The Networking Action Plan to Accomplish Anything from Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success.
?Disciplined dreamers all have one thing in common: a mission. The mission is often risky, unconventional, and most likely tough as hell to achieve. But it is possible. The kind of discipline that turns a dream into a mission, and a mission into a reality, really just comes down to a process of setting goals.
Turning a mission into a reality does not “just happen.” It is built like any work of art or commerce, from the ground up. First, it must be imagined. Then, one needs to gather the skills, tools, and materials needed. It takes time. It requires thought, determination, persistence, and faith. The tool I use is something I call the Networking Action Plan.
The Plan is separated into three distinct parts:
The first part is devoted to the development of the goals that will help you fulfill your mission.
The second part is devoted to connecting those goals to the people, places, and things that will help you get the job done.
And the third part helps you determine the best way to reach out to the people who will help you to accomplish your goals. It’s a bare-bones, straightforward worksheet,
In the first section, I list what I’d like to accomplish three years from today. I then work backward in both one-year and three-month increments to develop mid- and short-term goals that will help me reach my mission. Under each time frame, I create an “A” and a “B” goal that will meaningfully contribute to where I want to be three years from now.
(Example of the Plan)............So she set about filling out the worksheet. Her “A” goal three years forward was to be a teacher. Her three-year “B” goal was to be a teacher in a well-respected district located in a place she wanted to live. Then she filled in his short-term A and B goals. In ninety days, she wanted to be well on her way toward becoming certified as a high school teacher, enrolling in some type of program that would help professionals transition into the field of education. In a year, she wanted to be teaching full-time; she made a list of some of the best high schools in Manhattan that she might enjoy working at. In the second part of the Plan, broken up in similar time increments, she had to name one or two people for each A and B goal who she thought could get her one step closer to making her goal a reality. Within a couple of weeks, Jamie was on her way. She started to see the symbiotic relationship between goal setting and reaching out to the people who can help us achieve those goals. The more she accomplished, the bigger her teaching network grew. The bigger her teaching network grew, the closer she came to accomplishing her three-year goals.
This process can be used by almost anyone, whatever your career. After completing the worksheet, you’ll have a mission. You’ll have the name of a flesh-and-blood person who can help you take the next step in achieving that mission. And you’ll have one, or perhaps several, ways to reach out to that person.
The purpose of this exercise is to show that there is a process, a system if you will, involved in building a network. It’s not magical; it’s not reserved for a select few born with an inherent gift for being social. Connecting with others really just involves having a predetermined plan and carrying it out, whether you want to be a ninth-grade history teacher or start your own business.
Your goals must be specific. Vague, sweeping goals are too broad to be acted upon. They must be concrete and detailed. Know what steps you’ll take to achieve your goal, the date by which it will be accomplished, and the measurement you’ll use to gauge whether you’ve achieved the goal or not.
Your goals must be challenging and demanding. Step out of your comfort zone; set goals that require risk and uncertainty. And when you achieve your goal, set another one."
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz
To create something that takes hours to create and then sell for pennies is to destroy any chance you have. Value your time.
Discipline matters on cash flow, particularly where money is tight. You will want to spend the extra, but remember that you are generating money from the system you have the products you sell, from what you already own, and since you need money to grow, you need to spend less on things that do not generate income. For every dollar you spend you need what you bought to make two dollars or more. You have to keep the machine running. Once you are ahead, put some aside for any future issues or growth, returns, system problems, etc. Always be looking for new opportunities, and always look for a way to make more and spend less. The best solution is something that you can make that is low cost to produce and low cost to ship and most importantly, people want. You can make more money, you can find new things to sell, but you cannot get more time, it is infinitely valuable. To create something that takes hours to create and then sell for pennies is to destroy any chance you have. Value your time.
Do not sell on price alone, ever, and know that you only make money when you buy, not when you sell.
This is my Rule #1;
Do not sell on price. One more time, do not sell on price alone, ever.
You are selling value. Always.
What I tell the salesmen I work with is very simple; If you have to sell by having the lowest price, and then promise next day delivery, and then also agree to whatever else anyone wants, then I really don't need you to sell for me. Anyone can sell by agreeing to anything and promising everything.
Sooner or later skill, talent, and value has to be a factor. If all we do is agree to anything, anyone can do that. It takes no skill.
Real sales is amazing, it is the creation of a relationship that works for both sides. This doesn't mean you don't do customer service, or that you shouldn't listen to the customer. Sales is hard work.
Real sales means both sides benefit each transaction.
Remember, you make money when you buy, not when you sell. Anyone can give something away for free. Anyone can promise anything a customer asks, anyone can give free freight. There is no skill, no art, and no value, and therefore no profit in things anyone can do. The art is in selling what makes you unique. You want to create a transaction that makes both parties feel they have won.
Start Now. Your world needs action.
As soon as Guns began to play regularly in L.A., we started up a phone and mailing list. We obsessively made sure people who came to shows signed up—well, actually, what we did was send stripper friends out into the audience and have them convince people to sign up. Obviously we had to write good songs and play well live to get a bigger audience. On that front I already knew we had the components we needed. But the mailing list really worked for us—within six months we had a thousand names with contact info for each. Other bands had mailing lists, but one of the secrets to GN’R’s success was how much time and effort we spent building and maintaining ours. We knew we had to make it on our own, and after our Seattle road trip, failure was not an option with this crew.
It's So Easy by Duff McKagan
"Renzo Gracie said, "The beauty of the art is that it is so efficient. It molds itself to whomever is practicing. As long as you stick with it, you can be a good fighter. It's not only certain body types or athleticism. I've seen guys that couldn't run or jump for shit, with no coordination at all, become unbelievable champions because they dedicated themselves. The other fighting arts, even judo, wrestling, boxing, they all depend on athleticism. I train judo my whole life but the moment I get out of shape I lose everything. Boxing you need speed, even when you have a lot of experience. Jiu-jitsu is about dedication and knowledge."
The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game by Sam Sheridan
The is no defeat until you say you are defeated. Until that point you are still in it, still trying, you can still win, and only you can lose it. People are not overcome by situations or outside forces; defeat comes only from within. Only you can make yourself lose.
The world can throw anything at you it wants but you are the one who says you are done.
This is a very interesting and important thought;
Defeat is a mental act.
Defeat is not something that really exists outside your head. The world doesn't know or care what you are trying to do, nor does it make you give up, you are what gives up.
You can see it in someone's eyes, that moment when they quit, and then they give up. In a fighter's eyes, in a runner's, you can see that point that they no longer believe in what they are trying to do.
"It's just knowledge man. It's the same for everyone. You go over the basics and pretty soon you're dreaming about it like everyone else. Be honest and humble enough to learn from everybody."
If you want to succeed you do not give up ever. You fight not until the end, you fight until you win.
The success ones are those who brought it, who understand that the losses make them stronger, smarter, better. Dedication to the craft, to the business, leads to winning.
It is all in the mind set, yours and no one else's.
The more specific you are about what you want to do, the easier it becomes to develop a strategy to accomplish it. Part of that strategy, of course, is establishing relationships with the people in your universe who can help you get where you’re going.
Every successful person I’ve met shared, in varying degrees, a zeal for goal setting. Successful athletes, CEOs, charismatic leaders, rainmaking salespeople, and accomplished managers all know what they want in life, and they go after it.
Have you set goals? Have you written them down? Do you have a plan to accomplish them? It turned out that only 3 percent of the Yale class had written down their goals, with a plan of action to achieve them. Thirteen percent had goals but had not written them down. Fully 84 percent had no specific goals at all, other than to “enjoy themselves.” In 1973, when the same class was resurveyed, the differences between the goal setters and everyone else were stunning. The 13 percent who had goals that were not in writing were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent of students who had no goals at all. But most surprising of all, the 3 percent who had written their goals down were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent of graduates combined!
Countless books have been written about goal setting over the last few decades. Yes, it really is that important. Over the years, I’ve refined my own goal-setting process into three steps. But the key is to make setting goals a habit. If you do that, goal setting becomes a part of your life. If you don’t, it withers and dies.
Step One: Find Your Passion The best definition of a “goal” I’ve ever heard came from an extraordinarily successful saleswoman I met at a conference who told me, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
All good decisions, I’m convinced, come from good information.
Deciding on your passion, your bliss, your blue flame is no different. There are two aspects to getting good information. One part comes from within you; the other part comes from those around you. 1. Look inside There are many ways to conduct a self-assessment of your goals and dreams. Some people pray. Others meditate or read. Some exercise. A few seek long periods of solitude. The important thing when conducting an internal review is to do without the constraints, without the doubts, fears, and expectations of what you “should” be doing. You have to be able to set aside the obstacles of time, money, and obligation. When I’m in the right frame of mind, I start to create a list of dreams and goals.
Look outside Next, ask the people who know you best what they think your greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Ask them what they admire about you and what areas you may need help in. Before long, you’ll find that the information you’re getting from your own review and the input you receive from others will lead you to some very concrete conclusions about what your mission or direction should be.
Disciplined dreamers all have one thing in common: a mission. The mission is often risky, unconventional, and most likely tough as hell to achieve. But it is possible. The kind of discipline that turns a dream into a mission, and a mission into a reality, really just comes down to a process of setting goals.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz
There is a difference between risk and perceived risk.
Real risk is just that, something that can take your business down, or seriously impact your world and life.
Perceived risk is your emotions or others emotions coloring the facts and it makes you make decisions based not on fact but on what you think is a possibility.
You cannot predict the future, and many studies have shown that when we do, we are always wrong.
Many studies have also shown we let many things influence our decision making, and it is important as an entrepreneur to make your decisions based on what you know as fact and not on opinion.
Once you detail a situation, collect the facts, what you know to be true, what you can show to others. Know it, and once you know what is real, then you can plan how to overcome true risk, or correct it, or eliminate it.
Why Entrepreneurs should create a resume once a year.
There is the "new" experts on the Internet who say that you should throw away the resume, ignore them, no one uses them anymore, and they no longer are relevant. I am amazed how quickly the internet pundits can dog pile an idea. I have heard this advice given over and over on many podcasts and blogs, all of them saying forget resumes, be an entrepreneur.
Well, the smart entrepreneur knows that resumes do matter, and I have made sure to redo my resume at least once a year, and here is why;
People do want to see it.
It is the most visited page on my web site, so people do look, and it has generated many emails and discussions with many people, recruiters, other entrepreneurs looking for information or expertise. My resume is a keyword machine for SEO, and draws in many visits. I make it a standalone page, and it leads visitors to visit my main site.
It gives credibility.
The Internet is full of experts, but most have not done much in business, and that is what this is, a business. Internet business is bigger than just marketing or selling an ebook, and if you can show you have the chops, you are ahead of the pack. Don't tell me you are skilled and good, show me.
It makes you look at yourself and your career. it is important to look at yourself and your business objectively.
A resume gives you a sense of the path you have walked, the wins, and the lessons learned the hard way. (Don't know about you, but I only learn the hard way.) it is important to get some distance, so you can think clearly and see yourself without the external influences. A resume gives you a sense of where you have been and how you got there.
Finally, and this is the most important reason to create a resume if you are an entrepreneur.
A resume tells you what you need to learn to go where you want to go, who you want to be. It tallies up your skill set, let's you see what you are good at, and what you are weak in, so that you can build that skill up, or hire someone to compensate for the skill.
My mission is to go and destroy, and not let anything get involved. You punch, you get hurt, I refused to get hurt, knocked down, or knocked out. I can't lose, I refuse to lose.
The intensity of that quote says it all
I try and do many things, some work, some do not, many do not.
One thing that gives me an edge on a hard job is that I make sure that whatever I do, whatever job is on, that I bring the focus and drive to get it done. .
I make sure I am focused and bring my full attention and intensity to every task and every work day. Every time. I go hard and di what it takes to win.
When I enter into a task, or a pull into a parking lot to do a job, I instantly take the mindset of Mike Tyson in 1986. At that time, in that year, he was unstoppable.
My brain just switches on that way. It is automatic now.
On the way to work, while I am in the car, I may listen to podcasts or have the Black Keys playing loud or laughing at a radio show but once I am at the job, I go all Mike Tyson 1986.
The Mike Tyson I am talking about is the man in 1986, before everything went wrong and he was making stunning progress, winning fight after fight, before success and the loss of his mentor derailed him. At that moment in time, he was simply the best.
I am talking Mike Tyson at the beginning, back when his coach Cus D'Amato was still there to help guide him. That Tyson was awesome.
Every time he entered the ring, he entered stripped down, no socks just the shoes, and a plain set of black trunks. No glitz, no gold, just a man ready to go.
When he was interviewed why he was dressed so simply, I remember him saying that he wanted no comfort, this wasn't the time or the place.
He was there to work, get the job done, destroy and eliminate anything that stops the job from getting done.
He was a warrior, a man on a mission.
He meant it, he wanted to it to be hard, he was ready for it to be a battle, he was ready, and his focus, drive, and intensity were awesome and amazing.
That is how I approach each task, each job, each business opportunity.
I Mike Tyson it.
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
My quick thoughts on the methodology.
THE LEAN STARTUP METHOD
1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere. (and opportunities are everywhere. To paraphrase Richard Branson, the new opportunity bus comes all the time.)
2. Entrepreneurship is management. A startup is an institution, not just a product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty. (Skills and vision matters. Education and knowledge matter. Using these together to take action makes it all happen.)
3. Validated learning. Startups exist not just to make stuff, make money, or even serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically by running frequent experiments that allow entrepreneurs to test each element of their vision. (each is an experiment)
4. Build-Measure-Learn. The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback. (I find this gets overlooked as obvious, but this is something that always gets overlooked. If you want to get better you need feedback on what doesn't work.)
(4a. I am adding in this; speed matters. Learn to fail fast.)
5. Innovation accounting. To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for startups—and the people who hold them accountable.
(5a. Networks matter. No business is in a vacuum and is connected to the others. Connect and learn. Just as you are the average of your friends, your business is the average of its connections.)
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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