Ram Dass-Style Entrepreneurship

Be here, now. – Ram Dass

The value of presence – “being here, now” – has come up in several recent Social Capitalist interviews. Christine Comaford talked about its importance to leadership, calling it the quality that gives Bill Clinton his charismatic juju. Jonathan Fields talked about the importance of mindfullness meditation to creativity.

This morning, I’ve got a new spin on it, thanks to a conversation I had at Lucinda Duncalfe‘s Grubwithus dinner last night. Presence is incredibly important to the entrepreneur’s ability to generate ideas. (So perhaps this is really another take on Jonathan Fields’.) Entrepreneurs need to be present in the moment so that we’re sufficiently sensitive to life’s minor PITAs to recognize them, pause, and think about solving them.

James Altucher, yet another Social Capitalist guest, recommends “building your idea muscle” by writing down 10 or 20 fresh ideas every morning. But my new friend Ramya from the dinner had a different approach. She talked about paying attention so that every time you experienced a problem or an inconvenience, you flipped a switch to think, “Wait, is there a way to solve this?” In other words, cultivating a constant habit of identifying problems and brianstorming solutions – and “carrying a notebook everywhere.” It’s not unlike the myGreenlight mindset of constantly looking for opportunities to be generous to people – being here, now, so you’re truly listening and responding authentically – which brings us right back to Comaford and Bill Clinton. And actually, entrepreneurship itself is a form of win-win generosity and mutual self-interest.

Ramya’s thought brought me back around to presence – paying attention, exploring sensation, experience, and the tug of an inchoate idea, rather than wandering around in future-goggles thinking about what’s two weeks out.

If you’d like to get the transcripts or recordings for the Social Capitalist sessions I mentioned, here are the links:

Does An Action-Oriented Guarantee Guarantee Action?

Here at myG we’ve seen that our program has the potential to move you toward your goals at top speed. But success is ultimately a factor of how much participants engage with and execute the program. As with any service-oriented offering: education, consultation, coaching, even nutrition, the magic secret sauce happens when content and tools meet with execution.

So many times the question becomes, how to ensure the kind of engagement that makes the magic happen?

I was intrigued this week by the introduction of an engagement-inducing money-back guarantee offered by premium job-hunting site TheLadders. If members don’t land a job within 6 months they will receive a full refund of the $2,495 (!) price tag for their Premium service.

So far, fairly vanilla.

But the action-inducing spin is this - the guarantee is only effective if the job-seeker holds up his/her end of the bargain.

“TheLadders guarantees that you will receive a job offer within six months or less if you participate fully in all components of the Program at the level indicated below. In order to be eligible for this Guarantee, within the first sixty (60) days of your six month subscription period, you must complete:

  • Attend 7 scheduled sessions
  • Complete Steps 1-5 of the Roadmap
  • Apply to 6 well-fitted positions (as described in the Program Roadmap)
  • Complete all follow-up activities assigned

In addition, in order to continue to be eligible for the money back guarantee after the initial sixty (60) days of your six month subscription period, you must attend a minimum of 75% of your scheduled sessions per month and apply to 6 well-fitted positions per month…” Continue reading

We’re All in Sales – So Consider These Success Traits

A recent article at Inc.com, discussed the top five traits of highly successful salesmen.

This is article is useful whether you’re in sales or not. No matter what our title and function, we are all selling ourselves, our brand, and our ideas.  As Keith always says, “We’re all in sales.”

Keeping that in mind, here’s the list of traits from Inc.:

  1. Assertiveness
  2. Self-Awareness
  3. Empathy
  4. Problem-Solving
  5. Optimism

Particularly interesting to me was the idea of self-awareness.

The author says, “You need to be able to identify your own emotions, understand how they work, and then use them to help you build stronger customer relationships. This is a four-step process:

  • Identify the emotions that you’re feeling,
  • Based on experience, predict how those emotions will affect your sales effort.
  • Compensate for negative emotions that might hinder the sale.
  • Expand your positive emotions that might help you make the sale.”

Although the directions here are specific to sales, I believe that they can be useful in many different cases. Working on these attributes can lead to a whole host of new possibilities – give it a try!

What’s your level of self-awareness, and how are you working to cultivate it?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Christine Comaford’s Mindset Adjustment to Instantly Relate as an Equal to Anyone

Christine Comaford has one of the most fascinating bios you will ever see. She is a five-time CEO, venture capitalist, Buddhist monk, and best-selling author, just to name a few of her accomplishments. Christine joined Tahl Raz, co-author of Never Eat Alone, in a fascinating Social Capitalist Interview where she shared this simple shift in mindset that will make you feel more equal with even the most powerful potential contact.

Christine says:

We tend to put people above us, and that’s just not true, you know? So we can equalize our self with others, for starters, which is a core tenet of Buddhism. We’re all the same. We all have one unit of self worth. No one’s better than anybody else. So as we equalize, then we can exchange.

And when we exchange ourself with others, and I do this all the time in business, we have a new tool. If someone is mean or challenging, it’s just because they’re in pain. And so you think, “OK, when have I been in pain before.” OK yes, I’ve been in devastating pain before. That’s possibly what they’re going through. And when we can exchange our pain for their pain, we can then talk to them far more effectively.

For many more insights and actionable tips, make sure to read the full transcript of Christine’s Social Capitalist Interview here.

Relationship Roundup

Everyone’s buzzing about South by Southwest  (SXSW) week, the uber cool music, film, tech, and media conference in Austin, Texas. Among the innovators, some of the following social media application developers are burning the midnight oil to introduce SXSW goers to the cool tools that are or will soon be helping us manage our manically connected worlds. None too soon in my book! This week in the Roundup, I present some options that are hot on the market and coming down the pipeline to streamline your socially connected life.

Get Ming.ly with it! – For managing the flow of your existing and growing connections, as well as remembering important details about them, Ming.ly offers several  functions to give your memory a break. The application works with your existing social media networks to keep track of whose coming in and out of your world. Check out the Ming.ly web demo to learn more here http://bit.ly/xpsR5r.

Spotlight on Highlight – I was told the industry is going nuts over Highlight, a fun and easy way to learn about the people around you. Imagine this…the person next to you also has Highlight and their profile shows up on your phone. You can see all the profile details they’ve chosen to share to strike up a conversation. Hmmm, we used to call that stalking but between two consensual adults I’m all for it. Learn more http://bit.ly/yocauc. Continue reading

Do You Have What It Takes To Win? On the Next Social Capitalist, Mental Toughness Training from a Navy Seal

Prepare to break the ceiling on your professional goals using the mental and physical Mark Divinestrategies and tactics of the U.S. Navy Seals.

Join us Wednesday, March 28th at 12pm ET for our next Social Capitalist Live Event with Mark Divine, CEO of SEALFIT, NavySEALs.com, and US Cross Fit.

–> Click here to register!

Mark is the leader in providing civilians with mental toughness training and Navy Seal fitness. His insights into elite fitness, elite teams, leadership, mental toughness, and warrior spirit development were developed over his 20 years as a SEAL and business leader, 25 years as a martial artist, and 15 years as yoga practitioner. Mark is also a former adjunct professor of leadership at the University of San Diego, and a co-founder of the Coronado Brewing Co.

From Mark, you’ll learn how to:

  • Fine tune teamwork and accountability to drive excellence
  • Forge the mental toughness that creates strong presence and leadership
  • Maintain your “positive charge” – not just emotionally, but physically
  • Develop your inner Corporate Warrior to excel in all areas of your life

To Learn More:

Learn more about Sealfit: http://www.sealfit.com/about-us/news/
See the program in action: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Hell_Week_Boot_Camp_San_Diego-130847008.html

I hope you’ll join us Wednesday, March 28th at Noon ET for what’s sure to be an energizing discussion.

Again, here’s the link for registration.

You’re in Permanent Beta, So Let Your Network Help

In a recent NPR interview with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman about his new book, The Start-Up of You, he makes this great point about personal branding:

We are in a “permanent beta…you’re always investing in yourself. You’re always adapting. You’re not a finished product.”

He also suggests that your network plays a vital role in helping you keep current. He advises, “go out to lunch with different folks, go out to lunch with people from other departments, from other companies, and explicitly address questions like: How do you see the industry changing? What do you think is happening? How do you do your job effectively? Is there anything I should learn from that in terms of how do I do my job effectively? That’s how you adapt to the future, and you stay current.” (We recommend a similar approach in all three myGreenlight courses, but especially Course III: The Learning Action Plan.)

Throughout the article, Hoffman talks about the impact that the people that he worked with years ago (he calls them “the PayPal crew”) have had on each other’s careers. He even goes on to state that he believes that his network is part of the reason for his success.

“I think the really key thing is to realize that relationships are like alliances,” Hoffman says.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Do you make a conscious effort to cultivate new learning from your peers? If not, how do you stay ahead of the curve?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Heidi Roizen’s Top Tip for Getting Emails Answered

This week’s Social Capitalist Tip is from Heidi Roizen, the venture capitalist and Stanford professor who is known as Silicon Valley’s most legendary networker. She is also the subject of a Harvard Business Review case study. During the interview, Tahl Raz asked Heidi about the key takeaways from that case.

Heidi said:

“If you want to boil this case down to one fundamental takeaway, it’s this: Don’t approach someone because you want something from them. Approach someone because you have something to offer.

Now there’s no reason that this can’t be a win-win for you as well. But think in terms of what value you’ll be bringing to other people. Ultimately, that’s why they’re going to continue to connect with you. It’s why they’re going to answer your phone calls and your emails and your whatever. They’ll see you as someone who can be helpful to them. I think that’s a very easy thing to learn, and it’s a very easy thing to test and to check as you go and carry out your life. When you intend to form a relationship with someone, the first thing you should think is, What value am I to them?”

Read a full transcript of the interview with Heidi, filled with other great tips and insights, by clicking here.

Special Announcement for myGreenlight Members

Community Roundtable Call

The Community Roundtable will bring together five community members around one business topic to assist each other in creating solutions for their current business challenges. The topic for March will focus on building relationships in sales.

Members of the roundtable will each have the opportunity to submit their most challenging issue related to the topic and their best set of resources to address the challenges of other members.  The call will take place on Tuesday, March 27th at 6:00pm EST on WebEx.

To be considered for one of the five positions on this month’s Roundtable, email me at ksprings at mygreenlight.com the following:

  • Submit a short professional bio.
  • A paragraph explaining why you want to participate.
  • One question that you want to put on the table related to the topic.

Participants will be selected based on the best mix of professional backgrounds and challenges in order to maintain a diverse set of perspectives and experiences for the group. If selected, participants will be required to:

  • Submit 3-5 resources one week prior to the meeting to help address the collective questions of the group.
  • Participate in the one hour 15 minute call on March 27th.

All Roundtables will be recorded and transcribed for members’ future use.

Course Intensives

Are you behind on a course? Trying to get ahead in a course? In need of coaching through a course? If any of these fit where you are in the myGreenlight program, one of our upcoming Course Intensives is for you. Between April and May, I will be coaching small groups through courses in an effort to:

  • Provide a one-on-one coaching opportunity.
  • Facilitate connections between community members.
  • Gather feedback on our newest course, the Learning Action Plan.

Participants must agree to:

  • Complete two lessons per week over a five week period between April 2nd and May 4th.
  • Participate in weekly coaching calls.

Weekly coaching calls may take place on a weekend or evenings to accommodate all group member participation. Groups will consist of 3-5 members.  Members may only participate in one Course Intensive at a time.

If you are interested in participating in a Course Intensive, email me at ksprings at mygreenlight.com by March 15th.

Relationship Roundup

This week’s roundup includes further proof that nice is a quality that can get you far, being human is the wave of the future, and gaining greater trust and intimacy in our relationships with ourselves and others requires some flexibility. Dive in!

A self-professed jerk changes his tune – Let’s face it. There’s a bit of a jerk in all of us even if it is buried deep inside or confined to our thoughts. No one can cast any stones and the “be nice” debate will go on. However, the shifting tides say the nice guy may not finish last after all. Read the CBS Money Watch article here http://bit.ly/x19qu9.

Flaws and all – It seems the relationship between consumers and brands has reached a moment of truth. Trendspotting’s dedicated an entire report to it, but generously gives enough of the facts here to get you thinking http://bit.ly/41wUvc.

Important message to the dream chasers – I think Daniel Gulati’s new book Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders is a great message for all the generations to consider as they strive towards their ultimate goals. Read about his studies that support dream diversification as a means of reaching an even greater sense of life purpose. Read the HBR Blog post here http://bit.ly/xIF6wu.

Dialing up your social media intimacy – You’re doing all the right things, but are you doing them at the right time? This Viral Blog article by Neil Draper gives some clues to optimize your social media relationships. Read it here http://bit.ly/yvc2BL.

Changing the management relationship – The days are hopefully numbered on the need to physically be in each other’s presence in order to trust that work is being done. Trust as we know is the cornerstone of any good relationship. Read how far trust might go in changing the landscape of our working relationships and our quality of life in this HBR blog post by Tony Schwartz http://bit.ly/A39Pju.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.