January 1, 2017

Set for Maximum Productivity

Setup for Maximum Productivity: monster 65 inch Samsung monitor driven by MacBook Pro via HDMI cable, wireless Magic Keyboard, wireless Magic Trackpad, and wireless Magic Mouse. 

On the monitor, top left, clockwise:
1. Business Plan
2. Email
3. "The System" (my not-so-secret weapon... see This Link.)
4. Calendar
5. YouTube video of calming seascapes.
(Not shown: YouTube calming classical music)

Also noteworthy are the Baffin down booties... gotta keep the feet warm!  :)

Update: 1/2/2017 - Using the MacBook Pro for the on-screen video and the background music seems to diminish the responsiveness of the Mac, so I offloaded the video to a nearby iPad, and the audio to a nearby iPhone 6 (without SIM card) not being used for testing. This made a major difference.

Of course, my iPhone 7 is also close at hand, and is running ToBeWise Pro, giving me great motivational/inspirational notifications every hour, along with a reminder to Breathe. Smile. Move around. See http://ToBeWise.co

December 30, 2016

Version 7 of "The System" has big New Year upgrade

Continuously improved for the last 2 years, Version 7 is now available:

1. Extensive use of personalized drop-down lists for fast data entry without using keyboard. This improvement makes the System much easier on mobile devices.

2. Additional Details column with custom drop-down lists for more granular analysis.

3. Additional "Hidden" rows for multiple entries (see Sales, Prod Dev., etc)

4. Total Productive Time calculation added.

5. Many cosmetic changes, to highlight most productive activities, the Purpose and the Score.

Shown is the complete daily checklist I'm currently using (shown as of 11AM today). My Score for the last couple of days has been over 80,000. I'm still shooting for 100,000, but I want to achieve it without stress. 

Note the photo of my son and daughter, who I think of as my inspiration for wanting to do the best I can. And speaking of "doing my best", that is a phrase borrowed with great appreciation from Marshall Goldsmith. Just saying those words to myself adds extra power to my actions. Try it!

December 20, 2016

Ask and you shall receive

Steve Jobs video clip on why it is so important to Ask!
It's all about having the courage to risk failure, rejection, etc.
And taking Action!

December 13, 2016

ToBeWise: there's an app for that. Free!

If only there were an app that would start us on the path of Success in Life and in Business...
That thought has occupied my mind for a long time, starting 31 years ago. For much of the past year, I've been working on just such a thing, and as of just a couple of days ago, it's now available for iPhone/iPad users, in the App Store.

I call it ToBeWise, because, well, it's the best name I came up with, after considering a lot of others. The name describes the Result you will achieve by using the app: wisdom.

the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. 

Imagine if you had that ability... pretty cool, right? The big challenge with having wisdom is that it takes a lot to Time to develop it, a lot of knowledge and experience just doesn't happen overnight, and most people just never develop enough of it to truly succeed in Life and Business.

You'd have to read tons of books, and have lots of years of major and varied life and business experiences, and then pull them all together to build your understanding to the level that it all became common sense to you, and from then on you could think and act in ways that would appear to others to be simply effortless insight... as if everything you did were easy and right on point.

If only there were a way to take a short cut through all the reading and study and get the basics internalized without effort. If only there were a way to channel the most successful and intelligent people who ever lived...  if only there were an app for that!  Well, there is!  

Start at ToBeWise.co and follow the simple system of 2 minutes in the morning and 2 minutes at night. Easy. Simple. Highly effective. Free.

December 1, 2016

Stop it!

“I know it was your idea, but it was my idea to use your idea.” 

The benefit of stopping certain negative behaviors can be far greater than all the positive ones combined. The following bad habits create challenges in interactions with others. CEOs often wrongly attribute their successes to these habits.

Promoting my value

Adding too much value:  Needing to add our two cents to every discussion.

Claiming credit that we do not deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contributions to any success.

Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.

Starting with "No," "But," or "However": These negative qualifiers say to everyone, "I'm right, You're wrong."

Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.

Overusing emotions

Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.

Negativity: "Let me explain why that won't work": The need to share our negative thoughts even when we were not asked.

Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past.

Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.

Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.

Empowering the Ego

An excessive need to be Me: Reframing faults as virtues because they're who we are.

Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.

Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we're wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.

Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations - when it matters, when it doesn't, and when it's totally beside the point.

Telling the world how smart you are: The need to show people we're smarter than they think we are.

Upholding boundaries

Withholding information:  Refusing to share information with others to maintain an advantage over them.

Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.

Not listening: Passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.

Failing to express gratitude:  Bad manners, plain and simple.

Punishing the messenger: Attacking the innocent who are only trying to help.

Adapted from a post by Marshall Goldsmith ("To help others develop, start with yourself.")

October 31, 2016

Effective Board Meetings

Board meetings. Jean de La Rochebrochard shares advice on how to run effective board meetings.  Kima Ventures

Some of the suggestions seem to be too much work, and too much to cover in the time allowed, but there are a couple of good takeaways in here.

Now think about your meetings with your advisor/mentor. Why, and how, should they be any different?

October 10, 2016

I couldn't have said it better...

From CBInsights newsletter (highly recommended) this morning, there was a mention of an excellent article that starts with the premise that some gurus' advice is either mere platitude, or seriously flawed, and the primary reason is that so many of them have no true experience experience with the topic of the advice.

The article title is "How to Call Bulls**t on a Guru or Expert" and you can read it here.

Beware of gurus in general.  Healthy skepticism is your friend. Seek advice from those who have experience, of course, but you must make your own decisions.

August 5, 2016

Caution: Startup Ahead™

Caution: Startup Ahead™

My morning email blizzard offered me a collection of startup reading materials worth thousands for less than a hundred bucks. But wait, there's more...  A bonus of a month or two of a couple of web services worth hundreds more.

Putting aside for the moment what something is worth, my first thought about the offer was that it was like reading about smallpox, vs. actually having smallpox. 

Is it an exaggeration to compare doing a startup to having smallpox?  Tough to find someone who has done both to test that hypothesis. I've done a few startups, and actually doing it is a lot different than reading about doing it.

There are severe physical and emotional experiences that will accompany virtually all startups. I could go into a long list, but it would be depressing.

Most startup people have heard that the odds of success in a startup are very dim, but logic escapes them and they have an entrepreneurial spasm that causes years of frustration and stress. If they are lucky. And if they are like most startup people, they will crash and burn after wiping out their savings and a few friends and family members' investments as well. They will be burnt out shells of their former selves and reduced to working for a living like the rest of the burned out shells who who have been crushed by reality.

That's the downside. There is an upside, of course, but it is like Shangri-La, a place we have heard of, but precious few have entered such a place. The lucky few usually move out of the neighborhood and we never see them again.

One way I like to think positively about doing a startup is that's it's like a small boy's ambivalence with wanting to pet a big dog, but at the same time, the dog is bigger than he is, so there is some primal fear offsetting the big fluffy huggability.

Another way is the ambivalence of wanting to look under the bed to be sure there is no monster under there, and the very fearful possibility he may come face to face with the monster.

This fear of the unknown is what keeps us alive, and it sure keeps a lot of people from actually doing a startup. It is that great unknown gulf between Knowing and Doing. Once set sail from the safe port of Knowing, it is a dark and turbulent sea of Doing. We can wander there eternally if we survive at all.

If set sail we must on such a sea, we will be best served by knowing why we are doing this, and where we are going, how long we expect to be gone, what supplies we need... you know, like a business plan!


Stay tuned for more on that later.
Until then...

Think Straight

This is the first of the 10 Principles for Managing a Young, Growing Business and the absolute first thing to be done before doing what Elon Musk describes as "eating glass and staring into the abyss of Death".  He was being only slightly more dark than Reid Hoffman's description as "like jumping off a cliff and assembling a plane on the way down."

Are you ready to leap into the pit where few have survived, and the few who have are quite disinclined to return?

If that's what you are committed to doing, after all the warnings, then we should talk...