Thursday, 22 October 2009

Think HUGE!

A friend of mine recently wrote a book that has me thinking. Thinking HUGE, actually.

Mark Arnold, senior vice president at a Dallas-based credit union, released the book Think Huge to share inspirational stories and motivate people to succeed in business and personal life.

The response has been very positive, with invitations for Mark to speak to groups around the nation. My own positive response has been surprising, because I’m admittedly skeptical of all the theoretical self-help and “get rich quick” books that line the shelves at bookstores.

In Think Huge, Mark has figured out a way to blend the theoretical with well-researched, real-life success stories. And he offers tangible action steps that people can latch onto.

The book, which began as a memo to his staff, is built around several characteristics shared by successful people he’s studied:

Vision: knowing where you want to go and how to bring your ideas to life
People: involving and surrounding yourself with the right people
Passion: finding and doing something you love
Time: committing your limited time to what’s important
Perseverance: staying the course even when obstacles threaten your dream
Learning: continuing to seek knowledge and life-long education

I can’t help but think about these areas of focus when I think about people who are really successful, and of course, my own shortcomings. The Think Huge ideas have made a difference in my mindset these last few weeks, for which I am grateful.

When I was traveling earlier this month, I gave my copy to the cab driver who had told me about his struggles to build a new life for his children after the recent death of his wife. He moved to a new community with strong public schools, has begun classes at the local community college, and has taken a second job to create a good life.

Just before handing him my book, I commended him for his vision and perseverance. For his commitment to his family and learning. For ‘Thinking Huge.’

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Stranger On the Plane

I just hung up the phone with an extremely intriguing and beautiful lady who calls herself a diva. She reminds me a bit of Bette Midler (I’m a huge Bette Midler fan.) She’d win my first place prize for the perfect people watching candidate. I was shocked to learn she resides in Keller, Texas outside of Fort Worth. Who would have thought a diva lives in the Fort Worth area?

How did we meet? She sat next to me on my plane on a flight from Dallas Fort Worth to London Heathrow. We both would be visiting France that trip. She was extremely fun and very interesting! Reminds me why I LOVE traveling so much. My former employee at Oracle laughs at me because she says I come off every flight with a new friend.

The reason she called me on the phone just now? Not to reconnect after a wonderful 9 hour non-stop conversation (okay, we did snooze for a few hours), but she called to give BrightBlue Marketing a lead for marketing business.

You never know where you'll be when you connect with people - connect personally or connect in a business sort of way. Try opening up to a stranger on the plane some time. Good things can come out of it!

P.S. Some of the best marketing advice I've received is to always have your business cards with you. Whether you are on a bus, train, plane for personal or business, there is potential business to be discovered!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

You've got the POWER

I’ve written a blog on the subject before, but it bears repeating. The way you conduct yourself will make or break your business. You don’t have to be the CEO or the VP of Public Relations of your company, either. Every single person within an organization wields this power.

It reminds me of a woman my father worked with in the oil & gas industry years ago: Jackie. Her company worked with Dad’s for years. One day, they told Dad that Jackie was off their account and some newly minted MBA superstar would be the new rep. The company thought they were impressing Dad with giving him someone “better.” After working with the new person for several weeks, the company called Dad and asked how the new relationship was working out, if they could do anything better, how they could make him even happier. Dad said “oh, that’s easy. Put Jackie back on my account or I’m going to use another firm.”

They trusted each other, they liked each other and they worked well together. Jackie’s company made a tactical error: they did not consider Jackie’s longtime interpersonal relationship with Dad. He didn’t need anyone “better” with more letters behind his name or a slick presentation. He already had the best as far as he was concerned. Dad’s been retired for 7 years now, and he and Mom still go to NYC to visit Jackie, who never forgot Dad's show of support. They all chat on the phone from time to time, and the relationship that was built on trust, respect and affection has lasted well beyond anyone’s “usefulness” in terms of business. It’s in your power to pave the same road for yourself.