Start Up Blog

What you know vs Who you know

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 16, 2014

I remember growing up having people tell me it’s all about who you know in life and business. I always thought it was kinda weird that it could work in your favour by just knowing people who could help you, especially if you happened to be a fool. Surely domain knowledge mattered more? And here is what I found out, they both have value.

But what has even more value is when we use which ever we have more of to improve on the other. This tends to happen when we learn from those we’re lucky enough to know, or use our knowledge to help whoever we meet.

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Amazing list of psychology life hacks you can implement immediately

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on May 25, 2014

1. Primacy and recency:

People most remember the first and last things to occur, and barely the middle. When scheduling an interview, ask what times the employer is interviewing and try to be first or last.

2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind:

Put a mirror behind you at the counter. This way angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chances of them behaving irrationally lowers significantly.

3. Once you make the sales pitch, don’t say anything else:

This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways. My boss at an old job was training me and just giving me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, that the first person to talk will lose. It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuse, but usually they bought.

4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait:

If you stay silent and keep eye contact they will usually continue talking.

5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous like public speaking or bungee jumping:

If we are eating , something in our brain reasons ‘I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger’. It has helped me to stay calm a few times.

6. People will always remember not what you said but how you made them feel:

Also most people like talking about themselves so ask lots of questions about them.

7. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend . Let them ask questions to you related to it:

If you’re able to teach something well, you can be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you:

It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen next time.

9. The physical effects of stress – breathing rate and heart rate – are almost identical to the physical effects of courage:

When your feeling stressed from any situation immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous, it will NOT feeling stressed.

10. Pay attention to people’s feet:

If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation. Similarly if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

11. Fake it till you make it ; confidence is more important than knowledge:

Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it:

13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes:

When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds. If you’re staring at someone and get caught, DON’T turn your head or your body to look away, because that just confirms that you were staring. Just move your EYEBALLS off the person. Unlike turning your head, it’s instantaneous. And the person will think you were just looking at something behind them and that they were mistaken for thinking you were staring. Do it confidently, and ignore any reaction from the person, and you can sell it every single time. After a second you can even look back at them with a “Why are you staring at me?” look on your face to really cement the deal!

14. Build a network:

Become their information source, and let them be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office. Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother:

Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage

16. Stand up straight:

No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary:

These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space:

You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

 19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks:

You’d be surprised how long you can drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

20. Going into an interview…be interested in your interviewers:

If you focus on learning about them you seem more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

21. Pay Attention Parents:

Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control. For instance when I want him to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?” Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on adults.

 22. Your action affect your attitudes more than your attitudes affect your actions:

As my former teacher said “You can jump and dance FOR joy, but you can also jump and dance yourself joyful.”

23. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group:

24. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position:

If someone is sitting with her legs crossed cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them. Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

25. The Benjamin Franklin Effect:

The pencil one may seem far-fetched but I find the basis of it (the Benjamin Franklin effect) is very useful and extends far beyond pencil borrowing.  This knowledge is useful in the world of flirting too. Asking a girl in your class if you can borrow a pencil or her notes or to explain the homework will make her more likely to like you than if you let her borrow your stuff or are the one to help her. Even just asking a girl to buy you drinks (facetiously) leaves a much bigger impression than offering to or actually buying a girl a drink.  The best part is it kills 3 birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

26. Handling Panic and Anxiety Behavior: 

When you’re feeling stressed, worried or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs. For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more resourceful (better feeling) state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many, many life situations – emotional upset, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories…

This list came via Quora and is total gold that had to be shared.

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Top 10 financial hacks

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 13, 2011

There is no point being a successful entrepreneur, or selling a startup if we have no idea how to handle the money we get. So here is my top 10 financial life hacks.

  1. Spend less than you earn, no matter what that amount is. The net result is happiness.
  2. Allocate cash to savings & investments before anything the day you get your profits, pay or dividends.
  3. Never go into debt for anything which does not appreciate in value.
  4. The real definition of an Asset: Anything that puts money in your pocket. The accounting definition of an asset is flawed.
  5. Do not trade stocks. Trading makes the broker and tax man rich and you poor.
  6. The greatest financial instrument is ‘compounding’. It only happens when we hold assets, not by trading them.
  7. If you can’t afford a consumer product in cash, you can’t afford it.
  8. There is no such thing as ‘financial engineering’. It was invented by Wall street to trick you.
  9. The best type of share investment is an Index Fund. They are investments in civilization. If that fails, we have bigger worries than our money.
  10. Invest more in education than entertainment & ‘things’ and you will outdo society financially.

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