The Greatest Steal Ever…

The Greatest Steal Ever
By Dave Lavinsky

I grew up watching Larry Bird. My dad was a huge Boston Celtics fan (which is relatively odd considering he grew up in New York City). So, I became a huge Celtics fan too. And I was a big fan of the heart of the Celtics’ Larry Bird.

This guy never gave up.

In fact, if you watch this 40 second video – Larry Bird Steal – you’ll see what I consider the greatest steal ever…

The Celtics were losing by 1 point with only 5 seconds left. And the other team had the ball. The game was essentially lost. But then Larry Bird intercepted the inbound pass and passed the ball to Dennis Johnson. Johnson scored the basket and they won the game.

While Larry Bird’s steal was phenomenal, if his teammate Dennis Johnson wasn’t in the right place and didn’t execute on his layup, Larry Bird’s efforts wouldn’t have resulted in a win.

As an entrepreneur, you also need great teammates. Since you can’t possibly build a great company by yourself.

In fact, great entrepreneurs are more like Larry Bird the coach (who “hired” and coached his players into being the best they could be) than Larry Bird the player (who performed key tasks and made his co-players better).

The key is this — you need to find, hire and then train and coach the best people. Because there are TONS of bad people. I learned this very early on at Growthink. Years ago, I generally gave people the benefit of the doubt. If they said they could do something, I figured they could. And then I quickly realized that some people “have it” and some people don’t.

I think “having it” is the quality of people who “do what they say and say what they do” and always try to do their best. You want people who “have it” and at the same time people who are qualified and uniquely skilled at the position you need to fill. For example, while I believe I “have it,” there’s a whole bunch of positions that I’m not qualified to fulfill or which wouldn’t inspire me to do my best work.

So, how do you find these great people who “have it” and possess the skills you need. Here are my recommendations:

1. Event Networking: Great people have several common traits, one of which is their dedication to ongoing education. That’s why great people generally go to events and conferences. You also need to go to these events, where you’ll find some very talented individuals.

2. Being Sociable: I’ve heard lots of stories of people meeting people at sports events, supermarkets, on a plane, etc., and striking up conversations that results in great hiring decisions. I must admit that I’m not the most sociable person outside of work; but I’m getting better at this.

3. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great online network to find qualified people to come work for you. Join relevant LinkedIn groups to find folks with similar interests and who are looking to further their careers. And reach out to the best ones.

4. Recommendations & Referrals: Oftentimes the best hires are the ones that were recommended to you by friends and colleagues. Send emails out to your network and advisors asking if they know someone with the skills you need. People generally only recommend people that they believe are competent, since their own reputations are on the line.

5. Executive Recruiters: While this will cost more money in the short-term, executive recruiters (also known as “headhunters”) can find you great candidates. This is what they do. Importantly, they will often find you people who aren’t actively looking for a new job. These are often the best folks. I mean, would you rather hire an unemployed person looking for any company that will take them, or someone who’s thriving at a company but sees great opportunity in helping you grow your venture?

Importantly, in its relative infancy, eBay used executive recruiting firm Kindred Partners to find and hire Meg Whitman. Whitman turned eBay into a multi-billion dollar company and herself into a billionaire.

Using one or more of these five tactics will get you qualified job candidates. But, before you hire any, I highly suggest you give them two tests as follows:

1. A skills test: whenever possible, you should test the skills of the job candidate. If you are hiring someone for a research job, give them a research assignment. If you are hiring someone to be a receptionist, do mock calls with them. Etc. I realize that for some jobs, it may be harder to test, but get creative since you want to make sure they will be able to perform.

2. A culture test: if someone comes highly recommended and passes a skills test, it still doesn’t mean they’re the right hire. They MUST match with your company’s culture. For instance, if they’re a stiff, and your company thrives on fun and creativity, then they’re not the right match. Your company culture is critical, so don’t ignore this key test.

Hiring the right players for your team is critical to your success. There are no wildly successful 1-person companies that I know of. Imagine for a moment if you had a dream team; a group of employees that were so talented your competitors would be in awe. How good would your company become? How much faster would you accomplish your goals? How great would it be to come to work every day? Think about your answers to these questions, and then start building a great team and a great company today.

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MBK Ent Radio: Back on the air 06/26/2017…

*** UNDER CONSTRUCTION ***

We’ve been working on the blog site content recently and looking forward to returning back on air 06/26/17 with updates and reviews of interviews.

#MBKEntRadio #AnchorRadio #Music #HipHop #UndergroundHipHop

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The Pros & Cons of Crowdfunding…

“Will Somebody Steal Your Idea?”The Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding

By Dave Lavinsky

Like any funding method, Crowdfunding has its pros and cons; and I want you to be fully informed with a plan for addressing each of them.

The Pros

One of the key benefits of Crowdfunding is that it’s a very simple method of getting funding.

And particularly, it allows you to raise money from unaccredited investors without the myriad legal issues that often arise with these investors.

Importantly, Crowdfunding makes it possible for good ideas that do not appeal to conventional investors to get financing from the crowd. Not only does Crowdfunding provide money to start a project, is also secures evidence of support from potential customers. In addition, it also contributes to word-of-mouth advertising.

An entrepreneur who uses Crowdfunding generally uses websites to solicit small contributions from people who are not typical financiers.

There are a number of different variations:

1) The entrepreneur may solicit pledges to back an idea in which no material is offered in return for pledges. This type of Crowdfunding has long been used for artistic patronage or charity fundraising. The other variation, which has recently become extremely popular, is when the entrepreneur gives rewards (typically the product or service they are developing) in return for pledges.

2) At times, the threshold approach to Crowdfunding is used. When this type of Crowdfunding is used, unless the threshold amount is raised by the set deadline, all of the pledges will be voided.

Now for the Disadvantages

In spite of the many advantages to Crowdfunding, there is one big potential disadvantage. When someone solicits Crowdfunding, one of the requirements is to disclose the idea that needs funding.

This exposes the idea’s owner to the risk of his/her project being copied by competitors who have better financing. If the competition releases the idea before funding can be raised, the owner of the original idea risks losing market share.

For example, an entrepreneur has developed a new type of toothpaste that better prevents cavities. However, this unknown inventor lacks the necessary funds to get the project off of the ground, so he/she turns to Crowdfunding. An executive at Colgate-Palmolive sees the campaign, and before the entrepreneur has time to collect the funding that he or she needs, the product is on the shelf with the larger company’s name on it.

However, while many entrepreneurs are paranoid about their ideas being stolen, this risk doesn’t bother me at all. Why? Because while your ideas are important, executing on them is more important. And most people who hear your idea just won’t be able to execute. And realize that once you introduce your idea to the market, if it’s good enough, others WILL copy it. So, focus on executing on your idea, not protecting it (unless there is intellectual property you can file, in which case, do so).

Likewise, with regards to large companies taking your idea, like in the toothpaste example above, this is not a big concern. Large companies are generally very poor at launching new products (and it takes them a long time to do), and they prefer to wait to see if your product will be successful. And if your product is successful, they are generally prone to buy your company versus building a competitive product from scratch.

A second downside of Crowdfunding is that it’s not right for all types of ventures. It’s perfect if you don’t need millions of dollars in funding, and if you can use that funding to quickly create your product or service. Conversely, if you need millions of dollars to develop a new technology that may take years of R&D, Crowdfunding is not right for you since the return period is too long. In such a case, angel and venture capital investors are better suited for you.

In summary Crowdfunding has the key advantages of being quick and easy to raise, while also helping you build a customer base. The potential disadvantage of it exposing your idea to competitors and/or copycats is overrated; it’s just not that big a deal.

So, if you need funding, and have the ability to quickly turn the funding into a viable product or service, then you should learn how to raise Crowdfunding, raise it, and start building your business today.

***

Dave Lavinsky is the President of Growthink, and the creator of Crowdfunding Formula.

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MBK Enterprises Radio – #AnchorRadio #MBKEntRadio

🎶 🎼 🎧 📽 🎛 🎤 🎙 📡 🎚 🔋 🔌

Check out the newest My Brother’s Keeper Enterprises, LLC radio station for your mobile phones! Add the app and add us for updates and exclusive material for both DisputeOne and The Grind Series Blog. 

Hash Tags: #AnchorRadio #MBKEntRadio

Link to Station: MBK Enterprises Radio

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Release Updates: 16 Levels (w/ Exclusive OnePlusOne)

Release Date: 05/2017
Direct Link to Project: 16 Levels Release

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What’s Valuable About Having Values?

What’s Valuable About Having Values
By Paul Lemberg

Let’s talk about values…

Yours.

What kind?

Family values, personal values, corporate values.

So what are values – and why are they important to creating breakthroughs?

Values are things we strive to gain or keep. They are the expression of what is important to us. Values can be concrete things like money, gourmet food, and fast motorcycles, or they can be abstract things like contribution, challenge, or adventure.

Values, along with our beliefs about what will satisfy our values, have a decisive impact on the choices we make. We make decisions based on our values.

If we believe a proposed action will give us more of what we value, we are likely to take that action. And the degree to which we are likely to take that action, is proportional to the strength of our beliefs and how much we think the value will increase.

We are constantly evaluating whether something is good for us or bad for us-in fact, we can’t help it. It’s part of our design as human beings.

A hidden value system will cause you to make choices that are inexplicable-you will choose Option A over Option B, even though A seems logical. Why, because B violates your unconscious values system.

You can use a consciously constructed values system to help turn your venture into a high performance machine. A lucid value system, out in the open-and arranged hierarchically-this is more important than that, and so on-turned into a values statement-serves as a guide in evaluating your options, and inventing new ones.

In other words, if you understand the values that motivate you, you can deliberately choose actions which will satisfy those values. Which make you feel good, and keep you conflict-free, and internally consistent. You reduce or eliminate your personal friction, allowing you to easily take massive action towards your objectives.

Your values statement also helps you align your various stakeholders, and have them acting in that same consistent way.

Your values system also keeps you from making poor choices, which would throw you into personal conflict. Choices which make you unhappy and gum up the works.

Well understood and clearly expressed values can propel you through the most difficult change periods, and keep you far ahead of the wandering herd.

Here is a list of common (and uncommon) values. This list is neither complete nor definitive. It is a guide. Please add your own.

Acceptance

Achievement

Adventure

Affection

Art

Beauty

Being Different

Challenge

Change

Commitment

Compassion

Competition

Confrontation

Contribution

Courage

Creativity

Detachment

Ecstasy

Efficiency

Ethics

Excellence

Excitement

Fame

Free Time

Freedom

God

Growth

Happiness

Hard Work

Harmony

Health

Honesty

Integrity

Knowledge

Leadership

Learning

Love

Loyalty

Making a difference

Merit

Nature

Partnership

Passion

Peace

Play

Power

Prosperity

Resilience

Security

Self-awareness

Self-expression

Self-respect

Serenity

Service

Sharing

Sophistication

Stability

Success

Support

Teamwork

Trust

Wealth

Winning

Wisdom

What should you do with this list?

First, make your own list so that you have a better understanding…

Once you have your values list, for the next two weeks, at the start of each day, choose a value from the list and make it your value for the day. What you’re doing, in other words, is choosing a place to stand for the day.

Let that value become a part of you for 24 hours. Reference all your choices, actions, and conversations against that value. Of course, you’ll notice everything that’s not a match. What there is to do is course-correct.

Let your daily value be a compass by which you guide your day. Let yourself align with your daily value. And notice, at the close of each day, what has opened up. Notice who you now are in relation to you.

Notice what you’ve accomplished. Sales closed, smiles received, offers to do new business, invitations . . .

And, of course, notice the feedback from your family, friends, colleagues… everybody!

***

Paul Lemberg helps small business owners become wealthy. Since 1995, Paul has helped hundreds of small business owners achieve outstanding success. He has written three books, including Faster Than the Speed of Change, Earn Twice As Much with Half The Stress (co-authored with Tom Matzen), and his latest, the business best seller, Be Unreasonable.

On television, Paul has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Financial News Network, and dozens of national radio programs. His work has been featured in over eighty magazines and publications including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as the world’s largest circulation newsletter, Bottom Line Personal. 

You can learn more about Paul at Paul Lemberg.

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Do Customers Love You? (5 Questions to Ask)…

Do Customers Love You? 
5 Questions to Ask
By Marla Tabaka

So you have a product or service that people are willing to buy. But is your company something that people are excited to talk about? Do you have customer evangelists who will naturally create a buzz?

Virgin Airlines is one example of a culture that has, in a sense, gone viral. The company came into the travel market at a time when major airlines were dedicated to nothing more than staying in business, which resulted in cramped, no-frills travel for consumers. And that was no fun.

Virgin introduced itself as the airline dedicated to making travel fun again. Who wouldn’t want that? As years went by the airline offered powerful incentives to gain attention from travelers, which further improved their visibility and reputation. For example, on the ninth anniversary of its maiden voyage, Virgin Blue gave away 1,000 plane tickets for $9 each through Twitter.

The campaign went off without a hitch–and because it generated such buzz it kept on giving, well beyond the initial 1,000 tickets. What’s better than pleasing those customers who received ultra-discounted tickets is the impact of a campaign like that. It lasts and lasts.

Not every company can engage in campaigns of this magnitude, but it demonstrates the importance of being radical and creative if you want to get attention. However, before you invest in your marketing campaign you need a foundation that fits the viral formula.

Answer these questions to see if your foundation is in place.

1. Does your company generate organic buzz?

Your product has to be something that’s easy for people to talk about. Most every traveler will complain about the lack of leg-room on an airplane. We all talk about our vacations and business travel–so when we experience the luxury of an airline like Virgin it’s perfectly natural to tell the world. What makes people want to share the word about your company?

2. Do you provide your consumers with a simple, compelling marketing message?

Have you ever experienced something cool and, in telling the story, you get so tongue-tied that you end up saying something along the lines of, “well, you just have to experience it for yourself?” That marketing message certainly won’t go viral! Make it easy to share your message by giving your customers the language to put to the experience.

3. How do you reward your customers?

Consumers want to feel special and valued. There is a certain altruistic value in being the first person in your crowd to know about a really cool product. But you can add rewards to motivate your customer further. These can be “soft” rewards or perks like a free membership that gives them advance access to discounts and fun news. Social rewards recognize customers publically. You can highlight a testimonial publically or simply connect with customers on twitter or Facebook to help them feel like an important part of your community. I recall once being thanked on twitter for my feedback on a product website. Since I’d included my name publicly, no privacy issues were raised and I felt kinda special when I received their tweet. I even retweeted it, giving them exposure to my treasured community.

4. Do you really, really know your target customer and where to reach them?

A grassroots campaign depends on community. Where do your customers hang out online (and in person)? National organizations, community groups, high-profile blogs and online communities are important to your campaign. Get your networks in place well before launching your company or a new product. Find your evangelists and give them a reason to generate buzz. Invite them to test the product or service for free. Ask them for feedback and reward them for it with further incentives and recognition. If they feel like valued insiders they are likely to tell the world about you and your product.

5. Are you giving your customers a reason to keep coming back?

New products, exciting sales, fun contests, and novel marketing campaigns make people want to return for more. Your audience will naturally generate buzz if you give them a reason to talk about you, offer them a good laugh with a fun video, or touch their hearts through a program that gives back. If you stand above the rest you will create a crowd of supporters–and loyal consumers.

With these foundational pieces in place your company has a greater likelihood of joining the elite list of viral communities. Marketing is hard work; why not let your customers do most of it for you?

***

Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.

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