What Matters Now: Productivity by Gina Trapani

Over the course of the holidays, I am taking the opportunity to disconnect a bit and get a started on brainstorming for the New Year.  To help you do the same, I am sharing some of my favorite posts from the new eBook, “What Matters Now” that was compiled by Seth Godin.  You can download the eBook in its entirety here.

Productivity by Gina Trapani

Getting things done is not the same as making things happen.

You can…
…reply to email.
…pay the bills.
…cross off to-do’s.
…fulfill your obligation.
…repeat what you heard.
…go with the flow.
…anticipate roadblocks.
…aim for “good enough.”

Or you can…
…organize a community.
…take a risk.
…set ambitious goals.
…give more than you take.
…change perceptions.
…forge a new path.
…create possibility.
…demand excellence.

Don’t worry too much about getting things done.

Make things happen.

Gina Trapani blogs about software and productivity at Smarterware.  Her new book, The Complete Guide to Google Wave, is available to read online for free.

What Matters Now: Thnx by Gary Vaynerchuk

Over the course of the holidays, I am taking the opportunity to disconnect a bit and get a started on brainstorming for the New Year.  To help you do the same, I am sharing some of my favorite posts from the new eBook, “What Matters Now” that was compiled by Seth Godin.  You can download the eBook in its entirety here.

Thnx by Gary Vaynerchuk

“Social media” facilitates direct engagement with consumers to an unprecedented level, fundamentally shifting the concept of customer service. No one expected the CEO of Pepsi to ring their doorbell or call on their birthday. It wasn’t feasible. But now, the cost of interaction has plummeted. I can thank someone by texting “thnx” from my cell phone
between meetings, or hang out on Ustream answering questions, or send an @ reply on Twitter.  All at minimal cost.

Every CEO and business must recognize that customer service is now their primary business.  What was unreasonable becomes essential; the empowerment of the individual consumer affects every brand.

In this world content creation becomes imperative, the initial engagement. When you are transparent and engaging, the result is what I call the “thank you” economy. I gave away information for free—online videos and keynotes with content similar to my book. Monetizing that scenario sounds difficult but wasn’t. People didn’t buy 1 book, they bought 4 or 5 copies as a thank you for what they had already received.

I believe the thank you economy will become the norm in 2010 and beyond, and brands that fail to adjust will be left out in the cold.

Gary Vaynerchuk is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion. He dispenses business advice on his personal blog.

What Matters Now: Evangelism by Guy Kawasaki

Over the course of the holidays, I am taking the opportunity to disconnect a bit and get a started on brainstorming for the New Year.  To help you do the same, I am sharing some of my favorite posts from the new eBook, “What Matters Now” that was compiled by Seth Godin.  You can download the eBook in its entirety here.

Evangelism by Guy Kawasaki

The future belongs to people who can spread ideas.

Here are ten things to remember:

  1. Create a cause.  A cause seizes the moral high ground and makes people’s lives better.
  2. Love the cause. “Evangelist” isn’t a job title. It’s a way of life. If you don’t love a cause, you can’t evangelize it.
  3. Look for agnostics, ignore atheists. It’s too hard to convert people who deny your cause. Look for people who are supportive or neutral instead.
  4. Localize the pain. Never describe your cause by using bull shiitake terms like “revolutionary” and “paradigm shifting.” Instead, explain how it helps a person.
  5. Let people test drive the cause. Let people try your cause, take it home, download it, and then decide if it’s right for them.
  6. Learn to give a demo. A person simply cannot evangelize a product if she cannot demo it.
  7. Provide a safe first step. Don’t put up any big hurdles in the beginning of the process.  The path to adopting a cause needs a slippery slope.
  8. Ignore pedigrees. Don’t focus on the people with big titles and big reputations. Help anyone who can help you.
  9. Never tell a lie. Credibility is everything for an evangelist. Tell the truth—even if it hurts.  Actually, especially if it hurts.
  10. Remember your friends. Be nice to the people on the way up because you might see them again on the way down.

Guy Kawasaki is a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc.

What Matters Now: Business is a Game by Tony Hsieh

Over the course of the holidays, I am taking the opportunity to disconnect a bit and get a started on brainstorming for the New Year.  To help you do the same, I am sharing some of my favorite posts from the new eBook, “What Matters Now” that was compiled by Seth Godin.  You can download the eBook in its entirety here.

Business is a Game by Tony Hsieh

Everything I know about business I learned from poker: financials, strategy, education, and culture.

FINANCIALS

  • The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
  • The guy who never loses a hand is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
  • Go for positive expected value, not what’s least risky.
  • You will win or lose individual hands, but it’s what happens in the long term that matters.

STRATEGY

  • Learn to adapt. Adjust your style of play as the dynamics of the game change.
  • The players with the most stamina and focus usually win.
  • Hope is not a good plan.
  • Stick to your principles.

EDUCATION

  • Never stop learning. Read books. Learn from others who have done it before.
  • Learn by doing.  Theory is nice, but nothing replaces actual experience.
  • Just because you win a hand doesn’t mean you’re good and you don’t have more learning to do. You might have just gotten lucky.

CULTURE

  • To become really good, you need to live it, breathe it, and sleep it.
  • Be nice and make friends. It’s a small community.
  • Have fun.  The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.

Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Zappos.com and the author of the soon-to-be-published book Delivering Happiness. Tony’s (longer) blog post is Everything I Know About Business I Learned from Poker.

What Matters Now: Vision by Michael Hyatt

Over the course of the holidays, I am taking the opportunity to disconnect a bit and get a started on brainstorming for the New Year.  To help you do the same, I am sharing some of my favorite posts from the new eBook, “What Matters Now” that was compiled by Seth Godin.  You can download the eBook in its entirety here.

Vision by Michael Hyatt

Vision is the lifeblood of any organization. It is what keeps it moving forward. It provides meaning to the day-to-day challenges and setbacks that make up the rumble and tumble of real life.

In a down economy—particularly one that has taken most of us by surprise—things get very tactical. We are just trying to survive. What worked yesterday does not necessarily work today.  What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Decisions become pragmatic.

But after a while this wears on people.  They don’t know why their efforts matter.  They cannot connect their actions to a larger story.  Their work becomes a matter of just going through the motions, living from weekend to weekend, paycheck to paycheck.

This is where great leadership makes all the difference. Leadership is more than influence. It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build—and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better future. It comes down to pointing the way and saying, “C’mon. We can do this!”

When times are tough, vision is the first casualty.  Before conditions can improve, it is the first thing we must recover.

Michael Hyatt is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He blogs on “Leading with Purpose” at MichaelHyatt.com and also Twitters at @MichaelHyatt.