Lets play Plinko with people! (and look at who can help you spread ideas)

Ideas come and go all day and all night. Sometimes you have an amazing idea and you just don’t know how to get it out to the people to spread. Or a really good joke that no one gets…not that this has recently happened to me…

Having just read Malcolm Gladwells “The Tipping Point” I can tell you there are three people/groups that you need to target in order to get your message out to everyone else:

Mavens

These people are basically experts in their field. They know the ins and outs of a particular industry, product or organization and can tell you how to effectively navigate those waters, and the best ways to negotiate your way to a deal. We all have those people in our lives who can talk on and on and on about a particular subject. Next time your with these people, note how they may be able to help you in your next great venture.

Salespeople

This is pretty obvious. Salespeople are people who are really good at persuading people. For some its the way they speak, an image they project and for others an indefinable charm. Either way having a person who understands how to read, analyze and react to different people and their responses to effectively sell them on an idea is invaluable.

Connectors

These are the people that know everyone. The ones you see talking to everyone all the time. Why are connectors crucial to the growth of your idea? They can connect you to people that can help you grow your idea, take it to the next level or even reach out to a group that you never thought of!

There is one more factor to consider here:

Context!

Remember that certain peoples roles can change based on the particular situation, where you are, the social situation, the political situation and so much more. Although there are three categories listed here, there is no reason that a connector can also be a maven or a salesmen a connector as well, let overlap apply to avoid tunnel vision. A connector could loses all his or her powers in a completely different country in the same way a Maven who knows cars can be completely lost when it comes to real estate. The external enviroment plays a big role in deciding which category people fall into (and theirs my plinko reference).

Mavens, Salespeople, Connectors and Context. Keep these four concepts in mind next time your next great idea needs to catch fire.

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80/20 ,two numbers lazy people will love.

8-12 hours sleeping

3~ hours on breakfast, lunch and dinner

2 hours in the bathroom

An hour to three hours watching t.v.

and about 2 hours of actual work

That’s my average day on my days off.  I’m working towards being an entrepreneur and I only do about two to three hours of actual work. Think I’ll succeed?

I’ve just read Richard Koch’s “The 80/20 Principle” and through the efficient use of the 80/20 principle I may make it with little real effort.

If you haven’t been to a business class in the past decade or two, here’s the basic idea of the 80-20 principle. 20% of your inputs are responsible for %80 of your outputs.

This principle can be applied outwardly as well. 80% of crime is committed by  20% of criminals. %80 of the worlds wealth is controlled by 20% of the population. %80 of infected patients are infect by %20 of carriers.

You get the idea. It’s all about finding value, finding where the most impact is made and focusing on that to capitalize and make any aspect of your life more efficient.

This mindset isn’t always easy to adopt. Some people find joy in being busy and wasting time on fruitless tasks, but we all know that isn’t you. Personally I find that being inherently lazy actually works in your favor when you adopt the 80/20 principle.  We lazy people will always find an easier way of doing something.

I’m available bill!

80/20 isn’t something you’ll adopt overnight. Old habits die hard, it will be hard to let go of things and drop the, “I always gotta be working attitude”  because you’ll feel like you just half assed it. The risk is always there regardless, but know that the journey towards a more efficient you will be worth it. Apply 80/20 wherever possible. Relationships, habits, work, play, fitness,  and business.

Sometimes you’ll need to be ruthless in what you will need to cut out. We all know that their are people who just drain our time, habits that cost way too much, and tasks which yield little profits. When something or someone you put a lot of value into dose not bring the same amount of value back, its time to show those things the door.

A value driven life will only yield value driven results.

The 3 stages to your next great idea

Creativity. Is it just for the artists, singers and clever marketing agencies?

Not at all. Even the most drab of accountants can have a burst of creative ideas. No offense to any accountants out there.

Your next great idea dose not require a liberal arts degree or a real existing problem to solve. Follow these three steps and see where your amazing, creative mind takes you.

  1. Not all who wander are lost.
    • Let your mind wonder and write down any idea that comes to mind. Forget money, physical limitations, whether there is an existing need or even if its actually a good idea. Let your mind go crazy with visions and see how many ideas you get. Don’t put an actual time limit on this stage. Any limitations can hinder your thought process and limit your creative process. If any thing let yourself get to the point where you start daydreaming!
  2. Filter out what is do-able
    • Now we take reality into account. Go through all the ideas you created and figure out the steps you need to take to make the ideas you thought of happen. Resources, information, existing infrastructure. At this point its good to take inventory on fields that you know inside-out and how you can associate your knowledge with your idea.
  3. Take that first step
    • Now that you know what you can do, what what you have available to you, it’s time to start making that vision a reality! Taking the first step may be as simple as buying a website domain or more demanding like hiring a team, but either way ,one thing to keep in mind is that your vision will not become reality overnight. Patience is a virtue. Its important to surround yourself with positive ,like-minded people to help keep you motivated and focused.

Regardless of who you are, what you do and how old you are, creativity is something that can be learned and become an extremely valuable weapon.

It’s my first day

“Its my first day”

I think The Simpsons captured how important that line is to the new guys in the office is. How many times have you used it? You probably didn’t take a navy submarine into international waters (well if you did, nice bro) but we’ve all been in those awkward moments on our first days when you’re pestering your co-worker every two minutes because you accidentally released a cage full of birds into a crowded mall on a shift at the pet store.

No?

Well maybe something like that. Reading Robert Greene’s Mastery, Robert Greene sums up the three stages we all go through when adjusting to a new job, country, process or any change to your external environment. I’ve been through enough part time jobs to be able to vouch for his writing so I thought I’d share them here.

Its basically three stages. First we start in the Passive mode, then the Practice mode and finally the Active mode.

Passive Mode

The Passive mode is kind of like the beginning of a party where you don’t know anyone. You’re taking in whats going on, who each of the participants are, getting the lay of the land before you make your first move. In the work environment the Passive mode is your first few weeks or months on the job. What you should be looking for and learning, on top of your basic job duties, is the culture of your new workplace. Who are the influencers, how the flow of communication works, the underlying pecking order and a potential niche where you can stand out. Getting a solid understanding of the lay of the land and how things are done in your new environment will help you go about making bigger moves in the future when you reach the Active mode.

Practice Mode

In the Practice mode you are working towards becoming good at what your core job is. The Practice mode and Passive mode can be done simultaneously, but neither is more important than the other. In the Practice mode your aim is to know how to do your job so well that it becomes habitual or tactic knowledge- you’ve become so skilled at your job that you find it difficult to teach it ,but have no problem demonstrating it.

Active Mode

At this point you will have a solid handle on your core tasks and responsibilities and you know the lay of the land. You understand the system and all its components and how its parts interact.  Now you can start experimenting with system, like modding your car. This is a shorter phase ,but a crucial one if you want to prove your value to your company or yourself. Here you have the legitimacy to propose new processes, a new project, or solutions to problems. As you pursue these experiments your ability to take criticism and possibly face heat from co-workers/partners/management will be put to the test, so it’s important to keep the knowledge you gained from the Passive mode in mind.

The importance of office politics will be something that will be debated for years to come, or at least until the robots take over, so its important to look at your environment subjectively and make smart moves if you want to achieve success.