Video: How to pitch anything in less than 30 seconds

Do you ever struggle trying to express the most important concepts in a short window of time? I do. Here’s a business tool that I find really helpful.

The $1000 bottle of water

Recently I was speaking to a group of secondary school students about planning their future. They were a typical bunch of 15 year olds; likely plans for the weekend vastly outweighed any career aspirations.  As we spoke about priorities and how they really felt about things, they shared with me that although they understood that career planning seemed like a good idea in theory, it seemed a bit premature to be thinking about in grade 10. After all, they had most of high school, then whatever post-secondary programs to wrangle with before it was time to even begin to worry about finding a job.

I asked them to give me some idea of what was really important to them. I clarified that I wanted real answers and not contrived ones from them. [Read more...]

Borrowing Concepts to reinforce Powerful Ideas!

What I learned from Robin Sharma…and what he learned from Richard Branson…

I just read this post by Robin Sharma, who recently interviewed Richard Branson. Richard Branson seems to make success look easy. I really appreciate his style. To me he always appears to be positive, and happy. I imagine that having billions of dollars at one’s disposal is a good start toward happiness, however I don’t get the same impression from other uber-successful public figues.

One of the principles that resonated for me the most was in the first point – Politeness Matters. I completely agree with Sir Richard’s Mother when she told him “what you’re seeing in others is really what you’re seeing in yourself. So look in the mirror.” I think it’s good to remember that.


What’s so great about thinking positively anyway?

Oh Yeah!

Research shows that a ‘happy person’ functions at a much higher level than when the same person is unhappy, (the research is conclusive – here’s just one study):

According to research by Shawn Anchor, author of “The Happiness Advantage”:

  • Happiness causes success and is not simply the result of it.
  • If we hinge our happiness upon achievement, our definition of success changes and happiness remains elusive.
  • Every single business outcome improves when the brain is set to ‘positive’ instead of ‘negative’, ‘neutral’ or ‘stressed’.
  • Workers who feel appreciated by their employers improve their productivity by 30%
  • 75% of success comes from “Optimism Levels” and the ability to see stress as a challenge and not as a threat.

The stories we tell ourselves

How do we become a more positive version of ourselves? One way is to improve our self-talk. We tend to believe what we repeatedly tell ourselves. People who view themselves as rational usually act rationally. People, who see themselves as stressed and overwhelmed, usually seem to be just that. It’s important to remember that we are the author of our own story. We may not be in complete control of our circumstances, yet we have a tremendous influence on how we react to them. One way to affect our mindset is to actively ask better questions. Consider the following questions:

“Why do these problems always happen to me?” verses “What can I learn from this so that I can avoid this in the future?” These questions generate much different answers and subsequently a much different self-talk. Solution based questions are a great way to focus the mind to where we want it to be.

So to sum it all up, better questions are a good way to find solutions which lead to a better state of mind. Happy people are more productive and effective and as a result more successful, not the other way around. What better questions can you come up with? Hmmm. Good Question.


You see what you’re looking for.

Recently I was running through the house in an insane frenzy, looking for my wallet. I searched all of the usual places. On the coffee table, in the kitchen, family room, dining room and even the bathroom!  The hunt was furious and intense. Eventually I found it in on my bedroom dresser. Exhaling a sigh of relief, I felt my pants pockets and realized that I was missing my car keys as well. “Oh I just saw those.” I thought. “Where did I see them?” I asked myself.  Strangely, I could actually picture the image of my keys sitting somewhere in my house yet I couldn’t recall where they were. The fact is that their location didn’t register with me because I saw them while I was looking for something else.  In other words, I’d told my brain that I was looking for my wallet so it didn’t alert me when I saw the keys. Although I could remember seeing the keys, their image was just more data to be filtered. [Read more...]

Powerful Engaged Teams are crucial to Performance Management Systems

Performance Management System

If they plan the battle...they won't battle the plan!

We want to improve employee performance, but how? We know that we could be doing a better job…we think. Perhaps it’s time to consider  implementing a performance management system.

Success through Performance Management

One of the challenges that organizations are faced with today is implementing a Performance Management System. This is simply standardizing the best practices, ensuring that team members follow through and are supported where needed. The goal is to set the team up for success.

The problem that most teams face to achieve a performance management process is that often team leaders lack the tools to set standards and measures for the work that needs to be done, and for performance management – there is an easy outline to follow: [Read more...]

Positive Culture = Performance Improvement

Performance Improvement from better communication.

Although tough economic times present a host of real challenges, slow markets can also provide the catalyst needed for much needed changes. People and organizations both are all too often governed by inertia, that is to say, things are done a certain way because ‘that’s how we do it’. People are creatures of habit and many of us would choose the familiar over the new. Sometimes even when we know that the new way may be best. We need to give ourselves ‘mental permission’ to reject our habits and traditions if there is evidence to suggest that we should.

A recession can provide the proverbial ‘unbalanced force’  featured in Newton’s First Law of Motion .  (An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force). Tough times may just require a new perspective.

Consider this. Based upon casual daytime only observations, we have all the evidence that we need to ‘know’ that the Sun orbits the Earth. Galileo Galiei also considered the perspective of the stars to more accurately understand the nature of our galaxy. [Read more...]

Local online marketing = New Rules

Same Game, New Rules: Local Online Marketing

Dominate competition using local online marketing strategies

When was the last time you opened the Yellow Pages to connect with a local business? I have to admit that my copy goes straight to the Blue Box as soon as it arrives.

The concept of marketing hasn’t changed. Sellers still need to get their message in front of buyers, but the fact is that consumer behavior is different today than it was just a few years ago. Hours that used to be spent in front of the television have shifted to YouTube, Facebook and computer games. People still watch television; however, technology such as the PVR ensures that most viewers only see commercials as they speed past them.

This change in consumer behavior has thrown an enormous monkey wrench into the fourth ‘P’ of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place & Promotion). In the good old days, promotion was pretty easy.  Local online marketing levels the playing field for firms. In the old days, a nice ad in the telephone directory or a catchy radio spot at drive time meant that the phone continued to ring and customers found you. For some additional exposure, you could try a direct mail campaign or a place a coupon in the local business directory. All at a fairly hefty cost. [Read more...]

The Blog begins!

Just setting up the blog today…once this tech stuff is out of the way – look for some great content here!

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