Thursday, 26 January 2012

What Is the Most Important Business Skill for an Entrepreneur


One of the criteria for climbing the corporate ladder or earning a high income as an employee is to specialize. That's why PhD holders, surgeons, attorneys, CPAs or accountants, etc receive high paychecks monthly. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to the business world. To become a successful entrepreneur, you must be a generalist; that means you must know a little of everything with respect to building a business.
"Skills make you rich, not theories." - Rich Dad
Now what does it take to build a successful business? I have been building businesses and from my experience, I can tell you that building a business require a synergy of skills. Successful entrepreneurs became successful because they invested time and resources to develop their entrepreneurial skills. That's why I advise my protégés wanting to start a business to first get in the right mindset; then work on improving their business skills. Now what are the necessary business skills you need to build a successful business?
Five Important Business Skills you need to become a Successful Entrepreneur
1. Accounting skill
"Accounting is the language of business." - Warren Buffett
2. Leadership skill
"The speed of the leader determines the speed of the gang." - Mary Kay Ash
3. Sales skill
"If you cannot sell, you will be sold."
4. People skill
"People are your company's greatest asset." - Mary Kay Ash
5. Time management skills
"Time is your most important resource. You can do so much in ten minutes. Ten minutes; once gone is gone for good." - Ingvar Kamprad
If you observe the quotes of the entrepreneurs above, you will come to understand that each of the business skill listed is very important to the successful piloting of a business. But of the five skills list above, one is the most important. Without it, nothing can be done with respect to building a business.
Now what is the most important business skill?
The most important business you need and you must constantly work on improving upon is sales skills. Yes; sales skill is the most business skill because without it, your business is dead on arrival.
"The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don't bother thinking about becoming a business owner." - Robert Kiyosaki
Bill Gates became the richest man in the world not because he was a great programmer. The reason he became successful was that he possessed the ability to sell. Creativity did not make Steve Jobs rich; selling did. Successful entrepreneurs don't thrive on great products or ideas only; they thrive on their ability to woo customers, suppliers, employees and investors.
Selling is the most important duty and number one job of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur must first sell his business ideas and plan to investors to raise capital for his business. After that, he must sell his company's culture so as get the best employees and business team. Then he must sell his business prospects to suppliers to gain their trust and strike a deal. Selling the company's product comes next and after that, an entrepreneur must sell and forge strategic alliance with other businesses.
So now you understand why sales skill is the most important skill in business. A business cannot survive without generating sales; sales keep the cash flowing into your business and cash flow is life blood of a business. Another reason why sales skill is important is because it is a synergy of skills. When you improve your sales skill; you are also developing your persuasion skill, negotiation skill and public speaking skill.
The reason I am stressing the important of selling is because I often hear potential entrepreneurs make the following statements:
I hate selling
I hate rejection
I have a degree, why should I take a course on sales
I can hire sales professionals to generate the sales
When I became an entrepreneur, I also had such mindset and it affected me negatively. My inability to sell was the major reason why I failed to succeed in the network marketing industry. But instead of hiding in my shell and blaming the network marketing company, I worked on improving my sales skills and today; I am strong in sales. So if you want to become a successful entrepreneur, if you want to build a business empire; then learn how to sell. Selling is a necessity for success in business.
As a final note, you can download my Master List of Best Startup Business ideas and learn How to Make a Million Dollars Fast in less than a year.
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Sunday, 22 January 2012

When Investing In Yourself Isn't About The Money

By Doreen M Rainey

Invest in yourself.

Most of us have heard this term many times. It means that you have decided to be in the driver's seat of your life and be responsible for improving yourself so that you can achieve whatever goals you have.

Whether you want to move up the corporate ladder, grow your business, get healthier, improve your communication skills or gain more confidence, courage, power or inner strength, you have to be willing to invest in getting the support, information, and tools you need make those objectives a reality.

And investment doesn't necessarily mean money.

It can be an investment of time. Maybe you get up earlier, stay up later, or stop doing other things that take up your time to make room for your self-improvement. You use that time to read, study, listen, meditate, reflect, journal, plan, strategize or implement.

But this article isn't about whether you have the time or money to invest in yourself. This article is about why you don't invest - even when you have both.

This came to the forefront of my mind when I remembered talking with a woman last year who said she really wanted to start a business. Having worked in corporate for almost 20 years, she stated she knew she needed to work with a coach/mentor so that she could shorten her learning curve and get moving faster with the right processes to get clients and generate revenue. However, she just didn't have the money.

We talked periodically over the next several months. Then, earlier this year, she told me she had been GIFTED a $10,000, 12 month business coaching program. Yes - gifted. Free. At no cost. And she was over the top excited.

The program was made up of a small group of new business owners who would receive core strategies and processes to build a six figure business. She happily accepted. What were her results? She attended 4 sessions the first couple of months, dropped off the coach's radar and didn't complete the program.

That's when it hit me. It's not about the money, or the time, that some people don't invest in themselves. It's much deeper than that.

It's fear!

Fear is the reason why you can hand someone exactly what they say they need on a silver platter and they still don't accept it, use it or benefit from it.

Here are 5 sneaky ways fear shows up to rob people of investing in themselves:

They are comfortable in their misery and dissatisfaction. They have been there so long, the idea of doing something proactive to change their situation is just too uncomfortable.
The ego won't allow them to actually accept that they need help from someone else. They worry about what people will think if they actually seek out help - from a coach, mentor, therapist, boss, manager, friend or family.
They are scared to death. If they put themselves in a position to get what they need to move forward - they will actually have to do it. Change. Be different. Take action.
They fear they will get what they want. They will attain success - and that is more scarier than staying where they are. They wonder if they will change, if their friends or family will see them differently. If they'll have to let some people go.
They doubt they are really worth it. They don't value themselves, their gifts, or their talents enough to know that they are worth every minute and every dime they invest in themselves.
Whether you are one that readily invests in yourself, or if you fall under one of those 5 scenarios, continually seeking out ways to learn, grow and expand your knowledge base, circle of influence, and inner strength is what makes this journey of life interesting.

RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients define success for themselves and then get the guts to go after it. Ready for your RADICAL change? Grab your Radical Success Kit. Get unstuck, get moving and get results with your FREE RADICAL Success Starter Kit with: 7 RADICAL Tips, an audio of 5 Characteristics of Successful People Audio and subscription to Get RADICAL ezine.

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Saturday, 14 January 2012

How To Start Your Own Business (It's Not Easy)

By Josh Haynam
What makes a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? Why are they different from you? Or are they?

It can be awfully frustrating to look around and see success everywhere when your own life isn't all you dreamed of, but don't lose hope, here are the top traits that lead to growth of your own business.

1. Constant Positive Attitude

This is the hardest thing on this list to pull off. After all, how many people actually have a positive outlook all the time? However, it's also the most important thing on this list because a positive attitude is contagious. When embarking on any adventure, a positive attitude will rub off on everyone you interact with, including customers. Your clients will appreciate that you did that for them and will be more likely to come back (and give you more money)

2. Scary Persistence

If your friends and family don't worry about how hard you try to make things work out, you are not persistent enough. Starting a business is highly stressful, totally demeaning at times, and the outcome looks bleak most of the time. However, one day it will all come together and your business will work. The founder of Netflix has a cool story to share about this. He had been working on the idea for a few years and things weren't working out. He was broke and his car was broken down so he was walking to the bus stop. On that walk he got a text saying Netflix had almost magically reached 1 million users.

3. Vision With Blinders

You've got to keep your eyes on the prize. It's impressively depressing to look at other successful businesses while your own company is struggling to survive. One look around can put you in such a bad state of mind that you give up. Tunnel vision is a necessary component of success.

4. Devotion

Your going to have to love whatever you start with, because your gonna be doing it for a long time. If you start a business purely to make money, that might work, but what if it takes 3 years for your idea to get off the ground? Then your stuck doing something you hate, and not getting paid for what will feel like forever. If you want true success, and to feel like a success, you've got to do something the you love - otherwise making money will be like pulling teeth.

Hear about success! Get Inspired!

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Want to Start a Business? 5 Thoughts That May Be Holding You Back

By Rachel Zivkovic
Do you really want to start a business but just can't seem to get started?

If so, your lack of action is probably the result of wrong thinking. 'Wrong thinking' is any thought that you have that delays or impairs your ability to take action. Wrong thinking over-complicates a process (the process of starting a business) that does not need to be complicated!

The process of starting a business is a simple one. It involves:

deciding on a business idea
refining your business idea so that you understand the 'who, what, when, where and how' of what you are trying to accomplish
taking constant action
Many aspiring business owners fail to become business owners because they cannot seem to make it past Step 1 (or even worse, fail to make it to Step 1 at all!).

A lot of the time, this comes down to one (or more) of five thoughts that seriously impair your ability to take action. These thoughts are:

I need to 'find my passion' first!

'Finding' passion is a ridiculous concept, as passion (by its very nature) is NEVER hidden. You absolutely know what you are passionate about, and you may be conflicted because none of these passions seems to work as a business idea.

Deciding on a business idea does not need to have anything to do with passion. Rather, it has everything to do with who you are as a person, what you are capable of, what you want to achieve, your financial situation, resources and much more!

You will never find passion by searching for it. Passion is a result of taking action on your goals and seeing the fruits of your efforts.

If you think you need to find your passion before you can start your business, think again! Start your business first, and you will be filled with passion after.

I don't have enough money!

Do you ever stop to think about why you don't have enough money to start a business?

Could it possibly be because you spend your entire day consuming the creativity of the people around you, without offering any creativity in return?

People rarely understand the concept of 'creativity give and take'. Everything you use on a daily basis and every service you pay for whilst you sleep (electricity, phones, internet, and so on) are the result of someone else's creativity; and you are paying for it. Who is paying for your creativity?

Don't allow a lack of money to stop you from starting a business. There are plenty of ways to start a business without a lot of money - it just takes dedication and a little extra creativity! And once you start to provide this creativity to the people around you, the issue of money will (over time) begin to diminish.

I'm too tired to start a business!

Unfortunately, being too tired to make an effort on your business goal is usually the result of not having started your business in the first place.

Being too tired often happens because what you are doing in your daily life is against your natural inclination. You may be in a job you hate, be doing something that is not expanding your mind, or have simply allowed yourself to get into a 'rut'.

People are rarely very tired because they are too busy. They are tired because they are depressed. If you start your business and decide to start pursuing what you really want, then the creative energy that fills your body and your mind will destroy that tired feeling and you will achieve more than you ever thought possible.

So do whatever you have to do to push yourself to get started. Because starting is the only way to rid yourself of constantly feeling tired.

I don't like my business ideas!

If you keep coming up with business ideas and discarding them, it may not be the idea that's might be your approach.

Business ideas are like bright, shiny new objects. They look great at the start, you can't wait to make them yours, and you are sure that if you could just get hold of them - your life would be so much better! However after a while, they lose their appeal. They start to require a bit of work, problems begin to appear and before long, you are looking for a different shiny, new object that will give you that great starting feeling again.

If you have been doing this, stop now. You could spend the rest of your life coming up with great business ideas and discarding them. That will not change your life. Next time you are about to discard a business idea, ask yourself whether the next one is really going to be 'better', or whether you are giving up on the one you have too soon.

I don't know what the next big thing will be!

Waiting to start a business because you think you need a revolutionary idea is as ridiculous as trying to uncover your passion.

The next big thing is what you make it. Determining the future of consumerism is the job of existing business owners (to ensure they can evolve their product or service and survive). As an aspiring business owner, your job is to come up with a business idea that suits you.

The next big thing could be a fantastically packaged cheesecake! It does not matter. Forget trying to come up with 'the next big thing' and just pick something that is right for you. This will give you a much greater chance of success in the future.

So, do any of these thoughts resonate with you? If so, take stock of them and decide once and for all that you will not let them prevent you from taking action any further.

Yes, deciding to make a change in your life is scary. Worrying about failure can be terrifying. But do you know what is even more terrifying? Living a life of unrealized dreams.

Nothing should terrify you more than that!

Rachel Zivkovic works with Business, helping aspiring business owners become business owners.

If you need great business ideas, visit for the Business-Idea-Generator, Personalized Business Ideas, Motivation, Coaching and much more!

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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

10 ways to listen, lead and succeed

By Ann Skidmore of the Entrepreneurs Business Academy

As a corporate coach I have worked with many leaders, but the person who inspired me the most worked in the airport industry and took a “back to the floor” approach.
From time to time he would roll up his sleeves to get stuck in, in every department: washing dishes in the cafes, handling baggage and so on. In finding time to show people that he appreciated them, and to find their concerns, he was saying: “I want to understand what you do – because what you do counts.”
No matter how big or how junior the role, everyone on the team should feel they share a vision and should know that they are valued. A strong leader does more than motivate; he or she drives the team culture, while also encouraging the team to be fully accountable and responsible for achieving their common goal.
A good leader knows they can’t achieve everything on their own. Fabulous teams have a sense of purpose and understand their objectives.
Managing and leading people is highly rewarding when you have the tools to do it well, but most people learn as they go along, and some fall by the wayside, losing confidence in the process. So much about leadership is about managing team dynamics – and power dynamics.
When you have several people in the same room, each representing the interests of their own department – marketing, finance, etc – there will be times when there are clashes and unhelpful behaviour. Instead of the leader, someone else within the team holds the power, and is diverting attention to dampening the energy.
If something happens in a meeting to prevent co-operation, it must also be happening on a daily basis.
An effective leader will listen and help individuals to respect each other and work together as a fully functioning team. The leader (perhaps with the help of a coach) needs to ensure there is a strategy of action put in place so that he or she and the team commit to changing unhelpful behaviour.
We are all leaders in some aspect of our lives – the key is to get help in acquiring the key skills that enable us to lead effectively.
A team becomes successful when the business leader:
1. Has a sense of purpose and encourages a common vision. A team takes its cue from the attitude and behaviour of the person who leads them.
2. Communicates openly and honestly – and is authentic in approach. This is the boss who says: “Good morning, how are you today?” and means it, rather tahn rushing through the office with a curt “Morning” on the way to a meeting.
3. Makes sure body language echoes their intentions. There is no point in saying to a team member: “I can give you all the time you need”, if you signal the opposite message by constantly checking your watch.
4. Clearly defines roles and responsibilities and encourages support and trust within the team.
5. Conducts effective meetings, where everyone can contribute - by taking clear decisions but making time to listen to others’ points of view.
6. Encourages tolerance of others’ differences and constructive resolution of conflict – by encouraging a culture of personal responsibility rather than a culture of blame.
7. Reviews results and working practices, while encouraging a sense of pride in personal achievements. Take time to celebrate scaling the first mountain before climbing the next one.
8. Remains self-aware. Being mindful of the impact he or she has on others and maintaining a flexible approach.
9. Respects and co-operates with others inside and outside the organisation. In a small business, every relationship within the network counts. You are only ever as strong as your weakest link.
10. Leads by example. Where the leader leads, others will follow.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Entrepreneurs Business Academy, 21st January, only a few places left!

Don't leave your success to chance:



Dear business colleague,

Join business guru Nic Rixon at this exclusive EBA event "PLANNING FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS" and plan your own business success and security for 2012.

What else could be more important at the start of the year?

Unpack the clutter of your mind
Unlock and learn new business success strategies
Re-pack your mind with what you need to succeed in 2012
Create a business master plan to guide you through the next testing 12 months
This content rich, action packed day, will provide you with a clearly designed action plan specific to you and your business.

This day is crucial to your success in 2012 - put it off at your peril

The interest in this event has been absolutely immense and based on the response we've had so far, places are now limited.

Look forward to seeing you.

Kind Regards,

Bev James
CEO The Academy Group
Entrepreneurs' Business Academy
Hill House
2 Heron Square
Richmond-upon-Thames TW9 1EP
United Kingdom

Monday, 2 January 2012

James Caan: My favourite Dragons Den entrepreneur

Written by Andrew Walker, BizSkills2000 Ltd.

I don't know how much attention you pay to "Dragons Den" these days. Personally, I've
slightly gone off the main programme and find instead that the follow-up What Happened Next
spin-offs are far more interesting. Sometimes you can pick up a good idea or a useful tip in
amongst the general business chit-chat.

Anyway, I just wanted to talk a little about my favourite Dragon and that's James Caan. He
comes across on TV as calm and thoughtful - "quiet" even, given that entrepreneurs generally
have plenty to say for themselves! And did any of you cricket fans out there hear his interview
with Jonathon Agnew on Radio 4's Test Match Special a few weeks ago? He's a busy, busy
guy with plenty to fill his life but what impresses me about him as a businessman and as a
human being is his ability to show compassion and care about the people he's doing business
with or trying to help through his charitable trust.

James' interview at the cricket was just a few days after the devastating flooding in Pakistan,
the country of his birth, and he was jumping on a plane to fly there straight after the interview
finished. His intention was to go out to some of the villages that had been destroyed; to see
what needed to be done; and to use his own money to help the poor villagers to rebuild their
homes and their lives.

An inspiring and touching story you may be thinking - but why have I posted it on a blog site
dedicated to the spirit of entrepreneurism?

Well the answer to that springs from something I mentioned in an earlier blog on this site, the
piece called “Take A Break: Why doing nothing for a day is good for your business”. In there
I spoke briefly about what happens when you've earnt far more money than you realistically
need so that other "rewards" start to have more value to you than just earning yet more
money. One of these rewards was the opportunity to "buy" time for you and your family by
being able to pay others to do tasks for you. This is a concept that we are all sort of aware of
but the first time that I saw the concept staring straight back at me in black and white so to
speak was in the pages of “How Come That Idiot’s Rich & I’m Not?” and it hit me then how
right the author Robert Shemin was.

Now, getting back to James Caan and his mercy flight to Pakistan, another
entrepreneurs "reward" that Robert Shemin explained and strongly advocated was the
entrepreneurs capability (because of his/her great personal wealth) to "give" to others. And
for grasping and implementing this concept whole-heartedly as a man, and through his
charitable foundation the James Caan Foundation, I believe that James Caan should be
warmly regarded and praised for all his good work.

If reading the biographies of the rich and famous is your thing, then I heartily recommend that
you read James' book “The Real Deal: My Story From Brick Lane to Dragons Den” about the
story of his life. It's my personal favourite out of all the biographies I have read because of
the warmth of James' thoughts and the focus he has always put on people, whether they be
customers, colleagues, friends or family members. So, when you've done your day's work, put
your feet up and "reward" yourself by reading the inspiring personal story of a really nice guy.