Tips from Tai Lopez Mastermind

Tai Lopez’s Mastermind Talk Recap
This is a recap of the Mastermind Talk with Tai Lopez I attended in California.
In addition to learning from the speakers a big benefit is to meet and hear from other entrepreneurs. Sometimes you realize really successful people are very much like you and thus you gain the confidence to achieve more.
It is great to be around people who in my eyes are more successful than I am. It was also fun to hear new ideas, give advice and get advice.

Jay Samit spoke to us – wikipedia info on Jay Samit

He asked us how many of you would hire a PR agency? I thought I wouldn’t until he explained why we should. You should if you want to partner with a company who has a PR agency and the tip is to higher the same PR agency as the other company you want to work with.

Justin Sener

Known as the T-shirt Cat Guy, who is successful at selling t-shirts online. He talked about how to create T-shirts and how to market them on facebook. I noted that they create 10 T-shirts, market each on facebook for very little ($5) and then increase the marketing for the ones that sell. Tip – women buy the most t-shirts.

Sites that can set up clothing business: THREADMEUP.COM and
Shopify plug in

Book recommendations from Cole Hatter who runs the Thrive Connect conference are:

    Persuasion Skills

by Rentu Basu (I’m almost done with this short book)
and Learn how to speak to people to be better in sales:

    Spin Selling

by Neil Rackham

    And a marketing recommendation (this is a much larger book)The Advertising Effect

by Adam Ferrier and Jennifer Fleming

A great podcast for learning about Facebook, Linked In and Google advertising:
The Art of Paid Traffic Podcast

always do sponsored post, never
advertise on the right side
Utilize Facebook Live and Snapchat

they are the main thing now

Tai Lopez thoughts

  • Social media should enhance your life
  • Challenge yourself – do it for practice

The Boron Letters a must ready for advertisers and copywriters

I learned about these direct mail copy writing letters on Rick Mulready’s podcast “The Art of Paid Traffic” and began reading them. They are good and have helped me come up with many an idea to implement for videos as well as advertising. They are a quick read but I’m only reading a few a day and often rereading them to fully absorb them.
I heard about these when reading these books which are also good:

I’ve skipped the first three which focus on being healthy more than tips for good copywriting.
These books are suggested reading in the Boron Letters:

Why hire a Virtual Assistant? How do I work with one?

Why hire a virtual assistant? 

Virtual Assistants have been in the business for over 5 years but their employment has reached a peak over the last 2-3 years. Working with a virtual assistant can be very flexible, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work on the same time. Most VAs have background in podcast posting, you can show them an instructional video on how you want your podcast uploaded and they can do it for you right away.

You are saving a lot of your time, energy and money when you are working with a VA. Moreover, you can do the things you love (your passion, your hobbies) when more work are delegated to your trusted VA.

How to share email duties, files, podc

How to work with virtual assistants

  • Podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram?
  • The most common way in communicating tasks with the VAs is e-mailing – daily or regular emailing in of tasks for the VA to accomplish (with a time frame) is utilized by most VA-client teams.
  • For files, Dropbox is the most common file-sharing tool used. You create an account and share a folder (give access to the VA) where you both can upload files.
  • YouTube/Facebook/Instagram – most clients who use VAs would provide full access to their social media sites for management. (Facebook) clients usually have already created their own business pages before hiring a VA then access is given (Admin level) to the VA for social media management. (Instagram) Give the VAs your log in information so they can manage the page – Instagram is a mobile app so it requires one username and password for one account.

How to share applications – Remote desktop, Dropbox, FTP (Security?) Back-up?

  • This depends on what the clients would normally require but Dropbox is the most common.

How to manage to-do lists, tasks

  • There are lots of ways to manage tasks – the most common is through e-mails and updates on tasks, ASANA is also one of the best tools on the web for this. It is a project management web-based app for the client and the VA to monitor the tasks.

What tasks can a freelancer virtual assistant help with? (bullet list)

  • Social media management (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc)
  • Email management
  • Blog posting (WordPress, ActiveRain etc)
  • Phone support
  • Bookkeeping
  • Transcription
  • Online purchases
  • Admin work
  • Some VAs are capable of basic SEO 

Is there a need for a site to look at VA profiles? How do you get and review VAs?

  • There are sites which you can find a list of VAs and their resumes (skill sets and experience) – examples would befreelancer.com, oDesk, VSF, Scriptlance, TaskRabbit or even Craigslist. But utilize these sites depending on your own requirements for a VA.

Yo  You can leave reviews about the VAs you hired on any of these sites when you   already reached a point where you worked long enough to assess them in terms of efficiency and competence.

Newsletters – autoresponders (how to for these)

  • Mailchimp is one of the best tools out there for weekly or monthly newsletters, you can use this for free if you don’t require extensive mass mailing.

How to track work for VAs?

The easiest, most common method is e-mailing. The VAs will email you on the tasks that have been done as well as the outstanding ones.

You and you VA can agree on a management app to track your progress in terms of tasks completed and those which are pending. ASANA is an awesome web-based app which you can use to track the progress. There’s no need for you to email each other back and forth as notes can be left on a certain project or task.

EVERNOTE also works the same way.

Book Review of Gary Vaynerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook


This is a Book Review of Gary Vaynerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

If you want to or need to learn more about social media and how it applies to marketing and business this is a must read. I know a little about advertising and marketing online but this book took my knowledge to a new level. He gives you his insights as to how to use social media and how each plat form is different. The book includes actual examples of ads on the different platforms as well as how to use each platform. And he points out how we should all keep up with the latest and greatest.

With over 80 detailed case studies from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest – this book is a learning material for those who are marketing their businesses online, with social media being the best tool at this point in time.

Below are some of the best lines from the book.

Jab—the one conversation, one engagement at a time that slowly but authentically builds relationships between brands and customers—the  78
but because it embraced authenticity and “realness.” And maybe I needed to make sure that my clients and others who turned to me for advice were doing the same.  106
I’d spent the majority of my time and effort over the years emphasizing the importance of the long view, and teaching people how to communicate in such a way that would develop authentic and active customer relationships.  108
No matter who you are or what kind of company or organization you work for, your number-one job is to tell your story to the consumer wherever they are, and preferably at the moment they are deciding to make a purchase.  131
Consider this book a training camp to prepare you to storytell on today’s most important social media sites.  140
But the secret sauce remains the same: The incredible brand awareness and bottom-line profits achievable through social media marketing require hustle, heart, sincerity, constant engagement, long-term commitment, and most of all, artful and strategic storytelling. Don’t ever forget it, no matter what you learn here.*  150
Where’s your phone? In your back pocket? On the table in front of you? In your hands because you’re using it to read this book? It’s probably somewhere within easy reach, unless you’re one of those people who are constantly misplacing their phones and my question has you rummaging through the laundry basket again or checking under your car seat.  155
HOW SOCIAL BLENDED INTO DIGITAL  183
In fact, adding a social layer to any platform immediately increases its effectiveness.  191
every social media platform has its own language. Yet most of you haven’t bothered to learn it. Most big companies haven’t put in the financial resources, and most small businesses and celebrities aren’t putting in the time.  226   • Delete this highlight
HOW STORYTELLING IS LIKE BOXING  235
Jabs are the lightweight pieces of content that benefit your customers by making them laugh, snicker, ponder, play a game, feel appreciated, or escape; right hooks are calls to action that benefit your businesses.  246

Book Review of Philip McKernan’s Rich On Paper Poor On Life by

Another fantastic book that I just had the amazing chance to read recently – a book called Rich On Paper Poor On Life by Philip McKernan.

Quote: We are accustomed to a life where we work endlessly to belong, to assimilate to what is normal, what society dictates us to be. This sort of pressure misaligns us to our true values, to the things the things we truly want against what we work for to achieve.

The real life stories in this book is such an inspiring reflection to make us question the way we are living – are we working towards achieving our goals through the things we are passionate about? Or are we merely existing to please the society that sets the standards on how we are supposed to be – having checklists of accomplishments for success. If you feel are doubtful about the way you’re living your life, feeling stuck, wondering if there is more, GRAB THIS BOOK!

I heard about Philip McKernan first on one of the Mastermind Podcast episodes. To listen to that, soundcloud.com has the episode 28 in which he was featured.

Below are the key notes which are helpful in finding your authentic self.

Many (if not most) people keep their truth inside for fear of looking stupid or because they believe they have nothing to add. How many people have a hidden desire to write, sing, paint, get involved in politics, or start a business? How many of them don’t get involved because they don’t believe they’re good enough? I believe the majority of people feel this way. They won’t speak up or act up as long as they place a low value upon themselves. 136

Our Biggest Fear: The Truth 140

Finding one’s voice is a process that takes time. Life can beat us down. Many of us endure years of being told we shouldn’t believe in ourselves. 141

Fear of speaking in front of others is not our greatest common fear. Our greatest common fear is that we don’t believe that what we have to say matters. In this way, the fear of public speaking stems from a fear of not being loved. Let me repeat: when we say we’re scared of public speaking, what we’re really saying is that we are scared of making a mistake, of being judged. Deep down, we’re afraid of not being loved. 143

I admit there’ve been times I’ve done exactly that. But it wasn’t until I started speaking vulnerably that I felt fulfillment from speaking. 150

In spite of the fact that we fear we won’t be loved, speaking our truth is one of the most important things we can do to put ourselves on the path towards authentic love. 152

The voice I speak of, is our intuition. 157

Who Am I Really Am I really the person I see in the mirror whose face is wrinkled and worn? Or is there something I don’t see in this one-dimensional window? Am I really the work I do or the house I live in? Or is there something I have not yet met within myself? Am I really the husband I am told I am? Or the voice I hear echo back at me when I speak to others? Am I really the person others see when they look at me? Or are they seeing a person through a set of eyes they themselves do not know? What if there is someone within me that I have yet to meet who is better looking than I am, smarter than I believe I am, and more famous than I could ever be? Would you like to meet him? 158

“Success in manufactured in the mind while happiness is cultivated in the soul.” ~ Philip McKernan 170

Individuals were ignoring their own truths. Individuals had lost our own voices. In sum, we got greedy. We forgot what was important. We chose gadgets over happiness, fancy over fulfillment. 245

Looking back, I was one of the lucky ones. I managed to escape the worst of the financial carnage. What I didn’t escape was the loss of my peace of mind. In the pursuit of money and growth for growth’s sake, I did what most of my countrywomen and men did; I ignored passion and happiness in my own life and pursued wealth with the naive assumption that happiness followed achievement. (And take note of that sentence because the implication is that achievement is prerequisite of happiness is common—and dead wrong.) 264

Using Intuition To Find My Way Out 274

I can help others out of the cycle of being rich on paper but poor on life. 290

To be clear, I’m not against financial wealth. What I’m against is sacrificing peace of mind for wealth. If wealth is to be sought, it must be sought as a healthy byproduct of a life well-lived. Too many people pay nothing more than lip service to well-being in favour of wealth building. Instead of seeking happiness now, they believe in happiness when. 291

poor health is the price of eating unhealthy food, and poor relationships are the price of failing to love and cherish our spouses (and ourselves). Seeking riches at the expense of well-being exacts an immense cost to the spirit of every individual who tries it. You simply can’t put well-being on the back-burner and expect to be well. 295

However, their deepest and most heartfelt goals almost always include some combination of the following: Family (spending more time with kids or parents) Spirituality (feeling a greater connection) Contribution (giving back time or money) 304

That’s why my work focuses on relationships. More precisely, I help my clients focus on their relationships to the key elements of their lives. This strategy is based on the knowledge that every person’s personal path to well-being is through improved relationships, whether it be a relationship with one’s self, with others or with the work we do. 309

Unfortunately, I often hear about these core desires expressed along with a belief that they are connected to massive wealth. That’s because people think they need millions of dollars to achieve what they “really” want. 312

The head is where we think we want something. The heart is where we know we need something. 316

A very good number of my clients will explain to me how their job or business is their passion. It’s this experience that’s led me to believe passion is a misunderstood concept. 319

Note: Interesting I know my main profit center is not my passion and thus spend time ding thingsi want to be doing. Edit

I say this because the same people who tell me that their job or business is their passion will, in the next breath, tell me they’re going to quit their job or business the moment they make enough money so that they can do something else. 321

What many people don’t acknowledge is the disconnect. 323

To be clear, a passion is something you’d do for free if you had to, it’s something you’d like to do for the rest of your life, no matter what. Indeed, a passion might cost you money rather than make you money. But why do so many people want to quit their job or business if it’s their passion? The answer is simple: they’re not passionate about their job or business after all. In fact, most people don’t know what they’re passionate about. They can identify the things they really want (family time, contribution, experiences, spirituality), but not their passion. This leads people to try to turn their work into their passion. 324

I start to see a shift in my clients when they bring those things that they love to the forefront of their thoughts and actions. This is the process of becoming rich on life instead of just rich on paper. 330

Anyone who looks within will find that their heart longs for simplicity, passion, love and meaning. 340

They regret not practicing their art, spending time with their family or helping others more. 343

this book gets you to stop and ask better questions, then you will be better off than the many millions of people around the world who continue to think money might buy them freedom. 346

Anti-Social Media 347

The deeper truth of their lives is not found in what people say, it’s in what they don’t say. It’s those silent spaces I’m interested in. 352

The ugly truth of social media is that it magnifies the opportunities to compare ourselves against others, typically in a negative light. But comparing ourselves to others is not a phenomenon that started with social media. 355

hope you are half as happy as you pretend you are on Facebook every day.” 360

Each person at that workshop had a deeply-held belief that once their goal was realized, they’d be happy. Think about that for a moment: people believe they couldn’t be happy until a goal was realized. That concept foreshadows the harm in this way of thinking. If everything good lies in the future, what are we to do with the present? 390

This book is not about giving up on dreams and aspirations. It is all about taking responsibility to identify the real meaning behind the things we say we want. 394

I stood by and watched millions of my countrymen and countrywomen become rich on paper while ignoring the things that could make them truly happy. 404

I’m not suggesting they’ve “arrived.” It’s not possible to be “done” working on ourselves. We can only seek to improve from one day to the next. What really matters is that they had the courage to change, the courage to grow. 409

What did he do? He faced the truth. 419

I share this example of Padraig to illustrate how many people get stuck on this first level of self-growth by refusing to see the truth of their current situation. 424

Finding Your Voice Finding your own voice, never mind your own path, is hard work in a world shouting at you from all directions to perform and conform. The world wants you and me to step into line with the rest of society. 428

lives!) In our society, the line between who we are and what we do has been blurred, if not erased. Many people, if not most, define themselves by what they do professionally. What they do becomes who they are. 432

I believe that in the developed world the 80/20 rule can be applied to the three elements of people’s lives: Work, Self, and Others. 443

The real issue is fear. We are afraid of judgment. Indeed, we crave acceptance to an unhealthy point. We know there’s a spark deep inside—something the world hasn’t yet seen, but the fear of not fitting in is so strong we’d rather put up with the status quo than run the risk of being happy. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself where you’ve been settling. Are you doing the work you’d dreamed of as a child? Do your primary relationships resemble the relationships you want? Are you as healthy as you imagined? Are you as vital? Do you find satisfaction and joy in your friendships and family relationships? 467

I have chosen stories that demonstrate how this kind of change is the organic outcome of a natural process that begins when individuals commit to leading a more authentic life. 490

You want to be the person who listens to the whisper of your soul—and takes action on the transformative wisdom of its message. 508

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde 511

PART ONE: WORK 515

Doing Versus Being Happy 519

I don’t believe any human deserves to be happy, but most people think it’s a god-given right. This sense of entitlement dilutes the authentic drive for happiness. I find it fascinating that people who spend eight hours a day doing work they do not believe in, wonder why they don’t feel complete. Often I see people putting their mortgage ahead of meaning, and justifying it to themselves like only humans can do best. 520

I believe our work must be an extension of what we believe, not of who we think we are. 525

Taking Business to the Next Level “Many people spend more time, money, and energy trying to grow their net worth than they do on their self-worth.” ~ Philip McKernan UNAUTHENTIC EXTERNAL GOALS 534

The ugly truth is that many people chase goals that are not theirs. And what’s the point of chasing someone elses or society’s goals? 541

This guided conversation helped Emma understand she already had something greater than what next level offered. Her quest for more money now threatened her happiness, fulfillment, meaning, and peace of mind. 595

First, do not trade in a lifestyle you love for a lifestyle that you would love a lot less. Emma already had a dream lifestyle. She 605

“As humans we’re masters of two things; complicating our lives and justifying why we did it.” ~ Philip McKernan 615

when the owner does more of what they love. When you grow your business by out-sourcing the parts you love, you risk finding yourself tied to work you dislike, perhaps even detest. 622

What I really want you to think about is the immense power in asking the simple question, “Why?” 626

CHAPTER 2: Giving up Your Baby “The past has created the present and the present is creating the future.” ~ Philip McKernan 636

Sir Walter Scott, “Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive—ourselves.” 646

That tendency to put others on a pedestal compromises our ability to be real. And that reduces our ability to be vulnerable, even though it’s essential to being authentic. I don’t know if that fear of vulnerability has an evolutionary explanation in the basic fight/flight response of human beings, but I do know the fear is real. In the personal growth arena, it’s the people who break through that barrier, the people who make the biggest changes in their lives allow themselves to be vulnerable. 652

when you believe another person or business can make you better by partnering or joining in with them, you risk undervaluing yourself. 687

Whenever you put someone else on a pedestal, regardless of how much height you give that podium, the end structure is lop-sided. It’s bizarre when you think about it. Why would you not be as good as someone else? It’s bizarre, but so widespread. 688

Note: Do you look at mentors and teachers as someone you can be like? Edit

Do you ever regard other people and assume you could never do what they do? 692

Note: Not really only if I think about playing some pro sport where I’m not as big as they are. And I could probably bulk up much more than I realize if I put the effort they did toward it. Edit

While I didn’t understand it at first, that act assumed I needed those people to succeed or further my career. 696

I was leading the group through a simple exercise where I asked the group to consider who in their life they had on a pedestal. 703

Real Passion for Business “When it comes to the work you do please don’t confuse excitement for passion. It could cost you your health, relationships, and your peace of mind.” ~ Philip McKernan 706

This tendency to confuse excitement with passion is common within the entrepreneurial community. 710

What you need to understand is that when it comes to work, many pretend, but few actually live their passion. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see someone who is truly passionate about his or her work. I find it often shows up with entrepreneurs who enjoy the core activity of their business. 737

“Excitement is a freeing break from the norm that’s described with words to try and capture its essence. Passion is a part of your soul, which ignites a fire in your belly, resulting in a spark in your eyes.” ~ Philip McKernan 740

Rather than admit my disability, I put on masks to disguise the problem—and my fear. Because I believed I was unteachable, I allowed them to think the same. 763

For Tara, as with others in my seminars and workshops, it all comes down to self-belief. If we hold negative false beliefs about our self-worth, we can’t help but self-sabotage our efforts to develop our true potential. 780

CHAPTER 3: Blind to His Talents 782

Over the years I’ve been a huge advocate for people to tell the world about their dreams or aspirations. It’s like letting a cat out of the bag and once the secret is released, there’s no chance of stuffing it back into the bag. 828

“Thinking big doesn’t help, you have to believe big.” ~ Philip McKernan 835

Putting the Passion to Sleep It never ceases to amaze me how millions of people can harbour powerful dreams and never look for ways to bring those dreams to fruition because they simply do not believe in themselves. It saddens me to see people believe in their god without question and yet walk the earth never believing in themselves. 849

I call it taking space. To put it into effect, you need to step away from all the tasks and busyness of life and spend time alone. Taking space is about your relationship with yourself, but it affects all areas of your life. Work and the passion (or lack of passion) you have for it is closely tied to your relationship with yourself, so improving your relationship with yourself will lead you to a better understanding and clarity around your work. 887

The only thing that’s for sure is that the only way to find out if we can make a living from our passion is to actually do it, do it consistently, and look for ways to integrate earning an income from our work. 963

CHAPTER 4: Authenticity Sells the Deal “Fear is the assassin of dreams.” ~ Philip McKernan 967

Whenever we bring a partner into our business, there’s a strong possibility we’ll have the following realizations: We find out the partner is not as great as we thought We find out we can do more than we thought 1029

Scared Of The Truth Inside each person resides a core that remains unchanged by the opinions and beliefs of others. Experience has shown me that we all know what’s inside. However, we’re often too scared to face that truth and be fully authentic with it. But, we must tap into this core to find our power in the world. The more logical, mind-driven of us may think this is airy-fairy, but I promise you, we each have an internal guidance system. 1042

Living In Your Head In my short e-book, Dead Man Walking, I discussed the difference between mindset and soulset. My experience has proven that our intellect is a powerful ability, but it can also be a crutch. 1053

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein 1058

Reconnecting to intuition is one of the most powerful things we can do to promote positive change in our lives. 1065

We start neglecting it the moment someone tells us we’re wrong as a child. 1071

Strong Emotional Blocks To Intuition Some of the emotions we experience act as powerful detractors of our intuition. For example, fear drives people into their heads and away from what they know is right in their soul. 1075

But honouring our own truth, following our intuition, and doing exactly what’s right for our personal journey isn’t clever. It’s courageous. Doing what we know is right in our core takes enormous courage. It means overcoming our fear and anger. It means deeply trusting ourselves. 1085

“I totally regret listening to my gut – Said no one ever.” ~ Oliver Manalese 1116

CHAPTER 5: From Money Magnate to Children’s Champion “If you’re facing the right direction, all you need to do is walk.” ~ Philip McKernan 1118

Following my own approach to authenticity, intuition and soulset, I asked Trina to question every aspect of her life, including the brand she was developing. This process took several months. In the early days, Trina was fully on board with her new brand and thought she was on the best business path for her. Over time, a different picture began to develop. 1142

quite right, its often easier to stay on the current course that you think logically is clear, as opposed to changing course based on a feeling that often has no clear logical direction. This is were the trust you have in yourself comes in. 1165

As humans we talk a lot about trusting others, while I believe the most important person to learn to trust, is you. 1167

The change in the confidence of these young people was a bigger reward than she could imagine. 1186

What do I really want? That’s one of the most powerful questions we can possibly ask ourselves. It’s also one few consultants ever ask since their main focus is to take what you bring them, and then multiply it by two, three, five, or ten. That’s fine, but at what cost? What is the trade off? What is the social invoice? 1202

I have a different perspective on goals. I believe a goal is usually just an attachment made official. When we set a goal, it’s as though we’re officially saying to the world, “Here’s my attachment, and I intend to do whatever it takes to achieve the object of my attachment.” 1217

To those who say they cannot make a living doing something they love, I have a one-word response: bullshit. “Once you become blinded by attachments you become deaf to your heart.” ~ Philip McKernan 1242

It’s simple. Love yourself and do what makes you happy, and you’ll be more likely to find someone attracted to that energy. 1269

In fact, once you accept how devastating attachments can be to living authentically and to having authentic business success, you’ll see how quickly decisions can be made—and business fulfillment achieved. I see it with my clients all the time. This is where you’ll see how releasing attachments opens our minds to see the truth of our existence. 1273

SELF Your Relationship To Who You Are “Success is manufactured in the mind, while happiness is cultivated in the soul.” ~ Philip McKernan The Original Relationship 1288

For the purpose of in-person mentoring, I often use the lenses of Work, Self, and Others to stimulate thought and deepen awareness. My belief is that it’s these three areas of life where we spend the bulk of our time (and effort). It’s also the areas where change can make the biggest impact. 1294

“It’s generally the things we don’t do that haunt us forever.” ~ Philip McKernan 1305

I agree that you can’t change other people. But if you set out to change yourself, and then invite others to come along, changing others is inevitable. People follow examples. 1329

The problem is that most people travel to get away from themselves, their lives and their work. Laura and other self-aware people travel to be with themselves. 1342

I believe that Ireland’s experience mirrors what happens when individuals make compromises about how they choose to self-identify. Never before has humanity more needed a place to call home, something to believe in, and something to feel part of. As many of the heroes and institutions we’ve historically held in high regard falter, people feel more isolated and insecure than ever. 1398

Adding children to the mix often presents another life-altering shift in self-identification. While children are a beautiful gift, and we learn so much from them, there’s no doubt that many parents (and mothers in particular) radically alter their self-identification once children enter the picture. This happens because your life is suddenly focused more on what you do as opposed to who you are. I’ve seen this in clients enough times to know this is a common issue. 1407

Facing problems that appear unrelated to a focus issue is often the best way to shine a light on the challenges we’ve already identified. Life can be complicated. That’s why a series of small revelations can create the lasting and sustainable change that tackling a major challenge cannot. 1448

The bottom line is that real change depends on intense, and sometimes painful, self-reflection

Three Steps a Day Challenge

I have been out attending conferences and just launched my new niche podcast site for Autocross so I wasn’t able to post much over the last week or so – but it’s a good thing that I got busy because I learned a lot from attending conferences and reading awesome books!

I just started reading Will It Fly by Pat Flynn and when I was in a conference, he was one of the guest speakers.

The book runs you through the things that you should do to help you organized get it done.

Chalene Johnson – she records podcasts via periscope and sends it to her team.

Three Tips – here are all the successful people do, these are what you need to do.

  1. Daily Brain Dump
  • get it out, Tai Lopez said the best time is at night so you feel refreshed the next day
  • I feel more relaxed when you do it before bedtime

2. Write down 2 or 3 ten-minute steps for the things I care for

  • How can you get it done?
  • If you take 20 minutes doing things – small steps toward your goal (my own 30-day challenge)
  • How do you create this challenge?
  • Before I get down of the car – I write what I need to do
  • How can you tie it to a habit?
  • If you have this list of small things, tick off some of them before mid-day – you’ll feel good about yourself.
  • If you are really tired, take a rest.

3. De-clutter

  • Clean something every day.
  • Daily actions is important.

Break down your process.

Help people accomplish things – what can I help a specific type of person?

I hope you will challenge yourself and learn where it leads you.

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Book Review of Sam Walton’s Made in America

This is a riveting story  full of inspirational and sometimes funny anecdotes about what they call the “rules of the road” of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream.

If I had to single out one element in my life that has made a difference for me, it would be a passion to compete. Read more at location 89

It’s a story about believing in your idea even when maybe some other folks don’t, and about sticking to your guns. But I think more than anything it proves there’s absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary working people can accomplish if they’re given the opportunity and the encouragement and the incentive to do their best. Read more at location 94

I learned from a very early age that it was important for us kids to help provide for the home, to be contributors rather than just takers. In the process, of course, we learned how much hard work it took to get your hands on a dollar, and that when you did it was worth something. One thing my mother and dad shared completely was their approach to money: they just didn’t spend it. Read more at location 164

Then I got to know Helen’s family, and listening to her father, L. S. Robson, was an education in itself. He influenced me a great deal. He was a great salesman, one of the most persuasive individuals I have ever met. And I am sure his success as a trader and a businessman, his knowledge of finance and the law, and his philosophy had a big effect on me. My competitive nature was such that I saw his success and admired it. I didn’t envy it. I admired it. I said to myself: maybe I will be as successful as he is someday. Read more at location 178

Note: Another mentor for him

The principle behind this is simple: the best way to reduce paying estate taxes is to give your assets away before they appreciate. Read more at location 195

Note: Reminds me that Mark Shepard had his kids own part of his farm before it was anything other than a field.

It wasn’t lavish or exorbitant, and that was part of the plan—to keep the family together as well as maintain a sense of balance in our standards. HELEN WALTON: “It was great moneywise, but there was another aspect to it: the relationship that was established among the children and with the family. It developed their sense of responsibility toward one another. You just can’t beat that. Read more at location 197

Here’s the thing: money never has meant that much to me, not even in the sense of keeping score. If we had enough groceries, and a nice place to live, plenty of room to keep and feed my bird dogs, a place to hunt, a place to play tennis, and the means to get the lads good educations—that’s rich. Read more at location 212

We all love to fly, and we have nice airplanes, but I’ve owned about eighteen airplanes over the years, and I never bought one of them new. Read more at location 215

Note: So far I can say I’ve never bought a new car, yet I’ve bought more cars than I needed so still not so wise.

CHARLIE BAUM, EARLY WAL-MART PARTNER: “I’ve known Sam since his first store in Newport, Arkansas, and I believe that money is, in some respects, almost immaterial to him. What motivates the man is the desire to absolutely be on top of the heap. It is not money. Money drives him crazy now. His question to me at 6 A.M. not long ago was ‘How do you inspire a grandchild to go to work if they know they’ll never have a poor day in their life? Read more at location 228

DAVID GLASS, CEO, WAL-MART: “Does Sam have money? I’ve been traveling with him for thirty years, and you could never tell it by me. In fact, if I didn’t read the proxy statement every year, I’d swear he was broke. I remember one time we were flying out of New York—on a commercial flight—going to see our friends at The Limited in Columbus, Ohio—and all of a sudden at the airport, Sam sort of looks startled and says, ‘David, I don’t have any money with me. Do you?’ I reached in my wallet and pulled out two twenties. He looked at them and said, ‘You won’t need both of those, let me borrow one. Read more at location 233

But sometimes I’m asked why today, when Wal-Mart has been so successful, when we’re a $50 billion-plus company, should we stay so cheap? That’s simple: because we believe in the value of the dollar. We exist to provide value to our customers, which means that in addition to quality and service, we have to save them money. Read more at location 249

Mother must have been a pretty special motivator, because I took her seriously when she told me I should always try to be the best I could at whatever I took on. So, I have always pursued everything I was interested in with a true passion—some would say obsession—to win. I’ve always held the bar pretty high for myself: I’ve set extremely high personal goals. Read more at location 265

Looking back on such boyhood episodes helps me to realize now that I’ve always had a strong bias toward action—a trait that has been a big part of the Wal-Mart story. Read more at location 281

I worry that it seems like I’m bragging or trying to make myself out to be some big hero. It particularly bothers me because I learned a long time ago that exercising your ego in public is definitely not the way to build an effective organization. One person seeking glory doesn’t accomplish much; at Wal-Mart, everything we’ve done has been the result of people pulling together to meet one common goal—teamwork—something I also picked up at an early age. Read more at location 282

Note: Reminds me of Ken Lay of Enron fame how he exercised his ego and put himself first. This I learned from the book “Give and Take” talking about givers and takers and Ken was a taker.

I guess I was just totally competitive as an athlete, and my main talent was probably the same as my best talent as a retailer—I was a good motivator. Read more at location 302

It taught me to expect to win, to go into tough challenges always planning to come out victorious. Read more at location 306

It never occurred to me that I might lose; to me, it was almost as if I had a right to win. Thinking like that often seems to turn into sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Read more at location 308

I learned early on that one of the secrets to campus leadership was the simplest thing of all: speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you. Read more at location 316

“Sam is one of those rare people who knows every janitor by name, passes plates in church, loves to join organizations. Read more at location 323

EZRA ENTREKIN, FORMER CIRCULATION MANAGER OF THE COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN: “We hired Sam to deliver newspapers, and he really became our chief salesman. When school started, we had a drive to get the kids in the fraternities and sororities to subscribe. And Sam was the boy we had do that because he could sell more than anybody else. He was good. He was really good. And dedicated. And he did a lot of other things besides deliver newspapers. In fact, he was a little bit scatterbrained at times. He’d have so many things going, he’d almost forget one. But, boy, when he focused on something that was it. Read more at location 336

He had been a barber in Odessa, Missouri, before he and his brothers started a variety store chain which had grown to around sixty stores by that time. I would talk with him about merchandising, how to do it, and how well it was working out for him. He took an interest in me, and later even offered me a job. Read more at location 346

Note: Kind of a mentor

I had a high school girlfriend whose father was a very successful salesman for General American Life Insurance Company, and I had talked to him about his business. Read more at location 349

Note: Another mentor or real life teacher

The deal was pretty straightforward—report to the JC Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa, three days after graduation, June 3, 1940, and begin work as a management trainee. Salary: $75 a month. That’s the day I went into retail, and—except for a little time out as an Army officer—that’s where I’ve stayed for the last fifty-two years. Maybe I was born to be a merchant, maybe it was fate. I don’t know about that kind of stuff. But I know this for sure: I loved retail from the very beginning, and I still love it today. Not that it went all that smooth right off the bat. Like I said, I could sell. And I loved that part. Unfortunately, I never learned handwriting all that well. Read more at location 357

Then, of course, the icing on the cake was when James Cash Penney himself visited the store one day. He didn’t get around to his stores as often as I would later on, but he did get around. I still remember him showing me how to tie and package merchandise, how to wrap it with very little twine and very little paper but still make it look nice. Read more at location 376

I worked for Penney’s about eighteen months, and they really were the Cadillac of the industry as far as I was concerned. But even back then I was checking out the competition. The intersection where I worked in Des Moines had three stores, so at lunch I would always go wander around the Sears and the Yonkers stores to see what they were up to. Read more at location 378

1945, I not only knew I wanted to go into retailing, I also knew I wanted to go into business for myself. My only experience was the Penney job, but I had a lot of confidence that I could be successful on my own. Our last Army posting was in Salt Lake City, and I went to the library there and checked out every book on retailing. I also spent a lot of my off-duty time studying ZCMI, the Mormon Church’s department store out there, just figuring that when I got back to civilian life I would somehow go into the department store business. The only question left was where we were going to set up housekeeping. Read more at location 404

Note: He loved it enough to read all the books about it

My naïveté about contracts and such would later come back to haunt me in a big way. Read more at location 434

But at the time I was sure Newport and the Ben Franklin had great potential, and I’ve always believed in goals, so I set myself one: I wanted my little Newport store to be the best, most profitable variety store in Arkansas within five years. I felt I had the talent to do it, that it could be done, and why not go for it? Set that as a goal and see if you can’t achieve it. If it doesn’t work, you’ve had fun trying. Read more at location 435

For all my confidence, I hadn’t had a day’s experience in running a variety store, so Butler Brothers sent me for two weeks’ training to the Ben Franklin in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Read more at location 442

It was a real blessing for me to be so green and ignorant, because it was from that experience that I learned a lesson which has stuck with me all through the years: you can learn from everybody. I didn’t just learn from reading every retail publication I could get my hands on, I probably learned the most from studying what John Dunham was doing across the street. Read more at location 446

Note: Today we can check out our competitions website

HELEN WALTON: “It turned out there was a lot to learn about running a store. And, of course, what really drove Sam was that competition across the street—John Dunham over at the Sterling Store. Sam was always over there checking on John. Always. Looking at his prices, looking at his displays, looking at what was going on. He was always looking for a way to do a better job. I don’t remember the details, but I remember some kind of panty price war they got into. Later on, long after we had left Newport, and John had retired, we would see him and he would laugh about Sam always being in his store. But I’m sure it aggravated him quite a bit early on. John had never had good competition before Sam. Read more at location 449

I learned a tremendous amount from running a store in the Ben Franklin franchise program. They had an excellent operating program for their independent stores, sort of a canned course in how to run a store. It was an education in itself. They had their own accounting system, with manuals telling you what to do, when and how. They had merchandise statements, they had accounts-payable sheets, they had profit-and-loss sheets, they had little ledger books called Beat Yesterday books, in which you could compare this year’s sales with last year’s on a day-by-day basis. They had all the tools that an independent merchant needed to run a controlled operation. I had no previous experience in accounting—and I wasn’t all that great at accounting in college—so I just did it according to their book. In fact, I used their accounting system long after I’d started breaking their rules on everything else. I even used it for the first five or six Wal-Marts. Read more at location 455

Note: What can or do people use today? Quickbooks? How can it be improved? Is it as thorough

At the very beginning, I went along and ran my store by their book because I really didn’t know any better. But it didn’t take me long to start experimenting—that’s just the way I am and always have been. Read more at location 467

Note: Learn to expire meant in your business! Every day every week every month

I’ll never forget one of Harry’s deals, one of the best items I ever had and an early lesson in pricing. It first got me thinking in the direction of what eventually became the foundation of Wal-Mart’s philosophy. If you’re interested in “how Wal-Mart did it,” this is one story you’ve got to sit up and pay close attention to. Harry was selling ladies’ panties—two-barred, tricot satin panties with an elastic waist—for $2.00 a dozen. We’d been buying similar panties from Ben Franklin for $2.50 a dozen and selling them at three pair for $1.00. Well, at Harry’s price of $2.00, we could put them out at four for $1.00 and make a great promotion for our store. Read more at location 485

Here’s the simple lesson we learned—which others were learning at the same time and which eventually changed the way retailers sell and customers buy all across America: say I bought an item for 80 cents. I found that by pricing it at $1.00 I could sell three times more of it than by pricing it at $1.20. I might make only half the profit per item, but because I was selling three times as many, the overall profit was much greater. Simple enough. But this is really the essence of discounting: by cutting your price, you can boost your sales to a point where you earn far more at the cheaper retail price than you would have by selling the item at the higher price. In retailer language, you can lower your markup but earn more because of the increased volume. Read more at location 490

It was new and different—another experiment—and we really turned a profit on it. I paid off that $1,800 note in two or three years, and I felt great about it. I really didn’t want to be remembered as the guy who lost his shirt on some crazy ice cream machine. Read more at location 509

As good as business was, I never could leave well enough alone, and, in fact, I think my constant fiddling and meddling with the status quo may have been one of my biggest contributions to the later success of Wal-Mart. Read more at location 515

“I guess Mr. Walton just had a personality that drew people in. He would yell at you from a block away, you know. He would just yell at everybody he saw, and that’s the reason so many liked him and did business in the store. It was like he brought in business by his being so friendly. Read more at location 623

But this store was ahead of its time too, self-service all the way, unlike the competition. This was the beginning of our way of operating for a long while to come. We were innovating, experimenting, and expanding. Somehow over the years, folks have gotten the impression that Wal-Mart was something I dreamed up out of the blue as a middle-aged man, and that it was just this great idea that turned into an overnight success. It’s true that I was forty-four when we opened our first Wal-Mart in 1962, but the store was totally an outgrowth of everything we’d been doing since Newport—another case of me being unable to leave well enough alone, another experiment. And like most other overnight successes, it was about twenty years in the making. Read more at location 638

Note: More experiments and a 20 year overnight success

Of course I needed somebody to run my new store, and I didn’t have much money, so I did something I would do for the rest of my run in the retail business without any shame or embarrassment whatsoever: nose around other people’s stores searching for good talent. That’s when I made my first real hire, the first manager, Willard Walker. Read more at location 643

But he said I would get a percentage of the profits, and that appealed to me. When I went to quit TG&Y, the vice president said, ‘Remember, Willard, a percentage of nothing is still nothing.’ But I went ahead and took the job. Sam was down there every day from the time we started until the time we left. He rolled up his sleeves and worked every day until we built that store from scratch. Read more at location 651

shelf brackets to hold the merchandise. Then I went somewhere to look at what Sterling Stores was doing—most everything I’ve done I’ve copied from somebody else. Read more at location 668

I started raising money for the pavement, but it got real complicated, and in the end I decided I had better take my whipping, so I backed out of the whole deal and went back to concentrating on the retail business. I probably lost $25,000, and that was at a time when Helen and I were counting every dollar. It was probably the biggest mistake of my business career. I did learn a heck of a lot about the real estate business from the experience, and maybe it paid off somewhere down the line—though I would rather have learned it some cheaper way. Read more at location 701

DAVID GLASS: “Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First, he gets up every day bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. And once he sees he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction. Read more at location 707

Whatever money we made in one store, we’d put it in another new one, and just keep on going. Read more at location 740

Note: Re-investing the money into their own stores not the stock market or somebody else’s idea only what they controlled probably with a new best

Also, from Willard Walker on, we would offer to bring the managers we hired in as limited partners. If you had, say, a $50,000 investment in a store, and the manager put in $1,000, he’d own 2 percent. Read more at location 741

Note: Letting managers buy into the store is a way to keep them involved and caring about the profits

By now, you know me. I began looking around hard for whatever new idea would break us over into something with a little better payoff for all our efforts. Read more at location 752

Note: To expand kept looking for opportunities by looking at what others were doing

So I started running all over the country, studying the concept from the mill stores in the East to California, where Sol Price started his Fed-Mart in 1955. Read more at location 759

Nobody wanted to gamble on that first Wal-Mart. I think Bud put in 3 percent, and Don Whitaker—whom I had hired to manage the store from a TG&Y store out in Abilene, Texas—put in 2 percent, and I had to put up 95 percent of the dollars. Helen had to sign all the notes along with me, and her statement allowed us to borrow more than I could have alone. We pledged houses and property, everything we had. But in those days we were always borrowed to the hilt. We were about to go into the discount business for real now. And from the time those doggone Wal-Marts opened until almost today, it has been a little challenging. Read more at location 777

They thought Wal-Mart was just another one of Sam Walton’s crazy ideas. It was totally unproven at the time, but it was really what we’d been doing all along: experimenting, trying to do something different, educating ourselves as to what was going on in the retail industry and trying to stay ahead of those trends. Read more at location 838

a pretty conservative guy. But for some reason in business, I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been. Read more at location 841

And he took everything I said down on this yellow legal pad. Read more at location 850

Note: Sam took lots of notes not just trusting his memory

can tell you this, though: after a lifetime of swimming upstream, I am convinced that one of the real secrets to Wal-Mart’s phenomenal success has been that very tendency. Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity. The things that we were forced to learn and do, because we started out underfinanced and undercapitalized in these remote, small communities, contributed mightily to the way we’ve grown as a company. Had we been capitalized, or had we been the offshoot of a large corporation the way I wanted to be, we might not ever have tried the Harrisons or the Rogers or the Springdales and all those other little towns we went into in the early days. It turned out that the first big lesson we learned was that there was much, much more business out there in small-town America than anybody, including me, had ever dreamed of. Read more at location 871

But this was really a small, small town, so number 8 was another experiment. Read more at location 890

 

ESP method, which really sped things along when it came time to close those books. It’s a pretty basic method: if you can’t make your books balance, you take however much they’re off by and enter it under the heading ESP, which stands for Error Some Place. Read more at location 927

CHARLIE CATE: “Sam had us send our sales report in every week, and along with it we had to send in a Best Selling Item. I mean we had to. What he was doing was teaching us to look for what’s selling all the time. You had to look because you had to send in this report every week, and if you reported that nothing was selling well, Mr. Walton would not be happy. He would think you weren’t studying your merchandise, and in that case he’d come study it for you. He’s been that way ever since I first met him in 1954. Read more at location 982

Note: He wanted people to be aware of what was selling best which meant they had the truck when I was selling and take notice and then figure out why it would be the key

I suspect I have emphasized item merchandising and the importance of promoting items to a greater degree than most any other retail management person in this country. It has been an absolute passion of mine. It is what I enjoy doing as much as anything in the business. I really love to pick an item—maybe the most basic merchandise—and then call attention to it. We used to say you could sell anything if you hung it from the ceiling. So we would buy huge quantities of something and dramatize it. We would blow it out of there when everybody knew we would have only sold a few had we just left it in the normal store position. Read more at location 988

A part we had better always hold on to. Over the years, I’ve had so much fun with this, and it really is amazing how much merchandise you can move with just a little promotion. Read more at location 1025

“We have a lot of fun with all this item promotion, but here’s what it’s really all about. The philosophy it teaches, which rubs off on all the associates and the store managers and the department heads, is that your stores are full of items that can explode into big volume and big profits if you are just smart enough to identify them and take the trouble to promote them. It has been a real key to helping this company dramatically increase its sales per square foot. Read more at location 1062

Another way we tried hard to make up for our lack of experience and sophistication was to spend as much time as we could checking out the competition. It’s something I did from the beginning, and it’s something I insisted all our managers do. Read more at location 1085

But underneath that personality, I have always had the soul of an operator, somebody who wants to make things work well, then better, then the best they possibly can. Read more at location 1323

If you want the people in the stores to take care of the customers, you have to make sure you’re taking care of the people in the stores. That’s the most important single ingredient of Wal-Mart’s success. Read more at location 1349

was never really comfortable with debt. But I recognized it as a necessity of doing business, and I had gotten pretty good at accumulating it. Read more at location 1543

I always did pay them off on time, but sometimes I would borrow from one to pay the other. I had bought a bank in Bentonville, for about $300,000, just a little old bank with only about $3.5 million in deposits. But it really helped me learn a lot about financing things. I made some new acquaintances and began to study more about bankers and how they liked to do business. Read more at location 1546

As long as we’re managing our company well, as long as we take care of our people and our customers, keep our eye on those fundamentals, we are going to be successful. Read more at location 1756

If I were a stockholder of Wal-Mart, or considering becoming one, I’d go into ten Wal-Mart stores and ask the folks working there, “How do you feel? How’s the company treating you?” Their answers would tell me much of what I need to know. Read more at location 1758

What’s really worried me over the years is not our stock price, but that we might someday fail to take care of our customers, or that our managers might fail to motivate and take care of our associates. Read more at location 1786

But while the big guys were leapfrogging from large city to large city, they became so spread out and so involved in real estate and zoning laws and city politics that they left huge pockets of business out there for us. Read more at location 1816

This saturation strategy had all sorts of benefits beyond control and distribution. From the very beginning, we never believed in spending much money on advertising, and saturation helped us to save a fortune in that department. Read more at location 1831

I’ve been asked if I was a hands-on manager or an arm’s-length type. I think really I’m more of a manager by walking and flying around, and in the process I stick my fingers into everything I can to see how it’s coming along. I’ve let our executives make their decisions—and their mistakes—but I’ve critiqued and advised them. My appreciation for numbers has kept me close to our operational statements, and to all the other information we have pouring in from so many different places. In that sense, I think my style as an executive has been pretty much dictated by my talents. I’ve played to my strengths and relied on others to make up for my weaknesses. Read more at location 1903

But if you asked me am I an organized person, I would have to say flat out no, not at all. Being organized would really slow me down. In fact, it would probably render me helpless. I try to keep track of what I’m supposed to do, and where I’m supposed to be, but it’s true I don’t keep much of a schedule. I think my way of operating has more or less driven Loretta Boss, and later Becky Elliott, my two secretaries, around the bend. My style is pretty haphazard. Read more at location 1914

Except for reading my numbers on Saturday morning and going to our regular meetings, I don’t have much of a routine for anything else. I always carry my little tape recorder on trips, to record ideas that come up in my conversations with the associates. I usually have my yellow legal pad with me, with a list of ten or fifteen things we need to be working on as a company. My list drives the executives around here crazy, but it’s probably one of my more important contributions. Read more at location 1930

“I think one of Sam’s greatest strengths is that he is totally unpredictable. He is always his own person, totally independent in his thinking. As a result, he is not a rubber-stamp manager. He never rubber-stamps anything for anyone. Read more at location 1943

He finally convinced me. If you take someone who lacks the experience and the know-how but has the real desire and the willingness to work his tail off to get the job done, he’ll make up for what he lacks. And that proved true nine times out of ten. It was one way we were able to grow so fast. Read more at location 2000

The larger truth that I failed to see turned out to be another of those paradoxes—like the discounters’ principle of the less you charge, the more you’ll earn. And here it is: the more you share profits with your associates—whether it’s in salaries or incentives or bonuses or stock discounts—the more profit will accrue to the company. Why? Because the way management treats the associates is exactly how the associates will then treat the customers. And if the associates treat the customers well, the customers will return again and again, and that is where the real profit in this business lies, not in trying to drag strangers into your stores for one-time purchases based on splashy sales or expensive advertising. Read more at location 2163

The decision we reached around that time, to commit ourselves to giving the associates more equitable treatment in the company, was without a doubt the single smartest move we ever made at Wal-Mart. Read more at location 2228

I learned this early on in the variety store business: you’ve got to give folks responsibility, you’ve got to trust them, and then you’ve got to check on them. Read more at location 2318

Keeping so many people motivated to do the best job possible involves a lot of the different programs and approaches we’ve developed at Wal-Mart over the years, but none of them would work at all without one simple thing that puts it all together: appreciation. All of us like praise. Read more at location 2364

From day one, we just always found the folks who had the qualities that neither Bud nor I had. And they fit into the niches as the company grew. Read more at location 2592

And, as I’ve said, we’ve certainly borrowed every good idea we’ve come across. Read more at location 2636

Culturally, things seem so different—like sitting on the floor eating eels and snails—but people are people, and what motivates one group generally will motivate another. Read more at location 2638

As we’ve grown, we’ve gotten away from the circus approach, but we’ve made it a point to keep encouraging the spirit of fun in the stores. We want the associates and the management to do things together that contribute to the community and make them feel like a team, even if they don’t directly relate to selling or promoting our merchandise. Here are a few of the crazy kinds of things I’m talking about: —Our Fairbury, Nebraska, store has a “precision shopping-cart drill team” that marches in local parades. The members all wear Wal-Mart smocks and push their carts through a routine of whirls, twirls, circles, and crossovers. Read more at location 2689

But he uses it for basically three purposes: to share information, to lighten everybody’s load, and to rally the troops. Believe it or not, the majority of our folks wouldn’t miss a Saturday morning meeting for anything. Read more at location 2755

A strong corporate culture with its own unique personality, on top of the profit-sharing partnership we’ve created, gives us a pretty sharp competitive edge. But a culture like ours can create some problems of its own too. The main one that comes to mind is a resistance to change. Read more at location 2812

I’ve forced change—sometimes for change’s sake alone—at every turn in our company’s development. Read more at location 2816

But if you get too caught up in that good life, it’s probably time to move on, simply because you lose touch with what your mind is supposed to be concentrating on: serving the customer. Read more at location 2860

But I’m going to say it again anyway: the secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want. And really, if you think about it from your point of view as a customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience. You love it when you visit a store that somehow exceeds your expectations, and you hate it when a store inconveniences you, or gives you a hard time, or just pretends you’re invisible. Read more at location 2870

Quite a few smaller stores have gone out of business during the time of Wal-Mart’s growth. Some people have tried to turn it into this big controversy, sort of a “Save the Small-Town Merchants” deal, like they were whales or whooping cranes or something that has the right to be protected. Read more at location 2935

Of all the notions I’ve heard about Wal-Mart, none has ever baffled me more than this idea that we are somehow the enemy of small-town America. Nothing could be further from the truth: Wal-Mart has actually kept quite a number of small towns from becoming practically extinct by offering low prices and saving literally billions of dollars for the people who live there, as well as by creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in our stores. Read more at location 2937

But I can also tell you this: if we had gotten smug about our early success, and said, “Well, we’re the best merchant in town,” and just kept doing everything exactly the way we were doing it, somebody else would have come along and given our customers what they wanted, and we would be out of business today. Read more at location 2959

Unless small merchants are already doing a great job, they’ll probably have to rethink their merchandising and advertising and promotional programs once a discounter arrives on the scene. They need to avoid coming at us head-on, and do their own thing better than we do ours. It doesn’t make any sense to try to underprice Wal-Mart on something like toothpaste. That’s not what the customer is looking to a small store for anyway. Most independents are best off, I think, doing what I prided myself on doing for so many years as a storekeeper: getting out on the floor and meeting every one of the customers. Let them know how much you appreciate them, and ring that cash register yourself. That little personal touch is so important for an independent merchant because no matter how hard Wal-Mart tries to duplicate it—and we try awfully hard—we can’t really do it. Read more at location 2977

I don’t care how many Wal-Marts come to town, there are always niches that we can’t reach—not that we won’t try. Read more at location 2988

“Kmart was opening so many stores it was regarded as the Genghis Khan of the discounting business. Sam has always been clear about his attitude: ‘Meet them head-on. Competition will make us a better company. Read more at location 3161

The way I approached managing the business, I always tried to maintain a sense of hands-on, personal supervision—usually by flying around to take a look at our stores on a regular basis. But from the very beginning, even on my paper routes in college, I have also been a delegator, trying to hire the best possible people to manage our stores. Read more at location 3524

Here’s the point: the bigger Wal-Mart gets, the more essential it is that we think small. Because that’s exactly how we have become a huge corporation—by not acting like one. Read more at location 3556

Here are six of the more important ways we at Wal-Mart try to think small: Read more at location 3585

Think One Store at a TimeRead more at location 3586

So we know what we have to do: keep lowering our prices, keep improving our service, and keep making things better for the folks who shop in our stores. Read more at location 3590

We have to do it store by store, department by department, customer by customer, associate by associate. Read more at location 3592

 

DAVID GLASS: “We believe that we have to talk about and examine this company in minute detail. I don’t know any other large retail company—Kmart, Sears, Penney’s—that discusses their sales at the end of the week in any smaller breakdown than by region. We talk about individual stores. Read more at location 3605

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate If you had to boil down the Wal-Mart system to one single idea, it would probably be communication, because it is one of the real keys to our success. We do it in so many ways, from the Saturday morning meeting to the very simple phone call, to our satellite system. Read more at location 3615

I want you to take a pledge with me. I want you to promise that whenever you come within ten feet of a customer, you will look him in the eye, greet him, and ask him if you can help him. Now I know some of you are just naturally shy, and maybe don’t want to bother folks. But if you’ll go along with me on this, it would, I’m sure, help you become a leader. It would help your personality develop, you would become more outgoing, and in time you might become manager of that store, you might become a department manager, you might become a district manager, or whatever you choose to be in the company. It will do wonders for you. I guarantee it. Now, I want you to raise your right hand—and remember what we say at Wal-Mart, that a promise we make is a promise we keep—and I want you to repeat after me: From this day forward, I solemnly promise and declare that every time a customer comes within ten feet of me, I will smile, look him in the eye, and greet him. So help me Sam. Read more at location 3648

Keep Your Ear to the GroundRead more at location 3662

What we guard against around here is people saying, ‘Let’s think about it.’ We make a decision. Then we act on it. Read more at location 3699

Push Responsibility—and Authority—DownRead more at location 3706

Force Ideas to Bubble Up This goes hand-in-hand with pushing responsibility down. We’re always looking for new ways to encourage our associates out in the stores to push their ideas up through the system. Read more at location 3730

“Let me tell you how Wal-Mart came to have people greeters. Read more at location 3749

he explained that he had a dual purpose: to make people feel good about coming in, and to make sure people weren’t walking back out the entrance with merchandise they hadn’t paid for. Read more at location 3753

Stay Lean, Fight BureaucracyRead more at location 3770

A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY: TEN RULES THAT WORKED FOR MERead more at location 3980

One I don’t even have on my list is “work hard.” If you don’t know that already, or you’re not willing to do it, you probably won’t be going far enough to need my list anyway. And another I didn’t include on the list is the idea of building a team. If you want to build an enterprise of any size at all, it almost goes without saying that you absolutely must create a team of people who work together and give real meaning to that overused word “teamwork.” To me, that’s more the goal of the whole thing, rather than some way to get there. Read more at location 3997

these rules are not in any way intended to be the Ten Commandments of Business. They are some rules that worked for me. But I always prided myself on breaking everybody else’s rules, and I always favored the mavericks who challenged my rules. Read more at location 4004

So pay special attention to Rule 10, and if you interpret it in the right spirit—as it applies to you—it could mean simply: Break All the Rules. Read more at location 4007

RULE 1: COMMIT to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. Read more at location 4010

RULE 2: SHARE your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. Read more at location 4013

Encourage your associates to hold a stake in the company. Offer discounted stock, and grant them stock for their retirement. It’s the single best thing we ever did. Read more at location 4015

RULE 3: MOTIVATE your partners. Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. Constantly, day by day, think of new and more interesting ways to motivate and challenge your partners. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score. Make bets with outrageous payoffs. Read more at location 4017

RULE 4: COMMUNICATE everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them. Read more at location 4020

RULE 5: APPRECIATE everything your associates do for the business. A paycheck and a stock option will buy one kind of loyalty. But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciates what we do for them. We like to hear it often, and especially when we have done something we’re really proud of. Read more at location 4024

RULE 6: CELEBRATE your successes. Find some humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasm—always. Read more at location 4027

RULE 7: LISTEN to everyone in your company. And figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front lines—the ones who actually talk to the customer—are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there. Read more at location 4031

RULE 8: EXCEED your customers’ expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want—and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Read more at location 4035

The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign: “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” They’re still up there, and they have made all the difference. Read more at location 4037

RULE 9: CONTROL your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage. For twenty-five years running—long before Wal-Mart was known as the nation’s largest retailer—we ranked number one in our industry for the lowest ratio of expenses to sales. Read more at location 4038

RULE 10: SWIM upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. Read more at location 4042

Here’s how I look at it: my life has been a tradeoff. If I wanted to reach the goals I set for myself, I had to get at it and stay at it every day. I had to think about it all the time. And I guess what David Glass said about me is true: I had to get up every day with my mind set on improving something. Read more at location 4073

Having now thought about this a lot, I can honestly say that if I had the choices to make all over again, I would make just about the same ones. Preachers are put here to minister to our souls; doctors to heal our diseases; teachers to open up our minds; and so on. Everybody has their role to play. The thing is, I am absolutely convinced that the only way we can improve one another’s quality of life, which is something very real to those of us who grew up in the Depression, is through what we call free enterprise—practiced correctly and morally. Read more at location 4077

A lot of people think it’s crazy of me to fly coach whenever I go on a commercial flight, and maybe I do overdo it a little bit. But I feel like it’s up to me as a leader to set an example. It’s not fair for me to ride one way and ask everybody else to ride another way. The minute you do that, you start building resentment and your whole team idea begins to strain at the seams. Read more at location 4144

As I’ve said, our country desperately needs a revolution in education, and I hope Wal-Mart can contribute at some level, if for no other reason than selfish ones. Read more at location 4152

You may have trouble believing it, but every time we’ve tested the old saying, it has paid off for us in spades: the more you give, the more you get. Read more at location 4155

Finally, a lot of folks ask me two related questions all the time. The first one is could a Wal-Mart-type story still occur in this day and age? My answer is of course it could happen again. Somewhere out there right now there’s someone—probably hundreds of thousands of someones—with good enough ideas to go all the way. It will be done again, over and over, providing that someone wants it badly enough to do what it takes to get there. It’s all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business. Read more at location 4156

The second question is if I were a young man or woman starting out today with the same sorts of talents and energies and aspirations that I had fifty years ago, what would I do? The answer to that is a little harder to figure out. I don’t know exactly what I would do today, but I feel pretty sure I would be selling something, and I expect it would be at the retail level, where I could relate directly to customers off the street. I think I’d study the retail field today and go into the business that offered the most promise for the least amount of money. Read more at location 4160

Book Review of The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey To Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin


This is my review of the fascinating story of Josh’s journey from chess prodigy to push hands world champion. Below are some of the highlights of this wonderful read.

Searching for Bobby Fisher – Book and Movie

His dedication to learning and studying to be great is amazing.  I had no clue about the world of competitive chess including the mentors and coaching necessary to excel.

He was an athletic kid who discovered chess at the age of six and it was almost as if he understood parts of the game intuitively.

Searching for the next bobby fisher. Is a book and movie his dad wrote about him.

He tells many a story about his time spent learning and competing in the world of chess.

He looked back at some moments in chess he called the “Soft Zones” when he became part of the moment.  He studied that and has tips and techniques for creating these moments when necessary.

He tells how he dealt with challenges and distractions from music to players kicking him, shaking the board etc.  Often he would turn a challenge or distraction into an advantage.  Start thinking to the beat of the music, not to react to the kicks by being distracted.  Taking a break to go and run sprints or climb stairs to regain focus.

“Mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer, and it should be nurtured continuously….When uncomfortable, my instinct is not to avoid thediscomfort but to become at peace with it….My instinct is always to seek out challenges as opposed to avoiding them.”  p 60

He then talks about his downward spiral in chess competitions.

I took from this a few things:

I like his explanation of playing chess the way that matched his personality and when he didn’t he didn’t play as well.  – so he wasn’t working through his strengths.

He notes “pressing for wins in equal positions often results in losing” – you need to really know your circumstances especially after things have changed from one where you were at an advantage and now are not at one.  Pressing forward as if you still have an advantage can be costly.

How can you apply this to life and business?

The film Searching for Bobby Fischer came out when he as 16 – and this added fame as a challenge and distraction.

“As a competitor I’ve come to understand that the distance between winning and losing is minute, and, moreover, that there are ways to steal winds from themaw of defeat.  All great performers have learned this lesson.” p 63

He talks about being present rather than being stuck in time.

He speaks about two coaches with very different techniques – one nurturing and the other shock and awe of breaking you down.

He mentions reading the books “On the road”, The Dharma Bums and the Tao Te Ching.  – “The Tao Te Ching’s windom cnters on releasing obstructions to our natural insight, seeing false constructs for what they are and leaving them behind.”

While  competing in chess he He was introducted to Tai Chi and then later Push Hands competitions

And  moved on to Martial Arts and eventually winning world championships.  Once again the dedicated he has for learning and competing is amazing.  He has a drive for challenging himself and getting the most out of himself.

Then chapter on “Investment in Loss” – you need to be challenged enough that you lose and then learn from it to advance.

“Investment in loss is giving yourself ot the learning process”

“…it is essential to have a libverating incremental approach that allows for times when you are not in a peak performance state.  We must take responsibility for ourselfes, and not expect the rest of the world to understand what I takes to become the best that we can become.”  Great ones are willing to get burned time and agin as they sharpen their swords in the fire.”  Michael Jordan making more last minute shots…also missing more

Making smaller circles. Chapter 11 – breaking things down into small steps – be the tortoise who continues prodding along on your goals.

12 Using adversity

3 Critical steps in a resilient performer’s evolving relationship to chaotic situations.

1.       “First we have to learn to be at peace with imperfection.” p 126

2.       …Learn to use imperfection to our advantage

3.       Create ripples in our consciousness…so we are constantly inspired whether or not external conditions are inspiring.:

When it came to competing in martial arts he took a challenge of having a hurt right arm to learn to use his left.

The challenge of dealing wit illegal hits lead him to learn ow to deal wit the fear of being hurt and learning to protect himself which took away the opponents advantage of using the illegal techniques.

He also learned to concede certain moves of holds thus conserving his energy and putting a wrinkle in the opponents plans. – much like his practicing the end game of chess and thus being better when getting to that part of the game.

Chapter Searching for the zone

Starts with this chapter “How can I learn to enter the zone at will, make it a way of life? How can I maintain my focus under pressure, stay serene and principled under fire, overcome distraction?  What do I do when my emotions get out of control?”

In this chapter he talks about some techniques he learned when he went to the Human Performance Institute formerly LGE in Orlando, Florida.

He realized he performed better after a relaxation break – so use time between moves to take a break.  Quarterbacks and NBA stars also implemented this.

Clear you mind

And also a training technique of cardio vascular interval training – getting his heart rate up to 170 take a minute break to get it down to 144  and then go hard again.

This helped him with his ability to relax and recover between arduous thought processes in a chess game.

Chapter – Building Your Trigger

He gives techniques for dealing with stress and how to create routines to get into the zone.  And how to shorten getting into the zone for all of us so we can turn it on and focus when we need to.

Example what is a time when time flies by?  Preceding this time add some other enjoyable activities then end with the time you are in the zone.

Then you shorten the time spent doing the preceding events and or use those times before you want to be in the zone/attentive at a meeting for example rather than doing the thing you are naturally in the zone doing.

Meditation – Thought being just practice it and realize you will have thoughts but release them and come back to focus on your breath.

Chapter Making Sandals

Deals with what to do with your feelings and emotions.

Can you do you take those emotions and channel them into a deeper focus?

“Then there are those elite performers who use emotion, observing their moment and then channeling everything into a deeper focus that generates a uniquely flavored creativity.” p 200

He covers thoughts around anger, ego, and fear.

“I had to develop the habit of taking on my technical weaknesses whenever someone pushed my limits instead of falling back into a self-protective indignant pose. Once that adjustment was made, I was free to learn. If someone got into my head, they were doing me a favor, exposing a weakness. They were giving me a valuable opportunity to expand my threshold for turbulence. Dirty players were my best teachers. ”  p 206

“The only way to succeed is to acknowledge reality and funnel it, take the nerves and use them. We must be prepared for imperfection.  If we rely on having no nerves, on not being thrown off by a big miss, or on the exact replication of a certain mindset, then when the pressure is high enough, or when the pain is to piercing to ignore, ore ideal state will shatter”

On how the Great chess player Garry Kasparov – champion for nearly 20 years dealt with a lack of confidence in an upcoming match

“Garry responded that he would try to play the chess moves that he would have played if he were feeling confident.  He would pretend to feel confident, and hopefully trigger the state.”

Kate Hagerty Interview: Intuition, Purpose and Life Coaching

In this week’s podcast, I had a great conversation with Kate Hagerty, a career, life purpose, intuitive and relationship coach. We met at Toast Masters and known each other for several years. Kate used to work in the corporate world for 30 years – in sales, marketing and advertising – making her way up the ladder and on the verge of making it to top of the play field, she realized that she needed something more from life.

Below are some of the great points during our conversation.

Turning point – being unhappy and just didn’t care about the results. Kate began to ask herself some powerful questions about what she really want to do with her life – she was miserable and unhappy and she didn’t want to continue having to deal with that.

Most people not really clear about their purpose.

Growing up, she had an intuitive gift but ignored it.

“You are gifted and keep moving.”

Working with people once didn’t really get anywhere.

It’s smart to start paying attention to your intuition.

Turn off the ‘chatter’ part of the brain to focus more on the more important things.

Start meditating.

When you step out of the house in the morning, pay attention – there are lots of interesting things happening around.

What you look for, you can find.

“Miracle Morning” – focus on what thought and see where that leads you.

We are so hard on ourselves and expect we are going to be good at meditation the first time we try it – some people need guided meditation, some need silence or music. It’s a challenge. It’s a process.

Kate got very unhappy in 2011 and tried different coaching certifications – to figure out herself and help her clients.

Do you want your health or do you want your benefits?

“I will never tell someone miserable to quit tomorrow.” Kate

You can be an empathic person but if you haven’t gone through something and suddenly meet someone who has, you can’t really completely understand.

Even though it’s scary, it is worthy in the end because it’s exciting – you are doing what you’re supposed to do.

Tell the truth without being mean.

You’re usually the average of the 5 people you spend your time with.

Are we supportive of each other? Do we support and learn from one another?

Don’t be around toxic people. Just because they’re family doesn’t mean you have to be around them.

Accountability partners are key to being successful for some people.

For a ‘solopreneur’ – you got to have an array of people to help you out.

Delegate the things you hate to do so you can focus on the things you love.

James Altucher – write down at least 10 ideas a day

Kate’s 8 Ways to Increase Your Intuition

(1) Meditate

(2) Work with angel or oracle cards

 (3) Pay attention when you step out of the house with all five senses

(4) Test out the intuitive hunches you get; try following one and not following another and see what you experience

(5) Feel instead of think

(6) Listen to your body

(7) Learn from the past

(8) Do not call yourself crazy; trust what you “get”

To learn more about Kate, visit her website at www.soulpurpose.biz

About Kate Hagerty

Kate is a Career, Life Purpose & Relationship Intuitive Coach. She helps professionals discover their true life purpose and the specific next steps they need to take to align their life with what they REALLY came here to do, so they can finally find peace, clarity and direction. Learn more at www.soulpurpose.biz

kate@soulpurpose.biz

(303-562-8530)