Posted by Rich Harshaw on February 26, 2015.
Post Category: Personal Edge
A Forgotten Man Named Rowan Teaches Us That The World Craves People Who Will Just Go And Get The Job DONE.
A Word Of Sympathy For Business Owners Dealing With Slipshod Assistance, Foolish Inattention, Dowdy Indifference, And Half-Hearted Work.
By Rich Harshaw
Note: About once a month, Monopolize Your Marketplace takes a break from contractor marketing advice and focuses on personal development topics. We call this ongoing series “Personal Edge.” Enjoy!
Like all business owners, I find it challenging to find employees with the right combination of skillset, attitude, initiative, and passion.
And since Monopolize Your Marketplace is a “virtual company”—meaning we have no physical office and everyone works alone, from home—finding people with real initiative is EXTRA critical.
That’s why I developed a little test several years ago designed to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I created a little questionnaire that I have people fill out instead of looking at resumes. The questionnaire has twenty questions that ask the kind of stuff you’d expect—tell me about a time you worked well in a deadline situation, what other positions are you considering, how do you feel about working from home—like that.
But question twenty-first question is the real doozy.
It says: Google A Message To Garcia and find the essay by Elbert Hubbard. Read the essay and answer the following three questions:
- What are you overall impressions of the essay?
- Name three times in your life where you’ve performed like Rowan in the essay.
- How do you think this essay might apply to your potential job with us?
And that essay, A Message To Garcia, is what I’d like to talk to you about today.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on February 24, 2015.
Becoming A Recognized Expert Means Creating Great Content, Then Finding An Audience.
The Key Is To Create Interesting, Unique, and Relevant CONTENT.
Then Find Bigger And Bigger Audiences.
“You should turn your business into a TV show.”
When I heard this advice from my friend Troy Dunn in about 2005, I thought he was crazy. Turn my business into a TV show? What does that even mean? Who would even want to watch such a thing?
Before I could voice my objections, he clarified: “You should think first and foremost about your expertise in your field. Anyone who is in business SHOULD consider themselves to be an expert. If so, the best way to solidify yourself as an expert is to create a TV show about your business. It makes you the unquestioned leader in the field… not just locally, but everywhere.”
And he knew what he was talking about. His company was a special-flavor private investigation firm that specialized in tracking down and reuniting long-lost family members. His clients were typically adopted kids who were trying to find either their birth parents and/or birth siblings.
He got in early on the “reality TV” thing by volunteering to have his services documented on daytime TV talk shows like Sally Jesse Raphael, Montel Williams, Oprah, and so forth. His claim to fame back then was that he held the world record for having appeared on more TV shows as a guest than anyone else. Think about that for a minute.
A few years later, as reality TV morphed from competition shows like Survivor and American Idol into shows about literally ANYTHING (think: Treehouse Masters, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars), Troy took his expertise and passion for TV to a new level by creating a show called “The Locator” on WE TV. After 5 seasons, he moved over to TNT with a show called “APB with Troy Dunn.” I’ll be darned if Troy didn’t do exactly what he had told me to do: He made his business into a TV show.
Meanwhile, back on earth…. the point of this article is NOT to tell you to turn your business into a TV show—although you shouldn’t necessarily discount that either (more later). The point is to find ways to showcase your expertise so that you can position yourself as an authority and enjoy the credibility that comes with it.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on February 19, 2015.
Want To Grow? Invest Your Profits In Advertising Instead Of Stuffing Them In Your Pocket.
Want To Grow? Invest Your Profits In Your Construction Marketing Instead Of Stuffing Them In Your Pocket.
Amazon.com’s No-Profit Business Model Is Actually A Blueprint
For How To Make Your Business Into A Market-Leading Giant.
By Rich Harshaw
Intuitively, I knew I was right to buy Amazon.com stock.
I bought it last April after it took a big loss in the market after another quarter of disappointing earnings were announced.
My thought process went like this: Amazon has created a behemoth online store that is always getting into new categories that delivers stuff to my house for free with astonishing speed… and that offers very reasonable pricing. I don’t know a single person who says, “I hate Amazon.com.” I don’t recall anyone ever saying they’ve even had a bad experience with the company… which is quite a feat given the fact that the company is completely run by an army of robots, drones, and cyborgs. Seriously, when was the last time you talked to an actual PERSON at Amazon? Furthermore, they have essentially ZERO competition because, well, who else can build out their massive inventory & delivery infrastructure? Currently, nobody. That’s who.
But the rub for investors has always been the company’s perpetually inability to deliver any profits. Analysts and talking heads are always demanding to know how a company that never earns a profit can actually be worth billions of dollars.
So naturally, when it dipped below $300 a share, I picked some up.
Then for the next nine months I watched it see-saw between about $290 and $350. Any time it dipped below $300, it would sun’s-gonna-rise-in-the-east reliably pop back to $325. It was a sure bet.
So when it dropped to $286 in early January, I should have been smart enough to buy up as many shares as I could afford—which of course, stupidly, I did not.
Because when they announced their earnings report on January 29th, they caught the entire investing world off-guard by announcing a (gasp!) nice profit! Immediately following the announcement the shares shot up by 14% and as of this writing, are up about 22% since I bought them.
Which begs the question…. SO WHAT?!?
Posted by Rich Harshaw on February 17, 2015.
The NBA Offers Some Of The Greatest Entertainment On Earth… Here’s How To Make It Even Better.
The NBA May Be A Billion Dollar Entertainment Empire…
But That Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Made Even Better.
By Rich Harshaw
Note: This article is part of Monopolize Your Marketplace’s ongoing “Outside The Lines” series, which feature ideas, strategies, and case studies from OUTSIDE the remodeling industry, with suggestions of how to implement those ideas into your contractor marketing efforts.
One Sunday afternoon in 1979, my dad sat me down in the living room for a life changing father-son talk. “Son,” he said in the most patriarchal tone he could muster, “I am about to show you something that will have a profound impact on your life. You must hold what you are about to see as sacred.” My nine-year-old mind raced with anticipation as I speculated what family treasure might be bestowed upon me.
My dad then walked over to the TV, pulled the knob to the “on” position, used the pliers to change the channel (you know what I’m talking about!), and I caught my first glimpse of “Dr. J,” otherwise known as Julius Erving, the greatest player in the history of basketball. My eyes bugged with Christmas-like wonder as dad explained to me the difference between mere mortal basketball and how the Doctor operated on the court.
At least that’s how I remember it. I was hooked immediately.