Monthly Archives: April 2010
“In 1940, Sir Winston Churchill used a personal development technique, so powerful, that it inspired an entire nation to take the action necessary to secure Britain’s victory over the Nazis in the Second World War.
This and other techniques are used in Unstoppable, the psychological success system that will inspire you to become the person that you want to be.
If being Unstoppable can help nations to win wars, you can be damn sure that it will help you to win, not just your personal battles, but also the outstanding rewards in life that you truly deserve.”
At Kent’s 2020 Conference and Exhibition yesterday, James Caan, of Dragon’s Den fame took the speaker’s stand at 9.15am. This is what he said:
Attitude not Aptitude determines Altitude
We Inspirationists love to be inspired and motivated by others. And this week, I visited the 2020 Exhibition at the Kent Country Show for just that reason. As the largestB2B exhibition in the south east (and one of the largest in the UK), it’s a vibrant, dynamic and bustling arena – with as much business going on between visitors as between exhibitors. 2020 attracts good speakers and I have just experienced James Caan one of the “dragons” on the hit BBC TV Show “Dragons Den”. He’s the quietest dragon, yet in controlling 42 different businesses, he is passionate about people, about creating profit and about making a difference. So here’s just a flavour of his inspirationist talk:
Recession means opportunity. We have had many years of glut, greed and good-times. In the more difficult and challenging economy, we are forced to be more creative and more flexible, in order to survive. Being ready to change means being ready to ride the storm – and therefore being ready for the good times when they return – as sure as the sunshine follows rain – eventually…
Value your people or lose them: In tough times, be open and honest with your staff – and let them know the truth. As JC put it – “Tell them if you’ve having a shit period”. Plan for the future, and make sure you have a vision about what you and your business stand for. Communicate this vision and be prepared to review and change things if your current strategy isn’t working. And as you change your strategy, let your staff in on the changes. It’s ok; they can take it – and knowing the whole story makes people feel valued. What they can’t take is bullshit or silence. They see through one and are terrified by the other.
Find your “separator”: To JC, every successful business has a differentiator – something that separates it from the pack. Big or small, this will provide the niche or the unique selling proposition that allows your customers to find and come back to you, rather than your competitors. One simple separator is to visit your customers in person. In our on-line world, many business people are even forgetting how to make telephone calls, let alone how to build face-to-face relationships. Think about it; if you are not visiting your clients, someone else is, and probably schmoozing them too. So seller beware; make regular contact or lose the relationship.
Watch the markets: According to JC, the stock market works around 6 months ahead of the economy. This tells him that the recovery – though slight – is underway; stocks and shares are showing gentle increases as the markets start to recognise recovery. Thus, you can be optimistic and think about re-investing. This could be in head-count, equipment or marketing. Or it could be in capital or other expensive projects. But remember; if the markets show a down-turn, watch for the economy to follow suit within half a year. It works both ways.
Exploit technology: Yes, of course you already do use it. And now think about how much more good technology could do for you. JC wants us all to be more creative with technology. It can be used for accounting and CRM of course. But it can also be used to provide more tracking and more metrics on how well your business is doing. Good information provides good choices; and good choices provide good decisions. Again, if you are thinking of investing, even if your business or department has only a small budget, you could still improve your software with a very small investment – and that too will have an impact on your business processes and systems.
Review your current business: During the recession, JC has encouraged his businesses to review all their systems and processes – from HR to sales – and from operations to marketing. He was surprised to find that improvements could be made in many areas – and some of these were really basic. In one of his businesses, he realised that appraisals were only being regularly done for 15% of the workforce. He has now increased that to 85% – and counting. Which bits of your organisation could you be improving?
Motivate yourself as well as your people: JC pointed out that – very often – we spend more time sorting out our people rather than looking at what might be good for us. We motivate others before motivating ourselves. That is a good thing; every successful business needs motivated staff to perform well and to be productive. However, what about you? JC is only human and he too, at times, has needed to re-motivate himself. When he sold his successful recruitment business – Alexander Mann – back in 2002, he started looking hard for a new challenge. Having left school at 16, he went back, this time to Harvard Business School, and he completed his business degree. In true student fashion, he then took a Gap Year, and visited his birthplace, Pakistan. Having personally financed the creation and building of a school for 486 pupils in a small Pakistani village – complete with IT lab, library and bussed-in teachers, he needed another projects. Dragons Den has provided further projects and yet the one now closest to his heart is brand new. He has just take over as Chairman of the Big Issue magazine, with a view to producing an on-line version, and creating an international brand, so that even more money can be made for the homeless magazine sellers.
JC believes that you don’t need to be the best to succeed. You don’t need to be the expert, with all the answers. You don’t need to have the biggest organisation or the brightest staff – or even the most unusual product. You DO need to be passionate, positive, persistent, productive, and entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurs can really make a difference; they really affect peoples’ lives.
As JC puts it “It’s your attitude and not your aptitude that determines your altitude”.
Article written by Henry Lee, The Inspirationist Coach @ TheInspirationist.com
‘Don’t make your decisions with wisdom, make them with passion’, Ave, Navajo Indian, Las Vegas, 2002.
Which do you make more important: experiences or memories? We all have both, of course. But many gloss over the present, taking photos on the way, and look forward to getting back home to show the photos to others. ‘This is what we did. This is where we went’, they say. This is good, this is enjoyable, this is sharing. But enjoying the moment, fully enjoying the experience itself is always better! When you are on your death-bed, there will be memories that you can’t recall because they faded. There will be memories that you want to share with certain people, but those certain people won’t be there with you. There will be things you remember with love, and there will be things that you remember with regret.
Why wait? Why wait? Why wait?
You already know how to be happy. You need no more learning. You need no more intelligence. You need no more age or wisdom.
Happiness only ever occurs in the moment. Make today’s moments special.
Make Your Life Special.
They say there’s no failure, only results. Bull! When you fail to get the result you wanted, it’s not nice. You feel like you’ve wasted your time. It’s boring. They say, ‘you discovered another way that didn’t work’. Great – but it’s not, is it? It’s a pain. So what’s the answer? Elegant Failure: that’s the best way.
Try this: Whenever you fail to get the right answer, the support or the sale that you wanted, admit that you failed and failure is a part of the process. It’s okay to fail. It happens to everybody.
The thing I like to do when I fail is to Reward Your Biggest Mistakes with the Biggest Rewards.
When we reward ourselves, we feel good – or at least we should. When you link failure to a good feeling, you will eventually stop beating yourself up as a result of your failure.
Once you get to this point, stop the reward and you’ll find you stick with the new feeling.
This is a real win/win. You’ll end up feeling fine whether you succeed or you fail. The important point is not to let failure stop you trying. And not to let it make you feel bad.
Warning: If you keep on rewarding yourself for failure endlessly, you could end up conditioning yourself to want to keep failing because you like the feeling so much. But you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? You’ll know when you’ve achieved the right level of feeling okay about failure though, won’t you, because you understand exactly this principle.
Good luck – not that you need it. Make some great mistakes and then tell me all about them. I really want to hear how you get on.
I don’t know. That Nick Clegg’s an odd one. On the face of it, his eyes, his body language and his general demeanour are missing something. And yet, he appears to be the ‘winner’ in the debate!
I would have said that he’s a performer. And although I don’t think he has much charm, he has that quality which makes him believable.
Compared with Cameron, whose background is hard to hide – and some are biased against privilege – Clegg has a kind of solidness.
What do you think determines who people vote for? Is it their promises, their manifesto, their party politics, or something much deeper, perhaps their humanity, their character or their ability to perform?