All posts by avi

Pushing Air Out of the Way

There are times in life (if not always…) when we should just go with the flow. In this short clip from a short while back from Building 43 the focus is on Solar Energy driven cars. I was intrigued by a sentence in the middle of the clip at marker 1:55 in. The line? “60% to 80% of the energy of a car is used to push air out of the way”

I find this line most intriguing. Is it not true that we seem to spend so much time and energy just “pushing air out of the way”?I believe it comes down to simply making the right decisions. Living a life of our higher selves. Once we are in line with the “truth”, that is the truth of our own integral life. Then and only then will we stop pushing air. Then and only then can our energy follow the Pareto Principal, or the 80/20 rule, in a more positive way and rather than spending 80% of our energy pushing air the way we spent 80% of our energy making progress in the most efficient way possible. Here is the clip:

An Elbow to the Head

Thanks, I needed that!
Thanks, I needed that!

I am feeling good today. Have been for the past several months, plus/minus a small dip for a day or two in the middle. Keeping up the positive attitude and positive feelings. Then, someone, actually a 70 year old female someone, made my day even better.

As I took my place on the the light rail today in Jerusalem I accidentally elbowed a women sitting next to the place I wanted to stand, in the head! I did not see her and then was aghast at myself when I turned to apologize and saw that I had just struck a 70+ year old lady in the head.

As I begged forgiveness, she immediately said, “That’s OK, I guess I needed that…” WOW! What an attitude. I immediately complimented her on her great attitude and added that her approach to life was especially “special” today, being the day after Yom Kippur, the Jewish Holyday for atonement. Many people would have given me such a look, and perhaps rightfully so…, but this lady.

Thanks for the life lesson my dear “yound lady”

Fear of the Start

How is it that we have tried so many times to start that new killer business and yet we fall back, we shy away. Could it be that we that it just wasn’t a good idea after all? Perhaps it was but we don’t have the “resources”, (money, time, patience, commitment, drive, whatever) to actually do it. Or in Nike speak, to “Just Do It!”.

I think though that main reason is fear. It could be the fear of failure, the fear of success perhaps. I think it goes deeper than that though. The “fear” is only a manifestation of underlying issues like the responsibility to family (i.e the feed the wife (husband) and kids). The lack perhaps of self discipline. Maybe even, what will my parents say!

When it comes down to it, as we all know, nothing is easy, and no new venture is guaranteed. The thing we must always keep in mind is that many many factors go into succeeding in life, whether it is in business, relationships, what have you. One of those things is overcoming fear. The beginning of that battle is understanding where that fear comes from. The next step is of course addressing that fear. The subject of our next post.

To Partner or Not to Partner

avimaderer.com
Before you shake hands...

One of the most common issues an entrepreneur faces is partnerships. There are many things that draw us into “wanting” to partner. It can be cash/investment, connections, division of sweat equity, and yes, even “fear of the start”.

The problem of course is, how is that partnership divided? Is it a 50/50 split. Well, what of one person works more than the other. What if one person puts in much more money that the other. Who’s the boss? Does one persona have to be the boss?

All these and many more questions come up as you start on your path to building the business of your dreams. Take them all into consideration BEFORE you agree to give up ANYTHING and you and your new business will be all that much more healthy and happy.

“Relationship” Email

Email
Email

Met with a friend the other day. He told me about the cookie cutter email campaigns they you at his place of work. Each week, if not each day, his company (well not his…) “reaches out” to their “target” group with a “personal” message asking them if they are current seeking a solution to problem X.

Well, one of those “friend” took the time to reply in kind and wrote the following:

“Hi <fill in sales person’s first name here>, thank you for your standard email reply template, but it didn’t really answer my question as to how you were triggered to contact us.

So perhaps you can tell me that.

Yes we are seeking <a solution to problem X> for our company.”

This potential customer certainly sounds like they are seeking solutions. One thing that very much stands out from between the lines though is, they want their solutions to come from real people and not database driven automated emails/marketing “content.

Its all about the relationship. As more and more marketers are coming to realize, and better yet, commit to, its the sincere relationship that makes the sale and no just the product features or even benefits. And certainly not price,
though that of course is quite important as well. And hey, a fair price (not just a good price) will be given by someone who is trustworthy in any case. That’s part of the trusting relationship.

Networking #1 – Contact Mining

Had a great meeting the other day with the authors of a new Asian Kosher Cookbook. They are an amazing mother and daughter team. The discussion turned to networking and how to “work the floor”.

WORKING THE FLOOR I explained is ok, if you do it the right way. Problem is, if you do it the right way, you won’t have time to work the floor.

THE RIGHT WAY is to nurture relationships. Don’t go around the room looking for the people who will write you a check on the spot. It just won’t happen. What you should do is see how YOU can help others.

ASK people how you can help them. What projects are they working on? What problems do they need solved. Yes, it takes time. Time to have these discussions. Time to follow up. Time to get to enough events to reach that critical mass that will allow you to connect OTHERS with THEIR solutions.

Once you start doing that, the reciprocity starts to happen. One thing to keep in mind though. Be sure to do it with integrity and NOT as a strategy.

Win-Win or Win-Lose

Had a converstion with someone recently. He was convinced that a certain service provider was obligated to provide a higher level service for no extra fee. Why? Because the service was not working properly. Problem, this individual was basically in breach of contract by virtue of not using the service properly. ( I am obviously leaving all names and company references anonymous so as not to offend anyone…)

THE QUESTION becomes one of world view. Is the world, or more specifically, the people I do business with serve me, or do I serve them?

THE ANSWER of course is both. If my supplier does not serve me well, my business day, my business success, becomes that much more dificult. But if I treat my supplier with less resepct for his bottom line, in the end I will lose. I will lose in better service, in better relations with suppliers when I really need them, and at the end of the day, in a better and happier life for all.

Yes, I need to watch my bottom line. I need though to keep in mind that everyone needs to do that if there is to be an economy at all.

Going for Gold – Sprinters and Marathoners

Everyone, who is successful in any-case, works hard. Some of them are sprinters and some of them are marathoners. Either way they are reaching for gold, or have already gotten there. Truth be told, successful people never reach the gold. That because the “gold” keeps changing. Once the goal/gold has been reached, new successes are pursued.

These people work in two different ways. As I said, they all work hard. Its just a question of mental and physical style. Some work straight through their 10 (  never 8  ) hour work day. No breaks, no socializing, sometimes even no laughter (no laughter is no good). BUT you get a lot done!

Others take sprints. They push for an hour or two, take a break for 10 or 20 minutes then push again. Yes, 5 twenty minutes breaks a day adds up to an hour a day, five hours a week, but it’s effective. Many studies have shown that productivity, quality, creativity and even happiness go up.

So what’s better?  A bit of both. Take the analogy of the marathoner. After his 2 hrs, 3 minutes and 59 seconds (the world record. The women’s record is 2:15:25) he crosses the finish line. He, as we, have a goal, a road map. If the marathoner were to run those two hours in a circle, he would never cross the finish line. We need a road map, a goal. So that after our 120 years on this planet we get there on purpose.

The sprinter though knows how to reach many many finish lines. Those are the small goals/milestones we set on the way to the goal, to the gold. Even the marathoner takes a break after the race, and between training sessions. And yes, even he does sprints.

THE BOTTOM LINE, doing the sprints will help you finish the marathon. That’s the effective way to reach your gold. One sprint at time.

Life After Customer Service

Integrity
Integrity

It seems that there ahs been talk about, and even action upon, providing customer service. It is seen as the basis for success for any business. Truth be told, that is very true. The questions becomes however, what can we in business do to stay ahead of the competition if EVERYONE is providing that great customer service?

THE ANSWER I believe lies is integrity. By being true to ourselves, our businesses, our families, and ultimately, our customers, we can shine. We will come through in the “relationship” economy as the ones that EVERYONE will want to deal with.

So, you may ask, what if everyone does that as well? Well, what can I say, the world will become a much better place. Until then though, let’s strive to get there.

Go To Address

What’s behind the success of anything and anyone? Its not the advertising, promotion, or even the “connections”. Today its about expertise, and yes, a bit (or allot) of “perception”.

Potential customers, and/or at least indeed people who will tell their friends about you need to believe that you have the solution to their current challenge. That can be achieved in many ways, social media, networking, delivering great products or services, etc. Today though, advertising will not do the trick.