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Elevate E Book

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The free Elevate e-book contains the wisdom of 33 diverse business leaders and authors answering the questions, "What is the most important idea an entrepreneur should be thinking about right now" and ...

The free Elevate e-book contains the wisdom of 33 diverse business leaders and authors answering the questions, "What is the most important idea an entrepreneur should be thinking about right now" and "What is the most important question an entrepreneur should be asking right now?"

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    Elevate E Book Elevate E Book Presentation Transcript

    • Elevate Your Life Your Business Your Spirit  2 Intriguing Questions - 33 Progressive Voices - Timeless Wisdom Continue Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • At Learn From My Life - We have one intention To Keep Important and Inspiring Ideas Moving We do that by connecting you to the most progressive authors, thinkers and innovators in the world through the power of conversation. Continue Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • What is the most important idea that an entrepreneur should be thinking about right now? Continue Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • What is the most important question that an entrepreneur should be asking themselves/ their companies right now? Continue Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • To discover the thinking of these amazing men and women - simply click, enjoy and share! Continue Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Moe Abdou Jonathan Fields Stephen Knollenberg David Allen Guy Finley Dafna Michaelson Claire Babrowski Jon Fisher Mike Michalowicz John Bartlett Paul Gillin Daniel Pink Ty Bennett Marshall Goldsmith Srikumar Rao Danny Bocanegra Josephine Gross Ph.D. Joe Robinson Jeffrey Brantley M.D. Amanda Hite David Meerman Scott Sarah Miller Caldicott Maggie Jackson John Spence Jim Champy Mitch Joel Scott Stratten Stephen M.R. Covey Arthur Samuel Joseph Eckhart Tolle Joni Doolan Lois Kelly Lisa Witter Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Moe Abdou Moe Abdou is an entrepreneur, a visionary and the founder of Learn From My Life - a platform connecting the world’s most influential thought leaders with aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. Moe has over 23 years of leadership experience Introduction in the financial services sector. Follow Moe at: http://www.learnfrommylife.com It was December 18, 2009 and my friend Glenn and I were at Starbucks having coffee when he asked me a simple question... - 'What will we do differently this decade?'  - ...It was at that precise moment that I began to realize that we were indeed at the dawn of a new decade,  and that perhaps the appropriate theme for this year might just be the word 'We'.    For two hours thereafter, we had an enlightened conversation - we discussed family,  business, and life in general; but most intriguing of all, was our dialogue on the subject of 'Flow' - that magic moment when everything just seems to be in perfect harmony.   We asked 'why?' and 'why not?' - and began to really embrace the possibility of experiencing that exhilarating feeling of transcendence that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi so brilliantly outlined 2 decades ago. Needless to say, I left with an incredible surge of inspiration. I felt an obligation to continue this dialogue and share it with anyone who was interested.  I immediately decided to reach out to the individuals whom I most admired and invited each of them to contribute their perspective on two important questions: * What is the most important idea that entrepreneurs should be thinking about right now? * What is the most important question that entrepreneurs should be thinking about right now? Despite the timing, I was amazed by everyone's generosity and I am deeply grateful for their timeless wisdom and friendship.  I was especially grateful for the efforts of Gilbert Melott, Robert Pagliarini and Wallace Wang for their contribution to this amazing project. In your hands is the inspirational playbook where we captured their thoughts.  Enjoy it.  Use It.  And Share It. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Moe Abdou Moe Abdou is an entrepreneur, a visionary and the founder of Learn From My Life - a platform connecting the world’s most influential thought leaders with aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. Moe has over 23 years of leadership experience in the financial services sector. Follow Moe at: http://www.learnfrommylife.com Most Important Idea We started Learn From My Life with the simple mission to keep important and inspiring ideas moving.  Our intention has always been to expand awareness and to make Ideas easily accessible to anyone at anytime.  I believe strongly in the power of ideas, community, and conversation. Today, technology enables each of us to be part of the evolution of any idea simply by joining a conversation, adding our point of view, and sharing it freely.  Somehow, the more we're oriented towards this abundant mentality, the less we'll care about being in control and the more risks we'll be willing to take.    So, don't claim ownership, instead, share everything that you have and watch your creativity replenish it.  The pie is enormous and you're more likely to extend your business and have a fulfilled life if you have the attitude that there are always more new ideas to be embraced; you just have to put yourself in the frame of mind to pick them up. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Moe Abdou Moe Abdou is an entrepreneur, a visionary and the founder of Learn From My Life - a platform connecting the world’s most influential thought leaders with aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. Moe has over 23 years of leadership experience in the financial services sector. Follow Moe at: http://www.learnfrommylife.com (From Previous Page) Most Important Question The most important question that entrepreneurs should be asking is simply - what is my question to answer ratio?  I'm a big believer in the power of questions and anytime I discover a question to answer ratio under 50%, I wasn’t doing enough listening. And anytime you’re not listening, you’re trying too hard to sell your ideas. As entrepreneurs, we have to be great observers and approach each opportunity with Zen like presence - the ability to fight our natural instincts and transcend the rational and focus on the possible. As such, the most important thing to remember is that you gain more power by listening carefully during any conversation than you do by showing off your brilliance. That way, others will be interested in you without you saying a word. In today’s hyper-competitive world, entrepreneurs who seek a 70%/30% question to answer ratio will have tremendous competitive advantage. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • David Allen David Allen is an author, consultant, international lecturer, and “One of the world’s most influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity. His highly acclaimed book - Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity - has been a perennial business bestseller since it’s publication in 2001. David is a rarity in the Twitter world, as one of the few non-celebrities with over a million followers hanging on his wit and his inspiration. Follow David at: http://www.davidco.com Most Important Idea The impact of the internet as a great equalizer, democratizer, and enabler is, I think, only beginning to have mainstream significance. The Web as a publicly accessible technology is barely fifteen years old; and the strategic implications now for word-of-mouth and conversation management cannot be ignored. Most Important Question Are we optimally set up to deal with surprise? Are the sensitivity and appropriateness of our responses to unexpected internal and external events what they need to be? Have we maximized our abilities to capture, clarify, organize, integrate, and reflect sufficiently to re-calibrate our focus as rapidly as needed, to stay in command of our world instead of be a victim of it? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Claire Babrowski Claire Babrowski is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Toys “R” Us - after a 30 year career at McDonald’s and a stint as acting CEO of RadioShack, Claire joined the toy and baby giant in 2007. Claire has appeared on Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women list multiple times. Follow Claire at: http://www.toysrus.com Most Important Idea As I approached these questions, I came at them from this perspective: It appears that the global economic crisis of the last 15 months has shifted thinking, perceptions and behaviors of consumers in significant and sustaining ways, particularly with respect to trust in leaders / companies and value placed on visible signs of wealth / ability to consume. If trust in leaders and companies becomes an active part of the decision to do business with a company, what are the critical factors important to your (targeted) clients / customers in creating trust and how do you “stack up” against that criteria?   Most Important Question It’s not likely that the immediate demand for value or “deals” by consumers will sustain itself….if for no other reason than supply will be limited to ensure it does not.  However, the demand for increasing value by consumers is likely to sustain, perhaps even increase.  It seems likely that we are nearing the end of manufacturers’ ability to continually lower the cost of inputs.  In this scenario, what do you see as the next generation of unique selling propositions and how do you position yourself to be first to “own” brand dominance there? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • John Bartlett John Bartlett is Award-winning Fashion Designer, Creative Director and Humanitarian. A Harvard graduate, John followed his dream to design menswear and within the first years of his career he received the “Perry Ellis Award for Best Newcomer”. John is currently the Creative Director at Claiborne and has opened his own branded flagship John Bartlett NY. Follow John at: http://www.johnbartlettny.com Most Important Idea  For me, the most difficult task is to simplify my process and to learn how to shut out the noise that the fashion industry imposes on the ultimate quest, which is supplying my customers with clothing and style that they love and relate to. So to me, the most important concept is simplicity and focusing clearly on the main purpose of the business. The ego wants recognition and validation but my industry is a service industry ultimately and I have to remember to serve my customer, not myself. Most Important Question The most significant question that entrepreneurs should be asking is how does my business affect the world at large and how can I harness my business growth and evolution to help the world around me, whether it is my immediate community or a nation on the other side of the world. everything we do has repercussions and it is increasingly important to view the world and ourselves as one. for example, I am donating 10% of my proceeds this week to the earthquake crisis in Haiti. I cannot personally go down to help but I can use my retail store to help send money to those who need it. we are all connected and I feel a paradigm shift in companies around the world understanding that inter-connection. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Ty Bennett Ty Bennett is an author, speaker and the founder of Leadership, Inc - a speaking and training company dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations. His forth coming book is - The Two Most Important Days of Your Life. Follow Ty at: http:// www.leadershipinc.com Most Important Idea As the world continues to struggle in the economic downturn, we face more problems than maybe any other time in our history. Millions of people have lost their jobs, families are hurting, and confidence is at an all time low. Technology is changing entire industries and making many products and services obsolete. I believe that we are rewarded for the amount of service we provide. If we learn to serve more people or to serve people in a more impactful way, we will be rewarded in greater ways.  Entrepreneurs by nature are problem solvers. They get paid to solve problems. The bigger the problem, the bigger the payday. The world is facing some big problems right now. How do we create jobs? Feed families? Reinvent industries?  Or fix the broken system? Right now is the time for entrepreneurs to solve problems and serve people. When you think in terms of service, you are solution seeking. Identifying the problem, but focusing on the solution. The solution becomes your business plan, the service you provide, and ultimately the reward you receive in return.  Most Important Question In 2010 ask yourself, What can I do to serve more? More than any other time in history your service is required and will be greatly rewarded. It will take people who can not only see a problem, but see the solution and foresee the possible consequences of their actions now for years to come. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Danny Bocanegra Danny Bocanegra is an emerging leader and a social entrepreneur who has founded the company - Selfless Tees - a lifestyle brand and clothing company on a social mission. Danny accelerated his dream to launch his venture and expand his non-profit Buzzkill -- a program designed to sell t-shirts to raise money to help fight malaria in underdeveloped countries. Follow Danny at: http://www.selflesstees.com Most Important Idea Building a community. "What is it, how do we leverage it, and profit form it?" We hear that all the time. Everyone is trying to figure out a way to get as many followers on twitter and friends on Facebook as possible...I say screw that!! A community is built around people. People who actually care about your product, service, idea… whatever. Entrepreneurs who run companies of any size will be better off when they focus all their attention to the 20% of people who actually care. If you are going to use new media to your advantage engage the people who actually read their tweets and status updates. A centralized, committed, and focused community willing and able to change the world will win. Sounds simple – but you can see it work. Most Important Question In my opinion, entrepreneurs should be questioning their existence in the realm of social responsibility for their companies. Not responsibility as scribbled words in a handbook that gets stowed away somewhere, but in terms of impact and action! With all the world’s problems and difficulties, sustainable and community driven companies have the opportunity to drive change in the world for the greater good. Its about time we leverage the storm troopers who have the firepower we call energy and focus, throw away those suits, and get our hands and t-shirts dirty! Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Jeffrey Brantley M.D. Dr. Brantley is the founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke University Integrative medicine. He teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs at Duke and has authored several books including Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion can Free You From Anxiety, Fear, and Panic. Follow Dr. Brantley at: http://bit.ly/dbJrm4 Most Important Idea From my point of view, I think the most important "new" idea for most folks, including entrepreneurs, is NEUROPLASTICITY. That means simply the (rapidly emerging) scientific fact that the "mind",  brain, and nervous system actually change depending upon the way we use them.  In other words, if one trains the mind (through meditation practice, for example) to have a steadier attention or to have more conscious wishes for good will or gratitude, then current medical and neuroscience experiments using sophisticated imaging and brain scanning show that the brain function actually changes in accordance with how and what the mind is "practicing".  And, in fact, whether one is conscious of it or not, how you use your mind is actually "training" it and the brain anyway. One important implication for this is that it underscores the possibility and value of intentionally cultivating self-awareness (also a key principle in emotional intelligence), and intentionally cultivating the mental and emotional qualities that resonate most deeply with ones deepest values. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Jeffrey Brantley M.D. Dr. Brantley is the founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke University Integrative medicine. He teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs at Duke and has authored several books including Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion can Free You From Anxiety, Fear, and Panic. Follow Dr. Brantley at: http://bit.ly/dbJrm4 (From Previous Page) Most Important Question I would respond that this question arises directly out of the truth of neuroplasticity.  In other words, if the brain, nervous system and even the body are changeable and responsive to how one's mind is functioning, then the question (and it requires frequent and regular attention) might look like:  What unconscious views, assumptions, and values are driving our employees, our company and our work culture, moment by moment, and day-by-day? Despite the common business investment in making company "values" clear for marketing and management purposes, the wise leaders should, I think, in addition, actually develop ways to monitor how much the spoken values and assumptions/goals resonate and are in line with the actual, "functional" ones in day to day operations.  A related question is:  "What are the REAL messages that are being sent and reinforced in the communication patterns and management styles/decisions in the company, day-to-day, and month-by-month?" I know that this point about "culture", values, and management is not new in principle, but I am pointing here to the importance and power of each and every individual's (no matter what his/her position in the company is) awareness in the present moment, and also specifically awareness of examples of dissonance or in-coherence such as when the stated values are not the "real" values at work moment-by-moment, and also awareness of larger forces such as how short term pressures or threats can cause "drift" from publicly stated company goals and values. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Sarah Miller Caldicott Sarah is an entrepreneur, author and the grandniece of Thomas Edison. Her latest book is - Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor. Follow Sarah at: http://www.powerpatterns.com Most Important Idea The most important idea entrepreneurs need to think about in 2010 is “Collaboration.” Entrepreneurs must deeply understand how to collaborate, when to collaborate, the value of collaboration, and the diverse nature of collaborations conducted both internally and externally to their operations. At present, knowledge is doubling every 3 years. Collaboration enables entrepreneurs to stay ahead of the knowledge curve by finding the best resources inside and outside their companies that will enable them to move faster and smarter - and then sustain this speed over time. To win at collaboration in 2010 and beyond, it is crucial to recognize that diverse forms of collaboration exist. By seeing collaboration as a series of strategic structures within your organization rather than a random bunch of whiz-bang teams is an important first step. The successes of organizations headed by great innovators like Thomas Edison, as well as research conducted by behavioral scientists over the last two decades, indicate that teams of 3 – 8 persons are optimal for high-impact collaboration success. Here is a select list of the types of collaboration your organization should consider as it maps the strategic landscape of the future: Discovery teams: Groups delving into new knowledge, such as basic research. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Sarah Miller Caldicott Sarah is an entrepreneur, author and the grandniece of Thomas Edison. Her latest book is - Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor. Follow Sarah at: http://www.powerpatterns.com (From Previous Page) Development teams: Groups applying the learning of Discovery teams, or synthesizing work conducted by others inside or outside the organization. Design teams: Groups applying an understanding of how product design enhances the customer’s experience with a product or service. Communications teams: Groups which liaise with customers and researchers to build powerful branded messages about benefits, lifestyle impact, or other core insights. Synthesis teams: Probably the most important group, which ensures all the above teams are connected together in some meaningful way, and sharing information. Most Important Question In early 2010, examine how your organization is – or is not – set up to collaborate. Think of your company like a giant node. How many access points are there…internally? Externally? You can actually count them. Look at team size...are your teams too big? Consider how your leadership team is connected to collaborators. Where are your connecting points? How does communications flow? Become a Collaborator in 2010, and make it a strategic priority to ensure that there are at least 3 forms of collaboration in place in your organization by year end. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Jim Champy Jim Champy, Chairman of Dell Services’ consulting practice, is recognized throughout the world for his work on leadership and management issues and on organizational change and business reengineering. Jim is a highly acclaimed author and his latest book, Inspire! Why Customers Come Back. Follow Jim at: http://www.JimChampy.com Most Important Idea Entrepreneurs should be thinking about how to deliver more value to their customers for dramatically less money. The world of business will belong to companies that are highly efficient, have uniquely valuable products or services, and can deliver quality – all at the same time. Lowering costs and price are easy things to do. Increasing value delivered is a challenge. Most Important Question Do I have the financial resources to make it through challenging economic times and build a sustainable business? How do I moderate my spend if I don’t? Am I putting my available resources into the areas of the business that are my growth engines? Do I have the people with me who have the appetite to do great things? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Stephen M.R. Covey Stephen M. R. Covey is the author of - The SPEED of Trust - a groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting book that challenges our age-old assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue. Instead, the book demonstrates that trust is a hard-edged, economic driver—a learnable and measurable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable, and relationships more energizing. Follow Stephen at: http:// www.speedoftrust.com Most Important Idea Entrepreneurs, by the very nature of their roles, are typically dealing with all aspects of a business—sales, marketing, operations, finance, innovation, administration, etc.  Given the comprehensive nature of their roles, I believe the most important thing entrepreneurs should get really good at in 2010 is in establishing and growing relationships of trust with all of their stakeholders.  By stakeholders I mean customers and clients, business partners (such as suppliers and distributors), investors and sponsors (including bankers), and especially with staff and co-workers (their own team).   The reason for this is that trust is truly the one thing that changes everything—the more trust you create in the various stakeholder relationships, the more it affects everything else in the business.  Trust is not merely a soft, “nice-to-have” social virtue; rather, trust is a hard-edged economic driver.  Why?  Because trust always affects two measurable outcomes:  speed and cost. To illustrate this point, consider what I call “the economics of trust” which play out as follows:  when trust goes down in  a relationship, on a team, or with a customer, you will find that speed goes down with it (everything will take you longer to do) and costs go up (everything will cost you more).  This is what we might call a tax, a low-trust tax.  But thankfully the converse is true as well: when trust goes up in a relationship, on a team, or with a customer, you will find that speed goes up too (everything will happen faster) and costs will come down (everything will cost you less).  This is what we might call a dividend, a high-trust dividend.  The economics of trust are that simple, that real, and that predictable.  Given these economics, it puts a greater premium on entrepreneurs establishing and growing (and sometimes where needed, restoring) relationships of trust with all stakeholders. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Stephen M.R. Covey Stephen M. R. Covey is the author of - The SPEED of Trust - a groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting book that challenges our age-old assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue. Instead, the book demonstrates that trust is a hard-edged, economic driver—a learnable and measurable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable, and relationships more energizing. Follow Stephen at: http:// www.speedoftrust.com (From Previous Page) Most Important Question Given the importance of trust on the economics of a business, it is critical that entrepreneurs ask themselves and their companies in 2010 how trusted they are by their various stakeholders.  Simple questions such as, Do our customers trust us?  Does the market trust us?  Does the community trust us?  Do our suppliers trust us?  Do our distributors trust us?  Do our investors trust us?  Do our own people trust us?   And for all of these questions, if they don’t trust us (or at least not as much as they should), then why not?   Rather than just guessing about this or assuming that everyone trusts us, entrepreneurs can use specific trust measuring tools and processes to formally measure trust with all of their stakeholders.  Even if they don’t use formal tools, they can always simply ask their stakeholders how they’re doing with their “trust accounts” and what they might do to increase the trust in the various relationships.   Again, trust is the one thing that changes everything.  So it’s important for entrepreneurs to ask the question:  Who trusts you? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Joni Doolan Joni Doolan is Founder and CEO of People Report - an architect of the collaboration of hundreds of companies and their leaders, that has grown into the People Report consortium and touches the lives of millions of employees. Joni has served on the National Board of Directors of Share Our Strength fighting childhood hunger in the United States for 13 years. Follow Joni at: http://www.peoplereport.com Most Important Idea  Our People Report Best Practices Conference theme last November was “Mixing Money + Meaning” , translating into running a business on PURPOSE.  I think that this is the year that pay-it-forward entrepreneurs will find ways to make a difference in the lives of their employees, their communities and their clients – not at the expense of bottom line results – but as a way to improve those results.  I have utmost respect for the church of the Reverend Roy Spence, author of “It’s Not what you Sell; It’s what you Stand for.”  In this environment, regardless of your product or service, you HAVE to be a good value, you HAVE to deliver great customer response, you HAVE to meet a REAL need…..none of those accomplishments will propel you past your competition.  This blessed recession is a punctuation mark to the massive shifts that we have gone through in the past decade in the consumer and employer markets – coming out on the other side will require businesses to be trustworthy, relevant, and laser focused on making it a better day for their customers, and for the workers who make the magic happen.  Our business tagline at People Report is “the intersection of people and profits."  We firmly believe that capitalism is alive and well,  and that we still live and work in a place and time where it is very possible to start in the garage, and end up on the big boards.  However the next generation of capitalism, whether we dub it conscious, connected, or just Capitalism 2.0, is clearly not a zero-sum game.  I serve on the board of Share Our Strength, an organization that is committed to ending childhood hunger in this country.   (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Joni Doolan Joni Doolan is Founder and CEO of People Report - an architect of the collaboration of hundreds of companies and their leaders, that has grown into the People Report consortium and touches the lives of millions of employees. Joni has served on the National Board of Directors of Share Our Strength fighting childhood hunger in the United States for 13 years. Follow Joni at: http://www.peoplereport.com (From Previous Page) You can’t raise enough money to do that – but Bill Shore and the legions of social entrepreneurs he leads, are raising the awareness and the will to tackle a problem to compete in the global marketplace.  I have seen amazing innovation, engagement, determination, and PURPOSE in the chefs, restaurateurs, executives and employees of small and big businesses, as they come together to make sure kids don’t go to bed hungry. This organization, not unlike the thousands of businesses we need now and in the future, truly does see a real NEED, the energy to deliver significant VALUE and DELIVER - everyday. Most Important Question Why am I still here? What did I do right that left me standing in the rubble? What do I care about enough to keep working this hard? What purpose do I serve in the lives of my clients and my employees? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Jonathan Fields Jonathan Fields is an entrepreneur, speaker and author of the best-selling book - Career Renegade: How to Make A Great Living Doing What You Love. As editor of CareerRenegade.com, Fields has established himself as a thought leader in the world of online entrepreneurship, social media, marketing and blogging. Follow Jonathan at: http://www.careerrenegade.com Most Important Idea Same thing they should've been thinking about in 2009, 2008 and every other year they've been in business...the fastest way to succeed is by solving others' problems, removing others' pain and helping others' succeed. Do that better than in any prior year and it's game over. Most Important Question One of the first questions a leader should ask themselves is Who do I serve? How have their pain points changed (in this economy, in their lives, on balance with their expectations, in their career aspirations)? How can I serve those pain points more effectively than anyone else? A strong entrepreneur and leader understands that they don’t get ahead by doing the same things, but doing things differently, because those they serve expect something different. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Guy Finley Guy Finley is the acclaimed author of - The Secret of Letting Go - and more than 35 other books and audio programs that have sold over a million copies. His encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. Follow Guy at: http://www.guyfinley.com Most Important Idea There can be nothing more important to understand about the coming days other than this one idea: the only way any of our tomorrows can become better and brighter is if we're willing to work to bring more light of awareness into the present moment. After all, how can what is harvested "tomorrow" be any better than the seed we plant today?  Most Important Question Is what I intend to sell to others as good for them as I see the result of those sales being for me? And, if not, am I willing to change my mind about the true nature of what is good? The truth of our oneness with life only starts to become real for us as we awaken to see that in hurting others; we have also hurt ourselves and--that whenever we hurt ourselves--others suffer. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Jon Fisher Jon Fisher is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, adjunct professor, and analyst. He co- founded and was Chief Executive Officer of Bharosa, an Oracle Corporation company. He’s the author of Strategic Entrepreneurism about designing a company specifically to be acquired by a larger one. Follow Jon at: http://www.linksify.com/jbf Most Important Idea Instead of trying to become the one dominant company in my market, I want to be the one company that a larger and more dominant company wants to acquire.  Identify the companies that I believe would most benefit from acquiring my company. Of course, I can never control what another company does, but by understanding which company may acquire me and what their own needs may be, I can steer my company in their direction as an acquisition target.   Most Important Question How do I build a repeatable business that is ready for acquisition?  How many customers must I add and what must I learn about the process of attracting and fulfilling them to prove I can profitably add unlimited customers as well as profitably serve the largest and most technologically discerning customers? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Paul Gillin Paul Gillin is author, consultant and social media maven. He advises business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. His latest book is - Secrets of Social Media Marketing. Follow Paul at - http://gillin.com/blog Most Important Idea Where to find sustainable value. We are moving into a world in which traditional definitions of value have been challenged by changes in communication. Information is increasingly free and work moves around the globe speedily and seamlessly. Many of our assumptions about value have traditionally been based upon limitations that were imposed by time and distance. For example, advertising-based businesses could thrive because there were no alternatives in their markets and many service-based businesses could sustain high margins because local competitors weren’t available. Many of those traditional limitations are now dissolving, so we need to rethink our definition of value in that context. What can you bring to the market that is truly unique and that can't be cloned by somebody half a world away and sold at a discount? For many businesses, this is a huge change in the competitive landscape.   Most Important Question This is a variation on my first answer: How can I maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly changing world? Today, your best ideas are quickly duplicated by somebody else at a lower price. Even if you have legal protection, that may be insufficient to sustain an advantage. What can you do to keep ahead of competition on a long-term basis? Is your advantage innovation? Customer service? Specialization? If your expertise isn't based on geography or time, you are probably playing in a completely different competitive market from five years ago. How will you keep competitors out? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Marshall Goldsmith Marshall Goldsmith is one of the most influential business thinkers of our generation. He helps leaders get even better - by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. His latest book is - MOJO: How To Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It. Follow Marshall at: http:// marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com Most Important Idea   Entrepreneurs should be thinking about how they can face the never-ending challenge of global competition in a tough economic environment.   They will have to make projections for future business in the face of an unprecedented level of ambiguity.  They will have to ‘create’ rather than ‘meet’ customer needs.   Most Important Question   What are the best ways for me to keep learning – from my customers, from my suppliers and from my employees? How do I get and keep my MOJO?---Mojo is the moment when we feel we’re ‘on a roll’, firing on all cylinders, and everyone around us senses it. When we’re moving forward, making progress, achieving goals, clearing hurdles, passing the competition—and doing so with increasing ease. Sports people call this being “in the zone;” others describe it as “flow.” I describe it as Mojo--“that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.” Mojo plays a vital role in our pursuit of happiness and meaning because it is about achieving two simple goals: loving what we do and showing it. And it becomes apparent when the positive feelings toward what we are doing come from inside us and are evident for others to see. In other words, it is the moment when there’s no gap between the positive way we perceive ourselves—what we are doing—and how we are perceived by others. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Josephine Gross Ph.D. Josephine Gross, Ph.D is the Editor-In Chief of Networking Times/Gabriel Media. This educational journal was founded on the vision of “Global Prosperity through a Philanthropic Economy” and focuses on personal and professional growth. Josephine has been named to the Top Power 50 in Direct Selling Live. Follow Josephine at: http:// www.networkingtimes.com Most Important Idea The Secret (which we were involved with at the earliest stages of that phenomenon) was all about how to get things: it taught us how to use the law of attraction to manifest the nice car, the big home and how to create success. Oddly, and refreshingly, the books that do well today don’t talk as just about how to be successful or how to make more money. Deep down, more and more people are looking to be empowered and how they can make a contribution; how to touch the most people’s lives, how to help others manifest their destiny and how to heal a changing world.    People are realizing that everything they need to fulfill their purpose is already available inside. We need to empower them to recognize their own greatness, to tap into their unique gifts and find their purpose. Our promise is that if they do this, true fulfillment awaits.   If you listen to your heart, follow your passion and commit to making your unique contribution, people and opportunities will show up on your path to support you in your mission.  We need to trust that focusing on our inner gifts will truly sustain us on every level.  This is a paradigm shift in our concept of abundance from the external and the visible to the internal and the invisible.   (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Josephine Gross Ph.D. Josephine Gross, Ph.D is the Editor-In Chief of Networking Times/Gabriel Media. This educational journal was founded on the vision of “Global Prosperity through a Philanthropic Economy” and focuses on personal and professional growth. Josephine has been named to the Top Power 50 in Direct Selling Live. Follow Josephine at: http:// www.networkingtimes.com (From Previous Page) Today everyone knows there is no security in a job or in material wealth, which you can lose overnight.  The only security we have lies in mining our inner wealth and sharing as much of it as we can.  For the more we share our gifts, the more the rewards will flow. This is the most empowering idea we can offer our world today. Most Important Question It reminds me of a new definition of prosperity I found in 2012: Crossing the Bridge to the Future by Mark Borax: “You are rich the moment you recognize that you have so much more to give to this world than you will ever need to take from it.” Let this be our motto for creating the new economy, and building our new world. Am I giving more than I am taking? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Amanda Hite Amanda Hite is the Founder and CEO of Talent Revolution, Inc. She’s an inspirationalist, and change agent who’s bringing sexy back to corporate thinking and people performance. Amanda, who started her career in the service industry 15 years ago, is a paradigm buster. Follow Amanda at: http://www.talentrevolution.com Most Important Idea You define the purpose and meaning of what you want to create and the community you want to serve.  Your community will define what they need and how you will serve them.You must have extreme clarity on who you serve and the purpose and meaning you intend to create. Listen intensely to, and be fanatically curious about, what is most important to your community. Go to maniacal extremes to demonstrate to them that you care, to earn their trust. Then, let them define what they need from you. By doing so, they will ultimately be defining the products and services you offer. Fortitude.  Have a ton of it or go work for someone else.   Most Important Question The most significant questions I would ask would be: If you were to reinvent your business today based on everything you've learned since you've started, based on all you know at this very moment, what would it look like? What would it be? Then, BE that now. DO that now. Ask yourself that question often. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Maggie Jackson Maggie Jackson is an award-winning author and journalist known for her penetrating coverage of U.S. social issues. She writes the popular “Balancing Acts” column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Her latest book is - Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and The Coming Dark Age. Follow Maggie at: http://maggie-jackson.com Most Important Idea   Unplugging. Our portable and powerful gadgets keep us updated and networked in ways nearly unimaginable just a decade ago.Yet this pulsing connectivity has ripple effects. We think and move in fragmented ways, ever-interrupted by the beep and ping of another missive. We're inundated with far more information than we can thoughtfully use. We prize the computational, and forget that creativity and deep thought also are born from the mysterious, the intuitive, the serendipitous. Let's move past the "gee, whiz, another gadget! another upgrade!" stage of humanity and recapture times to reflect, rest and daydream. Most Important Question What is efficiency? An overlooked legacy of the Industrial Age is a factory-based, mechanized view of efficiency as a linear, clock- based, quantitative issue. Efficiency today is too often based on ticking items off an agenda, storming through emails, shifting info-bits around. But perhaps long-term, knowledge-based efficiency is a more meandering, messy, deeper concept - one based upon meaning, not widgets, and relations, not messages, and compassion, not profits. On a crowded planet, aren't deep social bonds ultimately the most efficient means of survival? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Mitch Joel Mitch Joel brings you digital marketing, new media and personal branding insights, provocations and foreshadows from his always on/always connected world. Marketing Magazine dubbed him the "Rock Star of Digital Marketing". Mitch Joel is President of Twist Image - an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency. His latest book is Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected, Connect Your Business To Everyone. Follow Mitch at: http://www.twistimage.com/blog Most Important Idea Compassion. If you're not compassionate about your employees, your customers and everyone else on the planet, all is lost.You can't have a strong business without a strong community. Build your business by nurturing your community and those who are a part of it.  Most Important Question The question is: "why?" not "what?" Too many Marketers asked "what are we doing on Twitter?" not "why should we be on Twitter?" "Why" will help you define a real strategy while "what" is simply a tactic. Focus on the "why".  Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Arthur Samuel Joseph Arthur Samuel Joseph teaches empowerment through voice. He’s the highly acclaimed coach to Hollywood celebrities, notable sports figures and political leaders. He’s the creator of The Vocal Awareness Institute and the author of countless books and audio products. His Audio CD is Voice of a Leader: Vocal Awareness to Empower Your Communication in Business and in Life. Follow Arthur at: http://www.vocalawareness.com Most Important Idea Entrepreneurs should focus on the notion of ‘Vision’. The origin of the word vision is Middle English from the Latin ‘Videre’ - to see. One meaning is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. As I begin my 46th year of teaching, one thing is abundantly clear - at the core of who we are, we are all amazingly quite similar. We all have our own aspirations, our own fears locked away or revealed, our own joys, misgivings, and successes, failures… We may be different races or creeds, we may have different political beliefs, but the common denominator is that we are all human beings. Contained in the very core of our miraculous Selves—an aspect of our spiritual DNA— is a passion to live a fulfilling life. For some of us, it is as obvious as a klaxon blaring in a quiet space. For others, it may require a high-powered neutron microscope to reveal it. But it does exist! Most Important Question Are we truly tapping into our passion and choosing to focus on the fulfillment of our personal vision? One of the core principles of Vocal Awareness is that everything in life revolves around two things: to choose or not to choose. It never matters how scary or seemingly daunting. All that matters is how badly we want it. Even in an abdication one makes a choice by walking away. The bottom line is did that choice empower or disempower.          (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Arthur Samuel Joseph Arthur Samuel Joseph teaches empowerment through voice. He’s the highly acclaimed coach to Hollywood celebrities, notable sports figures and political leaders. He’s the creator of The Vocal Awareness Institute and the author of countless books and audio products. His Audio CD is Voice of a Leader: Vocal Awareness to Empower Your Communication in Business and in Life. Follow Arthur at: http://www.vocalawareness.com (From Previous Page)        A number of years ago, as I was sitting at Palm Sunday Mass with my bride. I went into a moment of reflective mediation during the reading of the Passion. What emerged was the mantra: Serve, Soar, Surrender.  For the next several years, this mantra became a regular part of my daily prayer and meditation time.   Not long age, during the High Holy Days, I realized that I had the order wrong. It is not Serve, Soar, Surrender, but rather - Surrender, Serve and Soar. (the root of the word surrender means to yield or give back. I interpret this as being in service.) It is not only those who are born with athletic, intellectual or artistic gifts, not merely the superstars and sports heroes that get to live “the good life,” we all can. So as we embark upon a new year, a new decade, let me challenge you with a bold idea.  The idea that we can choose to be who we are—that we can choose to live a life of purpose—on purpose. One of my favorite quotes perhaps is relevant here: “The great use of a life is to spend it for something that outlasts it”…William James Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Lois Kelly Lois Kelly is a a fresh and inspiring voice in Marketing. Her message is as simple as it is profound - Create meaning not buzz. Her award-winning book - Beyond Buzz - remains an authority on the next generation Word of Mouth Marketing. Follow Lois at: http:// blog.foghound.com Most Important Idea Looking Up! The idea is simply this: Look up from the mountain of daily business ‘To Do’s’ and find ways to stay in love with your customers and business. Look Up and remember those stories where customers told you how great your firm is. What was it that they so liked? how can you do more of that this year? And Less of what drags you down. Look Up and write down as fast as you can the 10 things that you love about your business. No judging. Just write them down fast. That’s your compass for this year. Look Up and be grateful for being an entrepreneur, with the freedom and flexibility to make possibilities real and live life at your speed, unlike our corporate friends who so often feel like servants to big bureaucracies. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Lois Kelly Lois Kelly is a a fresh and inspiring voice in Marketing. Her message is as simple as it is profound - Create meaning not buzz. Her award-winning book - Beyond Buzz - remains an authority on the next generation Word of Mouth Marketing. Follow Lois at: http:// blog.foghound.com (From Previous Page) Most Important Question How can I make it easy for My customers to refer business to my company? Sometimes we forget that approximately 80 percent of our business comes from customers’ word of mouth recommendations; regardless of industry. If customers think they’ve gotten great value from us, most are willing to help - referring business, providing testimonials. But most of us never ask. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Stephen Knollenberg Stephen Knollenberg has been working as an interior designer since 1996, establishing a firm in his own namesake in 2002 | Knollenberg.  He designs both contemporary and traditional interiors, often combining elements of both. Stephen was named one of the Top 100 Designers worldwide by Architectural Digest in 2009. Follow Stephen at: http:// www.stephenknollenberg.com Most Important Idea I think the most important idea/concept that entrepreneurs need to be thinking about in 2010 is how to step out of the orthodox business 'box' they have been working in and to come at it from different angles.  I wouldn't imagine that this suggestion is particularly revolutionary amongst those you've posed this query to, but I think that it's essential thinking.  The 2010 business model, for virtually everyone, is quite a bit different than 'business as usual' before things changed dramatically in the fall of 2008.  To accomplish this, you must be willing to step out of comfort zones and get creative about new approaches.  I firmly believe that within challenges and change lie opportunities.   People and companies that resist the changes thrust upon them will struggle.  Step back, take a deep breath and see this as an opportunity.  Nothing in life or business is really ever static. Most Important Question 'What am I actually doing to grow my business differently and how OPEN am I to this new approach' is, I think, the most significant question we should all be asking ourselves at this time.  Again, as with question number one, it's creative business and the DEGREE to which an entity is open to doing things that have not been de rigueur may make the difference in their continued success.  Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Dafna Michaelson Dafna Michaelson is a Documentary Filmmaker, Change-agent, Journeywoman who started a non-profit organization based in Denver, CO called - 50 in 52 Journey for which she traveled to one state per week for the 52 weeks of 2009 interviewing people who are helping to solve community problems and sharing those stories through video and blog. Dafna was recently featured on CBS News Sunday Morning. Follow Dafna at: http://www.50in52journey.com The Most Important Idea  A simple Idea: Be a Pioneer. In 2009 I traveled to all 50 states in search of people solving community problems or otherwise working to build community. What I found may surprise you. The people who are solving community problems are exactly like the pioneers who formed the foundation for this country. When the pioneers settled the land they understood one basic principle: in order to succeed they had to not only plant their fields and build their barns, they had to help their neighbors plant their fields and build their barns. Then, together they built the church, and the school house… Times are no different today. In order for our country to be successful, and, for you as entrepreneurs to lead the way, we need to get back to our roots.You are not only responsible for building your business you are responsible for supporting the businesses being developed around you. And together with the business you are supporting you become the team that develops the “community center.”  Look at the Pioneer model again: First they planted fields so they could feed their family. Then they built the church and the school house so they could educate their future. Then they began to branch out and build businesses like the general store to nurture and sustain the community. It was a natural progression. Step one: Meet my immediate needs and help my neighbor meet theirs. Step two: Join forces and ensure continued success through education and infrastructure. Step three: Branch out and begin new ventures with my community in mind.  (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Dafna Michaelson Dafna Michaelson is a Documentary Filmmaker, Change-agent, Journeywoman who started a non-profit organization based in Denver, CO called - 50 in 52 Journey for which she traveled to one state per week for the 52 weeks of 2009 interviewing people who are helping to solve community problems and sharing those stories through video and blog. Dafna was recently featured on CBS News Sunday Morning. Follow Dafna at: http://www.50in52journey.com (From Previous Page) Communities are waiting for you and are relying on your success. It is the entrepreneurial mind that thinks up ways to help the homeless, teach children around the globe, and make our communities clean, safe places to live. It starts with you and the people you support along your rise to success.  Most Important Question A very basic Question: Who have you listened to?  What are you doing to support another entrepreneur, our “neighbor” for all intents and purposes, to achieve their goals and dreams? As you develop your idea and business model who have you spoken to and, more importantly, who have you listened to?   Ours is an ever changing world and nowhere is that felt more acutely than in the mind and the work of an entrepreneur. While you are listening I ask you to challenge yourself and your neighbor with the question: Who is your idea/product going to help? Is it a service that is going to help directly or is it through your social consciousness of a community need and you donate a portion of your earnings to help others. We are in an age where this line of thinking needs to become part of the initial conversations when developing business models. We no longer have the luxury of this being an afterthought. AFTER the success. Indeed, I would argue with your mindset on the “neighbor” from the very beginning you bring along the kinds of partnerships that are sure to lead you, your business, and your community to success. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Mike Michalowicz Mike Michalowicz is entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 24. Since, he has build and sold two companies and his newest venture - Obsidian Launch - he fosters startup businesses with his “get rich right” approach. Mike is the author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Follow Mike at: http://www.toiletpaperentrepreneur.com Most Important Idea This is the year of business personalities. With the tremendous progress with online video, all businesses - big and  small - need to have a personality representing the business. If you are a small business, this means you.  If you are a big business, you better pick an authentic, but charismatic leader to be the "front man of the band".  Don't think this is important - just do a Google search on "will it blend" and you will see what I am talking about.   Most Important Question Is this my passion?  If an entrepreneur is in business to simply make money in an "under-served" market - they are going to get crushed. The competition is fierce AND hungry.  The people who excel will be the ones who are doing what they love - they have that extra something that separates the best from the average. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Daniel Pink Daniel Pink is one of the most important voices of the 21th century. He’s the author of several provocative, bestselling books about the changing world of work. His latest - Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - inspires us to rethink the path to our highest potential. Follow Dan at: http://www.danpink.com Most Important Idea There's a myth that what motivates entrepreneurs is merely the desire to get rich. Real entrepreneurs know that's nonsense -- that what gets them out of bed in the morning is the chance, as Steve Jobs once put it, to "put a dent in the universe."  Entrepreneurs should remember that this drive is also what powers those on their team -- especially the most talented ones. So this year, don't try to bribe people with carrots or scare them with sticks. Instead challenge them to be self-directed, help them get better at what they do, and connect them to a purpose larger than themselves. Most Important Question I think there are two. The first: If your business went away tomorrow -- if your product, service, or experience ceased to exist -- would anyone care? The second: If your business didn't exist, would anybody create it?  These are questions we've heard before -- but in my view, their longevity is proof of their wisdom.  Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Srikumar Rao Dr. Srikumar Rao is the author of - Are You Ready to Succeed: Unconventional Strategies For Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life. He’s an adjunct professor at London Business School and the Haas School of Business at Cal Berkeley. Follow Dr. Rao at: http:// www.areyoureadytosucceed.com Most Important Idea We live in a more competitive world where changes happen faster and the entire environment can turn topsy-turvy in very little time. Entrepreneurs should always be thinking of how they can be ahead of the wave of change. A good way is to determine how to do at least one thing differently and more of what works. For example, say you use a dedicated sales force to sell your products. Try to build in at least one more method of reaching prospects and converting them into customers. And another, it is not enough to get an order – what can you do to bind the customer to you with hoops of steel? That is what entrepreneurs should be thinking of in 2010. Most Important Question Entrepreneurs should be asking themselves what exactly they do, and why they do it? They may make widgets but if they define themselves as “making widgets” they will be swamped sooner or later. There will always be another company, hungrier and probably on another continent, that will make widgets cheaper and better. Customers will defect, employees will leave and the company will at best stagnate, at worst fail. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Srikumar Rao Dr. Srikumar Rao is the author of - Are You Ready to Succeed: Unconventional Strategies For Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life. He’s an adjunct professor at London Business School and the Haas School of Business at Cal Berkeley. Follow Dr. Rao at: http:// www.areyoureadytosucceed.com (From Previous Page) It is a good idea to focus on what benefits you are offering the customer, but not enough. Think of what the customer, in turn, is doing and how it impacts society. A friend of mine runs an upscale restaurant, a real power-meal venue packed with movers-and-shakers and business celebrities. He does not view himself as a purveyor of food and beverages. As he put it to me, “Most of my clients are subject to incredible stress in their jobs. I create an oasis where they can relax and not have to think. The food is good. The service is impeccable. I try to make sure that they leave in a more peaceful mood than when they arrived. I am sure that this has an impact on the decisions they make – these decisions affect tens of thousands and I hope they are better because they are made by a less agitated person.” What do you do? and what do your customers do? and what impact does this have on society? See what you can do to make the societal impact greater and better. This is not an intellectual exercise. Feel it with every fiber of your being. When you do, then your employees are more likely to as well and they will behave accordingly and magic will begin to happen. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Joe Robinson Joe Robinson is a stress management and work-life balance trainer and coach. He is author of - Work to Live - and the audio CD, “The Email Overload Survival Kit.” He’s appeared on The Today Show, CNN, NBC Nightly News, to discuss how we can work smarter and start working to live. Follow Joe at: http://www.worktolive.info Most Important Idea   The key issue for any entrepreneur who wants to get anything done and do it with some semblance of a working brain is interruption management. The constant bombardment of email, instant messages, Blackberry, and cell interruptions is wreaking havoc on productivity and the main resource of your company—the attention of the minds you employ. Most companies these days are showrooms for A.D.D. The average knowledge worker checks email 50 times a day and gets 77 instant messages. Corporate users average 133 emails a day. Constant interruptions destroy focus by eroding a part of the brain in charge of impulse control. The more you check email, the more you have to check it. It’s a huge problem and stress driver, and we can’t put our heads in the sand any longer. You have to manage interruptions or they will manage you into the red. Research firm Basex says workers today lose 2.1 hours a day from email overload. The good news is there are ways to control the onslaught.You can set rules for e-tools and still have plenty of free-flowing information. Adopting a four-time a day email-checking schedule alone can make a huge difference in attention and productivity. Cutting down on email volume is the mission. Each email results in six, three going, three coming back. They’re like rabbits. It’s time to spay and neuter. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Joe Robinson Joe Robinson is a stress management and work-life balance trainer and coach. He is author of - Work to Live - and the audio CD, “The Email Overload Survival Kit.” He’s appeared on The Today Show, CNN, NBC Nightly News, to discuss how we can work smarter and start working to live. Follow Joe at: http://www.worktolive.info (From Previous Page) Most Important Question   My choice: Do you have a performance model that is sustainable or are you operating on the old burnout default—just keep going till the paramedics arrive?   Job satisfaction in the U.S. is at a 22-year low, 45%. That’s bad news for anyone running a business, because it means retention problems, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and stress costs. What’s driving the discontent? With leaner companies and the 24/7 always-on mentality, people are maxed out. We can’t throw our bodies at a 24/7 world. We have structural limits. To keep from imploding as demands increase, companies will have to change the old dinosaur work style—the Last Person Standing metric, My Ulcer’s Bigger Than Yours—that are obsolete in a knowledge economy. The true source of productivity today is a fresh and energized brain. MRI scans of fatigued brains look exactly like ones that are sound asleep. Companies can get more done in less time with a sustainable performance approach—getting off reflex mode, adjusting unsustainable practices and keeping brains sharp and burnout ancient history. The most successful companies are going to be the ones that can shift from the outmoded whatever-it-takes bravado to what it takes to do the job right. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • David Meerman Scott David Meerman Scott is a marketing maven, blogger, speaker, and the author of the award- winning BusinessWeek bestseller - The New Rules of Marketing & PR Second Edition. His Web Ink Now blog is as inspiration as it is insightful. Follow David at http:// www.webinknow.com Most Important Idea Attention! You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (public relations). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an ebook, a Facebook page. Buyer Personas! To best earn attention, you need to check your ego at the door. Don’t create content about yourself because I have news for you— nobody cares. Instead, create information and publish it online that helps your buyers to solve their problems. When you do, you brand your organization and yourself as worthy of doing business with. Most Important Question How will YOU earn attention from your buyer personas by publishing information online in 2010? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • John Spence John Spence is a thought leader in the areas of business excellence and leadership. He is the author of - Awesomely Simple: Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action. Follow John at: http://www.johnspence.com Most Important Idea From a business perspective, I believe the most important idea that entrepreneurs should be thinking about in 2010 is: Talent + Culture x Extreme Customer Focus = Success. Let me make this as “Awesomely Simple” as I possibly can: the success of your company is directly tied to the quality of the people on your team. Whether it is your employees, mentors, advisors, board of directors, books, audio books, podcasts from the web… you need to build a huge network of bright, talented and highly creative people and then ASK THEM FOR HELP. Let me share with you the most important thing I have learned in my life so far… You become what you focus on and similar to the people you surround yourself with. Whatever you fill your brain with; what you read, listen to, focus on… and whomever you decide to spend your time with (either in person or through books and such), will pretty much determine what your life will look like a decade from now. Ideas and people will drive your success. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • John Spence John Spence is a thought leader in the areas of business excellence and leadership. He is the author of - Awesomely Simple: Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action. Follow John at: http://www.johnspence.com (From Previous Page) Most Important Question As an extension of my success formula above, I believe the most important question entrepreneurs should be asking themselves and their companies in 2010 is: How well do we really understand our customers? It is clear to me, whoever owns the “Voice of the Customer” owns the market. The goal then is to constantly be listening to your customers in an ongoing effort to deliver consistently superior customer service… as defined by the customer! On a more esoteric level, I believe that another very important question that entrepreneurs should be asking themselves in 2010 is: How can I help make the world a better place? In my humble opinion, success brings with it an obligation to use your wealth, connections and creativity to leave the place better than you found it. It is my great hope that “enlightened self-interest” in business becomes a much more common practice. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Scott Stratten Scott Stratten is President of Un-Marketing.com. He’s an expert in Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing which he calls, Un-Marketing. He was voted the top influencer on Twitter, a social media site with over 7 million users. Scott and his company has made over 65 movies online that have been seen over 60 million times. One movie was chosen by the Chicago Bears as their biggest motivator toward their Super Bowl run a few years ago, while another made their client over $5 million in 7 days. Follow Scott at: http://www.un- marketing.com Most Important Idea Platforming. The ability to become well known in a specific place about a specific topic. There are so many places, especially online that one can choose to spend time on. Pick one and make it your platform and after you've created a following, expand it. (i.e. Get known on Twitter, build following, then launch blog…) Most Important Question Do I really know what my customers are thinking? When was the last time you asked your customers how you were doing? By sending them a simple question "What should we stop, start and continue doing?" you could change the way you do business, for the better. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Eckhart Tolle Eckhart Tolle is one of the most influential Spiritual Teachers of our time. He’s the highly acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller - The Power of Now - and the follow- up - A New Earth. Follow Eckhart at: http://www.eckharttolle.com Most Important Idea Gratitude - a deeper gratitude. There are more superficial forms of gratitude, by that I mean, to be grateful that someone else is worse off than you are....sometimes that is a source of gratitude. People say “Oh I really should be grateful, because look at this person - they are worse off than I am, so I should be grateful.” that’s not the true gratitude, that’s the gratitude that is arrived at through thinking, where you compare yourself to other. That’s a superficial form of gratitude, that’s not really what it is, that’s ultimately to do with ego. The deeper gratitude is the deep sense of appreciation. It’s not to do with what you are telling yourself in your head, it’s something that you sense in the present moment, it’s an appreciation of the “is-ness” of this moment. When I say “appreciation”, it’s the feeling that the world around you is alive, and you share in the aliveness of the world that surrounds you. And with that comes the feeling, “its good to be alive.” It’s a deep sense of Being-ness, or aliveness, and through that you appreciate what is, in your life. And by saying “in your life”, it always means in the present moment, because apart from the present moment, there is no such thing as “your life”. Anything else that you call “your life,” it’s a mental construct. Gratitude is very important. It transforms your whole life, if you can remember the importance of being grateful for life. As you go through your day, every day, you can even have little reminders - of the importance of being appreciative of life. (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Eckhart Tolle Eckhart Tolle is one of the most influential Spiritual Teachers of our time. He’s the highly acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller - The Power of Now - and the follow- up - A New Earth. Follow Eckhart at: http://www.eckharttolle.com (From Previous Page) Most Important Question To Think or Not To Think? As human beings, we are becoming strongly aware of the pull back to the Source. There are two movements in the universe - one is out into form and more thinking; and there are people who still believe that the problems in this world can be solved by thinking harder about them. Yet, they don’t realize that the real problem is that we have lost touch with the source of where everything came. By going into further differentiation, the problems will actually increase, not be solved. We need a balance, a return to the source. We can still create and do, but we can’t lose ourselves in creation, doing and thinking - lose ourselves in our minds. Instead, we need to connect with the timeless, formless, and source of all life within - a space of no thought. That conscious connection with the Source is our destiny, it’s our life purpose, it’s why we’re all here. Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Lisa Witter Lisa Witter is the COO of Fenton Communication, the largest public interest communications firm in the country. She heads the firm’s practice in women’s issues and global affairs. She’s co-founder of the award winning web site SheSource.org and co-author of highly acclaimed book - The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them. Follow Lisa at: http://www.fenton.com/lisa-lisa.html Most Important Idea The most important idea that an entrepreneur should be thinking about in 2010 is - Community. We are seeing a convergence of two forces in the world that will greatly leverage how we use community to radically change the way we live, the way we have relationships, the way we do business, the way we solve problems and the way we look at opportunities. And that is Technology and Innovation - the ability to connect with people instantly, often, in different places, without restraint - With video, with personal touches, despite it being over the internet and that’s definitely changing the way the world works. It changes the way ideas come to life. it changes how quickly ideas spread, whether good of or bad. It improves the quality of the ideas and it engages the wisdom of the crowd. Its about the democratization of ideas and possibilities and innovation for social entrepreneurs. Community is really breathtaking. The other place that entrepreneurs should be focusing is the re-framing of what it means to be a woman in today’s world. For so long, Women were seen as a special cause or as a minority; and now issues of women are being re-framed from one of oppression, where clearly oppression still happens - there’s no doubt that women still make less money than men do - but it doesn’t stop there at the oppression. I’ve been working with Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WeDunn on their latest book and an amazing thing has happened (Continued on Next Page) Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
    • Lisa Witter Lisa Witter is the COO of Fenton Communication, the largest public interest communications firm in the country. She heads the firm’s practice in women’s issues and global affairs. She’s co-founder of the award winning web site SheSource.org and co-author of highly acclaimed book - The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them. Follow Lisa at: http://www.fenton.com/lisa-lisa.html (From Previous Page) where people’s eyes are starting to light up where they are understanding that women are truly an opportunity, and that when women prosper - everyone prospers. So where these two points come together is the concept of community. It’s how women connect with one another; its where they feel most at home in a space where they create bond and nurture. It doesn’t mean that women aren’t competitive or don’t want to win, but they want to create community. So, if technology is there for women, and if you can combine the understanding of leveraging women for social change or business change to build community, that’s a real opportunity. Most Important Question How are we going to engage and understand women? How are we cultivating and nurturing communities for women? How are we leveraging technology to connect with women? Home Thursday, March 4, 2010
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