You are at a branch with three ATM machines. Let's…
Uh huh. That’s right. And these business ideas aren’t your typical business ideas. In fact, they may even be a bit contradictory or paradoxical, but if you think about it more deeply it makes sense.
For this post, I’m borrowing concepts derived from the book, 101 Business Ideas That Will Change The Way You Work written by Antoni E. Weiss. If you want to purchase the book, I suggest you to go here: http://bit.ly/101businessideas. Will add my own commentary after each point.
1. How Fortune Favours The Beautiful
Why this is important: I know there are strong willed feminists out there who refuse to make up for the sake of subjecting to women’s objectification. But sometimes, making yourself beautiful has nothing to do with objectification, you just want to be prettier. Men also cannot be too sloppy either. Appearance matters because our subconscious favors those that look better. We are more attracted to them and so we tend to like them more and tend to want to be with them more. By the way, even body language can be more beautiful. Slouching can look much less appealing than someone standing straight.
2. Nice gals finish last, nice guys aren’t far behind
Sorry to say, but when you’re always doing nice things and complying to everything, people will see you as a doormat. You need to be respected as an individual. I once heard a friend who had a colleague who wore dresses (a guy) and disagreed with everything his superiors said even when his other colleagues were just nodding their heads. What ended up happening was that this guy got promoted much quicker than the rest of his colleagues. You know, I actually like these people more. Those that just agree to everything I say – I know they are just sucking up to me and really have no brains for themselves. Those that disagree must have listened to what I have said otherwise they would not know what to disagree on. If everyone agreed to what I said, what’s the point of having meetings right? I want to hear perspectives and changes. Bring new perspective to the table, don’t just be agreeable.
3. How good do you think you are?
We tend to overestimate our own abilities and underestimate other people’s abilities. Best way to gauge your performance? Ask a variety of people; if they all concurrently agree on one or two things that you yourself didn’t see, then you may be the one who’s blinded. Be honest with your abilities so you have a better assessment on how much time a task may take or whether you have an area that needs improving.
4. The virtues of exchanging favours
By doing favors for people, you are doing yourself a favor. People don’t like to owe other people; we have a natural instinct to pay back someone. You might think that helping people out will reduce your productivity… that is not true (only to a certain extent of course). In fact, doing favors for people increases your productivity. I have a theory – this happens because when you do favors for people, you probably are an actively engaged person already, or doing favors expand your creativity or helps you relieve of your current task, or it keeps your brain active in doing something. Regardless of what it is, do help people out, and those people will want to help you out. On an additional note, when you do want something in return, don’t wait too long to ask for the return of the favor. The longer you wait, the more diminished the value of the favor you helped out seems to your friend.
5. Avoid choice overload: ‘keep it simple, stupid’
It’s ironic because we humans always want the freedom of choice, but when it comes down to it, we really don’t want too many choices. An abundant of choices overwhelms us! Keep it to about 3-8 items. Here’s the theory – a consumer, for instance, can compare with the other items and see which one she may like the most. With too many items, her brain may be too overloaded and not want to compare or care at all! Limiting to say 7 items and realizing that the one she picked is preferable to the other 6 makes her inclined to purchase the item more. Also noteworthy – introducing items also allows the middle item to be more likely chosen. For example, if a fast food restaurant introduces drink sizes of small, medium, large, and extra large, consumers tend to choose either between medium or large, believing that they are paying a cheaper price without feeling as guilty.
6. How to catch a feeling
Research has shown that emotions are transmitted between groups and individuals. Have you ever felt that someone’s negative emotions causes you to become more negative? And when your happy friend comes along you feel much better? We as humans are affected by emotions not just with our situation, but with other people’s condition as well. It’s inevitable. As a leader or a group member, it’s important to gauge the atmosphere of the group to see whether positive emotions are being elicited. Positivity can improve creativity, communication, more inclined towards acceptance of different ideas, likeableness amongst group members, and increased productivity.
7. How to tell if a leader is lying
This doesn’t apply to leaders only, it applies to anyone you meet in real life. When we are associated with negative stuff, we want to distant ourselves away from it as far as possible. We subconsciously do this through using third person words or sharing the blame by using the words “we, us” instead of “I”. Also, the more indirect the message is, the more likely it is to be a lie. The brain makes the “liar” think of a way so that the message sounds complicated enough that it doesn’t sound like a lie. It’s afraid a blunt statement can be too easily recognizable as a lie.
8. Work stress? Go for a run
It’s no surprise that exercise helps relieve stress, and it turns out it’s actually one of the more healthy and beneficial ways of doing so. I’d like to add on that besides exercising, sometimes taking a nap can help wonders. What does this mean for a business? Well, in my personal opinion, I do not believe humans are supposed to continuously work for 8 or more hours straight. Just look at how distracted we are these days! Facebook, news, gossip, games etc. we weren’t born to focus on one sole task… leave that for the robots. Forget about the bosses that say any time taken off is reducing work time, these bosses are just insecure. Companies should implement exercise time (along with shower rooms of course!) and nap times and not only would employee satisfaction and loyalty will increase, overall productivity will increase as well!
9. To decide alone is to make a bad decision
Back at university I remembered we had to do an organizational experiment where we had to rank the items from most important to least important if we were stranded on an island. We first did the task individually, then we did the task with a couple other group members. Overall, results from groups tend to have more accurate rankings (as compared to real experts) than individuals. Groups tend to facilitate discussion and pose questions that you may not have thought of. It also forces you to put your biases away as well. In general, I think groups averaging 5-12 people work best. Anymore and there are too many voices to be heard, any less and there aren’t enough voices. Note however, people may engage in groupthink during groups. People may agree to conform to the group rather than voice out what she or he actually intended to express. Groups need to allow group members to freely express their thoughts and ideas without any hard feelings to get the most of each group member.
10. It’s easier to be forgiven than to ask for permission
Let me just say this – had Google not follow this rule, they probably would not have existed today. Sometimes, you just need to get the stuff done first, and hey if it ends up being wrong, then you apologize. If you always ask for permission, you may never be able to prove your point. Of course, this “statement” lies in a very gray area… there are just some stuff you shouldn’t be doing, or the risks that you take may be too big.
OK so there are 91 other business concepts in this book (and mind you the commentary was all me, so for more insight into each of the concepts stated you will also have to get the book). You can purchase the book at: http://bit.ly/101businessideas.
What other brilliant business ideas do you want to share with us?