Change

Don’t Ignore the “Small” Opportunities

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How many opportunities (including BIG ones) are you leaving on the table because you’re ignoring the small game?

I was just reading an interview with Paul McCartney’s bass player, Brian Ray (and what kind of pressure must that be—playing bass for one of the greatest rock bassists of all time?!). The interviewer asked the obvious question: “So, how did you get the McCartney gig?” I think Brian’s answer is a great business lesson for all of us. Here’s what he said:

“In ...

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Why You Don’t Need to Solve Every Problem

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How much time are you wasting trying to solve problems that could simply be eliminated?

I once spent nearly an entire summer trying to solve a problem. But when I finally came around to eliminating the problem instead, the “solution” seemed so simple! Here’s what happened.

I was the producer of a sketch comedy TV show in Seattle called Almost Live! We were a one-hour show, airing Sundays at 6pm (a terrible time for sketch comedy, by the way). In addition to ...

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Are Your Customers Finding You Dispensable?

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I just got off the phone with a colleague who was complaining (whining, really) about the fact that nobody seemed to have any money to hire him. It’s the economy, of course. A few years ago, people had money, and he was being hired. Now, it’s dried up. Damn this economy!

To a certain extent, he’s right—things were easier a few years ago. But he was wrong when he said that nobody has any money. Because here’s the truth:

There’s always money ...

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Harley-Davidson, the Beatles, and Change

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Earlier this morning I delivered the keynote address to a meeting of 1,000 Harley-Davidson dealers. It was an amazing experience. Perhaps the most amazing part was that 1,000 Harley people, who had packed the various hotel bars the previous night, actually showed up to hear an 8am keynote!

As part of my research, I had talked to several of these dealers in the previous few weeks. Among the questions I asked them was, “What do you think is the biggest challenge ...

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Are You Passionate About Your Work?

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Let’s see, what’s Paul McCartney been up to lately? Well…

  • He just kicked off a new European tour with an energetic three-hour show in Hamburg.
  • He just spoke to the European Parliament about climate change and healthy eating.
  • He just wrote a new song for the new Robert De Niro film.
  • He just announced that he’s been writing lots of new music, and will have a new CD out in 2010.
  • Oh, and he’s also planning a major U.S. tour for next year.

All of this, ...

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Where Will You Be In 5 Years?

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“Where do you see yourself in five years?” That’s a pretty common job interview question. The answer, of course, is “Someplace better than the pathetic job I’m applying for right now.” I was talking about this question recently with a friend of mine who works in Human Resources, and she said that most applicants respond to this question with what she called “lofty, unrealistic goals.” She went on to say, “The truth is, five years really isn’t all that much ...

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Why You Need More Pain in Your Life

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I attended a workshop yesterday at my local Mac store, and the conversation turned to iPhones. This was pretty inevitable, because we were surrounded by the bloody things; still, it turned out that one attendee, whom I’ll call Cheswick because it’s a funny name, had not yet made the switch. He fully intended to, but said, “I guess I just haven’t reached my pain point with my current provider yet.”

I’ve been thinking about that, and it occurs to me that ...

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Why You Need to See Other People

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I think you need to see other people.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your current relationship, or your current colleagues, or your current friends. I just think you need to see other people. We all do. Because if we keep interacting with the same people—just the same people—we’re going to keep hearing the same points of view, and sameness is the mortal enemy of innovation. Just this morning in Indiana, President Obama said, “The United States led the world’s ...

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Who Are Your 5 People?

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This weekend I’ll be heading to Phoenix (current temperature: 1,000,000 degrees) for the annual convention of my colleagues in the National Speakers Association, followed by a week with my mastermind group in Denver. (For the record, there are a couple of speaking engagements sprinkled in there as well.) I’m greatly looking forward to both of these events (except for the aforementioned blistering heat) because it gives me a chance to spend time with some of the most successful people in ...

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The UPS Guy Lied to Me

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The UPS guy came to my house today. (This is what we in the business call a “grabber.” Notice how you’re already captivated. “Wow! The UPS guy! Right there at your own house! What happened next?!”) Well, today’s a nice summer day, I had the windows open, and I happened to be playing the piano when the UPS guy arrived. Nothing difficult, of course, because I’m not that good. It was just a nice little version of the Beatles’ Blackbird ...

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