So, the title seems like a no-brainer. Of course you will market to your customers. Here is my question, do you know your customer? Who is he? What does she do for fun? Why does she use your product/service/location? What influences him? How is he different from people who aren’t your target demographic?

Hint: You won’t learn this sitting in your office. Get out there and talk with your customers. It may seem like a waste of time, but get to know them. Listen to them, ask questions and don’t talk so much.

 

Babe Ruth failed often. He struck out a lot! He kept stepping up to the plate for that next chance to knock a home run out of the park.Fail

The only way to never fail is to never try anything. Never start working on your dream. It might fail. That is the small voice in your head that keeps you from working towards making your dream come true.

There is some validity to the idea that you might fail. Everyone does at least a few times in life. I have failed in so many ways I can’t begin to count them…but I don’t consider myself a failure. One of the tricks to success is to realize that failure doesn’t matter.

I would rather invest in someone who has failed…maybe a few times, and has learned from his failure than a person who has never failed.

Failure can be a great teacher.

The trick is to fail small. Figure out how big a failure you can be before you launch into your project. You don’t want to fail so big that you can never recover.

Here is what I mean by that. If you have a great idea, that is awesome! Go for it. Can it be done on a scale where you can start for the money you currently have in savings? That way, if you fail, you are at zero and can start over…but you aren’t homeless because you mortgaged your house, car-less because you used a title loan to get some more money, deep in credit card debt because you maxed them all out trying to make your dream come true…you get the picture. You plan for the possible failure when you plan for success.

Keep failing small…and eventually you will succeed.

I had a business fail big. It took me a few years to climb out of that financial hole. My current business had a rough start. My first big client left me holding the bag…but then it turned around. Now it is doing well. It isn’t to the point where I can quit my job and do it full time, but it is making a profit…and it is giving me encouragement to expand for more success. Will those expansions succeed? Only time will tell. They may fail. One lesson that I have learned from business is that failure isn’t the end. If you are still alive, you can take another turn at bat and maybe hit that ball out of the park.

 

“I choose YOU!” Those words make us feel good. It doesn’t matter if you are a 4th grader in gym class and the teams are being divided up to play dodgeball or if you are a struggling author attempting to get her first book published. “I choose you.” Makes us feel like we are part of the team. We have been chosen and that makes us good enough. Depending on what we are hoping to be chosen for, it may really take the wind out of our sails if we are rejected. It hurts to deal with someone telling you that you aren’t good enough. The wonderful thing about the world that we live in is that it is changing. In today’s world, we can each choose ourselves! You can start doing what your passion tells you to do! You can accomplish amazing things!

Years ago, the idea of a job, a career wasn’t something that one had to think about. You did whatever your parents did. You stayed in the same social caste that you were born into. Your life was mapped out from the day you were born until the grave the moment you popped on the scene. In the world today, you can be whatever you choose to be. You can do whatever you choose to do. Life is about making those choices, and today, I am choosing you to make your dreams come true! (Exerpt from I Choose YOU!)

 

Publication1

We all have things we love to do. You might even be good at them, but currently, they don’t bring in any money. How can you change that.

First: Write down everything you enjoy doing…even the stuff you think doesn’t matter.

Second: Look at your list, get rid of the vague stuff. How can you narrow it down. Example: Your list says, “I like to read”. Narrow that down. What do you like to read? One genre? Maybe you absolutely love Real Crime or reading Sports Biographies.

Third: Brainstorm about what you can provide to other people who have some of the same passions you do. To continue with the above example: Look for ways to match your interest in reading Real Crime books with a way to help others who read in the same genre.

  • Can you blog about the best books?
  • Could you start your own used book store that specializes in your genre? Maybe just online, using your existing collection to help you get started.
  • Start your own company that sells things related to your genre. (This might take the example too far if we are sticking with the real crime genre. I am more thinking tshirts, dolls of characters etc…not lock-pic sets or fake I.D.s)
  • Are you well read enough to become a critic in that micro field?

Maybe reading isn’t your thing. Maybe it is gardening, dancing, talking on a ham radio or watching football…The same steps apply. Write it down, then narrow it down, then brainstorm on how you can monetize it. Then comes the hard part…putting your plan into action.

Remember, someone came up with the idea for Fantasy Football. Many people have opened Dance studios or clubs. There are how-to videos about gardening. (Can you make a better one?) There are clubs for many things, does there need to be one in your niche?

What hobby can you turn into the next great business?

 

Why should you travel? Laying my cards on the table, I love to travel. It doesn’t matter if it is two a little town I haven’t been to before that is only an hour from home or if it is across the country or an international border or two. The great thing about traveling is how it opens our eyes up to see new things and creates new ideas in our own minds.travel

Just one example: Starbucks wouldn’t exist in current form if Howard Schultz hasn’t taken a trip to Italy and tried an expresso.

Travel is less about where you end up visiting and more about how well you can adapt to new cultures and surroundings. These skills along with the new inspiration that comes from seeing things in a new perspective are attributes that leaders, business people and entrepreneurs value.

When you travel, you experience new ways  of doing things, new cultures, new languages, new shops, new products and we often, if we will keep our minds open, see things that we think would be great ideas back home.

So where are you going next?

 
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