Swimming with the Sharks – Part 1

Swimming with the Sharks – Part 2

Jonathan Miller is not only smart, he’s also an entrepreneur who has incredible belief and certainty that what he’s got is worth at least $1million.

Now, this is despite the derision he receives from already-made-it millionaires (and billionaires for that matter).

What else can we say about him?

  • He’s smart – he has a background in Venture Capitalist deals, and he’s not going to be pushed by the self-confident prodding of his interviewers
  • He’s fearless in the face of opposition. This guy has got GUTS, and lots of them. When the other sharks bear their teeth in the room, he bares his back
  • He doesn’t back down in the face of offers which he knows aren’t in his company’s best interests, even when those offers seem lucrative (ie, he doesn’t sell out just for a quick buck)
  • He goes on the offensive when attacked for what he believes in
  • He is motivated by what he knows will bring him ultimate satisfaction, and it’s not money. This is absolutely crucial, as many business owners short-sell themselves on what they could achieve if they’d only stuck to their "big why"
  • He knows how to negotiate and do a deal. Notice how he ends up negotiating a very good result with the one shark left in the pack, because he senses that this shark will bite his bait, and wants what he has got to offer.

Here’s a recent update on Jonathan’s business:

(Block your ears for the 15 second interruption infomercial from a double-glazing (yes, really!!!!) company at the beginning of the video!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Element Bars to order your custom-made element bar now.

What do you think about Jonathan Miller? Is he an entrepreneur worth $1million, or is he just delusional with an unfounded faith in himself? Add your comment here.

 

Picture this: I’m on holiday in beautiful hill country in the North of England with my family, including my 88 year old father-in-law who is wheelchair-bound.

We all decide to go and see a water fall, which is nearly 4km (about 2 1/2 miles) from the car park. As it’s very hilly, the journey is quite a challenge for me. But we make it, and are amazed by the powerful noise of the waterfall running down a steep gully near the reservoir outlet.

Then I face the journey back. I am now tired, it’s evening, and the return trip back to the car is more up than down.

As we race back, trying to get there before sundown (there are *no* lights anywhere, as it’s literally miles from civilization), we reach the home straight and suddenly the sun breaks out behind some high cloud, glimmering late golden sunshine onto the reservoir, and us.

The sight, as you can see from the image above, is quite breath-taking. And I find myself saying the following to my father-in-law:

“I’m glad we went as far as the waterfall John. I’ve learned in life that if you want to get something special, you have to do something special. And I know we won’t be coming back here, so I felt it was worth going the extra distance.”

Not only did we get to see the fast torrent of water, but we experienced the awe-inspiring sight as we completed the final leg of the journey back.

The takeaway is very clear: if you want to gain something unique, something inspirational or special in life, you must be willing to do what other people might not be willing to do.

You will be richly rewarded (in the best and broadest sense of the word ‘rich’) as you do this.

In case it has been a hidden truth: the finest treasures always require hard and often unique work, plus a willingness to do things that others would not do.

One final thought: during our 3 hour round trip and tour, we only saw one other family. Don’t be deceived into thinking that because there are few treading the path you are headed, that it’s the wrong path. It’s more likely to be the other way around.

In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield outlines and fleshes out the battle of creativity and artistry that any entrepreneur goes through in order to give birth the things of real value from which others will gain benefit.

Through his own experiences and reflections on humanity, Pressfield powerfully makes the case for the releasing of the artist (or artisan) that lies within the creative higher self we each have.

Although Pressfield doesn’t use the word artisan, but artist, in my book the only tangible difference is the territory traditionally ascribed to each.

And, it’s in the idea of territory that he asserts his premise that this is only real ‘place’ where every true artist can flourish, whether they are a fusion researcher, scientist, entrepreneur, body builder, fashion designer, or writer.

‘Territory’ in essence, as Pressfield defines it, is the region of expertise or influence within which the true artisan flows with purpose and energy, giving birth to what is hidden within, purely for the purpose that it must be released into the world.

On the other hand, the opposite of territory – hierarchy – is a stultifying and inhibiting framework of operation. In a hierarchy, the artist is reduced to being a hack: someone who produces only for affect; not for the higher ideal of releasing inspiration into the world, but for the egocentric accolades they wish to receive from others as a consequence of their creation.

As Pressfield defines it then, the hack has sold out on the higher goals of sharing their intrinsic creativity, to a baser version which is only interested in producing something that will promote the hack’s ego contra his or her peers.

In plain English: the hack does his or her work thinking of how their potential audience will or won’t like the results, but the artist does her work to bring forth of what is within, whether or not an audience exists to receive it.

The artisan gains his or her energy and sustenance from doing the work itself, and not from the praise they hope to receive.

So, is it better to be an artist/artisan or a hack? Clearly not a hack, because at worst a hack is a sycophantic people-pleaser, pandering to the perceived opinions of those the hack is trying to impress, with the hope of receiving some positive affirmation or recognition.

When none comes, the hack is devastated, not having any internal reference point from which to seek solace.

The artist/artisan, on the other hand, travails like a mother-to-be in labor, and as Pressfield beautifully describes, and cries in awe when the miracle baby is held in her arms.

So, can only the hack become wealthy? The answer I believe, is that the hack is never wealthy, even if they are a multi-millionaire, because their offering is never given: instead, the hack always remain the victim of the approval of others, always seeking to compete in a hierarchy rather than operating with skill in their own territory or expertise.

Can the artist/artisan be wealthy? My point is that they will always be wealthy, whether they live in a wooden shack in a shanty town, or in a grand mansion in Beverley Hills. What defines the artist is not the approval of of others’ praise or money showered upon them, but the satisfaction that comes from within at having completed the work that they ached to bring forth, regardless of onlookers’ nods or shakes of head.

Make up your mind then, to be an artist/artisan, and not a hack.

And if you are in any doubt, read Pressfield’s book, the War of Art.

Chris Pearson is a great model of what business should be like: he is using his skills to help others. Not only that, but he is willing to put himself out there and let other people know what’s happening. You can read more about Chris at his Blog here.

What I love about the video about is what he says (5:30 onwards) about Twitter (& yes, I’m an avid Twitter user, so I’m not shooting down what it offers, by any means!):

“The bottom line is, if you keep getting capital to the tune of $200 million, it’s much harder to make that money back- it becomes more and more of a speculative thing where you’re hoping to get bought out by one of the few players with billions dollars. And that’s a bogus play. Why can’t your goal with your business be to..make your business awesome and not rely on a buyout down the road?  What’s so bad about that – I don’t know….

He pulls no punches with what he says next – but you’ll have to watch the rest of the video to find out! What I particularly like about his diatribe, is that I passionately believe in the same model of doing business: aim for just offering a solution to your clients that is simply the best that it can be. And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to promote it, because it’s no use waiting for an angel investor to come along and discover your talent. You are the best person to do that.

So, a big round of applause to Mr Pearson for ‘doing the thing’.

By the way – in case you are wondering how I know about Chris, it’s because I buy his stuff. In particular, the Thesis framework theme that this website runs on. Thesis is incredibly flexible, and customizable compared to the bucket-load of themes I’ve used before, that I’m now using it exclusively on web development projects for local businesses. Click on the image below to take a peak at what Thesis can offer. And yes, that is an affiliate link.

Thesis: An Elegant & Customizable Theme Framework for WordPress. Once you've got Thesis, you won't want any other theme.

I think you know the answer to the above question – this is a marketing blog, after all!

Before I give the answer you are probably expecting, I want to give you some history to search engine optimization, my reasons for being interested in this topic, and finally why I believe it’s so important to get this right.

Firstly then, the background to the article – how has search engine optimization (SEO) evolved from its humble beginnings?

SEO arguably started becoming really important at around the time of the “Dot Com” boom at around the turn of the twenty first century, when companies realised how easy (and cheap!) it could be to promote their products on the internet, compared to the more traditional off-line methods that had been hitherto dominant.

Initially, SEO was dominated by keyword stuffing of the key search terms, whether it was in the content of the article itself, or in the meta tags in the html header part of the page. A quick confession here: I remember putting several hundred keywords at the bottom of an article which were the same color as the background text. It worked as well 🙂

It really was a goldrush, with many pages ranking highly without much effort. The articles themselves were horrible to read however: the word repetition comes to mind.

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin came on the scene with what they perceived as a real gap in the market, they realised that search engines were lacking an obvious contender: search engine results that were actually useful.

From the get-go, Page and Brin developed their search engine based on the concept of Pagerank, which ranked content via backlinks. (See this Wikipedia article for more information).

Their Engine rapidly developed into the more refined ideal of: “give people results that actually help them find what they want”.

If you’ve read anything about SEO, you’ll hear the terms “Latent Semantic Indexing”, “silos” and many more…all used to described the way the googlebot likes to read your website.

But I want to put the brakes on here, and emphasize that although these things play a significant part to how well your website will rank with the search engines (and in particular the main player, Google), I believe delving too deep into the technical world of SEO can risk you missing the entire point of why it has been developed in the first place:

Search Engine Optimization is primarily aimed at helping the search engines (which use computers to attempt to find relevant content quickly) find your content as if they were behaving like an army of intelligent, super-quick librarians.

In other words, the search engines are attempting to mimic humans.

So, back to my original question (and by now, I know you know what answer I’m going to give here).

The answer is obviously, that you should be writing for your targeted audience and not the search engines.

Look at it this way: at the end of the day, if you can connect with your audience through what you write, then you’ve achieved your objective.

The search engines are trying to become as good as human readers at discerning what is relevant and good content.

So, if you’ve been to school and you can read and write, then you have a massive head-start over Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

They may be super-quick at finding the content, but you are always going to be better (OK, at least for quite a while yet, let’s be realistic!) than a bunch of dumb lumps of silicon at evoking the desired response from your audience.

And, finally, don’t forget, the search engine results only constitute a minority of the total ways that your website can get traffic (social bookmarking, communitiy websites such as forums, local directories, backlinks from authoritative websites being three other very significant sources of quality, targeted traffic).

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the SEO-game, and you haven’t got the budget to hire a bunch of tech-heads to optimize your site, instead, learn the skills of good copywriting, and finding obvious places to engage with prospects.

In the process, your value to others will increase, both in real and perceived terms….neither of which you would gain particular credibility for if you were just focused on the ‘backend’ of SEO.

Comment below!

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If You Want Access To The Top Training, Networking & Internet Marketing Education Then You Couldn’t Find a Better Place to Be on 31 March 2010

Want to know More?

Fill in the box above or opposite to find out more, or if you’ve got the message from Gregg, Andrew & Michael (and you want the chance to network with these amazing fellas like I did last November in Las Vegas), then click on the image below to get started.

Dez.

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So What’s The 10 for 10 All About?

In essence, it’s about networking, masterminding, building certainty, expectancy, vision, passion, and most of all, hope.

Company directors Jay Kubassek & Aaron Parkinson come from humble beginnings, and they both recognise how important it is for any budding entrepreneur to see it actually working, for real.

In fact, all of the speakers you see in the above video have been through the hedge backwards to get to where they are now. They know the sleepless nights, the debt, the doubts, the fears.

But instead of being paralysed by the oncoming headlights from the freight train, they took action. They knew it wouldn’t be easy.

They knew it would cost them time, energy, effort and pain, to get where they are today.

But what kept them going, beyond anything, was a rock-solid belief in themsleves and the vision that they were, and still are reaching for today.

If you believe Jay & Aaron do this to make themselves richer, then perhaps you don’t yet understand the power of giving.

The Carbon Copy PRO community has been infected by the giving virus. Members at every level understand the power and release that comes from helping others to improve their lives, and that’s what the 10 for 10 is all about.

If you’re a struggling online marketer, or perhaps from a network marketing or home-based business background, then you will no doubt identify with, and possibly espouse similar values.

What makes Carbon Copy PRO unique in the field of the internet marketing world, is that the training, mindset and leadership development equips any entrepreneur with the right skills to make their business, and life, a success.

Want to know More?

Fill in the box above or opposite to find out more from Jay Jubassek, and I’ll get in contact with you too to answer any questions you might have.

Make no mistake, Carbon Copy PRO is the premier marketing training platform for any online business, and that’s not just sales hype.

Dez.

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Click here now to go to the videos: http://dezfutak.com/holygrailsuccess

I love the stories that Tony Robbins, Frank Kern and John Reese tell in the videos I mention in the above clip.

All three come from humble beginnings:

Tony was a janitor

Frank sold cash machines for shops

John worked in a video store.

If they looked at their circumstances they would have never had every reason to think that they were never going to aspire to anything great.

So what changed?

Very simple: Mindset.

They all worked on what goes on between their ears.

And they didn’t give up until their dreams were realized.

Their hidden secret?

Certainty.

They knew that if they just kept going, sooner or later their visions would happen.

By the way, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how big the vision had to be be: BIG.

It seems that we all too easily believe the lie that life’s knocks are meant to help us rid ourselves of child-like dreams.

Whereas, in fact, life’s knocks are meant to help us find the diamonds in the tonne of coal that surrounds them in each one of us.

And the knocks must continue until the diamonds are found.

If you don’t relish the prospect of the pain that you have to go through to get to that point, then maybe that’s because you’ve let others, or even yourself, shape a small vision or no vision mindset.

But what if you chose to embrace the pain?

What if you decided to accept that the inevitable pains of this life are there to focus your attention on what really matters.

I’m hungry to find the diamonds. Sure, I don’t like the pain. It hurts.

But for every bruise to my ego, I see more clearly the diamonds being slowly revealed.

And when I glimpse at the diamonds, I see the most amazing colors, patterns and almost unimaginable pictures of what like could be like.

So I’ve decided to keep going until all the coal is gone and just the diamonds remain.

That’s the journey that Frank, Tony and John have travelled on, and now they no longer have to clean toilets, sell cash machines or work in video stores.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good people who do these things.

But there are few who reach the summits of their lives, stopping short of the high views that life can bring to those who are hungry.

How about you?

If you’ve been hanging around the IT world for a while, you might know that at one point (and maybe they still do), Microsoft adopted the policy of "embrace and extend".

Translation: take what others are doing, and make it waaaay better.

Often this involves buying companies (and I’m not going to "Microsoft bash" in this post by the way) and working with their existing teams to rapidly move a research project forward to its commercial phase.

Market place dominance becomes possible in an increasing number of meshed niches once a company establishes its brand (think of how many products Amazon now sells compared to 10 years ago).

Is embrace and extend good news for the consumer?

It all depends (of course).

Ubiquity is probably the elixir of life that a company will chase, either to its ultimate ruin, or its universal success, depending on the wisdom and tenacity of its leaders. Becoming a household name on the lips and in the minds of billions of people is a rare accolade only achieved by a few hundred worldwide brands.

In a sense, positioning your company to be some kind of service or infrastructural  backbone almost guarantees your immortality.

I say almost because of course, the environment which sustains brand  dominance is ever-changing, and successful companies ignore the ever-shifting sands of their surroundings at their peril.

So what about Google? Has it drank from this elixir, never to die?

Nobody knows that – but the evidence looks in their favor. Today when Google announced Google Broadband the world almost forgot that just 24 hours ago, we were told about Google Buzz. So, that’s two major innovations within a day.

Talk about ‘stacking’.

I freely admit that the actual rollout of gigabit home broadband is ‘only’ for a pilot group of a maximum of 500,000 North Americans, but nevertheless, Google is clearly straining (perhaps "steam rolling" is more apt) its way into becoming as well known as Coca Cola.

Think about this: less than ten years ago, the small startup had a cool idea about a new way to do to search.

Now even my 3 year old daughter knows the verb "to Google". And every internet marketer around the globe who uses the ubiquitous search engines knows the phrase "Google slap".

And we have the Google phone. And Google Mail. And Google video (aka YouTube). And now a Google Twitter/Facebook mashup that looks like it just might scratch in more places than Google Wave ever will.

And global(?) Google broadband soon…

And Google has its eyes on many other prizes that might well be within its grasp.

Truly embrace and extend.

Truly good for the world?

It all depends, as always, on the character of the leadership of the company. Are they motivated to make the world a better place? It certainly seems so. Google is treading its way to lead ("drag"?) red-necked dollar-driven, hard-nosed multi-nationals into a new era of social capitalism in a way that no-one thought possible – like a Moon-landing-4-minute-mile-water-into-wine extravaganza of "unliklihoods" all rolled into one.

On the other hand, how it all pans out depends, as always, on how Google copes with such universal acceptance. Will it remain able to hold to its open-handed philosophy of "do no evil" (as I alluded to in yesterday’s musings)?

Let’s hope so. Now is a good time to foster the entrepreneurial and innovative mindset like nobody’s business.

Or everybody’s business, perhaps.

Dez.

Why Integrity Matters

Integrity, as author Dr Henry Cloud says in his groundbreaking book of the same title, is important because "It affects our real results in the areas of our lives which matter to us most". (Preface, Integrity: the courage to meet the demands of reality).

In other words, integrity is all to do with joining up the dots between personal character and the actions which flow out into the real world around us. Dr Cloud aptly describes how a right approach to dealing with integrity or its lack, both within ourselves and with those around us, leads to incalculable yet measurable benefits to all.

The pathway to producing people who have a firm commitment to following this path is one of the most important considerations in business and any interpersonal relationships.

So, what exactly is integrity? The bulk of this article will describe it different facets, or dimensions, leaving you with a very clear understanding of what you must do in order to realize and plan out how to foster a culture which embraces the values each dimension represents.

Let’s begin.

Integrity is Six Dimensional

Treating integrity as multi-dimensional allows us to map out each facet in a clear way. In reality, these dimensions are not independent of one another, but are inextricably meshed and intertwined within the very fabric of human relationships. I’m only separating out the different strands to help steer a careful pathway to make things easier!

Dimension 1: Establishing Trust

Being able to successfully follow through on what you say you are going to do is a significant part of trust-building. In old-fashioned language, someone who "is as good as his word" is a person who has a dependable consistency that others can rely on.

But establishing trust not only entails consistent actions, it also involves consistent behaviour. People trust others who they feel are stable in their response to challenges.

Trust runs deeper than this alone however, and it’s to do with the way in which we express understanding and empathy as we relate to others.

Cultivating empathy – being able to put yourself in the shoes of others, and being able to communicate that to them, is a sign of caring for others that I will examine in more detail when I look at transcendence, but for now, hang on to the fact that establishing yourself as a trustworthy person entails becoming a master of consistency as well as empathy.

Dimension 2: Oriented Towards Truth

This dimension is summed up in the phrase "actively seeking after and communicating the full reality of the situation".

In other words, people who are oriented towards the truth aren’t merely those who don’t lie, but they have a tendency to be honest even when it might be painful to themselves or others.

The reason for this is that they understand that the full reality of a situation is the description within which there is the best likelihood of a solution that will work.

Dimension 3: Getting Results

Finishing well is the best way to sum up this dimension of integrity. Those who finish well have a very good understanding of their key strengths, and at the same time they recognise where they require the help of others to manage those areas where they lack skill or experience.

Getting results depends on the awareness that to bring order, to make things work, you have to invest your and your team’s skills in a wholehearted and skilful way, matching each person’s strengths to the different aspects of the task in hand.

For example, you wouldn’t ask the creative director of a company to audit the company’s finances. Likewise, your finance officer wouldn’t necessarily be most suited to think of new ways to market you company’s products.

But getting results goes deeper than just skills or talents.

Finishing well is a character trait of someone who is mature – they are able to realistically assess what they can and can’t do, they are not afraid to be vulnerable to their team; they have confidence in their own strengths and yet fully recognise and validate the strengths of others around them.

Dimension 4: Embracing the Negative

When was the last time you welcomed criticism, even embraced it? How easy do you find it to separate out the message from the messenger?

"Tell me the last 10%" sums up someone who is willing to hear the valid criticisms of others, knowing full well that there is the real risk that the messenger may not want to withhold their grievances in a kind way.

But a person or business that has learned the value of not only allowing the criticism, but actively seeks it out gains immeasurably over those who would want to avoid the painful realities that encompass the untold 10% of any given problem.

As Henry Cloud puts it so aptly:

No Problem, No Profit.

Facing into the wind of a problem is a tough call, but for those people or organisations who dare, they understand the fullness of the extent of the realities surrounding them, and are in a much better position to bring real and lasting solutions that remain totally inaccessible to others.

Dimension 5: Oriented Towards Increase

Cloud beautifully sums up this dimension of integrity:

You will not grow if you do not attempt to do things you cannot yet do.

Being oriented towards increase means that you or your organizations are on a continuous pathway to learn, to develop, to want to be stretched and challenged.

Muscles that don’t get used eventually wither, and the effects they were intended to produce eventually die through lack of exercise.

Likewise, a person or organization that loses that hunger to develop, to increase – to become more of who they are, eventually loses those skills and abilities.

Conversely, those who have an insatiable appetite to grow, to become more of who they are finish up with a greater sense of mission, purpose and direction.

They surround themselves with others, who coach, mentor them towards excellence. They pursue this goal by allowing others the permission to have an important say in how they are doing.

Dimension 6: Oriented Towards Transcendence

Lastly, integrity has to do with cultivating an awareness that there is a bigger picture that you are part of, that you as an individual or organization are a necessary jigsaw puzzle within which to fit.

This last characteristic of integrity is perhaps the hardest to achieve, because it involves a willingness of self-denial, self-correction and the ability to adjust to the demands around us.

As Dr Cloud puts it:

The immature character asks life to meet his demands. But the mature character meets the demands of life.

Action: An Integrity Audit

If you have read the above and realise there are gaps within yourself or your company, now is the time to do something about it. Don’t let the experience of the past dictate the patterns of the future. There are many good organisations which can help struggling companies and individuals make the breakthroughs they know they need to achieve.

The key thing, if you lack integrity in significant ways, is to take action. Failure to do so will invariably result (sooner or later) in negative consequences that could otherwise be changed before they look imminent and unstoppable.

You owe it to yourself, and those around you to make those changes happen.

About the Author

 

Dez Futak, is an online entrepreneur, business owner and teacher who devotes his time and energy helping others achieve the results they want for their business and lives.

Visit Dez’s website now if you would like to find out more about training in online marketing.

 

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