1. Passion It’s commonly assumed that successful entrepreneurs are driven by money. But most will tell you they are fueled by a passion for their product or service, by the opportunity to solve a problem and make life easier, better, cheaper. Read: 5 Ways You Can Find Your Passion in Life
Why You Should Brand Yourself:
Personal branding is about honing your skills, narrowing your focus, and clearly understanding what you’re passionate about. Branding is not just about you being better than your competition. It’s about getting your prospects to choose you as the only solution to their problem. Of course, you can only do that if you have an edge that nobody else has. An edge that is unique enough to be irresistible to others.Your personal brand affects other people’s decisions about your intelligence, character and ability and determines whether the other person wants to do business with you. The way you act and present yourself has a remarkable impact on the people you meet professionally and socially. This will have a great effect on how others treat you. If your personal brand is not professional and cohesive, attractive, and attracting, you will be passed over; that is a guarantee. In order to stay in the game, to have a great influence on others, to attract more business and be more successful, it is essential that you develop a well-thought-out personal brand. Before you sell anything — your product, company or service — you must sell yourself first. This will allow you to shift the balance of power in your favor. When you brand yourself correctly, you are seen as more desirable and in demand.
Benefits of creating a strong personal brand
Stand out – One of the greatest benefits of your having a strong brand is that it creates a sense of individuality and “separateness” in the marketplace. In that case, your clients are able to easily differentiate your company from your competitors.
Make yourself known – The goal of personal branding is to be known for who you are as a person and what you stand for. Your brand is a reflection of who you are, your opinions, values, and beliefs. Those are visibly expressed by what you say and do as well as your approach to expressing yourself.
Control the process – The branding process allows you to take control of your identity and influence the perception that others will have about you and the services you offer.
Attract clients – A strong personal brand will enable you to attract clients and opportunities. You will position yourself in the mind of your marketplace as the service provider of choice, which will enable you to dominate your market and command higher fees – work less and make more!
Establish yourself as an expert and become a celebrity in your area of specialty – Gain name recognition in your area of expertise where it counts the most – in your customer’s mind. Make a lasting impression and be greatly rewarded for your individuality. Trust, respect, and admiration will follow when your name and message are embossed repeatedly on the consciousness of your target market. The more visible you are to your target audience, the more likely you will be perceived as an expert . Your brand will propel you to the top in your marketplace.
Steps for branding yourself
Examine the competition – One of the keys to creating a successful brand image is to separate yourself from your competition. You will need to know how consumers view your competition. You need to recognize how your competitors differentiate themselves from their competition. Also, you need to understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Your business will benefit from possessing this information because you will learn from their weaknesses and learn how to differentiate your company from the competition.
Identify your strengths – Now that you are aware of your competition’s weaknesses, you can begin to focus on your company’s strengths. Perform a target market analysis, learn from it, and use it to your advantage. This is a useful tool to enable you to confirm that your company’s strengths are, in fact, important to your target market. Once you’ve identified your strengths and which strengths are important to your customers, you can discover ways to successfully market those to the public and integrate them into your branding campaign.
Know your customer – Learn more about the customer. Know their purchasing habits. How often do they buy? Do they buy only during sales or promotions? Do they buy an array of products or services or just a select few? These are questions you should ask in order to market more effectively to your customers. Also, know your customers’ lifestyles, needs, mindsets, and attitudes. Knowing and working with these personality traits are also key to your marketing success.
Be your brand – Make sure that your company truly represents how your brand identifies with you. For example, if one of the traits your brand identifies your company with is politeness, be polite. This means that every one of your employees, from the receptionist all the way up to the CEO, needs to live your brand.
Develop a likable personality – One important part of branding is the image that you yourself portray. Developing a likeable personal brand is critical to success. If you want to rise to the top of your particular arena, you need to first be able to sell yourself to your potential customers. Think about it. Would you rather do business with a person who smiles and comes across as friendly or with one who snarls and ignores you? The first impression a potential customer receives is from you. Make it a good one.
Become a great communicator – Research shows that communication skills are the top determinant for upward social and professional mobility.
Become active on social networking websites – By joining social networking websites, especially those that are popular and have a large number of members, you should be able to generate interest in your business, including the products or services that you sell. The interest that you generate mau turn into sales, which will make your social networking experience more than worth it.
For a minute, think of yourself as a company with one employee — you. How much time, money, and energy have you spent on developing a “personal brand” that is unique enough to sell to your market? An individual who has a well-defined personal brand has more status and a tremendous advantage over the competition in the market place. With a great personal brand, you are already half sold and thus, far above the competition. Your personal brand is one of your greatest business assets. Put as much time and effort into it as you do into branding your product. In the end, if you can’t sell yourself, you’ll find it nearly impossible to sell your product.
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Surround yourself with the best of the best and you’ll produce the results of the best of the best.” Jim Bunch
Profound isn’t it? Let me explain to you what I mean by surrounding yourself with the right people. Do you know that in 5, 10 and 20 years your are going to be the results of the five most important things that you are doing right now… and those 5 things are:
- What you read
- What you listen to
- What you see or watch
- Seminars or workshops you attend
- Who you spend your time with (in other words your associations)
Do you have any idea which one is the most critical and important one?
I want you to focus your attention on number five. Why? Associations are like elevators…Some will take you up and some will take you down.
Elevators that take you down are those people that complain, blame, judge, gossip and they normally have a disease called “excusitis”. Do you know people like this? Maybe you go to your family, your spouse or your closest friend with a great idea and they tell you all the reasons why you can’t do it. Maybe you take a lunch break with a few co-workers and they start gossiping about other coworkers or perhaps about their spouses and their bosses. All the bad stuff.
Do you want to surround with this type of people? Or would you prefer to surround yourself with a high-class person of what I call the 3E’s?People, who empower, encourage and expand. These people elevate your thinking, ideas, vision, dreams and support you all the way up to the pinnacle of your most fascinating goals and aspirations. You tell me… I already made my decision and you probably know my answer.
“Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events and small minds talk about people.” Unknown
- If you want to be more successful you have to start hanging out with more successful people.
- If you want to be in the greatest shape of your life you have start hanging out with people who are in a better shape than you.
- If you are an employee and you want to become an entrepreneur you have start hanging out with other entrepreneurs and so on and so on.
Let’s do an exercise. Make a list of all the people that you spend the most time with on a regular basis. For example friends, spouse, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc…
When you have completed your list, go back and put the letter (T) next to those people who are toxic and negative and put the letter (N) to those people who nourished and encouraged you to be great. This is a very powerful exercise from the book “The Power of Focus” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Les Hewitt.
Make a conscious decision to hang out with people who you personally strive to become.
When it comes to relationships you have the authority to pick for yourself who is going to be in your inner circle of friends.
Remember I am not saying that you should run away from all your friends and your loved ones (family). I am not saying that you shouldn’t listen to a friend who is having a hardship financially or maybe going through a though an emotional roller coaster in a relationship with their spouse. Those are situations for us to give them hope and encouragement. Opportunities to be the light on the dark.
Key question to ask yourself… Are there people in your life who constantly are acting as a radio station spreading bad news, blaming other for their circumstances, complaining about the bad economy that we are in and disempowering you from your dreams? Are certain relationships dragging you down? If so, then is time to run as fast as you can and as far as you can from these people (unless they are family). It’s the time to make fresh new friends.
There are plenty of places to find the right people. Attend workshops, seminars, lectures, retreats and symposiums by those have already achieved the success you want to achieve. Volunteer to serve with other leaders in your community, church or at your favorite charity. Join a professional group or association. Attend professional conferences. Join a country club. Flight first-class or business class whenever you can because of the people you will meet.
Remember, make a priority to build a relationship and support group with those who will push you closer to your dreams and goals. Ask them to share their success strategies with you and make sure to emulate what you think is the best for you.
by Anastacio Martinez
LETS TAKE A RIDE INTO THE WORLD OF BUSINESS AND INVESTING
This authors will guide you through the process that would emerge you an outstanding success in Business and your finances.
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You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you. You are more than what you have done.
The wealthiest spot on this planet is not the oil fields of Kuwait, Iraq or Saudi Arabia. Neither is it the gold and diamond mines of South Africa, the uranium mines of the Soviet Union, or the silver mines of Africa. Though it may surprise you, the richest deposits on our planet lie just a few blocks from your house. They rest in your local cemetery or graveyard. Buried beneath the soil within the walls of those sacred grounds are dreams that never came to pass, songs that were never sung, books that were never written, paintings that never filled a canvas, ideas that were never shared, visions that never became reality, inventions that were never designed, plans that never went beyond the drawing board of the mind, and purposes that were never fulfilled. Our graveyards are filled with potential that remained potential. What a tragedy! As I walk the streets of our cities, my heart frequently weeps as I encounter and observe the wasted, broken, disoriented lives of individuals who, years before, were talented, intelligent, aspiring high-school classmates. During their youth they had dreams, desires, plans and aspirations. Today they are lost in a maze of substance abuse, alcoholism, purposelessness and poorly chosen friends. Their lives are aimless, their decisions haphazard. This enormous tragedy saddens me. What could have been has become what should have been. The wealth of dreams has been dashed into the poverty of discouragement. Only a minute percentage of the Six billion people on this planet will experience a significant portion of their true potential.
Are you a candidate for contributing to the wealth of the cemetery?
Ask yourself the following questions.
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- How much potential do I have?
- What am I capable of doing?
- By what criteria should I measure my ability?
- Who sets the standards?
- By what process can I maximize my ability? What are my limitations?
Within the answers to these questions lies the key to a fulfilled, effective life.
One of the greatest tragedies in life is to watch potential die untapped. Many potentially great men and women never realize their potential because they do not understand the nature and concept of the potential principle.
DOWNLOAD TWO POWERFUL E-BOOKS ON MAXIMIZING YOUR POTENTIALS.
(Be all you can be) By Eric Garner
Great book, this would spark up a revolution in your mind.
Succeeding in Your Own Business
What does it take to start and succeed in business? Although there is no one answer that fits all businesses, there are a number of practices followed by successful business owners. No matter what you sell, you’ll be ahead of the game if you live by these ten essential rules for succeeding in your own business.
Be true to yourself.
No matter how much money someone else makes, if you don’t enjoy the business, wouldn’t be proud to show your relatives what you are doing and how you are doing it, then don’t do it. If you run a business you don’t like or don’t believe in, even if you have temporary success, it will come back to haunt you one way or another.
Find a need and fill it.
Yes, you’ve heard that a million times. But it still works. The easiest business to run is one that produces products or services that people already know they need. The reason: you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money convincing prospects they need what you sell. You can focus on why you are the best source to satisfy their need. Just be sure the “need” is one people will spend money to satisfy.
Choose products or services that you can sell for a lot more than it costs you to make or buy them.
If the difference between your cost and selling prices is too low, you will have difficulty growing the business. When profit margins are too low, you won’t have enough money to hire employees, pay for rent (when you need to move the business out of the house), advertise more, and do other things needed to expand.
Make realistic estimates of your expenses… then double them.
Most new businesses either forget about marketing, fulfillment, overhead costs, income taxes and self-employment or greatly underestimate them.
Be true to your customers and prospects.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Don’t lie or exaggerate the benefits of what you sell and always deliver a quality product or service. Word-of-mouth marketing has always been one of the primary ways small businesses find customers. The Internet and social networking sites spread the word (good or bad) to even more potential customers.
Understand the importance of marketing and learn how to do it effectively.
The world won’t beat a path to your door just because you build a better mousetrap or write a great ebook about how to grow tomatoes or teach a child to read. To get customers you will have to market your products or services effectively and continually.
Treat your vendors, manufacturers and service providers with respect and let them know you appreciate them.
They are an important part of your team and your success. If you speak down to them, pester them with questions you could answer yourself, imply that they don’t’ do a good job, nickel and dime them to death, or are an ongoing pain in the neck, they’ll never go out of their way to help you — and might drop you all together. No business needs picky, annoying, time-consuming customers.
Embrace the web.
No matter what you sell or to whom, your customers will turn to the web to research and/or buy. They may turn to online yellow pages to find a florist in Florence, SC; use voice recognition on their smart phone to find a nearby restaurant, or use their computer to go to Google, MSN or Yahoo to search for a phrase like “Elder law attorney Farmington Hills MI”, or “plumber weekends Astoria NY.” If customers can’t find you in their queries, they are likely to give their business to one of your competitors.
Be Diligent and Competent.
Yes, people do make money in their sleep or while they’re away on vacation — the Internet makes that possible. But only after they’ve invested a lot of time, effort, and money in building the business and building the team that keeps it going and growing.
Remind yourself that one is the loneliest number in business.
One product, one service, one main client, and all your records stored on one computer hard drive without regular off-site backups is a recipe for failure. If you only have one product or service you’re missing out on the chance to profit by selling more things to people who already know and trust you. If you have only one main client, you’re up the proverbial creek if they decide to change vendors or run into cash flow problems. And if all your records are on your computer and you don’t have always up-to-date backups of your important files, a hard drive crash could destroy your business.
By Janet Attard.
On Mistakes, Failure and Success
Mistakes, and failures are remarkable learning mechanisms, especially when it comes to business. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that they didn’t get to where they are now without hitting a few bumps in the road.
HEAR SOME WORDS FROM GREAT MINDS.
1.“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas Edison
2.“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill
3.“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”
– Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO Dropbox
4.“Fail often so you can succeed sooner.”
– Tom Kelley, founder Ideo
5.“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect”
– Adam Osborne
6.”Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently… A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
-Henry Ford, founder Ford Motor Company
- “Ive learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.”
– Jack Welch, chairman and CEO General Electric
8.”Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.”
– William Rosenberg, founder Dunkin’ Donuts
9.“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”
– Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce
- “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
– Dale Carnegie
- “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow”
– Ingvar Kamprad, founder Ikea
- “Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”
– John F. Kennedy
- “When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.”
-Robert Kiyosaki, founder Cashflow Technologies Inc.
- “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”
- “If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.”
– Brian Tracy, CEO Brian Tracy International
- “Success is not in what you have, but who you are.”
-Bo Bennett, founder eBookit.com
- Failure is not about insecurity, it’s about lack of execution.”
– Jeffery Gitomer, business trainer
Your choices today decide your tomorrow. You make tomorrow today. For every choice you make today, tomorrow will tell the consequences of those choices.
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; – Deut 30:19
God has a great future for every person He created, that includes you. God says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
No one is supposed to be exempted from God’s glorious plan. But through our choices we knock off ourselves from His plan for mankind.
Your choices dictate the steps you take: steps to a glorious or destructive future. You make tomorrow today. Many people for few moments of pleasure, gratification, fame, power, recognition, etc, have destroyed their tomorrow today. For every act, consider the consequences of choices.
Esau sold out his birthright just to satisfy his hunger momentarily, Gen 25:29-34. He could have waited few more minutes to prepare his own meal. Besides, missing one meal wouldn’t have killed him as he said. Consequently, when he sought his birthright back, even with tears, he couldn’t get it back. Gen 27:34-38. It was too late!
Also Samson for fleshly pleasure of unlawful sex, (fornication) had his eyes plucked out, his glorious destiny crushed to a level of a prison house grinder. He became a laughing stock and eventually, his life was cut short because of few minutes of pleasure, Judges 16.
It is better to deny yourself some things even if people mock you and preserve your tomorrow today. Your destiny is dependent on nobody but YOU and God. Therefore, you should not allow people to dissuade you from making right choices. Choose to endure the mockery today and enjoy the honour and blessings tomorrow.
Joseph had a glorious destiny mapped out for him by God. Though, he had many opportunities to make the wrong choices, he chose not to until he secured his throne as the number 2 powerful man in Egypt. For instance, if he had agreed to sleep with his master’s wife, he would never have seen his dream come through.
Quotes from some Successful Entrepreneurs.
1.“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, executive, head coach, player NFL
2. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
– Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc.
3.“If you’re passionate about something and you work hard, then I think you will be successful.”
– Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman eBay
4.“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”
– Jack Dorsey, founder Twitter
5. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”
– Guy Kawasaki, co-founder Alltop
6.“I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.”
– Bill Gates, co-founder Microsoft
7. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”
– Caterina Fake, co-founder Flickr
8.“It is always the start that requires the greatest effort.”
– James Cash Penney, founder and CEO J.C. Penny
9.“If hard work is the key to success, most people would rather pick the lock.”
– Claude McDonald
10. “Have the end in mind and every day make sure your working towards it.”
-Ryan Allis, co-founder and CEO iContact
11. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer not a dreamer.”
-Nolan Bushnell, founder Atari and Chuck-E-Cheese’s