Tag Archives: business

Risk Homeostasis [please read now]

March 7th, 2010

Risk Homeostasis is a theory that humans have a certain level of acceptable risk and we will seek to keep that in equilibrium.

If we take high risk in one part of our life we will seek to minimise it in another part.

For example, in a Munich Case Study two groups of taxis were monitored for accidents.  One group had ABS brakes installed, the others stayed with the regular breaks.  You would think then that the ABS guys had less accidents right?

Wrong.  What they found was the accident rate was about the same, the group with ABS having gained better braking would take other risks (ie braking late).

Have a read over at WikiPedia.  Watch my video below on RadioWammo discussing it:


It has interesting implications for all change, innovation and risk when you think about it.

Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell for the inspiration in his latest book What the Dog Saw.

Recession Busting Business Tactics for 2010

January 14th, 2010

So we had a bit of a bumpy road in 2009, here’s 25 recession busting tactics to help you break through in 2010.

  1. Start a side business. In addition to your job look at supplementing your income by starting a hobby business that can add a few dollars here or there.
  2. Create a job! Maybe hire the next door neighbour to do your lawns, or someone to do your cleaning. If you have some spare cash, why not improve your life a little and help out your community.
  3. Invest locally! Sure leaving money in the bank is fine and dandy but it’s not helping out as much as it could be. Use a portion of it to invest in local business – maybe even form a micro loan club to help support local entrepreneurs.
  4. Volunteer. Volunteers contribute hugely to the nation as a whole and have taken a heavy hit in the last 18 months. Get back on the bandwagon and support a local charity; lend a hand, have some fun, it’ll probably be the most rewarding experience you can have.
  5. Educate! You know something – share it with the world or teach it to others.
  6. Connect. Business is all driven by connections, actively take stock of your connections and see where you can make some introductions that could stimulate business or potential partnerships.
  7. Seek for global business opportunities and pair them with local business.
  8. Unleash the online world to your business. Whether it’s creating attention, developing business or engaging with customers digital engagement is here to stay.
  9. Grow your business, chop it up, reinvent it make it much more streamlined. Look at squeezing efficiencies out of it to maximise profitability.
  10. Get not one but several mentors. Leverage others experience to avoid pitfalls.
  11. Mentor someone else. Lend a hand to people that can use your skills.
  12. Actively outsource & automate the parts of your business that need it. We all know we need to develop the systems & processes that empower the growth of our business. What better time to do it (on the cusp of a recovery).
  13. Write & share with the world your experiences. Start a blog (like #5 Educate) unlock your knowledge for others benefits. You never know what may happen or who will read it.
  14. Invest in yourself, learn some new skills, take an extra course. Identify skill gaps you have and how to fill them.
  15. Take time off! Time to rest/rejuvenate is just as important as the doing.
  16. Increase productivity with online tools. Read David Allens Getting Things Done – implement this in your personal and business worlds. Better productivity helps everyone.
  17. Set aside review & reflection time (blogging is a great way to do this).
  18. Read books. Books are the best investment, they give you some downtime AND present you with new ideas that can dramatically change your business. All $20! #Best investment.
  19. Explore franchising or partnerships. How can you strategically expand your companies reach with little capital outlay.
  20. Test the waters. Now’s the time to try out those new products and services that have been sitting in the closet. Give them a try.
  21. Invest in Adwords. Capture motivated leads in an automated fashion – hard to beat.
  22. Networking – get yourself out there active in the market place. When things get busy you want to the guy (or gal) they call straight away.
  23. Map out your reach into market, how do you market your company? What does that look like? And how can you improve it?
  24. Buy an iPhone. Why? It will pretty much allow you to make your business mobile instantly. Whatever you want chances are it can do it OR someone can develop it for you.
  25. Telecommute. Work from home one day a week and encourage your staff to do so as well. This lowers costs, can boost morale and productivity.

It’s the compounding effect of small changes that break the biggest barriers so pick one, knock it, pick another.  Go for it!

(Add your own in the comments below).

Without fanfare

October 6th, 2009

Starting without fanfare is a bit daunting and quite scary.

Shouldn’t I be shouting from the rooftops about what I’m doing?

Yes and no.

Shout from the rooftops once you’ve tested your product with paying customers AND they think it’s awesome.

However who starts off like that? Starting without fanfare lets you operate under the radar, quietly refine and build your business.

It also means you have market potential rather than converting a market that is fatigued by your shouting.

A good analogy is the franchise, do you think they rolled out hundreds of McDonalds then figured out how to make a convenient meal?

101 Tasks

September 23rd, 2009

The ultimate brain dump.

When the pressure is on, I find the easiest way to gain clarity is to just write own each and every task that needs to get done.  From paying the electricity bill to client work.  It all matters as it all adds stress.

Then I am able to quickly evaluate what is important and what isn’t.  A simple activity that you don’t need to do day to day but when the crunch on this simple task helps get the stress out of your mind and onto paper.

Hey hey that's not attractive

September 16th, 2009

Selling out on your customers. Delivering sub par service.

It’s easy to take a shortcut, cut corners to get the short term win…. But it’s not attractive…

Not attractive to your current; prospective or past customers.

You can may win them back.  But at what cost?

I daresay it’s less than the windfall from your original shortcut…

An idea alone isn't a business

September 13th, 2009

I just want to clarify (since I share ideas each and every day) an idea alone isn’t a business.

A business is a collection of ideas, executed in a fashion that generates profit.

An amazing idea helps a business spread, it forms the messages, builds the word of mouth but it is the collection of ideas and systems executed that make the business.  In essence an amazing idea provides a wave for the business to ride but that wave is short lived unless you have something behind it…

You need to take your amazing idea and mix it up with some others (usually standardised ideas) to turn it into a business.  Then you have something of amazing value.

Zoom in on what you're good at

September 7th, 2009

It’s easy for someone to say you should be doing blogging, or tweeting or vlogging…

You can’t.

You see you ought to zoom in on what you’re good at.

If you’re not good at writing – don’t write.

If you’re not good in front of the camera – don’t do it.

No time for tweeting – don’t do it.

There is ZERO value in using a tool if you don’t do it well.  Let me repeat that – zero value.  If you’re in the space you need to own it.

It’s the same old business principle, 80/20 analysis of what you’re good at, then push that button and keep pressing it.  That’s the smartest form of leverage.

Think Long Term

August 13th, 2009

Think Long Term.

I like business people that think for the long term, there is more responsibility, focus on sustainability, mutual benefit, desire for meaningful business relationships.

It just makes sense.

Short term scares people, it’s also where impatient people can get swindled, not always the best option.

Just a thought, do you approach your customers with the view of a long relationship? How about your competitors? Would you say Microsoft and Apple do?…..

bwagy Networking Theory

August 9th, 2009

I saw a tweet from a fellow business owner a few months back, they had stopped having coffees and networking as they weren’t building any immediate business out of it……. hmmm

Bit stupid to stop networking if you ask me.  Why? Well…

My theory basically is, no matter what you do, every person you meet at some stage in the next 5 years will either have a need for your service or will hold a conversation with someone who needs your service.  So no meeting is wasted! (as long as you impress them enough).

Yes this is a long term view – but successful business is built over the long term.  So don’t fret that every meeting has to turn over dollars; build relationships, think for the long term and it will pay off.

Don’t stop networking because money doesn’t come in straight away, keep at it, it pays off.

What you see is what you have

August 3rd, 2009

Great little insight shared to me by Binu Paul a colleague of mine, we were talking about business, how you can get a gauge of it, especially when many industries are going through rapid change and what he says is true.

It doesn’t matter what the forecasts say, what’s happening tomorrow, at this point in time what you see is what you have.

(And you can’t really hide from that fact.)

Just Ask (for what you want)

August 2nd, 2009

You never know you may just get it.

I am the eldest of five kids, so in our household it was very much first in first served, if you wanted something you had to ask for it.

The analogy draws true for business, you are one of many, first in first served, if you don’t ask someone else will.

You’d be surprised at what happens just by asking, hey can I buy you a coffee? I have some neat ideas I’d like to run past you? or blatant I’d like your business what can I do to get it? Worst case you get a ‘no’.  Best case you get what you want.

So remember sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Get it started!

July 26th, 2009

Like fridays post – it has been said before…. but if you have an idea sitting in the back of your mind, irritating you – get it started!

What are the next steps? Write them down and TAKE THEM

Why am I bringing this up today? Well this week marks another huge week for me:

  • Shipping my pre-orders of the The Best Ideas are Free.
  • Wrapping up videos for the book (huge undertaking).
  • Speaking on marketing (Topic: Why marketing just got small….real small) this friday (should have a video to share from it).
  • Getting someone onboard part time to assist with some of my marketing activities.

If I hadn’t chased ideas and put them into action none of this would be happening, now, today.

Why Entrepreneurs should go to University

July 13th, 2009

There is some huge stat that 7/10 successful entrepreneurs are university drop outs.

But the key is they WENT to university.

Some of the handy stuff I learned from university that kept me in good stead…

1) Actually Listening

As an entrepreneur I realised the real value of university, so unlike my colleagues I actually paid attention in class, which has stood me in good stead since university.  Case studies, lessons learned, models all very helpful.  The application of these has helped me learn / grow my business / avoid pitfalls my peers make in an outstanding manner.

2) Forcing you to do stuff that’s painful

In business often you want to shy away from anything that is painful (*cough tax returns).  However Uni teaches you to persevere through this by forcing you to do papers and assignments you don’t like.  (Note: this is hugely valuable).

3) The people you meet

The absolute biggest value is the people I met and the relationships I forged.  University has introduced me to my best friends and extensive networks of interesting people.

4) Time to goof around

Sure starting a business at 18 is cool, but it is nice to goof around for a bit, realise the world isn’t on your shoulders, gives you time to experiment.  At university I started and sold three small businesses without a *need* for them to be massive successes.  A sandbox persay. (Case in point Facebook started whilst the founder was at uni.)

5) A train ticket

Gaining a degree allowed me to take on much higher paying jobs in order to finance some of my ventures.  It also provides a fallback should you ever need it.

6) Freebies!

Being a student allows you many freebies, business advice, legal advice, entrance to events, business speakers, networks, alumni.  Hey I even leveraged my role as a student to get into a conference (for free by helping out with registrations) where I met Sir Bob Geldof amongst others.

If you attend university with the right attitude it will accelerate your learning and avoidance of mistakes others have already made.  Thus (I believe) cancelling out the time you have invested in uni.

(Update: By the above statement ‘but the key is they WENT to university’ I wanted to more quash the common defence I hear ‘but yeah the good entrepreneurs drop out’, unfortunately it has been understood by a few as causation, moreso hey they went to uni maybe they got the same stuff I did out of it, thanks guys -Ben).

Tom Peters Wind Down

March 12th, 2009

Workshops & seminars are always great fun, you learn a lot, meet interesting people, get re-enthused with your business.

The real difficulty is taking that away and apply it to your business.

Tom started out by saying that he wasn’t there to introduce something new he was there to remind us of what we already knew when we started out in entrepreneurship but had lost sight of in the heat of the moment.

He was right.

They key points of the day were:
– Write thank you notes. Religiously.
– Small is nothing to be ashamed of.
– Good enough is not a term we should take lightly. We need to be using works like shock and awe.
– #1 word for this market is focus.
– Learn to listen. Not half listen. Really listen. (Hint: take a listening course).
– Adapt small changes which result in behavioural changes.
– The next five years are going to be the defining years of our careers. We need to act on it, not hide from the challenge.

The underlying theme of all this was, the small things matter, they matter now than ever before and this should be our focus.

You can download slides of Tom’s presentation from his blog:

Also you can check out my exclusive interview with Tom on Youtube, Ben Young chats with Tom Peters.

The lighting wasn’t great, but audio is, so please listen as the content is mint.

Blogging is a Marathon

October 13th, 2008

Blogging is a marathon.

There are hills, dips, long stretches.

The context weather changes…

Keep your eyes on the end goal and keep

Taking step after step.

Momentum is valuable, maintain it, if you lose it, it’s like starting running after you’ve stopped (painful).

Just keep taking those steps, even if they’re baby steps, do it!

Work in a startup? Different context.  Same application.

(and for those that haven’t yet read, look at my Blogging Strategy, takes 30 seconds to read)

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
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