Did you know that there are more digital books now sold on Kindle, and other eReading devices than are sold as traditional print books? Just a few years ago this opened up amazing opportunities for the home publisher or author to provide content for this new medium.
This was and remains a ravenous buyers market. It was very simple in the beginning; it was easy to sell sub standard publications on Kindle. But a few years ago there was a change, eBooks came of age and the quality of the books sold on Kindle (and elsewhere) improved enormously.
The biggest change was Amazon were now offering quality Illustrated Ebooks and the sales went into the stratosphere and remain there today…Read more….
There are numerous reasons for starting a business, including pursuing a passion, wanting to set your own hours and wanting to make more money. But if you’re not committed to a larger purpose, all those reasons may not be enough for your business to succeed.
2. It’s never finished. A commitment is not, “I want to own a successful business,” because that doesn’t give you lifelong purpose. A commitment will never truly be finished, and you’ll work towards it for many years.
3. It’s personal. Although having a purpose in your business is important, your commitment is personal. It will affect all areas of your life, including business, and it will impact how your business grows.
What’s the difference between a goal and a commitment?
A goal is defined as a result that you aim for, define, plan for and then achieve. You have many short-term and long-term goals in life, but a commitment goes beyond even the most long-term goal. It’s not something you finish doing, but something you constantly work towards.
How does a commitment help your business?
It helps you focus. A lack of focus can be extremely detrimental to your business, not only from day to day but on a larger scale. To succeed in your business and complete each day’s, month’s and year’s goals, you need intense focus more so than a long period of focus.
Commitments help you make that list and then define your top five. If you’re hyper-focused on a commitment, you can be focused on each of your business’s projects and goals, because they all lead to the one thing you’re most focused on. If something doesn’t align with your commitment, you eliminate it.
Commitment helps you set and achieve goals
A commitment is lifelong; it’s something you may never fully achieve. But you can set goals along the way to get you ever-closer to your commitment. And your business’s goals and success are intertwined with your commitment.
My leadership coach, Jose Bolanos, who trains leaders to form “noble commitments,” describes goals as “islands on the horizon.” Before you reach a shore, you will swim from island to island, focusing on something closer on your way to the far-off mainland.
These islands are steps towards your commitment, and these become your goals. Commitments matter to your business goals because they define what those goals will be and give them a larger purpose.
As a business owner, developing goals for yourself and your business will be easier when you create them in the context of a commitment. Instead of defining your success according to money, which as we know can be fickle, defining it based on a larger purpose will help you stay afloat in difficult times, and redirect accordingly.
Commitment gives your business a higher purpose
As I said before, having a higher purpose is important to business. Businesses with purpose are more successful, outperforming the stock market by 42 percent, according to the 2018 Global Leadership Forecast.
Because in theory, your business should be an extension of you and your life, your personal commitment should inform your business’s purpose and help it succeed. If your commitment was, “I want to impact others,” your business’s commitment should reflect this and put it into action.
Commitment makes you a better leader
Compartmentalizing your life won’t help your business succeed. Who you are and what you do as an individual should and does affect your professional life, and by extension the lives of others.
Having a personal commitment that you connect to your business’s purpose will intertwine your personal development and your company’s growth. As you work on yourself as an individual, you will become a better leader, because your purpose will be directly connected to your business’ vision.
How do you find and define a commitment?
Defining a commitment comes from answering three questions:
1. What do you want? Discovering your commitment comes from defining what you want. A commitment is going to be terrifying (and if it’s not, you may be doing something wrong) and require you to change.
3. Who does it benefit? It’s fine if the answer is just you for now, but you’ll find as you go that your commitment, especially as it becomes part of how you run your business, will begin to impact many people. If impacting people is part of your purpose, then this answer is even simpler.
Don’t be tempted to turn finding a commitment into a journey of self-discovery. Your business (and you) need a commitment sooner. Instead, define a commitment quickly, start working on it and evolve it.
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Unlike bear market lows, which tend to be short and sharp, bullish stock market highs tend to occur gradually over time as a sector or investment style first peaks and declines. , then another.
This means that investors should not manage their equity portfolios assuming that there will be a specific day before which it would make sense to be 100% invested and then be in cash. Even if the precise timing of the stock market wasn’t incredibly difficult, it would still make more sense to gradually build up cash as individual positions hit their targets.
Of course, there is no way to know whether the current stock market – which abruptly retreated from record highs in late September, ahead of Friday’s rally to begin October – has entered such a protracted peak process. But the bull market will end someday, if it hasn’t already, and it’s important to review the characteristics of past highs so that you don’t manage your portfolio on the assumption that you will be able to peak in real time.
A recent illustration that not all sectors and styles are reaching their bullish highs at the same time appeared at the top of the internet stock bubble in early 2000. Although the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes did reach their bullish highs in March 2000, value stocks – and small cap value stocks, in particular – continued to rise. The S&P 500 at its October 2002 bear market low was 49% lower than its March 2000 high, and the Nasdaq Composite was 78% lower, but the average value of small-cap stocks was 2% higher than what it was in March 2000, according to data from Dartmouth professor Kenneth French.
Although this is only an example, it is not unique. Consider what I found while analyzing the 30 bull market highs since the mid-1920s that appear in the timeline maintained by Ned Davis Research. In each case, I determined the dates on which various sectors of the market reached their particular bullish highs: the large, mid and small cap sectors, as well as the styles of value, growth and mix, as measured by the market. share price. -accounting reports. On average over the 30 bull market highs, there was a 225-day gap between the first date one of these sectors peaked and the last. It’s been over seven months.
There are exceptions, especially when an external event causes the market to collapse and virtually all sectors fall in unison. The stock market crash of 1987, as well as the declines following the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the pandemic lockdowns of March 2020, are good examples of this. But in most cases, it is more accurate to view a bullish top as a process rather than a one-time event.
Another reason to view market highs as a process is that, the day major stock indices such as the S&P 500 hit their bullish highs, you will have any idea that a bear market is imminent. . Instead, you’ll likely be caught up in the exuberance of the moment. Only with hindsight will it become clear that a bear market was starting.
This exuberance leads investors to be too heavily invested in stocks during the later stages of the bull markets. Believing that the exact day of the peak has not yet been reached, they hold on to their stock positions for too long. Viewing market highs as a process can counterbalance this exuberance, as it causes investors to focus on their individual positions rather than on the market as a monolithic whole.
Many resist this advice because their memories play tricks on them, leading them to believe that it is possible to spot a bullish top the moment it occurs. This is certainly not the case, according to my company’s daily monitoring of advice from stock timers – advisers who tell clients how much of their investment portfolios should be in stocks and cash. Over the past four decades in which the S&P 500 peaked in the bull market, the average level of exposure to equities recommended by these timers was 65.7%. This is a higher level of exposure than 95% of all other days over the past 40 years.
On the days when the S&P 500 hit its lowest bear market level, by contrast, the average exposure level recommended by stock timers was only 5%. Remember October 2007. Even though the S&P 500 was on the verge of entering a 57% 16-month decline, hardly any of the 100 or so stock stopwatches my company monitors were considering anything. the type.
This failure was true even for market timers with the best long-term records entering that month. One of the long-term top performers at the time was telling clients that a bear market was such a distant possibility it wasn’t even on his radar screen. Another went from full investment to 25% margin – borrowing to invest even more in stocks – the day before the exact day of the S&P 500 bull market high.
If these market professionals with good, long-term track records weren’t able to anticipate the onset of one of the most serious bear markets in U.S. history, you’re kidding yourself if you think that you can always do better. You are more likely to be successful by viewing the end of a bull market and the start of a bear market as a process rather than a one-time event.
A picture, as the saying goes, is worth 1,000 words. And the right pictures have the potential to generate more attention and interest about crisis situations than words alone ever could.
People can immediately grasp a story or message that is being told by a picture, illustration, video or other visuals. And, given their increasingly shorter attention spans, many people often don’t want to read about a crisis when a picture or short video on social media or a television newscast is all they think they need.
Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review, noted that, “Study after study has shown that humans respond far better to visuals than text alone. You can tell your story in text and have it ignored, misinterpreted, or used against you. Images are harder for people to ignore or willfully misinterpret. It’s important that the images you use are heavily vetted, however. You need to test them internally to be sure you’re saying exactly what you want to say.”
The challenge for business leaders who are managing a crisis for their companies and organizations is to find the best visuals to help show or tell their side of the story in an appropriate and attention-getting way.
Of course, if you don’t provide visuals for a crisis, don’t be surprised when news organizations or people on social media find and post their own. And news outlets, of course, can find the visuals that best illustrates the crisis — but which you might prefer not be seen for whatever reason.
Last Tuesday, ABC News reported that, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers paid tribute to the more than 676,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19, [by] visiting a memorial on the National Mall that displays hundreds of thousands of small, white flags, one for each life lost.
“As we look at this work of art and see it fluttering in the breeze,” Pelosi said, “it really is an interpretation of the lives of these people waving to us to remember.” The lawmakers walked silently among the rows of flags, trails that stretch more than 3.8 miles, according to ABC News.
Earlier this week, motorists passing by the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC might have seen what appeared to be a submerged house near the Jefferson Memorial. According to Washingtonian.com, “Constructed out of wood and floating on pontoons, the hollow house was a warning from climate activists with Extinction Rebellion DC of what the city might face should unchecked climate change continue to contribute to rising sea levels.”
As is often the case with attention-getting visuals, more people likely saw news coverage or the YouTube video of the submerged “house” than saw the visual in-person.
In 2018, to call attention to the number of children that were killed since the Sandy Hook school shooting, 7,000 pairs of empty shoes were displayed outside the U.S. Capitol.
CNN reported that, “The global advocacy group Avaaz [had] been collecting donated pairs of shoes for two weeks and early Tuesday morning lined them up one by one, 18 inches apart, in roughly 80 rows on the Capitol lawn, as Congress continues to sort through a debate over gun violence and school safety.
“Shoes are individual. They’re so personal. There are ballet slippers here and roller skates. These are kids,” said Nell Greenberg, the campaign director for Avaaz.”
‘The Power Of A Visual Image’
Baruch Labunski, CEO of marketing agency Rank Secure, said, “I’m a marketing expert, but you don’t have to be one to be one to understand the power of a visual image.
“When businesses are communicating with the public during a crisis, optics—both figurative and literal — are everything. Companies in crisis need to project a stable, consistent image that’s coherent with their brand. And in cases of transgressions or when a company is correcting a mistake, a visual image that reflects an amended ideology may be appropriate and effective,” he noted.
Advice For Business Leaders
“Here’s my cautionary advice,” Lubunski said. “Be authentic. Putting pictures of trees on a plastic water bottle doesn’t make your company environmentally friendly. Putting minorities on stage at an event while your entire C-suite is white doesn’t make you genuinely diverse.
“Make sure the visual images you choose reflect the actual values of your company. If you need to make amends, do it for real, rather than just for show,” he advised.
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