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Ideas

Early Morning Conference Room Hiding – Quitter lesson

Last week I read Quitter by Jon Acuff, a member of the Entreleadership team.

Quitter by Jon Acuff
Quitter by Jon Acuff

A lot of great thoughts in the book that I’m sure I’ll write more about later.

Jon definitely doesn’t encourage people to just go quit their day job, in fact quite the opposite. But, he did share a tip that I’m applying right at this very moment.

He would go to work (the day job he didn’t like) early each day and find a conference room to hide in before all the madness started. In that space he would write a blog post for his personal blog and take care of a few personal items as well.

This was an AWESOME tip!

It freed him up to get something personal accomplished at the beginning of the day and when he went back to his desk he was ready to completely focus on the work he was getting paid to do!

So, here goes my first morning putting this concept into practice. I got here at 7:30 a.m. and actually put in an hour of work and am now taking 30 minutes to knock out a few personal items besides creating this post.

I feel great!  Let the bombardment begin!

Categories
Ideas Inspiration

Stealth Creatives

I’ve had this thought on my mind, but haven’t had a chance to capture it in a written post. But, I put on a necklace tonight and sat in front of my webcam and recorded directly into my YouTube account.

Isn’t technology great?!

So, just wanted to share some thoughts on people I call “stealth creatives” because they often have great ideas and don’t know it.

Categories
Books Ideas Inspiration Leadership Marketing

Anything You Want!

Just finished a great book. Remember? It is the book I ordered directly from Seth Godin’s blog post without even finding out what it was about, who the author was, etc. Now that shows Seth’s influence!

It is a cute little book. You can read it in an hour.Picture of a boy sticking his head out of the sand on the cover of Anything you Want

By Derek Sivers – Anything You Want!

Derek is the founder of CD Baby, an extremely profitable business that enabled any musicians to get started in the world of sharing their music instead of waiting for a big name to pick them up. He’s since sold the business…and the story about that is also in the book.

Why do I love his little book?

Derek is REAL. He made mistakes and shared them. He doesn’t pretend to be this power CEO that must hobnob with the big boys. He encourages all entrepreneurs to follow what makes them happy. And, that will be a different answer for each one.

He is open in sharing that you will have to make decisions along the way that may make you less money, but will make you more happy. It takes guts to run a business this way.

So many great little thoughts, but one I really liked was “Being, not having.” So often we think we need to make more, grow bigger, and have widespread influence. Instead of trying to grow big fast, focus on enjoying what you do and creating value for your customers. Figure out what you really want to spend your time doing – do you like being out and about all the time networking or do you like to keep it small and manageable and immerse yourself in the actual work? “To each his own” so to speak.

One of his business mottos was to do whatever it takes to please the customer. Derek shares the story of how he changed his feedback forms to include a space for customers to ask for whatever they wanted. Someone asked for some cinnamon gum. So, CD Baby had a worker pick up a pack at the store when they ran an errand. They included it in the customer’s order. Another asked for a squid. They complied.  How awesome is that! You think you are just filling space with some weird request to get a reaction and the company actually gets it for you!

I’d venture to say that those customers are still with him. (-:

Go buy the book! It is under $10 and worth the read. Plus, who wouldn’t like a book with this cover? A cute kid stuck in the sand.

Reminds me of a picture of my own, but I wasn’t so happy. (-;

Link to the book Anything You Want on Amazon

Categories
Ideas Inspiration

Why I’m mad about Spanx!

So, the other day I bought my first Spanx product. I’d seen Spanx a few years ago on “The Big Idea” with Donny Deutsch. However, I had never purchased them. And, after a while they were on so many episodes of “The Big Idea” that I just turned it off and moved on to another channel.

So, back to the other day.

I opened the package and the Spanx story was written on the inside of the package.

Here it is if you’d like the true source:

http://www.spanx.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=4399478&clickId=article_aboutsara_text

http://www.spanx.com/corp/index.jsp?page=sarasStory&clickId=sarasstory_aboutsara_text

Basically, Sara cut off some nylons and started to see the possibilities of using them as slimming undergarments without the confining foot coverage!

Why am I mad about Spanx?

I invented this over 25 years ago! I cut off nylons all the time and experimented with different lengths under different types of clothing. I did this all through junior high and high school.

The difference

The Spanx founder (Sara Blakely) ACTED on her idea, SHARED with friends, ASKED for feedback, EDUCATED herself on the process of producing, RISKED it all to go sell it and MADE millions.

I ACTED on my idea and KEPT IT to myself and …now I buy her Spanx!

Which side of the equation do you want to be on?

Act on your idea today!

Categories
Books Ideas Innovation Inspiration

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

A few weeks ago, on of the directors of our division gave me a book that he thought I’d enjoy. He asked me to read it and give him feedback. He also said, “apparently people really love it or hate it – engineers hate it.” Well, if that isn’t motivation, what is?Orbiting the Giant Hairball book cover

So, book in hand I got on my flight across the country to my brother’s wedding.

And, I loved the book!

It is called “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” by Gordon MacKenzie.

It is about a creative guy that worked at Hallmark for MANY years. But, he moved around a lot and started a lot of great things within the company – an intrapreneur.

However, this book offers great ideas on taking action if you are an entrepreneur as well.

As an example, Gordon (the author), moved with a small group to a new work area. Instead of defaulting to the same desks and a Dilbert type cube farm, he asked for something different – to find furniture at thrift and antique stores.

After the “not sures” and the “you can’t do that” people died down, the right person gave him permission to move forward.

Each person ended up with their own unique desk, decorations and lighting.

The cost? A little less than if they had created a cube farm.

The cost for the employees? What is the MasterCard ad? – Priceless! They were motivated, they were focused, they were creative and ….other divisions wanted to do it too.

The creativity cost less than the typical model and productivity went up.

Gordon shares this story, and many others, in a creative array of book pages – some are plain, some have little doodles, and others are just plain written like they are a sheet of notebook paper. So, the guy practices what he preaches on creativity.

When you get a chance, buy a copy on Amazon.

Part of the table of contents of Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Excerpt from the Table of Contents

P.S. Guess I’m not an engineer. (-:

Categories
Ideas

Can you control it?

Today I had a “series of unfortunate events.”

First, the bank messed up something in my account at the perfectly wrong time.

Second, in an effort to re-arrange the refrigerator for some leftover spaghetti sauce, I somehow triggered the fall of a huge plastic bottle of Welches grape juice…which ended up all over the refrigerator insides, the floor and part of the area carpet.

Third, some clothing alterations weren’t quite making me look like I thought I should.

How was I feeling? OUT OF CONTROL.

But, I remembered that I’m the “nudger” that is always telling a friend to “take action on what you can control and don’t worry about the rest…for now.”

So, I took my own advice and got to work on some errands, helped a friend pack boxes and ….cleaned up the grape juice one compartment at a time. (You were worried about that, weren’t you?)

And somehow tonight ….all is ok.

Even though the bank is still an issue, and I haven’t lost 30 pounds to look good in my new clothing, taking action gave me some ideas. I thought of some possible solutions that I hadn’t considered before my semi-annoying day.

Taking action on what I could control has now inspired me to take control of the situations I felt out of control on earlier today.

Can you control everything that is going on in your life? Probably not.

Take a small break from worrying and take action on something you can control. Perhaps a little idea will come to your mind you never considered. And, if it does…take action!