I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Guy Kawasaki, world-famous entrepreneur and author, who I have followed for some time, and admire. Why Guy Kawasaki on Women On The Fence you may ask? Because he has been a huge supporter of businesswomen and mompreneurs for years, and he has insight for us all.
In his new book, Guy discusses a concept that we can adopt in our everyday lives to be more successful… at home, at work, with our partners. That concept is… enchantment. Because the goal of this blog is to always push you off the fence and self improve, here is a concept which you may enjoy.
Guy, you have been described as a “business legend,” having also started your career at Apple (where you met your wife). Please talk to our female readers about how you became an entrepreneur. What was your journey like? Did you know early on, that you were a “risk-taker?”
“Become an entrepreneur” sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it? It didn’t happen that way for me, and it doesn’t happen that way for most people. What’s more realistic, is that people ask themselves questions such as– “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” “Do you think other people would like…?”or “If they can do it, why can’t I?” From these little thoughts, spring world domination.
In my case, I was at Apple. I’d been contemplating starting a software company, when a team from France asked me to help publish a product called 4th Dimension. I asked the question, “Could I compete with Ashton-Tate?” It was all about the desire to be the best at my game, and aiming high.
What are some of the traits it takes to become successful today, do you think? You have been a big advocate of women and mompreneurs—what’s your advice for us on making it in the 21st century? And what advice would you give to a woman thinking of starting her own business?
My advice is that you seek to enchant people, and not merely know or engage them. This requires a foundation of likability and trustworthiness. Likability starts with a good smile, dressing at the same level as the people you’re hanging with, and a firm, reassuring handshake.
Trustworthiness is the next level–you can like someone but not trust them. People who are trustworthy assume the best about people. They think that they are good until proven bad. If you want people to trust you, you have to trust them first.
Trustworthy people are also bakers, not eaters. Eaters see a pie and think, “How do I get a bigger slice?” Bakers see a pie and think, “How can I make a bigger pie or make more pieces?”
To answer the last part of your question, my three key pieces of advice are: first, make a product or service that you yourself would like to use. Don’t worry about what the experts say. Second, create an actual prototype of your product, service, store, restaurant, whatever it is. The first step is not to write a business plan or create a Powerpoint presentation– it’s to actually create the prototype first. Third, focus on cash flow. Cash flow is everything–not positioning, branding, or partnering. As long as cash is flowing, you’re in the game, and as long as you’re in the game, you still have a chance to succeed.
I just read your new book, Enchantment. What a brilliant read. How can female entrepreneurs and ALL women use enchantment in their lives to live a meaningful purpose?
The concept of enchantment is to push way past “engagement” all the way to “delight.” At this point, you are no longer “closing a sale.” Instead, think of building an emotional, long-term, mutually-beneficial, and delightful relationship with people. Apple doesn’t sell you a computer. Virgin America doesn’t sell you a seat. Zappos doesn’t sell you shoes. Do you see where I’m going?
They use likability, trustworthiness, and great products to change people’s hearts, minds, and actions. That’s the meaning of meaning. When you have enchanted people, you can also change their hearts, minds, and actions–this is why you must use enchantment responsibly. And when you can change people like this, you can achieve dramatic and meaningful purposes.
I also advise men to embrace this attitude when it comes to enchanting their wives. That is, when your wife asks you to do something, drop everything else and do what she asks. I know of no better way to enchant a wife than this!
How can women use enchantment specifically in the workplace to reach greater success?
In the workplace, enchantment works in two directions: up and down. The best way to enchant up–your boss–is to drop everything when she asks you to do something and fulfill her request ASAP. This may sound painful and sub-optimal, but let’s be realistic: this is what it takes.
To enchant down–the people who work for you is provide what I call a MAP. M stands for mastery. That is, teaching people to master new skills by working for you. A stands for autonomous. This means you don’t micro-manage your employees. P stands for purpose. This relates to why your organization exists: it has a higher purpose than making a buck. It has, like you just mentioned, a meaningful purpose.
Guy, why do you think “Enchantment” is such an important word today, and why do you think people should learn how to enchant?
Enchantment can change expectations of relationships. It means that there is a better and deeper way to connect with others. The advantage of enchanting people is that it’s an easier way to live, because you aren’t cranky all time, suspicious of others, and always on the defensive.
Enchantment doesn’t work with just people. For example, I’ve been enchanted four times in my life: when I met my wife, when I became a Christian, when I first saw a Macintosh, and when I first tried hockey. In each case, the clouds parted, angels sang, and my heart, mind, and actions were changed.
In a similar way, “enchantment” can change how people relate to each other and how companies can relate to its customers. For the businesswomen reading this, enchantment will take your relationships way beyond sell, market, promote, serve, and engage… all the way to enchanting them. This is how you will grab your audience and keep them loyal.
I enjoy your site, Alltop.com. Is there a next idea brewing? What’s next for Guy Kawasaki?
Let me put this in terms women would understand. Seven days ago I shipped a new book. Asking me what’s next is like asking a woman who gave birth seven days ago when she’s going to get pregnant again. I’m not even thinking about another baby. I just want this baby to take its bottle, sleep all night, and grow up in a healthy way. 🙂
Biography Guy Kawasaki:
Guy Kawasaki is the author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki is the author of nine other books including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
Take the ENCHANTMENT QUIZ– are YOU enchanting? Click here!
And tell us your thoughts on the concept of “Enchantment.” Do you agree it’s a concept we should embrace in our everyday lives, in the workplace and at home? We’d love to know…