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Why we decided to give away “The Plan” for free June 22, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", business success, Coaching, Job advice, life balance, Personal Success, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, The Plan, The Secret.
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Why are John M McKee and his co-author Helen Latimer giving away their new book The Plan?  In this blog, John shares the reasons behind a decision to forgo the revenue. Hint: there’s no “good business case” behind it.

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For a lot of reasons, the US economy – and those of most of the world – isn’t improving .

Currently, in this country there are 4 key issues affecting us:

1. Unemployment is recorded at 9.1% –  that’s an historical high.  An,d in reality, about 12% of the workforce is out of work when you count those no longer qualifying for unemployment coverage.

2. Housing sales are at levels below last year – which was down from the year before.  We have enough houses on the market to satisfy demand for 3 years

3. People don’t feel good about the future – in the country that is historically the most optimistic in the world, we no longer feel like winners.  We worry about our jobs, retirement and our childrens’ future.

4. Inflation is on the rise – combined with the impact of hurricanes, fires and floods in the areas that supply us with our food, we’re going to see prices rising very quickly.

The bad news isn’t uniquely American either. Aside from Brazil, China and India, there are very few big countries who expect a better future. This is clearly a challenging time for people everywhere.

I was discussing this with my colleague and the co-author of our new book, The Plan.  And we decided that, in a small way, we could help.

Our book is intended to provide a unique approach to getting what you want out of life.  It’s based on the same method used by very-successful organizations and individual, so you know it works.

We believe that this giveaway – which is only for a limited time – may help a lot of individuals to get clear about what they should do next.   Giving away an ebook that we sell every day for $7.99 isn’t exactly the best business model, obviously.

But we hope that people who take us up on this free offer will ultimately regain perspective and get back to being successful.  So it’s worth it.

To take advantage of this click here or go to my coaching practice website Business Success Coach.net where you’ll see it on the right side of each page.

Here’s to your success!

John

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Audience targeting to survive May 11, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Action Plans, business success, Business Success Coach, Coaching, DIRECTV, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Personal action plans, SWOT analysis, Tech Republic, Tempur-Pedic, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, The Plan, Veracity, women in management.
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In my coaching practice, the clients are mostly in either media (video, newspaper, movies) or technology (including gaming).  But what we talk about is far more universal.  Most of our time is about addressing perhaps 4 to 6 issues like

  • leadership and effectiveness
  • balance between career and personal “lives”
  • planning (and execution) of a solid plan
Of course we get into a lot of technical conversations related to their jobs because it can be the detail stuff (“how do I actually do that?”) that derails us even when we get the theory.
A lot of what we discuss and work on can be found in our new book, The Plan.  Additionally I’m impressed by a few new ideas we’ve discussed that I now see floating to the surface in these sectors. These will impact all of us in our daily lives.  Some of them:
1. Groupon – is moving into concert sales.  This can save a bad tour, help fill an otherwise unsuccessful venue, and democratize the event by making it less expensive for most people.
When that succeeds I think it will spread to movie theaters.  There are too many chairs empty in nearly every showing.  People will go if the show is less expensive.
2. Newspapers and magazines are moving into the digital world but aren’t sure how to monetize (eg: make money) now when they get there.
I’ve seen a few ideas that showcase the future and thought these 2 quick videos seem to be the most likely outcomes:
Any entrepreneur or small business faces the same needs to understand audience targeting.  I believe that algorhythims are going to lead us there.   Anyone know some great geek?  Grab ’em while they’re available.

– John

The media is listening February 26, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", business success, Canada, career planning, DIRECTV, life balance, Personal action plans, Personal Success.
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Last week I was invited to go to San Diego today to appear on a live morning show on KUSI TV.

The kicker is – our book, The Plan, isn’t even in stores yet!

It won’t be for sale in the local Barnes and Nobles of the world or even at most bookseller online sites for at least a week – so being asked to discuss it at this stage is great.

Here’s the link to the interview clip.

As far as I know the hard copy book can only be purchased today at this site.  Although if you visit our website for the book you can buy it there.  download an EBook version of it for only $7.99.  The cool thing about the digital book is that it has active links to additional resources.

Looking forward!

John

 

Why most leaders suck at personal cash management: October 6, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Action Plans, business success, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, life balance, Personal action plans, quality of life, The Four Windows Process.
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Most managers are inept when it comes to managing their own cash and personal finances.  And today – more than ever – one needs to be more conscious about how they look after their financial situation, especially their cash flow.

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Over the years, as both an executive and as a coach, I’ve witnessed something about managers and leaders over and over:

Many make ample money but are, technically speaking anyway, bankrupt.  They owe more than they own.  They’re entirely dependent on their paychecks to make even the minimum monthly payments, in many cases.  And the situation doesn’t neccessarily improve as they get promotions and raises during their careers – they simply start spending more so they still end up in dangerous waters.

At my coaching practice, Business Success Coach.net, we use The Four Windows Process in our client coaching.  Simply put, it’s predicated on the belief that each of us has 3 key aspects which combine to determine who we are.

These 3 aspects are:

Career side – This is the side of you who goes to work each day to earn money while working at something you’ve chosen for a job or career.

Personal / family aspect – This is that part of you which focuses on doing things which replenish you, with your friends and loved ones.

Finance element- This is the aspect of your life focused on how to manage the money you have over the short term and long run.

When properly done, using a plan and ensuring balance between them, they can create a life of great satisfaction.  However, if one or more of these life elements are not looked after, the result is often an individual who, despite some good successes – for example in her/his career or personal life – is very dissatisfied with their life overall.  Very frequently, it is the financial management aspect of their life that has them disappointed and frustrated.

Here’s a quick quiz to see how you’re doing.  Give yourself 1 point for each one you answer “yes”:

1. Do you know your actual monthly cash burn rate (how much you always spend)?
2. Do you know what your total monthly fixed expenses (the minimum you must spend to live) are?
3. Do you have a savings plan?
4. Are you keeping to the plan you made?  (eg: is it growing as planned?)
5. Do you have at least 3 months of cash for an emergency fund?
6. Conservative planners have 6 months. Do you?
7. Do you pay off your credit card balances at least 9 months out of 12?
8. Are is current total debt load (value of all you owe to anyone) lower than it was 12 months ago?
9.. Do you know your net worth (value of all you own less the value of debt including home)?
10. Do you rely on a bonus or other financial incentive to play “bill catch-up” each year?

Rating scale:

10 – please call the Commerce Secretary & offer to fix the US. We need you out there!
9 – awesome! You are one of a very few who are doing it right and you’ll reap the rewards
8 – excellent job – stand up and take a bow before the rest of the world!
7 – Nice work – with a little more focus you’ll be in a great place
6 – Good – you’re doing better than most people, but more effort is needed
5 – Seems like you understand the mechanics but need to be more dedicated
4 – You may want to consider marrying someone for money.
3 – This is not good.  You are in dangerous waters. Get involved. Now.
2 – A little better but you’d better start buckling down before it’s too late.
1 – This is serious.  You need to start getting more involved before it’s too late.

Here’s to your future!

John

Noodling about success August 13, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, business success, career planning, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, life balance, Personal Success, quality of life, Satisfaction.
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Does who you know really help make you more successful?  Yes, says John.  But his thoughts on why may surprise you.

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“Am I making progress?”

It’s a good question to ask yourself.  It helps keep you in touch with how you’re doing.  I suggest you ask it frequently.

How you answer it can make a big impact on how you feel afterward:

  • “No. I’m no better than I was last year.” – is probably going to bring you down.
  • “Yes!  I’m making great progress,” – will likely bring a little smile to your face. You’ll feel more confident.

When meeting with clients, I like to learn about the people they spend most of their time with.  I believe that we become “most like” the 3 people with whom we spend the most time.

Noodle on these –

If your career is a priority, are you spending time with individuals who can help you to become more successful, who have success and provide ideas you can use to improve your own life?  Or, are you spending time with people who hate their jobs, don’t like “work”?

If you’re looking to improve your personal life, do the people you spend most of your time with have successful personal lives themselves?  If so, they’re probably doing some things right that could improve your situation.  But if they’re miserable, it’s likely you’ll start seeing the world through their eyes.

Is money an issue? Who’s going to help you become a better money manager – a pal who “wishes” she had more herself, or another individual who has clearly figured it out?

I’m not saying we should dump our friends just because they can’t help us to become more successful.

But I am saying that you’ll become most like those with whom you spend the most time.  So – manage your time accordingly.

Here’s to your future,

John
@Twitter:  JohnMMcKee1

My Career Rule of Three’s June 30, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, anxiety, business and career coaching, business intelligence, business success, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Job advice, Tech Republic, The Four Windows Process, Veracity, women in management.
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In this tough economy many people have additional projects added to their jobs as a result of fewer people being replaced.  In this article, business life coach John M McKee provides advice to ensure that you survive through this period.

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“I’ve been getting home at 3, even 5 in the morning.  That’s after starting the day in the office at 8 AM.  I’m going to break!”

The person speaking was a client of mine. It was very clear that her boss was really taking advantage, pushing her way too hard.

My client’s a dedicated lady.  She’s a vice president in the accounting department at one America’s largest movie studios.   She’s also a bit soft spoken.  People take advantage of her gentle nature which is one of the reasons she engaged me.

For the last few weeks her boss had been pushing her hard but now a new systems switch-over has been added to her load – so she’s been working into the night just to keep up with the projects throwing.

As we discussed how to deal with her situation, it became clear that she feels she’s trapped in a place she doesn’t want to be.  But she has no ideas about where or what she may prefer. 

I shared with her my career-planning Rule of Three’s.  Do they apply to you?

1. Recognize that the job you’re in may disappear at any time.  Anyone, even the best performers, may find themselves out of work in today’s environment. Accept that reality.

2. Consider how you’ll do if things don’t work out with your job.  How you would you handle it, psychologically, if your boss called you in one day for a conversation that starts with something like, “Alice, I’m sorry but….” Does your life revolve around work, with few close friends or family members?  If so, wake up.  Nobody’s bulletproof any longer.

3. Noodle on what you could do as a fallback job. It’s possible that you may not immediately get one at the same level or pay as you are currently earning.  Have a “worst case” plan that contemplates you doing things like taking a not-for-pay job, or a lowing paying job for a period of time.

It’s surprising and sad how much on one’s sense of identity may be tied to their job.  With these simple rules you are less likely to fall into a heap if the worst case happens.   As I noted in my blog at CNET, the economy isn’t recovering quickly at this stage.  So ensure that  your plan includes some financial back up to ensure you can survive for at least 3 months if you’re suddenly out of work.

Here’s to your future.

John