Your Past Can Benefit Your Present!

Unlike an investment, your past success can be an indicator of future success. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, replied in the FAQ section of his book that Robert Burgleman, one of his favorite professors at Stanford Business School taught him, “The single biggest danger in business and life other than outright failure, is to be successful without being resolutely clear about why you are successful in the first place.”

Have you made a connection to the patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours that creates your success? A connection to WHY you are successful provides you with a keen awareness and a road map of familiar patterns of thoughts/emotions/habits that you can adapt to present day realities to improve your effectiveness towards desired achievements.

Like many people when faced with new challenges or adversity your initial thought is probably not…OH YEAH! another obstacle for me to overcome! Your initial thought is probably alone the lines of WHY ME? or WHY NOW? I’ll give you the answer that I state to myself once I get pass my moments of “this couldn’t be happening to ME!”… SHIFT Happens.

SHIFT Happens implies change. Most of us say we want change but then when it occurs without our consent our response to it implies just the opposite. Our acceptance and ability to adapt to changing realities can and often does dictate our level of progress in life. Consider the steps that it took for you to learn how to read at various grade levels, if you had not been flexible and open to new learnings you would have not been promoted to the next grade level!

At each new grade level you were expected to use what you had previously learned as the foundation for the next grade level of studies. Year after year you built a foundation of academic progress based on previous academic success. Your patterns of perceptions, feelings and actions from one year to the next influenced your effectiveness and progress as a student.

Your Action Plan: Make a list of your top five achievements. Underneath each achievement list three to five dominant thoughts, emotions and daily habits which led to your success. Decide how you can adapt these thoughts, emotions and habits into your present reality to create the desired progress and success you want to experience. Your success is a clue to what you can do!

How To Effectively Negotiate? The 6-Step Professional Approach

Nearly everything in life worth achieving, requires some sort of negotiating skills. While many people say they know how to negotiate, it is important to realize that is far different from effectively doing so. Therefore, both regarding our personal lives, as well as many skills associated with business expertise, effective negotiation is a key to excellence. When we not only know how to do this, but also consistently utilize the skills, assets, attitudes and abilities, which put you in the best position, we are most capable of achieving things which so many others are not. Understand this requires doing one’s homework, being prepared (ready), and following a quality game plan. Let’s review the 6-step, professional approach:

1. Know your objectives: Only if you enter into the process, knowing what you want to accomplish and achieve, have a clear vision of your goals, and follow a path, in an orderly manner, will you achieve what you seek or need. One of the biggest mistakes poor negotiators often make, is either under-estimating their adversary, over-stating what they promise, fail to differentiate between essential priorities versus wants, don’t understand the need to clearly articulate and tell the truth, etc.

2. Know adversary’s objectives/needs: You might wonder why it is so important to know what the other side needs. Quality negotiating is not about merely asking for the moon, because unless the other side, gets what it needs, the process will often fail. For example, if you negotiate with a hotel or a caterer, why would you believe they would agree to lose money. In that instance, create a process which creates and/or seeks a win-win, where together you reach concepts which might save money, which can then be passed along. In real estate, quality negotiating is never about merely pressuring the owner (if you represent the buyer), to lower the price dramatically, but rather getting the lowest price possible, which will be accepted and close the process, creating a meeting of the mind.

3. Absolute integrity: Amateurs sometimes proceed by overstating what they can deliver, and, their side suffers, when inevitably it is discovered to be so. Rather, one of the necessities of profession negotiations, is to consistently maintain absolute integrity!

4. Full disclosure: Clearly articulate your musts, which are those needs, often referred to as deal-breakers! Explain you want to work together to make it work, and seek alternative approaches or methods, that will make it work well for both sides!

5. Think outside the box: Forget the same-old, same-old philosophy, mentality or approach! Rather, carefully consider alternatives, work with (rather than constantly against) the other side, and develop mutually satisfying approaches. For example, when negotiating with a hotel and/or caterer, clearly explain what you offer/the advantages to them(e.g. common menus, flexibility of menu and service, etc). Seek ways where both sides can win!

6. Come to a win-win, meeting of the minds: Only when both sides come away, feeling they were somewhat successful, and met their needs and objectives, do you get the longer-term, best results. Great negotiator realize that winning does not mean defeating the other side, but rather coming to an agreement which works, and achieves objectives!

I’ve often stated negotiations should usually be left to the professionals, because, the process goes more smoothly, and a greater proportion of goals and objectives are met. When you understand the basics, and focus on the end-result, you will become a far better negotiator.

Ebook Presented Digitally

The ebook is a digitally presented format of any printed conventional book which can be read through a personal computer or through a hardware device called a book reader. The inception of such an innovative idea dates back to 1971 when the pioneer Michael Hart, in U.S.A., decided to create through computers storage, retrieval and scanning of texts available in libraries. This resulted in the origin of the first ebook, a copy of the `Declaration of Independence` which later evolved into `Project Gutenberg`. Today it contains over 20,000 free texts and over 100,000 books.

Every month over 3,000,000 books are downloaded. Ultimately this reached mammoth proportions with ebooks flooding the web because of its easy storage on hard drive or disk. Production of ebooks is carried out generally by document scanning or by using robotic book scanners.

Initially the ebooks were confined to specialty topics which were documents, technical manuals or articles on manufacturing techniques with cutting edge hardware. Such ebooks did not create much impact in the market as there was no consensus on packaging, selling or reading. A number of diverse specifications, supported by leading software companies or by independent programmers, proliferated which catered to readers following multiple formats resulted in further fragmentation of the market. At this stage ebook was not a mainstream item.

This, however, did not stop ebook from spreading its domain. It surfaced in the underground markets wherein the ebook publishers distributed those books which were not readily available in the market. Similarly, authors whose books did not find any publishers started offering their books on-line so that viewers were exposed to the literature. Even unauthorized and unofficial catalogues were available in various web sites. And in this manner ebooks began to circulate on-line. Romantic novels were the first successful ebooks as they catered to a large clientele who bought them on-line and enjoyed reading them in privacy.

These incidents caught the attention of major publishers. Around mid June 2001, the acclaimed publishers started delving into this medium and tried to gain from the ebook formats. This led the publishers to establish on-line stores and partnerships with e-reader manufacturers. Today, the electronic hardware manufacturers are also working in tandem with ebook readers to capitalize on the on-line ebook market.

This upsurge of activity by the reputed publishers, electronic companies and independent operators resulted in the development of new selling models. Simultaneously, a more simple and homogeneous format with better reading hardware was created to achieve a global distribution for ebooks. This has unleashed an array of new publishing houses. Today, electronic manufacturers are wooing the ebook readers through new designs while software engineers are developing new reader application for portable electronic gear ranging from hand held computers, smart phones and game consoles.

The twentieth century readers, unaware of the concept of ebook, are now being gradually exposed to this electronic phenomenon. Commuters read ebooks on laptops, hand held computers or on cell phones. Such is the craze of ebooks in Japan that mobile phone novels have evolved where books could be downloaded and read on the cell screen. Sales which were negligible a few years back has crossed 10 billion yens annually (The Economist). At present, consumers can easily access books of their choice ranging from best sellers to new authors or which ever type suiting their reading pattern.

Ebooks reading are advantageous as it is a space saving device of book storage. One CD / DVD can, approximately, store 500 ebooks and are never out of print, which is a common occurrence in conventional books. For researchers such digitized versions are ideal as they display excellent choice of formats enabling speedy cross references. Readers can adjust their reading convenience by adjusting fonts and text sizes and use back lit facility which allows adequate visibility in low light. Unlike traditional books and paperbacks, ebooks need not be hand held, can be reproduced cheaply and are generally inexpensive as it does not consume paper, ink and other resources used in conventional printing.

The basic disadvantage of ebook is that it requires electronic devices for display. The software may not be readily available or free or compatible with the existing computer configuration. Sudden hard disk drive failure or power disruption causes disturbing interruptions. eBook storage mediums are fragile, the devices are costly and replacement charges could be prohibitive. Finally, and particularly for some publishers, hacking is a perennial danger.