Finding the Secret

I love the people at Under 30 CEO. They find really insightful people to share their secrets on any number of topics. Entrepreneur Chuck Wall, no longer an Under-30, but a sage none the less, has offered up The Secret to Your Business Success. Here are some he has considered. Can you guess the one he believes today?

  • Listen to Customers
  • Learn to Sell
  • Mitigate Risk

His answer? Listen to your customers instead of yourself. (Did I fool you putting it first?)

When you think about it, doesn’t that really cover the other two? Good selling is about learning what it is your customers need and then giving it to them. By understanding what they really want you will cut your exposure, too. Chuck offers four tips to help you listen to your customers:

  1. Get a clue
  2. Listen to customers’ ideas about everything
  3. Quit expecting to find the answers in Big Data alone
  4. Discover the why in Big Insight

The Secret to Your Business Success at Under 30 CEO

 

 

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Poison Phrases for Business

Over on the Inc. blogs, Peter Gasca recently wrote a great article, 5 Most Destructive Phrases in Business. I know from personal experience coming up in the business world that these are poison phases that lead to lost opportunity. Further, they are poison in just about any relationship, after all they are all about unbelief, fear, and doubt:

  1. “I can’t (fill in the blank).”
  2. “That’s not the way it’s done.”
  3. “That’s impossible.”
  4. “If we only had money.”
  5. “The problem is (fill in the blank).”

Sure, you might not personally be able to do something, but that means that the job is bigger than you…you need a team. Why not go find it and take on the challenge? Why not choose to grow into the leader who can get it done?

Now let me be clear, I am not talking about violating your values. But when confronted with a problem/challenge, look carefully and see if there really is a values issue involved. Sometimes people cloak their personal fears in terms of their values to avoid confronting them. So live your values, but challenge your beliefs.

If you want to grow your business, eradicate these phrases from your lexicon. If you want to succeed in your family, eradicate these phrases from your lexicon. Create new ones like these:

  • “Working together, we can (fill in the blank).”
  • “How can we do this better?”
  • “Who will help us get the money?”
  • “Let’s figure out a solution to this challenge.”

5 Most Destructive Phrases in Business at Inc.

The Job Hunting Front and Getting Noticed

Resume Bar for Nick Begley. Source: ABC News
Resume Bar for Nick Begley. Source: ABC News

Resume Bar for Nick Begley. Source: ABC News

I have seen several interesting job hunting-related articles and posts around the internet recently. Let me share some of them with you.

If you are looking to hire, are you looking at prospects’ social media? Much of it is accessible to the public. Our friends over at Under 30 CEO wrote a post in favor of studying a candidate’s social media. You will learn several things, including:

  • Consistency. Do they say the same things to others they did to you?
  • Communication style. Did they write that awesome resume? Really?
  • What do others think?  …and they weren’t even asked…
  • Modernity. The world is changing. Are they?
  • Reputation. Yours, that is. Customers might run searches on people they are dealing with. Will the candidate embarrass you?

So, this is what employers might be doing. What are you doing to get noticed? You might turn your resume into a candy bar, just as Nick Begley did. Nick’s creativity and hard work paid off, too. I wrote about this and the job hunting environment in a recently published blog post, too. In the end, job hunting is about connection. Are you taking responsibility for your connections?

As you think creatively, be sure you get your story straight. This post by Maggie Tomas at Women of HR reminds us of some of the things we need to do to be ready for an interview. Key points:

  • Know why you want to make the change. Tell your story in a positive way that focuses on the position in question.
  • Be ready to prove your past success in the new role’s core competencies. You want to show that you really do have the goods. Don’t leave this to chance.
  • Demonstrate that you have researched the company. You pay a high compliment to others when you get to know them. You might also be able to link your story to their passions, creating a stronger connection, and perhaps even a new job…

There are lots to think about in the job hunting world. But if you remember that it is about connection in the end, you will do the hard work to reach your goal.

Leaders with Superpowers

Michael Hyatt reminds us that leaders have the power to energize or deflate their teams. In his post 5 Ways to Energize Your Team, he tells the story of a great team deflated by the thoughtless actions of a leader. He also offers these 5 points:

  1. Assume others are smart and working hard.
  2. Listen intently and ask thoughtful questions.
  3. Acknowledge the sacrifices others have made on your behalf.
  4. Express gratitude for their effort and their results.
  5. Remind them why their work is so important and the difference they are making.

You do have super powers. How are you going to use them?

5 Ways to Energize Your Team

The Magic of Leadership – Converting

John Mertz posted at thindifference.com about the transformative power of leadership–what he calls “Converting.” He believes leaders need to convert in four areas:

* Converting information into actionable steps
* Converting thoughts into actions
* Converting plans into actions
* Converting action into results

Notice that converting has to do with Action. What action will you take today? What will you convert?

The Magic of Leadership – Converting

Keeping Context Lists by Relationship

If you are a fan of GTD (Getting Things Done, a methodology developed by David Allen for personal management), you know about contexts. What about using contexts to manage communication with the people you need to communicate with the most?

Keeping Context Lists by Relationship

Tools to help build “Infographics”

Let’s face it, in our media-driven world, graphics help get people’s attention. The best graphics tell the story. What do you do when your story is all about the numbers? Infographics. Our friends at hongkait.com have put together a kit of templates and vector kits to jump-start your Infographics career. Explore them and see how you can use an infographic in your next blog or report.

30 Templates & Vector Kits to Design Your Own Infographic

Ronald Reagan on Procrastination

I’m reminded of a great story that was told to me a few years back about former President Ronald Reagan that illustrates what can happen to us if we procrastinate making decisions. When he was a small child, he had an aunt who took him to a shoemaker to make a pair of shoes. When they arrived, the shoemaker asked the young Reagan whether he wanted the toes of his shoes squared or rounded. Not sure of the style he wanted, he told the shoemaker he would come back in a few days and let him know.

A few days later, he returned, only to tell the shoemaker he still needed a few more days to make his decision. As soon as he walked in the door the third time, the shoemaker handed him his shoes with one square-toed shoe and one round-toed shoe. Reagan said years later it was a lesson that stayed with him the rest of his life. When he wore those shoes, he said, “It was a visual reminder that if I don’t make the decision, someone else will.”

–As told by John Maxwell at Success.com