Episode 149 – Some Keys To Effectively Giving And Receiving Criticism

Prickly is ineffective

‘Tis better to give than receive.

When it comes to criticism, it’s certainly easier to give than to receive. But I don’t think it’s always better.

Truth is, we all need correction, feedback and criticism. I don’t usually use the phrase “constructive criticism.” I think all criticism should be constructive. Otherwise, it’s not really criticism. It’s just being critical. They are not the same thing.

I’m often asked for my opinion (criticism). I work hard to put a few things up front in each case:

1. What’s the purpose here? What are we trying to accomplish?
2. Here are my biases, up front.
3. I’m not going to make the decision for you because that’s not my place.
4. Let’s consider worse-case scenarios. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

Intention is a major component of effective criticism. Do you care enough to help the person you are criticizing…or are you just being critical? Does the person helping you with criticism care about you improving…or they just being critical? Our motive behind criticism is fundamental to our ability to give it and to take it.

And today’s show ends with a discussion about the biggest question of all.

Who are you to tell me?

The context of our relationship matters. The wrong person can deliver the right message, in exactly the appropriate way…and it’ll be lost.

What do you think? What have you found that works in giving or accepting effective criticism?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Your Business Model: 3 Pillars Of Successful Business Building

The books mentioned in today’s show:

Business Model YOU: A One-Page Method For Reinventing Your Career

The 4-Hour Chef

The three ingredients mentioned are mandatory for me. I’m uninterested in interacting with, being around, or being involved with any business that isn’t going to make these three pillars the foundation of their enterprise.

I also give you a perfect illustration of the power of word-of-mouth. Discount Tire is where I buy tires. And no, I didn’t get any compensation of any kind. Oh, I’d happily accept a gift, bribe or payment…but so far, that hasn’t happened. Still, I’m willing to tell you how I feel about them.

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Episode 148 – Lessons From The TV Show, The Voice

NBC’s hit show, The Voice

Four celebrity singers. Each with his own team of 6 singers. Now, they’ll compete for top honors on NBC’s hit TV show, The Voice.

During Tuesday night’s show the competition completed the “Battle Round” or “KnockOut Round.” Each coach pits two team members against each other. The coach decides a winner, who will advance, leaving the loser to go home.

Four lessons emerged from these battle rounds. I’ve watched all four teams go through this round and every single time these elements enter into the equation to determine the winner — and the loser!

We can apply these same four things to our business building. I’ll give you one hint: song selection is critical.

P.S. Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes and while you’re at it, leave me a 5-star review. It’ll help other people find the podcast. Thank you!

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Episode 147 – Brand New Marketing Strategy Stupidity: Idea Extraction

You don’t get to be old bein’ no fool…

That was a line uttered by a Richard Pryor character. It’s not entirely accurate, but it should be. More often than not.

Age should bring about greater wisdom. And experience.

It’s on my mind for at least a few reasons:

1. I’m old. Well, actually, I’m only 55, but that’s much older than most who are podcasting, blogging and producing online content. It’s not older than most business owners though. I know people think the majority of “entrepreneurs” are in their 20’s, but that’s not true. According to the SBA, small business ownership is a quest of more mature people. In fact, look closely and you’ll see a decline in business ownership by younger people. I also remember reading a US Census some years ago (it’s now a decade old) stating that 1 in 3 businesses was owned by a person over 55. Eleven percent were owned by people over 65. I suspect those numbers are now higher!

2. That niche I’ve been looking for is found. I woke up one day (some months ago) and realized, “It’s me!” Mature people. Marc Freedman and Marci Alboher call it an encore career. Those of us who have spent a lifetime in one (or more) endeavor and now we’re looking for our “encore” endeavor. It’s a group that is no stranger to me so I’ve got some plans underway to serve this community.

No, that doesn’t mean if you’re younger that I no longer care about you. If anything, I care more than ever before about the younger people because I think I have something to offer you. Maybe it’s only perspective, but that can be critically important…to all of us. Who doesn’t need an improved, insightful perspective?

Besides, I’m fond of younger people and their outlook on life. Many younger people have a much better perspective of their lives than I had at their age. My peers and I were busy clamoring for financial success. We often sacrificed quality of life because it was a different time and we didn’t have the Internet, which is the primary game-changing tool for today’s income earners! I think these are very exciting times for young and old alike.

3. As I hear modern marketing gurus hold forth I realize that the lessons old heads taught me 40 years ago were old when I learned them. Science changes. Technology changes. People, however, are still very much as they’ve always been, albeit, they are more connected, aware and informed. The psychology of marketing is more quantified than ever before and I suspect that will continue, but we’re all still moved by the things that have always moved us. We’re moved to think, to shop, to buy and to act by very common (and ancient) drivers. The old direct-marketing copywriters of the 1940’s knew it as well as any modern marketing guru. People still point to the genius of P.T. Barnum.

Everything old is new again.

Let me introduce you to a phrase that I began hearing quite a lot a few months ago, “idea extraction.”

It’s brand new. It’s bold. It’s ingenious. And for a few thousand bucks you can learn it.

Or suffer the financial doom sure to come your way if you fail to learn it.

Yes, that’s sarcasm dripping from my lips. Give today’s show a fighting chance and let me enlighten you. Or maybe I can entertain you. Who knows? I might even make you angry. That’s okay. Go ahead. Click play.

Taking unfair advantage of people is so commonplace that sometimes ethical people are tempted to use predatory language and tactics. I’m opposed to it. Period. Rather, I think we must help, teach and share.

Age and experience, coupled with life-long learning can prevent any of us from being a fool. I do not consider myself a fool. I don’t consider you one either!

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Audio Quick Hit – Won’t Somebody Just Help Us Be Better?

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Last night on ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE, Diane Sawyer presented a special report entitled, “Hidden America: Inside Chicago’s Gang War.”

Watch it.

Then go here and read the Bible story of “the good Samaritan.”

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Episode 146 – The Small Business Triple Death Trap

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Crying like a baby won’t help.

Business isn’t easy. It’s hard work.

That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, exciting and rewarding. It can be all of those things.

It can also be a death sentence – a J.O.B. that we can’t quit.

Today’s show is about three things that consistently hasten the death knell for many small businesses (and larger ones, too).

Let’s discuss these 3 things and see if we can avoid killing our own small business.

1. Toxic viewpoint

2. Lack of strategic thinking

3. Poor communication

Help others find the podcast by leaving me a review over at iTunes. It’ll only take a few minutes and I’ll greatly appreciate it.

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