One of the best lessons I learned long ago, from the first boss that I ever had, was to always leave a room better when you enter it. This is a rule I use every single day, constantly throughout the day.
A place should be better for you being in it, because the opposite of that is just not acceptable, the opposite of making it better is of course that a place is worse for you having been there. Every thing you touch should be slightly better because you are there.
This is something that has shaped my whole career.
The underlying principle, of course, is to always be on the lookout for things to improve, and to do things that make it better for all, to be aware of what is around you and what can be done to make it better for everyone.
It doesn't have to be big.
As I walk though offices, I close copier lids, pick up paperclips off the ground, put some papers in theor proper place so they can be found later, help some poeple with questions.
On a larger scale, I redesign process layouts, create purchasing plans (I call them machines as I like them to run without me), I mentor others, talk to everyone on my team and other groups to insure that we as a team are going in the same direction and that we are all working on the same goals. It goes on and on as there are an infinite amount of ways to make things better.
Doing this, even on a small scale, not only makes you and your area better, but as a leader, you are setting the example to everyone around you about what matters, and they will do what you do. They will make sure they leave each area better for them being there as well.
Imagine a building full of people all trying to make each area better as they walk through it.
Now think bigger, and imagine a city, a state, country, or world doing the same.
Small positive actions build upon themselves until they change who you are, and what the world can be.
You get the respect you give, but you need to give yourself the same treatment, if you respect yourself, others will respect you.
In my career, I have always made decisions and learned the skills I have, based on thinking of myself as a corporation.
That means anytime I work with a company, I view it as if Daryl Burnett Inc is doing business with Company X Inc.
I often see companies treat other companies as equals, or with respect, but companies treat individuals more as chess pieces or as replaceable cogs, and to me that is not the smart play on either side.
By being and acting as a company, I am making better and smarter moves for both sides of the equation, and these ideas are more based on long term thinking than I would do personally. Acting as a company also makes me expect and require respect from those businesses I work with, and I treat the company I work with as a partner.
You get the respect you give, but you need to give yourself the same treatment, if you respect yourself, others will respect you.
In today's market, the concept of you as a company isn't a theory, it is how the world works today. In your life you will have several careers, you will learn many different skills, because the market place is now fluid. You need to remember that you are a business, and that you need to make those moves that give your company the best possible chances in the future, and gives you the most profit.
Profit being defined as not just money, it is often more than money, it can be time, location, and skills.
People need to recognize that you did great work and out hustled, out talked, and out worked everyone else
The way I understood how to get ahead from my younger days was that you work hard, out do the competition, and it will get recognized, and you move up in the organiztion, and the first part is still true, you have to do good work.
But today the world is full of competition so you always have to keep in mind that you need to out hustle and out work everyone around you, but another important piece, final part of that logic, is that people need to recognize that you did great work and out hustled, out talked, and out worked everyone else.
Other people are not watching everything you do 24/7.
Studies have shown that for example, when you walk across a room and trip, you feel embarrassed because you believe that everyone around saw you trip. The whole group was watching you walk across the room.
Do you really believe the whole room is watching just you?
Studies show that most if not all people did not see you trip, and the ones who did forgot it minutes later.
That no one sees you works in your favor when you mess up something, and you will screw something up if you are trying to do anything new or exciting, but no one seeing you works against you when you do something great.
No one really notices, and if they do, they forget about it minutes later.
You need to remind them about your chops, show them what you did for them, what your skills are, what projects you have finished, how much money you have made them, how knowing you makes their life better. And you need to do it often.
You can bring it up in stories, in presentations, and it can be subtle, and should be, the reminder should be subtle, but it should also be real and clear what you have done.
When you get recognized, then good things happen, you get the sale, the promotion, the client.
One of the best things that I have learned from being in purchasing, is that the easiest way to see if something can be done, is to ask.
Sounds simple, and it is, but I am amazed how often we do not actually act on it, and ask for what we want or need.
I interact daily with all types of salesmen and operations types, all kinds of personalities, and I get to learn from them all.
Every day I watch salesmen on my team succeed or fail, and it amazes how often an average salesmen gets a large sale just because they asked for it. No one else tried, no one else asked for it, too many other salesmen waited, making the call, but never asking.
I see it with sales people who call on me. Many talk market, or their background, the good ones ask about me and what my company is working on or looking for, but only a very small group of sales people ask for anything. The successful ones not only ask, but also expect a yes, every time, not always get, but always expects it. I know from experience, that person will succeed.
In sales you will get told the word no much more than you will yes by a large margin. It is hard to hear no seventeen times in a row and then ask again, but the good sales people do it, and they truly believe number eighteen will say yes.
Too many inexperienced sales people do not ask, often because they are avoiding the no, and you do need some skill from practice to phrase things so that you avoid the customer having opportunities to say no, but in the end, you have a product you believe in, you make the pitch and you ask.
It is the law of averages, you ask enough people, some will say yes, and the more times you ask, the better your odds of a home run.
It works on everything; to lower bills, get credits for bad service, discounts, to get a free coffee, and to get rid of that extra fee on your phone bill.
It absolutely works for growing and selling in your business.
Business Experiment No. 1
Learning means nothing with out action, so here is the first goal for you;
Make $1.00 by selling something to someone else.
It could be anything, and it needs to be to anyone you don't currently know, but you need but make a deal. Sounds easy, but can you really do it, make that first dollar? That $1.00 can be the start of a business that can change your life. Do you have what it takes?
Stop everything, stop reading this, and go do it.
This will prove an important point to you, and it is what I think is the most important point that you can learn about business:
That you can make money and you can do it now. No one else has do to it for you, you can make your future.
The first dollar is the hardest, but once you get it, you understand that it can be done, that you don't have to work for someone if you don't want to, that businesses are created by people just like you. You make that dollar, you sell something, you have your first email for your customer list, your mailing list, and you meet someone new, which means you have widened your network.
See on eBay, sell on flippa.com, sell at a garage sale, sell on the street, online, make a cold call, it doesn't matter.
For me it was ebay, I started selling used books and some jewelry, and I quickly learned that I coiuld sell, and it started me learning all I can.
Let me know how you do. I would like to know.
Any questions let me know.
The world is a place of constant interconnecting streams of transactions. A Business is made of infinite amount of possibility.
Your world is a place of constant interconnecting streams of transactions. A infinite amount of possibility and opportunity surrounds you.
Your business can be anything you create, if you work at it, and you think and experiment, because of this work, the business and you grow. Look at all the things you own, your computer, your book, your TV, your clothes, and know that is is all connected and all the result of transactions. Some yours, some other peoples.
All of it is connected. Everywhere and everyone and everything is connected.
This is a very important concept, because if you can see the transactions around you thrn it means that you can also see the opportunity.
I am sitting on a plane when I write this on my phone, looking at all the connections around me. My phone is full of apps that I bought, full of music that I listen to (Cat Power - Sun) and while I listen, I watch people drink sodas put on board as a incentive to buy them again off the plane and each is a promotional roll out by the soft drink manufacturers. We eat peanuts that given for the same reason. Thank you California Growers.
I am flying Southwest and I have read books about the company, and their structure. I have taken some of their ideas and made them my own. Their web site linked me to the rental car place, each side benefiting from the connection. At the car place (Avis) I learned all about bad customer service and what not to do. I am reading the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau on my Kindle. the book written as Chris traveled the world, probably edited in Portland. The Kindle, thank you China.
Drill down further. I used to manage a plant that made the cleaners for the seats and surfaces of aircraft. I helped produce the materials to see cracks in plane parts under black lights. I have made inks that are made to print the newspapers next to me.
Everything is treated, created, and made. Each of those steps is a transaction. These are opportunities.
The clothes we wearing are from around the globe, different countries, different carriers or freight companies, different retailers with unique styles or brands. Some imported, some exported.
The supply chains built by companies today are amazing and they exist for every imaginable product.
Every single thing around uou is the result of a transaction.
Start looking a little closer.
Today’s technology is constantly evolving and improving. What seemed impossible fifteen years ago, is now completely known world-wide and a basic part of life. It ius amazing what we can do today. Think of the markets that have collapsed. The music industry, becuase now you can be your own record comany. Book publuishers are on the way out, because if you want to write and publish yourself today, you can. You can do anything, and it is only getting better. The tools have only begun to start the change in markets and business.
You have the tools to run a business today that the CEO’s of the world’s largest companies didn’t have ten years ago. These tools allow a solopreneur to do alone what before took and an entire large company full of people.
You have an iPhone in your hand that has more computing power than the computers used to land a man on the moon.
You have access to knowledge and tools that the greatest minds of history not only didn’t have, but didn’t dream of having. You need to use these tools. Know them. Own them, and once you can, you can grow and make your business do anything.
That is what the starting of these business experiments and what this site is all about.
There is a huge potential in on line business, and it truly has just started. My starting a simple business on line taught me the basics so that I began to learn what questions to ask and what to do next. Just doing anything makes things happen and the best way to learn is to decide to do a project and then find a way to make it happen, learn those specific skills you need to make it happen.
Start it today.
While you are at it, the secret to success is to network, and then network some more, and try to meet as many people as you can. With each connection comes more opportunity.
I plan on running different Business experiments, basing them off what I havwe read or learned, and letting you find out what I find out.
If you want to make your business better, you need to make yourself better.
Your business is only as good as you.
Join our mailing list.
Give me some ideas on how to improve, and let us show you what we have learned to make you and your business better.
Step into problems. Something bad happens, something needs to be done that is hard, that you don't know how to do? The best thing to do is to step firmly into it.,
That is how you learn. That is how you grow and advance. Avoiding it does nothing.
Too many people try to avoid problems, ignore them, hope they go away, we they should pursue them, chase them down.
Problems are opportunities.
People are always amazed because when I find a problem, I step into it. Hard.
By stepping into a problem you are then able to grow and you are forced to learn and take risks and be creative to solve problems. You make new connections both in your brain with new neural pathways being developed and externally through a network of new people and places and skills.Creativity is linked to problem solving. You want to be more creative? Solva some problems, everyday. Make a list, everyday.
Stepping into a problem also gives you control.
You go from being knocked off balance or at the mercy of the external forces of the problem and you spend your days hoping for it to go away or to magically improve or with you hoping someone will come to rescue you and solve your problem to a active person who is taking charge of your life and world.
Most people feel stress when they feel they have no control over a situation. Once you take steps to modify the situation, your attitudes change and the stress level drops.
I am one of those people who find a snake and then have to poke it with a stick. It means you learn a lot about snakes.
It is how you learn, and how you find and make opportunity.
These gentlemen are much smarter than I am, and certainly far more successful than I am, so perhaps my opinion matters a little less to you, but I am concerned that they are pushing a message that is wildly popular now, and it is one that is being misunderstood and I believe is dangerous to the individual and also our future.
Their simple message is, "it makes no sense to go to college, and instead you should just start a business."
This is simply wrong.
Their intentions are good, and I understand what they are trying to do, but I believe their message is at best, being misunderstood, or maybe it just isn't valid. This viewpoint on college will not make the world a better place nor will it make a person's life as rich as it could be if they follow that advice.
Also each one of these men graduated college.
We tend to undervalue what we have, and each of these men have a college education, and they are not thinking that each step they took built the path that lead them to make themselves succeed.
Each of these men use the tools they learned in college, and probably they still know and work with some of the people they met there.
Today, we do not need more people selling ebooks. That will not build growth or opportunity. The Internet is full of opportunity, and squandering it by promoting the latest lifestyle guide just isn't going to do it. You have to build something, you need to create.
We do not need to reinvent the wheel each day. We all stand on the work and thoughts of the people born before us. To know those ideas, you need to learn them. I have made a career out of applying history to today's problems, because whatever problem you have, someone has had it before. Find out how they solved it.
We need more people creating value and less people consuming mindlessly. The engine that drives the future and the economy is creativity and imagination, smart people taking risks.
The elite group above are all stating that today you shouldn't even consider college but I believe that message serves no value. If you do not have a better opportunity, you should go to college, and stay in college until you find a better way to leverage your skills and learn.
We don't need more ebook marketers. We need people to solve the world's problems and make this a better world.
You are bigger than that and I think some balance in your life is important.
I am sure they do not mean it this way, these are very smart men who have shown that they are curious and love to learn, but the message generally being copied and reported over and over on the internet, through blog posts and twitter, is that it is smart to reject education and start a business.
The real goal is to get as much education as possible, to reject debt and to remember to always go with the best opportunity at hand that has the best opportunity cost for you.
Here is why you should consider going to college.
1. The issue isn't that education is bad, or that you shouldn't go to college, it is that you shouldn't go into debt to get it.
You should learn as much as you can, from anywhere you can. If you didn't know what you wanted to do, and I said I know a place where you can try many different disciplines and things and experiences, where you can meet people from all over the world, would you go?
2. Right now in all the other countries of the world, people in those other countries are getting as much education as they can.
You are competing in a global market, and there are Phd's in India ready to do anything to succeed. Ignorance is not a competitive tool.
Get as much education as you can afford. Always keep learning.
Learn new skills constantly. Competition in China is brutal, and today we are in the same global market as they are. Are we ready to hustle as much as they are?
3. Take the "college is bad" thought to its extreme. Is the United State's biggest problem today is that we are too educated?
No. We certainly do not suffer from over education.
If anything, we need more education.
Knowledgable people would not have thought that when the housing market was hot, that every house everywhere, was worth a fortune. They would know history and know about the tulip boom and bust. We need more knowledge not less. The biggest problem today is that we need better education regarding debt, something education can fix. You go in to debt because you are uneducated.
I know this very well, as this is a lesson I learned the hard way.
4. If you don't know what you want to do, going to school is a great place to see the options and meet people. Don't quit school until you have better options. It is all about opportunity costs.
5. Most entrepreneurs went to school, maybe didn't finish, but went to school, including those in the subject line. They found the resources or met the people who would help them succeed at school.
6. Business is an art. Just like a writer, or film maker, and if you have nothing to say, you can have all the skills and talent in the world but in the end you say or accomplish nothing. Life is an art, and if you have a passion, a belief, and you are a well rounded person, you will always be more adaptable than some single minded individual. Survival is about adaption.
7. The world is more than just business. Business brings opportunity, but the world also has art, philosophy, and science. The more of the world you know, the better you will be at what you do. Going to school opens up doors that you don't know exist today, that you don't even think to look for, that you don't even know you want, until it is there.
8. View schools like stocks, look at the ROI on what you estimate that you think it will return. If you want to be a teacher, and start at $40,000 don't spend $200,000 going to Stanford, pay $20,000 at a smaller school, who will probably get you a more personalized education and help ou pay for it. Pick stocks that matter to you and will make you and your life better. Pick a school or program that makes your life better and gives you a good return on your money.
9. Colleges, all schools for that matter, allow the young in rural areas to see thoughts and ideas and other people that starting a business in their area wold never get them. The world is not all urban centers, most of the United States is not, and colleges allow young people a first glimpse of a world that is bigger than just Chickasha, Oklahoma.
10. You need to be careful about insulating yourself. In a world where you pick your reading, from your twitter feed, to Facebook, you pick what you search in Google which edits results based on what you previously liked, it is important to get information and other viewpoints you did not select. Most successful business people I know always have one advisor that is the opposite of them, to give them a viewpoint that counters their own.
11. The educational process needs to be improved, not ignored or rejected. Where there is a need to improve, there is business opportunity, and to find that opportunity, you need to know what needs to be changed, and how better than seeing first hand what needs to be changed. Get in it, see what needs to change, and then start your business to fix it.
Each one of these men graduated college. So did I.
Be ruthless towards your business.
Pretend it isn't personal, pretend it belongs to someone else for a moment so you can look at your work objectively.
If a fighter loses a fight, he starts training for the next one. That is what you need to do, shake it off, and start training for the next one.
Just because you thought something was a good idea doesn't it mean it was a good idea. If a product isn't selling, tweak, test it, but in the end, if it is not working, stop selling it and find another. The important part is the model, how it works, not what product you are pushing through it.
If the product doesn't work, it doesn't mean you failed, in fact you have done something great, you tried something most people just talk about, or wish for, but never actually get off their couches to go do.
You did it, you got started, took the leap/
Selling a product that didn't work just means you need to try something different, you learned something from that product that you can use on the next product, and on the next, You learned what doesn't work, you learned new skills.
The only way selling a product that doesn't sell hurts you is if you are too stubborn to learn from it and move on.
If it doesn't sell, pick something else.
“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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