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  • Bob Burg

“Just in my second year in business, I'm on track to do over a MILLION DOLLARS in commissions!”

~ Cal Faber, Agent, RE/MAX - Victoria, BC

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Actually, That’s What Makes It Bragging

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

That's What Makes It BraggingIt’s a well-know phrase I recently saw tweeted.

“It isn’t bragging if it’s true.”

I’ve also heard it said, “If it’s true…it ain’t bragging.” Either version might be based on the late St. Louis Cardinal’s Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Dizzy Dean who reportedly said: “It ain’t braggin’ if ya’ can back it up.”

However…it’s not correct!

Actually, if it’s true, that’s what makes it bragging. One brags about something they’ve actually done, acquired or accomplished.

If it’s false, it’s…lying!

Seems to me it’s one of those sayings that’s been around for so long it’s simply become accepted as fact.

This post isn’t questioning why people brag, boast, or in any way toot their own horn.

Rather, it’s to not accept something as fact, even when it’s been repeated so often it appears to be self-evident. It’s often good to question those long-held “truisms.”

Are There Others?

What similar phrases, sayings or lessons can you think of? You know, the ones “they” have always said but, when thinking about it, are just not true.

Okay, I’ll start. They say that, “If it’s true it ain’t gossip.” Actually, the fact that it’s true is what makes it gossip. If it were false it would be slander.

You’re up! :-)

Question Regarding Capitalism vs Cronyism

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Question Regarding Capitalism vs Cronyism - Bob BurgIn a Facebook group run by my friend, Dov Baron, he posed the following question:

Capitalism…Do you see a difference between Capitalism and Corporate Capitalism? Should we keep either, both, and if so how do you see us repairing the system?

Many responded. One I found to be particularly interesting was from someone we’ll call Steve who replied:

“The ‘elephant in the room’ difference is that Capitalism can use guns to enforce their will.”

Since that, by definition, is actually the very opposite of Capitalism, and I feel that understanding this concept is so vital to our future as a country, I responded to Dov’s question and “Steve’s” comment with the following:

“Corporate Capitalism” (a/k/a “Corporatism” or “Crony Capitalism”) is a misnomer and is actually not Capitalism at all. As I often say, “Crony Capitalism is to Capitalism what Chinese Checkers is to Checkers…nothing!”

That’s why I don’t even use that term “Crony Capitalism” and simply call it “Cronyism.”

The entire premise of Capitalism — aside from private ownership — is that it is the exchange of products/services between two or more willing parties with both sides coming away from the exchange better off than they were before the exchange. Otherwise, neither party would willingly participate.

Cronyism, on the other hand, is where corporations or other special interests purchase special favors, rules and regulations from politicians (usually via lobbyists and through campaign contributions and other goodies) in order to provide themselves with an unfair advantage over the competition.

This ultimately hurts the consumer in many ways as well as the country as a whole.

Freedom vs. Force

Responding to Steve, I must respectfully disagree and say that the difference is not that Capitalists can use guns to enforce their will; it’s Cronyism that employs “the guns of government” through the buying of politic favors from politicians.

Key Point: With true Capitalism, companies can only get people to buy from them by providing value in such a way that a consumer chooses to do so. In a truly free-market environment the consumer is the ultimate boss and votes with their dollars.

In other words, Capitalism is based on freedom of choice. Cronyism is based on manipulation, politics, and ultimately, force.

Capitalism — while not utopian or perfect — has been the driving force in an increase in the standard of living for everyone living under that system. The more economically free a country is, the higher standard of living for the masses (including the poor). The less free, the lower the standard of living.

In answer to Dov’s question about how to repair this situation, the citizenry must insist its elected representatives do not participate in Cronyism or they will be voted out of office.

Of course, for this to happen, the citizenry must first understand the difference between Cronyism and Capitalism. I’m afraid that at this point most people think they are the same. And, that is a huge problem.

We cannot repair what we don’t understand.

Want to weigh in? Feel…free! :-)

Want to Influence? Don’t Deny Human Nature

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Want to Influence? Don’t Deny Human Nature - Bob BurgLast post we saw that to attain a desired outcome you must first see the situation as it is, not as you wish it were.

Not to be confused with a lack of vision, it’s simply understanding that in order to manifest that vision we must acknowledge current truths.

Want to design a device that flies despite physical universal laws such as…gravity? Then, first understand and accept the laws of physics and how they operate. Only then can you work within those laws in order to create its opposite effect.

The same is true when dealing with those often-difficult beings known as…humans. :-)

In other words, the laws of human nature are just as true as the physical laws of nature.

Do you ever hear yourself thinking:

“He doesn’t care about the facts” … “She’s only looks at the price, not the quality” … “His ego is so big” … “She argues even when she knows she’s wrong.”

Or even,  “All he cares about is himself!”

The above are some of the effects of Human Nature. Different for different people, they deal with decision-making, emotion, ego, etc.

There are also some immutable Laws of Human Nature that apply to everyone. What I believe is the biggie of them all was eloquently summed up by Dale Carnegie in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People:

“Ultimately, people do things for their reasons; not our reasons.”

Even if those reasons don’t make sense to us! As we’ve discussed in previous posts, people will do what they believe will make them happy, as they understand happiness and within the available options they believe they have.

And that is the overriding Law of Human Nature that only after one understands and accepts can they ever be an effective influencer.

When you embrace that law and work within it in such a way that you help the other person achieve their reason, you’ll find yourself to be one of the most powerful and influential people you know.

Great influencers don’t waste their time wishing people were different or that human nature wasn’t what it is, but rather work within the laws of human nature to benefit everyone involved.

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Lead better, sell more, negotiate powerfully, have stronger relationships with friends, family members, coworkers and associates. Create the environment where people are much more likely to buy into you and your ideas.  If this sounds like something that could make a powerful difference in your life, visit www.Ultimate-Influence.com.

If you have additional questions, we have arranged a brief Q & A call for Thursday, September 18th. You can register for it here: http://bit.ly/1y7UgYv

The CBA’s of Life And Business

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Cost Benefit Analysis - Bob BurgOur main motivation is happiness. Defined by Harry Brown as “the mental feeling of well-being” it is understood differently by each individual. People make decisions based on what they believe has the best chances of bringing them happiness… within the limited choices they have.

What are those limits? Five biggies are time, energy, knowledge, talent and money. Not to mention, some choices that might bring us an immediate sense of happiness are likely to cause its opposite in the future. Other choices might bring us more happiness in the future but less so near-term.

And, I’m not necessarily referring to choices of immediate or long-term pleasure. Yes, if you enjoy sweets, you’ll choose whether or not to eat that piece of cake now or delay your gratification. Which choice will bring you more happiness? Only you can decide that.

But there are lots of other choices we must make throughout the day, each one based on the desire for happiness. This doesn’t mean we’ll always choose correctly. As Harry says, “individuals make mistakes. But every act is aimed at bringing happiness.”

Decisions, Decisions

This is where the “Cost-Benefit Analysis” (CBA in the title) comes into play.

Just as a CEO must constantly make decisions whether a choice will be more beneficial than harmful, we must continually make these analyses with regards to our own happiness.

In his classic, How I Found Freedom in An Unfree World the above-mentioned Mr. Brown taught a brilliant lesson in this regard. For example, let’s say you did something wrong. Not illegal or unethical, of course, but extremely embarrassing. It’s not something you’d ever want anyone to know. It might get found out. It might not. And, you constantly worry about it. If you “come clean” and admit it, you might be disparaged or in some other way have to “take some heat” that will be a source of pain. However, the consequences will be significantly less than if it is discovered by someone else.

On the other hand, it might never be discovered, no one will be hurt, no harm – no foul.

So, what do you do? Obviously, I’m using a very general example. If you really want to make it difficult you can imagine a scenario that leaves for what might be a very difficult choice.

However, it’s a choice you will make. Even deciding to do nothing is still a decision.

The CBA is Unavoidable

The point is that in order to make this decision in a way intended to bring you happiness, as you understand happiness, and within the limitations of available choices, you will have to do a serious cost-benefit analysis.

Hopefully we don’t have too many serious ones too often. But, even the much smaller ones still take that cost-benefit analysis.

Eat out (have to get dressed, drive, sit around and wait, take a chance on food and service being good, pay more money, etc. but not have to put in a lot of personal effort and clean up afterwards) or eat in (easier physically in some ways, save money, don’t have to battle crowd, but must make dinner, clean up, etc.)

Fire Pat (difficult and stressful conversation, feel bad for Pat, lose an already-trained employee but one who is rather lazy with a lousy attitude) or keep Pat (won’t have to have uncomfortable conversation or feel bad for his family, but you’re still stuck with Pat and cannot bring on someone else who might — or might not be — more productive)

Decisions. Big ones, medium ones, small ones. We are constantly doing cost-benefit analyses intended to make us happier, as we understand happiness, and within lots and lots of limited choices.

And, that’s okay. It’s part of life. It keeps us thinking. It keeps us growing. And, if we pay attention and act out of conscious awareness we can consistently make better choices.

And, we’ll be happier.

Do you have any systems or methodologies when it comes to your cost-benefit analyses? Please feel free to share.

Show Me A Sign… One That REALLY Sells The Idea!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

DANGER Do not touchRecently saw a photo of a sign that — macabre as it was — no doubt brought some laughs.

It said…

“DANGER: DO NOT TOUCH — Not Only Will This Kill You, It Will Hurt The Entire Time You Are Dying.”

Immediately, I went into sales and marketing mode and thought of how perfect a message it was, including all the basic elements:

    1. DANGER (now, that’s a headline that will grab your attention)
    2. DO NOT TOUCH (a subhead that elicits curiosity)
    3. Not Only Will This Kill You (the feature)
    4. It Will Hurt The Entire Time You Are Dying (a really, really powerful benefit for following the advice) LOL!

I think the next time there is a “WET PAINT” sign on a bench, it should be followed up with:

“Because you’ll be really p*&&#@ off at yourself if you ignore this!”