Monthly Archives: March 2016

How I cut five hours a month off my routine

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I have a routine for how I do my work. Everything I do is regimented to a point. I have a routine and system for everything. However, those routines evolve over time. I get rid of some, refine others, and create new ones as well. Part of my system for running several directories is to give a welcome call to new members. I used to spend a long time on these calls. However, I realized that those who couldn’t give straight answers to questions didn’t do well on our outsourcing directory in the long run and did poorly on test questions indicating poor competency. So, I learned a shortcut. If people I called did poorly on basic questions, I learned from experienced (and tracking numbers) that they would do poorly in the long run. So, I ended the call with these people early. That way, I could spend more time with those who showed promise and future potential. The key here is not to spend less time but to invest your time in people who are worthy and end correspondence with those who aren’t.

If you want to rise to the next level in business, the most valuable skill you can learn is how to allocate your valuable time. If you can get the same result in 50 hours that another can get in 160 hours, you can use your remaining time to grow your business!

17 Entrepreneur Success Quotes

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Here are some success quotes for entrepreneurs that did very well on our Twitter platform!

(1) “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” — Mario Andretti

(2) “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” — Buddha

(3) “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” — Michael Jordan

(4) “Finding good partners is the key to success in anything: in business, in marriage and, especially, in investing.” –Robert Kiyosaki

(5) “I’m an #entrepreneur. ‘Ambitious’ is my middle name.” — Kim Kardashian

(6) “All lasting #business is built on #friendship.” — Alfred Montapert

(7) “What I’ve learned in these 11 years is you just got to stay focused & believe in yourself & trust your own ability & judgment.” — Mark Cuban

(8) “I’ve always found that the speed of the boss is the speed of the #team.” — Lee Iacocca

(9) “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” — Steve Jobs

(10) “Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company.” — Mark Twain

(11) “Entrepreneurial profit is the expression of the #value of what the #entrepreneur contributes to production.” — Joseph A. Schumpeter

(12) “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream” — Robert Kiyosaki

(13) “The best way to predict the future is to study the past, or prognosticate.” — Robert Kiyosaki

(14) “The thing most people don’t pick up when they become an #entrepreneur is that it never ends. It’s 24/7.” — Robert Kiyosaki

(15) “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” — Henry Ford

(16) “In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.” — J. Paul Getty

(17) “A #goal is a #dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill


Do or Die! Don’t get distracted in business…

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Sounds more like a movie title than a blog article about business. People who do business are busy and distracted. It is generally hard for bosses to find assistant managers who really make sure things get done in the long run. Business is hard and always a constant struggle. So, it is important to have the right attitude. The James Bond attitude! Do or Die!

If you picture your business career more as an action movie where most people end up dead, you might do better. You need the right level of enthusiasm and spirit to get through all of the endless problems that face businesses.

Imagine a day where you schedule too much on purpose just to make it like an action movie. You jump to your lunch meeting only to jump in a cab headed to the airport to meet a client and then interview some help back at the office. Yes, the day might not go as planned, but you would feel a lot more like James Bond than if you had tried to be “reasonable.” Doing business is just not the same when you don’t have your mojo. So, you need to have all types of ways of building that mojo within you. I hope that reading my bizarre articles is one of those ways!

Innovation hubs in cities — do they negatively disrupt the status quo?

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There has been a trend in cities that old industrial parts of town get converted into hip, modern hubs for artistic folks and innovation. Sometimes this transition from decay to vibrancy experiences some growing pains. There are some who claim that these new innovation hubs are creating a negative disruption in established cities. Personally, I see this trend as a part of nature.

All organizations go through cycles
There is a birth cycle, growth, maturity, decay and death cycle — generally in that order. Countries, humans, companies, and other organizations go through these cycles. It is unclear how long a country might spend in each part of the cycle, but to give you a hint, the Roman empire lasted 507 years from start to finish while a human being generally lasts about 70 years depending on where they live and how healthy their habits are. Neighborhoods have a more unpredictable cycle as they can go uphill or downhill in a decade or so.

America used to be a very industrial country in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. But, after we became more technically evolved, and cheap labor became widely available overseas, it became more cost effective to outsource manufacturing to Taiwan, China, Japan, Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Korea, and other countries. The result of this outsourcing was that many urban manufacturing areas in the United States experienced significant decay and neglect starting in the 1970’s onward. But, in the late 90’s, artists and technology afficionados started creating their own presence in urban hubs.

Many renovated industrial areas become ghost towns at 6pm sharp
It is common for industrial areas turned art and technology centers to become ghost towns at exactly 6pm. There are no places to live in many of these areas and few places to eat. You can’t have any real type of life in that type of environment, plus it might not be safe to hang out at night. If you are trying to attract younger workers to work in a renovated industrial area, you need it to have a more homey feeling.

Los Angeles is the exception to the rule.
Los Angeles’ downtown industrial area has evolved into a thriving place for artists. Some of the hippest restaurants including Japanese, bakeries, sausage specialists, cafe’s and more have locations in this hip art district. There is an abundance of places to live as manufacturing buildings have been turned into expensive and desirable lofts that have secured parking. The only downside to this area is that it is near skid row and a lot of homeless wander in although the locals consider the homeless to be harmless.

Should you create an innovation hub in your city?
I like the idea of having different districts for people of different mindsets. If you want to attract innovative thinkers, you need to create an environment where they will feel safe, attracted and at home. It might be better if city governments played a role in creating incentives for cool businesses to start up in these areas before the areas become fully established so as to quicken the pace. The long term reward comes when your innovation hub grows to the point where your city becomes internationally known as a destination for innovation. From that point on, anything is possible!

Spiritual & Inspiration Quotes to help your Business!

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Here are some spiritual and inspirational quotes that did well on our Twitter account.

(1) “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” — Woody Allen

(2) “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” — Mahatma Gandhi

(3) “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

(4) “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” — Buddha

(5) “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” — Sun Tzu

(6) “Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together.” — Jesse Jackson

(7) “The more a person seeks security, the more they give up control of their life.” — Robert Kiyosaki

(8) “Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people.” — Warren Buffet

(9) “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” — Dalai Lama

(10) “Corporations: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual #responsibility.” — Ambrose Bierce

(11) “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” — Warren Buffett

(12) “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” — Andrew Carnegie

(13) “Change comes from within.” — Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari

(14) “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” — Vince Lombardi


WW3 has begun. We have about 12 years left

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Nostradamus and Revolation in the New Testament seem to agree that a huge war and massive disturbances on planet earth will occur. It seems that WW3 has already begun although there is no actual technical beginning date. The first U.S. invasion of Iraq seems to be a huge milestone in the progress of the war. It is hard for me to see exactly how this horrible war will play itself out. Is it the Communists and terrorists against the West? Or is it Shiites vs. Sunnis with Russia and the United States getting involved in a violent Middle Eastern drama?

Or perhaps, it is about Syria which has eight factions fighting for control. The U.S. and Russia are supporting different factions with ISIS, Kurds, Hezbullah, and other groups involved in this insane conflict that is leaving most of the country homeless. The problem is that this conflict will most likely spread to other countries. It is easy to see how Syrians being present in Europe is creating a huge crisis. It is also easy to see how the entire Arab world can so easily be lured into regional wars against extremists. But, my guru says that conflict will spread to India and will be so severe that no life will be possible anywhere in India except the Deccan Plateau — what a statement!

On a brighter note, in 2028 a huge asteroid is supposed to come close to the earth. That could offset our planet’s equilibrium. Others are predicting a pole shift and other huge catastrophes. It seems clear to me that we have 12 years left to enjoy a normal life. I guess my guru’s advice of living each day as if it were your last is making more sense to me. It seems like we have very little time left.

If you focus on work, work will focus on you

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There are so many people who complain that they don’t get enough work. Most of the time, if you use those people, they will do a terrible job and not pay attention to the needs of the clients. When I interview underemployed people, their dedication to work and their ability to answer professional questions is often really dismal.

On the other hand, those that pay a lot of attention to their work tend to have too many clients. They often don’t even need to advertise their work. It is hard to find people who are very good at what they do. When people find them, they tend to be very loyal to these service providers.

Personally, I am overworked. I try to prioritize my work and find smarter scheduling mechanisms that allow me to focus on the most critical tasks. My methods for valuating the various types of work I do are not always the best. So, I keep evolving my methods for valuating my work.

On a more humorous note, when I make business calls to lazy people, they always complain. Why are you calling me on a Sunday? Why are you calling me at night? Shouldn’t you be out partying tonight? It is amazing how lazy people want to twist your arm into being as unproductive as they are? Honestly, I would love to take lots of time off and travel. But, work comes first with me since I value success.

The moral of this story is that if you put a high amount of focus on work, and make it your number one priority to master and refine, that work will much more easily come your way — especially once you have attained some level of mastery or expertise!

Compilation of posts about offices

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Some of our most popular posts have been about offices. So, here is a
compilation about office related posts.

Handling stress in a call center office

Working in an office vs. at home

How to find great offshore companies to do your back-office work

Judge a book by its cover; Judge a company by its office (2016 version)

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your office in the Himalayas?

Finding a lucky feng-shui spot for my office

Creating a corporate culture like Google’s and a customized office to match!

A 20 minute office visit reveals the character of a company!

Rates for office space around the world compared

Office in nature concept

3 ways for startups to save on office space


The relationships that I work for don’t work

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I’ve noticed that I have tried and tried in my social life. I tried to make friends with people who didn’t value me. I tried to meet girls who just didn’t like me. I tried and tried and tried. But, the relationships that I have that last were ones that I did not try for. Those relationships just came to me. Long ago a friend told me that I put too much effort in meeting new people. He said I should wait and see who comes to me. I sounded like a very deep suggestion. Unfortunately, not so many people are interested in me. And those that are are not usually my type. I decided to devote my life to work and spirituality as the frequency of people being interested in me is not great enough.

I just wonder if my friend was right. When I am working hard at meeting people I’m sending the universe a message that I want to meet people. Since I have stopped trying, the universe has not sent me too many people. Perhaps it is because I live in Los Angeles or because I’m in my 40’s. I can’t say.

In any case — don’t die trying at relationships. Perhaps a balanced amount of effort is the right amount.

Younger workers want a positive social atmosphere

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Most companies are owned by older folks or people who are focused on work. But, to attract the younger crowd these days, you need to focus on what they want. Millennials expect a lot from their job and from their boss to the point that it might seem like you are working for them and not the other way around. In addition to salary, they want a positive social atmosphere, fun, and they want to grow their skillsets and develop in a way that will enhance their future career. Many are willing to sacrifice salary if they feel that growth is a possibility.

The point here is that the boss of such a company has to think not only of the most efficient way of getting work done, but how to create jobs that will provide satisfaction and evolution to their younger (and demanding) counterparts.

India’s work culture
In India, the traditional cultural model for the workplace is to have some older guy who is an ogre who is very harsh and critical towards workers. The workers who like the boss tend to huddle around him as they feel insecure without the stability of a superior thinker and leader around. The millennials or younger generation in India (and America), but especially India in the tech sector hops from job to job faster than you can say aloo-gobhi-paratha. In real life, to have any meaningful work relationship that grows into something you need to stick to the job for at least four years, not four months. It takes a year just to develop trust in an employee enough to trust them to do any meaningful and critical tasks.

Designing a dream job
If it were me designing the perfect job, I would make the worker pay their dues for a year doing work that is not fun to prove themselves. People jump boat so fast, that why should you invest in their comfort when they are not even going to be there. But, having a guaranteed fun job after twelve months is enough to entice a serious employee to stay. They will see the others who stuck around having fun doing all types of tasks. Even if you cannot have someone do meaningful work forty hours a week, they could do 10-15 hours a week so they could feel they were growing. You could have them do innovation, manage others, and more tasks that might make them feel important.

Does fun just happen spontaneously, or do the proper conditions need to be met? For me, fun happens when I am doing fun things with fun people. Fun is also unexpected, and you never know when you will find a task to be interesting or get a good laugh. Sometimes you need to throw in some unexpected or unusual activities in your day to increase your chance of having fun. Many call centers have regular contests, outings, and activities to boost the fun quotient.

Hire fun workers even if they are not good workers
My recommendation for having a fun work environment is to hire a certain percentage of people who are fun, even if they are not as good workers as you might desire, they will boost the spirits of the others. In China, they hire pretty girls to play ping-pong and talk to their male workers just to make them feel better. The girls can’t do any type of “real work,” but they do raise morale. It might be more efficient to hire people with desirable social (or physical) traits who are also capable of doing something productive even if they are a little less productive than the others. Or, you could have all workers be somewhat fun — with some being more fun than the others. How many fun people to have is up to you, but my only definitive piece of advice is to avoid people who are dampers to people’s enthusiasm or those who are hostile to others with little or no provocation as they will ruin the mood of your company really fast.

Don’t ruin the “fun”
Another easier way to have fun lies deep in the mystery of the Chinese culture. In China, fun is a type of noodle typically made from rice or mung beans. Fun is often a wide type of noodle which I enjoy eating. If you don’t know what to have for lunch at your company, try a group lunch where you eat fun — after all, you are what you eat. Unless you pronounce it the way they do in “other” (non-Cantonese) dialects in which it might be called “fen” which would ruin the “fun.”

Do cities with better weather attract better tech workers?

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Some social scientists feel that cities with better weather that are more comfortable to live in attract better tech workers. This might be true.

Let’s take America for instance.
Silicon Valley is the largest technical hub in the United States. They have great weather, mild winters, a fun lifestyle, and a multi-cultural population with amazing restaurants. No wonder people are willing to move there from other parts of the country if they can afford the sky-high prices for real estate. Boulder, CO is an innovation hub with lots of innovators. They offer a great social environment, mild weather, and lots of fun nature activities like skiing, hiking, and more. Boston, MA also has a great tech hub (or spokes) on the outskirts of the metro near route 128. But, people move to Boston because of the schools or jobs, and not for the lifestyle or the horrible weather.

India seems to follow a similar pattern.
India’s Silicon Valley lies in the Eastern outskirts of metro Bangalore. The weather is much more mild than the rest of India although in the last 15 years with all the pollution, the temperature did go up about ten degrees on average. Pune’s weather is not bad either and they have a decent tech hub as well. Hyderabad is hot in the summer, but dry in general and livable if you can stand the traffic. But, if you notice, the cities in India with lousy weather like Calcutta and Delhi do not have as much tech activity. The exception to the rule is Chennai which is the fourth largest tech area in India. Chennai has a thriving tech scene not because it is a fun place to live (BTW it’s awful,) but because the locals have a culture that forces middle class boys to have a tech job if they want to be able to get married to a decent girl. Two decades ago, they had a similar rule, but you had to have a government job. No wonder the government in India is going downhill as the smart people are culturally forbidden from working in the government as they must get technical jobs.

Following the herd
If you are creating a hi-tech company, or growing one, it might be advantageous if you try to locate yourself where other similar companies have thrived. Think of it like a forest. If there are a lot of redwoods in a particular area, perhaps that is because the conditions are ideal for redwoods to thrive in such an area. Perhaps the feng-shui or other conditions are better for tech companies in Bangalore. Feng-shui or not, you’ll have a larger pool of workers for your tech business if you are located in the Bangalore area, and that is reason enough!

Good business karma or bad business karma?

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If you are involved in a business, forget about profits and focus on business karma. You don’t have to be Indian to understand how important karma is. Of course you need to be in a profitable business and yes you need to look at margins. But, don’t spend 100% of your analytical hours focusing on that. Focus instead on being helpful. What’s important is how helpful you are to others.

Do you create good biz karma?
Do you get your work done on time and correctly? Do you communicate adequately with clients when something needs to be told to them or do you keep them in the dark? Do you offer free tips out of the goodness of your heart? Do you give a little extra?

Karma in the directory business
I am in the directory business and during the last year I have had a conflict of interest that has caused me a lot of grief. As a directory owner, I want to make sure that the listings on my sites, particularly with high rankings on my sites are good quality listings. Can you imagine that you are a regular person looking for a service provider on a directory and find a horrible service provider? That will influence your decision to use that directory again. It is better to use good directories that give you consistent good results.

My tough choice
Unfortunately, the choice I had to make was between pleasing those who used my directory to look for services, and those who paid me to advertise their services. I decided that if the absolute worst service providers on my directory didn’t login regularly to their listing (which was required in writing) that I would remove them. On the one hand, they would not get what they paid for from their point of view. But, on the other hand, my policies page allows me to remove them for failure to login, so legally they were not being cheated out of what they paid for — they were cheating me and themselves. But still I wondered about the karmic effect of removing so many listings for failure to login.

The realities of business karma
It took a few months for me to find out what the real effects of my actions were. I had no idea what it would be, but I knew that the universe would respond somehow or another. Since I had removed people prematurely based on technicalities in my rules, and didn’t inform them, I noticed that many services that I had paid for were removed from me after I had paid for them. No huge disaster happened. But, I was paying for an old server which I had been told was cancelled. I paid for fixing my email system on my site which broke two months after it was fixed at great cost. My assistant stopped doing certain phone calls which I had assumed she was still doing. So, I learned my lesson. Half of the problem was not giving people what they karmically deserved regardless of the terms of my contract. The other problem was not telling them.

The solution
So now, I am telling all customers who did no login that they better login or they will be removed — unless they are the bottom 3% in which case they are so horrible, that I would rather sacrifice my karma in order to have them off my site. In life sometimes doing the right thing involves a sacrifice or two, and I know the price I’ll have to pay as well. So, I am warning clients, and giving them a few days to login. If they do not, then I’ll remove them. Now the ball is in their court. We’ll see if the karmic effect is better. But, my site continues to get excellent traffic and great revenue, so I am not too disappointed with my little karmic experience.

What goes on in your business?
Are you doing little secretive or unpleasant things to others that you should not? There is a karmic effect for this. They only way to find out what it might be is to stop doing whatever you’re doing and see what changes in terms of how other people or organizations treat you! I encourage you to find out and learn!