Strengths and Streams: Part II

Identifying Strengths and Revenue Streams: Part II

This is part II of the post Identifying Strengths and Revenue Streams.

How you can brainstorm to find your “strengths and streams.”

“Strengths” are the opposite of weaknesses.  Weaknesses make you feel weak, whereas strengths make you feel strong.  “Streams” refers to revenue streams, which is any and all the ways in which you can or have made money in the past.  Brainstorming is the act of recording as many different ideas as possible in a short time without criticizing them as you go.  Save the criticizing (analysis) for after the brainstorming session.  Sometimes bad ideas can help you think of good ideas, so write down any idea that comes to you during this time.  Ready? Here we go. Answer the following questions in order to help you identify your “strengths and streams”:

Strengths Test – 10 Questions

  1. What makes you feel strong?
  2. What makes you feel weak?
  3. What activities are you not just good at, but also feel good doing?
  4. What revenue streams do you have, no matter how large or small?
  5. What are some ways you have made money in the past, which you no longer do?
  6. What are some areas or ideas of things you have thought of doing, but for one reason or another never got around to doing?
  7. Have you noticed any changes in technology lately that would make something easier for someone to do something?
  8. Have you noticed a change in the demographics around where you live that might open a possibility for a new product or service?
  9. Have you noticed any “cuckoos in the nest” where something that wasn’t supposed to happen did, or something was an unexpected success?
  10. Have you noticed any examples of something that was supposed to succeed, but didn’t? What could you do to adapt to this new reality?

When I was young I used to collect aluminum cans to recycle for money.  As I got older I collected antiques to resell.  Later on I bought books to resell online or through local book dealers.  These were all retail activities which involved both labor and a product.  Eventually I started trading labor for revenue, which is called service.  I began doing computer repair and web design.  Eventually people began paying me for my advice and I became a business analyst.  Internet marketing is a mix of product and service because you are using your labor to help sell a product that you yourself do not deliver.  The service is in the promotion, marketing, and advertising of the product.  Anyone can do this using the free tools like the Thirty Day Challenge and other websites like Managing Actions which teach you how to be more effective by first changing how you think, in order to change how you act.

Limiting Factors

In order to be successful, you’ll need to overcome obstacles.  The first obstacle you’ll face is your own limiting thoughts so you’ll need to know how to deal with those right away.  An example of a negative thought is, “I can’t raise $8,000 to $10,000 in 2 to 4 weeks.  That’s impossible.” The first step is to realize that you are having a limiting thought, acknowledge it, then let it go.  Just because your brain creates a thought, doesn’t make it true.  Learn to manage your thoughts in order to manage your actions.

The second factor is the people you associate with.  In the same way that you have a greater chance of smoking if you live or hang around smokers or that you have a greater chance of gaining weight if the person or people you live with or work around are already overweight, if the people you hang around or not successful, are not following their dreams, or do not have multiple streams of income, then they are a limiting factor.  If you want to change, then you’ll need to spend less time with these people.

Next Steps

Every meeting should have two things: minutes and action items.  We have just had a meeting here.  This article is our minutes.  The action items are as follows:

Erich: use all available tools and resources to build and promote the identified websites in order to profit from Internet Marketing.

You: take some time to define the problems you are having, where you want to go, and what you want to accomplish, this will become your goal.

Erich: measure the success or failure of the Internet Marketing campaign, determined by the metric, revenue per man-hour.

You: brainstorm to identify your “strengths and streams” – find what makes you strong and what makes you weak, then write down all forms of income past and present.

Erich: update the personal finance measurements with increased net worth, revenue, profit, and savings from the Internet Marketing campaign.

You: manage your thoughts in order to better manage your actions. Notice when you are having a limiting thought, acknowledge it, then let it go.

Summary


This is not a get rich quick scheme.  This is about how to set a goal, make a plan, and execute (ready, aim, fire).  There is no “thing” that can make you rich, if that is your goal.  There is only you.  Mitch Hedberg said it best when he joked, “I bought a jump rope — but man, that thing’s just a rope. You have to do the jump part yourself.” [Thanks, Johnny] No blog, no self-help book, and no business can help you succeed more than a determination and drive within yourself.  If that is missing, everything else is just a rope.

Dan Pink on the Surprising Science of Motivation

TED has a talk entitled, “The Suprising Science of Motivation,” where career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think.

With a trio of influential bestsellers, Dan Pink has changed the way companies view the modern workplace. In the pivotal A Whole New Mind, Pink identifies a sea change in the global workforce — the shift of an information-based corporate culture to a conceptual base, where creativity and big-picture design dominates the landscape.

His latest book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, is an evolutionary transformation of the familiar career guide. Replacing linear text with a manga-inspired comic, Pink outlines six career laws vastly differing from the ones you’ve been taught. Members of the Johnny Bunko online forum participated in an online contest to create the seventh law — “stay hungry.”

A contributing editor for Wired, Pink is working on a new book on the science and economics of motivation for release in late 2009.

Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think.

All of these ideas will be especially relevant to the newest entrants to the workplace, the Millenials/Gen Y. I have been doing staffing models for a while now. To make this all really work, the requirements/expectations and measurements for each role need to be transparent. “Get your work done” is viable only when people truly understand what others think “getting your work done” really means. So, each employee needs to know the results that are expected.

In my experience, organizations can miss the ball when they fail to motivate and innovate. They give people responsibility and lattitude, but they don’t clearly define the results expected and how progress will be measured. As we know from the Law of Focus, what we measure only expands and grows.

On the other hand, a larger organization having every individual participating in business planning does start to become a bit challenging. The key is that the vision and goal of the business is clearly stated to all employees, that vision doesn’t change drastically year on year, and taking the time to recruit the right people who are buying into the vision as opposed to how much money they can make. Like Jim Collins says, “You have to get the right people on the bus.”

Are you just going to stand there?

Tipton Pork Festival ParadeI was standing with my family, talking and waiting for the parade to start.  It was that time of year again.  The Pork Festival had come to town and today was the big day.  On Saturday, there is a big parade and everyone who wants to see it lines up along the parade route for a view of the action.  My family had decided to set up under a tree and so I was hanging out in between the tree and the road.  You can see from this picture that I was basically riding the yellow line.  I was going to head back to the house either at the start of the parade or before in order to be at the house in case guests arrived early for my son’s first birthday party, but as I was standing there, the guy to my left said:

Hey buddy, are you just going to stand there? I don’t mean to be rude, but I won’t be able to see the parade from here if you’re standing there.

I replied, “No, I’ll be leaving before then.”  It was rude, but I didn’t really mind.  It made me think, “Erich, are you just going to stand there or are you going to do something about the situations you find yourself in right now?”

I’m a big fan of the ability to change your outcomes based first on changing how you feel and think on the inside.  However, in practice this is not always easy to do, nor sometimes does it seem to be effective.  The Law of Attraction would tell you that the reason things don’t always seem to improve is because I say they don’t. This may or may not be true, but the result is the same.  I am going through the motions: I am limiting negative thoughts, I don’t listen to the news, I only read or listen to positive and/or educational material, I focus on what I want, not what I don’t want, and I take action.  I have been sleeping less and working more.  I am focused on Internet Marketing as my primary business model. And the results are starting to show.  I now have blogs that make money daily, but there are still those which are not.  The Law of Focus says that whatever you focus on, expands.  That is why T. Harv Eker says not to complain, but to act instead.  Acting is what I am doing, I just wish it was happening faster.

So what are you going to do about it?

Successful people never quit.  They are experienced at overcoming obstacles because they view themselves as bigger than any obstacle.  I will double-down and refocus my efforts, to ensure success.   And…my parents just showed up.  Let the party (and the rest of my life) begin!