You need Potential to take Action.
Tony Robbins has it nailed.
You need Potential to take Action.
Are you a morning person?
Or does the thought of an alarm sounding off at 6am make you want to slam your hand on snooze button?
Mornings are the time when we’re at our most productive.
It’s quiet, uninterrupted time.
Sounds ideal and we probably all know that we really should get up early.
I certainly do that nowadays.
But it wasn’t always this way.
For many years, I was firmly in the "I-hate-mornings" bracket.
So what made the difference for me?
It was book called Mindstore by Jack Black
I got this book at the airport on the way to a holiday in Egypt. I bought it because I had trouble getting to sleep and definitely trouble getting up in the morning.
The chapter on sleep takes you through a series of steps to get you to sleep but also to "program your mind" into waking you up at any time in the morning. I followed the process and by the end of the holiday I had taken a huge step towards sorting my sleep issues.
By using the techniques every night when I got back home, I had once-and-for-all fixed my sleep issues for the rest of my life.
I can now decide in advance the exact time that I want to wake up and even if it's 6:11am I can wake up at exactly that time.
As Jack says in the book, It Only Works (IOW)!
When I combine this with a decent routine, it becomes really easy to wake up early.
Because in order to consistently wake up early and become a morning person, you need a morning routine that you look actually forward to waking up to.
An amazing morning routine. Not just one that seems perfect on the outside, but one that feels good for you will work wonders.
My routine is:
6am - Wake up naturally (No Phones!!) and exercise or walk for 30 minutes
6.30 - 6.40 - Meditation. You can use Headspace for this. Or you can download the Headspace App
6.40 - 7am - Open my Log or Journal for the Day - You can get one here at Amazon
7am - 7.50am - Work on your immediate Goals or your business
7.50am to 8am - Send out emails for the day
By sending out your requests to the world you are taking control of your day and not reacting.
You now have the rest of the day to work on Your Goals.
By doing this consistently your productivity levels will SOAR!
Oh, one final thing - no phone 1 hour before bed and for at least two hours after getting up!
I have recently been working with people who are embarking on Social Media training.
It's fascinating stuff.
Social Media is here to stay and it's something that every business must embrace sooner rather than later.
Embracing means engaging and engaging means reaching out to new and existing customers. It also means creating or enhancing your digital footprint so that people/customers can find you and know what you stand for, they need to know your reason why you do what you do.
Many of the people who attended the training are adults and business owners.
They are used to working for themselves and getting the job done.
However, there are a few people attending who could advance quite quickly if they stopped being so pedantic and got on with it!
I'm taking about the need to find the ideal blog post, the ideal image and to make sure that every word is spelled correctly and there's a full top at the end of every sentence.
Now there's nothing wrong with an attention to detail but in the fast moving world of Social Media, blogging and the internet, it's far better to get something out there than sit and wait on the perfect image or logo.
As all the best internet blogging and marketing advisors say (including Seth Godin), you don't need to get it right but you need to get it going. Ship It. Then sort things out later.
Over the course of time, I have realised that the majority of people I interact with don’t fully embody the 12 pillars of business and personal strategy introduced twenty years ago.
As a quick fix “intervention”, I’m sharing the basic foundational thoughts of the pillars here … and at a later time I will find an audio from past seminars that delve deeper into these strategic ideals.
Think about these 12 in relation to your own business…
1.) Continuously identifying and discovering hidden assets in your business.
2.) Mining cash windfalls each and every month out of your business.
3.) Engineering success into every action you take or decision you make.
4.) Building your business on a foundation of multiple profit sources instead of depending on one single revenue source.
5.) Being different, special unique, and advantageous in the eyes of your customers.
6.) Creating real value for your customers and employees for maximum loyalty and results.
7.) Gaining the maximum personal leverage from every action, investment, time or energy commitment you ever make.
8.) Networking/masterminding/brainstorming with like-minded, success-driven people who share real life experiences with you.
9.) Turning yourself into an idea generator and recognized innovator within your industry or market.
10.) Making “growth-thinking” a natural part of your everyday business philosophy.
11.) Reversing the risk for both you and your customers in everything you do (so the downside is almost zero, and the upside potential nearly infinite).
12.) Using small, safe tests to eliminate dangerous risks and adopting funnel vision instead of tunnel vision in your thinking.
The last two months of 2016 were very interesting for a number of reasons, but one thing that stood out for us was an inordinate number of people who had applied for property related funding…and were given terms…but failed to make a decision to accept the terms on offer.
This stood out because it was an anomaly.
If we get 40 applications for property development funding in any one period for money from our huge network of property business angels, be it a week or a month, the stats are usually the same in terms of percentages.
About a third will fail for various reasons (poor credit history, insufficient information to complete, refusal to pay a final survey fee…that sort of thing...)
A third will have made a decent application and will get a survey and then will procrastinate and the final third will be successful in that they do everything on time when asked and get an offer relatively quickly.
That offer for proerty development funding might be from a lender who will fund all or 80% of the amount requested…we then go on to find an investor or JV partner who will fund the balance...and bingo…deal done.
Usually when terms are offered, the borrower draws down the money as soon as they can. So in 40 applications for property development funding we would expect 13 or 14 to close pretty quickly.
This time though, we had 13 offers of funding and one close.
That meant that 12 were sitting on the fence…. and that’s unusual.
That led me to question why.
I looked at the previous periods and the figures were ok. Roughly a third had closed…except for…guess what? The same period last year!
This was not an individual thing, this was seasonal.
I had to ask myself. Were crowds of human mindset affected by the end of year, by Christmas and the “holiday season” or was it something else?
Hours later I stumbled across an online article about successful morning people and how they create routines to make decision making simple.
The article stood out at me for one thing. It said that “…many successful people limit their decision making by automating some of their daily choices e.g always dressing the same way…”
I dress the same way every day…have done for years.
The article went on to say that “…to limit procrastination and make the most of your morning minimise decision fatigue by limiting your choices….”
This led me to think "Could the people who had applied for property development funding in November and December be suffering from this thing...decision fatigue?"
This, decision fatigue, apparently, is a real thing; I even found another article online about it, which says “In decision-making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session on decision-making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision-making.”
There is a paradox here in that people consciously like choice and seem to want more of it and will often fight for more choice, yet at the same time people find that making too many choices can be psychologically aversive.
A person who is mentally depleted becomes reluctant to make a choice at all - or if pushed, could make a very poor choice.
Decision fatigue can lead a lot of people to avoid decisions entirely; it’s a psychological phenomenon called “decision avoidance”.
Researchers found that people who have more choices to make at the end of a “decision making period” were often less willing to decide at all.
Could it be that the end of a calendar year was simply, unconsciously, accepted as the end of a “decision-making period”? Was it therefore easier to simply make no decision at all rather than make a decision that could be deferred until a new decision-making period known as the New Year?
Interestingly, there was a slight upswing in excepted offers for property development funding in January, February and March last year. Could the same thing happen this year?
I mooted this idea off my greatest supporter and harshest critic…my wife. Who immediately restores balance into any of my theories!
Her response was “…don’t get ahead of yourself…it’s Christmas…too many things to think about and easier to delay something like that until the New Year…besides, it’s an expensive time of year’.
All very well, I thought to myself, but we are looking to give people property development money not take it from them.
Maybe she has a point?
I think I might take a look at the stats of the people who endure and make the decision when everyone else is delaying theirs.
Maybe that’s one of the strengths of uncommon thinking, contrarian thinking?
After all, if 90% of a crowd make one decision simply due to the tie of year and 10% make another, does that not make the 90% a herd? Is this an example of herd mentality in action?
Or does my wife really have a valid point?
Raising Angel Finance
It's not what you know, it's what you don't know that can hurt you when it comes to property.
There is a great initial course you should look out for called Beginners Property Secrets.
You learn many things with acronyms, such as.
CASTLED - The Goldmine Area Model
Cashflow - Buy something that has good cashflow. Aim for 12% yield
Amenities - buy something with good amenities such as, shops, train station, schools,hospitals and decent road links.
Supply - There has to be enough property stock to scale up
Tenant demand - to find this ask the letting agents (pretend to be a tenant) or check out websites such as Rightmove.
Local - close to you
Existing - it has to be something that you can walk in to. Victorian type houses are solid and lots of room height.
Discounts - You should be able to get a reduction in price.
Property in the UK has pretty much doubled in value since about 1066.
If you are involved in property then the answer to all the doom and gloom this month is to take a long-term view. In my mind that's 10 years or more.
The statistical facts are these:
There is a shortage of residential property in virtually all parts of the UK.
There are too many people seeking too few houses.
Due to the mortgage rules, not enough people can save up a deposit.
People who can't save up a deposit need to rent.
If rents go up as a result of the new Finance Act s.24 - people (tenants) will have to pay it. That makes it less likely they will ever save up their deposits.
Basic economics 101 means that if demand exceeds supply, then since the dawn of time (or 1066 whichever is the sooner!) prices rise. I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that house prices will rise in the next 10 years ahead of inflation, ahead of RPI and still make a good investment.
The best time to buy property was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.
I was asked by my wife to create a book for our son (6). We had been watching The Apprentice and she had said that no one could create and publish a book within a day. I disagreed. And so Mikey the Motorbike was created!
Finding funding for your start-up, concept, idea or proposal can be one of the most time consuming things you can do.
Many people that I meet totally underestimate the time that this will take.
The reality is that 12 to 18 months is not unusual.
Yes, you will hear stories of start-ups that got funded in a matter of days or even hours; what they don't tell you is that it takes
12 to 18 months to become an overnight success!
After 5 years in the trenches helping people to find funds through Angels Den I have seen a number of proposals cross my desk and the entrepreneurs with the attitude that says "...this is the best thing ever..." or "...we are the next Facebook...." are usually doomed to fail.
As Regional manager for Angels Den, I see a lot of investment proposals on an almost daily
basis. I have a checklist that I use which is my own little system and it helps me to give a
consistent critique to each presenter. However, whilst reading The Lean Start-up and the new
Edition of Guy Kawasaki's book The Art of the Start 2.0 I realised that there is a better way
forward...and that is to exclude certain things in the first place!
For the sake of investors who are tired of hearing the same old lies and for the sake of entrepreneurs who hurt their cases by telling them, here are the top ten lies of entrepreneurs.
Study them so you can at least tell new lies.
1. "Our projection is conservative." Your projection is conservative, but you claim you'll be doing £100 million by year three. In fact, the company is going to be the fastest-growing company in the history of mankind.
The truth is, you have no clue what your sales will be, and I fantasise about the day an entrepreneur tells me, "Our projection is a number we're picking out of the air. We're trying to make them high enough to interest you, but low enough so that we don't look like idiots. We really will have no clue until we ship the product and see how it's accepted." At least that entrepreneur is honest.
2. "Experts say our market will be fifty billion in five years."
Don't cite numbers like this and expect to impress investors. No one ever comes in and says, "We 're in a crappy little market." Everyone says the same thing. It's much better to catalyse fantasy.
3. "Amazon is signing our contract next week." Traction is good. It makes you fundable. But until a contract is signed, it's not signed. If the investor asks about the contract the following week, and it still isn't signed, you've got a credibility problem. In five years I've never seen a contract signed on time. Talk about Amazon and your big deals after they're done.
4. "Key employees will join us as soon as we get funded." Let me get this straight: You're two guys in a garage, you're trying to raise a few hundred thousand, your product is twelve months from completion, and you're telling me that these well-known people are going to resign their £150,000-per-year, plus bonus, plus shares-option jobs to join your company?
When investors contact these key employees who are supposedly set to join a company, the response is often, "I vaguely remember meeting the CEO at a cocktail party." If you're going to tell this lie, make sure that these potential employees are locked and loaded and ready to join.
5. "Several investors are already in due diligence." That is, "If you don't hurry, someone else will invest in us, and you won't have the chance." This works well in times of irrational exuberance, but during other times it is a laughable tactic. The reality, and what the listener is thinking, is, You've pitched a few other investors, and they haven't gotten around to rejecting you yet.
The odds are that the investors know one another better than you know them. They can call up their friends and find out how interested another firm is in your deal. To pull this lie off, you'd better be either a great bluffer or smokin' hot, or you won't have a chance against the investor network.
6. "Microsoft is too old, big, dumb, and slow to be a threat." Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, Facebook... Pick a successful company. Many entrepreneurs think that by making such a statement, they are (a) convincing the investor of their moxie, (b) proving that they can defeat an entrenched competitor, and (c) establishing a competitive advantage.
In reality all they are showing is how näive they are about what it takes to build a successful business. There's a reason why people such as Larry Ellison can keep the San Jose airport open late for his private jet while you and I are munching peanuts on Easyjet. And it's not because his company is old, big, dumb, and slow.
It's scary enough to investors that you are competing with an established company. Don't seal your coffin by showing how clueless you are by denigrating such competition. Instead, explain how you can avoid the competition by serving different segments or fly under the competition's radar. If nothing else, acknowledge that you're undertaking a high-risk and difficult venture, to at least indicate that you're aware of the magnitude of the challenge.
7. "Patents make our business defensible." Patents do not make a business defensible. They might provide a temporary competitive advantage particularly in material science, medical devices, and biotech companies--but that's about it.
By all means, lodge patents if you can, but don't depend on them for much more than impressing your parents unless you have the time (years) and money (millions) to go to court.
When talking to investors, the optimal number of times to mention that your technology is patentable is one. Zero is bad because it implies you don't have anything proprietary. More than one mention means that you're inexperienced.
8. "All we have to do is get one percent of the market." This is what US venture capitalists call the Chinese Hat Lie. That is, "If just one percent of the people in China buy our hats, we will be more successful than any company in the history of mankind."
There are problems with this line of reasoning: First, it's not that easy to get even 1 percent of the people in China to buy your hat. Second, few entrepreneurs are truly going after a market as large as all the people in China. Third, the company that came in before you said something similar about another market, and so will the company after you. Fourth, a company that is shooting for only 1 percent market share isn't that interesting.
9. "We have first-mover advantage." There are at least two problems with this lie: First, it may not be true. How can you know that no one else is doing what you're doing? As a rule of thumb, if you're doing something good, five other startups are doing the same thing. If you're doing something great, ten are.
Second, first-mover advantage isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Being a fast second might be better--let someone else pioneer the concept and learn from their mistakes--then leapfrog them.
10."We have a world-class, proven team." The acceptable definition of "world-class" and "proven" in this context is that the founders created enormous wealth for investors in a previous company, or they held positions in highly respected, large companies.
Riding the tornado of a successful company in a minor role, working for McKinsey as a consultant, or putting in a couple of years at an investment bank doesn't count as a proven entrepreneurial background.
Excerpted from The Art Of The Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, in agreement with Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © Guy Kawasaki, 2004, 2015.
Raymond is a serial entrepreneur, author, World Record Holding public speaker, Corporate Trainer on Raising Angel Finance and Social Media and former qualified corporate lawyer.