At first, I thought this would be a very “dry” sort of posting, but as I was putting my notes together, I got carried away by the most fascinating applications of the principles about to follow.
- Be PRO-ACTIVE.
This actually stands for thinking ahead of the Competition and getting into your target-group’s mind. But I’d like to use simpler words to describe the process. Knowing what your Market WANTS today and having a plan about offering it is only the first step. Think at least THREE STEPS ahead and figure out what your NEXT OFFER is going to look like. Craft it with your Clients in mind. Maybe complimentary to the first one, or an expansion of it, on a parallel basis or even outbranching . Maybe they want potatoes with their Mac, or an organic salad with a great taste, or maybe they want a super fast and affordable traditional dish, or you should catch your Competition in their sleep and offer a Gourmet Mac when others offer just another Mac’s version…. And in case there is a U-Turn in your Market, what’s your safety-net senario?
- Start having the END in your mind. You can’t get anywhere unless you KNOW where you’re going. How many times have you focused on the journey’s intermediate places while driving from one city to another? I doubt you ever did. When you want to actually GET somewhere, focusing on the destination is the ONLY option of completing the journey. I recall my 13 hours flight from Amsterdam to Seattle while even Amsterdam was a Transition Station for my Athens/Greece Flight. Through those long hours of flying, I remember watching the mountains, the lakes, the ocean, the landscapes, and also the other passengers or the attendants serving us. But all these were only minor insignificant occurences on my way to the DESTINATION which was Seattle. When I decided to fly to Seattle, I didn’t spend a fraction of a second thinking about Amsterdam or the Atlantic Ocean, or USA rivers and lakes and landscapes. The same way you should be thinking about your ULTIMATE Business Goal. Is it More CLIENTS? More SALES? More ESTABLISHMENTS at a shorter time-period? More PROGRESS ? Keep that DESTINATION POINT always on your mind, especially when you Start.
- First Things First. This principle is mainly about beating the monsters called “PROCRASTINATION” and “ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER”. It sounds unbelievable but the majority of people live their whole lives in an ocean of minutiae. I call it the “ocean of noise-dust”. If friction and degradation could take the form of a “tangible” property it would ne NOISE. Everything that doesn’t allow you to FOCUS and keep yourself on your productive track, is NOISE. The phone that rings, the email notification, the TV playing next to your desk, the people stepping in your room, the sounds coming from the street, a new SMS on your mobile, your dog asking for attention, your stomach asking for food. NOISE can take endless forms and saturate your life completely. You know how great it would be to have THIS TASK FINISHED but….you’re not in the mood. Besides, you can do it tomorrow. Well, kill this monster, by making your TO-DO LIST of the DAY, putting ONLY 5 THINGS at a time, with an importance sequence and placing the MOST IMPORTANT at the top. Nail yourself down, and don’t move UNLESS you have completed your 5 TASKS for the day. Then, you’re free to do whatever else you want.
- Always think WIN-WIN. A big trait of extremely successful Business People is their unSelfish attitude. Paul Getty had said “I’d rather have 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.” I believe this quote sums up the concept of this principle. Always think about HOW you can give VALUE to other people : Clients, Associates, Colleagues, Partners… Once you work on the mechanics of making ALL PARTIES WIN, your WIN is guaranteed.
- First UNDERSTAND then ask to be UNDERSTOOD. Another major element of unSelfishness that needs to be stressed A LOT is UNDERSTANDING. All Human Beings crave for one thing since the moment they’re born and throughout their whole life: ATTENTION. By Giving your ATTENTION to people, you earn a place in their heart because they cherish your ATTENTION as a precious gift. But what makes ATTENTION precious is its nature. PASSIVE ATTENTION has no value at all. You’re actually pretending you pay attention, but you’re NOT . ACTIVE ATTENTION is made from pure and genuine UNDERSTANDING, an igredient that presupposes you “dive” into other’s person’s heart and mind and share their feelings concerns or worries. Once you UNDERSTAND, then by default people want to reciprocate and in return you get THEIR ATTENTION and UNDERSTANDING. Simple as that. If you manage to UNDERSTAND your Market and your Clients, you’ll establish yourself as your Market’s indisputable Authority and that will lead to building a List of Loyal Friends, Fans, Buyers…
- Go for Synergies. In Business Alliances 1+1 ALWAYS equals MORE than 2. That’s the power of Synergies, because when Business Partners join forces, the result is LEVERAGE. Each one’s strengths are multiplied. They agree to use common Resources and they tap on the potential of Combined Dynamics. In every new Business Venture, seek for Synergies. There certainly are other Businesses who target the same Clients as you but from a different perspective. You are NOT Market Competitors, you are TRAFFIC Competitors. Which is great, because you can become JV Partners and multiply your results.
- Sharpen your SAW. Nobody can be perfect on everything, and being perfect in Business, is not as Golden as it sounds. In fact, TOP Businesses on every Market have mastered PERFECTION in BEING MEDIOCRE. I mean, not every business can excell on everything. It’s essential though to know your Strengths and Weaknesses and keep your main HUBS above AVERAGE. But you must go for your STRENGTHS if you care for Success, not waste resources on improving your weaknesses. Spot your SAW and keep sharpening it WITHOUT END.
- Amsterdam – Amsterdam, Netherlands (travelpod.com)
- Online Video Summit 2010 – A Day In Amsterdam With Video (reelseo.com)
- Is two-year-old Rose from Seattle smarter than you? (seattlepi.com)
- The Five Basic Principles Of Online Marketing (marketersdaily.com)
- “Lunch With Heritage: Online Chat on the Protests in Egypt” and related posts (heritage.org)