[Advice] Building an Arbitrage Machine for Entrepreneurship

By | Advice, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Marketing for Peace Builders, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Persuasion, Platform Building, Selling for Peace Builders, Strategies, Strategy, Truth

In financial markets, in gambling, and even in entrepreneurship, there are two skills that are critical for success: making small bets consistently through developing a model (buying) and breaking an old model (selling), and building an anti-fragile machine that can withstand the shock of either of those small bets failing.

Arbitrage is the process of hedging bets (through the purchase and the sale of an asset) so that, no matter how much is spent, the buyer/seller can always either come out ahead, slightly behind (not enough to be far back, but enough to catch up), or slightly ahead (building a continuous lead). Hedge fund managers and stock traders with fancy algorithms understand arbitrage. So do insurance agents, financial advisors, professional gamblers, and even entrepreneurs.

Many people though, make bad large bets (thus financial collapses and the development of ‘flash’ trading via fancy computer programs) and take massive losses with little to no gains. This is due primarily to ego driven betting that has nothing to do with market conditions, and everything to do with personal psychological and emotional tics. The most successful people bet small, bet consistently—or they don’t bet at all.

Day by day, step by step, entrepreneurs should be building a machine in their unique niche that will arbitrage against their unique market. One that will allow them to see opportunities, take advantage of them, and not lose their livelihoods, their families, or their peace of mind. This does not have to be a stressful process, but it does have to be done.

When the entrepreneur makes those small bets they don’t become business people (business is about maintaining a consistent place in one spot with gradual upticks in growth, rather than about advancing a model) instead, they become evangelists for a new way of doing things. In whatever field they’re in, they begin to make bets that will fundamentally breakdown the model they saw as problematic (which lead them to entrepreneurship in the first place) and will replace it with a new model.

Customers, clients, and others don’t have to know what model the entrepreneur is building. As a matter of fact, they don’t really care. But the entrepreneur should care. Otherwise, freelance work is always an option.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Strategy] We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled ‘HIT Piece’ To Ask A Question

By | Advice, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Google, HIT Pieces, Marketing for Peace Builders, Media, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Platform Building, Selling for Peace Builders, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Strategies, Strategy, Truth, Twitter, Twitter, Website

In many parts of the United States, there are people who are addicted to drugs.

We could talk all day about the mechanics of addiction, but there is something that is almost never focused on in any discussion of addiction. We talk about the socioeconomic conditions, familial conditions, societal conditions that lead individuals to pursue the short-term rush of pleasure that come from addiction, rather than seeking the long-term work that comes with addressing any area of our lives.

Compulsion, bad habits, obsessions, addictions; we can all agree that moderation in the material world is best in all things, but when moderation—through individual decision making—begins to warp and change patterns of behaviors in the community of people around addicts, then we all begin to agree that there is a problem.

In the digital space—as in our real lives—brands and individuals are addicted to the short-term impact of paying for attention because of its seemingly immediate results. But once you pay digitally, just as in any addiction off-line, you’ll pay again, and again.

Thus FB can sell ads.

Thus Google and Twitter will have you pay-per-click or per Tweet.

The thing is though, in the digital world, the equity of attention is really expensive in the long-term while seeming deceptively cheap in the short-run, so brands are more than willing to pay, particularly when the cost comes down to a rounding error on their marketing balance sheets.  While in the long-term, individuals become impatient, leaping from platform to platform hoping to be done, consistently peripatetic, never really satisfied, and finally abandoning the whole thing in frustration.

But the outcomes for both brands and individuals in the digital space is the same as in the real world. And as the outcomes of this digital addiction become more manifest, the social media commons are wrecked and destroyed (through cynicism over loss of privacy and data selling), messages become drowned out in the cacophony of noise (150 million channels on the Internet and rising), and the audience (always fickle) shifts its focus faster than a goldfish.

I’m not complaining though.

Putting in the work on the long game is the only way to outlast, outplay, and out endure the short-term addicts with deep pockets and little self-awareness. There are three things the smaller people (like myself and other corporate trainers) can do to ensure our survival and longevity (rather than giving up and going home) in this digital foaming red sea:

Share, share, share—someone told me the other day that the reason her company doesn’t do more work in the online space is because she’s worried that she won’t get paid for her content and that she won’t get proper attribution, credit, referrals and revenues. This is backward, Industrial Revolution based thinking where scarcity still ruled in information. I can’t believe I have to point this out, but after 25 years of Google and almost 40 years of the Internet, scarcity rules in attention. So share freely, because if you don’t your competitors will.

Carve, carve, carve—finding a niche is huge in the digital landscape and then mining that niche in the way that it wants to be mined not the way that you think it should be mined, is the path toward long-term longevity. Carving a niche where you own the attention of a few thousand people is the most valuable, long-term form of scaling there is.

Unite, unite, unite—joining with others is the only way forward, whether you’re a digital publisher, or a corporate trainer, or a product person. The big brands in all spaces and niches have seemingly deep pockets. But there is so much white space in collaboration, connection, and growing your network to increase your net worth, that it’s amazing to me how great the level of contraction is that’s currently happening as fear of loss rules rather than anticipation of gain. Uniting together—and keeping that unity through using open source software and collaborative in-person methods—is the only way to combat the fear of loss.

The drug of “I can go it alone.” The drug of “I don’t need to share.” The drug of “I am for everybody.” These gateway drugs lead to other addictions (like gaming short-term attention through paying for it) that then lead to emotional exhaustion, disengagement, and cynicism.

The question you have to ask yourself—and that I’ve already clearly answered—is: How committed are you to the long-game?

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] 3 Thoughts That May (Or May Not) Intersect…

By | Advice, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Google, Marketing for Peace Builders, Media, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Problem Solving, Relationships, Selling for Peace Builders, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Storytelling, Strategies, Truth, Twitter, Twitter, Website

Three thoughts that may (or may not) intersect with each other:

Thought #1: There’s a lot of high profile, persistent, whining going on in the space of web publishing, content creation, and even in the scrappy world of podcasting. This phenomenon of whining is also extending into commentary around entrepreneurship as the venture capital money that has been floating big bets for years begins to dry up. The thing is though, if you are a web publisher, or a podcaster, or a content creator, or a struggling entrepreneur, the whining has got to stop. The landscape of the Internet is infinite, no matter what the big digital brands are telling you through their marketing.

Thought #2: Attention and awareness are the coin of the realm right now in any digital space, and all you need to be successful (whatever that means) is 1,000 people willing to bet on your reputation, have a relationship with you, then give you revenue, and make a referral for your service or product. The idea that the digital system can be gamified through creating fake followers, fake awareness, and false hype is dying as fast as the money dries up.

Thought #3: In the digital space, and in our off line, real life interactions lately, the substance of truth is seen to not be as marketable as the illusion of symbolism. But this is a false paradigm. Substance based in truth has always grow more followers, attracted more awareness, and generated more revenues (in trust first and money last) for more people that anything else tried ever.

The problem comes when many people—from celebrities to the average man on the street—buy into the frothy hype of the short-term gain at the expense of the long-term relationship. As the bubbles pop all over the place and as web publishers, content creators, entrepreneurs, and others have to get back to the substance of building products, let’s hope they focus on communicating the truth—no matter how scary it is.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] Doing More Work with Fewer People

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Culture, Dysfunction, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Social Communication, Strategies, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Workplace, Workplace Development

There are now computer programs and algorithms that can render daily, rote, assembly line decisions faster at scale than human beings can.

There are experiments beginning with artificial intelligence programming, that promises to make decisions faster, cheaper, and more rationally and accurately than human beings, without getting clogged up with all that mushy “emotional” content humans bring to such decisions.

There are discussions about the disintermediation of low wage, low motivated, human workers with automation and robotics in places where such technology has never been seen.

There are even more discussions about paying people a pittance for a lifetime to do less of rote work, so that they can do the creative work resulting in outcomes and products that currently many of those same people want for free—or low cost—via a connection to the Internet.

Talk of all of these advances—algorithms, A.I., automation, robotics, basic income—are often made in certain media outlets, with breathless enthusiasm; while quietly, where many people live, we still go to restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and other establishments where human beings are laboring for a wage that is minimum, trying genuinely hard to do meaningless work that is truly the last vestiges of a system showing signs of collapsing all around us.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, in certain media outlets the much talked about “winners” in society are still lauded via social media, television, and viral videos. Much of the news cycle focuses on the comings and goings of the mythical “1%”, while many of the people that act as a buffer between those “1%” and “the 99%” (you know…the middle class…) are working in jobs which appear to offer less and less financial reward, for doing more and more unrewarded work. Places where the corporate mandate to “do more with less” is not really about doing more work to produce outcomes that matter with fewer people; it’s really about doing more busywork that doesn’t matter, with fewer engaged people, while watching salaries remain stagnant.

The technological advances that are gradually seeping into our society are going to reshape the work landscape. The distortions of reward versus effort will be rebalanced in favor of effort. But neither of these events are going to happen in the way that they did in the past: There are no more third party advocates for workers (unions) at scale; and there is little empathy for those organizations and individuals expending effort to actually do work that means something (emotional labor) for little pay.

This is a conflict, no matter how many ways you slice it.

Policies and regulatory changes by governments would help to ameliorate much of this tension. Heart changes in the “1%” and “the 99%” would do a lot to reduce the social friction such changes are creating.

It appears that neither of those changes are on the horizon.

But there is a way out: It requires individual efforts, and individual leadership, in order to work though. And there’s no immediate, tangible, reward or recognition for being successful at it, which is why many individuals refuse to take it on.

Do more work that matters with fewer people.

The myth of scale that we were all sold in the Industrial Revolution was clear that, in order to “get rich” an organization (or individual) had to grow past just doing work by themselves. The myth of scale also reinforced the ego-driven, industrialist idea that, if a small group of dedicated people are doing hard, emotional labor and leading a small tribe of equally dedicated people, with no immediate, tangible benefits, then that work can’t possibly make a dent in the universe.

Well, like most myths, that one is no longer true. And while navigating the communications revolution of the Internet seems daunting to many people, and organizations, there are other revolutions coming, in the Internet-of-Things, and in the development of block chain programming.

The greatest revolution however, has yet to happen. And that is the one in the human mind, and the human heart, that unites with other humans to lead them into doing the only work that can’t be done by a robot, an algorithm, a computer program, or even intelligence—no matter how artificial.

And that’s the work of connecting, collaborating, and relieving the hearts of human beings embroiled in loneliness, disconnection, and conflict. And in doing that work, human beings will come to realize that the tools aren’t what makes the profit; it’s the people connecting with other people in a meaningful way, that makes the stock price tick up a tenth of a point every quarter.

Imagine if the global financial, spiritual, and emotional economy was based on fulfilling those principles…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #10 – Cinnie Noble

By | Blog, Conflict Engagement, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts, Persuasion, Platform Building, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Selling for Peace Builders, The Future & The Singularity, Website

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #10 – Cinnie Noble, Mediator, Conflict Coach, Social Worker, Entrepreneur, Lawyer, and Pioneering Conflict Coach

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #10 – Cinnie Noble

Brand building is not easy, particularly in a world where peace building and brand building are not often associated with each other. But our guest today has figured out a way around that problem, by slowly and surely doing the things that matter.

I’ve been reading a lot of books about advertising, writing copy, and philosophies on how to embed a marketing message deep inside a consumer’s mind. But for the professional peace builder, brand building, advertising, and on and on seem overwhelming at best.

I even talked to a person last week who’s a corporate trainer in a different space, who when I mentioned my passion for marketing, she threw up her hands in disgust.

But one of the ways to overwhelm the advertising heebie-jeebies, is to build your peace business in the way that Cinnie did: with aplomb, intentionality, and care. She has been able to build a brand that has influenced many people: leaders, managers and clients.

But she has also managed to be industry facing and has challenged people in her industry to evolve tools and products that have helped mediators expand beyond just mediation and toward developing products that can serve as early stage interventions, instead of struggling to manage late stage interventions.

Co-creating a relationship around things that matter is part and parcel of the language of coaching. So is the CINERGY® Model that Cinnie came up with.

But for our field, co-creating a relationship with the incremental brand building practices that Cinnie has pioneered is about the future of the field.

And Cinnie, Tammy Lenski, and Pattie Porter, and Anne Sawyer, and many others are doing that co-creating right now…

Check out all the ways below to connect with Cinnie today:

Cinnie’s Websites:

Cinnie’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/cinergycoaching

Cinnie’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cinnie.noble

Cinnie on LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/cinnienoble

Cinnie’s Books on Amazon:

[Advice] Broadcasting, Sharing, and Interacting

By | Active Listening, Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Dysfunction, Emotional Intelligence, Facebook, Google, Leadership, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Problem Solving, Relationships, Resolution, Social, Social Communication, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Stress, Twitter, Twitter, Website, Workplace, Workplace Development

There are subtle differences between broadcasting, sharing, and interacting in any conflict scenario.

Broadcasting is what live streaming and most posting on social media is about. Broadcasting is an act that—by itself without more thought behind it—is deeply selfish and desirous of attention for its mere existence. Broadcasting a suicide attempt, or broadcasting a cat video, fall into this same category.

Sharing is what much of blogging, email newsletter creation, and some social posting is about. Sharing is an act that—by itself without more thought behind it—begins a collaborative communication process between a creator and their audience. The audience can be a Dunbar’s Number of close friends, or it can be an audience of a few thousand “followers” but sharing is about skimming the top of a building a collaborative relationship.

Interacting is what broadcasting, plus sharing, plus intentionality, is about. Interacting involves going past merely acting to prove the existence of a product, service, philosophy, or process, and goes directly to creating for an audience and their desires. Interacting means engaging actively with everyone in the audience (even those people we’d rather not engage with) and is the penultimate act of courage.

In a conflict, broadcasting is the equivalent of telling a story about your conflict repeatedly, in order to create separation between “us” and “them.”

In a conflict, sharing is the equivalent of attending training and hoping that you remember one thing that you can apply afterward.

In a conflict, interacting is the equivalent of going beyond telling your story and attending training, and taking the time and effort to personally engage with personal development around your responses and reactions to conflicts in your life.

Broadcasting, sharing and interacting are happening at all levels in our society; and, our digital tools have provided us with the ease of communicating faster and faster. But this also means that our responses to conflicts in our lives become more shallow and immediate, even as the reactions cut us emotionally at a deeper and deeper level.


[Opinion] Podcasting to the Masses

By | Blog, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Google, Marketing for Peace Builders, Media, Old Posts, Persuasion, Platform Building, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Selling for Peace Builders, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Twitter, Twitter

A product has reached its peak in the early adopter stage on the classic distribution curve, and is ready to slide into the masses attention, when three phenomenon happen:

The product catches the attention of regulators, lawyers, and policy makers (Uber).

The product catches the attention of the mass industrialists who remain powerful at the top of the economic ladder (Tesla).

The product catches the attention of the mass of creators and they begin to give interviews and hold conferences about “What is to be done about this new thing we underestimated/ignored” (podcasting).

The lawyers haven’t shown up at the door of the “big” independent podcasters (read “the 65% or so of podcasts not produced, spun – off, or derivatives of NPR radio shows”) but the legalistic thinking employed by the corporate regulators and policy makers is already appearing in conferences and conversations–and the hand wringing has begun.

We haven’t yet hit peak podcasting. That won’t happen for about another decade, based on how quickly electric cars and integrated mobile phone devices have an impact on the market overall. But the signs are on the horizon that podcasting is about to reach its peak of the early adopter stage and begin the long-slow ride into public acceptance, and into the mass consciousness.

Will every niche podcast do well as this gradual swell of acceptance begins? No. If a podcaster (or podcast network) began two (or even five) years ago, the chances that the show will gain mass acceptance are still under 50%. But, if a large podcast content creator (such as a personality like Marc Maron or Adam Carolla) and distributor (such as NPR) can “port over” their audience from other channels (i.e. live comedy acts, other content on a network, etc.) there’s a better than 50% chance that those creators and distributors will survive and become dominant in the coming years.

Podcasting is riding the slow wave toward mass acceptance. For those creators who have waited for this moment, now is the time to begin sharing your digital voice.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #9 – Qiana Patterson

By | Blog, Culture, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Education, Old Posts, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Privacy, Technology, The Future & The Singularity

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #9 – Qiana Patterson, A Fearless Experienced Ed-Tech Executive, Thinker, Educator, and Technologist

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #9 – Qiana Patterson

Race, culture, education, and technology; all of these things matter to our guest today, and she’s going to make sure that you at least think about them before we’re done here.

In our world today, race, gender, and culture seem to matter more now than ever before. This interview sort of dovetails with the interview that we did with Mitch Mitchell a couple of episodes back.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but a person’s vocal inflections, tone, and language should have no racial overtones, but I remember the last time we went around and around the block about race in this country—during the Orenthal James Simpson trial—that there was some discussion about whether or not O.J. had a “black” sounding voice.

Speaking of language, my grandmother came from a time when women and minorities in general weren’t getting a public fair shake in any sense of the word and she raised me to speak with as clean and as unaccented a voice as she possibly could. She believed—as Booker T. Washington before her also did—that speaking well was the first step toward writing well, which led inevitably to living well in a racist world.

I think that our guest today, Qiana Patterson, would have had an interesting discussion with my grandmother. These are two women separated by a lot of history, a lot of years, and by philosophies. That’s not to say that Qiana’s perspective or philosophy on education, race, and where they meet in the realm of technology is problematic.

Far from it.

I think that we have to be open to hearing from everybody in this racially, ethnically, and even economically diverse world. Because if we don’t, then self-awareness, self-motivation, and the courage to act differently (forget just thinking differently) become mere punchlines that we repeat at cocktail parties.

And I think that my grandmother, Qiana, and myself, have had quite enough of all that.

Haven’t you?

Check out all the ways below to connect with Qiana today:

Qiana’s Education Post Page: http://educationpost.org/network/qiana-patterson/

Qiana’s Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/Q_i_a_n_a

Qiana on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/qiana-patterson-87427b2

Qiana’s About Me page: https://about.me/QianaPatterson

[Opinion] What’s On Your Billboard?

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Dysfunction, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Problem Solving, Relationships, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Stress, Workplace, Workplace Development

If you show me your checkbook and your daily calendar, I’ll show you your priorities.

This basic truth is difficult (not hard) for many well-meaning people to accept, which is why time management, productivity, “hacking,” and other terms have come into the Internet lexicon over the last few years.

In the workplace, the industrialists’ idea of greater and greater productivity being encouraged through the adoption and integration of labor saving/time shaving devices and machines, has led to a revolution, going on since the 1970’s at least, where the work people used to do is now being done by machines—whether they be hardware or software.

But the rub is that all those employees still feel squeezed for time. Squeezed even as work and life more and more overlap and intrude upon each other. Squeezed even as the current generations in the workplace demand more meaning and mattering in even the performance of menial labor. Squeezed even as the new, post-modern, post-industrialist creators, digital geniuses, and the financial manipulators seem to accrue more wealth, while those who didn’t get in on the ground floor, seem to accrue fewer and fewer rewards.

If you show me your checkbook and your daily calendar, I’ll show you what areas of your life get the most of your attention.

We can do very little about the creators, the digital geniuses, or the financial manipulators, but we can do something about the areas that are near to us. Our checkbooks reveal the stories we tell ourselves about our money. Our calendars reveal the stories we tell ourselves about our time. Because, while we may not all have the wealth of Warren Buffet, we all still have the same number of hours in the day that he does.

And this is where the friction—the intrapersonal conflicts—really lie: Many of us believe the story that the industrialists of the last century told us repeatedly about our money, and our time. The story is that time = money and if you’re not working to get paid, and if you’re not productive in the way that they want you to be productive, then your priorities are skewed. And whatever time you have leftover in the day is a gift from them.

The labor movement fought against this thinking, leading to the creation of unions.Unions effectively used the language of rebellion, and changed the language of priorities, in favor of those who were working. But now, in the face of a post-industrialist economy, individuals making their own priorities paramount matters more than either the story on life support of the industrialists or the clever linguistic jiujitsu of the union representatives.

If you show me your checkbook and your daily calendar, I’ll show you what’s on your personal, interior billboard.

  • What are your priorities?
  • What does your checkbook reveal about where you spend your money?
  • What does your calendar reveal about how you divide up the same number of hours in the day that Warren Buffet, or Mark Zuckerberg, or the guy down the street, has?
  • What do you—as an individual—really value?

Answering those questions honestly, and with penetrating self-awareness, will begin the process of getting more out of your life—and the choices you are choosing to make—than any time management article possible could.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/