Posts categorized "Entrepreneurship"

Set to begin development of the "I am" mobile app

For the past 16 years, I have known my reason for being. I remember the moment (it was at a Starbucks in San Francisco). It was the year 2002, and I was on a business trip when I experienced an unexpected moment of clarity and inspiration. This idea was so powerful and revolutionary that it excited me like nothing before and nothing since. 

It was during the aftermath of 9/11, during those bleak years when it looked to me as though the Bush Administration might actually succeed at crushing truth, freedom, and justice in the USA. I was a recent MBA graduate with my first serious (yet disappointing) job. I had grown up a proud American, a true believer. I had followed all the rules and advice, I had worked hard, scratched and clawed for my education, and I believed that this was the path toward happiness...that the good life was just around the corner.

Until I realized it was all a lie. Everything we are told in school, in the media, and through every facet of mainstream culture is an interwoven series of lies designed only to keep the system going. Institutions, corporations, governments, and the people who control them deliver human misery through a never-ending, exhausting effort to organize society according to their rules. The system does not care about people; rather, it places people in service to centralized authority.

The process of true re-education is long, painstaking, and filled with despair. You are on your own, engaged in endless debates to convince people of what they are unwilling to see. Even if you succeed at articulating a truth...even if you might somehow manage to convince a few people...you remain aware that you are powerless. You no longer fit in, yet it isn't clear where you belong. Still, part of being human is that deep desire to live your truth, to stand up for what you believe, to change the world in some way. So you go on.

People like me struggle, sometimes for a lifetime, to change the system. The problem is that the system is designed to work exactly in the way that it does work. The system isn't going to change. Any effort to reform a government or institution is effort utterly wasted. So what can we do?

We, as people, can come together. I don't mean come together to protest or fight for anything or try to change anything...just come together. When we have each other, we don't really need institutions. We can ignore all forms of centralized authority. We can use technology, we can invent, we can work together (and for each other), we can create, we can love, we can be happy. Human unity is the end of misery.

This answer is simple, and yet it isn't. The problem is that, without a spiritual awakening, people don't know how to get along. In today's normal state of human existence (the egoic state), people believe they are separate, cut-off, and in competition with each other. People take advantage of each other, they lie, they manipulate, they shame, they judge, and they blame. In the typical ego-driven state, human beings have become slaves to institutions for the simple reason that we don't know how to get along with each other. If we did get along, there would be no need for institutions to claim authority over us.

Only by escaping the ego is it possible to end toxic behavior. Only in an enlightened state of awareness can we align our lives with unconditional love, acceptance, giving, and creativity. In the state of spiritual aliveness, we immediately feel that the universe is abundant, we align with an invisible, immaterial realm that is safe and unchanging, we lose fear as we embrace our perfect freedom and happiness. We end suffering. This is the normal state of human existence, as it existed before centralized power came to be. 

This shift away from centralized power and authority is called "decentralization". It is possible to ignore centralized authority, to live in freedom. You can escape the ego completely. You can live in a continuous, connected state of conscious awakening.  I have learned to let go of all attachments, and have seen life's abundance come in to replace whatever is lost.

Humans today are going through a massive awakening. Millions of us are reading the great spiritual works, listening to talks, and reshaping our lives. But we are still too isolated, too much within the system. The next step is the introduction of a technology that connects people more easily than fate, facilitates harmonious win-win relationships, and delivers abundance in all areas of life through decentralization.

I started the I Am by Infobeing Foundation to create "I am", a mobile app which is designed to deliver a large-scale shift toward decentralization. The designs are simple, it will work, and thanks to some recent funding by a few wonderful people, we are on the verge of finally building it.

I'm not attached to what happens next. I can make no promises or predictions. But I am grateful for the opportunity to fulfill what I know is my life purpose.  


No more waiting in line

Back when I grew up, Americans were taught the perils of Soviet Communism. We were outraged that people were forced to stand in line for hours due to shortages. Long lines are, indeed, an excellent symbol of a failing, centralized system. These days, the queues seem to be getting longer.

Centralization is the organization of society so that people must interact primarily with large organizations for survival. Today, we depend almost entirely upon institutions to earn a living, to buy what we need and want, for education, for entertainment, essentially for everything. When we do connect with other people, we do so through platforms controlled by large corporations who spy on us just as they advertise to us. At its best, centralization is a single point of failure, a bottleneck, a cause of scarcity, or a source of frustration. At its worst, centralization becomes an inhuman force to be feared.

The Blockchain Revolution, starting with Bitcoin and taken further with Ethereum and other decentralized technologies, is the breakthrough idea that centralization is no longer the only way to organize society. By removing a centralized server than can be breached or shut down, Blockchain technology is beyond the reach of centralized institutions. This changes everything.

We now have an opportunity to shift away from the centralization of power toward a model of decentralization—the organization of society so that people are at the center. How might a decentralized future look? Consider the idea behind a blockchain startup called “I am” by Infobeing, an Ethereum-based Decentralized Social App (DApp) for the mass-market. 

A true shift toward decentralization requires an efficient, systematic way of connecting people directly. This will be done on “I am” by describing who you are, what you want, and what you are doing in the form of structured sentences called “I am” Statements. Statements are stored in a decentralized database as follows:

I am [Verb] [Description] [Location] [Price].

Compatible Statements are matched. Users effortlessly meet the right people, form new relationships and business connections, they can even buy and sell stuff using cryptocurrency. “I am” reduces the need for people to rely so much on institutions. No matter what you want or what you are trying to do, you can do it by connecting directly with other people.

Decentralized platforms like “I am” have the potential to unlock human potential by creating a reality in which people are at the center. Institutions that survive will have to adapt to serving us (and not the other way around). If all goes well, this might mean the end of standing in line.

On November 23rd, 2017, the IAM Token will be introduced as the first cryptocurrency deriving its value directly from the unleashing of human potential. Find out more at www.infobeing.com.

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Prospecting 101: why email works better than cold-calling

Conventional wisdom in sales tells us that cold-calling works better than emailing. Conventional wisdom is usually wrong.

There is a good reason that salespeople talk so loudly about cold-calling and this has nothing to do with results. Put simply, a person claiming to make 50 cold-calls per day seems more hard-working than the guy in the next cube who is busy with an email-based process. Cold-calling is loud. Everybody around you will know you are busy. So if you care more about maintaining the perception that you are a hard-worker than you do about delivering results, then by all means you should continue to live in cold-calling hell. But if you are open to a better, easier way to proactively fill your sales pipeline with great opportunities, keep reading.

If you are selling complex, high-value solutions to the enterprise and are trying to get in touch with executive-level decision-makers, then email is the most effective, efficient, and practical way to introduce your product or service. I run a global lead generation agency. We use email exclusively to arrange executive-level introductory calls and on-site meetings for our clients. Here is why our email-only strategy works better than cold-calling:

1) Email is read by everyone, even CEO's (or at least their admins).

2) Email allows you the opportunity to perfect and clarify your message and then repeat that message again and again (cold-calling requires a new performance every time).

3) Email can be easily forwarded to the right person and then responded to without any friction or effort on your part.

4) Email allows your prospect the time to think, whereas cold-calling usually illicits an automatic "no" response.

5) Decision-makers do not answer their phones to unknown numbers. If they do, they see it as a rude disruption.

6) Email allows greater reach more cost-effectively. With the right approach, you can easily reach out to ever decision-maker across your target market every quarter.

7) Cold-calling is usually done by very junior talent. When you have one shot to impress a CEO, do you want a telemarketer in India reading a script? Or would you rather have your top account executive taking a scheduled and confirmed call?

Email works. But just because email is the most effective medium for outbound prospecting, that doesn't mean it always works for everybody. Success in outbound prospecting is all about strategy and execution. You need the right message delivered to the right person in the right way. Here some of the variables you will have to perfect for success in email prospecting:

Strategy:

  • You need to identify the right target market for your products or solutions and then build a list of every company that meets your criteria (a target account list)
  • You need to understand which titles within the organization are most likely to buy and go after them
  • You need a message that distinguishes you from the hundreds of other messages in your prospect's inbox

Execution:

  • Even when you have the right strategy, you need to achieve the right volume. Successful outbound prospecting campaigns will result in introductory meetings with between 10% to 20% of your target accounts each quarter. I have seen this to be the case across industries. So if you want 10 - 20 new introductory phone calls from outbound prospecting, you go after 100 accounts. If you aren't able to achieve this result, then something is wrong with your strategy or execution.
  • You need to turn prospecting into a machine. You have to research the right contacts to build list, send emails to a set number of new accounts each week, and follow-up with second-round emails the following week in the case of non-response. You need to manage responses to that you know which accounts to continue with and which accounts to put on hold. You need to chase down referrals and lukewarm prospects week after week until they agree to a meeting. You need a system. Effective prospecting is a well-oiled machine.
  • When the introductory call finally does happen, you need the right talent on that call to establish credibility and advance the deal forward. The point of prospecting is to close deals. You (or your organization) should be able to close 1 - 3 deals out of 10 introductory calls or else you are doing something wrong in the sales process.

A world-class sales organization is one in which all of these pieces are working smoothly. In my experience working with dozens of companies to implement successful prospecting campaigns, very few organizations are getting all of these pieces right. Even when they are, they aren't consistent enough and they often aren't able to replicate results across geographies.

Check back for updates on how to craft the perfect prospecting email. In future posts, I will also share some of the specifics about how we run these highly-effective campaigns for clients worldwide.