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7 Incredibly Powerful Motivational Tips For New Entrepreneurs

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7 Incredibly Powerful Motivation Tips For New Entrepreneurs

So you have a brilliant business idea and are all set to put in your papers at your day job so you can finally call yourself an entrepreneur. Excited?  I’m sure you are!

But what happens when the business building begins? When you clock hours longer than you did at your “job”? When you hear the word “no” so many times, it reminds you of when you were 4-years old and in grade school, and when the money that was to come pouring in remains a distant dream?

That feeling of excitement, the passion and energy begin to fade and the motivation to “make it” starts to slip away. I get it. As an entrepreneur for the last 7 years, I’ve seen it all. And if you’re starting out, you need to dose up on staying motivated and inspired, especially in those early days when it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed and disheartened.

Here are 7 insanely effective and powerful ways to keep your motivation levels high and keep your passion pumping all the time:

1. Surround yourself with people who get you

Who do you hang out with after you’re done with working on your business? Do they understand your work? Do they feel your passion? Can they be a sounding board? A supportive shoulder?

Surround yourself with people who understand what being an entrepreneur is all about. That is the power of a mastermind group. It can be just a few of you touching base every other day or a larger group for accountability and growth.

Whatever you’re trying to get from your mastermind groups, make sure that you have one and that they’re positive, supportive, inspiring.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey 

2. Read, watch or listen to something positive every day

We live in the information age and it’s easy to get bombarded with all sorts of messages. Newspapers, books, magazines, social media, blogs, TV shows, podcasts, the list goes on and on.

To stay motivated on a daily basis, make sure you take your “positive pills” or small doses of content that keep you inspired. Feed your mind positivity and you’ll feel positive and in control. Feed your mind negativity and you know how you’ll feel.

Whether it’s an article, a podcast, a blog post, a phone call with a friend, make sure that you have daily doses of positivity factored into your schedule.

 

3Keep your why front and center

It’s easy to feel disheartened when it seems no one, other than you, is interested in your business ideas. When such thoughts threaten to take over, remind yourself of your “why”.

Answer this question: What is the core reason behind your desire and passion to be an entrepreneur?

Dig deep and reconnect with what really made you want to put in those papers or pursue this passion. Keep that “why” front and center.

 

4. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful and proven technique to keep motivation levels up. Looking for the good and being grateful for what we may take for granted helps entrepreneurs see what’s really working for them. Even when it seems nothing is.

Starting today, keep a simple notebook or journal and at the end of the day, write down 3 to 5 things that you’re grateful for. Review your journal whenever you feel the motivation levels dip. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll feel fired up and inspired.

 

5. Keep moving forward

There will be days when taking action will seem tough. When all you’ll want to do is curl up in the fetal position and bawl your head off. But I encourage you to step up and step forward. Baby steps are all that it takes.

Break down big goals into tiny actions and take one step at a time. Keep moving forward and you’ll never feel stuck in a rut again.

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” – Napoleon Hill

6. Step away from the laptop

It’s tempting to hole up in your office and keep working away on your dream idea. One word of advice: Don’t. As someone who’s been there, I have to tell you, shutting down the laptop and heading outdoors is key to your mental and physical health.

Go outside. Take up a hobby. Power walk, run or do yoga. Meet people in real life. Travel. Read. You get the point, right? Do anything that doesn’t have you sitting in front of the laptop, all day long. Your brain and your body will thank you for it.

 

7. Dare yourself

Finally, motivation feeds on motivation. In other words, every now and then get the adrenalin pumping and dare yourself to take insanely scary actions. Want to reach out to that influencer or investor? Go ahead, introduce yourself.

Don’t let the little voice in your head hold you back. You’ll be amazed at how fired up you feel when you dare yourself to do something you’ve been dragging your feet on.

Are you an entrepreneur who’s just starting out? Which one of these 7 motivation tips will you be using right away? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Malik is the gourmet copywriter and community manager for time-starved entrepreneurs at Content Bistro. She loves crafting great content, reading good books and drinking gallons of coffee.  Find out what she’s writing or reading currently by following her on Facebook.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Shrika

    Jun 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    All the points are very motivating, to me points three and seven are the most important aspects. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nino Fisher

    May 18, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I’m just starting out. I constantly have emotional waves going through my gut. I get scared to
    touch a paper with my pan. I know that I just have to do it but my mind is constantly telling me, go ask more questions, go find more info to make sure you are doing the right thing.
    It’s easy to get distracted from doing your project with all this thoughts and emotions going on inside you.
    I try hard to focus on the end result, on where I want to see myself after realizing my dream, that helps me to make baby steps forward. I am new to all this, I’ve never owned a business. It takes guts, courage to take a risk building a business.
    I decided to be courageous and take risks until I will see the end result I so desire to see.
    I’ll keep my focus on what’s important and try hard to ignore distractive thoughts and emotions.

  3. Diane Hays

    Apr 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Wow this is empowering!!! Thank you so much! I wanted to comment and connect with you and tell you I’m thinking of reinventing my brand and starting a blog and this was just the little push I needed to stay on my path and start moving forward and stop being scared and holding myself back! Im kind of an introvert sometimes about my work because being an artist its venerable sharing what you make with the world and its opinions. This is my year to push though and take my business to the next level! Thank you so much! If you have any advice for my blog please feel free to connect with me on social media and email me your thoughts I would love to hear from you!
    Diane Hays

  4. Nihar Pradhan

    Jan 18, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Beautifully written Prerna, very crisp and indeed insightful thoughts. One thing that really changed me as an entrepreneur is being with people who have done it and seen it, people who are successful and people who are good at heart. It rubs on you. It changes your thinking. Yes, ultimately it is the gratitude in attitude that makes all the difference, success is incidental but gratitude and grace should be integral to our nature…

  5. Maxine Harris

    Jan 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Thank you so much for the tips! I am a full time mom and freelance web designer. To make it through, it is important to remember why I chose this route: to be more involved in life and family, and to make use of the flexibility for the greater good.

  6. Jim LaValley

    Jan 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    All great suggestions! I think that keeping your “WHY” right in front of you is spot on and that staying positive is a must. Thanks for the article.

  7. Jess | Make and Do Crew

    Jan 12, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Staying focused on your WHY is so important! I am trying to do more things that scare me this year. It’s sort of my little experiment. Like, if I tackle anything I’m scared of, what will happen? Only 2016 knows… 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiring read!

  8. Shruti

    Jan 12, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Love your tips Prerna! as a newbie entrepreneur, I am going through this phase and your tips are bang on! esp #1. I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t have my band of fellow entrepreneurs cheering me on. & #4 is what is really helping me stay motivated.

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:36 am

      Thanks so much Shruti! SO glad these tips resonated with you and awesome to see you putting them in action too!! Go YOU!

  9. Darci

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I so needed to read this today. Being a new entrepreneur can be a lonely road,and I needed to be reminded of these tips. Thank you so much Prerna!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:35 am

      You’re most welcome Darci! SO glad this came at the perfect time for you!! Much love!

  10. Prerna Malik

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Thanks Charlene! You’re absolutely right. Motivation is fueled by motivation.. Excited about your week and your year!! All the best!!

  11. Stephen osoko

    Jan 12, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I’m starting to surround myself with people who get it to take our dreams to the next level!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 1:52 am

      Hi Stephen! THAT is awesome! It is amazing to be inspired and encouraged as well as kept focused by those around us! All the very best for the road ahead!

  12. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Great tips! As an entrepreneur, you have to surround yourself around like-minded individuals in order to keep your dream alive when you are faced with insurmountable obstacles. I also like your reminder about connecting with the outside world. It’s so easy to get caught up in work that we forget about everything else. Last but not least, I thank you for sharing your bold call to action in tip #7. Motivation FEEDS on Motivation. Sometimes you have to get the adrenaline pumping and DARE yourself to take insanely BOLD actions that will catapult your success. This is exactly what I plan to do this week! Thanks Prerna!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Things You Must Have in Order to Succeed as a Freelancer

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successful freelancer

Up until about 3 years ago, I honestly had no idea what a freelancer even was. It sounded like a cool job title and I secretly envied people who could call themselves one. Didn’t they get to travel the world with a laptop and go sailing and sip margaritas beside some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet? Yup, I wanted to be a freelancer.

I wanted in on this action. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was sure I could pull this off, couldn’t I?

The Mystery Slowly Unravelled

And so began the digging and sniffing around. The more research I did, the more I realized this wasn’t for the faint of heart. I took in as many blogs and pdf’s as I could. I watched YouTube tutorials until my eyes bled. I took in everything I could about it.

I decided that I could easily become a freelance writer. I got good writing skills (did you catch that?) thanks to so many letters written to ex boyfriends behaving badly, and my journal. Yup, I could definitely be a writer.

So now what? Now the real work begins. So you want to be a writer, huh? Get ready girl. You have tons of work ahead of you. Little did I know.

Can’t I just tell stories?

I just wanted to write about all my crazy life stories ‘cause Lord knows I have a million. Surely someone will want to read them, no? Isn’t writing and blogging just about telling stories of how you had some ridiculous upheaval and how you overcame it? I can write about that until the cows come home.

I was determined to write these stories and send them out to anyone, everyone and no one. I hit up all the high authority sites right away. No small fry stuff for this girl. I have great stories and someone needs to read them.

“The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.” – William Faulkner

Was I in for a surprise

Apparently not everyone wants to read your stories. Apparently not everyone thinks your stories are great. Apparently not everyone thinks you’re a good writer. I thought this freelance writing stuff would come easy. I can write dammit and I’m friggin’ good at it! They’ll see.

It just didn’t work like that. As I worked my regular full time day job as a hairstylist I continued to write my heart out, before and after work, determined to leave this life behind and become a freelance writer. Little did I know. 8 months of cutting hair and blogging for free taught me many many things about myself and the freelance world.

Here are the 5 things you better have if you want to make it as a freelancer:

1. Determination

You must be all in or all out. There is no in between. You can’t let up or stop for one single minute. You want to be a freelancer, you must give it 100%. This gig isn’t for half assers or sissies. Nope. Only the hardcore, diehard peeps with a strong deep desire for a life of freedom will make it here. There is no giving up. Ever.

2. Passion

If you don’t feel it, you won’t be able to do it. It has to come from deep down in your heart, soul and belly. The reason you want to do this must consume you (and the reason should be more than just money). You should be eating, living and breathing this passion you have to become a freelancer otherwise you’re already doing it for the wrong reasons and you won’t be happy. Trust me on that one.

3. Persistence

Never ever give up and don’t take no for an answer. If a million people say no to you, remember someone is going to say yes. If someone said no a million times keep at it. Figure out what you did wrong and polish up your skills (all the no’s will give you ample opportunity to do just that).

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” – E.L. Doctorow

4. Open mindedness

Stay open to learning new things. Stay open to networking and connecting with others. You will need to collaborate with other bloggers and people who are already doing this for a living in order to learn. You will need to throw your net out far and wide and take in all sorts of wondrous tools. Get ready to step way out of your comfort zone.

5. Confidence

This was a biggie for me. I was pitbull, determined to make it so no amount of no’s was going to get in my way. There were some days I honestly did feel like throwing in the towel (we all have days like that) but I would brush off my butt and lick my wounded ego and keep at it. Have confidence in your skills. Just because 10 people don’t want your stuff doesn’t mean there isn’t 10 out there who do! Remember that. You ARE good at what you do.

Do you have what it takes? Of course you do! It took me almost 9 months before I finally cracked the freelance world and another year to become a full time freelancer. There is no try and there is no giving up. I always tell people, if I can do it, so can you.

What are the obstacles you’re facing right now as a freelance? Comment below!

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5 Crucial Skills to Take Your Business and Relationships to New Heights

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Our personal relationships are very powerful and provide us with a crash course of exponential growth both personally and professionally. You learn an exceptional amount of information about who you are as a person, how you communicate, manage your emotions and discover traits you were blissfully unaware of.

Of course everyone wants to hear the beautiful love story you so often hear from others. Man and woman meet, fall madly in love, get married and live happily ever after. However, as we all know the fairytale ending is no guarantee.

I met a spontaneous, generous, successful and much older businessman and we dated for a short period of time. I was deliriously happy and determined for everything to turn out perfectly. As expected, he had mastered the art of knowing all the right buttons to push and exactly the right words to say.

I can compare this experience to a going for a long drive in the country. I was speeding down the highway of life, aiming to maintain my complete denial of everything happening around me. To the point that I missed every stop sign, damaged the car from all of the potholes I failed to navigate, and I had several minor accidents along the way.  You name it, I ignored every single red flag that was saying take a detour, choose a different road and look the other way, keep moving forward yet choose a different direction.

Unfortunately, it all came to a grinding halt, when the car burst into flames in the middle of a local National Park causing a wild bushfire. This analogy clearly illustrates the ending of this relationship and the danger of becoming obsessed with a personal goal to the point where it sabotages all your efforts to attain your goal and safely reach your destination.

The brilliant news is that this crash course of exponential growth led to pivotal business lessons that can also help you achieve outstanding results this year. The 5 key business lessons you can develop include:

1. Individual Connection vs Wolf Pack

Be mindful and understand the differences between communicating well with an individual and a team otherwise known as a wolf pack. Notice the differences in the communication, it can be very different. An individual interaction may be far easier than dealing with the wolfpack or vice versa. Pay attention when in both scenarios as it will be highly beneficial for professional career and help you to enhance both new and existing professional relationships.

2. Monumental Giving

Wow, I thought I was a generous person however I quickly realized I had more work to do in this area. This man raised a lot of funds for charities that were close to his heart both personally and via his businesses and he was very proud of his achievement as he should be.

What I liked the most however was the way he built the company culture although he was well renowned for his tough exterior, he did go out of his way to be generous to employees  at all levels within the company and he took the time to get to know them personally despite the number of businesses he was operating at any one time.

“Giving is the master key for success in all applications of life” – Bryant McGill

3. Fanatical Focus

Irrespective of the activity he was engaged in on any given day. From closing a business deal, speaking to a colleague or business associate, negotiating a lease to building his stock portfolio. He was unbelievably fanatically focused on that one activity and ensured that the activity was completed to a very high standard.

Anything less was deemed unprofessional and unacceptable. His unwavering focus was very valuable in making business decisions and closing deals, over delivering on budget, making quick decisions and maintaining relationships.

4. Beware of the ‘Little’ Things

We have heard it before, don’t stress or make a big deal about the little things. When you learn to manage your emotions effectively and allow things to occur rather than resist or get upset about it, life becomes far easier and enjoyable. It allows you to retain your energy for the important things in life and manage actual stressful situations as they arise.

5. Master Communicator

This man was extremely tough and very guarded however, he acted like everyone’s best friend. He understood a lot about how people communicate from their tone of voice, the words they say to how fast or slow they spoke, and he was a master at reading non-verbal communication in both men and women.

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you are willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy

To build a powerful network in business, it is imperative to begin by learning the essentials in communication. Start by researching how to read body language and what various poses or facial expressions mean. By understanding others, you can also adapt your own communication style to become a ‘Master Communicator’ and rapidly improve your overall business results.

As we enter the start of the New Year, now is the perfect time to hone these 5 crucial business skills to take your business and relationships to new heights.

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5 Essential Elements You Need to Deliver a Spectacular Podcast Interview

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Podcasting is a phenomenon that millions of people gravitate to every day for information, inspiration, and entertainment.  According to convinceandconvert.com, 112 million people listened to a podcast at least once in 2017. There are many different types of podcasts that are out there to listen to, and one of the most popular formats is that of the interview podcast.

It goes without saying that an interview podcast consists of a host/hosts and a guest, typically an expert in a particular field, going back-and-forth in a question format to deliver valuable content for those listeners.  As a podcast host, myself and having done hundreds of interviews, not to mention the hundreds more I’ve listened to, there are five essential elements, in my opinion, that is essential to delivering an excellent podcast interview.

Here are the 5 essential elements you need to deliver a spectacular podcast interview:

1. Do Your Research

Nothing can kill an interview faster than when one party is not prepared for other, especially when that individual is the host.  It is vital that you do your research on the guest you are bringing on your show, not just to produce the most value out of your podcast, but to ensure that you get the very best out of your guest as well.  

Search their website, find out their most recent event, product launch, or topic they are “hot” on.  Also, know what motivates them and what they are most interested in offering to your listeners.  This is a show of professionalism and will garner respect from your guest and provide a traditional format to build your podcast show around.

“You just need one person to listen, get your message, and pass it on to someone else. And, you’ve doubled your audience.” – Robert Gerrish

2. Create Pre-Interview Rapport

Experts, influencers, and famous individuals typically have someone book them on shows, especially on podcasts. More times than not, there is a limited amount of interaction with the host and the guest before the taping of the podcast. By creating pre-interview rapport through social media outlets, emails and video chats, you can help build more familiarity with your guest and offer a more comfortable and relaxed interview. Some guests will be more accessible to create this type of rapport with than others; however, don’t stop yourself from trying.

3. Don’t Be Too Scripted

There is a difference between having a format versus having a script. Don’t be the podcast host that interviews their guests straight from a script. It will create robotic type answers from your guests and quite frankly, will be boring. At the same time, scripts can take away from the authentic emotion that interviews can provoke. This type of passion and raw feeling in the answers and even the question asking process, is essential to help the podcast stand out and keep the guest interested.

4. Be Yourself

Do not, I repeat, do not try to be any other type of podcast host than that of yourself. Your guest booked your show because of you, the kind of show you host, and because you have a unique audience that YOU can introduce them to. You aren’t Lewis Howes, John Lee Dumas, or Gary Vaynerchuk.  They have created podcasts because of who they are and stayed true to their style of interviewing, and you must do the same. It’s ok to want to emulate the success of others but don’t do it to the extent of losing your voice.

“A podcast is a great way to develop relationships with hard to reach people.” – Tim Paige

5. Speak To Your Audience

Don’t just do an interview to do an interview. Make sure the interactions between you and your guest have your audience in mind. I have seen some hosts poll their listeners for certain types of questions they would like for them to ask the guest and, even set up some podcast episodes to be during a live format for instant guest to listener interaction. The podcast should mean just as much to your listeners as it does to you. That is how you know you are reaching your audience and creating the most impact possible.

I hope your podcast is already rocking and doing great however, if you feel you are missing an element to take your podcast from good to excellent, try implementing these five tips and become a first class interviewer.  This alone can help take your podcast to a whole new level.

What are some podcasts you enjoy listening too? Comment below!

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10 Things You Can Do to Build a Great Brand in the Digital World

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Great brands are created by the love and affection of the people. When you care for your customers, it is reflected in your products and services. The most memorable and iconic brands are emotionally connected with their customers. Today, the internet is probably the biggest influence on how brands are built in the digital age.

Here are 10 things you can do to build a great brand in today’s digital world:

1. Stellar designs

The best brands are expressed by the most fluid designs. Attractive designs are important to woo and catch the attention of the users. Design is one of the most important facets of building a brand. It expresses your brand & influences the way consumers think about your company. It is also an effective way to stand out from the competition. Successful brands like Apple, Rolex, & Louis Vuitton, use designs to create a feeling of pride and exclusivity for their customers.

2. Delightful user experience for products & services

What makes top companies like Apple, Harley Davidson, & Rolex sell their products at top premium? It is a great user experience. When products and services are built with users in mind, it creates a delightful experience for users. It puts your brand on a higher pedestal, improves adoption, and commands user respect. The cost of delighting a customer is negligible compared with the price you pay when you disappoint them.

3. Communicate your higher purpose

The internet has made it easier for brands to communicate with the world. However, the ease of communication has also led to lot of noise. Great brands are able to tell stories that connect with people. They stand out from the crowd. They articulate who they are, what makes them different, their aspirations, why they exist and what they do for your customers. For brands like Nike, it was about honouring the athletes. Apple sparked great curiosity with the ‘Think different’ campaign.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

4. Customer service anytime anywhere

Customer Interactions and feedback are invaluable for shaping products and services. Today, the companies that use digital tools for improving customer service are surging ahead of their competitors. The idea is to provide interactive, fast and ubiquitous service across channels for customers. The customers expect a seamless transition between platforms and devices.

5. Be Social & build your tribe

Social media and the web have created a level playing field for companies around the world. The brands that are creating valuable content are growing their followers and reach. Content that is created to genuinely help the customers resonates with the users.

The best brands are not only building social communities, but also engaging with people in real world. The face to face communication strengthens the bonding and builds a loyal community that endorses products/services to others. How brands combine the digital and physical space is now shaping their fortunes. People want to be part of a meaningful community and the top brands are building them.

6. Personalized interactions with customers

Digitization is a great boon when it comes to customer interactions. Every interaction with your customer can be tracked and personalised. The ease with which the customers can interact with your company and get things done matters a lot. These seamless interactions are important across all customer touch points. Every interaction with the customer is a chance to build a relationship and a loyal army for the brand.

7. The right talent and teams

To build innovative products & services, it is important to attract and retain talent. It is important to build great teams. When teams are aligned to a long term vision of the company, the results are visible in the quality of the offerings. Your talent pool and teams represent their quality and commitment defines your identity. When teams are aligned to a common goal and purpose, they give their best and create amazing stuff that makes companies iconic.

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

8. Digitized solutions & services

Reimagine the consumer experience when dealing with your brand. Digitization of services makes things easier for customers. For example, leading banks around the world have introduced digitised systems for getting customer feedback. Airports around the globe are using digital solutions to reduce customer’s time to clear immigrations and procedures. Several industries are now looking at digitization to make things easier for their consumers.

9. Improved outreach with digital media

With the rise of digitisation, it is easier for brands to reach out to their target users. The demographics of their target users like age, location, income levels, interests, can be specified to reach them. The campaigns can be designed to improve the outreach and have meaningful engagement with the prospects. How creatively a brand can spread its message to the target users can distinguish it from its competition. With digital media, brands can get global exposure and sales.

10. Thrive on value economy

In a crowded marketplace, it is easier to build credibility with value. The successful brands have deep rooted understanding of their customers pain points and goals. They offer solutions to these problems that are critical to their customers. For example, brands like Amazon have been so successful, because they have been able to provide incredible value to their customers by offering great discounts and seamless delivery of the goods.

Conclusion

Brands need to constantly ask themselves how their business will change and adapt quickly to serve their customers proactively. The consumer needs are changing fast. Brand loyalty is a thing of the past. Businesses need to evolve constantly to meet the needs of their customers. Brands are now leveraging digitization to take an integrated view of things, evaluate and take necessary actions for driving the changes to meet the consumer needs.

What are some other ways to build a brand online? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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29 Stirring Idris Elba Quotes

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Idris Elba Quotes
Image Credit | NY Daily

From his roles on major blockbusters such as Pacific Rim and The Dark Tower, to some of his smaller roles on shows such as The Wire and Luther; Idris Elba has demonstrated himself to be not only a skilled actor, but a diverse and adaptive one as well. From his rough origins in Northern London, Idris clawed & worked his way to become one of the most recognized actors in Hollywood. At one point he was sleeping in a van working as a doorman. During his journey, Idris Elba has learned a lot about life, success, and sticking to your passion. (more…)

Joe Kleckner has a passion for all things motivation & self-development.  From blogs such as Addicted2Success, to the videos of Eric Thomas and Elliott Hulse, to the lectures of legends such as Tony Robbins.  This passion has landed him an internship with Addicted2Success. Follow him on Twitter & Snapchat as he journeys towards greatness, one day at a time.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Shrika

    Jun 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    All the points are very motivating, to me points three and seven are the most important aspects. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nino Fisher

    May 18, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I’m just starting out. I constantly have emotional waves going through my gut. I get scared to
    touch a paper with my pan. I know that I just have to do it but my mind is constantly telling me, go ask more questions, go find more info to make sure you are doing the right thing.
    It’s easy to get distracted from doing your project with all this thoughts and emotions going on inside you.
    I try hard to focus on the end result, on where I want to see myself after realizing my dream, that helps me to make baby steps forward. I am new to all this, I’ve never owned a business. It takes guts, courage to take a risk building a business.
    I decided to be courageous and take risks until I will see the end result I so desire to see.
    I’ll keep my focus on what’s important and try hard to ignore distractive thoughts and emotions.

  3. Diane Hays

    Apr 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Wow this is empowering!!! Thank you so much! I wanted to comment and connect with you and tell you I’m thinking of reinventing my brand and starting a blog and this was just the little push I needed to stay on my path and start moving forward and stop being scared and holding myself back! Im kind of an introvert sometimes about my work because being an artist its venerable sharing what you make with the world and its opinions. This is my year to push though and take my business to the next level! Thank you so much! If you have any advice for my blog please feel free to connect with me on social media and email me your thoughts I would love to hear from you!
    Diane Hays

  4. Nihar Pradhan

    Jan 18, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Beautifully written Prerna, very crisp and indeed insightful thoughts. One thing that really changed me as an entrepreneur is being with people who have done it and seen it, people who are successful and people who are good at heart. It rubs on you. It changes your thinking. Yes, ultimately it is the gratitude in attitude that makes all the difference, success is incidental but gratitude and grace should be integral to our nature…

  5. Maxine Harris

    Jan 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Thank you so much for the tips! I am a full time mom and freelance web designer. To make it through, it is important to remember why I chose this route: to be more involved in life and family, and to make use of the flexibility for the greater good.

  6. Jim LaValley

    Jan 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    All great suggestions! I think that keeping your “WHY” right in front of you is spot on and that staying positive is a must. Thanks for the article.

  7. Jess | Make and Do Crew

    Jan 12, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Staying focused on your WHY is so important! I am trying to do more things that scare me this year. It’s sort of my little experiment. Like, if I tackle anything I’m scared of, what will happen? Only 2016 knows… 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiring read!

  8. Shruti

    Jan 12, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Love your tips Prerna! as a newbie entrepreneur, I am going through this phase and your tips are bang on! esp #1. I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t have my band of fellow entrepreneurs cheering me on. & #4 is what is really helping me stay motivated.

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:36 am

      Thanks so much Shruti! SO glad these tips resonated with you and awesome to see you putting them in action too!! Go YOU!

  9. Darci

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I so needed to read this today. Being a new entrepreneur can be a lonely road,and I needed to be reminded of these tips. Thank you so much Prerna!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:35 am

      You’re most welcome Darci! SO glad this came at the perfect time for you!! Much love!

  10. Prerna Malik

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Thanks Charlene! You’re absolutely right. Motivation is fueled by motivation.. Excited about your week and your year!! All the best!!

  11. Stephen osoko

    Jan 12, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I’m starting to surround myself with people who get it to take our dreams to the next level!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 1:52 am

      Hi Stephen! THAT is awesome! It is amazing to be inspired and encouraged as well as kept focused by those around us! All the very best for the road ahead!

  12. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Great tips! As an entrepreneur, you have to surround yourself around like-minded individuals in order to keep your dream alive when you are faced with insurmountable obstacles. I also like your reminder about connecting with the outside world. It’s so easy to get caught up in work that we forget about everything else. Last but not least, I thank you for sharing your bold call to action in tip #7. Motivation FEEDS on Motivation. Sometimes you have to get the adrenaline pumping and DARE yourself to take insanely BOLD actions that will catapult your success. This is exactly what I plan to do this week! Thanks Prerna!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Things You Must Have in Order to Succeed as a Freelancer

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successful freelancer

Up until about 3 years ago, I honestly had no idea what a freelancer even was. It sounded like a cool job title and I secretly envied people who could call themselves one. Didn’t they get to travel the world with a laptop and go sailing and sip margaritas beside some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet? Yup, I wanted to be a freelancer.

I wanted in on this action. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was sure I could pull this off, couldn’t I?

The Mystery Slowly Unravelled

And so began the digging and sniffing around. The more research I did, the more I realized this wasn’t for the faint of heart. I took in as many blogs and pdf’s as I could. I watched YouTube tutorials until my eyes bled. I took in everything I could about it.

I decided that I could easily become a freelance writer. I got good writing skills (did you catch that?) thanks to so many letters written to ex boyfriends behaving badly, and my journal. Yup, I could definitely be a writer.

So now what? Now the real work begins. So you want to be a writer, huh? Get ready girl. You have tons of work ahead of you. Little did I know.

Can’t I just tell stories?

I just wanted to write about all my crazy life stories ‘cause Lord knows I have a million. Surely someone will want to read them, no? Isn’t writing and blogging just about telling stories of how you had some ridiculous upheaval and how you overcame it? I can write about that until the cows come home.

I was determined to write these stories and send them out to anyone, everyone and no one. I hit up all the high authority sites right away. No small fry stuff for this girl. I have great stories and someone needs to read them.

“The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.” – William Faulkner

Was I in for a surprise

Apparently not everyone wants to read your stories. Apparently not everyone thinks your stories are great. Apparently not everyone thinks you’re a good writer. I thought this freelance writing stuff would come easy. I can write dammit and I’m friggin’ good at it! They’ll see.

It just didn’t work like that. As I worked my regular full time day job as a hairstylist I continued to write my heart out, before and after work, determined to leave this life behind and become a freelance writer. Little did I know. 8 months of cutting hair and blogging for free taught me many many things about myself and the freelance world.

Here are the 5 things you better have if you want to make it as a freelancer:

1. Determination

You must be all in or all out. There is no in between. You can’t let up or stop for one single minute. You want to be a freelancer, you must give it 100%. This gig isn’t for half assers or sissies. Nope. Only the hardcore, diehard peeps with a strong deep desire for a life of freedom will make it here. There is no giving up. Ever.

2. Passion

If you don’t feel it, you won’t be able to do it. It has to come from deep down in your heart, soul and belly. The reason you want to do this must consume you (and the reason should be more than just money). You should be eating, living and breathing this passion you have to become a freelancer otherwise you’re already doing it for the wrong reasons and you won’t be happy. Trust me on that one.

3. Persistence

Never ever give up and don’t take no for an answer. If a million people say no to you, remember someone is going to say yes. If someone said no a million times keep at it. Figure out what you did wrong and polish up your skills (all the no’s will give you ample opportunity to do just that).

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” – E.L. Doctorow

4. Open mindedness

Stay open to learning new things. Stay open to networking and connecting with others. You will need to collaborate with other bloggers and people who are already doing this for a living in order to learn. You will need to throw your net out far and wide and take in all sorts of wondrous tools. Get ready to step way out of your comfort zone.

5. Confidence

This was a biggie for me. I was pitbull, determined to make it so no amount of no’s was going to get in my way. There were some days I honestly did feel like throwing in the towel (we all have days like that) but I would brush off my butt and lick my wounded ego and keep at it. Have confidence in your skills. Just because 10 people don’t want your stuff doesn’t mean there isn’t 10 out there who do! Remember that. You ARE good at what you do.

Do you have what it takes? Of course you do! It took me almost 9 months before I finally cracked the freelance world and another year to become a full time freelancer. There is no try and there is no giving up. I always tell people, if I can do it, so can you.

What are the obstacles you’re facing right now as a freelance? Comment below!

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5 Crucial Skills to Take Your Business and Relationships to New Heights

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business skills

Our personal relationships are very powerful and provide us with a crash course of exponential growth both personally and professionally. You learn an exceptional amount of information about who you are as a person, how you communicate, manage your emotions and discover traits you were blissfully unaware of.

Of course everyone wants to hear the beautiful love story you so often hear from others. Man and woman meet, fall madly in love, get married and live happily ever after. However, as we all know the fairytale ending is no guarantee.

I met a spontaneous, generous, successful and much older businessman and we dated for a short period of time. I was deliriously happy and determined for everything to turn out perfectly. As expected, he had mastered the art of knowing all the right buttons to push and exactly the right words to say.

I can compare this experience to a going for a long drive in the country. I was speeding down the highway of life, aiming to maintain my complete denial of everything happening around me. To the point that I missed every stop sign, damaged the car from all of the potholes I failed to navigate, and I had several minor accidents along the way.  You name it, I ignored every single red flag that was saying take a detour, choose a different road and look the other way, keep moving forward yet choose a different direction.

Unfortunately, it all came to a grinding halt, when the car burst into flames in the middle of a local National Park causing a wild bushfire. This analogy clearly illustrates the ending of this relationship and the danger of becoming obsessed with a personal goal to the point where it sabotages all your efforts to attain your goal and safely reach your destination.

The brilliant news is that this crash course of exponential growth led to pivotal business lessons that can also help you achieve outstanding results this year. The 5 key business lessons you can develop include:

1. Individual Connection vs Wolf Pack

Be mindful and understand the differences between communicating well with an individual and a team otherwise known as a wolf pack. Notice the differences in the communication, it can be very different. An individual interaction may be far easier than dealing with the wolfpack or vice versa. Pay attention when in both scenarios as it will be highly beneficial for professional career and help you to enhance both new and existing professional relationships.

2. Monumental Giving

Wow, I thought I was a generous person however I quickly realized I had more work to do in this area. This man raised a lot of funds for charities that were close to his heart both personally and via his businesses and he was very proud of his achievement as he should be.

What I liked the most however was the way he built the company culture although he was well renowned for his tough exterior, he did go out of his way to be generous to employees  at all levels within the company and he took the time to get to know them personally despite the number of businesses he was operating at any one time.

“Giving is the master key for success in all applications of life” – Bryant McGill

3. Fanatical Focus

Irrespective of the activity he was engaged in on any given day. From closing a business deal, speaking to a colleague or business associate, negotiating a lease to building his stock portfolio. He was unbelievably fanatically focused on that one activity and ensured that the activity was completed to a very high standard.

Anything less was deemed unprofessional and unacceptable. His unwavering focus was very valuable in making business decisions and closing deals, over delivering on budget, making quick decisions and maintaining relationships.

4. Beware of the ‘Little’ Things

We have heard it before, don’t stress or make a big deal about the little things. When you learn to manage your emotions effectively and allow things to occur rather than resist or get upset about it, life becomes far easier and enjoyable. It allows you to retain your energy for the important things in life and manage actual stressful situations as they arise.

5. Master Communicator

This man was extremely tough and very guarded however, he acted like everyone’s best friend. He understood a lot about how people communicate from their tone of voice, the words they say to how fast or slow they spoke, and he was a master at reading non-verbal communication in both men and women.

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you are willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy

To build a powerful network in business, it is imperative to begin by learning the essentials in communication. Start by researching how to read body language and what various poses or facial expressions mean. By understanding others, you can also adapt your own communication style to become a ‘Master Communicator’ and rapidly improve your overall business results.

As we enter the start of the New Year, now is the perfect time to hone these 5 crucial business skills to take your business and relationships to new heights.

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5 Essential Elements You Need to Deliver a Spectacular Podcast Interview

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Podcasting is a phenomenon that millions of people gravitate to every day for information, inspiration, and entertainment.  According to convinceandconvert.com, 112 million people listened to a podcast at least once in 2017. There are many different types of podcasts that are out there to listen to, and one of the most popular formats is that of the interview podcast.

It goes without saying that an interview podcast consists of a host/hosts and a guest, typically an expert in a particular field, going back-and-forth in a question format to deliver valuable content for those listeners.  As a podcast host, myself and having done hundreds of interviews, not to mention the hundreds more I’ve listened to, there are five essential elements, in my opinion, that is essential to delivering an excellent podcast interview.

Here are the 5 essential elements you need to deliver a spectacular podcast interview:

1. Do Your Research

Nothing can kill an interview faster than when one party is not prepared for other, especially when that individual is the host.  It is vital that you do your research on the guest you are bringing on your show, not just to produce the most value out of your podcast, but to ensure that you get the very best out of your guest as well.  

Search their website, find out their most recent event, product launch, or topic they are “hot” on.  Also, know what motivates them and what they are most interested in offering to your listeners.  This is a show of professionalism and will garner respect from your guest and provide a traditional format to build your podcast show around.

“You just need one person to listen, get your message, and pass it on to someone else. And, you’ve doubled your audience.” – Robert Gerrish

2. Create Pre-Interview Rapport

Experts, influencers, and famous individuals typically have someone book them on shows, especially on podcasts. More times than not, there is a limited amount of interaction with the host and the guest before the taping of the podcast. By creating pre-interview rapport through social media outlets, emails and video chats, you can help build more familiarity with your guest and offer a more comfortable and relaxed interview. Some guests will be more accessible to create this type of rapport with than others; however, don’t stop yourself from trying.

3. Don’t Be Too Scripted

There is a difference between having a format versus having a script. Don’t be the podcast host that interviews their guests straight from a script. It will create robotic type answers from your guests and quite frankly, will be boring. At the same time, scripts can take away from the authentic emotion that interviews can provoke. This type of passion and raw feeling in the answers and even the question asking process, is essential to help the podcast stand out and keep the guest interested.

4. Be Yourself

Do not, I repeat, do not try to be any other type of podcast host than that of yourself. Your guest booked your show because of you, the kind of show you host, and because you have a unique audience that YOU can introduce them to. You aren’t Lewis Howes, John Lee Dumas, or Gary Vaynerchuk.  They have created podcasts because of who they are and stayed true to their style of interviewing, and you must do the same. It’s ok to want to emulate the success of others but don’t do it to the extent of losing your voice.

“A podcast is a great way to develop relationships with hard to reach people.” – Tim Paige

5. Speak To Your Audience

Don’t just do an interview to do an interview. Make sure the interactions between you and your guest have your audience in mind. I have seen some hosts poll their listeners for certain types of questions they would like for them to ask the guest and, even set up some podcast episodes to be during a live format for instant guest to listener interaction. The podcast should mean just as much to your listeners as it does to you. That is how you know you are reaching your audience and creating the most impact possible.

I hope your podcast is already rocking and doing great however, if you feel you are missing an element to take your podcast from good to excellent, try implementing these five tips and become a first class interviewer.  This alone can help take your podcast to a whole new level.

What are some podcasts you enjoy listening too? Comment below!

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10 Things You Can Do to Build a Great Brand in the Digital World

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Great brands are created by the love and affection of the people. When you care for your customers, it is reflected in your products and services. The most memorable and iconic brands are emotionally connected with their customers. Today, the internet is probably the biggest influence on how brands are built in the digital age.

Here are 10 things you can do to build a great brand in today’s digital world:

1. Stellar designs

The best brands are expressed by the most fluid designs. Attractive designs are important to woo and catch the attention of the users. Design is one of the most important facets of building a brand. It expresses your brand & influences the way consumers think about your company. It is also an effective way to stand out from the competition. Successful brands like Apple, Rolex, & Louis Vuitton, use designs to create a feeling of pride and exclusivity for their customers.

2. Delightful user experience for products & services

What makes top companies like Apple, Harley Davidson, & Rolex sell their products at top premium? It is a great user experience. When products and services are built with users in mind, it creates a delightful experience for users. It puts your brand on a higher pedestal, improves adoption, and commands user respect. The cost of delighting a customer is negligible compared with the price you pay when you disappoint them.

3. Communicate your higher purpose

The internet has made it easier for brands to communicate with the world. However, the ease of communication has also led to lot of noise. Great brands are able to tell stories that connect with people. They stand out from the crowd. They articulate who they are, what makes them different, their aspirations, why they exist and what they do for your customers. For brands like Nike, it was about honouring the athletes. Apple sparked great curiosity with the ‘Think different’ campaign.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

4. Customer service anytime anywhere

Customer Interactions and feedback are invaluable for shaping products and services. Today, the companies that use digital tools for improving customer service are surging ahead of their competitors. The idea is to provide interactive, fast and ubiquitous service across channels for customers. The customers expect a seamless transition between platforms and devices.

5. Be Social & build your tribe

Social media and the web have created a level playing field for companies around the world. The brands that are creating valuable content are growing their followers and reach. Content that is created to genuinely help the customers resonates with the users.

The best brands are not only building social communities, but also engaging with people in real world. The face to face communication strengthens the bonding and builds a loyal community that endorses products/services to others. How brands combine the digital and physical space is now shaping their fortunes. People want to be part of a meaningful community and the top brands are building them.

6. Personalized interactions with customers

Digitization is a great boon when it comes to customer interactions. Every interaction with your customer can be tracked and personalised. The ease with which the customers can interact with your company and get things done matters a lot. These seamless interactions are important across all customer touch points. Every interaction with the customer is a chance to build a relationship and a loyal army for the brand.

7. The right talent and teams

To build innovative products & services, it is important to attract and retain talent. It is important to build great teams. When teams are aligned to a long term vision of the company, the results are visible in the quality of the offerings. Your talent pool and teams represent their quality and commitment defines your identity. When teams are aligned to a common goal and purpose, they give their best and create amazing stuff that makes companies iconic.

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

8. Digitized solutions & services

Reimagine the consumer experience when dealing with your brand. Digitization of services makes things easier for customers. For example, leading banks around the world have introduced digitised systems for getting customer feedback. Airports around the globe are using digital solutions to reduce customer’s time to clear immigrations and procedures. Several industries are now looking at digitization to make things easier for their consumers.

9. Improved outreach with digital media

With the rise of digitisation, it is easier for brands to reach out to their target users. The demographics of their target users like age, location, income levels, interests, can be specified to reach them. The campaigns can be designed to improve the outreach and have meaningful engagement with the prospects. How creatively a brand can spread its message to the target users can distinguish it from its competition. With digital media, brands can get global exposure and sales.

10. Thrive on value economy

In a crowded marketplace, it is easier to build credibility with value. The successful brands have deep rooted understanding of their customers pain points and goals. They offer solutions to these problems that are critical to their customers. For example, brands like Amazon have been so successful, because they have been able to provide incredible value to their customers by offering great discounts and seamless delivery of the goods.

Conclusion

Brands need to constantly ask themselves how their business will change and adapt quickly to serve their customers proactively. The consumer needs are changing fast. Brand loyalty is a thing of the past. Businesses need to evolve constantly to meet the needs of their customers. Brands are now leveraging digitization to take an integrated view of things, evaluate and take necessary actions for driving the changes to meet the consumer needs.

What are some other ways to build a brand online? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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