Business is a Social Game

If you want to be an effective entrepreneur, I’d say you should have at least 10 good friends who are already successful entrepreneurs. If that sounds like a lot to you, I’d say that something is very wrong with your mindset.

Business Is A Social Game

Few entrepreneurs succeed in isolation. Business is a social game.

I’d estimate that about half of the money I’ve made in business (and in my life overall) actually came from other businesses. The other half would be directly from consumers. That includes our family business. For my coaching business, a lot more of my revenue has come from other businesses.

While I like selling direct to customers, such as by selling tickets to my workshops, I’d need a lot of individual customers to match what one good business deal can do. How many individual customers would do more than $1 million worth of business with my company, even in a lifetime? I’d imagine not many. Yet I’ve done more than $1M of business with a few different business partners over the years, and I’ve done many other deals that have generated revenue in the $100K-$1M range.

Am I saying you can’t go it alone? No. You could do that. But the odds of success as a strict solopreneur who only deals with individuals are stacked against you.

Continue Reading »

Business Tip Of The Day

Business Tip Of the Day

Do you want to revolutionize your work culture and transform your business?

In The Culture Engine, Chris Edmonds suggests that we begin by writing an organizational constitution – a formal document that sets out the core principles of your company or team.

Here’s how it works:

Organizational constitutions lay out specific rights for employees and standards for them to follow. Think of it like the rules of the road, guidelines you use to navigate an ambiguous situation and govern your behavior.

For instance, when arguing with a colleague, it’s easy to go too far and insult them. But if your organizational constitution includes a zero-tolerance policy for rude conduct between co-workers, you would likely choose your words more carefully.

But an organizational constitution should also answer important questions: (more…)

Don’t Waste Your Opportunity

For most of us, our biggest sin is taking things for granted.

Dont Waste Your opportunity

I’m as guilty as anyone else: I wake up and rush into online work or reading, forgetting to appreciate what a miracle this new day is. I’m alive! I’ve been given another amazing day, full of opportunities, and that is truly breath-taking.

I’m human, with a body and a conscious mind … and what an opportunity that is! We take this for granted, but if someone came up to you and said, “Hey, I can give you the power to make 10 people’s lives better every day of your life” and they could prove beyond a doubt they’re telling the truth … would we just pass this opportunity up without thought, and go to our favorite online social network to see what updates we’ve missed? That would be a huge missed opportunity, and that’s exactly what we’re doing each day we pass up the opportunity of being human without thought.

What kind of opportunities does being human bring us?

Continue Reading »

How Do I Market Myself When I am Not An Extrovert?

It does seem that the vast majority of marketing advice is aimed at extroverts. “Go to networking mixers and meet new people,” the gurus and experts say. “Make cold calls.” “Speak in front of groups.” “Call people up and chat with them about what’s new.”

How Do I Market Myself When I am Not An Extrovert?

If you are an introvert, these experts might as well be telling you to fly to the moon. What if you don’t enjoy large gatherings, hate to call strangers on the phone, dislike being the center of attention, and loathe small talk? Can you still do well at marketing?

First, it may help to recognize that being an introvert is not a disorder, nor is it unusual. Introversion is simply a personality type. It’s been estimated that introverts make up 25 to 50 percent of the population. Many of us have both introverted and extroverted qualities, so finding alternatives to extroverted marketing can be helpful even if you are not a true introvert.

Introverts are often defined as those who gain energy when alone, but lose it when interacting with others, while extroverts are exactly the opposite. Introverts tend to be quieter, more deliberate, and enjoy solitary activities or being with just one person instead of a group. The typical introvert prefers deeper conversations to small talk, and often likes to listen more than to speak.

So how can an introvert do well at marketing? Effective marketing does require talking to people, and there’s no getting around that. But the good news is that most introverts do like talking to people, they just don’t like doing it with total strangers or in noisy crowds. Trying to force yourself to participate in activities that make you uncomfortable will usually backfire. Instead, identify your own personal comfort zone and try to work from within it.

For example, a client of mine felt uncomfortable at business networking events but enjoyed attending small, casual get-togethers. She always thought her problem was that she didn’t like being in large groups, so she avoided them completely. But when we looked together at exactly what was making her uncomfortable, it turned out that her real dislike was for the “mixer” atmosphere and not the groups themselves.

My client enjoyed sitting with a few people and speaking with them about what was going on in their lives or businesses. But she didn’t enjoy standing around chatting about the weather or the food. So the next time she attended a networking event, she found a table where several people were sitting and joined their conversation. Just the act of sitting down made her more comfortable, and she connected with several new people who she was able to talk to at length.

In creating your own marketing plan, pay attention to where you fall on the introversion/extroversion continuum when choosing what to do and how to do it. Here are some suggestions for adapting typical marketing activities to a more introverted personality.

Continue Reading »

I love this quote by Bruce Lee :

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.

I think the appeal is the calmness and peace that you are trying to achieve. Have everything in its place, and empty your mind of busy-ness and junk. Then your are ready for anything that comes your way. Sometimes when I don’t feel this way, I look at others around me, and realize that I have come a long way towards Mind Like Water.

Are You Marketing the Right Stuff?

Jan is a graphic designer who was always struggling to find good clients. “I could find plenty of people who needed my services,” she recalls, “but they thought my rates were too high. I either ended up agreeing to work for less, or they found someone else. And then when I did get the job, they took forever to pay me.”

Are You Marketing the Right Stuff?

Like many graphic designers, Jan’s marketing emphasized her business identity work — creating a company’s logo and business cards, letterhead, and other collateral with matching design elements. Her primary audience was new businesses who were just getting started. But then Jan had a brainstorm.

“I realized that the clients I was marketing to were people who didn’t have enough money to pay me,” says Jan. “They were startups with tight budgets. And since they hadn’t been in business long, they didn’t place much value on working with an experienced, high-quality designer. They were just looking for the lowest price.”

Jan turned her marketing upside down. Instead of focusing on logos and business identity, she began to feature annual reports and customer/employee communications as her primary offering. “My business changed almost overnight,” Jan relates. “Clients who need communications pieces like these are established companies, and have substantial budgets. They understand the need for quality work. Plus, they give me repeat business once they see what I can do.”

What Jan discovered was the importance of having the “right stuff” in marketing. The right stuff is the stuff that your ideal clients want to have. It’s also the stuff that allows you to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Continue Reading »