Pursue Passion not Money

Pursue Passion not Money - Pathmaker Blog“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” – Tony Hsieh

It has often been said that those who use money as the yardstick by which they measure their happiness and success will never be happy and/or successful as they never are able to accumulate enough – they always want more! That, of course, is the sentiment being reflected here. If we spend our lives chasing the money we will find ourselves on a never-ending treadmill. With that in mind, the operative question becomes, “What are you passionate about?”

Most of us have many passions in our lives. We are passionate about our families; our jobs; our faith. We are passionate about our education; our favorite sports team; our health. In regard to our business/profession, our thought for today advises us that when we chase that passion we will find happiness; we will find fulfillment; we will find success. And, interestingly enough, when we achieve those accomplishments, we will also usually find that the money comes, too!

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Integrity per Oprah Winfrey

Integrity per Oprah Winfrey - Pathmaker Blog“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey

There are two phrases that have come to identify what may very well be the bane of our 21st Century moral fiber:

  • If you don’t get caught it’s not against the rules/law.
  • No harm, no foul.

It is easy to see why so many of our young people, especially those born from 1980 on, are so confused when it comes to integrity. Oprah, a Baby Boomer born in 1954, understands the true basis of integrity.

While we Baby Boomers understand why it is necessary to be integrous even when there is no chance of being caught or facing any retribution if we don’t, the Millennials, and those following them apparently, and obviously, have not had this ingrained into their very being.  For those who accept the validity and veracity of the Bible, we find the need for integrity summed up in Col. 3:23 – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto man” (KJV). Once you accept the fact that everything you do is being observed and, eventually, judged by God, it is a little easier to follow these sage words of advice from Oprah!

*** Special Bonus***

AMERICA’S GENERATIONS

1900 – 1924 The G.I. Generation

1925 – 1945 The Silent Generation

1946 – 1964 The Baby Boomers

1965 – 1979 Generation X

1980 – 2000 Generation Y/Millennials

2000 – Present Generation Z or NEW Silent Generation

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To make changes You must first change Your mind

To make changes You must first change Your mind - Pathmaker Blog“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything else, either.” – George Bernard Shaw

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that is what Thomas Kuhn had in mind in 1962 when he developed the concept of paradigms shifts. In the simplest of terms, a paradigm shift is “a change from one way of thinking to another.” In my lifetime, a number of paradigm shifts have taken place and have led to a number of inventions and innovations. Below are a few examples of change in thought and the changes that they have brought about:

  • “It takes all day to cook dinner” (The microwave)
  • “The quickest and best way to create a manuscript is on a typewriter (The word processor)
  • “The best watch is the one with the most jewels.” (The quartz watch)

I could go on and on, but I think you have already gotten the point!

As a result of paradigm shifts, perhaps one of the most deadly phrases a businessman can utter is, “It’ll work – we’ve always done it that way!” Once a businessperson becomes stoic and locked into their ways they may very well be paving the road to failure. The question becomes, then, how can one make sure that they are, in fact, “keeping up with the times.”

This is not an easy question, of course, but perhaps the one simple answer is to explore every idea that is offered up, even if at first they seem a little far-fetched. Once brainstorming becomes an acceptable procedure at your business, you will find that people are less inhibited and will be able to explore a number of possibilities that people often keep to themselves for fear of ridicule. Remember, according to Mr. Shaw, if you can’t change your mind you can’t change anything else, either!

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Without a Vision the People Perish

Without a Vision the People Perish - Pathmaker Blog“Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18

There are very few people who would argue with you if you proclaimed, “Solomon is, without a doubt, the wisest man to ever live.” That’s why we should take heed of his words of wisdom, including what he has to say about having a vision.

Many of us in the business realm know that we need a vision if, in fact, we want our businesses to succeed. The thing is, much fewer realize that having a vision is not enough. Rather, we must share that vision with those who work at each and every level of our business. To allow our employees and/or co-workers to enjoy success, real success, they need to be able to spend each day knowing that they have taken at least a small step in making that vision a reality!

You see the reality is that motivation, true motivation, is not achieved simply by increasing the size of one’s paycheck. There has to be an avenue for people to experience a sense of accomplishment. That’s why, in the manufacturing world, while very productive the assembly line creates burnout at an alarming rate.

A good example of this can be made by comparing two summer jobs I had when in College. While at International Paper Company (IP) my job was to feed wood into a grinder, which converted it to pulp, which was then made into paper. On the other job I worked for Saratoga County mowing along side the road. At IP I had a foreseeable end to a project, eventually the truck I was working on would be empty. Even though another truck was immediately wheeled in, at least I saw an end to my efforts. On the County, however, it was the same thing all day, every day – – there was never an end in sight!

So, the key is to share the vision with others, and then divide it into accomplishable tasks that allows for a sense of accomplishment. For, with just a little paraphrasing we can say, “Without a vision the business perishes.”

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Facing Failure with Enthusiasm

Facing Failure with Enthusiasm - Pathmaker Blog“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Upon reading this I found myself strolling down memory’s lane to a place far, far away in time. I was just getting my writing career off the ground and, as fledging artist, was finding a lot more of my articles being turned down than being accepted. I had yet to have my first novel published, though I had sent out multiple queries on each of my ideas – – a hundred or more I’m sure! One day I saw my good friend, Dr. J. Patrick Otto, current Chair of Education at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, storm out of the Faculty Room of the Christian school we were teaching at. Catching up with him I asked what was wrong.

“We were just talking about getting a book published,” he explained, “and Sharon said her friend gave up trying to have his book published because he had already sent it out four time sand no one wanted it! Four times,” he exclaimed with emphasis, “obviously he doesn’t want it as bad as you do!”

And therein lies the secret of Mr. Churchill’s statement: If you want something bad enough your enthusiasm will never wane, regardless of how many failures you encounter along the way! This is especially true in the business realm. Each day, each week, each month and each year you need to attack your ultimate goal with fervor, vigor, and undying enthusiasm. If you don’t, you’ll never get that first novel published!

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Wisdom Chapter 1: Honesty

Wisdom Chapter 1 Honesty - Pathmaker Blog“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

In an era when there is such a lack of honesty on almost every level of society, it is time that we take a moment and ponder what, exactly, Thomas Jefferson is sharing with us here. While honesty and integrity are integral parts of a person’s very being, the execution of honesty is more than just advisable – it is also a pragmatic approach to life!

When you are involved in business, it is vitally important that you understand that true wisdom mandates that you are always to be honest. One of the expressions that PATHMAKER very often uses to make this point is, “No secrets, no surprises.” This is true whether we are dealing with each other in-house, or if we are dealing with our clients.

One of the most important keys here is the fact that, generally speaking, people are quick to forgive us our frailties. If we are going to miss a deadline; forgot to do an assigned task; or overlooked an important aspect of our assignment we generally can be forgiven. That doesn’t, of course, mean that there won’t be ramifications because of it – possibly even negative ones, but we will undoubtedly be forgiven. However, if we are less than honest and try to cover up our problems, we fall victim to yet another famous quote, this one by Sir Walter Scott: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

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You can’t make everyone happy so concentrate on me!

You can’t make everyone happy so concentrate on me - Pathmaker BlogYou might find that a little giggle escapes when you read this – I know one did when I read it!  The thing is, if you think about it, this sentiment can be anything but funny.

For example, if you find yourself working in a situation where you have several bosses and each and every one of them has this outlook on life, you will undoubtedly have a lot of confusion in your work life! And, no one should be subjected to that kind of pressure!

As you have undoubtedly surmised, this is a sentiment of someone who is a little on the selfish, self-centered side to say the very least! And, more often than not, that type of individual is not one who is highly respected among their colleagues and subordinates. Which brings us to the crux of this issue – are you one of those who adhere to this philosophy? If so, especially if you are in a management role, you need to consider what the ramifications are on those around you are when you employ this attitude!

Undoubtedly this little blurb is not going to cause you to change your complete personality and outlook on life. Hopefully, however, it will help you understand your responsibility to those who work for you/with you, and will allow you to view your outlook from a different perspective. As you may already know, and have been probably been told, the world doesn’t revolve around you, nor should you expect it to!

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Ten Reasons to Improve Your Digital Marketing by Using Video

Ten Reasons to Improve your Digital Marketing by using Video - Pathmaker BlogVideo is one of the most powerful, but least-used tools in website marketing. In fact, it is so powerful that, while others are scurrying about fretting about keywords and SEO, they could, in fact, gain a lot more traction by creating and posting some videos on their website or elsewhere pointing to their website.

Pathmaker Marketing wants you to be aware of the power of video and, perhaps more so, to be aware that you can do much of it on your own. You don’t have to be a video pro. You just have to provide valuable content.

Here are ten reasons – a short list, by the way, that you should consider including video as part of your digital marketing campaign.

  1. Video improves brand association by 139%.
  2. Video increases purchase intent (or some specific action intent) by 97%.
  3. Google ranks websites with videos five times higher than websites without them.
  4. When videos are included in emails, click-through rates increase by 200-300%.
  5. When videos are included in emails, opt-out rates decline by 75%
  6. One third of all online activity is spent watching video.
  7. Three fourths of video viewers visit a business’ website after watching one of their videos on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.
  8. On average, only 20% of website visitors read an entire page of content on any given website, but 80% say they watch website videos all the way through. This number may vary dependent on the length of the video. Moderation is best. We recommend one to three minutes maximum.
  9. More video content is uploaded every 30 days than all the content created by ABC, CBS and NBC in the last 30 years!
  10. More than 70% of digital marketers report that video generates a higher conversion rate than any other online tool.

DID YOU KNOW? YouTube is the second most-used search engine in the world. That means that people are searching for video content – lots of video content. And it’s not all music. Many of those videos are informative or instructional. That’s exactly what we’re talking about.

Your online videos don’t have to be professionally produced, but if you want to go that route, it’s a lot more affordable than most people imagine. Simple, face looking directly into the camera, information or invitation – recorded using mobile devices can be just as compelling and effective as commercially produced videos.

Like the text portion of a website, video is all about compelling content. Pathmaker Marketing would be happy to assist in consulting about or producing short, compelling videos to help build your response rates. Give us a call at 800-224-2735.

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If You Don’t Have the Time …

If you don't have the time - Pathmaker BlogThere is an old saying that, “If you don’t have the time to do it right, you must have the time to do it over.” That’s an example of wisdom wrapped in an oxymoron.

One of the biggest hindrances to operating a successful business is the failure to do things right the first time. Rework of any kind, whether on a production line or building a database, is a waste of time. What’s worse, is that anything that is wasted in business has a cost associated with it.

In an office environment, the cost is probably in labor, not only because of having to pay someone more than once to do a task, but because, while they are involved in a do-over, they cannot address their other responsibilities that they are paid to do.

In a manufacturing environment, there is usually material waste in addition to the wasted labor. Material waste becomes scrap. Scrap sells for pennies on the dollar. So, instead of getting a 100% markup on the item, you sell it as scrap for as much as a 95% discount.

There are generally two reasons why things have to be done over.

The first is failure to define your processes. Entrepreneur and host of the CNBC hit, “The Profit,” Marcus Lemonis, has a simple, three-part formula for success in any business:

People – Product – Process

If any one of the three is broken, the business will eventually collapse. Experience has proven, more often than not, that the unfortunate root cause of businesses closing is the failure of ownership and management to clearly define all of their business processes. However, that is not typically recognized, because failed entrepreneurs can’t blame the process. So, on rare occasions, they blame themselves, but generally, they blame someone else.

Planning processes is, for some inexplicable reason, burdensome to many business owners, so they don’t do it. Instead, they “save time” on the road to the failure of their business.

The second is failure to control your processes. That control begins with documentation. Employees should not be expected to follow verbal instructions, because verbal instructions are too easily (and too often) changed. The end result of that is confusion. Anyone involved in any business process should be able to access a document that defines the process. That’s called “making sure we are all on the same page.”

Processes are controlled by ensuring that flow charts, milestones, and specifications and documented and measured against the standards for the process.

When processes are documented and controlled, things run more smoothly and wasted time, material and money are reduced.

One final point. No one – not even the CEO – should be able to make any undocumented change to any process. What is written is written. It may be revised, but the revision must be documented and all parties to the process must be notified of the revisions before they are implemented.

Don’t fall prey to the idea that your company can survive without controlled processes. No one can really afford the extra time required in our opening oxymoron. Except, perhaps, for a moron.

Application: Digital Marketing is a process. It needs to be documented and controlled. If you lack the expertise, we have the time. Let Pathmaker Marketing help make your digital marketing a raging success. Contact us today via our website, or call at 1-800-224-2735.

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“The Early Bird gets the Worm, but the Early Worm gets Eaten!”

The early Bird gets the Worm, but the early Worm gets eaten - Pathmaker BlogWhen it comes to “being early,” renown NFL coach Vince Lombardi had one of the better quotes, “If you aren’t ten minutes early you are late.” While time is one of our most valuable commodities, being punctual certainly is a virtue that we all need to not only strive for, but also actually achieve!

Without a doubt, timing is everything and “being first” is, more often than not, a great advantage. However, this can be nullified under certain conditions, as in the case of our Point to Ponder. The time that it isn’t advantageous to be first, in life or in business, is if you have not done proper due diligence.  For example, being the first worm can be in a life dangering situation if he doesn’t do his due diligence and see if, in fact, there are any birds present! If a business neglects to do their due diligence they may find that being the leader of the pack can be costly and maybe even devastating. For example, if you are in an area that has no car wash in a ten-mile radius you might think it to be a great move to be the first one to build one and plunge full steam ahead to do so. However, here are several things you may want to consider before you make that plunge:

  • Will you be able to get enough water to run the car wash under city ordinances?
  • Is there enough sewage capability to handle the used water?
  • Will traffic parameters over-tax the streets/highways?

As you can see, being first isn’t always the key to success. Do your due diligence, ensuring that you will be the early bird, and not the early worm!

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