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Doing it all, Doing Nothing

Summertime is long over. The holidays have come to a close. It’s high time to dig in and settle down into our regular routines as the long winter stretch looms ahead.

While many view wintertime as a season of snow plows and shoveling, smart businesspeople know that the endless winter doldrums can pose more than just a walk-and-slip hazard. It can cause serious issues that can affect the success and future of your business.

You see, as the routine becomes more familiar and monotonous, it’s easy for one’s productivity level to decline. Fact is, today’s business world is obsessed with the idea of productivity—and for good reason.

Being productive keeps us motivated and allows us to live more accomplishing lives, both personally and professionally.

Sounds simple, right? Yet for some reason, this goal eludes the vast majority. In fact, studies have shown that 60% of the time spent at work is unproductive! Wonder why? Just ask Sam Treble.

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My Painful $17,000 Lesson

We’re living in a world where spam, phishing and cyber theft are all too common. At some point or another, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of an email starting off like this: “Sorry, but my email account was hacked, please don’t click on any strange links that were sent…”

Unfortunately, last month, I became a victim—my inbox was hacked and hijacked.

Fact is, modern computer systems are so complex and there are so many different flaws waiting to be exploited. All it takes is a skilled hacker with a criminal mind and an anonymous bank account. In just a few clicks, they can create an expensive data breach that’ll rack up thousands of dollars in losses and cause an endless amount of aggravation.

Here’s my story.

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Are You Committed to Commitment?

In the wildly successful aftermath of LTB 2015, I’ve had the privilege of hearing back from the hundreds of people who attended.

Many told me how excited they were to have access to this unique platform for growth; how they networked and landed so many new connections; how they were inspired to raise their aspirations and lead the pack.

During these conversations, I’ve spotted a trend that differentiated two types of businesspeople.

There are people who are committed to genuine change. They’ll learn about new ideas, strategize which ones will work best for their trade or industry, and implement them all the way, till the finish line.

Then there are the people who are content to listen. They’ll learn about new ideas, strategize which ones will work best for their trade or industry, and then let everything fizzle. While they may try to kick off an idea or two, the moment they encounter some resistance, their plan will come to a sudden stop.

You see, they want to achieve success; but they aren’t committed to success.

So what exactly is commitment?

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Selling Features vs. Selling Benefits: The Big Difference

I had the privilege of speaking to a group of retail business owners last month. We discussed a variety of different topics and I explained how it could help them make their businesses more profitable. One of the more interesting points of the evening was very well received and I felt it was worth sharing.

It’s something that you’ll benefit from, even if you’re not a retailer. So I’ve decided to email you the basic details and hope you’ll make use of it in both life and business.

I began my talk by asking the audience this simple question: “We all know what selling is. But do you know the difference between selling features and selling benefits?”

There were a few good answers called out by the attendees, but none were entirely accurate. So here is what I told them.

People, by nature, are always asking themselves: “What’s in it for me?” Whether it’s a potential customer, a boss, a child, or a friend you are interacting with – they’ve often got their own interests in mind. No matter what you’re trying to get them to agree to, they may resist your advances. So you’ve got to make a little sales pitch of sorts. You can choose to sell them on the features or you can choose to sell them on the benefits.

Here’s the critical difference.

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NYPD Blues: My 5 Career-Saving Marketing Tips For Bill de Blasio

The Big Apple has been turning rather sour lately.

In the most recent showdown between the New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio, hundreds of uniformed police officers publicly turned their backs on the mayor as he delivered a eulogy during the funeral ceremony of Officer Rafael Ramos.

I’ve spent my entire day listening to acclaimed political pundits from both sides of the spectrum debate the underlying causes of this rocky relationship, argue whether aggressive policing tactics are a concern of reality or perception, and squabble over the possibility of reducing tensions between police departments and the communities they serve.

Frankly, the pacifist in me is getting nauseous.

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Planning Ahead & Thinking Big: The Bill Gates Technique

I spent this past week in Arizona – and it wasn’t for vacation or relaxation purposes. Rather, it was to take part in a special mastermind group.

People flew in from across the USA to attend. The group seemed to be made of entrepreneurs of all ages… and in similar growth stages of business. We sat together in a big room and got right to work. Everybody spent hours learning, analyzing, discussing and strategizing how to go about advancing their business goals and career objectives.

Perhaps you think that leaving the office for nearly an entire week might be a little bit too intense. “Was the whole trip really necessary?” you may be asking yourself. To say it was productive would be an understatement. Truthfully, it baffles me as to why every single businessperson in today’s marketplace doesn’t spend just one week out of a whole a year attending a mastermind group to focus on planning ahead.

Of course, when I talk about planning ahead, I don’t only mean technical things like crunching numbers or crafting contingency plans.

I’m talking about thinking big.

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Let’s Stop the Negativity!

I like posting inspirational quotes on my twitter feed. These quotes often give me a quick boost of enthusiasm and I enjoy passing along that feeling to others.

So it should come as no surprise that I recently posted the following line: “Far too many people have no idea what they can do, because all they’ve been told is what they can’t do.”

It did come as a surprise to me, though, when a prominent media publication reposted the above quote. While I was pleasantly amazed, I was also slightly perplexed. Why would they feel the need to repost a quote from Meny Hoffman? But after thinking about it for a few moments, the answer became obvious.

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So Tell Me, What’s New?

I just came across a fascinating article on CNET that I wanted to share with you.

Formally known as The CNET 100 Leaderboard, this eye-opening commentary chronicles the 100 hottest hi-tech products sold this month. A quick look at some of these items – ranging from the HP OfficeJet 8600 printer to the Samsung Galaxy S5 phone to the Nikon D5300 digital camera – really got me thinking.

Why are these objects selling so quickly? Don’t people already own printers and phones and cameras? What’s with the remarkably high demand for so many clone-like products already owned by nearly every human on the planet?

The answer, of course, lies within ourselves.