My name is David - thanks for visiting. Over the years I've done a lot of things, from electronics to property management. But the one thing I love to do is help people BECOME something in Life.

I was taught that my life is not just about me; it's about helping others. So yeah, if you want to sell real estate fast and/or make money with it, well - I can do that.

On the other hand, if you want to GO, DO, and BECOME something in this life, you're in the right place! This is our "Human Charter," to GO, DO and Become. It's why this blog exists. So get started!

27 March 2010

Don’t be the Best - Be Chosen

Do you believe you offer the best service, product, or skills in your area… yet maybe you are still not getting the results you are looking for? “Hey!” you say, “What gives? Don’t people want The Best?”.
Well… no. Contrary to popular belief, there is a different reality behind why your customers choose you - or your competitors.

Who Gets Chosen?

Think of McDonalds hamburgers for a moment. They are the top-selling hamburgers in the world. But, are they the best hamburgers? Most people I ask say, “No”! So how did they get to be number one, and chosen so consistently often? Because there is more to success than being the best!

Now, I’m not criticizing the fast food industry; in fact, it has done a superb job of combining two of the most desired things on the planet: Fast and Food.

We like fast food because it meets specific needs. Under certain circumstances, people will trade the absolute element of quality for speed… and if you can put a little “special sauce” on it, well, so much the better.

The point is, McDonalds’ success isn’t about being the best. McDonald's became so successful because their food doesn’t taste bad and is occasionally innovative. But more importantly, they are chosen so often.

“Success isn’t about being the best at what you do, it’s about being consistently chosen to do it.” - David Hutton

Here’s a radical idea I’d like you to consider: There really IS no such thing as The Best! If we could actually agree on what is best, everybody would choose it. But the next day, something else would come along and be the New Best. So, fortunately for us in business, people don’t necessarily choose what’s best… they choose what they are comfortable with.

In other words, people will choose what they FEEL is the best for them. That’s right, I used the “F” word: FEEL! People buy or choose to deal with others based on their feelings. They may know McDonald’s isn’t the best, but they know it is dependable and fast, all the time - which gives them a feeling of trust.

So, logic may get them to you, but they SELECT you based on the feelings they get because of you. And that is the secret to being consistently chosen.

Before we go further, let’s look at the logic part of this. This logic says you must have something to offer something that people want.

To meet this need, you pursue the methods, tactics, and knowledge behind what you do. For example, McDonalds makes decent burgers from good ingredients, cooked to the right temperature and they serve it fast. That’s the logic behind the product and is what initially draws people to them.

So let’s be very clear at this point: You should be as good as you can be at what you do so you can bring value to every exchange.

But simple skill and knowledge are not enough; they are one sided and are just the price of admission. After all, anybody can make hamburgers and, indeed, many are considered better than McDonalds. Yet “Mickie D’s” remains at the top.

Because they know there are other factors at work besides “being the best” and they exploit them. McDonald’s continually asks the one important question:

“What really matters to the people that are our customers?”

This was brought home to me recently while attending a real estate appraisal and valuation course, where we were given many lengthy, tricky, even crazy exercises in figuring gross square footage of a property. The class complained loudly over these seemingly unrealistic problems.

But I reminded my classmates that we must learn all of this so we can quickly and accurately evaluate the properties we are entrusted to sell or buy for our clients. That’s a “no-brainer,” as they say. That’s the science we spoke of a moment ago.

But square footage doesn’t sell a house by itself… it gets you in the door. The fireplace, the backyard or kitchen, the local schools or golf course – that’s what sells. The “feel” of experiencing these things is what people ultimately focus on. It’s all very personal – and far removed from the science.

McDonalds gets this; their advertising combines a simple musical jingle with an emotionally charged slogan, “I’m loving it.”
They know that once you start singing these words and putting it together, mentally, with their hamburgers, they have you. Being the best is no longer important.

Everybody wants the same three things; Love, Money and Prestige. They want to be cared about, have some security and be acknowledged as ‘someone’ in the world. So instead of being the Best, be good. Then ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I know what really matters to the people that are my customers?”
2. Do I have care and concern in my business transactions – and is it detectable?
3. Can I show proof of my integrity, stability and value?
4. Will people ultimately end up looking good, by doing business with me?

Answering these questions with “Yes,” will be the stuff of my next update.

02 March 2010

Warren Buffett Speaks

I'm asked all the time about making money in the stock market. Well, I'm no expert... I'm still working on it. But plenty of people are and Warren Buffett is one of them. He is arguably the world's greatest stock investor and a bit of a philosopher. He pares down his investment ideas into simple, memorable sound bites. So lets look at them, shall we?

Rule No. 1: Never Lose Money.
Rule No. 2: Never Forget Rule No. 1.

Buffett lost about $23 billion in the financial crisis of 2008. So how can he tell us to never lose money?

Its the mindset of a sensible investor. Don't be frivolous. Don't gamble. Don't go into an investment with a cavalier attitude that it's OK to lose. Be informed. Do your homework. Buffett invests only in companies he thoroughly researches and understands. He doesn't go into an investment prepared to lose, and neither should you.

Buffett believes a successful investor doesn't focus on being with or against the crowd. He remains focused on his goals.

Rule 3: If The Business Does Well, the Stock Eventually Follows

Buffett knows that investing in a stock equates to owning a piece of the business. So Buffett seeks out businesses that exhibit favorable long-term prospects. Does the company have a consistent operating history? Does it have a dominant business franchise? Does the business generate high and sustainable profit margins? Finally, is the company's share price trading below expectations for its future growth?
If so, it's a stock Buffett may want to own.

Buffett never buys anything unless he can write down his reasons why he'll pay a specific price per share for a particular company. Do you do the same?

Rule 4: It's Better to Buy a Great Company at a Fair Price Than a Fair Company at a Great Price

Buffett is a value investor; he likes quality stocks at rock-bottom prices. His goal is to build more operating power by owning stocks that generate solid profits and capital appreciation for years to come. During the recent financial crisis, he stockpiled great long-term investments by investing billions in names like General Electric and Goldman Sachs.

To pick stocks well, set down criteria for uncovering good businesses, and stick to their discipline. For example, seek companies that offer a durable product or service and also have solid operating earnings and the germ for future profits.
Or, you might establish a minimum market capitalization you're willing to accept, and a maximum P/E ratio or debt level. Finding the right company at the right price -- with a margin for safety against unknown market risk -- is the ultimate goal.

Remember, the price of a stock isn't the same as the value you get. Successful investors know that.

Rule 5: My Favorite Holding Period Is Forever

How long should you hold a stock? Buffett says if you don't feel comfortable owning a stock for 10 years, you shouldn't own it for 10 minutes. Even during recent times, Buffett loyally held on to the bulk of his portfolio.

Unless a company has suffered a sea change in it's prospects, such as impossible labor problems or product obsolescence, a long holding period will keep an investor from being too fearful or too greedy. Fear and greed cause investors to sell stocks at the bottoms or buy at the peaks -- thus destroying portfolio appreciation for the long run.

From Stephanie Loiacono and

The recent financial meltdown didn't change anything. The unfussy sayings from the Oracle of Omaha still RULE! So you see, we don't have to be experts when we already have them in our back pockets.

P.S. I do wonder, though, how Mr. Buffett would fare if truly lost everything.