Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

1 important fact to know as a consumer


1 important fact to know as a consumer 

As a consumer you may think that you value being offered variety of choices. What we really want most is stability, consistency and congruence in the variety of choices. Where this comes in handy is when you are subjected to commercials and vigorous sales discussions with organizations that you have never done business with before – beware of the razzle-dazzle of seemingly infinite options.

Think of your favorite burger joint (cheesesteaks and hoagies here in Philly) and ponder why you like to come back. I am certain that most places are loaded with a variety of choices that you were attracted to.

Once you are hooked, and you have found the one to a few items you really like, your brain flips over to the other side of variety: Now you want the same thing all over again. That becomes the reason why you want to come back. You can count on getting the same responses of your taste buds and you feel good about food and the place.

It works like a charm. We have become fans of a small but fabulous burger place called Cheeburger Cheeburger and a small cheese steak place called PJ’s. On a broad scale this has worked for any big food chain that you can shake a stick at just the same as it does for any other brand.

You think you want variety, but what you really value is consistency and predictability. It applies to just about any product and service you need and want. Make good use of this knowledge if you happen to own a business. In case you are an unsuspecting consumer, stop wondering why you are buying a $4 to $7 coffee at Starbucks. Do not get baited by options. Look for tangible value and congruence of a brand.

Ralf

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Discover the toughest thing for entrepreneurs to let go of


Discover the toughest thing for entrepreneurs to let go of 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

It comes down to adapting to change and letting go of what you knew worked best when you started up your company. I have observed in many a friendly business and even I have been resistant from time to time abandoning a success recipe. After all, that is what got you this far. Challenge is that a business has stages very similar to human life. When maturity hits and we need to hire more people and build up a lot of infrastructure it is tough letting go of the figment our imagination that we call control. We should be hiring people that are much smarter and better equipped than us. We should be delegating and letting middle management take over control over most if not all important parts of our businesses. The one thing that keeps us from moving on is fear.

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have. Take for instance the fear of loss. No one wants to lose anything that we have an emotional attachment to. That applies to things, relationships, feelings, etc. Very often we may not even necessarily know if what we are attached to is good for us. What if letting go is the best thing that could happen to us? In this particular case we are afraid to lose our business if we changed the tried and true original business model. Don’t take my word for it. Here is a link to a fabulous book by friend Craig Hughes “The Self-Driving Company: How Getting Out of the Way Enabled My Business to Thrive”. This is the book to read when your start up business is stalling, you have employee turn over issues, you find yourself totally exhausted because you feel like you have to do everything, etc.

A good analogy to being held back by your old beliefs and the things that you are intensely focused on is the way how some monkeys are being caught in Africa. Food or other similarly interest sparking materials are being placed in a space the monkey is surely going to notice. That is typical a hole dug into the ground or an existing cavity in rock formations. When the monkey reaches into the hole grabbing the “bait” his hand no longer fits through the opening of the cavity. The catcher now fast approaches the monkey with the intention to scare him. The monkey stays caught because he does not want to lose the precious things he is holding in his hand (Discover this in action). The more he panics, the tighter he holds on to the loot.

Isn’t that a little like our entrepreneurial situation? The tighter we hold on, the more we get stuck and we get caught. So here is my call to action: Whenever you feel you have run out of options and you do not want to lose what you are attached to, please let mentally go of this attachment. Watch how liberating a feeling it is to look AT your situation and not FROM the middle of it. Ponder if letting go of the old isn’t the best thing that you should do.

Ralf

 

5 ways of not becoming a smart phone addict


5 ways of not becoming a smart phone addict 

I think we are all losing it. We are all on cell phone crack. “We” meaning the people who own a smart phone. This week while working out at the gym I noticed how many people were just sitting on various pieces of workout equipment checking their smart phones. Holy smokes! I get that you want to tune out the world by plugging in your ear buds, but just sitting around checking out the screen is neither helping stay in shape, nor is it polite keeping other folks waiting for you to get yourself off the machines.

It does not matter where you are this issue of us tuning the world around us off is rampant. From family outings when the phones are going around the table with funny or bizarre Youtube stuff being shown to going to restaurants and no one talks anymore because everyone (including the kids) is glued to their little screens. No one is safe. The little device seems to dictate when we pick it up and pay attention to it rather than the world that surrounds us.

This has got to stop. We are losing our connection to our worlds by being connected to it only electronically. What can we do?

  • For one we can turn most push notifications and dingers and ringers off. We need to make the decision to look at the device – it should not be the device telling us that.
  • Declare a cell free zone when we sit together at the table. At the restaurant switch them off and put them in the center of the table. Same for meals shared at home.
  • When you work out and you want to listen to your tunes, well, just listen to your tunes. Resist the urge checking your SnapChats, texts, and any other distracting acts of just sitting there looking at the screen.
  • Do not put the device in your bedroom. If for nothing else do not put it on your nightstand. Give yourself some space from being connected 24/7.
  • Declare a cell phone free time during the day. For two to three hours just leave the phone function on, but nothing else.

I am not sure that we can speak of a medical condition as far as us being addicted to those mystical devices – yet. We are losing a bit of our human touch if we not at least curb the constant connection to the world and yet we may lose the connection to the people who mean the most to us.

Ralf

If the broom fits, ride it, or how to avoid getting baited


If the broom fits, ride it, or how to avoid getting baited 

This is a close cousin of “if the shoe fits, wear it”. It’s a phrase related to people who cannot take personal criticism without taking it personally. All it usually takes is an off comment by a colleague at work, or a snide comment in a social setting. Boom and this person goes off. Sometimes directly at the person who made the comment and most of the time these folks use it to gossip. Here is something to consider:

If you complain and whine about it then there may be something to the comment and you need not complain about it because you just validated the point of the statement to be true or at least possible.

Avoiding this uneasy commentary can be difficult mostly because of one reason. This can happen when you start taking things too literally and seriously. In other words your ego is high-jacking your rational thought. Do not let this happen to you. Turn this saying around: If the broom does not fit, well, then don’t ride it! It is perfectly ok not to dignify criticism with a response. Give yourself some time to think about it and how you want to react to it.

Ralf

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