I’ve shared with you in the past about ten people that get my attention everyday, but there are three authors that reach the very core of what I believe, I have to put them on your radar screen. I’ll assume you like to read, if you’re online, you have no choice. It’s been said, leaders are readers, but readers are not necessarily leaders.
I was recently asked who my favorite author is, I couldn’t answer with just one. I have many, but three tend to be at the top of the list.
These gentlemen have helped shape and affirm what I believe to be true in the world of business, more importantly, they are real people, with real issues, no different than you and I. The big difference, they Create. Differentiate. Deliver. all the time, they have a message for you, and I think we should pay attention.
All three of these authors, along with many others, have taught me in one way or another, to shape, to encourage, and they inspired The Open & Free Business Model, which I teach and preach here on this blog, and to anyone who is even a little bit curious about the 90 / 10 rule, it is the future of business.
The Internet is a huge world, and yet it can feel like a small town, because we are all connected. This connection, or connecting, is the new economy, it is what makes the world go round. It is the connectedness where you will be found, where you will find your place eventually, because someone also believes what you believe, and they will connect with you to become a true fan.
I challenge you to read anyone of these three authors everyday, if you do, your world will change, and it will never stop changing, especially if you put into practice the lessons learned from these brilliant minds.
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January 1st, 2013, I spent a great deal of time reading material from people far smarter than myself. Through the process of what I call research, which is reading smarter people’s work, or listening to them speak via video on YouTube, I thought about what my driving force for 2013 was going to be. I wanted to use simple words to help me focus, to help me continue my message, a set of words that would be the basis of my work for this new year.
The Future of Business will always be the umbrella of all that I share here on this blog, from nanotechnology, marketing, people, ideas, thoughts, and the open & free business model. All of the content here is to help you make a paradigm shift, to think differently about business, more specifically…your business. But this years primary theme, or driving words are:
This year, to help you, to make it easier for you, I’m going to continue building my platform. A platform where I will provide some tools for you to Create, to implement the open & free business model into your business. These tools will be in the form of webinars, videos, templates, and a simple workbook, similar to the one I provide in my workshops. I will be doing my workshops in a webinar format from this day forward. Most of the material will be FREE, some will be paid content, for members only.
This year is about creating, differentiating, and to always deliver that which has been created and made different.
This area is easy for some, and very hard for others. many find it much easier to create for other(s) businesses over their own. But creating isn’t marketing, it’s giving shape to, and giving life to ideas. We all must create before we can do the other two, before we can differentiate and deliver. We want to be creating all the time, it should be what energizes us, to create a solution, or something useful.
Once something has been created, we want it to be special, to be different, to be useful, to be the best. This will be the secret sauce of your creation. This is where the quote, “Be The Best, It’s The Only Market That’s Not Crowded”. That quote was provided to me by Tom Peters, which he borrowed from the late George Whalin, from his book called “Inside The 25 Best Independent Stores In America“. (Affiliate Link)
In my humble opinion, you can never deliver enough. You should create, differentiate, and deliver more than you should ever consume. This is where the money will be made, if you ship, you will at some point make money. A call to action. If you don’t ship, nothing happens, it’s that simple. To deliver means, the world will hear from you, and frankly, the world needs you to create, to be different, and to deliver that which is scarce – YOU! The world needs you.
What will you create this year, how will it be different, and will you ever deliver that creation? The foundation of the Open & Free Business Model is to Create. Differentiate. Deliver. I challenge you to explore and implement the open & free business model, to use the 90 / 10 rule, to give away more than you charge for, your business will be a business of the future.
10 people who get my attention everyday. Do you know how hard it is to make a list of just 10? There are many who get my attention, but these ten can stop me in my tracks. Now I talk often about attention, it can determine your success in business, who you give your time to. But the deeper question is, why do these individuals or companies get your attention. I find, as I look down my list, it’s because they make me think…not about what they are talking about, but how the topic applies to my business, maybe even my day-to-day life. But mostly, these individuals do a number of things, they affirm me, are extremely interesting, really make me stop and go Hmmmmmm, and the bonus, they seem to be very genuine people. I’ll qualify that with, I have only met 2 from this list face-to-face, my bucket list just got longer : )
These people can disrupt my day very easily, especially when they hail me on Twitter or write a blog post. You may already know these individuals, and maybe you don’t, but I think they are worth your time. These 10 people do have one thing in common, they see the world, and want to make that world a better place, no matter how abstract and disturbing it might be. I learn much from each of them, and I know you will to if you take the time to follow their work. More importantly, they are all much smarter than I, and deserve a tip of the hat for the work they do.
Gerd Leonhard – I tell the story of how I came across Gerd and his work, I thought long and hard, wondering if I was the only one that saw the world of business the way I do, until I found Gerd. He is much smarter than I, much more connected, and he is a machine when it comes to producing content. The thing that gets me, is his desire to share what he believes, he is a like-minded friend I hope to meet one day. – http://mediafuturist.com
Chris Brogan – I have chatted, was on one of his Kitchen Table Talk Online TV Show, promoted some of his posts, and he has done so of mine, but we have never met. I don’t always agree with Chris, but most of the time I do. I’m a fan of his because he is real, he is what he preaches, a human business. – http://chrisbrogan.com
Jim Connolly – This UK marketer is not only a cool character, he is smart. I’ve know Jim for 4 years now, and he gets better each and every blog post, thought provoking, and makes you think about how you are marketing. – http://jimsmarketingblog.com
Rick Rake – Now I’m biased with this person, why? Rick is a huge promoter of my work here where I live, he was the very 1st person to attend my workshops, and he gets it. Rick & his wife Kathleen come from the older generation, but practice a lot of the new ways of doing business online. I have come to love & appreciate both of them, and can’t thank them enough for all that they do for me and the business community we live in. – http://clickmediaworks.typepad.com/click_media_works_blog/
Seth Godin – I have to admit I feel pretty stupid after listening to him, but I’ll get over that : ) Seth keeps things simple in my head, he makes me think about the world as it really is, and he teaches me far more than I can put into action at any given time. I love his keynotes, and can’t get enough of the Linchpin & Poke The Box, because those two books show you how I feel and think, without the smarts. I fly at 50,000 feet most of the time, and then Seth will bring me back down to earth for a street level view. I thank you. – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Brian Solis – He is much like Seth Godin to me, but different. I’m not even sure how to describe him, he just resonates with me from a business perspective. He is intelligent, and one of the best interviews I’ve ever known in this new digital world, asks some the smartest questions, and shares the answer equally as good. – http://www.briansolis.com/
Glen Hiemstra – I had the privilege of meeting Glen last year, he drove up to Vancouver for the World Futurist Society Conference I was speaking at, he attended my session. Probably wishes he could get that 90 minutes back : ) Glen does some very interesting work as a Futurist, I read his work and bookmark it regularly, he probably doesn’t know that, but he does now. Not only is he a smart man, he is so down to earth and a joy be around. I thank you Glen for being so gracious with me, and for taking the time to come my session. – http://www.futurist.com/
Olivier Blanchard – The Brand Builder – We go back a few years, but only online. Olivier has done something that no one else seems to have figured out yet, he knows how to derive an ROI out Social Media (Networks). He has gone so far as to write a book on the topic, to show you how simple and yet how hard it is to stay committed to the endeavour. Plus, he is damn funny! I cherish every opportunity to chat with Olivier, I learn so much, and I constantly challenge him on the value of a follower, a fan, and or a like. – http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com/
Ray Kurzweil – Probably the nuttiest person I pay attention to. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way, or disrespectful way, he is amazing to listen to. He is very star warzy to me, and yet, scares the crap out of me at the same time. He sees technology embedded in humans, which shows him a world run by machines, but mostly to improve our ability, our way of life, and to create a healthy world. – http://www.kurzweilai.net/
Tom Peters – I have followed Tom’s work for many years, he wrote the famous book called, In Search Of Excellence, just in case you don’t know who he is. His work gets me on trouble all the time, because he talks about doing business better, shares stories and examples of businesses actually doing what he talks about. If you haven’t read any of his books, I challenge you to go out right now and do so. – http://www.tompeters.com/
An honourable mention:
John Morgan – He recently released his first book called, Brand Against The Machine, his work helps you look at how and what your up against in the marketing world. Again, keeping things simple, why? Because simple is hard enough. John has a special way of communicating his message, very direct, and very helpful. – http://johnmichaelmorgan.com/
So there’s my list, it was hard to narrow down, there are many more whom deserve to be on this list, but for the purposes of this post, I’m keeping it down to ten. Many of these people have written books, I highly recommend you read them, and better yet, follow their work here online.
I hope these individuals help you in better ways than they help me, I just wanted to share them with you, and give you some insight to who I pay attention to. After all, attention is the currency we are all trying to acquire.
Ranked as the “greatest business book of all time” in a 2002 poll by Britain’s Bloomsbury Publishing, this best-selling business book has long been a must-have for the boardroom, business school, and bedside table. In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (with Robert H. Waterman, Jr.), 1982
The book was primarily about three things, Listen to your customers. Take care of your people, and don’t let your values slip or slacken.
Tom Peters has searched the world over for businesses in Search of Excellence, he latest book The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE, 2010 continues the family of books on Excellence.
So why do I mention these books? Just this past week I had a brief online conversation after I posted a question on Twitter & FaceBook. It was a simple question meant to make you think about what Excellence looks like to you, and how do we measure it. So I’ll pose the question to you:
Is your Pursuit Quantity or Quality? – Or should it be Excellence?
Now the question seemed confusing but, two interesting comments / statements came back to me. One was a question that confirmed the confusion, having said that, it was an interesting thought.
How does pursuing quality differ from pursuing excellence?
My response even surprised me, and it got me to thinking:
Quality & Excellence are not the same thing. Quality is part of an equation that determines Excellence.
Another friend of mine kept it simple, but was it really?
My pursuit is to simply do my best at all times.
I possed another question.
There is the problem, how is your best measured, how do you know it’s your best?
The conversation continued for some time and again kept it simple:
Well, it’s measured in that moment of ‘doing’. I consciously know if I’m doing my best at any given time. Sometimes, we’re tired, and sometimes we’re completely energized – our best varies on where we are. I think we all know when we’re doing our best – like an internal barometer.
Still not happy with the answer, I drilled deeper not letting my friend off the hook:
Based on that statement, you only seem to know when you’re doing best by how you feel. Emotions are not always the best way to measure where one is at.
You must have some indicators that you monitor that keep you on track, that keep you focused, that ensure some sense of quality. Pursuing Excellence is a complicated set of habits that equal Excellence, but only you can set the standard of those habits, you are setting the bar for you business. If you don’t, someone else will judge you or your business on bad information / Excellence.
Two things struck me, there probably should be more than two, but….one, everyone seems to have a different view on how Excellence is measured. And two, I have come to the conclusion that there is this equation that takes you to a value called Excellence. This equation is something each business owner must look long and hard at, it doesn’t even have to be a business, anything in life that you measure and wish to have some level of Excellence. You or the business owner, has to set the bar, and those who experience you, your brand, and or your business will decide if it was Excellence. So there is alot to consider in the equation.
Is or has how we value Excellence changed because of technology, systems and more efficient ways of obtaining the almighty level of Excellence? Is Excellence easier to obtain because of technology, or ways of automating simple tasks?
Will the future of Excellence morph, will the definition of the word be changed because of how we measure Excellence? In my small understanding, Excellence would be a series of habits or action items done exceptionally well, how many habits makeup this equation, or do we go by how we feel? (not recommended)
The question is yours now, what does the equation of Excellence look like in your opinion?
Two of the most insightful minds in our world today are caught here speaking on the topic of blogging, should you blog?
This is a must watch!