Briefing Room

Briefing Room
In Times Of Trouble Be A Buffalo

In Times Of Trouble Be A Buffalo

Featured, Improvement
by Eric Lopkin In the book "Take The Stairs" author Rory Vaden talks about the difference between cows and buffalo when a storm hits. Cows instinctively run from a storm. When the storm overtakes them, they continue to run in the same direction, maximizing their exposure to the storm. Buffalo, on the other hand, run directly towards the storm. They run through the storm at full speed, effectively minimizing the time spent in the storm. Unfortunately, most people act like cows when trouble comes. We try to avoid the trouble and prolong the time we are dealing with it. In an effort to minimize the impact of a problem, we end up having damage inflicted over a longer period of time. When a problem arises, face it head on. You…
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The Key To Success Is Action

The Key To Success Is Action

Featured, Improvement, Process
For many years, books like The Secret have popularized the idea of the law of attraction. The idea that putting your thoughts out into the universe to create results is a compelling one. It is also an important way to maintain a positive mindset. However, despite what many books and coaching programs would have you believe, it is not a complete solution. It is the starting point, not the end point. Putting your thoughts into the universe is useless if it is not followed by a strategic plan to achieve your goals and the action necessary to implement that plan. You can think that you want more customers all you want, but if you don't let people know about your business, no customers will come. Your positive mindset and visualizations…
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Rely on Others to Improve Yourself

Rely on Others to Improve Yourself

Featured, Improvement
There’s a common misconception that individual development needs to happen…individually. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite our common cultural notion of “self” improvement, the most successful efforts to self-improve have other people at their core. If you’re looking to gain a new skill or break a bad habit, seek out people who are looking to do the same, and meet regularly. You can also join online learning communities, discussion groups, or courses. By exchanging empathy, success stories, and “Watch out for…” insights, you can build the confidence and commitment to push through setbacks and accelerate the adoption of new behaviors. You can also help each other out of ruts. Most important, you create a sense of ownership over one another’s success that results in momentum for change.
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Stop Underpricing Your Work

Stop Underpricing Your Work

Evaluate, Featured
The dangers of overpricing your work are obvious: You can lose the deal and scare clients away. But charging low prices can signal low quality, making clients hesitant to work with you. To be sure you aren’t underselling yourself, develop a network of trusted peers who can provide honest information about going rates. Once you have a sense of what your price should be, practice saying it out loud. Quoting a fee to a client can be nerve-racking, especially if it’s a rate increase, but rehearsing it will make you more confident. Then test the market demand for your new rate and adjust accordingly. Increase your price steadily and incrementally until you feel you’re earning what you deserve. If you start asking for a rate that clients resist, consider freezing…
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All Things Are Possible

All Things Are Possible

Featured, Improvement
by Eric Lopkin As business people we tend to get locked into doing things the way we always have. There are good reasons for this. Repetition makes us efficient. We tend to have the same types of situations repeat themselves and so we have developed ways to handle them. This does, however, tend to leave us with blinders on. When early focus groups were asked what features they wanted in a smartphone, no one suggested a touch screen. Why? No one had used one before. They didn't think to request one because they were so used to phones as they existed, they never considered another way of doing things. Their habits and thought processes were geared towards the hardware they were using. In the same way, we often miss important…
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The Importance Of R&R

The Importance Of R&R

Featured, Improvement
by Eric Lopkin When you exercise, your body gets stronger. Exercise breaks down your muscles creating tears. When you rest between workouts, those tears heal and become stronger. The rest period is essential to the process. The same thing applies to your mind and work. Constant work breaks you down. You feel its effects as stress and exhaustion. For your mind to recover and become stronger, the rest period is just as essential as it is when working out. However, a large number of Americans do not take vacations and do not take the time off they are entitled to. Worse, many of us stay connected to work even when we are not there, through email, texts and phone calls. The rest period is crucial to you becoming stronger. Th…
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Be Prepared To Adapt How You Get Things Done

Be Prepared To Adapt How You Get Things Done

Featured, Improvement, Process
by Eric Lopkin In the military, there is a concept known as the commander's intent. The commander's intent succinctly describes what constitutes success for the operation. It includes the operation's purpose and the conditions that define the end state. The purpose of this is another military concept that says no plan survives contact with the enemy. It is understood that the details of an operation may have to change once it is underway. The important factor is what needs to be achieved. Your business is the same way. The best laid plans may go astray once they have to contend with real world conditions. When creating a process, you must clearly define what you are trying to achieve. Then be prepared to change the way you get there as conditions warrant.…
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Know Your Why

Know Your Why

Featured, Planning, Process
by Eric Lopkin Business people focus the majority of their energy on what they do and how they do it. The most important part gets lost. That part is why. Why you do what you do is the most important part because it decides the what and how. Why allows you to connect with people on a visceral level. Why you do what you do is not to make money. If the only why you can focus on is to make a profit you might as well close up shop and take a job flipping burgers. You'll make money doing that. Why is your mission, it is your vision, it is why you get up in the morning. It is what inspires you. Simon Sinek's book "Start With Why" explains that…
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Keep Security In Mind

Keep Security In Mind

Featured, Improvement, Process
by Eric Lopkin The internet and cloud software have made it easier for business to operate. However, that convenience comes with a cost. While monetary costs are spread out to make it easier for business to use these services, every one of them comes with a security risk that has to be taken into account. Google recently announced that there was a security flaw in Google+ that allowed access to their systems. That flaw could conceivably have given hackers access to you Gmail accounts, Google Docs, and other software that you are using for business. While Google is far from alone, the fact that their systems (including Android and Chrome) are all geared to collect data makes them a tempting target for hackers to steal your information. The same goes…
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Why We Need Capitalism

Why We Need Capitalism

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
by Eric Lopkin While there are many people spouting the values of socialism today, as business people we are ultimately reliant on capitalism for our well being. No matter what your political opinions, privately owned businesses are creations of capitalism. That doesn't mean that your business shouldn't be active in building your community. In fact, building your community is part of corporate responsibility and goes a long way to helping you connect with your community and consequently potential customers. Capitalism is necessary for the success of our way of life. What those preaching socialism fail to understand is socialism requires decisions be made by a few leaders. This eliminates diversity and all the benefits of diversity. There is also a bigger issue. Despite classic definitions of the economic models, today's…
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