5 Profit Lessons From Silicon Valley

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a propensity to teach. Even before I started school, I somehow knew that a teacher stood out the front and talked while everyone else listened. I wanted to be the person others listened to. As a four year old it had nothing to do with money or profits, I just enjoyed teaching. So I would line up all my dolls and teach them. Inevitably, they were naughty (I don’t know where I picked up such a foreign concept from 😉 so I would smack their tiny, plastic bottoms!

Two weeks ago I spent time in Silicon Valley and I didn’t sit in a classroom, but I learned lessons that I’d never heard anyone else talk (or write) about.

  1. Size Matters
    The most overwhelming first impression was how HUGE everything was. I felt really tiny all of a sudden, like a four year old in a world of adults. Google, Facebook and Apple all have massive properties. I knew they were global companies and that their headquarters would be big. But there is not just one large building, there is campus after campus, building after building, facility after facility. At Google for example, you’ll need a cycle to move between all the locations which sprawl out over Mountain View.
    Creating a sense of scale, helps profits by giving your customers confidence.
  2. Security Matters
    These tech giants are not just concerned with keeping their software secure, they all have a very visible army of security guards physically protecting their properties. You are not allowed into any of their buildings. You are instructed to just take a photo and move on. And it’s even more pronounced in Silicon Beach (in Los Angeles’ Venice Beach area). Google’s offices don’t even have a logo. And Snapchat’s headquarters has no logo, frosted glass windows and security guards.
    Creating a sense of security, helps profits by giving your employees a sense of confidence.
  3. Real Estate Matters
    Google especially, and to a lesser extent Facebook and Apple have leveraged their income streams into successful investments in real estate. Google owns much more real estate than the offices that their more than 50,000 employees turn up to every weekday. In fact, they own more than 10% of all real estate in the neighborhood. There are places you can stand in Silicon Valley where Google is the owner of everything as far as the eye can see.
    Creating a sense of permanency, helps profits by giving your investors a sense of confidence.
  4. Education Matters
    Facebook is the favourite choice of the big three, especially among women, who want to work with Sheryl Sandberg, and everyone who wants a healthy work/life balance (the sprawling employee carpark is empty on the weekend). Apparently, for every one job opening at Facebook, an average of 10,000 applications pour in. Apple has a reputation for attracting those who love design and want to be the best, but different… even though there is a lot of pressure and constant deadlines. Google has high pressure deadlines too. I was told that “Push” is the favourite word of managers there. And the carpark is sadly full on the weekend. But it is the place you go, if you want to get the best training and development. The Education you receive at Google is *almost* as good as students receive at the nearby campus of Stanford University. All three of the giants benefit from this local pool of students where the campus is packed with motivational banners saying things like “Change the world!”
    Creating a culture of learning helps profits by giving suppliers a sense that you will continue growing.
  5. Location Matters
    I once read that the quickest way to acquire any skill is by association. I’ve read many times that you are the sum of the five people who most associate with. That’s why where you locate yourself matters. Silicon Valley has an entire ecosystem of potential customers, employees, investors, suppliers and entrepreneurs. You can go into just about any cafe (and savvy journalists and bloggers often do) and hear conversations about technology, business and growth. In this environment becoming profitable is so easy it can happen almost accidentally .
    Choosing a strategic location helps profits by giving owners a sense that you are surrounded by profits. And I learnt that teachers don’t always have a classroom: sometimes just associating yourself with success, can teach you much more than a smack on a plastic bottom.

If you want to chat about how you can apply these lessons from Silicon Valley unicorns to your specific business, go to the start working with Shaz page.

Silicon Valley tech tour

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Why do Shepherds shepherd?

Sheep need a shepherd – that’s a no brainer in marketplace terms. But Shepherds surely have lots of other choices, especially these days; brand ambassador, social media manager, youtube star – all just as soul-enhancing as shepherding, right?

So why do reasonably sane people with lots of other choices become shepherds?

Now, if you’re a pastor, forgive me, but you’re probably way off track, already.

You see, pastors don’t seem to even hear the word shepherd when you say shepherd, they hear “pastor”. They start thinking about God’s calling, commissioning, anointing.

They think about people.

But, just try for a moment, to think like a real proper shepherd. King David wasn’t pastoring people, he was shepherding sheep.

Why?

Okay, yeah, his dad probably made him. But then why did Jesse choose that?

Real life shepherds, look at you weird if you ask them that question.

They look at you the same way my niece looks at me when I ask her why she hasn’t got her PJs on and brushed her teeth ready for bed even though I’ve asked her three times already.

Like, it’s a dumb question.

Like, I should know the answer.

Profits.

VALUE – MONEY – INCOME – PROFIT – Marketplace.

Is this why Jesus chose marketplace disciples??
Because they would NOT think like pastors?

Maybe the reason Jesus and all of his disciples were the best people to grow the church were because they thought like business people not church people.

Maybe Jesus wanted His church to be… wait for it, pastors, brace yourself… profitable!

Now – you’re going to be shocked because I won’t think like you think.

You’ll probably even think I’m way off.

I’m wrong …

But ask yourself – seriously.

Am I perverting the way God made things?
or am I just saying it the way God made it?

Because if I’m perverting or twisting God’s ways then you can call me demonic…

But if I’m just pointing out God’s ways to you, you have to at least listen to what I say, right?

Even if you don’t like it.

It’s going to HELP you.

When King David wrote about God, he wrote about a Shepherd who provided ALL the needs of his flock (Psalm 23). That Shepherd needed to be pretty well resourced, right?

This Shepherd didn’t just let us hear his voice on Sundays, but he got in the kitchen and laid on a feast for us (even when our enemies were in our face), who was with us during our worst times, and who made sure our cup was overflowing.

Shepherds were the ones who got the call from the angels at the birth of Christ (Luke 2)

More than one.

OUT at night … living where the sheep lived.

24/7 shepherding.

They weren’t namby pamby “Sunday is like a work day for me” pastors.

They were doing the long hours, the midnight shift.
Why? Because sheep herds need more protection during the night than during the day.
How many night shift pastors do you know?

I don’t mean the occasional late night phone call.
I mean spending EVERY NIGHT with your flock? You know, like small business marketplace people usually do.

Most pastors I know are working way too hard and simultaneously not hard enough. They’re working too hard at shepherdy things and not nearly hard enough at helping sheep get their sheepy things done. Some are so out of touch with sheepy things they barely know what functioning like a sheep looks like anymore.

Is this why Paul continued in the marketplace?
To protect against church-think?

How do you do it?

Add value to sheep.

Forget “hear my voice” – they’ve been doing that.
And it hasn’t helped you or them that much – really, has it??
Well, has it?

Give ’em good pastures, an environment with:
– good location
– rotation

Get ’em breeding – duplicating themself – that’s the number 1 skill a profitable shepherd ensures his sheep maintain. Lambing season is the highlight – and it’s not just because lambs are cuter than most sheepy baa baas. A good shepherd will intervene in all sorts of unnatural ways to get sheep doing what should come naturally!

Take your sheep to market, let them see demand and supply in action, up close and personal.

Even if they’re not producing lambs for you, at least fleece them!

Hello, pastor? Remember, how I said to stop thinking like a pastor…

Yes, I am seriously suggesting you fleece your flock. That’s what they’re there for.

Shepherds know that when they take value from the sheep, they are actually giving value to the sheep. Did you ever hear about Shrek, the kiwi sheep that got lost for 6 years. His fleece was so heavy it could have caused chronic issues:

  • The weight was so heavy he could barely get up
  • The wool covered much of his eyes, he could barely see
  • The thick coat could’ve caused heat stress

Shrek continued growing on his own, but no-one benefited from it until his Shepherd found him. Shrek was growing, but worse off. There were no woolly jumpers for customers those 6 winters – the marketplace was worse off, and no payday either – the shepherd was worse off.

You see, when you take value from sheep, you do three things:
1. take burdens from them, and

2. bring provision to yourself, and

3. bring value to the marketplace.

All marketplace people know that customers have two choices when dealing with your business.

They can either keep their problem, or keep their money.

They can stay hungry, or buy food from you.

They can stay bored, or buy a movie ticket from you.

They can get frustrated trying to write a blog piece that sells, or get you to write for them (call me ;-).

Taking their money helps them function better. They get better results. They literally feel better about themselves. And they start to grow anew.

I’m not talking about gouging them for your own selfish benefit. I’m not talking about short-term opportunists here. I’m talking about the natural way, the way things are, and always have been, designed to work. I’m talking about a fair, mutual, exchange of value here.

 

Good shepherds help protect their value. They invest in sheep dip. They weed out the thistles in the paddock and fertilise the clover and alfalfa.

And they fence sheep in. Jesus called it a door (John 10:7).

Sheep without a shepherd, or sheep with a shepherd that is just a hireling, are like sheep with a wolf.

Scattered.

That’s the kind of future we don’t want for our flocks (yes, I’ve started talking about people, now).

Scattered – distracted. Shepherds remind us of what is important, they focus us. They intervene when we are going astray.

Scattered – disparate. Shepherds fence us off from disunity, and directionless wanderings. They unify us. They show us the quickest path to provision.

Scattered – unproductive. Shepherds make us work together, so we, well, work. We reproduce another generation. We know how to grow a fleece – on a timetable. Our milk flows (mmm goat’s cheese). Eventually, our Shepherd might even chuck us on the barbeque on Australia Day!

Sadly, many pastors are scattered, too. My hope and purpose for this blog post is that it helps us all start fleecing and focusing and stop scattering.

Marketplace shepherds need to know these skills, too.

We all need to be reminded of Jesus’ words to Peter.
Do you love me?
Feed my sheep.

Feed them real sheep food; help them focus on growing profits, regularly, so that yielding their annual profits to you is not only a natural part of life for them, it’s a real weight off their shoulders.

Otherwise, you’re just leaving them useless and helpless, like youtube stars to the slaughter.

 

7 Bible Verses for Business Owners

  1. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
    Not everything that has a beginning is great, but everything that is great has a beginning – make sure 2017 is beginning with God.
  2. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
    If things aren’t working for you, it’s probably because they’re not working together. Make sure your systems create synergy.
  3. 1 Samuel 21:8 And David said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.”
    Speed is often a better weapon than a sword or a spear. Make sure your systems can respond to changing circumstances with haste.
  4. Luke 19:23 ‘Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
    Jesus suggested to even the wicked servant that he should have used systems where profit grows instantly, continuously and effortlessly, like interest at the bank.
  5. Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
    Simply remembering can create wealth. Make sure your systems include reminders so the important things don’t get forgotten and do create wealth.
  6. Habakkuk 2:2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
    “Write the vision

    And make it plain on tablets,
    That he may run who reads it.”
    Making things plain is powerful – it can turn readers into runners. Ensure your systems bring simplicity, not complexity, so they power up your profits.
  7. Isaiah 48:17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.
    God could have chosen any method of helping us to profit, but He chose to be the teacher; the fastest path to profit is teaching. Make sure your systems include leading others so they know the ideal way to go.

The ideal way to get more bible-based resources to create prosperity for business owners, leaders and managers, is to apply now to start working with Shaz Jones in 2017.

 

Growing 120x in 12 weeks

Multiplying is something I love. I think, actually, that’s what is at the core of my fascination with technology.

My current project involves working with an organisation that grows from about 800 people to 97,000 people in just 12 weeks.That’s a pretty rapid and radical multiplication!

Growing an organisation by more than one hundred times in less than three months is a strange mix of excitement, frustration and chaos.

Oh and did I mention that even though we are increasing the people by 12,000% we’re only increasing the budget by 50%?

Systems that are designed to serve 800 people don’t work well when you suddenly try to make them serve 97,000 people.

But if I could only change one thing in this whole organisation to make the best outcome for the least effort, I wouldn’t change the budget, I’d change just this …

Q U E E N C E S

I made a video about this 7 years ago …

  • how queences can help you do impossible things
  • how queences can bring order into chaos
  • how queences can explain why two people doing the same things with the same resources can have radically different results

 

 

 

Kingdom Entrepreneurship 101 – Building Better Business Funnels

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking to an amazing couple. They have owned their own business for more than six years, have had a business coach for more than two years, have come within a whisker of their first million dollar year and have lots of happy customers, suppliers and employees. By all accounts they are very successful.

But they still felt like things were harder than they needed to be.

We got around to talking about what God did on Day 1. His work diary is the first thing He shares with us right in the first chapter of the first book of the bible.

And what did He do on that first day? Essentially, it comes down to three tasks:

  1. Creation – He created Light.
  2. Separation – He separated his newly created Light from the old darkness.
  3. Evaluation – He made sure the work He’d completed was good.

Whilst I find a lot of business owners are really great at creation (doing the work), and evaluation (making sure the customer is happy), what they are not so great at is the work of separation.

In fact, some people skip it altogether. Consequently, they feel like the business is all-consuming.

Imagine if God had created light but didn’t do the work of separation? The new light would still be mixed in with the old dark and everything would be a murky grey. The dark wouldn’t be dark enough to sleep properly and the light wouldn’t be light enough to work properly.

All of the creation work would’ve been wasted.

And can you imagine trying to keep customers who wanted dark or light happy? Without separation it wouldn’t just be stressful, and take a lot of hard work to fix, it would literally be impossible!

All your other activities will be stressful for you, and less than satisfactory for your clients, if you don’t learn to do the work of separation.

God did it on Day 1. It was one of His first priorities.

Is it time you made it your priority?

Here’s some examples of separation work:

Create a structure. Draw up an organisational chart that defines each of the separate roles in your business. You might have to put your name next to manager, book keeper, sales leader – and every other role, for now. But at least now you know the size and shape of your eventual organisation.

Create a salary for yourself. Separate out some money to pay yourself every week. Even if it is only a small amount at first. You’ll be amazed how powerful it is when you start separating business finances from personal finances.

Create a schedule. Separate out some time each day to do some business planning and to do some non-business “me time”. You might want to devote that time to having a workout, reading a book to learn new skills, or just relaxing at a cafe.

I know a lot of people who are working hard in their business and they think what they need is even more hard work. That’s usually not the case. They usually need to do some separation work.

Fuel-oil-water

It’s like knowing your car needs fuel, oil and water, so putting them all in the fuel tank. Your car won’t go anywhere. And putting in more fuel won’t help at all. All your efforts are diluted and your results will continue to sputter.

You’ll only start making real progress when you’ve done the work of separation. The good news is that once the separation is done, every little bit of fuel you add works better than all the fuel before.

You might find your business needs to have several streams continually pouring in but you’ve only focused on one. Do you need a separate funnel for marketing and customer sales, another funnel for employees and sub-contractors, and yet another funnel for developing managers and leaders?

Most of my clients are amazed after they’ve done the work of separation at how much less work they have to do in creation and evaluation.

Hiring a coach or mentor is the best way to funnel in a separate perspective to your business. If you need a breakthrough to help you achieve more and struggle less, call me on +61 (0)432 857 299.

Once you’ve done the separation work God did from Day 1, you’ll find the rest of your week is much more successful!

Get A New Job – Guaranteed

lotteryGetting a new job can be a bit like winning the lottery. Everyone wants it. Thousands of hopefuls get their ticket. But only one ever wins. And, let’s face it, that one is hardly ever you.

There’s an internet fun fact that you are more likely to die on the way to buying your ticket than you are to win.

And yet people keep hoping.

The ancient writer said “hope deferred makes the heart sick”.

Us humans aren’t wired for uncertainty. It makes us physically ill. We operate much better under certainty.

That’s why I’m designing a new job site that has certainty built into it.

It won’t be like existing sites that help you seek jobs, it will help you find them.

It won’t be about a process of creating a profile, applying for a job, submitting a resume, writing a cover letter, explaining how you fit selection criteria, and all the hoops that come after that.

It will be about bypassing all the jumping through hoops and going straight to payday.

It will be like buying a lottery ticket when you already know it’s the winning ticket.

I can’t wait to share it with you. If you want to be among the first winners, join the waiting list now at http://www.2015jobs.com.au

4 Ways to Deal with what Really Drives Leaders Crazy

“All success is pattern recognition” – I think Larry Page from Google was the first person I heard say that. It’s stuck with me.

So I loved this post from Leadership Freak about ways to deal with negative patterns. It only takes a few minutes to read, but it’s powerful stuff.

4 Ways to Deal with what Really Drives Leaders Crazy.

Your Financial Independence Day

I meet a lot of people who want to retire early. Most people think that retirement calculations are so complicated that they have to pay a fortune to a financial advisor to figure out how long before they can personally retire.

It doesn’t have to be so complicated. The mathematics is the same, regardless of your income.

What’s important is your savings rate – the percentage of your income you save for your retirement. Unfortunately, many people are spending all of their income i.e. their savings rate is 0%.

Mr Money Mustache says if you haven’t put away anything, and you start today, here’s how long it’s going to take you to retire, based on your savings rate:

retirementThe reason is that saving is a double-edged sword. Firstly, it grows your retirement nest egg. But it also means you are living off less, and therefore your nest egg doesn’t have to be so big to retire.

So by all means, work at increasing your income. But no matter how much income you make you have to decide to keep a portion of everything you earn. Even if you suck at maths, everyone can start making small changes to reduce their expenses which will literally buy back years of your life.

If you want to know more about creating financial independence, and how to calculate your unique financial independence day, download the At Home Profits app from iTunes today.

 

Success Magazine And Public Speaking

Following my cosuccess mag covermments on this article about willpower in Success Magazine, (on the trinity power of I will, I won’t and I want) I just got invited to be included in the “Your Say” section of the July Issue…. “space permitting”, of course.

But still, woot! #success

Speaking of trinity, I also booked in a speaking gig at Trinity College in Perth for next month. I’m speaking on (the trinity of ) Work, Entrepreneurship and Spirituality. Feel free to share your thoughts on any of those subjects – and I just may quote you in my presentation… “space permitting”, of course 🙂