Posts from — November 2010
Some things make me crazy. Actually lots of things make me crazy but this one makes me really crazy. I wrote a nice post (Wharton Africa Forum)…on topic and everything…and sent it this past Thursday morning…Thanksgiving here in the USA. Those of you who get it via email…still haven’t received it. I have no idea why but this happens but is seems to happen fairly regularly. Everyone else got it right on time. Will someone please fix the internet for me! (Are you listening Web Ogre?) Hopefully it will arrive in your inbox soon…maybe even before this post does. Or go to the site. (Of course, if you don’t get this posting either…)
On a better note, sometimes technology works. Just this morning I received a Google Alert that the site Selling Books has published an exceptionally interesting author interview. Yup, me on me. You can read it right here. I could go on and on about the unusually brilliant comments on writing that abound in this interview but think I’ll just let you discover them for yourself.
Off to work on my new book. Book Dominatrix deadline is approaching and I sense her practicing her whip techniques…
November 27, 2010 No Comments
As I told you last post, I attended the Wharton Africa Business Forum. It was exceptionally interesting. At all times there were 2 or 3 panels running, each with 3 or 4 leaders of some organization in Africa. Telecommunication, mobile banking, agriculture, social enterprise, banking, real estate.
The keynote speaker was Tony Elumelu who was fantastic as he told his story of re-shaping the financial services business in Africa. He’s Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited…which he founded…and also leads the Tony ElumeluFoundation, yup, he founded that too…but you knew that.
Tony is on the right…guess who that other guy is.
I wandered around as best I could. I say as best I could because I could hardly walk. It seems some kind of poisonous spider had bitten me on the foot the previous day and each step was excruciatingly painful. But I hobbled on. After all, you can’t let a little spider stop your journey through a target rich networking opportunity.
By the end of the day I had met quite a few of the speakers, discussed things I’m doing in Africa and how they connect with what they’re doing, and set a way to followup with them. I noticed that there were not many people doing this. Which leads me to this thought: most people don’t make connections because they don’t make the effort.
By the way, did you notice how I got bitten by a poisonous spider? In Birchrunville Pennsylvania USA. And not that long ago I got bitten by some Lyme Disease infected ticks in both Birchrunville Pennsylvania and Orlando Florida, both USA. And people ask how I can travel to Africa with all its dangerous bugs.
I mention this since it’s sort of like my previous comment: don’t let yourself get scared off from reaching out for opportunity. You can get run over by a beer truck right in front of your house as easily as in Africa. The worst thing that will happen if you approach someone is that they won’t talk to you.
For reasons I really don’t understand we live in a society of fear. I suppose it’s due to the fact that we now get to hear ad nauseum about every bad thing that happens while good things are given fleeting mention. Sound bites based on nothing have overcome facts which are just so boring…and might not support your position.
No, this isn’t just a random rant about the ongoing destruction of civility and balkanization of our society…it’s a message about opportunity! The more others withdraw, the more it leaves the field open for you. The more you become a beacon of light that draws in others.
So…banish fear. Rev up your enthusiasm and get out there and talk to people, offer help and advice, go places, meet the speaker. Have fun and spread it widely.
And lest I forget, for those of you in the USA…Happy Thanksgiving. And for the rest of you…Happy Thursday.
Poisonous Bug Tip: Don’t let them keep you from connecting
November 25, 2010 No Comments
I have just returned from an exhilarating time in the Westin Hotel in Detroit Airport. It is a wonderful hotel and is right there inside the airport, so number of us flew in for a meeting and never went outside…which actually is a bit odd. Luckily it has the most amazing soundproofing so you never hear a single airplane noise. Quite amazing actually. And it has an excellent restaurant.
Enough about the hotel, though. I was there for the quarterly meeting of those of us who Gino Wickman, developer and founder of EOS Worldwide and author of Traction, has touched and appointed EOS Implementers.
It is so nice to spend a dinner and then the following day with a collection…there are about 20 of us…of people who are totally engaged in using Gino’s amazingly simple and effective method for getting companies working most effectively through the EOS uniques: Vision – getting all on the same page, Traction – discipline and alignment about execution, and Healthy – creating a healthy, cohesive leadership team.
It is totally energizing to spend time with people who are interesting and interested, working to help each other become more successful, offering ideas and advice, exuding postive energy, and mostly thinking about how to move forward rather than worrying about the current state of things. Find such a group and join it. Now!
And this post’s title? A number of you asked me why I called Chico an ass in the last post. Apparently it seemed too nasty. Just to show you that he holds no ill will, I got Donna Brennan…most excellent Public Relations expert… to take a picture of him and Blesi so I could show you their smiling faces:
By the way, they still are thankful that Jim and I saved them from having a big walnut tree fall on their heads.
Off to spend a day at the Wharton Africa Business Forum. It is a very big event. I am so pleased to be able to be there…even if it is a Saturday. The opportunities to network , meet new and interesting people, and, find new projects. It boggles my mind. I will definitely report back.
And finally…thanks to those of you who offered advice and sympathy about my Lyme Disease. I’m now in the 4th or 5th week and it still is horrible. I hear that if the antibiotics don’t totally knock it out I might have to do some sort of intravenous thing!
Revitalization Tip: Spend a few days locked up with people exuding positive energy…or visit Blesi and Chico
November 19, 2010 1 Comment
Mostly I send you notes that hopefully are interesting as well as useful. I hear that people even take note of my thoughts on networking, connecting, business development, and so forth, and, if they try them out find that often they even work. And then there are those lucky souls who get to see me yak on…
As I write this it’s 0500 on Sunday morning. For reasons I don’t understand I am one of those people who are up and about and even reasonably intelligent at this time every day…no matter how late the night before was. Right now it’s a bit tough on my body because I have a horrible case of Lyme Disease which…for those of you fortunate to have never met a hungry tick…is the most tiring thing. And then there is how it makes your bones ache. And the fact that for some odd reason the very top of my head hurts. I didn’t know your hair could hurt.
So due to my current infirmities leading to an inability to think of anything particularly networkee, I thought I’d just share my lumberjack experience from yesterday.
My most excellent friends Jim Bergey and Donna Brennan…Jim knows all there is to know about creating and buying and selling and licensing biotech companies and Donna Brennan Associates is a most excellent public relations firm…decided to take advantage of my superb good humor, heavy duty pick up truck, Stihl chain saw, abundance of free time, and hugely powerful physique.
It seems that their borders Blesi and Chico were complaining about a huge walnut tree that had fallen from a neighbor’s yard and was precariously hung up on a tree over a nice field where they like to wander around. They figured I’d be happy to come on over and help them take care of this impediment before it wacked the kids on the head causing all kinds of problems.
So off I went. Jim and I lumberjacked away for a couple of hours and even fixed the fence. Here’s a picture of us that Donna took.
Just to be clear…Donna made us stand there like that, chainsaws in hand.
For some reason she didn’t take a picture of Blesi and Chico, perhaps because Chico is just such an ass…but Blesi is quite engaging.
Jim offered me a beer…after we were done with the chainsaws…but then only was willing to part with one of those teeny tiny 7 ounce Rolling Rock pony bottles. But I did get a nice truckload of walnut firewood. Of course, since cutting and splitting firewood is a big part of my therapy, I have about a bazillion cords of wood stacked up around my house already.
There must be a tip in there somewhere. How about:
Be Nice Tip: Help a friend in need…wind up with a good story
November 14, 2010 1 Comment
Note from Steve: For reasons that I don’t understand Damn WordPress did not send this November 8 when I finished it. It’s been sitting there in their system…aging I suppose. I’ve been having lots of difficulties getting these things out due to technology. Figured I’d rant a bit to you all since I only have the mice to yell at around here. When you read the first sentence you’ll know why I’m so irritated.
I’m exhausted from a day where I left my house for New York at 0500 and got back at 2345. But is was so cool that I just had to share right now. Last posting I mentioned how Frank DiBernardino followed up on what seemed like a ridiculous invitation to visit Indonesia…and became the World Renowned Frank DiBernardino of the Fabulous Vienna Index.
When I was asked to attend Product Camp and offer a few words, frankly, I couldn’t decide if it was one of those ridiculous invitations or not. After all, a whole Saturday without any idea about who would be there and what would happen. But Carol Reno, President of Product Development and Management Association New York Chapter, was persistent. She had been at the Big Global Conference in Orlando and after hearing me and chatting for quite awhile decided I might be a bit interesting to the campers. But…Saturday. On my own nickel.
After much hemming and hawing I agree to attend and yak it up a bit. Here’s what I said I would do:
So off I went.
It turned out to be spectacular. First of all, on the train I actually wrote the story of my new book which will become the introduction…so my Book Dominatrix will be happy that I’m going to meet her deadline of Wednesday. Or maybe not, now that I think about it. She gets to crack her whip much more when I fail to hit her targets. Hmmmmm.
When I got there I discovered that I was the last speaker. At first I was depressed about this since I figured everyone would be asleep by then or at a bar somewhere. New York seems to have several on every block. But then I decided it would be okay since what people really remember is the first and last thing thing that happens…and I’d be that last thought on their mind as they wandered off into the night.
So I spent the day meeting people…lot’s of interesting people involved in product development, product management, product launch, product marketing. I sat in a bit on a few presentations but must admit that the powerpoints they all seemed to have made me crazy so I didn’t stay too long.
Then it was my turn. No powerpoint…just like the talk blip above says. Just me sitting on a table I pulled up at the front or wandering around in my usual peripatetic style. I yakked at and with them for an hour right off the top of my head about…well, go back and read the talk blip. I was totally in the moment.
It turned out to the best thing. Apparently I was a big hit! People converged on me at the end. I got invited to talk at other Product Camps that they do around the country. The guy who organized the whole thing told me he was really glad I had come. (I had no idea who he was until someone told later) It was just so cool.
Reminded me how I told Frank DiBernardino in the last posting that it’s okay to toot your own horn sometimes. Figured this was the time.
Ego Tip: Go somewhere and be in the zone
If you look real close, you can see me walking up Sixth Avenue to Microsoft New York.
By the way, other than the cleverly included tips in this story, here’s a tip right out there in the open: to my amazement, quite a few people at this event did not bring business cards…and some were actually looking for work!
And if any of you Product People who were there are reading this…comment. Now! Of course, the rest of you are also invited to share your thoughts.
November 10, 2010 No Comments
No, not me. And actually he’s back already but Off To sounds so much more enticing than Back From. The him I’m talking about it Frank DiBernardino…one very smart fellow. He has actually figured out how to measure the financial value of your human capital…known as people to most of us…with the Vienna Index. Amazing.
I mention this because Frank and I had lunch the other day. Someone introduced us some years ago and I played a teeny tiny part in the development of Vienna Human Capital Advisors, his company. Very teeny. (I have more ideas Frank…)
We got together to share travel stories since he has just returned from Indonesia…but, observant as you are, you already knew that. I am so impressed that he was invited to present a two day program to a roomful of senior executives of major companies on Vienna Index…in Indonesia.
So I asked how it came about and to my amazement it came about from someone in Indonesia finding some information about the Index and contacting Frank. One thing led to another and Frank was off to Indonesia.
As you know, I often talk about one of the most important things for expanding your contacts, finding new horizons, growing your business is…showing up. Taking advantage of random opportunities dangled in front of you in spite of the seemingly ridiculous nature of them…after some thought about the future potential, of course. But Indonesia? It is way far away from where Frank lives in the United States.
I’m pleased to report it was a huge success. Frank was great (self reported but what the heck…it’s okay to toot your own horn), the executives loved him, and they now have a new tool in their toolbox. And most importantly…well, after the fact that he actually got paid to do this…is that he was such a hit that he’s now been invited to do the program in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. (now that he’s such a star we hope he asks for more money and a nice big first class seat…just a bit of advice, Frank)
Now that’s seizing the opportunity and hopping on the plane. And look what it led to. Most importantly, it gave me a great story to share.
Okay, it did a few things for Frank and Vienna too. This humble missive is read by lots of people all over the place so who knows who might call Frank…hmmm, commission possibility?
Frank now has this absolutely spectacular story to share when asked “What’s new?” He and the Index have now moved from Frank from Philadelphia to The World Renowned Frank DiBernardino and the Fabulous Vienna Index. Why, I bet he’s off being interviewed right now by some big business reporter.
Gets me excited just thinking about how he turned a seemingly ridiculous inquiry into a fantastic opportunity. Great job Frank.
And me, I’m off to talk at the Product Camp at Microsoft New York on Saturday November 6. I thought it was exciting until lunch with Frank.
Of course, I did spend part of today planning my next trip to Africa…
Travel Tip: The farther you go, the smarter you get
I leave you with a warning. Those emails you get from Africa telling you that by sending a mere $10k or $20k and your passport you can get a piece of millions are not the kind of opportunity I’m talking about.
November 3, 2010 No Comments