Tag Archives: product

16 Tips for Living a Happy Life Starting Right Now

 


By John Rampton @johnrampton

It doesn’t matter your age, how much money you have in your back account, your marital status or what you do for a living, we all want to be more successful in our lives. Of course, defining success is different for each us, but here are 16 proven ways that can make you more productive, happy and successful in life.

1. Be committed.

No matter what goals you have set for yourself in life, you have to be committed. It’s through commitment that you’ll continue to make the improvements needed to better yourself. Whether it’s taking a chance on launching a startup, getting a gym membership to improve your physical well-being, or taking a cooking class because you want to become a chef, commitment is what drives us all to become more successful.

2. People care about you, not your success.

Let’s be honest. People don’t care about the expensive clothes you wear, how big is the house you own or the car your drive. That’s not to say that they don’t respect your achievements or possessions. Instead, they care you as an individual and they’ll support you no matter what — because they love you. Believe it!

3. Be grateful every day.

According to researchers Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Michael McCullough, being grateful can result in feeling better about your life, more enthusiastism and more willingness to help others. Being grateful may even reduce coronary artery disease. Take the time to write down what you’re grateful each and every day.

4. Take action.

In an article in The Atlantic, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman share studies on the confidence gap between men and women.  The researchers discovered that confidence is just as important as competence. It was concluded in the article that “[T]aking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed.”

5. Money can’t buy happiness.

As The Beatles famously proclaimed, (money), “can’t buy me love.” You know what else money can’t buy? Happiness. Just because you’re earning six figures doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily content. Sure, money is obviously needed, and it makes some things easier. But, you should be focusing on your passion and not how much your paycheck is.

6. Don’t take rejection personally.

At some point we all face rejection. Instead of taking it personally, use it as a learning experience. Why did a VC reject your proposal? Maybe there wasn’t a market for your product. Perhaps you didn’t have a convincing pitch. Maybe the VC’s partner just called and said he’d spent their extra cash. Accepting and learning from rejection is one way to guide you to success.

With my online invoicing startup I get rejected daily, literally. I talked to 100+ VC’s before I got one that believed in my product. Learn from rejection and use it as motivation to make things better!

7. Have a backup plan.

You never know when the unexpected is going to happen, but when it does happen, you’re surrounded by chaos. Being prepared for the worst case scenario can at least make things a whole lot less chaotic. When my last business crashed, had I not had some cash set aside (that my wife kept away from me), we would have been in financial ruin. Having a three-to-six month nest egg will make the difference. I’ve found that having 12-24 months of cash to pay all bills just sitting there has significantly helped my marriage be more positive as well!

8. Improve your social skill.

After analyzing data from between 1972 and 1992, University of California, Santa Barbara, economist Catherine Weinberger found that “The people who are both smart and socially adept earn more in today’s workforce than similarly endowed workers in 1980.”

9. Travel.

As Yii-Huei Phang states on The Huffington Post, traveling is a great way to “develop a person’s character” and become more open-minded. Additionally, while traveling is a great way to get away from the daily grind, it also helps you appreciate what you have back at home.

10. Don’t multitask.

If you’re feeling constantly burnt out it’s probably because you’re doing too much at one time. Research has found that “when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 percent.” You’re also burning your reservoir of energy. Both of these issues decrease your productivity and prevent you from accomplishing tasks and goal.

11. Embrace a growth mindset.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck argues that we have two-mindsets; “fixed” and “growth.” A fixed mindset “assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static.” A “growth mindset,” however, “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

12. Balance work and life.

When work interferes with life, it can result in employees getting burned out and decreases base morale in the office. While this may not be an option for employees, it proves that everyone needs time away from the office. If you’re able to spend less time in the office by working remotely or having flexible hours, you should be able to be productive in both your personal and professional life.

13. Don’t hold grudges.

There is really no need to hold onto a grudge. It can mentally wear you out and makes you miserable. And, doesn’t life seem to go a whole lot smoother when you’re not angry?

14. Stick it out.

After years of studying both children and adults, psychologist Angela Duckworth found that one of the characteristics of successful individuals is having grit. During her TED talk Duckworth stated, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

15. Live in the moment

You can’t change the past and you have no control of the future. Live in the moment and enjoy what’s in front of you right here, right now. When you’re busy making too many plans, you’re causing stress that prevents you from enjoying the present.

16. Take care of yourself, then help others.

According to Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota, “People who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.”

Additionally, helping others is beneficial for our health. But, how can you help others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first? Take care of your needs first and then begin to help others.

5 THINGS GREAT PRODUCT MANAGERS DO EVERY DAY

By

My favorite product managers are quietly powerful. Every day they take small steps that move their teams and business forward in a meaningful way. But they do it without a lot of hoopla, taking a confident yet unassuming approach.

After all, product managers have a lot on their plate every day. They are responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for their product. It is a big responsibility that requires facilitating and collaborating with many different teams — both internal and external — without the formal authority to manage those teams. It requires a unique mix of humility and strength.

However, that quiet power does not mean leading product is easy. I realized early on that the daily life of a product manager is unpredictable, hectic, and sometimes very tough.

In the late 1990s, my first product management job was helping to roll out high-speed internet nationwide when it became a viable (and highly desired) alternative to dial-up services. We went from providing 300 lines monthly to more than 3,000 — all in a window of about 60 days. I quickly learned how to balance staying on a strategic course and managing the endless minutiae that was required to get each customer up and running.

I had always been a leader, so handling the stress and responsibility was natural for me — but I had a lot to learn about focusing my efforts on what mattered most. I soon realized that with great accountability comes great autonomy. It was up to me to prioritize what needed to get done and when.

This is great news for ambitious product managers: You have more control than you might think, no matter how hectic each day feels.

Here are five things great product managers do. Used consistently, these actions can help you prioritize your work every day and thrive.

1. Align actions to goals

To succeed as a product manager it is essential to take a goal-first approach. Prioritize what must get done that day and assess and align new work against your goals. Swiftly break through the endless tasks and chatter by evaluating each request or demand through the lens of your goals. This does not mean you should shut down disruptions as “noise” to be silenced. Embrace the interruptions that align with your goals — one may be the missing idea that makes your product wildly successful in market.

2. Connect the dots

Understand how your product serves your business — the big picture of why you are building it. This may seem obvious, but without that connection, product managers are often led astray by differing opinions, demands from internal teams, and conflicting customer feedback. Identify why your product matters to your business and to customers so you can navigate with a steady mind.

3. Solve one simple problem

You may be tempted to solve every problem for your customers. But you cannot be all things to all people. You will spread yourself too thin and lose that firm direction. Instead, focus on solving one problem at a time. I like to say, “Focus on one problem, and solve the second for free.” Tackle one problem well and new opportunities will emerge.

4. Learn from others

Invest the time and effort to learn about your product team’s core work so you can set realistic deadlines. This is especially important for teams that share resources. Ask questions and get to know the full scope of their experience and tasks. It is also important to admit what you do not know. Rely on the expertise of your extended product team to help you deliver on the promise of your product.

5. Say “no” with confidence

Not every idea will be meaningful. And, in fact, most will be lousy. Great product managers understand that saying “no” is not a one-word answer. This is your chance to explain why the idea does not make sense within your strategic direction. Do not hide from these conversations or be dismissive. Take each “no” as an opportunity to recommit to your goals — and to re-evaluate whether your aim is true.

I know this advice to be effective — but hard to follow. So be kind to yourself when you feel cornered or stuck. Stick out your chest and remember that you have more control than you think and a team at your side.

You too can achieve the quiet power that separates good product managers from great ones. Never lose sight of your goals and embrace each day with humility and strength. Now go get busy.

Discover your own power as a product manager.

How to Close a Deal

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WEALTHY

12 Rules for Closing the Deal

By Grant Cardone

Like any sport, there are rules to selling, especially when it comes to closing the sale. Here are a dozen of my best rules for closing the deal.

  1. Stay seated. The saying goes, “Present the product, service or idea on your feet, but always negotiate from your seat.” Even if your prospect stands up, remain seated — going from a seated position to standing up suggests something has changed and allows your prospect the cue to exit and end the negotiations.
  2. Master eye contact. This is a discipline you can only instill through practice, and you can perfect it by recording yourself and reviewing it. If you want to be believed and look confident, it is vital that you make and maintain eye contact with your prospect. It shows you are interested in them, confident in yourself and your product, and what you are proposing.
  3. Communicate clearly. People don’t trust someone who cannot communicate confidently and clearly. I practiced for years using recorders and video and played them back, ensuring my communication was coming across the way I intended.

Click here to read all 12 of Grant Cardone’s rules for closing.

How to Be Rich (2016 Edition)

The best way to get started is to get started. Life rewards action…not reaction. Wait for nothing. Attack life.” – Kekich Credo #81

How to Be Rich (2016 Edition)

By Mark Ford
“Contrary to popular modern belief, it is still quite possible for the successful individual to make his million — and more.”

J. Paul Getty wrote these words in 1965 in his book How to Be Rich. I first read it more than 10 years ago and liked it very much. I read it again recently and was equally inspired. It’s a quick and easy read (it was written as a series of essays for Playboy magazine), but it’s loaded with practical advice for anyone who wants to build wealth: business owners, professionals — even superstar employees.

Getty was a very rich man. I’ve heard it said that in today’s dollars, his wealth was greater than Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s combined.

Getty made his fortune by buying oil businesses at bargain prices just after the Great Depression. A small portion of the book is devoted to telling this story. The rest of it presents Getty’s thesis: that the best way to become rich is to own or work for a growing business and that business growth is dependent on following a dozen or so common-sense strategies.

“Although there are no sure-fire formulas for achieving success in business,” Getty says, “there are some fundamental rules to the game, which, if followed, tip the odds of success very much in the business man’s favor.”

Those rules include:

  • The best way to make a fortune is to own your own business.

  • The central aim of every business is to produce more and better goods (or more and better services) to more people at a lower cost.

  • A sense of thrift is essential for success in business.

  • Legitimate opportunities for expansion should not be overlooked.

  • The business owner must run his own business. He cannot expect employees to run it for him.

  • The business owner must be constantly alert for new ways to improve his products and services and increase his production and sales.

  • Nothing builds confidence and volume faster than a reputation for standing behind one’s product.

Another chapter talks about real estate. Getty was a big believer in real estate as a secondary investment. He made millions that way. He also talks about investing in fine art. In the course of his business life, Getty acquired one of the greatest private collections of art in his time. He left much of that collection to various museums, including what became the Getty Museum in Malibu, California.

In discussing employee compensation, Getty’s ideas belied his reputation for being a penny pincher. He was a believer in paying his employees well — as well as or better than the competition. He also believed in treating his key employees as partners, by giving them incentive-based bonuses and, in some cases, shares of profits. (More than a few of his key employees became rich as a result.)

As the author of The Reluctant Entrepreneur, I was delighted to note that Getty disputed the notion that entrepreneurs should “think big and take big chances.” His success, he says, came from “thinking small” (i.e., paying attention to details) and avoiding risk at every juncture.

How to Be Rich also has a chapter devoted to passive investing. Most people don’t realize it, but Getty’s record as a buyer of stocks was stellar. What was his strategy? To buy great companies with distinct competitive advantages when their shares were cheap.

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Getty wrote How to Be Rich when I was about 15 years old. America was a very different country than it is now, so you might wonder: Do those same rules apply today?

If you are at all familiar with my thoughts on wealth building, you know my answer. Let’s review just a few of the rules to see if they hold up:

  • “The best way to make a fortune is to own your own business.” I made that observation in Automatic Wealth and in a half-dozen books since, including Ready, Fire, Aim, The Reluctant Entrepreneur, and most recently The Big Book of Wealth Creation (more details on that next month).

  • “The central aim of every business is to produce more and better goods (or more and better services) to more people at a lower cost.” That should be the aim, but too many young entrepreneurs today believe their purpose is to create something that they can sell to a larger company for billions of dollars. Still, this is the best way to build a lasting relationship with customers.

  • “A sense of thrift is essential for success in business.” I haven’t written much on this. Perhaps because I don’t have a natural “sense” for thrift. Unlike some business people I know, I don’t enjoy quibbling over nickels and dimes. But I do know that thrift in business is important. If you neglect the cost side of your business, your profits will eventually disappear.

  • “Legitimate opportunities for expansion should not be overlooked.”Legitimate is the key word. I take it to mean “realistic” — that expansion and/or acquisition is good for business only if the chances for success are very good. My rule on this, which I’ve explained in Ready, Fire, Aim, is to enter arenas only “one step removed.” In other words, expand only into areas about which you are already at least 80% knowledgeable.

  • “The business owner must run his own business. He cannot expect employees to run it for him.” I’ve made this point many times. When a business gets big, the owner will be tempted to do the “easy work” of making speeches, attending functions, and writing inspirational memos to employees. But if you spend too much time doing that, you will lose the knowledge and skills you once had to do the “hard work” — developing marketable products and selling them.

  • “The business owner must be constantly alert for new ways to improve his products and services and increase his production and sales.” Again, this is something I’ve covered in many essays and all my books on business building. The strategy I recommend is “incremental augmentation.” It’s the opposite of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s based on the belief that if you aren’t always improving your product, a competitor will eventually create something better. This was always true, but in today’s electronic, information-based economy, it is essential.

  • “Nothing builds confidence and volume faster than a reputation for standing behind one’s product.” Again, this is critically true today. Unless you have a virtual monopoly like the cable companies, you can’t get away with treating your customers badly.

So, the answer is yes: The wealth-building ideas in How to Be Rich are as true today as they were in 1965. And they seem to be as true for big companies, like Getty Oil, as they are for smaller, entrepreneurial companies — the ones I write about.

If you read How to Be Rich, you will like it. But you may find yourself wanting more — more specific examples, more instruction, more detailed guidance. You can get that from some of the books I’ve written on this subject. (Yes, me!) I recommendReady, Fire, Aim, Automatic Wealth, and The Reluctant Entrepreneur.