August 9, 2017

Scaling challenges

Every once in a while I come across something so true, and well written that I just makes sense to copy and paste it without comment, confident that you will get it without me making things worse...  Here's an example, from my favorite newsletter from

Scale challenge #1 - A culture of helpful

As we've grown to 130 folks on the team, there are a few things that have become increasingly important and that we've been thinking of a lot.

A common question we now get from the team is what is our biggest risk. We covered it at our recent offsite (slides here) but the big thing boils down to having people who are 4s and 5s on the helpfulness hierarchy.

I learned about this framework in a great essay by Daniel Debow which is linked below.

Scale challenge #2 - A culture of speed

The other thing we're really focused on is speed. As an insurgent company, speed is a killer weapon. A great essay on this topic comes from The First Round Review by Dave Girouard, founder and CEO of Upstart and former President of Google Apps Enterprise.

He writes:

Scale challenge #3 - A culture of intellect & critical thinking

While there is a lot of talk about hiring people with high EQ (definitely important), we also increasingly hire for smarts.

Isht as we scale remains uncertain and smart folks with high intellectual capacity can think critically of how to solve these challenges and know where to focus.

An oldie but goodie from HBR is linked below on this topic.

Scale challenge #4 - Stay humble. Outwork everyone.

And finally, we have to outwork everyone else. Grit, as it's come to be known.

One of my favorite essays on this is by Ray Allen, former NBA star. In his essay entitled "Letter to My Younger Self", Allen writes:

August 1, 2017

Overnight Sensation, 12 years later

When I met Jacqueline Butler 12 years ago she was an unknown but amazing artist with huge talent in what I thought at the time would be an obscure niche market. Today Jackie travels the globe as an international celebrity teacher with a quarter million followers at Petalsweet's Facebook page. At dinner on Sunday, Jackie presented me with her Opus Magnum, a most extraordinary and detailed how to book available in many languages. Check out her awesome book on amazon.
I'm so proud of her I could pop!

July 6, 2017

My Time, My Checklist™

Time is what happens while something changes into something else.
   For example the duration it takes bare metal to rust.
   Or for a pretty girl to fall in love with you.
   Or for the splitting of an atom.

Time is the changing of future into now into past.

Past is unchangeable, 
of no consequence 
except that which we give it.

Future is all potential
and of no reality
except that which we make of it.

Now is that little grain of sand
that just slipped through the hourglass of Time,
as future became past.

Unlimited future.
Unlimited past.
Totally limited now.

Now just got here,
and there it goes...

But here comes another now...
Ooops, another now bites the dust.

Ya gotta be ready for the nows.
They disappear really fast.

Like morning fog evaporating in the rising sun.
It seems so real and then it's completely gone.

It is said that the secret of Life 
is enjoying the passage of Time.
How can it be argued?

Time is all we have.

It's a wasting asset.
If we aren't using it to our advantage,
we'll never get another chance at it.

The nows are slipping away...

The coming nows, the future, 
are filled with potential, infinite promise,
all they needs to fulfill that promise 
is a little guidance from us.

After all, it is our future,
so what are we going to do with it?

There goes another now...
What am I doing with it?
I'm reading these words,
because it seems I might learn something
about how to fully enjoy the passage of Time.

So what's the secret to enjoying the passage of Time?
Just start enjoying it.
Right now, if you like.

It's called Gratitude.
Recognize the positives in your life.
And while you're at it
push your life in the direction of more of it
and away from less of it.

The future will change with or without us.
It's better of course, if the future changes 
with our influence
than without our influence.

The future will change without us
in ways that may be good,
but probably are either not good
or indifferent.

Why let my Life, my Time,
be the result of random events.
It makes sense to have my Life, my Time,
be the product of my choosing.

And so I do choose thusly:
My Time will be of my choosing.

As the moments of my Life evaporate,
very few are of my choice completely.
I have responsibilities, family, friends, work, health, laundry…
and so on ad infinitum.

Very little is My Time,

My Time is so rare and precious,
that I have found ways to have more of it.

I am infinitely greedy about My Time.

During My Time I allow no interruptions.
I focus fully on the moments of now
savoring each for its beauty and peace and perfection,
and let it slip away while welcoming the next one.
Like breaths of fresh air.

I have become adept at using now
to make future nows even more perfect than now.
I have so much to look forward to!

If I look back over the past,
I am filled with awe at what I have wrought.
But I also see where I can do better.

Looking forward and back is only one way to spend now,
and I try to keep that to a minimum.
Right now, it's one breath in, and then one breath out.
My being is calm, and smiling, and focused,
because that I can do at any time,
just by deciding that's who I am.

From there I feel the Gratitude for all that is.
And envision more of the good,
and let the other drift away.

Be like clear water.
Be still, and let the not-water fall away.
It's effortless, really.
it just takes the decision, the commitment, the action.
The action of stillness; it sounds like a paradox.

The action for me is to sit on my yoga mat,
then lie down on my back,
and to close my eyes,
and to breathe intentionally, slowly,
and fully experience each breath
from start to finish, 
letting each breath take its own time.
while I let my body relax completely.

At some point in my Time,
I stretch.
My body loves a good stretch,
especially when I add my breath to the moment.

It doesn't get much more enjoyable than that,
and I can do it almost any time,
so I try to do it several times during the day.
Even if only for a few moments of now.

Sometimes when I'm enjoying the passage of Time,
I imagine all the billions of people who are not,
and I wish they could,
and how different a world it could be
if only they had some my Time of their own each day.

Just once a day, that's the least we deserve.
Each of us is unique;
there never was, and never will be another just like us.
We were born into this world
and somewhere between then and now 
we get so caught up in it,
that Time slips away without thought.
We become robots on a stage,
playing out some program written long ago,
and not by us!

We are on auto-pilot
going from here to there
from future to past
with no stops in between
without thought or appreciation,
just passing through.

No! I will not be that robot.
I will not let my life evaporate.

I must have My Time,
at least once a day.
I must have that to look forward to.

So I put My Time on My Checklist™
because then I know I won't forget it,
and because it's just that important.

Every pilot has a checklist, and uses it.
Or they will die.

Flying taught me that.
So now, when I want something to happen,
I put it on My Checklist™ and it gets done.

It's not a to-do list,
although I do have that
as one of the things on My Checklist.™

My Checklist™ is my superpower.
It guides me on the path to enjoy perfect days
every day.

It's something I've built 
over years of continuous improvement.
And it's built on a long life of experience,
a life of less and more,
and learning what causes 
the greatest enjoyment as Time goes by…

… and with the least effort, that's key.
To maximize return on investment of Time
where the return is enjoying Time my way.
Life according to me.

I learned a long time ago
that we can do pretty much anything 
we set our minds to.

So I set my mind to it.
Just to see if that proposition were true.
And it was.
So I continue to set my mind to it.
And it continues to be true.

I've shared this method with others,
and it works for them too.
It makes me wonder
when the rest of the world will catch on.
It seems like I should let more people know,
and maybe I should add that to My Checklist.™

But right now
I'm breathing in and breathing out
fresh cool spring air
just off the surf
in Del Mar, California...
all because of a decision I made 40 years ago
to move from Chicago
where I learned I needed to be warm
as a basic building block of each perfect day.

And that decision has paid dividends for 40 years,
40*365*24*60*16 = 336,384,000 breaths so far
in a space of my choosing.

My Space is a lot like my Time.
It has everything to do with how much
I enjoy the passage of Time.
So I spend a lot of my Time perfecting my Space.

That's another thing that's on My Checklist.™

If you want to know more about My Checklist™
Look for me here

June 29, 2017

Michael McCafferty Changes The World...

... by inventing CRM."

That's the headline for the podcast interview with Mitch Russo.
And it's Mitch's headline, which to me seems a bit grandiose, but who am I to judge, right?

I was just writing some code to fill a need, not figuring I was going to change the world, but it does seem to the world was ready for my software. It was unthinkable that it would explode into an industry worth hundreds of billions. It quite boggles my mind when I think of it, so I focus on something else, like "so what"?  What have I done recently?

That's such a good question,
And the answers will revolve around MyChecklist™
so stay tuned for more...

Back to the main topic:
Mitch Russo is doing a series of podcasts about/for entrepreneurs,
and he calls the series "Your First 1,000 Clients."

Important stuff for any entrepreneur, even you, Elon!

Then click the play button, but don't click the big button that says CLICK HERE! 
Look right under that and you'll see the right-arrow Play button.

Click here for the podcast with DoubleM himself. Then click the play button, but don't click the big button that says CLICK HERE! Look right under that and you'll see the right-arrow Play button.

June 27, 2017

Mind Tricks of a Master Salesman

The client was having trouble doing the job,
the expected number of calls per day, primarily.

The calls were spoken of as something they 'had to do'
something undesirable, forced, etc.

We talked about having Fun,
and making each call a Fun experience (for you And them)
by actively focusing on that;
reframing the experience from one of "have to do" (dreading it)
to an experience you "get to do" (looking forward to enjoying it).

This work, like most other activities, benefits from enthusiasm.

Another perspective that is easy and productive to adopt in the calling process
is one of Building / Creating something that grows in Value
with every time you make a call.

The point is that every call you make, you learn something,
and when that something is added to your contact database,
it creates added Value. 
It can be thought of as compounding interest.

Over time that database, 
and your personal experience with it and the data within it,
becomes an amazingly powerful and hugely valuable asset.
Each bit of information you add is like adding another brick to a fortress wall.

While the Goal of each call might be to 
move the prospect to the next step in the selling process,
another goal is definitely to get/record as much information as possible.
Keep asking questions and building your database.
Everything you learn becomes gold...

So every call becomes an adventure in curiosity,
a learning experience,
and a banking experience.

It's also an opportunity to help the prospect,
and to share valuable information with them,
to represent yourself and your company
as a resource they can turn to when/if needed.
You are a haven in a turbulent storm.
You must earn their trust.

Trust builds over time,
with repeated encounters.
As you build your database with every call,
you build their trust with every call.
The information you share with them
builds their own value,
and the relationship is made stronger.

All this happens on each call.

O boy! I want to make calls...

Let's talk numbers.
Specifically, how many calls is the right number of calls, per day/hour/etc?
There are a lot of variables to consider to come up with a number,
but the number that comes to mind immediately is the number that is 
assigned as our Quota, or Target.

You'll be informed that you have a quota of, say, 50 calls to make every day.
And you'll need to provide proof that you are doing that
by completing call reports or entering results in your contact database.

Another number that is sometimes assigned to your process
is When your calls are to be made.
For example, it may be that your prospects are more available 
early in the mornings, 
so you should make most of your calls at that time.
But this number (when) has other contributing factors,
like your own personal effectiveness might be low in the mornings.
You need to find what works instead of accepting

This is Old School Sales Management.

The fact is that whatever number you are given 
for number of calls to make,
and when to make them,
the only thing that really matters is how many dollars in Sales you make.

There will be a ratio that develops over Time,
you will learn that the more calls you make
the more money you will make
and you can even say with confidence
that every time you make a call
you will earn X dollars
regardless of whether that individual call is even a wrong number!

As an example, 
management says that if you make 50 calls per day,
on 5 days a week, for 50 weeks per year,
you will earn 150,000 dollars a year.
That's 12,500 calls per year to make 150,000 dollars.
Therefore, with the absolute certainty of math,
each call we make is worth 12 dollars.

Interesting concept to get paid 12 dollars
every time you tap a phone number on your screen.
It might be a wrong number, or busy, or go to voicemail,
or some other recording,
and you won't even have the chance to say anything at all,
but you'll get paid 12 bucks for making the call anyway.

On the other end of the call results spectrum is the Bluebird of Happiness.
It's when you call and they are in a buying mood at the same time.
It does happen, and with relatively predictable frequency,
so every call you make is another step closer to finding the Bluebird.

Therefore, whatever number of calls is assigned to you...

Do More! 

You'll have more Fun, 
build a valuable database,
and make more Money!