The 3 Keys to Business Success!

The 3 keys to business success.

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day and he asked me a question that in many respects stopped me in my tracks. “What are the keys to business success?” I paused before answering and I thought that it would be worthwhile sharing my answer with readers.

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Vision
Having a vision is fundamental to providing a direction for your business. Without a vision you may be successful for a time but eventually you won’t know what problem your solving or even why customers keep returning.

A vision is less about having some grandiose statement that is pinned to a wall and more about the DNA of your company. It’s tackling the why you are in business more than what you are doing. If you can answer the why then customers will be drawn to your philosophy as much as your products.

Talent
Whatever your business is you will require some skills to become successful. You may not have all of the skills you need right now but over time you must be open to personal growth and acknowledge the fact that you don’t know everything.

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Saturday Musings - TED Talk by Ray Dalio

Principles - Ray Dailio TED talk

As many readers are aware, during this year I’ve been sharing a number of the principles that I endeavour to follow in my own life. I’ve found they have helped me enormously in relationships and making better decisions.

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Early this year I had a friend give me the book “Principles” by Ray Dalio and recommended that I read it. I found it was really interesting reading from a person that has analytically put principles into practice in almost every aspect of his business. I should say from the start that I didn’t agree with everything that he wrote but it was still extremely challenging.

Ray spoke at TED 2017 in Vancouver and in a simple example I think he brilliantly summarised the practical outworking of what it means to work in a radically transparent meritocracy. This allows the staff at his hedge fund, Bridgewater Capital, to focus on the best ideas rather than all the politics that often rips apart many organisations and often results in bad decision making.

He freely admits that it’s not for everyone but the example he uses of radical transparency is eye opening….and extremely challenging. I hope you enjoy the video and find it thought provoking.

Have a great weekend.
Michael

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Subprime Problems with Online Advertising

Will online advertising survive?

Back in 2008 the world experienced the impact of the subprime mortgage crisis. Greed, combined with a dose of stupidity put the global economy into a tailspin. The question I have been asking myself is whether the online advertising industry is heading for its own subprime shakeout.

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The global financial crisis was caused by blending toxic loans that would never be paid back with good loans that would. The thought of big commissions spurred Wall Street forward to meddle with the ratio of good performing to bad performing loans so they were weighted on the wrong side of the ledger.

Ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard and Poors would look at these loan blends and put a rating on them that represented the riskiness of the blended loan portfolio. The problem is the agencies were paid by the banks that were trying to sell them…..so guess what, all these toxic loan portfolios received the highest investment rating.

I know that I’ve over simplified the whole financial crisis but what happened next was incredibly predictable and now a part of history. People lost their jobs as a credit squeeze hit the financial markets and central bankers wondered how they were blindsided.

Let’s compare this to the online advertising industry.

Traffic can be bought at varying degrees of quality and blended together so that it’s just acceptable enough for advertisers to buy. In fact, the name of the game for many traffic sellers is to get an advertiser hooked on the “heroin” and then dilute the traffic quality with “talcum powder”. This way the sellers can maximise their returns.

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Saturday Musings - Our Precious Domains...!

Are domains turning you into Gollum?

Back in 2016 I wrote an article comparing domain names to the “One Right” from The Lord of The Rings. I must admit that the journey down memory lane was very therapeutic and gave me a bit of a laugh. For the first time every, I thought I’d reprise the article again…..so enjoy!

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 Author, JRR Tolkien, suggested in “The Lord of the Rings”, that the one ring allowed wearers to rule but each time they put it on they tended to spiral down into deprivation and psychosis. The character of Frodo did his best to resist the rings temptations but sometimes he just couldn’t help it. I sometimes wonder whether domains are a lot like this.

Do you really not own the .comRemember when you bought your first domain name? The nervousness of the purchase followed by the terror of what the heck are nameservers and EPP codes. But you were hooked. The desire to buy or sell just one more domain each day becomes an irresistible allure that you just can’t seem to deny. If you don’t believe me then consider the following….

What’ the first thing you do each day? Is it check your domain stats to see whether they are up or down? How about jump onto Afternic or Sedo to check out any domain offers?

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed? My wife used to ask me whether I’d tucked my computer in as yet….which is a euphemism for have I checked my domain stats?

You bought a .xyz?When you really consider it the last thing we needed was the monetisation providers, registrars and marketplaces to develop apps and responsive websites. This then meant we could feed our addiction to domains during the day while we were catching a train, in a staff meeting or having a coffee with our loved ones.

Of course we could disguise our domain addiction by mumbling something about checking up on an important client email, but between you and me, we know the truth. You’re a domain addict.

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Personal Musings – How to Gain Trust

The foundations of trust are logic, empathy, authenticity.

Several months ago, I shared with readers the three principles of truth, trust and learning that I’ve endeavoured to build my life upon. In this article I would like to expand upon the principle of trust and show you how you can become more trustworthy by incorporating the three foundations of trust into your life.

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Logic
I’m sure you’ve been in a meeting at work where a person has been giving a presentation that just didn’t hang together. Everyone else in the room can sense the lack of logic and end up rolling their eyes to one another….what they are actually saying is I can’t trust what is being presented.

The more logical you are the more likely people will believe what you are saying. This goes for all your relationships, whether they are friends, family or work colleagues.

For example, you may be able to tell your 8-year-old child that they can’t go to a friend’s house because “I said no” but trying that approach with an 18-year-old will get you entirely different results. The older child will expect to hear a logical reason why they can’t go out. They may still not agree with it but at least it made sense.

The rule of thumb is to think before you speak, and you’ll look a lot wiser. In fact, if you are in a work meeting, be the last person to speak and then you can logically build upon the input of everyone else in the room…..this will gain you a lot of trust as you’re considerate to the input of others.

Empathy
Empathy and sympathy are often confused between each other. The best way of thinking about the difference is that sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for another person while empathy is putting yourself in their shoes.

When you really care about another person you will become empathetic and they will notice that you are. It’s all about getting alongside them and together sharing what they are going through and bearing whatever the burden is together.

A friend of mine was doing exceptionally well in his business but within the space of about a week everything turned to disaster and he lost everything due to being caught up in a scam. He’d done nothing wrong and yet he'd lost everything.

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Recent comment in this post
Wolftalker
- extremely important, agreed. "What can I do to help?" is powerful.
17 September 2018
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