I always read articles from Entrepreneur magazine and wanted to put five recent ones together for you which provide good information.
Malcolm X once said, “My alma mater was books at a good library…I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” And he is right. There is no better way to continue your education and enhance your life than to begin in the pages of a great book.
Even entrepreneurs starting on a shoestring budget can have access to some of the greatest teachers and leaders of today, as well as lessons from the past, by simply picking a book. No formal education required.
So there I was, exhausted at the end of a long work day, frustrated by a particularly stressful drive home and contemplating pouring a stiff bourbon and withering away on the couch for a couple hours.
Then something happened.
My habits took over.
When I was a kid, the majority of adults in my life were business owners. Both of my parents, my grandfathers, uncles and even close friends of the family were entrepreneurs. To me that seemed normal. It was what people did when they grew up. While most of them started from very humble beginnings and struggled to make ends meet, their commitment to their ventures was something I greatly admired.
To accomplish a big goal, such as launching a new business, writing a novel or starting an exercise regime, productivity experts will often suggest getting up early. You can get a lot done in a quiet house with no distractions or interruptions. While this is sound advice, it’s easier said than done.
While the terms “coaches” and “managers” are sometimes used interchangeably, we know that they are in fact entirely different from one another. A manager shows someone how to do something, such as the day-to-day tasks for his job and a coach goes a step further to help an individual realize his full potential and maximize positive outcomes.
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Reputation Management Consultants have published their Top 10 Best and Worst CEOs.
ReputationManagementConsultants.com, which helps business and political leaders keep their digital personas rosy, has for several years used surveys of business readers and analysis of social media and other online data to compile such lists for its clients. This year, for the first time, it is making the rankings public.
In the Top 10 Best CEOs you will notice that all but two CEOs with the best reputations are entrepreneurs, and just two of the CEOs with the worst reputations are entrepreneurs.
When you look at what creates appeal, you look at Richard Branson, people react to the fact that he has not only been successful but that he comes across as such a genuine person. He enjoys people. He celebrates life. It’s not just the brand. It’s him. He embodies what people would like to think success can be. You don’t have to be all serious and stressed. You don’t have to be a shark. You can win by treating people with respect. By being a good fellow citizen. It’s a great message. The same with Tony Hsieh.
Top 10 CEOs with the Best Reputations
- Tony Hsieh (Zappos)
- Richard Branson (Virgin)
- Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
- Marc Benioff (Salesforce)
- Mary Barra (GM)
- Larry Page (Google)
- Russel Simmons (Defjam)
- Tim Cook (Apple)
- Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post)
- Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla Motors)
Richard Branson is an interesting man starting his entrepreneur career when he was 16. Below is an interview he did with TED.
Top 10 CEOs with the Worst Reputations
- Donald Trump
- Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase)
- Martha Stewart
- Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!)
- Ronald Johnson (JC Penney)
- Steve Ballmer (Microsoft)
- Mike Duke (Wal-Mart)
- Dan Cathy (Chick Fil-A)
- Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs)
- Brian Harrison (Solyndra)
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Other than Inc’s top 5,000, Inc Magazine publishes some great articles in various categories including Startup, Grow, Lead, Innovate, People and Money.
Here are 10 recent articles I found interesting and I hope you will as well.
No. 2 – 5 Ways to Use Humor in Marketing – Laughter may be the best medicine and the best way to get customers to notice your business.
No. 3 – 23 CEOs to Watch in 2014 – These entrepreneurs are leading companies on the brink of greatness, or extinction, and will be the ones to watch this year.
No. 4 – 9 Simple Things Great Speakers Always Do – If they want to make a real impact on the audience, that is.
No. 5 – Don’t Just Be Happy, Inspire Happiness – Your employees look to you for lots of things, not the least of which is your ability to create the conditions that help them thrive. New research reveals six vital elements you should focus on.
No. 6 – 8 Ways Nonverbal Communication Can Make or Break Your Brand – You might be surprised at the little things you can do to position your company in a positive light.
No. 7 – The 10 Least Stressful Jobs in America – If your job requires frequent travel and strict deadlines it won’t make the cut.
No. 8 – The Introvert’s Survival Guide to Networking – Despair that you’ll never be gregarious or outgoing enough to succeed at networking? Never fear, introverts. Here are 3 strategies for making connections using your own unique gifts.
No. 9 – Kid You Not: The Very Serious Business of Building The Fastest-Growing Company in America – Fuhu makes a cute soft-sided tablet for children. But cuteness isn’t what produced three-year growth of 42,148 percent
No. 10 – 3 Tips for Mentoring Millennials – Help them make real-world connections, and make it fruitful for the mentor, too.
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When you go to networking events you want to set yourself up to be a memorable networker.
People want to feel appreciated, interesting and valued. They want to feel good after all.
Making others feel good when they talk with you gives them a positive association and a favorable opinion of you.
Be A Communicator
We live in a very distracted society these days and people multitask at every turn. How many of you have written emails while being on a conference call?
You need to be able to clearly communicate who you are and what you do. Some people struggle with this as they have been programed to do a 30 second commercial or elevator pitch rather than be communicative and friendly.
When you talk to people don’t sound like a robot or someone reading from the brochure. Talk in a relax communicative way and keep away from industry jargon.
Try and put what you say in a way that the person you are talking to can see the benefits you offer. As an example don’t say “I’m an account” say, “I hep small business save money on their taxes”
A memorable introduction does not have to be witty or funny but succinct, to the point, easily understood and said with a smile and confidence.
Be a Conscientious Connector
Be remembered, and one way to do that is by being a connector. People will appreciate your efforts in connecting people to others.
Be prepared to start conversations with people you don’t know and you don’t have to be an extrovert to do this. Good Conversation Starters can be based on knowing a bit about the host or the speaker and this will allows you to start a conversation.
Lead the way in welcoming new people to the group and introducing them to others in the group.
A new person will appreciate the friendliness and the introductions to others at the meeting.
Another great aspect of being a conscientious connector is to make strategic introductions. Find some one from the group and find people who are still looking for referrals or customers. Understand their needs and introduce them to other members of the group who could help them.
Don’t Forget to Follow-Up on the Follow-Up
Be timely, 80% of networkers do not follow up on conversations they have had at networking meetings. Simply by following up, a phone call, a quick email, a card or handwritten note is going to differentiate you from the other 80%!
When you follow up make sure you remind them how you met. Many people go to many meetings and may not remember how you met.
If you promised to do something MAKE SURE you do what you said you were going to do. There is nothing worse than not following through with your commitments.
Avoid at all costs adding people to your mail list or newsletter list without their permission.Remember having someone’s business card does not give you permission to add them to your mail list.
Instead send them an email with instructions on how they can subscribe to your mail list or newsletter.
Finally, connect with the people you met at the meetings on social media so you can keep the relationship and conversation going on-line as well. Remember to personalize your connection request rather than using the generic one in the system. This will help you be that memorable networker.
I attended a Network meeting today in Dallas and listen to a talk on Time to Progress. US Success Speakers is a group that meets once a month and has 4 speakers at each meeting. Dean Lindsay is a great speaker and gave his talk on Time to Progress, he is know for his books on The Six PS of Motivation.
We all have 24 hours in a day, regardless of who we are. It is not about Time Management as we all have the same amount of time but about Self Management with a respect to time.
Time to Progress
We must invest the bulk of our time and energy on the goals that offer the most benefit for our lives.
In truth, people can generally make the time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking- Sir John Lubbock
People make decisions on emotions and back it up with logic. In other words, everything we do is because we believe, consciously or subconsciously, that the projected consequences of those actions will give us the feeling in the right mix of the six core feelings
- Peace of Mind
- Pain Avoidance
In the end the benefits of our goals must ‘Weigh Heavier’ in our minds than the benefits of anything else you could do at each moment.
You will always do something that leads to one or more of the of the 6 P’s. When you set your goals you need to make sure they lead you to achieving one or more of the 6 Ps.
Dean’s Ten Always Time to Progress Tips
- Make a daily ‘To Do’ List
- Be realistic about your schedule
- Schedule time for the thinking, planning, chilling and the Unexpected
- Say “No’ to say “Yes’
- Develop the “Do it Now’ habit
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
- Put Off Putting Off – Make a molehill out of the mountain
- Learn more about the activity
- Don’t try to be perfect
- Do the next Right thing right
Remember, TIME – We don’t Find It or Make It but we do Schedule It and Take It. If you procrastinate some of your reason are in the list above. To succeed at the Progress Challenge you need schedule your time properly and not take on more than you can manage.
Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things – Peter Drucker
If you work from home this goal setting and time scheduling are critical for your success. Procrastination will kill you in a Direct Sales environment.
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Being in front of the room speaking is better than being at the back of the room listening for building your network.
Why? When you are at the front of the room speaking everyone wants to know the speaker and this can lead to new clients and business.
See some tips on Good Speaking Skills from Toastmasters in the video below.
Build Speaking Partnerships
It is important to identify partners who can offer complimentary services to yours. This allows you to host workshops for you and your partners clients. When you do this you know you will be in front of people who want your services, what else do you need?
Find the Right Groups
Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once you have identified your ideal client, you need to understand where your clients gather. Find groups where your ideal clients meet and contact them and explain what you have to offer.
Provide the group organizer with information on your speech, a biography and photograph. Once you are booked make sure you fully understand what is going on at the event so you can prepare.
Set Yourself up for Success
Speaking is more than turning up and talking. A successful speech needs research and preparation. You need to consider the following:
- Who will be in the audience
- How far will you need to travel
- How much time do you have to speak
- What else is happening ta the event
Prepare Prepare Prepare
Your speech needs to deliver value to your audience. Fill your speech with benefits, tell stories, give tips and advice. Weave in three compelling , memorable sound bites – short, catchy phrases that will catch your audiences attention.
Practice your speech so that you can give it without notes. Do not memorize it, memorized speeches sound robotic and cold.
If you feel nervous go to the restroom and loosen up. Use mouth exercises and physical movements.
Make sure you make eye contact with various parts of the room so everyone thinks you are talking to them.
Always take the microphone when offered, it adds authority and helps project your voice and keeps the audience engaged.
Speak clearly and with confidence. Remember you are the expert. Be enthusiastic and create verbal pictures. Tell compelling stories that the audience can relate to and that show how you solved the problems that they are facing.
Follow Up after Speaking
After speaking, make sure you follow-up with anybody you met who wanted to follow up with you. You should do this within 24 hours. If you don’t speak to them, make sure you leave a voice mail saying you are following up with them after you met them at your speaking engagement, your message should be clear, enthusiastic and positive.
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How do you make your small business indispensable?
This interview with Seth Godin he discusses making your business indispensable. It was make in 2010 and is more relevant now, than ever before.
Seth talks about being authentic in your business, attracting people to your small business and creating your tribe.
He discusses the way the internet has changed the old fashion interrupt driven marketing techniques. Traditionally, it is difficult for small business to play in this interrupt driven market place due to the amount of money required. It is a large corporation game.
With the advent of the internet and social media the game has changed. It is now a game that small business and solopreneurs can play in.
Create your Tribe
With the internet and social media marketing small business can create their tribe and their following.
Small business are run by individuals, large business are run by committees of some form. People can’t form a bond with a committee but they can with individuals.
If you show you are authentic and care about your customers, they will follow you, you can build your tribe. Seth defines a tribe as:
A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
Large companies can of course create their tribes, but typically these are lead by charismatic leaders with innovative products, such as what happened with Apple and Steve Jobs.
As a small business you cannot be a smaller version of a large company. Build your relationships, show you care and add value for your customers.
Home Based Small Business
If you are in a home based business then the relationships and stories you tell are vitally important to your success.
As an individual or small organization, all the social networks provide you with a fork in the road.
Either you can work around the edges, spamming your way to more followers and more noise, figuring out how to make some sort of make-believe metric increase as a result of your efforts. Far two many people marketing on social media are just using it as another attempt at spamming.
Alternatively, you can use social media to form 1:1 interactions, making promises and keeping them. This second path means that your followers are actually followers and that your friends are closer than ever to becoming friends.
Seth Godin Quotes that you should take to heart and apply to your business:
Content Marketing is the only Marketing Left
People rarely buy what they need, They buy what they want
Make sure you have good content and you deliver products and services people want.
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