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money-master-the-gameHere are my notes on the book “Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom” by Tony Robbins.

There are 3 things you need to know about this book:

  1. This book is huge
    • Most business books take me 4 hours to get through, this one took me 12
    • I read it on my Kindle, so at times I thought it would never end (whereas, with a hardcopy book, you can feel with your fingers how far through you are)
  2. Tony repeats points over and over
    • This can be a bit annoying at times. But that’s just his teaching style. He knows that for the important bits to stick in your head, he needs to repeat them.
  3. His writing style is not crisp and concise like most business authors
    • His writing is like a conversation in your head between you and him. It’s like he’s talking to you personally

Having said that, this was a very good book. I’ve broken it into 4 parts:

  1. Part one is about psychology, how your brain works, what humans really need, how money serves those needs
  2. Part two is a lesson on how the economy works (watch the video, it is a real eye opener)
  3. Part three shows you what a truly balanced portfolio looks like
  4. Part four is a 7 step checklist to get started in investment

 

Here’s a collection of my favourite bits from this book.

Part One: Human Needs

  • If we get underneath what you’re really after, it’s not money at all.
  • What you’re really after is what you think money is going to give you.
  • Ultimately, it’s a set of feelings.
  • And beneath those feelings are needs.

NEED 1: CERTAINTY/COMFORT

  • It’s our need to feel in control and to know what’s coming next so we can feel secure.
  • It’s the need for basic comfort, the need to avoid pain and stress, and also to create pleasure.
  • Our need for certainty is a survival mechanism.
  • It affects how much risk we’re willing to take in life – in our jobs, in our investments, and in our relationships.
  • The higher the need for certainty, the less risk you’ll be willing to take or emotionally bear.
  • By the way, this is where your real “risk tolerance” comes from.

NEED 2: UNCERTAINTY/VARIETY

  • We need variety. We need surprise.
  • You like the surprises you want. The ones you don’t want you call problems!
  • But you still need them to put some muscle in your life.
  • You can’t grow muscle – or character – unless you have something to push back against.

NEED 3: SIGNIFICANCE

  • We all need to feel important, special, unique, or needed.
  • So how do some of us get significance?
    • You can get it by earning billions of dollars or collecting academic degrees—distinguishing yourself with a master’s or a PhD.
    • You can build a giant Twitter following.
    • Or you can go on The Bachelor or become one of the next Real Housewives of Orange County.
    • Some do it by putting tattoos and piercings all over themselves and in places we don’t want to know about.
    • You can get significance by having more or bigger problems than anybody else. “You think your husband’s a dirtbag? Take mine for a day!”
    • Of course, you can also get it by being more spiritual (or pretending to be).
    • Unfortunately, one of the fastest ways to get significance—that costs no money and requires no education—is through violence. If someone puts a gun to your head, in that instant he becomes the most significant thing in your life, right?
    • Spending a lot of money can make you feel significant, and so can spending very little.
    • We all know people who constantly brag about their bargains, or who feel special because they heat their homes with cow manure and sunlight.
    • Some very wealthy people gain significance by hiding their wealth.
  • Significance is also a moneymaker—that’s where my dear friend Steve Wynn has made his fortune.
    • The man who made Las Vegas what it is today knows people will pay for anything they believe is “the best”—anything that makes them feel special, unique, or important; anything that makes them stand out from the crowd.
    • He provides the most exclusive, luxurious experiences imaginable in his casinos and hotels—they are truly magnificent and unmatched in the world.
    • He’s got a nightclub called XS (what else?) that is the hottest spot in Las Vegas.
      • Even on a weeknight, it has a line out the door.
      • Once you’re in, you have the privilege of purchasing an ordinary bottle of champagne for $700, or if you want to step up and show everyone you’re a player, you can spend $10,000 for a special “Ono cocktail” of rare vintage cognac and fresh orange juice that comes with a white-gold necklace.
      • Hey, it comes to your table with a sparkler, just so everybody knows you’re significant (and out of your mind).

NEED 4 LOVE AND CONNECTION

  • Love is the oxygen of life; it’s what we all want and need most.
  • When we love completely, we feel alive, but when we lose love, the pain is so great that most people settle on connection, the crumbs of love.
  • You can get that sense of connection or love through intimacy, or friendship, or prayer, or walking in nature.
  • If nothing else works, you can get a dog.

NEED 5: GROWTH

  • If you’re not growing, you’re what? You’re dying.

NEED 6: CONTRIBUTION

  • The secret to living is giving.
  • Sharing enhances everything you experience.
  • Life is really about creating meaning.
  • And meaning does not come from what you get, it comes from what you give.
  • Ultimately, what you get will never make you happy long term.
  • But who you become and what you contribute will.
  • “What’s the secret to wealth?” And he said, “Tony, you know it, and you know it well. You teach it to everyone. It’s gratitude.”

Part Two: How The Economy Works

All you need to do is watch this 30 minute video:

Also available from www.EconomicPrinciples.org

Part Three: What A Truely Balanced Portfolio Looks Like

Ray’s view boils it down to only four different possible environments, or economic seasons, that will ultimately affect whether investments (asset prices) go up or down. (Except unlike nature, there is not a predetermined order in which the seasons will arrive.)

They are:

  1. higher than expected inflation (rising prices)
  2. lower than expected inflation (or deflation)
  3. higher than expected economic growth, and
  4. lower than expected economic growth.

You should have 25% of your risk in each of these four categories.

“Today we can structure a portfolio that will do well in 2022, even though we can’t possibly know what the world will look like in 2022.

So let’s call this portfolio herein the “All Seasons” portfolio:

  • 30% in stocks
    • for instance, the S&P 500 or other indexes for further diversification in this basket
  • 15% percent in intermediate term [seven- to ten-year Treasuries]
  • 40% in long-term bonds [20- to 25-year Treasuries]
    • “Why such a large percentage?” I asked. “Because this counters the volatility of the stocks.”
  • 7.5% in gold
  • 7.5% in commodities
    • “You need to have a piece of that portfolio that will do well with accelerated inflation, so you would want a percentage in gold and commodities. These have high volatility. Because there are environments where rapid inflation can hurt both stocks and bonds.”

Lastly, the portfolio must be rebalanced.

  • Meaning, when one segment does well, you must sell a portion and reallocate back to the original allocation.
  • This should be done at least annually, and, if done properly, it can actually increase the tax efficiency.

Part Four: Guide to Getting Your Investment Started

Step 1: Make the Most Important Financial Decision of Your Life

  1. Did you make the decision to become an investor, not just a consumer?
  2. Have you committed a specific percentage of savings that always goes toward your Freedom Fund?
  3. Have you automated it? If not, do it now: www.tdameritrade.com or www.schwab.com.
  4. If the amount you’re committing now is small, have you committed to your employer to use the Save More Tomorrow program? See http:// befi.allianzgi.com/en/befi-tv/pages/save-more-tomorrow.aspx.

Step 2: Become the Insider: Know the Rules Before You Get in the Game

  1. Do you know the 9 Myths, and are you now protected? Here’s a mini- test:
    • What percentage of mutual funds beat the market (or their benchmark) over any ten years?
    • Do fees matter, and what’s the average mutual fund fee?
    • If you pay 1% versus 3% in fees, how much of a difference does it make to your final nest egg?
    • Have you taken your broker for a test drive? Have you gone online and seen what your current costs are, how much risk you have in your current investments, and how your current investment strategy has compared over the last 15 years with other simple, inexpensive options?
    • Do you know the difference between advertised returns and what you actually earn?
    • Do you know the difference between a broker and a fiduciary?
    • Are target-date funds your best option?
    • How do you maximize your 401(k), and should you elect to use a Roth 401(k)?
    • Do you have to take huge risks to make big rewards? What are some of the tools that will allow you to get the upside of the market without the downside losses?
    • Have you identified any of the limiting stories or emotions that have held you back or sabotaged you in the past, and have you broken their pattern of control in your life?
  2. Do you have a fiduciary now representing and guiding you? If not, go online and find one at http://findanadvisor.napfa.org/home.aspx or go to Stronghold and review its services approach (www.Stronghold Financial.com).
  3. If you own a company, or you’re an employee with a 401(k) plan, have you taken 30 seconds to check how your fees compare with the rest of the market? Go to http://americasbest401k.com/401k-fee-checker.
  4. If you’re a business owner, have you met your legal requirement to benchmark your 401(k) against other comparable plans? Remember, the Department of Labor has reported that 75% of the 401(k)s it audited resulted in an average penalty of $600,000 (www.americasbest401k.com).

Step 3: Make the Game Winnable

  1. Have you made the game winnable?
    • Have you found out what your real numbers are? Have you figured out what it’s really going to take for you to achieve financial security, vitality, and independence? Have you calculated it?
    • If not, go back and do that right now. Or if you want to revisit them, go back and do the numbers now or go to your app, where you can keep the numbers in your pocket, and it will be calculated in a few minutes. You can do it in just a few minutes.
    • Remember, clarity is power. See www.tonyrobbins.com/masterthegame.
  2. Once you’ve got the numbers, did you use your wealth calculator and come up with a plan that shows you how many years it will take in a conservative, moderate, or an aggressive plan to achieve financial security or independence? If not, give yourself the gift. Go to the app and do this now.
  3. Have you looked over and made any decisions about the five elements of how you can speed up your plan and achieve financial security or independence even faster?
    • Save more:
      • Have you looked at the places you could save? Your mortgage? Daily purchases?
      • Have you implemented a Save More Tomorrow plan so that you don’t have to give up anything today, but when you get additional income in the future, you’ll save more? Go to http://befi.allianzgi .com/en/befi-tv/pages/save-more-tomorrow.aspx.
      • Have you found something that you could cut down easily in order to increase your savings? Is it the $40 pizza? Is it the water bottle? Is it Starbucks? And have you calculated how much more money you’ll have in your Freedom Fund and how much faster you can achieve your goals by doing this?
      • Remember, $40 a week can equal $500,000 over an investment lifetime.
      • You don’t have to do any of these if you’re already on target, but these are options if you’re not yet on target to achieve your financial goals.
    • Earn more.
      • Have you found ways to increase the value you can add to others?
      • Do you need to retool yourself and switch to a different industry?
      • What are the ways you can add more value and grow more so you can give more?
    • Save in fees and taxes.
      • Have you come up with a way to apply what we’ve taught you to reduce your fees and/or reduce your taxes?
    • Get better returns.
      • Have you found a way to invest with greater returns without undue risk?
      • Have you reviewed any of the portfolios that are here that might enhance your earnings and protect you from those gut-wrenching downturns in the market?
    • Change your life—and improve your lifestyle.
      • Have you considered a new location with an even better lifestyle?
      • Have you considered putting yourself in a place where you reduce or eliminate state taxes and then put all of that money toward building wealth and your family’s financial security and freedom?

Step 4: Make the Most Important Investment Decision of Your Life

  1. Have you decided on asset allocation so that you never put yourself in a position to lose too much? (Not all your eggs are in one basket, right?)
  2. Have you decided what percentage belongs in your Security Bucket and what specific types of investment you’ll use to be safe and still maximize returns?
    • Are you diversifying with different types of investments within the Security Bucket?
    • Have you decided what percentage of your savings or investment capital will go in the Security Bucket?
  3. Have you decided what percentage belongs in your Risk/Growth Bucket and what specific types of investments you’ll use to maximize returns yet still limit your downside as best as possible?
    • Are you diversified with your Risk/Growth Bucket?
  4. Have you evaluated your actual risk tolerance effectively?
  5. Have you considered your stage of life and whether you should be more or less aggressive based on the length of time you have to save and invest?
    • (If you’re young, you can lose a bit more because you have more time to recover; if you’re closer to retirement, you have less time to recover, and perhaps you need more in your Security Bucket.)
  6. Have you evaluated the amount and size of your cash flow and whether that will play a role in your level of conservativeness or aggressiveness in your asset allocation?
  7. Have you resolved the ratio of Security versus Risk/Growth as a percentage of your overall investments?
    • 50/50? 60/40? 70/30? 30/70? 40/60? 80/20?
  8. Have you come up with a list of short-term and long-term goals for your Dream Bucket that excite you?
    • Do you have to wait until someday in the future, or do you have some things you’re going to make happen right away?
  9. Have you established a way to fund your Dream Bucket with either a small amount of savings or a portion of the profits of windfalls from successes in your Risk/Growth Bucket?
  10. Rebalancing and dollar-cost averaging:
    • Are you consistently committing the same amount of money to investments regardless of whether the market is moving up or down? Remember, timing the market never works.
    • Are you continually rebalancing your portfolio, or do you have a fiduciary doing this for you? Either way, this is crucial to optimizing returns and minimizing volatility.

Step 5: Create a Lifetime Income Plan

  1. The power of All Seasons:
    • Have you taken the time to read, understand, and take action on the powerful insights that Ray Dalio gave us with his All Seasons approach? He has brought successful investment returns 85% of the time and lost money only four times in 30 years, but never more than 3.93% to date!
    • Have you gone to Stronghold and taken five minutes to see what kind of returns you’re getting on your current investments compared with All Seasons (and other portfolios) or to see what it would take to set up an All Seasons portfolio in minutes?
  2. Income Insurance:
    • Have you done the most important thing of all? Have you made sure that you will not run out of income as long as you live? Have you established a guaranteed lifetime income plan?
    • Do you know the difference between an immediate annuity and a deferred annuity, and have you selected which might be right for you depending on your stage in life?
    • Have you reviewed and initiated a hybrid annuity or tapped into the upside-without-the-downside strategy that’s now available to anyone regardless of age and without any lump-sum payment whatsoever?
    • Have you gone online and found out how much future income you could have for as little as $300 a month or more? If not, go to www.lifetimeincome.com or call an annuity specialist at Stronghold.
  3. Secrets of the Ultrawealthy:
    • Have you investigated how to drastically cut the amount of time it will take you to achieve financial freedom by 30% to 50% through the use of tax-efficient life insurance strategies? Remember, PPLI (private placement life insurance) is great for high net worth, but anyone can use the policies offered through TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund ) with minimal deposit amounts. If you haven’t yet explored these tools, reach out to a qualified, expert fiduciary today or contact Stronghold for a free analysis
    • Have you invested the $250 to set up a living trust so that your family is protected and your assets will go to them without going through a year of probate Have you protected your wealth not only fro your current generation but also your grandchildren and your great grandchildren?

Step 6: Invest Like the .001%

  1. Have you taken the time to absorb some of the short interviews with 12 of the smartest financial people on earth, the greatest investors in history?
  2. Who is the “Master of the Universe” in the financial world? What kind of returns has he gotten compared with anyone else, including Warren Buffett, and how could you invest with him if you wanted to?
  3. What did you learn about asset allocation from Yale’s David Swensen? Or J.P. Morgan’s Mary Callahan Erdoes?
  4. What did you learn from the indexing master Jack Bogle? Or from Dr. Doom, Marc Faber?
  5. Did you capture the simple strategy that Warren Buffett now recommends for everyone, including his wife and her legacy trust?
  6. Did you absorb the importance of how to get asymmetric returns?
  7. Did you absorb the $100,000 MBA that Paul Tudor Jones gave you by never making an investment of less than five to one and always tapping into the power of the trend?
  8. Did you check out Ray Dalio’s How the Economic Machine Works—In Thirty Minutes video? If not, watch it now at www.economicprinciples.org.
  9. Did you soak in the concepts of Kyle Bass’s solution on investing where you cannot lose money? Remember the power of nickels? Where investments are guaranteed forever by the US government, and you’ll have a potential upside of anywhere from 20% to 30%?
  10. Did you take in the core lessons from Charles Schwab, and Sir John Templeton’s gift that continues to give of being able to know that the worst environment is your greatest opportunity—to be most optimistic when the world is “ending” like it did in World War II, like it did in inflation in South America, like it did in the Depression, like it did in Japan after World War II? Did you absorb his true core strategic philosophy that made him the first international investment billionaire in history?
  11. What actions can you take today to start investing like the .001%?

Step 7: Just Do It, Enjoy It, and Share It!

  1. Your Hidden Asset:
    • Have you connected to the truth that the future is a magnificent place?
    • It will be filled with exciting challenges.
    • Opportunities and problems are always there, but are you clear that there is a wave of technology that is going to continue to innovate and empower us as individuals and enhance the quality of life for human beings all over the earth?
  2. Have you given yourself the ultimate gift?
    • The commitment to be wealthy now, not someday in the future – by appreciating and developing the daily habit of priming your appreciation of what you already have and building on that success?
  3. Would you trade expectation for appreciation?
    • And have you committed to a life of progress?
    • Progress equals happiness.
    • Life is about growing and giving.
  4. Have you figured out what you’re here to serve and what the higher purpose is for your life?
    • Have you begun to think about your legacy?
  5. Have you decided to convert your pocket change into massive change in the world?
    • If so, go to www.swipeout.com now, take one minute, and start the process of saving lives while you enjoy your own.
  6. Are you embodying the truth that makes you wealthy in this moment: the secret to living is giving?

What Do You Think?

Have your say in the comments below.

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The NZ Cafe Owners network is where cafe owners in a particular city are matched to a cafe owner in a neighbouring city.

They call each other once a fortnight (8pm on a Thursday night) to share marketing ideas to grow their businesses.

  • There is no competition because they are in different cities, so they are free to share any, and all, ideas
  • They are more likely to take action on the new ideas because they hear about how other owners have implemented them and what results the changes generated
  • If the pair run short on ideas to share, they are simply re-matched with a new cafe owner (this is encouraged)
  • They work such long hours, they can never find the time to read marketing books or search Google for marketing ideas
  • They work so hard inside their business they sorely need an outsiders perspective to identify weaknesses and opportunities and ask challenging questions
  • They realise that just providing “great food and great service” isn’t enough these days. That’s just the new baseline minimum that people expect

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Well, it doesn’t exist, sorry.

It’s just an idea I had the other day.

If you’d like to start providing this service, I suggest the following steps:

  1. Pitch the idea to 3 cafe’s near you and 3 more in a neighbouring city
  2. Set appointments for the phonecalls for them and share the phone numbers
  3. Briefly interview them the next day to see how it went (write down their testimonials)
  4. Ask them if they are prepared to pay $10/month for the service. And if so, send them an invoice for the first month immediately

All the best!

coffee-queue-out-the-door

Is it every cafe owners dream to be so popular that there is a queue out the door and down the street, but no-body minds waiting because waiting is part of the experience and it’s just the cost of being a super-fan?

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Having a list of email address of people who want to hear from you is gold. The secret to effective email newsletters is to mimic a one-to-one email conversation as closely as possible. Any elements that make the recipient suspect that your message is one-to-many will reduce the impact of your message. There are 6 […]

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I made my annual trip to TEDxAuckland on Saturday, and for the last 2 years I have captured my experience here on MarketingFirst.co.nz, but this time I’ve written my report on the TEDxTauranga website. Read it now: TEDxAuckland 2014: 18 Hours of Awesomeness

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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

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November 4, 2013
Thumbnail image for Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

This book was pretty darn amazing. I’m already a pretty optimistic guy but this book backed up that optimism with facts and reasoning. Fantastic stuff. My favourite quote was “In today’s hyperlinked world, solving problems anywhere, solves problems everywhere.” Let’s start with the table of contents because you might spot areas that interest you that you […]

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Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

October 23, 2013
Thumbnail image for Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

My notes on Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff. Chapter 1: The Method The process using the acronym STRONG: Setting the frame Telling the story Revealing the intrigue Offering the prize Nailing the hookpoint Getting a decision Chapter 2: Frame Own the Frame, Win the Game A […]

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Advertising: “But What Advertising Methods Will Work For MY Business?”

September 25, 2013
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You might have read my list of 62 ways to advertise, but are these 2 questions on your mind right now?: Am I wasting money on the advertising I’m doing now? Which advertising methods will work for my business? The advice you get when you ask this question will change depending on the incentives of […]

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Google Calendar: How To Duplicate An Appointment

September 5, 2013
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I’ve been using Google Calendar for many years, but I only recently found this function, and now I couldn’t live without it. How to duplicate an appointment in Google Calendar Go into the details of the appointment you want to copy Along the top buttons there is a dropdown labelled “More Actions” Choose “Duplicate Event” from […]

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Google Calendar: How To Silently Rip An Appointment From An Invited Guests Calendar

September 4, 2013
Thumbnail image for Google Calendar: How To Silently Rip An Appointment From An Invited Guests Calendar

I’m a huge fan of Google Calendar. I even switched my reluctant wife over to it rather than her diary book, and now she loves it too. If you use Google Calendar and you use it to invite people to appointments and events, you need to occasionally cancel appointments, right? Well, you’ll know that you […]

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My Transition From Employee To Home Based Business To Co-Working

August 12, 2013

This is a short video on how I made the transition from employee, to home based business, to leading a co-working space in central Tauranga, New Zealand. Watch this video on Vimeo Thanks to Jono from EmergeFilm for all his work on this story (we work together at Studio64 co-working space).

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TEDx Auckland 2013: 17 Hours of Awesomeness

August 5, 2013

TEDxAuckland ran from 10am to 5.30pm on 3 Aug 2013: 7.5 hours of awesomeness. But my day started at 6am because I drove up from Tauranga for it, and got back home at 11pm. I’m still counting the 8.5 hours of waiting and driving because those were all awesome too. I was either talking to […]

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Only Prospects In Pain Will Buy: 6 Questions To Ask To Uncover Your Prospects Pain

July 17, 2013
Thumbnail image for Only Prospects In Pain Will Buy: 6 Questions To Ask To Uncover Your Prospects Pain

Did you know that only a prospect in pain will buy a solution from you? It’s true. The more pain they feel, the higher the price they will pay, and the more they crave your solution if you can show them that you understand their pain. If you have a warehouse full of widgets to […]

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Your New Website Says “Under Construction” or “Coming Soon”? 3 Reasons That’s A Disaster

May 22, 2013
Thumbnail image for Your New Website Says “Under Construction” or “Coming Soon”? 3 Reasons That’s A Disaster

I love purchasing a new website address, don’t you? (A website address is also known as a “domain name”, or a “url”) I’ve purchased about 60 website addresses over the last few years. For clients, friends, and for myself. I get the same rush of adrenaline every time I do it. It’s so exciting because it’s much […]

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9 Companies, 90 Days, Worth $9 Million

May 20, 2013

Last week I went down to Wellington to the Lightning Labs demo day. Lightning Labs is New Zealands first (and only) business accelerator. For a bit of background, read my article about Lighting Labs that I wrote a couple of weeks ago. 90 days ago these 9 companies were worth zip, nada, nothing. And now […]

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How to Create Start Up Companies Worth A Million Dollars Each In Just 90 Days

May 3, 2013

Did you meet Laura Rietel (and Nick Churchouse from Lightning Labs) on Thursday 2 May 2013? If not, you missed a great night! Laura shared her experience with Business Accelerators. I loved her presentation style. No slides. Just a few notes, lots of stories, and lots of questions. Casual and friendly, it felt less like a seminar […]

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Worried Someone Will Steal Your Awesome Idea? 7 Possible Reactions When You Share Your Idea

May 1, 2013
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New ideas are exciting! Sometimes great ideas wake you in the middle of the night (and at the time you are sure you’ll remember them so you don’t bother writing them down… oops). Sometimes great ideas happen to you when you are alone (like in the shower, or in the car), and it’s so annoying […]

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Startup Communities – Building An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City by Brad Feld

April 18, 2013
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My notes on “Startup Communities – Building An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City” by Brad Feld Give Before You Get Boulder is an incredibly inclusive community. Although there is some competition between companies, especially over talent, the community is defined by a strong sense of collaboration and philosophy of “giving before you get.” If you […]

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9 Questions To Get You Started When You’ve Got An Idea For A StartUp Business

April 16, 2013
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Heard of “a business plan”? It’s how you plan your business, right? Well, the bad news is that “business plans never survive first contact with customers” – Steve Blank. This means that you can plan all you like, but real customers with real money in their pockets will buy what they want to, not what […]

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“Tauranga University Enrolls First 99 Students, 4 Years Ahead Of Schedule” – Proposed Headline for BOP Times, Fri 26 July 2013

April 15, 2013

Dear universe, I would like the following headline appear in the Bay of Plenty Times on Fri 26 July 2013: “Tauranga University Enrolls First 99 Students, 4 Years Ahead Of Schedule”. Impossible? No. Not impossible. I’m going to tell you how. You can probably think of at least 5 reasons why a university here would be great […]

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The Future of “Work”: Are You A Cog In a Machine Or A Nanobot In A Swarm?

April 4, 2013

I had the honour of spending 60 seconds with John Key this morning. I was 1 of 10 young professionals invited to tell him about what we’re up to here in Tauranga, the city I love. Here’s my 60 second speech: Hi, I’m Sheldon Nesdale and I’m helping to build a eco-system of entrepreneurship and […]

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Testimonials: Tips About How You Can Get Powerful Testimonials For Your Website

March 27, 2013
Thumbnail image for Testimonials: Tips About How You Can Get Powerful Testimonials For Your Website

Firstly, Sean D’Souza in his book “The Brain Audit”, has this to say about Testimonials: — Why We Are All Sceptical About Testimonials Testimonials are like resumes; they’re not entirely believable.  Which is why most customers tend to view testimonials sceptically. Even if we don’t say it out loud, we view testimonials as one-sided. It’s the […]

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A Collection of 7 Bob Clarkson Thoughts

March 4, 2013
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Bob Clarkson (72 years old) invited me into his home on the weekend. For 90 minutes he told me his story. I can summarise it in 3 words: He loves building. We talked about many of his building projects. Past (those still standing today), Present (what he’s working on right now), and Future (those that […]

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What To Say When You Are Asked “What’s Your Hourly Rate?”

February 28, 2013
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Do you get asked the question “What’s Your Hourly Rate?” by potential clients? How do you respond? Do you just throw in one of these number into your response?: $10/hour $20/hour $50/hour $100/hour $200/hour $500/hour Potential clients often respond in one of these ways: “That’s too cheap!” “ooo, that’s too expensive and way out of my […]

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Should I Renew My Yellow Pages Listing For My Small Business?

February 18, 2013
Thumbnail image for Should I Renew My Yellow Pages Listing For My Small Business?

Is that a questions you are struggling with right now? Have you been advertising in the Yellow Pages hardcopy and/or online for years but now you’re thinking of cancelling? Do you suspect you are wasting your money, but you are shit-scared that your business will completely dry up if you stop paying them thousands of dollars […]

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Is Your Blog Stale? How Not Updating Your Blog Can Damage Your Business

February 11, 2013
Thumbnail image for Is Your Blog Stale? How Not Updating Your Blog Can Damage Your Business

“When I look at your blog I can almost see the tumbleweed rolling through…” Are visitors to your website thinking that? If you have a blog section on your website, at some point you thought it was a good idea to get one. You might call it your “news section” or your “article section”, they […]

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Job Hunting? Clever, But Simple Marketing Advice For Job Hunters

February 8, 2013

Looking for a new job? Does your job hunting plan look like this? Trawl through job ads on Seek, TradeMe Jobs and a couple of other sites Find jobs that look interesting and throw your CV at them Wait And wait some more And apply for some more (on the assumption that it takes 100 applications […]

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5 Co-Working Spaces in Auckland, The 6 Lessons I Learnt

January 29, 2013

Last week I visited all 5 of the co-working spaces in Auckland: Movers & Shakers, Auckland Central, Dion Bettjeman Loft503, Auckland Central, Matt Knight  Generator, Auckland Central, Ryan Wilson The Kitchen, Grey Lynn, Auckland, Murray Sheard Bizdojo, Auckland Central, Nick Shewring I am honoured that every single one of the founders/owners made time for me and my questions. I […]

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How Many Co-working Spaces in Hamilton?

January 25, 2013

Good news for you if you can answer “YES!” to these 3 questions: Are you are freelancer in Hamilton? Do you work from a home office? Do you want to move into a co-working space in Hamilton city? Up until now you would have had no option but to start your own space (which has […]

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Will You Join the 2013 Marketing Bootcamp in Tauranga?

January 8, 2013

The 2013 Marketing Bootcamp is a series of 12 workshops (one per month) which will improve both you and your business. Is the “2013 Marketing Bootcamp” for you? YES! If you own a Tauranga-based Small Business and you are either a solo operator, a husband-and-wife team or have a business partner YES! If last year went […]

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Selling services? Find out how to set your prices, and if you should put them on your website

December 17, 2012

Are you selling services? Are you quoting your hourly rate or using “value based pricing”? Should you put these prices on your website or not? Find out the answer to these questions with this short 2.5 minute discussion with Sheldon Nesdale from www.MarketingFirst.co.nz and Dan Necklen from www.Likeable.co.nz

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15 Reasons Why Co-Working In The City Centre Is Awesome

December 13, 2012
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This article is for those of you who are working from home right now, and it’s purpose is to show you what you could gain from moving out of home into a co-working space in the city centre. This is part 2 of 2. Read part one: 5 Reasons Why Working From Home Sucks I worked […]

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5 Reasons Why Working From Home Sucks

December 13, 2012
Thumbnail image for 5 Reasons Why Working From Home Sucks

This article is for those of you who are working from home right now, and it’s purpose is to show you what you could gain from moving out of home into a co-working space in the city centre. This is part 1 of 2. Read part two: 15 Reasons Why Co-Working In The City Centre Is […]

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Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

November 20, 2012

My notes on Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Lots of interesting stories in this book, but I’m just going to talk about 2 that really struck a chord with me. The Cost To Avoid Guilt? Just $3 Economists in an Israeli study in day care centres started imposing a fine of $3 if any parent […]

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In the retail business? Waiting for the world to change back to the way it was?

November 13, 2012

Can you answer yes to any of these questions?: Are you in the retail business? Are you waiting for the good-old-days to come back in terms of the economy and retail sales? Do you want the world to change back to the way it was before the recession? If so, I have good news. The […]

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Own A Cafe, Restaurant, Bar But Have No Website? Get One Before 2013

November 5, 2012

If you don’t have a website for your Cafe, Restaurant or Bar, then take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Did you know that only about one third (to one half) of New Zealand’s Cafe’s, Restaurant’s and Bar’s have a website? The 5 Most Common Objections I Hear From Owners: When […]

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How to Turn Your Junk To Gold – 7 Simple Tips for Selling on TradeMe

November 1, 2012

This is an update on my original article in Jul 2009 Ahh TradeMe, we all love it (And the recent copy-cat auction sites are hilarious. They have no chance!) Don’t you think it’s amazing how much gold people will pay for your junk? Do you want to squeeze every last dollar out of each TradeMe […]

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Interview with Cheryl Reynolds, CEO of SODA Inc, Hamilton’s Business Incubator and Accelerator

October 31, 2012

I’m on a mission to establish a Business Incubator in Tauranga next year. Part 1 of this mission is to learn from people who have already succeeded. So last week I spent an amazing, inspiring, uplifting 3 hours with Cheryl Reynolds the CEO of SODA Inc and Rachel Wark, the Communications Manager (thanks for making […]

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Business Facebook Pages: 6 Simple Tips For Your Business Page on Facebook

October 29, 2012

Are you just about to set up a Business Page on Facebook? Or have you set one up already but it’s just not generating business for you? Then this short list of tips will save you some time and help you generate some results. #1. Don’t sign up for a new Facebook Personal Profile just for […]

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Customer Survey Package

Thumbnail image for Customer Survey Package October 29, 2012

I’m about to show you that with your next customer survey, it is possible to generate satisfaction rather than just measure satisfaction. Let’s consider the customer’s perspective first. Do any of the following 3 scenario’s sound familiar? 1. Imagine you have just started dinner and the phone rings… You pick up and it’s someone asking you to […]

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Market Research Package

Thumbnail image for Market Research Package October 26, 2012

Do you have your eye on a target market and want to find out what those customers want? Do you want to find out more about the competition (if any) in that space? Do you want to evaluate the risk and determine your chance of success? Then consider this Market Research Package. Q: “Is this […]

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Tauranga 2013: A Business Incubator, A Business Accelerator, And 3 Co-Working Spaces

October 15, 2012

Have I shared with you my plan for 2013? I want to establish a business incubator/accelerator/co-working space here in Tauranga. Tauranga’s first co-working space starts this week in the Priority One building, hooray! I’ll be doing my best to help them succeed. But that is only the beginning. Imagine there was one business incubator, one […]

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The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

October 15, 2012

My notes on “The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries I’ve only made notes on the sections I found most interesting, so to get the full benefit of this book I urge you to read a copy for yourself The Five Principles Of The Lean Startup Entrepreneurs are everywhere […]

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Have A Great Idea For A Start-Up Company But Worried Someone Will Steal It?

October 12, 2012

On Monday you’ll see my notes on the book by Eric Ries called “The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses”. Amaaaaazing book. But I couldn’t wait until then to share this with you. There is one section in there that talks about how many of us have ideas that we think are […]

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Quickguide to LinkedIn Part 2: How To Milk LinkedIn – The 8 Most Important Cows

October 11, 2012

(Missed part 1? Read it first) Firstly, it’s important to note that “100% completion” is your starting point. That’s right, spend a few hours and just get all the basics done and out of the way until you score 100% completion. Then come back here and read the rest of this article. The 8 Most Important Components […]

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Quickguide to LinkedIn Part 1: What Types of People Are Looking At Your LinkedIn Profile Today?

October 10, 2012

Think you should be doing more with your LinkedIn profile? First let’s consider your audience. Who’s actually going to look at your profile? The 5 types of people looking at your LinkedIn profile today: 1. People you meet who are curious about you You might hunt them down first, or they might find you first. […]

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TEDx Auckland 2012: 16 Hours of Awesomeness

October 9, 2012

TEDx Auckland ran from 10am to 5.30pm on 6 Oct 2012: 7.5 hours of awesomeness. But my day started at 6am because I drove up from Tauranga for it, and got back home at 10pm. I’m still counting the 8.5 hours of waiting and driving because those were all awesome too. I was either talking […]

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“I Think It’s Too Long, Can You Make It Shorter?” A Phrase I Dread

October 4, 2012

I do quite a bit of copywriting: email proposals email newsletters sales pages on websites blog articles direct response letters and the occasional fax (I’m joking about the fax, it’s not the nineties anymore) The pieces of work I create are as long as they need to be and often include all of the following components: Headline: […]

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5 Questions For Small Business Owners to Think About Today

August 8, 2012

Compete against yourself Pretend there is a brand new competitor opening next door to you, what product and service bundles should he start selling? To who? Don’t wait for this to happen, create those bundles and target those customers yourself today Why you? What are the top 3 reasons customers should choose you? Put those […]

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Small Business Website: Do It Yourself For Only $141.50

August 7, 2012

If you don’t have a website for your small business, then take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Did you know that only about one third (to one half) of New Zealand businesses have a website? The 5 Most Common Objections I Hear From Owners: When asked why they don’t have a website, […]

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Email Marketing: 7 Reasons Why It’s Cool, 3 Reasons It Sucks, 7 Tips To Make It Work

August 6, 2012

Why are you attracted to the idea of “email marketing”? 7 Reasons Why Email Marketing Seems Cool Because sending emails is cheap (or free). It’s a cheap way to keep in contact with your customers It’s scalable – if you double or triple the number of customers on your email database there is no extra […]

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The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz

August 3, 2012

My notes on “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” by Mike Michalowicz This book had excellent structure, but I’ve only made notes on the sections I found most interesting, so you might find these notes jump around a bit. Launching Businesses I loved entrepreneurialism. I could talk about business all day, read every magazine, attend every seminar, and […]

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Business Cards: Don’t Waste Money Printing Business Cards

July 5, 2012
Thumbnail image for Business Cards: Don’t  Waste Money Printing Business Cards

When people first start their own business, the first thing they do is get 1000 business cards printed. Don’t bother! Don’t print business cards because only people who want to sell you something (that you don’t need) will take them from you and use them. Do people that you need something from ever take your business card […]

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Twitter: You Suspect It Would Waste Your Time, Are You Right?

July 1, 2012
Thumbnail image for Twitter: You Suspect It Would Waste Your Time, Are You Right?

What is it? Twitter is a micro-blogging platform which enables 160 character text messages (called “Tweets”) to be broadcast to “Followers”. From a business perspective, Twitter can be useful in 2 ways: For introducing your brand to a new, tech-savvy segment of the population When you “Follow” someone they are notified via email (unless they […]

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Rework by Jason Fried

June 20, 2012

My notes on “Rework” by Jason Fried TAKEDOWNS Ignore the real world “That would never work in the real world”. Dont’ believe them. That world may be real for them, but it doesn’t mean you will live in it Learning from mistakes is overrated You hear that failure build character. People advise, “Fail early and […]

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In What Type Of Business Is The CEO Also The Receptionist?

June 11, 2012
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You’ve probably noticed that there are often 2 types of receptionists in 9-5pm business offices: The first type I’ll call Wendy Winter and the second I’ll call Susan Summer. Wendy Winter Wendy doesn’t really want to be there She’ll be on Facebook most of the time if it hasn’t been blocked, and txt msg friends […]

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9 Reasons Why Outsourcing Your Sales Role Would be a Disaster

May 7, 2012
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Can you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions?: Is your business a one-man-band or husband-and-wife type of business? Are you a bit shy and find the prospect of networking and meeting people face to face a bit daunting? Are you thinking about outsourcing the sales role to a sales rep, either hiring […]

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The Brain Audit by Sean D’Souza

May 2, 2012

My notes on The Brain Audit by Sean D’Souza The following is just a copy/paste of the summary’s at the end of every chapter. I couldn’t do better myself because they are so well written. The most interesting parts for me was “how to construct a testimonial” and “how to determine what is unique about […]

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Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath

April 30, 2012

My notes on “Made to Stick” by Chip & Dan Heath S.U.C.C.E.S.s: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible Stories Simplicity Not dumbed down or sound bites Find the core fo the idea “The curse of knowledge” if you say 3 things you say nothing Simple = core + compact, forced prioritisation To make a profund idea compact […]

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Should You Quit Your Job And Start A Home Based Business? 8 Pros and 12 Cons To Help You Decide

April 27, 2012

Yesterday I was reading through one of my old journals from 3 years ago when I faced exactly this decision. In the journal I found my list of Pros and Cons that I had written to help me decide. Maybe they could help you to? PROS I’m ready. I’ve had my 3 years of experience. […]

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Getting Things Done by David Allen

April 23, 2012

My notes on “Getting Things Done” by David Allen [Borrowed heavily from Josh Kaufmans notes] 1. Define what being “done” looks like Most of the tasks people keep on their to-do lists are “amorphous blobs of undoability” – commitments without any clear vision of what being “done” looks like What does the end point look like? […]

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How To Make Millions With Your Ideas by Dan S. Kennedy

April 16, 2012

My notes on “How To Make Millions With Your Ideas” by Dan S. Kennedy To win with premium prices, clobber competitors with service Call every customer after the job is completed to verify satisfaction Offer strong guarantees Get crazy publicity & word of mouth with free product to local companies (works if you own a cafe anyway) Stake […]

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The Unwritten Laws of Business by J. King and James G. Skakoon

April 9, 2012

My notes on “The Unwritten Laws of Business” by J. King & James G. Skakoon. 2007 Good advice for employees who want to get the most out of their current role. However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts Demonstrate the ability to get things done Show Initiative. Start […]

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How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

April 2, 2012

My notes on “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie 3 Fundamental Techniques in Handling People Don’t crisicise, condemn or complain Instead, try to understand them, why they do what they do The most important human desire: A feeling of importance Give honest and sincere appreciation Find out their good points Try […]

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Purple Cow by Seth Godin

March 26, 2012

My notes on “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product. If it isn’t remarkable, its invisible The Advertising Age Before: Word-of-Mouth During: Ever increasing consumer prosperity, and endless consumer desire. Simple formula: Advertise on TV & mass media = increased sales After: Word-of-Mouth with new networks at rocket speed Being first […]

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Confession: I Only Have 4 Skills

March 14, 2012

It’s true. My confession to you today is that I only have 4 skills. Skill #1: I Can Read Being able to read is my first skill. I read a speed reading book 4 years ago and it changed my life: 10 Days to Faster Reading by Abby Marks Beale It increased my comprehension from […]

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The Award For The Worst Toll Free Number Goes To 0800 MELANOMA

March 12, 2012

There’s an ad playing on the radio at the moment about a local skin cancer specialist. I have a problem with their choice of phone number: 0800 MELANOMA To me, this is a classic case of being unable to consider the customers perspective, who is looking into the business from the outside. The business owner […]

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A Facebook Page For Your Business? Should You Bother?

March 5, 2012
Thumbnail image for A Facebook Page For Your Business? Should You Bother?

Word of Mouth is how a business dies, survives or thrives, right? Well, social media platforms such as Facebook are Word-of-Mouth with a megaphone. Traditional, mass-media, or “broadcast” forms of advertising are becoming less effective because they are based on interruption. Media is continuing to fragment (more websites, more TV channels, more magazines) so it […]

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How To Handle Negative Reviews About Your Business

February 21, 2012

Have you ever looked up your own business online and found a negative review somewhere? Maybe you own a restaurant and you’ve just found a negative review on a restaurant directory written by someone who was grumpy that night and they have lashed out at you? Maybe you own a motel and you’ve just found […]

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The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

February 17, 2012

My notes on “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki Complete This Sentence If your organisation never existed, the world would be worse off because… Take Notes To Impress When you are doing a pitch to an investor and they speak, take notes. The visible act of taking notes says: I think you’re smart […]

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Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

January 20, 2012

My notes on “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers My personal philosophy’s Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design […]

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How Are You Going To Change Your World in 2012?

December 9, 2011

Notice how I said “your world” rather than “the world”. Can one person change the world? Well, I do think one person can change 10 people. And those people can change 10 people each. And so on. And perhaps, in that fashion, you can change the world. But I’m talking about “your world”. Your world could be: […]

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Game-based Marketing by Gabe Zichermann

December 1, 2011

My notes on “Game-based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges and Contests” by Gabe Zichermann & Joselin Linder. Games are all around us “The Subway Game” is passive – most people don’t realise there is a game on, the players stand close to the train doors, block other players with their body language and compete […]

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Real-Time Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott

October 20, 2011

My notes on “Real-Time Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott. “How to instantly engage your market, connect with customers and create products that grow your business now.” What’s Expected In The Corporate World: Wait, to make certain Work from checklists dictated by one-year and even five-year business plans Measure results quarterly Execute based on a […]

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I Earn 540 Dollars Per Month From A Blog About Hot Pools, Could You Do The Same With A Topic You Are Passionate About?

September 22, 2011

Almost 2 years ago I wrote an article called “Should You Sell Space On Your NZ Website For Banner Advertising?” in which I suggested you shouldn’t. 2 years later I haven’t change my mind. If it’s your core business then your website should focused on attracting new customers, and making sales, not earning a few dollars […]

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Hit The Ground Running: A Manual For New Leaders by Jason Jennings

September 16, 2011

My notes on “Hit The Ground Running: A Manual For New Leaders” by Jason Jennings  The number one cause of business failure isn’t poor cash-flow or pricing it’s copying a competitors strategy Shareholders are best served by looking after consumers, retailers, employees, suppliers and community first. A different perspective from what you’d hear from Wall […]

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Why Now Is The Time To Crush It! Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

August 4, 2011

My notes on “Why Now Is The Time To Crush It! Cash In On Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk Gary’s checklist for creating your personal brand: Identify your passion Make sure you can think of at least 50 awesome blog topics to ensure stickiness Answer the following questions: Am I sure my passion is what I […]

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In New Zealand Is Facebook Just For Kids? No.

July 28, 2011

I thought it would be interesting to combine age group data from Facebook with age group data from Statistics New Zealand to see what proportion of each age group is using Facebook. In particular, I was interested in answers to questions like: Is Facebook mainly for teenagers? Are people over 50 using Facebook? Are people […]

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Poke The Box by Seth Godin

July 12, 2011

My notes on “Poke The Box” by Seth Godin Kinds of capital What can you invest? What can your company invest? Financial capital – Money in the bank that can be put to work on a project or investment Network capital – People you know, connections you can make, retailers and systems you can plug […]

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Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead

July 4, 2011

My notes on “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” by Sally Hogshead Fascination Scale Avoidance You’ll take steps to avoid TV commercials Disinterest You might leave the room during a commercial break to grab a bite Neutrality You don’t really care if you watch the commercial or not. You’re not going to take […]

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Overdue Invoices: 4 Simple Tips To Ensure Your Clients Pay On Time, Every Time. No More Overdue Invoices

June 3, 2011

Did you know that poor cashflow is the #1 killer of small New Zealand businesses? Do you have clients with overdue invoices right now? Do you grit your teeth when you check your bank account on the 20th of the month and find the deposits you were expecting, missing? Are your customers/clients slow to pay? […]

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Money Back Guarantees: Should You Offer None, 30 Days, or 30 Years?

May 23, 2011
Thumbnail image for Money Back Guarantees: Should You Offer None, 30 Days, or 30 Years?

You may have heard that money-back guarantees are a good idea but you are not sure if they are right for your business? Perhaps you are holding back because you are worried it’s going to cost you money handing out dozens of refunds, right? Offering any kind of money back guarantee is better than offering […]

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The No-Bullshit Way To Make Money Online: Slow Cook, Not Get-Rich-Quick

January 24, 2011
Thumbnail image for The No-Bullshit Way To Make Money Online: Slow Cook, Not Get-Rich-Quick

Over the last few years I have tried several ways of making money online. I wanted to get rich quick. Don’t we all? I fell for the hype and got out my credit card, but I’m not ashamed. I’m human, and the sales copy was brilliantly written and tapped into my psyche and convinced me. […]

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2 Vital Elements The “About Us” Page on Your Website May Be Missing

December 21, 2010

If you pay any attention to your webstats, you may have noticed that your About Us page is one of the least visited webpages on your website. This doesn’t mean it is unimportant. It is vitally important. The low traffic means that each prospective customer will visit it only once, so you’ve got one chance […]

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Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business by Erik Qualman

December 6, 2010

My notes on “Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business” by Erik Qualman The story about bacon salt Bacon Salt was an idea that was born out of the minds of two Seattle buddies, Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow, who over a few beers jokingly posed the question – “Wouldn’t […]

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Online Advertising In NZ: A Crash Course On How You Can Get Started Advertising Your Business Online in New Zealand

November 17, 2010

Have you noticed how much publicity the growth of online advertising has been getting lately? If you are wondering: “Am I missing out because I haven’t tried online advertising yet?” and “How can I dip my toe in the water to see if online advertising is right for my business?”, then this crash course on […]

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The Squeaky Window Gets The Lube

November 10, 2010

For about a week I have noticed an extremely squeaky rear electric window in my car. It is like 5 teenagers scratching on a chalk board – a really horrendous sound. I hadn’t thought too deeply about what I should do about it when I heard a radio ad this afternoon “Free electric window lube […]

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Social Media 101 by Chris Brogan

November 5, 2010

My notes on “Social Media 101″ by Chris Brogan In this book Chris talks about how he doesn’t use the word “expert” but uses the word “advisor” instead. So I extracted 4 pieces of advice from what I read. Here they are: (Should you read the book yourself you are sure to extract different advice […]

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Social Media Marketing for Dummies by Shiv Singh

November 5, 2010

My notes on “Social Media Marketing for Dummies” by Shiv Singh. My additions are in italics. Can sponsored conversations in social media be authentic? Yes, the trick is to be completely transparent that they are sponsored Disney partnered with SavvyAuntie, an online community focused on aunts without kids. Melanie Notkin, who runs SavvyAuntie, tweeted about […]

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The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani

November 2, 2010

My notes on “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Hyder Kabani Facebook Facebook is like a coffee shop. Everyone is there for his or her own reasons, but it is a great place to strike up a conversation. People from all walks of life use Facebook. They aren’t there to buy stuff. They […]

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Expired Domains: Picking Fruit From A Graveyard Of Failed Ideas?

September 7, 2010

Occasionally, just for fun, I spend a few minutes browsing www.ExpiredDomains.co.nz. Expired Domains lists all .nz domain names which have expired and are in the .nz registry’s official 90 day pending release period. But what I find most interesting about this list is that at first glance, many of them look like really good names! […]

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7 Ways To Get Your Website Working Harder For You

August 23, 2010

Is your website search engine friendly? Find out with a free review Is your website listed in the best, free NZ directories? Check the list Have you completed the 8 essential steps for getting a website working for you? Have you tried advertising using Google Adwords? Here’s how its done Have you got a copy […]

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Twitter/Facebook: How To Update Your Business Facebook Page Wall With Twitter

August 13, 2010

I am assuming you already have the following: Business Twitter Account Business Facebook Page (If you don’t, I can help you set up Twitter and Facebook for your business) You may be already aware how easy it is to update your personal Facebook Wall from Twitter.  But you don’t really want your tweets about your […]

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Business Facebook Pages: Simple Tips For Your Business Page on Facebook

August 12, 2010

See updated version: October 2012 If you are just about to set up a Business Page on Facebook this short list of tips will save you some time. #1. How to set a Facebook Business Page up You need a personal Facebook account before you can set up a business page. If you’re an employee, […]

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Move Out of the Way Little Kitten So I Can See The Brand Name!

July 13, 2010

If you run an icecream shop, you MUST copy this idea. Will it work for any other business? Probably not. You should have at least some sort of business connection otherwise all you’re doing is slapping scantily clad women on your ad for no good reason.

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Should I Give My Ebook Away For Free Or Require An Email Address?

June 14, 2010

I faced this decision 4 months ago over on my www.SearchEngineGuide.co.nz website (where I focus on SEO and Google Adwords). I had just decided to give away the 2009 version of my ebook “How To Optimise Your New Zealand Website For Search Engines” for free. My choices were to: Ask for a name and email […]

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Is The Contact Form On Your Website Making Your Prospective Clients Angry?

June 3, 2010

I just wrote this article on another one of my Website blog. I like it, so I will republish it here. Do you use a contact form on the “Contact Us” page on your website? If so, check this list of common mistakes to see if you are making your prospective clients angry or just […]

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What Are You Offering Your Clients? Junk, Rip-off, Bargain, Boring, or Quality?

May 18, 2010

Choose one (and only one) from the following list: Low Price + Low Service = Junk High Price + Low Service = Rip-off Low Price + High Service = Bargain Medium Price + Medium Service = Boring as hell High Price + High Service = Quality It’s time to get real and decide what you […]

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Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager

May 14, 2010

My notes on “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days” by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager What is your competitive advantage? Is it enough? Write down every reason you can think of to do business with your company. Now do the same for your top competitors. Scratch off the common ones. Are the remaining reasons good […]

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If advertising didn’t exist and there was only Word of Mouth, what would you do differently?

May 10, 2010

Would you change the way you serve your customers? Would you change the way you trained your staff? Would you change the products and services you offer? Would you quit your job and work for a different company? What else? Add to the comments below.

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How To Modify Your Advertising Depending On The Customers Usage Level And Loyalty

April 28, 2010

The next time you are writing an advertisement, or an article, or updating your website, choose your audience along the following grid of “usage” vs “loyalty”. Choose just one and ask yourself “how can I modify my message to speak just to them?”. Let’s look at each sector in more detail: 1. High/Med/Low User + […]

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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future By Seth Godin

April 27, 2010

My notes on “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future” by Seth Godin The law of the Mechanical Turk The law: “Any project, if broken down into sufficiently small, predictable parts, can be accomplished for awfully close to free.” Eg Jimmy Wales led the tiny team at Wikipedia […]

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B2B Marketing Plans: How To Create A One Page Marketing Plan – Just Answer These 7 Questions

April 26, 2010

Does your marketing plan need to be 10 pages? 20 pages? 200 pages? No. 1 page is fine. And all you need is the answers to these 7 questions. 7 Essential Questions For Your Business-to-Business Marketing Plan 1. What is your objective? Do you want to retire young? Do you want a million dollars? Do […]

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What Email Address Does The IRD Student Loan Newsletter Come From? MajorDomo@ird.govt.nz Of Course!

April 23, 2010

That is so weird. IRD has just stopped publishing their Student Loan info newsletter.  I got the last ever hard-copy today. From now on, if you want to know what’s going on with your student loan you have to sign up to the e-newsletter. So that’s what I did. And I just got an automated […]

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Marketing Without Money – How 20 Top Australian Entrepreneurs Crack Markets With Their Minds by John C Lyons and Edward de Bono

April 19, 2010

My notes on “Marketing Without Money – How 20 Top Australian Entrepreneurs Crack Markets With Their Minds” by John C Lyons and Edward de Bono: How narrow is your product offering? “Don’t try to be all things. Be famous for just one thing. We are doing a very simple thing. We are facilitator only, taking […]

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Tauranga Website Design: List of ALL The Tauranga Website Designers

April 13, 2010

I heard a rumour that Tauranga has a disproportionately high number of web designers. It turns out that this rumour may be true. List of ALL Tauranga Website Designers www.Firstbyte.co.nz [Portfolio | Pricing] www.GoodWebsites.co.nz www.WebsiteResults.co.nz www.Totali.co.nz www.Cohesion.co.nz www.ReserveGroup.co.nz www.BoldHorizon.co.nz www.CucumberSoftware.com www.IconAdvertising.co.nz www.Xeno.co.nz www.Markos.co.nz www.InboxDesign.co.nz www.VoltMedia.co.nz www.Moca.co.nz www.Reverb.co.nz www.aDesignWeb.co.nz www.DigitalEffects.co.nz www.e-Koncept.co.nz www.Enform.co.nz www.iLook.co.nz www.1stWeb.co.nz www.TaurangaWeb.co.nz www.DataDog.co.nz […]

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Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths For Winning At Business Without Losing Your Self by Alan M. Webber

March 31, 2010

My notes on “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths For Winning At Business Without Losing Your Self” – by Alan M. Webber. What business are you in? If you’re a journalist and you think you’re in the news business, chances are good you’re going to go out of business. News today is a commodity. But there’s […]

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The Knack – How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn To Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham

March 25, 2010

My notes on “The Knack – How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn To Handle Whatever Comes Up” by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham Why are you better off starting a business from scratch rather than buying one? It’s harder to learn a business if you haven’t been with it from the start You miss out on all […]

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Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application by 37Signals

March 22, 2010

My notes on “Getting Real – The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application” by 37Signals Build less Underdo the competition. Less features, less options/preferences, less people and corporate structure, less meetings and abstractions, less promises Fund it yourself. Constraints are good Constraints force creativity. Constraints drive innovation. Constraints force you to […]

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Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe

March 18, 2010

My notes on “Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business” by Jeff Howe 8 Very Successful Crowdsourcing Examples 1. Threadless Threadless receives thousands of designs each week The Threadless community of millions votes The company selects nine from the top hundred to print Each design sells out Hardly surprising […]

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Demographic Segmentation: Are You Still Segmenting Your Customers With Demographics Like Age, Gender, Address Etc? Stop.

March 16, 2010

If you’ve looking into buying mailing lists you’ll know that those lists are all about demographics. Typical demographic are: Age Gender Address Job Title Income Education Do you like being put in these boxes and having assumptions made about you regarding your buying preferences? No? Neither do I. Let’s pretend for a moment that you […]

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Who Owns The Tauranga Domain Names?

March 15, 2010

I love lists. (And Google loves lists – there’s a free SEO tip for you!) So here is my list of Tauranga domain names, who owns them, and which ones are still for sale: New Zealand (.nz) Domain Names www.Tauranga.govt.nz – Official website of Tauranga City Council www.Tauranga.org.nz – Official website of Tauranga Chamber of […]

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More People Play Farmville Than Are On Twitter? The Future of Gaming

March 15, 2010

Did you know the video game industry pulls in US$14 BILLION a year? It’s huge. And it will get bigger. Questions addressed in this video: Why are corny games like Farmville & Mafia Wars  so popular? How do games like that generate millions of dollars in revenue when it’s free to play? Does technology converge […]

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What Do You Do When You Need A Businesses Phone Number?

March 9, 2010

When I need a businesses phone number I go to Google Maps, and search for the business name there. 95% of the time the business appears with their phone number. What method do you use? Hardcopy white pages? Google Search? Google Maps? Finda.co.nz? Yellow.co.nz? Add your method to the comments below.

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1001 Ways To Make More Money As A Speaker, Consultant or Trainer by Lilly Walters

March 7, 2010

My notes on “1001 Ways To Make More Money As A Speaker, Consultant or Trainer” by Lilly Walters: Have business cards sized versions of flyers. They are easier for prospects to keep (flyers get binned) Goals are dreams with a deadline. Set goals with deadlines today. Freebies: Add to the bottom of articles, a freebie […]

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List of Rental Cars Needing Relocation – How You Can Hire A Rental For Free

February 16, 2010

Rental Car companies are always needing to move their vehicles between branches around the country. You can return one of these rental cars for them for free (sometimes the rental is free and you pay petrol, sometimes they give you 50% off the rental, sometimes it’s totally free) If I’ve missed any on the following […]

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How To Succeed As An Independent Consultant by Timothy R V Foster

February 15, 2010

My notes for “How To Succeed As An Independent Consultant” by Timothy R V Foster: How Do You Write An Elevator Speech? Imagine stepping into an elevator and the guy in the suit asks you “so, what do you do?”. You’ve got 30 seconds before you reach your floor, what do you say? What is […]

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The 80 Best Guerrilla Marketing Ideas I’ve Ever Seen

February 5, 2010

Here is the first in this list: I didn’t get it at first – but the “fleas” are people walking accross the foyer of an office building or mall, so this is the view for people looking down from the 3rd or 4th floor. Pretty clever huh? Here are 79 more: The 80 Best Guerrilla […]

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Have You Tried Guerilla Miniature Billboard Advertising?

January 29, 2010

Whilst driving to Mount Maunganui yesterday I spotted these tiny billboards strapped to street light polls and road signage opposite Mount Maunganui High School: 4 Lessons You Can Learn From These Guerilla Miniature Billboards What can you learn from this clever “guerilla” method of advertising? Could you replicate this strategy for your business? 1. Do […]

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62 Ways to Advertise Your Business

January 27, 2010

Cinema 1. Pre-movie Advertisements 2. Product Placement in-movie TV 3. 15/30 second Television Advertisements 4. Infomercials 5. TV Programme Sponsorship 6. Television Interviews Newspaper 7. Regional Community Newspaper – freely distributed 8. Regional Daily Newspaper 9. National Daily Newspaper Radio 10. 15/30 second Radio Advertisements 11. Radio Interviews Outdoor 12. Billboards 13. Video Billboard 14. […]

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New Features From FeedMyInbox – More Than Just Converting RSS (News Feeds) Into Emails

January 22, 2010

Do any of the following apply to you? Have you heard about RSS but can’t really be bothered with it? Do you have a few favourite blogs or news sites, but it’s up to you to remember to check them for new content? Do you have a News Feed (RSS) Reader like Google Reader but […]

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Email Newsletters: 10 Tips For Designing & Building Your Email Newsletters

January 21, 2010

Great advice from Smashing Magazine about how to design and build your email newsletters: Respect your reader. Don’t waste their time or attention. Ask nicely first. Focus on relevance. Design with a goal in mind, so that you’ll know if it worked. Make unsubscribing easy. Code like it’s 1999 (literally) and use inline CSS. Always […]

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Is PayPal The Easiest, Cheapest Way For Your Non-NZ Customers To Pay You Into Your New Zealand Bank Account?

January 15, 2010

I’m hoping that this article will save you the 45 minutes of research I just had to do. Do you have clients or customers based outside of New Zealand? Do you want to know the easiest, cheapest way for those non-NZ customers to pay you into your New Zealand bank account? That’s exactly what I […]

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Has Telecom New Zealand Finally Got Their Shit Together? Perhaps So.

January 8, 2010

Everyone likes to beat-up the big brands. They are an easy target. There is always something to complain about. And its comforting that your complaint is just one of many because you know there are hundreds or thousands of customers who feel the same way you do. You don’t expect to get an official response. […]

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A Successful Business Owner Told Me “No I Don’t Have A Website, In Fact I Don’t Do Any Advertising”

January 1, 2010

Earlier this week I needed to find a catery for my cat because we are going away for a few days in January.  A friend of mine is a vet and she recommended both Te Puna Cat Resort, and Top Katz Boarding Cattery (also in Te Puna). I searched Google for each, and both times […]

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Want Free Media Exposure? What The News Media Values & How You Can Get Your Business In The News

December 24, 2009

Yes, you can buy air time for your TV ads or radio ads. Yes, you can buy space for your newspaper ads. But you can also get mentioned in all of these media for free if you can create a newsworthy story. The first step is to ask the question “What do news editors look […]

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Contacting a WebSite Owner Via Email? An Easy Way to Get Your Email Message Noticed

December 23, 2009

I’ve just made a discovery that I’d like to share with you. Firstly, I’m a big fan of email. 5 Reasons Why Email is my Preferred Method of Communication: It provides me with a permanent record of what was said to who and when It’s more reliable than my memory for recording facts It doesn’t […]

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How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

December 14, 2009

My notes on “How We Decide” by Jonah Lehrer: Which of the following 2 sentences of praise encourages kids to challenge themselves? “You must be smart at this” (intelligence) “You must have worked really hard” (effort) The research revealed that the kids praised for their intelligence chose a puzzle of equal difficulty. Of the kids […]

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Generating Revenue By Subscription – Free To Start With And Then Start Charging? Does It Work?

December 14, 2009

Are you tempted to start charging for access to your website? Maybe it’s a blog, maybe it’s news, maybe its whitepapers in your area of expertise. If the revenue model for your website is by subscription you have 3 primary choices: Free content You ask for email addresses, but you don’t demand them for access […]

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Meet Your Local Cybersquatter: Dave Burghardt Who Owns TaurangaAirport.co.nz and Tauranga-Airport.co.nz

December 11, 2009

I was looking for flights from Tauranga to Dunedin yesterday, I searched for “Tauranga Airport” and came across www.TaurangaAirport.co.nz. It is a hideous 1 page website that talked about car rental. Not what I was expecting at all! I was suspicious so dug a little deeper using a “whois lookup” to find out who the […]

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The Most Direct Direct Mail I’ve Ever Directed

December 1, 2009

The Story The client owns a website that lists all the 100+ thermal hot pools around New Zealand. They wanted to upgrade the 36 commercial hot pools from the free listing (every hot pools was entitled to one of these), to the Premium listing which provided greater detail and made the hot pool more attractive […]

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Old News is Bad News – Is The “Latest News” On Your Website Ancient?

November 23, 2009

Have you ever heard this from a web developer? “You need a news page so you can keep your content fresh.  Google and users love fresh content!” “You need a blog, because Google loves blogs and you’ll look professional to users too!” “You need to get on Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In, because social media is […]

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Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson

November 18, 2009

My Notes on “Ready, Fire, Aim” by Michael Masterson: When Launching A New Business, What Should Consume Your Time? In launching new businesses, many entrepreneurs do the opposite of spending 80% of their time of their time on selling. They spend most of their time, attention, energy and capital on things such as setting up […]

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If The Business Model Works, Clone It

November 16, 2009

The single most visited webpage on this blog is my article about “One Day Sale” Websites. It gets 700 unique visitors a day (growing by 5% every week) and is #2 on Google.co.nz for the search for “one day deal“. Why is the webpage so popular? For 3 reasons: Because people are getting tired of […]

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“Everyone is Clueless” – Article by Seth Godin

November 7, 2009

Particularly enjoyed this blog article by Seth Godin entitled “Everyone is clueless“: The problem with “everyone” is that in order to reach everyone or teach everyone or sell to everyone, you need to so water down what you’ve got you end up with almost nothing. Everyone doesn’t go to the chiropractor, everyone doesn’t give to […]

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How I Almost Got Fired Because My Direct Mail Worked Too Well

November 1, 2009

The Story A recruitment company I was working for wanted to reach out to Human Resources managers to tell them about their online recruitment solution. We had purchased a list of 560 HR manager names and addresses from Veda Advantage, and needed a letter that would “cut through the clutter”, because this would be the […]

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Why Is Harvey Norman Stuck In The 1990’s?

October 31, 2009

Yes, yes, Harvey Norman does sell the latest technology: Plasma TVs, Laptops, Macbooks, Printers, Digital Cameras etc (at awesome prices), but why oh why do they contradict this image with the following: Dot matrix printers for printing out your receipt A 1990’s website With a “splash” page (the home page just has a big photo […]

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The Sad, Sad Story Of The Man With The Worthless US$50 Million Music Collection

October 30, 2009

Have you heard about this guy, Paul Mawhinney? He owns The Worlds Greatest Music Collection. 3 Million Records 300,000 Compact Discs More Than 6 Million Song Titles It’s a sad story (with no happy ending… yet). He’s trying to sell his collection so he can retire. But no-one will buy it. What is Paul Mawhinney […]

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Dear Universe: Thank You For All The Free Software I Use Daily

October 29, 2009

It is time I thanked the universe for all the software I use everyday for free. I make money out of using these tools (because they help me do my job) and it doesn’t cost me anything. So here’s a list of my top 6 (in order of “most thankful”): 1. Gmail What is it? […]

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Evidence That The Whole Vegemite “iSnack 2.0″ Fiasco Was A Genuine Mistake

October 16, 2009

The old way of launching a new FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Good) product: Marketing team comes up with alternative names (using focus groups, brainstorming etc) Present the shortlist of their favourites to management for them to choose The product is launched with the new name with a huge amount of expensive mass advertising The new […]

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Is Your Target Market Small to Medium Sized NZ Businesses? How to Choose Advertising That Reaches Them

October 12, 2009

This article answers 2 questions: Where can you find stats about your target market (if you are B2B)? How effective is your advertising at reaching this target market? 1. Where can you find stats about your target market (if you are B2B)? The ministry of Economic Development released the following report in July 09: Small […]

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Should You Sell Space On Your NZ Website For Banner Advertising?

October 5, 2009

You might be thinking “hey, we’ve got quite a bit of traffic to our website these days, we could earn easy money by selling space for banner advertisements!” STOP you silly goose! Here’s why: 5 Reasons NOT To Sell Space on Your NZ Website For Banner Advertising: 1. Because you don’t really want to send […]

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How I Completely Redeveloped an Education Brands Marketing to Increase Enrolment and Drive Down Student Acquisition Cost

October 1, 2009

The Story The client was offering a high quality education product but didn’t have the resources in-house to market and package it well. Problem areas identified included: A single webpage about the product hosted on an unrelated website Confusing brand name, logo, and other imagery Poorly formated promotional material Unattractive, hard-to-navigate, error-ridden intranet for enrolled […]

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Radio Advertising Is Mostly A Waste Of Money, But Here’s 4 Tips To Give You A Chance At Making A Radio Ad That Works

September 24, 2009

Very soon I will share with you 4 tips on how to write a radio ad that actually works. But first, I want you to think about radio advertising from your point of view as a member of the audience. Q: Why do you listen to the radio? Music? Witty Commentary? Advertising? Because you like […]

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8 Tips For Getting Better-Than-Average Results From Your First Tradeshow or Expo in New Zealand

September 22, 2009

1. All the best booths gone? Only a few right at the back to choose from? Fine! Don’t worry too much about your location. You instinctively think that a high traffic area would be better, but don’t make that assumption (most people assume that a #1 position using google Adwords is the best, but you […]

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How To Feature Your Business In Any Major NZ Magazine For $2.57

September 19, 2009

In 3 Easy Steps Step #1: Contact the publisher/distributor and get a special deal for about 50/100 copies of the next issue.  Tell them this is their chance to expand their subscriber base and you want them for free. Step #2: Announce to prospective clients (like at a trade show, conference, expo, chamber of commerce, […]

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Viral Video – How Do You Create a Viral Video For Your Business?

September 9, 2009

Have you wondered how to create a YouTube video that “goes viral” and creates a torrent of new clients for your business? Here are 3 essential components for a viral video that can generate business for you: It must be entertaining/hilarious/amazing It must have a business objective, a reason for being A mechanism so that […]

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10 Reasons Why the Marketing Association of New Zealand’s Website Sucks

September 4, 2009

1. The search is crap To demonstrate, here is the results for my search for “marketing”: Can you detect a complex search algorithm at work here? Me neither. They can take some comfort in the fact that very few websites have a decent search engine, but the rule is “if it doesn’t work like Google […]

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How We Created a Highly Targeted and Inexpensive Direct Mail Campaign and Achieved a Response Rate of 5.3%

September 1, 2009

The Story The client was about to build a new pier that would contain space for 2 restaurants/bars/cafes. We decided early on that the best bet would be to advertise locally because we knew that many of the owners of these restaurants/bars/cafe’s own several establishments and may have intentions to add to their portfolio or […]

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Is Honesty Really The Best Policy? Honest Marketing Even When The Truth Hurts – A Case Study

September 1, 2009

I just helped put together a “customer satisfaction survey” for a client. (P.S. I used Open Source survey software – Lime Survey.  I use open source, free software whenever I can to save money for my clients.  But I don’t put up with crap. If it’s free and good quality, then I’ll use it. If […]

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Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful by Bill Glazer

August 26, 2009

My Notes on “Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful” by Bill Glazer: Recipe for a 5 Page Sales Letter Page 1: Tell your story, the reason why you’re doing this, and why buyers should buy Page 2: The details, what’s for sale, who you are, how much they’ll save Page 3: Offer free gift “premium”. A […]

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What? You’re Still Not Text Message Marketing To Your Customers? No Excuse, Because Now It’s Free From Vodafone’s Website

August 21, 2009

In a moment I’ll tell you how to start Mobile Marketing (with txt msg’s) to your customers from Vodafone for free, but first… In my opinion, not enough businesses use Text Messaging (SMS or Txt Msg) to communicate with their customers. Do you get txt reminders from your mechanic when your WOF or your next […]

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What’s Your Excuse For Having a Crap Website Or Not Having One At All?

August 20, 2009

There is no excuse. If you spend anytime on the internet (and if you’re reading this, you do), then you will come across hideous websites all the time. Here are 2 I came across in the last 10 minutes: 1. www.AllAboutSports.co.nz 3 Reasons why this website sucks: Broken/lost images It was built with Microsoft Word […]

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Call Your Cat Bob And See If It Still Wants Dinner – Do Your Customers Care About Your Name?

August 18, 2009

One of my favourite Gary Larson cartoons is “What we say to dogs, and what they hear. What we say to cats, and what they hear”. (Shown on right. Click to enlarge). I thought my cat was smarter than that. I was convinced that she responds to her name. But as an experiment I started […]

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If You Don’t Like The Movie, Can You Get a Refund?

August 13, 2009

I get very nervous when I go to the movie theatre. Not about the chance of soiling my pants with explosive diarrhea after eating too much from the all-you-can-eat Chinese smorgasbord from next door. Not about the possibility of dropping my frozen coke onto my lap and leaving the theatre looking like I pissed my […]

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Do You Make Your Most Loyal Customers Furious?

August 11, 2009

I have been with Genesis Energy for 12 years. I’ve spent about $20,000 – $25,000 with them in that time. 6 months ago they did something that made me furious, and this morning they did something else. That’s twice in 6 months! Will they get the next $20,000 that I am likely to spend on […]

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Bed and Breakfast Marketing – Ideas for Marketing Your New Zealand B&B

August 7, 2009

A client of mine runs a Bed and Breakfast in Papamoa.  I built the website for her in June 2009, and we’ve been disappointed with the web traffic to date so she asked me look into Bed and Breakfast Marketing for her. Do you need help with the marketing and advertising of your Bed and […]

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How an author creates mystery, buzz, anticipation, and a community of die hard fans that do his marketing for him

August 5, 2009

Quite by accident I came accross the first book in a trilogy (my mother-in-law got it for $1 from a book fair). In fact, I didn’t realise it was a trilogy until I got to the end of the book.  It was a very interesting story (read about it on Wikipedia), and I enjoyed the […]

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How I Launched a Small Online Business for $29 Which Several Newspapers Including the NZ Herald Interviewed Me About So They Could Run Stories On It

August 1, 2009

The Story You have probably heard that a good way to learn is to read, but the best way to learn is to do. I agree. And so in June 2005, I decided to put together everything I had been learning at university about marketing, advertising, public relations, graphic design, and programming. So I built […]

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Real Estate Agents Are Annoying But They Sure Know How to Network

July 31, 2009

Do you get business cards or flyers in your letterbox from Real Estate Agents in your area? I’m sure you do. Everyone does. (I’d put a “No Circulars” sign on our letterbox but my wife loves to sift through the junk mail for a bargain). One of the most common is the postcard with a […]

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How can you turn the evil that-is-the-Readers-Digest-Sweepstakes into good?

July 29, 2009

If you are human and you have a letterbox (or even a pile of bricks at the start of your driveway that someone could stick a letter into), then chances are, you have received one of these Readers Digest Sweepstakes letters. If you haven’t, then I am amazed. So, what can we learn from Readers […]

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Could bayofplentynz.com do better than a billboard that says “Nothing to do in Tauranga?”?

July 29, 2009

I came across these billboards on Maunganui road today. Could bayofplentynz.com do better than “Nothing to do in Tauranga?”? Yes, I think so. That’s a terrible headline. It’s negative. How about “What to do in Tauranga?” for example? And what are the billboards doing in Tauranga anyway? I assume the target audience is tourists already […]

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The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley and William D Danko

July 24, 2009

What can we learn from this book published in 1996? Quite a lot actually. Can You Answer “Yes” to the Next 7 Questions? If not, you have little chance of becoming a Millionaire: Do live below your means? Do you allocate time, energy, and money efficiently in ways conducive to building wealth? Do you believe […]

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Toughen Up by Michael Hill – Book Review

July 17, 2009

I liked it. The secret to his success is setting goals, and then taking bold steps to achieve them. He’s a very goal oriented man. Goal 1: 7 stores in 7 years. Achieved. Goal 2: 70 stores in the next 7 years. Achieved. Goal 3: 1000 stores by 2024. I think he’ll achieve it. He’s […]

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Under New Management – We’ve Fixed All the Things the Last Guy Broke, Please Come Back

July 16, 2009

When you see the sign “Under New Management” plastered all over a businesses signage what do you think? Do you think: “Good! The last guy that managed the place was a real bastard, I’m glad he’s gone, I will go back there now!” Do you think: “Damn! Jack and Jill were awesome, I will miss […]

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Accepting Credit Card Payments Online – List of NZ Providers

July 15, 2009

Do you want to sell your products online? Do you want to be able to accept credit card payments? Want to avoid spending the big bucks on getting your website redesigned with ecommerce functionality? Just want to provide a simple “Buy Now” button for your customers? If so, you’re in luck, because today I have […]

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How to Turn Your Junk To Gold – 6 Simple Tips for Selling on TradeMe

July 14, 2009

Read the updated version of this article: Nov 2012 Ahh TradeMe, we all love it Don’t you think it’s amazing how much gold people will pay for your junk? Do you want to squeeze every last dollar out of each TradeMe sale? You are about to find out how. Think of the process of selling […]

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How Many Things Can A Restaurant Do Wrong and Still Stay In Business?

July 5, 2009

It must be 9 because last night the Jasmine Thai Restaurant in Tauranga made 8 screw ups: The outside signage was so dark and small that half of our party couldn’t find the restaurant when they drove past The jugs of water that were served when we arrived were at room temperature. No ice. No […]

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What is the second tap on a water cooler for? I don’t understand

June 22, 2009

Have you come across a water cooler like the one shown in this photo? (see photo on right) And like me, have you wondered which tap to use? Sometimes one tap is colour-coded red to indicate hot water.  Sometimes one is white, the other is blue to indicate cool water and cold water (which is […]

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Pay What You Want

June 18, 2009

You’ve heard about the restaurants in Auckland where you can pay whatever you feel is right for your meal after you’ve eaten it? Well how about paying what you want for a night for two in a deluxe suite? It’s only US$19 a night… bed not included. That’s in San Diego’s at the Rancho Bernardo […]

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Permission Marketing by Seth Godin – Have your customers given YOU permission?

June 15, 2009

My Notes on “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin: My Summary: Rather than write an advertisement in a feeble attempt to get people to buy (when they have never even heard of you before), simply ask them for permission to send them more information (a free report, a free sample, a list of “common mistakes” in […]

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How To Write For The Web

June 10, 2009

Writing for the web is pretty simple on the surface, but the switch from writing for print to writing for the web is a difficult one for many people. Here are some writing-for-the-web techniques to get you started: 1. Use long descriptive headlines, sub headings and sub-sub headings People commonly skim read web content very […]

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Does your webpage content need to be “above the fold”? The Myth Exposed

June 10, 2009

In the 90’s that was a good rule of thumb: If the content for your webpage fills more than the browser window and forces people to scroll down to read it, split it up on to multiple pages. That is no longer the case, for 3 reasons: People are used to scrolling down the page […]

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Do you make the mistake of putting your brand and logo at the top of your print ads?

June 5, 2009

If so, you are not alone. But even so, STOP IT! Here is an example in this weeks edition of the Bay News for Metal Man Recyclers, Koromiko Street, Tauranga. This approach is classic, and very common…  But still wrong! The problem is there are 3 audiences: The business/advertiser (who is paying for the ads) […]

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How many reward cards do you have in your wallet?

June 3, 2009

I’ve got a truckload. I’m pretty good a throwing receipts away, but I’m a sucker for a bargain so keep many rewards cards. The most common type is “buy 9 cups of coffee, get your 10th cup free”. From VTNZ Hewlets Road I’ve got “get 2 WOF’s, get $5 off the third, get 2 more […]

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Is Georgie Pie coming back? Why did Georgie Pie fail last time? Who owns GeorgiePie.co.nz?

May 22, 2009

So you’ve probably heard about how the “Bring Georgie Pie back” campaign on Facebook has over 21,000 members (and climbing fast). And that McDonalds owns the brand and they haven’t decided if it will consider bringing it back yet. I have 2 questions: Why did Georgie Pie fail last time? Who owns GeorgiePie.co.nz? Q1: Why […]

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Can you tell me what you want?

May 17, 2009

Just watched a Malcolm Gladwell presentation about the work of experimental psychologist Howard Moskowitz. He talked about how people don’t know what they really want. They have trouble articulating it.  “The mind knows not what the tongue wants”. One example he used is; ask people how they like their coffee, they will reply “a dark […]

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How to receive News Feeds (RSS) via email

May 16, 2009

In one of my all time favourite books – Tim Ferris, The 4 Hour Workweek (in fact I quit my day job because of this book), he talks about productivity (you certainly have to be very productive to only work for 4 hours a week). One way to increase productivity is to limit distractions. But […]

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Are Unhappy Customers Damaging Your Brand Online? What Can You Do About It?

May 15, 2009

Anybody can write anything, at anytime about your brand online. Sometimes they will have good things to say and you benefit from positive word-of-mouth. Yay! Sometimes they will have bad things to say, and these comments can damage your brand. Boooo! What can you do to minimise the damage to your brand? There are 2 […]

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Example of how new packaging can give boring products new life

May 15, 2009

Check out these fun and funky first aid kits Are you selling a product or service that’s a little bit boring? How can you funk it up with new packaging?

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The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun

May 14, 2009

My Notes on “The Myths of Innovation” by Scott Berkun: Myth #1: The Myth of the Epiphany An epiphany only comes when you’ve put in all the hard work. It’s just the final piece in a 1000 piece puzzle When inventors are asked how they came up with their idea they say “it just came […]

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The Principle of Scarcity at Work at a new Hamilton Restaurant

May 12, 2009

Went to Smith and McKenzie Chop House on the weekend. Quite an experience. Seth Godin (my #1 favourite marketer in the world), says that you have to tell a story to have any chance of selling what you are selling. Smith and McKenzie tells a story. As soon as you walk in you notice the […]

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Reasons Why Websites Are My Favourite Marketing and Advertising Medium

May 12, 2009

7 Reasons: Websites operate 24 hours a day, every day (I love the idea that you can make money or achieve your goals while you sleep!) Accessible from anywhere in the world Well written content is like having a team of non-pushy sales people simply providing the information and answering questions that potential customers are […]

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Essential Steps for Building a Website That Generates Business For You

May 12, 2009

8 Essential Steps: Define the most important action that you want the audience to take. Is it filling in an enquiry form? Call your toll free number? Download an information pack? Make it dead easy for them to take that action. 1 click or 2 clicks. Not 5 clicks Make your forms super short. Ask […]

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How To Build A Website That Wins You Business

May 12, 2009

7 Steps for Building a Business-Winning Website Define the most important action that you want the audience to take. Is it filling in an enquiry form? Call your toll free number? Download an information pack? Make it dead easy for them to take that action Ensure your code is search engine friendly: Clean urls like […]

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Making Things Happen – Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun

May 7, 2009

My Notes on “Making Things Happen – Mastering Project Management” by Scott Berkun: The Five States Of Communication Transmitted When you send an email or leave a voice mail, you are transmitting a piece of information to someone.  This doesn’t mean she has read or heard it, it just means the message has left your […]

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Driven – How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices by Paul R. Lawrence & Nitin Nohria

April 21, 2009

My Notes on “Driven – How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices” by Paul R. Lawrence & Nitin Nohria: There are four innate drives: The drive to acquire The drive to bond The drive to learn The drive to defend The Drive to Acquire When subjects are given the choice of living in 2 worlds, in […]

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The five most important questions you will ever ask about your organisation by Peter F. Drucker, Jim Collins, Phillip Kotler

April 13, 2009

My Notes on “The five most important questions you will ever ask about your organisation” by Peter F. Drucker, Jim Collins, Phillip Kotler: Every truly great organisation demonstrates the characteristic of preserving the core but stimulating progress. Peter Drucker told us over 40 years ago “The purpose of a company is to create a customer… […]

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First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham

April 13, 2009

My Notes on “First, Break All The Rules” by Marcus Buckingham: Help employees become more of who they already are.  Treat each person differently. Make employees close friends. Accept that you can’t change people, all you can do is facilitate. The Twelve Questions Do I know what is expected of me at work? Do I […]

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Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

April 13, 2009

My Notes on “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W.Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne: Creating Blue Oceans Rather than compete with Ringling Bros, Cirque du Solei created uncontested new market space that made the competition irrelevant. Imagine a market universe composed of two sorts of oceans: red oceans and blue oceans. Red oceans represent all the industries […]

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Brain Rules by John Medina

April 8, 2009

My Notes on “Brain Rules” by John Medinaby: Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power Our brains were built for walking 20km a day To improve your thinking skills, move Exercise gets blood to your brain, brining it glucose for energy and oxygen to soak up the toxic electrons that are left over. It also stimulates […]

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Tribes – We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin

April 6, 2009

My Notes on “Tribes – We Need You To Lead Us” by Seth Godin: The best synonym for leadership is management. That used to fit, but perhaps no longer. Movements have leaders and movements make things happen. Leaders have followers. Managers have employees.  Managers make widgets. Leaders make change. It takes only two things to […]

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The Secrets of Consulting by Gerald M. Weinberg

March 17, 2009

My Notes on “The Secrets of Consulting” by Gerald M. Weinberg: The first law of consulting: In spite of what your client may tell you, theirs is always a problem. The second law of consulting: No matter how it looks at first, it’s always a people problem Never promise more than 10% improvement (so the […]

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All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin

March 12, 2009

My Notes on “All Marketers are Liars” by Seth Godin: Aspects of a great story A great story is true. Not true because it’s factual, but true because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on. Great stories […]

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Getting Started in Consulting by Alan Weiss

March 5, 2009

My Notes on “Getting Started in Consulting” by Alan Weiss: Ten Traits Humour and perspective. Retain objectivity. Humour is a sign of high intelligence and mental agility. Influence. You have to be able to speak formally and informally in such a way that you can command a room or persuade an individual. Confidence and self-esteem. […]

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SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

February 26, 2009

My Notes on “SPIN Selling” by Neil Rackham: The difference between small and large sales Define Small Sale: Is a sale which can normally be completed in a single call and which involves a low dollar value. In selling consumer goods product knowledge makes all the difference.  But in large sales it can prevent success […]

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The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

February 25, 2009

My Notes on “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes: You can profoundly improve your company if you absolutely commit one hour a week in which you do nothing else than work on making the business much more effective. We all get good ideas t seminars and from books and business-building gurus. The problem is […]

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The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More With Less by Richard Koch

February 17, 2009

My Notes on “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More With Less” by Richard Koch: Conventional wisdom is not to put all your eggs in one basket.  80/20 wisdom is to choose a basket carefully, load all your eggs into it, and then watch it like a hawk. Celebrate exceptional productivity, rather than raise […]

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The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

February 13, 2009

My Notes on “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris: Different is better when it is more effective or more fun.  If everyone is defining a problem or solving it one way and the results are sub-par, this is the time to ask, What if I did the opposite. Don’t’ follow a model that doesn’t […]

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The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

February 11, 2009

My Notes on “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber: In a business that depends on you, on your style, on your personality, on your presence, on your talent and willingness to do the work, if you’re not there customers would go someplace else. In this case, customers aren’t buying your businesses ability to give […]

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Indispensable by Joe Calloway

February 8, 2009

My Notes on “Indispensable” by Joe Calloway: Stake out your turf and master it Eg 3 pizza restaurants lined up on the same street: One with huge sign that screamed “Best Pizza in the State”, the next “Best Pizza in the City”, the next with a very small sign “Best Pizza on the block”. Your […]

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The Sales Bible – The Ultimate Sales Resource by Jeffrey Gitomer

February 4, 2009

My Notes on “The Sales Bible – The Ultimate Sales Resource” by Jeffrey Gitomer: The new rules of selling Say it (sell it) in terms of what the customers wants, needs, and understands (not in terms of what you’ve got to offer) Gather personal information (and learn how to use it) Built friendships (people want […]

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The Complete Idiots Guide to Consulting by Robert Bascal

January 28, 2009

My Notes on “The Complete Idiots Guide to Consulting” by Robert Bascal: Why do people hire consultants? Objectivity Fresh viewpoint Lack of in-house expertise Cost-effectiveness Completely lost Expert credibility Other Notes Prepare in advance. Get all your ducks in a row before you embark on a career A consultants main goal is to make sure […]

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Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

January 24, 2009

My Notes on “Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got” by Jay Abraham: Only 3 Ways to increase income: Increase the number of clients Increase the size of the sale per client Increase the number of times that client buys from you Difference between a customer and a client A customer is someone […]

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12: The Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter

January 6, 2009

My Notes on “12: The Elements of Great Managing” by Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter: 1. I know what is expected of me at work Like a Jazz band or the team on an aircraft carrier, or a NBA basketball team.  More than knowing their tasks, they have been working as a team for […]

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Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

December 24, 2008

My Notes on “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini: The Rule of Reciprocation Eg Krishnas giving flower away and then expecting a donation (and even retrieving the flowers from the trash) Free samples leave us feeling in debt. Amway leaves several free samples for a couple of days for the customer to […]

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What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

December 20, 2008

My Notes on “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” by Marshall Goldsmith: 20 Bad Habits Winning too much (needing to win at all costs in all situations) Adding too much value (the overwhelming desire to add our 2 cents into every discussion) Passing judgment (rating others and imposing our standards) Making destructive comments […]

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Crucial Conversations, Tools For Talking When The Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson

December 15, 2008

My Notes: Focus on what you really want. What do I want for myself? For others? For the relationship? How would I behave if this were what I really wanted? Contrast to fix misunderstanding: Start with what you don’t intend or mean, then explain what you do intend or mean. Don’t be tempted to water […]

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Bargaining for Advantage by G. Richard Shell

December 7, 2008

So How Do You Ensure You Have The Advantage When Negotiating? My Notes: Prepare thoroughly in advance Locate the decision maker Built rapport Discover the other party’s goals – ask questions, obtain information on interests, issues and perceptions. Test for understanding, summarise, probe first then disclose, signal regarding your leverage If you open then you […]

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Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin

November 24, 2008

Like all of Seth Godins books, this book was simple, to the point and easy to digest. 14 Trends Facing Us Today: Direct communication between producers and consumers Amplification of the voice of the consumer and independent authorities Stories spread, not facts (need for an authentic story as the number of sources increase. saying one […]

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10 Days To Faster Reading by Abby Marks-Beale

October 13, 2008

This is the single most important book of my life. It doubled my reading speed from 300wpm (which I thought was already pretty good) to 600wpm with the same or better comprehension. If only I had read it when I was 10 I could have learnt so much more in my life so far! I […]

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