I discovered these tips for public speakers in a book from 1916. Although this list was written more than 90 years ago, these suggestions are still good today. It seems that good speaking habits are timeless. [Read more…]
Most of your marketing activities should be in the context of ongoing campaigns. You should think of marketing as something you do every day, every week, every month, for as long as you are in business. Advertising, direct mail and other marketing methods may be part of your long-term strategy.
However, there are some things you can do to bring quick results. The next time you need to generate some revenue in a hurry, try some of these fast and easy ways to get more business from new and existing clients. [Read more…]
Would you take diet advice from an economist? After reading an article by economist Richard B. McKenzie in today’s Wall Street Journal, I think you should. And this advice is not only about losing weight–you could apply it to anything you have been putting off or when you hit a wall in reaching a goal.
Richard McKenzie found himself trying to lose the same nine pounds for the better part of 10 years. So he took the advice of economist Tyler Cowen and created the “Economist Weight-Loss Incentive Plan.” Under this plan, he signed a contract with a friend stating that he would lose the nine pounds in 10 weeks or else he would pay her $500. The idea was to choose an amount of money that would hurt a bit to lose, but would not be more than he could stand to lose.
Even though McKenzie is an economist and understands how cost influences our decisions, he was surprised at how much the potential $500 payment affected his behavior. He joined a gym, took longer walks, ate more salads and skipped the fast food. At the end of the ten weeks, he had lost 14 pounds, surpassing his goal.
We all weigh the relative costs and benefits when making choices, whether those choices are about what to eat, whether to see the movie as soon as it is released or wait for the DVD, changing jobs, or any of the dozens of tiny choices we make every day.
If you need to motivate yourself to make a change, why not try your own version of this system? Make a contract with someone that you will pay them a sum of money if you have not reached your goal by a specified date. It does not have to $500. Make it $100 or $1000, whatever figure will motivate you to reach your goal.
What if someone is willing to pay you? Perhaps a parent offers to give you $500 if you reach your goal. That might work, but people are generally more motivated by the possibility of loss than gain. Besides, agreeing to pay someone else if you do not reach your goal means that reaching your goal costs no one. Cost is only incurred if you not do what you said you would do.
Put the contract in writing, and both you and your friend should sign it. They are agreeing to hold you accountable. Set a specific goal. Saying that you will “get organized” over the next 12 weeks is too vague. What does that mean? McKenzie’s goal worked because there was no question about whether or not he met it: he contracted to lose nine pounds in 10 weeks.
Then watch how the financial incentive inspires you to stay on track and reach your goal.
Would you like to have a mentor? Someone from whom you could learn the secrets of success? It is not easy to find someone who will share their secrets and spend the time to teach you what they know. But there is a way.
I have had a number of what I call “double-secret mentors.” These are people from whom I have learned without even making direct contact. Instead, I studied what they did and how they did it so I could apply their knowledge to my business.
Not only did I learn a lot, in many cases I later got to meet these mentors. We have since become friends and colleagues, and I continue to learn from them.
Here is how you can get double-secret mentors of your own: [Read more…]
If you are like a lot of other people, you may spend a lot of time thinking about money, talking about money and worrying about money. But have you ever considered why? What does money really mean to you?
I got to thinking about this while reading a terrific article in Paul Myers‘ newsletter today. He posed the question, “Why do you want the money?” Although most people will tell you they want “more” money, very few can give a thoughtful and realistic reason why. Well, I have thought about it, and I can tell you what money means to me . . . [Read more…]