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Random Advice: Annoying or Inspirational?

Do you ever feel like ENOUGH ALREADY on the advice? I mean if it’s good advice, I’m all for it – as in the very-specific-fix-my-current-problem-right-now advice. I feel like every time I turn around, someone is giving me advice, but it’s the platitudinous-go-get-’em advice that is supposed to inspire me…you know the kind that re-words what I ALREADY KNOW!

Good thing I’m not bitter, huh?

At a Spark & Hustle conference earlier this year, Jack Nadel’s book “Use What You Have To Get What You Want: 100 Basic Ideas That Mean Business” was handed out for free…As I leafed through it, typical sayings such as “A great product is one that sells” and “Keep it simple” shouted out to me.  I thought blah.

[Brief digression: “free” stuff is often dismissed as worthless…so in the future, I’d rec anyone providing a book say “Included in your conference price is $40 in materials PLUS Jack Nadel’s $12.95 book.”]

I stuffed it into my book bag and a month later pulled it out as I waited for an appointment.  It actually had some very good points…and to prop up the simple advice were brief explanations of how to apply it and then an example.  Here’s one of my favorites:

[idea] #75 Money attracts good people, but pride makes them great.

[explanation] Everyone needs to be motivated to produce over and above what is expected. A feeling of pride creates an invigorating climate in which to work.

[example] Forty years ago we created a sales incentive program for our account executives where those that achieved certain goals came to be called Golden Tigers. Earning the status of a Golden Tiger became  very desirable because it included extra bonuses and a special trip where all of the Golden Tigers enjoyed being together over a long weekend.  Winners were not only proud of themselves, but took enormous price in the accomplishments of their peers.

[idea] #96 The world judges me on results and not on how hard I work.

[explanation] Great results take intense effort. The marketplace doesn’t care how much time you spent creating the product or service. Talking about working hard makes you weak.

[example] When we decided to manufacture the wristband calendar, we spent hundreds of hours designing presentation packages. The original product came to us with the 12 calendars packaged in a clear plastic case. We designed packages either by the month, by the quarter, or by the year, tailored to different industries. We had a package for pharmaceutical manufacturers, automobile dealers, insurance companies and banks, and subscription services. Nobody cares how hard you worked; they are only interested in success of failure.


Books like this serve a great purpose – they inspire.  While nothing here is a great revelation, each of the 100 tips and examples help remind me, as an entrepreneur, of what is important.  It gives me 100 things to consider when I’m stuck.  You can find the book at www.ideasthatmeanbusiness.com.

You can also find your own inspirational book. I like The Pursuit of Wow! by Tom Peters and How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster & Larry Corby.

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