Category

Insight

Category

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself. -Galileo 

Most of the time, we try to cajole, persuade, inspire or influence people, so we argue with them to convince them to see things from our perspective. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion.” The key is to understand a basic truth; you cannot win an argument; people change when they are ready to change. The best you can do is to help them make what was unconscious to them become conscious. As Carl Jung once quipped, ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.’ And as Author John C. Maxwell noted:

  • People change when they….Hurt enough they have to
  • Learn enough that they want to and
  • Receive enough that they are able to

In his classic book, How to win friends and influence people, Author Dale Carnegie writes:

Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.

You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And –

A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still.

As wise old Ben Franklin used to say:

If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.

So figure it out for yourself. Which would you rather have, an academic, theatrical victory or a person’s good will? You can seldom have both.

Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so. Lord Chesterfield

 In his great book, The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind, marketing Professor and Author Jonah Berger writes about what he called reactance: An unpleasant state occurs when people feel their freedom is lost or threatened.

Pushing, telling, or just encouraging people to do something often makes them less likely to do it.

When pushed, people push back. Just like a missile defense system protects against incoming projectiles, people have an innate anti-persuasion system. Radar that kicks in when they sense someone is trying to convince them. To lower this barrier, catalysts encourage people to persuade themselves.

Restriction generates a psychological phenomenon called reactance. An unpleasant state that occurs when people feel their freedom is lost or threatened.

Change is hard

  • We persuade and cajole and pressure and push, but even after all that work, often nothing moves. Things change at a glacial pace if they change at all. People like to feel they have control over their choices and actions. That they have the freedom to drive their own behavior.
  • When others threaten or restrict that freedom, people get upset. When told they can’t or shouldn’t do something, it interferes with their autonomy. Their ability to see their actions as driven by themselves. So they push back: Who are you to tell me I can’t text while driving or walk my dog on that pristine patch of grass? I can do whatever I want!

While texting while driving might not have even been that attractive originally, threatening to restrict it makes it more desirable.

Berger proposed some solutions to reduce reactance to your ideas and suggestions:

Allow for Agency

  • “To avoid reactance and the persuasion radar, then, catalysts allow for agency. They stop trying to persuade and instead get people to persuade themselves.” To reduce reactance, catalysts allow for agency—not by telling people what to do or by being completely hands-off, but by finding the middle ground. By guiding their path.

Four key ways to do that are:

 (1) Provide a menu,

  • Try to convince people to do something, and they spend a lot of time counterarguing. Thinking about all the various reasons why it’s a bad idea or why something else would be better. Why they don’t want to do what was suggested.”

But give people multiple options, and suddenly things shift.

(2) ask, don’t tell,

Questions encourage listeners to commit to the conclusion. To behave consistently with whatever answer they gave.

  • Rather than taking a predetermined plan and pushing it on people, catalysts do the opposite. They start by asking questions. Visiting with stakeholders, getting their perspectives, and engaging them in the planning process.

(3) highlight a gap,

  • People strive for internal consistency. They want their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to align. Someone who says they care about the environment tries to reduce their carbon footprint. Someone who preaches the virtues of honesty tries not to tell lies.
  • Consequently, when attitudes and behaviors conflict, people get uncomfortable. And to reduce this discomfort, or what scientists call cognitive dissonance, people take steps to bring things back in line.

Highlighting such dissonance, and bringing it to the fore, encourages people not only to see the discord but also to work to resolve it.

(4) start with understanding.

  • Before people will change, they have to be willing to listen. They have to trust the person they’re communicating with. And until that happens, no amount of persuasion is going to work.
  • Seasoned negotiators don’t start with what they want; they start with whom they want to change. Working to gain insight into where that person is coming from. Comprehending and appreciating that person’s situation, feelings, and motives, and showing them that someone else understands.

Starting with understanding diffuses anti-persuasion radar by making sure the other side gets a chance to say their piece.

Dale Carnegie writes in How to Win Friends and Influence People:

In an article in Bits and Pieces, some suggestions are made on how to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument:

  • Welcome the disagreement. Remember the slogan, ‘When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary.’ If there is some point you haven’t thought about, be thankful if it is brought to your attention. Perhaps this disagreement is your opportunity to be corrected before you make a serious mistake.
  • Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.
  • Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.
  • Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding.”
  • Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which you agree.
  • Be honest. Look for areas where you can admit error and say so. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help disarm your opponents and reduce defensiveness.
  • Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. It is a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in a position where your opponents can say: ‘We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.’
  • Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends.”
  • Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear. In preparation for this meeting, ask yourself some hard questions:

Could my opponents be right? Partly right? Is there truth or merit in their position or argument? Is my reaction one that will relieve the problem, or will it just relieve any frustration? Will my reaction drive my opponents further away or draw them closer to me? Will my reaction elevate the estimation good people have of me? Will I win or lose? What price will I have to pay if I win? If I am quiet about it, will the disagreement blow over? Is this difficult situation an opportunity for me?

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

In his thought-provoking book, The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness, Author and Partner at Collaborative Fund Morgan Housel writes about why understanding the psychology of money is more important than finance itself. The book is based on a report he wrote in 2018: “The Psychology of Money,” where he shared the most important flaws, biases, and causes of bad behavior towards money.

“Every investor should pick a strategy that has the highest odds of successfully meeting their goals. And I think for most investors, dollar-cost averaging into a low-cost index fund will provide the highest odds of long-term success.” – Morgan Housel

In the book, he made the following recommendation on how to make better decisions with money:

“God himself, sir, does not propose  to judge man until the end of his days.”

In his great book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Author Dale Carnegie shared a great story about a father and son, which teaches the virtue of patience with other humans and the futility of criticism. The piece originally appeared as an editorial in the People’s Home Journal and was reprinted in the book as condensed in the Reader’s Digest:

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

The machines are coming, artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming ubiquitous in our everyday lives. The majority of the service we use online are all powered by algorithms, A. I and machine learning. The A.I. revolution can be scary, but the key is to understand and explore ways to exploit the opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence – Noun A.I. is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.

Here are some great documentaries on Artificial Intelligence:

In his book, Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, shared a management process he developed in the early days of building Salesforce to become an industry leader, he called the process: V2MOM (vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures).

In Behind the Cloud, he writes:

“I went out to look for help. I sought wisdom from leadership gurus, personal development gurus, and even spiritual gurus. Over time, I realized that many of these seemingly disparate sources shared striking similarities. I looked to employ these common threads in my own work, and over time I developed them into my own management process, V2MOM, an acronym that stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures”

“This tool (pronounced “V2 mom”) has helped me achieve my goals in my past work and helps make salesforce.com a success. Although there are many leadership paradigms and frameworks available to follow, V2MOM offers a new simplicity. It is easy to digest, unlike other programs that take longer to understand than they do to implement.”

V2MOM enabled me to clarify what I was doing and communicate it to the entire company as well. The vision helped us define what we wanted to do.” It boils down to these five questions, which create a framework for alignment and leadership:

  1. Vision — what do you want to achieve?
  2. Values — what’s important to you?
  3. Methods — how do you get it?
  4. Obstacles — what is preventing you from being successful?
  5. Measures — how do you know you have it?
  • The values established what was most important about that vision; it set the principles and beliefs that guided it (in priority).
  • The methods illustrated how we would get the job done by outlining the actions and the steps that everyone needed to take.
  • The obstacles identified the challenges, problems, and issues we would have to overcome to achieve our vision.
  • Finally, the measures specified the actual result we aimed to achieve; often this was defined as a numerical outcome.

Combined, V2MOM gave us a detailed map of where we were going as well as a compass to direct us there.

“Essentially, V2MOM is an exercise in awareness in which the result is total alignment. In addition, having a clarified direction and focusing collective energy on the desired outcome eliminate the anxiety that is often present in times of change.”

“Salesforce.com’s First V2MOM, 4/12/1999

Vision

Rapidly create a world-class Internet company/site for Sales Force Automation.

Values

1. World-class organization

2. Time to market

3. Functional

4. Usability (Amazon quality)

5. Value-added partnerships

Methods

1. Hire the team

2. Finalize product specification and technical architecture

3. Rapidly develop the product specification to beta and production stages

4. Build partnerships with big e-commerce, content, and hosting companies

5. Build a launch plan

6. Develop exit strategy: IPO/acquisition

Obstacles

1. Developers

2. Product manager/business development person

Measures

1. Prototype is state-of-the-art

2. High-quality functional system

3. Partnerships are online and integrated

4. Salesforce.com is regarded as leader and visionary

5. We are all rich

Create Your Own V2MOM

The beauty of the V2MOM is that the same structure works for every phase in the life cycle of an organization. We’ve used it as a business plan for our start-up, and we find the same construct to be effective for outlining the annual goals of a public company.

Think about your overall organizational goals or a present-day challenge within your organization, and discover how you can outline the steps to succeed in your effort through the V2MOM process. You might have more than one answer to each question; be sure to prioritize your answers:

VISION (What do you want?):

________________________________________

VALUES (What’s important about it?):

________________________________________

METHODS (How do you get it?):

________________________________________

OBSTACLES (What might stand in the way?):

________________________________________

MEASURES (How will you know when you have it?):

“From the very beginning, we’ve had a V2MOM at salesforce. com, and we’ve always kept it updated. It is a living document. It’s my responsibility to write the V2MOM, and then I work with the rest of the people at our company to make it as accurate as possible. I rewrite the V2MOM every six months, which helps me gain personal clarity as well as communicate with the company.

This process of constant iteration is critical to making the V2MOM accurate as well as to integrate these ideas into our corporate consciousness.

“Without a doubt, this process has been our best-kept secret to the fast growth and excellence we have achieved. Reading the Vision statements through a sampling of years illustrates the goals of our company at various points in time. We have been able to reach these goals because our vision—and a way to achieve it—was defined and communicated.”

Vision Statements

  • 1999-Rapidly create a world-class Internet company /site for Sales Force Automation.
  • 2002-Global leadership in proving the “software as service” model driven by an enthusiastic and wildly successful customer community, and energized by world-class employees.
  • 2004-Dominate the software as a service market by doubling our enthusiastic and wildly successful global customer community through flawless execution of our proven model.
  • 2006-Deliver trusted customer and partner success globally, and accelerate our growth as the unrivaled on-demand standard for The Business Web through efficient execution.
  • 2009-Create wildly successful customers, secure every renewal, and grow our customer relationships through the Service Cloud and Force.com. Increase the productivity of every employee and every department, to gain market share and dominate enterprise cloud computing.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Cloud Computing is a technology that is often misunderstood and misappropriated by a lot of individuals and organizations. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-145;

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models. 

In a 2017 Gartner’s Report: Cloud Strategy Leadership: Gartner Insights on How and Why Leaders Must Implement Cloud Computing. According to David Mitchell Smith, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, there are 10 misleading and dangerous myths of cloud computing:

  1. Cloud Is Always About Money

Gartner surveys show that cost savings account for the reason a small number of organizations use the public cloud. Saving money may end up one of the benefits, but it should not be taken for granted.

Advice: Utilize total cost of ownership and other models on a case-by-case basis and assess the implications of moving from capital expenditure (capex) to operating expenditure (opex).

2. You Have to Be Cloud to Be Good

Are you “cloud washing” (referring to the tendency to call things cloud that are not)? As a result, people are falling into the trap of believing that if something is good it has to be cloud or that if it is not cloud-based it cannot be good.

Advice: Call things what they are. Many other capabilities (e.g., automation, virtualization) and characteristics can be good and do not need to be cloud-washed.

3. Cloud Should Be Used for Everything

Cloud is a good fit in organizations where value is placed on flexibility and the business has the ability to consume and pay for only what is needed when needed. Unless there are cost savings, moving a legacy application that doesn’t change is not a good candidate for cloud.

Advice: The cloud may not benefit all workloads equally. Don’t be afraid to propose noncloud solutions when appropriate.

4. “The CEO Says So” Is a Cloud Strategy

When asked about what their cloud strategy is, many companies don’t have one, and the default is often (stated or not) that they are just doing what their CEO wants.

Advice: A cloud strategy begins by identifying business goals and mapping potential benefits of the cloud to them, while mitigating the potential drawbacks.

5. We Need One Cloud Strategy or Vendor

The nature of cloud services and existing interoperability standards can make the issue of limiting options less important, as those details are often hidden from the consumer.

Advice: A cloud strategy should be based on aligning business goals with potential benefits. A single cloud strategy makes sense if it makes use of a decision framework that allows for and expects multiple answers.

6. Cloud Is Less Secure Than On-Premises Capabilities

Cloud computing is perceived as less secure. To date, there have been very few security breaches in the public cloud — most breaches continue to involve on-premises data center environments.

Advice: Don’t assume that cloud providers are not secure, but also don’t assume they are. Cloud providers should have to demonstrate their capabilities, but once they have done so, there is no reason to believe their offerings cannot be secure.

7. Cloud Is Not for Mission-Critical Use

Cloud computing is not all or nothing. It is being adopted (and should be adopted) in steps and in specific cases.

Advice: Mission-critical can mean different things. If it means complex systems, approaches such as taking a phased approach can ease the movement to the cloud. Hybrid solutions can also play a key role.

8. Cloud = Data Center

Most cloud decisions are not (and should not be) about completely shutting down data centers and moving everything to the cloud.

Advice: Look at cloud decisions on a workload-by workload basis, rather than taking an “all or nothing” approach.

9. Migrating to the Cloud Means You Automatically Get All Cloud Characteristics

Many migrations to the cloud are “lift and shift” rehosting, or other movements that do not exhibit cloud characteristics at higher levels, while other types of cloud migration (refactoring and rewriting, for example) typically do offer more of these characteristics. The most common use case for the cloud, however, is new applications.

Advice: Distinguish between applications hosted in the cloud from cloud services. There are “half steps” to the cloud that have some benefits (there is no need to buy hardware, for example) and these can be valuable. However, they do not provide the same outcomes.

10. Virtualization = Private Cloud

Virtualization is a commonly used enabling technology for cloud computing. However, it is not the only way to implement cloud computing. Not only is it not necessary, it is not sufficient.

Advice: Use the correct term to describe what you are building. You don’t have to be cloud to be good. Avoid setting inaccurate expectations and adding to cloud confusion.

In his book, Entrepreneur Revolution Author and Entrepreneur, Daniel Priestley shared a very great concept he called CAOS (Concept, Audience, Offer, and Sales). The CAOS challenge objective is to conduct a low-risk launch of a new product or service. You test the commercial response to a product or service by simply conducting sales meetings armed with little more than a brochure and a sign-up form.

The CAOS challenge can be used even if you have a business already, conduct a low-risk launch of a new product or service. I love formula/acrostics as a teaching mechanism, the books I remember the most are the ones with mnemonics; books like:

In order to launch a product or service, you will need four things:

Concept.

You need an answer for the basic questions people will ask: What’s this product or service about? What problem does it solve? Why should people listen to you?

To complete this step, put together a slide presentation on Keynote or PowerPoint so that you can present your concept to people in a presentation. Deliver this presentation to several close friends or associates in order to get feedback and criticism to improve it. Remember that the concept has to be something you are passionate about, something you can add value to and something people are willing to pay for.

Audience.

Who is this product or service for? Who do you need to get in front of in order to sell it?

Devise a questionnaire or survey that you can get 50 people to complete in order to discover insights into the drivers behind what kind of people are interested in your offer and what makes it appealing or what turns them off the idea.

Offer.

 What’s the deal? What do people get for their money? What are the terms and conditions?

Construct a four to eight-page brochure that outlines exactly what you are offering people, include the features and benefits of the offer and as much information as you can that will entice someone to buy. Accompany it with a sign-up form people can complete if they want to buy and a form that has the relevant terms and conditions on it.

Sales.

 Can you present and sell this concept? Can you handle questions, concerns and objections? Can you get payments or deposits? What is you conversion ratio from presentation to sale?

“When you sit with people and present your offer, be brave and ask them if they would like to put down a deposit or full payment in order to become one of the first clients for your business at a special rate. If they object, ask them why share any insights that might clarify the value you offer and see if you can find a way that they would comfortably make the purchase. Either way, record the main objections and your responses so that you can improve the way you and your offer address people’s concerns.”

“When you have these four areas covered, make face-to-face appointments with people to deliver a sales presentation, ask them to buy the product on the spot and see what they say in response. Your initial objective isn’t necessarily to make sales but to get feedback, and it’s hard to get real feedback unless you actually ask people to part with money for the product. Keep detailed records of every sales meeting to uncover the common objections and to determine the ratio of presentations to sales.”

The CAOS challenge isn’t designed to build a business on, it’s designed to quickly and cheaply test an idea in a commercial environment. If you go out and meet with 20–50 people and you make £10k+ in sales, there’s a good chance you have the makings of a business. Don’t worry too much yet about how it will scale or how it will run without you. At this stage, just see if you can get people to buy something.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Entrepreneur Daniel Priestley in his great book, “Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset and Start a Business that Works” shared seven hard truths of entrepreneurship and I found them to be very true and helpful. He writes:

Seven hard truths of Entrepreneurship

TRUTH 1: IT’S HARD AND IT GETS HARDER

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy: you’re taking on people’s problems. You are taking on problems for your customers, for your staff, for your family and ultimately yourself. This responsibility is something that your family and your staff won’t or can’t grasp (and nor should you try to make them – it’s your journey not theirs). Entrepreneurship is so hard at times, it’s not even worth mentioning how hard it is. Rather than hoping for the day it’s effortless, you need to embrace the challenge. Realise that you aren’t digging ditches or scavenging for food and water.

Entrepreneurship is so hard at times, it’s not even worth mentioning how hard it is.

Your problems are entirely of your own making and you are engaged in a meaningful struggle to bring your vision out into the world. Stop looking for reprieve and start making things happen – accept that it’s hard, but you’re living in the most exciting time in history and it’s hard because you’ve chosen a new path.”

TRUTH 2: NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE YOU

There’s no entrepreneur coming to ‘take you to the next level’ – they are already building their own businesses. There’s no world-class manager who’s coming to join your team and fix every issue – they already work for Google and they would want crazy money to leave. They certainly wouldn’t want to work for someone who needs saving.

In every way, you are in the driver’s seat and everyone is looking to you for leadership. Great people on your team will be great because you made them great – you trained them, developed them and believed in their potential, even while they made mistake after mistake.

Removing the hope that someone is coming to save you leaves you with the realisation that this business is in your hands, and your hands only. Stop searching for the White Knight and start showing up with bravery and leaning in to your challenges.

TRUTH 3: IN ORDER TO DO THE WORK YOU LOVE, YOU HAVE TO WIN THE WORK

Here’s the problem, in order to do the work, you need to win the work. You have to get a client to transfer the money, sign the cheque or enter their PIN. Until that happens, it doesn’t matter how cool your ideas are or how good you are at delivering value to a client.

There’s no easy sales system that generates clients passively. Great companies with billion-dollar brands still need excellent sales professionals to secure new business. No amount of content generates automatic sales, beautiful branding won’t do it either, and great sales people will only perform on your team if they can see how you sell first.”

“Sales skills can be learned. You can craft brilliant presentations, get better at listening and work on your communication skills.

Eventually, you can inspire a team of people who help win business – but only if you can find your groove when selling first. Lean in to the sales process and never take your foot off the accelerator.

TRUTH 4: THINGS DON’T WORK FOR LONG

There’s no foolproof system, there’s no magic bullet and there are no people who just work hard without leadership. Every system will need to be refined, every cutting-edge strategy will become commonplace, every hot product will cool off, every ace team member will need training and every asset will need developing.

Business requires you to juggle and there’s no such thing as a ball that just stays in the air, there are only people who get good at juggling. As soon as you give up on the expectation that things will just work, you suddenly embrace the challenge of dealing with more and more complexity. You discover a rhythm of pre-empting what needs your attention, and you begin to fix things just as they begin to break rather than waiting for them to get completely destroyed. Expect people and things to break down over time and lean in to the process of reinvention.

TRUTH 5: YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL

Despite your best thinking and most diligent planning, most of what you do won’t work. Your best advertising will be ignored by most people. Your best sales presentation will be rejected by a huge portion of people you present to. Your foolproof solution will fall apart at a crucial time. You’re going to lose a battle you should have won. You’re going to be at a low point and then another thing is going to come along and crush you. You’ll have days that you just can’t get yourself fired up no matter how hard you try.

Some of the best entrepreneurs have had complete business failures and gone bankrupt. Even when the worst things happen, the sun comes up the next day and you have another opportunity to try something else.

Let yourself off the hook for being perfect – it’s not even a possibility. Get on with doing the best you can and expect delays. Lean in to failure because it’s a great teacher and it’s part of the process.”

TRUTH 6: IT’S UNFAIR

Sometimes people don’t keep their word, some deals go badly and situations unfold that everyone agrees is wrong. Even when this happens, don’t become jaded or bitter. Don’t complain how unfair things are – accept it and move forward.

Keep the perspective that life in general isn’t fair and there’s a good chance you’ve been on the right side of the unfairness before. You were probably born in a country that gave you an unfair advantage, you probably had lucky breaks, you probably had an education millions of people dream of. You probably have an unfair amount of health and good looks. If you have running water and healthy food available, many people would consider those basics of life aren’t fairly distributed. As an entrepreneur, you must never complain about how unfair things are for you, instead champion the causes of others less fortunate than yourself and solve problems others won’t solve for themselves. Then you will be fine. Lean in to the unfairness and be grateful that you have the opportunity to overcome your unique set of challenges.

TRUTH 7: YOU’RE NOT ENTITLED TO REWARDS

You’re not on this planet to be the recipient of riches and great rewards. You’re not entitled to travel, to have a big house or to enjoy endless holidays.”

“You’re here to solve problems for others. Your most rewarding work will be in the service of others, doing meaningful but challenging work. You might not get recognised for this work, the credit might go to someone else, or the people you help might not be grateful at times.”

“It just so happens you’ve already won the human lottery. By virtue of the fact you’re alive at this moment, you’re educated, have access to technology, medicine and information, you’ve already got the rewards. You’re luckier than 99.9% of every human being that has walked the earth. Now it’s time to bring your A-game for helping others.

As soon as you give up on the idea that you’re doing this business for a payoff, and you just serve others as best you can and as sustainably as you can, you’ll start to gain huge satisfaction from the work itself. Everything on top of the opportunity to serve will be a bonus. Additionally, without any sense of entitlement to rewards, you will be the one who chooses to reward yourself as and when you want to rather than expecting the rewards to magically arrive. Lean in to serving others and accept the rewards you choose.”

Business is tough, but it’s great. It’s a challenge that forces you to perform at your best and it won’t tolerate anything less. The main thing that makes business miserable is juvenile expectations that it should always be fun, fair, easy and rewarding by default. If you want it to be easy, it gets damn hard. Paradoxically, if you embrace the struggle, it’s a lot more fun and you start to realise just how lucky you are.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

In his very great book, Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset and Start a Business that Works, best-selling author and Entrepreneur Daniel Priestley observed that there are three key part of an ‘Entrepreneur Brain'”: The reptile, The monkey and The Entrepreneur (Visionary).

DON’T LET THE REPTILE RUN YOUR LIFE

The reptile – fight, flight freeze (emotional often in a bad way – aggression, fear, panic, etc).

If you operate from the primitive, survival part of your brain, you can expect to live like a reptile. Reptiles don’t achieve very much, they eat scraps, they crawl all over each other, they don’t evolve and they feel the cold when the winters of life come around. Reptiles are either fighting for scraps, mating or conserving energy while watching anything that moves to see if it’s good for food or sex.

Operating from this survival brain gives you more scarcity in the times we are living in. This part of the brain has no empathy for others, a skill that is vital in ‘value creation’. The reptile isn’t able to reason effectively and it has no concept of time. It’s not a logical or strategic part of the brain, it’s programmed to seek out situations that seem good for immediate survival with as little effort as possible.

“Unfortunately, it’s easily fooled in these modern times. It’s the part of the brain that will gamble on slot machines for hours on end, trading small coins for the hope of many coins, but it will never compute the folly of this activity. It will play repetitive, colourful games on the phone, scroll through endless social media accounts and get fooled into buying dumb things like weight-loss pills on late-night television.”

It’s the part of the brain that will hope for ‘passive income’ and will sacrifice relationships and genuine opportunities in exchange for a shot at having an endless stream of ‘flies that land in your mouth’ every day on their own.

The reptile believes the only resources that exist are those it can touch right now. If it can’t see money, there’s no money. If it can’t see food, there’s no food. The reptile will destroy everything around itself if it thinks that will bring an immediate benefit to its survival. If you have ever lashed out at someone close to you, if you have ever smashed something valuable or sent a venomous email that later cost you dearly, it was you ‘going reptile’. This short-term view will have you make your worst decisions, often leaving you having to apologize or losing someone or something important to you.

THE MONKEY BRAIN DOES WHAT IT’S TOLD

The monkey – learn, remember, repeat, stay in the comfort-zone (practical but not very adventurous). 

The monkey brain isn’t much better than the reptile brain if you want to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

If you operate from the purely functional part of your brain, you will live like a monkey. You will have friends and you will be able to perform repetitive tasks, but most of what you do will not be very meaningful in the long term. You will have a repetitive, comfortable existence, spend your time nit-picking and stay amused with very simple things.

The monkey brain works closely with the reptile to stay entertained. The monkey does all the repetitive tasks, and the reptile provides a variety of peak emotions like anger, sadness, happiness, anger, surprise, sexual arousal and excitement. The chiefs of the industrial age discovered that you can keep the monkey working on repetitive tasks for 40 years if you make sure the reptile keeps it entertained with emotional ups and downs on a daily basis.

The monkey believes the only resources that it can access are those it has been told (preferably in writing) it can access. If you tell the monkey it earns £45,000 a year, it believes that’s all there is. If you tell the monkey it has a credit card limit of £3500, that’s it until a letter arrives from the bank saying that it’s now £4000! The monkey cannot perceive how life can be any different from the way it is now because no one has told it how. The monkey can only act if it’s shown how to do something and then it can repeat it.

All the monkey wants to do is stay safe and see what the reptile comes up with next as entertainment.

If you’ve ever gotten caught in meaningless repetitive endeavours or felt helpless about how to change your life for the better because you don’t know how, you were caught in monkey mode.

THE ENTREPRENEUR BRAIN TRANSFORMS YOUR WORLD

The visionary – insight, inspiration, strategy, empathy, compassion, play, creativity (emotional in a good way – passion, love, humour, etc).

If you want to innovate, transform the world and build an inspiring empire, you need to access your entrepreneur brain.

If you operate from the entrepreneurial part of your brain, you will live like an emperor. You will develop a space that is truly your own, people will be honored to share conversations with you, you will solve big important problems and make a difference to many people.

The entrepreneur part of your brain has great amounts of empathy, logic, reasoning and higher consciousness. These are all great skills for turning a vision into an empire.

Your entrepreneur brain has a capacity, quite literally, to love the world and everyone in it. It can connect with people and events over vast distances. It can calculate future consequences, it can draw unique insights from your own past or even the stories of others and naturally devise strategies. It’s wise beyond the comprehension of the monkey or the reptile.”

While the reptile believes in resources it can touch and the monkey believes what it is told, the entrepreneur believes in its ability to influence.

An entrepreneur believes that if a resource exists somewhere in the world, it can have a powerful discussion about how that resource gets used. The entrepreneur brain doesn’t care who currently ‘owns’ the resource, only that it’s possible to access it. If someone has a set of skills, the entrepreneur wants to enrol them in using those skills towards their vision. If someone has money, the entrepreneur is curious to see if that money could be put to better use with their company. If someone is famous, the entrepreneur sees the potential in them drawing attention to a common cause. The entrepreneur always sees the win-win relationships and therefore the entrepreneur doesn’t need to own things in order for them to be useful.

Richard Branson sees the media as a resource because he has mastered such influence over the media, but he doesn’t own it. SoftBank founder Massayoshi Son raised $45 billion in a 45-minute pitch to build his vision for the future – the money existed in a sovereign wealth fund and he influenced how it would be used”

If you have ever had moments of pure inspiration, where you feel anything is possible, you want to start a movement and do something meaningful for humanity, you were having an entrepreneur brain moment.

All the bet in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

“History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, but It Often Rhymes” – Mark Twain

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. The stock market crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression and was a prelude to World War II.

The Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession.

The Great Depression had devastating effects on both rich and poor countries. Personal income, tax revenue, profits, and prices dropped, while international trade fell by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 23% and in some countries rose as high as 33%.

In his great book, Lead the Field, Earl Nathingale shares a great story about goal achievement:

The story goes that the president of a big steel company had granted an interview to an efficiency expert named Ivy Lee. Lee was telling his prospective client how he could help him do a better job of managing the company, when the president broke in to say something to the effect that he wasn’t at present managing as well as he knew how. He went on to tell Ivy Lee that what was needed wasn’t more knowing, but a lot more doing. He said, “We know what we should be doing. If you can show us a better way of getting it done, I’ll listen to you – and pay you anything within reason you ask.” 

Lee then said that he could give him something in 20 minutes that would increase his efficiency by at least 50 percent. He then handed the executive a blank sheet of paper and said, “Write down on this paper the six most important things you have to do tomorrow.” The executive thought about it and did as requested. It took him about three or four minutes. 

Lee then said, “Now number them in the order of their importance to you and to the company.” That took another, three, four, or five minutes. 

Then Lee said, “Now put the paper in your pocket, and the first thing tomorrow morning, take it out and look at item number one. Don’t look at the others, just number one, and start working on it. And if you can, stay with it until it’s completed. Then take item number two the same way; then number three, and so on, until you have to quit for the day.” 

“Don’t worry if you have finished only one or two items on your list. The others can wait. If you can’t finish them all by this method, you couldn’t have finished them with any other method. And without some system, you’d probably take 10 times as long to finish them – and might not even have them in the order of their importance.” 

“Do this every working day,” Lee went on. “After you’ve convinced yourself of the value of this system, have your men try it. Try it as long as you like, and then send me your check for whatever you think the idea is worth.” 

The entire interview hadn’t taken more than a half-hour. In a few weeks, the story has it, the company president sent Ivy Lee a check for $25,000, with a letter saying the lesson was the most profitable, from a money standpoint, he had ever learned in his life. And it is said that this plan was largely responsible for turning what was then a little-known steel company into one of the biggest independent steel producers in the world. 

One idea! The idea of taking things one at a time, in their proper order; of staying with one task until it’s successfully completed before going on to the next; of living one day at a time.

For the next seven days, try the $25,000 idea in your life. Tonight, write on a slip of paper the six most important things you have to do. Then number them in the order of their importance. Tomorrow morning, go to work on item number one, and stay with it until it’s successfully completed. Then move on to number two, and so on. When you’ve finished with all six, get another piece of paper, and repeat the process. 

You’ll be astonished and delighted by the order this brings into your life – and by the rate of speed with which you’ll be able to accomplish the things that need doing, in the order of their importance. This simple but tremendously effective method will take all the confusion out of your life. You’ll never find yourself running around in circles, wondering what to do next. 

As you use this method, remember to live the best you can, one day at a time. You need not worry about tomorrow, or the next day, or what’s going to happen at the end of the month. One day at a time, handled successfully, will carry you over every hurdle; it will solve every problem. You can relax in the happy knowledge that successful tasks make successful days, which, in turn, build a successful life. This is the kind of unassailable logic no one can argue with. It will work every time – for every person.

The reason for writing down what you consider only the most important things to do is obvious. Handling each task during the day successfully is important to the degree of the importance of the task itself. Successfully doing a lot of unnecessary things can be pretty much a waste of time. Make certain that the tasks you take time to do efficiently are important tasks – tasks that move you ahead, steadily, toward your goal. 

In Earl Nightingale’s very inspiring and influential book, lead the field; he shares the story of Russell Herman Conwell (Founder of Temple University). Dr. Conwell gave over 6,000 lectures on “Acres of Diamonds.” He was able to raise several million dollars, with which he founded Temple University.

In 1843, a man was born who was to have a profound effect upon the lives of millions of people. His name was Russell Herman Conwell. He became a lawyer, then a newspaper editor, and, finally, a clergyman. During his church career, an incident occurred that was to change his life and the lives of countless others. 

In his Autobiography, Steel Magnate and Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie writes a glowing tribute about Colonel James Anderson, the man who opened his library to young boys in the community and in the process encouraged young Andrew to become a life long learner.

“As the twig is bent the tree’s inclined.” The treasures of the world which books contain were opened to me at the right moment. The fundamental advantage of a library is that it gives nothing for nothing. Youths must acquire knowledge themselves. There is no escape from this.


With all their pleasures the messenger boys were hard worked. Every other evening they were required to be on duty until the office closed, and on these nights it was seldom that I reached home before eleven o’clock. On the alternating nights we were relieved at six. This did not leave much time for self-improvement, nor did the wants of the family leave any money to spend on books. There came, however, like a blessing from above, a means by which the treasures of literature were unfolded to me.

Colonel James Anderson–I bless his name as I write–announced that he would open his library of four hundred volumes to boys, so that any young man could take out, each Saturday afternoon, a book which could be exchanged for another on the succeeding Saturday. My friend, Mr. Thomas N. Miller, reminded me recently that Colonel Anderson’s books were first opened to “working boys,” and the question arose whether messenger boys, clerks, and others, who did not work with their hands, were entitled to books. My first communication to the press was a note, written to the “Pittsburgh Dispatch,” urging that we should not be excluded; that although we did not now work with our hands, some of us had done so, and that we were really working boys.  Dear Colonel Anderson promptly enlarged the classification. So my first appearance as a public writer was a success.

My dear friend, Tom Miller, one of the inner circle, lived near Colonel Anderson and introduced me to him, and in this way the windows were opened in the walls of my dungeon through which the light of knowledge streamed in. Every day’s toil and even the long hours of night service were lightened by the book which I carried about with me and read in the intervals that could be snatched from duty. And the future was made bright by the thought that when Saturday came a new volume could be obtained. In this way I became familiar with Macaulay’s essays and his history, and with Bancroft’s “History of the United States,” which I studied with more care than any other book I had then read. Lamb’s essays were my special delight, but I had at this time no knowledge of the great master of all, Shakespeare, beyond the selected pieces in the school books. My taste for him I acquired a little later at the old Pittsburgh Theater.

John Phipps, James R. Wilson, Thomas N. Miller, William Cowley–members of our circle–shared with me the invaluable privilege of the use of Colonel Anderson’s library. Books which it would have been impossible for me to obtain elsewhere were, by his wise generosity, placed within my reach; and to him I owe a taste for literature which I would not exchange for all the millions that were ever amassed by man. Life would be quite intolerable without it. Nothing contributed so much to keep my companions and myself clear of low fellowship and bad habits as the beneficence of the good Colonel. Later, when fortune smiled upon me, one of my first duties was the erection of a monument to my benefactor. It stands in front of the Hall and Library in Diamond Square, which I presented to Allegheny, and bears this inscription:

To Colonel James Anderson, Founder of Free Libraries in Western Pennsylvania. He opened his Library to working boys and upon Saturday afternoons acted as librarian, thus dedicating not only his books but himself to the noble work. This monument is erected in grateful remembrance by Andrew Carnegie, one of the “working boys” to whom were thus opened the precious treasures of knowledge and imagination through which youth may ascend.

This is but a slight tribute and gives only a faint idea of the depth of gratitude which I feel for what he did for me and my companions. It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it, as the founding of a public library in a community which is willing to support it as a municipal institution. I am sure that the future of those libraries I have been privileged to found will prove the correctness of this opinion. For if one boy in each library district, by having access to one of these libraries, is half as much benefited as I was by having access to Colonel Anderson’s four hundred well-worn volumes, I shall consider they have not been established in vain.

 Source: The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, 1920.

“THE TOP PRIORITY OF ANY MANAGER IS THE WELL-BEING AND SUCCESS OF HER PEOPLE.”

In the Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell, the authors shared one of Bil Campbell’s dictates for getting the most out of people; he had developed the manifesto while he was at Intuit and often repeated it practically verbatim to his coachees.

Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep relationships with Silicon Valley visionaries, including Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt.