Aug 312012

Consider this graph:

Some basic facts and observations:

  1. Android has only been around a couple of years — iOS a bit longer but not a lot longer.
  2. You can get a small app programmed and ready for sale for less than $5 K
  3. You can get a pretty substantial app programmed and selling for around $10 K (not an action game though — that is a mega app)
  4. You can make it happen in less than 6 months
  5. Most apps are mediocre — just download any 20 yourself — so there is plenty of room for substantial improvement
  6. Marketing your app is tricky of course – 500,000 apps is a LOT of noise, making it hard to get noticed.

But… anyone that wants to try can try. The barriers of entry are very low — basically no barriers at all. All you need is a bit of money, a good idea, a good plan, and taking action. You can even keep your day job.

We live in a wondrous decade. Starting a business just 30 years ago typically involved leasing land, building a building, buying equipment, lots of permits and inspections — hundreds of thousands of dollars risked on one big bet. Today, anyone who wants to break out of their current daily rut, can. Smartphones are today’s #1 land of opportunity! There is no excuse not to dream, not to set goals, not to live large and take a half dozen shots at personal independence and financial success.

I.M. Optimism Man

Aug 212012

Imagine a football team that only tries to improve itself by playing competitive games. This team never practices, the coaches and players never discuss what strategy and tactics will be employed on game day, and no one even thinks about how it will match up against the next opponent. The quarterback doesn’t practice throwing routes with his receivers, the linemen don’t work together, and the running backs sit around playing Xbox 360 until its time to get their jerseys on.

Will this team succeed?

Of course not.

Football is a complex game that requires teamwork, forethought, and lots of practice. A single play is often practiced dozens, even hundreds of times until the coaches are sure it will be executed as designed, each player knowing his job and doing his job to the best of his ability. As a backdrop, each player will have spent countless hours in the gym and on the track, continually building up his strength and endurance so that he can still execute the plays deep into the fourth quarter or overtime. Practice and conditioning are paramount to winning championships.

Meet Jim Davis.

Mr. Davis is a hard working sales executive for Ashfordshire Corporation. At least once per month and often several times each month, Jim is faced with selling a prospect on Ashfordshire’s technology and solution. If he succeeds, millions of dollars will change hands, jobs will be secured, Jim will enjoy a great commission bonus, and Ashfordshire will score another marketshare first down versus its closest competitor, Devlin MacGregor Inc.

Does Jim practice? Does Jim improve his conditioning? Does he work on his technique? Or does he fall back on the “I have eleven years of experience” excuse and only plays the game during the heat of competition?

We know the answer. 99% of business competition is game time only, no practice, no conditioning, no preparation, no planning. But the game of life is just as complex and demanding as football!

How much farther would Jim get in his 30+ year career if he worked weekly on improving his speaking abilities? How much more would he earn in commissions if he learned better and better sales techniques? What if he spent hours researching his prospects before each presentation? What if he always took the time to conduct on-site surveys, to ask great questions, to discuss solutions with his pre-sales engineers, to develop a personal playbook that really works for each type of prospect? What if Jim practiced his presentations and planned for the unexpected?

Most people agree that Jim’s career attainment would be greatly enhanced if he did practice and perfect, before playing out the game in front of his live customer prospects.

So, here’s my question to you: What have you done to become better — this week, this month, this year — in your job / career skills? Do you practice before game time? When is the last time you practiced better communication skills? Toastmasters is everywhere, it only takes a couple of hours a week. Nearly every job requires or is enhanced by excellent communication abilities. When is the last time you worked on improving your writing abilities? Texting your teenager does not count, LOL!

Decide to become extraordinary and to be all you can be. Take the first step. Set a goal to become a better speaker or learn a second language. Read, learn, practice and you will become better. Don’t be the player that only plays in the game without practice and conditioning. If you do, you will leave too much unrealized successes on the table.

I.M. Optimism Man


Aug 112012

Most of us realize that it is difficult to achieve anything great, unless you have a clear goal in mind. I can’t think of one famous success in America that got to the pinnacle by sheer accident. I can’t help but wonder why so few people in practice have a crisp list of goals jotted down in black and white.

Here are five great quotes / reminders regarding goals and why it is worth working on your personal list this coming weekend:

Big goals get big results. No goals get no results or someone else’s results.
— Mark Victor Hansen

A winner is someone who recognizes his God given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.
— Larry Bird

Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.
— Nido Qubein

People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.. It’s as simple as that.
— Earl Nightingale

Set one small goal, then do what it takes until you achieve it. Repeat with a second goal, and then again. You will build up extraordinary momentum in only a few months when you start keeping your own commitments. Private, personal integrity is liberating. 
— B. Sakalas

I.M. Optimism Man

Aug 042012

It takes courage, political smarts, and talent to disagree — constructively.

Most people avoid disagreement, especially at work. This is a mistake. Please watch this short video by Margaret Heffernan and understand why being a yes-man or yes-woman is a blockade to critical thinking and progress.

Question everything! And develop a trusted inner circle of friends and mentors that questions your theories and ideas. The mental challenge will make you stronger.

I.M. Optimism Man