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"The further backward you look, the further forward you can see." - Winston Churchill
This post is a reflection, a look backwards of what I learnt in the year 2004. And what I can apply in 2005.
But 2004 is not over you say?
Yes its not over, but I'll be leaving the cold Michigan snow for sunny Bombay on 16th December for a grand 25 day vacation, and might not have time to reflect while I'm having tons of fun. So the reflection takes place half a month earlier.
Benjamin Disraeli said: "The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation." And boy is he right. Everything I learnt this past year has been preserved by quotations by some very smart people.
So lets read their quotes, and then my observations...
Thats the best advice anyone can give you. Invest in knowledge. For my investment purposes, I read about 60 books this year. Most of them were business and marketing related. A few were psychology related. And one was on vedic math (that teaches you how to multiply 99998 * 99998 without a calculator or pen & paper!). Next year, I'll be reading more books on various other non-business subjects.
- "If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
Besides that, I also read plenty of magazines and newsletters. Both online and offline.
Oh, and I also saw more of Discovery and History channel than HBO this year.
The investment is already paying off. Am getting better ideas. Finding easier solutions to problems. And my writing has improved too.
Read atleast 2 books a month. As Mark Twain said: "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." Read books and you'll gain an advantage over 95% of the population who doesn't read more than 1 book a year.
This past year, I strategically tried to get to know more people. I set a goal of contacting one new person every day. This year saw me sending tons of Thank You emails. Its amazing how fast a box of chocolates builds relationships.
- "The more people you know, the luckier you get." - Billionaire fundraising genius Gaylord Briley
The results? Lots more business. People now contact me for possible joint ventures, and I get to chose with whom to work with. Oh, and Craig Arthur invited me to go to Wizard Academy partners meeting in October - and I haven't even met him yet!
Get to know more people. Contact atleast one new person every day (either by email, mail, phone). It just takes 5 minutes to do so.
I started helping people whom I didn't know, through forums, through emails; before asking for help myself.
- "You have to sow before you can reap. You have to give before you can get." - Robert Collier
I started sharing marketing stories for free. And soon enough, people were asking for more. That started a paid newsletter - MarketingHotsheet.com, which is going extremely strong.
I started writing Thank You notes to people before even buying their products! The personal attention from people who earn millions is overwhelming.
Give first to receive something later.
Pay in advance.
Thank in advance.
You've got to get into motion. Take small steps. Start reading 10 pages a day. Start implementing one idea at a time. Start contacing 1 person a week. And gradually, you'll find speed. And success.
- "Even God can't drive a parked car." - Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
This is the best, most useful advice. Follow up. Repeat.
- "My son, observe the postage stamp! Its usefulness depends upon its ability to stick to one thing until it gets there." - Josh Billings
This was my greatest folly - not following up. After implementing systems to follow up with prospective clients, I've started earning more business. Ive observed that on average, a person requires 6 emails before he will subscribe to MarketingHotsheet.com! But some people subscribe only after 20 emails!
You won't start a conversation with a person and get to know him with just one email. Send him/her more emails regularly.
Send a postcard or an email to prospective clients once a month, and many of the prospectives will buy from you.
Finally, I have to thank the Chinese...
This is one of the truest sentence. Word spreads far and wide, even if you don't want it to. Make your current clients happy, and you'll attract turckload full of new clients. Give people more than they expect, and they'll rave about you.
- "Make happy those who are near and those who are far will come." - Chinese proverb
Thank you for reading. This is my longest and most useful post by far. I hope you gain something from it. What did you learn in the year 2004?
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Posted on 12/12/2004 | Permalink |
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