Category Archives: Career Advice

Success in Business Just Might Require Giving Gifts

Seth Godin’s latest post is a great one.

The title is Generous Gifts vs. Free Samples

It gives a lot of food for thought…

A lot of learning that occurs in business and life occurs when you turn up the contrast and look at the differences in things.

Seth makes the point that giving away free samples is a great business marketing strategy and you often see a lot of sales occur from this strategy.

It is a give and take approach to life.

Yet Seth makes the argument well that giving a gift is something totally different.

A gift is something you give without receiving anything in return. And he argues that if you think this way about things it will change your whole approach to business and life.

…and it will change you.

Giving a gift is something that is very special, and it is to be much appreciated. If it is in your power to do so then maybe you should think about doing it.

Even if you don’t receive something in return (i.e. a sale or returning customer), receiving good will is not to be underestimated.

I’ll leave you will a quote I am very fond of….

“What Constitutes Success” by Bessie Stanley

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”

These are the most important people to listen to…

Your critics.

If you can stomach it, if you have the courage, if you want to improve…

Too often we are blind to our own faults, and we get stuck on a plateau.

We have met with just enough success, just enough praise, just enough results, that we stop growing.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to listen to your encouragers, it’s great to listen to people praise you and your work, but what is it going to do for you? Make you feel good, and maybe let you know you are on the right track.

And that is worth a lot, but the best people in their field are those that seek every opportunity to improve. And huge opportunities come from your critics.

Now remember there is a difference between a critic and an idiot. An idiot will only criticize you to bring you down. They don’t have much to offer and wish you were on the same level as they are.

A good critic is one with experience and wisdom. Because we are blind to our own short comings and because our fans are too, we often can’t see the hole in our business, political stance, product, service, etc.

A good critic will see the hole and tell you about it. A good opportunist will see the hole and exploit it. We should all be so lucky to have critics that aren’t opportunists. 😉

Think about this for just a few minutes…

Look at what they are saying. Are they idiots or are they good critics offering you a great piece of information to improve yourself, or your business or product?

Only you will have the discernment to know.

And only your heart will help you to determine the final answer…

“Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.” – Benjamin Franklin

Shout Out To Jacob @ Early Retirement Extreme

I’ve been reading Jacob’s blog for awhile and this is a guy who is living the life.

At the age of 33 he retired by using a combination of working hard, living extremely frugally (by American standards), and investing wisely.

His blog is full of great wisdom and advice on the above subjects.

Perhaps most people won’t ever aspire to live exactly like him (he doesn’t expect that), but I think we could all benefit from moving in that direction.

In any case, the reason I am writing this today is to let you know he just got his first book published today. I obviously haven’t read it yet, but I am sure it will be just as great as the blog. Here is the link…

The ERE Book Has Been Published!

UPDATE: I’ve read the book and it’s great… Early Retirement Extreme Review

Just Keep On Doing

I have looked at success story after success story…

I have read many biographies and studied the lives of many great men and women…

Over and over again I find that what Benjamin Disraeli said is true… “The secret of success is constancy of purpose.”

Winners are those that have a purpose in mind and never give up…

They are relentless perfecters of their craft, and of their message to the world…

I love the words of Theodore Roosevelt on the subject…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

This blog that I am writing. This mission to become the most knowledgeable about business that I can be comes from this idea. That if I keep going I will win. I will learn what works best and will make it work for me. I will find a way.

Yet success doesn’t stop with me. My hope is that I can continue to be a success by helping those around me achieve their success. My friends, family, co-workers, and any business colleagues I associate with. By coming together we can all achieve more.

I will leave you with one last quote that is a favorite of mine from a wonderful person…

“You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

A Gentle Reminder on How To Be Great

Too often we get caught up in downsides of life…

We feel overwhelmed by our obligations…

We are having health issues…

We are having relationship problems…

We find that out work no longer satisfies us…

We come to a crossroads or crisis in life…

The best advice anyone can give us in these situations is to begin with the end in mind…

Where do you want to end up? What is the solution? What do we have to do to make things better?

Instead of saying “Woe is me” we can say “I’m doing well”.

You see, happiness is more about the direction we are heading in then in where we actually are. Happiness is both about being better and doing better. And you will certainly be and do better if you begin with the end in mind.

So how can we be great?

The gentle reminder is to imagine yourself at the end of your life looking back. What do you see? What advice would you give the person reading this right now? What would you hope they would and wouldn’t do?

If we can find a way to be this objective about our lives then we will find the answers we are so desperately looking for. We will no longer need to be so quietly desperate, but we can be loudly striving to become our best selves…

The Power Of Yes

Do you know how powerful simply saying yes can be?

I know in my life saying yes has led me to some great opportunities that have furthered my career and have helped me to find my calling in life.

Have you ever really thought about how much you say no to things? How much opportunity slips by you every day?

J.D. Roth wrote a great article over at Get Rich Slowly called The Power of Yes: A Simple Way to Get More Out of Life.

His post says it all, saying yes works.

Think about all the ways you have said no lately? Could you have turned your no into a yes and experienced something great? There is only one way to find out…

Start saying yes!

Great Career Advice: What To Focus On

The person that has focus is the person that wins.

Yet it is hard to focus. We don’t want to focus. It’s almost in our nature to be distracted by what is in front of us at any given moment.

Let’s take resumes for example…

How is a hiring manager supposed to decide who to call in for an interview? All the resumes look basically,… well,… the same!

Each person has a good resume. They formatted it right, spelling is right, they all have similar experience and backgrounds. It’s like everyone has done the same general things at the same general companies. These resumes are all generic… they all lack that thing called focus.

What makes a person stand out? The fact that they focused on something special…

“Earned Top Insurance Sales Person at my company and won a ski trip to Vail.”

“Established a new sales territory that has already brought in over $250,000 in revenue.”

“Over the past 5 years have helped a family owned business change from a half million dollar company into a multi-million dollar firm.”

Who is this guy?

Well, he is just the sales guy I want to hire! Bring him in for an interview!

I can hear the excuses now…

“But I don’t have any type of experience like that”

“Thats for sales, what I do will never sound like that”

“That person isn’t really focusing, they did three different things”

Yes you do have experience that I am sure you can build on…

Yes your expertise will sound like music in the ears of the right person…

Yes everything that person did built upon a smaller achievement in their past and is exactly what focused people do…

So what should you focus on?

Make a list that looks like the one above. It should include as many things as possible including, “I won my 5th grade spelling bee”, if that applies.

You should have at least 10 and hopefully more than 25 big or small achievements you can list.

Now start looking for the pattern… Do you see it?

This exercise isn’t designed to finalize any answer for you, but it is designed to point you in the right direction.

Keep walking that way and things can only get better from there!