Posts Tagged ‘success’

Pillars of Success

by Robert Driscoll on May 6, 2010

Recently I was listening to what I thought was going to be just another training class about how to be successful in business. Work hard; think differently; empower your employees. The usual.

The gentleman speaking was the President & CEO of one of the world’s largest wireless companies. At first I figured he was your typical blue blood, Ivy League educated executive who would give us some words of wisdom and then he would be on his way. How wrong I was. This gentleman talked about his life story and the struggles he had to overcome just to simply get an education, let alone build the company he ran today. From his life lessons, he built the foundation of his work ethic that he has kept throughout his personal and professional life.

He stated that you learn to be a leader through your personal and professional experiences as well as your formal (high school, university, graduate school) and informal (training classes, certifications) education. This is your foundation. Continuous learning and the accumulation of knowledge is what helped him build what he calls his pillars of success which looks like this:

Everything starts with an idea, a dream, but don’t just dream, dream big. Believe in yourself and don’t limit yourself to what others say. But dreaming is not enough. You have to have a good strategy on how you want to execute your dream, a winning game plan. Hope is not a good strategy. Don’t just expect things to happen. You need to have a good understanding of how you are not only going to start your new venture, but how you will get your customers, areas to target, etc..

Developing a winning game plan is just the beginning. You have to be willing to take risks. Calculated risks. This is where you need to get out of your normal comfort zone. You need to start thinking and acting differently than others in your market space and creating offers that have marginal value in the marketplace. Don’t just do something simply because it feels like the right thing or even worse, introduce a “new” offer that is just simply another flavor of a similar product or service already in the marketplace. If you do, you will never be noticed. Be different.

As soon as you have a game plan and you start executing on it (and taking risks), you will most likely come across obstacles that you have never come up against before. Don’t avoid them. Tackle and embrace them and learn from them. These experiences will only make you stronger.

Overcoming obstacles, if approached properly and you learn from them, will only create new opportunities for you. Find the value in them and incorporate them in to your offer. This will only increase the marginal value in your offer. As you add more features or functionality in to your offer, go back to the first pillar and start the process all over again. This should be a continuous cycle in your business.

The foundation that holds up these pillars of success is the leader’s principles: teamwork, integrity, credibility, attitude, vision and excellence. These will be discussed in my next post, but I hope this post can help jumpstart your dream to start a new venture where you can build your own pillars of success.

Support for Success

by Guy Ralfe on April 7, 2010

Now that I have officially started my journey as a business owner and entrepreneur, but still in the honey moon phase I can share some stark realities about starting a new venture.

Most importantly it takes guts and lots of support. At the age of 38 with a wife and two young children to support, I am leaving a secure and stable employment to relocate half way across America, to the mid-west, to start a new company in one of the worst economic environments the world has known. Making this decision consumed a lot of thinking time and with this uncertain background, produced by the media, conventional thinking does not leave you in a sane place.

I have been looking for this opportunity to begin a new business for over 6 years now, I still do not have enough guts of my own to start this – and this is why I say you need lots of support. To give you an indication of the support I am using to get this off the ground:


Business Partner –
I have a business partner that already has a very successful business in the same vertical that can provide operational expertise and contacts within the industry to minimize the lead generation and prospecting phase of starting out.
The partner approach allows for the lowering and distribution of start-up overheads, much like  an Incubation start-up.
Laws, expectations, codes of conduct, processes that can take so much time to learn and often expensive when starting out, can be circumvented.

Financial – contrary to what you may think about business, it does not all center around the business plan, it centers around the execution. You can make all the sales in the world but if you cannot cash-flow the operation then you can never think about being profitable.

Most companies will need capital to start. I have  acquired a reasonable amount of assets, which are valuable to me but they are not all seen equally valuable to my financiers. Start to think about what instruments you can use for financing before you want to begin your business.

What type of assets do you hold? –  as that affects the ratio by which banks will offer/secure lines of credit.
What is your credit score? – what can you do to minimize the impact on your credit score leading up to opening your business.

What do you need to execute your operations – transport, utilities, insurance, offices, systems, subscriptions? They all send bills regularly and all expect payment regularly.

Industry Knowledge Partners – if you are like me and are wanting to start in a field in which you are not an expert, you will need knowledge experts that can guide you through the rapids in your journey. Look to building relationships with people such as:

Suppliers

Competitors

Lawyers/ Regulatory Bodies

Accountants

Customers (though customers do prefer to deal with experts so use this avenue selectively)

Personal Support – we all have our moments when we think we are the Lone Ranger and we can do it all on our own. As I have written about before, consider the impact one decision may have on other aspects of your life.

One such aspect is your family and close friends. This opportunity wasn’t an option until it became an opportunity for my family too – and I thank them for their support.

So yes it has still taken all the guts I have to make this exciting start, my sanity could be questionable and it sure was not due to conventional thinking that I was able to choose this – it is only possible to rationalize and make this choice because of the support and help that is in place.

Week In Review – Jan 17 – Jan 23, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on January 24, 2010

Learning without training

by Wayne Turmel, Jan 18, 2010

The traditional training model where companies identify competencies everyone across the organization needs is over. The audience for training is no longer the companies themselves, but the individuals in them. This has changed the way the players (Executives, Training Department, Training Companies and Individual Learner) look at training this year. In essence, training has shifted from a B2B model to a modified B2C model. more…

BLOGTASTIC! Help others succeed first

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 18, 2010

It is not a dog eat dog world in the blogosphere. If everyone thinks only they should succeed, then we’d be competing so hard against each other that no one will win. Instead, acknowledge the value you see on other blogs. The way you do it is by linking to their blogs on your posts. Don’t expect a reciprocal link thought – that ‘s not how blog links work. Focus on creating link-worthy content and your readers will link to you. First you give some and they you get some – in that order. more…

Quality #13: Reviews can be fun (if done right)

by Tanmay Vora, Jan 19, 2010

After 12 awesome posts last year, Tanmay is back with his first post this year and the 13th in the series.

Reviews are an integral part of product/service quality improvement. The purpose of a review is to make things better. Here are a set of common sense rules to adopt in the review process in the software world.

  1. Review early
  2. Stay positive
  3. Keep review records
  4. Review the work, not the person
  5. Train the reviewers
  6. Review iteratively
  7. Review the review process

more..

BLOGTASTIC! Avoid mudslinging

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 19, 2010

Slinging mud at other bloggers may help you generate traffic in the short run, but you won’t be able to retain quality visitors for your blog. You may be tempted to use your platform to vent your frustrations, but it is not a powerful move. You can demonstrate thought leadership without hurting anyone. more…

Measure for Success

by Guy Ralfe, Jan 20, 2010

Doing your best is not going to bring you success. It is at best a cop out. You may feel content about yourself. It is very difficult for humans to be objective for their own sake. What is needed is that you do what is right. Put in that extra degree, go that extra mile and you will see absolutely phenomenal results. Guy brings out this concept brilliantly in this post through a personal experience. more…

BLOGTASTIC! Earn links to your blog

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 20, 2010

A link is a give and treat it accordingly. Just like you would not approach a stranger and ask for a gift, you should not ask for a link from a blogger. Consistently writing compelling and link worthy content and providing a high “return on investment for an interacation (ROII)” will automatically get you links. So, focus on earning links rather than asking for them. more…

Take Care of your Top Employees

by Robert Driscoll, Jan 21, 2010

The worst economic situation in 70 years, has forced companies to do more with less. Employers have retained the top performers while eliminating the bottom performers. This has put enormous pressure on the top performers who cannot wait for the market to get back to “normal”. Companies should take action to identify top performers, define risks and take necessary action to mitigate the risk. more…

BLOGTASTIC! Don’t impose your rules on other bloggers

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 21, 2010

If you are getting something for free, then you lose your right to complain. Bloggers give away their knowledge and expertise and so they can set their own rules for their site. You can make up your own blog’s rules. Your rules can help you, or they can hurt you. Make sure that your rules help you gain more power. Don’t drive readers away with your blog’s rules. more…

Author’s Journey #5 – Choosing the right publishing alternative

by Roger Parker, Jan 22, 2010

Authors should not be carried away by the latest publishing hype. There are several formats in which to release your book – E-books, Trade publishing and Self-publishing. Each of these have their own pros and cons. Ultimately choosing the right publishing option boils down to just 2 issues: cash-flow and task preferences. Roger has created several worksheets to help authors realistically run the numbers and make the right decisions. more…

BLOGTASTIC! Don’t apply the rule of reciprocation for blogs

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 22, 2010

Just because you help your friend, it doesn’t mean they will help you in return. The same concept applies in the blogosphere. While there are no guarantees of reciprocation in the blogosphere, being nice on and off the blog really helps in the long run. more…

Author’s Journey #3 – What should you write about?

by Roger Parker on January 7, 2010

Roger-Step1-Plan“Write what you know!” is a frequently heard statement.

So is, “Write about your passion!”

Yet, is that all there is to writing a successful brand-building book?

In this Author Journey segment, I’d like to share a simple, 3-step process for taking your choice of book topic to the next level. Because, no matter how much you love the topic you’re writing about, it’s your market that ultimately determines your book’s success…as well as the client relationships and profits that your book generates for your business or your employer.

So, I encourage you to look beyond your interest in your topic, and examine your ideal reader’s desired change.

Change and nonfiction book success

The starting point to planning a successful book, one that builds your brand and drives traffic to your business, is to identify the change that your market desires.

Going back to the basics, readers purchase fiction and historical nonfiction books, like David McCullough’s The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of Building the Brooklyn Bridge, for entertainment. These books are discretionary purchases; they are wanted because the subject matter or the author’s style will provide pleasure while reading.

Readers buy nonfiction books, like self-help, career success, marketing, or business leadership, however, to solve problems and achieve goals. To the extent that the problem, or unachieved goal, causes pain, costs money, or wastes time, books that address these books become necessities–and can be outstandingly successful.

If you can’t figure out how to get on Facebook.com, for example, or no one is following you on Twitter.com–or your department is experiencing unusually high employee turnover–books that address these issues are relatively recession-proof. These books become necessities rather than luxuries. The higher the pain, or lost opportunity costs, the more urgently readers will want your book.
Reader-Change-Planner

How to profit from your ideal reader’s desire for change

In order to enjoy the greatest rewards from writing and publishing a book, you have to go through a  simple process, as shown in the Reader Change Planner example shown at left.

The Reader Change Planner guides you through a simple 4-step process. These steps include:

  1. Select your most desired readers, the market segment you most want to attract to your business. (I discussed how to do this was described in Author Journey #2).
  2. Review the characteristics of your most desired readers. This will ensure that your marketing message will align with their attitudes and communication style.
  3. Identify your desired reader’s problems and unachieved goals. Ask the popular, but appropriate, saying goes, What’s keeping them awake at night? The more you can identify your desired market’s hot-buttons, the easier it will be to write the book they want to buy and read.
  4. Create a process, or step-by-step plan. Identify the steps that readers can follow solving their problems or achieving their goals. Provide them with a book that serves the same function as an instruction sheet or Mapquest driving instructions.

Coming up with a logical process, or sequence of actions, is the key step in choosing the right contents for a nonfiction book. It’s the step that will convert your vague yearning to write a book into a reader-pleasing content plan that will guide you as you write your book. It’s also the step that makes your book magnetically desirable to readers.

The importance of a process

Process is the key word. Process sends all the right messages. Process builds your prospective reader’s confidence in your book. Process implies knowledge and organization. Process eliminates uncertainty; it projects certainty.

Finally, process simplifies the apparent effort involved in obtaining change. Process breaks big projects into an organized series of smaller, more doable, tasks.

If I tell you, for example, that writing a book involves 47 (hypothetical) tasks, you’re going to think, That’s a lot of work!

But, on the other hand, if I tell you that writing a book involves 4 steps, Planning, Writing, Promoting, & Profiting, the process immediately appears a bit more feasible.

Taking action with sections & chapters

What works for you in the above 4-steps to Writing Success example will work for your intended readers, too.

Begin thinking in terms of the major steps that have to be accomplished in order for your readers to solve their problems or accomplish their goals. Your 3, 4, 5, or 7 steps will become the sections of your book.

Each of these sections will contain 2 or 3, or however many are needed, chapters. Each chapter will correspond to the major tasks needed to solve your reader’s problems or accomplish their goals.

By following the 4-step program described above, you’ll not only end-up writing a more useful and desirable book, but you’ll also find it easier to figure out what you should write about!

In the next Author Journey installment, we’ll address the importance of analyzing existing books in your field and using them as a guide to positioning your book relative to its competition.

Offer

If the idea of a Reader Change Worksheet appeals to you, drop me an e-mail at Roger@Publishedandprofitable.com. I’ll send the first 10 who respond a PDF copy of the Reader Identification Worksheet shown above. (Please mention Reader Change Planner in the subject line. Thank you.)

Start Early, Drive Slowly And Reach Safely

by Naveen Lakkur on September 7, 2009

If you are thinking that I am referring to a journey, then you are right! I am referring to the journey of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial journey has 3 parts to it:

  • The Start;
  • The Drive and
  • The Finish.

All the stated 3 parts are important to be a winner.

Early/good start provides great possibility to win a car race event (any event, for that matter).

ent-startWhile there’s no age bar for entrepreneurship, early start in one’s life has its own advantages. The risk taking appetite is higher, flexibility curve is better and they are in the listening & doing mode. While experience brings some advantages, it also equally brings in constraints/mind sets. If you study a wide spectrum of very successful entrepreneurs, majority of them had started their journey of entrepreneurship early in their life.

While speed determines the fate of a race event, the preparation phase is time consuming or slow as the process could be elaborate…. as activities such as the car selection, tuning of the car performance, fitness training of the driver, etc., is all time consuming/slow and elaborate.

ent-journeyWhile the business needs to happen at the speed of thought, it’s important or it’s a prerequisite to provide a lot of care in building an organization. Things take time to build and manage the right team, to fulfill the Vision/Mission of the organization; inculcate and live right values set forth for the organization and to build great brand value for an organization. There should be no hurry or compromise on these aspects.

The finish determines the result. The enjoyable moments on the podium receiving the winning medal is determined by the finish you have.

ent-finishWhile you have built a good organization, it can be great only if it translates into an enterprise (it’s true if an organization is either built to last or it’s built to sell). Great entrepreneurs give equal care to handing the business over to safe hands as much as they do to starting and operating an organization.

“Start Early, Drive Slowly and Reach Safely” – that’s the winning formula for entrepreneurship.

Are you capitalizing on your most powerful emotion?

by Naveen Lakkur on August 8, 2009

love-cards

  • Do you want great results?
  • Do you want fame?
  • Do you want a good return on investments?
  • Do you want job satisfaction?
  • Do you want to build a shining organization?

The #1 emotion you need to achieve all this is LOVE.

LOVE is the most powerful of our emotions and if you think about the extraordinary things people do for LOVE, imagine the possibilities if you operated with this powerful emotion every day of your life.

Our emotions are things that we share with others in our social interactions. In the same way that we breathe through inhaling and exhaling, we share emotions through expression and reception, be it positive or negative; empowering or dis-empowering; motivating or de-motivating.

Our expressions give those around us a clue as to our moods and quickly influence their emotion and often we are not even aware of how much we have influenced the situation, as this all happens in the background for us. Have you noticed the difference when you do something with a friend as opposed to someone you don’t like? If you think about it, you will assess that you achieve more when working with a friend and the work is easy, yet for the same task with someone who you despise the emotions get in the way and everything feels long and tedious. The outputs usually also show as poor in comparison.

I will share a lovely story that I heard when I was a kid, I hope you will love it too…

carpenter_3_smThis is a story of an elderly carpenter who had been working for a contractor for 53 years. He had built many beautiful houses but now as he was getting old, he wanted to retire and lead a leisurely life with his family. So, he goes to the contractor and tells him about his plan of retiring. The contractor feels sad at the prospect of losing a good worker but agrees to the plan because the carpenter had indeed become too fragile for the tough work of building houses. But as a last request, he asks the old carpenter to construct just one last house.

The old man agrees and starts working but his heart was not in his work anymore. He had lost his motivation towards work. So, he resorted to shoddy workmanship and constructed the house half-heartedly. After the house was built, the contractor came to visit his employee’s last piece of work. After inspecting the house, he handed over the front door keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your new house. It’s my gift to you.”

It’s important to either LOVE whatever you Do or only Do what you Love. Understanding and applying this simple concept will have your emotions take care of you and not you gripped by your emotions. A book, which I am in love with, by Tim Sanders titled “Love is the Killer App” profoundly conveys this message.

As the carpenter lived to find out, when you act without love for what you do, the consequences show up in unexpected places and without noticing it you are closing down many opportunities for yourself.

For me, LOVE is Life Of Valuable Emotions…let it flow freely in every aspect and moment of your life.

Photo Courtesy: Kimberley Faye at Flickr