Thursday, June 30, 2011

7 Amazing Lessons from 7 Distinguished Billionaires

Below is a post from Dumb Little Man that I thought was well worth sharing.

They say that a million dollars in $100 bills is 43 inches high, but a billion dollars in $100 bills is almost three times the height of the Empire State building. A million dollars in $100 bills would weigh 22 pounds, but a billion dollars would weigh 11 tons.

Suffice it to say that the accumulation and maintenance of a billion dollars requires much wisdom. Today I want to look at seven amazing lessons from seven of the world’s most famous billionaires. These billionaires range from Bill Gates to Mark Cuban and each of these individuals have accomplished amazing things.

There are many things that we can learn from them so enough with the monologue; here we go!

7 Amazing Lessons from 7 Distinguished Billionaires

1.Look for Opportunities

“It's through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we've always mapped our path at Dell. There's always an opportunity to make a difference.” – Michael Dell, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Dell Inc.

If you never look for an opportunity, you will never find one. The Wright Brothers were looking to see if it was possible for man to fly, they didn’t stumble upon it, they were looking for it. What are you looking for? The Scripture says seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be open to you.

2.Believe in Yourself

“I always knew I was destined for greatness.” – Oprah, Media Mogul

As the famous poem goes, “If you think you’re outclassed, you are, you have to think high to rise, you must be sure of yourself, before you can ever win a prize.” You must believe in “you” before anybody else will. Oprah believed that she would be a success, and she is. What do you believe about yourself, whatever it is, that’s what you will become.

3.Create an Atmosphere of Success

“It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction.” – Warren Buffet, Investor

You can’t soar with the eagles, if you spend your time hanging with the chickens. Find people who are going where you want to go, and “conspire to aspire before you expire.” Atmosphere is critical, diligently guard who enters your inner-circle. Your friends are a prophecy of your future.

4.Empower Others

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates, Co-founder and Former CEO of Microsoft, currently the 2nd richest man in the world behind Carlos Slim.

Who are you empowering, who are you helping, who needs you. You can’t go forward without helping others go forward. Instead of being concerned about how you’re going to get ahead, find a way to help others get ahead, and you will get ahead in the process. Empower others and you will empower yourself.


“In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.” – Donald Trump, Real Estate Investor/Developer, TV Personality

Don’t be a “jack of all trades” and master of none. Don’t bite-off more than you can chew. Decide what you want to accomplish in your life, and spend your time accomplishing it. Work hard, take breaks, and in the end, if your focus is single, you will have accomplished it.

6.Learn From Your Mistakes

“I'm the type that thinks if you don't learn from history, you're doomed to repeat it.” – Mark Cuban, Internet Entrepreneur and NBA Team Owner

It sounds simple, but many people live a life of repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

The “cow in the ditch” example below gives us a pattern for how we should deal with our mistakes.

Here are the three steps you should follow whenever a "cow ends up in your ditch:"

Step 1: Get Cow Out of Ditch
Step 2: Find Out How Cow Got in Ditch
Step 3: Make Sure Cow Does Not Get in Ditch Again

Using these three simple steps, you can solve many of life’s problems (from debt to relationship issues).

7.Only Go Forward

“We will go forward, ... We will never go back.” – Michael Bloomberg, current New York City Mayor and Founder of Bloomberg LP

You can’t make much progress forward if you keep on taking steps backwards.

Make a decision to go forward, never settle, never stagnate, life is about growth, it’s about development. You are supposed to grow, you’re supposed to become all that you are capable of becoming, so go forward and never look back!

Thank you for reading and be sure to pass this article along!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Time Management by David Allen


Time management is not the issue

Most everyone these days admits they could use better "time management." But the reason it has not really been addressed to any universal satisfaction is because time management isn't about managing time. If it was, just buying and using a calendar (and a good watch) would handle it.

The savvy among you will usually acknowledge that it's really self management—what we do with ourselves during the time we have.

Many people these days talk about "information management," because there's so much of it, and many consider themselves roadkill along the information superhighway. Too much information is not the problem though—if it were, we would walk into a library or do a web search and die.

So, what is time management, really? It's dealing effectively with the things we have and want to do. It's the latest industry publications sitting in a stack on our desk, about which we told ourselves we could/should/ought to do something. And the hundreds of hours of undone "stuff" sitting in most people's brains (in psychic RAM) and on their desk and on the floor of the back seat of their car.

That's why my flagship seminar is called Managing Workflow, Projects & Priorities—because that's what time management really is. It's about capturing things we collect and create, deciding what (if anything) we want to do about them, organizing the results of that knowledge work into a trusted system we can review appropriately, and making intuitive strategic and tactical choices about what to do at any point in time from our options.

It's hard to manage your workflow, projects, and priorities though, when you don't really know what they all are, or if they are still unclear. "Projects" are results that require more than one action step to get done, and they need to be defined and reviewed as stakes in the ground to keep us moving toward their goal line. And the "moving" needs to be defined ("What's the next action?"), so we can execute elegantly and intuitively when the ball is snapped, instead of continually thinking that we should be thinking about what to do.

When I ask people, "What's the next action?" on big projects they're procrastinating about, the answer is often, "Find time to...." Well, you won't ever have time to change your corporate culture, write the book, or lose weight. Until you define the very next action, you don't know how much time you really need. "Pick a date and email my assistant to set the senior team meeting about changing our culture" only takes two minutes—less time than it took to read this essay.


"There's no such thing as not enough time if you're doing what you want to do."

—Robert Half

Friday, June 24, 2011

Great Goal Setting Blog Entry - Jack Daly

Below is a great blog entry from Jack Daly.

Daly News, January 2011

January 2011
Volume 42
It’s January and the traditional time for people to adopt new year resolutions or take it to another stage and go with goals. Regardless of what they are called, the results are typically abysmal. Often times, whether personal or business related, by the end of the first quarter they are long forgotten and bear no relationship to reality. As such, I’ve often wondered why then do people even do them. I think the answer is we would “like” them to happen but are stuck on the “how”.
I’ve been hooked on the goal setting process since I was 13 years old and have found the process one that delivers great success. Over the years I’ve converted many to the system and process I use to achieve my goals, albeit I recommend to most to not go as deep as I often do. Going deeper in the process can better come over time, and needs to be tailored to one’s personality.
For many who have been to my “delivered live” presentations, you have seen and heard this goal setting process. To you I say, “So, what did you do with that process in 2010? If anything!” Congrats to those who have taken action, and I hope you found the process to be of value. My 2010 was one of great fun and accomplishment, and my 2011 looks to be even more so! For a look at my Year-end report to the Board of Directors of my life as well as my 2011 Personal Goals, click here My business goals and plans are handled on a separate document but the process is a similar one and I feel people universally can relate to the personal side better, so they can then deploy it for both their business and personal sides of life.
Here is the condensed version of the “process” to “turning goals into reality”.
1. GOALS IN WRITING- If your goals are not in writing, they are dreams. Dreams don’t often come true, but goals in writing do.
2. WRITTEN PLAN- Number 1 is what you want to accomplish; number 2 is the “how”. Detail out more of the how, and lace it with specific activities that will be necessary to get number 1 completed. Then, just work the activities! The more “non-refundable” commitments that can be made in advance, the higher the likelihood that the goals will be achieved. Example- if you lived in Washington, DC and your goal was a family vacation in San Diego for a week, just writing this down (#1) would be much less effective than: picking the week, getting vacation approval, locating the airline/flights and paying for the tickets, locating the lodging and prepaying for the week, reserving a rental car, identifying activities such as Sea World and again buying the tickets, etc. Imagine doing all of the above; sounds like that vacation is actually going to happen! Well, we can do something similarly in generating more sales. For each of our businesses, the specific activities can be well defined beforehand and then put into place so that the results materialize.
3. SYSTEM OF MEASUREMENT- Once the activities are identified as to “how”, we then need to track if we are actually doing those activities. I find a daily log of such actual keeps my momentum going and should I slip, gets me right back at it the next day. Regardless of what the “fires of the day” are, the successful sales professional works hard to be sure the key activities are completed as this is the lifeblood of consistent sales production.
4. SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY- For most of us, having someone watching over us is a great motivator to getting things done. Many people heading back to the fitness centers this month (seems a frequent resolution) will stay with their program longer if they engage a Trainer. Well, it is true a trainer will help with technique and designing a program initially, the continuance of a Trainer at the health center typically has more to do with ensuring one gets up and goes to the gym, since the Trainer is being paid by them and is waiting for their appointment. Again, it’s about accountability. I have 5 people on my Board of Directors for my life, who I sit down and review my goals and activities with about 4 times each per year. Rarely does a month go by without one of them holding me accountable. Beyond that, I’ve gone to publishing my goals for the year on my website, so thousands can now “call me out”. As such, I find I am more determined to “making things happen”.
One of my Facebook friends shared this quote recently: “Opportunity doesn’t knock. You knock, opportunity answers.” Perfect- start knocking with this goal setting process!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Inc Leadership Conference

Last week my wife and I were able to attend the Inc Magazine Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. There were two and a half days of speeches, lectures, breakout groups, meals, mixers and an awards dinner. Our company, Hopkins Printing, was recognized as one of the 50 Best Small Workplaces in the United States. This was a tremendous honor for us to receive a national award.

During this conference there was a change in my mindset. It was amazing to spend time with so many successful people from so many successful companies. It seems that when you spend day after day in a private manufacturing firm that it's easy to think the world ends with the four walls of the plant but then when you get out and meet people and hear what they deal with you find out we are all in the same boat.

I heard people talk about how to grow sales, how to drive down health care costs, how to get people aligned with the vision of the company, how to resolve conflict and how to energize people to serve the customer. It didn't really matter what the business was - almost everyone deals with the same issues. By spending a few days with others who were dealing with the same issues we are - I have become more energized to tackle some issues we have. It is clear that if others can do this then we can as well.

If you ever have a chance to spend a few days with other people in the business world, don't let the opportunity pass you by. The experience may mark a change in your life.