Posts Tagged ‘interview’

What’s your ante?

by Himanshu Jhamb on March 1, 2010

If you have ever played poker (and I know there are many experts out there who can beat me hands-down belly-up!), you know what ante is. Simply put, it’s the wager you have to bet without an inkling of the hand that has been dealt to you or in other words It is the wager that you have to bet that simply qualifies you to ‘play’ in the game. Then there are many tables, each table with different stakes. You can choose which table you want to sit at and play on depending on how much money you have.

Business is very similar to poker. It requires us to wager something – an ante before we even have an inkling of the hand that is dealt to us. Think about the investment you have to make in order to bring a product to market or start your next entrepreneurial venture or even the new job that you get. In each of these situations there is this pesky ante that you cringe to put down but have to put down in order to play on the table! Here’s how the ante appears in each of these situations:

  1. Bringing a product to the market: You put your time, money (maybe not yours!) and energy as ante in building the product, doing your market research & getting help from others.
  2. Starting your entrepreneurial venture: Your ‘skin-in-the-game’ is pretty much your ante here.
  3. Getting a new job: You apply for your dream job, excel in that interview, land the job and within 2 months realize that what you’re doing is nothing like what you had imagined you’d be doing (Err.. I mean this in a negative way). In this case, all the effort that you put in to the point where you started the new job is your Ante.

My point so far: There is an ante in every game you play (Business being a game, too… )

Here’s the golden question: Is the table you are sitting at (which basically determines what ante you put) is the right table for what you want to achieve?

Consider this example: You are 45 years old & have plans of retiring with $4M in your bank account at the age of 65. You currently have $1M saved up. You make $100K a year. That’s a gap of $3M you have to cover in 20 years. You don’t need to be a math whiz to notice that it is impossible to get to this number with what you are making currently – You are basically sitting at the wrong table! because regardless of how well you play at this table, you’re never going to make your goal of $4M!

So you figured out that you’re sitting and playing at a table where no matter how well you play (heck! you might be the best player) you’re still not going to make it to your goal.

Now what?

Before you decide to take the leap of faith and move to the high-ante table, be aware that as you move up to the high-ante, the competition gets thick too. The players at the high-ante table are no pushovers. In fact, one mistake there and they’ll wipe you out before you know what hit you! So, yes – by all means, quit playing at the table where you are not going to make it BUT continue playing at the low-ante table until you are Skilled enough to move higher up and be the best player at the high-ante table!

… and of course, the last piece of advice and perhaps the most important to remember – Know when you have made it to your goal, get up from the table and go play a new game!

Good luck!

When you begin to write your book, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you’ve already made significant progress….especially, if you’ve been active in your field for a long time.

Because you may have already written a lot of your book, the first writing step you should take is to take a fresh look at your hard drive, looking for content just begging to be included in your book!

Existing content takes many forms

To help you locate contents you already wrote, I’ve added a copy of my Existing Content Inventory Worksheet to my Active Garage Resource Page which you can download without registration.

My Existing Content Inventory Worksheet will help you keep track of content like case studies, examples, ideas, opinions, perspectives, procedures, resources, shortcuts, tips, and warnings.

Where to look for ready-to-use content

Look for existing content you can reuse for your book in files originally created for projects like:

  • Articles & newsletters
  • Blog posts & comments
  • Books, e-books, & previous book proposals
  • E-mail
  • Memos & reports
  • New business proposals
  • Presentations & speeches
  • Press releases
  • Teleseminars, webinars
  • White papers

As you review your previous client, prospect, and writing files, you may be surprised at the content richness waiting for you.

During your exploration, you might want to search your hard drive for key phrases and words that might take you directly to the content you’re looking for.

What to do after locating existing content

Once you consolidate the titles, relevance, and locations of existing content onto copies of the Existing Content Inventory Worksheet, you can address questions like:

  • What type of content is it? Is the content an idea, a process or a technique, a case study, an interesting anecdote, or a tip?
  • Where does the content belong in my book? Which chapter?
  • How much of the content is useful? Where will it appear within the chapter? Will the content be used as part of the text of your book, or is it more appropriate as a sidebar interview or tip?
  • How literally can I reuse the content? Can I simply copy and paste the content, (assuming you have copyright ownership of the content)? Or, do I need to paraphrase the content? Do I need to expand the content? Do I need to verify the accuracy of the content?
  • Do I need permissions for quotations? You may not need to obtain permission, for example, if the quote appeared in a published magazine or newspaper article. You might have to get permission, however, if you quoting an individual’s comments in a recorded teleseminar interview you hosted.

In many cases, of course, you may have originally written the content in long-forgotten articles, blog posts, or newsletters.

Of course, if you already knew, or suspected, that you were going to be write your current book, you’d- -hopefully- -have tracked the content using a mind map like the one I prepared for this blog post series (among other free resources).

Conclusion

Writing a book doesn’t have to mean a time-consuming endeavor requiring you to write every word from scratch! If you’ve been active in your field for a long time, you may have already written a lot of your book! Even better, if you used tools like mind mapping to organize your content and track your writing, you may be pleasantly surprised to find how much of your book has already been written.

Roger C. Parker helps business professionals write brand-building, thought-leadership books. He’s written over 30 books, offers writing tools at Published&Profitable, and posts writing tips each weekday. His next book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles.