The two simple secrets to good ideas…

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Secret #1 is the biggest one: More bad ideas. The more bad ideas the better. If you work really hard on coming up with bad ideas, sooner or later, some good ideas are going to slip through. This is much easier than the opposite approach.

Secret #2 is more important: Generosity. It’s much easier and more effective to come up with good ideas for someone else. Much easier to bring a posture of insight and care on behalf of someone else. It lets you off the hook, too.

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What gets maximized?

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When an organization succeeds, the owners decide what to maximize. Some of the choices:

Salaries for the bosses
Distributions to the shareholders
Stock price
Salaries for everyone else
Positive impact on customers
Positive impact on the culture

So, if you’re the local cable company, you can decide to invest extra profits in customer service or lower rates, even if those choices don’t maximize long or short profitability. If you’re a public company, you might try to hype the stock price with a buyback. Or, if you’re a company with a mission, you might re-invest in that mission.

The myth is that the only purpose of a company is to maximize profits. That’s a fiction, and a dangerous one. Organizations exist to make things better for people, not the other way around.

One reason that social entrepreneurship is a useful concept is that it announces the priorities from the start. Be profitable enough to grow, but put most of that profit to work serving your customers and their neighbors.

You don’t have to have a fancy label to build an organization that you’re proud of. You simply need to decide what you’re trying to accomplish, and then go do that.

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Rules for working in a studio….

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Don’t hide your work

Offer help

Ask for help

Tell the truth

Upgrade your tools

Don’t hide your mistakes

Add energy, don’t subtract it

Share

If you’re not proud of it, don’t ship it

Know the rules of your craft

Break the rules of your craft with intention

Make big promises

Keep them

Add positivity

Let others run, ever faster

Take responsibility

Learn something new

Offer credit

Criticize the work, not the artist

Power isn’t as important as productivity

Honor the schedule

You are not your work, embrace criticism

Go faster

Sign your work

Walk lightly

Change something

Obsess about appropriate quality, ignore perfection

A studio isn’t a factory. It’s when peers come together to do creative work, to amplify each other and to make change happen. That can happen in any organization, but it takes commitment.

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Are You Part of Modern laziness…

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The original kind of lazy avoids hard physical work. Too lazy to dig a ditch, organize a warehouse or clean the garage.

Modern lazy avoids emotional labor. This is the laziness of not raising your hand to ask the key question, not caring about those in need or not digging in to ship something that might not work. Lazy is having an argument instead of a thoughtful conversation. Lazy is waiting until the last minute. And lazy is avoiding what we fear.

Lazy feels okay in the short run, but eats at us over time.

Laziness is often an option, and it’s worth labeling it for what it is.

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Waves are free….

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When someone lets you into the flow of traffic, or holds a door, or takes a second to acknowledge you, it’s possible to smile and offer a wave in response.

This, of course, costs you nothing.

It creates a feeling of connection, which is valuable.

It makes it more likely that people will treat someone else well in the future.

And it might just brighten your day.

The simplest antidote to a tough day is generosity. Waves are free, and smiles are an irresistible bonus.

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The best time to study for the test…

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… is before it’s given.

The best time to campaign is before the election.

And the best time to keep a customer is before he leaves.

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Like riding a bike…

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People talk about bike riding when they want to remind us that some things, once learned, are not forgotten.

What they don’t mention is how we learned. No one learns to ride a bike from a book, or even a video.

You learn by doing it.

Actually, by not doing it. You learn by doing it wrong, by falling off, by getting back on, by doing it again.

PS this approach works for lots of things, not just bikes. Most things, in fact.

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5 Reasons You Aren’t Rich (Yet)…

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Why doesn’t your bank account reflect your growing financial literacy?

The road to financial freedom is not easy. As soon as you set off on this path, you run into roadblock after roadblock. Many people become disheartened and give up right away. Others plug along for a while, but without results, they soon give up. Only a tenacious few can push forward and become truly rich.

I often meet people who have been following the path for a while and don’t understand why they aren’t any closer to financial freedom. They’ve read the books, taken courses, and can read and interpret the financial column of the newspaper with ease.

Many of them approach me asking, “I’m financially literate, but I still can’t seem to increase my income. What am I doing wrong?”

My answer to them is: “It might not be something you’re doing, but something you’re feeling that’s holding you back.”

Our emotions and behaviors dictate our future more than we care to admit. And sometimes, it’s the things we’re feeling or the attitudes we’re carrying around that are keeping us from moving forward.

Five things holding you back

There are five main reasons why financially literate people may still not develop abundant asset columns that could produce a large cash flow.

They are:

1. Fear

2. Cynicism

3. Laziness

4. Bad habits

5. Arrogance

Most people struggle with many of these factors, whether consciously or unconsciously. Conquering them is not easy, but it is necessary to achieving true wealth.

1) Fear

This is by far the most prevalent reason most people are not wealthy. If you weren’t afraid of anything, what would you do right now that could make you rich? Quit your job? Start your own company? Invest your savings in assets?

So many people spend their time reading and studying and increasing their financial literacy, but when it comes to acting on their knowledge, they balk. They’re afraid.

Fear is understandable. Taking risks, making changes, it’s all scary. It’s alright to feel afraid. What’s not alright is letting your fear overwhelm you to the point that you don’t act. That’s when fear goes from being natural to being a roadblock standing in your way of true freedom.

2) Cynicism

Cynicism is another form of fear. It’s a distrust that prevents you from having the confidence to move forward.

This distrust could be of yourself, and manifest in overwhelming self doubt. It could be paranoia about the markets, or questioning a solid deal, and backing out of an investment at the last minute.

However cynicism manifests itself, it will hold you back. You have to learn to distinguish between a genuine concern and an overblown fear. If you are financially literate, and have done your homework, you have to trust in your ability. You can’t let others talk you out of what you know is right, and you can’t talk yourself out of trusting in your knowledge.

3) Laziness

We all think we know what laziness looks like. Lying on the couch for five hours straight watch Netflix and eating popcorn. If you accuse a hardworking person of being lazy, you’ll get a very angry retort.

But laziness affects all of us, and busy people are often the laziest people of all. People easily become “too busy” to take care of the important things, like their health, their family, and their money. They go to their job and work all day, and are too exhausted when they get home to do anything else.

When they aren’t busy with work or family, they’re often busy watching TV, playing golf, or shopping. Yet deep down they know they are avoiding something important.

That’s the most common form of laziness: laziness by staying busy.

So take a long, honest look at your life. Is your excuse for not investing the fact that you’re too busy? What does that mean? What are you really busy with? And how is that holding you back from financial freedom?

4) Bad habits

Habits control our future. Cultivate bad ones, and your future slips out of your control.

Bad habits are often the worst things holding us back. They’re extremely hard to break; it takes discipline and continued conscious effort.

A lot of people don’t have the discipline to break their bad habits. And worse, many people don’t even realize that their habits are bad in the first place. For example, someone who sleeps late on the weekends might think they’re catching up on needed sleep. But that habit is taking away several hours that they could be researching investments or building a side business.

Examine the habits in your life. Some of them might be so ingrained in your routine you don’t notice them. But how are they holding you back?

5) Arrogance

Robert’s rich dad often said, “Every time I have been arrogant, I have lost money. Because when I’m arrogant, I truly believe that what I don’t know is not important.”

I have found that many people use arrogance to try to hide their own ignorance. They bluster through, overcompensating with confidence to hide the fact that they don’t know what they’re doing. Instead of humbly acknowledging where they need to change, they blame other people and circumstances for their own failures.

Put another way, many arrogant people who read this blog probably thought,“That doesn’t apply to me” to every single thing above.

If you can’t be honest and humble with yourself, you don’t have a chance of achieving financial freedom.

The good news

Now for the best part. If you’re suffering from one or more of the above, it means you have a very good chance of being rich. All you have to do is learn to conquer the roadblock holding you back.

Of course, that’s not easy. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult, otherwise everyone would be rich. But acknowledging the factors holding you back from increasing your wealth is the first step. With practiced effort, you can overcome these bad habits and emotions and find your way to freedom.

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Lazy but talented…

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That’s most of us.

You can work really hard to get a little more talented.

And you can also work to get a little less lazy.

It turns out that getting less lazy, more brave—more clear about your fears, your work and your mission—are all easier than getting more talented.

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It’s almost impossible to sell the future…

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If you’re trying to persuade someone to make an investment, buy some insurance or support a new plan, please consider that human beings are terrible at buying these things.

What we’re good at is ‘now.’

Right now.

When we buy a stake in the future, what we’re actually buying is how it makes us feel today.

We move up all the imagined benefits and costs of something in the future and experience them now.That’s why it’s hard to stick to a diet (because celery tastes bad today, and we can’t easily experience feeling healthy in ten years). That’s why we make such dumb financial decisions (because it’s so tempting to believe magical stories about tomorrow).

If you want people to be smarter or more active or more generous about their future, you’ll need to figure out how to make the transaction about how it feels right now.

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