The Art of Gathering PDF Summary

The Art of Gathering PDF Summary

How We Meet and Why It Matters

Yeah, even the subtitle can be construed as some dating-call, but it’s a far cry from the actual truth. It outlines the unquenchable thirst for social interaction and correspondence among people in general.

Truthfully, it’s entirely ignorant to neglect this inner pull for going along with the flow of nature.

In this book summary, you’ll get a closer look at the art of gathering, and why it’s so essential in today’s society.

Let’s begin!

Who Should Read “The Art of Gathering”? And Why?

Well, while reading this book we really didn’t know what to expect due to our limited knowledge in this particular realm. But, as we were progressing through the book, we realized the absolute necessity of creating gatherings especially if your success depends on connecting with people.

In that regard, it’s safe to say that “The Art of Gathering” is well-suited for any person who wants to meld with different people.

As such, we find it immensely educational in terms of helping you arrange these sessions.

About Priya Parker

Priya Parker

Priya Parker can be regarded as a strategic advisor, an author, and the founder of Thrive Labs. She exerts herself to help various clients, officials, corporate executives and others to organize transformative gatherings.

So far, she’s been a valuable contributor in all sorts of fields such as arts, technology, business, fashion, politics, to name a few.

“The Art of Gathering PDF Summary”

Many people wonder – what’s the fuss behind the gatherings, the birthdays, the proms? There are plenty of different reasons that Priya believes are noteworthy such as solving problems we can’t solve on our own, to crack a bottle of wine to celebrate something, but the most important one of all is because we need each other.

As people in general, we make the same mistakes again and again by integrating category with purpose. There’s some tendency to lean on others when it comes to these gatherings which are taken out of the context of a joint endeavor.

We are bombarded with false narratives which indicate that the category of the event will dictate the planning and purpose. Sometimes, it’s done by default, but most of the times the structure of the gathering compels us to attach some end goal.

Even if you have your own perspective, it’s hard to bring about change that doesn’t fit into the predetermined template.

However, keep in mind that by following templates and realities created by others you deprive yourself of mapping out actionable plans that could work to your benefit. In other words, if you guide yourself by these socially-imposed formats, you’ll never get to the bottom of any problem.

In all honesty, many gatherings lack that real pull because they seem vague and often times too basic.  

The question is – how to overcome this stalemate? How to transform the gathering into something that could flare up the atmosphere? First and foremost, one must identify a meaningful purpose, which is a pivotal moment in this venture.

From there on, you ought to work on narrowing the purpose and making it more specified. Such a move could prevent the fire from extinguishing and keep it blazing.

The author even mentions an online platform named Meetup for creating offline gatherings. From the outset, it became clear that by specifying what’s the group all about, you’re increasing the chances of success.

Nowadays, Meetup abounds with examples of helping like-minded individuals to organize meetings.

The next ingredient that predicts success would be uniqueness. You have to understand that only originality depicts a life-altering gathering.

Sometimes, we bear witness to people who fail to determine or identify the purpose of the gathering. If you are keen on helping out, there are some things you can do to make that happen. First and foremost, you should instruct your friends or clients to transit from the what to the why.

With that said, here are a few strategies that could facilitate this transition:

  • Zoom out – This step merely explains one’s reasons for organizing the whole event
  • Drill, baby, drill – Keep drilling until you discover a treasure trove of beliefs which impelled you to undertake this noble procedure

In this book, Priya Parker often challenges the leaders of these gatherings to look beyond their interests and find out what problems are they addressing.

In other words, make strides to understand whether those issues are discernible, and how would the community benefit from a potential resolution.

It’s not always easy to separate your purpose from the group, but it’s something you must execute. If the whole outcome is at stake, and still there’s no clear incentive as to why people have gathered, then it’s up to you to backpedal and find the missing link.

Never forget that you are spending people’s most precious resource – time.  

They would expect some value in return for giving you their trust! So, it’s best if you double check the magnetism of the message you intend to dispatch.

If somehow, you cannot single out a purpose of your gathering, then you should really consider setting up a get-together meeting in the first place. If that’s not a desirable solution, then give people their time back by planning your next gathering and making it more lucrative.

Priya says the following – PURPOSE IS YOUR BOUNCER

The angle of perception you deem legit for this kind of analysis doesn’t deviate from the fact that understanding the purpose of your gathering is crucial. If we embrace a different mentality that marginalizes the effects of selecting the right goal, then we ought to abandon gathering altogether.

To get the best out of anything, it’s crucial to spice it up. If you intend to lay the laws then, you have to deal with the ramifications of such endeavor.

It stands to reason why rules-based gatherings are formed along the lines of modern life perspectives. Monocultures can find its place in these closed circles, but it’s up to you how this categorization will take place. In that regard, one can note that pop-up rules are better suited to modern-day agenda.

The etiquette approach which is similar to the monocultural one is domineering to some extent. The somewhat arrogant outlook on the situation exhibits no tolerance with regards to how other cultures operate and run things.

It’s a set of rules that apply to a certain group which wishes to be perceived as refined.

So far, we covered why having a purpose is critical in arranging these sessions and talks. We also explained how different decisions affect different groups, and why exploring these patterns can be of use to you.

In this book, you’ll also stumble upon well-defined guides that point out how to choose a venue and guests for your gathering. It’s not tolerable to have guests whose views are totally out of keeping with the purpose of your get-together session.

When the day comes, you ought to be equipped with the right mindset to put all these things into motion.

So, what should be the next step?

If you excel at negotiation and you reckon that possessing that kind of qualities could help you in your pregame, you are not far from the truth. However, bear in mind that priming can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways, such as soliciting gifts or agreement of some sort.

The author maintains this non-breakable mindset that priming matters due to the fact that gathering is more of a social contract.

To leverage this situation, you have to be cognizant of the notion that the pregame frame is where the agreements are set in place.

Whatever way you look at it, it all comes down to the idea that every gathering has an end.

Some of the guests are sleepier, while others can go on for ages but that doesn’t change the fact that every ceremony has its limits.

You can scratch your head all day long on how to close the gathering, but that’s not going to solve anything.

It’s hard to cater to everybody’s whim, but it’s not rocket science to understand that people love to be respected. Therefore, closing the event in high fashion matters to the attendees and the host as well.

Accepting the impermanence of a gathering is part of the art.

In all honesty, openings and endings mirror one another and to some extent evaluate its effectiveness.

Key Lessons from “The Art of Gathering”

1.      Get the word out
2.      Keep it real
3.      Look inwardly and make a connection

Get the word out

To organize these gatherings, you have to nurture strong relationships with purpose-driven communities which share similar values.

Then, it would be far easier to attract an audience that resonates with the message promoted by the speakers. On the negative side, you have to be acutely aware when defying the purpose of the gathering.

Keep it real

People love to rely on ethics in all further correspondence with other like-minded individuals. So, to build that genuine bond, you have to examine all aspects that are one way or the other linked to the session that you wish to push forward.

Remember that every event begins not when the venue is sold-out, but when they first hear about it. Keep that human connection flowing – that’s the recipe for success.

Look inwardly and make a connection

It comes as no surprise to anyone that eventually it all depends on how we make the most out of everything. It surely helps you to establish a positive connection with the people present and generate some inner value as a result of pure intentions.

It doesn’t matter whether the gathering promotes or creates room for meaning-making, because the guests will eventually try to do that on their own.

The gatherer should eventually usher them to some collective goal-undertaking procedure.

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“The Art of Gathering Quotes”

Your opening needs to be a kind of pleasant shock therapy. It should grab people. And in grabbing them, it should both awe the guests and honor them. It must plant in them the paradoxical feeling of being totally welcomed and deeply… Click To Tweet Gatherings that are willing to be alienating—which is different from being alienating—have a better chance to dazzle. Click To Tweet In a group, if everybody thinks about the other person’s needs, everyone’s needs are actually fulfilled in the end. But if you only think about yourself, you are breaking that contract. Click To Tweet I reminded them that it’s hard to build a movement if you don’t know who’s in it. Click To Tweet Looking back, though, is just one aspect of turning inward. Another is connecting the tribe one last time. To have an affirming moment of recalling not what we did here but who we were here. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Well, in order to make this work, all people involved in the process must pull together and keep plugging away until everything is done.

It’s needless to say that not one single book out there resembles this one, and that’s the main thrust of Priya’s message.

In addition, we believe that the book is amazing and insightful.

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Virtual Freedom PDF Summary

Virtual Freedom PDF Summary

How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business

It’s the 21st century, and many things have gone virtual.

Why should your staff go virtual too?

Chris Ducker explains it all in:

Virtual Freedom.

Who Should Read “Virtual Freedom”? And Why?

Virtual Freedom is for all of the business leaders out there who suffer from a “superhero syndrome,” believing that in order to be successful they need to be able to do it all.

The truth is, that is impossible. And as Virtual Freedom argues – there’s a much better way than banging your head all the time over trivial matters.

Namely, hiring someone else to do that for you – and spending your time on the big stuff instead.

If you want to achieve that, then Virtual Freedom is just the book for you, regardless of whether you’re a small or a big business.

Or to quote Ducker himself, “If the word ‘recharge’ only applies to your cell phone, you need this book more than you know, believe me!”

About Chris C. Ducker

Chris C. Ducker

Chris C. Ducker is, in his own words, “a serial entrepreneur” and bestselling author.

Cambridge-based, Ducker owns and operates numerous businesses, and employs over 400 workers from all over the world.

A keynote speaker, blogger, and a podcaster, Ducker is also the founder of Youpreneur.com. a website
“on a quest to become the number one resource for personal brand entrepreneurs around the world” and the host of the annual Youpreneur Summit held in London.

In addition to Virtual Freedom, he has also published a few other eBooks, most recently, Rise of the Youpreneur.

Find out more at ChrisDucker.com.

“Virtual Freedom PDF Summary”

“Remember when you first started your business? The enthusiasm you had? It’s my job as the author of this book to restore that feeling,” says Chris C. Ducker in Virtual Freedom, a step-by-step guide to building a business with virtual employees.

Why do you need them?

Well, let’s see!

The Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant

Now, let us guess: before you decided to become an entrepreneur, you thought you were getting into a Steve Jobs/Elon Musk type of world where you’ll be inventing stuff and changing the world all the time.

Fast forward a couple of years, and there’s a big chance you spent most of your day writing checks, managing meetings, reviewing budgets, and answering emails.

Who knows, you may even like doing some of these tasks, says Ducker, and you may even be good at doing them. “The question is, should you bedoing them, as the business owner?”

The answer, of course, is not:

As entrepreneurs, time is our most valuable commodity (MVC). Money will come and go, but once you’ve invested your time into something, that time is gone forever. It stands to reason that if there are any actions we can take as business owners to free up more time in our daily routines, we should take them.

Fortunately, there’s a great way to get your money back: outsourcing some of the administrative tasks to Virtual Assistants (VAs).

Why not regular ones?

Mostly because of two reasons:

#1. Because it’s the 21st century and you can have a virtual assistant, namely someone you can contact almost all of the time even if he/she is living on the other side of the planet;

#2. Because there are some highly talented people out there, who are waiting to be employed as your VA. In fact, according to stats, every seventh American works as a freelancer or a self-employed consultant.

The Assistant to Manage All the Assistants

Now, just like you’re no superhero able to do everything yourself, your virtual assistant will never be a superhero himself.

One of the worst mistakes you can make during the process of outsourcing is dumping all of the administrative tasks to one virtual assistant.

Just think about it: the tasks you’re giving him/her took about 90% of your time, and you had serious problems managing them; and, should we remind you, it was your business!

Do you really think your VA won’t crack or do a lousy job if you give him so much work from the start?

A better strategy is to hire a few virtual assistants, and if you can’t manage them efficiently, to hire a GVA as well.

Yup, that stands for General Virtual Assistant, the one who’ll manage all of your VAs for you.

Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Of course, hiring a VA is easy, but finding the right one is not as easy as you may think it is.

The following few tips and tricks – which Ducker devised through experience and the ever-reliable trial and error process – may help you:

#1. What applies to hiring a “normal” employee, applies to hiring a “virtual” one as well; even though you’ll never see them face-to-face, VAs are people too; so, act as if you’re hiring someone for your office;

#2. Of course, the first thing this means is that you should never hire a VA via email or Google chat; always use Skype or Google Hangouts for at least one interview;

#3. Rule #1 also means that you should hire a VA suitable for the role of VA and not for the urgent job; if, say, you need someone to make Excel spreadsheets, it’s wrong to hire the VA who has the most Excel knowledge; you’ll need other things from your VA as well – so think about that in advance;

#4. In other words, pen a good job description and be very precise and clear in terms of what you’d like from your future VA; use bullet points and be straight to the point;

#5. Don’t ever sacrifice quality for cost. Good GVAs cost about $900 per month, about 3.5 times less than what a virtual app developer may cost you. Of course, you can lower that significantly if you find an oversee employee, as well you should if you find a good one.

However, the keywords in this equation are “time zones”: just imagine how difficult it’d be if you need to wait for five hours for your employee to answer an urgent task!

Speaking of which…

Training Your VAs

Hiring a VA is merely the beginning; training and managing are, expectedly, as necessary.

The three training tenets advocated by Chris Ducker are the following:

#1. Just like you are obliged to pen a good job description before hiring (see above, #4), you are also required to clearly define the expectations you have from your new VA (or GVA) and the limits of his role; take your time to explain everything; don’t let them make mistakes;

#2. Allow your new VAs to ask you any question they like during the first month or so; our age is just too dynamic, and you shouldn’t allow them to learn through the oh so familiar trial and error process; that’s not a luxury you have;

#3. Be always aware of time zones; if you decide you hire one who’s living in a different time zone than yours, then be clear both about the demands and the fact that, at least during the training process, he/she will have to change his/her biorhythm; after all, you don’t want to have to answer questions at midnight!

Managing Your VAs

Now that you’ve hired and trained your virtual assistants, it’s time to learn how to manage them.

The best way to do it?

Start with an FAQ and an IFTTT.

You probably know what the first thing is: better than being asked all the time about things you know you will be asked, just prepare a document of frequently asked questions in advance.

But also, prepare an IFTTT cheat sheet.

Now, that may be something new to you.

IFTTT stands for “if that, then this” which is short for “if that happens, then you should do this, no questions asked.”

So, basically, it’s like an emergency evacuation procedure.

Treat your business the same way.

After all, not many people are heard during a fire or an earthquake in a hotel when the emergency procedures are followed.

The good part about having an IFTTT is not only that it helps you to focus on other things, but also that it helps your VA develop without being micromanaged.

Children get too clingy when they know their parents are there for them, no matter what; the same will happen to your VA if, instead of training him/her, you just make his work dependent on your micromanagement practices.

Now, in time, if all goes well, no FAQ or IFTTT will be able to absorb the complexity of your projects and internal communication.

That’s why, you should always have in mind a good Cloud managing system, using either Dropbox or Google Drive to communicate with your VAs on anything.

The best part about this?

Your VA wouldn’t have to file any more reports!

Key Lessons from “Virtual Freedom”

1.      The Five Rules for Hiring a Good VAs
2.      The Three Tenets of Training VAs
3.      How to Manage Your VAs

The Five Rules for Hiring a Good VAs

When you’re hiring a VA (that is a virtual assistant), always have in mind these five rules:

#1. Act as if you’re hiring someone to work in your office;
#2. Use Skype, Google Hangouts, appear.in or some other video chat software to make a face-to-face contact before making the final decision;
#3. Hire for the role, not for the job;
#4. Be very clear and straightforward in your job description;
#5. Don’t sacrifice quality for cost.

The Three Tenets of Training VAs

It would be wrong to expect from your virtual assistant to be exceptional at everything from the start.

Of course you’ll have to train him/her first!

These are the three tenets of training, according to Chris Ducker:

#1. Clearly define the role for your VA once you hire him; be as exact as you can be;
#2. Allow your VAs to ask you any question whatsoever during the first few months; don’t allow them to learn through a trial and error process, because this might cost you more;
#3. Be always aware of time zones if you hire someone living in another country.

How to Manage Your VAs

Managing VAs is also an essential part of the process of getting the best VA possible.

Use these tips and tricks from Drucker’s book and vast experience:

#1. In addition to allowing your VAs to ask you anything at the beginning, create an FAQ so that you save yourself the trouble from answering a question you know you’ll be asked;
#2. Also, be sure to provide your VAs an IFTTT cheat sheet, aka a document not unlike an emergency procedure which lists everything your VA should do in case of some predictable events (IFTTT stands for “if this, then that”);
#3 Finally, use cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox to manage processes and stop dealing with annoying things such as reports.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Virtual Freedom Quotes”

If the word 'recharge' only applies to your cell phone, you need this book more than you know, believe me! Click To Tweet Remember when you first started your business? The enthusiasm you had? It's my job as the author of this book to restore that feeling. Click To Tweet You like doing certain tasks, you might be good at doing them. The question is, should you BE doing them, as the business owner?!! Click To Tweet As entrepreneurs, time is our most valuable commodity (MVC)... It stands to reason that if there are any actions we can take as business owners to free up more time in our daily routines, we should take them. Click To Tweet Money will come and go, but once you’ve invested your time into something, that time is gone forever. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Many of the things written in this book make sense. But one can that about many other books as well, and some of them have proven to be a combination of impractical and wishful thinking.

Fortunately, Christ Ducker both talks the talk and walks the walk. As Derek Halpern, the founder of SocialTriggers.com says:

“Who would you rather trust to learn about building a virtual team, to help grow your business? Someone who ‘talks’ about outsourcing, or someone who lives it? Chris Ducker lives it – everyday – and this book proves it!”

Michael Hyatt’s review is even more glowing:

“Think about the most useful book you’ve ever read. It will now become the second most useful. This is the field guide for building a team, outsourcing, and taking back control of your life.”

If you ask us, some things Ducker advises in this book come too early, others not early enough. We have no doubt in our minds that, very soon, some of the practices suggested by Ducker in Virtual Freedom will be mainstream practices.

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to try to implement some of them and catch the early train, ha?

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The Messy Middle PDF Summary

The Messy Middle PDF SummaryFinding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture

They say that the beginning is always the hardest.

Scott Belsky begs to differ: true, starting things may be difficult, finishing them full of twists and turns; but the real problems come once you get to the middle.

The Messy Middle.

Who Should Read “The Messy Middle”? And Why?

OK, so you’ve started a project or a company, and everything was going fine for a while.

And then the first problem came; you successfully managed to tackle it, but you barely found the time to take a deep breath when another setback struck.

If the paragraph above sounds familiar, then The Messy Middle is the book for you.

And you can be sure that the three-phase process Belsky advocates in it (endure-optimize-finish and repeat) works every time!

Not only because it has helped Belsky become a millionaire, but also because The Messy Middle is based on insightful interviews with many of today’s leading entrepreneurs.

So, if you are trying to implement a big idea and you need a fresh insight – or simply motivation to get through the challenges of implementation – read this book and follow Belsky’s no-nonsense advice.

Suddenly, the unpredictable will look much less random.

As Seth Godin says: “The Messy Middle will help you see that you have more control than you dare to admit, and the ability to make a difference if you care enough.”

About Scott Belsky

Scott BelskyScott Belsky is an American entrepreneur, early-stage investor, and bestselling author.

After graduating from Cornell University and receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, Belsky got a job at Goldman Sachs.

However, after a while he quit his job at the investment bank and left Wall Street altogether, using the $18.000 he had managed to save to start his own company.

The company would grow to become the largest online portfolio platform, Behance. In 2012, seven years after he had cofounded it, Belsky sold Behance to Adobe, where he was offered a job as a VP of Products, Mobile and Community.

Four years later, Belsky left Adobe and joined Benchmark Capital, where he is still a Venture Partner. He is also a Board Member at Cheddar Inc.

Belsky is also an early investor and advisor at successful companies such as Uber, Pinterest, sweetgreen, and Periscope.

The Messy Middle is his second book; we also have the summary of his first one, Making Ideas Happen.

“The Messy Middle PDF Summary”

“It’s not about the start and the finish,” writes Scott Belsky, “it’s about the journey in between.”

Well, consider The Messy Middle your roadmap: as you know full well, you can only get to your final destination if you have one.

Now, we don’t need to tell you that roadmaps are pretty detailed, and filled with many names and labels, icons and numbers.

So is The Messy Middle.

Nominally broken into three large sections (Endure, Optimize, and The Final Mile) the book lists hundreds and hundreds of lessons.

We’ve tried to list some of them in the Key Lessons section.

However, for the purposes of our summary – due to the space limitations – we opted to select the best ones in each section and analyzed each of them in detail.

The Inevitability of the Messy Middle

In retrospect, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook were always going to succeed, right?

You can’t even imagine people like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates going to investors and being turned down by them with the ideas they had.

And you certainly think that if you had known Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Williams when they started their companies, you would have been a millionaire by now; because, well, why wouldn’t you invest in social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook?

And yet – at one point during their development, all of these projects seemed all but doomed to fail.

Don’t believe us?

Have you ever watched the HBO series Silicon Valley?

Well, Bill Gates says that that series is your best chance at understanding how the Silicon Valley works. In other words, no matter how good your idea is, you’ll encounter quite a few problems before you stop working for it, and it starts working for you.

Or read, for example, Nick Bilton’s Hatching Twitter.

Its short summary: one of the most successful social networking services in history was born accidentally, managed poorly and became successful by mistake.

And that’s rarely the story.

Usually, the second part looks a bit differently: many companies fail because they are incapable of swimming out of the inevitable Messy Middle.

When in it, everything is so tumultuous that it basically looks like hell – or a telenovela!

Either way, we’re not meant to experience so many ups and downs in life, so nobody would blame you for calling it quits after two or three of the latter.

Did we say nobody?

Well, Scott Belsky would.

Because that’s the first lesson he wants to share with you.

To paraphrase him using the words of a Nobel Prize winner: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Endure: Short-Circuit Your Reward System

Scott Belsky founded Behance at the end of 2005, and for many years the company was struggling to make sense even to its own employees.

During this period – Behance’s Messy Middle – Belsky lost all appetite: he could only maintain it by taking anti-nausea pills.

And yet – he needed to endure.

One of the first things he did?

He hacked the company’s reward system.

You see, the main problem with big projects – whether writing a novel or building a profitable company – is that the real result comes only after years of effort.

And we are not biologically built to wait for rewards for such long periods of time.

Why?

Because up until recently – as late as the XVII century – the average life expectancy was about 25 years of age.

“For early humanity,” notes Belsky, “the prospect of spending five or ten years working toward an eventual outcome, however great it might be, was just not rational.”

Your nausea, tiredness, and lack of will – that’s just your body telling you that you may die soon and that you haven’t experienced anything before that.

Belsky’s conclusion:

Our addiction to short-term validation is so engrained that trying to defy it is hopeless. Accept this fact. While many people paint an incredible long-term vision for their teams, the prospect of long-term rewards is insufficient for long-term motivation.
It is virtuous to aspire to these goals, but a noble venture is not exempt from the need to feel incremental progress and be rewarded for it. Rather than fight the need for short-term rewards, you must hack your reward system to provide them.

For example, when Behance was founded, Google auto-corrected the search query to “enhance.”

When it finally stopped, Belsky organized a party – a kind of reward.

1 milestone down. 15641 to go.

Optimize: Learn How to Be an A/B Tester

Now, the problem with having many ups and downs is not only our biological incapability to endure them easily; it’s also the effect this has on our thought processes.

It’s only natural that when you have an idea which eventually doesn’t amount to anything, you are crippled by self-doubt and lack of confidence; and you don’t even want to find out whether the next one will work.

The opposite is also true: when something works, your ego starts working against you.

“The number-one killer of start-ups,” writes Bo Peabody, “is when entrepreneurs confuse ‘being lucky’ with ‘being smart.’ You must possess the humility to distinguish one from the other.”

Belsky can do you one better: it’s not only about humility and about self-awareness – but it’s also about implementing a good process which can help you distinguish between what’s smart and what’s merely lucky, between what’s good and what’s bad.

It’s called A/B testing and just about everybody – from Google to the smallest startup – does it.

You want to change the color of a button on your site?

Test it and compare the results with the current state of affairs!

If the color change brings new customers – then do it; if it doesn’t – then it’s probably the wrong decision.

It’s that simple!

And it applies to everything:

A/B testing isn’t just for digital buttons—you can use it to advance all areas of your life, from A/B testing your daily habits to how your team functions. A team might change how and when they meet, or an individual may try using a new tool for a week. If it works, the change is made permanent. If it makes things worse, you simply revert to the previous version.
The best optimizers are always trying to figure out why something works.

The Final Mile: Always Repeat, Never Finish

And now the most interesting part.

Eventually, if all goes well, you’ll make it: you’ll emerge victorious from the Messy Middle and reach the final mile.

Scott Belsky’s suggestion: it’s time to go back now!

Wait… what?

But isn’t the very idea of enduring and optimizing getting out of the Messy Middle? Why would I ever want to go back and ruin my life all over again?

Well, because, that’s the price you pay if you want to be successful. “The paradox of making progress,” writes Belsky, “is that it moves us past the early period when we’re the most willing to make the bold moves that actually accelerate progress.

Take Facebook for example!

If you ever get a chance to walk around its headquarters, you’ll notice many posters and laptop stickers saying the same thing: “This journey is 1 percent finished.”

And there’s probably no need to remind you that the only two websites more visited than Facebook are Google and YouTube.

However, Facebook keeps evolving because it always tries to sustain the “we’re still just getting started” mentality.

You want an example of a company which instead of sustaining this mentality attempted to sustain its final product.

Myspace.

That’s right: you’re either a Facebook always in the early innings or a Myspace which believes a single touchdown brings the victory.

It’s always a long season, and then another one, and then another one.

After all, nobody said it was going to be easy.

Key Lessons from “The Messy Middle”

1.      First, You Need to Endure
2.      Then, You Need to Optimize
3.      Finally, You Need to Repeat

First, You Need to Endure

The Messy Middle part of your journey – be it a large project or a large company – is always the most difficult one.

However, if you want your journey to be successful, then you must endure it.

Start by short-circuiting your reward system: ascribe milestones, so that you have many goals and rewards instead of one.

Embrace the uncertainty and take a dose of OBECALP to suspend your disbelief in others (read the word backward if you want to know what we mean by it).

Reset if that’s the only way forward.

And do the work regardless of whose work it is.

Then, You Need to Optimize

IF you want to endure – hire endurers; foster apprenticeship and keep your employees moving.

Be an A/B tester: you don’t know if something works until you compare it to something else. That goes for everything: whether your product, your team or yourself.

Accommodate free radicals: usually, they are the ones who move things forward.

Simplify. Iterate.

Question core assumptions.

Finally, You Need to Repeat

And when you get to the finish line – turn around and go back.

Always stay in the early innings, because continuing to learn is the elixir of life.

And because, well, to be done is to die: “for those who love what they do… the creative pursuit never ends. Creativity is never finished:”

The messy middle miles that you endure and optimize your way through don’t get any easier and never repeat themselves, because they are the moat between vision and reality. The messy middle is a life’s work, and when anyone crosses the finish line and pushes an extraordinary creation out to the world, we all benefit.

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“The Messy Middle Quotes”

One of the greatest motivators is a sign of progress. Click To Tweet

Don’t seek positive feedback or celebrate fake wins at the expense of hard truths. Click To Tweet

To create what will be, you must remove yourself from the constant concern for what already is. Click To Tweet

Be frugal with everything except your bed, your chair, your space, and your team. Click To Tweet

A lot of big problems don’t get solved because we can solve small problems faster. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Airbnb, provides us with one of the best descriptions of The Messy Middle you’ll find anywhere:

“Starting a new venture is like jumping off a cliff and sewing a parachute on the way down. This book is the parachute.”

Of course, Gebbia is not the only one with this opinion.

“Having been through the ups and downs of the Messy Middle many times,” writes Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iPod, “it’s critical to understand the challenges ahead.”

And then he goes on: “This insightful book empowers you to approach them head-on. Belsky’s powerful toolkit, based on hard-earned experiences, is an essential guide to building a compelling product, revolutionizing an organization or growing your leadership abilities.”

It’s difficult to add anything new without echoing Gebbia and Fadell.

Then again, who could blame you for taking their words at face value?

After all, they’ve gone through the Messy Middle quite a few times. And emerged – as millionaires!

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Kellogg on Branding PDF Summary

Kellogg on Branding PDFThe Marketing Faculty of The Kellogg School of Management

Taking a glimpse into the selection of well-researched tactics for reaching the zenith of your brand-building process, is not something you stumble upon every day.

Do we dare to say it? – Despite the odds of being exposed to such an impressive collection, you joined the club.

Without further ado, let’s drill down to the core of this book.

Who Should Read “Kellogg on Branding”? And Why?

Not all people aspire to build a sustainable asset in the world. In order to thrive on branding, one must prick up its ears, and embrace an open-minded approach.

In our opinion, “Kellogg on Branding” is an exclusive selection of tactics and tools that an organization should capitalize on, to survive in this age.

About Alice M. Tybout and Tim Calkins

Alice M. TyboutAlice M. Tybout served in the Kellogg School for Marketing as an academic director and professor. Currently, she is the Harold T. Martin Professor of Marketing. Alice runs a research team to investigate how various individuals process information and make up their minds.

Tim Calkins is widely acclaimed for his contribution as a professor, consultant and keynote speaker. Momentarily, he has the role of a Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he presents his insights on Biomedical Marketing.

“Kellogg on Branding PDF Summary”

Design, Build and Understand Branding

The central argument in this eye-opening book encircles around the concept of reforming the market and carrying out the necessary changes. The current global predicament leaves us little choice but to take into account the consumers’ preferences and bring them into line with the organizational goals.

For a business to gain the much-needed edge in this overly crowded marketplace, it must answer the following questions:

  • Who should we target and why?
  • How can the product/service be of use to potential consumers?
  • Why should someone be fixed upon our brand over the competitor’s one?

Prior to showing glimpses of professionalism, and commitment, the organization must pay special heed to many rising aspects of doing business.

The first one that springs to mind is the frame of reference. Neglecting the integration between the frame and the point of difference can turn out to be costly! As a disregarded facet, it allows the business to expand their operations by helping the consumers meet their needs and wants.

Operating as a unit will undoubtedly going to provide support for the brand-building proceedings through fortification or other methods. In other words, by leveraging industry’s best practices, the organization could improve its positioning and impose entry barriers.

Afterward, you can quickly discern why is brand design so essential and move on to the categorization of products. To get a bird’s eye view of the process, you must execute all of the following 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Realize that branding takes the shape of any concept, which lays emphasis on the categorization of products.
  • Step 2: Identify a few categories that will clear up the brand concept when used by consumers.
  • Step 3: Don’t let a single brand-design element slip from your memory. Eclipse your competitors by creating an asset that contains category name, logo, brand name, visual illustrations, symbols, verbal lexicon, etc.
  • Step 4: Conduct an evaluation of your policies and consider other alternatives that might benefit the brand-process.
  • Step 5: Use legit and impartial metrics to assess whether the brand concept is in tune with the product features.

On top of these steps, it vital to become conscious of the uniformity between market behavior and human behavior. For precisely the same reason, the authors assert that only perceptive managers with the right mindset will have no difficulties to integrate social, political and ethical aspects into branding.

How to Build and Leverage Your Brand

For the sake of supporting the previously stated strategies, it’s of unparallel importance for the brands to influence the learning process. This new form of structure, named “the buyer learning” absorb the central role in the brand-building process.

With almost total disregard for the status of the entries, top-notch brands unleash the same strategy from pioneers to late entrants.

It’s crystal clear that the pioneers absorb take the role of masters because they’re allowed to remodel the categories, launch their own brands, or even set up invisible barriers. Nonetheless, these aspects shouldn’t be construed as a full-scale victory for the pioneers, which may face other difficulties further down the road.

Late entrants, for instance, can exploit the inelasticity of pioneers, and take control of the learning process. Thereupon, they can introduce modifications to it, and benefit the changes arising from it. On the other end, being dependent upon one product category can be a formula for disaster.

When a brand opts for expansionism, the buildup of a network is influenced by the same token. With an aerial perspective of the situation, you can easily conclude that “brand evolution” is a complex operation, and as such, it incorporates the following guidelines:

  • It urges you to take one step at the time
  • Help others to understand the reasons for the brand expansion
  • In the aftermath of expansionism on the parent brand, consumers must get the full picture

It may come as a shock to most people, but placing all your energy on one brand is not enough. Indeed, there’s such thing as a brand portfolio, which is the extension of the previous method.

Brand Advertising and Relationship Branding

Evidently, not even the best of the best products can reach its zenith without marketing efforts to support their ascend! Without a shred of doubt into your mind, you should endorse that advertising is composed of carefully selected means transmitted through the right channels.

The perfect copy as the authors have a habit of labeling it, must embody humor to enhance engagement.

This will not only give you a competitive advantage but help you establish an unshakable connection with the other side. Bound with the idea of sharing common interests, the brand and consumers can take the interaction onto the next level. Playing the emotional card is also something you should fully exploit.

If you aspire to put an end to the one-way relationship, you should stimulate feedback by interacting with your customers. The number of brands which are aware of the issue is meager. By soliciting the views from the end-users, you’ll take the driver’s seat and have full control over the situation.

According to the authors, being able to manage the relationships with the target audience proficiently is often depicted as the epitome of mass customization. It’s needless to say that a large bulk of today’s brands are mass-orientated. Steps in, CRM!

Customer Relationships Management is like a medieval fortification that stops the advancement of mass-marketing. It’s main incentive springs from handling the interactions between an official body and the customer. Unlike other processes, it strictly relies on data to prepare for potential twists and turns.   

It can be further broken down into the following subsequent elements:

  1. Find and identify subsegments
  2. Assess the effects of each sub-segment process by associating it with a goal
  3. Design contacts and conceive an actionable strategy
  4. Anticipate the outcome

If a brand doesn’t vouch for its services and turns a blind eye on the inept management, it will soon be overrun by other more user-centric organizations. The idea is to put the cravings of the consumers on top of your priority list.

Brand Driven Organization and Service Branding

Customer expectations must be satisfied by consolidating their input. In doing so, the business becomes a branding-machinery and would stay abreast of their demands by monitoring their reactions regarding the product/service offered.

Prior to conquering the world with your brand-new idea, one must make a decision to build a product or launching a service. The gap between these two separate fundamental features must be considered by understanding the following truths:

  • The services are intangible deliverables
  • Services don’t fall into the category of commodities for disposable use
  • Their heterogeneity nature

It comes as no surprise that internal branding is also a force to be reckoned with, and should receive an equal standing with the other execution strategies. In addition, the organization should enforce a code of conduct in order to speed up the integration, and put all elements together.

The author cannot emphasize enough the importance of conducting strategic employee-assimilation. Hence, it’s pretty straightforward to identify the first-class brand assimilation programs. With the segmentation taken care of, the author presents the three-phase structure:

  • Phase 1: Strategic Development
  • Phase 2: Foundation Building
  • Phase 3: Implementation

In truth, many things can deteriorate the morale of the employees and even put into question the successiveness of the internal branding programs. In this book, you’ll find why embedding the procedure in the broadcast can turn out to be a huge mistake on your part.

When it comes to allocating resources for external and internal branding, you should refrain from stretching too much. Such uncontrollable expansion can aggravate the problem even further and put you in a position of jeopardy. The same logic is applied to seductive ads and messages used on both fronts.

In a nutshell, branding services is a never-ending work, but that mustn’t discourage you to proceed.

How to Build a Megabrand

Reaching the top of the heap is not an overnight thing. Yet, in a race against time, NetZero shocked the world with its innovative way of doing business, which puts adaptation in the center of it. In just 5 short years, NetZero compelled the internet marketing community to shift its core paradigms due to the changes that occurred.

To receive the “rising star” epithet, NetZero focused on the frame of reference. Neglecting and undervaluing its effects can hurt your business. One-of-a-kind marketers are aware of the power emerging from the frame of reference and feel disposed to use it in order to improve the brand positioning.

The authors point out yet another decisive element to achieving brand-dominationName. It may seem like being struck by lightning, but being creative and setting your heart on something that will stand out as being catchy and unique can give you the upper hand.

How to know which name would meet these criteria?

The author claims: A brand name must be able to stand the test of time! Do we need to say more? The more iconic, the better you’ll do. Pay attention to the business as a whole, don’t dissect it in order to choose a suitable name.

A good label may provide the stimulus required for going international. You’ll need all the support you can get in that regard. However, prior to sailing to new shores, you must evaluate the consistency of the brand by examining the pricing, distribution and positioning on the local markets.

In addition, be cognizant of the fact that the pricing strategies must be in accordance with the local competitors and the demand. Creating a global system must be complemented with a broad perspective regarding the price elasticity and other factors.

Generally speaking, every brand must give the impression of earnestness and decisiveness for each market segment.

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“Kellogg on Branding Quotes”

Ultimately, brands are built by people who passionately believe in their brands. Indeed, many of the world’s best brands can be linked to a single person: Howard Schultz created Starbucks, Steve Jobs built Apple, Pleasant Roland formed… Click To Tweet

Brands are sets of associations linked to a name or mark associated with a product or service. Click To Tweet

Successful companies understand that brands are assets. Click To Tweet

Brand positioning refers to the specific intended meaning for a brand in consumers' minds. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you have your perspective broadened, and your mind sharpened, then we did a great job. If not, we firmly advise you to read the book, whenever you find some time.

Don’t forget to implement the tactics to accentuate your professional endeavors.

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Powerful PDF Summary – Patty McCord

Powerful PDF Patty McCordBuilding a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

At Netflix, Patty revolutionized the concept of efficiency by challenging the conventional methods of doing business.

She should undoubtedly be accorded the status of policy-changer, due to her efforts.

In this summary, we try to share the most critical findings.

Stay with us!

Who Should Read “Powerful”? And Why?

It’s hard to determine, who is fit to read this book and leverage its takeaways. In our humble opinion, anyone working or participating in some organization should consider diving into its mysteries.

These days, it’s impossible to find someone who’s not incorporated into some system. Therefore, we wholeheartedly urge you to scratch the surface of “Powerful” regardless of your position.

Patty McCordAbout Patty McCord

Patty McCord draws on her personal and professional experience to cast doubt on the Silicon Valley concepts of fresh ideas. She yearns for a full-scale modification, in terms of how we behave and think within the business environment.

By putting the best practices on a silver platter, she makes it easier for the reformers to utilize the knowledge and apply the methods. Patty spent more than a decade at Netflix, while continually being on the lookout for better ways of conducting the operations.

She is a frequent keynote speaker and an advocate for challenging the outdated policies. So far, she has appeared on a dozen CEO Forums, and Business Schools.

“Powerful PDF Summary”

Do you have the guts to hear the bitter truth or you prefer to comfort yourself with lies? – We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, one must realize that advocating for changes in the workplace, might not be a straightforward transition. Patty states that hiring adults, meaning persons whose focus is fixated on improving the company, will make your life a lot easier.

The rookies, in need of a babysitter, will often turn out to be costly. Filling up your organization with self-managing people can create the snowball effect. These characters endorse criticism, are prone to learning, and know their boundaries.

Arguably, siding with the reality will give you a leg up in any quarrel.

For instance, a football team requires from its players to showcase their talent in order to achieve victory. A one man’s show would never suffice, and the same analogy can be broken down into details regarding HR and business overall.  

How can we define this phenomenon?

A culture of responsibility is perhaps the most suitable description and stands as a symbol of a prosperous association. Nonetheless, this system should not be sided with “working harder” but linked to the idea of adding greater value.

Although this will eventually crank up the competition, you should not dread the idea of a challenge. Being eclipsed by someone can become the turning point in your life. On the bright side, you should try to outperform yourself on a daily basis.

From a leadership vantage point, these urges must be fueled continuously but monitored in order to balance the scales.

In the early years of the 20th century, an average employee had zero respect and no contribution to decision-making whatsoever. The exploited machinery had to stick to their routine, without even bothering to comprehend the operations.

This ineffective way of management started to crumble when a new form of leadership emerged.

Generally speaking, the new generation tries not to divulge misinformation by integrating all the layers into the system. In doing so, all the parties can get an aerial view of the situation and share their insights.

Nowadays, each applicant, employee, associate, partner, or manager strives to understand the whole ball game. Nobody wants to be a drop in the ocean, but an essential element to the business. Achieving that however, it’s often easier said than done.

Encourage debates, dialogue, freedom of expression, annual reviews, or simply communication – will get you across the threshold.

The Power of a Debate and Radical Honesty

It’s unlikely that you’ll be stunned upon hearing that people are not fond of two-faced leaders. There’s absolutely no need to twist the reality because disclosing the problems in a timely fashion can help the organization to assess its current rankings.

In the light of this discovery, it’s also critical to mention that not all employees, welcome constructive criticism. Nonetheless, if you establish such a corporate culture, they’ll have little choice but to embrace transparency.  

Let’s unveil few benefits, which are a direct result of radical honesty on an organizational level:

  • It minimizes backstabbing
  • It enhances the communication
  • It spots the problems promptly as they rise to the surface
  • It adds to problem-solving
  • It improves the performance of all parties

Indeed, the number of leaders that dare to acknowledge their mistakes is still meager. By breaking the ice, they create a new culture and incite the employees to do likewise. In other words, they will automatically trigger transparency.

Powerful Summary Patty McCordAt Netflix, Patty brought in an all-encompassing feedback system for the employees to share their insights on the team’s efforts and submit their annual analysis.

When it comes to debating or discussing, the leader should set terms in advance, and urge everyone participating in the debate to adhere to them. After all, problems crop up each day, and the organization must put its analytical prowess to the test by encouraging dialogue.

If you find yourself in an argument, give a stamp of approval to anyone who shares facts not personal agenda. In like manner, you should abide by the same set of norms, and refrain yourself from getting emotional when a potential conflict erupts.

In the meantime, you should stick to your broadness, because someone may lay down a series of well-researched theories that oppose your perspective. Be prepared to double-check your methods, and leave your ego aside.

According to Patty, debates among smaller groups bring about a revolution in the organization because of the input. They are not prone to group-thinking, which opens a window of various scenarios and conclusions.

When it’s your turn to present your insights, be on alert for people who adhere to their biases. The information extracted to support their claim is rarely applicable to the matter of contention. Even so, it’s needless to say that formal debates are the epitome of business breakthroughs.

Build the Powerful Future by Finding the Right People

As reported by Patty – today’s actions and behavior shape the future. By being aligned with the fluctuating practices in the digital age, you’ll develop into an energetic leader. For example: you have this great idea of how should your team should perform in a year or so, but you lack the execution methods.

Start by labeling every element that is hampering the enhancement and transition. Next up, lay the groundwork for the future by making the necessary modifications in order to scale the company. Such an attitude has all the earmarks of successful progression.

Being proactive when instigating the complete change, will push you to find the right people who don’t bear a grudge against alteration. The scatterbrained attempt to carry out all of these assignments shouldn’t serve as an excuse in potential failure. Genuine leaders pour their blood, sweat, and tears in order to embolden the organization; and they also blaze a trail for others to follow.

Evidently, without the prowess and craftiness to back them up, they can’t do much. The detailed planning doesn’t incentivize the execution as one might have hoped, and only the team of implementers is duty bound to accentuate the proceedings. Prior to conducting the hiring process, consider the following aspects:  

  • Pay little attention to the resume and observe the body language
  • Try to determine whether the applicant thrives on problem-solving
  • Assess their strong motives for joining the organization
  • Gauge the competence
  • Try to evaluate whether the applicant would be a good fit for the team

You don’t need a big name, but a person whose skillset, character and determination apply to the team’s vision. As simple as that! For the job, you need a set of HR officials who understand the technical side of the business too.

Once you find people whose expertise matches the organization demands, you could expand the operations.

The beginning of the 21st century was turbulent for Netflix. The company merely collapsed due to deep economic malaise within its ranks. Netflix reacted by laying off almost 1/3 of its employees. What came as a shock to the new operational structure, was the fact that, this new policy generated remarkable dividends.

The crafty pool prevailed over the obstacles by embracing more responsibilities in order to fill in the gap. It didn’t take too long for Netflix to get back on track, and restore its former status.

The Art of Managing the Employees

When an organization is crammed with underachievers, it cannot function in a strong fashion. That’s a major blow to the company, and that’s precisely what happened to Netflix. Nonetheless, the line that separates productive employees from bad ones is very slim.

Every so often, people are hired for a position that doesn’t match their expertise, or the officials are not aware of their contribution. Either way, a leader must double-check to see whether the managerial hierarchy with all its sub-elements is well structured.

When it comes to payment, Patty McCord argues that you should at least ponder about paying top of the market for the positions that you believe are the most precious to the organization.  

A common mistake most managers make is taking into account only what the organization can afford in terms of salary. Indeed, being aware of your financial capabilities is critical, but sometimes you should consider the value that the new hire will generate.

To put it differently, consider how will the new employee influence the business, and as a result, perhaps you need to conduct an audit regarding this matter. It’s a topic that should be thought about.

After putting all the elements on the table, you can agree on a salary that reflects the financial worth that the new employee will bring. Meanwhile, don’t forget to execute the following checklist:

  • Embrace transparency
  • Don’t hesitate to increase the salaries of those who deserve it
  • Identify the best value for the business
  • Don’t put a lot of weight on salary surveys

Singing the praises of the employees is a tremendous team-building asset. The same methodology works perfectly fine when constructive criticism is unleashed. This strategy can diminish the chances of getting sued by a former employee who was fired based on its performance.

Goodbyes don’t manifest the end of the world nor speak about the attributes of the individual. Genuine managers understand that some people are not in tune with the particular working atmosphere. They would even recommend them to someone else, only to expose them to an environment that resonates with their skills.

Key Lessons from “Powerful”

1.      Get into the right frame of mind
2.      Less is more
3.      Don’t be a narrow-minded prick

Get into the right frame of mind

Then again, Patty McCord states that openness can help you to balance the scales in favor of the organization, and keep underachievers at a distance.

Don’t hesitate to speak your mind! A good leader can both lavish praise upon someone, and discuss the probability of someone being better off at some other company or team.

Less is more

The conceived plan, must not incorporate people who are pessimistic from the outset. This tells you that only a handful of high-performers can do the job.

Improve the cohesion among them and try to identify any potential twists.

Don’t be a narrow-minded prick

In case you’ve miscalculated the severity of the problem, agree to support the better solution and alter your viewpoints.

As you can see, a productive debate can shore up the company, so don’t be reluctant to solicit as many views as possible, to get a bird’s eye view of the situation.

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“Powerful Quotes”

Trust is based on honest communication, and I find that employees become cynical when they hear half-truths. Cynicism is a cancer. It creates a metastasizing discontent that feeds on itself, leading to smarminess and fueling backstabbing. Click To Tweet

Are we limited by the team we have not being the team we should have? Click To Tweet

Instilling belief in the practice gets easier as managers come on board. The greater the density of great team builders you achieve, the more you can spread the practice organically. Click To Tweet

When engineers start to whine about a process you’re trying to implement, you want to really dig into what’s bothering them, because they hate senseless bureaucracy and stupid process. But they don’t mind discipline at all. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Like what you saw or read? We bet you did because this is one of those books that get you all fired up and ready to conduct the necessary changes.

We advise you to read this book, page by page to get a good handle on what Patty is trying to convey.

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Reinvent Yourself PDF Summary

Reinvent Yourself PDF Summary

Half a decade ago, James Altucher asked you to choose yourself.

Now, he’s back with another advice:

Reinvent Yourself.”

Who Should Read “Reinvent Yourself”? And Why?

If you have heard anything about James Altucher, you probably already know that he is an incessant experimenter and that he absolutely abhors the idea of 9-to-5 jobs.

“Reinvent Yourself” is for those who share his hate on the latter and want to become the former.

About James Altucher

James AltucherJames Altucher is an American entrepreneur, podcaster, blogger, and bestselling author.

According to his count, he has founded more than 20 companies and has, in addition, invested in at least 30. Many of them have failed, but those which have succeeded have thriven.

Altucher hosts a famous podcast, “The James Altucher Show,” and has authored 18 books, including “Choose Yourself” and “The Rich Employee.”

“Reinvent Yourself PDF Summary”

The only thing constant in the life of James Altucher is, undoubtedly, his hair.

Everything else is flux and change, inventions and reinventions all across the board!

Who knows – T. S. Eliot may have written these beautiful two lines for him and not for some other guy with the initials J. A.: “In a minute there is time/ For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”

After imploring you to choose yourself back in 2013, Altucher is now back with an update, telling you to reinvent yourself.

Constantly.

But what does he mean by reinvention?

Well, in his words,

Reinvention is life. This is the call to adventure that constantly whispers to us. Do we answer it? Do we take the call?

The answer, is, of course, a resounding “yes.”

And the way?

Well, start by redefining the word freedom.

Sure, the dictionary will tell you that freedom is “the condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance,” but ask yourself: what does that mean in practice?

Capitalism should have – and, in some sense, it did – brought freedom, but why do you wake up each day at the same time with the same obnoxious alarm sound only to spend the next eight hours working a job you don’t actually like and the remaining few talking about how unhappy it makes you?

We’ll tell you why: because you need to have money to be free.

Which brings us back to Altucher’s main lesson from “Choose Yourself”: if you need money to be free, it’s pointless to earn them by not being free; so, find/choose/invent a job you would like to do!

That way, you’ll both be free while earning money and have money to be even freer afterward! Was it Confucius the one who said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”?

Altucher endorses this.

Next step of reinventing yourself: acquiring the right habits.

According to Altucher,

You are not just the average of the five people around you. You’re the average of the five habits you do, the things you eat, the ideas you have, the content you consume, etc.

The third step on the ladder to a total makeover: improving your relationships.

You are a part of much more than your own life, and this is true for everybody. Meaning: a large part of your happiness and success depends on other people.

In terms of your reinvention, it seems that three are the most important ones: your plus (someone who knows more than you), your equal (your peer), and your minus (someone who knows less).

Which brings us to the fourth, and final, step: your plus should, in fact, be your mentor and finding the right mentors to teach you how to become the person you want to be should become your top priority on your road to reinvention.

In fact, “Reinvent Yourself” doesn’t only include “the ultimate guide to finding a mentor,” but also an explanation of “how to have 1,000 mentors in your life.”

And, of course, numerous pieces of advice from many of them in the following chapters.

For example, Altucher learned from Louis C. K. the Tao of not spending any energy on things you can’t change and the uselessness of saying that you’re bored.

From Picasso and Isaac Asimov he learned that “action is the foundational key to all success” (aka the reason why Picasso produced 50,000 works of art and Asimov wrote 467 books!) and that you should “learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

From Elon Musk he learned that it’s not a bad thing to have all the eggs in one basket – if you can control that basket.

From Malala and Louis Armstrong that suffering can be transcended and turned into something bigger, whether art or cause to fight for

From Albert Einstein – the beauty of what comes after the “I don’t know.”

From Mick Jagger Altucher learned that, in the beginning, you should take every gig and that it takes about 15 years to master something: 3 to study, 2 to start making money, 4 to make a comfortable living and 6 to become a rock star!

And we’ll stop here.

Though there are many more lessons Altucher shares with his readers, whether coming from rappers such as Eminem and Ice Cube, from regular people such as his daughter or a friend’s grandma, or even some acquired through playing poker and chess or watching “Star Wars.”

Needless to say – they are all interesting and useful!

Mentoring at its most entertaining best.

Key Lessons from “Reinvent Yourself”

1.      Reinventing Is All About Four Things
2.      Find Yourself a Plus, a Minus, and an Equal
3.      Reinvent Yourself in Five Years

Reinventing Is All About Four Things

Reinvention is not something you should fear, nor something you should think of in terms of a painfully long and excruciatingly tiring process.

On the contrary, you should try to reinvent yourself constantly.

First, by redefining what the word “freedom” means to you at that specific moment. Then, by acquiring to right habits which should guide you to your imagined end. Thirdly, by improving your relationships. And finally, by finding yourself some great mentors.

Find Yourself a Plus, a Minus, and an Equal

Speaking of finding –

This is a strategy James Altucher borrows from Ryan Holiday’s “Ego Is the Enemy,” where the approach is presented as Frank Shamrock’s system for self-improvement.

It consists of choosing a plus, an equal, and a minus.

The plus is someone who knows more than you – i.e., your mentor; the equal is a peer to constantly challenge yourself against; finally, the minus is a student you can impart your knowledge on.

The goal?

Getting real and continuous feedback.

Reinvent Yourself in Five Years

If you want to reinvent yourself completely, you’ll probably need half a decade.

Use the first year to learn, experiment, and start doing some things. Then, the second year, start doing them on a more regular basis, i.e., each day – while finding some time to network with the right people. The third year you should start making some money.

But only the next – the fourth year – you’ll earn enough to make a good living. If things go well, by the fifth year, you should become a wealthy person by doing the things that you love!

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“Reinvent Yourself Quotes”

Despair = Suffering – Meaning. Click To Tweet

Talent is the tiniest of sparks. A spark lights the fire. But you have to feed the fire more fuel to keep it going. Else it dies out. Click To Tweet

Don’t be afraid to go silent. Mirror and then have the confidence to go silent. Click To Tweet

It’s never too late to do what you love. What you love is always on the shore, waiting for you to arrive, waiting with open arms. Click To Tweet

We were put here to try. Nobody will grade us. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

James Altucher is undoubtedly an idea machine, but, truthfully “Reinvent Yourself” isn’t that original – not if you have followed him well enough during the past decade or so.

Even so, it’s still Altucher – “the Oprah of the Internet” – and, moreover, it’s Altucher and his 1,000 mentors.

So, plenty of great minds.

Multiple that by five for the good advice count.

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Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary

Make Mentoring Work PDFThe very core of creating value for your community revolves around the idea of having someone to teach you and gear you up for the unavoidable clash.

Each organization requires a person with expertise to handle the toughest challenges!

In this book summary, we turn our heads towards finding the secret recipe in delivering the ultimate solution to every problem.

Who Should Read “Make Mentoring Work”? And Why?

If at some point, you’ve shown promising signs of developing into a smart leader or manager, this book comes as a blessing to you.

Each leader in-the-making should explore the depths of it and learn how to make the most of each activity.

In other words, “Make Mentoring Work” questions the traditional styles of managing human resources and provides revolutionized ideas you can use.

About Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson currently has the role of national president of the Australian Human Resources Institute Ltd.

He is also an author and a mentorship expert.

“Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary”

Top-notch organizations are totally aware of the necessity of recruiting and most-importantly spotting talents to help them launch their mentoring ideas. Nurturing these programs takes more than just proper planning and even better execution.

Nowadays, job applicants and employees in various companies look ahead to perceiving mentorship as some sort of a job benefit. To bring these demands into line with the digital age, corporations are prepared to initiate planned programs.

Laying the groundwork for the mentoring program requires a certain dose of expertise and discipline to abide by these guidelines:

  • The person who is in the spotlight must be aware of its role in the mentorship agenda.
  • People who thrive in mentorship situations, and those being coached should specialize in all features related to management and building such relationships.
  • Regardless of your position, you should wholeheartedly enroll in programs to understand the big picture in an often-neglected race against time.
  • Although many organizations skip this step, it’s vital for the mentor and the student to reach a state of full-compliance and blend their ideas into the overall objective.
  • Mentors should actively support their students and show them how to destroy their shallow limitations. Seize the day and don’t dread the idea to endorse your new concepts and give them a go.
  • The bottom line is – the mentor should allocate some time in writing and defining the final report.
  • Both need to perpetrate acts which lead to finding a final resolution to job-related issues.
  • Mentoring requires supervision, control, and higher understanding.

It’s needless to say that without integrity and honesty, mentors can’t carry out the fundamental activities on a daily basis. In other words, they have to be friendly and honest regarding all matters that involve human management. Moreover, they have to put themselves in the shoes of their subordinates and look at things differently.

For instance, every noteworthy mentor is aware that its responsibilities are stretched out to the maximum. Basically, without wisdom, hard work and credibility they can’t enforce rules or enact specific ideas.

Today’s top workers are looking for an employer prepared to invest in their skill levels and career learning.

They should always lean towards active listening and deep understanding, instead of promoting their official status on every occasion. A good mentor spends 80% listening and only 20% talking.

Most importantly, skillful mentors place emphasis on filling the atmosphere with hope and welcoming approach. For instance, many companies now pay their employees to generate ideas. For every bad idea, each employee gets a reward.

So, encouraging your mentees to speak up and share their views leads to profits; and ultimately, satisfaction at the end of the sales funnel. Mentors must not step outside the lines of decency and protocols. Behaving positively at meetings will give the mentees the vital edge they require.

Expanding the network of associates and partners is one of the few things you should strive to achieve.  

It’s not all butter and milk. Friendly mentors must sometimes go for a hard pep talk, which can lift the spirits of all parties involved in the process. You have to feel the situation and provide a response that is in tune with the environment.

The mentor must show understanding and interest in paving the way with healthy habits and even better management skills. Mentees, on the other hand, must display a commitment to follow the lead and thus increase their input. Proficient mentors are a valuable gem for up-and-comers in these activities:

  • Handling complex relationships and dealing with complicated characters.  
  • Managing the corporate framework and the needs of the stakeholders.
  • Lean towards the idea of becoming a full-equipped manager who tackles social, economic and political ambiguities.
  • Looking for answers that cast doubt on ethical norms.

Here are the three crucial roots:

  1. Socratic philosophy – Socrates had a huge base of students, who perceived him as a figure of authority whose actions revealed great wisdom. Mentors have the same role and act with the same dose of mystery. They provide guidance and instruct younger mentees on how to improve their performance.  
  2. Parental behavior – It comes as no surprise why many people refer to mentors as “second parents” who guide them through life.
  3. Spiritual vibes – Last but not least – mentors are spiritual gurus. Whenever an employee/mentee has a problem, a mentor should be willing to listen and find time to resolve the issue.

Key Lessons from “Make Mentoring Work”

1.      The harder you train, the easier the game
2.      Discover new forms of leadership
3.      Explore the depths of the relationship-building process

The harder you train, the easier the game

Face-to-face meetings are pivotal and unavoidable routine for every four-start mentor. Why’s that?

In these gatherings, the students learn how to act with decorum, because in the foreseeable future they may have to test the burden of being a mentor.

Discover new forms of leadership

You must not allow direct interference in the company’s long-term prosperity by any newbie, and on such occasions – the ends do justify the means.

It’s fair to say that coaching, is the embodiment of proper leadership because it directs the employees’ efforts and puts the mentor’s expertise to the test.

Explore the depths of the relationship-building process

In the traditional sense of mentor-mentee relationships, the mentor often takes the role of an older brother.

However, in the modern era, the age difference is melting, and co-mentoring emerges as a method way of coping with the increased pressure.

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“Make Mentoring Work Quotes”

Good mentors help you to walk in your own shoes, even if you start out just wanting to walk in theirs. Click To Tweet

Listening to how the challenges of the mentee would have been handled at a similar stage in the mentor’s own working life is hugely powerful. Click To Tweet

Mentoring is also about life leadership. It’s about becoming a leader in your own life with a little help from someone who has already shown leadership on their own. Click To Tweet

Mentoring is a proactive bespoke art that confers rights but also places obligations on both mentor and mentee. Click To Tweet

Mentors need to telegraph that their purpose is to give unconditional positive support and encouragement. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Mentoring is a real struggle. A fierce psychological battle that you have to win.

Peter Wilson makes it easier for you by developing a full system that can guide your efforts. Don’t miss it and understand the benefits of it!

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The Barefoot Executive PDF Summary

The Barefoot Executive PDFThe Ultimate Manual for Being Your Own Boss & Achieving Financial Freedom

Don’t you want to be able to just once go to work in your pajamas?

What about if that is your life?

Carrie Wilkerson teaches you how you can become “The Barefoot Executive.”

(Which, having founded a company by the same name, she quite literally is.)

Who Should Read “The Barefoot Executive”? And Why?

Do you like your job?

Can you imagine yourself doing it for the next decade or half a century?

If so, then – congratulations!

You’re one of the fortunate few people on this planet who’ve managed to become their own executives!

Because we just can’t imagine someone who’s not his own boss – and who, consequently, has to adhere to schedules, deadlines, inflexible work hours, etc. – content enough to not yearn for a different future.

Carrie Wilkerson’s “The Barefoot Executive” is a book about these yearners, the less fortunate ones.

Those who want to do something other than what they’re currently doing.

So, basically, it’s about you.

Carrie WilkersonAbout Carrie Wilkerson

Carrie Wilkerson is a bestselling author, consultant, and sought-after keynote speaker.

Named by “Forbes” a top small business influencer, Wilkerson has been featured on both Fox Business News and CNN and has consulted many Fortune 500 companies, including Google.

“The Barefoot Executive” is her only book so far.

Find out more at http://carriewilkerson.com/

“The Barefoot Executive PDF Summary”

Even though it shares the title, this book has nothing to do with the 1971 live-action Disney movie starring the young Kurt Russell and a very smart TV-loving chimp.

However, it may have everything to do with the brightness of your future and your wellbeing, since Carrie Wilkerson’s goal – as stated in the Introduction is

…to give you hope and to take you through the process of investigating your options and your skill sets to create the financial freedom and work life that you’ve perhaps only dreamed of until now.

Ignore the naysayers and avoid the status quo.

So, in other words, Carrie’s vision of your future is one in which you can go to work without socks – or even pants – and one in which you can have the flexibility to join your daughter on an all-day field trip whenever you like – without asking for permissions and without any consequences.

And she shares this vision in five main parts.

The first part is titled “The Myth Breakers,” and it consists of two chapters: “Job Security, Tenure, Retirement, and Other Fairy Tales” and “Why You Must Own a Business.”

As evidenced by the tiles themselves, these chapters set the tone for Carrie Wilkerson’s main investigation, i.e., the why before the how of becoming your own executive.

Needless to add, as far as Wilkerson is concerned, you’re living in some century past if you still believe that securing a 9-to-5 job for the long run is the only way you can live your life, or that you can retire inspired and live happily ever after on your social security pension only!

It’s never been easier than today to start your own business, so you’re missing the opportunity of your life if you don’t at least try that!

But how should you start?

Well, by not making one of “The Three Big Mistakes” which is how the second chapter of Wilkerson’s book is titled.

The mistakes are chasing someone else’s dream, chasing too many rabbits, and chasing dollars.

Wilkerson’s point here is that you shouldn’t try to be the next anyone because that way you risk detaching your own business from your real desires and dreams, ultimately falling down the same rabbit hole you were trying to climb up from.

In other words: if you don’t work the job you want, create the one you’ve always dreamed about!

Not the one which books say will most probably work, or the one which self-help authors claim will get you the most money.

As Simon Sinek so convincingly argued a while back, there’s only one place from which you should start building your company: its why.

Part three, “The Methods,” is where Wilkerson moves from the why to the how, or, in other words, from motivation to action.

Here she explains what the right mindset of success is and how personalizing a business means taking massive action.

However, actually masterminding it will probably mean doing at least one of two things: finding a good mentor and doing serious research.

After all, even the greatest of sportsmen can’t maximize their talents without a proper mentor – so, don’t act self-important and do find one.

The fourth part of the book – titled “The Models” – covers (quite fittingly) six different business models from which you can choose to develop your business practically from scratch.

The models discussed here are service based (i.e., the one based on using your skill set), expertise-based (coaching and consulting), knowledge-based (information marketing), goods-based (commerce or direct sales), and referral-based (commission or affiliate marketing).

The sixth model is not actually a business model in itself but a combination of the other, since, once you have at least one model firmly planted, nothing’s stopping you from progressing to multiple streams of income.

The fifth and final part of the book, “The Marketplace” is all about positioning and finding your right audience.

It tries to answer questions such as “who wants what you have?” “where will they find you?” and “where will you find them?” while also sharing some ideas to income and discussing how you can effectively build your audience.

Scattered throughout Wilkerson’s book, you’ll find many practical advises and case studies – “Barefoot Action Steps” and “Barefoot Case Studies” – in addition to numerous links to supplemental videos which should further help you understand Wilkerson’s message.

Which, ultimately, is really simple but extraordinarily powerful: if you don’t like your life, you can easily fix it.

Just remodel yourself:

Key Lessons from “The Barefoot Executive”

1.      Shatter the Myths of the Past Century – and Become Your Own Boss
2.      The Three Big Mistakes You Should Never Make
3.      The Five Business Models You Should Research

Shatter the Myths of the Past Century – and Become Your Own Boss

There are many unsubstantiated and/or obsolete myths which, unfortunately, have decided your life for you.

Some of the most frightening ones are the Myth of Job Security, the Myth of Tenure, and the Myth of Retirement.

These are all remnants of a past world which has nothing to do with the dynamic you-can-do-it-yourself age in which we’re currently living.

So, forget about them.

Start your own business and write some new myths for the new generations.

The Three Big Mistakes You Should Never Make

There are three big mistakes you should never make if (or, rather, when) planning to start your own business.

The first one should be an obvious one – but people do it much too often so that we can ignore it: chasing other people’s dreams. The point is to build your life around your very own.

The second one is chasing too many rabbits – because that way you probably won’t catch a single one.

Chasing dollars is the third one.

Money should always be just means to an end, not the end itself.

The Five Business Models You Should Research

Probably the most important part of “The Barefoot Executive” is the fourth one: “The Models.”

Here you’ll find five different business models you should research and the ways you can employ them and link them to your very own business.

These are service-based, expertise-based, knowledge-based, goods-based, and referral-based.

Finally, the sixth model is a combination of these, i.e., multiple streams of revenue.

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“The Barefoot Executive Quotes”

Why do you want to start a business? Why are you reading this book? Click To Tweet

The ‘why’ behind the money, the ‘why’ behind how you are changing people, the ‘why’ behind what you do is what you are really focused on. Click To Tweet

You are never going to work really hard just to have a lot of money. Click To Tweet

What motivates us is what the money can do or the cause it can support or the choices that money allows us to have. Click To Tweet

Take action, absolutely – but also keep learning and growing. Don’t ever be finished. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you want to find a one-for-all working formula on how to start a business and become a filthy rich person, “The Barefoot Executive” is not the book for you.

However, it can do you one better: it offers a comprehensive overview of the possibilities ahead of you while sharing with you all the motivation and inspiration you’ll ever need to finally get the courage to start of your own business.

Funny and stimulating, “The Barefoot Executive” is certainly one of the places where you should start pursuing your dream career.

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A Complaint Is A Gift PDF Summary

A Complaint Is A Gift PDFRecovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong

Customers are gold, and the business should revolve around their needs, not your agenda.

Experienced managers and marketers realize that understanding their position is like having the wind at your back!

In this book summary, we try to melt all the vital info and lay the foundations for a new strategy.

Who Should Read “A Complaint Is A Gift”? And Why?

If you ever plan to run a business or expand your expertise regarding CRM, this book should be on your pending list!

We believe that “A Complaint Is A Gift” is like a research bomb, whose clock is already ticking.

Therefore, newcomers in the world of managers, business experts, and marketers need to dive right into the essence of this masterpiece and use its sources to devise better plans.

About Janelle Barlow

Janelle BarlowJanelle Barlow is an expert in customer behavior and the president and owner of TMI US. Her contribution to customer-management is out of the question.

Despite being the author of four books including (Emotional Value), she has also provided many top-notch brands with consulting services!

“A Complaint Is A Gift PDF Summary”

If you didn’t see this one coming – we have to explain that receiving complaints doesn’t reflect “The End of the World.” Truly, there’s a number of useful practices that can help you understand the big picture. For instance, you can accelerate your business career by knowing how to interpret complaints and appreciate their effect.

If companies can begin to see complaints as gifts, it will open an entirely new path for interacting with customers and benefit everyone.

Janelle insists on observing especially highly-negative complaints as messages, which help you steer your company. In other words, using this vital info can give you the upper hand in defeating your rivals. You don’t need us telling you that this is not the industrial era – for every action, there is a suitable reaction.

So, why gifts?

There’s one thing to keep in mind – if you decide to conduct an analysis regarding consumer behavior, or if you endeavor to make heads and tails of something, you need valuable and sincere feedback from the other party.

In this case, that other legal body/union/group/association are your customers. If you label yourself as a customer-centric organization that is not merely profit-driven, you have to put customer behavior on top of your priorities.

Their feedback is priceless because it directs your company on the right path. Always be passionate about complainers, they are your corner guy! Make them feel like you care for their objection.

Fortunately, Janelle Barlow designed 8 Step Fundamental Technique – named The Gift Formula that helps you determine what to do in which situation.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Say, “Thank you.”

Expressing gratitude means that you are not biased when it comes to the company’s performance and you take all notes into account. On top of that, you don’t evaluate nor verify the legitimacy of the complaint.

When it’s your birthday, and you receive a gift – we assume you don’t ask nor demand specifications about the present. Where it was purchased, how much it costs, who bought it, and so forth. Whether you need it or not, it’s polite to say “Thank You.”

  1. Explain why you appreciate the feedback.

Customers love their needs to be met, and you can’t do much better than explaining your official status about the quarrel.

You know the old one? – The customer is always right! That means, even if they don’t have trustworthy arguments you must put their interests above yours.

  1. Apologize for the mistake.

Do you have to apologize for specific errors in the process? – Indeed, but only after you complete the first two stages, and created an official stand about the problem.

If you merely apologize, the customer would feel as if the company plans to do nothing, and their feedback means very little to you. Give them a feeling that the organization is working on improvements to meet their needs.

  1. Promise to do something about the problem immediately. Take responsibility.

What customers value the most? – To be involved in the process of decision-making! It’s sound a bit strange that a one-time customer can dictate your operations, but it’s the only path you should take.

Start by saying what and how fast you plan to fix the problem to change their opinion.

  1. Ask for necessary information.

If you monitor these processes or if you are one of the employees who handle customer complaints, you need to possess certain expertise and full-knowingness of the tunnel for dealing with such issues.

Making the customer feel pleased with the company’s efforts, is vital to keep the organization functional. A significant portion of these complainers don’t expect any action on your behalf; they just want to share their issue with the organization.

  1. Correct the mistake – promptly.

Well, speed does matter. Look at it this way, you go to an expensive restaurant, and you order caviar and wine for you and your lovely lady. The waiter accepts the order but delivers it 50 minutes after the initial demand is made. What would be your response?

Your patience has expired, and even if the food is delicious, your overall experience with the restaurant is not that great. Fixing any issue at lightning speed is critical for transforming these unhappy customers into loyal “subjects.”

  1. Check customer satisfaction.

After you completed all these steps in the process, it’s vital to assess the customer satisfaction and see whether their aversion is starting to fade away.

Make a call is one way to do it and ask whether the solution to the problem satisfies their appetites. In some rare occasion, you can also share the precautions taken to prevent the issue from occurring again.

  1. Prevent future mistakes.

Train your staff to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Make sure that you don’t pass the blame on them, always take “We” instead of “You” “I” “He” “She,” that way you’ll make everyone equally responsible for both successes and failures.

If you display excellent management skills, your staff members will eagerly put your instructions into action and implement the solution to its full extent.

Key Lessons from “A Complaint Is A Gift”

1.      The customers are your most precious jewel
2.      You are not right
3.      Take one step at the time

The customers are your most precious jewel

Profit-driven companies hit the bottom quicker than you ever thought possible.

We are not saying that you should not be making money, that is absurd, but your primary incentive must be making the end user happy and satisfied.

You are not right

If you have all the arguments in the world to prove the customer wrong; you’ll still be leaning towards the losing side!

It’s not what you can prove, or how well you can contradict the consumer’s statements, but how you handle complaints.

Take one step at the time

Don’t simply rush into conclusions; making split second-decision won’t do you any good. To deliver a superior product, you have to execute all steps with utmost perfection.

In doing so, you’ll build a strong base of loyal admirers!

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“A Complaint Is A Gift Quotes”

If companies can begin to see complaints as gifts, it will open an entirely new path for interacting with customers and benefit everyone. Click To Tweet

We must welcome these complaining customers and make them want to come to us with their feedback. Click To Tweet

Without open communication between front-line personnel and managers, service quality is very difficult to achieve. Click To Tweet

Poorly written policies encourage front-line employees to pay more attention to enforcing company rules than satisfying upset customers. Click To Tweet

Organizations need to encourage staff to seek out complaints because this will define what customers want. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Your customers don’t feel pity for you, and they expect something in return for either their time or money.

Janelle teaches you how to make the most out of any situation by advocating for superior-quality.

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How to Be a Power Connector PDF Summary

How to Be a Power Connector PDF The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits

Do you want to be successful?

Of course, you do!

A few decades old news flash:

Success is not just about having an innovative idea and some luck along the way.

It’s also about having a vast network.

And according to Judy Robinett, even that isn’t enough anymore!

Great networkers are a thing of the past; it’s about time you learned “How to be a Power Connector.”

Who Should Read “How to Be a Power Connector”? And Why?

“How to Be a Power Connector” is the book anyone who wants to learn how to build a stronger business network should read.

Consequently, it’s a must-read for those who want to climb the career ladder and improve their future prospects.

And because, ultimately, it tends to teach you how to be a more sociable person, it’s also about talented introverts who want to find a way to be successful in the dynamic business world of today.

Judy RobinettAbout Judy Robinett

Judy Robinett, “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex,” is a business thought leader and a long-time entrepreneur and corporate executive.

She has been on the advisory boards of Illuminate Ventures, Pereg Ventures, Springboard Enterprises, and Women Innovate Mobile (WIM).

In addition, she has been profiled in “Forbes,” “Huffington Post,” and “Bloomberg Businessweek.”

The bestselling “How to Be a Power Connector” is her only book so far.

“How to Be a Power Connector PDF Summary”

If you’ve ever watched a film about street gangs – or been in one – you’ve probably learned one of the fundamental rules of gang membership:

For better or for worse, once you’re in a gang, people tend to attach to you the deeds of the gang.

So, you’re either good or bad by reputation, inspiring fear or respect even if you’re very different from the rest of those in the gang.

Translate that in the world of business networking:

If you know Jeff Bezos – or even know someone who knows him – people tend to look at you differently and listen to your ideas with very different ears.

Put that in terms of a simple equation:

More powerful network = more personal power.

Or, as Judy Robinett puts it:

Skill is fine, and genius is splendid, but the right contacts are more valuable than either.

So, is your network strong enough to harness your skill and genius?

If you don’t know the answer to that question, ask yourself at least three other:

#1. What is the proportion of strategic relationship when compared to other network relationships? (This is called, strategic quotient, SQ, and it’s a very important metric)

#2. How many people do you talk on a regular basis, and how much value do these discussions add to your future prospects?

#3. How many people on your “networking wish list” are you connected with, and do you have a plan on how to connect with those you are currently not?

If your SQ is great, and you have all but few people left on your networking wish list – then you’re doing a great job as a power connector.

If not, it’s time you regroup and start building your network according to the 5+50+100 Rule:

Your Top 5: The Inner Circle

There should be only 5 people in the world that you are really close to and that you listen and talk to on a daily basis.

Normally, these are probably your parents, your spouse, your best friend and your business partners.

These are the people that are prepared to go to hell and back with you, and the people you won’t hesitate calling at 3AM even if you need some help to bury a body in the backyard.

Your Key 50: The Valuable Circle

This group consists of people you should contact on a weekly basis.

They are your friends and your close associates which are valuable to you, so you always try to add some value to their lives.

In time, it will certainly pay off.

Your Vital 100: The Business Circle

These are some of your more distant friends and occasional business acquaintances.

You like these people as well, but you have only 24 hours in a day, and 7 days a week – so you should contact your vital 100 about once a month.

You can’t afford (and don’t like) to lose them – but you don’t have time to add value to their lives as well.

However, your job doesn’t end with recategorization.

The catch is to choose wisely as well and build a deep and diversified network.

There’s no point in surrounding yourself with people who are like you – or are alike each other. So, if you are a Buddhist, find some Catholics to talk to once in a while; and if you are a Liberal, spend some time with a Democrat or two.

Next, find the right environment for your network.

Once again, there’s no point in having twenty publishing agents in your Key 50 if you are not planning to publish a book.

Concerning this, Steve Jobs – who else? – once offered new entrepreneurs great advice you should heed to: donate to the charities of the people you want to meet.

Because – well, you’ll help, and, as a bonus, you’ll be invited to their Christmas parties!

Key Lessons from “How to Be a Power Connector”

1.      The 5+50+100 Rule
2.      The 10 Character Traits of Power Connectors
3.      The 4 Steps of Power Connecting

The 5+50+100 Rule

Want to build yourself a strong network?

Then follow the 5+50+100 Rule!

It’s fairly simple:

Set aside a group of 5 people – your Top 5 – you know you can trust come what may. Usually, these are your parents, your spouse, your best friend and your direct business associate. Call these people daily and help them whenever; they will help you back even if you don’t.

Your Key 50 should be a group of close friends and close associates. Call them at least once a week and try to add some value to their lives whenever possible.

Finally, your Vital 100 should be a group of distant business acquaintances you really like and whom you should call about once a month.

155 people – that’s the rule-of-thumb limit of your network!

The 10 Character Traits of Power Connectors

All power connectors share ten traits:

#1. Authentic: they are “genuine, honest, and transparent.”
#2. Trustworthy: they are dependable and have a great reputation based on their past results.
#3. Respectful: they are “appreciative of the time and efforts of others” and “treat subordinates with the same level of respect as they do supervisors.”
#4. Caring: “they like to help others succeed” and “have good hearts.”
#5. Listening:  they ask beautiful questions, and they are authentically “eager to learn about others – what’s important to them, what they’re working on, what they’re looking for, and what they need.” 
#6. Engaged: they actively take participation in life and are passionate about things.
#7. Patient: “they recognize that relationships need to be cultivated over time” and so, they invest time in maintaining them.
#8. Intelligent: they are not just skillful and smart, but also they are thoughtful and never burn bridges.
#9. Sociable: they are “nice, likable, and helpful.” In fact, most of them “enjoy being with people, and they are happy to connect with others.” 
#10. Connected: “they are part of their own network of excellent strategic relationships.”

The 4 Steps of Power Connecting

Power connecting is a game of four stages.

It starts with preparation, which means making a 5+50+100 wish list of connections.

Then, you should move to targeting, or, in other words, actually finding ways to meet the people on your list.

Once you do, follow up – it’s crucial to recontact your targets within 24 hours.

Finally, connect your connections for the long run – be sure to add or create some value in their lives, and connect them to some other people from your circles.

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“How to Be a Power Connector Quotes”

Business relationships are important for strong communities. Click To Tweet

Be completely honest. Always own up to a mistake if you’ve made one. It’s more important to be nice than to be right. Click To Tweet

When you deliver first-class work as a volunteer, people will assume you deliver the same high-quality work in your professional life. Click To Tweet

Never burn bridges. People change—cut them some slack and be forgiving. Click To Tweet

In the end, the most important thing will not be the titles you have held or the money you have made but the kind of person you have become. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The main premise of Judy Robinett’s book “How to Be a Power Connector” is that nowadays networking may be more important than both skill and genius – and that it is learnable.

Even if the former is not entirely true, business networking is still an essential part of modern life.

Use this book to become skilled at it.

It’s neatly organized and easily applicable – so you can start tomorrow!

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