Posts Tagged ‘characteristics of successful entrepreneurs’
We are constantly chasing success. Are we like the dog chasing cars? What is your definition of success? Until you know what success represents to you, how will you know if and when you achieve it?
A few years ago I hiked the Inca Trail in Peru. I met some of the most wonderful, kind, gentle, peaceful and happy people. They were living in a structure which did not appear to be sturdy enough to withstand a stiff breeze. Yet they invited me to their “casa” (home). They smiled at each other and at me, a stranger. Success to them did not appear to require wealth or fancy possessions. They had an aura of genuine warmth and sense of peace about them.
Zig’s last book Born to Win! Find Your Success Code shared his winning philosophy. He listed
What Success Is
- Success is knowing that you did a great job
- Success is home and people to love who love you in return.
- Success is financial security
- Success is faith
- Success is an interest or hobby you enjoy
- Success is knowing who you are
- Success is being healthy
- Success is gratitude
What Success Isn’t
- Choosing work over family dinners
- Hiding in front of the TV after a long day
- Making more money than you need
- Going to church, but not listening
- All work and no play
- Eating junk food because it is fast
- Worrying about work or bills and missing family events
- Texting while you drive to save time
Success as a Balanced Life
Get over the myth that life will be perfectly balanced at all times. It won’t.
We do have control over the priorities we choose.
Supporting the family is important. What do they really need and want most?
When I taught in the third richest school district in United States, I found that my students received an extremely generous allowance, but what they wanted was some time and attention. They would have preferred having one of their parents attend their sporting event rather than being given cash and dismissed.
The people I met in Peru had virtually nothing in terms of material possessions and yet they were happy being together.
As I look back over my twenties and thirties, I focused too much on work honestly thinking I was being responsible. Zig Zigler’s lists of what success is and isn’t gives me cause for reassessment of what is really important. What does success really mean?
For me success has become more about people, feelings and peace of mind. Yes, I truly enjoy creature comforts, pretty clothes and achieving goals. Some of the goals on the list have shifted.
Zig was a very wise man. How many people do you imagine have ever reached the final stages of life and said “I wish I had spent more time at the office and less at home?” Not many, if any.
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business and communications professional – business coach, presentations coach/trainer and content writer. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com
The business start-up is more than an idea, a business plan, and initial finances. Does it sound exciting to be able to work from home in your robe and slippers? Ok, so you put on jeans, flip flops and a hoodie to go to the bank. Unfortunately that will not create a successful image.
As an entrepreneur you are wearing all of the hats. You are the President and CEO, the accountant, the receptionist and even the office cleaning and maintenance staff. You never know who you may encounter on your trip to the bank. What if you met the banker to whom you had just applied for a small business loan? What if you met the ideal customer who could make a major purchase of your product or the individual who would refer you to that ideal customer? Would your attire and manner convey the impression of a successful business owner?
Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, considers himself on duty for the client from the time he arrives at the airport to depart for his professional speaking booking. A future audience member, meeting planner or corporate executive may also be traveling through that same airport at that exact time; they will form an impression which can influence current or future bookings.
My speaking and business coaching clients are encouraged to dress business casual with their hair coiffed and clean shoes; females have makeup and the guys are clean shaven. Does it require extra effort? Of course. When you are properly dressed and ready to face the public, you carry yourself just a little more erect. You smile a bit more and feel better about yourself.
As a new entrepreneur, can you really afford to turn away encouragement or financial support? Probably not. Did I ever experience such a bitter lesson? Come with me to Steamboat Springs Ski Resort in Colorado in the early days of Mountain Castles Property Management.
It was an especially busy day with tourists departing and new tourists arriving within a few hours for the same five-bedroom homes. Two housekeepers called in sick. There wasn’t much choice but to leave my office, put on cleaning clothes and fill the housekeeping gap. As I stepped into the house, the omen of trouble was immediate. The sink was piled high. There is a dishwasher; hadn’t they even washed one dish for the entire week? My frustration mounted. One peek into the oven revealed a disaster resembling a burnt out college bond fire. After a couple hours of scrubbing, it was apparent that there were not enough cleaning materials with me to transform this catastrophe into the sparkling property necessary for the next guests. I made a hasty dash back to the office to replenish supplies.
I entered the office looking especially scruffy and dirty. I was suddenly face to face with one of my most affluent and impeccably attired female clients. Neither apologies, explanations, nor excuses could possibly erase my unsavory appearance from her memory.
Yes, that appearance error was unavoidable, but what about the avoidable “too much of a hurry to bother” occasions?
As the owner, you are making the sales pitch for funding or product sales. Though you won’t wear a three piece suit to sell products to an auto mechanic shop, it is always respectful to the client to dress up at least as well as they do and preferably slightly better.
The old adage of “You never have a second chance to make a good first impression” holds ever so true for the appearance of the owner of a start-up.
Take the extra time to pay attention to your attire and grooming. Your future business and future bank account will thank you.
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com or contact Elaine at Elaine@Elaine4Success.com
Conversations should flow naturally and smoothly. Relax and be yourself. The more you are fully engaged and genuinely interested in both the topic and the person to whom you are speaking, the more comfortable it will be for both parties.
Key – It is called conversation, not monologue. Both parties should be participating.
How to start a conversation
Every conversation is an opportunity for connection. The people in front of you may or may not be your ideal client, but they may know the perfect client for you. We are all connected to everyone else by six degrees of separation. (“Six degrees of separation is the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare.”)
Questions are excellent conversation starters. Allison Graham’s article “Hate Small Talk” said, Mastering small talk will help you find common ground to create a mini-bond with new contacts. Small talk may feel trite and unimportant, but it’s the small talk that leads to the big talk.”
What questions can you ask which will stimulate conversation and connection?
- What brought you to this event?
- When you’re not working or networking, what do you enjoy doing?
- How did you happen to start in your line of work?
- What organizations do you belong to? (social, professional, service)
- What are your vacation plans for this year? (or holiday plans)
- Name something positive which happened to you lately.
If the conversation lags but you really do not want to end it, be creative. You know what interests you; keep moving from topic to topic until you find what interests them. Establishing common interests creates connection.
Comment on an attractive shirt or tie for a man or a blouse or shoes for a woman. Be genuine. Men like to be complimented on their attire as much as women do.
Mentioning a special award or accomplishment they or a member of their family has recently received is always a positive. If you can take a photo of them receiving the award or a clipping from the paper and enclose it in your personalized printed note card, it makes a memorable gift. Your thoughtfulness creates an emotional connection.
One of my clients gave me a gift of notepads with my company logo on them as a Thank You gift. PrintPlace creates custom printed notepads. These pads become a constant reminder of the appreciation of the giver and a reminder of the high quality of the printer.
You only have to connect emotionally if you want them to remember you. People remember how you make them feel more than they remember your words. Note cards create emotional connections; thoughtful notes are excellent follow up reminders of your conversation.
What Not to Say
Avoid Foot in Mouth Syndrome
Intense discussions about work, politics, religion or sensitive social issues are taboo – totally unacceptable.
Don’t always have to be right. I once dated a man who said he was “often wrong but never in doubt.” Even if you know you are right, this may not be the time to push the issue. You will not win points.
When is it Time to Move On to the Next Person?
Shifting feet, glances around the room and disengaged behavior in the conversation all say “It’s time to move on. This conversation is over at this time.”
If you are the one who desires to move on, offer to introduce them to “Ms or Mr X.” It is a smooth transition and will most likely be viewed as helping them.
If you have made a solid connection, ask when they would like to get together for a cup of coffee and continue the conversation. This is the perfect time to offer your business card. Pull out your smart phone and coordinate calendars for your follow up meeting. Make a note of the follow up time, date and a conversation note on their business card. Ideally, they will make a similar note on your business card.
Be conscious of focusing genuine attention on them. Ask engaging questions, make eye contact, give a firm but not crushing handshake, confirm common values and interests, listen and be appreciative. Remain aware of body language both positive and negative. Connect emotionally. Make a smooth transition out of the conversation just as you made a smooth transition into the conversation.
“People buy more from those they know, like and trust” has been stated repeatedly through the decades even though the originator of the quote is unknown. How do people get to know, like and trust you? One of the fastest ways is through networking. Personal face-to-face contact allows the listener to hear the words, tone of voice and observe the body language.
Why take the time to network?
Networking requires time, energy and genuine attentiveness. If you think you can’t spare the time to network, consider that you will receive more value for your soft-money investment than you would by spending the equivalent amount in actual hard-money dollars.
Benefits of networking
- Increased sales
- Larger transaction amount per sale
- Higher closing ratio
- More repeat and referral business
- Community awareness
- Greater perceived trust
“The more solid relationships you build, the more credible you are. The more your credibility grows, the more people will hire and recommend you.” Can you afford NOT to network?
Websites, pop-up ads, online banners and pay-per-click ads all tout the benefits of your business. Once you make face to face contact, you become a personality. You have the opportunity to form a connection. Now your business card has a face and a voice attached.
Your brochure becomes an extension of you, the person, not just any business. Dan Kennedy attended a trade show with the specific intention of purchasing a generator. He visited several booths and received their brochures. Kennedy said, “If you took the name off the top of the brochure, the features listed were interchangeable.” Your business has competition. Without the personal contact, your business may blend into the masses. When you make a personal connection with a person and hand them your brochure, your personality intensifies the value of your business. Online does not have the personal touch of a smile and a handshake.
With networking you increase the value of all of your marketing, but especially the printed marketing materials you hand a prospect during your conversation.
Disadvantages of networking
- It takes time to drive to and from events
- To be effective, personal contact requires you to listen
- Some expense is involved – transportation costs and beverage costs at the event
How to Network Effectively
Create a plan
- Go alone. You will talk to more people.
- Make a list of specific individuals you would like to contact and pertinent details to be discussed. Refresh the list after each event adding new names and recording the results of the contacts accomplished.
- Set an objective for the event. Are you seeking investors, education, inspiration, connections or clients?
- Ask insightful questions. Attentively listen to people and demonstrate that you care about what they are saying by asking them to expand on their points of wisdom.
- Add value by introducing them to others who would be important connections for them.
- Make a note on their business card to remind you of the conversation and the person. (Consider making the front of your card high gloss for visual appeal and the back of the card in a finish which permits writing notes.)
- Relax. You are attending to make connections not bowl people over with a sales pitch. Networking is not to close the sale but to make the connection for a future appointment.
- Speak casually at a slower pace and lower tone. You are not there to collect a handful of cards, but to have genuine conversations.
- Be brief. People love to talk about themselves. You are there to learn more about them. Interestingly enough, they will be more impressed by your genuine listening and attention to them than if you spouted volumes of information about yourself.
- Follow up after the event. Send an email, make a telephone call, and send a handwritten note on your personalized business notecard stationery.
- Understand the tremendous value of networking. The critical keys to effective networking are to go with a focused mindset and plan to be conscious of making genuine connections. Be attentive and engage in genuine conversations. Demonstrate your intention of helping others. Make notes, future appointments and follow up. People do business with those they know, like and trust. Increase your connections with networking.
Understand the tremendous value of networking. The critical keys to effective networking are to go with a focused mindset and plan to be conscious of making genuine connections. Be attentive and engage in genuine conversations. Demonstrate your intention of helping others. Make notes, future appointments and follow up. People do business with those they know, like and trust. Increase your connections with networking.
Over 79 million people will start a home based business this year according to Forbes magazine. Yesterday I wrote an article on Steps to Start a Small Business.
Starting a small business from home has positives and negatives.
- You do not have any additional rent for your business location.
- You do not have any additional utility expense for your business.
- You do not require any travel time or expense. A 30 second walk from your bedroom to your office does not count as travel time.
4. In the initial stages you will probably not have any employee expense
- You work from home. You have all of the distractions of home life which makes it more challenging to focus and concentrate on business tasks.
- You have to do all of the tasks. You place the ads, you call the people, you do the training, you do the record keeping, you do the short and long range planning and you do your own research to learn more about your new business
- Wow. After all of that you are probably thinking about a nap. No can do. Until you start making money in your new small business, you are probably still working your day job. Plan at least 20 hours a week for you new business.
Being health conscious and an exercise-a-holic, I am not telling you to give up your sleep, give up healthy eating, or give up exercise. It will be more challenging for awhile to accomplish everything.
Oh, your sanity is in the mix somewhere as well. I am not telling you to give up your spouse, your kids or even your tennis racquet. You WILL have to focus your time and energy carefully. No more wasted time. Carefully examine your schedule and make every minute count.
Weigh the time freedom, lower start up cost, convenience, and unlimited income potential against the discipline, time, initial investment and learning curve required for entrepreneurial thinking. Do you have what it takes to be successful?
You may be thinking, “What if I fail?” The best way to overcome your fear of failure is to make your desire for success more powerful than you fear. What is your “why?” What is your powerful reason to push through any obstacle until you reach success?
Every business requires a powerful “why,” but a home based business seems to require an even stronger why than a brick and mortar business. Maybe it is because there is a lower investment or because it is easier to quit. You do not have a lease to break or contracts to renegotiate or transfer. Work from home business ideas sound great and they are great. The catch is the follow through.
If you have the discipline, determination and “why,” your odds of success just skyrocketed.
If you would like individual coaching or more personalized guidance on your steps to start a small business, contact me at www.Elaine4Success.com.
How many hours did you spend preparing for that presentation? Entrepreneurial success requires preparation, presentation and review. If it was a major client, it was probably several hours. You wrote, rehearsed, tweaked and worried. You probably picked out just the right outfit to make a favorable impression. The time arrived and you gave your presentation. How did it go?
Preparation is absolutely important. Delivery is also very important. What happens next? “It has been 2 days since we met, Mr. Buyer. What do you think?” Regardless of the words chosen, you probably made at least one follow up call.
What did you do about your presentation? Did you review your own performance? Reality indicates that less then 1% of the salesmen ever review their own presentation. Entrepreneurial success is epitomized by the Toastmasters speaking and leadership tracks. Toastmasters encourages every member to record a video and an audio of every speech. Just recording the speech is not enough. It is important to actually watch and listen to the recording.
How many salesmen, male and female, ever record their presentations? Out of thousands of sales professionals, you could count the number on one foot with toes left over. No wonder so many salesmen put their foot in their mouth during presentations.
A wise friend of mine, Ed Tate, recommends using debriefing questions after every presentation. (Ed Tate was the 2000 world champion of public speaking for Toastmasters.)
What happened? List the good points and the “lets do that differently next time” points.
Why did that part work or why didn’t that part work? Break the entire presentation down into small parts and review each one. Don’t beat yourself up, but do be honest. The growth is in the struggle to improve. I recently had a speech which did not go nearly as well as I would have liked. I don’t know if you ever talk to yourself, but I had a serious heart to heart with myself over that performance. “Elaine, you stayed up all night working on the last minute changes. You were not rested and refreshed.” “Elaine, you spent the time running off new handouts instead of eating breakfast. Your energy was low.” “Elaine, you drank black coffee in an attempt to boost energy all night and early in the morning rather than drinking water to stay hydrated.” “Elaine, you self sabotaged your own performance.” Even though staying up all night working, running off copies and coffee seemed like good ideas at the time, in retrospect, they were self defeating.
How many college students have crammed all night for a test and almost fell asleep during the test? Common practice but not a good idea.
What worked? What parts did not work? In any speech or presentation some parts work better than others. Unless you take the time to dissect the entire presentation, you do not know what parts to keep in for the next presentation and which parts to tweak. In order to maximize entrepreneurial success, a debrief of the presentation is essential.
What did you learn? Debrief all parts of the presentation and make concentrated efforts to strengthen the most effective parts and revise the weaker segments. Examine carefully what you learned. The growth is in the struggle.
For more tips, techniques and solid business practices, join me at www.Elaine4Success.com.
Life isn’t perfect. You always have a choice of attitude. Choose to view the situation as a problem, a calamity and whine about how unfair life is to you. Choose to view it as fate which is totally out of your control; be a helpless victim. Or choose the viewpoint of a challenge, an opportunity for change, and a potential for improvement.
All 3 scenarios are exactly the same set of circumstances. Your attitude represents the only variable.
Have you ever wanted something very badly, almost had it within your grasp and been disappointed?
If you had been with me in that tiny little farm town in June when I was seventeen, you would have felt the hot Kansas sun. You would have smelled the sweet scent of fresh cut alfalfa hay. You would have seen me run into our farm house so excited that I almost tripped over the rug at the front door. “Dad, they gave me a full college scholarship. I’m going to go to college.” You would have seen the flush of heat and excitement on my face as I handed him the papers. “Elaine, you’re a girl. You don’t deserve a college education.”
I watched in shock and disappointment as he threw the papers on the floor and walked away. Under my breath, “It would not have cost you anything. Why wouldn’t you sign the papers?”
Decision time. Whine, curl up in a ball and cry about being a victim, or seek a solution. Attitude becomes the only variable.
Facts: scholarship received, scholarship becomes invalid without a parent’s signature, scholarship is no longer an option for me to attend college. I was so close to having my dream of a college education within my grasp only to have the hopes thrown on the floor.
When have you faced a situation in your life when you were so close, but denied at the last minute?
Solution based attitudes, determined individuals, and goal oriented thinkers find an answer. An entrepreneurial mindset or a millionaire mindset will focus on the potential solution.
Ask any man and he will confirm the mindset of a determined female. The circumstances remain exactly the same; the shift in the end result comes in the attitude. Attitude will get you everywhere; choose positive or choose negative. The entrepreneurial mindset, the millionaire mindset or the determined female mindset all revolve around a positive attitude.
After dialing numerous friends, acquaintances and friends of friends, a ride to college was located, confirmed and finalized. No job, no money and no parental approval. Remember that focused positive attitude? Three years later, my college diploma was firmly grasped in those determined female fingers. A positive attitude backed with action accomplishes amazing feats.
Even though he never told me, I heard that my father told others that he was proud of me.
Attitude will get you everywhere. Determination, a positive attitude and action achieve goals.
For more inspiration, motivation and practical techniques for success, join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/.
When your attitude shifts, your life follows suit. Everyone reaches that magic “decision time.” You know the time. You look at your life or a situation and determine “that’s enough; something is going to change NOW.”
A firm decision results in an attitude shift. Your attitude will get you everywhere. The relief associated with a major attitude shift is phenomenal. The trauma and stress are all previous to the decision. Once the decision is made, the attitude turns positive and progressive. The stress comes from the “should I” or “shouldn’t I” dilemma. Stop shoulding all over yourself and get with the program.
So many people spend so much time getting ready to get ready that they never actually make a decision. What is it in your life right now that is holding you back from making a progressive decision, a progressive attitude? Wealth builders and self-made millionaires all make decisions.
Self-made millionaires possess decision oriented habits and positive attitudes. Wealth builders know that a positive attitude will get you everywhere. It starts with a dream and builds to a goal. A plan forms designing the process to reach the goal. Absolute laser focus is applied to the implementation of the plan. Frequent benchmarks or checkpoints are established to insure the plan is on course. Will there be adjustments? Yes. Even a jet airplane does not go from San Francisco to New York without a few minor tweaks and turns.
The entire process starts with a firm decision and an attitude shift.
If your life or plan is off target, check your attitude. Queasy attitude probably means there is a decision in limbo. Clear the roadblock by determining what decision you have procrastinated about making. Make the decision. Feel the relief and the positive attitude shift.
You can never make forward progress and remain sitting on the fence. Make the decision. Establish a positive attitude. Set the goal and the plan to achieve it. Establish the course correction checkpoints and prepare to celebrate victory.
For more positive attitude tips and techniques, join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/
Poor me. Boo Hoo. Whine Whine. Maybe you will hear this attitude from a quitter, but never from an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs never quit. We may alter the course or even change directions, but never quit. Quitting simply does not exist with the entrepreneurial mindset. Does that mean that we never get discouraged or face challenges? No. Of course we do. The difference between the entrepreneur and the quitter is that an entrepreneurial mindset never quits.
|Goal Oriented||Today Oriented|
|Written Success Plan||Mood of the Moment Activity|
|Determined||Maybe and If Thoughts|
|Consistent||Sometimes – Infrequent|
|Compelling Reason to Succeed||Luke warm desire to succeed|
|Researched and Planned||Impulse of the Moment|
Goal Oriented means you have specific written goals. Each goal has a time frame to be accomplished, measurable criteria and is a stretch but yet possible. Without specific written goals, it is just a daydream or a wish.
Entrepreneurial mindsets require a detailed written success plan with each element defined. What financing will be needed? What marketing method, budget and specific marketing action steps are required? What specific benchmarks must be reached by what date to know that the business is on target toward the goal rather than wandering aimlessly. Excellent written success plans are composed in weekly, monthly, quarterly, one year, five year and ten year time frames.
Rock solid determination is not optional. One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is the unwavering commitment to reach their goals no matter what the obstacles. This determination is frequently based on a “why.” Why will you never give up on your goals? What is so important that you will persevere through any obstacle? Go over it, around it, under it or through it; the obstacle must yield.
Consistent and persistent actions are typical characteristics of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs know that focused action is required each and every day.
Entrepreneurial mindset remains crystal clear on their “why.” Thus reason becomes compelling and long term.
Another characteristic of an entrepreneur is researching the ideal business fit for them and planning their success with a detailed written business success plan.
Entrepreneurs are never quitters. Entrepreneurs succeed partially because they never accept any other outcome.
Is your net worth sinking from the black into the red? Is your wallet shrinking right along with your confidence while you eat out of tension and your waistline goes the other direction? What you want is a tensionectomy? I’ll let you in on a little secret. Shhhh. Having the right non-conflict of interest information at the right time and knowing what action to take plumps your wallet and strengthens your self confidence.
Wealth creation strategies require passion, perseverance and a commitment toward permanent improvement. Get rich quick schemes are for the foolish, lazy and perhaps unethical. Serious wealth creation strategies require a mindset change. If your current mindset would create a path toward wealth, you would already be rich.
Millions of people invest hundreds of thousands in college, various schools and classes every year. Americans, and now the world need solid, accurate financial information. How much are you willing to invest in yourself to receive honest, non-conflict of interest education about how to earn more money and make better choices with the money you do have?
The alarm bells are ringing all over the world now. The euro is screaming in terror as its debt level rises to flood stage and it is swimming in a sea of red ink. The US Dollar has been drowning in its own red ink for months now and the massive bailouts are causing it to go down for the third time. Pouring in more debt, red ink, to an already overflowing debt level only intensifies the problem.
Now since we are doing such a terrible job of managing our own economy, we have decided to expand this disastrous flood stage economic model to Europe, Portugal, China and any other poor soul who decides to listen. Increasing debt far beyond what can ever be repaid makes no sense.
Hello, bankruptcy. When your debts far exceed your current and future income, you are bankrupt. Running the printing presses to flood the market with deflated dollars is like tying a big rock to your wallet and expecting it to float to the surface. What are we doing to ourselves? Even worse, what are we doing to future generations?
Wealth creation strategies require making wise decisions with current money and becoming wealth builders for the future.
- Stop buying things you can not afford with money you do not have to impress people who do not care.
- Start taking your financial education from people who want to educate you rather than sell you the latest and greatest “get rich quick” scheme. Real wealth does not happen overnight. It is a mindset of wise decisions at the right time backed by action.
- Stop jumping on every fad that floats through the media. Pet rocks are long gone.
The US economy and the world economy are changing rapidly. If you go with the flow of the masses, you will go down with the masses. By the time information floats down through the spin artists from the top of Wall Street through the media and talking heads down to main street, it is far too late to act on it. Come learn the facts.
Join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/ and get honest non-conflict of interest information.