What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day

BY KEVIN PURDY | fastcompany.com

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list.

Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too.

The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Here are the first items on their daily to-do list.

Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Seriously. Stop That.

Tumblr founder David Karp will “try hard” not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive,” Karp said. “If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. It’s an idea that serves as the title of Julie Morgenstern’s work management book Never Check Email In The Morning, and it’s a fine strategy for leaving the office with the feeling that, even on the most over-booked days, you got at least one real thing done.

If you need to make sure the most important messages from select people come through instantly, AwayFind can monitor your inbox and get your attention when something notable arrives. Otherwise, it’s a gradual but rewarding process of training interruptors and coworkers not to expect instantaneous morning response to anything they send in your off-hours.

Gain Awareness, Be Grateful

One smart, simple question on curated Q & A site Quora asked “How do the most successful people start their day?”. The most popular response came from a devotee of Tony Robbins, the self-help guru who pitched the power of mindful first-hour rituals long before we all had little computers next to our beds.

Robbins suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.” Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Robbins offers the “Hour of Power” segment of his Ultimate Edge series as a free audio stream (here’s the direct MP3 download). Blogger Mike McGrath also wrote a concise summary of the Hour of Power). You can be sure that at least some of the more driven people you’ve met in your career are working on Robbins’ plan.

Do the Big, Shoulder-Sagging Stuff First Seguir leyendo “What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day”

Top 10 Most Popular Stories Of The Week



Here are the stories you read, tweeted, status’d, and shared this week.

This week’s stories feature some future tech in the form of computer glasses that will help you navigate through life, and the latest innovations in 3-D printing. And then there’s Don Corleone, who has an offer of leadership advice you can’t refuse.

Don Corleone1. An Offer You Can’t Refuse: Leadership Lessons From “The Godfather” 
Fast Company

Lydia Dishman makes you an offer you can’t refuse, advice fromThe Godfather.

Paper Ball2. The Dirty Little Secret Of Overnight Successes 
Fast Company

Josh Linkner finds fortune in failure and makes the case for never giving up. Seguir leyendo “Top 10 Most Popular Stories Of The Week”

15 Critical Business Success Tips after Five Years in Business

Via Scoop.ithuman being in – perfección

15 Critical Business Success Tips for Startups and Small Businesses

As we’ve grown CMI, I’ve leaned on many critical resources and keep them pinned to my office wall, such as Mark Fletcher’s 15 Startup Commandments, Dharmesh Shaw’s Startup Triplets, and Fast Company’s 10 Common Mistakes Startups Make. Although it’s hard to clearly identify what the most critical success factors have been during our “road less traveled”, here are the ones that I believe have made the most impact on me, on our company, our amazing employees, and most of all, our valued customers.

Be the Leading Informational Provider for Your Industry – Content marketing works. We have tremendous flexibility in our business model simply because we deliver valuable and compelling industry information to our customers and prospects. Our daily updates, our weekly enewsletters, our quarterly magazine, and our annual research all helps to position us as the go-to resource for content marketing information. Without all this, I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to grow our business, not to mention the sheer cost of sales.
Invest in the Right People – Although our people are some of the leading experts in the entire industry, we hire first based on attitude and flexibility. People with great attitudes who are fun to work with can learn and do just about anything.
Give Employees Permission To Fail – We tell all our employees the following: “Do what you have to do to be successful. Don’t wait for permission. Ask for forgiveness later.” Whether this is a solid policy or not, it helps our employees to take risks and become leaders.
If You Partner, Plan the Exit Strategy First – I cannot express how critical this is. If you partner with anyone, plan that someday the divorce will happen.

…Or Just Don’t Partner – In my experience, most partnerships simply don’t work and hamper the creativity of the organization. Just be careful.
Risk Everything, Everyday – One of our advantages is that we are willing to try anything if we believe in what it can provide for our customers or that we can gain a competitive advantage. We reach decisions quickly, and change these decisions slowly if and when they are changed.
Success Is Impossible without Failure – I saw this statement on Kansas basketball player Thomas Robinson’s arm (tattoo) and I couldn’t agree more. There were moments when I didn’t believe the business was going to make it. Looking back, it was those moments that have defined our organization. I’m no longer afraid of failure, but keenly aware of what new opportunities arise because of it.
Don’t Fall in Love with Your Product or Service – This almost cost us the entire business. Although our content marketing matching service, Junta42, was working and profitable, we weren’t growing the business at a rate that was acceptable. But Junta42 was my baby and, although I knew it needed to evolve, it took everything I had to pivot the business in a new direction. Discarding the product we began the business with was the best business decision, and hardest one, I ever made.

Get a Good Attorney and Accountant – Never do any of this yourself… let’s take a look! Seguir leyendo “15 Critical Business Success Tips after Five Years in Business”

Seguir o no seguir a nuestros seguidores en Twitter, esa es la cuestión!

por Marina Alonso Álvarez | http://www.puromarketing.com

Las empresas saben de sobra que Twitter se ha convertido en una herramienta realmente útil para llegar a cientos de consumidores y potenciales clientes. Pero muchas se preguntan ante los mecanismos y hábitos extendidos dentro de esta red social, si realmente es necesario seguir a todas las personas o usuarios  que nos siguen.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Si lo llevamos al terreno lo de los negocios las cosas se complican un poco más puesto que las empresas tienen que decidir si es prudente o no seguir a todas las personas que las siguen a ellas. Hay opiniones dispares en este tema.

Por una parte tenemos a Sheena Medina, community manager de Fast Company, que opina que no podemos caer en la trampa de la “cortesía”, es decir, seguir a alguien que nos sigue como muestra de agradecimiento.

Medina pone como ejemplo la cuenta de Twitter del presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama. Su cuenta actualmente tiene 702.586 seguidores, una de las que más tiene en la red social. El problema es que tener todos estos seguidores satura la cuenta de tweets y eso tampoco es bueno. Pero el daño ya está hecho puesto que deshacerse de todos esos seguidores de golpe sería muy negativo para la imagen del presidente, por lo que los administradores tienen que reducir muy lentamente los seguidores con el fin de mantener la imagen del presidente intacta. Seguir leyendo “Seguir o no seguir a nuestros seguidores en Twitter, esa es la cuestión!”

Técnicas y secretos para vender su idea de negocios – la técnica del ascensor (I)


Usted puede tener una excelente idea de negocios pero si no sabe venderla fracasará he ahí la importancia de aprender sobre técnicas y secretos para realizar ventas.

Glenn D. Porter escribe para la revista Forbes y nos da una importante estrategia de ventas. Se llama la técnica del ascensor que se concentra en la importancia de los 30 primeros segundos de toda venta.

La técnica es sencilla y se llama la técnica del ascensor por que supuestamente hace alusión a los 30 segundos que puede tomar conocer a un ocupado potencial cliente en un ascensor antes que se baje del mismo. Seguir leyendo “Técnicas y secretos para vender su idea de negocios – la técnica del ascensor (I)”

Paying It Backward: How To Get Your Customers to Reciprocate

by Dan Martell


In the film Pay It Forward, the main character (played by actor Haley Joel Osment) is invited by his social studies teacher to “think of something to change the world.” He cleverly plays on the common notion of “giving back,” deciding instead to “pay it forward”– doing a favor for three new people as a means of repaying good deeds.

You can encourage customers to adopt this same good spirit with a similar practice: Paying It Backward. You need to make your customers enthusiastic about reciprocating services, advertising your company, and in general helping your business to expand. How can you achieve this?

Loyalty Programs

A good way to get your customers to pay it backward is by installing a “loyalty program,” fit to whatever conditions you deem acceptable for your industry/business. According to an article by Inc, American Airlines was one of the first purveyors of this practice; it wanted more loyalty and participation for its customers, so it developed “frequent flyer miles” in the 1980s–and other airlines quickly followed suit. Regarding loyalty programs, Inc says that you should ask the following questions: “Is it customer tenure that’s most valuable? What about dollar-value of purchases? Would you rather be a company that delights clients with surprise bonuses or upgrades? Two other big issues should shape your decision: What your competitors are doing, and how much your company can afford to spend on the program.” Consider carefully these questions before you implement your program. Seguir leyendo “Paying It Backward: How To Get Your Customers to Reciprocate”

Infographic of the Day: The Blistering Rise of iPad and Tablet Computing


Is iPad an iFad?  Think again.

If you’re not much of a tech nerd, you’d be forgiven for thinking the iPad and the ensuing tablet boom are merely some kind of hype machine. You’d also be wrong, if industry analysts are right. Long story short, 2010 was just the barest tip of the tablet onslaught. In two years time, they’ll be more numerous than mosquitos in July, as this infographic lays out.

The data below, produced by Morgan Stanley and Forrester, among others, and then laid out by Focus, presents hockey-stick growth scenarios for iPad and its ilk. What’s probably most surprising is how mainstream their appeal is — a whopping 14% of online shoppers say they plan to purchase an iPad in the next five months; total sales are expected to rise 1000% by 2014.


Seguir leyendo “Infographic of the Day: The Blistering Rise of iPad and Tablet Computing”

How Do You Reinvent Something as Common as the Padlock?

Talking with Master Lock‘s Lea Plato, lead designer of the ingenious Speed Dial combination lock.

Introduced in 2009, Master Lock’s Speed Dial is the first “directional” combination lock. It replaces a series of numbers with a sequence of up-down and left-right movements (like a video-game cheat). We talked to Lea Plato, one of the designers who worked on the lock, about how the lock came to be and why it’s easier to use than what we’re all used to.

Co.Design: The Speed Dial lock does away with numerical combinations and replaces them with left-to-right and up-and-down movements. What inspired the change?

Lea Plato: The combination lock for lockers has been around for so long, so Master Lock is trying to push different ideas. The Speed Dial is a very different and unexpected design. That’s what attracted us to the idea.

The face of the lock—just four arrows—is clean and straightforward. How did that design come about?

We were trying to play off of simplicity. We wanted the appearance of the lock to match that simplicity. It’s really basic—up, down, left, and right—and easy to remember. So nothing too fancy.

The center button has a nice accent ring around it to show that this is what you push on to make the movements. And the arrows are really simple triangles to suggest which direction you should be moving it in. A lot of the design of the actual body of the lock is driven by the interior mechanism. But we also wanted to give it a nice round shape so it fits well in your hand and it’s easy to move that button up and down.

Another thing we focused on is how everyone could use it. A lot of the numbers are too small for people to see. If you’re visually impaired, you don’t have to see anything to be able to open this lock. Or if your dexterity isn’t very good, the lock is still easy to use. We wanted the lock to be something that everyone can use without making it look like it was designed for just one person in particular. Seguir leyendo “How Do You Reinvent Something as Common as the Padlock?”

Infographic of the Day: Even Poor Countries Can Excel in Education


Sitting comfortable in our first-world lives, it’s easy to assume that we’ve got the best of everything. And it’s easy to assume that problems of infant mortality, hunger and education are simply a matter of having a roaring GDP. But that’s not true at all, as these remarkable interactive graphs show.

Produced by The Guardian and the Gates Foundation, the charts are draw from the Millennium Development Report Card. Basically, it shows how well countries are performing on key development metrics, relative to their GDP.

The size of the outer ring shows performance on a Millennium Development Goal, such as primary-school enrollment. The inner ring shows GDP per capita. Thus, if both are high (as they are in the U.S., for example), you get two rings, brown and blue, without much space between. But if a country is overperforming — getting kids in school despite a relatively modest GDP — you get a big space between the two. For example, look at Trinidad & Tobago (often cited as a model of good governance in the Caribbean) or Guyana:

Seguir leyendo “Infographic of the Day: Even Poor Countries Can Excel in Education”

The 25/200 Rule Of Marketing and Sales



Early in my career, I learned a valuable rule that’s changed my life.

“Reduce the time it takes for your prospect to decide on you by 25% and the result will be a 200% increase in sales.”  This concept speculates that we lose much of our business in the sales funnel, while the customer is trying to make a decision about your product in the face of competition and objections.

During this time, new competitors enter the mix or circumstances change – making your product less desirable or unnecessary.  This is why in sales we stress urgency.  This is why in marketing we emphasize branding (as a shortcut to quality).  In my Yahoo career, I witnessed this in the field.  In my speaking career, I see this every day.

For example, if your book is a smash hit and your name is on everyone’s tongues (Consider @Tony’s success with Delivering Happiness), then the meeting planner can instantly agree on you, because she knows her boss wants you because he’s reading your book and giving it to all his friends.  This is what JIm Collins experienced in 2002 when his speaking business picked up more than five fold!

So here’s the takeaway: Focus efforts every day on reducing the time it takes to say yes to your product. Seguir leyendo “The 25/200 Rule Of Marketing and Sales”

How I Downsized Myself

I know, I know. There’s nothing more boring than when bloggers write about their own experiences as a way to make a broader point about life, work, or society. But I hope you’ll indulge me this one time, as I reflect on a small matter of personal improvement and ask what it might say about the bigger challenge of making change in organizations.

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, I can share the results of a project that has engaged me over the spring and summer — losing weight. I have lost 32 pounds over the last 22 weeks. This is a big deal for me, and not just because my new theme song is Bob Dylan‘s “Ballad of a Thin Man.” It’s a big deal because I achieved something I’ve been thinking about for years — getting to the weight I was in college, more than 25 years after I graduated.

As I reflect on what I learned over these last 22 weeks, I keep thinking back to a much-discussed article we published more than five years ago in Fast Company. Called “Change or Die,” it was a bracing reminder of how hard it is for people to make deep-seated changes in their habits, even when they know the price of failure may be death, in the form of a heart attack. Seguir leyendo “How I Downsized Myself”

The New York Times Is Dead Wrong

Image representing New York Times as depicted ...
Image via CrunchBase

Bill Taylor

As a public speaker, I’m always looking for ways to engage my audience. One old trick — which I never use, precisely because it is so old — is to challenge executives and entrepreneurs to imagine their obituary in the New York Times. What impact did you have? What contribution did you make? What kind of life did you lead?

As it turns out, this audience-participation exercise requires a special act of imagination for women. Consider this amazing statistic, brought to you by a Web site called The NYTpicker, which pokes, prods, and otherwise critiques the world’s greatest newspaper. For the month of August, the New York Times ran 78 obituaries, but only six were of women. For 2010 as a whole, the Times has published 698 obituaries — and only 92 were of women.

What’s going on here? The question is especially vexing since the percentage of women in the paper’s 2010 obituaries is virtually identical to the percentage of women chronicled in Times obituaries back in 1990. “Are the world’s prominent women — the ones deserving of NYT obituaries — simply living forever?” the NYTpicker wonders. “In the last two decades, has there been zero growth in the number of notable women who’ve died? Does it stand to reason that no more women have worked their way into the limelight in the last twenty years than in the previous twenty?”

It’s always fun to challenge a powerful institution like the New York Times — especially when it is (ahem) dead wrong. Seguir leyendo “The New York Times Is Dead Wrong”

Infographic of the Day: To Fly Green, Choose the Right Airline

The airlines vary tremendously, and flying green(er) might be a simple matter of choosing wisely.

An airplane is an airplane, and all airlines are roughly equal in spewing carbon-dioxide into the stratosphere, right? Wrong: The most fuel efficient airlines can be 25% more fuel efficient than their most inefficient peers, as this superb infographic by GOOD shows:

[Click for full-size version]

What’s really interesting about the chart is that it shows that not all airlines are making an equal effort at fuel efficiency–for example, AirTran and Air Alaska appear to have increased their efficiency by 53% and 33% since 2000. Seguir leyendo “Infographic of the Day: To Fly Green, Choose the Right Airline”

Infographic of the Day: Inception Contest Runner-Up

A smart, complex entry from Adam Martin.

Last Sunday, the deadline ran out on our Inception Infographic Contest, wherein we tasked you guys with designing an infographic that illustrated the film’s complex twists, and its plots within plots.

We got some tremendous entries. Among the best were Luis Buenaventura’s epic attempt to represent exactly how much time passed in each layer of the movie–by creating a chart where each pixel represented one week of time; and Daniel Wang’s flowchart illustrating everything that happens to each individual character.

But the contest ultimately came down to two entries: The winner, which we’ll reveal tomorrow (it’s worth the wait!) and the runner-up, pictured here and created by Adam Martin: Seguir leyendo “Infographic of the Day: Inception Contest Runner-Up”

Infographic of the Day: Does the U.S. Waste Money on Innovation?

This infographic by accounting firm Grant Thorton purports to show how efficient 30 different countries are at innovation. How? Simply by showing the ratio between patents granted in a country, and the total R&D expenditures there.

Thus, the bigger the box in each country, the more innovation (as measured by patents) it gets for every R&D dollar:

[Click for larger version]

So for the U.S. it looks really, really bad. Even though we grant more patents than any other country in the world, we also seem to simply throw money at the problem of innovation–and in the long run, that can’t be good for our own economic competitiveness. Seguir leyendo “Infographic of the Day: Does the U.S. Waste Money on Innovation?”