Archive for December, 2008

I saw a strange beast on the way to the pool…..

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Either a Zebrass or a Zedonk - lives near the pool in Minden, Nevada

Standing out in the crowd

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Well this subject line could be taken several different ways.

The first meaning is the one similar to you’re standing out in the rain. Well who wants to do that. EXACTLY. Who the heck wants to be standing out in any crowd. Why not avoid the crowd, and follow your own path?

The second meaning is making yourself apparant in a sea of similar people. Really, I’ve always preferred to be a big fish in a little pond than to be a little fish in a big pond. And consider this, I was reading something on the decline of the big recording companies about six months ago. It appears that all a band needs to make bank is to have about 10,000 fans. And they can do that today simply in the age of the internet and social media. We all have extremely unique attributes – things about us that make us vastly different than anyone else on the planet.

Think about what makes you different than anyone else?

Where will that difference be most useful?

For me, it started when I was in high school – I loved science and math but I was very much of a people person. I was not your standard “engineering” type I was told over and over again. My Dad even said in one college interview that he had no idea why I really wanted to go into engineering as I was much better at psychology. The person interviewing me said – well Mr. LaBrosse, in engineering we need people people too. I think your daughter will find a welcome home in this field.

Yeah this many sea lions in one location is impressive, but you'd have to study them long and hard to distinguish one from another.  Make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Yeah this many sea lions in one location is impressive, but you'd have to study them long and hard to distinguish one from another. Make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Being a people person who can swim well in both worlds – extreme engineering, and the extreme people skills required of being a CEO has served me extremely well. Yes I am a bit odd and I don’t quite fit in either camp very well – but it has helped me create some incredible products, business ideas and make a big impact on the world.

I figure there are now over 6 billion people on the planet – I certainly don’t need or want all of them to love me. I’m happy with just helping a million people here and there with my Cheetah Learning courses and free tools. Luckily I’m young as I still have a ways to go to hit the million person mark. I’m getting closer though as about half a million people have downloaded my free tools and I’ve had about 10% of those become my students and stay around to be on my mailing list.

But I didn’t do this overnight. I was reading in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier book that for anyone to achieve a level of mastery, they need to put about 10,000 hours into mastering their craft. I’ve been at this business building schtick for 21 years now. I’ve devoted over 200 hours per month to building my craft as an entrepreneur, business owner, marketer, project manager, accelerated learning specialist. I live, sleep, and eat my business – it isn’t work to me, it is what I love. So spending 50,400 + hours doing that has created one heck of an existence.

Become the big fish in your own little pond – check out my free downloads.

I heard there was a recession and I decided to capitalize on it.

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Changing Times Require Changing Approaches

Changing Times Require Changing Approaches

I’ve been in business since 1987 and have weathered wide fluctuations in both the external economy and my own internal economy. I realized about ten years ago that it really just doesn’t matter what is going on in the external economy – what matters far more is what is going on in my internal economy. I also realized that there was only one person responsible for what was happening with my internal economy – ME.

What I do do – look at the external environment and figure out how to capitalize on it with my internal environment (those things I control)- regardless of the label that is being placed on it at the time. I look at:

1. What are the right goals for me to be pursuing at this time? Running a thriving business requires that I know when to hold them and when to fold them. When the external environment changes, I change.
2. How can I help other people succeed in the current climate? The more I can help other people find success, the more success I find. And what people consider success is different in different times.
3. Are the financial commitments I have made still the right thing for me to be doing? This has far more to do with the lifestyle I want to lead than anything else. Yes, some decisions made a lot of sense at the time they were made – however as the winds of change blow through life, they may not make that much sense anymore.
4. Do my definitions for my own success still make sense for who I am and who I want to be now? As I move through life, what drives a feeling of success changes. It just doesn’t make sense for me to keep pushing to achieve a level of success that just doesn’t suit who I am anymore.
5. Am I using the money in my life in the best way that will generate more money? This requires that I am able to evaluate opportunities quickly for the best return on investment.
6. How can I best leverage my four key sources of capital – social (relationships), knowledge (skills), brand (reputation), and operating (my existing infrastructure)? I actually love tough economic times whether they are external or internal as it makes me much more creative and aggressive. I make the most money by leveraging these four sources of capital when it’s tough for everyone else to get money.
7. Where in my life are things working great? I learned a long time ago that whatever is meant to be happens easily. If something is just too hard for me to do, it means I’m not supposed to be doing it.

I created several free downloads that explain how to implement these concepts. Capitalize on Recession Downloads.

Is “Bliss” possible?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Yes, there is a path to bliss

The road to bliss is paved and on the map

I realize that many people are very scared right now because of the uncertainty of our times. What helps me get back to the steady state condition where “bliss” is actually possible is thinking about all the ways that I can build bliss into my life. Here is my top ten list of how to build an enduring state of bliss. (who wants to be happy just for a few fleeting moments – I prefer to lead a blissful existence.)

1. Completing projects fast to get the value of what is created builds bliss.
2. Picking the right projects to pursue build bliss.
3. Working well with other people on a common goal builds bliss.
4. Helping other people achieve their dreams builds bliss.
5. Doing something meaningful builds bliss.
6. Setting it up so everybody wins builds bliss.
7. Enjoying the company of others who are also fully engaged in their life projects builds bliss.
8. Creating new ways of meeting goals builds bliss.
9. Taking time to appreciate a completed project builds bliss.
10. Knowing that what we set out to achieve, we can achieve, builds bliss.

I have a bunch of free tools that can help you create a more blissful existence too.

Tools to Create an Enduring State of Bliss

Concerned About Keeping or Getting a Job in Today’s Environment?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Develop Your Capabilities of Delivering Unrelenting Rock Solid Value, FAST And You Will Always Soar

Develop Your Capabilities of Delivering Unrelenting Rock Solid Value, FAST And You Will Always Soar

What is the number one way to get or keep your job in today’s environment? I run a company that employs directly and indirectly about 200 people. Like every operation out there today, we have to be incredibly creative and focused on delivering real value to our customers. The people who we can afford to keep employed are the ones who can create real and measurable value TODAY, and EVERYDAY. It is no longer about your future potential, the home run you hit yesterday, your popularity or your abilities at political maneuvering that will keep you employed. Real results that bring in revenue now is what will make you invaluable. Here is how you do this:

1. Go after the projects that will show a very fast and measurable return on investment. If you need to learn an effective project management technique that will help you achieve outstanding results that doesn’t require you to spend hundreds of dollars on difficult to learn software, check out You can be operational and effective with this method in less than two days.

2. Get your job done for the least cost possible. If you have resources that are not cost effective or have lost the value they once produced – cut them before someone tells you to cut them. You will be seen as being proactive with the best interests of the operation in mind. You can get some great deals right now, especially if you know how to use effective negotiation techniques. Take the Cheetah Negotiations course and you will quickly master the skills to get the most of every negotiation where both parties win.

3. Create an environment of possibilities and opportunities. Make sure you know how to evaluate the opportunities that will give your operation the highest return on investment. Check out our Project Portfolio course to see how you can select the projects that will give your operation the highest return on investment.

4. Find new ways to generate revenue for your operation. Even if you are not part of the sales or marketing team, they have projects too. We have a sales and marketing course that teaches you how to use project management skills to generate more business. Now is the time to do cost effective sales and marketing projects, especially when competitors may be slashing marketing budgets. You can capture a lot more market attention if you run your marketing projects creatively. Project Management can help you do this.

5. Learn how to manage risks. No one likes surprises, especially not now. If you can reduce the risks facing your operation, while creating revenue and decreasing costs, they will want to keep you around. To learn how to better manage the risks that could hurt your operation, check out our risk management course.

To help you get or keep your job in today’s environment, use the promotion code everydaypm09 and get a 20% discount off any of the courses Cheetah Learning offers. This offer is valid until Dec. 31, 2009.

Join Us In Reviewing Lessons Learned for 2008 to Create a Better Future

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Lessons Learned - Even on the coldest of days, there is tremendous beauty

Lessons Learned - Even on the coldest of days, there is tremendous beauty

We set up the second Wednesday in December for reviewing lessons learned. While most people focus on goal setting and resolutions at the beginning of the new year, we find it helps us to spend some time before we jump into that mode by focusing on the lessons we learned in the past year. We analyze just how well we did in meeting our biggest goals for the year, and determine what we could and should be doing differently to achieve better results going forward.

With the challenges we are facing worldwide, the inclination to review the past year is more urgent than ever. Reviewing the events of 2008 will help create meaningful change in 2009. Plus, life is a series of projects, and Lessons Learned is a critical step in all projects; it’s where you review what you learned doing your project so you can determine what to do differently – and how – on your next project to achieve better results.

Here are the top three lessons we learned for the year and how you can participate in lessons learned day with us:

1. When You Show Up and Participate, Good Things Happen (Participate in our lessons learned survey). We have a special “thank you” once you fill out the survey.

2. By Helping Others Find Success, You Find Success (Download our Free Lessons Learned Template). You can also take our online Lessons Learned Course and earn 2 PDUs.

3. Just by listening you join the conversation. (Hear our podcast on lessons learned day). In the Podcast, we reference a special thank you with the online course – PM of Holiday Parties.

Cheetah’s Legacy with Preparing People to Pass the PMP Exam

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The interview with Bryne Edwards on the Cheetah Learning legacy with the PMI PMP exam is now available. Some interesting factoids from that interview:

Become a Project Management Professional and Supercharge Your Career

Become a Project Management Professional and Supercharge Your Career

1. Project Management is a skill that everyone does, whether they realize it or not, as projects are a part of everyone’s life. Cheetah Learning helps people learn how to capitalize on this so they can gain significant opportunities by becoming certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

2. When Cheetah Learning started offering the first accelerated program for PMP exam prep in 2001, there were less than 40,000 PMPs. Now there are close to 300,000.

3. Cheetah Learning puts 17 times more people through their accelerated PMP exam prep program than the other 343 PMP exam prep providers on the market. About 42,000 people become PMP certified every year.

4. Cheetah Learning has the highest audited pass rate in the industry because of their course development practice of continually updating the course, printing material every week just in time, and compensating the instructors based on the students who pass the exam. There are a lot of copy cats out there that copy older versions of Cheetah Learnings courses – which is why their pass rates are not as high.

5. Cheetah Learning offers their 4 day accelerated exam prep program around the world. They host over 300 courses per year, world wide, in public venues, and private corporate courses. They also have a version of the course available online.

6. People do find jobs very quickly once becoming certified as Project Management Professionals. We have thousands of testimonials and put a sampling of them on our website, highlight our ongoing stream of success stories in our Thank You Cheetah Learning campaign that appears monthly in the PMI magazine, and include case studies of success in our monthly newsletter.

Click here to Listen to Cheetah’s Legacy with PMI’s PMP Exam Prep Course.

Click here to download a free PMP Exam Smart Start Guide.

If you’re unemployed and need a leg up, here is an offer.

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Yes we can create the life that enables all of us to succeed.

The Project Prosperity course will help you create long term, sustainable success.

To help people get jobs I am offering my 35 hour online Project Prosperity course free to people who find themselves temporarily unemployed, in exchange for providing me with five referrals for people who are still employed who could use project management or negotiation skills training. Click here to participate.

Why is this of value?

1. It could help you get a job. Besides the skills you learn in this course that will help you land on your feet, many people have professional credentials that require them to take continuing education to maintain those credentials. If your credentials lapse, it will make it even more of an uphill job to find suitable employment. My company, Cheetah Learning, is certified to give continuing education credits through IACET. These are accepted by most professional credentialing associations. Being unemployed is a good time to take care of those requirements to maintain professional certifications.

2. I designed the Project Prosperity online course to help people develop skills that will help them develop creative solutions for pursuing their goals (employment or business development) – especially during difficult economic times.

Help Someone You Know Who is Unemployed and Forward them this link –

Listen to the interview about why we are offering the program.

Read Our Press Release – socialcapital

Project Management Institute – Customer Satisfaction Survey

Saturday, December 6th, 2008
The Project Management Institute is the Largest Membership Organization Worldwide for Project Managers

The Project Management Institute is the Largest Membership Organization Worldwide for Project Managers

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading worldwide membership association for project management. They have over 265,000 members in 170 countries. PMI issues the most widely recognized certification for project managers – the Project Management Professional (PMP). Cert Magazine consistently identifies the PMP credential as one of the most sought after credential on the job market. According to the PMI Customer Satisfaction Survey, the most important reason to pursue the PMP is to advance your career. Approximately 300,000 people hold the PMP credential.

My company, Cheetah Learning, has helped close to 30,000 people become PMP certified over the past 8 years and were just recognized by PMI as the Professional Development Provider of the Year in 2008. We were recognized with this award for our accelerated PMP Exam Prep program that helps people leverage their project management skills to pass the PMP exam after four days in our intensive program. We are the largest PMP exam prep company on the market because we have consistently had the highest pass rate for the exam. According to PMI’s survey, there are 344 other companies that offer PMP training, and approximately 42,000 people per year become PMP certified. About half the people pursuing the exam take an exam prep course. This means that 343 other companies are sharing about 18000 customers. Me thinks that a lot of people say they have a PMP exam prep course, but few actually deliver much training.

The top reason people gave was career advancement

The top reason people gave was career advancement

One of the things that makes PMI a fantastic organization to work with, is their commitment to customer satisfaction. They have done phenomenally well with their Project Management credentialing program and they put that money back into the profession to raise the capabilities of project managers throughout the world. We applaud them here today in this blog and are providing a copy of their Customer Satisfaction Survey released last month, November 2008.

Project Management Institute Customer Satisfaction Survey

Tools to Pull Yourself Out of the Hole

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Tools to Pull Yourself Out of The Hole

Tools to Pull Yourself Out of The Hole

If you’re struggling with ways to over come the challenges of these times, it’s good to both fall back to proven techniques that have worked well in the past and to adopt new techniques you’ve never tried before. Over the past 8 years, we have created a wide variety of free tools that have essentially helped us get out of major holes. Yes some holes, were made from our own bad decisions. But other holes were just things we fell into that were hard to avoid. But quite frankly, it just doesn’t matter how you got into the hole when you’re there. What matters, is how to pull yourself out of the hole. If you’re looking for ways to both avoid the holes of life and to pull yourself out of a hole, click here to check out our free downloads.