Computer Guy

Computer Guy
Sunset at DoubleM Systems (, Del Mar, California

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Magic Formula

In a meeting today I was asked by a student:
"How do I know if I can afford to hire a new salesrep?"

This question is very easy to answer,
and it is similar to many other questions
but which deal with other investments.

For example, "How do I know if spending $10,000
for a new website will be a good investment?"

All of these questions are answered with
"The Magic Formula".

Sales Needed = Investment required / Gross Profit Percent

Therefore, if a new salesrep would cost a base salary
of $6,500 and the company Gross Profit Percent is 40%
then the answer is 6,500 / .40 = $16,250.

That means that $16,250 in new sales would be needed
from the sole efforts of that new sales rep,
in order for the company to cover his base salary.

If the company would pay a 10% commission on
the sales of the new sales rep, then
the Gross Profit Percent would be reduced to 30%
and now the answer is 6,500 / .30 = $21,666.

(In this example we are dealing with a company
in the throes of deciding to hire their first salesrep,
and for this reason we have to adjust the GP$ down
to take into account the commissions.)

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Lunch with Kat

Kat is one of my favorite people.
She's sales director for a local office coffee service,
and we discussed some of the typical challenges
faced by sales managers.

Here are some of the thoughts that came up:

Regarding how do you get people to do what is needed?

"If you want to build a ship,
don't drum up the men to gather wood,
divide the work and give orders.
Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."

"As for the future,
your task is not to forsee it, but to enable it."

from The Wisdom of the Sands
by Antoine de Saint - Exupery

The role of leadership in getting them to do the right things:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

Read by Nelson Mandela at his inauguration in 1994.
Original writing of Marianne Williamson, in her book,
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles
of "A Course in Miracles.
Popularized in the movie "Coach Carter".

And, regarding the difficulties involved:

"Pain is weakness leaving the body."

US Marine Corps

And, finally, what is the priority of things?

Traditionally we have been taught to Do, Have, Be.
Some are stuck at Have, Do, Be.
But I think it works better to Be, Do, Have.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

The Beginning

And so, in the fullness of time,
at the end of summer, 2006,
and at the end of a long road trip,
I have come home again,
to begin this project which has taken
a lifetime of preparation,
and which can not possibly ever be finished.

It has now been almost 14 years
since I traded my software company
for a bank account with many zeros
and started in on a life of adventure,
leisure, learning and mentoring.
Of all these many pursuits,
mentoring has been the most satisfying.

This brief history brings us up to the current moment,
when the decision is made to commit to the project
of mentoring students in The Art and Science of Success in Business.
And to Do as well as to Teach.

The plan is simple:
To share, here, in writing,
the lessons of my mentoring sessions as they occur,
but with names obscured to protect the privacy of students
and their business interests.
The lessons, however, will be chosen
to be as universally applicable as possible.

I chose the blog format,
because it is something with which I am familiar
(see My Other Life, and Diary of a Poolshooter,
and Fast Mikie's Epic Road Trip)
and because it is a standardized structure,
the path of least resistance to beginning it now.

The first decision in the startup of the blog
was to give it a title.
It is always a challenge to reduce a concept
to a few meaninful words.
I Googled "The Art and Science of Success in Business"
and found nothing at all on the internet,
which was quite surprising.
But what astonished me is that there was one single
document by that title on the very computer I am using,
created over seven years ago,
done in the format of a book proposal,
but of course, I never followed through on it at the time.
I was too busy enjoying flying my open-cockpit biplane,
playing freestyle frisbee on the beach, shooting pool, doing yoga,
exotic cars, and the Good Life with family and friends.

On balance, Life has been good to me,
even considering the Bankruptcy, Divorce and Cancer,
all of which I seem to have survived.
Now is a good time to increase my "Paying it Forward".

Welcome to this place.
May you find much success in your endeavors.