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Team Building Blunders

by
Tom Justin

The Fallacy Of Corporate Teams?
The Fallacy Of Corporate Teams?

Is the culture of team building in corporate America causing unseen damage to corporate growth and efficiency? One of the greatest concepts in today’s corporate America has been the emphasis on team building. Could it now be causing a  rusting of the individual drive, effort, and creativity? Isn’t that also important to the free enterprise system?

As a consultant and corporate officer, I’ve always been a  proponent of the team concept. The values and contribution of a  well-developed team are not at issue. What I’ve become concerned about what is, potentially, a mutation of the team culture.

I’ve seen some organizations where the emphasis on teams  was so strong that an imbalance in the creative development  of some employees was sacrificed for the benefit of “team  think.” This “group think” mentality while very effective in some areas when over-emphasized, can stifle that vital element necessary to furthering corporate goals. Some companies have mistakenly used the concept of team- building before they were adequately trained, confusing it with employee participation.

For managers, the key question to ask yourself and explore with your leaders is this; are we sacrificing creativity and individual merit in the way we promote team effort? If so, trying a more balanced approach may be the answer. Stressing individual assignments on some projects or using teams for only special projects, at least temporarily, may help your staff to become more self-reliant and more creative.

My purpose here is to suggest that you take another look at how your organization manages teams, not whether the concept works. How can you and your people be even more productive?  Are you too focused on one method? If you work alone, as an entrepreneur with a 30-second hallway commute to your office daily, you may be wishing that you had a team to work with, at least at times. However the odds are, that by necessity, you are more innovative than your corporate brethren. How both sides can improve on this will be a subject in the next Justin Times.

COMMUNICATIONS TIP

What do your e-mails look like? I mean the format, especially in initial business communications. Recently I saw an e-mail from an experienced businessperson who was also a professional writer and editor. The email, all in lower case with no formatting with very long paragraphs hardly represented a cogent communication.  It was not only difficult to read, it was unprofessional.

E-mails to friends and known associates is one thing. How we present to the world is another.

NETWORKING TIP

Have you ever attended a business networking event or been a  member of a weekly networking group? If so, you may have noticed that there is either a high drop out rate or that many in the group don’t  to do well through the contacts they are making.  Why not?

The next time you’re at one of these events, observe and you’ll  likely find some people who look like a cat about to pounce, to wait for the person talking to finish so that they can say what they want to say. This person is usually clueless to other’s needs or concerns, and it shows. People naturally sense this and will react accordingly.

In any networking affiliation, either personal, group meetings or  through the Internet, be a supporter, a buyer, or provide some- thing of value through advice, links or introductions to someone  else who you may know who might be able to help the other  person in the group. Listen closely without thinking about what you are going to say next.

If you are one of the few supporters, and not many will do this,  others will want to know more about you. Ultimately this is the key to your successful networking experiences.

 

Smile, Dammit!

There are times when I’m so grateful for the parents I had. Both of them were automatically pleasant to people. If mom or dad happened to make eye contact with you, even if you were a total stranger, they smiled, nodded their head or made some form of acknowledgment. Mom, even more so. She was so pleasant she made some people uncomfortable.

Portrait of a happy romantic couple outdoors.I was raised the same way, not by teaching but by example, though I’m nothing like mom was. Not many are. I chuckle thinking about her friendliness to all.

This past weekend I attended a seminar on Internet marketing. It’s mostly for the newer people in that world. Those who want to promote their businesses or start a new business using the power of the Internet to create income and even a lifestyle.

I ran into a few people I know, and they all asked me if I was speaking there. I’ve been in and around the Internet for many years and once co-created a program for beginners in online marketing that filled a need that neither I or my partners could find when we were starting out.

So, those who knew me were surprised that I was there as an audience member. First, I always learn something from any program I attend, even if it’s just meeting someone new who inspires me to go beyond where I’m at or someone I can help in some way. The latter is always enjoyable for most of us. This one, Profit Academy, was given by Anik Singal, an absolute genius in the industry, which was another reason to go.

The primary lesson I learned about seminars years ago, both as a presenter and attendee is that the most important assets you can take away are often the relationships you create by being there.

That’s where mom and dad’s lessons and examples have been so valuable to me. I don’t give it much thought, If I catch someone’s eye, I smile and nod. If I’m on an elevator with people with the same badges, I marvel when nobody is talking to one another. So I do. I can almost guarantee that any such elevator ride concludes with a

group of people laughing or smiling as they emerge.

Studio portrait of a handsome young man astonished with somethingAs I walk down the hallways to and from the meeting hall, I see most people diverting their eyes, avoiding any contact with another fellow attendee. If I said what was on my mind, they’d likely run away too. “SMILE DAMMIT!”  Oy, so judgemental am I at times.

Three different people made it a point to not only smile and greet me; they introduced themselves. They are standouts, memorable and interesting if nothing else, for that fact alone.

I used to be a trainer at IBI (now CEO Space) an entrepreneur’s 6-day “boot camp,” where the emphasis was on building relationships. I was privileged to give one of the initial talks on the subject, making eye contact, introducing one’s self, etc. We were even into hugging, and, in fact, that became a natural occurrence during those sessions.

I’d just finished my talk, and we were on a break when a woman got on the elevator with one of our badges. I said hello and gave her a big hug. She was unusually tense. When we released, I realized her badge was from another event. Fortunately, we weren’t alone in the elevator, and she also learned how big her eyes could get.

Interacting with others, even if no lasting relationships result, makes the attendance more enjoyable (well, maybe not to that lady on the elevator). But the relationship potential? For those who take the time to connect there is real gold to be mined and to be shared. Almost all the people I met this weekend, once the ice was cracked, were friendly and open far beyond the personas of those I saw who were so shy otherwise. Isolated full length studio shot of a businesswoman  reaching out to shake hands with the camera

Note: Some time ago I did an audio about how to make the most of any seminar or convention you attend. It’s a simple system, but people over the years have told me it was extremely valuable both pre and post-conference. I’m going to make a video and give it away to anyone holding conferences just in case I’m in attendance, so I don’t have to repress my frustrations. LOL.
Click Here to be notified when it’s ready.

If you would like one for yourself and your organization, email me and I’ll notify you when it’s ready.

NOTE 2: If you’re an entrepreneur or want to be, you might find an article I wrote about simple start-up businesses anyone can do. Both the pluses and minuses of each.
Click Here to read it.

Now This Is Customer Service!

Recently I was eating in an airport restaurant. The waitress was absolutely great. She was all smiles and when she asked me how I was doing, it felt like she really cared.

Waitress Holding TrayHer service and attitude in this busy place, filled with its transient clientele, was quite intriguing. I guessed her to be in her early 20’s.

The customers, already harried from the challenges of post 9-11 security, were not exactly overflowing with charm. Cheerfulness is not easily found at airports these days.

Lest I thought I was imbued with some special charm that day, I watched my waitress with her other customers. They were all equally well treated. She checked back frequently, smiled easily and seemed to be genuinely concerned about our collective well-being.

I watched stressed out looking passengers plopping down at tables as my extraordinary server attended to them. Many of her customers were brighter and even smiling by the time they got their meals.

Many of the other server’s customers still looked like the finalists in the local Lemon Sucking Contest.

However, there was one table close by, also being tended to by my charming server that was still not smiling. Not the table, the people.

The man, who looked like the Grinch who not only stole Christmas but every nice moment within range, glowered. I’d heard him grumbling to the woman he was sitting with, who I assumed was his wife.

If words can leave physical marks, this woman had been battered. She just kept nodding, looking down at her plate, as he went on and on to her, complaining about items too numerous and depressing to repeat here.

I noticed that also he kept giving the waitress a hard time. The coffee wasn’t hot enough, his eggs were too hard, the sun was too bright in his eyes, etc.

My first reaction was to be protective of her. She seemed so sweet and kind, I didn’t want her hurt. I didn’t need my Knight’s tin can armor. She did just fine.

She stood over Mr. Grinch looking down at him and paused. He finally looked up and then she said, “Sir, I know this must be a tough day for you. What with the security, traffic jams, crowded terminals and maybe not the greatest food here either. I am so sorry we didn’t live up to your expectations. Please do not even leave a tip and I’ll see that your check is paid for myself.” Then she smiled and said, “I hope your day gets better!” And she almost skipped away.

Mr. Grinch turned from looking grouchy to the most delightful look of confusion I’d ever seen. Even Mrs. Grinch looked up, here eyes wide, head tilted in amazement as she listened to what had just been said.

Then the Grinch turned shades of red. He noticed for the first time that others at surrounding tables were looking. Of course, we’d heard his grumblings and our waitress’s response.

He hurriedly plunked down a $10 bill and stood up and walked quickly away, followed by a brightened, smiling woman who now looked ten years younger.

No TV reality show could have duplicated that scene! It was glorious to watch.

I got the waitress’s attention for my check. I told her that I admired her amazing attitude with that guy. She shook her head.

“I feel so bad,” She said. “I know there’s decency in most folks, and when I do something like that I know they’re going to feel just awful, which makes me giggle. Isn’t that terrible of me?” She said. I think she meant it too. Now I better understood the phrase, “Killing with kindness.” She’d really whacked him good – What a technique!

I told her that it might make him more mindful of his actions and reactions. She just smiled, gave me my check and bade me to, “Have a great day!”

I left a generous tip that I hoped would convey my appreciation. As I was getting ready to leave, I realized that the tip alone wouldn’t do. I made sure to tell her manager how great she was. He just smiled and said, “Yes, I know, boy do I know!”

As I left, recalling my ability to be too impatient at times, I made a resolution; “Be patient and be kind.” I now repeat it to myself numerous times daily, thinking about that smiling young lady who changes lives just by being who she is.

I wish that I’d had a copy of my book with me that day. I would have really enjoyed handing it to Mr. Grinch as my gift.

Darn it! I could have whacked him too!

Two Choices In Life


exist/LIVE

by

Tom Justin

exist

Get up, brush your teeth.
Run late, kiss the kids,
Skip breakfast for the 47th time.
Fight the traffic,
breath the smog,
Park sub-level six, lock all the doors,
Ride shoulder to shoulder to floor 34

exist

Look good on the surface,
Make excuses to the boss,
Do as little as possible,
Another eight hours will pass.

exist

Pick up the paycheck.
FICA, social security, health welfare
And of course, MISC.
Still dollars away from making ends meet.

exist

Shoulder to shoulder,
Sub-level six,
Bumper to bumper,
Watering eyes,
Yell at the kids,
Drink some more beer,
Turn on the tube,
Hamburger Helper.
Is this your life,
Or is it your
exist?


LIVE!

Discover a sunrise,
Acknowledge all beauty.
Experience stillness within a full house.
Meditate as a prelude to action.

LIVE!

Discover new gratitude,
Wipe away fear.
Talk to yourself,
Be your best friend.
Practice self giving.
You must first possess before sharing.

LIVE!

Make at least one dream a day to come true.
Learn to say yes to yourself.
Write a new poem.
Treat yourself to one simple luxury.

LIVE!

Dare to be different.
Know you are great,
You are separate and distinct,
An individual,
Yet, merged within Oneness,
With the God-given gift to create.

LIVE!

Take a chance,
Experience to experience.
Accept and encourage all positive change.

LIVE!

Communicate, then listen.
Consciously act and react.
Flow through all life in peace and with grace.

LIVE!

Share the gift that is you
With the rest of the world

LIVE!

Set special moments apart to just live.
When you do, you will cease to…

exist

 

 

Notice: You may republish this without permission only in its entirety with the following attribution:
Copyright, © 2014 Tom Justin,  All rights reserved, www.YourInnerWizard.com

How To Insult A Potential Client (or boss) And Still Get The Job

I believe in authentic complements and concentrating on the positives in my relationships with others. But in my corporate consulting and personal coaching  business, candor is a must. But I would never purposely insult anyone. Key word here, purposely.

From Insult To Income

The following examples are food for thought about being truly authentic, even if it means the potential loss of income.

The conference room was full. The CEO and the heads of all his departments, including his wife and daughter were there too. I’d been referred to them because of my corporate consulting business.

DT / Pixabay

The boss was a short, stout fellow with a bulbous W.C. Fields like nose, as red as Rudolph’s. Before he’d begun this fledgling company he’d been very successful in business, which he seemed to rule like a little kingdom.

“We’ve interviewed eleven other consultants for this job,” the CEO said, “you’re number twelve.” I was immediately able to figure out part of their problem; slow decision making.

The walls of the conference room were strung with pictures of their nutritional product line. The packaging was remarkable in that it was so unremarkable. They were clearly proud enough to display them but it was starting to feel like a Saturday Night Live sketch.

The CEO began asking me a series of questions, first about my experience then he went to asking my opinions about some strategies they were considering.

My philosophy is to stop answering consulting questions before I’m retained after about the fifth one. So, I told him that, but with a smile. He didn’t return the smile. Instead he replied that since he had two more questions due him; first, what did I think about their product line?

I picked up one of the products and said, “Your packaging looks like a generic brand. There are no graphics and your logo is indistinct.”

His cheeks started to redden with his nose at full glow. His retinue squirmed uncomfortably with quick glances at their boss then at one another. Clearly an edgy room except for his wife. She was looking down at the table with slight smile on her face.

I said, “Look, I don’t mean to insult you, but if you’re bringing someone in from outside the company you are clearly looking for honest third-party guidance. So, while I don’t claim to be right all the time, at least you’ll know where I stand.”

With an almost imperceptible nod, he continued. “Okay. I have one more question, if you’re willing. It might take awhile,  but it will help me decide.

He noted on my bio that I’d had considerable experience in TV production including corporate image videos. He said they’d already shot a lot of their video and had a loose assembly of clips strung together as an outline. Would I look at it for an hour, have lunch and discuss it. I agreed. I was closed off in a darkened room by myself.

I had a copy of the script, which was a series of suggested shots, They’d already shot an airplane swooping low over a field and spiraling up in an impressive maneuver like what you might see at a good air show. That was fun. Everything else was painful to watch.

When we resumed in the boardroom with Chinese takeout. After polite luncheon conversation I set down my chopsticks and we sat there for a few moments saying nothing. If you’ve ever seen a courtroom awaiting a jury verdict you get the idea.

“Well?” The CEO asked, sitting back with his hands clasped across his midsection.

First I asked about the reason for the airplane as it wasn’t in the script. The group on either side of the boss seemed to simultaneously shift in their chairs with uncomfortable looks. He said, “Well, the director thought it would make for a dramatic shot somewhere in the piece.”

I was shocked and realized they’d been taken for a ride and not just in an airplane. I just nodded.

“So,” he said, what did you think of the rest of it?”

I said, that I had good news and bad news. The good news was that you could reuse video tape.

I was trying to stop myself from saying that, but it was too late. I’m opinionated but not insulting and I felt I’d gone over the line, though I kept that to myself.

The boss’s entire face was aglow again as he began tapping his fingers on the table and said, “Well, fine, I guess. We’ve had our five questions now, so thank you very much. We’ll be in touch.” We shook hands all around and I thought, well, that’s the last time I’ll see this bunch.

Before I got back to my office I got a call from his VP. “We’d like to retain your services. When can you begin?”

I was momentarily speechless. I asked him why me after eleven others who’d come before. He said, they’d all complimented everything. Not one had anything corrective about anything the’d seen or heard in the company. Just platitudes.  He said. The CEO was taken aback by my candor but said after I left, “Why did these others think we were looking for a consultant, to be told we’re doing everything so great?”

It was a very profitable consult. One I was amazed to have gotten under the circumstances.

How To Risk Insulting An Academy Award Winning Producer And Get The Job

I knew the producer socially through a mutual friend he was dating. He’s a big lanky New Yorker with an attitude and accent to match. He’d already won an Academy Award for best film and was destined to receive a second one several years later.

We were in my living room having just been notified that our girlfriends were running late. We’d been talking for a half hour. He said, “Tom, I have to read a couple of scripts and I was wondering if, while we’re waiting, you wouldn’t mind reading one while I read the other. I’d like your opinion too, if you don’t mind.”

We both settled back and began reading. My script was from a story by the producer and written by someone I didn’t recognize. He’d obviously paid to have this written or perhaps written it himself under a pseudonym.

It was pretty bad. Lots of holes in the plot, uneven dialogue and unconvincing scenes but the story was great. I was disappointed to see this kind of output from a supposedly professional writer.

As the women pulled up to the house he said, “So, what did you think, Tommy?”

I handed the script back to him and said, “Good story but the script has some big holes. You’ll see them when you read it.”

We all had a nice time sans further discussions about the script.

The next afternoon my phone rang. It was the producer. Without introduction he blared into the phone at me, “Tommy, you said the script had some holes in it…!” Oy, I thought, I stepped in it this time. He continued, “The script is a hole!” I can’t believe I paid that (expletive deleted) to write this!”

As I listened to his rant about the writer  I was debating what to do. You see I’d been so inspired by the story that I got up early that morning and began writing a new script based around his story. I told him I had written twelve new pages. He said he’d like to see it.

He liked it and hired me as a story consultant but I ended up completing the script before another writer could be brought in. He bought my script and made me a co-producer if they ever got the funding. Unfortunately, like a majority of Hollywood scripts, even those that are paid for, it never got made.

Diplomacy in all areas of life is a safe and often decent way to proceed. However, when you’re being paid to deliver in business, whether as an employee or outside consultant, you have to consider the power of absolute authenticity and base it on the strategy of your positioning. It’s a subject that I work with in almost every coaching client I have.

If you’re being consulted because you’re an expert, don’t just be an expert, be a leader.

Tom Justin’s Coaching Page

Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

 

3 Simple Steps That Can Solve Your Most Difficult Problems

The check bounced – Now what?

A former client of mine is also a business consultant. He has a very narrow specialty, or as they say in marketing, a niche.

http://YourInnerWizard.com
geralt / Pixabay

It was after the ‘crash” in 2008 and he’d just suffered a huge financial loss. His biggest client, an up and coming marketing company, bounced his latest check. It might have been weeks before they could make it good. He was out of cash and had been depending on that check to get him through the month.

That was the problem. A big problem and seemingly insurmountable, at least for the short term. His own checks were now about bounce too. More problems.

His entire focus was on his problems. He came to me almost in tears. While I could loan him some money, that really wasn’t his best solution at that moment. In fact, he wasn’t thinking about a solution, just his problems.

In my book, “How To Take No For An Answer And Still Succeed” I get into creative problem solving with this suggestion:

Think of your problem like the palm of your hand. First, you know the problem as well as the proverbial palm of your hand. So, take your palm (the problem) and place it right in front of your eyes. What else can you see now? Right. Nothing. Just the problem. That’s a problem consciousness.

Problem Conscious Or Solution Conscious?

This is how many people deal with serious issues, by concentrating on the problem and not the solutions. It’s a mental freeze that stops creativity and increases stress.

He’d consulted with many companies within his specialty over the years. His level of knowledge was deep, far beyond his niche. While some people don’t know what they don’t know, he didn’t know or appreciate what he knew.

I urged him to set the problem aside. His most immediate solution was the same as the problem, money! The problem was not enough, the solution was getting enough to more than enough money.

I asked him how many former clients he had who were happy with his work? His reply was that most of them had been quite happy. But, he quickly added, they were no longer in need of his services because he’d done “all they needed already.”

His creativity was both stifled by his problem as well as his failure to see the possibilities of expansion and to go beyond his circumstances. Unfortunately, this is how too many handle urgent problems.

I suggested that he think of a company he’d worked with that had had multiple problems that he could readily see even though it was outside of his niche. His most recent client came to mind. I asked him if he’d considered what some of their solutions might be. He nodded his head and said, “Sure, I had some thoughts on that, but it was outside my area of consultation.”

I said if he were running that company would he be confident enough to implement his ideas for those solutions? He thought a moment and said, yes, he would.

Could he possibly put himself in the position of a knowledge master about the corporate conditions he’d seen in the past and the solutions he’d watched others implement and pass those along to other clients? He looked at me, at first confused.

AHA Or Oh Oh?

Suddenly his eyebrows raised up, his eyes got bigger and his face lit up in his AHA moment. He grabbed a sheet of paper and began writing, mumbling to himself excitedly.

After a few minutes he stopped and looked up. “I know a hell of a lot about a lot of things.” he said. “I didn’t really think of that until now.” Then his eyes wandered down and a look of confusion faded in. His mouth formed the classic look of disgust. “So what! What good does that do me now, with all this crap I have to deal with today?” Problem conscious again.

Realization is the most important part of this process. At least he now appreciated that he had a body of knowledge far more vast than he’d previously considered. Possibilities had crept into his mind.
Expanding The Possibilities

I suggested he reach out to his contacts, beginning with his most satisfied clients. First, put a brief description of his “new services” and make his offer. He just shook his head and said, “What offer?”

I showed him how I use a “fire extinguisher” consolation approach. Being on call for review, coaching/consulting as needed with three specific fee structures. I won’t go into details, but for consultants with a track record, it can be a very effective tool.

He agreed, and put a quick page together and began calling old clients. The result? He got 50% more income in 24 hours from four new/old clients than he’d just lost with the bounced check. He would also be working far fewer hours, and from his home office. With this approach there’s an extra fee if you have go to their office, something he’d never done before.

The question you have to ask when faced with a challenge is this; “Am I being problem conscious or solution conscious?

When I work with clients that’s the primary element I look for, problem or solution consciousness. When it’s the former, bringing them to solution thinking can create some quick and amazing results.

Your Inner Wizard, when you actualize it, has amazing and wonderful information that’s readily available when you learn how to consistently activate it.

You can look like a problem solving genius when you use this simple technique for yourself or others.
You can get our Special Report on Your Inner Wizard at no cost. Just Click Here.

I was also reminded of a technique that I’ve taught in my seminars and used with other clients through the years.

Basic problem solving is a 3-step process.

Of course, we want instant results and that won’t always happen. However, the eventual result for a successful outcome will always begin immediately, even if we don’t see it when beginning this process.

Everyone has the first step down. The challenge is they may not go to number 2 for a long time, if ever. First the 3 steps, then how to implement them.

1. Acknowledge the problem.
2. Acknowledge that there is a solution to it.
3. T.A.N Take Action NOW.

1. Acknowledge the problem. Magnify it, inspect it. Attempt to understand it better and how it may have come about. If you feel blame towards any third party, fine, but then come back to yourself. What was your part in it? We are always a part of the problems we have.

Don’t berate yourself over it. Pledge to learn from it, even if it’s as simple as increasing your awareness. Which is something worthwhile to tune in to daily, regardless of how well things are going.

2. Acknowledge that there is a solution for it. Yes, there is a solution, somewhere, somehow. People at any given moment are either problem conscious or solution conscious. As long as you’re the former, the problem can’t possibly be solved. Shift!

Don’t worry about what it isn’t, pledge to find the clues to a solution. Great inventions, chemistry, and philosophies have been discovered because of individuals who were confronted with the impossible, so they had to make them possible.

3. T.A.N Take Action NOW. People with problems can only have two outcomes, victim or victorious. There is no middle ground.

Impatience will be your greatest enemy if it brings you to quitting. Sometimes your solution may be to go another way, join with another person, remove yourself from certain people who may be a party in the causes of your problems. Quitting a job is not the same as quitting. Quitting a project may not be either.

In fact, the phrase giving up, may be more apt. As Winston Churchill said in a famous speech, “Never, never, never, give up!”

Find another way.

This is always where a discussion with my coaching clients ensues. How do you know you’re not quitting? What does giving up or not giving up mean? These are the mini or sub-problems before many a solution is discovered.

The process for solving these sub-problems is the same. Sometimes you need assistance from a trusted friend, advisor, psychologist or coach. These are all a part of the tools of life to keep in mind.

The Human Potential.

You are a live solution creating mechanism. Activate Your “Inner Wizard,” it’s always there, waiting for your command.

Keep searching. Answers exist, sometimes in the most unlikely places.

Never give up.

Shift, change, reexamine, improve, seek help, prioritize, make it real in your mind. Whatever you seek and not yet achieve is synonymous with a desire you have. For example, let’s say you’re goal is a particular job or position and nothing is happening. What’s wrong?

Another client of mine was seeking a high level position in her company. She was well thought of, highly competent, but still she was bypassed by others who seemed less competent or experienced. She decided to go to a conference that would give a continuing education credit she thought might add to her portfolio.

I urged her to start thinking outside her corporate “box.” List other possibilities, other desires. Ask herself why she wanted that particular position, what it would mean to her life? She did. It wasn’t the position, it was what it would mean in her financial life and professional life. She realized there would be other ways to achieve this.

At the conference she met a group that ultimately funded a new company where she became president and within two years outdistance her previous salary along with significant ownership, which she didn’t have with her previous employer.

So, she quit, (the job) but she didn’t give up!

Failure isn’t the problem. Quitting your dream is.

Tom Justin

Networking Power

$3,125 corporate consulting for almost free? How?

My long time friend, Warren Whitlock now charges corporate clients as much as $25,000 a day for his expertise in social media marketing. He was recently listed by Forbes as one of the top ten experts in the world on this subject.

So, at $25,000 a day, divided by 8, if I spend two hours with him, it’s worth $3,125. Not free, but almost, when I pick up the tab.

Of course, this is somewhat misleading because it’s not all about me, though I’d love it to be so. : ) We mastermind. We’ve been friends for over 10 years and pick each others brain on any number of issues.

If I requested it, he’d spend those two hours with me just on that topic and even pick up the tab. Well, maybe not the tab part. And I’d do the same for him with my consulting/coaching.

I know, cut to the chase. What this is all about is the power of networking. Few people really do it well for any number of reasons.

When I was researching my book, “How To Take No For An Answer And Still Succeed,” (www.HowToTakeNo.com ) I found numerous people, even those in larger businesses, who would not go out of their way to network.

When I first moved to Las Vegas over ten years ago, I noticed that the author of a e newsletter I’d been getting for some time recently moved to Las Vegas from Southern California. Me too! I thought. So I dropped him a note.

Warren answered within minutes and as it turned out, lived literally just down the street from me.

The power of networking created not only a friend but a colleague with whom I can trade ideas, we create introductions for each other, exchange expert information in our particular arenas, etc.

You really can’t create a dollar value for any of it. But when you think about it, isn’t it worthwhile to go out of your way to meet new business connections?

 

 

Customer Service

 

Customer_Service  “Customer sales creates dollars, great customer service creates fortunes.”
                                                                                               

                                                                                                  Tom Justin
                                                                                                                   YourInnerMarketer.com

Power Through Fear, Laugh at Rejection, Commit To Your Passion, and…

I’ll be guesting on KLAV AM 1230 in Las Vegas, Friday (4-19) 

It’s a topic I think you’ll find of value, especially in these times.

Discover how to power through fear, laugh at rejection, commit to your passion and follow through. Live on KLAV 1230 AM in Las Vegas at 2pm PST Friday, or streaming online at http://PaulMontelongoLive.com/

You can tune in live or hear it later. tuneinlive1

After you listen in, please come back to me with comments. I value your thoughts and ideas anytime.

Please Note: If you don’t hear us live you’ll find the broadcast in their archives on the site.

Starting Your Own Business?–Here Are 8 Powerful Tips Pt. 2

PART 2

Miss part 1? Click Here.

One powerful life changing phrase

When faced with enormous challenges many people dislike hearing about “positive thinking.” Because when nothing’s working it’s easy to believe that nothing will work. Instead of rising to the occasion, some people shut down. All problems, no solutions.

But here’s a quick and even life-changing phrase for you; you are either problem conscious or solution conscious. It’s all in your focus, which sometimes must be consciously switched out of your unconscious mind. Yes, it is that simple.

How to boost your creativity

Your creative mind knows no limits. If you’re problem conscious, you’ve switched off much of your creative processing. When you shift to finding solutions, experimenting, asking questions, and researching, you’ve turned on the most valuable source you have, your creative mind. I call this Your Inner Wizard.

You can switch on your creative mind by paying better attention to your intuition. That little voice that says, “go here instead,” “call this person now,” “post this in Facebook today,” etc. Learning to pay attention to your inner voice can literally save your business and even your life. It has for me, literally.

The Two least expensive entrepreneurial opportunities available today

There is an embarrassment of riches available to you if you live in a free society. There are many inexpensive methods to help you to be in business for yourself, even in a negative economy. I’ll focus on the two best platforms.

These are two golden doors to entrepreneurial prosperity that open to glittering goldmines of opportunities that any budding entrepreneur can tap into. But caution; all that glitters is not gold.

Either or both of these opportunities may seem distasteful to some people. Primarily because they’re so prevalent and filled with promise, it may seem like everybody’s relative, co-worker, minister, rabbi, bank teller, doctor, or shaman have been involved in one or both of these types of business.

If you’ve seen others close to you try and fail in these formats, it can be tough to overcome a negative image. Or, like my dad said after my mother failed at selling soap when I was a kid, “Those deals don’t work.” Fortunately someone convinced me that some do. Some did.

They are also the most likely potential opportunities  to be abused. The exaggeration, misinformation, downright lies, and unrealistic expectations have lead to the biggest entrepreneurial casualties on any business battlefield in history. Yet there really is gold there, lots of it when you know how to find it.

There are enough truthful examples to get anyone considering entry excited. But caution is the watchword. As with any substantial opportunity, challenge and risk are always present. The good news is they are easily overcome. The bad news is they will keep coming, which is true with all businesses. If success were easy everyone would be doing it.

But just remember what Albert Einstein said, “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.” We all have built in prejudices about things that may have changed. Also, we change and our knowledge is better and our intuition sharper.

The first one is the latest and the potential gold mine of all entrepreneurship. Internet marketing, online selling, or web based business.

Anyone with a computer or access to one can enter this marketplace. There are so many free or inexpensive services that the entry cost can be as little as a few dollars. But the reality here is that you will ultimately have to spend money to make money, but in this case, especially if you’re on a tight budget, not much.

You also have to use your discrimination when purchasing how-to courses, software, books, coaching, etc. Anyone promising the magic “push button” marketing tool should be eyed with extreme caution.

Anyone can market online, even if it’s other people’s products. This is called affiliate marketing, and is the most likely place to start and even continue in any successful business.

Clickbank.com has paid out billions of dollars from tens of thousands of information products for sale and will pay you to market them too. There’s no charge to open an account.

Another large affiliate resource that handles physical products, most drop shipped for you direct to your customer, is commission Junction. This is for the more experienced online marketer, but worth checking out and opening a free account to lean more. www.cj.com

Physical product affiliate marketing companies like Amazon will set you up with your own affiliate business, also at no charge. You get compensated for every sale, made via your unique links.

Of course you can market and promote your own existing business or products too. Some have taken their limping businesses to gigantic heights via the Internet. One of the best examples of this is Gary Vaynerchuk.

In 1999, Vaynerchuk took his dad’s local New Jersey wine store online and grew it to a $60 million dollar a year business and beyond. His early use of social media, which was barely developed, plus his own ingenuity has made history. Then, 90% of the tools we have today were not available to him. It’s so much easier now.

Your mommy may have to wash your mouth out with soap after you hear this one; MLM or Multi-Level Marketing, and frequently referred to as network marketing.

 Who hasn’t been hit with the latest greatest deal from Uncle Fred, your old college buddy or your best friend? It seems like it’s everywhere. It is. MLM is a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry.

In MLM the promises are great, individual failures are enormous. The latter due to two reasons, the aforementioned rejections and choosing the wrong opportunities for the wrong reasons.

MLM has suffered considerable image problems because it’s been around the longest. But also because they’ve accumulated more lies, exaggerations, distributor and business failures than almost any other industry in the free market system.

Until about twenty years ago many unsuspecting distributors were conned by unscrupulous companies/distributors to load up their garages with products that didn’t see the light of day until they were sent to dump grounds. In the US and other countries, stiff laws have now been enacted that largely reduced this type of fraud and abuse.

Unlike Internet marketers, MLM distributors operate under the guidelines and strict rules of the companies they represent. Those who try to be simultaneously involved in multiple companies are almost certain to fail.

There are innumerable products and services available from legal services to nutritional products, the latter being the most common. High profile investors such as Donald Trump and Warren Buffett have entered this industry. Larger corporations are seeing advantages to introducing new products via this platform.

If the MLM distributor makes a commitment and sticks around long enough, he or she can be wildly successful. This takes the right combination of effort, the right company, products, and support, but it happens with greater frequency than most people realize.

Note: many new companies teeter close to failure for some time. MLM companies younger than eighteen months old have an abysmal failure rate. You have to do your research about both the company, the founders, and your support team (called an upline) of distributors. Of course being first in with an exciting unique product can have rewards too. It’s all about the risk/reward ratio.

Important, you don’t have to accept the first person who invited you into a company. You must choose a sponsor carefully. Of course you may choose to go with a good friend who’s also new, but find out who their sponsor is and what their upline offers. Uplines represent one of the dual support lines that distributors have, the other being the corporation.

While there is plenty of free online training for both types, the MLM distributor, when working with a substantial MLM company, can have a great deal of support, both in training and motivation. This can be immensely important to the first time entrepreneur.

The Internet marketer is largely free of these constraints, once he or she understands the techniques to marketing. They can create their own products  or market their other people’s  products through affiliate marketing.

In both areas the failure rates are high because entry is cheap and easy. They are not only easy to enter they easy to leave too. Small investments create little risk, and when it’s not as easy as thought many simply quit. They now believe that, “Those deals don’t work.”

There are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of modest to great success stories here. Of course many try and most give up too soon. It can be overwhelming at first.

But with enough research one can find the blueprints, the step-by-step plans that will make a difference in being able to pay the mortgage to buying new digs in a better neighborhood.

Both business platforms have their share of  pluses and minuses. The phrase “Companies don’t fail, people do,” has never been more evident.

How to work alone and yet have support

One of the great challenges to being an entrepreneur, especially a solopreneur, this is, working without partners or employees, is support.

You are not alone, at least you needn’t be. There are online forums, (just Google your industry or interest followed by “forum”) to seminars, mastermind groups, all available for the finding. Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and many others have special interest groups from the obscure to the current trends. Most of which welcome newcomers.

But do this too; get out! Leave your computer and go to seminars, local networking meetings, social groups, anywhere there are people who will talk with you, even if it’s not about business. People have power, no matter who they are. One introduction can change your life. I know it consistently has for me.

How to avoid becoming an entrepreneurial “casualty”

First avoid “get rich quick” deals, offers, books, training, push-button success promises, etc. Don’t be a sucker!

If you’re offered an opportunity, ask tough questions of either the person making the offer or through online research.

Have realistic expectations based on your research. Even the best MLM is a long term proposition to make enough for your car payment, let alone your living expenses. The opportunities on the Internet have greater potential for some short-term income. But both should be looked at as long term opportunities with learning curves that will vary for each individual.

The ideal time to begin either of these opportunities is while you’re still employed, or you have enough revenue to keep you going. While there are some legitimate stories of those who made fast money, even ethically, you can’t know all the truth behind the story. Some may have begun with a substantial list of prospects or were helped by someone who did.

However, now, more than any other time, the tools and marketplace (customers) for all entrepreneurs have never been easier to tap into with greater potential than we have today. It’s growing exponentially too. But…

Why some may not want to be an entrepreneur…ever

Many feel safe having an employer, even if things are uncertain. Unlike our parents or grandparents, there is little job security today. Authentic security can come only from within.

The world needs good employees. They serve us all. From waitresses to Fortune 100 executives, these people make the world work. Entrepreneurs give them a place from where to do this.

Of course most people who need “job security” haven’t read this far, if at all. But just in case, for those who did, you may never want to be an entrepreneur, ever. But you may want to explore the possibilities.

Regardless of the business you’re in, the Internet should be an internal tool for promotion, sales, and customer relations. As an entrepreneur, there is no better way to communicate, brand you and your business, and create relationships with current and future customers. But…

Remember this, there are no overnight successes, only overnight failures.

You can also join me on www.Facebook/TomJustin and www.Twitter/TomJustin