Friday, February 28, 2014

Teenage Millionaires

Trends indicate that our future, possibly our survival and sustainability, will hinge upon the entrepreneurs who are perceptive enough to see a problem or need, smart enough to formulate a solution and who are courageous enough to risk doing something about it.

Research is being focused on how to identify true entrepreneurs and on how to expedite their development and support their success. In studying the characteristics of true entrepreneurs, I happened upon several web sites reporting about teenage millionaires.

  • Over $1 Million In Sales For The 15-Year-Old Entrepreneur Behind Fish Flops beach wear. Madison Robinson has sold 60,000 pairs of her Fish Flops flip flops for $25 apiece.
  • Nick D'Aloisio at 17 -- a prodigy app developer -- sold his news summarization app, Summly, to Yahoo! for $30 million. He is now a full time employee at the company.
  • Brian Wong, hired to run business development at Digg (at age 19), Wong went on to found mobile rewards network called Kiip that proved a game-changer in mobile advertising. So far the company has taken in over $15 million in capital investment.
  • Cameron Johnson started his first business at age 9, making invitations for his family's parties. Several businesses later -- selling Beanie Babies, internet ad space and greeting cards -- and his net worth had surpassed the $1 million mark before he'd finished high school.
  • Fraser Doherty, CEO of Super Jam. This Scottish young star started producing jam and selling it in the neighborhood. He left school at the age of 16 to fully concentrate on super jam and had sales of over 1.2 million dollars in 2011.
  • Ashley Qualls, an America entrepreneur who made her first million at the age of seventeen. She took an 8 dollar loan from her mother and created in 2004.The website focused on providing HTML tutorials for young people and providing free My space layouts. Ashley Qualls is valued to have a net worth of 8 million dollars.
  • Farrah Gray started selling body lotion at the age of 6.  At 13 years old he founded Farr-Out Food which in a period of one year had received food orders of over 1.5 million dollars making him a millionaire at 14. Farrah Gray is the youngest person to have a Wall Street office and is estimated to be worth 20 million dollars.

Here we have teens who made their millions with beach motif flip flops, Granny’s jam recipe, body lotion, greeting cards, and of course—computer stuff.

They’re kids. If they can do it, why not you?

Attraction Factor 13: Get Your Personal Needs Met

Have you ever met someone who was emotionally VERY needy? It could be someone who invited themselves into your life, or who keeps showing up whenever they have problems. You might consider: 

  • Unmet needs consume 25-90% of life.
  • Your needs will run your life.
  • If you are needy, you attract needy people.
  • Increasing your integrity reduces your needs automatically.

You have two kinds of needs. Survival Needs include water, food, shelter and (to a degree) love. Personal Needs include whatever is necessary to be your best and move forward in life such as inspiration, information, support, solutions, focus, people, character and so forth.

People do not get their needs met for several reasons. First, they don't know what their needs actually are (maybe they have a general idea). Second, when in touch with their needs, they aren't comfortable or confident to REALLY get them met. Third, when they do get them met, they only get them met temporarily, not permanently.

Needs are not optional, yet we often treat them that way. If your body is starving, food isn't an option—it's a Need. The same is true if you have a Personal/Emotional Need. For you to be you, you MUST get this Need satisfied. It's not optional. Someone who has unmet needs simply isn't going to be very attractive for very long. The challenge is to identify your needs clearly, then figure out how to get them met permanently. What is it you need?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What Level of Conversation Is Best for You Here?

In reading Quiet Leadership by David Rock, he poses that there are only five levels to use to think about or communicate about any project. He refers to this as the Choose Your Focus model, and I am shameless in adding a sixth level which I call Agreements. Here are the six levels.
Agreements. How will we work together? In building or negotiating a relationship, we must agree on how we will work together. What are our ground rules of respect and our expectations of each other? We can agree not to discuss our work outside our work group. We can agree what topics and activities are included or excluded. We can agree how we will deal with emotional issues together. We can agree on how we will disagree with each other. If we don’t set some agreements, our relationship can fall into chaos and accomplish nothing.
Vision. What do we want to create? Without a vision to focus and unify our efforts, people tend to go off in their own different directions and squander time, money and other resources. In creating a vision we want to answer, “Why are we here and what are we doing?” What is the overall thing we want to accomplish? What if it is to bring a new product to market? What if it is to build a fantastic relationship with someone you love?
Planning. How we will create it? Thinking about how we are going to bring the vision into reality, some might call this the strategy level. This is a higher level process that does not deal with the details yet. In answering this question to create a new product, our plan might call for researching a market, cost analysis, and finding funding. In building a fantastic relationship, our plan might call for taking a personality test, and finding some work things and some fun things to do together.
Details. How will we identify and act on the elements of the plan? Some might call this the tactical level where we can get bogged down if not careful. For our new product, we might need to specify what kind of research, who will do the analysis and where will we find funding. For our fantastic relationship, we might need a personality test that includes our sense of mission in life, the kind of work we enjoy and some of the games we like to play.
Problems. What is going wrong? Focusing on the problems tends to take more time and energy than focusing on the solution. Is it best to focus on all the reasons why our new product won’t work, or focus on what will make it work? Is it best to focus on all the ways our relationship is bad, or possible solutions to make it good?
Drama. Are we dealing with emotional charge? Things can get emotional without warning, and when emotions run high, progress can run low. Did the company cancel our product and you feel angry? Do you need to take a break to let things settle? In the relationship, did someone cancel dinner plans for the third time in a row and you’re feeling abandoned? What agreements did you make and apply that will allow you to be kind with emotions?
It can be extremely helpful to recognize and choose your level of focus. I admit these are my interpretations of the levels of focus from my coaching perspective. I also recommend the David Rock book on Quiet Leadership, it covers more than leadership. It includes ways of inviting more sanity into our lives.

Attraction Factor 12: Eliminate Delay

As a consumer, are you helping to eradicate delay as a source of waste or inefficiency in business? Do you avoid the waste of waiting in long lines, going through “middlemen,” staying on “hold” for the next customer service rep?
Eliminating delay is attractive. Delay is an unnecessary expense in this day of efficiency and effectiveness, and whoever can eliminate delay tends to attract your business.
What would it be like to deal only with vendors or people who will respond immediately to what you want? What if you only dealt with firms offering a web site, online ordering and overnight delivery? What if you simply kept changing your suppliers until you found someone who didn’t waste your time?
What if you became that type of person? How attractive would you become if you eliminated delay in the products and services you offer in your business, or in how quickly you respond to friends?
Yes, I know sometimes we simply need to take care of ourselves, unplug, kick back and slow down. Yet think about this: when people respond quickly, trust expands without you having to do anything else. People fear that delay means they have been forgotten, and we are reassured by immediate responses. This alone can make you a lot more attractive to yourself and to others.
How can you eliminate delay in your life (and live more sanely)—whether from others or yourself?