What Powerful Advice Do You Wish You Had 20 Years Ago?

Recently, I was a guest on “Ideas and Stuff”, a Calgary based podcast (episode 50). One of the questions they provided in advance for me to think about and prepare for was; “If you could go back to the day you started your business/career, what would you tell yourself?”

As it turns out, we had a great conversation during the podcast and never quite got to this question! However, the question did really get me thinking.

If I could back up my career, what do I wish I knew that would make a big difference?

As many of you know, I am an electrical engineer by education and practiced in this field for quite a few years.

As engineers, we are forced to focus on numbers, formulas, Lagrangian multipliers, and other theorems that would give most people nightmares! However, as the Dilbert stereotype so aptly illustrates, we are generally not taught the basic things about effective communication, teamwork, or leadership!

So, what would I tell myself if I could go back to the day I started my career?

What Negative Value Statements Are Damaging Your Business?

A few months ago, I attended a key note by Marshall Eizenga where he explained that each of us holds value statements or value definitions in our minds. These value statements define how we think, act, react, and respond to the events around us. As such, value statements have a profound impact on our success and the success of the things (e.g., our businesses) and the people that we influence.

There is no one set of “correct” value statements. Rather, we are all products of our environments and our value statements are created throughout our life. They are a product of our experiences and our interpretations of these experiences. Each of us can experience the same thing but form completely unique value statements. These value statements can be either positive or negative.

Positive value statements can be very beneficial to us and the organizations that we lead. Negative value statements can be extremely damaging to us, our businesses, and the people that we influence.

For Example . . .

How to Boost Your Business with a Powerful Tool!

Every now and then you come across tool or a process that provides a ton of value in a simple and effective package. This tool or process is easy to understand, easy to integrate into your existing systems, and it provides an extraordinary level of value to you and your business.

The EAC – ITD chart is one of these tools. You need to leverage this tool into your business! Download it from the Business Tools tab on my website.

The Tool

I originally built this tool as a method to track project health when I was responsible for overseeing a large portfolio of projects. It is a simple little graph that tells you right away if your project managers really understand their projects and if their projects are going to meet the organization’s financial expectations.

So, what is it and how does it work?

Is Your Business Missing Out on Valuable Opportunities?

Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Facebook get much of their value through the use of Multisided Platforms (MSPs).

MIT Sloan define a multisided platform as “technologies, products or services that create value primarily by enabling direct interactions between two or more customer or participant groups.” For example:

  • Apple connects app developers with iPhone users who have a need for the functionality that the app provides.
  • LinkedIn connects professionals, recruiters, and advertisers.
  • Microsoft uses Windows to connect users, third party app developers, and third party hardware manufacturers
  • Amazon and Alibaba connect sellers of products with a vast set of users that want to buy products.
  • AirBnB connects building owners with people needing to rent space.
  • Uber and Lyft connect drivers and passengers.
  • American Express, Visa, Paypal, and Square connect merchants to consumers.

MSPs are a very valuable and viable business model that creates value by reducing search or transaction costs for all participants.

Is your business leaving money on the table by not leveraging an MSP approach? Or, worse yet, are you leaving your business vulnerable to competition who have determined a unique MSP offering that threatens your existence?

What can you do to leverage the MSP strategy and how can you implement it in your business?

3 Valuable Principles for Successfully Setting Price

Way too frequently business leaders set the price for their products or services based solely on their own perception of the value of what they offer. They do not look at things from the perspective of what the customer wants, needs or values.

Consequently, they price too high, which limits their ability to grow. Or, they price too low and leave “money on the table.”

What Does History Teach Us About Price?