Over 100 billion emails are sent every day. That’s 1.1 million emails sent per second.
Personally, I receive hundreds per day — and frankly, most of them are just bad… and most are too long to read.
This blog is a look at how to send effective emails, get your message across and not waste time.
If you are an entrepreneur, mastering this simple skill can make or break your ability to raise money, land customers, attract partners and win over advisors.
Tip 1: Keep it under three lines
I don’t read emails over three lines. I just don’t. I don’t have time for it.
No email should be over three lines.
If you can’t communicate your message in the first few lines, it shouldn’t be an email – instead, the email should be a request for a phone call or meeting (see below).
Tip 2: Make the subject line a) unique, b) meaningful and c) easily searchable
The subject line is one of the (if not THE) most important parts of the email.
You’d be shocked how little people actually pay attention to it and how many people mess it up.
The subject needs to be unique and compelling — just like a headline on a news article, the subject should capture my attention, pique my interest and make me want to open your email.
The subject line should be meaningful: I should know what you want, based on the subject.
And importantly, it needs to be searchable…
Searching through emails on mobile is bad enough (a big business opportunity for the entrepreneurs out there), so I need to be able to remember unique keywords in your email subject to find it quickly. Otherwise, it’s going to get buried.
Tip 3: Use EASY-TO-READ formatting!
It sounds intuitive, but you’d be shocked by how many emails I get with font size 9. It’s impossible to read on my phone.
“Hard to read,” means “it’s not read.”
Keep your audience in mind, and assume they are going to read the email on their phones, or better yet, their smartwatches.
Keep your font size 12 (or even 14) point … and keep your font style simple, ideally sans serif. I like Arial.
Use bold, underline, and ALL CAPS for the MAIN QUESTION, IMPORTANT DATES, and other KEY DETAILS.
Use line breaks to your advantage. Spacing is key. Give important details their own lines.
Tip 4: Put your specific action request in the first line
A busy exec wants to touch an email once and take action: delete, respond or forward for action.
I want to know what you’re looking for in the first sentence.
Don’t bury the lede. Don’t give me three paragraphs of context – this can come after.
Start with the action/request, and then explain if you need to.
This can be as simple as “FYI:” or “Have time for a 10 min phone call?” or “Can you sign the attached document?”
Then, and this is REALLY IMPORTANT, be specific in your request…
Instead of saying, “Can you meet sometime next week?” say, “Can you meet Wed, Sept 10 in XYZ location between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. PST?”
Or, you can say, “I’m available to meet at these three time windows. My EA is copied. What works?” (Then list the three windows.)
This will save you about five emails back and forth figuring out logistics and a lot of unnecessary clutter to your inbox.
Tip 5: Make the ask really, really simple – such that it’s hard for your reader to say “No”
Have your email make a single, specific, simple request:
- Do you have time for a 5 min call this week?
- Please review and sign this document.
- Can you make a quick intro to XYZ person?
- I’d love a letter of support from you. I’ve attached a draft for your review.
I should be able to reply to the email in one word (ideally Yes or No), or forward it on to the right person to reply in full.
If you ask for lengthy feedback on an idea, or are asking for a big favor, or want to set up a three-hour meeting, you’re going to dramatically decrease the probability that a busy executive responds.
Not to mention, these things shouldn’t really be done over email.
Email is not a replacement for a phone call. Keep emails very short and factual. If they are long, then schedule a call or a meeting.
In general, meeting with someone is best, calls are second best, and an email is the third option if you can’t seem to get either of the first two.
Finally — if something is truly urgent, then don’t email… call or send a text
We’ve gotten so addicted to email that sometimes we assume this is the fastest way to get someone’s attention. It’s really not.
An Opportunity for Something Better?
Email really hasn’t changed much since it came out over 45 years ago.
Platforms like Slack and a few plugins and AI assistants have been useful additions to the professional communication ecosystem, but I still think there’s an opportunity to reinvent email in a big way.
We need to rethink email from first principles. I’d love to hear your ideas.
Have an idea? Tweet at me @peterdiamandis and @efficient.
This is the sort of conversation we explore at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360.
The program is highly selective. If you’d like to be considered, apply here. Share this with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.
P.S. Every week I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to Diamandis.com and sign up for this and Abundance Insider.
P.P.S. My dear friend Dan Sullivan and I have a podcast called Exponential Wisdom. Our conversations focus on the exponential technologies creating abundance, the human-technology collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Head here to listen and subscribe: a360.com/podcast
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Building a meaningful business, and achieving massive success, doesn’t just happen by chance. It happens through showing up every day and hard work. It happens by always striving to be a better version of yourself. For some reason there’s nothing like a good motivational quote to keep things going. Here are 19 entrepreneur quotes to keep you fired up and sharing your message with the world.
1) “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” – Peter Diamandis
2) “Profit is the payoff of successful action.” – Ludwig Von Mises
3) “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi
4) “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
5) “The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins
6) “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
7) “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Tim Ferriss
8) “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda
9) “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
10) “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs
11) “Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” – Tony Robbins
12) “Success is about creating benefit for all and enjoying the process. If you focus on this and adopt this definition, success is yours.” – Kelly Kim
13) “Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.” – John C. Maxwell
14) “Success is…knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” – John C. Maxwell
15) “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi
16) “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn
17) “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford
18) “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
And finally, a quick quote from me…
19) “You have a message to share and it would be a tragedy to make the people of this great planet wait another 20 years (plus or minus a week) to get it.” – Mike Koenigs
Do you have a message that you want to share with the world? Use a book to share it. It can build credibility and give you instant celebrity status. If you want to know more about what a book can do for your business, click the button below to find out if you should be an author.
What other entrepreneur quotes inspire you? Leave it in the comments.
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1. Reserve judgment
This one seems obvious, but it is an essential part of getting people to like you. Dreeke advises you, “Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them… it doesn’t mean you agree with someone.” When you want people to like you, you have to understand that you need to make them feel comfortable and supported. Rather than judging their opinions, hear them out and try to understand their viewpoint. It doesn’t mean you agree, it means you respect them, which will lead to them being more likely to like you.
2. Set aside your ego
You don’t have to correct everyone and you don’t always have to be right. “Ego suspension is putting your own needs, wants, and opinions aside.” However, it isn’t as easy as it seems. You have to make the decision to suspend your ego and follow through. “Consciously ignore your desire to be correct and to correct someone else.” Let them have their opinion and their opportunity. Contradicting someone is going to just break down the bond you are trying to create. “When people hear things that contradict their beliefs, the logical part of their mind shuts down and their brain prepares to fight,” says BUTWT. Making a valiant effort to understand someone will build the bond
3. Use curiosity
Allow your curiosity to help the flow of the conversation. Ask people about their opinions and ideas, about what is happening behind the scenes in their life, and they will begin to appreciate you more. “Research shows just asking people to tell you what they think makes you more likable and gets them to want to help you,” according to BUTWT. Tips on active listening include acknowledgement of what the person you are engaging with has to say, and using snippets of what they said in your conversation as you continue the talk. Don’t sit and wait for your turn to talk if you want people to like you. Take a genuine interest in their life and their story. Hey, you might even learn a few things.
4. Practice your body language
“The number one thing is you’ve gotta smile. You absolutely have to smile. A smile is a great way to engender trust.” Be physically open as you stand. Don’t cross your arms. Be welcoming. When you want someone to like you, you need to position your body in a way that is welcoming and will encourage them to trust you more. “Keep your palms up,” says Dreeke, because it will help them realize you are listening and understanding them without you having to say so.
5. Ask about challenges
Encourage the person you are speaking with to open up to you. “Everyone has challenges,” explains Dreeke. Asking someone about the most challenging part of their week or day is what “gets people to share what their priorities in life are at that point in time.” It will also help you to understand them a little more and show that you care and that you want to be there to support them.
Relatively few entrepreneurs have MBAs, but I’ll bet that almost all of the successful ones have read and truly treasure these seven short, easy-to-read classics:
1. "As a Man Thinketh," by James Allen
What It Teaches: Most people labor under the misconception that their life is the result of fate, luck, or circumstances.
This book explains that your life is what you make of it, and the only way you’ll be successful in life is if you’re first successful in your mind. This is the foundation of a successful career in business. (It’s also one of the top-10 motivational books of all time.)
Best Quote: "A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of the hidden powers and possibilities within himself."
2. "Rich Dad Poor Dad," by Robert T. Kiyosaki
What It Teaches: In addition to the basics of personal finance (without which success is pointless), this book explains why building and owning businesses is the most reliable way to gain wealth. It destroys the absurd notion that a salaried job represents financial security and shows you how to think like an entrepreneur.
Best Quote:"Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited, and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division and from the antagonism between poor and rich means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts."
3. "Who Moved My Cheese?," by Spencer Johnson
What It Teaches: Countless books have been written about disruptive innovation and how every individual and company must adapt to an ever-increasing pace of change. No book, however, has explained the situation (and what to do about it) so succinctly and vividly.
Best Quote: "What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists."
4. "The Elements of Style," by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
What It Teaches: Now that emailing, texting, and social networking are the core of business communication, the ability to write clearly has never been more essential. After reading this book, you’ll be a better writer than you were before and better than your less-informed colleagues.
Best Quote: "Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."
5. "The One Minute Manager," by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
What It Teaches:If there’s a better and more simple definition of what it means to be a good manager, I’ve yet to find it. This book contains more business wisdom (and ways to put it to use) than a dozen libraries full of academic case studies. Every boss or would-be boss should read this book.
Best Quote: "If you can’t tell me what you’d like to be happening, you don’t have a problem yet. You’re just complaining. A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening."
6. "How to Lie With Statistics," by Darrell Huff
What It Teaches: A defining characteristic of every business today is the desire to measure. Metrics, however, are worse than useless unless they’re interpreted appropriately and fairly. This book puts you wise to all the tricks people use to manipulate the truth so that it leaves a false impression. It’s definitely one of the 10 most eye-opening books that every entrepreneur should read.
Best Quote: "The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify. Statistical methods and statistical terms are necessary in reporting the mass data of social and economic trends, business conditions, ‘opinion’ polls, the census. But without writers who use the words with honesty and understanding and readers who know what they mean, the result can only be semantic nonsense."
7. "The Greatest Salesman in the World," by Og Mandino
What It Teaches: If you can’t sell your ideas, your product, or your services, you will never be successful in business. You could read dozens of books about selling, but they all come down to the simple truths in this book, which is definitely one of the top-10 sales books of all time. Warning: This book won’t just make you more successful in business. It will make you more successful at life, as well.
Best Quote: "I will live this day as if it is my last. This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be?"
SOUTH AFRICA’S BIG FIVE:
BOLD PRIORITIES FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH
South Africa has travelled a remarkable road in the two decades since its transition to democracy. Since 2008, however, average annual GDP growth has slowed to just 1.8 percent, while unemployment has stubbornly remained at 25 percent. This report identifies five bold opportunities that can reignite South Africa’s progress. If the country’s government and businesses prioritise them, the “big five” could increase GDP growth by 1.1 percentage points per year, adding one trillion rand ($87 billion) to annual GDP by 2030 and creating 3.4 million new jobs.1 These opportunities include:
- Advanced manufacturing. South Africa can draw on its skilled labour to grow into a globally competitive manufacturing hub focussed on high-value added categories such as automotive, industrial machinery and equipment, and chemicals. To realise this opportunity, however, South African manufacturers will have to pursue new markets and step up innovation and productivity.
- Infrastructure productivity. South Africa is investing heavily in infrastructure, but big gaps remain in electricity, water, and sanitation. By forging a true partnership, the public and private sectors can together drive three strategies to make infrastructure spending up to 40 percent more productive: making maximum use of existing assets and increasing maintenance; prioritising the projects with greatest impact; and strengthening management practices to streamline delivery.
- Natural gas. South Africa’s electricity shortage has constrained growth, and despite new capacity, another shortfall is projected between 2025 and 2030. Natural gas plants—which are fast to build, entail low capital costs, and have a low carbon footprint—can provide an alternative to diversify the power supply. With the necessary regulatory certainty, we estimate that South Africa could install up to 20GW of gas-fired power plants to diversify base-load capacity by 2030. Gas can be provided through imports, local shale gas resources (if proven), or both.
- Service exports. South Africa has highly developed service industries, yet it currently captures only 2 percent of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa’s market for service imports, which is worth nearly half a trillion rand ($38 billion). With the right investments, service businesses could ramp up exports to the region; and government can help by promoting regional trade deals. In construction, the opportunity ranges from design to construction management to maintenance services. In financial services, promising growth areas include wholesale and retail banking and insurance.
- Raw and processed agricultural exports. With consumption rising in markets throughout sub- Saharan Africa and Asia, South Africa could triple its agricultural exports by 2030. This could be a key driver of rural growth, benefiting the nearly one in ten South Africans who depend on subsistence or smallholder farming. Capturing this potential will require a bold national agriculture plan to ramp up production, productivity, and agro-processing.
Successfully delivering on these priorities will move South Africa closer to realising its long-held vision of a “rainbow nation” characterised by shared prosperity for all. But first the country will need to embrace some fundamental changes to become more globally competitive; not least, it will have to address a serious skills shortage through a dramatic expansion of vocational training. Tackling such foundational issues will require business and government to come together in a new partnership characterised by shared vision, collaboration, and trust.
Read the complete report