Archives for posts with tag: methods

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Think about the brand of coffee that you were drinking 5 years ago.
More than likely, it was a well known brand advertised on TV priced at $4.29 a pound.

Then along came Starbucks where you went with your friends to socialize.
The coffee was more expensive but you decided that the experience was worth the price.

Eventually Starbucks started selling their coffee in grocery stores and one day you saw it on sale for $6.29/lb. You bought a bag and enjoyed 2 weeks of premium coffee at your home. Then a bag went back up to the regular $8.95 / lb. and you had to decide – continue with a cup of Starbucks or go back to your value brand?  A premium brand coffee was your new standard – time for an upgrade.

Notice how your buying decisions were small enough that you were able to update your standard of coffee one small step at a time without really thinking about it. Issues related to cost or your need to save money probably never came into your mind. And once you started drinking the premium coffee, you essentially decided that you would never go back to a value brand. Somehow you found a way to adjust your buying options to enjoy the taste of a cup of Starbucks.

The gap between what you wanted and what you settled for was small enough to allow you to upgrade without having to make any radical changes. Little upgrades became your new standard and a better standard.

Amazing success for most people never happens because they try to make changes that are too big. Once you decide what you want, do something each DAY that gets you closer to your goal. One day you start a blog, then you start getting ideas to write a book and then before you know it, you are planning a speaking tour reaching out to people directly to help them reach their goals.

Realize that SMALL steps to reach your goals are the secret.

Drinking premium coffee offers another insight. Once you tasted a great cup of coffee, it’s unlikely you will go back to a value brand.  As you improve your standard of living as a result of reaching your goals, you are essentially preparing yourself to resist regressing back to where you were when you started.

A Starbucks competitor used a great marketing slogan in the 1990’s – “Life’s too short to drink lousy coffee!” The implied message is still valid. Decide TODAY what you want out of your life and more specifically your career. Then write down the steps to get there starting with simple DAILY goals that will become something AMAZING in the next 6 – 12 months.

The next time you’re sipping a cup of coffee, realize that Starbucks has 17,009 stores in 50 countries, including 11,000 in the US, 1000 in Canada and 700 in the UK. Starbucks was founded in 1971 by an English teacher, a history teacher and a writer. Last year the company generated $10 billion in revenue. Not bad for a goal of selling a cup of coffee to one customer at a time.

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Everyone knows that the riskiest financial strategy is to have all of your money in one stock. Yet for most working people, they have all of their income dependent on one company.

Think about it. If you lose your income, almost everything else in your life will be affected. Why then should you entrust your financial security to one company or one career.

In this new employment market, you need a career that includes diversified sources of income along with one that includes a residual income component. Consider these options:

  • An eBay business where you can sell an on-line product that adds extra part-time income.
  • A part-time job where you teach a night class.
  • Work weekends doing a job that offers a secondary cash flow that can teach you new skills.
  • Write a book where you can earn residual income – you do the work once but keep earning money over time.
  • Set up affiliate marketing links on a Blog to earn referral income automatically.


Now more than ever, the Internet offers most of these options for little, if any investment, other than your time.

Think of your career as an income portfolio instead of tasks that you do.
Track the results you get for your effort and focus on what earns you the best return for your time.

1. Focus on Cash Flow – Careers today are moving away from the traditional 40-hour work week to more self-directed opportunities for generating income. The jobs of the future are becoming project based and tied to multiple employers who need your services periodically.

2. Know Your Rate of Return – There are often different ways to achieve the same career goal. Some ways may take less time but produce the same result. Calculate your rate/hour and try to maximize what you earn for what you do. If your earn 100K but have to work 70 hours per week you’re only earning $27.47 / hour. Use your time more effectively and you could work less and earn more per hour.

3. Manage Risk  Find a mix of income opportunities that align with your talents to minimize risk and the stress of trying to start something outside your area of expertise.  Think of ways your income sources can complement each other.

4. Invest in Yourself – For most people, training stops when they graduate from school. Invest in yourself by setting aside time and money to use for continuing education to stay current in your field and learn new things that may make you more valuable.

5. You Can’t Manage It if You Can’t Measure It – Many people actively manage how they choose their career and a company, but passively manage how they will develop their career. Too often they wait for a layoff or job dissatisfaction to motivate them to start a new career track. Periodically evaluate what results you are getting tied to what you are doing. Set up a simple spreadsheet and “know your numbers”. Then decide how you can improve your results.

A money market investment typically protects investment principal while providing a modest return.

Think of your career development like a money market. It’s careful balancing of investment risk to reward where time is your investment and multiple income streams are your reward.

A former Xerox salesman trains sales associates to sell expensive watches in a recession.

After years of double-digit sales growth, sales of expensive watches have fallen off drastically. The worst declines for Swiss watches are in the U.S., where sales fell 42% in the last 12 months. Today, 60% of customers enter high-end watch boutiques to service their own watches rather than to buy new ones.

He coaches his trainees to say “value” rather than “price” and to sell “romance” not “products.” He also advises associates to compliment the customer’s own watch, even if it’s from a competitor, and tells them to offer a gift if a discount is requested. His methods dictate that salespeople lay the client’s well-worn watch on a tray between two shiny new ones, creating a contrast that subtly suggests it’s time for an upgrade.

Despite this downturn in the market, the former Xerox salesman drives a Ferrari and has 60 luxury watches of his own.

It’s also interesting to notice who uses watches.

Ask a room full of people what time it is, and predictably, people aged 18 – 40 will look at their phone.
The older members of the group will look at their watch.

Two insights can be drawn from these observations.

1. Perceived value trumps price almost every time.
2. Who you market to makes a BIG difference in the approach you need to use.

Job search is a lot like selling an expensive watch.

You need to sell yourself with a focus on value and talk to an end-user in a way that they can relate to what you have to offer.
Ignore either of these two variables and a sale (job interview) is lost.

Sending out the same resume to hundreds of potential employers with no customization of your approach and not knowing what’s important to an employer (customer) is an exercise in futility. Focus on value, not price (salary), and find out what the employer (customer) is truly interested in.

Take the time to sell your “watch” as a one-of-a-kind that someone has got to have and its price is secondary to its value.

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