Making Creativity Predictable

Making Creativity Predictable

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Innovation
We may never know exactly where creativity comes from, but you can create the conditions that invite it. Consider the problem you're trying to solve — and then walk away from it. Letting the problem marinate gives your brain a chance to draw connections and sort through possible paths forward. Keep a journal of ideas that inspire you, whether they’re from books, conference sessions, or random conversations. The goal is to have something to refer to when you need a mental jolt. You can also get inspiration by doing things that don’t interest you. Does a magazine have an article on a topic that bores you? Read it anyway. You never know where your next big idea will come from. This works because it activates parts of the brain that…
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Why Isn’t Your Free Trial Really Free?

Why Isn’t Your Free Trial Really Free?

Communication, Featured
You've developed a killer product. You want people to try it so you offer a 30-day free trial. Of course you don't want people to just use the free trial so you ask them for a credit card so you can bill them at the end of the trial. That's where you made your big mistake. What's the message you just sent your customer? When you ask for a payment method for a "free" trial, the customer is immediately suspicious. The message that you just sent is that your product isn't that good and you're relying on people to forget to cancel the trial so you can charge them for a product they don't really want. Is that the first impression you want to make? If you want to offer…
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Get Comfortable With Uncertainty

Get Comfortable With Uncertainty

Featured, Planning, Process
You hear it as an excuse all the time. People can be talking about the stock market, an election, their business or their family, they are worried about uncertainty. What most people won't acknowledge is that everything is uncertain. Unless you have a crystal ball that sees the future, you can never be certain. You may think you know what is going to happen, but you can't force or control all of the variables that happen. A driver could crash on the highway. The resulting traffic jam could delay an important shipment. A sudden failure at your internet provider could keep you from accessing the cloud software you need to complete your project. Successful people don't worry about uncertainty, they plan for it. Things go wrong all the time. What…
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Be Honest About Your Work

Be Honest About Your Work

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
It's been said over and over. People do business with people they know, like and trust. How are people supposed to trust you if you are not honest about what you do? Over the past several weeks I have met a number of people introducing themselves as coaches, consultants, and specialists who will teach me how to multiple my earnings. Each of them fell into one of three categories: network marketers, forex investors, and cryptocurrency investors. None of these people had any skills that would qualify as a coach or consultant. Additionally, not only did they not want to say what they did, they did not want to name the company they worked for. Even if you are self-employed, you work for a company. It may be Your name, Inc.…
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‘Do What You Love’ Has Been Widely Misinterpreted

‘Do What You Love’ Has Been Widely Misinterpreted

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
It has become a mantra among life coaches and their proteges. "Do what you love." In response, an inordinate number of people are refusing to take jobs that don't meet every requirement they out forth. The result is not what they thought it would be. The decision makes them unfulfilled and unemployed. In the show 'Mad Men' Marie Calvet tells her daughter Megan, who is despondent about not being hired as an actress, "Not every little girl gets to do what they want. The world cannot support that many ballerinas." The truth is that both of these are true. How can that be? It's about looking at the big picture. Doing what you love means setting goals. Preferably you should set big, audacious goals. Everything you do should be geared…
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Investing Is Not Spending

Investing Is Not Spending

Evaluate, Featured
We're all concerned with the bottom line. If you don't have money coming in faster than it goes out, your business can close down. This limited mindset makes us scrutinize every purchase. When deciding whether or not to commit funds to something, you need to ask yourself a question: are you spending money or investing it? Spending money means you are giving money in exchange for goods or services of relatively equal value. Furthermore, when you spend money, the item you are spending on loses value over time. This doesn't mean that spending is always a bad decision. It is a decision that should be carefully thought out. An investment provides more value over time. This isn't limited to investment vehicles (stocks, bonds, etc.). It includes education, self-improvement, professional certifications…
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Lessons From A Stray Cat

Lessons From A Stray Cat

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
In the area around my home is a stray cat and her two kittens. For a week we worked with animal control to catch them, get them medical attention, and find them homes. The cats did everything they could to escape us. I started to think about what the cat was trying to run from: a good home, warmth, food, etc. Of course the cat didn't know that. All the cat knew was it was trying to avoid the unknown. Then I started to think about how many people do the same thing. What kind of amazing opportunities have you missed out on because you were avoiding the unknown. Just because something is unknown doesn't make it bad. Sometimes you need to take the leap into the unknown to get…
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4 Rules to Help Your Team Disagree Productively

4 Rules to Help Your Team Disagree Productively

Communication, Featured
Conflict can be uncomfortable, but we can’t find the best ideas or reach the best solutions if we agree with each other all the time. As a manager, it’s your job to help team members learn how to disagree productively. Here are some rules for keeping debates professional and on topic: Remember you’re all on the same team. The goal of the conversation isn’t for one person to be proven right or to “win” the argument. The goal is to solve the problem at hand — together.Stick to facts. Make sure people are defending their ideas with clear, sound logic, not with rhetorical tactics or by being the loudest.Don’t make it personal. No name-calling, personal attacks, or questions like “How could you believe that?” Assume that everyone’s intentions are good.Be intellectually humble. Respect everyone’s…
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The Goal Of Business Is To Go Out Of Business

The Goal Of Business Is To Go Out Of Business

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
If the headline of this article seems strange to you, you're not alone. Most business people spend their time trying to make sure they don't go out of business. The difference is the reason for going out of business. You don't want to go out of business because of lack of capital or lack of customers. So how do you want to go out of business? A product or service is designed to solve a problem. Whether that problem is how to get from one place to another (car), how to get the word out about a business (advertising and marketing) or how to keep kids from being bored (video games) you need to solve that problem. Why do you want to try to go out of business? You want…
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You Manage Your Work, Do The Same WIth Your Life

You Manage Your Work, Do The Same WIth Your Life

Featured, Process
The word economics sends many people into a panic. Complex equations pop into their heads and they shudder. The word economics literally means household rules. While you may not want to learn the ins and outs of Econ 101, you should apply the same rules you use for business to your personal life. Here are some simple ways to start: Time Management: Use calendars and to do lists to manage household chores and appointments. Keep everything in a central location, rather than sticking post-it notes in random locations. For families, use a single system that everyone has access and delegate tasks to specific family members. Accounting and budgeting: Think of your life as Life, Inc. Keep track of expenses and categorize them. Budget how much you have for each category.…
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