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January 26, 2009

The importance of understanding contribution currency in 2009 ...


We went to an ecademy event in London last Thursday, and got massive value from it, so thought I would write a brief report*.

*Please note, I have no affiliate links or commission payments for new members to ecademy - its free to join anyway. I am just sharing in the spirit of reciprocity.

There were approx. 200 business owners there. The mood was very bouyant and positive with everyone I spoke to. The general opinion was that "this is what we have been waiting for" in terms of opportunity. WIth looming mass unemployment and the demise of those with a "serf" mentality (seeking a pay cheque at the end of each month), now is the time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish.

Ecademy founder, Penny Power, gave a very inspiring speech about how business is changing, and moving on-line. She talked about how businesses and individuals will be judged in future on their "contribution currency" - in other words, how much value they add to other people's businesses, and their track record of doing so. The internet is making everything far more transparent.

On one hand, black hat tactics, scams, deceit and misdirection are far easier than ever to imagine and to scale. There are certainly people quietly banking millions as they lie and cheat their way forwards.

On the other hand, there's far bigger growth associated with transparency. When your Facebook profile shows years of real connections and outreach and help for your friends, it's a lot more likely you'll get that great job.

When your customer service policies delight rather than enrage, word of mouth more than pays your costs. When past investors blog about how successful and ethical you were, it's a lot easier to attract new investors.

The Net enlarges the public sphere and shrinks the private one. And black hats require the private sphere to exist and thrive. More light = more success for the ethical players.

In a competitive world, then, one with increasing light, the way to win is not to shave more corners or hide more behavior, because you're going against the grain, fighting the tide of increasing light. In fact, the opposite is true. Individuals and organizations that can compete on generosity and fairness repeatedly defeat those that only do it grudgingly.

Business networking can help increase your on-line profile and visibility, and therefore create trust.

It costs you nothing more than your time.

People can write testimonials for your services and you can start to build up an on-line profile of being an ethical trader. I believe that this is something that will become increasingly important in the years to come, so it is something you might like to consider, if you are not already doing it.

'The main speaker was Nigel Risner who gave an inspiring talk about setting goals and sticking to them. I really enjoyed his presentation - no "ra ra" - just really strong and challenging ideas of how to challenge yourself and your business on a daily basis. One of the most powerful things I got from this is something that we have been doing since the beginning of our portfolio but never (until now) put it into words. And that’s understanding the importance of routine. I have rattled on in the past about how important management is over acquisition but this gave it a more permanent title ... Routine.

Buying property takes but a few weeks. However, pre and post acquisition is the routine that can last for 25 years!. But routine is dull and to keep it from being tedious is where you can bank "contribution currency". I thoroughly enjoy contributing to "the pot" and in return I get to learn more and make solid and deeper business clients and relationships.

In conclusion, I found this meeting gave me a real kick start to 2009 and I met several positive and dynamic people who will contribute to my knowledge and success.

You can connect with me on edacemy here.

If you want to know more about ecademy, we have an interview with Penny Power here.*

nick and penny 


Register here for our next event on the 8th February 2009.


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