Thursday, November 28, 2013

5 Characteristics of Great Mentors


Every day as a business owner you make decisions that have an impact on your business. Sometimes you are not sure what direction to go in or what option to consider. You could ask your friends and family, but do they really have the wealth of business knowledge that is needed to help guide you to make the right decision?

What you really need is a business mentor!
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin group and arguably one of if not the most admired entrepreneur of our time once said that whenever he is asked what is the missing link between a promising businessperson and a successful one, mentoring comes to mind.
"Giving people advice on how they can best achieve their goals is something that is often overlooked. The spirit of mentoring should be embedded in all businesses and certainly is at Virgin. If you are looking to make your way in business, try to find a mentor. If you are in a position to share the skills you have learned, give something back by becoming a mentor yourself."  -Richard Branson
In my personal and professional life, I've been privileged to be mentored and to be a mentor to others. Those experiences have allowed me to see the characteristics that make mentoring relationships work. And by "work," I mean the relationship holds benefits for the mentor and the mentee.
Another entrepreneur who has been on both sides of the equation is Martin Martinez, Founder of APL and author of the book, Freeconomics: Making Millions Giving It Away. After successfully exiting his previous business in 2011, Martin now spends majority of his time investing in new-start ups and mentoring entrepreneurs:
"Many people around the world get the opportunity to start their own business and become their own boss. Few are able to succeed and even fewer are fortunate enough to ultimately sell their business. A tiny number of those who start a business are privileged enough to turn their idea into the world's biggest, best or create an industry that never existed before like Andrew Mason did when he launched Groupon, which created the group buying industry worldwide.
In my case, I was lucky enough to turn my idea into a successful company, invented a new industry where none existed and sold it. But going through this journey couldn't have been done without making small, medium and large mistakes. One way that I avoided failure and optimized my opportunity was by surrounding myself with people that I could draw upon for experience and knowledge, those who mentored me through the ups and downs of business.
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Since then, I've seen the amazing value that mentors have added to my personal and professional growth and I've decided to do the same for others who can draw from my experience to help them achieve their goals."
There are many qualities needed to be a good mentor. However, there are a few that stand out that I would like to share with you.  Here are the top 5 characteristics I've seen in great mentors:

1. Great mentors are credible
Although a mentor isn't meant to be your personal answer book, you do want a mentor who has achieved success in the area where you need support. Whether that success lies within a specific field of expertise or is based on a shared life experience, a great mentor has credibility to guide you in the best direction.
2. Great mentors openly share what they know
Storytelling has long been the way people have communicated through generations. It is through stories that mentors share their experiences, insights and knowledge. They freely offer their personal stories as a means for their mentees to develop their own.
3. Great mentors ask great questions
Many mentors would agree that open-ended questions are best. Instead of asking, "Did you have a good day?" a mentor will ask, "What was the most exciting thing about your day today?" Mentors look for more than the surface answers. Instead, they seek meaning, values and purpose in what you say because that's where the catalyst to a mentee's success lies.
4. Great mentors offer fresh perspective
Objective feedback is a key benefit of having a mentor. A great mentor offers a new spin on your old ideology because she doesn't live it everyday like you do. She offers a distant clarity that you're missing because you're too close to a situation.
5. Great mentors think ahead
If the mentor is stuck in the past and only knows what worked 15 years ago, then the mentee will be severely limited in what he or she learns and takes away. Certainly some principles are timeless, but every teacher needs to understand the current business environment and changing trends in order to really bring value to the relationship.

What other characteristics have you seen in great mentors? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
This article was originally published by Under30CEO

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Successful People are Different [InfoGraphic]

12 Things Successful People Do Differently

1. They Create and pursue focused Goals.
2. They take decisive and immediate action.
3. They focus on being productive, not being busy.
4. They make logical, informed decisions.
5. They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.
6. they work outside of their comfort zone.
7. they keep things simple.
8. they focus on making small, continuous improvements.
9. they measure and track their progress.
10. they maintain a positive attitude as they learn from mistakes.
11. they spend time with the motivational people.
12. They maintain balance in their life.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Trust things will turn in your favor. Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen
“You may be going through great difficulties, 
and you’re tempted to think,
 I’m never going to get out of this. 

This is never going to change. 
I’m never going to win this situation. 
Stand strong. 
When negative thoughts come, reject them.” 

Joel Osteen

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Empower and respect. Richard Branson

Richard Branson
“Inspire people to think like entrepreneurs, and whatever you do, treat them like adults. 

The hardest taskmaster of all is a person’s own conscience, so the more responsibility you give people, the better they will work for you.”

Richard Branson

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Enemies are good... 7 Reasons why

Wayne Mansfield selecting a Merlot
I have just been reading  law 2 of Robert Greene’s 48 laws of power:  never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies.   The idea of using enemies is something most never even consider, but using enemies as part of your web strategy can be potent.
Many reading this may be uncomfortable with the idea of playing your enemies for desired outcomes.  Yet, as strategists we cannot be closed to any possibilities simply because they carry taboos or risks.  Just the opposite, we must be comfortable and experienced implementing all of them.
I’m not going to tell you how to use enemies today, we’ll leave that to you to orchestrate.  But I am going to tell you why if you have none, you should make some (and then learn to use them):
1. Enemies can and will link to you
Simply put, if you have an enemy, they are going to be watching you closely to wait for their moment to pounce.  On the web, this means links.  So if you push their hot buttons and have already consciously created a group of enemies, they’re going to link to you and pick apart the details of what you say.  This is a great thing, links are the lifeblood of the web and if you can create enemies of those within your niche that have authority, you’ll benefit greatly by their links to you.  Search engines are agnostic why someone is linking to you, so they play right into your Authority strategy
2.  If you have an enemy you can engage in ongoing debates, you both win
Notice the digital banter between A-list personalities in any niche that happens so frequently.  In actuality, from this banter both sides win.  The rest of the people within the industry follow suit, the conversions reference both cases (even the side they disagree with) and both parties ride the wave.  It is irrelevant who is “right” or “wrong” because in the end they both will be noticed.  I’d rather have attention – even attention from those who disagree – and figure out what to do with it than be lost in perpetual obscurity.
3.  An enemy turned-friend can be a powerful ally
As Greene notes, a former enemy will be more loyal than a friend, because they have more to prove.  After any stretch of time where two people disagree, rapport is still being built between those two individuals.  And by channeling that disagreement and ill-will in a new direction, an enemy can flip to an ally quite easily – it’s just part of our nature.  With this new-found camaraderie, that enemy is likely to become an extremely powerful ally, now willing to work tirelessly for your cause.
4.  Enemies keep you laser-focused
Having a nemesis is one of the better motivations to stay heads-down on producing the highest quality results.  If you have enemies who keep you focused and motivated,  consider yourself lucky.  They provide balance to an equation which can otherwise go unchecked when you have none.  After stretches of time unbalanced, it’s possible to become complacent and suffer stagnation.
5.  Having enemies is a social proofing signal
If you have made it to the point you can have an enemy, you should for the social proff benefits.  It’s a signal to others that you are worth paying attention to.  People will be compelled to pay attention to you since someone else worthwhile is paying attention to you (even if it’s negative).
6.  Enemies will help you cause controversy

And controversy, artfully directed, can lead to some seriously powerful outcomes.  With being resourceful the strategy of so many these days, controversy is a way to position yourself against others and stand out.
7.  Pull those to you who have opposing viewpoints
Naturally between enemies there will be a division of thought, with people drawn to both sides.  By being the known enemy of a certain persona or even viewpoint, you position yourself to capture  the attention from the other side.
Despite what you’ve been taught, enemies are a positive.  And as stated at the beginning – if you have none, find a way to make some.  Also a warning:  careful of the way you go about which making enemies.  For example, you don’t want to pick the wrong enemy, or create one without any sort of desired outcome (having an enemy without a design on them can be a dangerous game).
I know the social web for many of you is all warm and fuzzy, but the reality is it is a reflection of our physical world where power hierarchies are very much a reality.  Learn to play the game, or ignore it at your own risk.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Twitter owes me @122,411

My Twitter Value is $122,411

$122,411 for @WayneMansfield
Now that Twitter has a market capitalization of at least $24.9 billion, more than a few of the social network’s 230 million users have noticed their tweets are making other people rich. Many people want their cut.
So what would that be exactly? TIME has crunched the numbers. Plug in your username (or anyone else’s) below to find out how valuable your Twitter feed is.

Read more: Interactive: This Is How Much Money Twitter Owes You |

Friday, November 15, 2013

7 Tips for Using Instagram for Business

Instagram, the rapidly-growing photo sharing community, can boost your business’s exposure, increase brand recognition and build demand for your products and services. With over 100 million users, businesses are increasingly turning to Instagram to engage consumers and boost their brands.
The Instagram team started a Tumblr called Instagram for Business. In it you’ll find best-practices for enterprises, new service offerings of interest to brands (like the new photo maps), and a list of ways to make yourself an Insta-success.
1.       Show Your Products
Promote mobile window-shopping by using Instagram to show off a collection of your products. Snap photos of new products to build a buzz, or zoom in for a close shot on one product and ask your users to guess what it is. Photos attract users, but conversations engage them. If your small business is service-oriented, show off the supplies and equipment that are essential to the services you provide. For example, show off your favourite workout gear if fitness is your business, or reveal you’re most impressive lenses if you are a photographer.
2.       Introduce Your Employees
Introducing your followers to the people who keep your company going humanizes your brand. Cast the Instagram spotlight on special employees, and use the caption to share a bit about the employee. Make spotlighting an ongoing campaign that features staff from different departments within your company to put a human face on your brand.

3. Expand your audience.
Connect Instagram to your other social networks and use relevant hashtags (#yourbrandhere) to make it easier for people to find your account.
4. Show What Your Products Can Do
Use Instagram to increase demand by showing customers new or novel ways to use your products. Engage your followers by inviting user-generated content. Challenge them to post pics showing off creative uses of your products. If your business is service-oriented, show the impact of your work with before and after shots. These are especially effective for landscaping, interior design, fitness, makeup or auto-body
5. Engage directly with users.
Ask questions in your photo caption, and respond to comments. You can also organize local Instagram meetups!
 6. Build Anticipation
Keeping customer interest is an essential part of an effective marketing campaign. Reward your loyal followers by letting them be the first to know about new products, services or events. Snap teaser photos that satisfy curiosity but build anticipation for your new releases, office openings or stores. These exclusive previews make your Instagram followers feel special and keep them coming back for more insider information.
7. Show How It’s Made
Customers have a natural curiosity about where their products come from, and you can use Instagram to show the origins of all their favorite products. Snap photos throughout the manufacturing process, from planning to delivery.

Read more:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Zig Ziglar zinger....

Zig Ziglar
Zig Ziglar would say, "if you want to hit a target, then you need to know what you are aiming at."

Far too many people begin their learning task without a specific goal. They have no idea what they are trying to accomplish, or how they are going to arrive at their goal. As a result, the first thing you must consider is developing a time management strategy. I use Google calendar, as long as you get yourself a time management system
preferrably with software will work

What you do next is counter intuitive.

Want to really set the world on fire? Rather tan begin by scheduling all the important tasks that need to be completed each day, the first thing first thingh that you schedule time for each day are the things you enjoy doing. For example, a friend blocks out time to go to the gym, play with their dog, or spend some quality time with their Significant. Once you've scheduled the "me time" for the day, then you shoud be ready to schedule all your other tasks. There are some really big advantages to starting by scheduling the fun things onto your schedule each day.

By scheduling the fun things onto your schedule first each day, you are providing the motivation you need to get everything else done. You know what you really enjoy, and when you are going to do these things. However, you need to complete your required tasks to be able to fully experience the fun things you already have scheduled. These pleasurable activities act like a carrot on a stick to motivate you to stick with your other plans.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

I'm now banned from Woolworths

Yesterday I was at my local Woolworths store buying a large bag of My Dog dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant? So, since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Dog Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in hospital last time, but I'd lost 10 kilograms before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with My Dog nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off the kerb to sniff an Irish Setter's arse and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. I'm now banned from Woolworths.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of daft things to say.

Blockbuster BUSTED!

I am taking a great interest in the work of Peter Diamandis since I read his book Abundance.. this email hit my inbox this morning... and it has me thinking...

You might have seen the news this week... Blockbuster is shutting all the stores. Another linear business, slayed by exponential thinking. This happens on the same day that Twitter, a company less than 6 years old, hits a valuation of $25 billion. Amazing!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Cat of 9 Tunes... Cat Radio NO JOKE

Nohl Rosen of Scottsdale, Arizona, is the proud owner of Cat Galaxy, an Internet radio and TV station catered specially for cats (and their owners too).

Running for a strong nine years, the station has radio shows like Morning Meows, Meow Mixing Monday and Friday Night Feline Frenzy. Most of the music from this station is ‘feline-approved’, ranging from Jazz to R’n’B .

Plus, the station features interviews with various veterinarians and pet-owners as well. Oh, and the station’s manager is none other than Rosen’s own pet cat, Isis. Even the assistant manager and the program director are cats.

For more info, go here - Radio for Cats by Cats

Thursday, November 07, 2013

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants

Just reading the NEW Malcom Gladwell book: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants 

I will post my review here shortly but until then here is a bit of the The Observer's Tim Adams review, published on Sunday 6 October 2013.

"Malcolm Gladwell has long traded in paradox. The paradoxes of his two previous bestselling theses – Blink and Outliers – included the fact that they almost exactly contradicted each other: one was a hymn to the power of instinctive thought; the other a paean to the overwhelming importance of long and dedicated study. What they shared was the author's lucrative obsession with the counterintuitive. Gladwell is most attracted to stories in which individual insight (either from a painstaking outlier, or a eureka-moment blinker) overturns received wisdom – stories which generally have the useful subtext of burnishing his own reputation for intellectual surprise, for pulling the zeitgeist out of the hat. It was, in this sense, probably only a matter of time before Gladwell turned his attention to the David and Goliath legend.

Of course, all these Sunday school years, we have collectively been reading the giant-killing myth with the wrong emphasis. The story of the Israelite shepherd and the Philistine warrior is not, for Gladwell, primarily a tale of faith-based triumph against overwhelming odds, but rather a neat demonstration of shifting paradigms. Goliath in his clunking armour and spear was not so much an indomitable opponent, but a man hopelessly weighed down by old-fashioned thinking. He was never going to be a match for the modern "slinger", David, with his improvised weaponry and his refusal of convention. What counts most in the conflict is not the relative strength of opponents, but the rules under which they engage. Davids have always and will always decapitate Goliaths, Gladwell suggests, because they represent the limber, quick thinking of progress in the face of the stolid, lumbering status quo. In one sense, David couldn't lose. That's the likable theory, anyway."

Read more at The Observer's Tim Adams review, published on Sunday 6 October 2013.