Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneruial thinking’

Grow or Go

The question of when to “grow or go” faces every business owner.  You stand at the precipice and ask yourself if you want to

Grow into your goal

Grow into your goal

expand the business or sell.  How do you decide?

The questions come down to priorities.  The quantifiable ones are the easier ones.

Are you making money?

Are you making money?  Seriously what profit are you generating on a consistent basis? Look at the focused hours you are investing in order to generate that profit.  What is your time and effort worth?

On the good days when business is flowing and you are receiving the emotional satisfaction of achievement, the monetary amount seems less significant but on the bad days when customers or employees are unhappy about something, the significance changes dramatically.  At 8 am this business may feel like the best idea you have ever had, but at 2 am when you awake from a restless sleep wrestling with a problem, it seems like the worst idea.

Is it enough?

Profit vs time and effort

Profit vs time and effort

On a strictly quantifiable basis, is the amount of money you are earning enough to pay your bills, save some money for your future retirement and support the lifestyle you envision for yourself and your family?  If you just felt the twinge or a knot in your stomach, then perhaps this calculation deserves a more serious analysis.

I remember when this very dilemma arose in my business.  The first time it arose, the industry was growing, my market share was growing and the potential appeared strong that my income would be increasing.  I streamlined a few details with the operations and overhead to improve the current service to my clients and staff.

My business was property management.  At that time I was working primarily with executive clients (non-rental clients who were absentee owners) and owners and tenants in long term rental properties.  Since my company was located in a ski resort, the decision was to expand into vacation rentals as well.

Vacation rentals required considerably more employees to handle housekeeping, reservations and maintenance.  It also required expensive marketing and an entirely new segment of owners who wanted to rent their homes to vacationers.  The increased cost to the company was enormous but so was the profit potential.  Vacation rentals generate a much higher profit margin for the company and the owners when everything works: the snow, the flow of renters and wise management decisions.

The risk and initial company capital outlay was scary high.  The reward potential was also temptingly high.  My decision was carefully weighed from all angles.  The decision was to go for it.  Thankfully, it exceeded my most optimistic projections.

How long will the profit be sustainable?

At that time the profit potential appeared to be increasing.  15 years later when the same decision of “grow or go” arose, the

Time is Valuable

“Time Thinking”

decision was to sell.

Analysis:

  1. Profit – amount, trend up or down, consistency, and potential for the future
  2. Hours – total personal hours, rate per hour actually earned, potential for the future
  3. Industry- trend for the industry locally and nationwide

These are quantifiable considerations.  Numbers are absolute.  If the decision is to sell as mine was 15 years later, these are the numbers which a potential purchaser will also scrutinize.

Emotional factors

What is your personal passion level?  How passionate are you about your business?  This is the intangible which weighs heavily on the decision.  Even if you are not earning enough money in total or enough money per hour, the personal passion factor can outweigh the quantifiable.  If you are so passionate about what you are doing that you would do it even if you were not making any money, then by all means continue.

thinking and feelingThe emotional factor weighs heavily.  What are your priorities?

Analysis:

  1. Financial needs
  2. Future planning
  3. Personal satisfaction

There comes a time when we look at what we are doing and determine the future potential.  If you continue on your current trend, will you reach your retirement goals?  Even more pressing is the question of paying your current bills.

Deciding to grow or go is not easy, quick or non-emotional.  You invested your hard earned capital, brain power, precious time and emotions.  The economic climate changes as does your personal situation.  Deciding to “grow or go” is intense.

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.  Let me inspire you to reach your potential.  www.Elaine4Success.com, www.Elaine4Success.com/contact.

Fabulous 5 Daily Activities

Taxes are going up.  ObamaCare continues to roll out more complications, contingencies and costs.  The

Push past emotional blocks

Push past emotional blocks

dollar is losing its former high status in the world economy.  Our national debt is rising.  Is all the news doom and gloom?  No.  As entrepreneurs, we still have a business to run; ideally running that business at a profit.  What can we do?

 

Running Your Business? 

 

How many times have you reached a point in your business when you experienced a bit of a slump in profits?  What did you do about it?

 

During the initial growth days of Mountain Castles, I was focused from morning until night calling on Realtors, devising new ways to attract clients and servicing the clients already under contract.  The business of running the business soon consumed all of the time and active personal marketing dwindled.

 

We know what happens when marketing decreases.

 

What Worked Before?

 

Go back to the basics.  What activities were you doing when your business worked the best?  Chances are that you were doing one or more of the “Fabulous 5” Daily Activities.

 

  1. 1.      Daily action plan

 

At least the night before write out the most important tasks to be accomplished the next day and exactly what time you would dedicate to each activity.  Follow through.  (My preference is to lay out my entire week on Sunday for the upcoming week.  Each primary activity has its time slot.   Non-business emails and phone calls are ignored during that time.  Turn your phone off and minimize your email program.)

 

  1. 2.      Prioritize Activities According to Goals

 

If the activity will advance you toward the achievement of your goals, do it.   If the activity takes you away from your primary goal, eliminate it.

 

Are your goals written?  Thoughts about goals rather than written goals are merely wishes.

 

Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

 

Specific Goal – weigh 120# by June 30, 2013

 

Measurable – scales do not lie (no fair standing with one foot on the floor or in the air.)

 

Attainable – if the current weight is 130, a reduction of 10 pounds in 105 days is certainly attainable.  If the current weight is 230, that goal would not be attainable without surgery.

 

One or two pounds reduction per week would certainly be within reason.  Gradual weight reduction is more likely to stay off.  Note, I did not say lose weight; if you lose it, you may find it again.

 

Relevant – A goal to weigh less at precisely the time you open a chocolate shop would be a conflict.

 

Timely – The specific goal included a completion date.  Setting checkpoints along the route is advisable.  In the example above, the weight reduction was one pound every ten days; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

 

Analyze each of your goals according to this formula.  Since it is difficult to go in multiple directions at the same time, it is recommended to set a maximum of three main goals with every minor goal tying directly to one of the three major goals.  In the weight loss example, it could be exercising three times per week.

 

  1. 3.      Income Producing Activity

 

Lead generation and following up on leads fills the sales funnel.  It is a simple progression – marketing – leads – follow up with leads – sales – delivery of goods or services – customer service – profit – repeat orders.

 

Regardless of the marketing method: paid online marketing, social media, printed marketing, or personal contact marketing, leads must be generated.  Income producing activities are critical every day.

 

  1. 4.       Personal Development

 

Customers always relate to you first and the product second.  Unless you are the only possible source for the product and they desperately have to have the product, buyers purchase from the salesperson who emotionally connects with them.  Patricia Fripp, first female president of the National Speakers Association said, “You only have to connect with your audience emotionally if you want them to remember you and what you said.”

 

Personal development is knowing yourself.  Celebrate what is going well in your life and constantly strive to improve other elements one by one.  Personal development is key to a peaceful and productive life.

 

Journaling, meditating, listening to educational/inspirational/thought-provoking material, reading books and magazines with informative content and attending motivational seminars all enhance the opportunity for personal development.  Invest in yourself by completing the exercises in Emotional Ice Water.  The best information in the world will not help you unless you take action and apply it to your life.

 

  1. 5.      Cultivate an Attitude of Success

 

When you believe in yourself, believe the best in others, associate with positive minded leaders, and take action on those constructive thoughts, you will progress.  Bob Moawad said, “You can’t make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt.”

 

Think positive, take action and achieve your goals.

Connection – The Object of Conversation

Conversations with friends

Connection, not just conversation is Key

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

 

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.

 

Appreciation

 

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?

 

Body Language

 

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.”

 

Smooth Transitions

 

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.

 

 

 

 

How important is your competitive advantage?

Develop your Competitive Advantage

What is your competitive advantage?  Why would people choose to do business with you instead of your competition?  We are in the midst of a challenging economy in United States as well as many other countries right now.  Competitive advantage is even more important now than at any other point in my lifetime, perhaps yours as well.

 

 

If you are an investor, you may be thinking, “How does this relate to me?  This is my market.  There are more sellers than buyers right now.”  True.  If you are the seller, how do you attract that ideal buyer or investor?

 

Fine tune your competitive advantage

 

What is the value, quality or delivery you offer which is superior?  An investor wants to know what you have to offer now; they will build on their additional advantages.  Unless you have something intriguing to offer, they are on to the next opportunity.

 

So what if they don’t invest in your business?  Developing a stronger competitive advantage will make your business more profitable in the interim.

 

Do you believe you have an excellent product or service?  If not, improve it until it is excellent.

 

How to improve your competitive advantage

 

Interview your current customers.

 

  1. What do they like about your company or product?
  2. What do they NOT like? (Not a fun question but very informative.)
  3. What would they like to have but do not have at this time?

 

Interview your competitor’s customers with the same 3 questions.

 

Interview prospective customers.  You will be amazed at how powerful it is to ask them what they want rather than endeavor to sell them something.

 

Now do something with this valuable feedback.  No, not stuff it in a folder to be reviewed at some distant point in the future.

 

Research how other companies have overcome these “dislike” issues.  You are probably not the only one to ever face these challenges.

 

  1.  Contact your mentors or icons in the industry.
  2. Search for information.  Use the internet as well as current print publications.
  3. Visit some of your competitors or purchase a product from them.
  4. Do a blind test and purchase from your own company.

 

Take a vendor to lunch.  Ask their experience with how other companies handle similar situations you deal with in your day to day operations.

 

Ask you CPA.  They work with other companies.  Look outside your industry for ideas

 

Form a plan to improve your competitive advantage

 

  • Find a way to build on your current advantages.  Emphasize them in your marketing

 

  • Compile all of your research information into an organized format.  Brainstorm.  Use the “How can I” approach rather than “That won’t work.”  A positive attitude does wonders.

 

  • Make a list of actions to be taken.  Prioritize the list and add a timeframe to each.

 

  • Take action.  Start the plan immediately

 

Competitive advantage is even more important now.  Adopt the attitude of Amazon in 2008.  The CEO called the key staff together and said “There’s a big recession coming.  Let’s miss it.”

 

Whether you are a seller, buyer, investor or customer, competitive advantage is paramount.  Take action to make your advantage outstanding in the marketplace.  Your employees, customers and bank account will thank you.

 

For more information on competitive advantage, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com.  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com.

The Connection Objective of Networking

“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                                                                 

Connections are key to Networking

Connect emotionally

  • 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

  1. Go alone.  You will talk to more people.
  2. 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.
  3. Set an objective for the event.  Are you seeking investors, education, inspiration, connections or clients?
  4. 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.
  5. Add value by introducing them to others who would be important connections for them.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.
  8. Speak casually at a slower pace and lower tone.  You are not there to collect a handful of cards, but to have genuine conversations.
  9. 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.
  10. Follow up after the event.  Send an email, make a telephone call, and send a handwritten note on your personalized business notecard stationery.
  11. 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.

Work From Home Business Ideas

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.

Positives:

  1. You do not have any additional rent for your business location.
  2. You do not have any additional utility expense for your business.
  3. 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

Negatives:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.

Wealth Builders Blueprint

Want to make it easier on yourself to get out of bed in the morning?        How would it feel to be excited about your work?  Imagine being more excited about Monday morning than Saturday morning?

You will always be more productive, more profitable and more emotionally satisfied when you are working in your passion.  When you are passionate about what you do for a living, it is easier to get out of bed in the morning.  You are actually eager to get to the office.  Does that feel like traveling in a foreign land without a map to you?  If being happy about your career is totally foreign to you, then it is time to seriously examine your career choice.

Remember as a child how you had wild and wonderful dreams about how life could be when you grew up?  What happened to that childish wonder and excitement?  As a child did you imagine yourself as wealthy?

Examine your wealth builders blueprint.  Did you forget to even make one or is it covered with years of dust?  Unfortunately, it is probably not gold dust.  Time to dust it off and reinvigorate your dreams.  Your dreams are the first step in your wealth builders blueprint.

What is a dream anyway?

D – Decide what you truly want

R – Refine it down to a specific goal

E – Examine all of the factors involved in making it come true

A – Action plan to achieve

M – Maintain consistent, persistent, focused action

Deciding what you truly want can be accomplished by paying close attention to your energy.  When do you feel the most invigorated and inspired?  What are you doing when time just flies by without glancing at the clock every five minutes or having the overwhelming urge to jump up and get another cup of coffee?  When do you feel the greatest sense of satisfaction?  Where does your mind wander to in your daydreams?  All of these are clues as to your passion – your area of highest productivity, profitability and satisfaction.

Refining all of these thoughts, activities and “what if” ideas into the one most important goal is a process.  Be careful not to talk yourself out of your dream by saying it can’t happen.  Approach the process as if EVERYTHING is possible.  When you want something badly enough and really focus on it, there is usually a way to achieve it.  Napoleon Hill said, “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Examine all of the factors involved.  Do you need more training?  Do you need to tap into a positive mastermind group who share your quest for achieving a dream?  Careful, no bar room benefactors, they tend to be negative; they are dream stealers.  Look at finances, education, and skills.  You will have to move.  Move your mind in a new direction; move your time priorities; move your seat off the couch and into action.

Form an action plan with step by step activities to move you constantly toward your goal.  It may not be fast but keep checking to be certain you are on course.  Revisit the plan frequently and be certain you have not veered off course.

Maintain consistent, persistent and focused action all headed toward the achievement of the goal.  This means daily.  Your dream becomes a 24-7-365 focus.  You dream about its accomplishment at night, take action on it during the day and daydream about how your life will feel when you are successful.

A wealth builders blueprint starts with a dream.  Live the life you desire and deserve.

Entrepreneurial Mindset – Never Give Up

Never Give Up on Yourself or Your Future

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.

Entrepreneur Quitter
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.

For more specific and personalized fine tuning of your individual entrepreneurial mindset, join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/ or http://www.yes2money.com/.

Visionary Leadership


Visionary leaders serve in the local community with food drives, clothing for the homeless, educational support through scholarships, and health and water projects on a global scale.  What is your passion?  Where will you carve your niche of service?  Visionary leadership means seeing a need and serving others.  The highest quality visionary leader is also a giver; they give of their time, talent and resources.

As a fellow successful entrepreneur and visionary leader, I absolutely subscribe to service to others.  None of our lives are one dimensional.  We also have our families, our careers and our spiritual life.  As a Rotarian, we have a 4 way test.  We have at least 4 major life areas which also demand and deserve our time attention and money.

If you ever think that your children are out of the nest and on their own, try sending one to college.  “Hi, dad and mom, please send money.”

Children fall into various groups,

Baby birds – they are still in the nest

Touch and go flight patterns – they leave but return for laundry, raid the pantry and financial assistance

Circle flight pattern – they left and were out of the nest and then move back

homeFlight squadron – they leave but return with spouse and your grand children

Not that any of these are bad, but to say that children are inexpensive or maintenance free would be a gross error.

Our careers are also emotional, financial and time consumers.   Our careers require our passion.  Every successful person owned, lived and breathed their passion.  Olympic athletes, concert master musicians, inventors and corporate moguls were all consumed with passion for their chosen mission in life.  Whether you have chosen an entrepreneurial mindset or a corporate mindset, employing visionary leadership remains consistent.

Steve Jobs, the icon and founder of Apple Computers, credits his passion as his key to success. “You’ve got to find what you love.  Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to Love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.”

When I first started Mt. Castles, Property management, I got up early, stayed up late and had an insatiable drive.  The creativity flowed and every day was an opportunity for a new adventure.

I read every book I could get my hands on about property management; I went to Inc. conferences to learn from other successful entrepreneurs.  I interviewed female entrepreneurs to determine the specific challenges they encountered.  In fact I published a white paper “Gender differences in Conflict Management Style in the Workplace.”

I picked the brains of every successful property manager I could interview.  I took them to a long lunch and asked questions.  I interviewed second home owners, tourists and long term renters.  What is it you need?  What is it you would like to have that you do not have available now?  I looked for niches to fill.

Look at your career right now.  Are you fired up to hop out of bed every morning and soar with the eagles or are you content to walk the same circle on the ground as the chickens?

How many books have you read lately about your chosen field?

When was the last time you reached outside your industry for creative ideas which work in other industries but have not been utilized in your industry yet?

When was the last time you took a successful business colleague to lunch and tapped into their mindset for success?  Do you belong to a “hold your feet to the fire” mastermind club?

When was the last time you interviewed your customers, vendors, and target market to ask what they needed?  Ask what they like now and what they would change if they could.

When was the last time you did a blind test and shopped your own customer service?

Tap into your passion and you will find your genius, your productivity and your enthusiasm.  Tap onto your passion and take focused action and you will find your profit.

Join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/ and lets mastermind together to focus your time, energy and financial resources in your passion.

Entrepreneurial Mindset – Mosquito In A Nudist Colony

There are so many opportunities on the internet today it resembles the choices of a mosquito in a nudist colony. So how do you choose? Being an entrepreneur is fabulous, especially in the ideal situation for you.

Do you look for the one who promises the most money? Some are promising such outrageous amounts that it looks like you are winning the lottery every week.

Do you look for the one who claims to be the easiest? Just purchase your starter kit, sit back and watch the money roll into you bank account. No effort required.

Do you look for the one that claims to have a miracle product? Ponce de Leon, Spanish explorer, reputedly sought a miracle fountain in Florida in 1513. Legend says that anyone who drank of this fountain would have their youth restored. Some products on the internet today expound similar magical claims.

Hate to destroy your delusion; however, the word “business” means some time, effort and money required. The advertisements may tap dance around the word “business” by terming it an “opportunity” but few actually say “get rich quick.” The gurus at Google would go into cardiac arrest and shut the site down quicker than a shopaholic dashing to a blow out sale at Nordstrom if someone really dared to publish “get rich quick.”

There are genuine, honest, ethical business opportunities advertised on the internet. The challenge is sorting through all of the empty oyster shells to find the pearl. The pearls really do exist but not every business is appropriate for every entrepreneur.

No entrepreneur will make significant money for the long term without adhering to a few basic rules.  Take it from an industry leader:

1. Is the business legal? Is it registered with state and national governmental agencies? Do not be confused with having it listed on the Better Business Bureau. BBB is an excellent organization which does research companies; however, BBB is a “for profit” organization NOT a government agency. Research the company with state and federal attorney generals and look for the number of complaints listed. No one will EVER have a perfect record if they have any length of time in business and have reached a sizable sales volume. No one will ever satisfy 100 per cent of the people 100 per cent of the time. Business deals with people and personalities. Do look for a minimum of complaints and look at the resolution of those issues.

2. Is the business ethical? Of course no one is dumb enough to feature the comments and testimonies of highly disgruntled people. Ask to speak to recent enrollees as well as longer term members of the company. Just the fact that they will furnish names and phone numbers shows the people featured are real live individuals. Ask to attend a live call.

3. Is the product something useful for the long term rather than a trendy “pet rock?” Look for something which transcends the fluctuations in the economy. In the go go 80s you could sell almost anything. In a more challenging economy, people seek more immediate value which can not be located at the corner drug store.

4. Select a company and a product which fits your interests. Select either something you already have some knowledge or desire to gain knowledge about. You will always be more successful working in your talent, interest or passion.

5. Select a compensation plan which fits your short term and long term budget for start up as well as meeting your income potential goals. Some compensation plans allow you to earn from your first sale and other compensation plans make you pass up sales before you earn any money. Anyone on a tight budget may run out of marketing dollars before they pass up enough sales to start earning income for themselves. Look at all the factors and make a wise decision.

Selecting the ideal business for you involves a variety of factors. For personalized assistance in selecting the perfect entrepreneurial opportunity to fit your passion, your budget and your goals, come talk to me. There is gold dust in the air. The gold dust is an attitude backed by action. The key is selecting the right business at the right time for your abilities and goals. Join me at www.Elaine4Success.com. When the business opportunity fit is accurate and the correct action follows, the gold dust appears.

That’s where my business success coaching comes in.  Contact me.  Elaine Love at resultsforlife@gmail.com

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
which is EXACTLY what we wanted. Thanks Elaine”
-Tom Fajardo, State Farm