Spend 20% of your time on the road (Part II)

I just got a great reply to my 20% post – Thanks Lucas Olmas !

Lucas introduced me to a Japanese principle that sums it up: “Genchi Genbutsu” (Go and See)

Question is – how?

How do you call on people outside of sales calls, especially if they’re not your client? (Lucas asked me this.)  Great question.

I’ve actually found it easy to engage people beyond sales calls, as they’re generally a lot more at ease when you’re not trying to push them into something. People love talking about their business, new trends, what makes a good supplier to them, what information would help them, so if you visit them (take them to lunch or coffee) with that mandate, it’s very effective and they feel no pressure. Active listening always yields great results. And if you can show how the information they supply shapes the business offer, they generally feel they’ve contributed to something great.

Everyone in Marketing Needs to Spend 20% on Road

I make it a mandate.

20% on the road. Talking to customers.

Asking them what are they hearing? What’s changed in their business?

Where does the power lie?

For example – in my current role I’ve found all product / fitting / design specifications are being made by Marketing / Real Estate Agents. This is a brand new thing. Never have this segment had so much control.

Solution?

I need to reach Marketing / Real Estate Agents.

What makes them tick? What can I do to from a suppliers’ perspective to make their job easier ? (i.e. sell properties)

But if I was in the office designing marketing strategies based on dated information – how useful would that be?

 

Why Markets Are Efficient

Here’s why I’m learning towards efficient markets.

Following Tim Ferriss’s recommendations, I’ve read, in this order

1. Buffett – The Making of an American Capitalist
2. More Money Than God
3. The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read

I’ve just finished the third. This book falls under the “efficient market” hypothesis whereas the first two were strong advocates of the “inefficient marts” hypothesis. I have to admit I was pretty convinced by inefficient market theory, but Solin’s book has kind of blown it out of the water.

Anyway – this book is great. Its aggressive tone against what Solin calls “hyperactive” investing and the complete lies of the financial industry make this book mandatory reading for anyone interested in investing, regardless of whether you’re an efficient or inefficient market guy.

If more people read this book, it would make lives harder for unethical brokers pushing unsuitable products with no fiduciary responsibility. And that’s good in my book.

A lot of people don’t really consider critical things such as fees when they’re buying actively managed funds – this book explains in black and white what the dangers are.

Best of all there’s a very simple and clear approach in the final section – the book is not just a rant!

Great stuff.

The Market is Inefficient – at first

“People form opinions at their own pace and in their own way – the notion that information could be instantly processed is one of the ivory tower assumptions that has little to do with reality.” Sebastian Mallaby, More Money Than God

So this is one of the many cases for Inefficient Markets Theory. It’s in stark contrast to Dan Solin’s opinion laid out in The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read

Where am I with these opinions? Still undecided. But I do have a few opinions.

  1. You may be able to ‘beat the market’ but only temporarily. Soon enough whatever amazing strategy you’ve come up with will be replicated, and the market will become ‘efficient’.
  2. If markets were efficient, there would be no such thing as hedge funds – they couldn’t exit. No investing ‘edge’ would ever work
  3. It’s a very small minority who can continually ‘beat the market’ meaning that even if markets are inefficient, there are very few who can be relied upon to do it for long periods of time. This obviously has ramifications for who you should invest your money with.

I’ll be exploring Efficient vs. Inefficient – will be interesting to see where this lands.

First step is to see what people say online.

Mindfulness in 30 Seconds

I’ve been practicing Mindfulness meditation for over a year now.

I’ve tried a million things to try to improve my life. I can truly say that the 9 minute meditation I do each morning has fundamentally changed the game.

I typically use a guided meditation* from Sam Harris.

I’m now getting to clearer and deeper realms of consciousness. But my point in writing this post is not to go into that.

Recently I’ve decided to try something new.

Spending ten minutes meditating in the morning is great, but how can I apply it to my whole day? I can’t always sit cross-legged on a chair or the floor every time I feel anxious.

What if I could use Mindfulness to observe any negative thought that comes into my head throughout the day (I get many!) and redirect it to positive thoughts?

I’ve come up with something I’ve been doing over the week and it’s worked like magic. And it takes all of 30 seconds.

Here’s what I do when I get a negative thought:

  1. Stop what I’m doing.
  2. Label the thought under anger, fear, dread, doubt, resentment, hate, whatever.
  3. Breathe and concentrate on my breathing for 10 seconds (practicing Mindfulness)
  4. Think of one of the three things that I’m grateful for**

This is hard the first few times, but soon I found that after practicing to the point of second nature, negative thoughts just keep getting deflected.

I can carry around happy and positive emotions – and it shows in my interactions with others.

I hate carrying around fear, dread, doubt, hate etc. all day. It’s not helpful. And it manifests upon itself with others. I’ll admit I’m pretty guilty of doing that.

Try my four step method – hope it helps.

*Below is my daily meditation from Sam Harris.

**I use The Five Minute Journal to come up with 3 things I’m grateful for each day. More of that in a later post.

 

 

“Team of Teams” in One Page

Team of Teams by Gen. Stanley McChrystal has changed the way I think about leadership and management.

And I read a lot about leadership and management.

I’ve never read a book that has so concisely and thoroughly explained how leadership, management, teamwork and the environment have radically changed – and what you need to do as a leader to succeed.

Rather than write a post about it, here is a one page summary in Piktochart format, explaining how the rules of business have changed:

Team of Teams in One Page

Three Weird Ways Evernote Can Make You More Productive

Evernote has become my saving grace recently. I use it about 15 times a day on average, from clipping articles, to making shopping lists, to dictating random thoughts I have.

The list goes on.

Productivity is king to me. I will write more as months go on, but I’ve become a huge fan of personal calibrations weekly, monthly, three monthly. bi-annually and annually. I quite like what is known as the “ROAR” technique: Review, Organise, Anticipate, Rocks. But more of that later.

There’s nothing better than finding ways to get more done quicker, easier, better with less hassle. And Evernote has been instrumental for my recent gains.

Instead of writing about it, I’ll show you.

Here are three weird ways I’ve found Evernote has helped me in my personal calibration schedule:

3 Weird Ways Evernote Has Helped Me Be More Productive