Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Offer The Whole Package

I recently went into a card shop on a last minute dash before heading to a birthday party. I had the present and all I needed was the card and a helium balloon. After choosing the card, I made my way around the shop to find the balloon section… but there was none. It made no sense to me that the shop would stock some party/ birthday stuff and not other things.

It got me thinking about how often we do that as business owners. As part of a corporate organisation, different people take care of different tasks so everything runs like a well oiled machine. For a home business owner though, it can be overwhelming to take care of everything yourself and it’s for this reason that some choose to outsource helpers to take care of certain aspects of their business. If you are starting out, this may not be practical financially but there are other ways around this. This may include trading services with a friend who requires help with something you are good at. They may help you with your social media efforts and you could help them with some web design issues they have.

Be creative in building your business and finding ways of being your ideal client’s one-stop shop for everything they need in your niche. A great idea I leveraged early on was to become an affiliate of other organisations within my niche so that whenever I was unable to provide a service, I was at least able to recommend a reputable company who could do so – and I would still get paid. Don’t leave your clients feeling like they should have gone elsewhere to get the whole package.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Self Trust Has Better Friends

I write and speak a lot about self trust because it was only when I lost it that I realised how crucial it was. I’ve often shared with some people that I got to a point where I couldn’t even trust myself with the simple decision of choosing which chocolate bar to eat! Yes… it got that bad.

I learned a lot of things when I was in this space with the first and most important lesson being that where self trust leaves a gap, fear quickly fills that space. At first you experience fear as a warm cosy blanket which comforts you from the big bad world. With time though, you begin to suffocate because fear is popular and has many friends that it brings along– you may already know some on them… guilt, mediocrity, worry, panic, self loathing…. the list goes on.
Work on building your self trust on a daily basis (even if you don’t have issues with it) because at times your self trust will serve you more than what you know. Plus, self trust also has friends....better friends. On regaining my self trust, I've also come to know peace of mind, confidence and growth.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Harness The Compound Effect Before Your Self Belief Kicks In

Long before I really believed in my dream to work for myself from home, I had the mindset that I would figure it out along the way. My thinking was that I’d be better off than where I was then so ‘what the hell and why not?’ So with my lack of knowledge and heart full of passion I started off four years ago not knowing anything about online marketing, blogging or click through rates and all that other jargon.

Looking back now I can see how that attitude really served me and helped me to harness what is often referred to as The Compound Effect. The compound effect doesn't discriminate; it simply multiplies that which you deposit into each day. I started off where I was and didn't look back from there. I stayed consistent, fell off course a couple of times… but each time I would get back on the horse after licking my wounds. As time went by, I would get little victories here and there which would spur me on and build up my belief and those are really what kept me going.

Starting off with massive self belief in any venture is ideal, but if you don’t and instead have loads of desire and commitment, you can still get the ball rolling by showing up everyday. When the compound effect kicks in, you’ll have enough physical evidence that you are the real deal because you stuck with it for long enough (this is the crucial bit… time). With time, you’ll begin to get the results which confirm that you are indeed that which you set out to be.

“You just can't beat the person who won't give up” - Babe Ruth

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Build Your Own Networks

A little while ago I had the idea to set up a network which would be for young, business people who are looking for a safe space to share their ‘crazy’ ideas - a space where these ideas would not only be celebrated but where they would be developed into so much more.

My first concern was how to get in touch with such a group of people and I wondered what would make them want to join my network versus any other business networking group out there. One of the lessons which have served me well in business is that when you bring value to the table, anything is possible.

Once I started making head and tail of the network, its mission and who the ideal member was… once I got to a place where I could articulate in two sentences the vision I had, it didn't seem so crazy anymore… It seemed necessary!

Getting clarity on an idea can be daunting but each step you take literally cleans up a patch of the blurry bits and helps you make sense of another area.

Consider your needs as an entrepreneur…Your need to connect with others who have bigger ideas than yours… your need to mastermind with others who are also passionate about your purpose… your need to be inspired by others who are already doing it.  Are there other people who may have the same needs and who would bring value to such a circle?

Set up a network where you play the role of first connector and before long you’ll be meeting people through others you already know. Start off by asking a question a like “Who do you know who…?” “Who do you know who may want to be part of a group of {INSERT PROFESSION} who are looking to make a change in the {INSERT SECTOR} of the {INSERT INDUSTRY} industry by leveraging off each other’s skills and know-how?" This way you aren't putting pressure on anyone but if they are that person, you can be sure that they’ll indicate that… then you go from there.

Start with a Facebook group for instance and then work your way up to arranging actual meet ups say once a quarter. #BeginToday   

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Wholeheartedly Sow Everywhere

It’s been my experience that our rewards rarely come from the place we expect them to. Even when giving, we are told that our ‘returns’ will come from elsewhere. The same is true in business. When we sow seeds (money, time, effort, persistence, quality) we naturally have an expectation of the place where we will reap the most rewards - this may be anticipation that your next big sale will be the client you've been working closely with for the past few weeks. When this doesn't happen as expected, we can get discouraged. The effort feels like it was in vain and we are all guilty of feeling like ‘what’s the point?’

 It’s usually at that same time that we are most likely to receive great news in the form of an unexpected flow of business prospects, a new recruit or new client. When working on a worthy cause, our efforts are never in vain. Keep sowing seeds and you will always find rest and shade under the branches of trees you’d envisioned as having a different purpose.

The way I make use of the above is to give my best service in all I do and to all my clients. It’s impossible to make a new first impression on a client you may have sidelined as a ‘non-buyer’ who then turns out to be your customer of the month. Sow seeds in your business wholeheartedly and don’t be surprised if the Universe taps you on the shoulder with an unexpected bounty.