Dec 12

Largo plazo. Por favor.

If you want to know about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ obsession with longevity, all you have to do is read up about his side projects. You could check out his super-secretive aerospace company, Blue Origin. Or you could look in the Sierra Diablo Mountain Range in Texas, where Bezos is carving out a hole in one of the mountainsides to build a 10,000-year clock using $42 million of his own money.

Why focus 10,000 years into the future? The answer lies in Bezos’ letter to Amazon shareholders from 1997 when the company went public, a manifesto of sorts about the benefits and approaches to long term thinking.

The 1997 letter’s main point: we can’t realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term. Every subsequent year Bezos has ended shareholder letters by attaching the original 1997 essay with a reminder of the importance of thinking long term. And every year, he is proven right.

The company that started out as a few guys in a garage has now revolutionized the way we buy everything from books to toys to clothes. Amazon is now one of the 100-largest companies in America, mostly thanks to bold long term plays like the Amazon Kindle.

“If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people,” Bezos told Wired in 2011. “But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that.”

We can’t realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term.

In a nod to Bezos’ obsession with long-term thinking, 99U has combed through a dozen interviews and profiles on the CEO and pulled out a handful of his day-to-day habits that can help you keep an eye on the long term, just like Bezos.

(Disclosure: Bezos is an investor in Behance.)

1. Write out new ideas.

At Amazon, senior executive meetings don’t start out with conference calls or PowerPoint presentations, they start out with reading. Lot’s of it. From a Fortuneprofile:

Bezos says the act of communal reading guarantees the group’s undivided attention. Writing a memo is an even more important skill to master. “Full sentences are harder to write,” he says. “They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.”

As Ben Casnocha points out, when you’re speaking it’s easy for audiences to fill in the gaps in your ideas and for you to gloss over the details. By demanding his team to write everything out, it makes them consider all aspects of an idea to make it more durable for years to come.

2. Incentivize team members for the long term: make them owners.

Compared to the lavish salaries and perks of some other established Silicon Valley tech companies, Amazon likes to run lean. The company doesn’t give its employees free snacks, keeps salaries low, and even once (allegedly) preferred to use doors as desks instead of expensive modern furniture. But that doesn’t mean employees aren’t well compensated.

Amazon prefers to reward employees with stock options rather than cash. Bezos explains his logic in the 1997 letter: “We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.”

3. Follow the “two pizza rule.”

Bezos believes in avoiding complacency at all costs, especially when reinforced by groupthink. From a Wall Street Journal profile:

One former executive recalled that, at an offsite retreat where some managers suggested that employees should start communicating more with each other, Mr. Bezos stood up and declared, “No, communication is terrible!” He wanted a decentralized, even disorganized company where independent ideas would prevail over groupthink.

His antidote? Make his teams as small as possible while throttling communication where appropriate. Bezos said he believed in “two pizza teams”: if a team couldn’t be fed with two pizzas, it was too big.

4. Dedicate time to think about the future.

A 1999 Wired profile of Bezos revealed that he purposefully keeps two unstructured days a week on his calendar so he could allow his mind to wander and generate new ideas.  Sometimes he just surfed the web, other times he set up his own meetings.

5. Routinely “check in” on long-term goals.

The same Wired profile reported that Bezos meets with his assistant every quarter to assess his progress on 12 pre-selected initiatives. Mainly, he wants to assure himself that he is spending adequate time on each one by reviewing the past three months of his calendar. The exercise enables him to “check in” to make sure he stays true to his long-term goals and while not getting distracted by new and fleeting ideas.

6. Work backwards.

As Amazon jumps from books to music to web hosting to content creation, its endeavors may seem random, but are all the result of working backwards from a common goal of customer satisfaction. This is opposed to a “skills-forward” approach where people – and companies – let what they are good at determine next steps.

From Bezos’ 2008 shareholder letter:

Eventually the existing skills will become outmoded. Working backwards … demands that we acquire new competencies and exercise new muscles, never mind how uncomfortable and awkward-feeling those first steps might be.

Bezos even applies this logic to his personal life. When he has to make big decisions he often works backwards and thinks about how he’ll feel about the choice when he is 80. As he was weighing whether to quit his day job to start Amazon, he told Wired that potential regret made him say yes.

“Am I going to regret leaving Wall Street? No. Will I regret missing the beginning of the Internet? Yes.”

Este es un artículo de Behance.

Oct 12

Desde Techcrunch…

If you get the opportunity to hear Clayton Christensen hold court, seize it. Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor and renowned author and innovation expert, perhaps best known for his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” which had a profound influence on many thinkers and business leaders, including Steve Jobs. Speaking at BoxWorks in San Francisco today, Christensen was characteristically soft-spoken, self-deprecating and good-humored, even prompting Ron Miller to describe him as “the Steven Wright of business research” and the anti-Aaron Levie.

His talk ranged across the board, touching on theories of disruptive innovation, effective management, product development and customer interaction. Some of the highlights and most memorable pieces of wisdom centered around the fundamental but often confusing relationship businesses have with their customers. Naturally, when building a growth product, businesses commit tons of time, energy and resources to getting to know their customers better and building something that solves their problem.

But Christensen said that many businesses and startups often make a mistake here, one that may, at first glance, appear counterintuitive. “Understanding the customer is the wrong thing to do — it’s confusing,” he said, before citing Peter Drucker’s assertion that customers rarely buy what companies think they are selling.

Instead, what’s really important is understanding the job that customers are trying to accomplish, and only once an entrepreneur truly understands the need that a product or service fulfills for the buyer can they optimize their business or product. He used IKEA as an example of a company that has been around for 30-odd years and by now probably should have been disrupted. Yet no one has managed to copy them and improve on the model. That’s because, Christensen says, of its true understanding of the job that their customers want to do: “I want to furnish this place today.” Once they understood that, simple as it may be, they optimized their entire store flow, their shopping experience around that.

Most early-stage products overshoot eventual customer needs that emerge over time, he said, so entrepreneurs and developers should instead design for the mainstream rather than the ideal consumer or use cases. Only by touching the customer and interacting with them and studying their problems will design and product development be optimized. “Products that aren’t the best, but are affordable and usable, disrupt markets,” Christensen told the BoxWorks audience.

What’s more, every job that needs to be done (the reason for creating your product in the first place) has a social function that needs to be understood to provide the right experience. By nature, he said, products are easy to copy, but it’s much harder to copy the experience and social dimensions around the job.

One of the biggest problems with the cloud computing era is that the cloud provides such capacity that it can tempt people into developing apps and tools that no one actually needs. Instead, developers need to build for the jobs people are trying to accomplish. The real disruptive power of the cloud, he says, is that it makes it exceedingly easy for SMBs to accomplish their business tasks more affordably and efficiently. This is also the reason that he and many others anticipate modularity taking over the cloud and the industry.

The problem is that the current focus across tech on efficiency is succeeding in destroying jobs for many and creating capital for few: “Disruptive innovations create jobs, whereas efficiency innovations destroy them.” Metrics like IRR and RONA, in the end, funnel profits away from disruptive innovation and distract management from investing in what’s important.

Christensen also said that he fears for the future of Harvard Business School and others like it, as this year the number of people that applied to two-year business schools dropped 22 percent. The reason is that HBS and others are churning out graduates that can command high salaries, which is why they end up getting hired by private equity firms, hedge funds, etc. — those who can afford to pay it.

Operating companies don’t go to HBS to recruit, he said. Instead they’ve developed their own corporate universities to train future managers and executives, immersing them in everyday operations rather than classroom philosophizing. As a result, they are disrupting business schools because academia is focused on teaching theory, not how to get work done.

There are no doubt better ways to encourage disruption and innovation, and the trend seems to be one that’s moving away from Silicon Valley, as startups and accelerators are popping up across the U.S.

What do you think? Is disruptive innovation creating jobs, while efficiency innovations destroy them?

Sep 12

Sobre el arte de vender…


1. Answering Objections the Customer Hasn’t Surfaced

Though it’s a good idea to anticipate objections that the customer might have and prepare reasonable answers to them, it’s a horrible idea to surface those objections yourself–because you’ve just created an issue that probably didn’t exist. Explaining away something preemptively can also make you seem defensive and unsure of the real value of your offering.

Fix: Never start any sentence with “You may be wondering…” or “Perhaps you’re asking yourself…”

2. Leaving the ‘Next Step’ to the Customer

I’ve read dozens of so-called sales letters and sales emails that end with a suggestion that the customer should call or contact the seller “if you’re interested” or “in order to learn more.” The people who send these letters always complain that they don’t get any responses.

No kidding–you’re asking the customer to do your work for you.

Fix: Keep the ball in your court. Try substituting a closer like this: “I will call you next week to discuss whether it makes sense to discuss this matter further.”

3. Selling Features Rather Than Results

Incredibly, some people (usually marketing folks) believe that customers buy a product because it has desirable features. They therefore rattle off a list of those features, hoping that at least one will pique the customer’s interest.

In fact, customers care only about the results of purchasing a product and the ways it will affect their lives and their businesses.

Fix: Figure out why a customer buys your product rather than somebody else’s. Then sell that result, using the features to buttress your ability to deliver that result.

4. Faking Intimacy

Like it or not, the minute you’re positioned in somebody’s mind as “a person who is trying to sell me something,” you’re fighting an uphill battle to win trust. Under those circumstances, the absolute worst thing you can do is to try to “suck up” by acting smarmy.

The most common manifestation: brightly asking, “How are you doing today?” at the beginning of a cold call. It makes people want to puke.

Fix: Remain personable and professional–but no more–until such time as you actually forge a friendship, which typically takes weeks.

5. Writing a Sales Proposal Too Soon

Although proposals can occasionally help develop an opportunity, in most cases, the proposal requesting (and writing) process happens after the prospect has already defined the problem and (probably) defined the solution as well. Because writing a proposal takes time and effort, it’s usually a bad investment unless you’ve got the inside track on the sale.

Fix: Write a sales proposal only after you’ve got a verbal agreement.

6. Talking More Than Listening

I’ve written about this problem repeatedly in this blog, but the error is so common that it bears repeating. When you’re selling, it’s all too easy to get excited and nervous and then try to “drive the sale” forward by talking or giving a sales pitch. Customers find this extraordinarily irritating.

Fix: In your mind, redefine selling as a passive activity that consists mostly of listening, considering, and reacting to what the customer does and says.

7. Wasting Time on Dead-End ‘Opportunities’

What with voice mail, gatekeepers, and a challenging economy (not to mention the craziness of global competition), it sometimes seems like a miracle when you actually get into a sales conversation with a live human being.  When that happens, the possibility of making a sale can become so seductive that you don’t want to spoil the dream by asking questions that might reveal this as a false opportunity.

Fix: Within the first five minutes of your first conversation, ask questions that will reveal whether the customer has a real need–as well as the money to satisfy it.

8. Failing to Follow Through

The sad truth is that, to customers, people who sell are guilty until proven innocent. Building a customer relationship is about gradually building up enough trust to overcome the natural antipathy that most people feel toward sellers.

Because of this, you’re not going to get any slack if you fail to deliver when promised. Drop the ball, even once, and you’re probably out of the game.

Fix: Get religious about your to-do list and scheduling specific events. Make only commitments that you’re 100% certain you can keep.

9. Treating a “Close” as the End of the Process

Maybe it’s the result of unfortunate terminology, but a lot of companies and individuals take “closing the deal” to mean that the sales activity has ended. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The real work happens after you’ve closed the deal–because that’s when you can start building the kind of relationship that will eventually generate follow-on business and referral sales, both of which are far easier and profitable than winning new business.

Fix: Always aim for long-term relationships rather than short-term revenue. That way a “close” is the beginning, not the end, of the process.

10. Asking for a Referral Too Soon

Some sales training programs recommend asking, “Do you know somebody else who might need my product?” even when prospects say they’re not interested. Other programs suggest asking a similar question when you’ve closed your first sale to a customer.

Both approaches are naive, because customers in their right mind do not put their own reputations at risk by recommending somebody whose ability to perform is unknown to them.

Fix: Ask for referrals only after the customer is delighted with the products or services that you’ve sold.


Here are the 10 most common blunders that sellers make during meetings with potential customers. Some may seem obvious–but you’d be surprised how easy it is to stumble into them.

1. Being late to the meeting. If you don’t arrive on time, it tell the customer clearly that you don’t give a hoot about them or their time. Always arrive 15 minutes ahead of time. If you drive to calls, get a GPS device to make sure you won’t get lost en route.

2. Failing to check your appearance. Don’t show up with something amiss–spinach in the teeth, lipstick smeared–that could have been headed off by a quick stop in the client’s bathroom. Make a quick pit stop before the call, and give yourself a once-over.

3. Acting way too friendly.  You’ll just seem phony and “salesy” if you pretend that a prospect is like a long-lost friend. Approach each prospect with respect and courtesy–not with a glad-hand and a back slap.

4. Talking rather than listening. Sales calls are about relationship building and gathering information. You can’t do either of those if your mouth is moving all the time. Get curious about the customer. Ask questions.

5. Arguing with the customer. If the customer doesn’t agree with an important point, arguing is only going to set that opinion in concrete. Instead, ask the customer why he holds that opinion; then listen.  You might learn something.

6. Giving a traditional sales pitch.  Sure you’ve got something to sell–but nobody wants to hear a sales pitch. Have a discussion about the customer’s needs; then, if appropriate, discuss what you’ve got to sell.

7. Falling short on product knowledge. The prospect doesn’t want to hear, “I need to get back to you about that” … over and over. Make sure you’re trained on your current products and policies before the call.

8. Getting distracted by your smartphone. Ouch! What were you thinking? No call, email, or message is going to be more important than the real live person in front of you. When you’re talking with a prospect, turn off your phone. I mean it.

9. Letting the meeting meander. The customer’s time is valuable.  Don’t have wandering conversation that slowly gets to the point. Instead, provide a brief agenda of what you’re there to discuss, and be sure you stick to that agenda.

10. Overstaying your welcome. Your prospect has hundreds of other things that he or she could be doing, rather than spending time with you. Set a time limit for the meeting and stick to it.

(Ambos tomados de INC)

Aug 12

Algunos ajustes en la estructura. Un alto impacto en los individuos.

Aug 12

10 Tricks for a Fabulous Workday

Want to have the best workday ever?  Day after day?  It’s not as difficult as you think.

These 10 tweaks to your everyday behavior will virtually guarantee you a day that’s not just enjoyable but allows you to get more done than you ever thought possible.

1. Start with 15 minutes of positive input.

It’s easier to achieve and maintain a positive attitude if you have a “library” of positive thoughts in your head, so you can draw upon them if the day doesn’t go exactly as you’d prefer. Start each day by reading (or listening to) an inspirational book to ensure that you have just such a resource at hand.

2. Tie your work to your life’s goals.

Always remember that there’s a deeper reason why you go to work and why you chose your current role. Maybe it’s to support your family, to change the world in some way, to help your customers, to make a difference: Whatever the deeper motivation, remind yourself that this workday–today–is the opportunity to accomplish part of that deeper and more important goal.

3. Use your commute wisely.

Most people waste their commute time listening to the news or (worse, especially if they’re driving) making calls, texting, or answering emails. In fact, your commute time is the perfect time to get yourself pumped up for the day, and there’s no better way to do this than to listen to music that truly inspires you and gets you in the right mood. Don’t depend on a DJ: Make your own mixes!

4. Stick a smile on your face.

It’s likely, if you followed the first three steps, that you’ll already be smiling. If not, stick a smile on your face anyway.

It doesn’t matter if it feels fake: Research has shown that even the most forced of smiles genuinely reduces stress and makes you happier. Does this mean you should be grinning like the Joker in the Batman comics? Well, yes, if that’s the best you can do. But something a bit more relaxed might be less alarming to co-workers.

5. Express a positive mood.

When most people are asked social greetings–questions such as “How are you?” or “What’s up?”–they typically say something neutral (“I’m OK”) or negative, like “Hangin’ in there.” That kind of talk programs your brain for failure.

Instead, if anyone inquires, say something positive and enthusiastic, like: “Fantastic!” or “I’m having a wonderful day!” It’s true that there are some people whom this annoys–but these are people you should be avoiding anyway. (See No. 7, below.)

6. Do what’s important first.

Everybody complains about having too much to do, but few people do anything about it. As I explained in “The Surprising Secret of Time Management,” 20% of your activities are going to produce 80% of your results.  So do that 20% first, before you get to the 80% of your activities that is mostly wasted time. You’ll get more done, and you’ll get better results.

7. Avoid negative people.

If you’ve been following Steps 1 through 6, you’ll probably find that the most negative people in your orbit will be avoiding you, while the positive people will want to hang out with you and help you. Though it’s true you can’t avoid all the Debbie Downers, you can certainly find something else to do when they start grousing about stuff they won’t or can’t change.

8. Don’t work long hours.

Long hours are simply a bad idea. For one thing, as I have pointed out before: Long hours, after a short burst of productivity, actually make you less productive. But frankly, if you’ve followed Steps 1 through 7, you’ll be getting so much done that you won’t need to work those long hours.

9. Wind down and relax.

Once you’re done with the workday, fill the remainder of your hours with nonwork-related activities that bring you joy and help you relax. The analogy of “recharge your batteries” is valid. Failing to take time to relax and stop thinking about work guarantees that you’ll begin the next day with a “hangover” of resentment that will leach the joy out of what can, and should be, a positive work experience. overconcentration.

10. End your day with 15 minutes of gratitude.

As I pointed out in “The True Secret of Success,” exercising your “gratitude muscle” is the best way to make certain that you experience more success. Before you go to sleep, get out a tablet (paper or electric), and record everything that happened during the day about which you are (or could be) grateful.

You’ll sleep better and be ready for tomorrow–which will probably be even more fabulous than today.

But What About …

Now, I know some of this can sound like a stretch. It may take a leap of faith to give this approach a try. But before you push back too much, let me answer some of the questions I sometimes hear.

  • What if something really horrible happens during the day? You’ll be much better prepared to deal with challenges than if you were already halfway to miserable–which is how most people go through their workday.
  • What if I simply have to deal with a negative person? Tune out the negativity. Learn to shrug it off. If the negativity becomes too much of a burden, start using the extra energy you’re producing to reorganize your team or (if the person is outside your company) find a different partner.
  • What if I’m too depressed to do any of this? If that’s the case, you may need professional help. None of these tricks require more time and effort than making yourself miserable, however.
  • Do these tricks really work? Yes.

vía @INC

Jul 12

Los cuatro principios de un mundo abierto según Don Trapscott


Aquí más de cada uno.

Jul 12

How to lead a creative life…

Excelente semana team.

Jul 12

Creativos de cuidado

“Se dice que para entrar al mundo publicitario se necesita creatividad. Eso es muy cierto, pero no es lo único ni lo básico. Existe una serie de características que hacen de la persona un verdadero publicista, mercadólogo, diseñador, es decir, una vitamina para las marcas.

Para comenzar, la creatividad no sólo es tener ideas. La creatividad requiere un trabajo constante, requiere argumentos y sobretodo una estrategia. Cuando en los equipos de trabajo hay un miembro que es espontáneo, que dice chistes y es muy ocurrente, no necesariamente las mejores ideas pueden ser de él. En varios casos, esas personas sólo tienen chipazos de ingenio, pero en la publicidad primero se deben trazar los objetivos, buscar una estrategia y con base en esos datos, buscar la innovación.

Un día, el tío del hombre araña dijo que la creatividad es un poder que debe manejarse con responsabilidad. Un mal manejo de creatividad puede resultar fatal para las marcas. Por ello, los líderes deben saber guiar a sus creativos, deben educarlos y enseñarles a que hay ciertas características, además de estrategia, que se deben cumplir, ya sea por políticas del cliente o por cultura.

Además, se debe tener cuidado de los pseudocreativos, que se sienten súper héroes de la innovación y creen que cambiando el logo a color dorado y con chispas de chocolate se verá mejor. Esta creatividad hay que desmotivarla por bien de la marca; o bien, hay que saber guiarla y explotarla de alguna otra forma.”

Tomado de RoastBrief

Jul 12

Uno de Chris Borgan…

Labas Marcelo–

My friend, Shann says that’s “hi” in Lithuanian, and I for one, believe her!

A handful of days ago, I wrote a post about Audience, Access, and Advertising on my blog. I pointed out that the first two, Audience and Access, were two dials on the new machine of building your business, and that advertising was no longer the first and primary effective tool for this for most of us. Let’s dig just a bit deeper on how to go about building value for an audience and work on how providing access to your customers and prospects helps business.

Audience and It’s Secret Better Half 

To gain attention for whatever you seek to accomplish, you might have the goal to build an audience. Precious few people tell me, “I have too many customers.” Nearly no one says, “I don’t have anything I care about enough to talk with others about it.” Even if you’re not selling in the traditional sense, you’re still looking for an audience. A pastor seeks people to hear the sermons. A teacher needs to sell the goals of education to her students. A CEO needs to sell the company’s vision to her team.

When we talk about audience, they might gather for you in many ways. You might be growing an email newsletter (like this one!), or you might have a blog, or maybe you have a radio show, or a TV show. You want to attract people to whatever it is you have to say, so that you can then encourage them, educate them, convince them, sell to them, whatever that goal might be.

How do you get them there? Audience building is one part self-promotion, one part creating useful and/or entertaining content (and we can interpret this one very widely), one part repetition (for getting an audience together once is rarely a win for anyone), and then we come to the parts that aren’t as often a guarantee.

1.) Interaction – if you interact with people, they respond much better. No matter what your method of delivering a message (playing guitar, juggling, writing a blog, interpretive dance), the audience reacts much more powerfully when they feel that you’re talking WITH them, not AT them. How do you do this? I’ve seen performers in Cirque du Soleil do it with nothing more than an eyebrow wiggle. Just SEE them. And in the digital sense, that might mean commenting back to their comments, it might mean writing back when you get an email. But make as much of your “act” two-way as possible.

2.) Inclusion – people love to participate, if they feel like a participant and not a lesser underling. Lose the word “fan.” If you want people to make video remixes for your song, call them “directors and movie producers.” Grant them the respect their participation deserves. If you have people reading and replying to your blog, call them your colleagues or your allies. They are not your fans. And lose “you guys.” Never, EVER, EVER! say “you guys” again. Say we.

3.) Empowerment – the ultimate in audience magic is to give people the power to run off and do their own thing based on how you helped them. The difference between a company that shows me how amazing their barbecue grill is versus a company that teaches me how to make spiral cut hotdogs for my next cookout is vast. Don’t you think?

Now, for one last little secret. IF you want the most powerful kind of audience, work to make them a community. How? That’s too many words for this email, and we’re already going a bit long here. But one hint: you can be the “leader” or the “firestarter” of the community, but if you don’t empower others to run it themselves as well, it won’t get there. People love to feel like they belong. Help with that one note and you’ll see growth.

Access – The Biggest Difference in Modern Success 

In no universe should I be able to reach out to and speak with Sir Richard Branson. I shouldn’t have been one of two interviews granted by Steven Pressfield. I shouldn’t have been able to meet Fritz Henderson and hang out for a half hour with the (at the time) Chairman of General Motors. But in this new world, the people who are succeeding are those who understand and make use of access.

And you MUST think about this in two directions: your goals of access to others, your granting of access to those who want to reach you.

To gain access, you might consider the following list:

1.) No matter your need, access works much better if it benefits the person granting it. Branson wanted exposure for his new book. Pressfield wanted me to help spread the word that he doesn’t do interviews for his nonfiction books. Henderson wanted to understand listening technology for GM. Consider that in how you approach someone.

2.) Access is a game of brevity. Asking a complete stranger to dinner is a 2 hour experience and rarely works, unless said stranger is completely unbooked. Asking someone to coffee or beer is 10-20 minutes and you hear yes more often.

3.) Access granted via a third party (I introduce you to Branson, for instance) is only the toe-in-the-door. You still have to do all the other work.

4.) Access for your own gain rarely works well. Do much more for the other person. Seek help once for every 3-4 times helping others.

5.) Manners, manners, manners. Use your “thank you” powers after access, and not to spam someone with your dumb business needs.

6.) Finally, remember that you are every bit as important as the person you’re meeting. Never treat them like a deity. The richest and most successful people in the world are still people, complete with fears and idiosyncrasies.

And now, for when people want access to you. Note that this sounds a bit grumpy and a bit protective. It is. I’ve put this together through years of learning, and by learning, I mean, by years of painful mistakes.

1.) Be a strong gatekeeper. If you can’t spare the access, politely decline. If you can accomplish something via email, do that instead of phone. If you can do something by phone, do that instead of meeting in person. Your time is gold. You can feel guilty all you want. It doesn’t return your time.

2.) If someone requests something unreasonable, deny the request. Politely. But do so. Flat out ignore absolutely stupid requests.

3.) Remember that sucking up to the big guys gets you nowhere. Growing the next generation gets you an army.

4.) Access doesn’t mean letting your sycophants fawn over you. It means being accessible to help others. Never ask for anything in return for this help, either. Give freely where you can. It comes back.

5.) Your encouragement is copper. Your advice is silver. Your understanding and actually being present is gold.

6.) If you’re granting access, turn off all outside distractions. If a billionaire who owns an island can stay present with me during my interview, you can deal without your phone for 15 minutes.

There’s So Much More 

We went a bit long. I’ll stop for now, but I hope this was useful to consider. If you wanted homework ( Julien is really into giving homework), I’d recommend you do the following:

1.) Write down a list of 3 people you want to connect with in the next 3 months. Start the process of finding a connection to them and practice the above.

2.) Find a way to help 3 people by granting them access. Practice the above tips.

3.) Commit to interacting more with people online, be that on your blog, on their facebook wall, etc. See what happens differently than when you lurk. Want an easy one? HIT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL and talk with me, if you haven’t before.

4.) Find ways to include others in your plans, not because it helps you, but because you can empower THEM.

5.) Write down what the community you’d want to belong to (or ONE of them – we all belong to many) would look like.

What do you think? Are you game?


Jul 12