Friday, July 29, 2011
Image by acnatta via Flickr
If you get the idea of Compounded Interest, this post makes a ton of sense to you.
I was mildly aggravated by one comment I saw on Chris Brogan’s recent post “Selling Information” where he sought to (completely unnecessarily in my mind) defend his position to sell access to a 2 hour webinar on Google Plus for 1,000 people at $47 a pop.
One guy wrote:
were you aware that the webinar seats 1,000 people? yes, Mr Brogans haul off of this stands to be $47,000 for an hour or two of his time (fyi)....lots of personal attention you are gonna get on this puppy!
Actually, I was more than mildly aggravated, I was severely ticked off.
Mostly because it demonstrates what I consider to be the mindset of far too many (“how much time did you spend actually doing the work?”)
In his mind, Chris Brogan (whom I had the privilege of meeting a few years ago and is one of the few ‘social media gurus’ I actually think is an innovative thinker) is going to “work” for 2 hours and get paid $47,000.
But, that’s the mindset of someone who thinks he is working in a factory.
It’s not the mindset of someone who thinks in terms of “how much value is he creating for those attending AND how did he get to a point where he can even create that value?”
And that’s where the value of Compounded Time Fits in…
So, here’s how he gets to the point where he can make $47,000 in 2 hours.
Let’s say you have 2 people of similar talent and intelligence.
Each night, after a full day of work, doing some exercise, and spending some time with their kids, that person has 2 hours to do whatever.
Person 1 spends 1 hours paying bills, managing the house stuff, etc. and then an hour watching Law and Order:SVU re-runs (no offense, it’s a good show).
Person 2 previously invested 4 hours over 4 nights to get to the point where house maintenance tasks only take 20 minutes (bills are automated, etc.) and now has 1 hour and 40 minutes left.
During that time, he may kick back on his couch with his iPad and scan/read 100 blog posts, watch some videos of thought leaders in his industry, comment on a few blogs of those he respects and, if he is trying to formulate some new ideas or new understanding, writes a blog post of his own (mostly for himself, just to grapple with the ideas).
Now, let’s say that Person 1 and Person 2 do this every weeknight for an entire year.
When the year is over, Person 2 has spent 100 minutes x 5 nights x 52 weeks= 433.33 hours on gaining mastery on his craft. That’s an extra 18 days!
Basically a FULL month over Person 1.
Do that for a few years and, pretty soon, a HUGE gulf opens up between the two of them.
Nobody sees that part….
By investing in himself, his blog, his community, he gets to a point where he can offer all this stored compounded time to people in 2 hours and he deserves to get paid for it.
(In fact, if you factor in all of that time, it’s like getting paid garment factory worker wages, right?)
It’s all of the work he did, day in and day out that mattered.
It gets compounded, like interest.
When you do that…no matter what industry you are in, you’ll have “pay days” that will make others say “hey, that’s not fair!”
Of course, they were watching SVU while you were working.
- Is Chris Brogan a Google+ Expert or Just Stealing Your Money? (blogworld.com)
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Usually, I take the kids to the pool in the minivan, but the NFO had it (and I hadn’t told her I was going to take them).
Fortunately, we can arrange all of the booster/car seats so that they can squeeze into the back of my Elantra.
Anyway, on the way back from the pool, we were listening to one of their CDs (well it was an mp3 version, but I digress) of a guy who sings at the nursery school where they all went (Mr. Charley).
The three of them were singing at the top of their lungs and I was watching them.
They were oblivious to my observation and, frankly, I was almost in tears.
Just special to watch this purely childhood moment taking place in the backseat…and more meaningful because they were so close to each other and to me.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
For the last few weeks at the pool, the kids and I have taken a few minutes to watch people go off the diving boards. Sometimes they flip, etc.
Sometimes they just jump.
It never occurred to me what was actually happening.
One day, last week, they turned to me and said, “we want to jump off the diving board.”
I was nervous, of course, but I was right on the edge watching.
And…they did it.
Just like that, they had literally, jumped to another development level in their lives.
It was exciting to be a part of it.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Then Paco and I were both sidelined the other day by a stomach bug, we ended up watching a baseball game together during the middle of the day.
Eventually, we moved to my office to watch while I multi-tasked.
He disappeared for a few moments and returned…with a glove, a bat, and a batting helmet.
All decked out for the game.
Love the passion.
Monday, July 25, 2011
You can't predict or force when those special moments are going to happen, but, like Wayne Gretzky used to say, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take," if you're not there, you won't have the chance to have them.
Obviously, the balance is a never-ending quest, but the other day, as Paco suffered from a stomach bug (I did as well), I had two unlikely moments of special, paternal bonding with him.
The first came at 4am.
Unbeknownst to me, the previous night, the NFO had gotten up to clean up Paco's bout with diarrhea. On this night, the poor guy had thrown up in his bed.
Not only did he not feel well, but he was, understandably, a bit scared.
It was a mess, but he waited patiently as I cleaned up and laid out a new sheet for him. As I did, I discovered that he had some in his hair.
Off to the bath.
He was cold, shivering, so I made it quick and as I hugged him in his towel afterwards, I felt his warmth and I sensed him feeling mine. I couldn't imagine NOT being there for this moment just like I hope to be there for as many of the "bigger" moments that he will have in his life (though I'm down one, having missed his kindergarten graduation).
Still, it was powerful.
The next day, he stayed home from camp and he ran down to my office at 11.30am, after having checked the ESPN app on the iPad (yes, you read that correctly) to tell me that there was a game between Baltimore and Boston that afternoon at 12.35 and could we watch it together?
So, we had father-son "take me out to the ballgame" bonding for the first few innings, sitting on our couch on a Wed. afternoon, him skipping camp and my 'playing hooky' from work (fortunately, I have a pretty good boss), just talking about baseball. Quintessential American moment and, frankly, one of the reasons I like working at home.
Sure, for the rest of the game, we were down in my office multi-tasking, but hey, it's about balance.
Friday, July 22, 2011
When my cousin, Barry, and I get on the phone, there’s an implied understanding.
“If a client calls, you get off the phone with the other, no apologies.”
I don’t know what the word is exactly, but it seems (like in most things), there are two types of people when it comes to time.
- those who value their own time
- those who value their own time AND the time of others
Now, I will say that those who value their own time may value other things more than those in Group 2, so it’s not about “selfish” vs. “un-selfish” overall, but it is in this respect, I suppose.
Case in point:
I got into a HUGE email fight the other day with a friend (well, she used to be a friend) from college who reached out to me and said, “Do you have time for a chat?”
To which my response, was “well, what exactly do you want?”
My thinking was…if I can help you in 2 minutes via email instead of a 15 minute chat, then that is what I am going to choose.
Well, that wasn’t received so well and it escalated (yes, it was over email and yes, I know how that’s not a good idea).
She was offended, I believe, that I was quantifying the value of our friendship by trying to minimize the amount of time I spent investing.
I, on the other hand, was thinking, “how do I maximize output while minimizing input?”
You see the two types of behavior all the time.
There are people who are always on time for meetings and there are people who either misjudged how long it would take (traffic, etc.) or decided that the call/lunch, etc. prior to the meeting was more important than the time of the person waiting for them.
You’ll see this at events and conferences, too. “Let’s wait a few minutes to give everyone a chance to get here.”
You said it would start at 9am. Why are you punishing the punctuals on behalf of the tardys?
I tend to think (and feel free to come after me, if you disagree), that the people who value their own time are just not conscious of TIME as an evaporating asset to the extent that Group 2 is. They might view Time in a different way (I’m sure they do), but as someone in Group 2, it’s not always easy for me to see.
Some characteristics of Group 2 people are:
- they begin phone conversations by asking “is this a good time for you?”
- they pay attention to how long the phone conversation has been going on
- they write posts like this, think about trade-offs like this, and are relentless like this about allocating their time
So…which are you? Did I miss the mark?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
let's just get out of the way that I am a huge Lewis fan and this one did not disappoint. I Finally (i think!) understand what a CDO is and what a credit default swap is, though I am not 100% certain I could explain it.
Anyway, what really astounds me is our continual ability to forget that corporations are nothing more than aggregations of people. Just because you work at Morgan Stanley doesn't necessarily mean that you are smarter than everyone else....in fact, often times, it is a liability, as you tend to trust others, thinking they are smarter than average.
If Michael Moore's documentaryCapitalism: A Love Story
Is on ine side of the spectrum and Too Big is on the other, the Big Short is the goldilocks option.
As Ace pointed out, "I am not an anti-Wall St guy, per SE, but it is wrong that places like Goldman Sachs got 100% of the money owed to them at taxpayer expense."
I think the other thing that was so astounding was how everyone was so guilty....not just the consumers who were either stupid or victims or both but also everyone along the way in the lending business...right up to Greenspan.
reading books like this will help us,i hope, not repeat the mistakes of he past. If we do, as a society, at least we will hopefully be on the other side of the bet.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Two options here.
1. take suggestions on what you can do
2. offer up ideas on how you can go about figuring out what works best for you.
Not everyone will feel relaxed after yoga or a movie or a long walk.
I'm interested in #2.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I had just came back from LA (literally arriving on the redeye that AM--that's nothing..the NFO had been doing this AND dealing with the other kids all week) so I was looking forward to reconnecting.
I started asking questions.
Finally, she said, "Abba...I really want to read."
And that was it. Shut out and not even a teenager yet.
I wasn't sad, per se, but made me realize how precious and fleeting "real" childhood is.
Monday, July 18, 2011
In fact, "google' is also the answer if the the answer is "where?"
One of the toughest challenges for all of us as we enter the Digital Age full force is to recognize that, in many cases, the people you know are NOT the best place to go for every type of information you need.
Next time someone asks you a question where you say, "uh, why don't you check Google?" as the answer, feel free to send them here.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
The majority of our world is filled with people who are concerned about their job.
The lucky ones are concerned about how they're going to reach the next plateau or get their full bonus at the end of the quarter, but there's a huge swath of people who are mostly just trying to get by. These people are punching the clock and trying to make ends meet. They're less concerned about where they're going and much more concerned about not being let go from their jobs tomorrow. Beyond that, there are many people who are unemployed and would welcome the kind of misery that those clock watchers are enduring. You know the saying, "the grass is always greener."
If you look at the global job market, things are not pretty.
That was the crux of Thomas L. Friedman's column yesterday in The New York Times titled, The Start-Up of You. His premise? The job market is not going to get any better because the jobs of yesterday are gone and that the companies with the big valuations (he names Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, etc...) aren't looking for the types of workers that companies used to hire decades ago. Instead, these new companies are looking for smart engineers, but beyond that, it's all about, "people who not only have the critical thinking skills to do the value-adding jobs that technology can't, but also people who can invent, adapt and reinvent their jobs every day, in a market that changes faster than ever."
Forget the fact that big corporations have to think and act like lean start-ups, why don't more people think about their careers in the same vein?
I mean, here is a guy who was in the White House. Then on "This Week."
Now, he's hosting Good Morning America and I had the great misfortune to watch it while on the treadmill in the workout room in a LA hotel the other day.
Man, is it stupid. The "hard news" is about the marital problems of the Prince of Monaco? 99% of Americans couldn't even find Monaco on a map.
And it didn't get much better than that (we also saw "Today," which I'm sorry to say is equally lame.)
I feel for the guy.
Happy Bastille Day.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I want to thank those who commented on this post about helping Tonka overcome the fear of failure.
Based on your feedback (faster and cheaper than therapy!), I decided to just back off.
Last week, Paco came to me and said, “can I go down the big slide?”
“Sure,” I said.
Then, Tonka, said, “I want to also…”
I was in shock.
I hadn’t said a word all summer.
She loved it.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
There’s obviously a HUGE amount of information here and, though you know my political leanings, I am by no means giving Wall St. a pass at all for their contribution to the mess, there’s one line, buried on page 184 which, it seems to me, is the pebble that kicked off the avalanche.
“In 1999, under pressure from the Clinton administration, Fannie and Freddie began underwriting subprime mortgages.”
A worthwhile goal…increasing home ownership in and of itself, but policy goals that confront sound business judgment have a cost.
And, either way, we as taxpayers, pay.
Look, Wall St. will take ANY opportunity to make money, so handing them the subprime business was just a disaster waiting to happen.
What’s also interesting in this book is how the vicitmization of American continues..on both sides.
On the one hand, you have people who had these subprime mortgages “foisted” on them (my gut says…sure, it happened, but that most of the time people knew what they were doing) and then, my personal favorites, the CEOs of Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley complaining about “short-sellers” who were destroying their stock value.
Uh, so it’s ok to short stocks when it’s other people’s stocks, but not your own?
Gimme a break.
Lastly, I’m not sure on my read on Hank Paulson after all this.
Michael Moore portrayed him as a villain, but I kind of feel like after reading the accounts of his vomiting and dry heaving from staying up all night that he genuinely believed that the welfare of the country was at stake and it wasn’t about helping his friends.
Maybe I’m wrong and Sorkin has his rep and sources to protect, but that’s my take.
Anyway, while I still don’t fully understand what a credit default swap is, I do feel like I have a better idea of what happened.
What isn’t comforting, however, is that I feel like we haven’t addressed the systemic issues and we may have band-aids on a big wound.
- Farewell, Sheila Bair (dealbook.nytimes.com)
Monday, July 11, 2011
My brother is interning at Dell this summer in Round Rock, TX.
Being the “connector” that I am/wish to be, I suggested that he meet a friend of mine, Josh Duncan, who lives in the Austin area and used to work at Dell.
A few days ago, after they met, Barak called me and asked: “How do you know Josh?”
“You know,” I replied, “I’ve actually never met him in person, but…”
- 3 years ago, he commented on a blog post I wrote
- that led to an email exchange, which led to
- a phone call
- then, I started reading his blog
- we friended each other on Facebook, LinkedIn
- and followed each other on Twitter
- he joined a conference call I hosted for “friends of Never Stop Marketing”
- and then we did a Skype interview about my eBook for his blog
Over time, we’ve brokered introductions to other members of our network for each other.
There are those who decry the advent of social technologies, in that it takes us away from “real” human relationships. That certainly happens.
But, the other side happens as well.
And we’re all richer for it.
- What does it mean to "keep" a customer? (jer979.com)
Sunday, July 10, 2011
I’m reading a book called Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes and it has an interesting premise.
That when 1% of the population of the US decides to do ANYTHING, that it has serious ripple effects.
What I love about the book is that the observations are based on hard data and presented in 2-3 page chapters, perfect for reading oh, I don’t know, in the bathroom, for example
He’s introduced ideas about “older dads” who have children when they are in their late 40s and 50s (I guess my dad was a trendsetter) and other twists such as “hard of hearers,” and “Pet Parents.”
The one that got me thinking recently was about “Impressionable Elites” and the fact that when people make over $100k a year, they focus more on “character” issues than on positions.
In fact, it’s a 29 percent swing.
I remember hearing from a lot of people that they couldn’t stand GWB because he was “inarticulate” and couldn’t fathom why others would vote for him. This data, perhaps, gives some insight…
But, that’s an aside…
Mark Penn’s conclusion is that “today, the elites are more fascinated with gossip, and they are driving the debate away from the substantive and toward the superficial.”
Something to think about as we head into yet another marathon election cycle.
- Microtrends - unnoticeable trends that have noticeable effects (dimpledbrain.com)
Friday, July 08, 2011
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m emotionally invested in her career.
- When she initially came up with the idea of getting her real estate license, I enthusiastically supported her.
- Also, I eagerly put forth marketing advice.
However, she was named one of the top 30 real estate agents under the age of 30 in the ENTIRE USA on her own merit…and then some.
- In 2010, she sold $18 million dollars worth of real estate.
- She is ranked in the top 5% nationally among ALL agents in her firm (Long and Foster).
What’s even more impressive is if you look at the other “30 under 30” winners, both in terms of sales (lower) and the fact that many of them were part of teams, not solo practitioners like Kira.
So, for THOSE reasons; for her results and her approach, she gets this month’s NSM award.
“It’s All Time Management”
If you ask Kira what has made her successful, she’ll talk about her work ethic, her commitment to the “Never Stop Marketing” mantra, and her savvy use of all types of technology, but when all is said and done, she says it comes down to: Time Management.
First of all, she decides what is most important.
Then, she is relentless in her focus on doing activities which are related to those key goals.
I couldn’t agree with her more.
Along with attention, time is our most valuable commodity and asking yourself “what is the BEST use of my time AT THIS VERY MOMENT to drive my goals?” is something we should all practice.
Kira does and you’ve seen the results.
Congratulations to Kira.
She joins this all-star group of previous award winners.
- Dave Sobel
- Microsoft LET team
- Global 360
- Jay McBain and the SMB Lenovo Team
- Tim Wood of OBA Bank
- Matthew Lesko
- Derek Coburn
- Jeremy Lustman
- Chad MacDonald
- Jeff Wasserstein and Kurt Karst
Thursday, July 07, 2011
One has breast cancer.
Another is getting divorced.
The challenge facing us (since our kids would eventually hear about them) was: how to explain these situations.
It wasn't easy, but I think we did an admirable job. Our kids were involved and asked questions.
I don't know if they will "put it all together" when they find out the actual situations or not, but I think the lesson for us (again) was: don't shy away from the tough conversations; better to have them upfront.
I would imagine that this is just one of may more.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
A few days ago, someone asked me, “how do you have time to actually make a living or do anything for clients because it seems like all you are doing is marketing your business?
It would take me 3 hours every day to do what you do.”
Let’s leave out, for the moment, that marketing is 99% perception and 1% reality
Instead, let’s focus on the difference between input and results.
For a long time, our mind frame as workers has been based upon an industrial, assembly-line mentality.
The 8 hour day. How much do you pay for hour?
I need you to do one task, over and over, for an hour and I’m willing to pay you X for it.
Not only does the economy rely on that less and less, but when you sell your services to someone, they aren’t buying your time, they are buying your results.
I never charge by the hour because my clients don’t care how much time I spend working for them.
What they care about is: the results we hope to generate.
And, when I hire vendors, I don’t care how long it takes them. What I know is: I’m willing to pay a certain amount for this project and if you can do it for that amount, great.
It’s worth the read and it’s worth thinking about.
What’s more, it puts you in the mind of your customer and, well, obviously that’s a good thing.
Oh, and the 3 hours that it would take that person to do what I do…it takes me about 20 minutes
But, that’s another post for another day.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Image via Wikipedia
In what may have been the most meaningful July 4th ever, we took the 3 kids on an 11 hour excursion to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson, as you know, drafted the Declaration of Independence, so that would have been significant enough. However, he also died on July 4th, 1826, so we were visiting his home on the 185th anniversary of his death.
Our kids are fascinated by many things Presidential and have, fortunately, developed an appreciated for history.
The highlight of the day, however, came as we were departing the Visitors Center, about to embark upon our 3.5 hour return journey and after close to 4 hours at the site.
“This was great. I’m really glad we came here.”
All of them were super travellers (thank God for the iPad on the road!) and a number of people on our tour of the mansion came up to me (they were the only kids in our group) to remark about not only how well behaved they were (including Nadia), but how interested they were in the guide’s presentation.
Admittedly, the guide did a great job, but it was just quite special to watch as they absorbed the information, took interest in Jefferson’s passions for reading, technology (this worked for me!), science, and, well, everything, and they LOVED the bit of trivia that it was Jefferson who brought both macaroni and cheese as well as vanilla ice cream to the US after his ministerial post in France.
They understood the potential of using this information to persuade the NFO to serve ice cream in the future!
The movie at the Visitors Center talked about slavery, Sally Hemings, etc. and the two older ones latched onto this topic, asking some great questions.
I just loved how they explored the grounds, seeking to understand why the wine/beer cellar would be underground, asking about bathrooms, the vegetable garden and having a chance to write with a quill pen.
A long, HOT and HUMID day, but a great one.
As we were departing, we saw seats being set up behind the main building and I assumed it would be for a mini fireworks show or something to that effect.
Turns out I was mistaken (not the first time) and it was to be the swearing in ceremony for 77 new Americans, which got me a bit choked up.
As we finished, the guide read a great quote written by Jefferson only a few days before his death, about July 4th:
“For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.”
I know it did for me, reconnecting me (and hopefully connecting my kids) to the eternal and beautiful ideals of what it means to be American and what America means to so many people.
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Image via CrunchBase
I was a guest speaker at an MBA class recently and the professor and I got into a (heated) discussion following a question from one of the students.
My basic position was: Don’t even bother with making a resume.
Instead of TELLING me what you can do, SHOW me what you know.
- your YouTube channel showing you present on your area of expertise
- your SlideShare.net channel
- your LinkedIn profile with a great bio and recommendations from people who have worked with you
- your blog showing me hundreds of posts over the past 2 years demonstrating how you have sought mastery of a subject
- and any of the other hundreds of opportunities we now have at our disposal
Her response was that “yes, but that’s not going to get the attention of an executive recruiter who wants a resume.”
Because the same rules that to marketing your company/product/service in this economy apply to would-be job seekers.
(Think about it: the above examples apply just the same if you substitute “resume” for “brochure” or “slide deck.”
These are all of the ways that you can demonstrate why your organization is the “the most trusted name in…”)
But now, let’s get back to our MBA students and their future career prospects.’
If they continually demonstrate to their community that they are driving towards mastery of a given field and combine that with a relentless passion, their community, their network will have NO choice but to do the targeting for them.
(And, for those where recruiters are involved…95% of recruiters look at LinkedIn.)
You know the conversations.
“Do you know someone who can do X?”
and if you, as the hiring manager, get a strong recommendation about someone, meet that person for coffee, then what happens?
You go to the recruiter and you say “this is the person we need…make it happen.”
But there’s an even BIGGER problem than just the resume
The “meta-message” of the professor’s guidance re: an executive recruiter.
It implies the nature of the organizations that will be the source of employment in the future.
Hint: it won’t be the large ones we’re used to.
It’ll be small, dynamic, ever-changing ad-hoc groups that come together for a project, execute it, and then disband.
As he writes:
“Of the 250,000 people involved in the entertainment complex in the Los Angeles region, an estimated 85% of the firms employ 10 people or fewer.”
and “Fewer than ten entertainment companies employ more than 1,000 employees.”
Instead, the way it works is that:
Giant film studios no longer make movies. Loose entrepreneurial networks of small firms make movies, which appear under the names of the big studios.
And he summarizes:
Joel Kotkin, author of a landmark 1995 article in Inc. magazine entitled, "Why Every Business Will Be Like Show Business," writes: "Hollywood has mutated from an industry of classic huge, vertically integrated corporations into the world's best example of a network economy. Eventually, every knowledge-intensive industry will end up in the same flattened, atomized state. Hollywood just has gotten there first."
It seems to me that this is the world for which we want our smart MBA students to be prepared.
- Why Your LinkedIn Profile Matters More than Ever! (blogs.forbes.com)
Friday, July 01, 2011
One of the strange quirks of my job is that when I’m at home…I’m at home.
The other day, I was working in my “man cave” all day, no reason I had to shave. So, I didn’t.
After a 10pm workout and a quick shower, I had a brainstorm…and decided I needed to create a video.
So, I did.
But, before that, I had to shave…at 11pm.