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Three Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make At The Outset

Many entrepreneurs make three crucial mistakes at the outset. They do not pay sufficient attention to customers’ preferences; they ignore their competition because their product thrill them, and third, they neglect to follow their business strategy. Indeed, some have no strategy. Typically, they make these three errors because they succumb to the pressure to make a quick return on borrowed funds.

In the January 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review (HBR) Roger Martin identifies rules to prevent common mistakes when developing a strategy. He states in this article, The Big Lie of Strategic Planning, that the first rule is “keep the strategy statement simple.” Instead of a long, often vague document, the company or entrepreneur’s strategy should summarize the chosen target customers and the value proposition in one page.

Crafting the strategy needs time and thought, so the owner must be patient and learn to filter the many unsolicited voices telling her how she can make money quickly. I cannot state enough how crucial it is to develop a simple strategy for the startup. This simple strategy will be the guide to carrying out the owner’s mission or purpose for doing business.

Harvard professor and author Michael Porter, says strategy must be unique. He goes on to mention that strategy:

  • by consensus is bad strategy
  • is not compromise; it’s clarity
  • is about choices
  • needs a set of uniqueness to help to differentiate you from the competition

Porter then adds that less than 25% of companies have a clear strategy.

Strategy doesn’t have to be embedded in many pages, it can and should be plain and simple.

In his 1985 book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the late management guru Peter Drucker (1909-2005) said entrepreneurs create something new, something different and have unique characteristics. He said McDonald’s exemplified entrepreneurship; “they didn’t invent anything any decent American restaurant hadn’t produced hamburgers for years.” Drucker continued, McDonald’s asked:

What is value to the customer?” Then they standardized the product, designed processes, and tools, drastically upgraded yields, and created a new market and a new customer.

Drucker said McDonald’s carried out entrepreneurship. Whether the entrepreneur is an existing large institution, or an individual starting her business single-handedly, the same entrepreneurship’s principles apply. “The rules are pretty much the same, the things that work and those that don’t are pretty much the same, and so are the kinds of innovation and where to look for them.”

The start-up owner often does not spend enough time finding out the value to the customer of her product or service. Neither does she spend adequate time developing and testing her strategy. Instead, she focuses on making a fast buck. That’s why it’s crucial the owner does the following:

  1. Spends time understanding who are the customers
  2. Identifies needs and wants, real and perceived, and target markets
  3. Decides how to fulfill those needs consistently and at a high standard
  4. Be patient and focus on the long-term. Research shows that family owned businesses are more successful than non family owned businesses because the former take a long view when making decisions.

Other things owners are doing wrong include:

  • Listening to too many people with divergent views about the business
  • Trying to “save” money by not getting needed resources to produce consistently high-quality goods and services
  • Not taking enough time to raise adequate funds in the “proper” form. Often, they take loans from family and friends without stating clearly risks involved and repayment terms.

Starting a business is risky but rewarding, and needs patience and courage. However, heeding the above advice will increase the probability of success significantly.


Try These Tips If You Want To Succeed In Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to establish a good income with little or no overhead at all. Just a whole lot of honest hard work, dedication and of course, good information. This article is designed to provide you with some excellent advice on the business of affiliate marketing and help you find your way in and around it to a nice, consistent profit!

Trying to market popular products online will not produce good results in your affiliate status. You want to have a good quality product but it does not have to be uber popular. Choosing very popular products means you will be in fierce competition ahead. You may be unable to make a profit.

When selecting an affiliate marketing program, check out their resources in terms of sale-boosting items for you. A good affiliate program will offer you banner images, content for text ads, and letter templates, in order to help you boost sales. A sale for you is a sale for them, and you want to work for a company that understands your value as an affiliate.

Try looking into secret links. There are plenty of including affiliate links into your text without them being completely obvious. Be transparent about them if you use links and take advantage of their use. Make sure your readers understand the reason for the link so there are no surprises.

If someone visits a site about sports, they expect to see sports-themed news, ads, and merchandise. Only a sports-related link would benefit your affiliate site. If the site has relevant links, people will be more likely to access them.

It is better to affiliate partners that put out products if possible. You are more affiliate revenue by working with businesses that have a larger variety of products which are interesting to your consumers. Avoid one-trick pony and fads.

Anything you write during a marketing campaign or for your business, in general, should be written in plain, easy-to-understand language. Do not open the thesaurus and look for rarely-used words that make you seem a bit too snobbish. This is your Internet business, not a Newspaper. Readers want it simple.

It is advisable for affiliate partners to use text services in order to gain greater commissions.

A great affiliate marketing tip is to provide your real name and a working email address to your visitors and customers. Providing your name and email address will make you look credible, and you want to look as credible as possible in order to gain the trust of your visitors.

If your site has a sports-related theme, your viewers are there for sports. Only a sports-related link would benefit your affiliate sites that are related to the products you market. Your visitors will follow a link that is relevant to the information on your site.

Remember to always provide great, timely, valuable content that really gives your readers helpful and useful information. When you do this, your readers will have more faith in you and will be much more likely to want to do business with you. A great deal of affiliate marketing depends upon building a good relationship with your clients and proving yourself trustworthy and knowledgeable.

Consider using paid advertising to get a jump start on your affiliate marketing program. Ads that are targeted towards keywords related to your site.

One good way to evaluate a potential affiliate marketing partner is to examine the material they give to potential customers, such as their sales letter. You can learn a lot about an affiliate by seeing how they treat their customers. Think of yourself as a customer and ask yourself if the affiliate is someone you would buy from.

It is so important that your readers trust you and your content. Readers support authors who provide them with quality contact by purchasing through your links.

You don’t want to spend much time working on a company’s affiliate program only to never get paid or to discover that they mistreat referrals. Check the company’s reputation by visiting the appropriate blogs and user forums. Test communications through email and telephone. Do they promptly answer emails? Are they rude? Are phone calls put on eternal hold? They way they treat you is how they will likely treat the customers you refer to them.

Create a hard deadline for consumers to buy certain affiliate products. When visitors feel time pressure, they are more likely to jump on the deal. This approach is likely to render a good strategy that may help improve your sales.

A great affiliate marketing tip is to disguise your affiliate link. Sometimes marketers will try to scam you by simply changing your link around so that they’ll receive your commission. You can avoid this by disguising your link. An easy way to disguise your link is by making it redirect to a domain or page.

You need to be quite aware of who is visiting your target audience is in affiliate marketing. You need to work to meet the needs of your message to resonate with your readers. Try to figure out what makes them visit your website and then expand on that knowledge. What specific things are they interested in?

Do not make the mistake of focusing on just one sales technique. You might have the best blog in the world, but you are still losing out on customers who need a little more push or don’t like reading a blog. Advertise on other sites. Send out emails with value-added sales techniques to take people from prospects to customers.

You should reveal your affiliate position to your readers. Being honest like this helps readers feel that they are sure to appreciate that.

There may seem to be a million and one things to remember about affiliate marketing, so many different things to think of and take care of to cultivate your online earnings from it. Hopefully, this article has enlightened you somewhat, to the complexity and confusion and you are now ready to embark on a career change to affiliate marketing that could very well, change your life!


Take Charge Of Your Life With These Top Leadership Tips

The unique assemblage of traits and qualities that comprise a truly great leader can sometimes prove quite mysterious and elusive. To really grasp what effective leadership entails, it is important to acquire a thorough education on its principles and truths. The material below should provide a strong basis for any study of the topic of leadership.

It is wise to use honesty as a great starting point for leadership. Your job will be to lead others in the right direction. If you are an honest leader, those around you are going to see your good intentions and want to be a part of them. Always be honest when dealing with your colleagues because you can influence them to be honest.

When you’re a leader, make sure that your team with people. You must remember that you are a part of a team. Individual voices can contribute to and better an entire project so try bringing others together to collaborate. Leaders are never alone. Do your best to invite as many perspectives into the discussion and decision-making processes as you can.

A good leader, or manager, will go out of his or her way to get to know employees better. Not just about work-related topics, but about their outside activities, family and interests. Employees appreciate it when their leaders acknowledge them in ways that don’t pertain to work. This makes the relationship a little more personal.

Don’t make the mistake of ordering people around. That is not true leadership. The key to true leadership is to inspire those around you. You need to help them find their own voices so that they can go on to lead others. The entire journey they take with you is about their ability to know themselves better.

Be sure that you spend some time each day out of your office, and in the midst of the workforce. Try to be a part of the group, while maintaining your leadership role. You can use this time to get to know your employees, ask questions or even join them for lunch.

Promotions, bonuses and raises should always be fairly distributed and based on performance. Don’t simply promote the person who has been working with you the longest or hand out the biggest rise to a family member. Your employees will be more motivated when they know that they can earn tangible rewards for working hard.

Spend more time in the office than out of it. It may be exciting to travel everywhere that you can, but suitcase leadership doesn’t really inspire the teams back at the main office. If you find yourself travelling more than half the time, then you can be sure your employees aren’t seeing you as their leader. They need to see you there.

Don’t fear to fail. Failing is something that many great leaders have done, and it has only spurred them on to greater victories. If you fear failure, you may be afraid to act boldly, which is the only way for a leader to act. If you fail at something, use it to help you change directions.

Be prepared for conflict and try to deal with it before it gets out of hand. Ignoring conflict will make the problem worse and make you look too weak to handle it. Practising good communication skills with your employees will help them feel more respected even if they don’t agree with specific decisions.

Keep in mind that hope is not always a good thing. If you or your business are involved in a situation that has an inevitable and bad ending, do what is necessary to terminate the situation and move on. Employees will never forgive blind optimism in such circumstances, and it’s better for everyone to have a bad situation behind them as soon as possible.

Good leaders hire good people to work for them. If you refuse to hire individuals that you fear may become the competition, you undermine your own chances for success. Search out people who are as passionate about your industry as you are and encourage their problem-solving abilities and reward their successes.

Anyone in a leadership role should be concerned about trust. You must be able to trust your team or workforce, and they must also be able to trust you. Try having a meeting periodically with a small group, where trust issues are discussed, and solved. Look for good articles on the subject of trust in the workplace, and read them with your group, giving each other feedback and suggestions.

As a leader, you are responsible for forming the goals and aspirations of your team. Come up with a best-case scenario for your team, and your vision for the future. Share these goals with them, and ask them for their feedback and suggestions. A true leader has a team under him that is focused on the same goals, and how to achieve them.

Always listen to feedback. The opinions of your employees are important and can be helpful. Some criticism might be hard to take, but try to be receptive to it. Make sure your workers know they can come to you with any feedback they might have. Point of views that differ from your own is valuable.

The value of strong leadership to any business enterprise simply cannot be overstated. The ability to motivate and spur others onto greatness is a rare thing indeed, and something that is indeed worthy of examination. With any luck, the information provided above has been a great starting point for readers everywhere.


A Simple and Powerful Tool for High-Impact Achievement in 2019

It’s coming up to a new calendar year. A great time for planning.

When you plan for your upcoming year, you can be ably guided by your Impact Purpose. That defining statement that summarizes the impact you want to have with your business. I’ve covered the process for clarifying your Impact Purpose in other articles, so I won’t focus on that here.

With your Impact Purpose, it clarifies the ‘what’, but not the ‘how’.

Here’s a simple and powerful tool you can use to guide your ‘how’ in the coming year.

You may have heard of the ‘word of the year’. It’s an aspirational word that encompasses the feeling of how you want to move into and through the year. It captures an elegant idea, the essence of something significant for you. It becomes the catalyst for a deep shift in your way of being.

A meaningful word that really engages your power is about both you and others, how you treat yourself and others, including your clients, your employees, and your suppliers. A meaningful word helps you delineate the ‘how’ of your everyday actions.

In my own past, I’ve used words like, ‘courage’, ‘abundance’, and ‘connect’. To help remind me, I’ve printed the words on index cards and even had a bracelet made one year.

These words have proven to be a powerful guide when I am in the weeds and forget who I am and what I want to achieve. So why not just choose a word of the year for 2019?

Because I’ve changed. I no longer plan my year on an annual basis. I’ve found that annual planning is not nearly as effective as planning for 12 week periods. In those 12 weeks, I can maintain high energy. I can stay highly motivated. I can get a TON done. And at the end, I can celebrate my accomplishments.

With a longer time frame, like a year or more, all of those things fade. The year’s end seems far away, with lots of time to get things done.

Truth? The year’s end will sneak up on you, and you may find that you didn’t accomplish nearly as much as you’d planned.

Using the 12 week time frame has been a powerful shift in planning for me. And I needed an aspirational ‘how’ to match it.

So in this coming year, I’ll be choosing a word of the quarter instead. A word that summarizes the feeling of how I want to move through my 12 weeks.

We all need inspiration for our aspirations.

You can be inspired by adopting this practice yourself, and really kick up serious and impactful change in your first quarter of 2019.

Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.

Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at WorkAlchemy.com for free resources for you and your business.


Interested In Starting Your Own Business? This Is For You!

If you are thinking about starting a business, you have come to the right place. This article aims to provide you with information concerning this.

If you wish to set up a company that is a limited one or if you want to trade like a sole trader, you should consider the benefits of having a limited company. Continue reading on to find out more.

What Is A Sole Trader Or Partnership?

• A sole trader/partnership claims to be an individual(s) present in business who are themselves responsible for any debts along with liabilities of that particular business.

What Is A Limited Company?

• A limited company has a separate legal entity precisely from its individual shareholders.
• It should be known that the shareholders tend to only be personally responsible for any debts as well as liabilities of the particular company to the level of their own unpaid issued share capital.
• Therefore, you can see that in a sole trader/partnership type of initiative you will be fully responsible.

Benefits of a Limited Company

• The shareholders’ liability tends to be limited. This is how much share capital is subscribed as well as issued to the shareholders.
• When the time comes to pay off the company debts, the personal assets of the directors and shareholders will not get seized.
• A company tends to possess a separate legal existence when it comes to law. This case is not present for a sole trader or even partnership. The benefit of this separate legal existence is that when tough financial times arise assets of the company may be employed to set off the debts it has.
• The name of one’s limited liability company gets protected against duplication. This is not true for a sole trader, i.e. their registered Business Name is not protected from duplication.
• Limited companies do actually qualify for a helpful low corporation tax rate. This may aid the business is growing.
• Limited companies keep on trading without considering director or management alterations, till the company gets wound up and dissolved.

The above are some benefits of forming a limited company, but like everything else, there are also some disadvantages. Be sure to look at both sides of the coin before taking a certain path of action. One disadvantage includes the point that limited companies have limited liabilities.

It is tough figuring out how to start off a business in a new country. Their rules and regulations need to be known and you also need to know what types of businesses generally prosper in that country. There are many points that one needs to consider before starting a business. The above article is in favor of limited companies instead of a business that is characterized by a sole trader/partnership.


The Seven Pillars To A Wildly Successful Business

Starting your own business is like climbing a ladder, one step at a time.

When I first started my own business, it wasn’t easy. But after much trial and error, and learning from other’s successes, I realized there are 7 basic principles or pillars toward achieving a successful business.

1. Starting – This may sound simple, but I’ve met many in my workshops and seminars who have had amazing ideas for a product or service or an improvement for a product. Later, I asked them how their idea was progressing only to discover they hadn’t applied the skills I taught them.

Passion without purpose is like trying to start a fire without wood or kindling. It’s good to be passionate about an idea, but gathering wood (searching for the right information) is necessary to start the flame.

2. Understanding – The need for information for an idea and that research necessary is the second pillar in achieving a wildly successful business. Things will go wrong. Thomas Edison discovered the secret to the electric light because he consistently pursued his dream with nearly 10,000 failed attempts. How did he manage to overcome all those bumps on his road to success? By surrounding himself with a winning team who were open to his call.

3. Communication – Speak up I can’t hear you! Shouted Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, when he made the first call on March 10, 1876, to his assistant, Thomas Watson: “Mr. Watson–come here–I want to see you.”

Communicating your ideas and research to the people you know will support your idea is the third step toward your wildly successful business.

You’re going to say only so many words in this life-time of yours, why not share them with the right people? The worst thing that you can do is to share your dreams with people who wouldn’t loan you a nickel let alone their attention. Understand that your idea is valuable and so are is your time.

4. Consistency – Keep the faith in your idea and be consistent. The best way to achieve in business is by consistently going after what they believe in.

An idea is like a seed. It has the potential to grow but only if you nurture it daily. Constant research and development is how you’re wildly successful business will grow.

5. Expectation – Farmers plant who plant a row of corn, expect their harvest to be corn. Expecting anything else would be insane, right? Yet, people who sit on their idea and refuse to understand what it takes to launch a wildly successful business end up declaring to everyone who has ears that it didn’t work. If you expect something to work you must consistently work it out until you get the results you want. If you fail, try again.

6. Satisfaction – Success is a personal achievement. One man’s success is another man’s failure. You’ve researched your idea, built a great team of passionate people that consistently cheer you on and lend a helping hand when you fall. Now ask yourself, are you satisfied with the progress you’ve made? If you are not, go back and ask the five W’s.

Who can I speak to about this?

What new steps should I take in order to achieve more success in this area?

When is it most profitable to implement this?

Where can I find new information?

Why am I not satisfied?

***Asking How helps too.

7. Start Again – Your last step to a wildly successful business is start again.

Never pat yourself on the back so many times that your shoulders stoop from too much celebration. The result could spell ATROPHY to your business.

Why is Warren Buffet so wealthy? How did Donald Trump become so successful? Look at numbers 2 through 5 again.

Successful people know that satisfaction comes from continually starting again and again. It’s the best way to achieve a wildly successful business.


Know The 4 Crucial Steps Of Starting A Mobile Wireless Business

To start a new business is always a challenging task. A lot of preparation in the planning phase is required. If the planning goes wrong, everything goes down the drain.

Furthermore, for those who are thinking of starting a mobile wireless business, it becomes vital to follow all the four steps that are crucial to enjoy a successful start.

So, let us have a look at these crucial steps.

Register your business

This is a mandatory step to start a business. Also, to register the business name, it is significant that you must have a name in your mind for your mobile wireless business. Make sure to choose a unique business name. It must not sound like another business name even remotely. It is best to visit the National Business Register to check whether any other existing business has the same name that you have thought for your business.

Get a TAX ID number

Unlike an online business where getting a website with SEO tactics is essential, for a mobile wireless business, getting a tax ID number is the second crucial step as it is this number through which the government will identify your business. This name is obtained from the Internal Revenue Service agency. Remember, you will not have to obtain this number if you are starting your business as a sole proprietorship. In such a case, your social security number will serve the desired purpose. You have to either visit the official IRS website to get the tax ID number or contact your local IRS office.

Develop an understanding of various wireless carriers

It is true that one should have some fair understanding of the wireless carriers even before getting the business name registered, especially if the business is a mobile wireless business.

So, you may even consider this as the first step, but remember that you have to develop a thorough understanding before entering into a contract with any of the wireless carriers.

If you fail to comprehend the meaning of all the terms and conditions in the contract papers, your business could suffer severely. Also, if you fail to understand them, there could be a failure in adhering to their terms which means termination of your contract sooner or later.

Apply to become an authorized reseller

After you have chosen a wireless carrier, you have to apply to attain the status of an authorized reseller. Carriers will ask whether you have sales experience or not before giving you an approval.

Apart from the above four crucial steps, it is imperative to choose a perfect location for opening your store. You must have a concrete idea about the store layout as it must be attractive enough to your visitors. There are several entrepreneurs who do not bother to open a physical store for their business. They instead do their business online.

There is also no lack of businesses who are now eager to have mobile wireless support from reputed service providers. Some providers offer wireless support for free. Their services include wireless account management, taking care of the procurement and purchase of wireless devices, giving timely updates about promotional plans, and so on. These prove beneficial for businesses in the long run to get an impressive return on their investment in wireless devices.


How To Tell If Someone Is An Entrepreneur

One thing defines an entrepreneur – constructive action.

Typically, they’re the salesman – doing *everything* to get people to buy their stuff. We all have the image in our heads; the “wheeler-dealer”, picking any opportunity to try and exploit (and other people) for profit.

Indeed, the term “entrepreneur” seems to have drifted around the present lexicon – from “something you did” (typically to improve people’s lives) into a blend of “money mad hustler” and “someone who doesn’t ‘follow the rules'”.

The reality is the modern meaning could not be further from the truth.

Entrepreneurship isn’t a vocation or job. It’s not a label which you apply to yourself in order to make yourself more endearing to a particular party, or clientele… it’s a way of doing things.

Many “entrepreneurial” types actually have jobs. They’ll never admit they are “entrepreneurs”, although they exhibit all the traits of one. The question is what these traits are, and whetheryou – or someone you know – has them.

What Is An “Entrepeneur”?

Entrepreneur is a word derived from French – loosely describing a “problem solver”.

Whilst its connotation has changed over the years, the premise persists – an “entrepreneur” is someone who creates a “widget” and has the ability to encourage other people to buy it.

What this “widget” is can be a commercial product, service or idea.

It’s actually interesting… some of the greatest “entrepreneurs” of history actually had nothing to do with money. They were completely focused on the development of a particular “result” and committed themselves whole-heartedly to its realization.

Whether this meant conquering the Persian empire (Alexander), developing the light bulb (Edison) or creating stable PC systems (Gary Kildall), conquering the Aztec empire (Cortez), the term “entrepreneur” really denotes someone who wants to build something.

The BIG difference between “original” entrepreneurs and the swathes of new-age idiots (who typically aggrandize a hedonistic lifestyle + seem to have an infatuation for “crypto”) is that the former were typically committed to a single profession, and manage to “leverage” that through the development of increasingly ambitious “projects”.

These projects could be anything… but they all had a core “reason” to exist. This reason was what drove the originator to pursue the endeavour, and continue even when it was questionable whether it was even “possible” or not. Obviously, the reason we remember them is that they not only discovered it was “possible”, but entirely feasible… hence their success.

How To Tell If Someone Is One

The typical sign is they will do strange things…

  • interest in esoteric ideas
  • pursuit of interests not directly correlated to the accumulation of wealth
  • strong displays of passion for particular subjects
  • immersive nature with different ideas (trying to recreate historical events etc)

The point is that REAL entrepreneurs are not typically concerned about money at all.

Their primary concern is the creation of a “thing”. What that thing is, is determined by either their character or interests… but in every instance of someone who’s achieved a large amount of success, they were completely and utterly focused on doing “their” thing no matter what.

This is actually important.

The modern world seems to have every 18 year old male wanting to be an “entrepreneur” – like it’s a badge of honour or something. If you’re not “growing”, you’re “dying”… right?

The truth is that our society has become so focused on convenience that the majority of these money-grabbing idiots have absolutely no business even considering themselves “entrepreneurs”.

They have no experience, no skills and are only latching onto the latest “fad” in order to escape the mediocrity which has come to pervade the West’s consumerist culture.

Entrepreneurship typically follows YEARS of interest in a particular subject. It typically follows HUGE investments of time & energy into the cultivation of a skill set, experience and “involvement” in a particular space.

Most importantly – entrepreneurship is about doing something “your way”.

Stay Clear Of Modern Idiots

The BIGGEST problem I continually see from the hoards of idiots is they are ALL following a “book” or some other “rules” on “how” to be an entrepreneur.

I see it all the time… guys reading all the biographies, neural studies, latest books from the big wealthy fat cat – all trying to discover the “secret” to massive success.

What’s ironic is that all of this stuff just works on the “outside” of the issue – the same people who read all the “stuff” end up with the SAME questions… “what do I sell?”- “how do I know if I’m going to make money on a product?” – “what’s the secret to getting rich?”.

  • If you have to ask “what do I sell”, you’re not an entrepreneur.
  • If you have to listen to what a “successful” person has to say on a subject, you’re not an entrepreneur.
  • If you have to consider all the “rules” put forward by others, you’re not an entrepreneur.

The point is that the modern world is chock-full of wannabe losers. Even the “successful” ones aren’t actually truly successful – they may have made a bunch of money, but what did they actually achieve? The answer is relatively little (or even nothing).

The truth is that if you want to “be” an entrepreneur, you have to get to work.

EVERYBODY has their own work. Some are models. Some are footballers. Some are computer programmers. Some are painters.

The “trick” is to do ANYTHING in order to get moving forward in an industry; clean the floors if necessary.

Once you start to gain some progress, the “entrepreneurial” stuff comes from leveraging any progress made within it – either to create & market a product, or to help a market better appreciate the potential of another device/product.

Traits Of “Real” Entrepreneurs

  • Quiet (or at least reserved)
  • Fully capable of embracing failure (indeed, using it as a spur to change/adapt)
  • Working constantly on different elements within their “industry” (again, everyone has a place)
  • Unafraid of social constructs (just because someone said it doesn’t make it true)
  • Laser focused on what “they” want to do (you want to bring sustainable farming to Africa? This is the type of thing a “real” entrepreneur will actually do)
  • Unafraid to give freely (most “entrepreneur” types are not attached to money at all… typically not having much until they find mercantile success)

If you haven’t worked it out, the core is purpose.

The modern world has very little emphasis on purpose; rather it focuses on productivity.

Nothing wrong with this, but it devoids most people of their passion. It’s good for GDP and McDonald’s – but bad for the creativity lying latent within a large number of people.

If you want to adopt “entrepreneurial” traits, the key is to become attuned to a particular “purpose” – through which you’re able to invest your entire life.

If you’re just looking at Ferrari’s and thinking that you “kind of want to become rich” – entrepreneurship is not going to do that. It’s a very difficult road, with only the most persistent and enduring surviving.

You need to get to work, and only then will you discover hidden opportunities into which you’re able to apply your expertise, experience or network to build something of real value to the world. This real value is then absorbed by the market, who’ll either pay handsomly for it – or reject it. This is pretty-much what determines whether someone could be considered an “entrepreneur” or not.

Entrepreneurial Mind Frame

Entrepreneurs make up only about 15% of the working population in the US. Far fewer actually succeed than those who attempt to become self employed business people and venture out on their own. So what makes people decide to take the entrepreneurial path, when so few actually make it a reality?

Is the American dream a possibility for anyone, or, does it take more than most to become a successful entrepreneur?
The success of an entrepreneur does depend on their mindset. A large percentage of business owners will quit in their first five years in business. What is needed is the fortitude and belief that goes with attaining success.

Entrepreneurs are risk takers and dreamers. The difference between the dreamer and the entrepreneur though, is that the entrepreneur takes actions based on their dreams. They persist through the hardships and never give up! Many entrepreneurs start with an idea. Their success is determined by their belief that they can create something greater than simple monetary success. Often, it is about creating something which will benefit the world.

James Dyson, for example, came up with the idea of the bagless vacuum cleaner. Despite multiple set backs, over 5000 prototypes and not being able to get any manufacturers or distributors to accept his idea, he persevered. It was over a decade after his initial idea when his concept came to fruition. Even then, it was after a lot of difficulties and hardship due to the vacuum replacement bag industry, which was worth £100 million in the UK.

In Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start With Why’, he suggests that the biggest companies in the world are so because of their “why?” – their reasons for building a business in the first place. In all cases, it wasn’t just to make money, or make technology better, or some whimsical ideology.

The Wright Brothers, for example, became known as the pioneers of the first manned flight. But their competition was much better funded and well connected – Samuel Pierpont Langley had worked at Harvard, had a number of powerful connections, including Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell. The War Department funded his project with a $50k grant, a seemingly massive advantage to the unconnected Wright Brothers who had no money or influence. However, their passion and devotion to change the world with this new technology drove them to attain the first flight in history in 1903.

Desire for material things and monetary wealth can only carry someone so far. Unless you have a goal or passion which is bigger than that, you may lose the momentum and fail to maintain your enthusiasm for any length of time.

The entrepreneurial mindset is one which taps into your purpose. Without a purpose driven goal or aim, it can’t take long before disillusionment kicks in. With a mindset which takes into account a larger purpose, entrepreneurs can build huge businesses because they ‘saw’ a vision of what they wanted to create. If the purpose is greater than the obstacles which lie in the path of attaining it, no amount of setbacks will stop you from achieving your goal.

On the other hand, if you set out to do something and something gets in the way and stops you, your initial reason, (your “why?”), may not have been strong enough to endure all the battles along the way.

Entrepreneurial mind frame (or mindset) therefore, must be aligned with both your vision, your values and your purpose. If your values are not in alignment with your purpose and vision, you’ll come up against road blocks which will stop you from achieving your goal.


Virtual Mastermind Programs – Benefits of Beta Testing

The Good News

The good news for entrepreneurs wanting to have virtual mastermind groups to enrich their business platform is that failure does not have to be an option. The great news is there is a powerful tool you can use to have successful program results:

  1. Learn from experienced entrepreneurs about what works and what does not work.
  2. Decrease the time to design, promote, and execute your program
  3. Improve the possibility for a better net profit.

The Powerful Tool The powerful tool is beta testing the program you have designed. There are many examples in the virtual world; your challenge is to choose an example that fits your needs in the best ways. The time you take up-front to do your homework here may mean the difference between success and failure.

For those not familiar with the general process of beta testing, it means going through a program with the creator and giving feedback on each part of the platform, typically at a fairly reduced cost to the contributor. Also, if you have not ever participated in beta testing someone else’s product, this can be an invaluable time saver in the long run. Let me give you an example to follow.

A business owner wants to develop a mastermind program as an enhancement to a current product or service. They have participated in these programs themselves but have never run one themselves. Where do they begin?

Step 1 Contact the person or group running the program you have been participating in. Also, do your diligence, researching the topic, looking for practical, usable tips to develop your own program.

Step 2 Develop a rough draft of what you would like to produce and have someone knowledgeable review it if possible.

Step 3 Develop a draft timetable for beta testing the program, including all resources you may need.

Step 4 Look at pricing strategies for beta testing to see what your market might be willing to pay.

Step 5 Take a hard look at marketing – the who, what, when, where and how. Add this information to the draft timetable in Step 3.

Step 6 Review, analyze and choose your method of delivery (can be done via telephone, using a virtual educational platform, etc.).

Step 7 Launch your beta test, preferably using polls, quizzes and surveys periodically to see where participants may be doing well and where they are not.

Step 8 At the conclusion of the program, look for testimonials to use in the future, as well as the constructive criticism to improve the actual future launch.

What does this do for you? Hopefully you have a wider variety of participants from many professions. This gives you feedback from a variety of perspectives. After all, enriching others’ lives through the sharing that comes from well-planned mastermind programs also demonstrates your expertise in the subject matter at hand – a win-win for all.