Well for us at MADphilips, we want to giveaway NOT for free, but at a ridiculous discount one of our Differentiate Online services –blogging for business design.
Beyond Websites …
If your business doesn’t have a website, it doesn’t have a chance in the market. If you don’t have even a basic website up and running these days, your prospective customers and clients are going to have a hard time seeing you as being relevant.
But there’s more, having a website is no longer enough these days. A website all by itself is naturally static and tends to put your target customers off after the first visit. Just think about the websites you visit frequently, what makes you keep going back there?
It must be because they offer you something VALUABLE in terms of the content/information you have access to there. These contents/information are regularly updated thereby making the website more dynamic than static. Every time you visit, you know for sure there will be a fresh content/information for you and that’s why you can’t get enough of such websites.
This is the role of a blog. So, if you don’t have a blog attached to your website, you will lose every first time visitor to your website FOREVER!
Because you’ve given them no compelling reason to come back. All the things they need to know about your business, product, and service they have already read about on their first visit. So why return?
The Power of Blogging for Business
That’s how many blogs there are (in the world) at the time of this writing.
And, those are only WordPress blogs. There are millions of other blogs that are on other blogging platforms like Typepad, Drupal and Tumblr.
Those numbers are not a coincidence, they are real because many entrepreneurs have discovered the enormous power of blogging for business. I have personally experienced how it can take your business from obscurity to visibility.
5 more reasons why your business needs a blog
Your visibility-especially online, will increase with a blog. The more you write, the better the chances are that you’ll get noticed. And, not just by your potential customers/clients. Reporters, writers, and PR people read blogs too. All these can amount to free advertising for your brand. Remember, more visibility, more sales!
Search engines love fresh, new content. Search-engine spiders –those little robots that are scouring the web, 24/7, get energized when they locate something new…especially if it’s closely related to the words that are being searched by your customers/clients.
Active blogs…ones that have at least 1-2 original posts published weekly, provide that fresh, new content that search engines crave, which in turn, can increase your company’s chances of being found online by your target audience.
You need some. If you don’t come across as being a credible source of information, your customers are going to have a difficult time opening their wallets up to you…your business. Remember, credibility comes before profitability.
A great way to show just how much you know about the kind of products/services you offer is to write about it. These days, there’s no better way to do it, than on a blog. (It doesn’t even have to be done on your own blog alone. See #4.)
4. New Opportunities
Once you’ve been writing posts/articles of your own on your own blog for a while, you can start approaching others in your industry, or even a related one, and write a blog post for them. (A guest post)
Writing an article on someone else’s blog can provide you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge to an entirely new reader base. (And, possible new business opportunities and/or strategic partnerships.)
Just make sure that your post is informational and helpful in nature –not just promotional. (You’ll get an opportunity to promote yourself-your company at the end of your post, along with a link to your website or blog*.)
5. Keeps your head in the game
There’s something to be said for writing your thoughts down, as opposed to verbalizing them or keeping them in your head.
You know things that others don’t. Why would you want to keep those things inside of you?
Do you have an idea that potential customers/clients can put to good use right away? Share it through a blog post. Do you have some opinions about your industry…and what needs to be changed to make it even better? Consider sharing those opinions on your blog.
Having an active blog keeps your head in the game-your game…your industry.
Thousands of articles…blog posts…have been written over the years on the importance of having a blog. If you don’t have one yet, what are you waiting for?
No more excuses, here’s your chance to OWN a blog!
We’ve put together a ONE-TIME offer for naijapreneur subscribers this Christmas season. You can get an unusually crafted blog just like www.naijapreneur.com at 50% discount for the ridiculous price of N25,000 [$165] – this offer ends on Christmas day, don’t do business in 2014 like you did in 2013 click here to order now!
Unusual entrepreneurs will always depend on other people to help them in their quest to change the world and profit from purpose. Top on the list are employees.
Regardless of how talented or passionate you are as an entrepreneur, it’s pretty obvious you can’t succeed all by yourself!
To build the company of your dreams, you need a team of exceptional people. But what makes an exceptional employee? That’s the subject matter of this unusual article.
What Makes An Exceptional Employee?
An exceptional employee is more than someone who fits the job description. Finding this person is critical since hiring the wrong person can cost thousands of dollars in compensation, time and training.
It is worth the time and effort to truly learn about a person’s character before hiring. Here are some character traits to evaluate.
First, a new hire should be qualified for the job. Does the candidate have the education and skills required for the position? Does he or she have any experience doing this type of work?
Will the candidate find ways to complete challenging tasks? Is the candidate creative? Is he or she willing to learn and grow in order to advance? Look for candidates who are excited to work for you. Qualifying candidates should have a strong work ethic and a positive attitude.
A great way to assess motivation is to propose three projects and have the candidate list the projects in the order that they would prefer to work on them. Discuss the order of the projects and how and why the candidates chose this order. This information will be enlightening.
3. Culturally Fit.
New hires need to fit in with the culture of the company. Sometimes this quality is as important as a candidate’s qualifications. Candidates who are difficult to get along with sometimes disrupt the flow of productivity by introducing discontent among coworkers. Look for candidates who can communicate friendly with coworkers, customers and management.
4 Reasons Why You Need Employees Who Fit Into The Company’s Culture
1. A good cultural fit can also be a good anti-stress option. A lot of people suffer, badly, from workplace cultures where they really don’t fit. It’s like taking a size 10 shoe and wearing a size 4. I’ve done that myself far too many times, and it’s not a lot of fun.
2. The workplace culture is a major driver of workplace relationships. A good fit means good relationships. That is absolutely crucial in high pressure jobs and where interdependence creates a real need for good working relationships.
3. Bad cultural fits can cause major problems. There’s an interesting statistic floating around the US which says that 30% of US employees will at some time or other sue their employers, and that 70% of them win their cases. Bad cultural fits? Yes, and often in multiple ways.
4. Many workplace environments, particularly business units, need people who can work together well, often for long hours. The cultural fit is a peacekeeper in a place where it’s very much needed.
One way to gauge whether a candidate will fit in is to evaluate his or her definition of success. If it fits with your company’s culture, you may have a match.
Ask these two questions for insight:
What does the word “success” mean?
How have you tried to achieve success?
Candidates inevitably reveal their inner value structure. If their values fit in your company’s vision, that is good news. Other candidates will answer the question by responding, “I do not know. I have never thought about that,” which is all the answer you need.
Hiring is expensive, so you do not want to hire someone who is just passing through. You want to hire someone who will help you build your business. So evaluate each candidate’s work experience. How frequently does the candidate change jobs? Do not let the resume speak for itself, however. Ask candidates about questionable track records. Listen and take notes. When you call his or her references, compare notes.
You want to hire an honest, ethical employee. This character trait is critically important. Follow up on references, but dig deeper and go beyond those listed on the resume. Learn the names of and speak to additional coworkers, supervisors and even former professors. Looking beyond the listed references gives you a bigger picture.
6. Open to the offer.
Body language and facial expressions may be more revealing than words when you discuss salary and benefits. If the candidate is uncomfortable with the benefit package, he or she may not be a good fit. In fact, you could waste precious time training this person only to see her walk away when a better opportunity knocks.
A new employee’s qualifications are important. However, businesses need to look beyond technicalities. Employers who look deeper into a candidate’s character are more likely to find someone who will not only do the job but do it enthusiastically.
About the Author
Carl is a businessman who is knowledgeable of all things business development. He frequently blogs about ways business owners can better manage their staff to increase their motivation levels. He also works for Motivo Performance Group in Houston.
As a leader, you’re responsible for your team. You need to help your team run efficiently, and you need to make decisions that are best for your team.
Most leaders have their own way of leading. Average leaders lead by force, but great leaders lead by example, and through inspiration.
So if you dream of being a great leader, one that will increase the productivity of your team and maintain a happy work environment, the following are four essential things you must do.
1. Have a great attitude
Your team is not going to want to follow a leader that is always in a bad mood. Instead, you need to be happy when around your team and have a positive attitude. Let your team know when they do a good job, and constantly use words of encouragement to help them continue to improve. If you are positive and always have a great attitude, you’ll encourage your team to do the same.
2. Be realistic
It’s very important that a great leader is realistic with their goals. You need to remember that sometimes, there’s just no possible way that something is going to get done in a short time frame, so don’t set goals your team can’t achieve.
If you’re constantly setting your team up for failure, and then constantly getting mad at their lack of success, you’re not going to create a healthy working environment, and you’re not being a team leader. It’s very important that you truly think about the goals at hand and make them attainable for your team.
3. Delegate fairly
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to delegate responsibilities to your team. In order to be a great leader, it’s important that you delegate fairly. If you’re constantly giving the easy assignments to certain individuals, you’re going to create tension in the workplace.
Make sure that you truly think about each team member’s strengths, and then delegate the necessary responsibilities to who is best suited for that job. Doing this not only makes your team happy, but it also helps to improve productivity, which is the ultimate end goal.
When you delegate responsibilities, it’s also important that you give some of that work to yourself. Nobody likes a leader who dishes out tasks and doesn’t do any part of the project to help the team. If you truly want to be a great leader, you won’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and tackle some of that responsibility on your own.
4. Stand up for your team
A great leader has no fear, and it’s very important that you stand up for your team whenever necessary. For example, if a client is asking for something that’s impossible, you have to stand up to the client and let them know. Tell the client that this project cannot be completed in that specific time frame, at least not if they want quality work.
Your clients will be happy to receive a quality project that took longer than to receive garbage on time. Plus, your team will be happy that they’re not rushing through projects.
When you stand up for what your team needs, you’re being an accountable leader, and this is important. You need to make sure that the lines of communication are open between you and your team, and if your team is having issues with client demands, you need to step in and take care of it.
About the author
Jayman Meadows is a life coach specializing in behavioral modification for those who struggle with depression.
This is a guest post by Damian Wolf.
Smart business owners have discovered that the best method of survival in today’s market is through customer retention rather than through finding new customers. It costs more to find, impress and encourage a new customer than it is to convince a current customer to use your product or service again, which is why your focus should be placed on customer satisfaction.
How many of your customers are repeat buyers? And how often do you lose customers because of your service methods? If you want to be successful, you need to show your customers how you’re better than your competition. Following these 7 tips will help you improve your customer satisfaction – if you apply them, your customer retention will increase.
1. Get To Know Your Market
To improve customer satisfaction, you have to be more knowledgeable about the target customers you want to serve and the market you want to enter. You already know that you have competitions, so in order to be successful, you need to treat your customers differently and to do that, you need to know them.
What do they value? What are their greatest problems? pains? challenges? what are their aspirations? The more information you have about your customers, the more equipped you are to treat them differently than your competitions do.
2. Give More Details
Customers like to know all the options they have when it comes to working with a company. Often times, customers don’t know everything you have to offer, so when you make a presentation, give them all the information – but, keep it short and simple. Don’t make your sentences longer than they need to be.
Also, don’t stop with just words, show something that proves what you’re saying – the conditions in which you make your product, the materials it’s made of, or just a simple test – if you’re selling perfumes, let your customers smell them.
3. Ask For Feedback
No matter how much information you’ve gathered about your customers, there’s still a whole lot on their mind that they might be withholding. So always ask for their feedback. Or what better way to gather more information than to hear from the horses’ mouth? You see, you have a long way until you reach perfection, so it’s important to always work on your products and the best help you can get is from your customers.
Dedicate your time to ask them what they would do differently or what changes they would like to see in the future. All you need is one email address that you’ll publicly display for complaints and suggestions or create a set of questionnaire that you email to them or ask them to answer online.
4. Respect Customer Privacy
As an entrepreneur, the pressure to make sales is ever present so you often find yourself chasing after customers. Just don’t be too aggressive with your follow-up, you’ll earn their respect if you give them space. Your newsletters should be sent often, but don’t choke them with too much info. If you think that some of your customers would like to receive daily emails, then make a special box on your website where people can check in and leave an address.
5. Treat Your Customers Well
This is the golden rule for everyone who’s into sales. Treat your customer with respect, but don’t be sleazy. It’s not a one-way street – if you make your customers happy they’ll make your bank account happier. It’s also recommended that you offer a refund. That way, your customers will buy products with less thinking because they’ll know that they can get their money back if they’re not satisfied with your product.
Also, there’s not a single person in the world that doesn’t like attention or gifts. Sending just a Thank You card to their e-mail or home address will make your customers fall in love with you. Samples or coupons will also do the trick of keeping your customers loyal. click here, to find more ways to treat your customer well.
6. Respond Promptly
Communication is very important when dealing with customers. If you decide to communicate with your customers using e-mail – which is definitely the fastest way – keep it opened every day for a few hours. Don’t neglect your Inbox, if you leave it to fill up for a week or two, your customers will think that you don’t care about them. And this is obviously not good for business. Here are a few useful tips about keeping your Inbox clean.
7. Make Use of Technology
Every business – whether large or small — is always looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction. You have a nifty way of answering the phone, you throw in freebies every once in a while and you always smile when customers walk through the door. Those are all fine, but have you considered using technology to improve customer satisfaction?
So always do regular updates and improvements for your business software to keep in touch with new trends and opportunities. A good example is Customer Relationship Management [CRM] softwares. They help you manage the whole interaction that a company has with its customer, whether it is sales or service-related.
About the Author:
Damian Wolf has been a writer and an online ethusiast since 2009. He mostly writes about business, finance and self improvement. You can follow him on twitter.
Entrepreneurs are humans and all humans are prone to mistakes. As the saying goes; “no one is above mistake.” But you must also know that all mistakes are not created equal, some mistakes are more deadly than others, especially in business.
So in this unusual article, I want to open your eyes to some of the deadly mistakes entrepreneurs make in their journey to change the world and profit from purpose.
As always, I encourage you to join in this conversation by sharing from your own unique experience in the comment section at the end of this article. The 7 deadly mistakes I will be talking about in this article are from my own personal experience as an entrepreneur and from close observations of other entrepreneurs I have coached and consulted for.
In essence, these are not the only deadly mistakes entrepreneurs make in business, so I’m counting on you to help make this discussion rich through your comments. See you in the comments section!
7 Deadly Entrepreneurial Mistakes
The following are common deadly mistakes entrepreneurs often make in business. If you have been in business for a while, you should be able to relate with some of them.
1. Unskillful Execution
Top on the list of deadly mistakes entrepreneurs make is unskillful execution. I have seen this particular mistake happen again and again in the lives of several entrepreneurs in the course of my business consulting career.
It’s amazing watching so many people jump into the world of business without any business or entrepreneurial skill. For many entrepreneurs who go into business, the only useful skill they possess is the core technical skill needed to perform a service or create a product.
Armed with this skill alone, many people plunge into business and plan to use their commonsense to compensate for the other necessary business skills they lack. For regular naijapreneur readers, you know how much I emphasize this point; commonsense plus technical skills is not enough to successfully run a business. Business is not commonsense!
Business like every other human endeavor you want to successfully embark on requires certain fundamental skills. The key point here is ‘successfully embark on’ because, as strange as it might sound, many people just embark on the entrepreneur’s journey without any plan to succeed. So when they eventually fail, it doesn’t come as a surprise because they never really prepared to for the journey in the first place.
Again, to succeed in business, you need a whole lot more than your commonsense. Unskillful execution is the outcome of running your business with commonsense. So what are the fundamental skills required for business? Check out this à unusual article.
2. Profit over People
Businesses must make a profit to continue to exist. But businesses don’t exist for profit’s sake, they exist for people’s sake. The most profitable businesses on earth, put people first!
Putting profit first is the second deadly mistake entrepreneurs make in business. As much as a business needs profit to remain operational, this reason alone doesn’t justify why you should put it first over people. Entrepreneurs who make this deadly mistake often end up with no business sooner than they ever anticipated. Why? Because profit doesn’t make itself, people make profit!
Without people, you can’t be in business. Like I clearly pointed out in the golden rule of business; “there’s no way you are going to succeed in business if you ignore this fundamental fact that business is not separate from life, but an extension of life.”
And what is life without people?
You see, if in your quest to make profit, your decisions and actions as an entrepreneur begins to negatively impact people, whether they are your customers, workers, partners, suppliers or even members of the society where you operate, your business will eventually suffer and die a natural death. Why?
Because people make products, people buy products. People need services, people also perform these services. And neither products nor services have the capacity to sell themselves, people do. So inevitably, you cannot separate people from business just as you cannot separate business from life. They are all inextricably linked.
In the end, to thrive, businesses must serve people because profitability is a function of how well a business has done serving people!
3. Marketing without Strategy
Entrepreneurs know well enough that no matter how great a product/service is, hardly will it sell itself. So consciously, they embark on the most obvious form of marketing known in business – advertisement.
And therein lies the third deadly mistake entrepreneurs make, marketing without strategy.
You see, the problem is not advertisement or even the absence of it. The problem is the absence of a strategy. It is complete foolhardy to carry out any form of marketing without a strategy.
Strategy is the unseen chord that binds the whole of your marketing initiatives. Strategy is the hidden core that gives meaning to all your advertisement. Strategy is the engine that powers your marketing. Strategy is the compass that directs your marketing. Without strategy, all your marketing is NOISE!
So what is strategy?
Strategy is your masterplan for winning in the market. It is the core idea or set of ideas that you’ve carefully formulated after thoughtfully analyzing the market [that is, the needs of your target customers] and all existing competitions. Strategy is your own unique pathway into the market; it’s how you want to win the heart of your target customers.
Until you define this strategy, your marketing will not be effective. All you will end up doing is confusing your target customers as a result of the noise you make with your advertisement. But with a carefully thought out strategy, your marketing will be laser focused and your target customers will have no choice but to pay attention.
Because strategy is how you plan to carve a niche for yourself in the market. It is how you intend to stand out from others and if properly done, your target customers immediately notices it. And only then, can you boldly say that your marketing is effective –when your target customers can tell the difference between you and all the others. This is what it means to create a brand; a differentiated product/service in the mind of the customer.
4. Managing before Leading
Entrepreneurs sooner or later begin to realize as they go deeper into the entrepreneurial journey that they cannot go it alone. At this juncture, they begin to bring other people on board. This is a good move, but the sad truth is that many entrepreneurs handle this transition poorly.
Rather than leading this new intakes, they begin to manage them. And therein lies the fourth deadly mistakes entrepreneurs make in business.
People are not things, therefore they cannot and should not be managed. People can only be led. The moment you begin to manage people as if they were things, you are committing a human right offense and the resulting effect is disguised compliance.
People rather than openly show their resistance, lock it all in and outwardly fake compliance to your demands. And once this happens, they stop using their initiatives and start acting like zombies. The reason is simple, when you stop treating people like the real human beings they are and start managing them like things, over time they get used to it and start behaving like things. They become robots who only do as they are told and function according to how they have been programmed.
If your desire is to have an active team of people who use their God given talents, gifts, initiatives and personalities to grow your business, then lead rather than manage them. You can only manage processes, but you must lead people if you desire to get the best from them.
When you lead people, they become inspired and become believers of your ideas and supporters of your dream. Without being told or controlled, they will think up better ways to help you fulfill your dreams faster. This is the power of leadership. People need leaders, not managers. Leaders inspire people to work through their vision, action and character. Managers force people to work through their position, instruction and power.
As an entrepreneur, you don’t need compliant workers, you need inspired workers. Compliant workers work out of fear, the fear of losing their jobs. But inspired workers work out of pride, the pride of doing what they love. In the end, it is the inspired workers that create innovative products/services. But for the compliant workers. They only maintain the status quo.
As always, the choice is yours, to lead or to manage.
Want to learn more about leadership? Check out this à unusual articles.
5. Activity over Productivity
As an entrepreneur, you don’t have fixed working hours like an average worker does. All day and most nights you are working, there’s no limit to how long entrepreneurs work.
But yet, entrepreneurs fall into the activity trap by measuring the extent of work done by the numbers of hours they put in. This is a deadly mistake!
As an entrepreneur, you should be driven by results and not efforts or activities. This is the definition of productivity. As I have written about previously, results are your greatest competitive edge as an entrepreneur. Nobody cares how many hours you’ve put into production, what customers cares about and pays you money for is the impact your products/services have in their lives.
What changes occurred as a result of using your product/service? What benefits did they derive from using your product/service? What was the experience like buying from you? Was it different from the competitions? These and many more are the metrics that account for results in business. If you’ve spent a decade creating a product/service and it doesn’t accomplish any of the following, then you’ve failed as an entrepreneur.
So stop bragging with the number of hours you spend at work and let your results speak for themselves. In other words, focus on the quality of work done [productivity] and not on the quantity of work done [activity]. Why? Because your target customers don’t pay for work in progress, they buy finished products!
Want to learn how to boost your entrepreneurial productivity? Check out this à unusual article.
6. Learning without Doing
The first deadly mistake entrepreneurs make is unskillful execution, as discussed above it’s running your business with commonsense with fundamental business skills. The flip side of this deadly mistake is acquiring so much skills and knowledge and putting none to use, this is equally another deadly mistake entrepreneurs make in business.
There’s a saying that completely captures the essence of this deadly mistake, “he who does not know is an illiterate and he who knows but does not do what he knows, is a fool.” Put another way, “he who knows but doesn’t do, is no different from he who knows not.”
The greatest business advice ever is this; take action. There’s no amount of learning that will be able to substitute doing. The problem with learning alone and not doing is precisely what I talked about in the 5th deadly mistakes entrepreneurs make, activity over productivity. That is, learning engages you [activity] but until you apply what you’ve learnt, you will never get any result [productivity].
As a matter of fact, the proof of knowledge [learning] is solving problems [doing]. So acquire as much business knowledge and skills as you need, but don’t just decorate your office walls with the certificate of attendance, apply this knowledge and skills to your business. Why? Because learning [activity] doesn’t increase your bottom-line, it’s doing [results] that does!
7. Doing business instead of building a business
There’s a very tiny line that demarcates a business from a company and very few entrepreneurs realize this fact. No wonder so many of them fall into this deadly mistake and only a handful eventually succeed in business.
BUSINESS – what you do
A business is something you do for people in exchange for money. A business is not so different from a job, the only difference is the beneficiary of the outcome.
On a job, the beneficiary of what you do for people in exchange for money is the business owner. But in a business, the beneficiary of what you do for people in exchange for money is you.
Now herein lies the trap and the root of this deadly entrepreneurial mistake. Many entrepreneurs leave their jobs where they got paid to do something for people in exchange for money and start a business where they do the same job but for themselves.
So as a result of this singular shift in beneficiaries –from your boss to yourself, so many entrepreneurs are unable to tell the difference between doing business and building a business. But this is the reality, if your business revolves around what you alone can do, then you are not a business owner but a businessman or businesswoman –someone who does business [provides goods/services in exchange for money].
COMPANY – what you build
To become a business owner, you don’t just ‘do’ business, you ‘build’ it. The business you build is what is known as a company.
A company is an organization that is into a specific line of business or businesses. Meaning that the provision of goods/services in exchange for money is not entirely dependent on the entrepreneur. It means that there is an existing structure or system or process in place through which the business is able to provide goods/services to customers in exchange for money independent of you the entrepreneur.
This is why a company is always referred to as a legal entity – a separate entity from the entrepreneur. This is why companies can be bought and sold and not necessarily businesses. It is the deliberate process of untangling yourself from carrying out the overall core function of your business and setting up systems built on simple processes that other people can easily operate.
Why is this deliberate entanglement so crucial to your success as an entrepreneur? Because your role as the founder of your business is not operational but strategic. When you allow yourself to be too overwhelmed by the operations of your business, you will always be trapped in the present and as long as this happens, your business will never grow or go to the next level. To grow, you need to be focused on not only the present, but also on the future. And this job of delivering the future, is your sole responsibility as an entrepreneur!
Over to you
I have done my best to highlight the 7 deadly mistakes entrepreneurs make in business drawing from both my personal and consulting experience. The discussion is not over yet, so like I said in the beginning of this unusual article, I am counting on you, YES, you to make it richer by sharing your own comment about other deadly entrepreneurial mistakes I didn’t mention.
Thank you and see you in the comments!
I have always been fascinated by greatness; that special realm of human existence where achievement blends with fulfillment and creativity aligns with purpose. I strongly believe besides greatness, nothing else accounts for a life well spent. Greatness is the summit of life on earth!
The pursuit of greatness in the realm of business is what inspired me to create this blog; naijapreneur –to help as many unusual entrepreneurs as possible build businesses that MATTER, change the world, and profit from purpose. It is the basis of all that I write about and the glue that binds us as a community of unusual entrepreneurs.
The pursuit of greatness in the realm of business is not a quest for the meek; it is a mission for the strong. In the end, it is more about the kind of life you want to live and the kind of business that you want to build as an expression of the kind of life you’ve chosen to live.
But how is GREATNESS achieved; by CHANCE [Luck] or by CHOICE [Work]?
The critical question is NOT whether you will have luck [CHANCE], but what you DO with the luck that you get [CHOICE].
– Jim Colins, author of ‘Great by choice’
GREATNESS is NOT by CHANCE -luck!
GREATNESS is by CHOICE –work!
Embracing The Long Walk
Every entrepreneur would love to see their business grow and become a success story overnight. Don’t know about you, but I seriously nurture this thought sometimes even though I know it’s contrary to reality.
Great companies that are often the admiration of budding entrepreneurs in their early years also wished they could attain greatness overnight. But neither of them did!
Facebook didn’t become a success story overnight; it endured a long walk to the top.
Apple didn’t become a global brand overnight; it had its own share of uncertainty, doubt and fear common to every growing company.
And so did other great companies like Nike, Sony, Intel, Microsoft, Disney, Boeing, Ford, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, etc.
The journey to greatness in business as well as in life is a long, hard, and scary one. You will often encounter several challenging moments that you ultimately have to confront and overcome. There is no way around it; business is a marathon and not a sprint race!
Greatness Is A Choice
It is true that every business has a financial objective; profitability –an economic engine. But also true is the fact that every business has a personal objective; legacy –an emotional engine. The economic engine [profitability] keeps the business going; the emotional engine [legacy] keeps you the entrepreneur going.
Profitability is the money you make through your business. Legacy is the impact you make through your business. Profitability helps your business to thrive. Legacy helps your business to be great. Profitability helps you make a living, which is good. Legacy helps you make a life, which is great!
Many businesses exist with only one objective; profitability and by so doing, they limit their potentials for greatness. These are companies founded by average entrepreneurs who go into business to do the usual –make money.
But only a few businesses exists with both objectives; profitability + legacy and by so doing, they increase their potentials for greatness. These are companies founded by unusual entrepreneurs who go into business to do the unusual –make a difference.
The pursuit of greatness in the realm of business is the ability to create a balance between profitability and legacy.
How Do You Achieve This Critical Balance?
To answer this question, I will quote Corbett Barr, the unusual founder of ThinkTraffic.
GOING ALL IN!
When you’re all-in on what you do, people notice. When you care about what you’re making so much, you bring fresh insight and dedication, and that shines through for your customers to see. There’s something attractive about unrestrained dedication, and people notice, join in and help promote what you’re doing.
Going all-in isn’t about some short-term result, it’s about dedicating yourself to a cause or group of people for the long term or maybe the rest of your life. When you’re driven by a cause you believe in, a story that’s bigger than the failure/success of your product, when you tap into something that MATTERS, people respond.
If people aren’t responding to your work, examine your dedication first. You’re not just launching a product; you’re at the head of a movement. Serving a target audience with everything you have and helping them defeat their dragons ends up being the best sales tactic of all. There’s no substitute for being all in!
In every sphere of life; business, politics, sports, religion, family, academics, military, etc. The question of GREATNESS is never found wanting.
Be it a great life, a great company, a great school, a great hospital, a great sports team, a great church, a great country, a great military unit, a great charity organization, a great musician; each has its own definition of results, defined by its core purpose. Yet the question of what it takes to be GREAT amidst unlimited challenges faces them all.
In the end, ONE truth prevails; GREATNESS is not a business, personal, or philosophical quest; it’s a HUMAN quest!