Recycled Nine Dollar Bicycle

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I would have thought that the world’s cheapest bicycle would have come out of China. Don’t they have the worlds largest population of bicyclist? If not China then another over populated Asian bicycling enthusiastic country? Maybe even a country like Holland might have produced the woulds cheapest bicycle? After all they do have a reputation for loving their peddle power. But no, not Asia and not Holland was were the worlds cheapest bicycle was produced. It was Israel, a place where you hardly see a bicycle. At least when I was there I saw very few.

Produced by Izhar Gafni, an Israeli Kibbutznick,the bike is made almost entirely from recycled cardboard and can withstand wind, rain and sun.  I venture to say that this might be the first truly green transpiration vehicle. It also doesn’t hurt that the bike is very inexpensive. It costs Izhar only nine dollars to produce a single bike.

Read more about the amazing bicycle here:

http://nocamels.com/2012/07/recycled-cardboard-bicycles-for-9/

Corporate Entrepreneurial Management: A Mindset for a Changing Workplace


When most people think about entrepreneurship, being entrepreneurial or entrepreneurial management, they often conjure-up an image of someone running their own business, the “boss”, who is autonomous in the choice of time, manner and place of business. This lay persons’ stereotype of an entrepreneur is not necessarily completely correct – like most stereotyping! In today’s economy it is more important than ever for success in business to make time, manner and place contingent on generating the best possible bottom line no matter. As a self-employed person, a business owner or an employee, working diligently to increase positively the bottom line is key to successful entrepreneurship.

In the past few decades’ companies are more and more focusing on the need to engage all employees in a culture of working actively towards the goal of individual contribution to the financial statements as an asset not an expense. From this employees are nurtured into being innovative, managing change and being actively opportunistic in any and every activity that will strengthen the organization’ brand, generate revenue or save the company money. In this way all employees, especially managers, are nurtured into entrepreneurial management, as they constantly look to improve the organization’s revenue-generating capacity. Fostering this type of organizational culture requires one to breaking down previously-built, stereotype corporate structures to make way for employee innovation, change and opportunity capitalization.

So as a employee how can you be an entrepreneur and focus on entrepreneurial management as a core responsibility of your job position? You might say, I just work for a company as a low-level employee, or, I’m just in In middle management with rules, regulations and structures all around me. While this may be true, there are always opportunities to be entrepreneurial no matter in what capacity you work. This is because an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial manager is someone who looks for new opportunities and attempts to organize resources in a new and valuable way in order to capitalize on a new opportunity. Indeed, viewed from this perspective you may already be an entrepreneurial manager or perhaps you may change your perspective of the stereotype entrepreneur to see how you could be more entrepreneurial within your place of work.

The technical or academic definition of an entrepreneur, or the function of entrepreneurial management, is of a person who looks for new opportunities and attempts to organize resources in a new and valuable way in order to capitalize on a new opportunity. I tend to agree with this definition but would also add that improvement of systems or process that contributes positively to the bottom line of a company also is a way of being entrepreneurial within a company. The key difference from say just being just an employee working within company structures is to think constantly about how resources can be reorganized in a new way that adds value to the business.

In order to develop yourself as a corporate entrepreneur, or start to develop an entrepreneurial management culture within your organization, you might consider the following:

1. Understand the business and the industry: Take the time to understand the business you’re working for and the effect your position has on the company.

2. Become a company problem solver: Always be on the look-out for solutions to problems. Learn how to analyse situations and come up with at least two reasonable solutions.

3. Always be thinking creatively: Use a broad range of methods and models to analyse and synthesise problems and opportunities. After analysis try to make clear judgement about solutions and how they will affect the company bottom line.

4. Build your network: Build a network of allied professionals within your company and externally to the company and use them to be more effective and efficient in your job position and for benefit of the company.

5. Speak up: Don’t be afraid to tactfully spearhead the conversation about opportunities with colleges and supervisors/management. Challenge the status quo.

6. Be open to learning: Always take the time to learn and grow within in your job position and within areas of the organization where you can contribute. This will undoubtedly keep you able to continuously be looking forward for new opportunities and ways to structure resources for positive benefit.

7. Have an open mind: People who wear blinders miss great opportunities – I’ve seen it a million times!

Although being entrepreneurial within a corporation does have its limitations, the rewards for entrepreneurial successes can ultimately put you on a path of being noticed within your company and the job satisfaction and monetary rewards that go with promotion. That’s entrepreneurial management!

Chochma, Bina, Daat: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge

 

Every day, everywhere, especially at work perhaps, we get ideas or abstract thoughts. Some ideas quickly shape into usable form and others need more time for full translation into action. How we chance on an idea is itself worthy of much thought, investigation or analysis. Some seemingly appear from nowhere, a spark, from the depths of our subconscious; others arise from studious thought and consideration, an evolution that blends into construction and conduct. Indeed, if we want to develop the idea into a form that we, or others, can use, our mind must go through a three step process that follows the mind’s intellectual division. The three parts are Chochma, Bina, and Daat.

Chochma is the initial flash of insight one associates with the idea as spark. Initial ideas need to be developed and incorporated into the mind before they can become knowledge. Then comes Bina, the gradual development and articulation of an idea or insight. It’s the refinement or working out of an idea. It answers the question, why is this a good idea? Can this idea be rationally explained? Then comes Daat, often translated as “knowledge” but, in fact, mostly dealing more with comprehension and emotion. When an idea has developed fully, beyond its initial flash or spark, its truth or validity worked out or decided upon and it’s in a form that can be comprehended by others, it becomes “knowledge”.  Daat is also the bridge between intellect and emotion, where the idea goes from an abstract thought towards an emotional feeling, that one knows is the truth, or at least a useable theory that one can bond with and that can and will have meaning and application to actions in life.

Importance of Goal Setting

Most of us know the importance of effective goal setting in achieving success. But how many of us actually set goals regularly, or state them in a meaningful and purposeful way, in order to enable successful achievement.

Goal setting is especially important for entrepreneurs, small business owners and sales professionals all of whom rely primarily on themselves for success or failure. Without setting proper goals they would just aimlessly drift along which is high risk. Proper goal setting supplies a road map and encourages proactive behavior that can be evaluated and minimizes risk and unseen situations.

Thinking about and setting goals is only the first part of the equation for success. When you engage in proper goal setting you must define your objectives in simple and measurable terms. You must also identify the time, resources and funds needed to reach your goal. Next you need to develop action plans. After you know where you want to want to go, you have to know how to get there. Simply, you must have SMART Goals. Goals must be:

 S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely

Specific- A specific goal has a better chance of being realized than one couched in general terms In order to make your goals specific look at the Five W’s: who, what, where, when and why.

Measurable- Frame your goal in such a way its progression can be measured. If your goal is not measurable (for example, by degrees or increase by X amount, X percentage, or dollar number) how will you know when you have reached the goal? A measurable gaol allows you to have the opportunity to evaluate progress and modify action along the way.

Achievable and Realistic- Make sure the goal you set is obtainable. Make sure you personally have the ability to achieve the goal and have the resources in place, or can obtain the necessary resources to achieve your goal. While it is important to always challenge oneself, if you are constantly not achieving goal and getting what you want in life, you can become discouraged and even stop trying.  Make your goal realistic, but each time you review and restate your goal, push yourself to achieve a bit more.

Timely- Give yourself a reasonable time frame for achieving your goal. Then break it down into smaller, short-term increments. With no time frame there is no sense of urgency, and by stating your goal within a time frame, you are setting your unconscious mind in motion to achieve the goal.

I truly believe that everyone can benefit from goal setting.  If done properly, goal setting can lead you to great heights in life, business and work. The success you deserve rests on what you do to go out and grab it. Nothing in life comes easy.
Clear planning + an opportunity = success

Givers Gain Philosophy

About five years ago I read a book called Love is the Killer Application. The book was written by Tim Sanders, a former Yahoo! executive. Essentially, the book is about a business networking philosophy that can be summarized as follows: when business people honestly and authentically help others achieve their goals they usually benefit reciprocally. A few years later I again heard the philosophy discussed at a BNI meeting. The BNI version of the philosophy is called “Givers Gain”, but the philosophy is essentially the same. Properly and sincerely applied in small business and business networking contexts can realize improvements and gains in any endeavour, especially ones own business. Ones business practice is enhanced because the interaction results in the acquisition of an enhanced group, or groups, of trusted associates who work together to share resources and bring each other business. When someone is known as “giver” those on the reweaving end usually want to give back. The term “Givers Gain”

Personally, I have found that using this philosophy has increased the number of trust-based relationships that I have with other business people. Building trust based relations with other business people usually results in their referring clients and customers to you and your product/service without a second thought. Helping others achieve their goals is a favour almost always rewarded in kind. It is the most effective way of building a trust based relationship with another business person, especially if combined with actions that are honest, dignified and sincere. That acquired trust means that they have little concern about referring others whom your trusted associate will feel confident you can help, regardless of the associate ability to monitor or control the situation.

I have come to realize that if you perform to expectation, or better yet exceed expectation, you will build an important network of associate that will market you and your business at every possible opportunity.

Rules of Business Networking

To go along with the “Gives Gain” networking philosophy, below are the ten rules of business networking. The rules were written by Melinda Potcher of Home Loans in Albuquerque.

1. Thou Shalt Not Sell To Me. If we’re trying to help one another get more business, you tell me your target market, I tell you my target market and when we are out in the world, we speak well of one another and refer one another. Do not try to sell me-I’m your referral resource. If I need your product or service, know that I will call you.  Use our relationship to sell through me, to get to those 250-plus people I know.

2. Thou Shalt Understand The Law of Reciprocity. If I’m sending you business, please keep me top of mind. Giving me a new client is the best thank you I can receive, and I will continue working to find you referrals if I know you appreciate me.

3. Thou Shalt Not Abuse Our Relationship. Sending me a bogus referral just to use me, my expertise or my resources for free without asking permission first is the fastest way to lose my respect.

4. Thou Shalt Not Be Late . If we have a meeting set to get to know one another and strategize how we can refer each other business, do not reschedule our appointment more than twice. I blocked a chunk of time in my schedule FOR YOU, and I respect you enough to be on time.

5. Thou Shalt Be Specific. Specific Is Terrific! If you tell me your target market is “anybody” or “everybody,” that means nobody to me. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for me to find you business.

6. Thou Shalt Take Your Business Seriously. As your networking partner, I need to know your intentions.If your company is a hobby business, it will be difficult for me to assist you. If it’s part-time, you are limited in the time you spend working on your business and working to find me referrals. However, if you’re working your business part time with a goal of making it full time, I am there for you, 100 percent.

7. Thou Shalt Follow Up On Referrals. When I send you business, please follow up with that prospect in a timely fashion-say 24 hours. If you’re going out of town or will not be available for some time, a quick e-mail or phone call to the person to let them know when you will be available will preserve your credibility and protect my reputation in recommending you to someone I know and care about.

8. Thou Shalt Communicate. If I do something to upset you, send you a “bad” referral or cause you to have ill feelings toward me, please communicate with me as soon as possible. I may not be aware I have caused a problem for you; if you tell me, I can try to fix it. Referral networking is about relationships! Relationships and referrals are at the heart of my business.

9. Thou Shalt Protect My Reputation. Most people would rather die than risk their reputations. If I receive feedback from a referral I have sent you that is disparaging or derogatory, it is as though you cut me off at the knees. Please do what you say you will do and live up to the ethical standards of your profession.

10. Thou Shalt Prepare For Success. If you really want to grow your business, then prepare to receive it. I will move mountains for my networking partners to ensure they get referrals on a consistent basis. I am a Ninja Networker-you may not always see me working on your behalf.