Posts in ‘Entrepreneurship’

Ready to be Enchanted?

by Himanshu Jhamb on March 2, 2011

Enchantment, as defined by dictionary.com.

“to delight to a high degree”

We all have felt enchantment at some point of our lives. Be it the moment when we were the recipient of fantastic customer service, or perhaps the moment when we did something that changed someone’s life forever or it be as simple as an impromptu shoe-shine that the founder of a fortune 500 company gave, that won Guy Kawasaki as his customer for life, from his competition.

Yes, Enchantment is the new upcoming book by Guy Kawasaki. Guy does not need any introductions, in general, let alone in the entrepreneurial circles so I won’t get into that. If you’d like to read about him, he has an official bio published on his own website.

Enchantment is Guy’s 10th book and according to him,

“Enchantment is about transforming situations and relationships to invent new possibilities; ones that you probably did not think were possible.”

After reading it cover to cover, I can testify that until I had read the book, I could only understand the dictionary definition of enchantment (To delight to a high degree), but after having read & reflected upon it, I “Get” Guy’s definition as well.

Here are 5 things that Enchanted me in the book:

  • Something for everyone.  Being an entrepreneur, writer and an editor, I could see where I could infuse some enchantment for my customers by simply following some of the insightful recommendations by Guy. If I put my project management hat, I could see how I could enchant my customers on the projects I manage… and that’s not all. I could also see how I could enchant my primary customer – my spouse! Remember, it’s all about “delighting to a high degree” and no one can do with or have enough of it!
  • How To’s. The book is full of practical advice that can be applied “painlessly”.  Each chapter is titled with “How to… (do something)”. That, to me, is a direct call-to-action; action being the space where all possibilities are eventually manifested!
  • Personalization. The book ends each chapter with a personal (true) story of a real person on how he/she has achieved or experienced enchantment. That helps the reader establish a strong connection with the content (I was personally touched, moved and inspired by a personal story at the end of Chapter 1).
  • Edgy & Engaging. The book was edgy at times… with a somewhat “WYSIWYG” (sorry, couldn’t hold back the techie in me!) attitude… and was Engaging, pretty much all the time!
  • Fun & inspiration. It was clear to me that Guy had a lot of fun while writing the book. The fun rubbed off of me as the reader as he relates certain incidents (again, real incidents) with a pinch of humor and a generous dose of inspiration!

I could go on, but I’ll defer for now, as an actual review of the book will be coming out on Active Garage, on March 08, 2011 – the official release date of Enchantment.

Needless to say, if you are ready for Enchantment or simply cannot wait another week to know who the founder was who Enchanted Guy with an impromptu shoe-shine and won him (as his customer for life) from his competition, go right ahead and pre-order your copy right away!

Week In Review : Feb 13 – Feb 19, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on February 20, 2011

Social Media and Tribes #29: The new BLINK!

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 14, 2011

Contrary to popular belief, FaceBook is not a distraction. This is true at least for people who can use it in moderation like everything else in life. Glancing at the news feed once in a while helps you be connected. It happens in a split second and you see something that doesn’t register at the conscious-level but provides a gut-feel about the thing. Just like what Malcolm Gladwell states in his popular book BLINK: The power of thinking without thinking. more…

Project Reality Check #9: Tyranny of the “Truth”

by Gary Monti, Feb 15, 2011

Everyone sees their version of the “truth” and this can cause tyrannical behavior. This happens if the person’s “truth” limits the available options for action. Or it could be because of the rigidity in the system or bureaucracy. A great example is the comparison between the Brits and the Germans in WWII. Even though both of them has the technology for a similar artillery piece, the Germans were adept at improvising whereas the Brits were more concerned about maintaining status.  more…

7 Key Strategies for designing an Analysis based Company

by Linda Williams, Feb 16, 2011

In today’s fast changing environment being an analysis based company is critical to survival and profitability. Different industries will have different needs for analysis but there are some key components of an analytical strategy that are foundational to the majority of businesses. In this article, Linda lists the top 7 strategies for designing an Analytical Strategy. more…

Flexible Focus #41: Your 100 year life span

by William Reed, Feb 17, 2011

Irrespective of what ages determine the boundaries of each stage, the truth is that there are stages to life. And you cannot see some things clearly until you take the 100 year perspective. The 100 Year Life Span Mandala Chart can help you gain clarity. It takes a while to thoughtfully fill it out, but that is a small investment of time compared to the perspective it gives you. Think of it as climbing a mountain to the summit of your life, and getting the view of everything below. You owe it to yourself to go there at least once, and if possible at least once a year. more…

Leader driven Harmony #12: 4 P’s to get your !deas moving – Part 1

by Mack McKinney, Feb 18, 2011

The four Ps to move your ideas are be Pleasant, be Professional, be Patient and Promote like crazy. But very often you may not be able to find the traction in your organization. If that’s the case, Mack suggests some ways to rectify that. more…

If you have an average product , but if you can create brilliant ads, will the products sell more.  Look at this superb Ad from Apple aired during the 1984 Superbowl introducing the first Macintosh computer.

Almost anyone who watches this will think that Apple would have had phenomenal sales for the McIntosh after this ad.. In fact, Steve Jobs thought so too, but what really happened was sales were dismal and the MCintosh was not at all usable in real life.  Yes, it was looking cool, but people couldn’t use it. (Hard to believe now that Steve would have thought like this). In fact, the dismal sales of Mcintosh was one of the major reasons Steve was fired from Apple in 1985.

Steve learnt one of the most important lesson in his life… that a product has to be first really useful to the customers before advertising helps.  Having average products and following up with great Ads  worked in the Industrial age but not anymore.  Now we need remarkable products or remarkable ideas, which can spread virally.

Week In Review : Jan 23 – Jan 29, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 30, 2011

The Origin of Leaders #5: Habits. Routine sets you Free!

by Conor Neill, Jan 24, 2011

Aristotle says “we are what we habitually do”.  Who I am and become is directly related to my daily habits! For instance, you are not a smoker if you smoke 1 cigarette.  You are not a smoker if you smoke 2 cigarettes.  You become a smoker at some point where it becomes a daily thing! As the routine is repeated more and more regularly it takes less and less effort or self-discipline to begin and complete the routine. more…

Project Reality Check #6: Shall we Dance? Managing Change Orders

by Gary Monti, Jan 25, 2011

Over the years, PMI® has shown in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge® more and more acceptance of the need to address change as the project progresses. Why? Stakeholders rarely understand everything needed to address their needs. Regardless of the level of detail and planning brought to a situation there always is some variance in performance present. This is where change orders come into play and why they are so important. But remember, it is dangerous to believe enough change orders will compensate for vague contracting, lack of planning, and little or no discipline. more…

Social Media and Tribes #27: Gen Y changes TV viewing experience

by Deepika Bajaj, Jan 26, 2011

Gen Y watches over 3 hours of TV a day, but it’s not a couch potato experience. They’ve turned TV viewing itself into social media. If you see them watching TV, do not assume that that is ALL they are doing. Check how they are texting, commenting and tweeting. They don’t just watch a movie, they are sharing, collaborating, distributing and connecting. more…

Flexible Focus #38: Flexibility without Forcing

by William Reed, Jan 27, 2011

When your body is stiff, then physical stretching can feel more like pain than gain. A similar thing happens mentally when your values or beliefs are forcibly stretched beyond their limits. The key to expanding your comfort zone is to have more degrees of freedom. When you have more degrees of freedom in your mind and movements, then you experience flexible focus in action! more…

Leader driven Harmony #9: Don’t Be a Baby Bird (PartI)

by Mack McKinney, Jan 28, 2011

As the parent bird swoops in, the baby birds open their beaks and the parent plops a juicy worm or insect right into junior’s gaping mouth.  The baby just sits and eats.  The parent does all the work. Are you one of those?. more…

Before I talk you into shelling out $1,000 for this e-book (just kidding – it is Free to download!), a little bit on what this book is about:

  • Creative Success and
  • More Freedom, Money and Time for you.

Being Creative

Are you a creative person? Well, before you answer that question, it stands to reason we first define what being a “creative person” means. In the author’s (Mark McGuinness) own words:

“By creative people, I mean people who take creative approach to work and life. People who work hard, but because they love what they do, it doesn’t feel like work.

They may be artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, coaches, scientists, cooks, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals – or tackling complex, meaningful, inspiring challenges in other fields.

If this sounds like you, read on.

Why do creative people need Freedom, Money and time?

Creative people need three things to be happy.

  1. Freedom – to do what you want, when you want and how you want it. Not just in holidays and spare time – but also doing meaningful work, in your own way.
  2. Money – to maintain your independence and fund your creative projects. Of course you want a nice place to live, but you’re not so worried about a bigger car than the guy next door. You’d rather spend money on experiences than status symbols.
  3. Time – to spend as you please, exploring the world and allowing your mind to wander in search of new ideas.

Usually, you’re lucky if you get two out of the three. But if one of them is missing, it compromises the other two.

Without money, you don’t have much freedom, because you have to spend your time chasing cash.

Without time off, money doesn’t buy you a lot of freedom.

And if you’re doing something you hate for a living, it doesn’t matter how big your salary is, or how much holiday you get. You still feel trapped.

Surely there must be a more creative solution?

If this still sounds like you and you’d like a little more freedom, money and time in your life, read on.

What I got from this book?

In one word, Plenty! Here’s a list of the top 10 things I learned:

  1. Am I creative?: Creativity is not just a fancy label that only artists with long hair and thoughtful expressions carry – even though you might think you are not creative (or not creative enough), after reading the book, you might change your mind.
  2. It’s about Quality of Life: I want Freedom, Money and Time. Why? Simply to improve my quality of life.
  3. Don’t Compromise: It is OK to be Unreasonable about having all three – Freedom, Money and Time. Just one or two out of the three will just not do!
  4. Being skillful does not guarantee you money – Yes, you need to be skillful to make money, but, as Mark found out in his 2nd business, it’s not guaranteed.
  5. Your first love and the Market: In Mark’s own words – “Your market may be next door to your first love”. With poetry being his true love, he found “market-love” when he looked next door!
  6. Sharing adds; not subtracts: In today’s “knowledge based” marketplace, the more you share, the more you increase your chances of success. Why? Because it depicts your knowledge and people trust knowledge sources.
  7. Sales without Marketing is like surgery without an anesthetic:  Mark’s suggestion. Don’t try either. It’s way too painful.
  8. Your biggest enemy. Is sometimes (ok, most of the times), Ready?… YOU! Let go of your prejudices that limit your capacity. These usually start with thoughts like “I don’t think I can do that” OR thoughts that contain sentences that have the words “never” or “always”, in them.
  9. The wrong business model can crush you. Yeah, I know you knew this already. But, it’s these simple things that we neglect and overlook… until it’s too late. Mark shares his story about how this one got him!
  10. Never Give Up! – Well, before you take this too literally and rush to make some 2011 resolutions (you’re 17 days late!), there are some things that you should give up (like smoking?) … and then there are some that you should Never give up. I am talking about the latter – like pursuing your dreams. Persistence does pay! Keep creating and innovating!

About the e-Book

A few quick points about the e-book:

  • It’s FREE!
  • It’s a light read – 34 pages in all.
  • Describes Mark’s unconventional career journey, as a poet and creative coach, and the lessons he’s learned the hard way about finding the right combination of freedom, money and time.
  • It’s full of practical advice you can apply to your own situation, if you want to earn a living from your creative talent, or if you’re a freelancer or small business owner and want to make your business less stressful and more profitable.
  • Mark and his partners have also prepared an in-depth training program to accompany the e-book, and I’m pleased to be an affiliate partner for the launch. But the e-book itself is free to download, with no need to even give your email address.

Get your copy of Freedom, Money, Time and the Key to Creative Success by clicking here OR by going directly to the download page.

Also, please feel free to share the e-book with anyone who you think would find it helpful.

Week In Review : Jan 9 – Jan 15, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 16, 2011

Project Leadership #4: Trust is bidirectional

by Himanshu Jhamb, Jan 10, 2011

Trust is a key ingredient for a project’s success. Establishing bidirectional trust with the stakeholders – Client, Management and Team, lowers the cost of transaction and improves the quality of your projects. This happens only if you care for the stakeholders – all of them. Project that operate in this mode will flow smoothly and be phenomenally more successful! more…

Project Reality Check #4: Know the Business, Gain Power

by Gary Monti, Jan 11, 2011

Project managers (PMs) have to deliver; yet power to get the job done can be elusive. But PMs can take care of themselves and the team knowing they are lower on the food chain and get some power. How? By understanding and communicating in the language used by those with more strategic positions and power. This language also needs to provide a portal through which the PMs can express project concerns. The language is risk management.  more…

Social Media and Tribes #26: Social Media in 2011. Are you still in the GAME?

by Deepika Bajaj, Jan 12, 2011

By the end of 2010 the concept of social media became part of our lives because there was a need for an “Online Conversation” – to talk, listen and engage with your influencers. “SO WHAT? WHAT NEXT?”. You may have just scratched the surface of social media…new challenges and new opportunities are in the horizon. The bars are being raised and the learning curve is steep….What matters is Are You Fatigued or Are you Adapting? more…

Flexible Focus #36: Charting New Territory

by William Reed, January 13, 2011

It is time again to look back and gain some perspective on where we have been in the last eight weeks. Revisiting these articles will help you re-explore the territories where we have been, and see also how they fit together. And also reflects the amazing range of topics possible to address with the Mandala Chart. more…

Leader driven Harmony #7: Failure is required (Part II)

by Mack Mckinney, Jan 14, 2011

In the previous post Mack discussed the danger of not experiencing enough failure in life and how well-meaning people who shelter us from failure can rob us of the mental toughness that we need to get through life. Now a days, people who have tried and failed are much more attractive to most employers than people who have led sheltered lives, protected from failure, with teachers and parents hovering over them and protecting their increasingly brittle self-images. So, push yourself hard enough that you sometimes screw-up. more…

Week In Review : Jan 2 – Jan 8, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 9, 2011

ROI for Business Intelligence

by Matthew Carmen, Jan 3, 2011

There are many other direct and indirect efficiencies and benefits that can be realized through the proper planning and implementation of BI tools and systems.  The more end-user groups that participate in the planning of a company’s BI system, the easier it becomes to change the ultimate corporate culture. Once the buy-in from the users is attained, the real savings begin, and a platform to accelerate corporate growth now exists. more…

Project Reality Check #3: Hangman – The Triple Constraint

by Gary Monti, Jan 4, 2011

Project management has a lot in common with the game “Hangman” in that the project manager is expected to figure out what the stakeholder(s) in control want without them telling the PM directly. But project managers also have to ensure sufficient time and money are left to implement the scope. This is the triple constraint. more…

Keys to a successful Strategic Planning Process

by Steve Popell, Jan 5, 2011

Marrying the Vision and Mission statements is essential, because it helps to get across to your employees how truly important each of their jobs is in the grand scheme of things. You want your employees to make the connection between them. If your strategic planning group crafts meaningful Vision and Mission statements, you will create an environment in which this kind of connection will be a small step, not a leap. more…

Flexible Focus #35: Move less, Attract more

by William Reed, Jan 6, 2011

The abundance mentality is a shift in mindset, a broader and more generous view. It is also the realization that you are not stuck with what you start with. Regular practice with the Mandala Chart gives you the ability to take any idea and quickly multiply it by eight to generate new ideas, applications, perspectives, or connections. more…

Leader driven Harmony #6 : Failure is required (Part I)

by Mack McKinney, Jan 7, 2011

It is important that you fail in order to succeed. When learning a new skill, you have to be allowed to fail. If not, you will not be prepared to face situations in real life and you may panic in those situations. more…

Week In Review : Dec 12 – Dec 18, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on December 19, 2010

The Origin of Leaders #4: Self-discipline. Cultivating the habit of completion

by Conor Neill, Dec 13, 2010

The only people who can change the world are those that want to. Many don’t want to. Some want to, but don’t accept the discipline of hard work. Anything you want will never be as hard as you imagine it will be! So, get started and push on through. Do it “just because.” Even if it is a failure as a product, it will teach you. You will come out stronger. more…

Chaos and Complexity #14: What makes Complexity complex?

by Gary Monti, Dec 14, 2010

The hallmark of complex systems is emergent behavior. The components of this behavior are Adaptability, Connectedness, Interdependency and Diversity. It is the responsibility of the leader to maintain a balance among all four variables and each of these attributes must be at the “in-between” setting to create positive tension. more…

Social Media and Tribes #24: Getting better with Social Media – Christmas Wishlist

by Deepika Bajaj, Dec 15, 2010

Social media was a boon for Deepika while she was confined to bed rest after undergoing surgery. She could stay in touch with friends, help others, blog, shop and more. If only Social Media could make you Starbucks and chicken soup:) more…

Flexible Focus #32: Folding the Square

by William Reed, Dec 16, 2010

Origami and general the art of folding is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. This is an essential aspect of Japanese sense of creativity and aesthetics. The reason is that, not only does it result in a host of useful and practical solutions to problems and products, but it also illustrates how many possibilities open up when we work within a certain set of limitations. The Mandala Chart can facilitate the process of connecting discipline and spontaneity through flexible focus. more…

Leader driven Harmony #3: How to make your writing Crisp, Flavorful and Satisfying (Part I)

by Mack McKinney, Dec 17, 2010

Clear, sharp writing is almost a lost art.  And it is sad because to get along in life you must be able to explain yourself clearly. In business if you cannot craft a grammatically correct, well-written document that people find pleasing to read, you will always be working for someone else who can. There are five key considerations in writing: Purpose, Audience, Content, Style and Mechanics. This post is about Purpose. more…

Week In Review : Nov 28 – Dec 4, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on December 5, 2010

Social Media and Tribes #22: Pink and Grow Rich – My thanksgiving gift!

by Deepika Bajaj, Nov 29, 2010

Deepika has released her e-book “PINK and Grow RICH“. If you believe you have to characteristics of a leader or you see yourself as a person who has one reason for not being who you could be, this is a must read for you. more…

Chaos and Complexity #12: Terrorism

by Gary Monti, Nov 30, 2010

Terrorism thumbs its nose at best-practice, top-down approaches. And terrorists are good at it. They create large force multipliers extending beyond the battlefield. They are always looking for tipping points.Terrorists work to make things chaotic (if not random) and committed security team members work to build the bonds needed to trap the terrorist and keep things safe. That is complex behavior. At times the best that security teams can do is reduce the chaos to complexity. This means trade-offs are inevitable. more…

Getting off on the right foot with a neutral business valuation specialist

by Steve Popell, Dec 2, 2010

Collaborative divorce is a splendid out-of-court process that can assist the spouses to communicate more effectively and to negotiate more productively.  If the parties make the necessary commitment to the process, they have a much better chance to maintain human decency, protect their children, and to help the entire family to get on the other side of the divorce decree in one piece. more…

Flexible Focus #30: The 8 frames of life: Home

by William Reed, Dec 2, 2010

Home is the 4th in the 8 Frames of Life of the Mandala Chart. Yet, broken homes, dysfunctional families, domestic violence, and broken hearts are pandemic in our society, an outward reflection of an inner conflict. The Mandala Chart is a comprehensive compass for life, and provides helpful perspectives on themes surrounding our Home. more…

Leader driven harmony #1: Communication by Handshake

by Mack McKinney, Dec 3, 2010

This Series is about life and business and the first topic should be of interest to anyone doing business anywhere –the business handshake. A predictable, firm handshake is an important tool in business, in fact, in life, in general.  A handshake is over in a few seconds yet it helps us reach a number of conclusions about the other person. more…

Week In Review: Oct 10 – Oct 16, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 17, 2010

Developing your financial management talent

by Brian Superczynski, Oct 11, 2010

IT financial management has not evolved into a discipline with its own academic programs and certifications. In addition to learning on the job and tailoring programs for your organization, ITIL and PMI courses/certifications will help. But the first step is to recognize this as a  unique area that needs to be developed in your organization. more…

Chaos and Complexity #5: Chaos vs. Complexity

by Gary Monti, Oct 12, 2010

When patterns emerge in chaotic environment, adaptation happens. This is called complex adaptive behavior. This is driven by self organization. The hallmark of emergent, complex adaptive behavior is it brings about a change from the starting point that is not just different in degree by in kind. more…

Social Media and Tribes #16: LinkedIn gets a local makeover in India!

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 13, 2010

India’s economy is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s professional class is utilizing social media to keep up. Brijj is the local equivalent of LinkedIn, but it has some local twists. more…

Flexible Focus #23: Manners make the man

by William Reed, Oct 14, 2010

Some of the Japanese traditions from the Edo period are still relevant. It shows how to live with respect, culture and style. In this article William has a short list of some key aspects of the Edo manners. You can also download the EDO SHIGUSA MANDALA to start integrating Edo Manners in your life. more…

Worry and Anxiety – Can we really overcome them?

by Vijay Peduru, Oct 15, 2010

We worry about a lot of things. But if you carefully analyze those worries, you will realize that more than 90% of them are needless. Worries only lead to bad situations like relationship problems are health issues. Overcome your worries by understanding that worries are stories we invent about a future situation. These stories will more than likely never happen. On a positive note, invent a good future situation and deliberately think about the good things that will happen in the future. more…