What are your core values?

What are your core values?

Finding out your core values is an easy exercise that won’t take longer than 10 minutes.  Got time?  Then read ahead!

 

I found this list below (more details here).  Circle the words that speak to you.  Know that your version of the word is different to mine.

For example, I would say I have about 5 – 10 “Friends”.  This isn’t a bad thing (if you think it is, read more on Judgments here).  It’s just a thing.

 

This is your list, with your words.  If you feel something is missing, add it to your list

Accountability Excellence Perfection
Accuracy Excitement Piety
Achievement Expertise Positivity
Adventurousness Exploration Practicality
Ambition Expressiveness Preparedness
Assertiveness Fairness Professionalism
Balance Faith Prudence
Being the best Family Quality / Excellence
Belonging Fidelity Reliability
Boldness Fitness Resourcefulness
Calmness Fluency Restraint
Carefulness Focus Results-oriented
Challenge Freedom Rigor
Cheerfulness Fun Security
Clear-mindedness Generosity Self-actualization
Commitment Goodness Self-control
Community Grace Selflessness
Compassion Growth Self-reliance
Competitiveness Happiness Sensitivity
Consistency Hard Work Serenity
Contentment Health Shrewdness
Continuous Improvement Helping / Service Simplicity
Contribution Honesty Speed
Control Honor Spontaneity
Cooperation Humility Stability
Correctness Independence Strategic
Courtesy Ingenuity Strength
Creativity Inner Harmony/Peace Structure
Curiosity Inquisitiveness Success
Decisiveness Insightfulness Support
Democraticness Intelligence Teamwork
Dependability Intuition Temperance
Determination Joy Thankfulness
Devoutness Justice Thoroughness
Diligence Leadership Thoughtfulness
Discipline Legacy Timeliness
Discretion Love Tolerance
Diversity Loyalty Traditionalism
Dynamism Making a difference Trustworthiness
Effectiveness Mastery Truth-seeking
Efficiency Merit Understanding
Elegance Obedience Uniqueness
Empathy Openness Unity
Enjoyment Order Usefulness
Enthusiasm Originality Vision
Equality Patriotism Vitalit

 

Of the list, pick the top 5 – 7.

Next, we go through the process of “What’s more important”.  (This is easier to illustrate if we use mine as an example).

My values in a mixed order:

  1. Security / Safety
  2. Financial independence
  3. Family
  4. Honesty / Integrity

Go through the list, start at 1.  Safety / Security.  Is that more important than 2. Financial independence?  Yes!  Continue

Is 1.  Safety / Security more important than 3. Family?  No!  So more Family to the top:

  1. Family
  2. Security / Safety
  3. Financial independence
  4. Honesty / Integrity

Start again.  1.  Family more important than Security / Safety?  Yes!  1. Family more important than Financial independence?  Yes.  Continue

So you go through the list, if you have a lower value more important than a higher one, swap them.

When you are finished, you will have your list:

  1. Family
  2. Honesty / Integrity
  3. Security / Safety
  4. Financial independence

 

What’s on your list?

What are values?

What are values?

I’ve written recently on being judgmental and the importance of values.

So what are values?  What are your values?

 

Mine are:

  1. Family
  2. Honesty / Integrity
  3. Security / Safety
  4. Financial independence

 

If I took everything (physical) away from you – what would you have left?  What would you rely on or who would you ask for help?

Since you have my values, lets unpack these a little:

Family

Family to me, means my wife and my children.  It excludes my extended family (parents, brothers, sisters) but I include (very) close friends.  Literally without my family I have nothing.  I would happily choose my family over money, or any material possessions.

Honesty / Integrity

For me, this is about being honest with myself and others and having integrity.  That means that if I say something I do it.  If you say something, I expect you to do it

Security / Safety

I’m 6’2” or about 187 cm tall.  (This is a story for another day) the short version is that I regularly feel a target and I am very protective of my family especially my little boys.

Financial independence

I love money!  I earn a decent salary and I’m not ashamed or embarrassed by it.  I have some debt (+$300k on the house and about +$7,000 on credit cards).  My plan is to retire by 60 and to have $1M in assets (excluding the family home).

 

Ever felt conflicted with a choice?  I want to spend more time with the family but I have too much work on?  This is because your values are out of alignment.

By knowing your values, you get clarity around what you want.  I wasn’t always like this.  These days, it is very rare for me to have the sort of conflict of working too hard vs quality family time.

 

What are your values?  If you do, leave a comment – I’m always interested!  If not, have a look here.

On being judgmental

On being judgmental

What is a judgment?
A judgment is a value based opinion on something. Take the statements:

  1. Tony Abbot is Australia’s worst Prime minister
  2. All men/women are selfish assholes!
  3. Family is more important than fun

Let’s look at the first:
Tony Abbot is Australia’s worst Prime minister
This one is tricky – worst Prime minister by whose standards? What is the value here?
Is this a judgment? I’ll let you decide

All men/women are selfish assholes!
This one is a bit easier. Clearly the “all” implies everyone. This makes this a judgment.

Family is more important than fun
What does that even mean? For some, “family” could mean your immediate family, the “family” you feel at your church or social group or it could mean your friends.
“Fun” can mean many things to many people. What my wife thinks is fun is very different to what my sons or I think is fun. The value is that one is more important than the other.
Clearly a judgment!

So now that we know what a judgment is, now what?
No really, now what?

Well it depends on the “value” of the judgment.
I know myself that I am very judgmental. On the other hand, I don’t hold a value on that.
What does THAT mean?
Well, ever been wrong? Ever felt the sting of being wrong? Ever felt someone (or perhaps yourself) has gone out of their way to prove you wrong?
What did that feel like? The moment where you gasped for breath and realized “Oh shit! They’re right!”

While you are holding on to that memory, take a pause. And try something different.
Mentally rewind the video by 5 seconds. (Wait for it, this will blow your mind!)

Say to yourself – who cares? Who cares if they are right or wrong? Now play the video…
How does that feel? A little different?

Who cares if your judgments are wrong?
I’m not sure if this is a western thing, or a Christian religious thing – (if you know, leave a comment!
I LOVE being judgmental – for me, accepting that made a massive difference to my life. Yes, that person maybe fat / skinny / happy / sad / tormented by some type of emotional distress.
If you are happy – tell me why?
If you are sad – how come?
If you are tormented by an emotional distress – probably better off speak with a therapist!
But here’s the kicker – if I am right, then how can I help? If I am wrong, then who cares? How are you feeling? What is going on in your life?

For me, being judgmental moves the conversation forward. It forces both parties (me and you) to make a decision. Once that decision is made, then great! Tell me something exciting! Teach me something I don’t know.

 

You should try being judgmental sometime. It may surprise you!

Are you really burnt out?

Are you really burnt out?
Kings and Pawns

The harder I work, the sooner I get to be king!
(source)

I recently read John Sonmez’s post on The Hacker News Generation.  I find articles like this interesting.  As I read it, the same thought comes screaming through:  WHY?

I wrote to John privately asking him this:  Why write an article like that?  What is the intention?

Regardless if you agree or not, I find articles like this either confirm or infuriate your point of view.  For me, it’s the same as arguments for Gun Control.  Both sides can argue all the reasons to (increase / decrease / whatever) guns, but who’s opinion are you trying to convert?

How many times have you seen a person walk away from a discussion saying “Wow!  I never thought of it that way, you are right!  We really should _______”.

It just doesn’t happen.

 

For me, the real problem with discussions like this is that they can be taken the wrong way.  Take this comment.  The author’s point is that burn out is real.  And his proof is a link to an articles of horrible consequences.

In John’s article, Iris Classon posted a response with a similar point of view.  I don’t have a science background, and I accept that “burn out” is a condition.  But when I read comments such as:

After two devastating meetings with potential partners, I remember coming home one day, climbing to bed. And not getting up for 6 months.

 

I am blatantly paraphrasing, in the preceding paragraphs Iris describes she is in a career that she is passionate about, but there isn’t enough work.

But I have to push back – two devastating meetings?  Two?

Then she continues:

But without my background in therapy, both as a patient and medical professional, I wouldn’t have made it out alive from the burnout- and found the dream I am leaving today. That I am 100% sure of. And my hat goes off to those that also dared to follow their heart and passion, even if failing miserable once or twice. I believe in choosing to make something a part of your life, without it being your whole life, and loving what you do and the people involved as much as you can allow yourself to do. For some people it’s what they do that is most important (in software development the task itself is considered the number one motivation, with social aspect being second), for others it’s purely the human interaction. And some just want to work 8-17 and go home. The second group is at a significant higher risk of being burned out, when intrinsic and extrinsic factors are there.

The choice is theirs. Ours.

And we shouldn’t judge people on those choices, because:

1. We do not have all the facts

2.One day you will be standing there

3.Generally I don’t recommend giving people a push when they might be standing on the edge

 

Failing miserably once or twice?

But here’s the real problem with her argument:  We shouldn’t judge because we don’t have all the facts.

Fair point, but:

  • You’ve put yourself out there (you wrote the article)
  • You have said we don’t have all the facts – but again, it’s your article.  Why not give us all the facts?
  • Maybe we shouldn’t judge, but people do.  That’s reality

 

Where is the personal responsibility?  There’s plenty of examples of many many “miserable” fails.

 

What Iris didn’t mention (and I’d love to know!):

  • Why did you choose to work in the dietetics industry in the first place?
  • I’m sure you felt “burnt out”.   But at what point in time did you notice things weren’t working out the way you had hoped?  Was it really after the second devastating meeting?  Was there really no warning signs earlier?

 

To be fair, and answer my own question – why write this?

  • Accountability is very important to me.  I don’t care what you say you will do, but once you’ve said it, you need an fantastic excuse / reason for not doing it.
  • The discussion to date feels awfully one sided.  I’m suggesting an alternative.

But that’s just me.  What do you think?

Why I won’t be singing your NDA…

A few months ago, I posted my profile on Tech Cofounder.  It’s an interesting concept, where no technical people with a business idea can find like minded technical folk interested in developing something unique.

I had a few (minor) successes – Rugby Rank & My Club Manager.

But I’ve also had some quite unusual requests.  One in particular, is when a person starts the conversation with “Ok, before we start, I just need you to sign an NDA.”

 

So what is an NDA?

A Non Disclosure Agreement is a legal contract between two parties outlining certain knowledge or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but to restrict access to or by third parties.

 

Basically, I’m going to tell you my idea but you promise not to go away and take that idea and beat me to it.

How do I enforce an NDA?

A well written NDA will include jurisdiction.  Ie if we take this to court, that court will be in:  Sydney, Melbourne, New York, London etc…

Here’s a bonus question:  How many people do you know have 1) breached their NDA  2) have gone to court over it & 3) won some sort of compensation? (financial or otherwise)

When should an NDA have been used?

I found this interesting question on Quora.  Basically, what should have the Winklevoss twins done to protect them against Mark Zuckerberg pinching their idea and developing Facebook.

 

But instead of enforcement or when to sign an NDA, the more important question is:

What’s your value (in the Joint Venture) and what are you trying to protect?

Here’s the value I provide:

  • I’ll take the concept from idea to market very quickly!
  • I’ll develop the web, mobile (Apple / Android / Windows Phone)
  • I’ll put the metrics in place.  Ie  Number of trials, number of new users, number of paying users etc. etc.

What I’m expecting you to do:

  • You need to market this.  This is your idea, your insight.  You are the one with the knowledge of the customer pain point
  • You know who the customer is and how to reach them
  • You know the value this is is worth to the customer
  • You know who the competitors are and why your idea is far better than theirs

 

That being said, take one of my existing products – Rugby Rank

  • It’s statistical analysis for Rugby Coaches providing them unique insights on player performance
  • It works on the web and tablets (Android & iPad)
  • It’s a tool that shows you how a particular player (or your competition) perform on match day and how that performance compares over time

 

If you think you have enough information above to copy Rugby Rank then go for it!  What I haven’t told you is:

  • How do you get in front of the 1,000’s of Rugby Coaches
  • What’s the sale cycle – from trial to payment
  • What specific statistics are being recorded and why they were chosen

 

But honestly, the real reason is this:  If you have time to pursue an NDA, then you should be able to answer the following:

  • Where will the first 100 customers come from (once you go past friends & family, who is going to use this?)
  • Where’s the next 1,000 customers?  (Are you relying on going *viral*?)
  • How do we make out first $10,000?

 

If you can’t answer the above, then why are you spending time “protecting” your NDA?

Recovering lost disk space on Windows 7

A colleague at work suggested I download Team Fortress 2 since it’s now free on Steam.

It requires about 10 gig disk space – I only had about 3.5gig. Scott Hanselman recently wrote a blog post on how to Freeing up Disk Space under Windows 7.

I’m normally quite skeptical on these suggestions. 9 times out of 10 they are common sense.

Long story short, I did the first 4 steps (he has about 10 more) and I got back almost 20 gig back!

Who’d have thought?

What is Klout?

What is Klout?

Recently, Cathie McGinn tweeted:

I first heard of Klout during an interview with their CEO Joe Fernandez, on This Week in Startups.

So what is it? For me, Klout is a method of measuring who is popular in social media and why.

Lets use a few examples:

Three people I admire, and all with a Klout score of 60 or better.

The “score” is a percentile rank. 60 or above means you are in the top 40%.

Below is a screen shot of Scott’s, Em’s & Cathie’s profiles:


This is very powerful stuff! It allows me to see how I compare to my peers, and provides me with intelligent data on what I can do to improve my social profile.

If I was being honest with myself, I’d say that I am focused, but not very consistent – the images above reflect this.

 

The lesson learnt here is that I need to create and I need to do this more often.

Back to Cathies’ tweet, it makes sense that she feels her most influential topics aren’t relevant to her – Klout describes Cathie as a Broadcaster – “She broadcasts great content that spreads like wildfire. An essential information source in her industry.

Great!  From that I can conclude that I should be connecting with people like Cathie more often.  If what I write resonates with her, then there is a good chance she will tell her network.

 

Another extreme would Australian Comedian, Wil Anderson:

Klout thinks’ Wil is most influential on kurt cobain, the royal wedding & miley cyrus.  If you have listened to Wil’s podcast TOFOP, then you will have some idea of why the royal wedding was popular but also his material is very broad.

 

What can we learn from all this? 3 take home points:

  1. Don’t take the score too seriously!  (Klout thinks I am influential on Unicorns…)  It is a great tool to see what makes up a person with a score of 20, 30 or 40.  It’s less clear on how you go from a 61 to a 67.
  2. It is a good way to see who is doing what in social media – what’s working and what isn’t
  3. Lastly, it is the only tool I’ve seen that allows you to compare yourself across a wide range of people
What do you think?  What tools do you use to measure & monitor your social profile?
Rock on!
Christian