Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Historical Perspective on Semiconductors and Moore's Law

Title: A Historical Perspective on Semiconductors and Moore’s Law
Date: 2009-10-21
Speaker: Craig Barrett ((Formerly) Intel)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
 
Moore’s Law was from 1965 is is still going after more than forty years.
As you scale transistors down everything good happens.
There is no replacement for sophisticated problem solving methodology in life.
The most common background for Fortune 500 CEOs is engineering.
Change the rules. Don’t let the rules change you.
No matter how big your company is you don’t own all of the smart engineers in the world.
There is no underestimating the value of a single smart idea.
Start growing the thickness of your skin right now.
You’re never as good as the press says you are. You’re never as bad as the press says you are.
You can never save your way out of a recession. You can only invest your way out of a recession.
What makes companies and countries competitive are smart people, smart ideas, and the right environment to put together smart people and smart ideas.
If you’re running a company you don’t do things without measuring things.

Cash vs. Investing for the Lifestyle Business Entrepreneur

I’ve heard a lot of talk in the lifestyle business blog and podcast circles about how it is better to have your money available to you in cash rather than tied up in investments. They often refer to Mark Cuban (entrepreneur, blogger, owner of the Dallas Mavericks) saying that he keeps all of his money in cash so that he is positioned to make a play when an opportunity comes his way. But we all aren’t Mark Cuban who will be able to comfortably care for himself in retirement without a single one of his dollars returning even a penny from investments.
Those of us that don’t own professional sports franchises will be losing money to inflation for every dollar we keep uninvested while we wait for that big opportunity.
To be an entrepreneur you have to be optimistic and have the expectation that you will succeed. Any other mindset will be self-defeating. But I’ve heard it said that building a business is about minimizing risk. Having a personal financial plan is a necessary part of that. And you might already be taking advantage of certain tax breaks (mortgage interest, foreign earned income exclusion, etc.) so why not take it to the max? Every dollar you save in taxes is a dollar that can be better utilized elsewhere.
If you’re still working a day job while burning the midnight oil on your dream business then the 401(k) is generally a good idea to look at. If you’re getting a match on your contributions then you’re getting an automatic return on your money. If that match is 50% of the first 6% then every dollar you’re putting in is effectively giving you a 50% return (up to 6% of your salary). Nowhere else in the world do you get a guaranteed return like that. You can even just put it in the Money Market or Stable Value fund on your 401(k) lineup and still reap the benefits with very, very low risk. And those 401(k) contributions are pretax so when you contribute to your 401(k) you’re lowering the amount of money you’re paying to the IRS.
Another blessing of the tax gods is the Roth IRA. There you invest your money (after you’ve paid taxes on it out of your paycheck or profits from your business) into an account now but pay no taxes when you take it out at retirement. This is a popular option for people that believe taxes are going to be higher when they retire than they are now. The investment options are also much broader than you will get in a 401(k) plan.
Look out for mutual funds with too high of fees in both your 401(k) and IRA. And remember that if the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, or an emergency, comes along you can get your money out of those accounts in just a few days as long as you pay a 10% early-withdrawal penalty.
So, the case against keeping all of your money in cash, is that you don’t want something to go wrong and end up trying to make ends meet with just Social Security income later on in life. And, yes, you might spot a lot of business opportunities around the retirement home but you might not have the energy to act on them even if you have the cash.
The other end of the spectrum is that if all of your assets are tied up in your business then you have a lot of exposure to the market and to lawsuits. Make sure you keep enough money for your operating expenses, and any capital investments you have planned, in your business accounts but take out the profits (you’re taxed on them anyway if you’re set up as a pass-through LLC).
Getting out of debt is another step in reducing the risk of starting a business. Dave Ramsey is a good place to turn for some no-nonsense advice on how to do that. Our views might differ a bit but I don’t know if I’ve heard anybody else state so plainly the case for getting out of debt as well as helping provide the motivation to actually do so. One hour of his daily radio show is available as a podcast in iTunes.
Obviously an accountant or certified financial planner will be able to help you create a plan that is tailored to your needs but I wanted to point out that “Cash is King” should be should be carefully considered rather than taken as gospel.
Your grandma probably told you once that a penny saved is a penny earned. That gives you runway for your business and the cash to seize opportunities. But don’t think just about your business. Make sure that you take care of yourself as well.

21 Small Things You Can Do for Your Audience That Can Lead to BIG TIME Results

SPI 033 : 21 Small Things You Can Do for Your Audience That Can Lead to BIG TIME Results
Date: 2012-02-23
Link: Smart Passive Income
 
Pleasing and providing good content should be your number one priority.
Every single person that comes to your site should be treated well.
If you take care of your people your people will take care of you.
Reply (to emails, tweets, blog comments, Facebook comments).
Say thanks.
Use names.
People’s attention goes to where their name is being called.
Share.
Be a ninja. (Use Google Alerts to find out where your brand is mentioned.)
Make navigation around your site easy.
Decrease your page load time.
Get rid of anything annoying on your site.
Surprise your audience.
High quality productions matter (for audio and video).
Skip the sales pitches.
People don’t like to be sold to.
The best sales pitch ever is no sales pitch at all.
Invite participation.
Be honest.
Be passionate.
Be a ninja with Rapportive.
People connect with people not websites or content.
Provide unique content.
Read your content before you post it.
Remember who you are and who you’re serving.
Always over deliver.

Pat’s Top 30 Tips for Successful Affiliate Marketing

SPI 030 : Pat’s Top 30 Tips for Successful Affiliate Marketing
Date: 2011-12-28
Link: Smart Passive Income
 
Build trust first.
Trust is earned through giving. Give as much away as possible.
Get on other people’s radar and let them do the marketing for you.
Know the product (that you’re trying to sell as an affiliate).
Commission shouldn’t drive the decision to promote a product.
The best way to get to know a product is to use it.
Get your audience to know as much as possible about the product you’re promoting as an affiliate.
The more you show the more comfortable people will be to make a purchase.
Become a source of information for that product.
The end of a post is a good time to share links and resources.
Make your images link.
Get in contact with the owner of the product you’re selling as an affiliate.
Do an interview with them.
Get a special deal just for your audience (from the owner).
Create an epic post (about the product).
Create FAQ, troubleshooting resources, etc.
Create multiple YouTube videos about the product.
YouTube is the number two search engine in the world.
Include your affiliate link in the video description.
Give people a call to action (in the last video).
Start with an unboxing video (if it is a physical product).
Hold a webinar. Record your webinar. Publish a webinar replay.
Give away a bonus in addition to the product.
Don’t directly link to your affiliate links on social media.
Keep track of your click through.
Get a discounted price (for a limited time one) for your audience.
There is nothing more powerful than somebody else’s recommendation.
Don’t directly promote anything on your email list.
Disclose that your links are affiliate links.
People appreciate honesty.
Thank people afterward for going through an affiliate link (if tracking allows).
Review and compare different products of the same type.
People like to shop around. Have that happen on your site.
Focus on how it will help your audience (not the features but the benefits).
Believe in your recommendation.
If it doesn’t work out try another offer.
Work with the owner to make their site is as good as possible.
Be patient.
In most cases you’re not going to make money overnight.
Take action. Nothing is going to happen on its own.

Mind Hacks, Physical Hacks and Work Hacks For Better Productivity And Getting Things Done

SPI 012 : Mind Hacks, Physical Hacks and Work Hacks For Better Productivity And Getting Things Done
Date: 2013-12-22
Link: Smart Passive Income
 
There is a huge difference between working on something and working towards something.
Do something that matters.
Know what your goals are.
Goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely).
Specific goals lead to specific actions.
Put a date to your goals.
Go big.
Set goals that align with what you want to do.
Motivation helps us get through the tough parts.
Mastermind groups are fantastic for support.
Reward yourself.
Break big goals into smaller goals.
Eat a better breakfast.
Get more sleep.
Take a power nap during the day.
Take short walks throughout the day.
Drink a lot of water.
Stay away from too much sugar.
Get regular checkups with the doctor.
Smile. Take a breath. Enjoy what you’re doing.
Create folders for each project.
If you’re creating iPhone apps make sure you get 24 hours in the new app list by setting the date to the next day.
Create procedure lists.
Mind map your ideas.
Use Evernote.
Turn off all distractions.
Don’t jump from project to project.
Have a clean desktop.
postling.com
Netvibes
In order to find success don’t worry too much about other people.

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Improve Your Online Business, Blog or Website

SPI 011 : 5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Improve Your Online Business, Blog or Website
Date: 2012-12-01
Link: Smart Passive Income
 
Treat your blog or website like you would treat your own house.
If the first impression is bad it is really difficult to change how people feel.
Do not hide your identity.
No popups.
Make it easy for people to navigate your site.
Don’t have too many advertisements.
Give people a reason to come back.
Put your own personality into your website.
It is people that drive your business and success, not the machines (search bots/algorithms).
Attention is what you need in the online world.
Attention turns into trust. Trust turns into permission. Permission turns into exchange.
Your story has to be real. It has to be true.
If you don’t have a story do a case study.
Create a sense of community on your site.
With your content you need to walk the walk.
Give people an easy way to consume your content.
Email is a great way to get in touch with people.
Give people the option to subscribe to your content at the end of your post. (RSS button, email RSS subscription, signup forms)
Make your content shareable.

Crushing It With Amazon Affiliate Sales With Chris Guthrie of MakeMoneyOnTheInternet.com

SPI 010 : Crushing It With Amazon Affiliate Sales With Chris Guthrie of MakeMoneyOnTheInternet.com
Date: 2010-11-15
Link: Smart Passive Income
 
Amazon has low commission rates.
People trust the Amazon link.
Amazon Associate program.
ClickBank.
Try to find exact match domain names for the keywords you’re targeting.
Don’t create a business that has a trademark in the domain name.
An authority site has more potential for traffic and income.
Mini-sites are just a couple of pages.
Link to a product in the article five times or more.
Using the Amazon widgets and store pages doesn’t work very well.
People trust links and content more than they do a banner ad.
Failure helps us learn.

A Day in the Life of a Virtual CEO (My Daily Work / Life Balance ‘Routine’)

NBP024 – A Day in the Life of a Virtual CEO (My Daily Work / Life Balance ‘Routine’)
Date: 2013-09-23
Link: New Business Podcast
 
Have a document that contains responses to all of the usual questions you get via email.
Stand up for meetings (to make them shorter).
Don’t change your schedule (a lot) if you’re working at home.
If you want true location independence it means that ultimately you need to work from a laptop and on the Internet.
It isn’t going to fall in your lap. You’ve got to chase it down.

Why the Rules of Small Business Marketing Keep Changing, with David Meerman Scott

NBP023 – Why the Rules of Small Business Marketing Keep Changing, with David Meerman Scott
Date: 2013-09-12
Link: New Business Podcast
 
You can’t hold people’s interest if you’re not entertaining them.
Marketing is turning into publishing today.
There are more people on the planet that have access to mobile phones than have access to working toilets.
There is a huge group of people who the only way they connect to the Internet is mobile.
All organizations need to have a mobile friendly website.
Gamify social media.

Personal Branding: What Do People Saying About You, When You’re Not Around?

NBP022 – Personal Branding: What Do People Saying About You, When You’re Not Around?
Date: 2013-09-05
Link: New Business Podcast
 
Cebu, Philippines is known as the Queen City of the South.
A personal brand is about being yourself.
Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around.
Don’t post fluff on your blog.
Write epic shit.
Be real. Be you. Be you all the time.
Be careful what you say on social media.
Reply to questions (on social media) in a timely fashion.
Pick one or two (social media platforms) and go with them.
Quality is important.
People to people.
You can’t, and won’t, please all of the people all of the time.