Posted by: XL Results Foundation | June 16, 2008

City AM – Interview: Corporate Cupid

ROGER HAMILTON knows a thing or two about wealth, though not because he’s always been rich. On the contrary, his wisdom is a product of his twenties, which he mostly spent haemorrhaging money as a star-crossed serial entrepreneur who ran a series of failed businesses, including a publishing company.

Perhaps it’s this understanding of just how money flows out of a firm as well as in that has helped him become so successful as a wealth consultant. His XL Group makes him millions per year. Over 50,000 entrepreneurs have now signed up and participate in a global exchange of ideas.

Hamilton, 39, has one of those soft international accents that hints at a life of expat glamour and travel. Sure enough, he grew up in Hong Kong and went to university here before heading off to Singapore to make it rich. Now he lives in Bali, where he runs one arm of his business, the XL Vision Villas, which offers intense workshops and networking opportunities to businesspeople.

For a young graduate, moving to Singapore seems a little drastic but Hamilton had caught the business bug and wanted to follow it unconditionally. “I studied to be an architect at Cambridge,” he says, “but I began to find a lot more reward in building businesses than building buildings.”

MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY

For building businesses, Hamilton decided early on that location is everything. “When I set up in the 1990s, Singapore was the most connected place in the world. You can reach 3 billion people within five hours.”

Hamilton’s wisdom is concentrated in XL’s Wealth Dynamics programme, which teaches people how to best invest their business time and how to network. In short, to maximise efficiency in an intelligent way, not simply by chasing profit.

“I try to teach people to get into the money-making flow — a similar concept to sportspeople getting in ‘the zone’. If it feels like hard work, it probably is.”

So, what should entrepreneurs learn from Hamilton? Firstly, they should make sure that their idea is possible before they even start. “Often you’ll find entrepreneurs throw money and time into new ventures before they’ve even understood if it’s a worthwhile venture,” he says.

The best way to work out whether an idea might work is to ask people in the know. “You must network with the people who know straight away,” Hamilton says. “If you look at anyone — Richard Branson or Bill Gates — they will always be connecting to people in the industry who already know.”

 INVALUABLE INSIGHTS

Before starting Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson contacted charter airlines pioneer Freddie Laker. Laker gave the young entrepreneur invaluable insights into the industry and Hamilton bets it was the Laker influence that enabled Branson to get round BA’s dirty tricks campaign in the 1990s. “Successful people like to help successful people,” he says.

As this shows, entrepreneurs need mentors. Guru figures are an invaluable source of information and knowledge that should vastly reduce errors of judgement.

Equally important is that having a respected industry name sign up to your project means that you’ll have a much easier time flogging your idea to investors, suppliers and sponsors.

SMART VERSUS DUMB

Another key concept is “smart” versus “dumb” money. Dumb investment is the sort that comes from friends or family. This sort of money comes with no useful knowledge or potential attached to it. What you really want is “smart money”, investment that comes from people who are familiar with the workings of your industry, venture or who are used to making investments.

A mentor should also be able to introduce you to the right partners — a vital sign that your business is a goer is that suppliers are willing to talk to you. “Too often people haven’t checked,” says Hamilton. “Their business will either flounder or it will be that much harder to make it work.” Another key idea is that great entrepreneurs think how they can make people make money.

 “It’s almost a cliché — wealthy people aren’t wealthy because they know how to make money, they are because they know how to make other people make money.” Take the booming business in Asia. Most people think: “How can I profit from their wealth?” Hamilton flips it around: “How can I help them profit more?” That’s where the money is.

Another of Hamilton’s theories is building an effective team to run your business. It’s about recognising the people who will work together. Your mentor and close team-mates should be of a similar profile to you. Then you can choose people with different profiles to do certain kinds of jobs. For example, what Hamilton calls a “mechanic” — someone like Jeff Brazer, founder of online retailer Amazon, or Ray Krok of McDonald’s — is great at building enormous systems.

GENERATE VALUE

A “creator” knows how to generate value just by forming a new business or product — Richard Branson, JK Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and Bono are examples. Warren Buffett, the world’s richest man, is another profile, a “trader”, someone who is born to invest and play the markets. Steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, for example is a “lord” — he is good at consolidating industries and cashflow.

Unlike Buffett, he doesn’t need to play the stock market. This creates a business of experts, with everyone doing what they’re best at. Which sounds like a recipe for success.

http://www.wealthdynamics.org

 CV | ROLODEX KING

HAMILTON was born in Hong Kong and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read architecture. He became an entrepreneur and moved to Singapore soon after earning his degree, but failed many times before his first success.

Hamilton now owns and runs businesses in publishing, property, event management, training and franchising. He is also chairman of XL Results Foundation, a global entrepreneur network and publisher of XL Magazine, the world’s first magazine dedicated to social enterprise.

XL Results Foundation also manages Asia Pacific’s largest online business network and directory, connecting Asia Pacific with more than 1 million entrepreneurs and businesspeople worldwide, with access to over 200 networking events in 150 countries.

By Zoe Strimpel

For online article, http://www.cityam.com/index.php?news=15386

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Posted by: XL Results Foundation | June 11, 2008

‘I am Following my Flow’

So often I hear people who really don’t know much about Wealth Dynamics say, ‘I am a Creator. I am following my flow.’ What this really means is that they are randomly
going on some weird quest without any planning, while spending heaps of capital and time, and then getting down the track a month on and ending up worse than when they
started.

Not a License to Ignore Everything Else
Take note: just because you have one profile, it is not a license to ignore everything else in life. If you do so, you actually are not using the Wealth Dynamics wisdom at all.

You see, I am a Star profile. In fact, I have zero Lord, Accumulator or Trader
in my profile chart, and very little Supporter, Deal Maker or Mechanic. But I realised that being a Star didn’t mean the end of spreadsheets for me, or asking lots of questions, or trying to cut deals. It simply meant that these things were not my path of least resistance. It may surprise you that my main two businesses; Rock Your Life and Avana Properties both have comprehensive business plans, budgets, cash flow estimates and
statements of position.

In Rock Your Life, I have created all these. In Avana, they are created by one of my partners, but I know the numbers intimately. I know how much is required on a daily basis to run these businesses, to break even, to hit profit estimates. I have found that most people who ‘follow their flow’ tend to drop everything else except what is in their profile. That’s not what it’s about.

Playing to Your Strength
Wealth Dynamics is all about creating the right teams and playing to your strengths, whilst having others play to theirs. That doesn’t mean heaps of employees either. It means maybe some of this expertise is contracted. For example, we recently changed two of our professional advisors who contract to us. The reason was that they were Creators and Stars. In our business cycle, we needed Lords and Accumulators. We needed every little point taken care of, and all the tough questions asked. So don’t be afraid to change people when you need to.

Just because you were born into a certain profile, it doesn’t give you poetic license to just flit through life swinging to the back of: ‘Oh well, I do that because that’s what a Supporter does.’ That response won’t serve you well at all. We are composites of profiles.

It is not about doing it all yourself either. Get the expertise you need, but understand that you are ultimately responsible for what does and does not happen in your business, not others. So keep a careful watch on the activities of all until a point where everything will run itself without you.

Play One Game
The other thing that I find amusing is when people say, “I am a Supporter DealMaker.” No…you are not. You are in fact one profile and you play one game. Time and time again, we have heard what Michael Jordan achieved by trying to play two games. There has never been a really successful double international sportsperson, and it’s unlikely there will ever be a really successful person who plays two profiles. If your chart says you are strong in two, pick your game. It’s the one the profile tells you.

I am super-creative and have at least a few hundred new bright ideas every day. What I have learned is to be careful with the distraction these cause, but also to let go. If I think they are really good ideas, I will relinquish them to one of my Creator friends, but consider how I can be involved as the Star, or keep part of the action. This way I concentrate on my game. That is being a Star.

If you really want to become an expert in your profile, then my best advice is, read all the literature slowly. I have found that when you read and interpret every sentence, it takes on a different meaning, or a more specific meaning. Scanning it leads to not fully grasping the concepts. Rightly applied,
they are very powerful.

Be in Balance
If you truly want to be in flow, then be in balance. Lead with your profile and use your ultimate strengths from that profile; but balance that with all the other energies, either contracted or internal or volunteer. If you have Summer energy, get some Winter to counterbalance you, and some Spring and Autumn to round it off.

Be a strong leader and focus on what you do best — but don’t use Wealth Dynamics as a reason to not do the other stuff that is also very important, even though you may not like it. Flow’

Mike Handcock

Mike Handcock is the creator of ‘Rock Your Life’, one of the most experiential personal development workshops on earth. www.rockyourlife.net He is also a global speaker and success coach. Contact Mike at
mdh@ihug.co.nz or via www.mdh.co.nz

From XL Extra! Issue 4 2008

Posted by: XL Results Foundation | June 4, 2008

Seven-Year-Old Feeds Hungry Children in China

David Anttony explains how one young person can help feed hungry children through an innovative programme.

One day in Brisbane, a little Australian girl experienced a new way of giving. The seven-year-old, with a big bag of muesli in her tiny arms, walked over to the cashier with her mother. Upon scanning the bag, the cashier mentioned that with every purchase of Maple Muesli, a hungry child would be fed. The girl tugged at her mother’s blouse and asked,
“Mummy, can we buy another bag of muesli so we can feed another child!”

A New Way of Giving
This new way of giving is called Buy1GIVE1Free, becoming known as B1G1 — a new global service that partners any business with a worthy cause on a ‘buy-1-give-1-free’ basis. Every time a person buys a B1G1 Business Partner’s product or service, a portion of the profits is given to cover the costs of a related product or service that a B1G1 Worthy Cause Partner is offering.

In the previous example, Maple Muesli in Australia partnered with Midday Meals in Mumbai, India. Midday Meals is a charity that feeds a staggering 125,000 Mumbai children every day for just US$0.30 cents per meal. And most significantly, the meals are provided in
schools, so that the under-privileged children have to get an education to get the meal. Already, the programme has boosted school enrolments by over 60 percent!

Imagine the impact that Buy1-Give1 has when applied to thousands of everyday consumer products around the globe. Just imagine, for example, filling up your car and a tree being planted automatically. Or buying a large-screen TV and giving a cataract-blind person the gift of sight. Imagine having a meal at a restaurant and finding out you have just fed a child. Automatically.

Flipping CSR on its Head
The founders of Buy1GIVE1Free are Masami Sato, Paul Dunn and David Anttony. They launched B1G1 in Australia in mid 2007, but now their global headquarters is in Singapore.

“We are flipping Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on its head,” says Masami. “From Corporate Social Responsibility to Customer Social Response-ability — the ability to powerfully and positively involve existing and potential customers directly in the giving process. When businesses get that, it turns CSR into Supercharged CSR!”

People can participate in the B1G1 mission via three platforms: B1G1 PERSONAL, B1G1 Business and B1G1 Worthy Cause.

Through B1G1 PERSONAL,individual givers can make contributions online in some or all five
areas: the Environment, Education, Food, Shelter and Health. People can also make the choice to support and shop at B1G1 Businesses.

Sign up with B1G1
Worthy causes can sign up with Buy1GIVE1Free to partner top companies. By getting a steady flow of funds, worthy causes can focus on their core purpose of existence — serving communities or the environment. Studies show that the average costs of fundraising in the UK and Australia are 18 percent or 22 percent respectively. This figure does not even include huge administrative costs. B1G1 cuts these massive fundraising and administrative costs down: promising to take no more than 8 percent.

Buy1GIVE1Free, as well as providing a social service, also donates at least 10 percent of its profits to worthy causes. Furthermore, for every full paying business member, B1G1 gifts a free membership (normally costing US$200) to a worthy cause.

Business leaders are looking for opportunities to give back in effective yet simple ways. They are seeing the tremendous value B1G1 offers them from a marketing perspective. With powerful‘impact-matching’, businesses are gifted with attention-grabbing marketing stories. Compare a business that gives away a million dollars to charity with one like Maple Muesli, that lets their customers experience the joy of giving with Buy1Give1Free.

Sign up on the website: www.B1G1.com.

From XL Extra! Issue 4 2008

Posted by: XL Results Foundation | June 2, 2008

Flowing with Life Shifts

Make S-H-I-F-T Happen

According to Dr Mihaly Csikzentmilhali, Professor of Psychology and Management and
Director of Quality Life Research, flow is:
“Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake.” To achieve a flow state,
a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Flow was when famed jazz musician Louis Armstrong was in the flow with his jazz: with playing each note. Flow occurs when every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one. The ego falls away and one tends to lose track of time.In assembling programmes for the
XL Results Foundation, continual shift and flow are key concepts that we utilise to get entrepreneurs into their flow.

Situational Awareness
‘S’ in the shift is for situational awareness. Enhancing and developing keen awareness in each and every situation is an essential operating principle for an entrepreneur. The
people we meet, the places we visit, the intention we set, are the entrepreneur’s ability to seize on critical moments; they are key success variables for today’s socially
aware and spiritually connected leaders. The flow state implies a kind of focussed attention; indeed, the mindfulness of meditation, yoga and martial arts seem to improve one’s capacity for flow.

Heartfelt Communication
‘H’ is for heartfelt communication. The Dali Lama was asked what entrepreneurs can do to make a positive contribution to the planet, by XL Life Member Michelle Clarke. Without
missing a beat, the Dali Lama shared that educating people around the world is the key curing to most of the world’s current ailments. He continued that education — not traditional knowledge,but sharing heartfelt communication — is the key. By sharing and spreading the principles of divine wisdom, divine timing, and appreciation of divine beauty, there is a chance that we will raise global consciousness and make a contribution that creates a positive flow of shift for the planet.

Intuition
‘I’ is for intuition. Intuition can be enhanced and developed by experiencing life in the moment. Often entrepreneurs get distracted by future plans, or befuddled by past experiences.By being in the moment, connecting to the greater global consciousness, entrepreneurs can tap into to a collective consciousness that serves the higher purpose of the enterprise. Visualisation, meditation and breathing exercises work wonders to develop intuition. Follow your intuition about the types of causes that you would like
to support; charities that align with your enterprise vision and life purpose. Future Trends author John Naisbitt says: “Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data.”

Focus
‘F’ is for Focus. Best-selling author Robin Sharma states: “There is great power in focussing on what you want . . . the person who tries to do everything accomplishes nothing.” Confucius nailed the point: “Person who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
Focus on what you want, rather than what you do not want. Write down 10 things you would like to achieve in the next 12 months. It could be travel,a new business, a charitable contribution, or a wellness programme. Write down 50 things you’d like to do by the year 2012. Who would you like to meet? Where would you like to go? To add a little more clarity and focus, I would love to see your list posted at www.coachdaverogers.com

Time
Time — respect it, cherish it, nurture a wonderful relationship with time, and make it your friend. As a Deal Maker, one of my greatest values is connecting the right people at the right time. As an entrepreneur, it is seizing critical moments, having belief, and courage and taking action to deliver measurable results. It is fun to see the different perspectives on time:

Half our time is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. – Will Rogers

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them. – Dion Boucicault

The day is of infinite length for him who knows how to appreciate and use it. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. – Michael Althsuler

Be the pilot of your adventure, the co-creator of your destiny and the inspiring leader of your legacy. By applying and heightening our awareness about the SHIFT approach to FLOW, all of us could experience FLOW even more frequently in our efforts to make a positive contribution. I happily share one more quote with you… You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Gandhi

Dave Rogers is Chief Coach of the XL Results Foundation http://www.resultsfoundation.com and Past President of the Asia Professional Speakers Singapore (www.asiaspeakers.org). To engage Dave for Keynotes, Trainings or Executive Coaching assignments contact joy@jvpl.net

From XL Extra! Issue 4 2008

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