"Brilliant Book" Review: Tribes, Seth Godin

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us
by Seth Godin

Mr. Godin cranks out great books in scores. I've read almost all of his work, and this is the book that inspired me to take immediate action. I'm going to (continue to) create my own tribe and pass on his book.*

He defines a tribe as, "a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, or connected to an idea." We are all meant to be part of a tribe (or several). You are in a tribe if you have a shared interest and you communicate with others who have that same interest. You might be a Dead Head or use only Apple products. This resonates for me: I run with my iPod, talk on my iPhone, and work on my MacBook Pro. If there was an Apple car, I'd drive it!

Anyone in business should develop their own tribe, according to Seth. Not only does he make a strong argument for this, he tells you exactly how to do it. I am truly inspired and have already taken the first steps in my process. If you want to expand your company, business or practice, this book is truly leading-edge and will give you the edge as you move forward. You can order it here, and here's a link to his blog. Enjoy!

*If you want to a chance to read Tribes, now's your chance! Seth's call-to-action was to pass on his book. I have my copy (courtesy of my recent trip to Zappos.com) ready to give to an enthusiastic reader. Leave a comment on my blog here for your chance to receive my copy with my compliments.

Turn it OFF!

This holiday weekend, you might be tempted to catch up on your email, return phone calls, clean your office or do any number of a zillion things.

Why not try something new: turn it all off ~ become un-tech-tethered, just for the three-day weekend. Turn off the phones, computers, fax machines and TVs (unless you rent a really fabulous movie). Read a book, get a massage, have a BBQ, order take-out, take a hot bath ... do what nourishes your soul and makes you feel amazing.

The work will wait! YOU can't wait ... your laughter is stuffed, your joy level is low, and your stess level is off the charts. Maybe your family is feeling a little neglected (or maybe you are!).

You have two choices: arrive at Tuesday morning feeling the way you feel now or arrive at Tuesday morning feeling rested, refreshed and ready to rock the world in your own special way.

Choose well. Blessings to you! Have a great weekend. :)

Do It or Delegate It?

Regardless of someone’s position, I’ve noticed each and every person neglects to delegate the many simple and time-consuming tasks that are keeping them running from morning until night, while feeling ineffective and highly stressed.

Coach’s Insight: You won’t miss the money, you’ll always miss the time!

Here’s a simple tactic to help you get a handle on your time. It makes perfect sense to pay someone else $15 an hour to cut the grass (wash the car, clean the bathroom, make copies, run errands) if you can’t stand cutting the grass. This is especially true since you make far more than $15 per hour! I have uncovered many high-level CEOs actually making their own copies, sending faxes and going to the supply room for more paper clips!

The solution to making a long-term shift in how you execute your day (especially if, right now, you’re not in agreement with me) is to do some simple math. You make $200 per hour for your services – divided by 60 minutes, making each and every minute worth $3.33. Your assistant makes $18 per hour, or 30 cents per minute. The same five minutes you’re making copies (costing you $16.65) instead of asking your assistant to do it ($1.50) is wasting $15.15. Not a big number, right? This is, I’m sure, the amount of loose change in your car. Stay with me. Waste five minutes every hour, eight hours a day, all year and you’ve wasted …$30,300. Or just about what you’re paying your assistant.What!? You don’t have an assistant? I’ll address that in a future blog …Its your assistant’s job to … um, assist you! If you take a moment to reflect on each and every task you’re doing, I would guess a number of them include activities you could delegate to someone else. I’ve discovered the lion’s share of executives are wasting about 30-40% of their time. How about you?

Spend fifteen minutes making a list of all of the tasks you’re doing that your assistant can do (so you can focus on revenue generation) and immediately begin to delegate those tasks. The question to ask yourself is: “Do I need to do this or can someone else do it?” Trust me, in the long run, you won’t miss the money. You will be so glad you’re no longer doing those tasks -- you’ll be more effective and efficient, which means you’ll make much more money (and have the time to enjoy it!).

Fire Yourself Up!

There are lots of opportunities for those who have a stash of cash ("cash is king") or lots of operating capital. But if you're not a big corporation with tons of extra cash in your coffers, or a small-to-medium sized business with six to twelve months of reserves, what is your next best move?

Great news: you have lots of opportunities, too! The first thing to do is get your head screwed on right! Said another way, give yourself a massive positive attitude adjustment. You win the game of success between your ears first! Once done, you will notice the opportunities that surround you.It isn't always easy, however, to put on a happy face when those around you are still talking about how real estate is down 40% and lots of companies are laying people off. (Newsflash: Lots of companies are growing and hiring!)

Attitude help:
You may not feel like it now, and that's ok. Just feel the fear, frustration and procrastination and do it anyway.

To your success!

Promises, Promises

My husband and I had a discussion today about hearing, "I can do that, no problem! You want the moon, I can give it to you! You want it now, here it is." But when the dust settles, the results speak for themselves, and are they pretty? Do your clients walk away from dealing with you feeling like they've gotten far more than they've paid for, or far less?

You may feel like it gets you a shot to promise more than you might be able to deliver. You may feel like your office rent or home mortgage payment depends on you saying whatever needs to be said to get the job, the retainer or the contract. Its the big picture, the long-term vision, that should guide your day-to-day decisions when dealing with prospective clients and the current ones you want to keep.

As we all rely on word-of-mouth to keep our businesses going strong, here are some tips to keep you in the black and in your client's good graces. You never know when someone you want to work with has someone you've already worked with chirping in their ear. Those conversations can make or break you (trust me, they already have and they will continue to!).
  • Set reasonable expectations and provide regular reports or check-ins to make sure you're on track. Make any mid-course corrections to keep everyone happy.
  • Under-promise so you can over-deliver. No matter how quickly you can get that report done, give yourself an extra 24-to-48 hours so you look like a super star when you deliver it "early."
  • If you can't do something, say so. Say what you can do, and then do that (plus 10% more).
  • Take responsibility when it doesn't go as planned and do whatever has to be done to make it right with your client. Period. Your reputation depends on it.
The opportunity here is to set yourself up to win, up front. This will set you up to win for the long term. Here's to your success!

Lexi 5/10/09

I joined EO of LA at Zappos.com for a tour of their corporate HQ today. Wow! Their corporate culture is really cool ~ and by cool I mean it endorses the spirit of those who are employed there. It was very apparent that each person is allowed to express themselves and are encouraged to be involved in the success of the company. It was truly inspiring!