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Plan With Your Head, and Execute With Your Heart

It really is all about balance, and you can apply this idea to anything that you do. And to show you the power of the head and the heart together, I’m going to apply it to art, so you can “see” just how powerful this is.

1. First, we start with the head

This first painting is by world renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman and it’s called Alaska Light. The exactness and detail put it on the “head” end of the balance scale. But … and excuse my criticism here, there’s something missing. It’s flat. Static. We need to head to the other end of the scale …

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Denouement

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2 Massive Reasons to Practice Short Selling Stocks

Trading Up And Down And Sideways

Most people think about trading as simply buying a stock and profiting when the stock goes up. Well, it’s time to change your thinking because that’s only half the game. That’s only 4 1/2 innings of a 9 inning game.

You ever play half a game and win it?

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Denouement

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The Agloco Autopsy. Or, How To Diagnose Your Business Problems

Business Examiner

Agloco is long gone now. And if you’re not familiar with it, Agloco was a web start-up whose premise was to pay people to surf the web.

There was a massive amount of buzz surrounding the company when it jumped onto the scene. I was never very interested in it, but there is some value in looking at WHY it didn’t work, and luckily I have a system for evaluating business problems we can use …

The Business Autopsy Tools

I talk a lot about what I call the business chain; which is doing the right things in the right order to build a successful business. The chain goes like this:

People => Plan => Sales => Capital => Purchasing … in that order.

The really cool thing about it is, if you start at the end and work your way backwards through the chain, you’ve got a very systematic way to pinpoint the problem areas in a business. You can use this in your own business.

And to show you an example, let’s pull out the reverse business chain and open up Agloco with it.

Scalpel, Please …

Continue Reading …

Denouement

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Home Painting Tips From The Pros

Paint Can

It’s amazing how much easier it is to do anything when you have the right information.

I did some painting around my place last week, and luckily a friend of mine owns a painting company. And even though I’ve done a little painting here and there before, a little supervisory consultation with him made the job a lot easier.

So if you’re thinking of painting your house, these pro tips will come in handy …

1. Surface Preparation. First, wash your walls with TSP (Trisodium Phosphate). This is what most painters use but it’s also rather harsh. A good alternative is to use dish detergent and warm water. Just make sure you rinse the detergent residue off with a second washing of fresh water. If you’re painting a surface with a semi-gloss finish, then give it a light sanding.

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Denouement

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Be Wary of Strategic Partnerships. Be Very, Very Wary

Fire and Ice Handshake

Building strategic partnerships is a very important part of building a strong and enduring business. But these waters are also filled with sharks, and you have to be very careful about who you get involved with. Of course, sometimes you don’t have a choice.

Case in point … last year, my neighbor had a massive problem with a partnership deal that almost ruined his business. All because he failed to isolate the deal process.

And when it comes to playing with billion dollar companies; the market leaders … the rules they play by are pretty simple. Sooner or later, they will own you or kill you. That’s their goal plain and simple, and I saw a lot of that when I was in the water bottling industry.

So let’s look at a really big deal that’s unfolding right now …

The Microsoft-Yahoo Chess Game

When Microsoft first made a bid to buy Yahoo, there was something nagging at me that I just couldn’t put my finger on. As more details surfaced it became abundantly clear; Microsoft is playing an own-it-or-kill-it game.

Emphasis on the kill-it part.

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Denouement

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How to Write a Screenplay Hollywood Will Love

Screenwriting Books

I love movies. Always have. And every great movie, whether it’s a big Hollywood production or an indie cult classic starts with a great screenplay. The script is what attracts talent and investment, inspires genius, and ultimately just tells a great story worth watching.

And there’s a formula to storytelling that makes great movies great. A formula that never fails to rise to the challenge because it educates and entertains by grasping at the very roots of the human condition.

That formula is classical mythological story structure. And it’s allowed stories like Homer’s Odyssey to persevere for literally thousands of years. And you can play with the formula quite a bit. After all, it’s just a framework.

But there are some key ingredients you have to have to make a great screenplay. No matter what the genre, you’ll find that the best movies have these things. And the worst, don’t.

The Key Ingredients in Great Screenwriting

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Denouement

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4 Ways to Invest in a Bear Market

Scared Bear

Thanks to the rising price of oil and the mortgage meltdown the stock market has been what the British would call “dodgy”. There’s a lack of confidence in the ability for companies to perform and earn, and that’s driving the markets down.

But it’s not all bad news. Bear markets can bring good investing opportunities and there are numerous strategies you can employ to minimize the erosion of your portfolio and even make some money …

1. Don’t invest. A lot of investment funds are holding a larger than normal cash position right now. This is simple cash preservation and the idea is to wait out the bear; when the markets are going up, it’s because stocks in general are going up, and your chances of picking the winners are much better.

2. Go short. Shorting a stock is betting the stock will go down. You can place your bet by buying put options which is the option to sell a stock at a price in the future that you think will be higher than it will cost to buy. You can aso write call options. By writing a call, you’re giving someone else an opportunity to buy your stocks at a specific price and if the stock goes lower, the option is useless and you keep the premium (the price of the option) when it expires.

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Denouement

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Marketing: How Men Think Vs. How Women Think

Mark Gungor is a very good lecturer and very funny. In this video he illustrates the difference between how men think vs. how women think.

It’s really important to think about gender when you’re building a marketing campaign. Most products and services have a very specific demographic that’s either male or female. And your marketing has to appeal to the gender you’re selling to.

For example, pink and fluffy power tools … probably not a big seller.

Mark makes some important points that every marketer should take note of. When you’re marketing to men, keep it simple. Very simple. Show them how your product fixes a problem. When you’re marketing to women, build a connection; connect your product to other things in their lives. Lots of other things.

Very funny and entertaining. And insightful.

Denouement

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J W Waterhouse and the Art of Marketing

J W Waterhouse Hylas Nymphs

Or maybe I should say the marketing of art …

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing lately – gearing up for an amateur painting contest with some friends. And this is all on the lo-fi, and by that I mean on canvas, not photoshop.

Anyway, I’ve also been studying some of history’s great masters to get some ideas on style and technique and I came across J W Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs. And my first thought was … ‘Man, that’s good marketing’!

So let’s take a look at this great classic work of art (pictured above) and see what it can teach us about marketing …

Continue Reading …

Denouement

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10 Invaluable Life Lessons You Can Learn from the Movie Troy

Troy

The great thing about classic tales is they’ve stood the test of time. And so has all the great advice you can get from them …

  1. Never judge a book by it’s cover. Just because a guy is wearing a leather skirt and a funny hat, doesn’t mean he can’t still kick your ass.
  2. Never send a boy to do a man’s job, (Achilles’ cousin gets killed by Hector while pretending to be Achilles). If you’re at that “almost a man but not quite” age, just know, we’ve all been there. We got razzed for doing some of the dumbest stuff you can imagine. So will you.
  3. Never accept gifts from your enemies. Especially if it’s a wooden horse. Remember, Sun Tzu said “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”. Well, this is what he was talking about.
  4. Always give gifts to your enemies. Especially wooden horses.
  5. Make short term and long term plans. Sure, there’s a guy standing right in front of you with a spear. There’s also a guy way up ahead with a bow. Be prepared for both challenges.
  6. Burn your dead. Metaphorically speaking … maybe your house is full of clutter or you’ve got a list of must-do tasks sitting in the procrastination zone. Get rid of that stuff before it starts to stink up the joint.
  7. Never follow a fat king. Guys like Agamemnon care about one thing; Agamemnon. Good leaders fight at the front of the pack and they know the very real consequences of their decisions.
  8. Enjoy the little things. Once in a while it’s good to sleep till noon. Bear skin rug and beautiful nymphs are optional. But highly recommended.
  9. Nothing is absolute. Not even the walls of Troy; In time, all things fall; stocks, business models, civilizations. You should always have a secret back door out of the city or an exit strategy.
  10. Women. Let’s just say it’s complicated. Very, very complicated.

For some more amusement also check out 5 Things Every CEO Can Learn from Frank Miller’s 300 and From Bourne Identity to Leadership Ultimatum.

Denouement

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