Monday, August 24, 2009

How to Thrive in a Changing Business World: Part 4

How The Uncertainty Paradox Changes Businesses
By applying the three pillars of the uncertainty paradox, business owners can achieve many significant benefits:

• Enables businesses to gain greater market share while other others
stumble or fall
• Empowers businesses to adequately respond to uncertainty and
changing business conditions while overcoming inner conflicts
• Reveals proven tactics that enhance customer loyalty
• Provides business owners the clarity and focus needed to make
smarter and quicker business decisions
• Eliminates negative habits that can prevent the business from
achieving success
• Identifies the best course of action, eliminating experimentation
• Helps identify the source of problems that are occupying too much
time or wasting money
• Enhances the way the business connects with people, providing new
ideas to help improve sales and marketing efforts
• Exposes the business to new, proven ideas that can lead to new
• Provides business owners the drive needed to follow through and
make results happen
• Establishes shortcuts that allow business owners to focus on actions
that will make a difference
• Enhances the ability to influence people.

What to Look For in An Uncertainty Paradox Expert
When seeking a company or program to help implement the uncertainty paradox for your business, consider the following important requirements:

Extraordinary track record: Seek a company that has successfully helped millions using the best strategies and tools that deliver results. This eliminates risk and ensures that the recommended course of action actually

Immersion experience: Look for activities that take you beyond concepts and enable you to experience the uncertainty paradox via interactive exercises and activities with peers. Some of the best programs include a fire
walk experience that helps you see that anything is achievable.

Provides an actionable implementation strategy: The ideal solution must extend beyond philosophy and include an actionable step-by-step plan that can be quickly implemented. Ask if an ongoing accountability program is

Eradicates limiting beliefs: Make sure limiting mindsets and negative patterns are identified and steps are provided to help overcome them, enabling a breakthrough to achieving the vision of the business.

Dynamic facilitator: Look for a program run by an individual who has extensive life and business experience, and has helped many others achieve results. The most qualified individuals are bestselling authors whose services are in high demand because they deliver results.

Networking: Seek a program that groups you with like-minded individuals with similar goals. This not only provides valuable business contacts but also helps ensure a quality outcome.

Goes beyond the business: The best programs also help improve energy levels, personal relationships and personal finances, ensuring your entire life is aligned for success.

Provides specialty support: Look for the option to add extra areas of specialization, such as Internet marketing, business mastery, coaching, time management and personal consultation to help fast-track the path to success
for your unique circumstance.

Money-back guarantee: Ask if the company provides a money-back guarantee.

Friday, August 21, 2009

How to Thrive in a Changing Business World: Part 3

The New Solution: Embracing the Uncertainty Paradox
Times of rapid change create tremendous uncertainty. That uncertainty paralyzes many people and businesses, creating fear. It also destroys many companies—shredding their marketing and strategies. Here's the paradox: that what destroys the old creates opportunity for something brand new—new execution, new thinking and new strategy for those businesses that have the drive and creativity. In times of change, there's only one choice: businesses must change as well—and faster than their competitors. This involves anticipating the changing needs of customers, testing new opportunities, bringing more value to consumers and innovating. Even the smallest modifications to sales, marketing and service processes can fundamentally set a business on a corrected course to success.

Achieving mastery over uncertainty rests on three primary pillars—pillars that provide stability in uncertain times. These pillars are timeless, meaning they stand rock-solid through times of change.

Pillar 1: Extreme Focus: The Outcome Must Be Clear and Compelling

Laser-like focus is essential to thrive in uncertain times. The illusion: doing many things at once improves efficiency. The reality: more can be accomplished when complete focus is placed on a primary objective.
When a business pursues many different ends, the best result is mediocrity. When that same company aims with complete focus towards a single objective, the road is paved for supremacy. Clarity in focus means more power to drive the business. Clearly conveyed and compelling goals fuel leaders and employees to work together to reach a
common destination.

For example, consider Tiger Woods. Why is he the best player in the game of golf? His vision is not to be "one of the best players"—it's to be "the best" player in the history of golf. With his determined and laser-like focus he is
able to constantly refine his tactics, moving him towards his goals. A laser-guided missile fires towards a target that is often moving. Once it's locked onto its destination, all it cares about is hitting the mark. The
trajectory is irrelevant. Similarly, extreme focus will help businesses achieve their desired results. Aristotle hypothesized that purpose could spur action. It turned out he was right. A landmark examination of a decade's worth of goal-setting studies identified the key connections between setting goals and achieving results. When setting a company vision, here are the salient takeaways from the research:

Make it Compelling:
Not only does the outcome need a laser-like focus that is important, specific and clear, more importantly it must be compelling—and it must inspire. Eighty percent of the drive behind a goal is a strong reason
to act. People don't move until they have strong motivations. With a strong enough "why," the "how" becomes evident. Ask the question, "Does this excite me?" and "Is this vision a must, instead of a should?" In order to get
the job done, everyone has to be compelled. Not only does the team need to know what the goal is, but why it is important to them—something that's different for everyone. Some will do it for pride— they are not okay with being number two. Other people know they are making a difference in the lives of customers.

Make it Measurable: A goal must be tangible—meaning it must be grasped and people must know when it's been achieved. When a goal is specific and measurable, everyone knows clearly what the end game is. Simply saying,
"Try hard," is not as attainable as, "Increase sales by 50% in 12 months.”

Reach for a Specific Reward: Reward success. Research shows that monetary rewards are one of the best incentives. Other people desire acknowledgment. Whatever the reward, make it specific. For example, "If
we achieve this goal, we're flying the entire team to Hawaii for an all expense-paid trip." When setting a new vision for the business, make sure the outcome us desirable. Just making a goal for the sake of progress is not as important as asking, "Is this what I really want for my business?" Make the focus clear and specific so employees know what they're aiming for.

Pillar 2: Seek the Best: Leverage the Best Tools and Strategies

Once a strong vision has been established and everyone on the team is willing to work hard to reach the prize, now it’s time to win the race. That happens by finding the best resources that will provide a competitive edge.
Great vision without strategy won't equal results. Businesses must seek out the best tools, strategies and mentors, along with the most accurate maps. Because the landscape has changed, the old map can no longer guide the business. Failing to access new ideas, strategies, people or tools can prevent a company from achieving its objectives. Consider Tiger Woods again. He went to his coach and said, "Show me anything I could be doing better." His coach revealed something… But it would require he fundamentally changed his swing—one that was winning many tournaments. However, because Tiger Woods' vision was so clear, he underwent the enormous task of retraining his swing. He also began lifting weights—an unusual undertaking for a pro golfer. Today few would doubt that Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the history of the game—and he's only in his 30s!

There are two primary ways to find the right tools and strategies: (1) personal trial and error—a painful process that can take years, or (2) modeling what's proven to work by tapping the experience of others who've
demonstrated consistent success.

The fast track is to leverage the experience of experts. Every market has a success story. Price Club was the first profitable wholesale club and took enormous risks. However, Costco saw that Price Club's model worked and
successfully applied it, taking none of the risks, yet achieving market domination. By modeling what has worked for others—regardless of industry—a business can quickly achieve results.

Good is the enemy of great. Don't just settle for good tools and mentors— seek the best. To achieve long-term sustainable growth, it's wise to team with outstanding mentors who will coach, train and hold the business owner
accountable. To find these experts, start socializing with successful people, attend their events, take them to lunch or offer to do something for them.

Pillar 3: Massive Action: Eliminate Inner Conflicts, Unlocking and Unleashing Success

Knowing the best tools and strategies is invaluable. However, too often business owners fail to consistently take action and achieve results they are committed to—destroying the effect of the first two pillars. The invisible enemy blocking the road to success is inner conflict. For example, "You want to control everything, and yet you still want to leverage and expand your business." These limiting beliefs hold back the business, preventing progress.

The key to overcoming inner conflicts is to first become aware of them.
Uncover any thoughts holding back the business from achieving its vision, unlocking and unleashing an open discussion of the issues.This is accomplishing by bringing the team together in a safe environment and brainstorming any concerns, fears and limitations. Revealing issues that create holdbacks or may be preventing them from committing all of their resources to achieving the goal. This can often be best accomplished by bringing in an outside expert who has no emotional charge to any of the challenges that would be discussed.
The secret here is to let the concerns and fears come out and identify ways to mitigate the risks and challenges. Determine if there better ways to achieve the outcome using the brain trust of the team. Together decide if the
rewards are worth the risk. The "United we stand, divided we fall" concept is real. By getting the team aligned, the laser-like focus and strategy will be executed. The result will be a team that works together to achieve massive

Take some time to identify all the concerns and fears. Ask how they can be mitigated and develop an action plan to address them head on. Alternatively accept the risks, but acknowledge that the benefits far outweigh them. Come
up with a plan to review those concerns or develop a unified vision of why the rewards are worth the risks.
By bringing concerns into the open and determining how to respond to them, the final barriers to business success will be toppled. The company will be aligned to success.

If strategies fail, keep trying new ones, constantly revisiting the vision. Reexamine how to achieve success using the best tools and strategies identified in pillar two. Understanding the true goal and the driving force will
provide the fuel needed to form new habits and follow through. A significant 75 percent of businesses fail in their first years according to the U.S. Small Business Association. Don't become a statistic. When all three pillars work together, a strong platform results—one that businesses can stand on in uncertain times.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to Thrive in a Changing Business World: Part 2

Challenges Deterring Business Success

Before the advent of the Internet, finding customers was straightforward. Sales and marketing processes were highly predictable. With repeatable advertising, companies could typically deliver consistent results. Customers
remained loyal because a select few businesses held the answers, products and solutions people needed. Then the Internet came along. Like a wrecking ball, the web began crushing predictable business models. All of a sudden, consumers had unbridled access to information—and a large pool of new shopping sources. Sales and marketing processes fundamentally shifted as people gravitated to the Internet for bargains. As a result, many business owners were forced to rethink nearly everything they took for granted when they started their businesses. Today the only certainty is uncertainty. The perceptions that customers aren't spending, marketing isn't working and there seems to be no time to do anything about it seems to be rampant.

The "We Can't Afford That" Syndrome
People have more choices than ever before, creating a shift in power. In real estate terms, it's a buyers market for everything. So why aren't shoppers spending? According to a new study of 30,000 consumers, 90 percent are
sacrificing spending and nearly half are tapping fewer discretionary dollars. An uncertain future has prevented many consumers from purchasing or investing in nonessential goods."We may not at a conscious level be able to explain why we're cutting back. We're just doing it. You will just do it by intuition. And if you start to save
money by intuition, you will never ever question it again," said Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. When businesses do attract new customers, it's a lot harder to keep them.
The web has enabled consumers to shop the entire planet for the best deal. This means businesses must work harder to keep their customers. Studies show that consumers have a low tolerance for bad service. After an
average of about three negative experiences, customers will abandon retailers, an IBM study found.8 Often subjective issues related to service or support will break the loyalty chain between a consumer and a business.
"Shoppers are calling the shots," said Fred Balboni, global retail industry leader at IBM. "Those [businesses] that can strengthen relationships with new and existing customers will differentiate and dominate as the economy

Why "Old Marketing" Is Dead
The marketing of eras past was simple. Place an ad in the newspaper, send a direct mail piece, attend a trade show and repeat. Marketing results were predictable. To grow the business, owners simply invested more in
marketing. Today, however, many of these "rules" are null and void."Now people don't care about products. But that's what most advertising is—product messages. People do care about themselves and care deeply about solving problems. Marketers need to stop the egotistical approach of talking up products and instead provide valuable information that people want to consume," said David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

Today people get their news and mail online. The old method of broadcasting a generic message to the masses has been replaced with laser-focused marketing efforts. For example, finding people in Alaska looking to travel to beach towns has never been easier with online marketing. However, this effective marketing road is frequented by many competitors, creating an ultra-noisy marketing landscape where small businesses struggle to stand out.

Add that many consumers ignore much of what they see online. For example, people only read about 18 percent of what's on a web page, spending only 4.4 seconds for every hundred words, found a comprehensive Nielsen study.
One thing people like to do is socialize, and this represents a new marketing opportunity for businesses. In 2008, 41 percent of U.S. web users frequented social media sites at least monthly and 93.9 percent of U.S.
adults will rely on social media sites like Facebook by 2013, found an eMarketer report. "Consumers may say the primary reason they use social networks is to connect and communicate with friends, but the stream of
status updates and posts contains myriad nuggets of information about the products they use, the media they consume and what they plan to buy," stated the report.For small businesses, connecting with customers at the relational level will be a key way to stand out in a competitive marketplace.

Finding Time to Change
Keeping the company operational is clearly a full-time task for most business owners. The overwhelming variety of daily tasks often takes executives down paths they don't enjoy. Activities like accounting and managing people
are often time sinks that can prevent business owners from innovating. The motivations that led to the birth of the business are often forgotten. The risks of trying new ideas might seem to outweigh the perceived benefits.
Often business owners are stuck in a pit of uncertainty. Businesses do spend time and resources updating their systems and equipment. But what about a thinking update? With the right ideas, is it possible to alter the
course of the business?

Monday, August 17, 2009

How to Thrive in a Changing Business World: Part 1

Today's small business owner faces monumental challenges. The economic meltdown, global competition and customers' reluctance to spend have woven together to create the perception of an impenetrable barrier to success. Underpinning these challenges is evolving technology that's changing the way consumers and businesses make decisions.

Many business owners feel they've been forced into intense white water rapids—without a guide or familiar signposts. Simply keeping afloat is the goal of many. Finding new customers is also much harder. Shrinking attention spans, more choices and excessive marketing noise have most people tuning out. Add that consumers can effortlessly jump to competitors, and business owners face major obstacles. What can be done to course correct the business? Is there a fast track to business success, even in these tumultuous times? Despite the challenges, businesses are thriving in this complex environment by implementing the uncertainty paradox—a business model that applies a series of proven steps, concepts and tools to help companies succeed in
uncertain times. This white paper will reveal how uncertainty offers opportunity to those who embrace the paradox.

Major Trends Impacting Businesses
In times of constant change, trust becomes the new currency of business. Who do customers trust? Unfortunately, most don't trust companies. A global study on consumer trust found that people trust friends over businesses. Nearly half of the study participants trust suggestions from friends, while only 27 percent believe what's on a company's website and a mere 18 percent trust what's in the company brochure.

Consumer trust has plummeted over the last two decades. In 1993, slightly more than half of consumers trusted major brands, according to The Brand Bubble. However, by 2008 consumer trust shrunk to only 25 percent."Consumers increasingly sift brands that genuinely deliver superior value from those that are simply going through the motions of branding— advertising, logos and so on—but are in fact little more than commodities,"stated the Los Angeles Times. The recent global economic collapse has likely pushed consumer trust to new lows.

The lack of trust can stop people from making logical decisions. For example, one in three Internet users in the United Kingdom do not shop online due to a lack of trust. Despite the discounts available via the web, a significant number of consumers stick with their trusted offline relationships.

In an interesting twist, 92 percent of consumers are more confident about the information they view online than comments from salespeople in retail outlets, found a LinkShare study. "The new online consumer is independent and less likely to trust recommendations of a salesperson or be swayed by the emotional appeal of a TV ad," says Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst.Clearly the business world has changed, creating many challenges for small business owners.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Economy 101 Malaysia: Common Sense

The head of one of the think tanks in Malaysia recently said that Malaysian financial journalists should not be faulted for failing to warn against the global financial tsunami.

What utter rubbish! Fine, they may be forgiven for burying their heads in the sand in 2007. But, they did not even get it right in the first quarter of 2008. In the last quarter of 2008, they were still singing praises about the Malaysian economy and that 2009 would register a robust growth.

Maybe the head of this think tank was making excuses for himself and deflecting any criticisms to that of financial journalists. How pathetic can one get?

And now, the Governor of Bank Negara has lately conceded that she underestimated the severity of the impact of the global financial tsunami on Malaysia.

Put it bluntly, such journalists are employed to sell good news so as to lure greedy and stupid investors to gamble in the stock market after the big boys and insiders have made their moves and are waiting to cash out.

Gamblers are driven by herd instincts. They care not about fundamentals. That is why I never hesitated to call them suckers. And they are suckers through and through.Every country has been following the FED in stimulating the economy and pumping vast amounts of monies into the economy. These experts called it “quantitative easing” instead of the simple term, creating money out of thin air – printing money electronically.

For a technical explanation, I reproduce here an extract from Wikipedia:

The term quantitative easing describes an extreme form of monetary policy used to stimulate an economy where interest rates are either at, or close to, zero. Normally, a central bank stimulates the economy indirectly by lowering interest rates but when it cannot lower them any further it can attempt to seed the financial system with new money through quantitative easing.

In practical terms, the central bank purchases financial assets, including treasuries and corporate bonds, from financial institutions (such as banks) using money it has created ex nihilo (out of nothing). This process is called open market operations. The creation of this new money is supposed to seed the increase in the overall money supply through deposit multiplication by encouraging lending by these institutions and reducing the cost of borrowing, thereby stimulating the economy. However, there is a risk that banks will still refuse to lend despite the increase in their deposits, and in a worst case scenario, possibly lead to hyperinflation.

Quantitative easing is sometimes described as 'printing money', although the central bank actually creates it electronically by increasing the credit in its own bank account.

Examples of economies where this policy has been used include Japan during the early 2000s, and the US and UK during the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.

But seriously, how many Joe Six-packs reading the above extract can fully appreciate the implications and consequences of such policies of central banks the world over?

In my previous articles and in my book, The Shadow Money-Lenders I have given detail explanations, but I still receive e-mails requesting for further explanations.

In this article, I am adopting a different approach. I want you to think about certain issues and problems and see whether applying common sense will assist you in arriving at the logical conclusions.

Here we go:

Economic Stimulus
1. Right now, at this moment in time, is your government stimulating for growth or merely stimulating for consumption?

2. If it is the latter, does it make sense? The so-called experts say that “credit is the lifeblood of the economy”.

3. “Credit” to the banker means “loans” to you. “Loans” to the borrowers means “debts”. So why do you want to be in debt, just so as to consume?

4. You have a fixed income. Most people do. You are already committed to several debts – car loans, housing loans, financing for your children’s education. You have also your usual household expenses. So why do you want to borrow to consume on things or products that you do not really need or are necessary in your present state of finances?

5. Who gains by this excessive consumption?

6. Which is more critical, production or consumption?

7. Which, in the final analysis, ensures stability in the economy, employment and efficient allocation of resources and investments?

8. When exports are down and the economy has contracted, what are the implications?

Should we tighten our belts or consume and consume?

9. When exports are down, national revenue is down. Likewise, when your income is down, what do you normally do?

10. Which sectors of the economy will be stimulated and has the most benefit to the economy when we continue consuming, spending and borrowing?

Check out from the retail outlets, hypermarkets etc. and ascertain where are the majority of products produced? If they are mainly imported items, who benefits?

Too Big To Fail or Too Big To Sustain

11. When a bank through mismanagement fails, why should we use tax-payers monies to bail them out? Why are banks being treated differently?

12. If deposits are guaranteed by the government, why can’t the bank be liquidated, the old management sacked so that new investors and management can come in and revive the bank? After all, bank licenses are in great demand and few are granted. The new investors will re-capitalise the bank and revive it. Why the need for tax-payers’ monies to re-capitalise the bank?

13. When was the last time you heard a banker sent to jail for CBT? Corrupt bankers plunder in the billions and destroy economies. They get away time after time. Snatch thief is sent to prison and even whipped for stealing a few hundred ringgit.

14. Government linked companies use tax-payers monies to operate as opposed to private companies. In the case of the latter, when they fail, the investors bear the loss. Should we have tighter regulations and laws governing the management of government-linked companies over and above the laws governing private companies?

15. CEOs and board members are invariably political appointments. Should we allow this practice to continue?

Should the government inflate the stock market?

16. You have a bubble when you inflate, as in a balloon. When an asset is inflated, the price is artificially high. Thus, if a share price is inflated to RM10 when its actual value is RM1, why would anyone take the risk of buying such a share when sooner or later it will collapse?

17. Does it make sense for a government to use tax-payers’ monies to prop up the stock market when its values are artificially inflated?

18. Is this not misallocation of scarce resources?

19. Markets go up, markets go down and gamblers indulge in such activities with their eyes wide-open. So why should any government use tax-payers’ monies to sustain a market so as to prevent gamblers from suffering losses?

20. When a bubble has burst, what is the use of trying to reflate a burst bubble? In any event, physically can anyone reflate a burst balloon? When an asset’s actual value is RM1, does it make sense to maintain post-crisis, the artificial value of RM10 prior to the bursting of the bubble?

I want you to evaluate the RM67 billion stimulus in the light of the above questions. Then ask yourself whether the policies make sense.

Finally, ask the RM67 billion question.
How did we fund this stimulus?
Where is the source for these funds?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Something Inspiring

Here is an extraordinary example of 2 mans who chooses to view their “problems” as gifts, and a resource to show the world that there are no limitations to what we can do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Get What You Want by Helping Others Get What All They Wanted, Final

The second law is the Law of Over Compensation. The law says that, anyone can be reasonably successful by putting in and then getting out. But this is not enough for you. You want to enjoy extraordinary levels of success and this requires over compensation. This requires that you put in far, far more than the average person puts in. This requires that you always do more than you are paid for.

The Law of Over Compensation says that your job is to always look for ways to “go the extra mile.”

Remember, there are never any traffic jams on the extra mile. The retiring president of the American Chamber of Commerce once said, “Your success in life will be in direct proportion to what you do after you’ve done what you’re expected to do.”
If all you ever do is what you are expected to do, what you are currently paid to do, then all you will ever get is what you are getting today. But, if you want to put yourself on the side of the angels, you throw your whole heart into doing far more than anyone expects. And as a result, you will reap rewards far faster and greater than any of the people around you.

And no one can stop you from doing more than you are paid for. No one can stop you from coming in a little earlier, working a little harder and staying a little later.
With regard to influencing others to help you, no one can stop you from doing nice things for other people to predispose them to doing nice things for you. No one can stop you from going the extra mile in your relationships, from taking the time to be sensitive, thoughtful and caring with other people. No one can stop you from planting seeds of kindness and generosity wherever you go so that you eventually become surrounded with people who will want to reciprocate and help you to achieve your goals when the time comes.

The underlying factor of great success in business and personal life is the “friendship factor.” This factor is based on the three keys of time, caring and respect.
All relationships are a function of time. You can increase the value of a relationship in proportion to the amount of time that you invest in it. All excellent bosses and influential people are those who invest a lot of time in human relationships, asking questions and listening attentively to the answers. They make a habit of dominating the listening while they let other people dominate the talking.

And the more the other person feels free to talk and express himself or herself, the more open they are to being positively influenced by the person doing the listening.

Caring is the catalyst that makes all relationships in life function at their very highest. The more a person feels that you care about him or her, the more open they are to be influenced by you. On the other hand, of course, if a person feels that you do not care about them, they will shut down and be closed off to your attempts to influence.
Taking the time to ask people about their lives, to listen carefully to their answers and to find ways to help them aside and apart from the actual business are all demonstrations of “caring.” The more you genuinely care for other people by the Law of Reciprocity, the more they will genuinely care for you and be open to your inputs.

The third principle, respect, is one of the most important of all psychological needs as a human being. They say that “babies cry for it and grown men die for it.”
It is said that everything we do in adult life is either to earn the respect of others or not to lose the respect of the people we respect.

When you genuinely respect another persons ideas, opinions and accomplishments, they genuinely like and respect you and become far more open to your influence than they would be under any other condition.

Your ability to influence other people to help you and cooperate with you, to lend you their money, their efforts, their ideas, their imagination and their support is the key to your accomplishing extraordinary things with your life. The more people that you can attract into your life that will help you and work with you, the more successful you will be and the far faster you will accomplish the goals that you set for yourself.

The wonderful thing is that the most successful people in America today almost invariably began alone, or with one or two other people, with an idea for a product or service that would benefit others. And so can you. No matter where you are or what you are doing, no matter what your situation in life or what has happened to you in the past, there are really no limits on what you can accomplish in the future if you decide to become a person of influence. When you begin to practice the principles that we have discussed in this session, you will find yourself becoming a far more effective and influential person with everyone you meet, and everywhere you go.

Your future will become unlimited.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get What You Want by Helping Others Get All They Wanted, Part 3 of 4

One of the most effective ways for you to get other people’s money and other people’s effort is for you to have an idea that can help them to achieve their goals faster than ever before. All great fortunes in America are started by an individual with an idea that he or she executes in such a way that others want to get involved and take advantage of.

J. Van Andel and Rich DeVoss started off as two young men selling vitamins for a multi-level marketing company back in the 50’s. Then they came up with an idea. What if they could manufacture biodegradable, highly concentrated, all purpose soap that could be used in dozens of different ways in the average household? What if this soap were so unique that they could manufacture it at a low price and then set up a multi-level marketing structure so that other people could sell it and make a profit while, at the same time, recruiting others to sell it at a profit.

They went to work with a chemist and came up with a substance called “Liquid Organic Cleanser,” or “L.O.C.” Amway Corporation of Ada, Michigan was born. Today, Amway Corporation has thousands of the finest personal, business and household products available in the world. They have millions of distributors throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe and the South Pacific. And today both J. Van Andel and Rich DeVoss are billionaires and are among the richest men in the world.

In this day of expanding opportunities, there are more ideas buzzing around that you can use to be more successful in your life and career than have ever existed before. Bill Gates dropped out of college with an idea to develop an operating system for the earliest computers. He committed to developing an operating system for the BASIC computer before he even knew how to do it. Later, he bought a little company in Seattle called Microsoft and the basic “Disc Operating System” that they had developed. After several refinements, Bill Gates and Paul Allen created the MS-DOS Operating system which they then sold to IBM as the operating platform for the new personal computer. The rest is history.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen, on the strength of that original idea, are now two of the richest men in the world.

Tom Monahan was an unemployed ex-student with a used car when he came up with the idea that, when people phoned to order a pizza, they were hungry. If this was the case, he concluded, then speed was more important than quality. He rented a bankrupt pizza parlor, hired young people with cars and began offering 30 minute delivery on pizzas sold anywhere within a five mile radius. By standardizing and premaking the pizzas, he turned his little business into a thriving enterprise. As you know, Tom Monahan is the founder of Domino’s Pizza, one of the most successful fast-food restaurant operations in history. Tom Monahan is also a billionaire, one of the richest men in the world, because of his simple idea that, when people ordered pizzas, they valued speed over quality. He gave them the speed and transformed the world of fast-food delivery.

The incredible thing is that, right within your mind, you probably have several ideas, any one of which could make you rich, and famous. The great mistake that you make is that you ignore your own idea because it was you who thought of it. You think that other people who come up with ideas are somehow smarter or more insightful than you. And this is not true!

Einstein came up with the theory of relativity, “E = MC2.” This theory of relativity totally changed our attitude toward physics and the structure of the universe. But Einstein was not a great mathematician. It was left to other people to work out the implications and applications of the formula, which they are still doing today. Einstein did not have to be a great mathematician. He simply needed to have the key insight or idea and then attract the efforts, money and ideas of others to leverage his insight into the revolution in our understanding of the physical universe that it became.

To leverage yourself, you also need other people’s intelligence and other people’s cooperation. You need to be able to attract into your life and work the help, assistance, influence and active involvement of lots of other people in achieving your goals. And you can do this if you can remember the two simple laws that I will now explain.

Learn all of The Universal Laws of Success and Achievement

The first is the Law of Compensation. The Law of Compensation says that whatever you put in, you get out. It is, in a way, a way of rephrasing the “Law of Reciprocity.”

The Law of Compensation says that whatever you do to help or improve the lives of other people, will come back to you. You will be compensated in full measure for everything that you contribute or put in. This willingness on your part to contribute to helping others is a virtual guarantee that others will look for ways to contribute to helping you.

The Law of Compensation also says that you cannot get out if you do not put in. Like the Law of Sowing and Reaping, it is not the Law of “Reaping and Sowing.” The law requires that first you put in, sometimes for a long, long time, but then, by a Law of the Universe, you will be compensated, you will reap the harvest in your own life.

With regards to earning the influence and assistance of other people you must always be looking for other ways to help them to get the things they want so they will be predisposed to helping you to get the things that you want.

One of the reasons that America is the most prosperous and powerful country economically and militarily in the world is because of our free enterprise system. The free enterprise system says that, “The more enterprising you are, the freer you are.”

With our free market system, you can accomplish anything you want in life by simply finding ways to help other people to accomplish the things that they want. And the more creative you are in leveraging and multiplying your talents and abilities times the talents and abilities of others, the higher you can rise and the faster you can move forward in your life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Get What You Want by Helping Others Get All They Wanted, Part 2 of 4

A critical part of power and influence in your life and work revolves around the subject of "ownership."?

When you have something that you want to get done, you “own” the job or task. If you simply tell someone else to do all or part of the job, they may comply because they are required to, but they will not accept ownership. As far as they are concerned, if the job is done well or poorly, it is still your job.

Highly effective people however, are those who have developed the ability to transfer the concept of ownership into the mind and heart of the other person. This is done by bringing the subject up in a casual way, discussing thoroughly with the other person, asking for his or her ideas and input, as well as suggestions on how best to do the job, and then giving the other person both the authority and encouragement to do the job within a certain time and to a certain standard.

“Leverage” is the key to great success. You need to be able to take your talents and abilities and multiple them times the talents and abilities of many other people if you are determined to accomplish great things and realize your full potential in life.
There are five keys to wealth and great success in our highly competitive society today. The first, which you have heard of for years is called “OPM,” or “Other People’s Money.” You will only be successful to the degree to which you can tap into, borrow and deploy the funds of other people. This is why it is so important that you accumulate your own funds and that you keep a meticulous credit rating throughout your life.

All success in life, in relationships and in business is based on the foundation of trust. As Benjamin Franklin has said, “Cash is money and credit is money, and the person who can call upon the credit of others has no limit to the funds at his disposal.”

All great fortunes and great success in life is built on the ability to attract and leverage the funds of other people. Every loan that you ever take out, from a simple credit card all the way up to the financing of a home or business, is based on the use of other people’s money. This is a key leverage factor that many people have used to go from rags to riches.

Another form of leverage is called “OPE,” which refers to “Other People’s Effort.” Your ability to attract people who will willingly work hard to help you to be more successful while they are helping themselves is a key to your success. If you want to accomplish great things in life, you must have the help and support of lots of other people. If you are going to work by yourself running a shoeshine stand or working a farm, you can get by with the limited efforts and support of others. But if you are going to achieve all that you are capable of achieving, you must structure your life so that you can tap into the energy and efforts of lots and lots of people, at all levels.

You will find that, at every turning point in your life, there is a person standing with advice, support, direction and resources. In fact, the more people you know, and who know you in a positive way, the more successful you will be.

You have heard it said that “success leaves tracks.” This means that you should find out what other successful people do and then do more of it yourself and you will eventually get the same results.

Well, when you look around you, you will find that the most successful people in your society are the ones who know, and who are known by, the greatest number of other successful people.

Of course, it is absolutely essential that you become the kind of person who both attracts and deserves the respect of others. The very best way for you to become a major player, an influence in your business and your society, is for you to become very, very good at what you do. This, more than anything else, will attract into your life the kind of people who can be extraordinarily helpful in advancing your life and your career.

The third form of leverage that you can develop is called “OPI” which stands for “Other People’s Ideas.” One good idea is all you need to start a fortune. Every change in your life comes about when your mind collides with a new idea of some kind. A very small change in your thinking, or in your mental paradigms, as the result of your bumping into a new idea that enables you to see things in a different way can change the whole future direction of your life.

Successful people are those who are always organizing their life so that they are in the mainstream of ideas, rather than sitting on the shore watching the ideas flow past. They continually bombard themselves with books, magazines, articles, newsletters, audio programs as well as regular attendance at seminars and conventions.

The most successful people have learned that a single idea can save them weeks, months, even years of hard work and that the Law of Probabilities applies to the entire world of ideas. The more ideas you expose yourself to in a given period of time, the more likely it is that you will expose yourself to the right idea at the right time for you. If you bombard your mind with hundreds of ideas during the course of a year, you are much more likely to be successful than the person who reads little, listens to the radio and goes home and watches television at night. The odds are very much in your favor.

Next time, I will explain more secrets of getting what you want by helping others get what they want.

Friday, March 13, 2009

How to Land a New Job in a Tough Economy

If you or someone you know is looking for a job, I would like to share a couple thoughts to help you find new work. One of the things I often tell people is that you can’t do a job-search the way you used to. Most people rely on a job application form and a resume. That doesn’t work anymore, although, those are useful things. In today’s world you have to adopt a new mindset for finding and securing a job—and not just a job but work that you would find meaningful.

The new mindset is: be a solution, not a problem to a prospective employer. When you call or submit your resume, it likely goes into a pile with perhaps hundreds of other resumes or applications. This is a problem for the employer; you are one more person they have to deal with.

However, what if you took the time to really research the company you want to work? Read up about what’s going right now in the company. Find someone you might know to talk to about what they’re dealing with and what they’re trying to accomplish. If you don’t know someone, make a call to find someone willing to spend a few minutes with you. Network with their suppliers or one of their clients to get a better understanding of the company, department or person you want to work for.

Between the Internet and networking, you can piece together a picture of what would be of specific value to them. From there you can see if your experience, talent, skills, and passion match up to what they need. Now you can creatively position yourself as a solution and differentiate yourself. Get a conversation started in the company by presenting yourself as a solution to their problems not as a person looking for a job.

The tougher things get the more creative and solution-oriented you have to become. Be a solution, not a problem—and you’ll significantly increase your ability to land a new job.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get What You Want by Helping Others Get All They Wanted, Part 1 of 4

Your goal in life is to be a big success, to accomplish wonderful things as you grow stronger and better with each passing day and week, and ultimately to fulfill your full potential as a person in everything you do.

The good news is that there has never been a better time in all of human history for you to accomplish your goals and achieve great success than today, here, right now, wherever you live and whatever you are doing.

We are entering into what many economists are calling the “Golden Age” of human history, a period of peace and prosperity that has been dreamed of through all the ages of man. And you are in the forefront. You are perfectly positioned to maximize your potential and get everything that it is possible to get out of the unlimited opportunities that are now opening up all around you.

The key to great success is, and always has been, contained in the principle of “leverage.” It is your ability to leverage your talents and skills like a multiplication sign through other people that enables you to accomplish extraordinary things in a short period of time.

Men and women who accomplish a lot have learned how to leverage themselves in a variety of different ways and in a variety of different directions. And there is no place where leverage is more important than your ability to influence others in such a way that they help you to get the things they want while at the same time they are helping themselves to get the things they want.

One of the great laws of life is the “Law of Reciprocity.” This law says that people always try to pay you back for anything that you do, either to or for them. In a positive sense, it means that whenever you do something nice for another person, you create within that other person a sense of obligation. Since no one likes to be under an obligation to another, the people will do everything possible to free themselves from this sense of obligation by paying you back, usually by giving you far more than you contributed originally.

For example, I bought a new car about five years ago. At the end of the transaction, the sales manager instructed one of his staff to take me and the car to a nearby gas station and fill the tank. In all my years of purchasing cars, new and used, I have never had a person fill the gas tank for me at the end of the transaction.

Two years later, I went back to that same dealership and the same sales manager and bought another brand new car for my wife. I wanted to reciprocate. A $20 tank of gas led to a $45,000 purchase.

And this is the one of the great discoveries with regard to the Law of Reciprocation. The repayment when you do something nice for another person can be out of all proportion to the size of the effort or expense that you put in.

One of the great success principles, practiced by all highly influential men and women, is this: “The more you give of yourself without expectation of return, the more you will get back from the most unexpected sources.”

Throughout all the ages of man, this has been referred to as the Law of Sowing and Reaping, the Law of Cause and Effect, or even the Law of Action and Reaction. It says that whatever you put in, you will get out. It also says that you can put in a little seed and you will often get back an entire crop. The most intelligent men and women in our society are always looking for opportunities to contribute to others, knowing that they are sowing the seeds that they will reap in the form of power, influence and a desire on the part of others to cooperate and assist them at a later time.

On the other hand, the people who seem to go nowhere in their lives and their careers are always those who are trying to get something out before they put something in. As the song goes, “They put in a nickel and they want a dollar song.”

But this is not for you. Your job is to maximize yourself and your potential throughout your life, and this requires the intelligent, deliberate cultivation of people at all levels, doing things for them so that they will be predisposed to reciprocate, to do things for you when you need and want their help.

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is the ability to get people to do the tasks that you want them to do, and think of it as their own idea.”

The very best leaders are those who gently nudge people in the direction of doing what needs to be done. Since Americans especially do not want to be taught, told or talked down to, the very best leaders today are those who become experts at the gentle art of persuasion. Even though they could give orders and tell people what to do, they know that it is far more effective to approach the subject in such a way that the person feels that it is his or her idea.

Watch out for next time when I will explain a critical part of power and influence, and much more!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Warren Buffet on Business School Talk

“The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

Here’s a good video of Buffett presenting to a group of MBA students… an hour and a half worth spending.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai- Welcome the Year of Ox

In another few days more from now, the year of Ox is going to replace the Year of Rat. Feeling excited and worried as well. The year of 2009 indeed a challenging year ahead. From the Global economy crisis, people will be out of job, recession is approching, political struggling, continuous unwanted war, poverty, unknown diseases appearing and many more.

You can either choose look at it negatively and non-motivated way or otherwise. I have started posting some positive and motivating article like "Getting any job you wanted" by Stephen Covey and more to come. I am also preparing some audio downloadable and tools for your personal development. It will be in my next posting. These tools are vital to prepare yourself to face the challenging year ahead. No matter what circumstances, there would be always an opportunity. As President Obama said, we have chosen hope instead of fear. It is sure an inspiration one.

I would like keep this post as short as possible and taking this opportunity to wish everyone have a great year of Ox, Gong Xi Fa Cai, may all means prosperous and happiness be there always.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Getting Any Job You Want- Too Good To be True?

In our presence global economy turmoil situation, not many people would even think getting any job they want. Infact, most people will think holding one current job considered a bless. Some think as long I still have a job. In the below article I quoted it all from Stephen R. Covey in his thought we can still get any job we want. It is an eye opener and there is an absolute key essential behind of this inspiration article I would like to share.

We seemed to ask ourselves such as Do I like it? Am I good at it? Does the world need it? Does my conscience direct me to get involved in it? If you can answer a good solid “Yes” to all four questions then you’ve got a great job—one worth going after or keeping. You may have to analyze deeper to know whether you can even answer these four questions. The exploration of these questions is a journey of uncovering what you really want to give your work life to. Taking the time to develop a clear vision on what’s truly important to you will give you the context and the positive energy to make all career and job decisions.Now what if you do not yet have this “dream” job? Well, the world has profoundly changed over the past 10 years. The shift from the Industrial Age to the Information and Knowledge Worker Age is sweeping the country and totally changing the way business operates. The marketplace has become intensely customer-oriented, but this customer-focus has not yet affected most of those who are out looking for jobs.

The key to getting the job you want is to be oriented to the needs and wants of your customer, which is your prospective employer. Get out of your head and into theirs.The traditional approach of sending out resumes, seeking employment interviews and filling out applications is illustrative of the old world approach to getting a job. It’s what I refer to as the “shotgun” approach, where your exposure to the market is very broad. The problem is that to the organizations that receive your resume, you are one of many hundreds or even thousands trying to get a job. Personnel offices are absolutely inundated with letters, resumes and phone calls from people who want work. As good or experienced as you may be, to most of them you are a “problem,” a “hassle,” one of a stack of letters or calls they have to answer today.I do not mean to sound harsh, but this is the reality in most organizations in today’s rapidly changing and globally competitive environment. They are dealing with the pain of extensive downsizing and outsourcing. But there are jobs everywhere disguised as problems, even the problem of downsizing. The old saying is apt that “Problems are opportunities dressed in overalls.”

Bottom line, the shotgun approach of just sending out resumes and giving follow-up calls will, for the most part, rarely yield results better than you are getting. Why? Because those who look for work in this way are behaving as if they are the customer. Customers approach companies with a need and a problem that they want solved—in this case, the need is work—a job. Businesses already have more real customer needs and problems than they can handle. Can you see who and what you are competing with when you approach a company in this way? What you must be is a solution to the needs and problems which that organization and their customers face, not another problem.If you are going to position yourself as a solution to some significant need or opportunity that an organization faces, you are going to have to take a rifle approach—one that focuses and penetrates deeply. You are going to have to be enormously resourceful and creative in learning about the organization you want to work for.

Creativity is a unique human endowment, and is a powerful capacity that lies largely dormant in most people. Unfreeze yourself from the panic and nervousness you may feel about not having a job, and start immersing yourself in the realities of the company you want to work for. Creatively find ways of talking with and learning from the company’s employees and managers—talk to their suppliers, their customers, and even their competitors. Reach the point that you can describe their challenges and needs as well as or better than they could themselves. Then you can position yourself—your unique background, skills, education, experience and talents (some of which you may need to further develop first)—in the context of their needs. Your resourcefulness and insight will deeply impress them.Finally, in your creative research it is vital to learn about the culture and norms of the organization. Every organization is different. This awareness should govern how you should approach the organization for an interview or meeting with their managers or executives. Be creative. It will be different in every case—for proactivity without empathy and awareness will also bring failure. Combine them, and you will have the wisdom that will bring tremendous results.

I acknowledge there will likely be few people who will take this advice and pay a sufficient price to really get the job and career they seek. Consequently, they will still be coming up with excuses as to why they’re not getting employment: blaming the economy, blaming the company, blaming prejudiced people, or blaming themselves. Work to get out of the reactive attitude of waiting for things to happen. Einstein put it this way, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” We must get with the spirit of the age, and gear ourselves to the needs of “our customer.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Japan Is About to Devalue Its Currency

I read about Steve Sjuggerud's Daily Wealth Financial Investor Research page recently. One of the main topic was highlighting about Japan's currency and Toyota as a sample. I'm not sure how true was the statement but I believed the data was well-researched which I thought interesting for us to know about.

As you opened up newspaper every single day you could see the focus was on how U.S economy is going to be revived. Lot's of bad news about it. More worst news on it's way.

I now attached the article by Tom Dyson for our reference;

Toyota sells cars all over the world. When the yen rises against other currencies, Toyota's cars are more expensive to foreigners. They don't buy so many. They choose American, European, or Korean cars instead. Toyota loses money.

According to the Wall Street Journal, every point the yen rises against the dollar costs Toyota $433 million in annual operating profit. In other words, over the last five months, Toyota saw $8.6 billion in annual profits disappear... That's about a quarter of its annual operating profit.

Japan's entire economy is a large version of Toyota. Japan is an export economy. Its strategy for prosperity is producing goods and selling them to foreigners. Every point the yen rises costs Japan billions of dollars in profits for its companies, billions of dollars in tax revenues for the government, and thousands of jobs in the economy.

In the past, when the yen rose too high, Japanese authorities intervened in the markets to make the yen fall. One tool they use is cutting interest rates. Low interest rates discourage people from storing their money in yen and encourage them to save their money in other currencies with higher interest rates.

Right now, the Japanese yen has the world's second-lowest official interest rate, after the U.S. The official central bank rate in Japan is 0.3%.

The second tool Japanese officials use to devalue their currency is direct intervention in the foreign exchange markets. The Bank of Japan prints money and then exchanges the yen for dollars in the foreign exchange market, pushing down its price.

The last time the Japanese got worried about the yen being too high was in 2003 and 2004. The yen was around 105 at the time. They spent $2.5 billion pushing their currency down about 20% against the dollar.

The Japanese yen is now around 15% higher than it was in 2003-04. And Japan's economy is much sicker than it was back then. The stock market is close to 20-year lows and GDP is shrinking. There's no room to keep cutting interest rates. I'm certain the Japanese authorities are going to start intervention again soon. It may be happening already. Last week, the head of Japan's central bank told the press he was looking at ways to devalue the yen.

The Next Big Bubble to Burst....

The Best Speculation in the World Right Now ................

Japan's currency pays no interest. Japan's economy is in tatters. But debt is the big reason I expect the yen to fall. Japan's government is the most indebted in the world... with a government debt-to-GDP ratio expected to hit 150% next year. (It averages between 70% and 75% for the six largest economies in the world.)

To devalue its currency, Japan's going to have to print money using the same "quantitative easing" techniques Bernanke is using right now. These techniques are highly inflationary... and guarantee the yen will fall against other currencies.

You won't hear any other writer in the world predicting inflation and currency devaluation in Japan right now. That's why it's such a good bet. Plus, as you can see from the chart above, we've got the trend in our favor.

FXY is the symbol of the Japanese Yen Trust. When the yen falls against the dollar, this fund falls. The easiest way to bet on a fall in yen is to short this fund or buy put options on it.

Seemed like a good indication for us to invest in Yen later on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Leader in Me

I recently picked up a book considered as an inspirational one to me. Particularly because I have a daughter on my own. It is called The Leader In Me written by famous Dr. Stephen R. Covey. In his new book, I first thought another breakthrough book about leadership. Little that I know that it is more related to how 7 Habits being considered at early age of 5 years old.

I was amazed with the contents with informative case studies from the school such as A.B Combs. The stories about A.B Combs have taken up at least 3~4 chapters of Stephen Covey effort. I believed he personally witnessed from his own eyes, his famous 7 Habits principle became the "mantra" or foundation for children in the nursery, kindergarden and elementary schools.

The book very much involves today’s young people. It involves our future. Whether you are a concerned parent, a professional educator, or a foresighted business leader, I am confident you will find it to be an invigorating breath of fresh air, a reason to celebrate and an inspiring call for action. For what you are about to read unveils a budding trend that is gaining momentum in a growing number of schools across the United States and in various parts of the world. It is an exciting trend—one that is producing tangible, sustainable results.

In 1999, the A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina, was struggling to find new ways to engage and educate its students. The teachers and administrators began learning practical, principle-based leadership skills and teaching them to their students — even kindergartners —; with remarkable results. In a short time, the number of students passing end-of-grade tests vaulted from 84 to 97 percent. Simultaneously, the school began reporting significant increases in students' self-confidence, dramatic drops in discipline problems, and impressive increases in teacher and administrator job satisfaction. Parents, meanwhile, reported equivalent improvements in their children's attitudes and behaviors at home.

The Principal of A.B Combs, Muriel Summers did an excellent jobs in creating such cultures to our younger generations. Their motto is to "develop leaders, one child at a time" inspired me as a parent itself. I mean in today's education systems we knew very well, children are not taught the necessity skills in order to survive and thrive in this 21st century. Many still implement and teach the same old model which the fellow educators comfortable and proven with times but not for future needs.

Today Business leaders are not finding people whose skills and character match the demands of today's global economy, including strong communication, teamwork, analytical, technology, and organizational skills — young people who are self-motivated, creative, and who have a strong work ethic.

The book explanations based on the case studies did the best way to prepare the next generation for the future is by emphasizing the value of communication, cooperation, initiative, and unique, individual talent — for nothing undermines confidence more than comparison. Whether in the classroom or at home, it is never too early to start applying leadership skills to everyday life.

In a nutshell, I believed this book would be the answer for to many of the challenges facing today's young people, businesses, parents, and educators — one that is perfectly matched to the global demands of the 21st Century.