What’s in your tool box?

In my digital travels I continue to discover very useful tools that deserved to be shared.

Here are two that fall into the learning category.

Blinkist provides book summaries that only take 15 minutes or less to read. Not only will you get the key takeaways but you will easily be able to decide if it is worth buying.

Imprint enables you to understand complex topics using a visual presentation.

If you want to be the most interesting person in the room both are highly recommended!

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Living Is Selling – Leave your personal baggage at home

We all have stuff going on in our personal lives, every day. Some require heavy lifting to deal with such as financial issues, a messy divorce, etc. Some are easier to fix, like the disagreement you had with your spouse last night. Any of these points of stress distract from your ability to sell as your focus isn’t where it should be.

While life does get in the way of selling please remember this essential rule. Under no circumstances don’t share your problems with the people you work with. Your manager or supervisor will think you are not able to perform and your peers will see you as a weak link on the team. Also, and this is the biggest rule of all. Never share your personal problems with your customers. Never.

Speaking to anyone at work about your personal baggage won’t make the problems go away and even though some might seem to care they really don’t. They have their own issues and it’s very possible they are bigger than yours

This is not to suggest you’re on your own. You have friends and family members you can and should turn to for help or at least pay attention to your story. In the worst cases you can always rely on professional help too.

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It’s very possible to increase yours, even without the feeling that it’s hard work.

Pick something that you have an interest in, are curious about or have a passion for or simply recognize a natural talent that you are fortunate to have. Then immerse yourself in it, to learn more about it with a goal to understand it so well you can actually explain it to others.

By simply learning about something you enjoy and have become good at it, even an authority on the subject, you have just given yourself a free education.

Sharing your new knowledge and experience is evidence of a new level of intelligence. It will be seen by others and appreciated too. Now imagine the outcome if you continue this learning loop. It makes me wonder how smart any of us can become simply by learning through experience.

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Over the last few months I find myself drawn to the documentary category on Netflix. The reason is simple. Watching a documentary is entertaining and educational. Who knew learning could be as much of an escape as any good drama series.

If you like to think and discuss about what you have watched long after ‘the show’ has ended here are two documentaries that I believe are more than worthy of your time.

This quote in Social Dilemma sums up the entire story. The quote goes something like, the only other business that refers to its customers as users is the illegal drug trade. We are users on social media. We crave the rewards of recognition and acceptance and we always go back for more. Countries and organizations know this and exploit our attention with messages that can change our thinking and behaviours. The message in the documentary that I believe to be true is that the divisions we are witnessing between rich and poor, black and white, right and left are being driven by content on social media delivered by algorithms and artificial intelligence.

For a literally immersive experience watch My Octopus Teacher. If you want to learn about survival and relationships in the most unlikely way then spend less time on social media and watch this unique story. It is worth every minute of your attention!

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Words of wisdom

“Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent and kind as you really are without embarrassment”

Susan Piver

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Corona positives

I believe that it’s possible for good to come from bad. There must be some positives from all the negatives. Lessons can be learned from this disruption, perhaps ultimately making the world a better place now and when we get to the other side of this global pandemic.

Physical distancing and stay at home directives are necessary and essential. It’s obvious that if people aren’t around the virus has no place to go. It’s our one true weapon to minimize the carnage.

The lesson learned by staying home is we are helping others. Our inconvenience is small compared to the mitigation potential of passing the virus on to someone else. The benefit is much greater than the pain.

I am grateful to others for staying home and apart to ultimately protect me. Thank you.

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Protesting Protesters

In a free and democratic society like Canada you have a right to protest, as a group or as an individual.

Typically, the purpose of a public demonstration is to raise awareness of your cause. Peaceful protesting will do that.

What militant protesting will not do is convince others to join you or get us to act in favour on your behalf. In fact, it does exactly the opposite. It actually increases the divide between you and those you have chosen to inconvenience.

Try protesting without causing disruption. Both you and your cause will benefit much more.

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Online subscriptions

This comment is directed to any online business that offers a paid subscription service.

If I like what you are offering and choose to sign up by paying a monthly or annual fee then please, do yourself a huge long term favour and don’t hide your cancellation agreement.

Display your terms i.e., “you must cancel 24 hours before the free two week trial ends”, everywhere and often on your sign up page. Don’t hide it. Show it plainly and clearly.

This will not only create an image of trust, it will also result in a huge reduction of poor reviews because you seemingly cheated us.

I wonder how many more sign ups you would get because you didn’t hide the fine print. You’re allowed to have a policy. Just be upfront about your rules. More people will like you longer. We may even say nice things about you!

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Write your own eulogy

Not that you will have any control about what is said about you after you’re gone, but at least you’ll have a clear vision about your life’s work along the way.

It’s probably a good idea to update it as you progress too.

Keeping the end in mind is a great habit. To me, it’s my favourite one of the seven as written by Stephen Covey.

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Words worth repeating

“Honesty is good but joy is better”

David Brooks

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