Tuesday, January 10, 2017

When was Charlemagne born?

To exercise my mind I read the writings of James Altucher This morning he wrote about doing more with less. And he talked about only learning about stuff when you were interested to learn about stuff - and he gave an example about history. Here is what he said: “If you try to teach people with no interest, they won't learn. To this day, at every conference I speak at, nobody can tell me the birthdate of Charlemagne within 500 years. Go ahead, guess right now! “ I don’t know about you but I had no idea who Charlemagne was?? But the challenge meant I now do, and within 500 years I know when he was born. But I will probably wioe that information from my brain as I don’t think, apart from writing this article it will be of any use to me... #UselessCrap @James Altucher #WayneMansfield

Friday, January 06, 2017

Everything Happens in 3’s

Keeping a positive disposition is some times difficult. I have often created rules for seemingly negative things so that I can keep going without getting too distracted.

For example, I am happy to pay a parking fine if I knowingly parked in the wrong place or over stayed a meter... and I consider the fine is just an invoice for my fair share of parking revenue. This certainly helps me keep a parking fine in perspective... for all the times I didn’t pay the correct charge, the fine evens things up.

Similarly, I don’t get too upset with an occasional speed camera fine... I believe our speed limit in 2016 is too low - 100 or 110 km/h in Australia with our distances is just too low. And if the road toll for 2016 is any indication, hidden cameras and the non appearance of real police servers no purpose as the toll stubbornly stays high and last year jumped. So, I don’t speed but if I get a ticket for 10 km/p over a limit I just accept it as part of driving. So Sundays “flash” from a hidden camera when I was doing 87 in an 80 zone, 200 metres from the 100 km/h sign will be paid without anger and it didn’t upset my day when it happened.

And things in 3’s?? I don’t go too much for this but Joanne swears by this fable... a famous person dies and she is looking for the next 2 to turn their toes up. The last few weeks of 2016 with all the celebrity deaths had her looking for patterns of 3!

Well, last evening, I had my third instance of an budgeted expense over $1000 or more... and I hope that the Rule of 3 comes into play as it is costing too much. Case Number 1: We have a Bengal cat, Blu we call him who as an uncanny ability to vertically leap more than a metre in the air. He is convinced that people live behind the Television and can sit in front of our big screen TV and jump up and over the screen to try and catch whatever is behind. This amazing skill has been amusing until just before Christmas he missed his footing and dragged the TV off its standing and the screen shattered. So, cat 1 - TV 0 and we need a new TV for about $1000 - you try filling in an insurance claim with “the Cat did it” and see what happens... I haven’t lodged the claim because it reads as unbelievable. Case Number 2: My faithful car, a Ford Fairlane purchased new with just 23 kms on the odometer over 12 years ago has served me unfailing well. But when I got in to make the drive to my mail box, after inserting and turning as usual, the key drew a blank when I tried to start it ... luckily it was still in the garage. The mail had to wait! Now days, mechanics come to you so I got one of those mobile mechanic services to attend. He was a very pleasant young guy, Ryan is his name, and he said that is a “known Ford fault” where a $1 item fails but you have to replace the whole steering column and the full job is $1700. Well when spread over 12 years it seems OK... Case number 3: Yesterday I came into my office and all the computers were at the “start prompt”... apparently some issue with power?? As we have had a few 40c+ days, with all the air-conditioners on so I thought that was to be expected. I rebooted the machines and everything seemed fine. Later in the evening my main Desk Machine had a screen freeze - “No problem “ I thought but a reboot didn’t work. Apparently the power surge [ or what ever it was ] took out the motherboard and my computer guru told me that they were no longer available for repairing so a new machine was required... apparently “about $1000” would fix it he said, and computers are much better now anyway. So you can see why I am hoping Joanne’s Rule of 3 applies because this has become a very expensive 3 weeks off without a holiday.. and I really don’t want another excuse for a “$1000 fix.” I am holding my breath... and hopefully, we will be back to normal soon. [ I am remind of going 24 hours without complaining.... advice I gave a few days ago... some how advice is so much easier to give than follow! ]

Monday, January 02, 2017

Am I hunting antelope or field mice?

From Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans: 17 Questions That Changed My Life
Newt Gingrich is one of the most successful political leaders of our time. Yes, we disagreed with virtually everything he did, but this is a book about strategy, not ideology. And we’ve got to give Newt his due. His strategic ability—his relentless focus on capturing the House of Representatives for the Republicans—led to one of the biggest political landslides in American history.
Tim Ferriss's Tools of Titans
Now that he’s in the private sector, Newt uses a brilliant illustration to explain the need to focus on the big things and let the little stuff slide: the analogy of the field mice and the antelope. A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent its day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. A lion can’t live on field mice. A lion needs antelope. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, and once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride. A lion can live a long and happy life on a diet of antelope.
The distinction is important. Are you spending all your time and exhausting all your energy catching field mice? In the short term it might give you a nice, rewarding feeling. But in the long run you’re going to die. So ask yourself at the end of the day, “Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?” Find lots of great stuff like this and more at our February seminar series” http://www.stumpjump.net/

Sunday, January 01, 2017

It's Getting Up that Counts

From the Greatest:

Inside the ring or out 
there is nothing wrong with going down. 
Staying down is wrong! 

Muhammad Ali

Monday, December 26, 2016

PRE-SUASION best reads of 2016 [2 of 5]

Robert Cialdini is credited with changing the way marketing worked with the publishing of his best seller Influence. Published 15 years ago, Cialdini has continued studying what makes people do what they do... and this latest book records what he thinks are the must important changes.
An area I particularly like is the discussion of preloading a situation - in NLP terms, this might be called anchoring. Basically by predisposing someone to a particular view you can influence their decision and predict the answer.
If you are involved in anyway with marketing this is a must read.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

PayPal Buyer Protection found wanting

On November 27th I purchased a digital download using using paypal as payment, thinking I was being protected by buyers insurance offered by paypal... a small but significant purchase of $250 US The file was delivered for a week, then it was delivered as an unusable 6 gig file, and then as a smaller file but, due to the time that had passed, a paypal resolution request had been raised, the files were password protected. PayPal told me told they had extended the time for the seller to respond and they wouldn’t review the claim until December 24th. I have pointed out the details of my claim, the fact the seller is passing himself off as a legitimate business [ using a very close version of their name ] and that after a month I haven’t got my purchase... but to no avail. A promised call from a supervisor hasn’t been received... a text / tweet exchange with @AskPayPal has produced nothing and I am still expected to wait until the recalcitrant seller replies to a second request - paypal’s 10 days to resolve the matter has long since passed. This is my last message from @AskPayPal: Ask PayPal @AskPayPal I am sorry that I cannot resolve this for you. I have passed on the information to our Claims Department and they will contact you directly. Thanks ^SLS So, please don’t put any faith in the buyers protection nonsense that paypal peddle. A month after the event, I am still without what I paid for, and the matter could drag on for another couple of weeks. paypal have obviously got “too big to care” and they use call centres in the Philippines where low paid staff have no authority to resolve obvious cases of fraud. I have supplied details of the sellers fraudulent name copy and also the real site but nobody cares or is prepared to make a decision. A request to speak to a supervisor at 11am - now some 8 hours ago, was met with “They will call you back” and obviously you know the result of that... I am still waiting. I am very happy to post my correspondence with the seller here if required but I raise this issue... the buyers protection offered by pay pal is not worth the digital space it takes up... Fingers crossed this will eventually be solved.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

USEFUL BELIEF Best reads of 2016 [1 of 5]

Useful Belief Chris HELDER
Useful Belief by Chris Helder 2016 saw me presenting our most popular half day seminars Stepping Up to Supervision and Successfully Managing People. A common theme was that “the young people of today” are just horrible: lazy, opinionated, entitled selfie-lovers and of course narcissistic. In Helder’s book “Useful Belief” proposes if you treat these young people as “lazy, opinionated, entitled selfie-lovers and of course narcissistic” you get that result. He proposes that a Useful Belief would be that they are the most amazing you people that ever were... and that if you treated them as such, you would have these amazing young people who surprised you everyday with how good they were! Of course there are example of this in the workplace of 2016 - Apple Shops characterise their young people as GENIUSES and magically they act that way - they are still all the other things that set young people aside but somehow that simple re titling turns them into Super Stars. There are many other examples that are practical and useful in this book and i commend it to you - either to further your management career or just to be a better parent. Available at all good book stores - I have purchased and gifted more than a dozen - I grab them at Bookshop at Melbourne Airport - a great place to find new books.