Articles

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By Pat Hammond

A BEST obsession

It's not enough to master a new skill, make a big sale or write an interesting novel, we have to do it better than everyone else.

In a nation that is obsessed with success it's easy to get distracted by the idea of being the best.

No pressure, right?

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By Pat Hammond

Think Like Texas

When I was a kid I used to watch the tv show Dallas. (Yes, I am that old.) Of the many useful things I learned from JR and the rest of the Ewing clan the most memorable is that everything is bigger in Texas.

Week after week the Ewing family made bigger deals, endured bigger scandals and somehow always ended up as bigger winners. Even when they lost.

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By Pat Hammond

Uhhh y'know...

I've been doing to a lot of networking lately and have noticed a curious trend when listening to people speak. Not only are there a lot more verbal pauses using "uhh" and "y'know," but the gender divide on lilts has virtually disappeared.

Traditionally it's been women who end sentences with that upward verbal inflection that makes whatever they are saying sound almost like a question, but lately I've been hearing it from men and women and it's a little disconcerting.

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By Pat Hammond

The Two Truths of Opportunity

When it comes to opportunity there are two facts that stand the test of time.

  1. Opportunity favors the prepared
  2. We create our own opportunities

There is no magic wizard dropping synchronous events in the path of unsuspecting people. The truth is that the whole idea of being in the right place at the right time is predicated upon the assumption that you have the forethought to be at that spot when opportunity comes knocking. It has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with preparation.

To put is simply, when you plan and are actively working towards an end goal you will a.) create situations to lead to new opportunities and b.) be able to recognize real opportunities when they present themselves,

That's it, that's all you really need to know. So make a plan and act on it. Create your own opportunities.

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By Pat Hammond

Nobody likes a fake(r)

Have you ever seen a child start screaming his head off when presented with a mall Santa? It's not because he's not up for the idea of an old guy in a beard bringing him toys, it's that even with his limited life experience he can tell that the mall Santa is a fake.

And nobody likes a fake.

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By Pat Hammond

Avoid your competitor’s strength and attack their weakness

When it comes to business a lot of people subscribe to Sun Tzu's strategies found in The Art of War.

It makes sense. There are a lot of parallels between business and war and the wisdom of Sun Tzu does seem to stand the test of time so let's take a look at the idea of knowing your enemy (competition).

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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By Pat Hammond

Job Satisfaction = Happiness

I know it's cliché, but if you want to find a work/life balance you have to start by loving what you do.

There are going to be days when you hate the menial tasks, can't stand the sound of your coworker slurping his coffee and wonder if that stick could go any further up your manager's butt, but they can't be the norm.

The fact is that we spend 8, 10 and even 12 hours a day at work or doing work activities. That's almost half our day and more than 2/3 of our waking hours. When you spend that much time pursuing a single activity it can't just be about the paycheck.

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By Pat Hammond

Timeliness = Success

Timeliness is all about preparedness and creating opportunity.

  • have clear vision & goals
  • be present, aware of the current status
  • time management -- meet benchmarks and deadlines

Master these timeliness skills and you will be prepared when opportunity knocks.

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By Pat Hammond

Connecting is Just the First Step

You met someone at a conference and followed up with a LinkedIn invite. You use the same procedure after every networking event and have a couple hundred connections, yet you're still struggling to find leads.

The problem is that connecting is the first step. Once you've got their attention you need to follow through and build the relationship.

  • send a thank you email
  • comment on one of their discussions or projects
  • congratulate them on a milestone
  • check in every few months
  • offer assistance (hint: if their project is outside your skillset it's perfectly acceptable to introduce them to one of your other connections who can help)

Whatever you do, do not lead with what you want from them!

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By Pat Hammond

Whiner's complain about why they can't do it, while winners get it done.

I'll make this simple and to the point. Do you want to be the guy who makes excuses or the guy who gets it done?

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