Billionaires can be competitive, egotistical and controlling, but also smart, hardworking and obsessive. It’s a description that could apply to many small business owners. So what accounts for the difference? Psychologist Brad Klontz says a big one is that billionaires ask for help. “The ultra-wealthy are [often] quick to take credit for successes and admit failures, at least to themselves,” he told the New York Times. “In managing their often complex lives, they’ve relied on a variety of experts to help them. When they run into problems, they are less hesitant to seek help.” 

MARKETINGWait For It

Have you ever sent to an email to the wrong person, like a long lament about a demanding customer … to that very customer? To prevent that, email app maker Sanebox suggests leaving the “To” field blank until you proof-read your email. It’s a small step that can save huge embarrassment. 

OPERATIONSRephrase It

There are always customers who call asking when you close and walk in five minutes before you lock up. Most opticals will stay open to help but optician Suzanne Allen shared a tip on Facebook and it just requires a change of phrasing, “When anyone asks what time we close, I reply ‘We leave at...’” It’s a subtle way of saying there’s a definite end to your day.  

SALESKeep 'Em Coming Back

Recent work by the neuroscientists Jaak Panksepp and Robert Sapolsky suggests that the brain’s reward mechanisms are designed to give us dopamine not when we get what we want, but when we pursue it. We’re chemically rewarded for maintaining unfulfilment. What’s it mean for you? The biggest profits come not from fully satisfying clients, but from ensuring they keep seeking.

DEVELOPMENTOvercome Anxiety

Trying to calm down during an anxiety attack is usually futile. Instead, try saying: “I am excited.” Anxiety and excitement are both arousal emotions and have similar symptoms, so it’s easier to get from one to the other than to shift gears, writes The Atlantic, citing Harvard research.

NEGOTIATIONSConcede Fast, Lose Fast 

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Davis’s management textbook, How To Turn Round A Company, offers some interesting negotiating tips, including “quick negotiations are very bad for one party” and “losers make the first concession on major issues.” He recommends making “piecemeal concessions with a declining pattern. Make the opposition work for their wins, and when the deal is struck make them feel they’ve done well.”

WEBSITEBye-Bye, Boring Analytics

Website analytics are confusing. Luckily, VisitorVille.com translates raw traffic data into visual insights in real time. And it’s easy: you paste the site’s tracking code into your web pages and launch VisitorVille to watch your traffic and analyze your stats. The data visualization looks like a town with buildings representing web pages; buses search engines; and each character a real visitor to your site.

 

managementTime to Get Out the Timer

Can’t make a decision? Use a timer, suggests Oliver Burkeman in his Guardian column on lifestyle optimization. For everyday matters, set it to allow yourself a few minutes for deliberation and then when your time is up, make a decision. “Often, what we think of as deliberation is really hours of indecision, followed by a snap judgment,” he notes. “You were going to do so eventually anyway.”


This article originally appeared in the May 2017 edition of INVISION.



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