Tuesday, 17 October 2017

McKinsey Quarterly/Lovallo and Webb: Nudging the world toward smarter public policy: An interview with Richard Thaler

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Interview - McKinsey Quarterly - June 2011
Nudging the world toward smarter public policy: An interview with Richard Thaler
Nudging the world toward smarter public policy: An interview with Richard Thaler
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Public and private data alike will become more transparent, says behavioral scientist Richard Thaler. That’s an opportunity for some companies and a threat for others.

Richard Thaler is the rare academic whose ideas are being translated directly into action. Since last year, the University of Chicago professor has been advising the “Nudge Unit,” established by the government of the United Kingdom to create policies that will enhance the public welfare by helping citizens make better choices. The group gets its name from Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Yale University Press, April 2008), the book Thaler coauthored with Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein, which applies the ideas of behavioral economics to public policy. Policy makers can nudge people to save more, invest better, consume more intelligently, use less energy, and live healthier lives, Thaler and Sunstein argue, through greater sensitivity to human tendencies such as “anchoring” on an initial value, using “mental accounting” to compartmentalize different categories of expenditures, and being biased toward the status quo.
Nudging the world toward smarter public policy: An interview with Richard Thaler

In this interview with University of Sydney professor Dan Lovallo and McKinsey’s Allen Webb, Thaler describes some of the Nudge Unit’s early efforts to boost both organ donation rates and the volume of data that governments and businesses share with individuals. The more transparent data environment envisioned by Thaler holds profound implications for business leaders. “Strategies that are based on obscuring the consumer’s choice,” argues Thaler, will not be “good long-term strategies.”

The Quarterly: What’s your sense of how the Nudge Unit came about in the first place?

Richard Thaler: I got to know David Cameron and George Osborne1 right after Nudge came out. One of their young staffers had read it and passed it on to them. Mr. Cameron liked it and put it on a required summer reading list for the Tory MPs. Gratifyingly, this turned out not to be just a campaign gimmick. When they got in office they said, “Let’s try to do something.”

People in Downing Street call it the Nudge Unit, but the official term is the Behavioural Insight Team. A bunch of bright civil servants on the team are going around trying to get agencies to think about how they incorporate this tool kit into the things they do. It’s hard to know whether this is early days of a new administration or people being polite to me. But I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with the openness—almost the eagerness—of people to talk to us. I’m sure that there are skeptics. But they are keeping that skepticism to themselves, at least initially.

The Quarterly: What is the core message you try to deliver in those meetings?

Richard Thaler: My number-one mantra from Nudge is, “Make it easy.” When I say make it easy, what I mean is, if you want to get somebody to do something, make it easy. If you want to get people to eat healthier foods, then put healthier foods in the cafeteria, and make them easier to find, and make them taste better. So in every meeting I say, “Make it easy.” It’s kind of obvious, but it’s also easy to miss.
Richard Thaler biography
Richard H. Thaler

Vital Statistics

    Born September 12, 1945, in East Orange, New Jersey

    Married, with 3 children

    Graduated with a BA in 1967 from Case Western Reserve University

    Earned his MA (1970) and PhD (1974) in finance from the University of Rochester
Career Highlights

    University of Chicago Booth School of Business (1995–present)

        Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics

        Director, Center for Decision Research, Graduate School of Business

    Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University (1988–95)

        Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Economics

        Director, Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research

Fast Facts

    Research associate and codirector of the Behavioral Economics Project at the National Bureau of Economic Research

    Board member and principal at Fuller & Thaler Asset Management

    Author of several books, including Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Yale University Press, April 2008) and The Winner’s Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life (Princeton University Press, January 1994)

    Is a fellow of the American Finance Association and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

The Quarterly: Which of your ideas seem to be gaining the most ground?

Richard Thaler: Two things seem to have traction. One is building on the idea of changing defaults, which is an idea that had already caught on. A big pension reform that Adair Turner2 took on had automatic enrollment built into it.

The Nudge Unit has an advisory committee, and in the very first meeting with the committee we said, “Let’s try to do something about organ donations.” The idea I’ve been pushing on for that is something I call “prompted choice” that we use in Illinois, where I live. When you get your driver’s license renewed, they ask, “Would you like to be an organ donor?” In Illinois, that doubled the number of people on the organ donation list. So a decision has been made to do this in the UK, starting with motor vehicle registration and possibly moving to the National Health Service, which could make more sense in the UK, since everybody’s enrolled in that, and not everybody has a car.

The Quarterly: So defaults, which have already had an impact on pensions in the UK, are now coming to organ donation. What’s the second big priority?

Richard Thaler: The second thing that is getting traction is about data. There’s a big report the Nudge Unit has written, and the interesting thing here is they have gotten a big bunch of companies to agree to sit at the table and help design this.

One general principle is that lots of good things can happen if the government just releases data it already has in machine-readable, downloadable format. A good example of this is in San Francisco, where the Bay Area Rapid Transit system has for years had GPS locators in all their buses and trains. There was some big control room someplace where you could see all these things moving around. They took that data that they already had and put it online in real time in a format that app designers could tap into. Now there’s an iPhone app that knows where you are and will tell you when the next bus is coming.

So that’s one part: government releasing data. The second part is getting firms to release data. One goal there is to get complete price transparency. Another initiative is getting companies that are collecting data on your usage to share that data with you. When it comes time to renew my smartphone calling plan, I’d like to be able to get a file that I could upload to some Web site that would tell the search engine the way I use the phone and, so, what features I should be looking for. It might even be able to tell me, if I’m about to switch to some new model, how much more my data usage is likely to jump based on past experiences.3

The Quarterly: What are the business implications of the data policies that the Nudge Unit advocates?

Richard Thaler: I firmly believe there’s a kind of regulation that can improve competitive outcomes that some firms should be afraid of but others should welcome. It’s clear that some companies’ explicit strategy is obfuscation. Rather than “make it easy,” their goal is to make it hard: They make the pricing strategy obscure. They make it easy for the consumer to screw up. And then they make a lot of money.

Right now, it’s very easy to find what the best airfare is from Chicago to San Francisco. It’s not so easy to find all the charges that might come associated with that, especially if you have a big suitcase. And there are plenty of stories of credit card companies that are making all their money on late fees and increases in interest rates, and debit card companies that will stick a big charge that puts you over the limit at the head of the queue, so that the next six times you swipe your card for a coffee, you get charged 25 bucks each time.

Now, in my dream world, through all these data release programs, we make it easier for consumers to be smart shoppers, because the release of the data spawns Web sites that offer shopping tools. It’s not that we want consumers to spend any of their time poring through Excel spreadsheets. We want them, with one click, to be able to go to a Web site and be told, “Your credit card company is charging you hundreds of dollars worth of fees, and if you switch to this other one that sends you text messages when you are about to go over your limit, you could cut your costs in half.”

Many firms view this with fear and trepidation, and some of them should. But others should view this as an opportunity. There’s an opportunity for firms that want to compete on the basis of fair dealing. If we really succeeded with all these initiatives about transparency and making it easier to shop, then we’re going to make it possible to compete on a completely different level. Firms that honestly can say to themselves, “We succeed by having the best products and treating our customers fairly, and we’re getting screwed by the unscrupulous guys”—they should welcome this initiative. The ones who are doing the opposite should fight me tooth and nail.

The Quarterly: You described a more transparent environment as your dream world. Can you point to places where it may become a reality anytime soon?

Richard Thaler: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has created a national Web site where people can post complaints about products, such as children’s cribs.4 This is an issue that’s near and dear to my heart because two of my good friends had an 18-month-old son die in a crib accident at day care—in a crib that had been recalled, but there was no way to find out about that.

Now, there are companies that are fighting this because, they say, some of the information that will be posted will be malicious. While of course it is true that some people may post bad reviews of products—and even the greatest products have some detractors—a good product will manage to overcome some bad-mouthing in the social media. If you’re really proud of your product, then you won’t mind a complete airing of people’s opinions.

What firms have to understand is, this sort of transparency initiative—and, in fact, more generally, the whole Nudge approach to government—is a middle ground. The alternative is having the government administer a two-year test of every product you make. That is much worse from a producer’s point of view.

We’re all going to make some mistakes, and nobody builds a crib that’s intended to strangle toddlers. But sometimes they’ll build a crib that human parents will set up wrong. A crib’s got to be designed in a way that nobody can possibly set it up wrong. And if somebody figures out how to set it up wrong so that it’s dangerous to kids, the manufacturer should want to know.

The strategy of dealing with these things by settling lawsuits with the unlucky consumers, subject to nondisclosure, is not one that’s good for the world. Strategies that are based on obscuring the consumer’s choice are not good long-term strategies. And I would encourage firms that are making their money that way to think long term and think about how they can survive in a world where everything is transparent and obvious.

Even as governments embrace the power of behavioral economics, many companies are ignoring its lessons, say three McKinsey experts in “Why good companies create bad regulatory strategies.”
About the author(s)

Dan Lovallo is a professor at the University of Sydney; a senior research fellow at the Institute for Business Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley; and an adviser to McKinsey; Allen Webb is a member of McKinsey Publishing and is based in McKinsey’s Seattle office.
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Rotary gives $49.5 million to help eradicate polio and challenges the world to continue the fight to end the disease

Without full funding and political commitment to eradication, the disease could return to countries that are now polio-free and put children everywhere at risk

EVANSTON, Illinois, October 17, 2017/ -- With just 11 confirmed polio cases so far in 2017, the world is on the brink of eradicating polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.

To recognize this historic progress, Rotary (www.Rotary.org) clubs worldwide will host events in conjunction with Rotary International’s fifth annual World Polio Day celebration on Oct. 24. This year, the event will be co-hosted by Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and held at the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle. The program will feature an update on the global fight to end polio and an array of guest speakers, celebrities, and public health experts. People around the world can view the livestream of the event at this link (http://APO.af/PP9imJ) on Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.

“Rotary and its partners are closer than ever to eradicating polio,” says Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, which leads the organization’s polio eradication efforts. “World Polio Day is the ideal opportunity to celebrate our successes, raise public awareness, and talk about what is needed to end this paralyzing disease for good.”

Without full funding and political commitment to eradication, the disease could return to countries that are now polio-free and put children everywhere at risk. Rotary is giving $49.5 million in grants to support immunization and surveillance activities led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (www.PolioEradication.org). Some of the funds will support efforts to end polio in the three countries where polio remains endemic: Afghanistan ($9.32 million), Pakistan ($8.94 million), and Nigeria ($7.71 million). Further funding will support efforts to keep six vulnerable countries polio-free: Chad ($2.37 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo ($4.5 million), Guinea ($961,000), Somalia ($1.62 million), South Sudan ($3.77 million), and Sudan ($2.56 million). An additional $7.74 million will go toward surveillance activities in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region.

In a show of solidarity and to raise awareness and funds for polio eradication, Rotary clubs around the globe will host nearly 1,900 events for World Polio Day. They include:

    A viewing party of the livestream in Fond du Lac, Wis.
    A Rock vs. Polio music event in Curitiba, Brazil
    Placing of End Polio Now piggy banks in local businesses to collect donations in Viljoenskroon, South Africa
    A soccer game in Cairo, Egypt between the street children of Hope Village Society and students from local engineering colleges
    A golf fundraiser in Yoshiwara, Japan

“To protect all children from polio, world governments and donors must see through their commitments to fund critical work and support rigorous disease surveillance in both endemic and at-risk polio-free countries,” says McGovern. Rotary has committed to raising $150 million over the next three years, which will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, yielding $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance.

Rotary started its polio eradication program PolioPlus (www.EndPolio.org) in 1985, and in 1988 became a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (www.PolioEradication.org), along with WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation later became a partner, too. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 37 cases in 2016. Rotary has contributed a total of more than $1.7 billion — including matching funds from the Gates Foundation — and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from polio.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rotary.

Media contact:
Audrey Carl

About Rotary:
Rotary (www.Rotary.org) brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit www.Rotary.org and www.EndPolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. Video and still images are available on the Rotary Media Center (http://APO.af/HQqSoc).

Tune in to the World Polio Day livestream on October 24 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern, 2:30 p.m. Pacific, at EndPolio.org/WorldPolioDay.


GE Africa CEO Wins Prestigious Princeton in Africa Award

Founded in 1999, Princeton in Africa develops young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement by offering year-long fellowship opportunities with a variety of organizations that work across the African continent

NEW YORK, United States of America, October 17, 2017/ -- Jay Ireland, CEO & President of GE Africa (www.GE.com) was one of two to receive a Princeton in Africa award at the program’s annual gala awards which was held yesterday in New York. Founded in 1999, Princeton in Africa develops young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement by offering year-long fellowship opportunities with a variety of organizations that work across the African continent.

Since the program’s launch in 1999, they have had 545 Fellows in 36 countries. This year, 48 recent college graduates (from 31 colleges and universities) are working with 31 organizations in 13 African countries.

Speaking at the event, Jay Ireland said “GE is committed to investing and expanding its business in Africa. Despite the recent economic challenges, we firmly believe in a bright future for the continent and see ourselves as partners in Africa’s sustainable development”.

Ireland’s journey started six years ago, when he relocated to Nairobi, Kenya to lead GE’s efforts in Africa. GE had been on the continent for over 100 years. However, the company wanted to get a broader GE focus on the infrastructure issues and subsequent opportunities in developing markets. So, in 2011, the company set up an African headquarters in Kenya and started adding people across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Today, GE’s footprint consists of over 3200 employees, revenues of about $3.9 billion dollars (2016) and operations in 33 countries across Africa.

GE Africa’s corporate social responsibility platform, Kujenga, launched in 2014 aims to empower people by building valuable skills, equip communities with new tools and technology and elevate innovative ideas that are helping solve Africa’s challenges. One of the company’s Kujenga initiatives, the GE Lagos Garage advanced manufacturing skills program, has enabled over 100 prototypes to be developed at the hub and over 20 innovative ideas transformed into actual business models in Nigeria.

Princeton in Africa matches talented and passionate college graduates with organizations working across Africa for year-long service placements. The program is open to graduating seniors and young alumni from any college or university accredited in the U.S. The program’s Fellows have helped improve education and public health, source fresh water and alternative energy, increase family incomes, and so much more.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of GE.

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GE Media Contact:
Yewande Thorpe

About GE:
GE (NYSE: GE) (www.GE.com) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.GE.com.


Ghana's Vice-President Is Right: Vokacom Is A Great And Innovative Ghanaian Technology Company

I wrote and posted an article yesterday, entitled: "The Fight Against High-Level Corruption In Ghana: The National Review Newspaper Will Pursue Truth Relentlessly - And Fearlessly Report It".

It elicited an immediate response from a discerning reader who kindly pointed out a number of inaccuracies, which I feel obliged to correct immediately - for those of us who love the game of cricket passionately  are a fair-minded lot.

It was pointed out to me that  developing a digital addressing system using  a combination of numbers and letters isn't as esoteric as I seemed to think  - in other words it is not surprising that Vokacom has the capacity to develop one itself too and has successfully done so for Mother Ghana.

It was also made known to me that there are quite a few of such systems available - "including the free plus codes from google. These systems are flawed as they are difficult to remember and error prone when communicating them. If you mix up a Z and a 2 if written on a package you would not know and end up in the wrong place."

Apparently, in the what3words  system "words are very easy to remember" and as "similar words are put "far apart it is easy to spot mistakes." And because  "it is also a global system" one  "can use it in many other apps and systems and now even cars. None of what3words "competitors have this."

The reader went on to say: "In your latest article you mention 3cm - the system is 3m x3m. It was invented by Chris Sheldrick." Giles Rhys Jones is on the what3words "management team." The what3words "app is indeed free for people to use" but they "charge business and governments" to use their code.

"The price that you mention that was charged is relatively small for a national addressing system and I would envisage plenty of additional costs of communication to the population and technical integration. It would be interesting to see how small business and the public can access and get the most out of the systems."

Globally, the "differentiation" is what3words "ease of use, ecosystem of partners and memorability."

Well, this blog has always supported the idea of brilliant Ghanaian entrepreneurs partnering global class-leading entrepreneurs and companies in their individual industry sectors to empower the enterprise Ghana.

Finally, since we want nothing but the very best for Mother Ghana, the question therefore  is: Would it not redound to the benefit of our homeland Ghana were the founder and CEO of Vokacom, Mr. Kwesi Afrifa, to partner what3words to give Ghana a bleeding-edge national digital addressing system? We rest our case - and unreservedly apologise to Nana Osei Kwasi Afrifa and Vokacom:  which  indeed is a great Ghanaian technology company.

World Food Day: African Development Bank (AfDB) urges African leaders to make agriculture attractive to young Africans and stem migration

“We must get youths into agriculture and see it as a profitable business venture not a sign of lacking ambition”- Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

DES MOINES, United States of America, October 17, 2017/ -- On the occasion of the 2017 World Food Day, the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org/en) has highlighted how Africa’s food security depends on attracting young people to agriculture and agribusiness. The sector can potentially create wealth and employment for African youth, thereby stemming migration.

World Food Day, celebrated yearly on October 16, promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. This year’s theme focuses on the need to ‘Change the future of migration; Invest in food security and rural development’.

The AfDB’s ENABLE Youth program, which grooming a crop of young agriculturists, is on course to make this happen.

Mahmud Johnson, 26, is the Founder of J-Palm Liberia which works to improve income for Liberia’s smallholder oil palm farmers by 50-80%. He is also creating additional jobs for over 1,000 young people to work as sales representatives for his products.

“Despite the tremendous odds, we (African youth) are determined to maximize our abundant agricultural resources to create wealth, jobs, and socioeconomic opportunities in our countries and across the continent. We need our stakeholders to view us as serious partners in Africa’s transformation, and to work with us to expand our enterprises,” Mahmud said.

Mahmud and some of his employees have benefited from capacity building programs under the AfDB’s Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment for Youth initiative.

Like Mahmud, many African youth are passionate about staying back on the continent to create wealth and employment, if given the tools and opportunities to put their skills to use. Under the ENABLE Youth program, the Bank is working with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to develop a new generation of young commercial farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs.

“Our goal is to develop 10,000 such young agricultural entrepreneurs per country in the next 10 years. In 2016, the Bank provided US $700 million to support this program in eight countries and we've got requests now from 33 countries,” said Adesina.

The Bank considers investment in agriculture as key to making Africa youths prosperous, thereby stemming the tide of migration.

This goal, and theme of 2017 World Food Day, are well aligned with two of the AfDB’s High 5 (http://APO.af/6D641c) development priorities – Feed Africa (http://APO.af/FN7bfw) and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa (http://APO.af/Yfi5Fw) – said Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the AfDB.

“A thriving business sector in Africa will provide the jobs and returns that will attract and retain Africa’s best talent on the continent, while improving the quality of life of all Africans,” she said.

With more than 70% of Africans depending on agriculture for their livelihoods, it is imperative for the sector’s full potential to be unlocked, and by doing so help to vastly improve the lives Africans.

Accordingly, one of the goals of Feed Africa is to eliminate hunger and malnutrition by 2025.

Due to the finite nature of mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, crude oil, among others, African countries must diversify their economies. This cannot be done without a significant emphasis on agriculture given that the great majority of Africans depend on it for their livelihoods.

Increased food demand and changing consumption habits driven by demographic factors such as urbanization (internal migration) are leading to rapidly rising net food imports, which will grow from US $35 billion in 2015 to over US $110 billion by 2025 if trends are left unchecked.

Given that African smallholder farmers are on average about 60 years old, Africa’s food security depends on attracting young people into agriculture and agribusiness and empowering them. Governments can support these shifts through the right enabling environments via policy reforms for increased private investment in agriculture and agribusiness. And also by better articulating the importance of agriculture for their economies in their interaction with the public.

“Food security, rural development are closely interlinked with issues of migration, fragility and resilience. The Horn of Africa and the Sahel provide compelling examples of how global factors such as food insecurity, radical extremism and migration reinforce state fragility and have devastating effects on development,” said Khaled Sherif, AfDB Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery.

“The lack of economic opportunities, infrastructure, employment opportunities and unpredictable climactic changes in these countries are key sources of fragility that often times result in the forced migration of peoples seeking a desperate alternative. The Bank has, where appropriate, adopted risk-based approaches at both country and regional levels in addressing fragility.”

Ahead of the World Food Day, the AfDB joined Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and other developing partners on October 14 in a day-long set of activities to promote agriculture as a business. They emphasized the need for governments to invest in agriculture to create jobs and stem the flow of migration that has undermined the security and economies of African countries.

For more on the World Food Prize/Borlaug Dialogue events, please visit: http://APO.af/EXgmf3 and http://APO.af/lVEF8k.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Development Bank Group.

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Media contacts:
Jennifer Patterson
Principal Communication Officer
Tel: +225 75 75 04 58
Email: J.Patterson@AfDB.org

Emeka Anuforo
Communications Officer
Email: E.Anuforo@AfDB.org

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
For more information: www.AfDB.org.

African Development Bank Group

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Fight Against High-Level Corruption In Ghana: The National Review Newspaper Will Pursue Truth Relentlessly - And Fearlessly Report It

 On Wednesday, 18th October, 2017, the vice-president, Alhaji Mahammudu Bawumia, will inaugurate the new national digital addressing system that is said to divide the world into 5 cm squares.  Interesting.

The adoption of that digital national addressing system is a huge leap forward for our nation.

Unfortunately, however, the company that Dr. Bawumia incorrectly says invented the new digital addressing system (probably because he has obviously been misinformed), the Dansoman-based Vokacom, owes Ghanaians an explanation or two.

The questuon is: Are the Vokacom genuises aware or not of the fact that the actual original inventor of the digital addressing system that they are making claims of having invented, Giles Rhys Jones, is actually offering it to the world as  an app that can freely be downloaded online for  use worldwide at the Google play store - and that as we speak it is already in use in Ghana by a number of international companies, NGOs and private individuals? Ditto in the Ivory Coast, Togo and Nigeria?

Furthermore, the geniuses at Vokacom must tell Ghanaians exactly what  connection they have, if any, with the  original inventor of the UK-based  "what3words" digital addressing system, Giles Rhys Jones. Ditto why hapless Ghanaian taxpayers have to fork out as much as US$2.5 million for the code of a digital "what3words" addressing system that Ghana can pay a relatively small amount to Giles Rhys Jones,in order to use it for a national digital addressing system?

As an old wag I know said to me: "Either the Vokacom people pirated "what3words'" invention or paid to use its code and then modified the original division of the planet Earth into 3 cm squares (by the actual inventor Giles Rhys Jones) to 5 cm squares instead in order  to enable them get away with pirating it. Bawumia hasn't a clue. How can he say Vokacom invented the "what3word" digital addressing system? What nonsense. And is he even aware of the fact that Ghana could have paid a relatively small amount to "what3words" to utilise its code for Ghana's national digital addressing system? Why are our politicians so ignorant, Kofi?"

Well, my friend the old wag can rest easy: My new weekend newspaper, The National Review, which comes out at the end of October, 2017, all things being equal,  will get to the bottom of this particular matter for sure - as sure as day follows night: and if there has been  any profiteering in this  public procurement contract too at Mother Ghana's expense, we shall expose it when we finally start publication. Period.

Some us are thoroughly fed up with nation being constantly ripped-off by our vampire-elites. Haaba.

The genuises at Vokacom must also tell Ghanaians how they came to win  the new national digital addressing system public procurement contract - and when exactly  they obtained the said contract. Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem sebe o. Asem kesie ebebe debi ankasa!

Finally, the National Review (motto: Truth pursued relentlessly - and fearlessly  reported!)  will fight high-level corruption in Ghana in creative fashion - and expose the powerful and greedy people bleeding Mother Ghana slowly to death. Enough is enough. Haaba.

South Sudan's First Energy Event Attracts 400 Delegates, Catalyst for Cooperation with Sudan and Uganda

JUBA, South Sudan, October 16, 2017/ --

    South Sudan Oil & Power 2017 (http://APO.af/AyAop7) brought together 400 delegates including Vice President James Wani Igga and ministers of petroleum, energy, trade, roads, and environment.
    The event, South Sudan’s first ever energy and infrastructure conference, aimed to attract investment into oil, gas, power and supporting infrastructure. Ministry and NOC representatives from Uganda and Sudan attended and delivered keynotes.
    CNPC, Petronas, Tullow Oil and national oil company Nilepet and its international joint ventures supported the event as sponsors.

South Sudan’s first ever energy and infrastructure conference, endorsed by the Ministry of Petroleum and organized by Africa Oil & Power, launched last week and was oversubscribed by 30 percent. Four hundred delegates, including the Vice President, the Minister of Petroleum and five cabinet ministers, the presidents of all South Sudan’s joint operating companies, representatives from international oil companies CNPC, Petronas and Tullow Oil and ministerial delegations from Uganda and Sudan, attended the two-day event. Fifty speakers addressed the audience in Juba in a series of keynote speeches, presentations, workshops and panel discussions.

“We were blown away by the attendance and by the level of engagement from participants, which we believe reflects new optimism for South Sudan,” said Guillaume Doane, CEO of Africa Oil & Power. “This is a country with proven below-ground potential and an increasing commitment to resolving above-ground risks. The international investment community is recognizing that the market is ripe for resurgence.”

Indeed South Sudan has enormous proven onshore oil reserves, but production has slipped to about 120,000 barrels per day as two oilfields have been shut down due to security concerns.

The country has a capacity to produce more than twice this amount. Major issues discussed during South Sudan Oil & Power included enhancements to security at northern oilfields, increasing improved and enhanced oil recovery techniques at maturing fields with flagging output and securing financing for power and infrastructure. During the conference the governments of South Sudan and Sudan met to discuss strengthening oil trade. The governments of Uganda and South Sudan discussed how to upgrade energy infrastructure in the region.

“I can’t believe what we have accomplished. With Africa Oil & Power, we have started something big,” said H.E. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, during the conference closing ceremonies. “We need to do this every year.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum.

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South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum

How Accra's Radio Gold FM's Employees Can Turn A Corporate Disaster Into A Golden Business Opportunity For Themselves

Creative types never despair when disaster strikes  - for unlike most people they see the opportunities that every disaster offers those blessed with imaginative minds.

There is no question that many discerning and patriotic Ghanaians fear the possibility that a ruthless, intolerant  and powerful cabal made up of a few greedy individuals with secret wealth-creation-agendas of their own, is  currently busy at work manipulating the system to ensure that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) remains in power for a very long time to come. What perfidy.

Before one proceeds any  further, it is important to make the point that  a majority of the members of the NPP - led by President Akufo-Addo - are true believers in democracy who will find the idea of the emergence of a virtual one-party state in our democracy as abhorrent as the emergence of an unconstitutional military dictatorship: and will not countenance such an abominable and unspeakable outcome for Mother Ghana. Ever.

President Akufo-Addo is one of the NPP's true democrats, and is committed to ensuring that ours continues to remain a liberal society,  and will not therefore  tolerate any attempt to turn Ghana into a one-party state. Never.

Speaking as a journalist - and a fearless old man who is starting a newspaper because he is alarmed by the systematic way in which those who have axes to grind and have sworn to jail yesteryear's regime-princelings  or kill themsleves - it is my humble view that the time has now come for the executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to be creative leaders for a change. Ebeeii.

The question is: When will the GJA use the networks of its counterpart associations in the world's leading democracies to source for funding to set up a media fund - that is managed on its behalf by all the top mutual fund managers in Ghana - earned interest from which it will use to pursue all those who abuse journaslists in the law courts?

Will public knowledge that the GJA has sufficient funds to protect the independence of the Ghanaian media - by always going to court to enforce and protect the rights of all journalists in this country - not prevent outrages such as that arrogant Paramount Chief, Nana Akuamoah Sekyim, in the Western Region,  who is alleged to have forced a broadcast journalist employed by Rivers FM (apparently known as Larry Saint), to kneel in the hot sun for about three hours and then had the gall to cause Saint's arrest and  detention after that humiliating ordeal?

Exactly what does the GJA intend to do about that high-handed and abominable  monstrosity perpetrated by Nana Akuamoah Sekyim, I ask? At the very least the medîa must shine its collective spotlight on Nana Nana Tetre Akuamoah Sekyim's businesses: and find out whether or not they  are compliant with all the regulatory requirements that businesses are supposed to meet.

Furthermore, the media must also find out who Nana Tetre Akuamoah Sekyim has sold the lands he holds in  trust for his people to since he became their Paramount Chief - and demand that he renders an  account  of all such monies  to his people publicly. Period.

That will be a good lesson to  impart to other Chiefs tempted to abuse the human rights of journalists in Ghana - and make them think twice before  embarking on such a foolish course of action: in what after all is a constitutional democracy in which sovereignty resides in the citizenry. Haaba.

Finally, if the employees of Accra's Radio Gold FM do a little creative thinking, they will find that by getting the company  that owns the radio station that employs them to sell the station to them for a token GHc100, if they then subsequently approach the National Communications Authority (NCA) with a plan to pay the debt Radio Gold FM owes it in instalments (say GHc 600,000 annually) it will put the NCA in an impossible situation and force it to allow them to operate and save their jobs that way.

They must then embark on a global  fundraising campaign by offering free adverts in return for cash donations from the general public here and in other nations around the world to enable them retire that crippling GHc61 million (and still counting, incredibly) NCA debt - and shame those criticism-averse politicans behind the NCA's egregious unreasonableness:  who secretly seek to create a tyranny-of-the-majority situation in our democracy by manipulating the system from the shadows, and who above all, want to silence dissenting viewpoints in Ghana. Sod them.

That is how if they think creatively Accra's Radio Gold FM's employees can turn an apparent corporate disaster into a golden business opportunity for themselves. Hmm, Oman  Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Investopedia: What is 'AAA'?



What is 'AAA'?

AAA is the highest possible rating assigned to an issuer's bonds by credit rating agencies. An AAA-rated bond has an exceptional degree of creditworthiness, because the issue can easily meet its financial commitments. The ratings agencies Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Fitch Ratings use the AAA to identify bonds with the highest credit quality, while Moody's uses AAA is the top credit rating.
Default is the risk that a bond misses a principal or interest payment. Since AAA-rated bonds are perceived to have the smallest risk of default, these bonds offer investors the lowest yields among bonds with similar maturity dates. The global credit crisis of 2008 resulted in a number of companies, including General Electric, losing the AAA rating. By mid-2009, only four companies in the S&P 500 possessed the coveted AAA rating.

How a High Credit Rating Helps a Business

A high credit rating lowers the cost of borrowing for an issuer, and companies can borrow larger sums of money with a high rating. A low cost of borrowing is a big competitive advantage, because the firm can take advantage of opportunities by easily accessing credit. If, for example, a business has the opportunity to start a new product line or buy a competitor, it can borrow funds to finance the transaction.
Factoring in Secured and Unsecured Bonds

Issuers can sell both secured and unsecured bonds, and the risk of default is different for each type of bond. A secured bond means that a specific asset is pledged as collateral for the bond, and the creditor has a claim on the asset if the issuer defaults on the bond. Secured bonds are collateralized with equipment, machinery or real estate, and these bonds may have a higher credit rating than an unsecured bond sold by the same issuer. An unsecured bond, on the other hand, is simply backed by the issuer's ability to pay, and the credit rating of an unsecured bond relies on the issuer's source of income.
The Differences Between Revenue and General Obligation (GO) Bonds

Municipal bonds can be issued as revenue bonds or as general obligation bonds; each type of bond relies on a different source of income. Revenue bonds, for example, are paid using fees and other income generated from a specific source, such as a city pool or sporting venue. A general obligation bond is backed by the issuer's ability to tax; state bonds rely on state income taxes, while local school districts depend on property taxes.
Bond Insurance

A type of insurance policy that a bond issuer purchases that guarantees the repayment of the principal and all associated interest payments to the bondholders in the event of default. Bond issuers buy insurance to enhance their credit rating to 'AAA' in order to reduce the amount of interest that it needs to pay.
BREAKING DOWN 'Bond Insurance'

Once bond insurance has been purchased, the issuer's bond rating will no longer be applicable and instead, the bond insurer's credit rating will be applied to the bond instead. By design, bondholders should not encounter too much disruption if the issuer of a bond in their portfolio goes into default. The insurer should automatically take up the liability and make any principal and interest payments owed on the issue going forward.

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APO Group Helps Organizations Stay Ahead of News Consumption Trends with the Launch of Video Newswire®

Recent study reveals that TV is the primary source of information in Africa and the Middle East

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 16, 2017/ -- A recent study by the Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has revealed that TV is the most popular news medium in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. When asked about how they stay informed about the latest news in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates, more than 75% of nationals reported watching television each day rather than relying on online sources (http://APO.af/P2CDFY). 

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group (www.APO-opa.com) says: “The study confirms what we've been observing for some time, not only in MENA region but also in Sub-Saharan Africa. Disparities in literacy, including digital literacy, and education greatly influence news platforms choices. And despite internet penetration and the rise of social media, it’s also important to take into consideration that there’ s still an unequal access to internet technology in both regions. This explains in large part why television still holds a central place in media consumption patterns.”

Whether via broadcast TV or online, news is increasingly being watched as opposed to read, particularly on mobile phones. Northwestern University in Qatar’s fifth annual report states, for example, that 78% of Tunisians watch news videos on their smartphones on daily basis (http://APO.af/iXtTyq). With already 365 million mobile subscribers across the MENA region (63% of the population) and with the number of smartphone connections set to triple by 2020 in Africa, according to GSMA study, a considerable demand for news video content is expected in upcoming years.

As a result, APO Group strongly believes that it is in the interest of both private and public organizations to undertake a “paradigm shift” in their media communication approach in order to remain relevant to their audiences. To support them throughout this change, the consulting firm will from now on help them transform their press release into a broadcast quality video footage suited for televised news through their new service, Video Newswire®.

Video Newswire® will not only offer organizations a cost-effective solution to generate greater interest among target audiences but also facilitate the use of their content by newscasters who for years have complained that written press releases needed formatting and editing before being able to be used as news content.

“Within a few hours, APO Group can deploy their production team anywhere in Africa, the Middle East or around the world to shoot a news video of an event, an announcement, a product or an offer. We will produce a video perfectly tailored to news producers’ editorial policies and technical criteria so that they can have access to the same quality material they would receive from their own production teams. In addition to producing the video, we will also provide distribution to up to 1,000 news TV channels across Africa, the Middle East and the world”, said Mr. Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group.

APO Group intends to go even further. To increase smartphone viewership and content shareability, the consulting firm will also distribute the news video content to specific websites, social media platforms and, as the Africa-related content provider for leading phone companies, such as MTN Group, Airtel, Orange and Gloworld, to over 250 million mobile subscribers across Africa.

“Video Newswire® reflects our goal to continuously provide best-in-class solutions in line with local media landscapes. As the leader in media relations in Africa and the Middle East, we are best positioned to assist organizations in understanding audience preferences and attitudes towards the media and alert them to new forms of media communications. News video is a growing trend and this is just the beginning,” concluded the founder and CEO of APO Group.

Learn more about Video Newswire®: http://www.APO-opa.com/services.php

Distributed by APO on behalf of APO Group.

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Aïssatou Diallo | bdm@apo-opa.org | +41 22 534 96 97


Founded in 2007, APO Group (http://www.APO-opa.com) is a leading media relations' consulting firm in Africa and Middle East.  We assist private and public organizations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries. As trusted partner, our role is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organizations to produce a real and measurable impact in Africa and the Middle East and outside the regional frontiers. The trust and recognition that have been granted to APO Group by global & multinational companies, governments, as well as NGOs impels the company to continuously enhance its value proposition within Africa & Middle East to better cater its clients ‘needs. Amongst our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, GE, Uber, Microsoft, Nokia, Mara Group, PwC, DHL, Marriott Group, Sage, Ecobank, Iflix, Jumia, Samsung, Total, Merck, Société Générale, L'Oréal, Oracle, Philips, Barclays, MoneyGram, Ernst & Young, Orange ...

Headquarter: Lausanne, Switzerland | Offices in Senegal, Dubai and Hong Kong

APO Group

SITA technology to drive expansion at Ghana’s new International terminal

Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal 3 to cement airport’s position as a major regional hub

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 16, 2017/ -- SITA (www.SITA.aero) is providing its world-class passenger and baggage processing technology as well as its airport management solutions to Ghana’s new Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, helping cement the airport’s position as a vital regional hub.

Ghana’s largest airport is expanding its capacity to meet significant growth in international passenger traffic, increasing the airport’s capacity to five-million passengers a year. The country’s aviation industry has witnessed significant growth over the past decade due to the discovery of petroleum and gas reserves, sustained domestic demand and the growth of the tourism sector.

SITA, the global air transport IT provider, has worked closely with both MAPA, the construction company building the new terminal, and Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), the airport operator, to ensure that the new terminal has the most up-to-date technology to support the country’s modern airport infrastructure.

SITA already provides technology for Terminals 1 and 2 at Kotoka International Airport and will ensure that its world-class technology is fully integrated with the existing terminals from day one. This will deliver smooth passenger and baggage processing, and efficient operations across the entire airport.

SITA is deploying its latest passenger processing technology including common use Check-In Desks and Self-Service Check-In Kiosks (http://APO.af/vpb5VA), allowing the airport to maximize its capacity by enabling airlines to cost-effectively share the same infrastructure. The airport will also make use of SITA’s state of the art Baggage Management (http://APO.af/QvebHa) technology that will assist airlines in tracking bags every step of the way, helping them meet IATA’s Resolution 753 requirements from day one.

On the operational side, SITA’s Airport Management Solution (http://APO.af/b4CeMQ) will simplify planning and operational control, and facilitate collaborative decision-making, data management and analysis in Terminal 3 and across the entire airport. It will also support revenue management with its billing and reporting functionality.

Levent Uzunokur, General Manager of MNG Technical, MAPA’s parent company, said: “SITA was the obvious choice both because of its wide experience of airport technology across the world and the team’s specific knowledge of Kotoka International Airport. SITA’s ability to seamlessly integrate the new terminal into the existing airport operations is particularly important and will have a very positive impact on the success of the whole project.”

Dr Gershon Adzadi, Head of ICT at Ghana Airports Company Limited, said: “SITA has long provided its technology and know-how at Kotoka International Airport. Their understanding of our business and their leading technology solutions at airports make them an ideal partner to support us in the next chapter of our airport’s growth.”

SITA is initially contracted to MAPA during the deployment and implementation phase before handing over to GACL who will then take over the day-to-day running of the terminal.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “We are working with MAPA to transform the new facility into a working airport terminal that can process 1,250 passengers an hour. Kotoka International Airport’s new terminal will have the world-class technology it needs to support the airport’s role as a leading hub in the region.”

Kotoka International Airport supports both international and national routes for passenger and cargo aircraft. When Terminal 3 opens at the end of 2017, it will have six contact stands and two remote stands for long-range aircraft, including Airbus A380s, A330s and Boeing 777s and 787s.

Distributed by APO on behalf of SITA.

Media contact:
Julius Baumann
Media Relations Manager
Mobile: +41 78 901 4123
Email: Julius.Baumann@SITA.aero

Nayla Feghali Rous
Marketing Manager
Tel: + 971 4 315 1324
Email: Nayla.Feghali@SITA.aero

Charlie Pryor
Tel : +44 (0)20 7872 5465
Email : Charlie.Pryor@Leidar.com
Skype: LEIDAR_Charlie

Tweet this:
• SITA to provide its world-class passenger and baggage processing tech to Ghana’s new Terminal 3 http://ow.ly/Bim630fQVzH
• SITA baggage tracking systems in Ghana’s Terminal 3 will help airlines flying to Accra meet IATA's Resolution 753 http://ow.ly/Bim630fQVzH
• SITA’s passenger, baggage systems in Ghana’s new Terminal 3 will help cement airport’s position as a regional hub http://ow.ly/Bim630fQVzH

Follow SITA online (SITA.aero/news-events/social-media-page) and at these links:
• LinkedIn: www.LinkedIn.com/companies/sita
• Twitter: www.Twitter.com/SITAOnline
• Youtube: www.Youtube.com/SITAOnline
• Facebook: www.Facebook.com/sitaonline
• Google+: www.Plus.Google.com/+SITAOnline
• Slidedhare: www.Slideshare.net/SITAOnline
• Pinterest: www.Pinterest.com/sitaonline
• Flickr: www.Flickr.com/photos/sitaonline
• Blog: www.SITA.aero/knowledge-innovation/blogs
SITA photos available here: www.SITA.aero/pressroom/image-gallery and videos and info graphics here: www.SITA.aero/pressroom.

About SITA:
SITA (www.SITA.aero) is the communications and IT solution provider that transforms air travel through technology for airlines, at airports and on aircraft. The company’s portfolio covers everything from managed global communications and infrastructure services, to eAircraft, passenger management, baggage, self-service, airport and border management solutions. Owned 100% by more than 400 air transport industry members, SITA has a unique understanding of its needs and places a strong emphasis on technology innovation.

Nearly every airline and airport in the world does business with SITA and its border management solutions are used by more than 30 governments. With a presence at more than 1,000 airports around the world and a customer service team of 2,000+ staff, SITA delivers unmatched service to more than 2,800 customers in more than 200 countries. 

In 2016, SITA had consolidated revenues of US$1.5 billion. SITA’s subsidiaries and joint ventures include SITAONAIR (www.SITAONAIR.aero), CHAMP Cargosystems (www.Champ.aero) and Aviareto (www.Aviareto.aero).

For further information go to www.SITA.aero.


StumbleUpon/Chris Brogan: 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great


October 25, 2011 / Chris Brogan

106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great


StudioPress Sites

The following is a rare guest post, this time coming from Tommy Walker. Tommy Walker is an Online Marketing Strategist and host of “Inside the Mind” a fresh and entertaining video show about Internet Marketing Strategy.

Be honest. How often do you sabotage yourself?

On any given day, you have tasks you’d like to finish because you know they’d positively impact your business, and tasks you actually do.

You trick yourself into thinking that keeping up with industry news, and reading the latest “10 tips to ______” post is “working”.

You know better, but some part of you believes that simply reading the article will help you move forward.

That having a deep understanding of all things online marketing will better position you when the time is right. When that time comes, you’ll be the supreme ruler of the internet, because you’re so well studied.

But that time doesn’t come.

Something is holding you back, and you can’t quite put your finger on it. So instead of moving past it and taking action, you make an excuse. You justify your reasons for staying put.

You may have one excuse; you may have several.

What follows are 106 of the most common excuses you might tell yourself.
You don’t have the knowledge.

There’s one word kicks this excuse right in the teeth.


If you can’t find a ton of free information on Google, find a book on Amazon.If Amazon doesn’t work, hire a coach.

Information is more accessible now than any other point in history, and most of it is free.

Spend time to find it.

Commit to learning it. Be equipped to tackle your challenge.
You can’t get the education required.

Maybe you don’t have internet, not everyone does (how are you reading this?)

In any case, there are these buildings with a number of books on a variety of subjects called libraries.

They’ll be thrilled to see you, and eager to help.

If you invest the time, a near college level education awaits you.

No it’s not as convenient as the internet, but learning anything worthwhile is seldom easy.

Also reading books will help to fortify your attention span, which is vital to your success.
You don’t know the right people

Like education, people are more accessible than ever before.

Nearly anyone you need to know can be found on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin.

Be on a mission they can’t resist being a part of, and you’re half way there.

With a little patience, and an awesome personality, you can connect with the right people.

It won’t happen overnight, but it certainly will happen if you want it bad enough.
You don’t have the money

Finances are a sensitive issue.

You might not have the money right now, but there are plenty of ways to increase your income.

If you have to scour freelancer sites to aquire a hundred dollars here and there, do it.

Any money you make freelancing, save it to put towards your dream project.

Can’t afford to do that?

Create a strict budget, and set aside a portion of your income.

Don’t believe what the news tells you, money is everywhere, and people spend it every day.

Right now, someone is hiring someone just like you.

You can’t afford to take a risk right now.

If not now, then when?

This excuse is fear of the unknown.

The reality is, you can’t afford not to take a risk right now.

If an idea really benefits people, pulling on the reigns doesn’t just inhibit your progress…it prevents people from improving their lives.
It’s too hard.

Anything worth doing is hard.

When was the last time “easy” had a huge payoff for you?
You don’t learn that way.

Babies all learn the same way, trial and error.

They try, fail, and try again until it becomes second nature.

Anyone with an infant learning to stand, walk, or crawl right now will tell you their kid won’t stop, regardless of the number of times they fall on their face.

Babies don’t get the luxury of learning via webinar, audio, or having the process of written out.

They see others do it, and try it themselves.

As a former baby, I can say being receptive to any and all learning will greatly improve your ability to do anything you want.
Someone else is already doing it.

Which came first, Copyblogger or Problogger? Dyson or Hoover? Groupon or LivingSocial?

Does it matter?

Not really.

You don’t know where to begin.

The human brain isn’t designed to process information in a linear fashion.

This is why when you dream, it doesn’t start “at the beginning” and you only remember how the dream ended, but never how it began.

If you’re looking to pick up a new skill, usually “the beginning” will make itself apparent, regardless of where you start.

Even better, because the way you process information is unique to you, your “starting point” could help you form a very unique perspective that people love.

Also consider the other people who “don’t know where to begin.”

By simply picking a place and chronicling your journey, you can inspire others to learn with you.
You’re afraid of what your customers will think.

It’s true, some changes should be gradual.

But if you a drastic change is what you need, your customers are probably already bored and looking for alternatives.

Do you think Apple feared their customer’s opinions before entering the Mp3 player market?

Didn’t think so.
You’re afraid of what your colleagues will say.

Peer validation is rarely the deciding factor in any entrepreneurial story worth hearing.

If you’re concerned with what your industry peers will think, don’t worry about it.

Sometimes disruption is exactly what your peers need.
Nobody will buy.

If people will buy the “Pet Rock” people will buy what you’re selling.

You just have to figure out how to position yourself, and why they need you.
Nobody will care.

You’re right, nobody will care, IF you’re doing something for the wrong reasons.

Are you creating a product because you need the cash?

Nobody will care.

Are you promoting others simply to make yourself look good.

Nobody will care.

Are you sucking up to big names so they will promote your stuff?

Nobody will care.

Authenticity can’t be faked, and selfish motivations can be sniffed out from a mile away.

Be on a mission to make an impact.

Somebody will care, because they share your mission.

Now it’s up to you to find them.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Imagine waking up tomorrow on the verge of death.

All your life you played it safe.

You stayed at your job, and did what you were told.

Sure you got promotions, but at your peak you still only made $60,000.

You had ideas, and watched them came to fruition… at the hands of someone else.

They created memorable products; you’re on your deathbed with nothing to show.

You’re unsure how you’ll pay for your funeral. You’re leaving behind a mound of debt, and you never figured out how to just get ahead.

Feel sorry yet?
There’s no politically correct way to present the information.

Realistically, that’s ok.

If people like Naomi Dunford and Johnny Truant are allowed to play, so can you.

Politically correctness isn’t always the most effective form of communication.

Sometimes the non PC person is exactly the breath of fresh air the world needs.
People aren’t ready to hear this.

It’s true, not everyone is ready to hear everything.

But if you’ve thought it, chances are you are not alone.

If you believe in it enough, one person at a time, you can build a following.

Truthfully, it’s usually the things people aren’t ready for that make the biggest impact on the world.
You can’t question the authority.

Nations were founded on questioning the authority.

Countless Rock stars, celebrities, and political leaders made their mark by disrupting the establishment.

If you start a business to free yourself, then dare not oppose the “powers that be”, you undermine the very spirit of entrepreneurship.

Question the authority! Break the rules!

Just make sure you have evidence to support your cliams, otherwise you’re just being a punk, and not in the cool way.
You haven’t done it before.

This is my favorite excuse, because it’s such a cop out.

Let’s look at some of the common milestones in your life that you got through just fine

    You went to school (hadn’t done that before)
    Had your first kiss (hadn’t done that before)
    Learned to drive a car
    Took up a new hobby
    Learned to read

Or really anything beyond lying on your back and flailing your limbs uncontrollably.

You hadn’t done anything before you did it. It’s simple, but it’s true.

This excuse is rooted in fear of the unknown.

Now it’s perfectly fine to be afraid, but “inexperience” is by far one of the worst excuses.

Life is built on a series of “firsts” and making the choice to limit your experiences only leads to dissatisfaction.
You’re not that good.

There are plenty of things people aren’t good at.


A.) Learn and get better or

B.) Find someone who is good and have them fill that role.

You don’t have to do everything alone. The best joint venture projects are simply two people with complimentary strengths.

So if you’re not that good, get better, or find someone who is.
You don’t have anything nice to say.

Just like challenging the authority, being brash is sometimes exactly what people need.

Too many people try to “do it right”, so do it wrong just to stand out.

There are plenty of people who make a career out of saying the wrong thing.

Just make sure there’s substance behind your message.
Other people are more lucky.

Pure “luck” is a myth.

If someone is “lucky” they are doing stuff behind the scenes you’re not seeing.

Taking action and simply doing something instead of making excuses will do wonders for your “luck”.

Besides, other’s luck doesn’t directly impact you.
You can’t, you were raised differently.

Obviously, follow your moral compass. Going against that isn’t what I’m suggesting.

What I will suggest is to seek alternatives that don’t oppose your belief systems.

If a company like Hebrew National can make kosher hotdogs, you can find a way to do what’s holding you back.

But if you’re using this excuse to stay in your comfort zone, I need to ask, “How much are you holding yourself back in the name of something else?”
Your gender won’t let you.

Gender roles are increasingly less relevant.

There have been women CEOs and male nurses for years. Men can start a daycare and women can start a design firm.

Blaming your gender simultaneously speaks poorly for your gender, and empowers those who refuse to fit a mold.
Your kids won’t let you.

No doubt, balancing kids with business is tough.

At the time of this writing, I’m a newlywed with an 11 month old son, my own business, and a new house. It’s a balancing act, but it’s doable.

It requires discipline and maximum use of “productive time”.

At the end of the day you may feel shattered.

Keep it up, you’ll build endurance.

It doesn’t just make you a better business person; it allows you to enjoy family time that much more.
Your spouse won’t let you.

Now I’m not one to give marital advice, and you have to respect your spouse, but open communication can go a long way.

It’s important to communicate your passion. Get to the core of why it’s important to you and really open up.

Be willing to have multiple conversations about it, and really hear their reservations.

Come up plan for”worst possible scenario” together and keep your spouse informed on your progress.

Be prepared to let go of some ideas.

But dig deep into the important ideas, it’s a lot better than “Honey, can we do this…?”
Your parents won’t let you.

…really? How old are you?

Ok, regardless of age, people have complicated families, I get it.

Sometimes parents aren’t as rational, or supportive, or open to new ideas as we’d like them to be.

This is no reason to sacrifice your success and happiness.

If your parents require you to show your respect by giving up on your dreams, then maybe you need to weigh the consequences of giving up versus going your own way. (Hint: we each only get one life, and this one is yours.)
Your disability won’t let you.

Josh Blue is a hilarious stand up comic with cerebral palsy, which most noticeably affects his right arm.

Nick Vujicic is a world-renowned preacher and motivational speaker who doesn’t have any arms or legs.

Kyle Maynard doesn’t have arms or legs either, and is a wrestler, MMA fighter, owner of a gym, a student, and a motivational speaker. Oh, and he’s 25 years old.

I’m 25 and have a rare brain condition, and I’m supporting my family and growing my business.

There are artists who create with their mouths, runners who win races on artificial legs, brilliant writers who’s fingers never touch the keyboard and a host of successful individuals with learning, cognitive, and emotional disabilities who refuse to let their situation hold them back.

Need inspiration? Check out The Badass Project at the website and on Facebook to learn about individuals who refuse to let their “disability” hold them back.
[Industry leader] says it won’t work because…

…because they haven’t found a way to make it work yet. Honestly.

Google was a search engine with a silly name back when we were using Lycos or Ask.com.

But they learned, grew, and evolved into something that has completely astounded us.

It’s weird to think that at one point industry leaders said Google wouldn’t work, isn’t it?
It’s not financially sound.

I would never encourage you to gamble, but it’s rarely financially sound to strike out on your own.

Maybe you’re afraid that once you’re a Big Name and the money is rolling in, that you will get a few good years out of it before eventually fizzling out.

Do you realize that’s a possibility regardless?
There’s no R.O.I

R.O.I is one of those funny acronyms people throw around without fully understanding it’s meaning.

To fully measure your R.O.I you need more funny acronyms called K.P.I’s (Key Performance Indicators).

These metrics help you gauge whether whatever you’re doing is working or not. Common K.P.I’s are more comments, more sales, increased traffic, and higher conversions. Each K.P.I is measured individually, and the number of factors that influence a Key Performance Indicator should be controlled to make testing easier.

Not having a Return On Investment is a perfectly sound reason not to do something. Just make sure you are using the term properly, and really looking at the whole picture before you pull that card.
The market conditions aren’t right.

This one is tricky, because there are two schools of thought.

A.) Market conditions don’t really matter, just do it better than everyone else (Apple iPod)

B.) Market conditions are everything.

Not surprisingly there are also two types of people in the world. People who have money, and people who don’t. If the market conditions aren’t right for marketing to the people who don’t have money, create an offer and market to the people who do.

Don’t let your business fall victim to only one portion of the market.
You’ll never get the right exposure.
Teenage pop stars are breaking into the cutthroat entertainment business via MySpace and YouTube.
If your exposure isn’t handed to you by the merit of your work, create your own opportunities using the tools available to you.
There’s no point.

Not with that attitude, there isn’t.

The point is that you’re helping people. The point is that you’re doing something. The point is you’re being productive and taking action.

The point is you’re not living in premature self defeat. You are taking an idea from concept to actualization.

You’re bringing your ideas to the world.

Even if no one sees it, you can have the satisfaction of knowing you did something you believed in.
It’s not important enough.

If it at some point you believed there was a need, there probably is.

Does it take too much to do it? Is it not convenient?

Is it important enough to let it keep creeping up and nagging at you?

Just do it already.

You’ll get to it later.

No you won’t. You never do.

Get to it now, or at least schedule it to get done.

Then do it.

You’ll be a lot more satisfied when you’re finished.

You don’t want to be boring.

What’s boring to some is addictive to others.

People process information differently. If you skew towards boring it’s entirely possible to still find the right audience.

However if you skew towards boring, and you don’t want to, find ways to become more interesting.

Take an improv class, do some live Q&A’s, go bungee jumping… spice it up.
If you can’t get it right the first time, why bother trying?

Perfection is a myth.

Nobody actually “does it right”. That’s why there are so many grocery stores, soda brands, religions, and blogs.

It’s not about “doing it right” so much as it is doing it to the best of your ability.

Giving it everything you’ve got, regardless of the outcome, that’s the only way to do it right.
You’re not ready for that level of success.

This is my personal favorite, and one I’ve used on multiple occasions.

If you say it, it’s true, you’re not ready for that level of success… right now.

Success is an iterative process, every step leads to the next step.

Every “Overnight success” will tell you the path to success was long, winding, and full of obstacles.

By the time you’re an “Overnight success”, you will have endured so much, overcoming challenges will be second nature.

Only one thing is guaranteed, it doesn’t actually happen overnight.
If you succeed, people’s expectations will change.

They absolutely will, and they should.

If you’re positioning yourself as someone who changes lives, expect to play recurring role in the lives you’ve changed.

When you rise up to meet great expectations, you become great.

Of course, you have to manage expectations too. You can’t do everything all the time.

Push yourself to be more but never at the expense of what is most important to you.
If you succeed, my responsibilities will change.

Not only to your customers, but to your personal life as well.

This isn’t a bad thing.

New responsibilities that improve people’s lives is a good thing.

Remember, it comes incrementally. It’s up to decide when to say yes and when to say no.

But don’t not do something because you don’t think you can handle the responsibility.

Give it a shot.

If it doesn’t work, be responsible to enough to find a suitable replacement.

You don’t like what success did to _______

You’re not them.

View their story as a cautionary tale.

If you see where they went wrong, you can do it differently.

There are learning experiences everywhere, and seeing someone lose their way can be one of the best.
You fear what you might become.

This excuse is a little deeper.

For some, success can unleash some pretty nasty inner demons.

Proceed carefully.

Watch for the signs, and ask loved ones to keep you grounded.

For some, myself included, success can go the your head real quick.

Being reminded to do the dishes, taking out the trash, or cook dinner go a long way for me.

Remembering success in business doesn’t mean I’m above menial chores keeps me grounded.

Take it a step further and volunteer for a soup kitchen, or an animal shelter to disconnect from any superiority complex you might develop.

Help people without judgement and watch as they enjoy the person you become.
Failure would destroy you.

Anyone who’s ever “made it” will tell you they’ve failed more times than they’ve succeeded.

Being destroyed by failure is a choice; the choice is to quit.

If you fail, fail.

Give it everything you’ve got, and let it become a disaster.

Watch it burn.Let it destroy you.

Then recoup, learn from your mistakes, and rise from the ashes.

Failure never completely destroys you, only the parts that weren’t doing you any good.

With every catastrophic failure, hindsight allows you to see where you went wrong.

When you rebuild, you’re that much closer to perfecting the system.
You’re afraid of being a 1 trick pony.

This is one I’ve used many times.

It is possible to be a 1 trick pony, if you don’t strive to dig deeper.

Your messaging has more substance than it’s surface meaning. Draw inspiration from yourself.

Read old blog posts, listen to old interviews, dig for deeper meaning.

Don’t just look for what works, explore why it works, and contemplate the reasons why.

Soon you’ll be digging into the psychology of your customers, and creating content that resonates on levels you could have never imagined.
You can’t commit right now.

Fair enough, you have a lot on your plate.

But when can you commit?

Don’t use this excuse to push something aside, if you don’t want to invest the time.

If it’s genuinely interesting, look at your calender and ask “when can I commit?” and put yourself on a productive path.

And if you don’t want to do it, be honest and admit you’re not interested.

People will always respect honesty over being strung along.
You have too many things on your plate.

See above.
You can’t commit until you’ve seen all the steps.

The road map to successful outcomes isn’t always available.

Granted, sometimes all of the steps are necessary.

More often than not, this excuse is to avoid risk.

If you’re presented with a coherent process that makes sense to you, and you still say no…then what?

Do you really need a formal business plan? Not always.

Some of the greatest products started as ideas that just evolved over time.
You’re not a details person.

Neither am I.

So look at the big picture, and find a “details” person.

Between the two of you, you’ll see the overall journey, and the little steps to take to get there.
You’re not a big picture person.

Totally understand, not everyone is.

But you’re vital to the execution of any plan.

If you don’t see the big picture, find someone does; and rule the world together.
Your best ideas escape you.

Notebooks, smart phones, voice recorders, and napkins are wonderful tools for idea trapping.

Capture your best ideas, and revisit them later.

You will train yourself to better distinguish the good ideas from the bad, and your ideas will improve over time.

It’s amazing how much stuff you retain once you take the simple step of writing it all down.
You can’t commit to a schedule/calender/ etc.
I’ve used this way more than I should.

First, Failure to commit to a schedule condemns your days to be cannibalized.

Second, when you’re successful, people want a piece of your time, all the time.

Your “schedule” doesn’t have to be super segmented. Just plan for some “production only” time, if you want to get anything done.

Without a schedule, you’ll find you’re often double booked, which makes you look terribly silly and unprofessional.
You’re a better thinker than a doer.

This excuse enable’s you to be lazy.

Do something, anything.

Take action on your ideas, or stop talking about them.

If it gets people pumped, it’s viable.

So do it.

Otherwise, stop getting our hopes up.

You’re a better doer than a thinker.

Every thinker needs someone to keep pushing them forward.

If you’re a better doer, find a visionary and collaborate.

There are too many great ideas, and not enough people to execute.

Find a great idea, then help it move forward.

While you’re at it, motivate the “thinker” to start doing stuff too.
You don’t have the certification/ credentials.

Sometimes it’s an obstacle. Mostly it’s just a cop out.

Employers asking for certification are really looking for the piece of paper that proves your dedication.

If you lack proper certification, but know you’re the most qualified, stop at nothing to get yourself in the door.

If it’s important to you, and you’re that good, get certified.

Go to the institution you need, ask about the prerequisite programs for certification.

Then take all the final tests.
You’re not creative enough.

Not everything needs to be creative.

Sometimes there’s so much creative crap, all the world needs is cut and dry information.

Not everyone responds to creative and there’s always a need for black and white information.

If you need creativity, find an “ideas” person. They’ll know a creative person.
Too many obstacles.

Tell me one epic story in which the protagonist doesn’t overcome too many obstacles.

To save the princess, you must travel the land, sail the ocean, answer the riddles of the old man at the bridge, and bring an offering to the king.

Only then can you slay the dragon.

It’s going to be difficult, but trust me, the princess (your freedom) is worth it.
You tried before and failed.

Dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and do it again.

Obviously you can’t go about it the same way, so find a new angle.

If it’s important to you, realize defeat is temporary.

With every loss, you gain the experience you need to win.
Your idea is too far ahead of it’s time.

If the technology doesn’t exist, and you’ve done the research to verify that, chances are, you’re lying.

This excuse is given by pretentious lazy people.

Timing is important of course. If your idea really is “too far ahead of it’s time,” prepare the market, and be ready to launch at the right time.
You’re too creative & nobody understands you.

Learn to be a better communicator. Stop thinking so highly of yourself.

When people can’t understands you, you’re either a bad communicator or talking to the wrong people, or both.

There are more unmotivated creatives than the world knows what to do with.

Creative and driven on the other hand… now that’s a rare combination.
You don’t have a website.

There was a time businesses existed before the internet.

No matter the industry (including online marketing) websites are only tools , not the business itself.
You don’t have a good website.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of businesses who are still profitable with terrible websites.

Counter intuitive, I know. But it’s true.

If your website needs a redesign, hire someone to redesign it.

If it’s a matter of money, look back at excuse number 4.

If it doesn’t really require a redesign, stop making excuses and start moving forward.
Your customers aren’t on [insert platform of choice]

My customers aren’t on Facebook. My customers don’t watch Youtube. My customers don’t use Twitter. My customers don’t have a phone. My customers don’t get snail mail. My customers don’t watch television. My customers don’t shop at that store. My customers don’t drive on that highway. My customers aren’t human. My customers don’t breathe air.

You’re not doing enough to learn about your customers.
You don’t want to spend too much time away from the family.

This is another one of those really sensitive excuses.

Obviously (hopefully) if you have a family, you don’t want to leave them for long periods of time.

If you can, make arrangements for them to come with you, or find ways to attend long distance events virtually.

If virtual isn’t an option, be sure to keep an open line of communication, and make every effort to stay connected.

When you return home, commit to distraction free family time.

Explore all of your options, and don’t hide behind your family as an excuse to get out of something you don’t want to do.

You can’t until you have _______.

Money, desk, tools, website, secretary, bank account, more influence or any other number of outside factors.

Make every attempt to acquire the bare essentials quickly.

Plot out your steps and create milestones.

Missions and objectives do wonders for progress.
You don’t have the proper thinking space.

Find it.

Go for walk. Listen to music. Go outside. Go inside. Hide in the shower. Hang out under your bed.

If you really need the perfect thinking space, learn how to meditate.

Then no matter where you are, you’re always in the right place.
You need absolute silence.

Noise cancelling headphones: $29, Soundproof earmuffs: $26.95, Earplugs: $0.10.

The piece of mind that comes from uninterrupted work: Priceless
You need more noise.

Fire up Pandora, go to the coffee shop, or listen to this collection of background noises. That should be more than enough to get you in the proper head space.

If you want to be more productive, listen to any number of the webinar replays collecting dust in your inbox, or re-listen to paid training you’ve taken in the past.
You don’t have the right words.

There’s no such thing as “the right words,” only the wrong people.

If you didn’t have “the right words” the people closest to you wouldn’t be able stand you for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Maybe you are an unfortunate soul that nobody can stand talking to, but it’s unlikely.

Stop searching for “the right words”, be exactly who you are.

Of course, learning how to structure headlines, format posts, and write killer closings doesn’t ever hurt though.
You’re too tired.

Put yourself on a schedule, structure your day, and get more rest.

If necessary (and possible) take naps when you can, and remain productive.

Productivity sparks energy.

If you’re chronically tired, improve your fitness, and increase your vitamin intake.

Sometimes a vitamin supplement is necessary, and sometimes you need to suck it up and get it done.
If you do this, what else do you have to do?

Whatever comes next, but you’ll never know until you start making progress.
You can’t stop doing [unproductive habit]

Every day is a choice.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy, in fact it can be quite difficult.

But you choose to smoke, you choose to eat unhealthy foods, you choose spend 10 hours a week on Youtube, and $1 a day on lottery tickets.

Breaking habits isn’t easy, but it is doable, especially when you start looking at everything as a choice.

Last year I quit smoking and now I’m cutting back on caffeine. I choose to drink water over Coca Cola.

Granted cutting back on bad habits don’t appear to make a huge difference at first.

But saving $7 a day on cigarettes, and $1.69 on soda, and using that $60.83 a week for paid ads has been a more positive use of the same money.
It just doesn’t “feel” right.

Instinct or excuse?

Does it not “feel” right because it really isn’t right for you, or is it simply not convenient?

Be honest, say you don’t want to.

Don’t blame your instinct. Eventually your instinct will go cold, and your gauge for “good” and “bad” will disappear.

An entrepreneur’s deadliest weapon is instinct, so keep your’s sharp.

Don’t blame it for things you don’t want to do.
You did everything you could.

Did you really?

Did you see where you went wrong?

Try again.

Who knows, you might be successful next time.
But the other guy…

…yeah? What are they doing?

Why you watching them make moves and not making your own?

Furthermore, are they watching you? Are you doing anything worth watching?
You’re just not Chris Brogan.

Or Brian Clark, or Sonia Simone, or Jon Morrow.

These names only have weight because they hustled to make sure you remembered them.

No you’re not Chris Brogan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be influential.

In fact, Chris and Brian and Sonia and Jon all give advice that will help you do just that.

Start taking action on the stuff they’re talking about and pay attention to their business models, then adapt it to yourself.
You’re just not confident enough.

Confidence is a learned behavior.

A long time ago someone told me to repeat to myself “I am the Sh*t” 100 times a day.

Eventually, I started to believe it. There’s a ton of advice on how to be more confident.

You might also take comfort in knowing that 99% of online persona’s are text and images. If you need to create a character to be more comfortable, be who you want, (just be careful not to lie to yourself)
You’re not a leader.

It’s not as black and white as “Leaders” and “Followers”.

Every leader needs a B-team, so even if you’re not the face at the front, you can still lead the people behind them.

A president doesn’t become president all on their own, there are always people leading the charge that get them to office.

You don’t like to be lead.

So you don’t work well under someone else? Me either. In fact, I am terrible at it.

Want to know the truth?

Sometimes “being lead” is exactly what you need to advance..

Think about it.

Someone with more experience can show you the way. Don’t you think it’s worth telling your inner rebel take a back seat?
You quit once already, you couldn’t possibly try the same thing again.

Shame is a powerful opponent, but it’s all in your head.

Even if people tell you your nuts for trying again, go for it.

If you really believe, who are you to let your past failures dictate your future victories?

Yes, you quit before, you didn’t have the knowledge or experience you do now.

This time will be different, but don’t you dare give up.
You don’t have a support system.

Been there, and it’s hard no doubt.

The reality is, if you’re perusing something you truly believe in, give it everything you’ve got.

Fight with every ounce of your being and every fiber in your body.

Your support system will appear.

Others rally for ideas they believe in, and the people who champion them.

Show the world you refuse to accept defeat, and the world will give you the support you need to continue.
You don’t have a plan B.

All the reason to fight more.

Fallback plans are for those who plan to fail.

Truth is, “Plan B” is usually better mapped out than “Plan A”.

It’s no wonder it also usually works out better.
You can’t compete with big names.

If you can’t compete, collaborate.

If you can’t collaborate, discover what their customers hate, then do that better.

You might not go toe to to, but you can do small portions of their business better.
You don’t want to start another thing you’ll never finish.

Say no, or schedule it for when you can see it through from start to finish.


Don’t stop until you’re done.

And be sure to reward yourself when the task is complete.
Your friends/family will think you’re crazy.

If your friends/family think you are crazy, you’re likely to have a good idea on your hands.

The world was made on experimentation. If everyone’s loved ones understood all the insane ideas people come up with, we’d never have innovation.
It’s too selfish.

What’s more selfish; not helping people with a problem because you think it’s too selfish, or making money for solving a problem?
You don’t deserve it.

You’re right, you don’t.

You earn it.

Rewards that come from hard and smart work you absolutely earned though.

Remember to always enjoy the benefits of your success.
You don’t know what your passion is.

Understandable. Not everyone is there, yet.

However if you want to do something, you just can’t figure out what, go to the bookstore and see what section you gravitate towards.

If you cook a lot, start a cooking website or a Youtube channel. If you’re religious, document an exploration of your faith.

Do some soul searching to determine what you’ll forever be passionate about.

Write about that.
You can’t think of a niche.

Next time you’re at the bookstore, spend some time flipping through the magazine rack. You’ll find all sorts of niches that are ripe with readers.

If there wasn’t a market, there wouldn’t be a magazine.
You deserve a break.

Only if you’ve reached an acceptable goal for yourself.

If you’re not hitting your marks, you haven’t deserved anything.

If you want to say “BUT I’m tired…!” see I’m tired further up on this page.
You do enough.

See above.
The “timing” isn’t right.

Market timing and personal timing are important.

If the timing doesn’t coordinate with your personal life, find time in your schedule when it is.

If the timing isn’t right for the marketplace, help push the market forward towards the “right time”.

This could mean exposing new problems, pushing competitors to innovate, or releasing products that support a bigger idea.

Obviously you don’t want to scare people, so getting them gradually prepared can make them more receptive and likely to buy.
You don’t work well on a team.

You’ll only going to get so far on your own.

At some point if you want to “level up” you’ll have to work on a team.

Online entrepreneurs are especially guilty of having the “I have to run the show” complex.

But some ideas require many minds to come to fruition.

You’ll have to learn when to compromise, and allows others to show their strengths.

I know it’s tough.

But once you’ve mastered the group dynamic, you’ll wonder how you ever did anything without your team.
Nobody understands what you’re trying to say.

Become a better communicator.

Look for resources on remarkable communication and persuasive writing.

If people still have moths coming out their ears when you talk, record yourself speaking, and play it back.

What we say makes often makes total sense, until we hear it from someone else’s perspective.
There’s nothing you can contribute.

At the very least, your perspective is unique.

Even when you’re covering the same thing as 5,000 others, your perspective makes you valuable.

Learn as much as you can, then share what you’ve learned, in your words.

Apply what you’ve learned, and share your experiences.

These two things are incredibly unique, and if that’s all you can contribute, it’s a much better than doing nothing.
The system has already been perfected.

No it hasn’t. You’re just not pushing it to it’s limits yet.
You’re not saying anything new.

Very few people actually are.

How many copy writing classes are being taught the world over?

How many people do you think are teaching persuasive writing, or headline techniques, or conversion tactics?

Hundreds? Thousands? More?

Yet Copyblogger media is a 5 million a year company, teaching principals that have been taught since the 1920’s.How is that?

Even if you’re not saying anything new, your experience, your perspective, and most important, your personality come together to develop something worth watching.
It’s nothing they haven’t heard before.

People are learning new things every day.

If you’re showing up in the searches for what they’re looking for, you might be the one to change their life.
You can’t teach something if it’s common sense.

Common sense is in short supply these days.

What is intrinsic to you is the bane of someone else’s existence.

No you can’t teach common sense, but you can teach what you know.

Be patient with your customers. If they don’t “get it” open the dialog and really listen to them one on one.

It may turn out that you’re not communicating clearly.
You learned ______ before, you can’t learn anything different.

Cop out.

Pick it up and learn it. If it’s counter to what you learned before, see if you can integrate approaches.

If not, decide which paradigm is more suitable to you.

You can learn anything at any time, regardless to what you’ve learned before.

Be a little more flexible, otherwise you’ll just end up broken.

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You’re too old.

No you’re not.

Age and willingness to learn only go hand in hand if you let them.

Your life experience gives you a valuable perspective that many others might not bring to the table.
You’re too young.

No you’re not.

Age and willingness to learn only go hand in hand if you let them.

Your youth allows you to see things from a fresh perspective that the older generation may have missed.

Let your youth be more most valuable weapon, not something that holds you back.
You don’t understand [insert platform of choice here]

Google.com will do wonders for finding resources to help you with that.
I’m no good at [ insert platform of choice here]

See above.
By the time I get there, the industry will have changed.

So don’t take forever.

Keep up with the current industry while learning the founding principals.

This is almost always the best way to break in. When so many people are focused on doing advanced strategies, that they forget the basic principals (which often times work the best).

Document your journey from the starting point and share what you’re learning.

Network and ask a lot of questions.

Whether you realize it or not, you just might be helping the industry shift by doing these few simple things.
You’ll never catch up.

Don’t worry about it. Just do. Focus on doing.

    “You are in the middle of your day today, and youíre caught up in the sandstorm of thoughts, feelings, to-dos, meetings, readings, and communications of this day.

    Pause. Breathe. Let all of that fade.

    Now focus on doing one thing, right now.”

    ~Leo Babauta zenhabits.net

You don’t have time.

Seriously? You just read (or at least scrolled through) 106 excuses, 106 debunks and nearly 7,000 words. You have time.

In fact, you have all the time, resources, and knowledge required to be great.

Being great, no, being excellent, is a choice.

It’s a choice to never stop. It’s a choice to view yourself as limitless. It’s a choice to stop at nothing until everyone knows your name.

Without a doubt, you’ll encounter many obstacles on your journey. That’s a given.

So what are you waiting for?


Be great.

Overcome your obstacles, or make excuses; it’s as simple as that.

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Chris Brogan

CEO of Owner Media Group
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