Monthly Archives: May 2010

On Adapting To Change

28 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

  • “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” – popular military saying
  • “Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.” – yet another popular military saying
  • “Don’t forget to bring your towel.” – Douglas Adams’s fans*

Of these three sayings, the one about the towel captures the gist of this article perfectly. It’s when the plan hits the real world that you need to keep a clear head –and your towel close. Whatever life throws at you, when you know where your towel is, you’re good to go.

Goals are not plans.
Goals are the end point, plans are what you refer to guide you there. If the terrain sudden changes on the way to your goal, you need adjust and very probably go off-book.

Forcing reality to adjust to your plans is a waste of energy. Accept the situation for what it is, without judgment, and get going. What can you realistically do to deal with the situation and turn it to your advantage? Where’s the silver lining?

Plans cannot translate to real life without action.
All the paper and diagrams in the world don’t mean squat if you do nothing to bring them to life. Your monthly goals, your yearly tracker? You still have to fill those up, they won’t write themselves. Continue reading On Adapting To Change

Nichification And Your Chances of Success

26 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

Hitting the right niche is only the start. There’s a connection between understanding the context and importance of the niche, and using this understanding to up your likelihood of succeeding — and more importantly — staying in business.

Here are a few observations we’ve amassed on how to recognize and use niches to increase the odds of success in your business’s favor.

Niches are the only way to survive in online business. You can’t be all things to all people, that’s an unrealistic and downright dumb goal to aspire to. You’d burn out trying. Actually, you’d be setting yourself up to crash and burn.

For example, think of Amazon. Amazon sells practically everything that can be sold (legally) online but Amazon is not its merchandise.

From its start as an on-line bookstore, Amazon went on to become the world’s biggest on-line retailer, dominating its niche. Think of more popular names. eBay. YouTube. Google. What niches do these brands occupy?
Continue reading Nichification And Your Chances of Success

Pushing To Failure And The Importance of Rest

24 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

A concept in strength training, we generally understand “pushing to failure” to mean pushing out as many reps as possible while using good form, until you reach the point where you can’t keep that form. When you fail to keep good form, that’s when you know you’ve pushed enough.

Painful and tiring, pushing to failure is only the first part of the equation, the other half being rest. Muscle growth and strength gains happen after you push to failure and then rest and recover.

With awareness and intent, it’s the same with anything we put ourselves into.

  • Keep to good form (best practices, best effort, quality work) while working things out.
  • Gain strength and grow in the aftermath of stressful events, leave yourself time to rest and recover (and learn) from these events.

The important thing to remember is to choose to learn everything we can from the hard work-outs, the hard lessons, when we rest. Don’t just walk away with the memory of pain. Continue reading Pushing To Failure And The Importance of Rest

Cost, Value and Price

21 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

Here’s a short marketing tip you might find helpful:

  • Cost is what you pay to make stuff.
  • Value is what the buyer believes your stuff will give him.
  • Price is what you set for the stuff you’re selling.

Longer version:

Cost is what you pay to make stuff. Actual labor and service, time, brainpower, materials, and equipment are what you use up to make your product or service.

Other costs can include advertising, marketing, research and other things that’s covered by overhead. These costs are a given, but their price, on the other hand, varies.

Value is what the stuff brings to the person paying for it. Perception is a major part of the process of setting value to something. Here are a few questions to get you thinking: Continue reading Cost, Value and Price

How Will We Know Who You Are?

19 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

A vital aspect of making your business succeed is making sure your target audience knows who you are, what you can do for them, and how to find you.

Enough has been written about advertising, marketing and SEO practices to give us hours of reading time, so this is just a short article on what happens behind the scenes of “getting known”.

Building, creating or having an excellent product, or providing a service that the market needs, wants and would pay for is of course par for the course, as is having a talent (and the discipline to master it) that is in high demand.

Think about the teams that gave us YouTube, or came up with Google Apps. And then think about the people and infrastructure that made it possible for the world to know about these services.

It’s not just product and talent, it’s letting people know of that product or talent. You have something to sell, you’ve got to know how to sell it. And how you set up your approach to making yourself known matters.
Continue reading How Will We Know Who You Are?

Practical Action And Common Sense

17 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

There’s a time for planning and a time for action. But action just to fill the time is mere busy-work. Practicality is the defining line that differentiates busywork from being truly productive. If you want to get Something Done, you have to have solid results in mind when you start, and solid results in hand when you stop.

Practical : ” the usefulness and applicability of an action.” Sure, you saved up for enough money to get new tires, you’ve been meaning to do so for quite some time, but right now you have a flat. What do you do?

  • Based on practice or action rather than theory or hypothesis
  • Being likely to be effective and applicable to a real situation; able to be put to use
  • Of a person, having skills or knowledge that are practical

Action – “Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.” (emphasis added). So, flat tire. Based on your skills and preparedness, you can change the tire yourself, re-inflate it with a handy tire-inflation kit , call AAA , or call a friend to help you out. When you get home, then you can think about getting the money and going out to buy new tires.
Continue reading Practical Action And Common Sense

Establish The Priorities of the Day

14 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

Have you ever thought about the meaning of your days?

Each day can have a symbolic meaning. For example, Wednesday may be Hump Day. It’s when the production reports go out and the new international orders for the past week get processed….one you get past Hump Day, the rest of the week is downhill.

Sunday means rest, or maybe Saturday. Friday is Date Night. Thursday is Laundry….It’s different for everybody. The day has about as much meaning as you put into it. So how do you make your days mean something?

You make them count by putting meaning into them. And to put meaning into them you have to know what you’re putting first on that day.

Establish the priorities of the day. Think of it as being handed a deck of cards and YOU are stacking them in your favor. It’s absolutely legal. You’re encouraged to do so, and it isn’t even cheating to do it. Deal out your best, most favorable hands each day by knowing what how you want to make the most out of that day.
Continue reading Establish The Priorities of the Day

Small Changes, Big Impact

13 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

Whether you’re counting pennies or minutes, the small stuff can build up to something big, but also pay attention to the one thing that transforms the seemingly insignificant into the significant: Time.

Time can do wonders with small change and small changes. Time leverages small changes into big deals. After all, what else are big things made of but small things?

Use time and awareness to make the small things work for you. There’s less stress involved in handling small things. No big production, no huge budgets. You don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself for something so small, so…mundane.

And therein lies the thrill.

How many little adjustments can you incorporate into your routine? How creative can you get with tweaking your routines just that little bit?

The trick is to find the best use for the small things and the small slices of time in your life. First look around (take a good look, you might miss something), and then think of what you can do with what you find to improve your life.
Continue reading Small Changes, Big Impact

Anchor Yourself In The Present

11 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

When you find yourself paralyzed with indecision, what can you do?

Anchor yourself in the present.

One definition of paralysis is “a loss of control, feeling or function.” And the most common scenario in which we find ourselves paralyzed is when we’re required to make a decision: there are too many details or not enough,and there’s not enough time to make a good choice. Where does it go wrong?

Control – Your control is affected when you can’t settle on a course of action, or you have no idea or clue what to do.

Sudden emergencies (as if there’s another kind), or too many demands and issues vying for your attention all at the same time and you freeze. You can’t think. There’s too much and it’s all at once. So what do you do?

Breathe, step back, and anchor yourself. Take the moment back for yourself, don’t give it away to panic.
Continue reading Anchor Yourself In The Present

No Time To Move?

05 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

When you’re feel like you’re under fire and about to leave the trenches, keeping these tips in mind can help you keep your head in the heat:

Don’t over-schedule.
Know your priorities and organize your day, week or month around them. Face it, how many times were you ever able to fully cross-out all the things on your To-do list and have everything go precisely according to schedule?

Jamming things into your day for the sake of a “full day” makes for unrealistic expectations and unnecessary hardship, and self-inflicted ones, at that. Build some lee-way in your day.

Leave room for things to happen on their own.

This is very important. When you leave room for things to happen on their own, you don’t force things into play once you’ve got the ball rolling. Hurrying things along only shows impatience and poor planning.

If you have a plan and you’re working things out from it, trust in yourself and your actions, and that you’re doing what you can. Don’t force it.

Focus.
Know your major goals for the day, or the week, or the month, and don’t get distracted by sudden surprises or daily tedium. These goals are part of the structure with which you are building your life, you could waste valuable time and energy trying to make up for mistakes you make when you’re not paying the right attention to the important things.

Know your most productive periods. People have their own internal rhythms, their peak hours. Know yours, and take advantage of these times by using them on your most important issues.

Clean up your mess. Rather than waste energy hunting for the things you need for work, keep a neat workspace. Deal with clutter ASAP.

Even better, prepare for the next day at the end of your current workday. By laying things out in advance, you carry over un-addressed issues to a fresh day when you’re better prepared, and by knowing what you’ll need for the next day you save time.
Continue reading No Time To Move?