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Paper Napkin Wisdom - Podcast and Blog for Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Difference-Makers

I've asked 1000s of the worlds top Entrepreneurs, Leaders, and Difference-Makers to share with me their most important pearl of wisdom on a simple paper napkin. Then I ask them to have a conversation about why they shared that Paper Napkin Wisdom with me and what it meant to them and for them in their life. Visit http://www.papernapkinwisdom.com for full show notes and archives. Learn their exceptional Stories of Drive, Impact, Balance and Leadership shared by CEOs, founders, authors, speakers, mentors, and teachers. They share successes and failures alike, paying forward their learning experiences to all of us.
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Now displaying: May, 2018
May 30, 2018

The Johari window was created by two psychologists in the mid-1950s as a tool for personal, group, and relationship development. Peter Mellen uses the Johari window as the framework for discussing how individuals and groups act, and how communication and relationships can grow.

There are four sections to the Johari window:

  1. Arena or Open: This is information we know about ourselves that’s also known to others.
  2. Façade or Hidden: This is information known to us that we do not share with others.
  3. Blind: This is information we don’t know about ourselves but others do.
  4. Unknown, or what Peter calls Generative Space: What neither we nor others know about ourselves.

Peter says it is important to expand Arena in order to achieve successful relationships. The more we get to know about the other person, the stronger our relationship would become. These relationships could lead to successful results in groups. As Peter says, “As we grow Arena, we build trust stronger and more transparent relationships.”

In the Façade area Peter asks, “What does an entrepreneur choose to keep behind the façade in the realm of the hidden and why do they do it?” It could be because of the fear that if entrepreneurs expose what’s hidden, it would lead to failure. Basically, “a fake it, until you make it” mentality. The challenge for the entrepreneur in this area is to let that fear go and seek the help that’s needed.

The next area, Blind, Peter explains how we might deny our blind spots’ existence, and they can be difficult to hear about. A first reaction might be to push it away. But a better response he says is “thank you.” He suggests that we “listen generously and be willing to try it on.” It is an area for learning and personal growth.

The last area is Generative Space. Peter explains this portion by calling it our “potential” – where all the unarticulated parts of ourselves are and “where miracles happen.” It is where creation exists.  He describes how this portion is our strengths and all those potential skills that we do not know about ourselves, but can discover by looking at ourselves from a different angle, or challenging ourselves to push the envelope. 

Growing as an entrepreneur includes the challenge of finding our strengths and working on what we do not know about ourselves every single day. With better knowledge of ourselves and others knowing us as well, barriers are opened up and organizational relationships can grow.

May 26, 2018

This has nothing to do with an ACTUAL well.

It has to do with the structure and support systems we need as leaders, as entrepreneurs.

It’s such a roller-coaster of ups and downs out there that we need support to help keep us a little more level and a little more in the zone to be in flow … to capture the momentum around us.

The challenge is that we tend not to do that when things are good – we’re so focused on the ride up that we forget about creating layers of support and structure for the way down.

What does that look like? It looks like truly transparent relationships that are nurtured with peers, people who are doing what you want to be doing in life and business. This transparency needs to happen in a rhythm, one that gets quicker when you need it (like a heartbeat). But is also there when you don’t (also like a heartbeat).

Focus on building meaningful relationships with people you aspire to be like, and show up with transparency – show up with challenges, opportunities, and problems that you haven’t figured out yet.

Ask them for help – build a well.

Let`s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Subscribe to both our podcasts Paper Napkin Wisdom and to Take Action by Paper Napkin Wisdom now.

May 23, 2018

Small business marketing expert and entrepreneur Jim Palmer’s fifth book is entitled, “Stop waiting for it to get easier, create your dream business now!” The sentence explains itself. “There is no perfect time,” Jim says as he recounts his own experience: broke and heavily in debt, on unemployment for 15 months, suffering from a serious health issue. Jim started in a very low place, and he knows you should not wait for the time to be perfect to start your dream business.

“It’s bigger than yourself,” Jim says about the importance of creating your business. If you have an idea and the resources, you should go for what you believe you can do. Now. He makes the analogy of sand in the hourglass. Time is running out, so stop waiting and act!

Jim realizes that people are hungry for success, but you really can’t make your business successful immediately. It’s a time-consuming process, “like a pearl or stained glass, it doesn’t happen instantly,” he says. Everyone starts small and eventually they can reach their dream level. Nothing comes that easy. You have to strive to work hard to make your business a dream business.

He talks about ‘perfectionism’ - how people have the idea of having everything in a perfect way and doing everything at the perfect time. The idea of perfectionism Jim says, is a business killer: it kills momentum. Since you can’t always have the ideal time and the ideal business or the ideal workplace, this will always stop you from moving forward if you think things need to be perfect from the outset.  Get over being a perfectionist, Jim advises. “Choose to be judged on the value of the content, information or service and not on the imperfect way you do it.”

Another factor to be successful at what you do? You consciously commit to stretching where you don’t want to go. “The top 1% learns to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Do the hard work others don’t do,” Jim says.

Swift decision-making is critical for success as well. Trusting your gut is one of the most important strategies that you need in your business. The main thing that you have to do is make a decision right when you are faced with a question or a problem. There is no maybe; there is no in between. What an entrepreneur needs to do is to decide with a firm yes or no. Jim explains that the ability to make decisions is like a muscle. The more you make decisions be they big or little, the more you strengthen your muscle. You are training yourself and getting better at deciding and acting effectively. And if the decision isn’t right, you can course correct.

Delegating is also something entrepreneurs or leaders have to learn to be successful. In a chapter entitled, “Delegate or stay small forever,” he explains that you need to hire smart, and train people into your culture. Then empower them to act. If you micromanage, your business can’t grow.

So act. Start that business. Make mistakes. Grow. Push yourself to realize your entrepreneurial dream.

May 19, 2018

It’s so important to build transparency in the life of the entrepreneur, leader, and difference maker.

Too often we don’t hold space for our most important relationships, the ones with our spouses, life partner, and families. We need to save space for them, and us, to share our dreams, our challenges, our hopes.

Structure time in the evening to debrief on the day, and more importantly to brief on the day before you start. This is not an opportunity to vent, this is an opportunity to share a vision for the day.

At the end of the day, it gives you an opportunity to share what you’ve learned, what you won, and what you’re grateful for. Think of it as a night time huddle with your most important partner – the one you wake with and end with each night.

Give each-other a safe and soft place to land after another busy day and support each other to remember and restate your family, personal, and even business dreams.

There is nothing more intimate than those moments of peace before and after falling asleep. If you happen to be on the road, or away from loved ones, then turn to a journal …

If you have made your bedroom a no cell phone zone, then this becomes even easier.

Have more pillow talk and give your self a soft place to land each day, and a great place to start in the morning.

This transparency will have you end and start each day with support at a level that will help you create momentum and take action on your dreams and goals.

Let`s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Subscribe to both our podcasts Paper Napkin Wisdom and to Take Action by Paper Napkin Wisdom now.

May 16, 2018

Being second in command is tricky terrain to navigate; just ask Adventure Links COO Adam Trautenberg.  Co-host, Miranda Barrett joins Govindh Jayaraman to get the inside scoop on how this COO takes charge of a demanding job that’s constantly in flux.

“The role is defined by the relationship with the CEO,” explains Adam. That relationship isn’t something that simply grew overnight. For him, “it was an organic experience…it built over time.” Trust is the most essential result of that developmental period. The two key components of their symbiosis involve him understanding his CEO’s vision, and, “her having the trust in me that I’ll get there.”

With trust, comes candor: “Mistakes are open and discussed.”  For Adam and his CEO, it’s about finding solutions, not pointing fingers. “She’s not going to scream and yell, or fire me, or threaten to fire me…It’s a really honest and open communication line.” However, that doesn’t protect him from political pitfalls. 

COOs often find themselves, for better or for worse, as the liaison between the CEO and the rest of the company. “If you cover too much for the CEO…you can lose a little bit of the trust of the team.” It’s a fine line that only a few have the balance to walk. 

So, what does it take to make a great COO? Adam quickly asserts, “Adaptability.” Apparently, there simply isn’t a normal day for him, which explains why, “there’s no job description for COO.”

May 12, 2018

As leaders we discuss holding space for our team. We all recognize that we need to give them time and space to succeed, for their mindset.  How clear are you, as a leader, however, that you too need time and space?

Former Paper Napkin Wisdom guest and Big Data Expert John Johnson says that we are bombarded by more than 30 tractor-trailer loads of information each day. With all that noise (and most of it bad news) we need to hold space for ourselves and for our loved ones. The people we share our homes with …

Cell phones in our hands when we are talking to each other send the very clear message that the person in front of us is less important than whatever could be going on in the digital world around us. Protect the time and space for yourself and make your bedroom a no-cell phone zone. Yes, this might mean that you need to get a $7 alarm clock. So go get one.

You can extend this policy to work. No cell phones in meetings – or in boardrooms.

Or you can go even further and make your home a no-cell phone zone. Create a charging space in the foyer, mudroom, or entrance of your home or apartment where phones can charge (on silent). Of course this might mean getting a $5 a month home phone so that people can call you (yes and speak with you not just text) when there is an emergency.

Creating no cell-phone zones protect your ability to preserve your mindset and develop more meaningful relationships with those around you. You owe it to yourself to create space for yourself to think, to dream, to connect, to refresh.

 

Let`s work together to make this year the best one yet.

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

May 9, 2018

The title says it all: Think Big, Start Small. This is the philosophy behind many accomplishments and dreams that individuals and entrepreneurs bring to fruition.

Every big endeavor requires a step-by-step process of achievement. Innovative ideas are the big picture, each step turns that idea into reality is the small. Thinking big keeps eyes focused on the prize. Small achievements along the way are their own mini-prizes.

Andrew Davis shares his big dream story in today’s interview. From the time he was a child, Andrew wanted to work for the Jim Henson Company, with their famous characters, the Muppets. He began by doing magic tricks; he worked his way up to performing little puppet shows. Andrew dedicated three years to skills practice, and wrote thirty-six job query letters to the Jim Henson Company, letters he sent every month. He finally received notice. With no contacts and no formal idea how to achieve his dream, Andrew managed to land an interview. This is a real example of how to think big and start small!

As Andrew explains, success is achieved by breaking down goals. The big plan may seem impossible to others, but if each small step is clear and consistent, support increases. As Andrew notes, “Consistency is important to achieving big ideas.” That’s what he did. He stayed consistent and kept the rhythm.

Breville is another dream big, start small and achieve company. Breville sells kitchen appliances and juicers. Their dream was to sell more juicers. They did so by targeting overweight 40-year-old men via a 90-minute documentary film called, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” They partnered with food companies and movie theaters and sold so many juicers that Breville ran out of juicers to sell!

As Andrew says, “A rising tide lifts off ships.” It’s a clear depiction of how small steps can give rise to think BIG dreams and ambitions.

May 5, 2018

Are you looking for uncommon results in your company? Or maybe just for yourself? There’s a structure to build the uncommon results you crave for yourself and your team and it starts with transparency.

I’m not just talking about 2% or 5% growth from year to year. I’m talking about double digit year-over-year growth. Even triple digit growth!

This comes from taking your SMART2 goals to another level by combining Process and Volunteered Accountability. What does that mean? It means having your Team opt into sharing progress on Priorities openly with others on a regular schedule.

On top of that, they have to agree on how far someone can go with no progress and no problems. If there is no progress and no problems over a prolonged period of time, that should be a problem!

Take your growth to the next level by implementing The Structure of Transparency and earn yourself some Uncommon Results!

 

I want to help you. Please go to www.PaperNapkinWisdom.com and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible.

You have so much to give, you had better start now.

Take Action is a short podcast, usually between 3 to 5 minutes long, and the focus is on the small, 1% improvements we can make in our businesses and lives. Small changes make a big difference!

This podcast will help you make small changes that will change your world, so we can together save the world one entrepreneur and small business at a time!

Based on The Book Paper Napkin Wisdom: Your 5 Step Plan to Life and Business Success ? get yours now on Amazon or at Paper Napkin Wisdom.

May 2, 2018

Being a good manager and effective leader is not just about making decisions on your own, but about understanding how much decision-making depends on the customer’s behavior.

In this podcast, we talk with Chris McGoff, founder and chairman of The Clearing, who has been helping big brands and the federal government drive change and find success for 30 years. Chris provides a simple visualization of how managers divide their time: customers to the east, peers to the west, boss to the north, and staff and employees to the south.

“Spending your time in each of the four places is not equal. Some places are much more important than the others,” Chris tells us. As a typical manager, we are taught to keep focus on all the aspects, which isn’t wrong, but some areas need more focus than others.

What Chris focuses on is the importance of customers. When you spend time with your peers, boss and staff, without first and foremost spending time getting to understand your customers, you aren’t generating much power, Chris says. The manager who first goes to the customers, communicates with them, understands their problems, and then brings that voice to their boss, staff, and peers creates more powerful conversations.

When you “surrender your own voice, you take on the voice of the customer,” and you can go to your boss, peers, and staff knowing what your customers need, and approach solutions from that space.

Chris states, “Everything is created through value distribution to the East,” so your focus should be on communicating with customers first and regularly, then bringing that knowledge to the other groups in your circle.

The sole reason a business exists is because of the customers, so communication is critical but doesn’t have to be overwhelming. As Chris points out, “The coolest part about this is: it’s easy! It’s ancient. There’s nothing new here. You simply go and have a good conversation with people.”

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