Sunday, August 25, 2013

Extracts from Richard Branson's article on entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are contrarian value creators. 
They see economic value where others see heaps of nothing. 
They see business opportunities where others see only dead ends.

”The entrepreneurs who succeed usually want to make a difference to people’s lives, not just to make money! The desire to change things for the better is the motivation for taking risks and pursuing seemingly impossible business ideas.

Although there is healthy debate over entrepreneurial motives, (almost) everybody agrees it is a concept that should be encouraged and celebrated.

So how should we go about stimulating the job creators of the future? 

Encourage and nurture the “crazy diamonds” of tomorrow. 

Where do you think entrepreneurship will go in the coming decades?

What can Australia do to encourage Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Australia? 

  • Mentorship and guidance
  • location
  • funding. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Attributes of an Entrepreneur

entrepreneurs need to be dedicated and persistent. They need to have a positive attitude and be prepared to take tough decisions; entrepreneurs are self-confident and are not arrogant. They listen to customers and to people who have done the sorts of things they are seeking to do – often through having mentors. They are also ready to hire people who are better at certain aspects of the business than they are. 
But if they have an idea they will not be easily dissuaded from pursuing it.

What Abbott and Hockey needs to do

Abbott and his chief economic minister, Joe Hockey, have to focus on innovation and efficiency improvements driven by competitive pressure. This should be given at least the same over-arching priority as returning the budget to surplus. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

10 compelling reasons why your business needs video

'online video advertising to grow at a rate of 44% reaching $559 million by 2017. ' PWC study

1. Users are 64% more likely to make a purchase or enquiry if a website has video. (comScore)

2. Using video in email marketing campaigns increased revenue by 40%. (Relevancy Group)

3. Video in email marketing campaigns increased click-through-rates by 96%. (Implix)

4. Emails with explainer videos increased click-through-rates by 200% to 300%. (Forrester Research)

5. 80% of internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the last 30 days. (Online Publishers Association)

6. The chance of a page one listing on Google increases by 53 times with a video. (Forrester Research)

7. 75% of executives watch at least one business-related video per week. (Forbes

8. 59% of executives said they preferred watching a video over reading text-based information. (Forbes)

9. 90% of shoppers found video helpful during buying decisions online. (comScore)

10. A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. (Forrester Research)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If you want to succeed don't be afraid to fail

Success comes in all shapes and colours. You can be successful in your job and career but you can equally be successful in your marriage, at sports or a hobby.
 Whatever success you are after there is one thing all radically successful people have in common: 
Their ferocious drive and hunger for success makes them never give up.
Successful people (or the people talking or writing about them) often paint a picture of the perfect ascent to success. In fact, some of the most successful people in business, entertainment and sport have failed. 
Many have failed numerous times but they have never given up. 
Successful people are able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on trying.
I have collected some examples that should be an inspiration to anyone who aspires to be successful. They show that if you want to succeed you should expect failure along the way. I actually believe that failure can spur you on and make you try even harder. You could argue that every experience of failure increases the hunger for success. The truly successful won't be beaten, they take responsibility for failure, learn from it and start all over from a stronger position.
Let's look at some examples, including some of my fellow LinkedIn influencers:
Henry Ford - the pioneer of modern business entrepreneurs and the founder of the Ford Motor Company failed a number of times on his route to success. His first venture to build a motor car got dissolved a year and a half after it was started because the stockholders lost confidence in Henry Ford. Ford was able to gather enough capital to start again but a year later pressure from the financiers forced him out of the company again. Despite the fact that the entire motor industry had lost faith in him he managed to find another investor to start the Ford Motor Company - and the rest is history.
Walt Disney - one of the greatest business leaders who created the global Disney empire of film studios, theme parks and consumer products didn't start off successful. Before the great success came a number of failures. Believe it or not, Walt was fired from an early job at the Kansas City Star Newspaper because he was not creative enough! In 1922 he started his first company called Laugh-O-Gram. The Kansas based business would produce cartoons and short advertising films. In 1923, the business went bankrupt. Walt didn't give up, he packed up, went to Hollywood and started The Walt Disney Company.
Richard Branson - He is undoubtedly a successful entrepreneur with many successful ventures to his name including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Music and Virgin Active. However, when he was 16 he dropped out of school to start a student magazine that didn't do as well as he hoped. He then set up a mail-order record business which did so well that he opened his own record shop called Virgin. Along the way to success came many other failed ventures including Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Clothes, Virgin Vie, Virgin cards, etc.
Oprah Winfrey - who ranks No 1 in the Forbes celebrity list and is recognised as the queen of entertainment based on an amazing career as iconic talk show host, media proprietor, actress and producer. In her earlier career she had numerous set-backs, which included getting fired from her job as a reporter because she was 'unfit for television', getting fired as co-anchor for the 6 O'clock weekday news on WJZ-TV and being demoted to morning TV.
J.K. Rowling - who wrote the Harry Potter books selling over 400 million copies and making it one of the most successful and lucrative book and film series ever. However, like so many writers she received endless rejections from publishers. Many rejected her manuscript outright for reasons like 'it was far too long for a children's book' or because 'children books never make any money'. J.K. Rowling's story is even more inspiring because when she started she was a divorced single mum on welfare.
Bill Gates -co-founder and chairman of Microsoft set up a business called Traf-O-Data. The partnership between him, Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert was based on a good idea (to read data from roadway traffic counters and create automated reports on traffic flows) but a flawed business model that left the company with few customers. The company ran up losses between 1974 and 1980 before it was closed. However, Bill Gates and Paul Allen took what they learned and avoided those mistakes when they created the Microsoft empire.
History is littered with many more similar examples:
  • Milton Hershey failed in his first two attempts to set up a confectionary business.
  • H.J. Heinz set up a company that produced horseradish, which went bankrupt shortly after.
  • Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, the company he founded. Only to return a few years later to turn it into one of the most successful companies ever.
So, the one thing successful people never do is: Give up! I hope that this is inspiration and motivation for everyone who aspires to be successful in whatever way they chose. Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there other things you would add to the list of things successful people never do? Please share your thoughts...
Bernard Marr is a best-selling business author and enterprise performance expert

Friday, August 09, 2013

Here's to the crazy ones

  • The misfits. 
  • The rebels. 
  • The troublemakers. 
  • The round pegs in the square holes. 
  • The ones who see things differently. 
They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. 

Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Connect with me on referron

Have a look at our new venture

connect with me on referron . I have had 114 referrals since its launch 6 weeks ago!

Referron enables you to refer to and get referred by someone you know like and trust within 3 taps of your phone.

- enables you to refer on he fly
- enables you to track and reward your referrals from your own referron portal.
- enables you to mobilise your social network to take action
- allows you to engage with your social network
- enables you to encourage people to connect with you on your blogs, web pages, social networks and emails
- enables you to identify who your advocates are and nurture them
- keeps you top of mind with people who know like and trust you
- free to download and refer, and your first 3 referrals a moth are free, thereafter, a nominal fee per month

The more you refer to people who know, like and trust you, the more referrals you will get.(the law of reciprocation)

There is an affiliate model, where you can get up to  40% commission on people you refer.
It's free to download and refer, but once you get 3 referrals per month, you pay 20 per month or 200 per year.

For more details of how referron can work see

Let me know if you have any questions.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Is the 206 billion deficit the core issue in our Australian elections?

My politics are "agnostic" - I think the political system and policies of Labor and Liberal are both good.... however I am not cool with lies and deceit!

The Australian's article this morning ht a chord with me

"THE era of Kevin, interrupted by the Julia interlude, has been a roller-coaster ride. Having promised fiscal conservatism, the excuse of the global financial crisis unleashed a period of rapid growth in government spending, successive budget deficits and mounting public debt under Kevin Rudd's guidance.

Now, with Rudd's return, Labor has launched a charm offensive that seeks to whitewash the past: it is as if aliens from Mars, fortunately departed, had been in charge. But the damage of that era cannot be wiped out so easily.
Will the electorate forget Rudd's past as he seems to have done?"

... so here it goes!!

Before Australia can continue to go forward economically, we need to identify what the problem is before we can fix it...

What is that problem?

Is it Bad fiscal management?

"The Commonwealth's balance sheet has shifted from $44.8bn in net assets when Rudd took office to $161.6bn in net debt this year..... a $206b turnaround!

a shift from a budget cash surplus, averaging 0.9 per cent of gross domestic product during the Howard years to a cash deficit that exceeded 4 per cent of GDP in 2010. "

This in itself might not be a bad thing.....has the money been used for good purpose. It is interesting to provide a score of 1 - 10 on the following questions (KPI's)
  • Has that debt resulted in an increased asset base for our country, that will lead us to sustainable growth for the future?
  • Stave off the negative effects of a worldwide GFC
  • Are the people happier, better off, worse off?
  • Has our infrastructure improved?
  • Roads, trains, bridges, education, healthcare, security, leisure time, etc?
  • Sustained benefit for the community - such as healthcare, edcation , security
  • If they spent to facilitate commercial enterprise and SMEs
    • export, 
    • r and d, 
    • innovation,
    •  infrastructure, 
    • workplace education, 
    • leadership programmes, 
If the blowout was to support something that is beneficial for the shareholders (the people) that generates revenue and sustained benefit instead of trying to kill business, they would have lots of revenue and could spend what they have.
But they seem to  just keep going back for another piece of the beheaded Golden Goose and seem to spend it on unsustainable 

 Joe Hockey's comment  "We don't have a Revenue problem, we have a spending problem." should be finished by .... "on things that are not sustainable or beneficial to the public!"

The past decade from mining has resulted in a massive revenue windfall
Increase demand of resources to china and India and massive increase in the price of steele ($30 to $130 per tonne).
What are the things we can do to make this revenue sustainable?

What did we do with this revenue? 
Did we spend it on infrastructure that would increase productivity?
Did we blow it all on tax cuts and subsidies to inefficient private services, wasteful programmes (batts, school rorts) ,public bureaucracy (increased politician wages), badly managed programmes (blowout of NBN)

What if we took  the wasteful spending out of the picture... Imagine it was never spent...however, continue to support stimulus in a sustained way.....where do you figure the budget would have been today?
Surplus or Deficit

2. Is it Bad Leadership - 
The government needs to be responsible governors and leaders

Living within your means shouldnt just apply to consumers and business... It should apply to government!

Spending capital and debt is a good thing, which can create wealth for individuals, corporates and countries.
The debt has to be good debt!
Debt that is used for sustained growth and benefit for the future of the country.

But they just keep going back for another slice of the beheaded Golden Goose !!

It's ok to spend from capital or debt, as long as their is a reason or a plan that this spend will ensure growth and sustained surplus where more money will come in than go out!

Core values
If management
  • stuff up
  • lie
  • don't perform
they need to be held accountable and  fired..... I have never seen a CEO that has been fired for incompetency bad management and bad leadership be returned by the board!

It seems ok to the Electorate (the shareholders) for our leaders to lie and cheat and backstab.... Just because "that's what politicians do"

This is an inditement to ourselves, the people!!  The shareholders should call a meeting to replace the board  and the returned CEO!


Shit happens, budgets blow out, business turns around, ventures fail.... That's OK, and can be rocks that seem to be in the way, that can act as stepping stones later on! (thanks Paul :))

But if the core values and ethos is where lies and deceit and mismanagement is OK, the end of prosperity is near .....

And that is what the real issue is!

The credibility of this government is questionable. They do not have the moral authority to remain in government, nor can we vote them in based on competent leadership and governance....

Whether it was a Liberal or a Labor government.... My comment above would be the same!

Australia has the opportunity to be the shining light to the world.
We have it all
Resources, Beauty, Peace, Multiculturism, Racial and Religious tolerance,, Good people, Free press, Great Climate, Good Education, Innovative People, Strong International Relationships and a strong Moral Compass

(Just remember Kevin, we were all immigrants, many of us refugees)

Let’s use these assets to build an awesome nation with a sustainable future for ourselves, our children and our future generations...,

Let’s leave our kids an amazing legacy....

We need great leadership based on core values of truth not lies!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Next version - connecting with contacts on linked in and Facebook

In the next version of the app we will have integration with LinkedIn so that you could refer:
- LinkedIn to LinkedIn
- LinkedIn to another contact in your address book (or typed in manually)
- An address book contact to someone connected to you on LinkedIn

We're moving away from having another list of connections in Referron and instead helping to make it easy for you to refer people from your address book, Facebook (which I see you don't use for business) and LinkedIn. We see that you have the names of these people already and shouldn't need to add them all to Referron. Our app works out whether they are a Referron user or not and sends the referral and invitation at the same time.

Just a note that LinkedIn doesn't give us access to someone's email address. Therefore when you refer two of your LinkedIn contacts to each other, if they have not yet joined Referron, then only their Name and LinkedIn profile will be sent to each other. If they both later join, then their other details will be made available.