Motivation, creating iOS and Android Apps, and creating better content

Time for a serious update on articles published on the static part of the site:

(In reverse order by date of publication):

1. “The Motivational Manager’s Toolbox — Motivational Listening.” This is a first article in my new series for managers and small business owners who have employees. It’s called the Motivational Manager’s Toolbox. I describe what Carl Rogers and others call “active listening” as “motivational listening.” I think that many folks don’t understand the value and power of active listening in management until they get the idea that using it is one of the most motivational practices in the manager’s toolbox.

2. “Creating Products — Make iOS and Android Apps With Drag-and-Drops Ease.” How many people want to create apps for iPhone, iPad and Android phones/tablets? Without having to program? Without having to hire a programmer? Perhaps you’d like to make some iOS or web games? Here are two free products that will help you do that with a visual interface and a lot of drag-and-drop components. There’s still plenty of learning you’ll have to do. But there are a lot of free tutorials.

3. “First You Have To Feel Good — A Key To Performance Motivation.” Too many people think that motivation is about the reward you’ll get after you do what they want you to do. And it’s true that reward is part of motivation. But there’s a lot more. Motivation is about feeling. You have to feel up to getting started and you have to feel good enough to get through to the end of the task. Sure, you know that you have to feel physically well enough. But you also have to feel good enough emotionally.

4. “Productivity Top 10 Websites.” Like the title says, my 10 favorite websites/blogs related to productivity and performance.

5. “Create Better Content — Keep It Short.” Here’s a principle I flagrantly violate almost every day. Make your content easy and quick to scan. Don’t do as I do and write 700-1000 word articles. I know better. I just can’t seem to stop.

O.K., I’ll stop now before this post gets too long.

Three new articles for fun and profit

I’ve written and published three articles since I last posted here. Two you’ll find on, and one has been published on

In “Gestures Don’t Have To Be Grand To Be Impressive — Or Profitable,” I talk about the ways in which you can do kind, generous, thoughtful things that deeply touch others. These are actions that are intended to benefit the other person without any strings attached. Yet, despite the fact that you do it without any particular expectation of return — that is, the primary reward is in the action — you almost always get other valuable returns. And if you do it as part of your business practices, you always profit in amazing, unplanned ways.

“Human Performance — The Three Essential Issues Made Easy for Business,” describes the critical factors in the study of human performance. They are actually quite easy to understand and simple to apply. They are necessary to the successful functioning of your organization.

How many confusing presentations you’ve heard on theories of human performance, performance management or human performance technology? Do you really get all the complicated terminology and convoluted details?

Here’s the short, sweet, untangled version of the basic, practical ideas.

The article I sent to “Image-Based Products – Easy and Consistent Profit Makers,” gives an overview of the business opportunities in creating such products.

By image-based products, I mean physical products that are based on photography, graphics and artwork. Such products might include printed tee-shirts, cards, stationery, journals, notebooks, ornaments, mugs — anything you might see on customized printing sites — and more. I’ve recommended specific image-based products to you several times in this blog and in other articles on

I like to recommend them for solo entrepreneurs and micro businesses because they are so easy to get started with and for one person to produce, market and ship. Not to mention that there are so many outlets for selling them both online and off.

Using SWOT Analysis To Improve Planning, Action and Decision-Making

Image by Xhienne, courtesy of Creative Commons
Are you familiar with SWOT analysis? It’s been a while since I’ve heard someone use the term. At one time, it was quite the buzz-word in strategic planning. Of course, “strategic planning” was also a popular term for a while, but not so much right now.

It’s not that strategic planning and analyses aren’t done. It’s just that there are constantly new “meta” concepts that encompass them. Putting aside whatever the new management consultant fad terms and concepts are, SWOT is an acronym for a process of analyzing an undertaking of any sort by looking at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

It’s a very simple and helpful tool.

When I first ran across the term, I used it for my clients in psychotherapy. It was very handy in working out what was going on in relationships. So, I’m going to give you an example of how I used it to help a young woman figure out what she wanted to do about her affair with a married man. Here’s the way she worked it out:

Strengths of the relationship: Kind, loving man. Good companionship. Many shared interests. Emotionally and financially supportive.

Weaknesses: Partner committed to another. Partner’s time, attention and affections are split. Unlikely that partner will leave current family. Unlikely that partner will want children from affair. Affairs are temporary in nature.

Opportunities: Continued affair brings emotional satisfaction. Continued affair prevents loneliness. Continued affair provides financial support beyond current earning ability.

Threats: If caught, partner can lose family. If caught, both reputations can be damaged at work. If caught, both can lose jobs. Even if not caught, there is considerable worry and strain. The temporary nature of affairs is a constant heartache. The longer the financial support, the longer the procrastination in developing better skills and employment. The longer the affair, the longer and deeper the dependency.

How hard is it to see what the decision must be, based on such an analysis. My client called a halt to the affair. She also found a better job elsewhere. Later, she found love with someone who could be committed to her.

SWOT analysis is easy to do and applies to any endeavor in any field. It was designed for business. But, you can see it would work in science, engineering, medical decisions or just about anywhere else you might want to apply it.

Let’s bring SWOT analysis back into vogue. The below image by Xhienne through Creative Commons shows the SWOT analysis in a matrix format. Many people find using that format preferable to the list style I used above:

If you want to learn some more about it, start with the Wikipedia article: