Reference Guides

books, Frameworks, Questions, Reference Guides

While I write about my opinions on a lot of topics and give my view points on how to solve them, I myself end up in one spot or another every now and then.

As Joe Polish says – and I paraphrase it here – as you climb up the challenges take up more difficult formats – and you need to handle them , learn from them and move higher.

I have found books to be my source of support for the different kinds of challenges that get thrown my way. I have shared the different books I read from time to time. I also end up taking a speed reading course to help me increase the speed of my ability to read.

But sometimes you come across a book which you can keep going back to as a reference guide. It lays out the framework easily and then also puts the tools in your hand to ensure you get to use the stuff. When I was in school we had an English grammar book by Wren & Martin. I used that book from grade 5 to grade 10 for all my exercises. But I kept using that book even later as a reference to ensure I could check out, when I had a query related to English grammar. I even bought that book for my son when he was in school and I still have that copy with me.

In physics we had Resnik and Haliday which had such a well written basis that I took a liking to physics only because of that book. Marketing of course has been Philip Kotler.

Recently I have been mentioning about this book – The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunnigham. Its one of those books which I have reread multiple times. First it was end – to – end , subsequently it has been specific topics. But the book really helps you THINK.

I have written earlier about focused time and also shared with you the links to Dean Jackson’s videos on how to focus etc. Once you do that and you want to actually move forward, onto figuring out root cause issues and the right questioning frameworks to solving the right problems, then this is a reference guide. I would highly recommend you read this book in case your job is to figure out solutions everyday.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Asking the right questions in the market – 2

Human Brain, Marketing, Questions, Sales, Thinking

I have already written a few posts on the ability to ask better questions.

When you are in a leadership position its very easy to get caught in the “why” spin. I am also at fault on this because I have been a big follower of the 5 Why’s process. The challenge which I always had was that I was dealing with people – whether my own sales team or the customer.

It’s not always easy to get the emotional side with a Why question.

The second part was that in a lot of cases you get multiple points which seem to be the root causes. The key is how do you prioritize among them.

When you’re dealing with machines and factories it is relatively easier to prioritize using things like the Theory of Constraints.

Today while I was going over the book The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham I came across another type of question which he gives. I think you should read this book if you are someone who makes a living by managing teams.

He says one question structure which he has found very useful is “How might I …. so that I can…..”

I tried this same structure on one of the pertinent problems we face. Till now my general system for understanding the problem, as I mentioned was the 5 Why’s.

Today however I tried this and the answers which came out were much more constructive. Now I need to see how easily they get implemented. However it did change my thinking and made me less adversarial.

I would suggest you also try this method and off course read the book and let me know your views.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

You cannot have financial freedom – without financial discipline

Affirmative action, compounding, Financial Independence, Human Brain

A few days back I had written a post on why you need discipline and not money to get financial freedom.

I have been sharing with you that I am reading the book The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham. I was introduced to this book by Joe Polish. I had heard him speak a lot about this author in multiple podcasts. So I searched and found an interview where Joe is interviewing Keith.

I liked the ideas that he spoke about in the book and therefore ended up buying it. The ideas and especially the thinking questions are worth pondering on. Today I spent close to about 4 hours on the 3 questions I had listed yesterday in my blog post and did get somewhere with the answers that I got.

Coming back to the headline, while reading the book I had happened to chance on this sentence. It struck me immediately because I continuously keep harping about the need for discipline to reach financial freedom.

This discipline is not possible if you base it on will power. Will power is something which get exhausted very fast on a daily basis. Your brain gets exhausted so fast that the more decisions it has to make the faster the energy depletes. With energy gone you cannot exercise will power.

So you need to put in systems which take the decision making away from you. That’s possible only when you automate the investment process with things like Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) or the equivalents in your country. You could go with ETFs or Mutual Funds or direct stocks. The item is not important. What is important is to get into automating the process so that there is no concept of using will power. Then let the power of compounding work for you.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Product Marketing questions I am pondering on

Marketing, Product Management, Questions, single target market

I have been reading the book The Road Less Stupid…… by Keith Cunnigham.

One chapter which has had me thinking extremely seriously is on Simplifying Growth. The reason it has got me thinking so much is that it is very closely related to product management and marketing.

It has all the related dimensions that I keep talking about how you need to go about marketing, yet when it comes from a third party and you read it, the significance of what is being written becomes even more striking.

Some of the questions which are given in this chapter which I am pondering about are

  1. What has to happen for the customer to cause them to buy from me
  2. What must happen to keep them coming back
  3. What could happen to cause them to not buy

These are extremely deep for a product manager to look at. If you can get a crystal clear answer on these you can build your product marketing strategy very well.

If you choose a broad market then answering the above questions will be very tough if you are releasing a new product in the market. If you choose a very fine niche in the market then you can clearly answer them and build a much better plan.

Test it out and let me know in the comments below.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!