A Great Business Lesson From the Grammys

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Back in my Seattle TV days, I used to hang out occasionally with a guy named Dave Grohl, who was the drummer for a little trio called Nirvana. Last night, he and his current band, Foo Fighters, picked up five Grammy awards. While accepting the award for Best Rock Album, Dave said something that really struck a chord (pun intended, thank ...

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Don’t Be Like Netflix!

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award-winning performanceSo I got a Roku for Christmas. Now, I know that “a Roku” sounds like one of those yappy little dogs that Paris Hilton would carry around in a purse, but it’s not. It’s actually a very cool little device that sits near your TV and lets you stream movies and TV shows from sources like Hulu and Netflix. And the Roku ...

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Avoiding Failure vs. Achieving Success

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We spend far too much time trying to avoid failure. It drives many (maybe even most) of our decisions—at least the bigger ones.

“What if I fail?”

“What if this doesn’t work?”

“What if I get embarrassed?”

“What if I get sued?”

Sure, these questions—and others like them—need to be taken into consideration. But all too often they become the primary decision driver. We make our decisions based ...

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Are You a Worker Bee or a Wannabe?

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I was recently talking to a fellow speaker about marketing. She was complaining (whining, really) because she had to put together a new marketing campaign for her services, and she wasn’t enjoying the process. She said she didn’t want to do any marketing. I asked her what she did want, and she said:

“I just want people to hire me.”

Well, don’t ...

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A Teacher’s Million Dollar Lesson

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At a recent convention where I was speaking, I ran into my good friend and science wizard Steve Spangler. As always, I was astounded by just how successful this guy is. He runs a multi-million dollar company, he’s an Emmy winner, and he’s appeared numerous times on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. And if you ask him what he does for a living, he’ll tell you the truth. He’s a science teacher.

So how does a science ...

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How to Change the World (in one easy step)

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I recently had the privilege of delivering the opening keynote address at the annual convention of Mensa. This can be a little intimidating, because the sole requirement for membership in Mensa is that you be a genius (in the top 2% of IQ). Granted, I’m a member, but I’m pretty sure I got in under some sort of affirmative action ...

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How Will Your Business Hold Up 50 Years From Now?

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My dad is turning 91 today. He never planned to be around this long. Both of his parents died young (his father, my grandfather, died at age 42), so he just kind of assumed that he would too. But here he is, nearly 50 years later, still chugging along.

Most of us don’t plan to live until 91. Oh, we say we do—but we don’t act like it. We have no plan, and we certainly have no savings. Most of us ...

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A Lesson in Leadership from Jerry Seinfeld

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I recently read a New York Times Magazine article that says that in the late 19th century there was a theory about how human beings improve in their activities. The theory said that a person “could improve at mental and physical activities until he hit a wall, which he cannot by any education or exertion overpass.” In other words, there’s a point for each of us where we can’t improve anymore.

Turns out that’s not altogether true. Current research, as the ...

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Do You “Own” Your Space?

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Our business lesson today, boys and girls, comes from a spider (and not in one of those hokey “Charlotte’s Web” kind of ways). A spider, whom I’ll call “Henry” because that’s what my girlfriend and I named him, has built a web just outside my front door, right by the porch light. Now, given that most other flying insects (and by ...

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Why the Beatles are Legends and You’re Not. Yet.

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So there was this band from England. Not London. Somewhere up north—a place called Liverpool. They were a hit in their hometown, but hadn’t really made much of a splash anywhere else (except for a few clubs in Hamburg). They had gotten a recording contract, and even put out a record—a simplistic little song called Love Me Do. It was ...

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