Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kiyosaki called everybody out!

I guess Kiyosaki is tired of saying the same thing over and over again. In this video he just puts it out there! Basically, if you don't pursue your dreams, then you are a what? Hear it from Kiyosaki himself!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Proving Due Diligence: Steps for Gaining a Patent

You have a wonderful idea; you know it could make you millions, do you:
  1. Take out an ad in the New York Times broadcasting your new discovery.
  2. Write up a research paper and present it at the next tradeshow, university staff meeting, or Toastmasters event.
  3. Talk about it to a few friends, but never act on it.
  4. Keep your mouth shut, start researching, and keep meticulous records.
I think the choice is obvious, but just in case you didn’t get the point. The answer is 4.  If you have a new invention and you are dying to share it to the world, don’t. You need to start working towards your invention, proving due diligence by consistently  working on your invention is what it takes to make your invention a profitable means of income for you and your family.
Hopefully, these steps will assist you in your goal. It is imperative that you are organized and consistent.  You have two years to prove that you are moving towards your invention. That’s really not a long time when you have a myriad of outside obligations that try and stop you from attaining your goal.
Step 1: The Journal
Get a bound notebook. Use it as place to store all information, research, drawings and diagrams that you create of your project.  Write the date on every page of your journal. Keep track of everything you do towards the project. Are you reading books? Take notes and date it. Are you going to a fabric store? Take notes and date it. Did you go to a trade show, convention, or sales meeting? Take notes and date it. Any type of research! Take notes and date it.  Did you call someone and talk about your business? Take notes and date it.  This shows that you are consistently working on your invention daily!
The journal is so important!!! You must do something EVERYDAY towards your project.  The only excuse that you can use for missing dates is vacation or illness. I strongly suggest saving plane tickets, toll receipts, hotel receipts, whatever you used for vacation. I’m not a tax attorney, but if you decide to take a break on vacation, think about how you can combine your vacation and your business together. If you are deathly ill and can’t continue working on your project, keep track of hospital visits. You don’t want a hanging chad on your patent application. Don’t leave any room for questions!
Step 2: Drawings and sketches
In order to prove that you created this design, find someone who will act as a witness to your work. The witness will not receive credit for invention. Your witness is an outside observer. This person is just a sounding board. They are a witness to your actions and your work on your project. I also suggest going to a notary, this adds more legitimacy to your claim.
Step 3: Explain your invention
The purpose of the patent system is to educate the public and foster innovation. Your role as the inventor is to educate. You need to write a document that fully explains how your invention works. You need to describe the design, structure and possible uses of your invention. After you write this document, get it signed and dated by a witness. The witness will not be considered an inventor.  It’s possible that you may make changes to your invention. If so, re-write your document and repeat the process. Save all papers and dates. This shows your work.
Step 4: Find a reputable patent attorney
While you are working on your invention, start scouting attorneys. Find someone who is compatible. Check their track record. A simple word search in your area may bring up a variety of names and organizations that can help you get a patent. Talk to someone who has experience in your area. Many of them will provide you with a free consultation. Ask as many questions as possible.
It’s a myth!
You may have heard about a cheaper way to get a paten is to mail it to yourself. Well, it’s a myth. If you can steam open an envelope and reseal it, then this form of “patent” becomes invalid.
Don’t waste your time!
You may have heard about provisional patents, something to do in a rush. Well, they are invalid once you start filing the real paperwork. Don’t waste your time!
I am not a paten attorney. I am not an inventor. I am just interested in protecting my ideas. Please seek out your own counsel. The background research for this article was from, Protecting your #1 Asset by Michael A. Lechter, Esq. He’s an intellectual property attorney residing in Arizona. He’s also a Rich Dad Advisor from Robert Kiyosaki’s advisor series.

Control, Control, Control

George Cloutier, author of “Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing” (HarperBusiness, 2009) would have us believe that a swift kick in the pants is what most employees need and deserve! After two divorces he's working on his third marriage and he's put his wife on notice....the business comes first.  He's currently writing a series of turn-around stories for Business Weekly on-line. Check them out! Nothing can beat free information!

Cloutier falls into the category of command and control! He believes micromanaging is the only way to survive! The key is not to get caught up in the language, but let's look behind the facade. Cloutiers micromanagement plan highligts a key point, "You have got to have a system in place to check on how they’re doing. If someone says, “I’m going to deliver $2 million in sales in the first six months,” you have to follow that every day. Like Ronald Reagan said, trust but verify. We actually have a button that’s says. “I’m a control freak and proud of it.” That's right folks, the system is key. Cloutier may appear to be heavy handed, and he probably is, but what he's really relying on is a system of check, check, check and check again! That's the key to his success.

Any small business owner has to learn how to manage themselves first. They have to figure out what they need to do in order to be successful.  If you can't manage yourself, then don't even think about managing a company of any size. All profitable companies have a system. They have a method in place to maintain their quality in goods and services. 

Cloutier's blowhard interview has revealed that in order to be a tyrant in business he's created a successful system that allows him to manage his staff and stay in control. 

Listen to a few of Cloutier's tips!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Culture and values count too much." - Jack Welch

Why did Jack Welch, a man who was once called, "Neutron Jack," worry about the culture and values of GE? Why did he spend the entire first half of, Jack: Straight from the Gut, discussing how he had to create a philosophy of excellence based on transparency and by asking challenging questions?  It's simple, the culture of your organization reflects your beliefs. If you believe in challenging people and encouraging them to be their best, you company will reflect that.  If you believe in command-and-control, bullying people into submission, your company will reflect that as well. So the question is, How do you change you in order to manage your business? 

Welch outlined key ideas that  he implemented at GE in order to make it a success during is 20+ year reign as CEO. A few of the key components included, quality training at all levels of the company, encouraging open dialogue between labor and management and constantly questioning and improving upon their core values. 

The first time a new employee learns about your company is at the interview.  The interview has to allow the potential employee to get a long-term view of the company and their role within it.  The interview has to relay the goals and core values of the company.  After the contracts are signed, the company has an obligation to nurture their new hires and indoctrinate them with your organizations core values and beliefs.

Think about it, What catch phrases? Tracking sheets? Routines and procedures have you implemented to ensure that every employee is invested in the success of the community?  Welch did this by creating evaluation systems that reinforced their common goals.  For example, when the company embraced globalization as a mission and some members of the GE team were resistant, regardless as to their performance on the balancesheet, they were fired due to their inability to find ways to think globally. This sounds harsh, but when you turn a blind eye to a key component of your mission, the others will see it and then standards begin to slide. 

A similar thing happened to Nick Sarillo, owner of Nick's Pizza & Pub.  In Inc. Magazines, February 1st issue, Bo Burlingham makes a slight incision into the core values of Nick's Pizza & Pub.  Sarillo hired a General Manager that was a friend, but bullied the staff and didn't follow the systems that were already in place.  He started to notice that the numbers didn't gel, the staff was unhappy, and the core values that he espoused weren't being honored. Sarillo's decision wasn't easy, but it had to be done. He had to remove the bad tomato.  In order to reinforce his core values, he had to hold steady to his standards.

Maintaining a culture of trust, hard-work mixed with high standards is an ongoing process. There has to be buy-in on all levels.  Learning how to express your vision and maintain a company culture begins with you.