Archive for the ‘job’ Category

The Most Important Word in Business

I once posted an article on a personal development forum entitled ‘The most Important Word in Business’.

I’ll be honest, it’s a long time ago now and I’ve actually forgotten the exact word I proposed. Not too impressive you might think? What I do remember though was the best business word someone else suggested but I’ll come to that in a little while.

“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.” Walt Disney

My ‘word’ at that time may have been VALUE and I still see it as a very important business word. Afterall if you can add value to people’s lives they will reward you for it.

If you’re being hard-nosed about it you could say PROFIT is the most important word in business. In fairness most successful businesses make a healthy profit and this enables them to continue to grow and become more successful.

TRAINING is another important business word. As well as making a living and paying the bills a job can improve us as individuals. Training is vital for any organisation’s desire for continual improvement.

“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” – Napoleon Hill

Closely linked to training is the word PEOPLE. It’s worth a fair proportion of our income to work for and with decent people. Companies that care of their employees will always out perform companies that don’t in the long run.

There are may other important business words inluding: SUCCESS, CONFIDENCE, CUSTOMER, INVESTMENT, RESPECT, PROACTIVE etc.

However, I believe the most important word in any business is TRUST. Trust is the oil of all business. People buy from people they trust and everyone likes doing business with people they trust.

Is there a moral to this story. I don’t know, like I said I originally posted this article a long time ago. I know this much though if people trust you and your products, you’ll never go hungry.

“Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.” – Henry Ward Beecher


The Importance of Education

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” – H. G. Wells (1866 – 1946)

I first came across the above quotation about ten years ago when I read a book on prophets, the quote has stuck with me over the years but I must admit I had always thought it was Jules verne that said it. (Doh!)

Science fiction writers are by their very nature good predictors of the future and H. G. Wells’ words have always resonated with me. Potentially, the next twenty years or so are going to be the most critical years we will ever face.

So much is happening so fast these days that it is vital that we have the werewithall to keep up with it. Therefor the role of education is taking on a greater and greater significance.

A hundred years ago it was only the priviliged few who were fortunate enough to receive an education and reading and writing were considered great skills. Fortunately, we’ve reached a point in our evolution where illiteracy has for the most part been eradicated.

“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus (55 – 135 AD)

There are five ways that we absorb information, in order of popularity they are; Verbal, Visual, Tactile, Kinesthetic (info manipulation) and Aural.

Personally, I think people learn better if they enjoy what they are doing. Ocassionally, people contact me and ask me things like “why are you always fooling around?” or “Why don’t you take personal development seriously?”

I always give the same answer: I DO take PD seriously, I get up at 4:30 am every morning to write my website’s daily update, now that’s taking things seriously! As for the fooling around part, well old habits die hard…

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”  – Alfred Mercier (1816 – 1894)

As parents we cannot force our children to study, we can only advise them that it’s in their best interests to do so. As a child I received zero pressure, only encouragement from my parents and their approach paid off.

Psychology is one of my passions and I’ve always appraoched the subject of success with the same attitude: ‘Try your best and then forget it’.

Why waste time worrying about things we can’t influence?

Education and schooling prepares children for life, it teaches them the improtance of discipline and routine. It’s only the fortunate few who are naturally gifted, most of us have to work damned hard for a living, so the sooner we learn the work ethic the better.

If you want to teach your children about life, get them a pet. Learning to care about something other than ourselves is a vital life skill.

I think the most important part of education is ‘vocabulary’. The ability to communicate effectively with people is one of if not THE most important life skills. Being able to express oneself is so important.

I believe a large percentage of violence stems from the inability to communicate ones true feelings effectively and the subsequent frustration that that brings. Wars have been fought in the past simply because of prejudice and a lack of tolerence and understanding of others.

The world is undoubtedly becoming a ‘smaller’ place and our understanding of each others cultures and traditions is improving. I just hope that we don’t become to reliant upon technology because I’m a firm believer in the concept of moderation in all things.

“The great thing, then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.” – William James (1842 – 1910)


We buy things for many reasons, we buy lots of things we need and lots of things we don’t need. If you have serious designs on making money it is vital that you understand why people buy.

# Necessity:

We can’t live without things such as food, water, shelter etc, so we have to aquire them. However there is a subtle difference between actual necessities and perceived necessities.

Human beings can be extremely impulsive and exposure to products and services can make us think that we cannot live without them. Furthermore we are very susceptible to the power of peer pressure. ‘The kid next door has got a new bike so our kids have to have one.’

We actually feel guilty or bad if we don’t buy our kids everything their conmtemporaries have. Thus, we as a society leave ourselves wide open to exploitation by the advertising industry.

“An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.” –  Pliny the Younger (62 AD – 114 AD)

# Emotions:

Our emotions play a great part in our shopping habits, lots of people comfort-shop, they buy things to give themselves a boost. Our mood is easily manipulated and our senses our susceptible to music, visual displays, enticing smells etc.

We buy for fun, we buy things that give us pleasure, we buy things that make us feel good, we buy to escape reality.

Mementos are also big sellers, there is nothing we like more than something that reminds us of a cherished memory – The power of nostalgia is immense.

We are all capable of greed, we all love a bargain, we all buy bulk items that we will never use.

# Real benefits:

We are fortunate to live at a time of great technological advancement, the labour-saving devices that have become available to us over the last 50 years have been astonishing.

Most of us like to improve ourselves, we will buy something if it will educate us or our children. Education is now available to a large proportion of us whereas less than a hundred years ago it was only available to a priviliged few. Furthermore the internet has made it possible for us to access information like never before.

We also buy things that we hope will make us money, we invest in all manner of things from jewellry to stocks and shares.

“To have little is to possess. To have plenty is to be perplexed.
Lao-tzu.” (604 BC – 531 BC)

# Image:

Everyone loves to look and feel good. image and prestige are both key buying motivators, if something makes us look good in the eyes of other people then we will buy it.

# Health: If we don’t have our health then we have nothing. People will pay to become healthier. Too often though we think we can get a ‘bargain’ a ‘quick fix’. Prevention is always better than the cure, moderation in all things

# Influences:

I started my career in retailing so I know a bit about sales psychology. I think the most important thing you can convey to someone in order to get them ito buy from you is TRUST.

We all like to buy from people we trust, someone that is going to make sure we get value for money, someone who is going to guide us through the minefields of their particular product or service. Trust is a key ingredient of repeat business.

Top advertisers and retailers are extremely adept at influencing our decision making when it comes to buying things, they create the right ambience for their products and services. They appeal to our ego’s, they make us think buying their goods will improve us in all manner of ways.

Personally, apart from life-saving products I think freedom and space are the most important commodities. If we can acheive these things then we owe it to ourselves to find the time to enjoy them.

“Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.” F. Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680)


How to Get Promoted

When pitching to a group of people it is crucial that we ascertain as early as possible who the decision maker(s) is. A good way of doing this is to ask the group a key question and look who they all turn to for the answer.

It’s very similar when we are looking to advance our careers. Find out who the key people are in your organisation and start getting to know how they tick. Find out as much as possible about them and what you have in common with them. Nurture this common ground.

‘My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.’
Oscar Wilde.’ – (1854 – 1900)

# Empathy:

Don’t kid yourself that your boss will promote you just because they think you are a wonderful person or even because you’re good at your job.

They’ll promote you because they think you can help them realise their OWN ambitions, they want someone who will act as an extension of themselves. Thus, if you want to get promoted you must learn to live and think like your boss.

# Responsibility:

Ask for more responsibility, be honest, don’t bite off more than you can chew, but do everything well. Produce quality work that has impact, not mass output that anyone can do. Keep asking for more and more responsibility and if you keep doing a good job then eventually you will become indespensible.

*If your boss refuses to give you additional responsibilities ask why and what you have to do in order to be considered for more important tasks.

# Image:

Act as if you’ve already been promoted, not in a conceited way but simply assume the position you are aiming for. Dress smarter, walk faster, this conveys importance, stand up straight. Convince yourself and those around you that you are capable of greater things.

‘I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.’ – John Cleese (1939 – )

# Knowledge:

Be in the know, not just about your own business but about business in general, I read the financial pages on teletext every day, it takes less than 5 minutes.

# Confidence:

Don’t be afraid to be a bit cheeky but know where to draw the line. Ask for a better car/package/salary. If they turn you down on one thing ask for another. It’s hard for people to keep saying no.

# Determination:

Don’t give up, you’ll keep improving and learning, eventually you’ll get to where you want to be and if you don’t then at least you can rest easy in the knowledge that you gave it everything you had.

# Patience:

All good things take time, rather than hopping from one career to the next, find out what you’re good at and keep doing it.

‘In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.’ – Warren Buffett (1930 – )