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Month March 2014

Money Down the Toilet

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Sometimes I’m dumbfounded by how mind-blowingly stupid some people can be. But then we all have our moments don’t we.

Last week, my boss (yes I have one, she’s my daughter!) Julie searched Canberra for over 3 hours trying to find a very particular food. An import from the USA, hard to come by. And while she criss-crossed Canberra to track it down, it wasn’t until shop number 16 that she found it. A whole shelf-full. So, as anyone with any common sense would when you’ve searched this hard, she put the whole shelf-full in her trolley. After all, you can take the Costco mindset anywhere.

So far, so good. But on reaching the register, the checkout-chick was… how could we put this… somewhat confused and overwhelmed? Staring down the barrel of a great sale, she obviously couldn’t handle it. ‘Are you buying all this?’ She clearly thought Julie was nuts even after Julie explained this was the 16th shop she’d been to. ‘But I don’t know how to ring up a bulk discount’ was next. To which Julie reassured her she wasn’t asking for a discount. Quickly followed by ‘What if someone else wants to buy this?’ Julie was, needless to say, gobsmacked. Was this a business in the business of making money or not? After all, the sale was in the bag and you can always restock.

But the piece de resistance was the response to Julie’s comment about buying online if it was all too hard. And can you believe it… with the store manager beside her the check-out chick gave Julie all the details of the online stockist. You should have heard us as we all fell about laughing back at the office.

Talk about money down the toilet.

So who’s in your employ?

How do they think?

Do they have a business mindset?

Catching the bug!

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These days I’m very careful who I choose to be around. Because I’ve come to realise that who I hang out with has a major impact on what I think and how I feel. Some people are beneficial and some obviously aren’t. And I guess it’s a sign of how much we care for ourselves when we limit the negative and seek out the positive wherever and whenever possible. And that means some tough choices sometimes, doesn’t it. Not always popular ones.

And there’s nothing selfish in this. In fact, quite the opposite. Because they’ve shown that emotions spread like diseases.  Pretty incredible, huh. That we can ‘catch’ being happy. And ‘catch’ being sad. Harvard University we’re talking. Not some pseudo-science piece but hard arse research. The scary thing is it’s twice as easy to catch the ‘sad’ bug than it is the ‘happy’ one. But when you catch happy it lasts longer. Emotional contagion. It even has a name. And it spreads like wildfire between people in frequent close contact. Like families. Like workmates. Anyone we hang out with really on a consistent basis.

Take a friend who lives a mile away from me. If that friend becomes happier, I have a 25% chance of becoming happier too. If my neighbour becomes happier then it’s a 34% chance. Huge! And the thing is the happier I am, the happier people are around me. Because I pass it on. So when I am happier, because someone around me is happier, then I spread that on to all the people in my life too. And that’s the sort of contagious I’m in favour of.

Happiness gone viral. And because I want to spread happiness to those I love, I am really conscious of who I spend my time with.

Happiness. It’s so important, isn’t it. For health. For leaving the world a better place. So it pays to be careful who’s in your inner circle. Who should you avoid? And who should you hang out with more?

 

Who wants to think like a millionaire?

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They’ve got an aggregate wealth of $6.4 trillion. Forbes 500 richest people on the planet and at $76 billion Bill Gates is back on top.

What’s a few bucks between friends?

But when you read their bio’s, you might notice something.

Almost all of them made their fortune through business.

Did I mention there’s a bit of money to be made in beer?

And while some on them did, yes, inherit their millions, most of them are self-made men and women who simply had an idea. And did something about it.

Take Keiichiro Takahara. He made $3.5B out of nappies. Nappies full of **** you throw away! Couldn’t have done that in the days of cloth. Or the Mars duo. They have a combined wealth of $40B out of the humble lolly (and because we’re talking US dollars, AUD$ it’s even higher). Then there’s Mark Zuckerberg. He was probably wearing Takahara’s nappies when he made his $28.5B fortune with an idea about bringing people together. In case you haven’t heard, it’s called facebook.

But when you’re talking that much money, it really doesn’t matter, does it. What’s more important is an understanding that it can be done. And people, young and old, do it ALL the time.

I wonder how many of those businesses started as a great idea around the kitchen table? Or a thought kicked around over a game of pool? Or just something that popped into their head while catching a train? J.K. Rowling knows what I’m talking about. Or as Einstein said, he got his best ideas while shaving.

But what we don’t see on the list is the blood, sweat and tears, the guts and stamina, the determination and drive, the investment that it takes to pull something like this off. Not an overnight success, but sometimes years in the making. Persistence. Passion. Vision. Strategy. Single-mindedness. Wisdom.

And an entrepreneurial mindset.

But they didn’t do it alone. They knew when to ask for help.

Learn what you can.

Buy what you need.

Apply it all diligently.

It’s a winning formula.

What will YOU do with your next great idea?

“Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money.” – William J. Cameron

Smorgasboard

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How crazy would it be to walk into a deli and tell them what you don’t want. After all, they’d think you were nuts if you walked in and spent half an hour telling them you didn’t want the salami, and you didn’t want the Roquefort, and you didn’t want the caviar and you didn’t want the pickles or the olives or the pastrami or the swiss. In fact they might be showing you the door. A sale in the ‘too hard he’s a nutter’ category.

But in my line of work that’s what I constantly see people do.

Worrying over all the things they don’t want…rather than getting clear on what it is they do want.

After all, the deli is just a microcosm of real life, isn’t it. Because everything that happens in the deli happens on a larger scale in life. Relationships, choices, transactions, fulfillment, disappointment. And the really great thing is when we realise we attract what we put our focus on we can do something about it.

Because if we spend our lives focusing on what we don’t want, is it any wonder it keeps turning up?

But on the other hand, life has a wonderful way of bringing to us the things we get really clear about. It just requires clarity and patience and trust.

Most people don’t realise life’s a smorgasboard. And there’s so much to enjoy.

So what do you really want out of life? And what do you need to get clear about today?