way as to make them "sensual."
Yes...sex (and anything else that gratifies the senses) sells, even when that sensuality is transmitted through things. Mind you, I'm not talking about some beautiful being standing next to an automobile or holding a bottle of wine...I'm speaking about the things themselves.The textures, colors, designs, and other facets that go into the manufacturing of an item are often more important than it's function or reliability. And - the lighting and positioning of that product when it's photographed do as much to make them desirable as their design.
People are easily seduced...very easily seduced. Most consumers buy first with their eyes, then...secondly, with their minds. How does one avoid the trap of the "sensual seduction of things?" Initially, one has to realize that it exists. Next, I would suggest asking the question, "Do I really need this?" The answer is probably "No!" Then...comes the "want factor." Ah...the naughtiness of it all. Marketers depend on that. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. But - I'm certainly not saying it's a good things either. The job of the marketers is to get you to buy what, quite often, you really don't need. I regularly add to that statement: "With money you don't really have."
Motorcycles, cars, clothes, shoes, electronic devices, food, as well as just about every other area of "Thingdom," is made to make you want to salivate, desire, caress, "love," and possess them. They are our substitutes for the real thing...other people.
As I teach, write, train, discuss, and guide people in their pursuit of building their businesses and selling their products, I am not ignorant to the fact that, if people truly love other people and have a wonderful relationship with their friends and loved one...the need for things often diminishes. But - I also know that we are beings who also love to create as well. So - balance, it seems, is the key. Work towards achieving entrepreneurial Nirvana, while making sure to remember that people are always more important than things. That - should help make for a totally "sense-ual" existence!
I am heartened and disturbed, feel hope and despair, and see the need for love as well as caution.
Over the past few months we have seen some horrible things in the United States. Children and their teachers killed in their classrooms, firefighters murdered as they responded to help others, and the terrible continuing vision of a sick society playing out, in real life, the violence they see daily in their video games, on their televisions and computers screens, and in their movie theaters.
Yet...I also see a growing awareness of the sickness. Things have been exposed and the awareness of people has been heightened. A call to action has been heard. Now that action must be implemented. Is it the history of our nation to be violent? Yes. Do we treasure our firearms? Yes. Are we an adolescent society filled with insecurities, led like sheep to the purchasing counter, and unaware of the manipulation of our food, media, and minds? For the most part...yes. But - we are now more aware that these things exist.
The general population is slowing changing its priorities. The realization that wars have zapped our resources and helped to slow our funding for quality education and healthcare is no longer denied. That we need to care for each other has become clear. A nation that ignores those in need of help will surely implode under its own greed. We are seeing a shift. Inclusion will make us strong. Lifting up those less fortunate will make us better. Spurring innovation will keep us sharp. Striving for greatness will help us lead. And...knowing that the most important resource a country (and the world) has is its people, will keep us kind, compassionate, and caring.
Be aware and you will see enormous possibilities. Let's make sure that everyone has a chance to, not only, realize their potential, but...reach it as well. Continue the shift my friends.
I teach, I write, I coach, train, lecture, and...I'm a businessman who finds himself in the negotiation arena on a periodic basis. Of course...I also have a personal life that incorporates many of the same aspects that this post addresses.
In both my personal and business life (just like in yours), communication is what helps us control things, it stimulates our thoughts, makes and sustains relationships, and can create hardships or a "smooth ride." The phrase, "my word is my bond," is one of those lines that has taught us about trust. The concept was in use long before contracts were enacted. In fact...even before there was paper to write them on. "If you don't mean it...don't say it," is another way of expressing the same idea. Now, don't get me wrong - there are things that are said in the heat of the moment that people really DON'T mean, they are words out of anger, hurt, or confusion. That's not what I'm addressing here.
When a person has time to think, the rational mind makes conclusions. It is then that you should be prepared to voice your thoughts - literally, or on paper. knowing that you've thought things through, researched and dissected, understood your strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities, taken mitigating situations into account, and recognized that what you've told (or will tell) people...is what they will often take as "your word" and repeat (if it's necessary - as in negotiations) to others. If you don't really mean what you say, are just saying it to placate someone, our worse...to deceive them - ultimately the "sticky situations" that will result may, in fact, derail your credibility and make you someone that others will refuse to deal with.
Trust is build on "saying what you mean" and "standing behind your word." There are certain behavioral types who will say things just to be liked. They'll volunteer, take on tasks, and say they'll help out...so that you'll like them. However, these same individuals (although they mean well) will often leave another person "hanging" because, in their desire to be liked, they've taken on so much that nothing can possible get done - at least on time and with the results necessary for success.
So my friends...be careful as to how, what, and when, you communicate. Make sure that you word is indeed "your bond." It is always better to say that you can't do something, don't know how to accomplish a task, that you don't have the proper information, or just don't know - than it is to attempt to bluff your way through. Ultimately...it will catch up to you! And...ruin your relationships, your credibility, and your reputation. Stay honest - it's always (as the saying goes) "the best policy." It will lead you down a much clearer, and cleaner, path.
It is not unusual to hear people say that staying focused is extremely important in our society. That's what one has to do in order to become successful in business and/or life. I don't disagree with that, but...I don't completely agree with it either.
Being focused means honing in on a project, idea, task, or concept. Yes - to get things completed you have to stay on task and not deviate from what must be accomplished. However, staying too focused can also have a negative affect. It can stunt creativity.
America has become a society that talks about how creative and innovative we are, yet - also tends (to some extent) to want people to stay within certain boundaries and stay away from risk. Not to get overly political here, but - the recent universal healthcare situation is a case in point. The opponents of universal healthcare would talk about how the Canadians, British, and others who live in countries that have government sponsored healthcare all have to wait months for care, or wait in line or at hospitals for hours to be taken care of. Whether or not this is true is not important in this case. Because...not surprisingly, these same American citizens would also speak about how great OUR healthcare system is; how innovative, inventive, and cutting edge our scientists, pharmaceutical companies, insurance organizations and doctors are. And...I will admit, to a large degree, they are.
However, taking their argument to its natural conclusion, wouldn't it then seem that these same innovative, inventive, and cutting edge companies and individuals could come up with a universal healthcare system where people wouldn't have to wait in line, or at the hospital, for hours - or...wait for months for treatment or surgery?
You see, the opponents of a new healthcare system (or any other new way of doing things) can't stay so focused that they stop thinking creatively. It just doesn't make sense. Sure there's plenty of money at stake...plenty. And, that's a major reason opponents of any "old way" of doing things hold their ground. But their position falls apart when you enter the elements of creativity and innovation into the argument. So - whenever you run in to people who staunchly defend the status quo, you must question why.
If our country is thought of as being the pinnacle of creativity, then let us be creative. It may be healthcare, but it may also be education, space travel, technology, manufacturing, or any other field. Don't say it can't work, say..."How can we make it work better!"