Data maps


I love this light map of the U.S. because it’s a great example of how meta-data can affect how you approach business and life. For example: there are lots of places to go if you love light and there are still lots of empty spaces to go if you love the dark. Maps like these are available for anything you can think of: soy-milk consumption, horse-hoof files – you name it. The data to create informative maps like these are there. When you lay a bunch of different maps on-top of each other, big data quickly becomes small and laser focused. For example: if you overlay snow-belt, low-population, Ford ½ ton truck drivers, conservative voters and HHI +$60M, you'll have a detailed map showing you where to focus your "Proudly Made In America" Snow Plow Attachments".

Data like this can really help your team rank opportunity quickly. 



More thoughts on focus

Your Focus may not be popular.  Success is a different equation for everyone. So don’t be surprised if others don’t get it. If you’re chosen path is important to you – find folks who are on the same path you’re on – be it kite-boarding, mergers + acquisitions, or karaoke.           

Clear focus will not lead to instant success. Life is a process, not an event. Maintain reasonable expectations. Rome, and the community you live in, wasn’t built in a day.

Your focus is not a tangible thing that you can show others. It’s a bit like gravity or magnetism; you can’t see it but you can see it’s effect on you and others. Concentrate on the benefits received from focus; the joy that come from traveling towards your goal and the waypoints that demonstrate progress.

Your focus comes with a price. Success requires many things, sacrifice is one of them. Be prepared do what you have to do to achieve your goals.

Your focus will change over time because unpredictable events will affect your plan. Think BREXIT. 



About focus

Because I’m big on focus as the key to your success, here are some thoughts on the subject.

Your focus needs to be clear + simple. What you are aiming for should be obvious to you. Ambiguity has no place in your vision of success.

Your focus needs to be memorable. Your mind should be stimulated by the smallest of coincidences, even if you are not thinking about your goals at the time.

Your focus needs to be powerful and power comes from clarity. The clearer you are about what you want, the more personal power you develop and the more aligned you are. The more aligned you are the less likely you are to lose sign of your goal.

Your focus needs a compass with positive and negative polarities to help keep moving toward your goal(s).

Your focus needs some short term way-points. These can help confirm the viability of your plan and vision.

Understand the consequences and the impact of the short-term focus and take these into account as you make + modify your long term decisions. 



Does blogging have a positive ROI?

I’ve been blogging since 2008 – usually once a week. My Google analytics suggest that I have a small, loyal, unsolicited following. There is no direct or obvious ROI in this blog.

Q: so what’s the point if my blog is more like a diary than a published work?

A: practice, not popularity, makes the master.

On one of my walking routes I encounter an old Chinese woman who does her Tai Chi routine alone and in silence every morning. No one greets her, or interrupts her to tell her how well she’s doing. I doubt that she’d hear them or care.

She’s a study of meditation in motion. Incredibly graceful, focused + precise. A master immersed in the moment.

I confuse many I work with by appearing to have an answer for everything. My guess is that if they stick with it for 35 more years they’ll know more and have even better solutions than I have now.

Blogging is one of the mental exercises I use to hone my communication skills.

It forces me to think clearly + succinctly. And that affects everything else I do. 

And just by watching, others will become inspired to write, do Tai Chi, or follow their heart down a new, unknown path.


Mentoring - Part 2

Keep it Confidential. Clarify the level of confidentiality. You both need to make it clear when something you share should be treated as confidential and never, ever violate this trust.

Determine the Timeframe. Determine the length of your relationship and by all means avoid open-ended mentorship’s. That way both of you can back out without losing face if the mentoring relationship does not meet your expectations. On the other hand, if it goes well you can continue the relationship and set up a new evaluation point.

Measure Progress. Evaluate the relationship from time to time. Inspecting progress from time to time allows you to reinforce predetermined expectations and agreed upon standards of performance.

Encourage Feedback. Although difficult to hear at times, feedback is critical to growth and development. Demonstrate that you are open to hear ideas and suggestions to bring out areas that you may not have discussed at the beginning of your relationship. They may want you to keep on a eye on certain blind spots that were initially overlooked.

Say Goodbye. A happy ending for a mentoring experience involves closure, in which both parties evaluate, recognize how and where empowerment has occurred, and mutually end the mentoring relationship. What frequently happens in successfully closed mentoring is an ongoing friendship that allows for occasional mentoring and future interweaving of lives as needed.