Saturday, 31 December 2011

Seven Steps to Accomplish Your Extraordinary Goals

By Rick Meekins

The year-end/start of the new year often marks a mile-marker for people in all walks of life. New tax year. New goals. New expectations. New resolutions. I believe that many of us create expectations for ourselves that we have every intention of pursuing, but neglect to think in terms of how to actually accomplish them. One of those has to do with personal or professional improvement. While it might be great to increase revenue or increase productivity, the "how" is often the debilitating factor. I am not suggesting that the goals are logically impossible or impractical, but rather, without evaluating the "whole picture" the goals are idealistic and success unlikely.

You might liken it to the routine of losing weight. Many people who wish to lose weight plan to diet, exercise or both in order to do so. While they have every intention of doing so, most people who want to lose weight will fail - not because they don't try with the best of intentions, but rather, because they go about it wrong: while they are looking for a physical change and instant results, the way people lose weight and keep it off is often by a lifestyle change, which might include diet and exercise, but is more of a psychological change which often begins with answer questions that begin with "why?" starting with "why do you want to lose weight?"

In your business, change doesn't occur any differently. Understanding what you would like to do is only the tip of the iceberg. The business psychology is still subject to the same psychological rules in order for the organizational change to take place. It is not an overnight process. It does require ongoing commitment and dedication in order to see it through.

While many subject-matter experts have written on the subject, I have discovered a path that logically makes sense in order to not just achieve the goals that you have set out for your company, but for the endeavors to be successful. It has a lot to do with "setting the stage" for whatever venture you are planning to launch rather than the instant-gratification method of "throwing some ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks." As a business leader, it makes me think in terms of creating my own Blue Ocean strategy, rather than fighting to get scraps in the more popular target areas. Keep in mind that regardless of the goal - internal or external to the organization, it has to be sold.

Here are the seven steps:

Establish your goal. This, of course is the most obvious. What, exactly, do you want to do? What is the bottom line result? What will the painting look like when it is finished? What is the destination? Without understanding, clearly, what the goal is, it will be impossible to create a path toward it, share it with others or even stay motivated.
Frame it. As the questions:
Does this serve our company beliefs (mission, vision, values)
What new knowledge/understanding are required to accomplish this?
Who can advise me on this?
Why are we doing this? What is its purpose? What is the vision?
What are the criteria for quality?
How will we measure success?
Will it be desirable by our end-users?
Make it appealing. Make something that people will truly hunger for. Your audiences will need to understand it and relate it back to something they already enjoy. Only a small segment of the population will "risk" trying something completely new and untested. You've got to focus on the majority.

Prepare to maintain it. You already know that any time you introduce change, even if something is appealing, consumers will need to be able to "wash it down," so to speak. They need to feel confident that the right choice has been made and the initial appeal needs to be renewed.

Do things well. Make the experience as palatable as possible. Think in terms of needing to repeat the activity or getting other people on board with it. If you do it well the first time, it will be easier to get people on board the second time around and to keep those who have gotten on board to stay on board!

Create your consumer experience. Anticipate needs. Whoever will be involved with bringing the goal to fruition will have an experience with you and your company. Having the customer experience completely "mapped out" touching on creating value at every interaction with your company is invaluable. If your goal is to track your sales teams' activities, you will want to put some time and energy into figuring out how to create value for them at every step of the process, versus threatening to fire them or not pay them if they DON'T follow the process!

Tell people about it. Get people on board. Get them excited about the change or about getting on board.
These seven steps can be applied to marketing, product or service development goal setting or starting a whole new company. These avoid the time and revenue sucking "spaghetti" technique and helps a business leader thinking through the goal. It avoids pulling goals out of thin air or creating baseless goals that some managers and business leaders use just because that is what is always done.

As you begin your journey onto 2012 and beyond, think it terms of going big. Think in terms of being extraordinary.

Rick Meekins is passionate about helping business leaders start, run and grow extraordinary businesses. He focuses on helping leaders clarify their business goals and develop strategies to achieve them. He is a strong believer in alignment between people, purpose, passion and pursuit. He believes that people working in alignment with their individual purposes is the foundation for successful businesses and successful communities.

Mr. Meekins is the Founder & Principal at Aepiphanni: The Business Strategy People, a boutique consulting firm based in Metro Atlanta, Ga. Aepiphanni is a Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to providing leadership and direction in the areas of operations, communications, branding, leadership and marketing. Their work has helped business owners expand their businesses, increase revenues, reduce costs and pursue sustainable futures. For further information, please contact them, directly, at 678-265-3908, email them at, or visit their website at

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How You Can Start Living Your Dream Starting Today?

By Mamiko Ito

If money was not an issue, what would you like to do? It is one of the questions I always like to ask in my coaching sessions. Many people tell me that they want to spend more time with their family, build a school for orphans, travel around the world - all are beautiful dreams. But most dreams are too vague and lack in both timeline and immediate action. This is why people don't really fell excited and get lost in daily life of busyness.

We all have dreams for someday - someday when I have more money and time, someday when my children grow up, someday when I'm more experienced in my job... but when is "someday"? We often use lack of money or time as an excuse for not doing anything. And if you are enduring hard work and stress for 40 years in order to retire rich to enjoy your life, you are missing out the best time in your life. Remember time will never be perfect and the universe will never set up everything for you. But when you say "I'm going to do this no matter what", the universe will provide you all the resources you need to achieve your goal.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.- Japanese proverb

Instead of waiting for "someday", why don't you set smaller dreams every 6-12 months that excite you and pump up your adrenalin? If you want to travel around the world, why don't you start with one month back-packing in Asia? If you want to spend more time with your family, set a more specific goal like going for a camping trip in New Zealand for 2 weeks. If you want to build a school in India, contact non-profit organization that is involved in the same area, find out how much it costs to build a school and raise fund by organizing a charity event, or sign up as a volunteer trip for 3 weeks?

When you break down your dream into smaller chunks, most of them will look more realistic. And it often costs much less than what you think. For example, round the world ticket of from LA, Hong Kong, Bangkok, India, Europe, NY to LA costs only US$2,289. Sailing around the world for a year costs much less than paying a rent for a year. A brand new Porsche Carrera can costs $430,000-440,000 but second hand can costs less than $100,000. Building a school in a third-world country costs as low as $8,500.

If you change location, things can be much more affordable. With $550 a month, you can live in a penthouse apartment in Buenos Aires. A full-course French dinner with candlelight costs only $15 in Bali. How about a beautiful private pool villa in Bali for $135 a night?

Here is the next step. When you picked a dream, decide when you want to make it happen. If you want it in 6 months, divide the price of your dream by 6, if 12 months, divide by 12. For example, if your timeline is 12 months, your round the world ticket costs only $190 a month. A school in Africa costs $708 per month. Does it sound more achievable? Definitely! Once you figure out your dream, timeline and cost of your dream, the "how" will come in much easier.

Difference between rich people and poor people is when they see someone very successful, rich people think of "how" they can do to be like them while poor people think of excuses why they can't be like them. Having smaller but exciting goals make you more excited and productive at work. Once you taste the zest of your dream, I'm sure you'd love to do it again and again.

Put the picture of your dream vacation, mark the calendar, make a dream account and start putting money. Start talking to people about your dream so that you feel more committed to make it happen.

Talk to people who have done what you'd like to. They'll share all the experiences, tricks and tips and you'll be more convinced to make it happen. You can even book a non-refundable ticket to really push you!

When you start feeling what it is like to live your dream, you'll attract more of what you want. Let's stop living for "someday" and start living a dream you've always wanted. Someday will never come if you wait. You have to go out and make it happen. What are you going to do next?

Mamiko established businesses on 2 continents, and with her partner she grew them into half million dollar ventures in less than a year. As the founder and CEO of Abundant Women and Co-Founder and Master Trainer of The Learning Partner - the fastest growing personal development company in Latin America, she is devoted to empowering women to build and grow successful businesses and achieve financial freedom. She has worked with millionaire women in around the world and started the women empowerment movement in Singapore.
Mamiko's high-energy and enchanting style keeps her audience spellbound. Her explicit knowledge and fortitude attracted thousands of people around the world, and she has quickly become an inspiration to a new generation of Asian women.

Mamiko coaches women around the world to help turn their passions and talents into a profitable business. Her simple and proven strategies help many women & men make more money, create a lifestyle that they want, and live a life based on passion and purpose.

Visit to learn more about her.

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Friday, 30 December 2011

"Tycoon" Book by Dragons Den entrepreneur Peter Jones

"This book will inspire you to achieve great success" (Philip Green, retail billionaire )

"The voice of lucrative experience" ( The Financial Times )

"Budding entrepeneurs everywhere have been eagerly awaiting the release of Tycoon, and the book is certainly one they will treasure" (The Herald )

"Tycoon may just be the book that kickstarts the rest of your life" (Sunday Business Post )
Product Description
This is the book that budding entrepreneurs everywhere have been waiting for.

Dragon's Den star Peter Jones will demonstrate how anyone can become successful - you just need guts, determination and ideas.

In Tycoon, Peter offers his personal insight into the qualities and skills he believes every successful entrepreneur possesses. His Ten Golden Rules provide key building blocks for turning your ideas into successful businesses.

He shows how to road test your ideas, create momentum behind a project, inject investors with enthusiasm for your ideas, and how to have the courage to risk failing in order to see your vision become a money-spinning reality.

A hugely inspiring book - it's the ultimate guide to thinking like a millionaire and becoming one.

"Tycoon" by Dragons Den entrepreneur Peter Jones

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Brand Like Elvis, If You Want a Big Brand


A couple of months ago my son said to me "Dad I am taking my son (my grandson Adam who is 10 years old) to see Elvis. I thought he was talking about a movie, or maybe on a road trip like he and I had done years before to visit "Graceland", Elvis home in Memphis. Yes I was and am an Elvis fan.
But no, he was talking about the "Elvis in Concert" show that was at the Radio City Concert Hall in New York. They put together all of the original musicians and singers, put them in a live show and then put Elvis on a screen in the middle of all of the live music. My first reaction was that it's a bit hokey, but he said that it would be the closest he would ever get to see Elvis, and true to form he said that it was an amazing show and you felt that you were really seeing the "King" live on stage.
Now this show is apparently touring all over the world and was started in order to celebrate 20 years after Elvis died back in 1997, and today is a box office success everywhere the show plays. Just as an aside, the great guitarist James Burton and amazing drummer Ronnie Tutt is in the line up, and it's worth seeing the show just to see these two guys play, they are the best in the business.
The reason that I mention this is that we are looking at a singer who is as popular as ever, 25 years after his death and many of the people who are buying his music were not even born when he died. So there is something special going on here that needs looking at, and I decided to look at what makes the Elvis Brand so special and what gives it it's incredible longevity. And what can we learn from Elvis, that we can apply and help our business.
Like all successful programs I did my due diligence and conducted some market research, and would seem that there were three big things that made the girls swoon, and frankly the guys too, when it came to Elvis.
First and foremost it was about the sound,it was totally different from anything else that teenagers had ever heard before. This was a white guy singing his version of black music and doing a heck of a job with it. It made you jump out of your seat and start dancing with whoever was around you at the time. The words didn't matter, it was all about the sound and the beat of the music. He had a southern drawl, and singing voice that was unmistakeable and all of a sudden when he arrived on the music scene, everyone wanted to look and sound like Elvis.
Second he looked different than any other singer, he died his blonde hair black and greased it back and had sideburns that made him look like the truck driver that he was. His signature lip curl, the high collars and puffed sleeves on his shirts, big belt buckles all separated him from the traditional clean cut image of the Pat Boone's of the time
Third was his attitude, he was the original "Rebel Without a Cause, he was going to do it his way, shake his legs, hips, fight you if he had to, and put his head down and look at girls with his come hither eyes.
So there are three very distinct attributes that got Elvis the attention when he first arrived on the music scene and these are the areas that you can use to grow your brand from where it is to a brand leading brand:
1st: Sound like Elvis: Elvis was totally different from anything else on the music marketplace at the time. The radio was full of Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney (yes George's Aunt), Guy Mitchell et all and Elvis was nothing like these. He was UNIQUE, he was totally different to any other singer on the radio.
So that's the question you have to ask yourself, what is your UNIQUENESS that will separate you from the rest of the competition in the marketplace that you compete in? Being average is simply the price of entry. Find out what is it that will have your target audience view you as something totally different in a sea of sameness!
2nd Look like Elvis: Elvis physically looked like no other singer the world had seen before. He wore a slicked back hair do, black and white shoes, velvet shirts, virtually everything he wore was like nothing any other singer would ever have worn.
Not only did his looks separate him from the pack but it made him far
more obvious in the musical marketplace. And for you, it's the design of your product, your packaging, your marketing communications, is it the very best on the market today? Your products goods or services should look great, feel great, smell great, sound great and use as many of the senses as possible to create an on going communication with your target audience. Spend time, effort and money in this area if you want to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
3rd Get the Elvis Attitude: Yes Elvis had an attitude, an edge that made him different. This attitude was pervasive throughout everything that he did, from the songs to the clothes he wore to the way he just looked at people, it was all orchestrated to ensure that Elvis was unlike any other singer product on the market.
Attitude is the component of the product mix that must exist if you want to differentiate your products, goods or services from the competitive set. For instance Apple has it in spades, it's an irreverent, hot, cool, different attitude that every Apple product purchaser get's. Virgin Airlines and it's founder Sir Richard Branson have it. It's that certain something that makes them different. In the case of Virgin, it's about looking at products in the marketplace where the traditional products have a stranglehold and creating a product that beats the system in every way.
So what are you doing to create an attitude in your business that will differentiate you in your marketplace?
Conclusion on the Elvis Brand:
Elvis had all of the components that go towards making a good singer into a BIG BRAND, and it lasted throughout his career, even during the time he was in the army. Despite a downturn during the "Beatles years" he re-built his image and remade himself over and over, resurfacing in the NBC Comeback Special in 1968 and of course then took it to Las Vegas and around the country for years.
Twenty five years after his death, he is still the "King" and the Elvis Brand is as strong as ever and delivering profits to the company that now owns his name and likenesses, CKX, which is owned by Bob Sillerman. Just for the record he paid $114 million for Elvis Presley Enterprises just two years ago, and that might be a steal!
Here's what in my experience a brand is, see if yours matches up to this 6 part brand statement that I created after 30 years of helping grow brands around the world: 
  1. Uniqueness - are you different to everyone else in your category?
  2. Promise - Do you keep your promises to your customers?
  3. Value - Are you delivering Value, above and beyond the industry norm?
  4. Expectation - Is your product what the target audience expects, or is it even better?
  5. Mind - Does your brand have a piece of your customers mind.
"A unique promise of value that causes an expectation in the minds of the consumer"
Jack Sims
Copyright Jack Sims 2011
Jack Sims has literally "been there, done that". He founded one of the top five creative groups in his native England and then he did it all over again in right here at home in the United States. His marketing agency became the #1 ranked in America. Now as an author and consultant Jack speaks for companies and associations who are looking to strengthen their brand and grow their business. Jack's meeting presentations and keynote speeches are high energy and loaded with information that he has proven to work in the real business world. You will laugh at his stories, be excited by his delivery, but most importantly you will walk away with information that will help you go for serious long-term business growth. He was voted as one of the "Best Keynote Speakers" by the meeting planner readers of "Meetings and Conventions Magazine".

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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Investing Money in a Most Valuable Commodity: YOU

By Bernadette Doyle

Imagine this: You receive word that a special event, hosted by a world-renowned expert, is being offered. This grabs your attention because you've been wanting, for a long while, to expand this area of your business. You'll need to pay to fly to the far-away city; pay for lodging, meals, cab, of course, the enrollment fee for the workshop.
In all, you tally that the total cost will come out to about $10,000: a lot of money; a real leap of faith, you think.
Nevertheless, you reserve your spot, buy your plane ticket, and book your hotel. Once you arrive in the booming metropolis that's hosting this grand event, you have about ten bucks in your pocket - not even enough to score a cab ride to your hotel. So, you end up on the bus, shoulder-to-shoulder with other down-trodden individuals, lamenting your choice and knowing that you'll be taking full advantage of the buffet breakfasts at the hotel and the lunches at the training program (because there won't be any money for nice dinners).
You've gotten yourself into a tough spot, right? You've spent what's practically your last dollar on something that may or may not work to boost your business.
But let's consider the rest of the story:
The information that you gather in the three days you spend at the seminar enliven your spirits; you fly back home knowing exactly how you'll tackle your next hurdle; you have a plan for boosting profits; the professional advice you've gotten is unlike anything you could have anticipated. Specifically, you leave knowing exactly how to offer high-end coaching programs. You'd wanted to tackle this for a long time, but hadn't the knowledge or the confidence to do so.
One year after the workshop, following the launch of your new high-end coaching program, you tally your profits from the coaching portion of your business at over $300,000. Suddenly, riding the bus, skipping dinner, and fretting over the "mistake" you'd made seem silly. What's $10,000 compared to $300,000? A drop in the bucket, to say the least.
This specific scenario is only a hypothetical, but I have heard similar stories in real life. Here's what you can learn about investment versus cost:
Firstly, don't think in terms of cost. As long as you can afford to lose the initial investment, and the investment is something that has the potential to boost your business, push the initial dollar amount out of your mind.
Secondly, concentrate on the investment's potential. Sure, the cost might be significant, but what future earning potential will it uncover? Do you anticipate a return on your money, and if you do, how many times over will you cover the initial cost?
Thirdly, and in summary, when you make an investment in YOU, the cash is never's simply redirected. The money might have moved to a different sector of the economy, but it's not gone. You will always be able to identify what the money earned for you: experience, hindsight, and knowledge with which to move forward to the next investment opportunity.
In order to grab and hold onto a millionaire mindset, you must open your mind to investment possibilities. Next time you're faced with a decision to invest, rather than saying "It's too much," consider asking yourself, "What's it worth?"
If the answer outshines the question, then don't hesitate to invest in your most valuable commodity: YOURSELF!
Bernadette Doyle is a marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs become client magnets and attract a steady stream of their ideal clients. She publishes a free, weekly newsletter for trainers, speakers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you'd like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at

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Business Obstacles - Are They All Solvable?

By Bernadette Doyle

What is the difference between someone who is really successful and the place you find yourself in right now? Do you think they had fewer challenges or obstacles? Do you think they had special talents or skills? Do you think they had endless supplies of capital? Or did they simply approach obstacles with a completely different mindset?
Turn your Obstacles into Reasons Why
A good friend of mine by the name of Carrie Wilkerson has a saying that I love. Incidentally she is known as the Barefoot Executive. She says that you have to turn your obstacles into reasons why. So when you look at your business and the challenges that you are facing you have to turn them on their head. Instead of them being the reason that you back off, they need to be the reason why you move forward.
For example: I knew that at one point in my business I did not have the resources I needed to grow my business. That obstacle became the reason why I needed to fix it. I wanted to grow my business so it didn't matter that I didn't have the resources, because I wanted to, I needed to find a solution. As another example: Because I didn't have enough money to hire an assistant or someone to help me in my business. That was exactly why I needed to overcome that obstacle. It may sound crazy, but adjusting your mindset and approach to obstacles is one of the most empowering things that you can do for your business. It takes you from a place of looking at an obstacle in defeat to being determined to find a solution to overcoming it.
Tips to help you believe that all Obstacles are solvable
• Recognize that you are a talented individual that has achieved amazing things in your business so far. Look back on your accomplishments. They can encourage you to keep pressing on towards your goals.
• The mere fact that you are reading up on ways to overcoming obstacles and growing your business means that you are already taking a step in the right direction. It is something to be applauded.
• Listen to that feeling inside that says you want to achieve more. That desire to want to play a bigger game and achieve a greater level of success is what will help drive you and find solutions.
• Don't stop. Don't back down from a challenge or give up at an obstacle. Turn it around and make it your reason why you need to overcome it.
Sometimes many of the reasons people back down from a challenge is because of their personal fears or insecurities. You need to remember that obstacles seldom just go away, and problems don't just solve themselves. All obstacles can be solvable if you keep working towards solving them. But you need to put in the effort. You may not have the solutions in a day or a week, but over time your concerted and dedicated efforts are sure to pay off.
Bernadette Doyle is a marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs become client magnets and attract a steady stream of their ideal clients. If you'd like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at

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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Valuable Business Skills For Entrepreneurs

By Tony Jacowski

Congratulations! You have officially decided to quit the rat race and strike out on your own. Certainly, being your own boss has its perks. However, it also has its disadvantages. The advantages include being able to work at your own pace while experiencing the excitement of having your own business. On the downside, you shoulder all the burdens and responsibilities, including the possibility of being less than successful. As you navigate your way toward your business goals, keep these valuable business skills in mind so as to help you achieve success in the future.
Accounting skills- First and foremost, you are running a business to generate profit. Apart from the personal satisfaction and the opportunity to be of service to others, your business is only successful if it generates a healthy profit for you, after you take the time to pay all of your employees. Thus, you need to have accounting skills to help you keep tabs of the financial aspects of your operation. With such skills, you can at least be on top of the situation and make financial decisions along the way.
Business planning skills- Aside from the above, an entrepreneur must also have business planning skills that will allow him or her to achieve in concrete steps the objectives or targets set for them at the beginning of the business year. This kind of skill requires vision and foresight, as well as the ability to look into the bigger picture. By having these, you can then plan accordingly and allocate resources and manpower needed to ensure the successful achievement of the targets. Of course, setting these goals is also not an easy task that should every be overlooked.
Marketing savvy- Even if you are not a marketing whiz, you will need to have some basic knowledge of marketing strategies and how these can be applied to your specific business. Chances are, you are starting from the bottom, and as such, you need a great marketing campaign to get your message across and introduce your products or services to your target audience/market. Business skills under this category include being able to convince and influence people into buying/patronizing what you have to offer. If no one can find you, they cannot buy your products or make use of your services
Interpersonal skills- As an entrepreneur, you will have to communicate with people from all walks of life. Thus, you need to be able to communicate well and convey a sincere yet authoritative tone when dealing with these people. This will allow you to get what you want and even influence others into a compromise, which should be often for a starting entrepreneur such as yourself. This does not only apply to customers but also to colleagues and employees.
Aveta Solutions - Six Sigma Online ( ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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Entrepreneur Tests - A Tool For Successful Enterprise Ownership

By Stephen R Tiebout

You think you might be an entrepreneur. And you want to take a screening test to find out. Testing is a very valuable tool which supports your focus on your entrepreneurial strengths and weakness. However, this is not the complete picture. Your skills, education, and experience also provide additional tools that will help you, should you decide to start your own business. The initial step in starting ones' own enterprise is to genuinely analyze if you've got the right stuff to pull it off.
The Procedure
As a first step, decide if you are suited for entrepreneurship by taking a career preference test called the Combined Strong/MBTI Entrepreneur Test. The test is self-administered online. People who are self-motivated will find this action appealing irrespective of receiving help in interpreting the results. Taking a self-administered test is evidence in itself that you are a self-starter.
Entrepreneurial Traits
Numerous studies have established the traits of small enterprise operators over time. The studies examine traits and attributes that appear to target characteristics that typically manifest in effective owner-managers. Testing takes into consideration those qualities that appear to differentiate the business owner that starts up an enterprise from the one that works for other people
There are many key attributes of effective entrepreneurs. Although every successful entrepreneur would not necessarily possess all the attributes, it's likely that most of them are embraced by the successful business owner.
In business, the dedicated entrepreneur always has a sophisticated skill-set of abilities that sets him apart from ordinary managers. These one-of-a-kind attributes lead him to accomplish more than the typical business person, and he is therefore able to find a way to do the things that must be done to keep the enterprise afloat.
Can the individual make judgments swiftly and routinely? Can he make rational choices as well as intuitive judgments in accordance with the circumstances at hand? A 'yes' to these questions means the individual possesses the essential entrepreneur attribute of decisiveness which serves him well.
Is the individual trustworthy? Can the individual be friends with others effortlessly? If the reply to these questions is 'yes', then another essential entrepreneurial quality exists for the reason that each business transaction requires genuine interest in potential customers as a prerequisite to persuading them to buy.
How exactly does the individual respond to problems? An individual needs to have the capacity to identify difficulties early on, then to fairly investigate them and discover remedies. In doing so he'll most likely succeed in running a business.
The Business Enterprise Plan
A strategic business plan is the vehicle with which you conduct the research for your market, decide which personnel to involve in the sale of your product, and validate your revenue and expense financial forecasts. It is the means by which you will convince first yourself and then others who can help you that your company has a road map to success.
Candid Talk
Start your enterprise by retaining only those personnel that are absolutely necessary to maintain basic operations. Later, you can recruit additional qualified people when the budget allows. Setting up an enterprise is not always easy and it also doesn't just materialize simply because you slap together a web site page with some products or affiliate links on it.
The formative years of business launch is often hard on loved ones life. The stress of resistance from a significant other is always challenging when balancing against the requirements of establishing an enterprise. There may also be financial hardships till the business gets profitable which often can take months or even years to achieve. You may need to adapt to a reduced standard of living or put family resources in jeopardy.
If you do not take pleasure in your enterprise and the product you are going to offer, failure is a definite unwelcome option. I say this because starting a business takes determination, more determination than perhaps anything else in life. You must have a burning need to succeed and make the business enterprise work regardless of might come along.
You are going to encounter hurdles. Friends and family will advice you it won't work and that you are doomed to failure. But don't let negativity get in your way. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you in your efforts.
Most small enterprise failures are caused by insufficient preparation. It's impossible to get rid of all of the risks associated with starting a small business. However, it is possible to enhance your chances of success with good planning and preparation.
The Enterprise owner is usually first on the scene in the morning and the individual who leaves last. Operating a business can wear you down. Be ready to log extended time on the job to achieve the rewards of entrepreneurship. Some business owners feel burned out by having to handle the many obligation on their own shoulders. Strong commitment to make the business enterprise be successful will assist you to make it through slow-downs, in addition to times of burnout.
You need faith along with a desire to achieve success against all odds. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is so much more than simply waxing euphoric over lots of plans or projecting a sharp business acumen. It's about determination, ego strength and just plain tenacity. You will need self-confidence as well as a burning desire to make it no matter what obstacles present themselves. It's essential to work tirelessly in order to develop an enterprise, and have the stamina to keep working until the business takes on a life of its own. Then, it's essential to continuously nurture and support it.
When you have identified your individual skills and education, concentrate on your enterprise know-how. Focus on specific business information instead of general life experience. Then, judge your decision-making abilities.
After you own your enterprise, you're in charge, and plenty of decisions need to be made according to what you believe. Not every one of these choices must be made immediately, but many will require immediate attention. If your standard response to problems is to give problem resolving duties to another individual, then you will likely have difficulties with operating a business.
Values and Balance
In a sense, a true entrepreneur is living a balanced life because he is living his passion.
Perhaps you've decided it's time for you to make that jump. Prior to doing so, it's a smart idea to determine if your persona and pursuits are similar to current business owners.
What various levels of commitment do we put on our business, financial, family, social and spiritual lives? This is a value decision all entrepreneurially-minded individuals should make. The first step in your assessment is to make an honest appraisal of your personal skills and education.
Reflect on your life experiences. Write down two situations where you solved a problem and the decision you made worked well. Then take note of two situations where the decisions you made didn't work so well. You'll want to record everything you discovered from these scenarios.
The academic community thinks that book learning entrepreneurial skills will help provide individuals an edge to bring out several important capabilities necessary for a start-up business owner to follow through on long-term business commitments.
Others say that you simply can't train a person to possess a great concept, but that interpersonal skills, marketing, advertising and basic management techniques can be cultivated. Some believe that entrepreneurs start life with such skills-set potential. Others say that people are molded by early life experiences as well as interaction with mentors.
The Truth about Business Failure
At one time, all an aspiring entrepreneur needed to make a reputation for himself was investment capital along with a unique concept or invention. Times have changed. Entrepreneurs must have the right stuff to tackle the already bloated corporate environment, and it also requires a greater charismatic voice to drown out the competition.
With that said, the failure rate of start-ups is not as conventional wisdom says it is. We have all heard that the majority of enterprises fail in the first five years. But an in-depth study in 1993 by the New Jersey Institute of Technology suggests those figures are a myth.
They discovered that at most 18% of new organizations fail in the first 8 years of business. 54% make it through more than 8 years with their original proprietors or with a change in ownership, and the 28% remaining voluntarily end operations without loss to lenders.
After completing the Entrepreneur Test, it is likely you will get a far better understanding of how you match up against other entrepreneurs. But testing isn't the whole picture. Your talent, education, and expertise also give you tools that will assist you should you choose to start your own business enterprise.
For many individuals, starting an enterprise is the fulfillment of achieving a lifetime aspiration; but disregarding little details in the formative stages can interfere with the successful implementation of that dream.
Last, but unquestionably not least, effective entrepreneurs need to be ready to work very hard and invest many long months and years building up a reputation. At the end of the day, customers want to conduct business with an owner who is honest and who can be trusted.
Stephen Tiebout is the administrator of Ransdell a testing portal for Career Preference Tests and Personality Preference Tests using The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and The Strong Interest Inventory. He has over 20 years experience helping people make informed career choices. For great information on entrepreneur tests, visit

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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Top 5 Ways To Grow Your Business

By Kelly Lynn Adams 

This posting is for all my entrepreneurs out there!
Last week in my newsletter I posted the top 5 ways (that I have personally used in my own business) to grow my "list" aka database, aka audience that is interested in hearing from you! The email responses were great and everyone loved the tips so I figured I would share with everyone so here goes:
Here are the top 5 ways to grow your list!
1. Offer A FREE Gift - on your website! This can be a free guide, report, video series, plan, or manifesto! When people visit your website you should have an "opt-in" box where they can put their name and email address in order to get your FREE product. Who doesn't like receiving something FREE (make sure this item contains valuable content) and if visitors see that they will get something free if they opt-in to your database they are more likely to do so.
2. Write Articles and/or Comments - Writing articles for any online magazine or even being a guest blogger is a great way to gain tons of exposure to a new audience. If writing is not your thing then simply visiting other people's blogs or online magazines and leaving your comments & website in the space that they provide you is also another excellent way for exposure! I have had many people "find" me on blogs and online magazines that I write for and sign up for my newsletter simply because they liked my content!
3. Strategic Partnership - Aligning yourself with someone who you would like to partner up with to do an event, teleclass or workshop is a sure quick way to build up your list and theirs! This way you are getting exposure to their audience and vice versa! As people register for the event make sure to add those new names to your database! In this case two is always better than one. This is a total win/win situation!
4. Social Media - Simply by being on facebook and twitter will increase your chances of meeting new people. If you start interacting with others on a daily or weekly basis you will naturally and authentically attract people to your site (*note: make sure to post valuable & cool content). As long as you are being yourself or posting things that resonate with you the right people will be attracted to you & your website!
5. Speaking Events - This is one of the BEST ways to gain new prospects for your business. I know some of us have a fear around public speaking but I say "just do it" and get over that fear, the more speaking events you do the better you will become. Practice makes perfect. You can do a raffle or simply pass around a sign-up sheet (to collect everyone's name & contact info) for any future offerings that you will be doing.
Please comment below if you have any other tips that you have used in your business to grow your list~I would love to hear from you!
Kelly Lynn Adams, Empowerment Life Coach
Follow me on Twitter: @kellylynnadams
Follow me on Facebook: kellylynnadams

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Friday, 6 May 2011

Thinking About How to Start Your Own Business? Consider This Advice

By Adam Gleason 

Are you thinking about how to start your own business? Is job security in doubt for you, no matter how long you've been employed in your present job? Does it seem as though there is less work to go around? Look around you, is the atmosphere of your workplace a bit more somber than usual?
Then it's probably time to start your own business now.
Ask people who've owned their own businesses, and they will urge you to stop working for other people. There's nothing quite like the freedom of being self-employed. They will tell you that they cannot even imagine being anything but working for themselves. Not only are they their own boss and get to set their own hours, being self-employed has improved their quality of life, giving them the opportunity to always be there for their family--something that most other people, those who don't own their businesses, can't usually enjoy.
With that said, the first steps on how to start your own business and continuing to enjoy the benefits of being self-employed can be very hard work. Especially when first starting out, you need to accept the fact that there will be many lessons to be learned and many adjustments that will need to be made along the way-both to your business, yourself, and your loved ones.
If you start your business now, you will have many experiences unlike what you've been expecting. You will see that being self-employed is tremendously different from working for someone else and it takes much more than just simple desire to be successful.
When you work for someone else, you usually have a boss of some sort, a specific set of responsibilities and you are accountable to others. Your boss is there to guide every piece of the business, and your role is secondary at best. But when you are self-employed, you are the boss and you are responsible for just about every facet of your business. Many times, especially when first starting out, you will not only be the boss, but you will also be the book-keeper, personnel manager, project manager, clerical staff, supplies or procurement officer, as well as whatever job title you have for the job or service you actually provide.
When you are self-employed, you can't blame any problem on the boss. There is no one to report to other than yourself. Yes, there are clients that you have some level of responsibility and accountability to, but when it comes to whether they are happy or not happy with your services, you are the only one involved in that process. There is no boss to write you up if you do poorly and there is no boss to give you a pat on the back when you do a great job. It's just you being accountable for you.
On the flip side, if you do make a blunder, who will be there to admonish you but yourself? There's no fear of your mistake appearing on your annual evaluation, or of a cut in your salary, or even a demotion. Even better, if your company makes a big sale or achieves a milestone, who but you will take all the glory and the credit? Hey, this is something you will enjoy right away if you start your own business now!
Are you wondering if you have the right personality traits of successful entrepreneurs? Some studies will tell you that it takes a type A personality to be successfully self-employed. Others disagree and say that it just takes certain traits and not one specific type of personality. In actuality, it doesn't necessarily take a type A personality to start your own business or be successfully self-employed. However, it might be a good idea to examine your own personality traits while you think about how to start your own business.
If you are a quick learner, then you'll be perfect to start your own business now. You'll find yourself learning things like finances and marketing. You'll learn how to account for the business' revenue and expenses, and how to project yourself and what your business offers out to the rest of the world. Even if you consider yourself a bit on the shy side, if you believe in yourself and your business goals, you will unconsciously bring yourself out of your shell in order to achieve your dreams.
You are wise to do some research on the topic of how to start your own business, and on the type of business that you are thinking of starting, so that you can be clear on the effort, investment, and hard work that it will entail. There are so many benefits to being self-employed, and the payoff can be quite exhilarating.
Want to learn how to start your own business? Your timing is perfect - because it's never been easier! Kevin Harnel did it - and eventually left his six-figure job for more freedom, quality of life and financial security. Download a FREE copy of Kevin's highly informative ebook, BEST BUSINESSES TO START RIGHT NOW at Take control of your life. Start building your future!

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Friday, 25 March 2011

How to Come Up With a Great Business Idea

By Michael C. Dwyer 

Unless you live under a rock, you know that people (teens included) are becoming rich off businesses. And unless you actually are a rock, you probably want to be one of them. We've all heard horror stories about businesses failing miserably and owners losing their life savings. But most of these failures come down to two major mistakes.
1. Owners giving up on their business because it hasn't performed as well as they thought or because they couldn't handle the stress. 2. Not having a great idea and a fool-proof plan.
While some businesses may go out for reasons that can't be planned for, many others do go out for the reasons mentioned above. That is why having a sound business idea is important.
Ideas aren't always perfect
I'm going to let you in a little secret that will save you a lot of trouble. Don't look for that perfect business idea, because that perfect business idea will never come. Businesses will almost always have flaws and while its good to scrutinize a business idea, be careful not to be over analyze it.
Revolutionary ideas don't work out
This is going to be controversial because a few entrepreneurs have grown rich from revolutionary ideas; Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Jobs, to name a few. However, most revolutionary ideas aren't the ones that make it big. Revolutionary ideas are almost impossible to do well in for several reasons... 
  • Your on your own, in terms of help. If your idea is truly revolutionary nobody will be able to help you.
  • Lots of trial and error in order to figure out what works
  • No demand for what you offer
  • People don't like change, expect high marketing budgets if you want to sell your idea to the public.
The best thing to do is let other people experiment with these ground breaking ideas, while you stick to ideas that have already been perfected.
Piggyback off others success or non success
Great ideas don't only come from people with a great business sense. Yes it is true! Even people with a bad business sense can come up with great ideas. Identifying a business that is managed poorly and either buying it or starting a competing business is a great way to start a business. The key to this though is to out do your competition in every aspect. In order to make this method work you need to out-market, out-promote, out-negotiate and out-perform your competition. Let your business skills go to work, because if you take this route you will need them.
Improve on what is already there
There are a lot of businesses, A LOT! Most of them look-alike and function alike. Starting yet another business like the rest isn't going to make you money. What you should do is ask yourself "Why would anyone want to my (insert business here) instead of the one at the top of Google, down the street, etc." By identifying what you can provide that your competitors don't you've already taken a step many business owners overlook. Being the first in an industry isn't as important as offering the most. This method is, in my opinion, the very best way to start a business. Here are some companies that started this way, perhaps you've heard of them...
Walmart - Beat competitors by having a smaller mark up on goods. Amazon - Beat competitors by offering customers the best possible experience. Google - Finely tuned search engine offered better results than competitors.
Opportunity from inconvenience
Nobody likes inconveniences and in order to avoid them most people are willing to pay. This is the simplest method for starting a business. It requires very little thought, just find something that is an inconvenience. If it is on the internet, write a program or an info product that deals with the issue. If it is inconvenience that doesn't deal with the internet, your best bet is to provide a service and not a product. Since selling products without the internet usually involves brick and mortar stores.
Hey I am a 14 year old entrepreneur and investor who writes personal finance tips for teens and parents. Read my blog on how to invest.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Thoughtful Entrepreneurs - Uncover 7 Ways To Convert Knowledge Into Money

By Beverly K Taylor 

You can convert your expertise into money. How? By making information products containing your expertise. Tell your story about how you triumphed over adversity. Share your passion in the form of information products and a coaching program that shows your niche market a way can be found to improve their situation. You already have a sphere of influence when it comes to your trade or expertise. You already know something that can improve things. Your expertise is worth money. And rightly so! Keep reading to uncover how to use the internet to convert your knowledge into money:
1. Read through online discussion boards and look at the complaints of people. Look for patterns of complaints. Connect with these people empathetically by sharing solutions that actually relieve their pain and suffering. This will attract people to your website and convert them into paying customers and clients.
2. By recognizing the complaints found on discussion boards, you can see what information products to make and sell to your niche market. Make a product for each step of your system or process for solving the individual problems found within your profession. This is another way to bring in supplement revenue together with your amazing coaching program.
3. Promote your information products by developing the amazingly effective marketing technique called article marketing. Even if you think you are not a writer, you really are. You do write emails, correct? You do send birthday cards or other types of greeting cards, right? Well, that makes you a writer. Just write from your heart about ideas to improve your ideal prospect's common complaints that no one else has solved. They will get the message that you really do care about them and are the 'go to' source to solve their problems.
4. Thoroughly do market research and find a niche that already has money to pay you to share your expertise before you start creating information products. It is better to pick something you know or that you are interested in knowing.
5. Build a list and market your expert knowledge to your list. You do this by exchanging an ebook or an audio download in exchange for the prospect's email address. After you get the email address, stay in touch sending them more and more solutions to their problems. This is how you build your relationship and trust with your prospect.
6. Do an email marketing campaign that shares your knowledge and information to improve the lives of your niche.
7. Hire a coach to help you streamline your process of sharing your knowledge globally. It will save you time, money and frustration in the long run.
By the way, do you want to learn more about using articles like this to drive traffic to your website and increase your income online?
If so, I suggest you download this free ebook: "How to Take Your Offline Business Online Fast: Article Writing Fast and Easy". To download this free ebook, click here:

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Taking Control of Your Life - Just Get Started

By K. MacKillop

You know how when you buy a new car you suddenly see other cars just like that everywhere you go? Before you bought it, you never noticed them at all...but now they seem to be all over the place! The same sort of thing happens once you take the first step into entrepreneurship. That is, seeking out the first opportunity and taking steps to pursue it very often expose a multitude of other opportunities as well. All you have to do is take the first step!
Most wealthy, successful entrepreneurs will tell you that they changed direction a number of times from their first startup idea. For some, the final result is just a variation of the original idea, such as a real estate agent jumping into the house flipping industry. One entrepreneur started out with an online car part retail store. A few months after launching, a former metal worker contacted her about partnering to market customized parts. A few months after that, an interested investor financed the launch of a full garage for fabricating specialty parts and customizing street racers!
For others, the change is far more dramatic. Another entrepreneur started out with a dog training business but ended up a regional flooring distributor! The training company was doing just fine, but the income was limited by the number of hours he could train. A client mentioned an open distributorship in the flooring industry and he jumped at the opportunity. Less than one year later, the training facility is run by a staff of employees and the distributorship is rockin' along as well.
Stories like these are very common in the world of entrepreneurship. A recent documentary called Lemonade is about the different paths that laid off ad folks have taken. The guy who made the documentary? He started out launching an advertising industry job board, but when the opportunity to make the documentary came along, he grabbed it and ran. Now, he is focusing his work efforts on creating more documentaries...and loving every minute of it!
The key to really taking control of your work life and financial future is twofold. First, just get started in the right direction. Second, be ready to seize opportunities as they come along. The more hooks you have in the water, the more likely you are to snag a few fish. Don't limit yourself to the ideas you have right now. Entrepreneurship is a learning process. No matter how much schooling or work experience you have, there will be hard lessons and realities that surprise you on your path to success. The trick is to take advantage of every situation and always be looking for the next foothold up the cliff.
Whatever your goals for taking control of your life, just get started. Look for the obvious business ideas, pay attention to what the people around you need. Figure out what you know and what you don't know about entrepreneurship and take steps to fill in the gap. Don't wait for the perfect idea, get going now with a good enough idea! The first one may not make you rich, but it will get you on track to find the right opportunities that will change your life!
About the Author- K. MacKillop, a serial entrepreneur, is co-founder of LaunchX, a company designed to develop and train potential entrepreneurs to succeed. The LaunchX System, delivered through seminar format or at-home study, helps entrepreneurs start a business based on their own idea. It includes step-by-step business startup instructions, key software, business tools, comprehensive entrepreneurial skills training, and more. Visit to learn more about this revolutionary way to become an entrepreneur.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Personal Leadership Development Plan - Your Starting Point To Success

By Sean McLaughlin and Tegan Hadley

If you truly want to become a successful leader, you need to utilize a personal leadership development plan. All of our great leaders, young or old, have one thing in common. They are all great goal setters and have a plan set in place which provides a pathway for them to be able to live their greatest dreams and desires. They know exactly what they want before they set their goals; simply wishing for success is not enough.
You need to be absolutely determined if you truly want to stand up and move towards your goals and dreams. The main difference between leaders and followers lies in the fact that leaders will do the things that followers do not like to do. Leaders have a purpose strong enough to be able to form the habits of doing the things they don't want to do, in order to obtain the results they wish to obtain.
Here are some crucial steps for your personal leadership development plan:
• Be prepared to do what it takes to achieve your dreams. Saying you want a big house, a luxury yacht or a sports car is all a very nice idea, but the point is... are you willing to pay the price to obtain them? Remember, this is the primary difference between the leaders of the world, and the followers.
• Take 100% responsibility for your life. To blame a situation or another person is saying they have control of your life and not you. Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality.
• Act immediately. Stop procrastinating and make the decision to start in your quest to become successful. We don't know how much time we have to achieve our dreams, but we do know that we don't have forever. Successful leaders understand this, and instead of viewing it as a negative platform, they use it as an opportunity to motivate and inspire themselves enough to take the step into leadership.
• Leaders live their lives with purpose. If you have passion about what you are doing is going to make that much easier to achieve your goals and dreams, and you will have fun while doing it.
• Focus is a key aspect of your personal leadership development plan. Every day we are bombarded with phone calls, tasks, messages and everyone trying to take our time away. But in reality, nobody can steal your time away. You are responsible for your time. It is YOU who lets them steal it. If you want to be a leader, you need to learn to manage this inevitable force and work with it, rather than against it. If you make the decision to maintain focus you are investing your time in something that will pay off in the long term.
• Write out a definite plan for Achieving your goals. A goal that isn't written down is merely a wish or a fantasy.
• Here is the hot tip. Go after what you want as energetically and as enthusiastically as you can, for as long as you can. You are not getting any younger.
Where does it all fit in?
Developing an action plan enables you to stand out amongst the crowd. Make the decision today to become an expert in your field. You can be ahead of the game, just through a little research into what the leaders in your field are doing. With that extra little bit of passion, you will soon find yourself the leader of your chosen field. You will be the benchmark, and just by following a few steps of your personal leadership development plan, you will find yourself living in a world where you are everything you have always wanted to be.
Are you desperate to become a successful leader? Are you ready to fight for your greatest dreams and desires? Don't struggle on alone - make the most of the free advice and information on our website,