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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Law of Compensation - We're going Stratospheric!

Compensation and Stratospheric in the same sentence? Is it possible that in a few paragraphs, I can make you rich? I hope I can!

We continue our journey through the "Five Laws of Stratospheric Success" as described in my favorite little red book, The Go-Giver. Hopefully you have already read about the first law (The Law of Value) in my previous posting. More importantly, hopefully you've already applied the first law! If not, STOP! Go back and read "Stratospheric Success! Really? Stratospheric?"

The Law of Compensation
Your income is determined by
how many people you serve
and how well you serve them.

As I mentioned in my last weblog post, I'm not about to give a play-by-play of the book, but instead I will explain what I take away from it. There are three pieces to this law (income, how many and how well).
"How many" and "How well" are easy. The more people you serve and the better you serve them seems obvious to me. If you limit how well you serve, or you limit how many you serve, you can be successful. But you can only be compensated on that limited scale.

Income is the most interesting word to me. If the word "income" were not in this law, the law would be easier for me to grasp. Compensation doesn't have to be about money. I am compensated daily by the satisfactions of solving problems, working hard, helping a friend/colleague/client, getting a hug from one of my boys, etc. But none of these compensations have anything to do with income.

I think (actually hope) that this law validates something that I have said hundreds of times over the past 10 years. If I/we deep down care about every individual client and their business (truly care - not just going through the motions), and we take personally their concern/problem/business, the money will take care of itself. I have tried to live this way from the first day that I went into business.

The Condition... Remember "the condition" from the last post? Laws are great, but if we don't practice them, then we are not allowed back to learn the next law. And as I mentioned, they are easy to execute. Here's my example of what I have done recently to reach out and try to serve. I'm not sure that I hit a home run with this one, but I'm learning too.

As I was reading The Go-Giver, I had many thoughts of the group of people who I influence (and who influence me) on a daily basis - specifically the team that makes up ITConnexx. The day after I finished this little red book of genius, I ran out and bought 10 copies. I shared a copy with every person in our company. I don't expect that handing out 10 copies of a book will fill my bank account. What I hope is that we build a company of Go-Givers. I hope that every day, every person lives the Go-Giver lifestyle. I hope that every day, every person is personally compensated in the same ways that I am. And I hope that as we live this way, the money will take care of itself.

I'm sure that in a few paragraphs, I did nothing for your personal bank account. But I hope that in at least one way, I could help make you rich.

Still to come... Three more laws!!!

Brian O'Shaughnessy
Green Bay, WI

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stratospheric Success! Really? Stratospheric?

I have a new group of friends. We call ourselves HTG15. I don't think we are a gang, but I've been working hard on a new handshake.

HTG15 is a peer group. We are a group of 12 owners of IT service companies. We meet once a quarter to share everything about our individual company to the rest of the group. For each other, we are a virtual board of directors and support group. Our first meeting was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and in January we meet in Dallas.

I could write 20 pages about the group, the experience and how it has already changed my life. But that's not today's topic! Today's topic is about Stratospheric Success!

When the group left Council Bluffs, IA we all left with a small red book. The book is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. The little red book spills a secret. The secret of how to obtain "Stratospheric Success!" The little red book is fantastic, takes about three hours to read, and completely changed how I interact with people all day long. You read me right STRATOSPHERIC SUCCESS!

Now I'm not about to give you a play-by-play on the book. Go get it and read it. In fact, the first person to send me an email will get my copy.

The secret is simple. Give. Give. Give. Give unconditionally and with no expectation of reward. There are five rules (and coincidentally, five nice blog topics).

The Law of Value
Your true worth is determined by
how much more you give in value
than you take in payment.

This one is easy! Give more in value than you take in payment. If you receive nothing in payment and give any value, you are giving more. We can all do this all day long. Hold a door, pick up a piece of garbage from the sidewalk, give a real smile and say good morning to a stranger in line when you wait for a cup of coffee. Give a genuine "thank you." Doing any of these things give value to the recipient, and you take no payment. Give more to your employer than you take in a salary. When you are hired to perform a task, or complete a job, exceed the expectation of the client (and exceed by far). It really is easy to live this way.

As you read The Go-Giver you will learn that there is "a condition" required to learn the secret and the five rules. The condition is doing. If you don't execute the rule on the day that you learn it.... you are not invited back for the next rule. Execution isn't as hard as it sounds.

I'm reluctant to do this, because a true Go-Giver doesn't give for notoriety, but I want to share how I execute the laws. My hope is to show how easy it is and give you ideas to do the same.

The day after I read my little red book, i was cold called by a sales person. This sales person (James Wing, Enterprise Account Representative, Xandros, Inc. - I wont post his email address without permission, but if you want it, email me) had sent me an unsolicited email message a couple of days prior that I scanned and ignored. James was trying to sell me a Linux-based equivalent of Microsoft Exchange that I could resell as a service. Unfortunately, my Linux skills have all but evaporated and this was not a product for us. For the last ten years, I have made a habit (and some times a sport) of being mean to sales people.

But now! I'm a Go-Giver!

Instead of blasting James and asking that he never call me again. I made him a promise. I promised him that I would print out his email message and put that piece of paper on my desk, and that I would shuffle that paper around for a month. And every time I picked up that piece of paper, I would try to come up with a prospect or lead for him. Unfortunately, I haven't come up with one (yet). But I'm sure that I've put more effort into helping James in the last month than any other person he called that day (or maybe this month).

Just today, somebody asked me if I knew of anybody that was looking to hire somebody with his skills. His resume is now a stack of three pages on my desk, to be shuffled around for a month.

Just today, the president of a website development company called. One of their best programmers received an opportunity that he couldn't refuse and is advancing his career. The phone call asked if I knew of a programmer that knew PHP and Access/SQL database programming. Unfortunately I don't (if you do, let me know and I'll pass on the word), but there is a full sheet of paper with a typed note that I'll shuffle around my desk for a month to keep me thinking for them.

I'm no genius, and I'm not wonderful. In none of these cases, could I solve the problem, but I am doing everything I can to not blow them off. I'm doing everything I can to provide more value than I take in payment.

I promised HTG15 that I'd have this posting done before Thanksgiving. I also promised that I'd write another entry about the Second Rule of Stratospheric Success before the weekend was over. So come back soon.

Brian O'Shaughnessy
Green Bay, WI