Mountains and Molehills

Hi there!

Did you sit down and consider the questions from yesterday? Did you write something down?

I saw a saying that goes you can be anything you want to be. A Variation on the saying is that you can do anything you want to do. Another variation is you can go wherever you want to go in life.

For some people, those things appear to be just lip service. They point at obstacles, and hindrances, and the results of poor decisions because no one to give them a chance. At the same time, there are people whose mountain of concerns make other people’s look like molehills, and yet they succeed.

Many people look at those who succeed and say, “Sure, but there they are outliers.” My thought on that is, “Yeah, so?”

You can do whatever it is you set your mind to. And, the second part of that? You have to be willing to do what it takes to succeed.

We will talk about what that looks like tomorrow.

Be The Person You Want Helping You

Lately, I have read a lot from many entrepreneurs about which is more important, to make a lot of money or to help the client who needs that help?

This is a fair dilemma. If you don’t help people and do good for them or their companies you really can’t make very much money because you will not have many customers. If you spend all your time helping people giving away most of what you do and not making a sufficient income, you will not be able to continue due to a lack of funds.

This reminds me of a similar debate in manufacturing. To provide the customer what they are paying for, the winds need to build quality products. To earn sufficient funds to pay for the lines running, asserting quantity must be built and shipped to the customer.

Poor quantity means not enough product to satisfy the customer or keep the line running. On the other hand, poor quality means returns, reworks, and loss of reputation.

Let’s  look at this in action. You have a young line with new builders who have only the most minimum of training. The manufacturing manager steps on the line and tells everyone they will build and package 350 units by the end of the shift, or else she will find new people to build her computers.

The new people, needing the jobs to support their families and themselves are terrified and start doing whatever they can as fast as they can. Quality inspectors, who work for the manufacturing manager (poor choice in organizational structure) are letting all but the most serious of errors through inspection believing if the units are bad they will fail at the testing stations.

Although it’s a squeaker, the 350 units are built and shipped by the end of the shift. Everybody feels elated. Even the manufacturing manager has something on her face, although it’s not sure if what people saw was a smile, or sneer. Alas, this is just the start of the story and not the happy ending. The units shipped have a myriad of flaws, and the customer believes some units have major flaws which require repair before the units can be sold on the open market.

The 350 questionable units are shipped back to the United States from Europe and with 400 units that were built but not shipped underwent re-inspection and repair. When planning the economics of the line, a re-inspection and repair of units at this magnitude were never contemplated. The factory now has to pay for transportation of units, storage of units, a work crew to inspect and repair units, certification of the work by the customer’s inspectors, and re-shipment back to Europe. This is what we call a hidden factory. It’s not something you plan for your factory to do. Not something you’re going to get paid extra for. It is just a drain on the resources of the factory.

Let’s move this back to our question of the day and are we out to help people, or are we after the big bucks.

If you help someone, hopefully, they tell a friend. And if you help their friend, they’ll tell someone else, maybe two. If you build a quality product and put it in a quality program and charge a fair price, you may go far. Doing good things for people grows a following.   

If your product is filled with errors, grammatical problems, ideas that are irrelevant to the reader you may find items being returned and fees requested to be refunded. That is never a good start and is certainly a bad end.

So, what do you do? Do the best that you can make sure your work is relevant to your customer and you go from there.  And…

Be The Person You Want Helping You.

Are You an Original?

A simple question.   Are you an original or are you a duplicate?

It’s also a silly question, one asked, not to be insulting or demeaning; rather, one to look at considering. And either answer is all right

I am an adult educator and trainer by profession. I am also a writer and an artist. For some of these roles, I’ve done years of extensive schooling. For others, I have either taken other classes or worked with the help of mentors and informal education.

I keep an eye on what’s being talked about looked and taught online. I do this, first, because I need to learn and continue learning. Knowledge continuously changes and grows. I like to keep up with my contemporaries.  I truly believe that online learning, done right, is the best training you can possibly get.   Online learning can fit both into your time and your economic constraints (of these two items, time is the most valuable.)

I look at many offers for classes online, each selling the idea that they have the secret and that if you follow their way of doing things hundreds of thousands of dollars could easily be yours every year.  I have seen some ads which talk about a quick $5000, and others that suggest up to a seven-figure annual earnings.

The interesting part is as you look at their offerings and go to their webinars they start to merge together. Various deliveries give you the same information and lead you to the same actions and conclusions.

This puzzled me at first, then, as I looked at and contemplated this I began to understand. I came up with a plan which was suggested from one of my mentors.

 It works like this; the happiest, richest, and most content people are often those who pick a road early on and stay on it as they walked through life. This is true in religion, it is true in marriage, and it is very true in education. The reason for this is that the alternative to taking all roads at once turns out to be physically impossible and economically impossible. You just can’t do it, and it’s not very productive. Anyone jumping between roads headed towards their destination will find that the changes and costs will keep pulling them back towards the beginning, away from their goals.

If you have a religion that meets your needs, brings you closer to your God, to your beliefs and makes you a better person, follow it. If you have a marriage and children and it looks like a lot of work, that’s okay. Work it. Although things look better elsewhere, the look is just the wrapping on a package of things you don’t even know about yet. If you commit, stick with it. There are hundreds upon hundreds of educators online willing to show you the path to riches and greatness. If you have three or four that you believe in, follow them and stay with them. Jumping between various mentors and trainers can become costly, confusing, and more than taking your money it can steal your time. You can always get money, yet each of us only has so much time and no matter how we use it when it is used it is gone forever.

Yesterday I talked about outliers and the difference between being an outlier and following the crowd. If you wish to be an outlier, don’t be the crowd and don’t be a duplicate.

Be the Outlier…

                                  …Be Original.

 

 

OUTLIERS

Despite common belief, outliers are not farmers who were out sleeping in their field. If you are a farmer out lying in your field, you are the exception. Outliers are facts, ideas, people, actions, stocks, figures, and data that are outside the norm.

Most everybody likes to be part of the group. They believe there is safety in numbers, that we all hang together or we all hang separately, and that those who do not follow the norms are weird or eccentric or just need to be avoided.

The truth is a little bit different. If you stand with the group, you are not distinguished from everyone else in that group. When massive layoffs come, the company doesn’t need the group. The company needs a core set of people who perform. It’s hard to distinguish that if you’re hiding in the group.

There is much talk today of many job types going to automation.  Everything from journalists to drivers to construction.  If the job you love is in one of these areas, you want to be the outlier that people cannot do without.

Here is what outliers look like on the chart.

Here is a chart of 100 people ranked as to their reputation at work they do.  The mean rating is 55.5.  The average rating is 54.28.  There are actually 22 people from 39 to 45. On the chart between 45 and 54, there are 30 people.  There are 34 people from 55.5 to 63 and 12 people from 64 to 69.

Seeing outliers

 

Then there are 2 outliers.  The lower one has a 3, and the upper one has a 99.  If I read this and can keep only an employee or 2, who do you think I’m going to keep? Hire the worker with the 99 rating.

If I am a new company or company whose hiring someone, you think I would hire rating number 57 who is hiding in the middle of the pack, or rating number 99 who is setting the pace?  Who would work for you?

If you don’t think that this is going on today or that it is just a fad, go online and do some research. Look at the TEDx talks, also look at the videos on how Amazon is running at Seattle warehouse.

Uber is testing its driver-less cars now in Pittsburgh, and driver-less trucks are doing well in the West. The trucks could be the norm in some states by the end of the year.

Are you not affected? The driver-less truck never needs to stop for coffee, and a driver-less taxi rarely pulls through a fast food drive-through to pick up a meal.  Who else gets touched by this?  There are positives and negatives in everything.

I do not tell you these things to worry you. I look at these things because it is important for you to prepare for what comes next. Even if the only thing you know right now is there will be change, and you should be ready for a change.  Change is overall a good thing.