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Web www.barternews.com
November 19, 2013

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 11/19/2013

NATE Wants YOU…

If you’re involved in the commercial barter industry in any way, the National Association Trade Exchanges invites you to expand your knowledge and contacts by attending their annual national convention. It will be held in Orlando next May 15-18, 2014.

For more details and registration information, click here.

Demand For Small-Business Financing Is Up

The demand for small-business financing increased 13% in October over the 2013 monthly average, according to Direct Capital’s October Small Business Lending Demand index. This comes on the heels of a 12% climb in September, with year-over-year demand up nearly 25%. The October reading is a good indicator for the economy at-large.

Will Stagnation Become The New Norm?

Noted economists Larry Summers and Paul Krugman are arguing that the U.S. economy is in a permanent slump, in which high unemployment and slow growth (also known as stagnation) will be the new norm for the country — and permanent.

They contend the situation revolves around inadequate demand. Because (a) the main engine of economic spending and growth — consumers, companies and the government — aren’t spending as much as they could; (b) there is a slowdown in our population growth, and (c) borrowing by American consumers (who account for 70% of the spending in the economy) has been reduced after three decades.

Television’s “Shark Tank” Panel Believes In Barter

Shark Tank is the name of the popular ABC show where business owners pitch their companies to a group of high-profile investors, including billionaire Mark Cuban. Just for appearing on the show owners enter into a barter transaction by agreeing to give up 5% of their company or 2% of future royalties. Obviously the entrepreneurs believe that both exposure to seven million viewers and business advice from high-profile investors is worth the barter arrangement.

All back issues of "From the Desk..." can be accessed by clicking here.

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5 Effective Tips — Learning How To Think Rather Than What To Think

By Michael Vaughan

Starting at an early age, the accepted standard both of teaching and learning focuses on what to think. In some cases, this approach proves sufficient and even appropriate. But it can fail spectacularly in the complex environments of today’s business world. In these complex systems, learning how to think — how the pieces fit together — is as important as (or more important than) the pieces themselves.

Understanding how to think is vital today. Organizations and workers are faced with complex problems and situations on a daily basis, in which what-to-think solutions are no longer effective. Here are five practices that can help shift our thinking.

1) Seek to understand the big picture.

Most of the training and tools that leaders receive are good at assessing and fixing a piece of the organizational system. Fixating on one thing may improve that one thing, but most likely it will create multiple new unintended issues.  Leaders who establish a big-picture perspective not only reduce unintended issues, they improve collaboration among their teams because they will work together to understand the system instead of finding someone to blame.

2) Seek to understand the underlying behavior.

The harder a leader pushes the system, the harder it will push back. The faster a leader goes, the longer it will take to get there. Things tend to get worse before they get better and the cure is often worse than the disease. These underlying system principles explain why leadership is difficult, and why those leaders who seek to understand them are better equipped to address their team’s needs in new and emerging situations.     

3) Seek systemic change.

If a leader tries to change something in a direct, obvious way, the system is going to treat those efforts like any other outside influence — do its best to neutralize them. Leaders should understand that genuine solutions require careful consideration of the possible short- and long-term outcomes, to avoid the pitfalls that drain both the emotional and intellectual energy from their teams.

4) Seek to surface limiting beliefs.

Leaders’ ability to make quality decisions and solve problems is directly proportional to their ability to suspend her judgment. If we look for the root cause of failed efforts or unproductive meetings, it is often tied to the biases, flawed mental models, or fears of those involved. The more that leaders surface limiting beliefs, the more productive and supportive at serving teams and making the tough calls they will be.

5) Seek to evolve a shared vision.

An idea can only gain momentum if others believe in it; their hearts and minds need to be invested in the idea for it to take root and grow. Too often leaders are moving too quickly, overlooking the need for their team to evolve a vision together. When a leader seeks alternative perspectives and incorporates insights from others, only then do leaders realize the sustainable power of their team.

These practices are meant to help teams shed light on a situation by reframing it from different perspectives. Ultimately, these different perspectives improve thinking and increase the value that people — as a team or an individual — can bring to an organization.

Michael Vaughan is author of The Thinking Effect: Rethinking Thinking To Create Great Leaders and The New Value Worker. He is CEO and Managing Director of The Regis Company, whose leadership programs are designed to fundamentally change the way leaders think. Vaughan is a leading authority on serious games and business simulations, and holds degrees in cognitive science and computer science from Colorado State University.

For more information, visit www.thethinkingeffect.com and www.regiscompany.com.


Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

If your barter company’s listing on BarterNews.com isn’t current, you are definitely missing out on new business. The web site BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic — with over 150,000 page-views every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the thousands of articles, the weekly “Tuesday Report,” and the “Contacts Section” of our site. They use the latter to find barter companies with which to do business.

Is your barter company’s listing up-to-date?

To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A) update any changes to your company’s listing, such as new location, phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company has not been listed.

Here’s how to get on board:

To make changes to your listing click here.

For new listings click here.


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During Hectic Holidays Avoid These 5 Major Time Wasters

  • Spreading yourself too thin, by trying to do too many things at once. (Set priorities for each day, even each hour. Work on the most important things first.)
     

  • Being afraid to delegate.  (Convince yourself that it’s not necessary to do everything yourself.)
     

  • Not wanting to say “no” to requests. (Decide what you must do — and want to do — and say “no” to all other requests.)
     

  • Being tied to the phone. (Have others screen your calls, and schedule a telephone hour to return calls.)
     

  • Procrastinating. (Do unpleasant chores first — if they’re important. Divide large tasks into smaller ones, that way you accomplish something.)


Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews


Knowledge ISN’T Power — Just Execute Already!

“People say knowledge is power, but it absolutely isn’t,” says Moran, coauthor along with Michael Lennington of the New York Times best seller The 12 Week Year: Get More Done In 12 Weeks Than Others Do In 12 Months available nationwide at booksellers and at www.12weekyear.com. Your failure to meet your goals has nothing to do with what you don’t know — and everything to do with how well you execute.

There’s a long list of things you know would improve your career, business, health, or whatever. Whether you actually do them is the difference between a life of greatness and one of mediocrity. Brian Moran explains how changing the way you think about time can help you close the knowing-doing gap to finally start meeting your potential.

“You can be smart and have access to lots of information and great ideas; you can be well connected, work hard, and have lots of natural talent, but in the end, you have to execute,” Moran confirms. “Execution is the single greatest differentiator between great lives and mediocre ones.”

He believes most people have the capacity to double or triple their income just by consistently applying what they already know. Despite this, we continue to chase new ideas thinking the next one is the one that will magically make it all come together — when what we really need to do is apply the Nike slogan to our lives. So why don’t we just do it? Moran suggests you’re dropping the “execution ball” for the same reason companies can’t meet their goals: You’re thinking about time in the wrong way.

“We tend to think we have all the time in the world,” remarks Moran. “Let’s say you have a baby and you have all these vague notions about saving for college. Well, before you know it, he’s 12 years old and you don’t have a penny saved. Quite simply, we don’t do what doesn’t seem urgent.”

Moran and Lennington’s book offers a new way to think about time and how you use it. In a nutshell, plan your goals in 12-week increments rather than 365-day years. When you do so, you’re far more likely to feel a healthy sense of urgency that gets you focused. And whether your goal is of the business or personal variety, you’ll get far more done in far less time — and you’ll feel a lot less stressed and much more in control.

Read on for a few tips on how you can better tackle life’s pitfalls...

Envision a future that’s worth the pain of change.

The number-one thing that you will have to sacrifice to be great, to achieve what you are capable of, and to execute your plans, is your comfort. Therefore, the critical first step to executing well is creating and maintaining a compelling vision of the future that you want even more than you desire your own short-term comfort. Then and only then can you align your shorter-term goals and plans with that long-term vision.

“If you are going to perform at a high level, take new ground and be great, then you better have a vision that is compelling,” advises Moran. “One way to get there is by asking, ‘What if?’ Doing so allows you to entertain new possibilities and begin to connect with the benefits. If you’re going to create a breakthrough — to reach the next level — you will need to move through fear, uncertainty and discomfort. It is your personal vision that keeps you in the game when things become difficult.

“Once you have your vision, stay in touch with it,” he contends. “Print it out and keep it with you. Review it each morning, updating it every time you discover ways to make it more vivid and meaningful to you. And share it with others. Doing so will increase your commitment to it."

Live with intentional imbalance.

How many articles, books, and blog posts have you read emphasizing the importance of establishing work/life balance? A lot, right? But where much of the advice on creating work/life balance goes wrong is around the idea of equality. Often we’re told what we need to do, in order to spend equal time in each area of our lives. The result is often unproductive and frustrating. Life balance is not about equal time in each area; life balance is more about intentional imbalance.

“Life balance is achieved when you are purposeful about how and where you spend your time, energy and effort,” explains Moran. “At different times in your life, you will choose to focus on one area over another, and that’s perfectly fine, provided it’s intentional. Life has different seasons, each with its own set of challenges and blessings. The 12-week plan is a terrific process to help you live a life of intentional imbalance. Think about what could be different for you if every 12 weeks you focused on a few key areas in your life and made significant improvement.”

Make sure you’re committed, not merely interested.

There is a humorous anecdote about commitments involving a chicken and a pig at breakfast time. The chicken has contributed the egg and is therefore merely interested in the breakfast; the pig, however, contributes the bacon, and is thus completely committed. Kept commitments benefit both parties involved by improving relationships, strengthening integrity, and building self-confidence. Commitments are powerful and, oftentimes, life changing.

“When you’re merely interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit, but when you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results,” notes Moran. “There’s no denying that at that breakfast the pig is all in. And that’s how you must approach the commitments you take on as part of your 12-week plans.”

Put hard (and short) deadlines on what you need to get done.

The annual execution cycle many organizations embrace lulls people into believing that they can put off critical activity, yet still accomplish what they desire and achieve their goals. It sets one deadline, year-end, which in January — heck, even by July — still feels too far away to spur you into action. But consider the rush of productivity that occurs when a deadline you have to meet draws closer.

“In many companies during the final five or six weeks of the year, there is a frantic push to end strong and then kick off the new year with gusto,” points out Moran. “It’s an exciting and productive time. The problem is this urgency exists for just a handful of weeks in a 365-day year — but it doesn’t have to. When a company sets deadlines for every 12 weeks rather than every 12 months, that excitement, energy and focus, happen all year long. And this strategy works with all goals, not just business goals.

“The great thing about having a 12-week plan is that the deadline is always near enough that you never lose sight of it,” he adds. “It provides a time horizon that is long enough to get things done, yet short enough to create a sense of urgency and motivation for action.”

Write down your plan.

A plan in your head isn’t really a plan — it’s wishful thinking; that’s because life gets in the way. If you don’t have a written plan, you will almost certainly drop the ball in the first few days. The world is noisy, the unexpected happens, distractions arise, your innate desire for comfort tugs at you, and you lose focus on the things you know you should do. But if you sit down at the start of your 12 weeks and write out your strategy, it forces you to think through potential pitfalls up front.

“With a written plan, you make your mistakes on paper, which reduces miscues during implementation,” declares Moran. “You no longer waste time on unimportant activities because your plan triggers your actions. Your action choices are made proactively at the beginning of the 12 weeks when you create your plan. In short, a 12-week plan helps you get more of the right things done each day, and ultimately helps you reach your goals faster and with greater impact.”

Give each goal its own set of tactics.

The way your plan is structured and written impacts your ability to effectively execute. Effective planning strikes a working balance between too much complexity and too little detail. Your plan should start by identifying your overall goals for the 12 weeks. (Yes, you may have more than one goal during that time frame.) Then, you’ll need to determine the tactics needed to meet each goal.

“Break your goal down to its individual parts,” suggests Moran. “For example, if your goal is to earn $10,000 and lose 10 pounds, you should write tactics for your income goal and your weight loss goal separately. Tactics are the daily to-do’s that drive the attainment of your goals. Tactics must be specific, actionable, and include due dates and assigned responsibilities. The 12-week plan is structured so that if the tactics are completed on a timely basis the goals are achieved.”

Take it one week at a time.

To guide you on your journey to completing your tactics and meeting your goals, you’ll need weekly plans. Your weekly plan encompasses your strategies and priorities, your long-term and short-term tasks, and your commitments in the context of time. It helps you focus on the elements of your plan that must happen each week to keep you on track with your goals. Your goals in turn keep you on track with your vision. Everything is powerfully aligned.

“Start each day with your weekly plan,” advises Moran. “Check-in with it several times throughout the day. If you’ve scheduled a tactic to be completed that day, don’t go home until it is done. This ensures that the critically important tasks, your plan tactics, are completed each week.”

Keep track of your efforts, not your results.

You’ve probably heard or read the mantra “What gets measured gets done.” It’s true: Measurement drives the execution process. After all, can you imagine the CEO of a large corporation not knowing the numbers? As the CEO of your own life and business, you need to know your numbers. But don’t measure your results (how many pounds you lost or how much commission you earned) — instead, measure your level of execution (the extent to which you stuck to your diet/exercise plan and the number of sales calls you made).

“You have greater control over your actions than your results, and your results are created by your actions,” states Moran. “To measure your execution, you need to know to what degree you followed through on each week’s tactics. This allows you to pinpoint breakdowns and respond quickly. Unlike results, which can lag weeks, months, and in some cases years behind your actions, an execution measure provides more immediate feedback, which allows you to make game-time adjustments much faster.”

Block your time.

The 12-week plan is designed to help you spend your time with more intention. That said, many of us engage each day on its own terms. In other words, we satisfy the various demands of the day as they are presented, spending whatever time is needed to respond, without giving much thought as to the relative value of the activity. According to Moran, you can regain control of your day through time blocking.

“Basically, you divide your days into three kinds of blocks — strategic blocks, buffer blocks, and breakout blocks,” he explains. “A strategic block is uninterrupted time that is scheduled into each week. During this block you accept no phone calls, no faxes, no emails, no visitors, no anything: You do only the activities on your plan. Buffer blocks are designed to deal with all of the unplanned and low-value activities — like most email and voicemail — that arise throughout a typical day. Breakout blocks provide free time for your rest and rejuvenation.”

Embracing the 12-week plan will help you rethink your multitasking ways. If you’re accustomed to sending emails during meetings, juggling texting conversations, and rushing from one place to the next, you’ll be shocked by how focusing on what matters most will change your life. “Most people look back and realize that with all their efforts to not miss anything, they were missing everything,” says Moran. “They see that nothing was getting their full attention, not the important projects, not the important conversations, and not the important people.

“We must all remember that the current moment — the eternal right now — is all we have,” he continues. “The future is created now; our dreams are achieved in the moment. Consider Olympic great Michael Phelps: He didn’t achieve greatness when he won the 18th gold medal or when he won his first. He achieved greatness the moment he chose to put the effort into his training. Results are not the attainment of greatness, but simply confirmation of it. That’s why the 12-week plan is so pivotal. It provides a structure that helps you do the things you need to do to be great.”

Brian P. Moran is founder and CEO of The Execution Company, an organization committed to improving the performance and enhancing the quality of life for leaders and entrepreneurs. He has served in management and executive positions with UPS, PepsiCo and Northern Automotive, and consults with dozens of world-class companies each year. As an entrepreneur, he has led successful businesses and been instrumental in the growth and success of many others. In addition to his books, he has been published in leading business journals and magazines. He is a sought-after speaker.

Michael Lennington is vice president of The Execution Company. He is a consultant, coach, leadership trainer, and an expert in implementing lasting change in organizations. He works with clients in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to help them implement corporate initiatives that drive sales, service, and profitability. He holds a B.S. from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.”

Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


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