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The 4 Difficult Lessons Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Learn

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Successful entrepreneurs are born learners, but often they focus on the wrong lessons. Yes, learning about financing, staff management, selling, marketing, product innovation, decision-making and risk taking are vital. However, there are other lessons that are just as important to the future of your business.

Learn these four lessons, really embed them into your psyche, and you’ll be in great shape to build a successful, sustainable business:

1. It’s essential to pivot

Startup businesses often go off like a rocket. You invest your money in building a top-line product or service, putting together a fantastic team, and making sure the design of your website and marketing material is just right. You invest so much time in this before you launch that you forget about sales and demand. You launch – and, well, all those customers you thought would be knocking down your door aren’t there. It’s a struggle to get through your first year in business.

Growing a business is all about product-market fit – matching up your offering with what customers actually want, ideally at a price that is profitable and appealing to the customer. The important lesson is that while every entrepreneur is passionate about their sector, very few can hit product-market fit first time. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead of getting frustrated about customers not buying from you, ask them why they aren’t. Then take what you’ve learnt and pivot in a new direction.

2. Process geeks are cool

I’ve worked with many brilliant and inspiring entrepreneurs. Some have gone on to build international businesses and others have foundered. What separates them? The truly successful ones all have one thing in common: scratch the surface and they’re process geeks.

Successful entrepreneurs enjoy the detail, they love separating each job into separate actions, seeing where they can make efficiencies and freeing up the bottlenecks. Every element of their business has a written process with clearly defined steps.   

If you’re a visionary, and most entrepreneurs are, the actual nitty gritty process of your business probably leaves you cold. You’re focused driving sales, bringing in new clients and building relationships. It’s the bigger picture all the way for you. Nonetheless, if you don’t put proper processes in place, your business will fail in the long run, no matter how many sales you’ve made or how big your client roster.  

“Details create the big picture.” – Sanford I. Weill

3. Hiring people smarter than you is clever

Everyone knows this one, right? The problem here is that though we all know it, we very often forget it. I’ve seen lots of entrepreneurs fall at this hurdle with sometimes catastrophic results. The reasons for this are very clear to me because some entrepreneurs are control freaks. They are big, extrovert personalities, and they have to be the top dog in the workplace. That means when it comes to hiring, though they think they’re focused on going for smart people, they’re actually choosing people who won’t threaten their ego. Hiring for a startup is difficult – there is no doubt.

Successful entrepreneurs know and understand themselves. They know their strengths and their personal weaknesses. Driven, go-getting extravert founders can be incredibly successful, but they need to surround themselves with people who are unafraid to challenge them. Otherwise, what you end up with later down the line is a business full of yes-men. Smart, yes-men, maybe, but still people who will go along with any mad idea you might have at 4 o’clock in the morning.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is to get a second opinion from people you trust, even people outside the business or let your team interview the person, not you. Clearly this plan isn’t foolproof, because if you’ve already built a business full of yes-men they’re just going to pick someone like them. Nonetheless, nine times out of 10 you’ll end up with a new team member who’s not going to be afraid to tell you when you’re being an idiot.

4. All entrepreneurs are afraid – it’s normal

Every entrepreneur has sleepless nights. All startup founders worry that their business is going to go bust tomorrow. All entrepreneurs think they’re going to get found out. This is perfectly normal, and absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s all part of building a highly successful business. The trick is to ensure that it doesn’t start to impair your judgement or your health.

We’ve all heard stories of entrepreneurs who only sleep four hours per night, and work 80 hour weeks for years and years on end. While some do, most come to the correct conclusion after a few months that if they and their team must work 80 hours per week, they don’t have a viable business. The effects are more harmful than you might expect. Getting a good night’s sleep will calm you down.

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

If your business is sustainable and you’ve just got into a cycle of fear that’s driving you to work ridiculous hours, then stop. Look again at your product-market fit and processes, hire some people smarter than you who will tell you you’re an idiot and go on holiday. Yes, one of those things where you leave the office and don’t come back for at least a week. Holidays are definitely not for wimps.

Successful entrepreneurs understand that it’s the big lessons that count. They are the portable life lessons that will carry you through the tough times ahead. If you can really nail these four lessons, you’ll not only be in great shape but you’ll be ahead of many of your fellow entrepreneurs.  

Which one of these four lessons do you need to implement most in your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Sharon Fishburne is CEO of the Sharon Fishburne Consultancy, which provides startups and SMEs with strategic marketing advice to take their businesses to the next level. An expert at marketing strategy, Sharon previously worked at number of the biggest global consultancies, including PwC, advising multinationals on their expansion strategy.

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  1. Amir Ayaz

    Feb 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Good article ….

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Entrepreneurs

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App

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The current trend of mobile apps has gathered different opinions. Some business owners think that the entire concept of mobile app development is a luxury which only big enterprises can afford. The other segment of people believe that mobile apps are the easiest way to bring a significant difference to the business.

But, you will find a majority who are of the opinion that mobile apps can work wonders for the startups as they can gain great momentum. Well, today’s trend has already spilt the beans and now we all know the truth. So, what makes it important for a business to consider a mobile app?

Here are 5 of the most fascinating reasons your business needs a mobile app:

1. Enhanced visibility

According to the reports of Geekwire, Americans spend around 162 minutes on their smartphone every day. Though, they might be using only specific apps of their interest. But, even for this, they will have to scroll and take a glance at the various apps before actually installing their preferred one. This process, unknowingly, gives you a chance to get noticed among your target market. Having a catchy app icon, text or image can hardly go unnoticed by the users. This, in turn, can prove beneficial for your business.

2. Improved customer engagement

No matter what your business is about, whether you are selling a product or a service, your customers will need a way to get in touch with you. How about having a messaging or a helpdesk feature within your app? The way you correspond with your customers can bring a considerable difference in customer engagement.

Let’s take an example – If you have a restaurant and have come up with a mobile app; the customers who wish to dine in won’t have to call and book. With the app, they can simply book their table with just a few clicks on the app. Isn’t that more feasible to your customers? Adding some more advanced features like reviews, ratings and a helpdesk can significantly contribute to improved customer engagement.

3. Brand recognition

Did you know? A mobile app can greatly assist in building brand awareness. Let’s break the term brand recognition into two to make it easily understandable:

  • Brand: A mobile app acts as a billboard sign for your business. With it, you can resort to different ideas that complement the nature of your business. You can make it look conventional, functional, stylish or even informative – it totally depends on you. But, try to build an app that has features to fascinate your customers at once. Remember, a beautifully designed app loaded with great features and it is surely going to catch the eyeballs of your target segment.
  • Recognition: Your efforts must focus on engaging your target segment with your mobile app. The sooner you reach your goal, the more they will get inclined to buy your service or product. This is termed as ‘effective frequency’ in the world of advertising. Your target market should notice you frequently and that’s all you need for brand recognition.

4. Direct marketing channel

A mobile app can serve many functions – it provides general information, user accounts, booking forms, messengers, prices, news feeds, search features and much more. So, you are free to provide as much detail as you want to your customers on the app.

When there are special sales and promotions going on, you can easily flash them on your apps. Additionally, with the feature of push notifications, you can get closer to your target audience while having a direct interaction with them. In short, you can remind your customers about the products, services, special offers or promotions directly through your mobile app whenever it is required.

In a way, your mobile app becomes your direct marketing channel for your business as it keeps your target audience informed about the updates of your business, products, and services.

5. Loyal customer base

This is one of the most important reasons for building your own mobile app. There is a huge advertisement happening around us. You see different roadside billboards, banners, newspaper ads, flashing signs, coupons, flyers, websites, Facebook ads, emails and much more. The level of impact created by these advertising techniques is not that strong. It will definitely increase your customer base, but the process will be gradual.

On the other hand, the mobile app can make a direct connection with your target customers. It makes you feel like your business is just a fingertip away from them. So, focusing on frequent interaction with your customers can ultimately lead to brand loyalty.

For instance, Starbucks follows a unique star point system in their app. So, whenever a customer visits the outlet, he/she will be rewarded with the stars. In order to earn more reward stars, a customer stays loyal by coming back again. Thus, you get a loyal customer base.

With so many benefits that a mobile app offers your business, it is clear that considering it will definitely turn out to be in your favor. Whatever way you choose, a mobile app is surely going to be a standard element of the business in future. So, take your call – gear up, walk with the trend and get ready to make your business successful.

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Building a Knockout Team With the 4 Stages of Learning

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I’m sure you’ve heard that running a business alone can be challenging, but if that’s true, then running a business of 5, 50 or 500 must be extremely challenging! This can be made much simpler by building from a solid foundation. By that I mean a strong core of team members around you.

Well of course, everyone knows this…Right? It all comes down to proper development and understanding the stages that everyone goes through when learning new skills. But more importantly, knowing what you must do at each stage as the supervisor/teacher.

Here are the 4 stages and what you must do:

1. Beginner

This is the first stage to learning any new skill. It’s important for you to understand the mindset of the individual in this stage. They are enthusiastic, eager and very confident. But at the same time they have no idea what they should be doing.

As the person in charge of teaching them this new skill there are a couple things you must do. Be Directive. In this stage the student needs you to tell them exactly what to do. They will need step by step guidance. For example: Think about the first step to riding a bike, getting on. Remember, we all needed someone to tell us where to put our feet. Your student just needs you to tell them the steps.

The next thing you must do is build confidence. In this stage you won’t have much to build off of because there won’t be many things that they do right. Do not try to correct wrong behavior at this point. Just focus on giving praise to the things they do right.

For example: Try remembering how good it felt to use the brakes on a bicycle for the first time without falling off. And more importantly how good it felt for your parents to cheer for you. A student in the beginner stage needs this type of “cheerleading.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. Apprentice

The second stage is typically a major turning point for most. Mostly because the mindset of your student has begun to change quite a bit. At this point, they have started to notice all of the things they are doing wrong; which leads to frustration. Their confidence is now extremely low, and they have realized that they don’t know what they are doing. This is why 3 out 4 people will quit in this stage. Yet, with the proper supervisor/teacher they can push through.

This is where you come in. There are 2 things you must do in this stage: Reinforce and Redirect. When you reinforce, it will be your job to keep a close eye and point out all the positive things they do. Give praise and cite specific examples of behavior.

Back to the bicycle example, when you were learning to ride that bike, remember when your parents would start cheering for things you didn’t even know you were doing right, like turning or stopping? By using this same tactic, you will help your student to realize that they are not as hopeless as they most likely feel at this point.

When you redirect them, it will also be your job to redirect incorrect behavior. If you spend a lot of time trying to correct “negative” behavior at this point, it will only hurt their confidence even more. Instead, redirect them back to things that they have been doing well. Eventually they will get better at the rest.

Think about a few hours after learning to ride a bike for the first time when you started to fall off, used the brakes too hard or even when you ran into things. Your parents most likely didn’t yell at you, they probably said things like “dust yourself off, why don’t you try going from here to the mailbox again since you did that so well last time.”

Doing this for your student in this stage will help to reinforce positive behavior, giving them the confidence to re-attempt the things they haven’t been doing so well.

3. Journeyman

In the third stage your student’s mindset is going to be up and down. They have made it past the second stage; which in itself is an accomplishment. Their confidence will go up and down, and they know a little more about how things should be done. They will be very good at some aspects of the skill and not so good at others. This creates a variance in confidence.

In this stage, you must empower them. You can either decide to try and build their competency or their confidence. I find that time and experience will develop competency, so as the supervisor/teacher, you should focus on stabilizing the confidence. The way to do this at this point is to give them opportunities to tell you how “they” think it should be done, or what the next step(s) should be.

For example: When learning to ride a bike, towards the end of the day you probably started to get the hang of things. You would stumble every now and then, but for the most part you had the general concept. You probably remember your parents saying things like “you got this, what do you think the next step should be?” That’s exactly what you need to do for your student.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

4. Expert

The final stage means that your student now understands exactly what to do, how to do it and could even teach others to do it. They are completely confident in their abilities. Yet, they still need something from you at this point.

At this stage, you must delegate responsibilities and opportunities for them to use this new skill. You may even want to present them with opportunities to teach others.

Back to the bicycle example, after riding for a few weeks, no longer falling, stopping perfectly and not running into anything, you were probably pretty confident at riding your bike. You might remember your parents saying things like “can you ride your bike to the store to pick up some things” or “can you teach your sister how to ride her bike.”

When you heard things like that, you probably recall feeling extremely confident and feeling like your parents trusted you. Your student needs to feel like you trust them at this point, this is how you will build that trust.

By following this process, you will find that the team around you will be much more competent, independent and productive. And if you are reading this as a business owner, then I’m sure you can understand the value of that. Someone once told me “what you can do in one day, one month or even one year, is limited; but what a strong team can do is unlimited.” The goal should always be to develop the people around you, because at the end of the day it’s a win-win.

How do you learn new things? Share with us below!

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5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired.

Although us Gen Y and Gen Z’s have grown up in the easiest time in history to start a business, we arguably need to work 10 times harder just to prove that we’re serious about making a success out of our ventures – and not just vying for the “digital nomad” lifestyle or the trendy title of “Entrepreneur” out of a sense of millennial entitlement.

So here are 5 tips to help young people when starting a business or side-hustle and finding their feet in the world of business:

1. Don’t let your age deter you

Young people can get a lot of flack for the cliché perceptions like entitlement and narcissism that surround our younger generations. And sure, we don’t yet have the life experience and work experience that comes with being older, but don’t let anyone (of any age) tell you that what you want to achieve in business cannot be done.

Remember that age is just a number – and that being younger (and therefore less experienced in life) does not automatically equal the inability to succeed in a business venture. It’s actually quite fortunate that we have time on our side, as time is our greatest asset as human beings. We have years to learn, try new things, pivot, fail, and succeed in whatever we try our hand at.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

2. Use social media to your advantage

We’re native users who have grown up with much of today’s technology (the main area being the internet and computers), but we have also learned to adapt to changes. Most millennials grew up during the transition from VHS to DVDs to Blu-Ray then to Netflix. This technological and social media savviness gives us the business edge – particularly when it comes to online business.

Even if you’re not a social media expert, or you’re not as proficient as you’d like to be, use your savviness with technology to learn more digital skills through avenues like online courses or YouTube. Social media is the holy grail of marketing in today’s business world. Sometimes, as native personal users, we take it for granted. You can take advantage of social media, and use it as your greatest asset when it comes to starting a business or side-hustle.

3. Network and collaborate

They say “your network is your net worth”. The people you meet on your business journey (including your existing family friends) are going to be crucial to your business success. So make sure you get out and network.

You could attend business networking meetings, conferences, participate in relevant business Facebook groups, collaborate with other businesspeople (you could even find a mentor), and build the all-important online community around your brand on your chosen social media channels.

Networking can lead to referrals which are one of the “golden nuggets” of business – they’re a powerful way to get new customer or clientele. So a strong network is what is going to help bring you those referrals.

4. Fail fast and learn fast

Remember that we have time on our side, but that doesn’t mean we should take it slow. When things aren’t working, when things have gone stagnant, or when things have gone wrong, we need to learn to pivot.

A good way to help pivot is to take on a learning mindset. Always be looking for new opportunities to not only upgrade yourself (personally, mentally and emotionally) but to upgrade your business, skills and systems as well.

See what other successful business people in your industry are doing or speaking about. Make sure you’re always keeping a tab on the latest developments and trends in the world of digital marketing and business. Being a ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s online business environment.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson

5. Sacrifice

Building a business or side-hustle is going to take some sacrifice. Rather than buying the the most expensive and trendiest sneakers or the latest iPhone, invest that money into Facebook advertising, or an online course to help you up-skill.

Even though we live in the age of immediacy where everything is available to us at the tap of a finger on our smartphone, starting a business or side-hustle (let alone building it and sustaining it) is not easy. It takes hours and hours of work, late nights, sacrifice and self-doubts. You can’t expect it to be a quick process.

So while we’re young (and want to enjoy our youth while it lasts), when it comes to starting a business, there will be times when we need to make the choice between doing what everybody else our age is doing, or working in or on our business.

Of course, there needs to be a healthy ratio of work-life balance, but learning to sacrifice a few pleasures now (like going out on the town every Friday and Saturday night) will pay off in the long term when it comes to your business. With great sacrifice comes great reward.

Starting your own business or side-hustle when you’re in your 20s can be daunting yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. Whether you’re thinking about starting one or you’re already in the midst of the journey, put in the work and be proud of the path you’ve chosen – and remember that age is just a number!

Have you thought about starting a business or side-hustle? If so, how did you motivate yourself to start? Share your thoughts with us below!

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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All of us want to create unfair advantages in our business that separate us from our competition. Nonetheless, doing this is easier said than done as everyday your competition is innovating and getting better. With today’s technology, overachievers are reaching higher levels of success than ever before. Naturally, if you are here reading Addicted2Success, then this means you too are an overachiever who is addicted to success.

Therefore, you need to create as many unfair advantages in your business as possible and you cannot do that on your own. You need to implement timeless truths and success principles that have worked for other successful people. You do not need to reinvent the wheel as it’s a waste of time. Instead, leverage the knowledge from those who are having major success right now.

John Malott, serial entrepreneur & co-founder of Build Your Empire, shared these pillars with me in a recent phone call and these pillars are the same ones he’s used in 8 companies that range from private aviation, real estate, blockchain technology, pharmaceuticals, and others.

Additionally he’s used these pillars to generate over 200 million dollars in revenue and be the king & queen-maker for 800-1000 6-Figure earners & 250 millionaires over the last 15 years inside his network marketing business that includes over 100,000 distributors.

The reason I share this is to show you that these pillars work to create unfair advantages regardless of the industry you’re in so pay attention so you can implement these 5 pillars right away.

Here are the 5 Pillars To Create An Unfair Advantage In Your Business:

1. Leadership

Ability to lead a team and develop other leaders. True leaders are able to develop other leaders by creating an environment of growth. In your business, you must have systems set up in place to develop other leaders. John C Maxwell, has developed an amazing 5 step process on how you can develop leaders in your business.

Follow these instructions in order:

  1. Do The Task Yourself
  2. Do The Task While They Watch You
  3. Let Them Do The Task While Watching
  4. Let Them Do The Task Alone
  5. Let Them Supervise A New Person While The New Person Does The Task

#5 is so important here because if you want to create true duplication in your business then you must show your leaders how they can develop new leaders themselves.

2. Culture

Culture is the vibe and energy of your business. This is the non-verbal energy in the room. This is the ambiance of how it feels to be a part of your company. Culture is the unspoken bond and relationship that your people feel towards you and your business. Having great people who love to be a part of your company is one of the best way to create an unfair advantage in your business.

If you have a strong culture then your people will work hard, stay late, come early, be friends with each other, and become the best version of themselves each day. And you want to know the crazy thing?! They will love doing it because they are happy about it! This is what happens when you build a great culture.

Culture duplicates and makes people happy and motivated. The best way to create culture is to treat everyone with respect, set expectations, hold each other accountable, and foster an environment for growth and positivity.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

3. Team Building

Team Building & Culture go hand-in-hand because your team will be influenced by the culture in your business. In order to build a great team you first have to become someone that others want to work with. This is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to team building.

Ask yourself, “Why would someone better than me want to work with me? Why would this person want to invest their time and energy into what I’m doing?”. If you already have a team then you need to have team building exercises each month that bring your team together in a fun and engaging way.

In John’s companies, he frequently brings in authors to share their lessons with his people and he regularly plans retreats where his people can lock in, connect, grow, and stay engaged with each other by fostering deeper relationships. Lock people in and keep them together.

4. Social Media

Social Media is one of the best ways to grow your business and create an unfair advantage in your business. You can use social media to drive new leads into your business. John’s instagram community @BuildYourEmpire has over 1.5 million followers and growing each day. This is a major unfair advantage because this is an asset he can leverage to connect him with hungry and motivated individuals.

If you do not have a large social media following right now, that is okay. It’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about the value of the content you create. If you create valuable content on a consistent basis then your following will grow incrementally for certain. As long as you keep up your content creation more momentum and interest will flow into your business.

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.” – Paul Barron

5. Track Record

This is self-explanatory. At the end of the day, you either put up or shut up. You have to have a track record showcasing what you’ve done in the past. A lot of people talk and say that they can do a good thing. If you want to have an unfair advantage in your business then you need to show your great work and have others do the talking for you! Nothing is more convincing than a respectful body of work. The best way to get someone to believe in you is to show them. As you continue building a track record you will notice more word of mouth referrals coming in.

These 5 pillars are essential if you want to create an unfair advantage in your business. Regardless of your industry, these pillars are universal and will work for you. If you can implement all 5 of these pillars then you will create unfair advantages in your business that separate you from the competition.

Which one of the above 5 pillars resonated most with you and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success is for the Self-Taught

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Truman Capote, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla. Those are four names you never thought you’d see in a sentence together. As it happens, these four individuals have more in common than their success, ingenuity, and fame. They were all autodidacts. In other words, they were self-taught learners. (more…)

Ellie Batchiyska is a writer for Every USB, helping business and entrepreneurs with their branding through the use of custom flash drives.

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  1. Amir Ayaz

    Feb 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Good article ….

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Entrepreneurs

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App

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The current trend of mobile apps has gathered different opinions. Some business owners think that the entire concept of mobile app development is a luxury which only big enterprises can afford. The other segment of people believe that mobile apps are the easiest way to bring a significant difference to the business.

But, you will find a majority who are of the opinion that mobile apps can work wonders for the startups as they can gain great momentum. Well, today’s trend has already spilt the beans and now we all know the truth. So, what makes it important for a business to consider a mobile app?

Here are 5 of the most fascinating reasons your business needs a mobile app:

1. Enhanced visibility

According to the reports of Geekwire, Americans spend around 162 minutes on their smartphone every day. Though, they might be using only specific apps of their interest. But, even for this, they will have to scroll and take a glance at the various apps before actually installing their preferred one. This process, unknowingly, gives you a chance to get noticed among your target market. Having a catchy app icon, text or image can hardly go unnoticed by the users. This, in turn, can prove beneficial for your business.

2. Improved customer engagement

No matter what your business is about, whether you are selling a product or a service, your customers will need a way to get in touch with you. How about having a messaging or a helpdesk feature within your app? The way you correspond with your customers can bring a considerable difference in customer engagement.

Let’s take an example – If you have a restaurant and have come up with a mobile app; the customers who wish to dine in won’t have to call and book. With the app, they can simply book their table with just a few clicks on the app. Isn’t that more feasible to your customers? Adding some more advanced features like reviews, ratings and a helpdesk can significantly contribute to improved customer engagement.

3. Brand recognition

Did you know? A mobile app can greatly assist in building brand awareness. Let’s break the term brand recognition into two to make it easily understandable:

  • Brand: A mobile app acts as a billboard sign for your business. With it, you can resort to different ideas that complement the nature of your business. You can make it look conventional, functional, stylish or even informative – it totally depends on you. But, try to build an app that has features to fascinate your customers at once. Remember, a beautifully designed app loaded with great features and it is surely going to catch the eyeballs of your target segment.
  • Recognition: Your efforts must focus on engaging your target segment with your mobile app. The sooner you reach your goal, the more they will get inclined to buy your service or product. This is termed as ‘effective frequency’ in the world of advertising. Your target market should notice you frequently and that’s all you need for brand recognition.

4. Direct marketing channel

A mobile app can serve many functions – it provides general information, user accounts, booking forms, messengers, prices, news feeds, search features and much more. So, you are free to provide as much detail as you want to your customers on the app.

When there are special sales and promotions going on, you can easily flash them on your apps. Additionally, with the feature of push notifications, you can get closer to your target audience while having a direct interaction with them. In short, you can remind your customers about the products, services, special offers or promotions directly through your mobile app whenever it is required.

In a way, your mobile app becomes your direct marketing channel for your business as it keeps your target audience informed about the updates of your business, products, and services.

5. Loyal customer base

This is one of the most important reasons for building your own mobile app. There is a huge advertisement happening around us. You see different roadside billboards, banners, newspaper ads, flashing signs, coupons, flyers, websites, Facebook ads, emails and much more. The level of impact created by these advertising techniques is not that strong. It will definitely increase your customer base, but the process will be gradual.

On the other hand, the mobile app can make a direct connection with your target customers. It makes you feel like your business is just a fingertip away from them. So, focusing on frequent interaction with your customers can ultimately lead to brand loyalty.

For instance, Starbucks follows a unique star point system in their app. So, whenever a customer visits the outlet, he/she will be rewarded with the stars. In order to earn more reward stars, a customer stays loyal by coming back again. Thus, you get a loyal customer base.

With so many benefits that a mobile app offers your business, it is clear that considering it will definitely turn out to be in your favor. Whatever way you choose, a mobile app is surely going to be a standard element of the business in future. So, take your call – gear up, walk with the trend and get ready to make your business successful.

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Building a Knockout Team With the 4 Stages of Learning

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I’m sure you’ve heard that running a business alone can be challenging, but if that’s true, then running a business of 5, 50 or 500 must be extremely challenging! This can be made much simpler by building from a solid foundation. By that I mean a strong core of team members around you.

Well of course, everyone knows this…Right? It all comes down to proper development and understanding the stages that everyone goes through when learning new skills. But more importantly, knowing what you must do at each stage as the supervisor/teacher.

Here are the 4 stages and what you must do:

1. Beginner

This is the first stage to learning any new skill. It’s important for you to understand the mindset of the individual in this stage. They are enthusiastic, eager and very confident. But at the same time they have no idea what they should be doing.

As the person in charge of teaching them this new skill there are a couple things you must do. Be Directive. In this stage the student needs you to tell them exactly what to do. They will need step by step guidance. For example: Think about the first step to riding a bike, getting on. Remember, we all needed someone to tell us where to put our feet. Your student just needs you to tell them the steps.

The next thing you must do is build confidence. In this stage you won’t have much to build off of because there won’t be many things that they do right. Do not try to correct wrong behavior at this point. Just focus on giving praise to the things they do right.

For example: Try remembering how good it felt to use the brakes on a bicycle for the first time without falling off. And more importantly how good it felt for your parents to cheer for you. A student in the beginner stage needs this type of “cheerleading.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. Apprentice

The second stage is typically a major turning point for most. Mostly because the mindset of your student has begun to change quite a bit. At this point, they have started to notice all of the things they are doing wrong; which leads to frustration. Their confidence is now extremely low, and they have realized that they don’t know what they are doing. This is why 3 out 4 people will quit in this stage. Yet, with the proper supervisor/teacher they can push through.

This is where you come in. There are 2 things you must do in this stage: Reinforce and Redirect. When you reinforce, it will be your job to keep a close eye and point out all the positive things they do. Give praise and cite specific examples of behavior.

Back to the bicycle example, when you were learning to ride that bike, remember when your parents would start cheering for things you didn’t even know you were doing right, like turning or stopping? By using this same tactic, you will help your student to realize that they are not as hopeless as they most likely feel at this point.

When you redirect them, it will also be your job to redirect incorrect behavior. If you spend a lot of time trying to correct “negative” behavior at this point, it will only hurt their confidence even more. Instead, redirect them back to things that they have been doing well. Eventually they will get better at the rest.

Think about a few hours after learning to ride a bike for the first time when you started to fall off, used the brakes too hard or even when you ran into things. Your parents most likely didn’t yell at you, they probably said things like “dust yourself off, why don’t you try going from here to the mailbox again since you did that so well last time.”

Doing this for your student in this stage will help to reinforce positive behavior, giving them the confidence to re-attempt the things they haven’t been doing so well.

3. Journeyman

In the third stage your student’s mindset is going to be up and down. They have made it past the second stage; which in itself is an accomplishment. Their confidence will go up and down, and they know a little more about how things should be done. They will be very good at some aspects of the skill and not so good at others. This creates a variance in confidence.

In this stage, you must empower them. You can either decide to try and build their competency or their confidence. I find that time and experience will develop competency, so as the supervisor/teacher, you should focus on stabilizing the confidence. The way to do this at this point is to give them opportunities to tell you how “they” think it should be done, or what the next step(s) should be.

For example: When learning to ride a bike, towards the end of the day you probably started to get the hang of things. You would stumble every now and then, but for the most part you had the general concept. You probably remember your parents saying things like “you got this, what do you think the next step should be?” That’s exactly what you need to do for your student.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

4. Expert

The final stage means that your student now understands exactly what to do, how to do it and could even teach others to do it. They are completely confident in their abilities. Yet, they still need something from you at this point.

At this stage, you must delegate responsibilities and opportunities for them to use this new skill. You may even want to present them with opportunities to teach others.

Back to the bicycle example, after riding for a few weeks, no longer falling, stopping perfectly and not running into anything, you were probably pretty confident at riding your bike. You might remember your parents saying things like “can you ride your bike to the store to pick up some things” or “can you teach your sister how to ride her bike.”

When you heard things like that, you probably recall feeling extremely confident and feeling like your parents trusted you. Your student needs to feel like you trust them at this point, this is how you will build that trust.

By following this process, you will find that the team around you will be much more competent, independent and productive. And if you are reading this as a business owner, then I’m sure you can understand the value of that. Someone once told me “what you can do in one day, one month or even one year, is limited; but what a strong team can do is unlimited.” The goal should always be to develop the people around you, because at the end of the day it’s a win-win.

How do you learn new things? Share with us below!

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5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired.

Although us Gen Y and Gen Z’s have grown up in the easiest time in history to start a business, we arguably need to work 10 times harder just to prove that we’re serious about making a success out of our ventures – and not just vying for the “digital nomad” lifestyle or the trendy title of “Entrepreneur” out of a sense of millennial entitlement.

So here are 5 tips to help young people when starting a business or side-hustle and finding their feet in the world of business:

1. Don’t let your age deter you

Young people can get a lot of flack for the cliché perceptions like entitlement and narcissism that surround our younger generations. And sure, we don’t yet have the life experience and work experience that comes with being older, but don’t let anyone (of any age) tell you that what you want to achieve in business cannot be done.

Remember that age is just a number – and that being younger (and therefore less experienced in life) does not automatically equal the inability to succeed in a business venture. It’s actually quite fortunate that we have time on our side, as time is our greatest asset as human beings. We have years to learn, try new things, pivot, fail, and succeed in whatever we try our hand at.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

2. Use social media to your advantage

We’re native users who have grown up with much of today’s technology (the main area being the internet and computers), but we have also learned to adapt to changes. Most millennials grew up during the transition from VHS to DVDs to Blu-Ray then to Netflix. This technological and social media savviness gives us the business edge – particularly when it comes to online business.

Even if you’re not a social media expert, or you’re not as proficient as you’d like to be, use your savviness with technology to learn more digital skills through avenues like online courses or YouTube. Social media is the holy grail of marketing in today’s business world. Sometimes, as native personal users, we take it for granted. You can take advantage of social media, and use it as your greatest asset when it comes to starting a business or side-hustle.

3. Network and collaborate

They say “your network is your net worth”. The people you meet on your business journey (including your existing family friends) are going to be crucial to your business success. So make sure you get out and network.

You could attend business networking meetings, conferences, participate in relevant business Facebook groups, collaborate with other businesspeople (you could even find a mentor), and build the all-important online community around your brand on your chosen social media channels.

Networking can lead to referrals which are one of the “golden nuggets” of business – they’re a powerful way to get new customer or clientele. So a strong network is what is going to help bring you those referrals.

4. Fail fast and learn fast

Remember that we have time on our side, but that doesn’t mean we should take it slow. When things aren’t working, when things have gone stagnant, or when things have gone wrong, we need to learn to pivot.

A good way to help pivot is to take on a learning mindset. Always be looking for new opportunities to not only upgrade yourself (personally, mentally and emotionally) but to upgrade your business, skills and systems as well.

See what other successful business people in your industry are doing or speaking about. Make sure you’re always keeping a tab on the latest developments and trends in the world of digital marketing and business. Being a ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s online business environment.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson

5. Sacrifice

Building a business or side-hustle is going to take some sacrifice. Rather than buying the the most expensive and trendiest sneakers or the latest iPhone, invest that money into Facebook advertising, or an online course to help you up-skill.

Even though we live in the age of immediacy where everything is available to us at the tap of a finger on our smartphone, starting a business or side-hustle (let alone building it and sustaining it) is not easy. It takes hours and hours of work, late nights, sacrifice and self-doubts. You can’t expect it to be a quick process.

So while we’re young (and want to enjoy our youth while it lasts), when it comes to starting a business, there will be times when we need to make the choice between doing what everybody else our age is doing, or working in or on our business.

Of course, there needs to be a healthy ratio of work-life balance, but learning to sacrifice a few pleasures now (like going out on the town every Friday and Saturday night) will pay off in the long term when it comes to your business. With great sacrifice comes great reward.

Starting your own business or side-hustle when you’re in your 20s can be daunting yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. Whether you’re thinking about starting one or you’re already in the midst of the journey, put in the work and be proud of the path you’ve chosen – and remember that age is just a number!

Have you thought about starting a business or side-hustle? If so, how did you motivate yourself to start? Share your thoughts with us below!

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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All of us want to create unfair advantages in our business that separate us from our competition. Nonetheless, doing this is easier said than done as everyday your competition is innovating and getting better. With today’s technology, overachievers are reaching higher levels of success than ever before. Naturally, if you are here reading Addicted2Success, then this means you too are an overachiever who is addicted to success.

Therefore, you need to create as many unfair advantages in your business as possible and you cannot do that on your own. You need to implement timeless truths and success principles that have worked for other successful people. You do not need to reinvent the wheel as it’s a waste of time. Instead, leverage the knowledge from those who are having major success right now.

John Malott, serial entrepreneur & co-founder of Build Your Empire, shared these pillars with me in a recent phone call and these pillars are the same ones he’s used in 8 companies that range from private aviation, real estate, blockchain technology, pharmaceuticals, and others.

Additionally he’s used these pillars to generate over 200 million dollars in revenue and be the king & queen-maker for 800-1000 6-Figure earners & 250 millionaires over the last 15 years inside his network marketing business that includes over 100,000 distributors.

The reason I share this is to show you that these pillars work to create unfair advantages regardless of the industry you’re in so pay attention so you can implement these 5 pillars right away.

Here are the 5 Pillars To Create An Unfair Advantage In Your Business:

1. Leadership

Ability to lead a team and develop other leaders. True leaders are able to develop other leaders by creating an environment of growth. In your business, you must have systems set up in place to develop other leaders. John C Maxwell, has developed an amazing 5 step process on how you can develop leaders in your business.

Follow these instructions in order:

  1. Do The Task Yourself
  2. Do The Task While They Watch You
  3. Let Them Do The Task While Watching
  4. Let Them Do The Task Alone
  5. Let Them Supervise A New Person While The New Person Does The Task

#5 is so important here because if you want to create true duplication in your business then you must show your leaders how they can develop new leaders themselves.

2. Culture

Culture is the vibe and energy of your business. This is the non-verbal energy in the room. This is the ambiance of how it feels to be a part of your company. Culture is the unspoken bond and relationship that your people feel towards you and your business. Having great people who love to be a part of your company is one of the best way to create an unfair advantage in your business.

If you have a strong culture then your people will work hard, stay late, come early, be friends with each other, and become the best version of themselves each day. And you want to know the crazy thing?! They will love doing it because they are happy about it! This is what happens when you build a great culture.

Culture duplicates and makes people happy and motivated. The best way to create culture is to treat everyone with respect, set expectations, hold each other accountable, and foster an environment for growth and positivity.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

3. Team Building

Team Building & Culture go hand-in-hand because your team will be influenced by the culture in your business. In order to build a great team you first have to become someone that others want to work with. This is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to team building.

Ask yourself, “Why would someone better than me want to work with me? Why would this person want to invest their time and energy into what I’m doing?”. If you already have a team then you need to have team building exercises each month that bring your team together in a fun and engaging way.

In John’s companies, he frequently brings in authors to share their lessons with his people and he regularly plans retreats where his people can lock in, connect, grow, and stay engaged with each other by fostering deeper relationships. Lock people in and keep them together.

4. Social Media

Social Media is one of the best ways to grow your business and create an unfair advantage in your business. You can use social media to drive new leads into your business. John’s instagram community @BuildYourEmpire has over 1.5 million followers and growing each day. This is a major unfair advantage because this is an asset he can leverage to connect him with hungry and motivated individuals.

If you do not have a large social media following right now, that is okay. It’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about the value of the content you create. If you create valuable content on a consistent basis then your following will grow incrementally for certain. As long as you keep up your content creation more momentum and interest will flow into your business.

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.” – Paul Barron

5. Track Record

This is self-explanatory. At the end of the day, you either put up or shut up. You have to have a track record showcasing what you’ve done in the past. A lot of people talk and say that they can do a good thing. If you want to have an unfair advantage in your business then you need to show your great work and have others do the talking for you! Nothing is more convincing than a respectful body of work. The best way to get someone to believe in you is to show them. As you continue building a track record you will notice more word of mouth referrals coming in.

These 5 pillars are essential if you want to create an unfair advantage in your business. Regardless of your industry, these pillars are universal and will work for you. If you can implement all 5 of these pillars then you will create unfair advantages in your business that separate you from the competition.

Which one of the above 5 pillars resonated most with you and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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