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3 Little Known Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

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Last year, I caught a lucky break. I was working a dead-end job at a bank and hated every minute of it. Until one day, I sent an email to one of my favorite online marketers on a whim. I pitched him an idea for a new product to build and sell.

He liked the idea so much that he hired me as a contractor, on the spot. I quit my job and it felt amazing. Until I realized one huge problem: I was completely unqualified for the job. I was a data-driven, numbers geek with zero writing or sales experience. Yet, I was hired to do marketing that would be seen by millions.

So over the next 16 months, I asked everyone I knew and respected how to become a world-class marketer, fast. And it worked. I went from an excel whiz to a professional copywriter who’s sold millions of dollars worth of products online.

One of the biggest keys to my success was reading books. But not just any books. It had to be the best. There are a long list that you’ll find almost anywhere for entrepreneurs and marketers but there are three books below that not very many people know about but it can change their life.

Here are three must read books that very few people know about:

1. The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It. Every Time by Maria Konnikova

maria konnikovaWords have power. And depending on the words you use, you can express:

  • Extreme happiness (“Thank god for this!”)
  • Your love for someone (“Will you marry me?”)
  • Or your deepest regret (“I want to die.”)

People have gone to war over words (The Declaration of Independence). And people have been inspired to stand against the world for a cause they believe in (“I have a dream” speech). It’s clear that words can inspire, convey life-changing thoughts, and express deep emotion.

But they’re also the exact tools con artists use to thrive. And in the book The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time, you get a glimpse into the world of how con men use stories, words, and emotions to rip off the masses.

Note: I do not think marketers should read this book to do any scamming or manipulating of their own. No. The reason marketers must read this goes much deeper. It gets into how to inspire others to take action. Consider this: the only thing that separates a con man from a great salesperson is intent.

For example, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is known as the bible of conmen, but it’s also considered a staple on the shelves of all successful business people. See how it gets tricky?

The book is packed with jaw-dropping stories. But one of my favorites involves Victor Lustig (the man who sold the Eiffel Tower — twice!) and Al Capone (one of the most famous mobsters of all time).

I won’t spoil it by giving away the details. But let’s just say the con man (Lustig) is one of the few people who ever deceived Capone and lived to tell about it. You have to check it out.

“We aren’t robbers, you and I. To rob a fool, you don’t need knives: Just flatter him, tell him sweet lies, And he is yours for life” – Maria Konnikova

2. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Getting Your Shit Together By John Carlton

John CarltonJohn is a copywriting legend. He pioneered many of the marketing tactics we take granted today. Some say he’s the most ripped-off copywriter alive. In fact, a lot of modern day ads are blatant plagiarism of some of his most successful pieces.

Even still, Carlton doesn’t care. You can steal his words, but you can’t take his swagger and deep understanding of what makes people buy. And that swagger and psychology shines through in his copy. Try reading something he wrote without feeling something well up in your chest and stir you to act.

I’d recommend reading this one with an eye to 2 things:

1. His style. You can soak up his years of marketing knowledge just by giving this one a close read. It’s spunk combined with direct response combined with vivid imagery, and it’s artfully done.

2. How to start your own business. This book is a great guide for getting started as a freelancer, business owner or even an employee who’s going to take control of their career destiny.

Carlton’s been around the block a time or two, He’s gotten a few scars. And rather than make the same mistakes he made, you can get some of those lessons directly from this book. Get it now and get your stuff together.

 

3. Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others By Andrew Sobel

Andrew SobelAndrew Sobel is a high-ranking business consultant who regularly gets in front of billion dollar executives. His secret? It’s not fancy tricks or cheap sales tactics. Nope. It’s a simple concept we’ve all been using since we were kids: asking questions.

Selling is not about cramming your product down the other person’s throat. It’s about catering your solutions to your prospects exact needs. How do you uncover those needs in the first place? Well, Sobel proves that one of the best and only ways to do that is asking good questions.

And the 200+ questions Sobel presents in this book have all been tested at the highest level of sales (where the decision can take up to 6 months) and millions of dollars are at stake. While this book contains tons of answer-eliciting questions, it’s also a masterclass in storytelling.

“Every interaction is an opportunity.Every action has an impact.Every moment is a choice.Are you choosing the impact you want to have?” – Mindy Hall

Have you read any of these books before? Which ones? What did you think? Leave your thought below!

Rob Allen is the founder of Swipe Tribe, where he shows aspiring marketers and small business owners how to increase their leads, conversions and sales with copywriting. You can get his checklist of the 33 best books on copywriting, sales, persuasion, and psychology here.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Evan

    Aug 18, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Hey Rob,

    Thanks for these recommendations – I added them to my reading list. I’m super excited to dive into one of Carlton’s books, as he is an influential copywriter, and one of the best today. Since Gary Halbert has passed, he’s been remarked as one of the best copywriters alive, hands down.

    I think what you’ve got going on at Swipetribe is intriguing as well; I just opted in for your list. Looking forward to hear what you’ve got on copywriting, influence, and persuasion. These are some of the most basic but NECESSARY things to learn if you wanna sell anything to people who need and want it.

    Keep up the great work bro

    – Evan

  2. Jhon jaka

    Aug 12, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for these book recommendations..

  3. Tim Denning

    Aug 10, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Rob thanks for these book recommendations. I think the first book is the one I want to read the most and I have just got it from Amazon. Thanks for the heads up and for your extensive summaries.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Aug 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Reading is one of the best things you can do for your brain’s efficiency and you your business. You can gain so much knowledge from people who have been there and done that, and these people can help you to avoid the pitfalls that so many fall victim to. I have heard about so many books and I read so often just to keep my brain top notch. Thanks for sharing these books. They seem great and I will put them on my to read list.

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Entrepreneurs

5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Do to Stay Motivated

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how to stay motivated

Being an entrepreneur is the American dream. It’s all about defining your success, paving your way, and living life the way you want. Many of us walked out of a comfortable job because we no longer wanted to be rats in the maze of an employer who manipulated us into fueling their dream. We wanted to create and follow our dreams. But sometimes there are days when you can’t seem to find the motivation to move forward, and that’s when you need a little boost in thinking.

One thing to remember is that there is no “magic solution” for success as a business owner. Every entrepreneur must find their way to create, manufacture, produce, and sell their products, services, and ideas. The way that you find yourself doing this may not be as unique as the concept you have for your business. That’s okay, as long as it works for you and creates the result you want..

As entrepreneurs, we are in a constant state of “flux.” We must always be evaluating, analyzing, and measuring our metrics and our success. We are often in competition with others, but we are always in competition with ourselves. We should always strive to be a better version of ourselves and our business than we were yesterday.

Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that the “daily grind” is what results in wealth and success. The dream is the glamorous part as it’s what keeps you looking toward your goals and keeps you working hard.

Nonetheless, for those days that the daily grind seems hard and your energy wanes, try these 5 tips to stay motivated:

1. Remember the goal and keep your eye on the ball

I like Mark Cuban’s analogy of entrepreneurship being like the game of basketball. In his book, How to Win in the Sport of Business, he points out that having a business is like winning a basketball game. You must always be watching what your competition is doing while keeping your motivation high. Keep your eye on the goal.

2. Do something every day that moves you forward

One of the frustrations of entrepreneurs is that they feel like they are not moving their business forward fast enough. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. So just make sure you’re at least doing one thing daily that moves you closer to your goals. It will give you a feeling of accomplishment when the going gets tough.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

3. Write down no more than six things to do each day

People sometimes overwhelm themselves by planning too many things to do in one day, and then they feel let down when they don’t get them done. If you limit your primary goals to six things per day, you are going to be more likely to achieve them.

4. Connect with other entrepreneurs and learn their tricks

This is not to say that you need to copy what others are doing, but simply get a sense for what keeps them going and motivated and share ideas. It can help you feel like you’re on the right track with support from others like you with similar goals.

5. Think of yourself as a captain

You are the captain of your ship. You’ll come across crashing waves, massive storms, rocks, and iceberg, but the way you maneuver around them will determine your fate. Always keep your eyes on the harbor and take pride in the fact that you’re in the top 2% of the country by sailing out on your own as an independent business owner.

“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jen Sincero

A few other things to take with you on your journey

As an entrepreneur, the goal is what you’re working for, day-by-day, week-by-week because you’ll get there a little at a time. It’s about more than the goal because it’s about the journey. Life is a journey and so is entrepreneurship. The challenges we face as entrepreneurs only serve to make us stronger and better able to handle the storms we face on the sea of entrepreneurship.

Remember the payoff is incredible! It’s the biggest gamble of your life but when it pays off, it pays off huge! Remember the movie, “The Perfect Storm,” starring Richard Gere? He talked about being a swordboat captain and about how few people choose that life, yet the ones who did loved it. They enjoyed the solitude, embraced the challenge and it’s what kept them going.

How do you stay motivated on a daily basis? Let us know by commenting below!

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Entrepreneurs

You Have To Have A Side Hustle (Like Me With My Blogging) – Here’s Why

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This whole blogging thing you see me do is my side hustle.

It’s what I do when I get home from work.
It’s what I do when you’re at the pub with mates on the weekend.
It’s what I do when you’re watching House Of Cards.

Blogging is my side hustle because it’s what has transformed my life and what fills me with passion.
Blogging is my happy place and it’s how I serve the world.

Now many of you reading this have zero side hustle. You’re not passing go and collecting the $200 that comes with doing a side hustle daily. You’re missing out on everything that can come with building something for yourself.

I’m going to get to the point quickly. Here’s why you need a side hustle:

 

You’ll be stuck in your dead-end job forever.

Yes, what I just said is harsh. I said it because it’s true. You’ll never escape that job you hate and that pain in the ass boss that sucks all of your energy away unless you get a side hustle.

Start with what you like doing and then design a side hustle around it. Ensure that at least one action is taken every day. Then, let that momentum build into a side hustle.

Once you have momentum, the aim of the game is to let the side hustle take over from that dead-end job that makes you feel like crap.

 

You’ll never get to travel.

The world is such an amazing place (cliché I know).
There’s no point the world being beautiful and you hearing that cliché if you never get to enjoy it.

A side hustle is what you’ll eventually monetize so that you can work less and play more (i.e. travel).

Travel is one of the biggest regrets of those who are dying. You’ll never get to check back into planet Earth again so you may as well travel while you can.

Build that startup. Launch that website. Record that video. Or, in my case, write that blog post that inspires.

 

You’ll miss those family moments.

A side hustle is designed to give you time and allow you to do more of what you love. That’s what blogging does for me and the same can happen for you.

“Being consumed by a job you hate, so you can earn just enough to survive, so you can impress your boss and people you don’t care about, is the definition of failure”

I believe you can spend more time with your family. I believe you should feel inspired every day and do something that makes you happy. I believe that family is one of the few things in life that we’re destined to cherish.

Okay, that last line was a bit soppy for a bloke but who gives a rat’s – it’s true.

 

You’ll never get to experience the art of fulfillment.

Blogging gives me a sense of fulfillment. I feel like I have done something that matters to me and that matters to the world. If you don’t go and get a side hustle, you’ll never experience what it’s like to be fulfilled.

Being fulfilled makes you feel like the glass is always half full instead of half empty, or worse yet, looking at the glass as empty with a crack in the bottom that was caused by everyone else.

When you feel fulfilled, you find yourself wanting to do things for others. You find giving easier, you want to be a mentor, you want to perform charitable acts, and all round, life is good.

I want you to feel life is good too. That’s why I want you to get a side hustle amigo!

 

***Parting advice***

Oops….I nearly thought that headline read “parenting advice.” Now that would suck because I have no idea about that…haha

No one said this whole side hustle would be easy. You will need to work hard and you’ll have to take action. You may even need to do some soul searching and that’s fine too. My point is that you need to stop delaying and begin building something. The whole construction process I find is better than when you’ve built your side hustle.

It feels good to be in control and to serve others with your side hustle. I want that feeling for you too.

Go out and start your side hustle.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Entrepreneurs

These 3 Warning Signs Predict Your About to Make a Big Business Mistake

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“Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.” James Altucher said this, the multiple bestselling author, and a man who has failed (and overcome failure) more than most. The truth is, mistakes hurt.

Whether it’s your mistake or somebody else’s, it stirs all sorts of fears and worries within you. You start to question yourself. You wonder what will happen next, and what the worst case scenario may look like. Mistakes are NOT fun, but mistakes also play an important role in your growth and success. For as Albert Einstein once said, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

So assuming you don’t wish to play it safe your entire life, you must accept mistakes happen. Some mistakes are unavoidable; there to test and teach us. But what if I told you many of your mistakes were avoidable, and by looking in the right places you could spot them before they happen?

Most mistakes begin small; tiny little things that barely register in your day. But because you pretend they don’t happen, disregard them, or make poor decisions on the back of them, these little mistakes grow into big mistakes, which in turn develop into life-altering failure.

Certain mistakes are thrust upon you, and you cannot do much to avoid them. Yet many begin slowly, and by keeping your eyes open you can spot them before they happen. So if you notice any of the following, take note for a mistake may be near.

1. You Become Complacent

One of the biggest warning signs of all is when you grow complacent. You may enjoy the idea of an ‘easy life’, but the truth is you need a challenge. When it comes to growing a successful business, this is never more true. You need to remain motivated. Like a shark, you can never stop moving.

Such complacency lead to Thomas Frank’s biggest mistake of all. As he built ‘College Info Geek’ while still at university, he was always busy. Between studying, blogging, and marketing, he had little time to spare. So as his site grew, he decided to cut back on his studies and take fewer classes. This made sense, as more time spent on his business meant more chance of success. Yet with this extra unstructured time on his hands, Thomas grew complacent.

Instead of growing, his business plateaued. He didn’t feel as motivated, and it wasn’t until he got this motivation back that ‘College Info Geek’ continued its growth.

“If you look around, complacency is the great disease of your autumn years, and I work hard to prevent that.” – Nick Cave

2. You Get Stuck in your Own Head

Although you may surround yourself with people all day, this entrepreneurial roller coaster is a lonely ride. It’s easy to get stuck in your own head, as you work on your ideas, your plans, and your growth. You become so fixated on your work that you shut yourself off to the rest of the world. You become blind to opportunity, mistakes, and everything else.

Take John Corcoran, the co-founder of Rise 25, and a man who has built his career around connecting with influential people. Despite building a successful career in politics, entertainment, and the tech scene, John desired more. He started his own practice, and got to work on his own version of the American Dream.

He worked so hard that he went months without networking and creating new connections. All those relationships he had built during his successful career slipped by the wayside. He condemned himself to a lonely entrepreneurial existence, and had little to show for it.

Sure, he was busy, but did he grow? No! John got stuck in his own head, and it lead to what he described as his biggest business mistake of all. This entrepreneurial rollercoaster is lonely enough as it is, so don’t make matters worse by getting stuck in your own head.

3. You’re Surrounded By “Yes Men”

“Yes” is a dangerous word. If all you say is yes, you’re sure to drown under work, responsibility, and commitment. Yet it isn’t only when you say yes that issues arise, because when you’re surrounded by a bunch of “yes men”, mistakes are often close. Scott Oldford experienced this as he became a well known “web guy” at a young age.

During a period when most of us plucked up the courage to ask that girl or guy to the dance, Scott made large sums of money and won prestigious awards. He had everything a teenager could want, including a group of people who told him what he wanted to hear.

Scott soon lost everything he built, as he began to believe his own hype. He had to start from scratch. Today, he’s doing fine, but only after he lost track of what matters. That’s what happens when you surround yourself with “yes” — it blinds you from what you need to see and hear.

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” – Richie Norton

Of course, warning signs like these won’t vanish mistakes from your life. Some are unavoidable. Some provide invaluable lessons you need to experience for yourself. But the sooner you nip these mistakes in the bud, the easier you’ll find your road to success.

I learned this from speaking to those who have been there and done it; successful folk at the top of their game. Don’t wait until you make your own mistakes. Learn from those who have been there and done it. And while you do, keep your eyes open for these three big warning signs.

Share with us a mistake you made and how you overcame it! Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Entrepreneurs

Case in Point: Creativity Is a Good Drug for Entrepreneurs

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In today’s era, the production and exportation of varied products to international markets are growing bigger, all thanks to the excessive industrialization and globalization that enfold multiple industries. It makes it easy for people to access products whenever and wherever. As for consumers, they now have access to different kinds of products in different types and quality ranges.

To such a great extent, what should an entrepreneur like you, do in a market bombarded with a myriad of products? How will you supply and manufacture a product in markets filled with so many choices to choose from and with consumers who already have their trusted preferences?

A creative mind can answer all of these questions. Creativity aids you on how to ameliorate your existing business practices. A brand might be popular among the consumers and well-established, but there will always be room for improvements and corporate lessons for them. The power of creativity will help you come up with unique ideas and deliver innovation into existing practices.

So, What’s In it For Entrepreneurs?

There’s a lot of people who correlate creativity with self-expression and a product of inadequate restraint which may have the ability to bring chaos. Leadership, on the other hand, is all about control and order. It’s probably the reason why most people perceive entrepreneurship and creativity as a fickle combination.

If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who think that it only takes number-crunching and practicality skills to run a business successfully, you better think again! Take heed that creative thinking is a significant factor in good business acumen. The absence of creativity may lead or put your business in a stagnant mode.

In fact, the study conducted by Adobe and Forrester Consulting reveals that 82% of companies in the U.S believe that there’s a strong connection between business results and creativity. Furthermore, companies who actively advocate for creativity perform better than their competitor regarding competitive leadership, market share and revenue growth.

Still doubtful? The following 5 reasons explain why creativity is a good drug for entrepreneurs:

1. It Cultivates Innovation

When you conjure something and attach your name to it, you want to assure that it doesn’t only justify the expectations of customers, but also outdo them. You need to be careful and guarantee your product or service will be useful.

While it’s difficult to see this from the beginning, things will get clear once the sequential steps unfold and the idea is starting to materialize. It is the phase where you’ll realize the difference between innovation and invention.

A unique idea is an invention itself, but a unique and serviceable idea is an innovation. If you want to innovate, you need to look at the same thing differently and be creative. All of these will help you combine usefulness into a unique idea.

2. It Leads to High Success Rate

We always carry the belief that we’ll survive different life battles through intelligent thinking. But it’s not until we grow old when we realize although intelligence is a crucial quality, we need to possess creativity also as a necessity.

However, one sad fact remains – most businesses and educational institutes still put more weight on intelligence in comparison to creativity. Perhaps, it could be because intelligence is easier to manage and measure, while the latter is hard to spot.

There’s good news though. The trends are changing, and many companies finally discern that they need creative people to grow their empire.

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

3. It Encourages People to Think

We’re now living in a world where creative problem solving is becoming one of the best ways to alleviate organizational issues. Creative problem solving works best when you have a highly-focused and disciplined ways of thinking.

Humans by nature have two modes of thinking, namely: convergent and divergent. We can either do one or both modes.

Convergent thinking is a highly analytical mode and aims to conjure a precise solution for a particular problem. The best examples of convergent mediums are computer systems, mathematical and accounting software and other data sources that yield accurate results.

On the other hand, divergent thinking is a mode that develops creativity through considering different possible solutions for the same problem. To make sure that your company gets the best resolution, you need to incorporate both modes of thinking by giving attention to divergent pathways.

4. It Harnesses An Employee’s Potential

Organizations can only utilize half of their employees’ potential if they don’t encourage them to be creative. It’s just fortunate that employees now realize there’s a well of creative ideas and information that are untapped and dormant at all levels.

Tapping these resources may involve a complex process such as solving performance-related issues, creating new financial strategies, enhancing processes, making them more profitable and efficient, or innovating to stay on top of the competition.

5. It Can Be Developed

Although most people believe that creativity is innate, many see creativity as a renewable resource that you can learn and tap anytime. All of us are born with a thought process and creative potential which can develop and reinforce as we grow.

For instance, learning new skills or inculcating new hobbies is an excellent way to test and hone your inherent creative skills. It’s also an efficient way to teach your mind to think in such a way that leads to creative thinking.

“There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills. Kindle is an example of working backward.” – Jeff Bezos

Gone are the days where entrepreneurs need to analyze and make decisions according to hard facts only. The most progressive leaders don’t just settle down on hiring creative people for their team, they also train to make themselves creative and harness more usefulness and novelty in their ideas. Hopefully, the reasons above are enough factors for you to give more emphasis to this aspect of entrepreneurship and upgrade your prospects and business acumen.

What makes you creative? Share with us some stories below as we want to hear them!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The Best Way to Create a Six-figure Startup From Scratch

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Many solo entrepreneurs make good six-figure income living selling products and services online. If you’re a technical person, it’s even better, as you can create a highly-scalable cloud-based business. For non-technical founders, there are still many ways to make a six-figure or, even, seven-figure annual revenue. (more…)

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, business columnist and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is a digital strategist for Oberlo and blogs at JenniferXue.com. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and other international publications.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Evan

    Aug 18, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Hey Rob,

    Thanks for these recommendations – I added them to my reading list. I’m super excited to dive into one of Carlton’s books, as he is an influential copywriter, and one of the best today. Since Gary Halbert has passed, he’s been remarked as one of the best copywriters alive, hands down.

    I think what you’ve got going on at Swipetribe is intriguing as well; I just opted in for your list. Looking forward to hear what you’ve got on copywriting, influence, and persuasion. These are some of the most basic but NECESSARY things to learn if you wanna sell anything to people who need and want it.

    Keep up the great work bro

    – Evan

  2. Jhon jaka

    Aug 12, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for these book recommendations..

  3. Tim Denning

    Aug 10, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Rob thanks for these book recommendations. I think the first book is the one I want to read the most and I have just got it from Amazon. Thanks for the heads up and for your extensive summaries.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Aug 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Reading is one of the best things you can do for your brain’s efficiency and you your business. You can gain so much knowledge from people who have been there and done that, and these people can help you to avoid the pitfalls that so many fall victim to. I have heard about so many books and I read so often just to keep my brain top notch. Thanks for sharing these books. They seem great and I will put them on my to read list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurs

5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Do to Stay Motivated

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how to stay motivated

Being an entrepreneur is the American dream. It’s all about defining your success, paving your way, and living life the way you want. Many of us walked out of a comfortable job because we no longer wanted to be rats in the maze of an employer who manipulated us into fueling their dream. We wanted to create and follow our dreams. But sometimes there are days when you can’t seem to find the motivation to move forward, and that’s when you need a little boost in thinking.

One thing to remember is that there is no “magic solution” for success as a business owner. Every entrepreneur must find their way to create, manufacture, produce, and sell their products, services, and ideas. The way that you find yourself doing this may not be as unique as the concept you have for your business. That’s okay, as long as it works for you and creates the result you want..

As entrepreneurs, we are in a constant state of “flux.” We must always be evaluating, analyzing, and measuring our metrics and our success. We are often in competition with others, but we are always in competition with ourselves. We should always strive to be a better version of ourselves and our business than we were yesterday.

Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that the “daily grind” is what results in wealth and success. The dream is the glamorous part as it’s what keeps you looking toward your goals and keeps you working hard.

Nonetheless, for those days that the daily grind seems hard and your energy wanes, try these 5 tips to stay motivated:

1. Remember the goal and keep your eye on the ball

I like Mark Cuban’s analogy of entrepreneurship being like the game of basketball. In his book, How to Win in the Sport of Business, he points out that having a business is like winning a basketball game. You must always be watching what your competition is doing while keeping your motivation high. Keep your eye on the goal.

2. Do something every day that moves you forward

One of the frustrations of entrepreneurs is that they feel like they are not moving their business forward fast enough. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. So just make sure you’re at least doing one thing daily that moves you closer to your goals. It will give you a feeling of accomplishment when the going gets tough.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

3. Write down no more than six things to do each day

People sometimes overwhelm themselves by planning too many things to do in one day, and then they feel let down when they don’t get them done. If you limit your primary goals to six things per day, you are going to be more likely to achieve them.

4. Connect with other entrepreneurs and learn their tricks

This is not to say that you need to copy what others are doing, but simply get a sense for what keeps them going and motivated and share ideas. It can help you feel like you’re on the right track with support from others like you with similar goals.

5. Think of yourself as a captain

You are the captain of your ship. You’ll come across crashing waves, massive storms, rocks, and iceberg, but the way you maneuver around them will determine your fate. Always keep your eyes on the harbor and take pride in the fact that you’re in the top 2% of the country by sailing out on your own as an independent business owner.

“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jen Sincero

A few other things to take with you on your journey

As an entrepreneur, the goal is what you’re working for, day-by-day, week-by-week because you’ll get there a little at a time. It’s about more than the goal because it’s about the journey. Life is a journey and so is entrepreneurship. The challenges we face as entrepreneurs only serve to make us stronger and better able to handle the storms we face on the sea of entrepreneurship.

Remember the payoff is incredible! It’s the biggest gamble of your life but when it pays off, it pays off huge! Remember the movie, “The Perfect Storm,” starring Richard Gere? He talked about being a swordboat captain and about how few people choose that life, yet the ones who did loved it. They enjoyed the solitude, embraced the challenge and it’s what kept them going.

How do you stay motivated on a daily basis? Let us know by commenting below!

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Entrepreneurs

You Have To Have A Side Hustle (Like Me With My Blogging) – Here’s Why

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This whole blogging thing you see me do is my side hustle.

It’s what I do when I get home from work.
It’s what I do when you’re at the pub with mates on the weekend.
It’s what I do when you’re watching House Of Cards.

Blogging is my side hustle because it’s what has transformed my life and what fills me with passion.
Blogging is my happy place and it’s how I serve the world.

Now many of you reading this have zero side hustle. You’re not passing go and collecting the $200 that comes with doing a side hustle daily. You’re missing out on everything that can come with building something for yourself.

I’m going to get to the point quickly. Here’s why you need a side hustle:

 

You’ll be stuck in your dead-end job forever.

Yes, what I just said is harsh. I said it because it’s true. You’ll never escape that job you hate and that pain in the ass boss that sucks all of your energy away unless you get a side hustle.

Start with what you like doing and then design a side hustle around it. Ensure that at least one action is taken every day. Then, let that momentum build into a side hustle.

Once you have momentum, the aim of the game is to let the side hustle take over from that dead-end job that makes you feel like crap.

 

You’ll never get to travel.

The world is such an amazing place (cliché I know).
There’s no point the world being beautiful and you hearing that cliché if you never get to enjoy it.

A side hustle is what you’ll eventually monetize so that you can work less and play more (i.e. travel).

Travel is one of the biggest regrets of those who are dying. You’ll never get to check back into planet Earth again so you may as well travel while you can.

Build that startup. Launch that website. Record that video. Or, in my case, write that blog post that inspires.

 

You’ll miss those family moments.

A side hustle is designed to give you time and allow you to do more of what you love. That’s what blogging does for me and the same can happen for you.

“Being consumed by a job you hate, so you can earn just enough to survive, so you can impress your boss and people you don’t care about, is the definition of failure”

I believe you can spend more time with your family. I believe you should feel inspired every day and do something that makes you happy. I believe that family is one of the few things in life that we’re destined to cherish.

Okay, that last line was a bit soppy for a bloke but who gives a rat’s – it’s true.

 

You’ll never get to experience the art of fulfillment.

Blogging gives me a sense of fulfillment. I feel like I have done something that matters to me and that matters to the world. If you don’t go and get a side hustle, you’ll never experience what it’s like to be fulfilled.

Being fulfilled makes you feel like the glass is always half full instead of half empty, or worse yet, looking at the glass as empty with a crack in the bottom that was caused by everyone else.

When you feel fulfilled, you find yourself wanting to do things for others. You find giving easier, you want to be a mentor, you want to perform charitable acts, and all round, life is good.

I want you to feel life is good too. That’s why I want you to get a side hustle amigo!

 

***Parting advice***

Oops….I nearly thought that headline read “parenting advice.” Now that would suck because I have no idea about that…haha

No one said this whole side hustle would be easy. You will need to work hard and you’ll have to take action. You may even need to do some soul searching and that’s fine too. My point is that you need to stop delaying and begin building something. The whole construction process I find is better than when you’ve built your side hustle.

It feels good to be in control and to serve others with your side hustle. I want that feeling for you too.

Go out and start your side hustle.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Entrepreneurs

These 3 Warning Signs Predict Your About to Make a Big Business Mistake

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“Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.” James Altucher said this, the multiple bestselling author, and a man who has failed (and overcome failure) more than most. The truth is, mistakes hurt.

Whether it’s your mistake or somebody else’s, it stirs all sorts of fears and worries within you. You start to question yourself. You wonder what will happen next, and what the worst case scenario may look like. Mistakes are NOT fun, but mistakes also play an important role in your growth and success. For as Albert Einstein once said, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

So assuming you don’t wish to play it safe your entire life, you must accept mistakes happen. Some mistakes are unavoidable; there to test and teach us. But what if I told you many of your mistakes were avoidable, and by looking in the right places you could spot them before they happen?

Most mistakes begin small; tiny little things that barely register in your day. But because you pretend they don’t happen, disregard them, or make poor decisions on the back of them, these little mistakes grow into big mistakes, which in turn develop into life-altering failure.

Certain mistakes are thrust upon you, and you cannot do much to avoid them. Yet many begin slowly, and by keeping your eyes open you can spot them before they happen. So if you notice any of the following, take note for a mistake may be near.

1. You Become Complacent

One of the biggest warning signs of all is when you grow complacent. You may enjoy the idea of an ‘easy life’, but the truth is you need a challenge. When it comes to growing a successful business, this is never more true. You need to remain motivated. Like a shark, you can never stop moving.

Such complacency lead to Thomas Frank’s biggest mistake of all. As he built ‘College Info Geek’ while still at university, he was always busy. Between studying, blogging, and marketing, he had little time to spare. So as his site grew, he decided to cut back on his studies and take fewer classes. This made sense, as more time spent on his business meant more chance of success. Yet with this extra unstructured time on his hands, Thomas grew complacent.

Instead of growing, his business plateaued. He didn’t feel as motivated, and it wasn’t until he got this motivation back that ‘College Info Geek’ continued its growth.

“If you look around, complacency is the great disease of your autumn years, and I work hard to prevent that.” – Nick Cave

2. You Get Stuck in your Own Head

Although you may surround yourself with people all day, this entrepreneurial roller coaster is a lonely ride. It’s easy to get stuck in your own head, as you work on your ideas, your plans, and your growth. You become so fixated on your work that you shut yourself off to the rest of the world. You become blind to opportunity, mistakes, and everything else.

Take John Corcoran, the co-founder of Rise 25, and a man who has built his career around connecting with influential people. Despite building a successful career in politics, entertainment, and the tech scene, John desired more. He started his own practice, and got to work on his own version of the American Dream.

He worked so hard that he went months without networking and creating new connections. All those relationships he had built during his successful career slipped by the wayside. He condemned himself to a lonely entrepreneurial existence, and had little to show for it.

Sure, he was busy, but did he grow? No! John got stuck in his own head, and it lead to what he described as his biggest business mistake of all. This entrepreneurial rollercoaster is lonely enough as it is, so don’t make matters worse by getting stuck in your own head.

3. You’re Surrounded By “Yes Men”

“Yes” is a dangerous word. If all you say is yes, you’re sure to drown under work, responsibility, and commitment. Yet it isn’t only when you say yes that issues arise, because when you’re surrounded by a bunch of “yes men”, mistakes are often close. Scott Oldford experienced this as he became a well known “web guy” at a young age.

During a period when most of us plucked up the courage to ask that girl or guy to the dance, Scott made large sums of money and won prestigious awards. He had everything a teenager could want, including a group of people who told him what he wanted to hear.

Scott soon lost everything he built, as he began to believe his own hype. He had to start from scratch. Today, he’s doing fine, but only after he lost track of what matters. That’s what happens when you surround yourself with “yes” — it blinds you from what you need to see and hear.

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” – Richie Norton

Of course, warning signs like these won’t vanish mistakes from your life. Some are unavoidable. Some provide invaluable lessons you need to experience for yourself. But the sooner you nip these mistakes in the bud, the easier you’ll find your road to success.

I learned this from speaking to those who have been there and done it; successful folk at the top of their game. Don’t wait until you make your own mistakes. Learn from those who have been there and done it. And while you do, keep your eyes open for these three big warning signs.

Share with us a mistake you made and how you overcame it! Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Case in Point: Creativity Is a Good Drug for Entrepreneurs

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In today’s era, the production and exportation of varied products to international markets are growing bigger, all thanks to the excessive industrialization and globalization that enfold multiple industries. It makes it easy for people to access products whenever and wherever. As for consumers, they now have access to different kinds of products in different types and quality ranges.

To such a great extent, what should an entrepreneur like you, do in a market bombarded with a myriad of products? How will you supply and manufacture a product in markets filled with so many choices to choose from and with consumers who already have their trusted preferences?

A creative mind can answer all of these questions. Creativity aids you on how to ameliorate your existing business practices. A brand might be popular among the consumers and well-established, but there will always be room for improvements and corporate lessons for them. The power of creativity will help you come up with unique ideas and deliver innovation into existing practices.

So, What’s In it For Entrepreneurs?

There’s a lot of people who correlate creativity with self-expression and a product of inadequate restraint which may have the ability to bring chaos. Leadership, on the other hand, is all about control and order. It’s probably the reason why most people perceive entrepreneurship and creativity as a fickle combination.

If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who think that it only takes number-crunching and practicality skills to run a business successfully, you better think again! Take heed that creative thinking is a significant factor in good business acumen. The absence of creativity may lead or put your business in a stagnant mode.

In fact, the study conducted by Adobe and Forrester Consulting reveals that 82% of companies in the U.S believe that there’s a strong connection between business results and creativity. Furthermore, companies who actively advocate for creativity perform better than their competitor regarding competitive leadership, market share and revenue growth.

Still doubtful? The following 5 reasons explain why creativity is a good drug for entrepreneurs:

1. It Cultivates Innovation

When you conjure something and attach your name to it, you want to assure that it doesn’t only justify the expectations of customers, but also outdo them. You need to be careful and guarantee your product or service will be useful.

While it’s difficult to see this from the beginning, things will get clear once the sequential steps unfold and the idea is starting to materialize. It is the phase where you’ll realize the difference between innovation and invention.

A unique idea is an invention itself, but a unique and serviceable idea is an innovation. If you want to innovate, you need to look at the same thing differently and be creative. All of these will help you combine usefulness into a unique idea.

2. It Leads to High Success Rate

We always carry the belief that we’ll survive different life battles through intelligent thinking. But it’s not until we grow old when we realize although intelligence is a crucial quality, we need to possess creativity also as a necessity.

However, one sad fact remains – most businesses and educational institutes still put more weight on intelligence in comparison to creativity. Perhaps, it could be because intelligence is easier to manage and measure, while the latter is hard to spot.

There’s good news though. The trends are changing, and many companies finally discern that they need creative people to grow their empire.

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

3. It Encourages People to Think

We’re now living in a world where creative problem solving is becoming one of the best ways to alleviate organizational issues. Creative problem solving works best when you have a highly-focused and disciplined ways of thinking.

Humans by nature have two modes of thinking, namely: convergent and divergent. We can either do one or both modes.

Convergent thinking is a highly analytical mode and aims to conjure a precise solution for a particular problem. The best examples of convergent mediums are computer systems, mathematical and accounting software and other data sources that yield accurate results.

On the other hand, divergent thinking is a mode that develops creativity through considering different possible solutions for the same problem. To make sure that your company gets the best resolution, you need to incorporate both modes of thinking by giving attention to divergent pathways.

4. It Harnesses An Employee’s Potential

Organizations can only utilize half of their employees’ potential if they don’t encourage them to be creative. It’s just fortunate that employees now realize there’s a well of creative ideas and information that are untapped and dormant at all levels.

Tapping these resources may involve a complex process such as solving performance-related issues, creating new financial strategies, enhancing processes, making them more profitable and efficient, or innovating to stay on top of the competition.

5. It Can Be Developed

Although most people believe that creativity is innate, many see creativity as a renewable resource that you can learn and tap anytime. All of us are born with a thought process and creative potential which can develop and reinforce as we grow.

For instance, learning new skills or inculcating new hobbies is an excellent way to test and hone your inherent creative skills. It’s also an efficient way to teach your mind to think in such a way that leads to creative thinking.

“There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills. Kindle is an example of working backward.” – Jeff Bezos

Gone are the days where entrepreneurs need to analyze and make decisions according to hard facts only. The most progressive leaders don’t just settle down on hiring creative people for their team, they also train to make themselves creative and harness more usefulness and novelty in their ideas. Hopefully, the reasons above are enough factors for you to give more emphasis to this aspect of entrepreneurship and upgrade your prospects and business acumen.

What makes you creative? Share with us some stories below as we want to hear them!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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