Category Archives: business

Competitive Intelligence Advantage

I love learning and I have a habit of purchasing multiple books at once (2-5 at a time) to keep my mind occupied. I’ve read through about 10 times more Business books this year (so far) than I did in the entire year of 2009. But as usual, I have a favorite of the bunch.

Being a Michael Porter fan since about 1999, I saw this book “Competitive Intelligence Advantage” and purchased it immediately… although it wasn’t written by him, I figured it would fill in some more updated information gaps I may have on the subject.  I actually purchased this book back in February and I planned on writing about this in March… as a matter of fact, this was a Draft from March, but I really haven’t had much time to finish it up.

The book isn’t for everyone, but if you have a lot of experience in Business, this book will be very beneficial. If you’re an experienced Affiliate Marketer, I still believe this book will help your Business quite a bit. In Affiliate Marketing we’re taught to collect a lot of data and focus on stats. While I believe you HAVE TO do this to get a good understanding in a lot of aspects of this Business, I believe some people spend entirely too much time on numbers.

What Competitive Intelligence does for you is to help you get past the “stats” aspect of Business and explain what real Competitive Intelligence is. Let’s face it, most people actually believe that CI is simply grabbing a bunch of information of what the company has done in the past. Wrong! Keyword: Past. There’s nothing intelligent about that…

What I won’t do is explain everything about the book right here in this post. That’s not fair to the Author, who has been extremely helpful and responsive, and I won’t even use an Affiliate Link for it. I think it’s a great book for anyone serious about Business. So, without blabbering on too much, here’s the link.

Competitive Intelligence Advantage by Seena Sharp (not an affiliate link)

Building Your Own Team. Are You Doing It?

First off, this post is not for beginners, or even Affiliates whose Business is not bringing in a decent profit. If you don’t have extra money to spend, do not attempt this at home…

Seriously, I think it’s really backwards thinking to outsource everything when you’re a newbie. You’ll never learn this Business from the inside and you’ll never know how much money you may be losing. DO NOT get stuck with outsourcing everything without first learning the ropes in this Business!

Moving on…

In any Business, you need a team. The problem with most Businesses is that they fail to build “the right” team, with “the right” players. Rather than spend quality time looking for quality team members (employees), most managers simply stick to “good enough.”

In Affiliate Marketing, you cannot use this way of thinking and become successful. If you choose to build a team, you need the best players possible, or your Business can literally fail overnight.

If you need Design work done and your Designer is a week late – this can destroy a campaign, right? So why stick with this person?

It amazes me how many chances some people give others, even after they’ve screwed up more than once, JUST because they were simply too LAZY to spend more time on finding a Designer (in our example) that will be prepared, or even a few backups to turn to in case that person is not capable of doing the given task.

I’m currently building my own “rolodex” of “team players” that I can test out for small jobs and slowly, but surely, be able to count on them to do bigger tasks… right now I’m taking names, emails, AIM info, etc. for Banner Designers, LP Designers, XHTML and CSS coders, PHP programmers, Server Admin’s, etc.

Since I need my Business to move as smoothly as possible, I’ve already been slowly building this team and testing out some designers, content writers (articles, blog posts, etc) and even a few XHTML/CSS coders to implement my LP Designs, etc.

I’m always struggling to get my work done, so now it’s time to step it up several notches and have others helping me out in my Business. Some people are looking for work, and a ton of Internet Marketers are looking/needing to hire!

If you’re wasting time with doing stuff that is NOT a strength of yours, you’re KILLING your Business. You need to focus on your strengths, and have other people fill in the voids.

If you can’t write good, why bother? There’s plenty of people out there that are very affordable, if not downright CHEAP, that provide excellent content. The same can be said about Landing Page Designers, Programmers, etc.

The more you focus on your weaknesses, the more your Business BECOMES that weakness. You’ll be wasting valuable time trying to accomplish something that someone else has been fully trained to do, and can do for cheaper than the time you’ve put into the same project.

I know of some people that actually go out of their way to learn something new – just because they think they need to program something themselves… this is STUPID and a MAJOR waste. If you want to learn something because you have a burning desire to learn it, then go learn it. But do it on YOUR OWN time, not your Business’ time!

Go figure out what your strengths are, your weaknesses, and even what you don’t like doing — and then write them down. Make a list of things you’d love to have OTHER people do, and go out and find those people!

Stop wasting time and money on pointless work. There’s far too many people out there that are more than capable of doing that job for you, for cheap, while you work on YOUR STRENGTHS.

Strengths Finder 2.0

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately and one of the books I’ve really enjoyed is Strengths Finder 2.0

I’m a big believer in working on your strengths and outsourcing your weaknesses. I do believe that there’s too many people who fail in business because they try to focus on everything OTHER than their strengths.

It’s like a professional Baseball Pitcher trying to play at Designated Hitter, rather than focusing on pitching. It doesn’t make sense.

I have a few major weaknesses that I’ve always tried to “get better” at. I’ve constantly worked on those weaknesses and rarely did I notice any increase in productivity in those areas… then I realized that I needed to give that work to OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE GOOD AT IT…

I was literally wasting money trying to save money by doing it all by myself… in the words of Napoleon Dynamite: “Idiot!”.

Strengths Finder 2.0 explains strengths and it (obviously) helps you find your strengths.

Check it out at Amazon and find out what YOUR strengths are. Develop your strengths, not your weaknesses. It costs less to give those weaknesses to someone else…

Traffic Jam Is Launched

A lot of you, if not most of you, know who John Reese is and have either purchased a product of his, or have at least heard of his product…

Over the past 4 months we’ve heard about Blog Rush, but now we’re going to hear about Traffic Jam!

Traffic Jam looks like Digg, or a PLIGG type site, but it utilizes Blog Rush to populate the Homepage. Brilliant…

I won’t lie… in the past, I thought John Reese was another “Guru” selling his “secrets” (ie, TrafficSecrets.com), but I was wrong. This guy is legit and he’s proving it with his Hub Site: www.Income.com, while slowly launching his satellite sites (BlogRush, Traffic jam…and I’m excited to see what’s next!)

You can read more about what’s around the corner with income.com on their blog.

It looks as if Mr. Reese is going to be bringing some major projects over the next few years for Web 2.0!

* I wonder how much he paid for that Domain? =)

I like BlogRush… I’m still getting used to it, but it’s a pretty neat little widget (you can see it on the right hand side).

Traffic Jam looks like it will make BlogRush even MORE useful, though!

* Some great domain names, right? (income.com, blogrush.com, trafficjam.com) … must have paid a fortune!

Microsoft Offers To Buy Yahoo! For $44 Billion!

Well, the rumors have been swirling for over a year, but it’s official – Microsoft has offered to purchase Yahoo! for $44.6 Billion.

If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have been all for the idea… but now? I don’t like it. I think Yahoo! is way ahead of Microsoft as far as Online stuff goes. I feel that Microsoft will destroy everything due to their “upper management”. Then again, Yahoo! is obviously making some stupid mistakes somewhere, too.

Why Lazy People Do Not Work In Business Ventures

All of my life I was considered “lazy” because I didn’t like the idea of working for someone else doing something I didn’t enjoy … how is this lazy? Well, it’s not. It’s just that 99% of people truly believe you have to be lucky to succeed on your own and if you’re not working for some big company “you’re crazy” or not working for a corporation because you don’t want to: “you’re lazy”.

So, growing up I watched my dad work for Northrop Grunman in Los Angeles (El Segundo) and he’d leave to work REALLY early and spend hours on the Freeway and hours coming home … this, after he worked overtime to “beat the traffic”.

So my dad was obviously NOT lazy. I was, though. I didn’t like being a Paper boy at 12, but I still tried it for a few months. I also didn’t like working for Burger King when I was 16 … but I tried it for a couple of months. I worked for Hughes Market (no longer “Hughes”) for a few months before I tore muscles in my lower back (re-injured my back from a School football game) and had people telling me I was just being lazy … I was “acting like I was hurt” to get free money (workers comp). So, to shut people up I decided to stop workers comp and quit Hughes, which left me with an unhealed back injury that was supposedly an excuse for 8 years after, when it finally healed (not completely)!

I worked for several corporations over the past 10 years. I’ve also spent a lot of time learning while I wasn’t working. Dreams of becoming my own boss … the same dreams Millions of others have. But I considered myself different. Why? because it seemed that EVERYBODY was talking about “becoming their own boss” but I was TRYING. I started my own Auto Detailing company when I was 17 … why? Because I LOVED IT! I loved making a difference!

While that Business never became successful – I knew why it didn’t …

a) Not enough starting capital to purchase the Tools, Chemicals and Equipment I needed

b) I was unsure of myself after I noticed it wasn’t as successful as my dreams were.

c) I had little faith in myself because I had little help or guidance.

Nobody believed in me … I was a high school dropout who was a “screw up” of a teenager. I stayed in trouble more than I stayed out.

But nobody would listen either. I practically begged for help! I wanted to get out of the streets more than anybody at that time … but my parents could barely survive with the income they had, so I couldn’t ask them for a penny. Plus, I didn’t believe that they believed in me. I felt like they considered me to be the same loser as everybody else considered me. A “screw up”.

So I never got the same attention as normal teenagers got. Even in my early Twenties I worked harder at every job I had only to get recognized as the “bald headed guy” or the “gangbanger”. Sure, appearance is everything … but I didn’t feel comfortable becoming someone I was not. I was not a rich kid … I was not some surfer … I was not a computer nerd … I was not even a high school graduate. I was who I was and I felt that appearance was nothing — work ethics was everything.

But nope … I was even called “Lazy” because of my appearance. It was so disturbing that I could literally work 10 times harder than my co-workers and still get little respect because of my appearance. The way I looked had everything to do with other peoples attitudes.

People are just so stuck in their ways that they seem to lose reality and gain a false sense of realism that has been etched into the back of their minds by small minded, opinionated, people that have nothing but negativity to offer.

Later in life, I realized that the Web was the best thing I’ve ever discovered. Rather than being watched every time I make a move — I can go online and “become a new person”. Not only am I now considered a Hard worker – I’m also considered “trustworthy” by everyone I meet online.

Why? because people can’t judge me by my appearance unless they see my picture … the irony? the ironic part about that is: I still have people question my ethics AFTER they’ve already given me praise…all of this comes AFTER they see my picture. It’s great isn’t it?

I’m one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet in real life but I still get the same crap online, once in a while. I still get the fearful looks or the looks of anger (mad-dogging) and even the looks of disrespect. But the main thing is — I try to look the other way now.
The past few years (Since 2001 or so) have been great, though. I’ve taught myself so many things about the web. From HTML and a little Javascript to PHP (thanks to the help of a few others [Jason Ragsdale for one]) to SEO to Internet Marketing to CSS. If it weren’t for myself — I don’t know where I’d ever be.

Unfortunately lazy people actually do hurt your Business, though. Because of all the crap I’ve dealt with throughout my life – I’m quick to give people chances, even second chances. But third chances are really, really rare for me.

Over these last few years I’ve met a lot of people who actually DO notice the work ethics of myself … and some use it to their advantage and some use it FOR their advantage … yes, there is a difference in my book.

See … using something “to your advantage”, in my opinion, would mean to “take advantage of something” without over-welcoming your stay. But using something or somebody FOR your advantage is just “take advantage of anything and everything” … these are Sharks.

The West Coast is full of Sharks when it comes to Business and it’s easy to get eaten alive if you don’t watch out. Luckily I’ve had the pleasure of getting burned a few times over the years and I’ve taken note. I’ve learned a TON from Business people in the past 5 years, that’s for sure. There’s truly legit business people, on the fence and then downright nasty, evil f#king business people. I’ve dealt with them all …

Then there’s those people who, so badly, want to become Entrepreneurs that they attempt to piggy back all the way to the bank … heh…. luckily I’ve seen enough lately!

If you truly want to become successful in Business and STAY successful – do yourself a favor and learn. I know a lot of Book sponges (people who soak up information fast) who love learning but are too lazy to try those new things — I used to be like that, the difference was that I was too scared to do it, not lazy. There’s also those who are just too lazy to learn: these are the people I despise the most.

Why would you believe that you can walk into a Business and not try learning anything and make money? I’m sure there’s a few who have “lucked out” in life and got things handed to you — you’re not the ones I’m referring to. I personally know several people who tell me they’ve got “great ideas to start a new business” yet they ask me for guidance …

Sorry, I’m not someone who’s willing to take your idea and run with it so you can get rich while sitting on your ass …nope, not me!

Do yourself a favor — watch out for these people. If they have an idea – request a Business plan and if they provide this plan – do the same research to make sure it matches…if it does – then start bombarding that person (or those people) with trick questions to see what they do know about the Business. Ask for a Marketing plan, etc.

Just do yourself a favor and don’t jump into any Business ventures with people who don’t have a clue about the Business … the fact that these people want you in it tells you that they’re looking for a piggy back ride to the bank.

Lazy people are not meant for true Business. They’re looking for the quick buck and they’re looking for a stepping stone … don’t become that stone!

In the end: DO NOT GO INTO BUSINESS WITH ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL WITHOUT A CONTRACT, YOU’RE BEGGING TO GET BURNED!

Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People TalkingWord of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking

Rules For Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services

Five Writers. Six Figures. One Year. SixFigureWriters.com

There’s a new Project in town and this one is very interesting. You see, most of the “Money Challenge” Websites popping up are Men…actually, I don’t think I’ve seen a Female on ANY of them?

Well, good news! SixFigureWriters.com is 4 Women and 1 man! Their goal is to earn Six Figures (hence the title) in One Year (duh). Can they do it? Anything is possible…I’m definately rooting for them!

Good Luck Girls! (and a guy) 😉

http://www.sixfigurewriters.com/