Briefing Room

Briefing Room
Know If Something Is Really An Asset

Know If Something Is Really An Asset

Featured, Improvement
Strictly speaking an asset is something that has value. That can be an item, a skill, or a talent. A liability is usually used to indicate a debt, but it can be anything that costs more than it is worth. While this sounds simple, people often label a liability as an asset. This holds people back. An example is your home. Any accountant will tell you that your house is an asset. However, the costs of maintaining the home (plumbing, repairs, painting, etc.) and the cost of operating a home (utilities, lawn care, property taxes) are generally more than the appreciation of house. When the house is sold, those costs are not taken into consideration, meaning most people lose money on their home. Chasing after liabilities because you think its…
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One Of The Most Common Pieces Of Coaching Advice Is Wrong

One Of The Most Common Pieces Of Coaching Advice Is Wrong

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Coaches say it all the time. It appears in motivational memes on social media. On the face of it the advice makes sense but following it will not lead you to success. In fact, it will hinder you. The motivational statements say things like "Rich people read books, poor people watch television." Another popular one admonishes you to only watch educational television. The upshot of the advice is that any time spent not improving yourself is a waste of time. The problem with this is that following it leads to burnout. You cannot go full tilt for all your waking hours and not burn out. The pressure of not having down time causes many people to quit and ultimately fail. You need to take in a ballgame, watch a movie,…
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When Building a Business, Be Selective About The Work You Take On

When Building a Business, Be Selective About The Work You Take On

Featured, Focus
When you’re building a business, it’s obvious that you want to find lucrative projects. What’s less obvious is that, at a certain point, saying yes to all opportunities — even profitable ones — may actually thwart your future success. Why? If you take on too much, you’ll become spread too thin and risk prioritizing money over other important factors, such as learning. In the early days of your business, a project that tests and expands the limits of your skills is exactly what you should be looking for. But after a while, things that used to be novel no longer seem so interesting — and that’s when it’s tempting to say yes to something just for the money. Make sure to ask yourself: “Do I really want to do this…
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It Doesn’t Matter What Used To Be

It Doesn’t Matter What Used To Be

Featured, Improvement
One of the problems that many businesses face is trying to adapt to changing conditions. Technology and industry disruption throw businesses into chaos. How you deal with it can decide whether or not your business survives. The biggest mistake that businesspeople when trying to handle this situation is trying to turn back the clock and make things the way they used to be. Business (and life in general) always move forward. When circumstances occur that change your situation, it is a natural inclination to try to put things back as they were. The problem with this is that things keep moving forward. By trying to move backward, the best you can manage is to stand still, in the situation you are trying to get out of. When a business starts…
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If You’re One In A Million There Are 1,000 Like You In China

If You’re One In A Million There Are 1,000 Like You In China

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
We all want to think there is no one else like us. In business there is always someone else that does what were do. What we need to do is figure out how to stand out from the crowd. What sets you apart from everyone else? The key standing out is being your authentic self. The one thing that sets you apart from your competition is you. There may be many people who do what you do, but the combination of what you do, what you believe, and how you act are a combination of traits that are unique to you. Don't just showcase your business. Showcase yourself. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Be that person and stand out.
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How You Use Resources Is More Important Than How Much You Use

How You Use Resources Is More Important Than How Much You Use

Featured, Improvement
It is common in organizations to think that when a problem pops up, you can solve it by throwing money at it. While insufficient resources can be a problem, it is just as likely that the problem is how you are spending them. The CT education system is a perfect example. While they spend more money per student than most states, their results are no better. Why, because the money is not spent effectively. Pouring more money on a problem is useless if you haven't determined what the cause of the problem is. Determine the cause of the problem. Then you can target your resources to fix the problem. Spending money without targeting won't solve your problem and will waste your resources.
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Keep Things Fresh By Creating A “New” Day

Keep Things Fresh By Creating A “New” Day

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
We all have things that we have to do on a regular basis. We do them over and over and risk falling into a rut. It's just as easy to fall into a comfort zone and stay there. Whether you're in a rut or staying in your comfort zone, you need to shake things up to get things done. One way to do this is create a "new" day. Pick one day a week. On that day try a new food or go somewhere you've never been. Use this day to take a class and learn something new. The idea is to expose yourself to something new each week on that day. By doing this you keep yourself from falling into a rut. It also helps keep your brain active…
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Has The “Extra Mile” Gotten Shorter?

Has The “Extra Mile” Gotten Shorter?

Attitude and Mindset
When The Modern Observer Group launched a new newsletter a mistake was made. The e-mail system sent the newsletter template out while it was being set up. So a portion of our list received a half done newsletter two weeks before it was supposed to launch. We quickly e-mailed those who received it an apology and explained what had happened. During this I received an e-mail from a woman who was unsure how she got on the mailing list and asked me to contact her, providing her phone number. I called her and had a brief discussion and we figured out what event she had attended that put her on the list. She proceeded to tell me how happy she was that I had called her and how much she…
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Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Communication, Featured
If you have been to a networking event, you have probably seen Joe Businesscard. Joe runs around the event giving out his card and collecting as many as possible. He's playing a numbers game. Getting in front of as many people as possible, without actually getting to know anyone or interacting with them. At a networking event I was at a financial advisor came with a friend of his. Instead of talking to people at the cocktail hour that preceded the event, he spoke with his friend. When the event started, he decided to leave, telling people there weren't enough people for him. Had he stayed, he would have learned that two of the attendees were venture capitalists and two others were on corporate boards of directors. These were exactly…
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One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

Communication, Featured
You're making a pitch. You have prepared and practiced. You know your information backwards and forwards. As you speak, you do one thing and suddenly you have no credibility. What did you just say? "Uh." That was it. You could have substituted "um" but the result is the same. Say it once and you can probably recover. Repeat it and your toast. You might not even be aware you're saying it, which makes it harder to stop. The problem is that while it may not be noticeable to you as a speaker, it stands out to your audience, especially if you say it often. How often do people say it. One politician gave a three minute speech and said it over 100 times. His approval rating was terrible. He had…
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