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Post #3 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Google Alerts, Time Management, Found Savings

Tool: Google Alerts. If you want to own your brand and see what the world is saying about you, sign up for Google Alerts. Google will automatically send you an email whenever there are new results for your search. It's also great if you are keeping tabs on news in your industry, news or information about your competition or to stay current with anything else. Although Google walks you through the process step by step, Lifewire can help you here as well.

Tip: Manage Energy, Not Time. If you are like most people today, much of your day is spent in front of the computer. Regardless of the type of work you do, your energy level can drop considerably as your day goes on. Instead of managing your work day by looking at the clock, manage your energy level instead by listening to your body. For example, my brain slows considerably approximately 3pm. I used to fight off the urge to and push through it, getting my work done. For me, I discovered if I take a 15-20 minute break (nap, walk, yoga) instead of downing a cup of coffee, sugary soda or energy drink, I can return to work refreshed, awake and productive, without feeling sluggish later on. Check out this tip and many more at Entrepreneur.com

Trick: Forced Savings, Made Easy. With every deposit you make in the bank, set aside 3-5% (or more) right off the top. Open an account at the same bank and call it your Profit First account. You will never miss the money, it's a small enough that I don't feel it, but big enough to make a dent in any special purchases I want to make down the road. Next month it will 100% finance a great vacation, guilt free! I learned this trick, and other money savings tactics from Mike Michalowicz. Mike was a guest on my Nice Guys on Business podcast (episode #203) several months ago. Mike's advice and more practical tips for building profit are available on his website.

Invest in as much of yourself as you can. You are your own biggest asset by far.
— Warren Buffett



Post #2 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Elevator Speech, You Time, Networking

Tool: Building your elevator speech does not have to be challenging and the end result does not have to be canned. I recently had Fred Miller on my podcast discussing a No Sweat Elevator Speech and Fred shared an easy to follow elevator speech making template. Click here for a free download of the template.

Tip: Scheduling YOU time is one of the most effective ways to build productivity into your day. For the next 2 days, during your normal work day, add 2 slots of 15 minutes into each day, labeled YOU time. Ground rule: You cannot use this time to work, use technology or multi-task. Walking, napping, exercising, laughing and reading are completely acceptable activities. By adding YOU time to your schedule, you will become more productive, less tired, more patient with the people in your life, and begin to lead a more balanced life, 15 minutes at a time. Next week, see if you can expand to 5 days, adding YOU time to your schedule.

Trick: Networking made easier. If you are like most people, you do not like networking events. I used to find the time I spent networking unproductive. I never knew what to say or what to ask people I met, trying to be spontaneous but at the same time, trying to structured in what I said and did to make the most of this incredibly painful time. Next time, start out your conversations this way. When you approach someone say, "I'm not of fan of networking, can I ask you a question? When you come to events like this, what is your goal?" I think this sets the tone for a conversation that is genuine, open and honest. I have found conversations that begin this way have led to some great discussions about human behavior, personalities and eventually business as well. Build a relationship, the business will come.

People often complain about a lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.
— Zig Ziglar



Tools, Tips and Tricks for Better Business

INTRO to New Format (Including why I am changing format)

No matter how much experience you have owning and running a business or managing people, there is always room for improvement. When you stop learning, you stop growing. I'll take it one step further, when you stop teaching, you lose perspective and stop growing as well. Getting feedback from those you teach provides a huge opportunity to learn. One of my goals this year was to listen more to those around me, observe and follow their systems and understand the processes they have used to achieve success.  In doing so, I realize I can learn from people less experienced than me, but wiser than me. In role reversal, the teacher becomes the student. Once you open to the possibility that you can learn from nearly everyone, building your business (and your life) becomes a lot more interesting.

In the upcoming weeks I will share with you what I have learned as I take a deeper dive into tools, tips and tricks for success and for better business. I've worked hard to keep my pulse on current trends and the latest technology (working to break the "old dog new trick" stigma) while still trying to master effective time-tested business practices. I am often asked for advice on the best methods, the fastest and most efficient systems and most creative ways to accomplish a task, process or goal.  

I think this new, shorter format will provide greater information in a more predictable, easier to read way -- scan, read, process, move on.  I am looking forward to your comments, questions and additions so I can use them as future posts of Tools, Tips and Tricks for Better Business.

Here is what you will see in future posts:  Tool, Tip, Trick (below the line)

Tool -- SANEBOX -- Is your goal to get to INBOX zero but you are about 900 emails away from that goal? Sanebox is a great tool that I have been using over the last several months to help me manage my inbox. Some of the features include being able to hit the "snooze button" on email that does not have to be acted upon now. Plus Sanebox learns my routines and intuitively creates future followup emails, automatically deletes spam and prioritizes email for me as well. Use the link for a free trial and a coupon if you sign up after the trial.

Tip -- Work on improving the value you add to any business relationship as much as you work on improving your products and services. Put research and development dollars into improving you. Your bottom line will be bolstered as much or more if you focus on improving the relationships with your customers in addition to improving the benefits of the services or products you provide. Show your customers how much you care about them. Simple things like sending a handwritten note, a quick text to say hello or an email sharing a link of interest to them will highlight that you know them and care about them as well.

Trick -- (Today's trick is a mind hack) -- Go for the "NO." In the business development portion of your day when you are working hard to add prospects to your client list by cold calling, following up or mining for business, instead of adding extra pressure to yourself by constantly being under the pressure to find a "YES," look for the NO. Treat a NO as a win. Keep in mind when you get a NO you are clearing space for a new prospect to be added to your list, and the new prospect could potentially be a future YES. It's all positive and a part of the process of getting a YES down the road.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
— Albert Einstein



Gary Vaynerchuk, The People's Entrepreneur. Interviewed

Gary Vaynerchuk is arguably one of the most successful social entrepreneurs of our digital age. At 41 years old, he has done many things in his professional life that most will never accomplish. He aspires to buy the New York Jets one day, and I bet that goal will come true. He has legions of fanatics, followers and supporters that hang on his every word, tweet, post and vlog.

Often dressed in a hoodie and jeans, he is far from traditional in everything he does. His language, a bit rough around the edge does not reflect the soft edge compassionate and empathetic family man and partner Gary Vee really is. His client list from the full service digital agency he runs, VaynerMedia reads like a who's who of big time Fortune 500 companies. I had a few minutes with Gary as he called me from the road, between a fully packed schedule of meetings, calls and interviews. For the record, he was right on time:

Doug - Do you believe in people from the word “GO” or are you a prove it to me guy?

Gary - Normally from the word go if my intuition says go for it and I am more of a, you lose respect if you don’t do it. From me, you don’t have to earn it. I am much more comfortable and optimistic of where a person is and where they are going, so I am far more believing in people from the word go and then let them prove to me that I was wrong. The truth is I have lost and won that game many times. I think many people who are not optimistic have taken themselves out of potentially fruitful relationships, because they are picky and have too much ego. Who the hell are you, who the fuck are you, that the person has to prove it to you?

When I compete and am building businesses, I want to win, at all costs as long as it’s done the honorable way.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Doug - Gary, has it been like that for you from the beginning or has it evolved over the years?

Gary - I think I am pulling from both sides. Whoever is the athlete of today, when he is on the court and he is the biggest killer when he is on the ice or the court or the field and then as soon as it’s over, will come and babysit your family, that’s who I am. I want to put everybody out of business. I want to win. But do I really want to put them out of business? Of course not, I don’t want people to have pain in real life. When I compete and am building businesses, I want to win, at all costs as long as it’s done the honorable way.

Doug - We all have tapes playing in our head and the tapes tell you to stay down, don’t even fucking try it. How do you stop the tapes from playing in your head?

Gary - You know what, I am a real practical guy. I don’t think it is practical for you to worry about what your parents or your girlfriend or the press or anonymous people are saying. I don’t think it is a smart way to run your life. I hear everybody but I listen to nobody. I respect everybody’s opinion but I just want to go down fighting for the shit that I believe in. I know who I am, I know what I believe in. I know my intent is good. So, (the word) "no" has been drowned out over the last 30 years through good old fashion focus on what I am good at.

I hear everybody but I listen to nobody. I respect everybody’s opinion but I just want to go down fighting for the shit that I believe in.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Doug - We are raising kids in an everybody wins (and gets a trophy) environment, which is total bullshit. Can you comment about only giving trophies to first place but supporting the strengths of people even when they fuck up?

Gary - Fucking up is not the same as losing. I would call someone coming in second place as not good enough, but it’s not fucking up. To me, it’s very easy to give trophies only to the winner, while still supporting people. You put things into context. You’re not going to be the prettiest, the fastest, the strongest. You need to focus on what you are best at and do as much of that as possible, even if... look,  being a businessman is the thing I decided I was going to be best at. I may not become the ultimate, most successful businessman of all time, but I am surely glad I decided to be a businessman versus a surfer or a cook or a mechanic because this is what comes natural to me and what I love the most.

Tune in to The Nice Guys on Business Podcast for the rest of the interview. Gary answers these questions and more:

  • Gary, what do you suck at?

  • What is the best way to get new customers?

  • How important is body language and how can you hear what people are saying?

The Nice Guys on Business Podcast - subscribe today #iTunes



What is Your Do-Over Moment?


If you could go back in time and rewrite your history for just one moment, precisely just one decision, what would it be? As kids playing games, we'd always yell, "Do-over!" when the desired outcome was not quite up to par or when something unexpected skewed results.  So what is your do-over moment? 

Let's establish a ground rule before the onset of determining your do-over moment. Armed with the outcome and knowledge of future events you cannot alter anything but your decision. Simply put, you can only check or uncheck a yes/no box or a do/don't do decision. For example, you cannot pick the winning lottery numbers, but you can decide to play or not play the lottery. But you could go back and decide not to accept a job offer, a marriage proposal or the keys to a car fated to have an accident.

Understanding your do-over moment can help you write a better future from this moment moving forward.

This is not an exercise in futility. Understanding your do-over moment can help you write a better future from this moment moving forward. It's never too late to take action. While we cannot change the past, understanding the consequences of the decisions we have made helps us build better decision making muscle moving forward. 

This exercise also helps you realize the fragile nature of life. Even small decisions can have enormous impact, and that "what ifs" won't create a life of regret, but rather, just the opposite, it will help us understand our huge potential. Go ahead, what is your do-over moment? Share it in the comments below.