Sunday, 19 February 2012

"Don't find fault, find a remedy" - Henry Ford

Pet peeves. Everyone has them. Those quirky little things that drive us crazy. Henry Ford named one of mine. We’ve all seen it before: something goes wrong and the first thing everyone scrambles to do is blame someone.

“It wasn’t me!”

“I told him not to do that!”

It drives me crazy! What’s worse, I’ve done it too! Unfortunately it’s human nature, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change. Think about how much time, money and effort is wasted on placing blame. It’s frightening, really. Just imagine what would happen if say, for example, your surgeon spent all his time placing blame.

Surgeon: “I didn’t cut that artery! Nurse Jennings bumped it with her wrist watch!”

Nurse: “Umm, Doctor, the patient is bleeding out…”

Surgeon: “It’s not my fault!”

The great thing about mistakes is that we can learn from them. You can’t do that if you are worrying about whose fault it is that things went wrong. What’s worse, you are probably losing time, money or both while you are coming up with reasons why it’s not your fault. Instead, try fixing the problem and making sure it doesn’t happen again. I firmly believe that people are much more likely to remember how you took immediate and decisive action to fix a problem than they are to remember who caused the problem in the first place.

That’s not to say you should go around causing problems, but next time, instead of trying to figure out who is to blame, try figuring out how you can fix it first.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Spotlight on Success: Author C.K. Gray

Welcome to my first Spotlight on Success! Periodically, my weekly post will focus on someone who has found success in his/her field. We will talk about what they have accomplished and how they have become successful, and we’ll try to tap into that success and pass along some advice to help you succeed, too.

This first spotlight focuses on C.K. Gray, author of Eye of the Storm and the soon to be released sequel, After the Storm. Born and raised in California, C.K. now resides in Ontario with her family. Until recently, she was a full time interior designer with an itch to write a book. Now, with thousands of sales under her belt, she is transitioning into becoming a full-time author.

C.K. said that she had a lot of fun writing her book and that she really loves her story. “It’s a passion,” C.K. tells me of her writing. “If you have a passion for anything in life, don’t ever give up that passion.”

One of the most difficult things she found about writing her book wasn’t writing it, but promoting it. As a self-published author, C.K. not only wrote her book, but now has to sell it as well. Fortunately, she has a very dedicated sales rep: “If you’ve written a book and poured your heart and soul into it, who can sell your book better than you?”

One of the most important things she learned through the process is to have a good editor. While it can be expensive to hire an editor, people want to read a book that is well written. Having a second party go over your work can help you catch all of those awkward mistakes you make that you won’t notice yourself and is well worth the money.

A good cover is also very important. C.K. feels that the old saying “Never judge a book by its cover” just isn’t true. After all, until you start reading a book, what else do you have to judge it by?

A last bit of advice that C.K. leaves to other authors is to consider self-publishing. She used a self-publishing company to publish her book and was very happy with the experience. The problem with traditional publishing companies is that it can be years, if ever, before your manuscript is read by someone. If you choose to self publish you can have your book ready to go much sooner. There are several great self-publishing companies out there that can help you get your book out in print and e-book formats.

Having read her first novel, I can say that C.K. truly has a talent for drawing the reader into the story. One of the things that has impressed me most is the number of positive reviews she has received from men, despite her book being a romance. Guys, don’t be afraid of this one!

I would like to congratulate C.K. on her success and thank her for agreeing to be my first spotlight on success. To learn more, visit her website: or better yet, read her book!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Captain Kirk’s got nothing!

I’m a nerd at heart; I remember as a kid watching all of those cool science fiction shows on TV and wishing that I lived in the future. Things were so much better in the future! Everybody had such neat stuff and cool gadgets.

Then one day I realized something: Captain Kirk’s got nothing on us! I mean really, imagine waking up every morning to a bunch of goofy flashing lights and a computer that talks like, well…a computer! The poor guy can’t even send a text from his communicator! What a bunch of junk!

Seriously? My Android phone does more!
We live in an amazing time with amazing technology, and it has provided some amazing opportunities for business. So many doors have opened that didn’t even exist as little as 10 years ago.

Imagine 20 years ago being told that a teenage sensation would be discovered on a website called “youtube” and would rack up millions of album sales in just a couple of years.

Imagine being told that you could one day keep in touch with all of your clients from anywhere and do all of your banking from your telephone!

Imagine being told that a website called “Facebook” where people create “social networks” would announce an initial public offering estimated to raise over 5 billion dollars!

The opportunities are there folks. You don’t need to be the next Bieber or Google. You don’t need to be anybody special. Whatever your business is, technology can and WILL improve your bottom line. It can open up markets that you couldn’t reach even just a couple of years ago. It can help streamline your business and save you a LOT of money.

Learn to use it. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself with the Captain Kirks of the past: obsolete!

This week, I want to hear how you have used technology to improve your business. If you haven’t, I want you to do it and report back with what you did. Buy a faster printer, set up a website, whatever you like. Let’s hear about it!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Don't sell junk...

We all want to be successful at what we do (winning!); it’s human nature, and it’s what drives us. Some are more driven than others, and consequently are more successful. Some just have better timing or luck, and they are also more successful.

But one of the things that nearly all successful people have in common is that they provide something of value.

I love examples, so let’s use one…

Imagine you are buying a car. The salesman gives you a choice between a nice shiny roadster that doesn’t run, and a plain sedan with low mileage, lots of options and a great warranty. Which car are you going to buy?

I’d wager most of you went with the sedan, because it actually works. You’ll be able to drive that sedan for years and you will get your money’s worth from it. There is a lot of value in that sedan.

That’s what your customers are looking for: things that work and provide value. They want to improve their lives and make them easier.

Sure, you can make a bit of money selling snake oil (or broken down roadsters). You might even be able to make a lot of money...but you will always be looking for new customers, because nobody wants to be a sucker.

If you provide something that truly helps someone out, that improves their life and is of value to them, you won’t even need to look for customers! They will come to you. And they will keep coming back, because they want what you have.

Provide something that is truly of value, and success will come…

Now I'm going to leave you with a challenge. I want you to take a look at what you do, whatever it is, and improve the value of it. You can make a big change or a small change, that's up to you, but make it better than it is right now. Then I want you to come back here and post what you did. Let's see what you guys can do!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Learn by doing.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
- Theodore Roosevelt

Action. It’s what gets things done.

Like Theodore Roosevelt said, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Chances are you are reading this blog because you are trying to learn what you need to do. That is excellent, because if you don’t know what you need to do you are going to have a hard time doing it...but don’t get caught up in the learning. 

Learn by doing.

If you don’t know what to do, jump in. You’ll figure it out. If you do it wrong, you’ll survive, and you’ll learn from your mistakes.

There are thousands of things you can do to make money, and I can’t tell you which one to choose. You might be good at all of them, or none at all. That’s not really relevant, because I do believe, like Theodore Roosevelt said, that doing nothing is the absolute worst thing you can do.

I am a man of action, and I have a hard time sitting by on the sidelines and doing nothing. I have a lot of scars to show for the wrong things I have done, but I have also learned some important lessons from them.

Now, don't do something stupid and get yourself into trouble. Look before you jump, but jump just the same. If you don’t, you will be doing the worst thing.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Get rich quick???

I don't know about you, but I am absolutely sick of hearing about all of these "get rich quick" schemes. They're nothing new; they've been around a lot longer than me or any of you reading this. You'd think people we would have it figured out by now, but the thought of easy money is so enticing. It's like when your mom told you to stay out of the cookie jar but left it on the edge of the counter. How can you resist those delicious, delicious cookies...

Sadly, as we all know too well, it is a lot harder to get money than it was to steal mom's cookies. It takes hard work to make money (but don't let that stop you). Once you know how, it's as easy as anything else you do. But it is very rarely quick.

I won't try to sell myself as some sort of super guru, because I'm not. I'm no more special than you are. But that's why you will be so successful if you follow me. I have learned a lot of skills that ordinary people like you and me need to run a small business and make a good 2nd income, or even replace your income. You don't need to be a diva or a prodigy to apply what I am going to teach you in my posts. I want to share what I've learned and help you to be successful in your business too.

You can expect a regular weekly post from me on a variety of business and money related subjects. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I'm here to help and I will answer the best I can. I'll take requests too, so if there's something you want to know about, let me know.

I truly believe that no one gets to the top on their own. Follow me and we'll get there together.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

About me...

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Matt Brown. Maybe you think me a bit bold in calling myself THE Matt Brown. Allow me to explain…

My given name, Matthew, is one of the most common male names in North America. There are nearly 1 million Matthews in the United States alone. My surname, Brown, is even more common, and according to wikipedia is currently the 4th most common surname in the US.

What all of this means, is that there are a lot of Matt Browns out there. As you can imagine, this makes for some humorous encounters. I once had a visit with my Doctor and then to the lab for some blood work. The kind lady at the lab looked at the paperwork, looked at me and said “You’re not 14 years old, are you?” I don’t think you want to know what the visit was about, but let’s just hope, for that kids’ sake, that somebody at the Doctor’s office realized the mistake.

I am still waiting for the day that some other Matt Brown commits a heinous crime and I get arrested for it by mistake. Me: “No, I’m innocent! You want the other Matt Brown!” Police officer: “Right…”

One of my dreams has always been to work for myself. I have tried my hand at a few different businesses, and I have learned a thing or two (despite a bruise here and there). I currently work full time and have 2 successful part-time businesses on the go (an electrical contracting business and a yard care business). I now know very well what works and what doesn’t. As you can see by my full time job, I have not yet become an “entrepreneurial guru”, but I am very good at keeping my little companies going, and I want to help you become successful too. My goal in the near future is to become my own full-time boss, and to help you towards whatever your business goals are.

Take a look around, read my articles, leave some comments, and please feel free to ask any questions. No need to be lonely when we reach the top, so follow me!