Archives for posts with tag: American Express OPEN

This excerpt is from 6 Tips to Firewall Your Attention and Boost Productivity, posted by Glen Stansberry of Wise Bread on OPEN Forum (Sep 8 2010)

Our workplaces are becoming more and more saturated with things to steal our attention. It can be a sobering experience to look back on our day and see how little time we actually spent working on things that mattered. When we’re working to our full potential, we can sometimes achieve a state of “flow,” or a mental state when we’re so focused in our work that everything else fades away. (You might call it the “The Zone” or a “groove.”) Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder to get into these mental states when we’re constantly bombarded by distractions.

Here are some of the best ways to firewall our attention and ensure that we don’t finish the day completing a fraction of what we set out to do.

1. Figure out where your time is being spent
2. Keep email closed
3. Make heavy use of email filters
4. Define your “Big Rocks”
5. Don’t check email in the morning
6. “Do Not Disturb” time

Read the full article HERE.

(image from interactiveinsightsgroup.com)

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This excerpt taken from The Opportunity of Risk: Innovation from American Express OPEN Forum (Sep 8 2010)

We think that there is little point in entering a new market unless it provides the opportunity to really shake up an industry. Almost all our new ventures come about from our thinking up a product or service that we believe people really want. Then, if our entry has the potential to make waves, we’re going to look at it very closely.

You’ll notice that making a profit hasn’t entered the picture yet. It’s rare for me or the team to consider only the money that can be made. I feel it’s pointless to approach investing with the question, “How can I make lots of money? We must bring in the numbers guys and work out some business plans.” No one will ever agree on exactly how to make money. The consultants will say your idea will work, while the accountants will prove that it cannot.

When it’s time to decide whether or not to go ahead, the decision must come from your heart…pursue your passions, your ideas will be more likely to succeed.

I learned to follow my passions at the beginning of my career, when some friends and I created Student magazine to give a voice to young people who were campaigning to stop the Vietnam War. As for the actual business aspects, such as paying the bills… well, we had to sort that out later. We just hoped that we would sell enough copies to stay afloat and learn the business side as we went along.

READ the full article.

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This excerpt is from Branson’s Next Big Bet, published on CNNMoney.com (Oct 2 2006).

What was the first business idea you came up with?
I set up this magazine called Student when I was 16, and I didn’t do it to make money – I did it because I wanted to edit a magazine. There wasn’t a national magazine run by students, for students. I didn’t like the way I was being taught at school. I didn’t like what was going on in the world, and I wanted to put it right.

Of course, a lot of businesses want to reach students, so I funded the magazine by selling advertising. I sold something like $8,000 worth of advertising for the first edition, and that was in 1966. I printed up 50,000 copies, and I didn’t even have to charge for them on the newsstand because my costs were already covered.

So I became a publisher by mistake – well, not quite by mistake, because I wanted to be an editor but I had to make sure the magazine would survive. The point is this: Most businesses fail, so if you’re going to succeed, it has to be about more than making money.

Are you saying entrepreneurs should go into business without the bottom line in mind?
Ideally, since 80 percent of your life is spent working, you should start your business around something that is a passion of yours. If you’re into kite-surfing and you want to become an entrepreneur, do it with kite-surfing.

Look, if you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you’re just working. You’ll work harder at it, and you’ll know more about it. But first you must go out and educate yourself on whatever it is that you’ve decided to do – know more about kite-surfing than anyone else. That’s where the work comes in. But if you’re doing things you’re passionate about, that will come naturally.

Read the full article HERE.

Seth Godin says: “If someone’s gonna watch a video, they’re not gonna watch it because they care about YOU. They’re gonna watch it because they care about ME. They’re not gonna read an e-mail from you; they’re gonna read ME-mail, ‘cuz that’s who they care about.”

Seth Godin: What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the metacognition of thinking about what you’re gonna say.

Tom Peters: …no single thing, in the last 15 years – professionally, has been more important to my life than blogging. It’s the best damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude, by and large.

Both: AND IT’S FREE!