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Saturday, May 28th, 2011

The 3 Ways To Self-Publish Or Sell A Book On Amazon

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I self-published a book for family and friends and have been wondering how to get it on Amazon – for wider distribution and so that folks can give feedback through Amazon’s reviews.

I Self-Published This Book And Am Considering Selling It On Amazon

So I asked San Francisco freelance writer Angela Privin (Wall Street Journal, Yoga Business Times) to research self-publishing/selling on Amazon and write an article on it. Here’s her summary:

Amazon has three programs for self-publishers to choose from:

  1. Create Space
  2. Kindle Direct Publishing and
  3. Advantage.

1) “Create Space:” Create Your Print- Or E-Book On Amazon

Amazon’s first option is Create Space. This online subsidiary company and self-publishing arm of Amazon.com allows the user to create and format a book for either print or digital distribution on demand.

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Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Wow, Here’s An Excellent Thank-You Letter 16 Of Us Just Received

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A crafty college student named Brian Kerr networked his way into a phone meeting with me back in March — I was impressed by his chutzpah (I welcome cold-calls from ambitious folks!).

However, what really impressed me was the “thank you” letter he just emailed sixteen of us — that’s right, he talked to 16 people in his job searched and thanked us all.

This thoughtful thank you letter (full text below) made my day!

I’m blown away by the tenacity and professionalism of this young man: He even included details about why each of us were valuable to him in his job search.

I’ve included the email below (with his permission)…we have a lot to learn from this man.

His email is more thoughtful than ones I receive from most “professionals” with decades of experience!

From: Brian Kerr

Subject: Thanks to you, I got a job!

This email is a thank you to everyone who played a part in helping me in my career search.  I graduated from SFSU 5/21 with a major in Business Administration: Marketing.

5/22, I was hired by Firetide as WLAN Business Development. (How perfect, I know) Firetide is a Wireless technology startup that is located in Los Gatos, CA.

They specialize in Wireless Mesh infrastructures.  As part of WLAN Business Development, I will be working with two other individuals to ramp up and scale Firetide’s WLAN division.

Ultimately, the people at firetide truly won me over… (the CEO is hilarious, the Sr. Product Manager always has me smiling, and my team is made of Swedish tennis players….what more could I ask for?)

Mentions:

Kostas, Navid, James: Thanks for all the help on my resume, with your feedback, you helped me build one hell of a resume.  (The final version is attached to this email)

Rob, Gady, Greg, and Dana: It was from speaking with you that helped me get a clear understanding of what I truly wanted from my first professional job.  I learned that I wanted to be a social connector, someone who can do sales, marketing, pr, and management.

I realized that I needed a small entrepreneurial environment where I can wear many hats and take on lots of responsibility, so I can feed my desire for variety while still allowing me to take ownership/responsibility.

Ultimately, the most important thing was that I realized I wanted a place where I could make connections and build lasting professional relationships, internally and externally.

Jon, Kerry, Skip: Thanks for such a great time at TKG, you guys showed me that no matter what, I have to love the people I am working with.

Nancy: I can’t thank you enough for creating the environment at SFSU where I could learn inside the classroom, but also really truly learn by connecting with the faculty, orgs, and administration so that I could learn whatever fueled my interests.

Don, Anne, Foo, Mike, Jan: Your classes were by far my favorite.  It was because of you that school was a pleasure.  Please continue being amazing teachers, students need more teachers like you.

Everyone:

Thank you for helping me reach the next step in my career, one day I will be sure to return the favor.

-Brian Kerr

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011

The 10 Steps To Hiring An “A-Player”

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I was thrilled when I saw that Geoff Smart and Randy Street of ghSMART came out with the book Who: The A Method For Hiring on how to improve hiring. If you are involved in any hiring, I suggest you acquire this book right now!

You may recall that I had an incredible experience studying under Topgrading guru Brad Smart (Geoff’s father) in Chicago a few years ago with Eben Pagan and some of the Hot Topic Media gang — that meeting inspired this post: A Mis-Hire Costs You 13X That Person’s Salary: Why You Must Topgrade.

It’s good to see that the Smart family has the additional hiring horsepower

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Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

10 Inspiring Quotes About Life

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Here are some of my favorite inspiring quotes about life:

“Everything you can imagine is real.” — Pablo Picasso

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” — Joseph Campbell

Picasso's Dora Maar au Chat, 1941

“I will never say anything that couldn’t stand as the last thing I ever say.” — Benjamin Zander

“One person with belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests.” — John Stuart Mill

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” — John Ruskin

“Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.” — Cadet Maxim

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — Edgar Allen Poe

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” — Arthur C. Clarke

Buddha said: "We are what we think. All that we are arises. With our thoughts. With our thoughts, We make our world."

“Time is limited, so I better wake up every morning fresh and know that I have just one chance to live this particular day right, and to string my days together into a life of action, and purpose.” – Lance Armstrong

And, finally, this inspiring quote about life from Mother Teresa

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it.

Life is life, fight for it.”

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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The 10 Types Of “Tardies” Who Are Chronically Late

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I was “running late” for a meeting yesterday (sorry, Jonathan!) — that bummed me out — and while I was sitting in traffic I pondered lateness and committed to banging out this article when I got back to my desk.

Chronic tardiness is rampant:

  • Up to 20% of the population is consistently late.
  • CEOs are late 8 out of 10 meetings according to  a 2006 survey by ProudfootConsulting.

I found a neat book called  ”never be late again” by Diana DeLonzor who writes about who are almost always late.

Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged

Diana lists seven types of people who are almost always late.

I also found three more types of tardy people in a novel about counter-terrorism of all places.

So here they are:

The 10 Types Of Tardies

1) The Rationalizer

This tardie has a hard time acknowledging responsibility for lateness and tends to blame outside circumstances.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2011

The Top 100 Mental Models Needed To Succeed In Business

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Charlie Munger refers to a “latticework of about 100 mental models” that he and Warren Buffett credit for their successful investing. Munger points out that if you don’t master the “multidisciplinary” approach of such “mental constructs”, you will remain in the “middle ranks” or “shallows” in life.

I’m fascinated by these models, and their application to business (not just investing) and life, and decided to keep a list of ones I run across (some are related to Munger and others I’ve learned about elsewhere (but believe Munger might appreciate)).

Warren Buffett's Right-Hand Man Charlie Munger

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Thursday, May 5th, 2011

A Fun Way To Start Any Meeting: The “Awesomeness Report”

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I’ve written a couple of articles on how to run a meeting (see the effective Daily Huddle approach that the Ritz Carlton and others use or an easy 3-step framework in my G.A.P. Approach To Running Meetings article).

Over the last year I’ve added a fun way to start a meeting: “The Awesomeness Report.”

My friend's son Clarke and his friend really got a kick out of watching silly adults (some were naked) in the Bay To Breakers Race.

It’s real simple, I just ask the person I’m meeting with:

“What’s something really awesome that’s happened with you lately…in any part of your life.”

I’ve found this to be a super-effective way to start a meeting because it virtually guarantees that you start off on a positive note  (and “positive things happen to positive thinkers” as a wise man once said).

Some Awesome Things People Have Shared With Me In Recent Meetings

“When I sneezed last week, my 22-month-old son said his version of ‘bless you.’”

“My 18-year old son was chosen by his soccer teammates as one of the two most inspirational players on the team…and a good friend of mine’s son was the other one chosen.”

“My son just starred in the school play…and he killed it!”

“I just got back from Bogota, Columbia — a University there invited me to do 12 speeches (3 or 4 per day) and I got to travel around with a bodyguard and a translator!”

“I taught my two twin grand-daughters how to ride a bicycle…it was even more fun than teaching my son!”

“I’m going to a personal trainer the last 5 weeks…and I’ve lost 15 pounds.”

“We were named Dell’s agency of record.”

“I just helped my Mom move out of our family home that she resided in for the last 37 years… a very cathartic experience…Mom is estatic!”

“I just jumped out of an airplane with my godson to celebrate his high school graduation last Saturday.”

“My wife just got her law degree…and so we’re both finally done with school!”

“My daughter just got back from spending her Junior year abroad in Rome!”

“We (Crowdstar) just announced $23 million in funding!”

“I had my 20 year wedding anniversary and got remarried again (to the same husband) in a church wedding this time!”

“I went to Mexico for 5 days with a gorgeous Mexican woman…her parents

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Sunday, May 1st, 2011

7 Signs That Your Boss Is A “Charisma-Based Narcissistic Leader”

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Few things irk me more than hearing from friends who have to work with “narcissistic leaders.”

Why would my friends work with someone who’s “narcissistic?” Because they are charismatic — they are able to mobilize resources (i.e. you and others!) through their charisma.

I call such leaders  ”Charisma-Based Narcissistic Leaders.”

Gordon Gekko is an excellent example of a "Charisma-Based Narcissistic Leader"

The scary part is that these charismatic leaders usually meet 2 of the 3 requirements that Warren Buffett demands in a good business person (high intelligence and high energy) — it’s the third one (high integrity) they have a problem with (see Warren Buffett’s 3 Simple Steps On Who To Hire for more on that).

Ok, so on with it — here are 7 signs that you work with one of these jackasses:

7 Signs Of A Charisma-Based Narcissistic Leader

1) They’re Big On Titles (Especially They’re Own)

Narcissistic leaders typically love big titles…and even more than one!

For example, you might find them using:

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