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3 Reasons Why You Should Stop Telling All Your Friends To Become An Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneur Friends Shouldnt All So Business

Going back as far as high school, I lusted after the idea of doing my own thing. The problem was I had no clue how that would work our, or what I would do. I worked a tonne of odd jobs, and even the casual retail job from the age of 16 until I was 23. I joke about having a long resume of 2-month work stints, but it’s the truth.

Over time I learned that working a 9-to-5 simply wasn’t for me. As a result, I started my entrepreneurial journey.

I remember my last day at the call center job I had, and setting up a plan to succeed in my small university apartment on the first Saturday I had off in months. That was the beginning of what has been a very rewarding and challenging roller coaster ride. I always knew the decisions I made were the right ones, but something else, while not always super obvious, has been evident.

I am cut out for entrepreneurship because of various traits I possess.

I enjoy sales. I don’t mind a somewhat unstable income (at least when getting started). I like solving problems, and dealing with people. I have a deep appreciation for my personal freedom that comes from being able to determine my own schedule, and projects. I’m willing to live with less, and forgo some of the American ideals my peers are experiencing (having kids, buying cars and houses, etc) to make things work for me.

I’ve made these choices due to what makes sense to me as an individual.

I’m often asked how I got started, or what I did to get where I am, but once I begin to explain how, and what’s involved, some people are turned off.

In the past, I tried to talk my friends into starting a business, but I soon learned it’s mostly a waste of breath. But not because my advice wasn’t good, but simply because those people just aren’t cut out for this life.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s perfectly normal.

I’ll be the first to admit it. Many entrepreneurs are crazy and many of us think our way is the ONLY way.

In reality, there are many paths to the same destination, but when you get from point A to point B in a manner that only makes sense to you, it seems like it’s the only way.

As a result, you might find yourself proselytizing to all your friends about how they should do it too, even if they have no interest or are scared stiff.

And that’s why I wrote this article — for all you go-getters who tell everyone to become an entrepreneur, you might ought to stick a sock in it.

 

1. Entrepreneurship Requires A Certain Personality Type

Many of us who enjoy this lifestyle are a bit eclectic. Some may even call us mad. I wouldn’t argue with them, and I’ll be first to admit to my fair share of manic episodes (just go read my Twitter stream). The up’s and down’s of this lifestyle are reserved for those who can handle it.

One month’s earnings can be amazing while the next month’s are next to nothing. If that phases you, I’d highly advise rethinking your decisions around working for yourself.

This life is about being a self-starter. I hate that title, but it’s the truth.

In my many job interviews, that was a key question –

“Would you consider yourself a self-starter?”

Every time I heard that I wanted to rip my eyeballs out and say “What do you think? I’m sitting here in a cheap pair of slacks, and a shirt my mom ironed in order to impress and convince you to give me 9 dollars per hour for making sandwiches and sweeping the floor.

A self-starter is someone who can figure out what they need to do, and begin doing it – at times without a fully developed plan. It’s someone who takes immediate action, and asks questions later.

If you’re not willing to work long hours (at least in the beginning), it’s probably not for you.

If you don’t get excited about the journey of reaching new heights, I wouldn’t sign up for this gig.

 

2. It’s Not As Easy As It Seems

Some of my friends would ask me about what I’m doing. When I’d explain my work day, and what’s involved, a very common remark is “your life is so easy! You’re lucky! I wish I could get paid to sit at home and run a website.

Now I will admit I’m lucky in the sense that I made certain decisions, and had certain people in my life who were instrumental in making those decisions, but none of this is easy.

In fact, I hate telling people what I do because it makes conversations awkward. I can’t relate to most people’s problems they have with coworkers, bosses, and rigours of waking up at 7 a.m. to catch the train.

On the outside, it seems glorious, but for those of us who’ve taken the plunge, it’s far from that life.

The mind of someone making their own way is a chaotic whirlwind at times. Everyone has their high’s and low’s but I imagine those of an entrepreneur are more pronounced.

Tim Ferriss said it best in his article “Productivity” Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me): “Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.”

But most everyone only sees is the outwardly productive and seemingly normal side of an entrepreneur.

They don’t see them dreading a project, or putting off client work due to fear of not doing it well enough. Or being burned out. Or dealing with depression and avoiding the therapist.

They don’t see them eating ice cream for breakfast and playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on his PS2 at 6am for 3 hours on the day a major project must be done

Talk about anxiety one can create for themselves through procrastination… but this is a normal part of life for most of us.

It’s a constant push/pull between extremes. One month, everything seems to be going great. You’re making money, sleeping well, and routinely socializing. The next month, you’re skimping on deadlines, moving your to-do list back a day, and wondering if it would be easier to go work at the Buckle… at least you don’t have to worry about setting your calendar, right?

 

3. It Won’t Make Sense To Everyone

We need people to work at the grocery store. We need people to work in factories that manufacture our eye glasses and clothes, and packages our food.

We need school teachers, and mechanics. We need librarians, and video game store clerks.

Not every single person can do their own thing. Plus, not everyone wants to. The demands of someone starting a business are much different from those who are working for the business.

Some people have a talent for management, organization, attaching soles to shoes. Some of them don’t wish to do anything else. So what?

Something I detest is trying to explain to someone who simply wants to work at their job why they should go out on their own.

Maybe they don’t care about doing something on their own… Maybe they actually like their job (newsflash: not everyone hates their jobs like I did). Maybe their profession allows them the money they need and the time to spend with their family.

They’re not us, and that’s okay.

Look on the bright side. While you may be enthusiastic about the decisions you made for yourself, many others might not be as interested. Save your energy and spend it on making yourself and business better.

 

 

Feature Image Photography by Fred Othero

JC Deen is a fitness coach, and published writer out of Nashville, Tennessee. He’s been seen in Forbes, and has contributed to The Huffington Post, Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness. Check out his No-BS Approach to Looking Great Naked and/or harass him on Twitter or Facebook.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. albertino

    Jul 9, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Trying to persuade friends to become entrepreneurs is like persuading a loved one who doesn’t know how to swim to jump into the ocean. It will sound very wicked to them. Instead of wasting my precious time in persuading anyone to do their own thing, I rather encourage them to be good at what they do while I concentrate on my own madness’

  2. Sarah Como

    Jul 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I totally relate to this article. I finally tried to stop convincing others to become entrepreneurs. However, I still struggle when it comes to my husband. He’s not comfortable with the uncertainty and does not have an entrepreneurial mindset. He encourages me to go for it but can’t relate.

  3. Nate Ginsburg

    Apr 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Great article man! I’m gearing up for a trip back home and have been thinking about what it will be like to hang out with my old friends/crowd opposed to the SE Asia crew. I’ve also learned that it’s best not to preach.. You’re right, the life isn’t for everyone.

  4. mindsetofmark

    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Thank for you this amazing article. For the past few months of building my business, I ran into this wall and what you wrote describe exactly what I’ve been pondering about for the past few months, I realize I had learn so much from the pursuit of entrepreneurship and I see what it’s like out there for people who wants to settle for a job, I didn’t think it was fair for people to settle for a life of working for someone else, I cared so much about my friends I was trying to convince them that a job is not going to fill the dreams and goals you want to achieve. I had no’s and rejections and I took it personally because I had such strong belief that they would see what I see. After a few more months of growth and struggle, I definitely realize what I chose to do is not for anyone and that the friends I talked to wouldn’t even last a few weeks doing what I do, I became more aware of the things that an entrepreneur must go through that an employee will never experience in their lifetime.That is why only so few people choose this path, what an amazing insight indeed. Thank you so much JC.

  5. dotchamou

    Apr 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    By the time I was in high school I knew that I will never, never work
    as an employee in my life. In my country, Benin (west Africa) the rate of
    unemployement is too high. So the solution of unemployement for me is
    that every student and school boy must be an entrepreneur. So, by the time I leave
    university, I create a little business, the business grow a
    little. That business enable me to pay my rent and to feed myself. By that
    time, most of my friends who didn’t become ‘’entrepreneur’’ like me were
    jobless and were very broke. Even though I did’nt have enough money, they
    admired me and congratulated me of being an “entrepreneur’’. About four
    years later, my little business collapsed and everything fell apart in my life. I lose my
    business and my money.I become very broke. That is a starting point of a
    very, very hard and miserable life for me .I cannot pay my rent, I am in deep debt ,
    I cannot find money to eat. My electricity and water was cut because I cannot pay my bills
    By that time when I fell in misery, most of friends have
    found a job, they started enjoying a ‘’good life’’ (life of security) .They started telling me that:
    “ Yes, we know that, being an entrepreneur is very dangerous and too
    risky, that is why we didn’t follow you in that path. Look, today we have a secure
    job. We are protected by the government. We don’t have much money but we
    have what we need, try to find a job like we do, and forget your idea of being
    your own boss”. I stretch my head and I said to myself,’’I will comeback,
    My coming back will be greater than what I lose”.
    So, most people will never share and accept to be an entrepreneur, most people want security instead of adventure. I‘m still on my journey of being an
    antrepreneur. The journey is hard but it is full of pleasures,tears and lessons.
    I commit to be an antrepreneur. Nothing can stop me on that journey.I make for myself this words of Donald Trump,’’NEVER GIVE up’’,’NEVER QUIT’ Thank you for your attention.

    • alok

      Oct 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      my dearest friend you are amazing more than the definition of amazing . You are the tiny ray of hope amidst the darkest of darkest gloom not only in my life but to the millions of people all are around the world. 1000 MILLION THANKS TO YOU.
      I AM DEEPLY TOUCHED AND TRANSCENDED BT YOUR INSPIRING WORDS.

  6. oscar

    Apr 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Man I totally feel yah, there is only so much we can do for our friends, most people don’t see what we see with this odd lifestyle we acquire to be different in a sense.

  7. George

    Apr 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

    This is perfect. Eventually we all take a different path as our friends create their careers and you create your own, it seems so obvious that different people are gonna want to pursue different jobs.

    This was me at first. I loved the idea of doing it myself, I understood it would be harder than getting a normal job, but to be able to watch something grow from the very beginning sounded a lot more interesting than getting paid to sell sneakers.

    Then I thought, wow this would be so much better if my friends would join me too. Because of what I do, I have different schedules than my friends. When they’re all out late at night drinking, I’m at home sleeping or on my computer.

    It’s not that I want to be out partying, but when a lot of the work I do is at home on my computer, it’s easy for me to miss my friends and wanting to see what they’re up to, working together sounds like an easy solution.

    But the truth is, people want different things. Some people look at me starting a website and think it’s boring, unrealistic and downright dumb. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re the weird ones who find working on the internet actually exciting.

    Oh, well. Salute to all you fellow weirdos!

  8. Koko

    Apr 10, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Wow … actually I find myself in the position of reconsidering my friends to start their own thing way too often. I even abandoned some of my friends because they were dragging me down to the level of no-enthusiasm towards work. However, now I think I won’t do the persuading stuff to my friends anymore.

  9. Mike Sutton - BeBuildHave.com

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I agree with all 3 points, but I also think career employment as option #1 is on it’s way out. Entrepreneurship is a reality of the new economy and will be the only option for more and more people, so we need to find a way to support, train, and develop those skills in people who aren’t “naturals”.

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I disagree. If everyone were an entrepreneur, who would do the meaningless work? Who would run the errands? Who would make my coffee at the local cafe?

      Who would serve me a steak? Who would make sure my cell phone is working correctly when I have trouble with service?

      • Patrice K. Cokley, MBA

        May 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m always having this discussion with someone. Although doing meaningless work is not for us, it is something that needs to be done. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. So I’m ok with people settling in their lives. As long as they’re not trying to talk me out of my goals, I’m fine. Thanks for this post! It came right on time.

  10. Dano

    Apr 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Cool story bro. But do you even lift?

  11. Andy

    Apr 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Perfect time for this article. I had an argument with my wife last night about issues I am experiencing and she just didn’t get it. She never will either and it’s not a bad thing.

  12. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Hi JC,

    I feel like you hacked my brain. I couldn’t agree more.

    When I first became self employed and earning well, I thought to myself ‘why would people NOT want to do this’. I have tell all my friends and family!

    But in reality although most people lust after the lifestyle they haven’t really got what it takes. They don’t want to work weekends, in the evenings and need a boss to be accountable too.

    They just can’t commit. I now realize this is OK. It’s their choice, their life and everyone journey towards fulfillment and happiness is completely different and doesn’t have to follow mine.

    Great post and scarily close to my own thoughts!

    Naomi

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks. Glad it resonated – I imagined it would with others paving their own path.

  13. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    JC, I agree that it does take a certain personality to have the tenacity to work through all the fears and obstacles that naturally come up as an entrepreneur. When something great happens as a result of the hard work, it’s euphoric.

    The path to success is not a straight line, it’s full of zigzags. It’s not for the faint of heart.

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Entrepreneurs

How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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mental toughness

If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it.

There’s a difference between thinking that you’re mentally tough and living mentally tough day in and day out.  Mental toughness will only get harder as you advance as an entrepreneur. There’s never an escape and either you’ll become a shield or it’ll knock you down and you won’t ever be able to recover.

When you think about the tough challenges in front of you today, they’ll seem super easy to overcome a year from now. But that only happens if you become mentally tough. You know you need to become mentally tough by now, yet it’s not enough to know without application of the process.

How exactly do you become mentally tough in your life? These 5 entrepreneurs and performance coaches share exactly what it takes to become mentally tough in your life:

1. Tony Robbins

According to Tony Robbins, becoming mentally stronger is like lifting weights. Over time, you will become stronger. No one starts off in the gym with an amazing physique because it happens over time.

However, becoming mentally stronger is more than just becoming stronger. It’s linking your pain and pleasure together. If you feel more pain than pleasure, you won’t perform an action. But if you derive pleasure from a certain action, then you’ll take action. The more action you take, the more mentally tough you’ll become.

Most people try to avoid pain. They’d rather live an average life than take risks which could bring them more pleasure. When you try to avoid pain, you’re not becoming mentally tough.

You need to stop and think about what’s stopping you from taking action? It’s almost always because you believe when you take that action you’ll receive more pain than pleasure. Your goal should be to take action even if there’s pain associated with that action, because that is how you become mentally stronger.

How do you think about procrastination? You’re giving up your mental freedom. You’re giving into pleasure because you only procrastinate when you want to avoid pain.

2. Grant Cardone

According to Grant Cardone, becoming mentally tough starts with having courage. Each and everyone one of us has the courage to live the best life possible but the majority of us don’t want to take advantage of it. Much like Robbins, we’d rather play it safe than absorb more pain in our life.

You already have courage. Because courage comes from the heart. It’s an innate instinct. If something was happening to your loved one, you’d get the courage real quick to rectify that situation. It’s there, you just have to harness the power on your own.

When you become mentally tough, you’re giving yourself the ability to risk it all. What happens if it doesn’t work out? Then you learn from it! It’s that simple, you don’t have to over-complicate it.

Do something today in spite of the fear you feel. Ask out that girl you’ve been thinking about or make the tough call you’ve been putting off. It’s these seemingly small actions you take each day that will allow you to become more mentally tough in your life.

As you continue to take more risks, you will be proud to be alive. You weren’t put here to live an average life. You were put here to take massive risks and live life to the fullest.

“Approach every situation with a whatever-it-takes-mindset.” – Grant Cardone

3. Eric Thomas

According to Eric Thomas, becoming mentally tough starts with not getting comfortable. Once you become comfortable in your life, you’re no longer going to go after your dreams. You’ll feel content with where you are and won’t want to push further. Your goal should be to improve each day, even if it’s only a small amount.

You must believe wholeheartedly in your dreams. Thomas said that he never talks to anyone before 1pm who aren’t 120% all in on their dreams. This allows you to get unnecessary negativity out of your life. There are millions of people who want to become successful but aren’t, why? Because they didn’t give everything to achieve their dreams.

To become more mentally tough in your life, it starts with changing your routine. If you can get up each morning at the same time, including weekends, you will become mentally tougher, it’s a given. I recommend checking out the book, Miracle Morning. This book is a great start to creating a morning routine for yourself.

The last thing Thomas said is where you put your focus, energy flows. If you think you can’t do something, then you’ll never be able to. But if you put your focus on achieving a desired outcome and will stop at nothing to achieve that outcome, then you’ll eventually achieve it.

4. Ben Newman

According to Ben Newman, becoming mentally tough starts with changing how you think. Ben has worked with numerous athletes and can attest on first hand that they can’t rely solely on their talents. Having talent can only take you so far.

To change the way you think starts with re-framing your mindset. If you’re up against a competitor whether in business or in sports, are you going to give up even if they’ve always been better than you? You shouldn’t because that’s what losers do.

Being from New England, it breaks my heart, but do you think the 2007 New York Giants thought that they couldn’t beat the Patriots even though they already lost previously in the season? They didn’t; they were mentally ready and didn’t count themselves out, no matter the opponent.

Start to focus on solutions instead of problems. People complain all the time but aren’t willing to find a solution. Why? Because it’s easier to complain than find a solution. If you want to become mentally tough, you can’t be like most people. You need to become a rare breed. You must be someone who no matter how much adversity they face will continue to take on the fight.

“The best way to reclaim your dignity is to act rationally and treat yourself lovingly. Do not self-destruct.” – Ben Newman

5. Patrick Bet-David

According to Patrick Bet-David, becoming mentally tough starts with taming the voices inside your head. All of us, it doesn’t matter who you are, each have good and bad voices inside of us. To become mentally tough, you need to block out the bad voice. When you can sense it arising inside of you, you need to push through. That’s the only way you will defeat that negative voice.

Bet-David would say that each of us needs a purpose. When you don’t have a purpose, there’s no chance of you becoming mentally tough. You’ll give into every day temptations and call it quits when you could’ve kept pushing. Developing mental toughness means you push yourself further than even what you thought was possible.

The last piece of advice Bet-David had was to think about how you’ll feel if you don’t go after your dreams? Will you be happy twenty years from now knowing you didn’t follow your dreams? It’ll be quite the contrary. You have the option and choices each day to determine how your life will be and mental toughness will help guide you.

Mental toughness is the essential quality in those who are successful and unsuccessful. Due to this, tell us how you develop this unstoppable mindset? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Reasons Your Business Is Failing and How to Relight the Fire Under You

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failing business

Are you stuck in a rut with your business or your life? Are you wondering what could be causing this feeling of being stuck? It’s so common for people in this day and age to feel comfortable, and stop pushing themselves, so how do we jumpstart our lives and get moving again?

Here are 5 steps to help light a fire under you, and get you moving towards your goals again:

1. Lack of Vision

Before you started your business, it was just an idea, a thought in your head that seemed impossible. As you put time and effort into this idea, it was within reach, and now you have it. But what happens next? You made it to where you wanted to and now there is nowhere else to go. This is not true though because although you have reached your vision, it doesn’t mean you can’t think even bigger.

A lot of businesses stop growing because the people who run them don’t know what to do after they reach their goals. Instead of being happy you reached your goal, set new ones. Think bigger until your company has reached a level that you are comfortable leaving and letting someone else run it.

2. Lack of Why

Do you remember why you started your company? If not, how do you think you can keep your company moving forward? Start by thinking back to when you first started your business and try to remember why you wanted to start. Now that you have your original reasons for starting the company, check off how many of those you fulfilled and how many you can still work on.

Now think with everything that your business has given you, what do you want your business to stand for moving forward? Do you want your company to make you money, make a difference, or change the world? Whatever you want your company to be doing, as long as you have a reason for keeping your company going.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne

3. No Accountability

Do you have a ton of good ideas but can never follow through? Perhaps, you aren’t being held accountable! You need to follow through with what you say. If you continuously say you are going to expand your business, network, or even something as small as getting employees lunch and don’t do it, no one is going to trust your word. If people can’t trust your word, how can they trust your business to get the job done? Start by getting an accountability buddy, coach, or even setting consequences for yourself.

4. Low Standards

People can have low standards in almost everything; places to live, relationships, and even business. If you can’t hold your product, customer service, and reputation to a certain standard, people won’t want to work with you or buy your products. Why would you want to go somewhere, or work with someone, who doesn’t hold themselves to a standard that reflects their work ethic?  

Having low standards can be a symptom of a lack of vision as well. When you can’t imagine what you want your business to look like, how can you hold yourself to a higher standard? So We can hold ourselves to a higher standard by knowing what our time is worth and realizing how much we are investing into a product or client.

If you are spending an hour on something, will your hour be worth 10 dollars or 100? How much effort you put into that specific project will reflect how much you get out of it thus as you understand the value of your time, your standards will rise.

5. No Passion or Pain

What pushes your business?  Are you driven by your passion, or are you being pushed by the pain or pressure? When we are put under pressure, it is amazing what people can do, and when people are passionate about something, many put as much as they can into what they are working on.

Yet, when we start to get comfortable or start to lose the passion we once had, we start to stand still. We begin to not move forward, so why would our business move forward?

Reigniting your passion can be tricky. Try and remember what gave you the initial push to start your passion, and consider what you are passionate about now. Putting the pressure on is as simple as setting a goal, calling up your accountability buddy and setting real consequences for yourself.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Will you let your business sit stagnant any longer, or will you reinvent your vision, find a why, hold yourself accountable, raise your standards, and reignite your passions? Getting your business and your life to move forward is something that you have to put effort into every day. If you want to succeed, you will have to keep pushing yourself and move forward every day.

How do you push yourself in tough times? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Commandments You Need to Follow to Build Your Freelance Business

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how to build your freelance business

For all the freelancers reading this article right now, there are some steps to success you can take to create a profitable freelance company for yourself.

Being a freelancer comes with many perks. You get to enjoy the freedom of working from home all while setting your own schedule. You also get to pick your own clients and choose your desired rate of pay. Freelancing is a beautiful thing, especially when you’re the go-to expert in your industry.

While some freelancers can expect a feast or famine type of business model – where you’re making great money one month and not so great the next – there are certain tasks you should take upon yourself to ensure your success each month.

If you want to build your freelance business, these are the 5 commandments you should be focused on:

1. Acquire Testimonials After Every Job

What’s your most important job? It’s the one where your last customer was so happy they told people about you. Knowing this, each job should be equally important in your business. When you perform outstanding work for a client, don’t be shy, ask for a testimonial.

Have a page set up on your website where they can tell the world how great you are. If you don’t have a page specifically set up for this, you can grab these testimonials in different ways.

You already know testimonials are an important aspect of your business. However, what you may not know is how powerful word of mouth is for your company. A study done in 2014 revealed an astounding 75% of freelance jobs comes from word of mouth.

Your client has colleagues and friends they can share your greatness with. Every successful freelancer will glean these testimonials from their clients and make sure to refer their friends and co-workers back to their business.

2. Be Available As Much As Possible

You want to get the jobs you want? Be there when they come available. Aside from word of mouth and grabbing jobs from the people you know, you can also create expertise about yourself in freelance platforms like Upwork, oDesk, Freelancer, and others like this.

There are always places to go to find jobs online. Not only should you be available for more work to fill your time with, you should also remember the clients you still have and make yourself available for their needs as well. It’s important to keep your current clients happy and when they need you for a rush job, make sure you are there for them.

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf

3. Be a Communication Machine

Not only should you make yourself available, you should also make yourself accessible. It’s no fun for your clients to have to track you down in order to get an update or ask for more work to be done.

Nathan Hirsch, co-founder and CEO of the FreeeUp freelancer hiring marketplace, says one of the reasons most freelancers lose jobs is because the freelancer was nowhere to be found. It’s important to remember to share every contact detail you have with your clients so you both can work well together.

Successful freelancers have these tools in their portfolio:

  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Skype
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • ClearVoice

With a mix of communication tools at your disposal, even if you’re away from your desk, your client should still be able to get your attention within the span of 30 minutes or less.

4. Extend Your Expertise Through Others

While most freelancers are happy with keeping busy with the clients they have, freelancers who want to build their businesses will take advantage of every talent they come across.

For example, you may be an expert in the social marketing industry, but you keep getting stray clients from the search engine optimization industry. Just because you don’t have the expertise to complete the job doesn’t mean you have to send them away since you can use other freelancers. This is where contracting work comes into play and it can help your overall reach in your business.

Over time, you will come into contact with other freelancers who have multiple talents you do not have yourself. When a job comes your way in which you have no experience in, reach out to someone who does and split the profits.

While this is a whole different ball game for freelancers to pursue, it can become very lucrative if you understand what to do. First, build a community of freelance experts. You can do this easily by setting up a Facebook group. I personally set up a freelance writing group on Facebook and, in the span of 2 months, have added 3,000+ new writers into the space. Here we discuss best strategies, recommend our friends for freelance jobs, and make each other better through discussion.

5. Stay On Track With Taxes

I know this isn’t something you want to think about at the moment, but in April it will come up again. It’s relevant to have something in place to help you regulate the money which you have acquired over the past year with your freelance business.

99designs explains how the government will be taking a percentage of your income out in taxes. In order to prepare for this, they have wisely suggested putting back your governmental portion each month in a savings.

You have to run your freelance operations like a business. While taking care of taxes and fees aren’t something you dream of doing, it is something you need to adjust for because the time will come to pay the piper and you must be prepared.

Take some time and research other tax preparations for freelancers so you won’t be caught with any surprises at the end of the year. In fact, this part plays a huge role in building your freelance company. You want to be able to have a working budget after the government takes their part.

Are You Ready?

In order to create a profitable freelance business you need to be able to stand on the foundational principles of those freelancers who have gone before you and succeeded. This, and your own creativity and imagination can push you towards your goals of success. Don’t fall trap to the “always famine” idea of a freelancer by using these 5 commandments to nurture your business model.

What are some ways you have built your business? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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3 Ways You Can Create the Right Relationships for Your Business

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Business relationships

If you’re an entrepreneur who has a business online, I would wager one of the most thought about strategies you delve on daily is how to make your business successful.

This is the common denominator which connects us all, no matter what niche you have chosen, or what your target audience is. We are all striving for success. Knowing this, while there are many strategies which make us different, the one which connects us all in business is the power of building relationships.

A great relationship built on behalf of your company could mean sparking the interest of a brand ambassador, a bridge to a new group of clients, or a killer recommendation. The potential of building relationships are to the moon and back, and I would wager you already know this.

But what you might not know is there are “right” relationships you could be building for your brand. Do you understand the differences? Relationship marketing is a time old tradition which has been profited on by many smart entrepreneurs. The one’s who succeeded understood how to determine which relationships were the right relationships to pursue.

For this article, I sat down with Moshik Raccah, Founder and CEO of Silo, a networking and relationship building platform which allows you to share your expertise with new friends and establish a great first impression for your business.

Here are the 3 ways he explained you can in which you can create the right environment to build a powerful relationship for your business:

1. Communicate Frequently

One of the foundational principles every business owner must understand is the power of communication when it comes to building relationships.

Mr. Raccah explained when you are at the potential person’s top of mind with whom you want to build a relationship with, they are more likely to remember you. Consequently, building a top notch relationship doesn’t happen overnight, and some people get this part wrong, even though they DO communicate.

More often than not, their communication comes in the form of an email or message asking you to share their article or hire them for some kind of expertise they say they have.

Honestly, you hardly ever bite do you? One of the reasons you don’t is because you don’t know, like, or trust this person. Frequent communication where this person congregates is your best option. While you may not be speaking to them directly, perhaps someone has asked a question on their social media post in which you can answer.

It’s little things like these which allow the person in question to remember who you are when the time comes to reach out and make an introduction or an offer to help them personally.

“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

2. Develop Mutual Respect

As a business owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always wanting people to do something for you. Naturally, you want your business to become successful and if you’re not moving forward, it may feel like you’re sliding backward.

In this scenario, Mr. Raccah says in order to create a great business relationship you have to have mutual respect for your colleague. Unless someone is referred to you by a trusted business associate, this portion of relationship building can take some time to develop.

For them to have trust and respect for you, and you for them, it takes time to prove ourselves over and over in the business world. In any case, if you’re trying to build relationships for the right reasons in your business, you will learn that consistency is the only tool you will need to accomplish this aspect.

Lend a helping hand which has nothing to do with your business success. What happens when someone develops trust in you? More than likely, you have proven yourself trustworthy over and over again. To establish this, you must be willing to help someone else build their business.

This also falls into the Reciprocity Theory developed by Robert Cialdini, where he shares how doing favors for others will, in turn, create favors for your business because the person feels compelled to return the favor to you.

To develop mutual respect means you have to learn to give a lot and take a little over time. This could even mean you know someone who would click perfectly with another colleague of yours. Make the referral and share the relationship. You never know who is friends with someone that could propel your business forward faster than you ever could alone.

3. Serving is Selling

Probably the most powerful part of my conversation with Moshik Raccah was when he described how business owners should be serving their customers and colleagues. In 2010, Trendwatching.com came out with a trend brief which highlighted how brands who were on point with serving others created a shift in selling which is now adopted by a lot of other businesses today.

If you want to make an impact on someone’s life and draw them closer to your business, serve them. When you educate, help, and inspire others with your expertise or knowledge, you are slowly building a bridge for them to connect with your brand and service.

How can your business service its prospective clients and customers today? Social listening is a powerful tool you can use to help you monitor keywords and notify you when your services are needed on any platform. Serve others through engagement and conversations you have on a daily basis. Don’t keep your secret to 100,000 page views from your audience, share how you’ve done it and the steps they need to succeed to.

“If you’re lucky enough to succeed, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” – Kevin Spacey

Building relationships is going to be the perfect strategy your business should adopt and evolve over time. There will always be opportunities for you to shine and create a valuable impression on someone who needs it today. Just like the massive oak tree, the only way it’s going to fall is if you chop it one stroke at a time.

How do you keep your clients coming back to your business time and time again? Let us know by commenting below!

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How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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mental toughness

If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it. (more…)

Trevor Oldham is a 19-year-old entrepreneur who’s had eleutheromania ever since he can remember. When he’s not working or studying, you can catch him by the ocean taking photos of the world in which surrounds us. Trevor is the co-founder of Become The Lion and founder of Trevor James Products.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. albertino

    Jul 9, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Trying to persuade friends to become entrepreneurs is like persuading a loved one who doesn’t know how to swim to jump into the ocean. It will sound very wicked to them. Instead of wasting my precious time in persuading anyone to do their own thing, I rather encourage them to be good at what they do while I concentrate on my own madness’

  2. Sarah Como

    Jul 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I totally relate to this article. I finally tried to stop convincing others to become entrepreneurs. However, I still struggle when it comes to my husband. He’s not comfortable with the uncertainty and does not have an entrepreneurial mindset. He encourages me to go for it but can’t relate.

  3. Nate Ginsburg

    Apr 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Great article man! I’m gearing up for a trip back home and have been thinking about what it will be like to hang out with my old friends/crowd opposed to the SE Asia crew. I’ve also learned that it’s best not to preach.. You’re right, the life isn’t for everyone.

  4. mindsetofmark

    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Thank for you this amazing article. For the past few months of building my business, I ran into this wall and what you wrote describe exactly what I’ve been pondering about for the past few months, I realize I had learn so much from the pursuit of entrepreneurship and I see what it’s like out there for people who wants to settle for a job, I didn’t think it was fair for people to settle for a life of working for someone else, I cared so much about my friends I was trying to convince them that a job is not going to fill the dreams and goals you want to achieve. I had no’s and rejections and I took it personally because I had such strong belief that they would see what I see. After a few more months of growth and struggle, I definitely realize what I chose to do is not for anyone and that the friends I talked to wouldn’t even last a few weeks doing what I do, I became more aware of the things that an entrepreneur must go through that an employee will never experience in their lifetime.That is why only so few people choose this path, what an amazing insight indeed. Thank you so much JC.

  5. dotchamou

    Apr 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    By the time I was in high school I knew that I will never, never work
    as an employee in my life. In my country, Benin (west Africa) the rate of
    unemployement is too high. So the solution of unemployement for me is
    that every student and school boy must be an entrepreneur. So, by the time I leave
    university, I create a little business, the business grow a
    little. That business enable me to pay my rent and to feed myself. By that
    time, most of my friends who didn’t become ‘’entrepreneur’’ like me were
    jobless and were very broke. Even though I did’nt have enough money, they
    admired me and congratulated me of being an “entrepreneur’’. About four
    years later, my little business collapsed and everything fell apart in my life. I lose my
    business and my money.I become very broke. That is a starting point of a
    very, very hard and miserable life for me .I cannot pay my rent, I am in deep debt ,
    I cannot find money to eat. My electricity and water was cut because I cannot pay my bills
    By that time when I fell in misery, most of friends have
    found a job, they started enjoying a ‘’good life’’ (life of security) .They started telling me that:
    “ Yes, we know that, being an entrepreneur is very dangerous and too
    risky, that is why we didn’t follow you in that path. Look, today we have a secure
    job. We are protected by the government. We don’t have much money but we
    have what we need, try to find a job like we do, and forget your idea of being
    your own boss”. I stretch my head and I said to myself,’’I will comeback,
    My coming back will be greater than what I lose”.
    So, most people will never share and accept to be an entrepreneur, most people want security instead of adventure. I‘m still on my journey of being an
    antrepreneur. The journey is hard but it is full of pleasures,tears and lessons.
    I commit to be an antrepreneur. Nothing can stop me on that journey.I make for myself this words of Donald Trump,’’NEVER GIVE up’’,’NEVER QUIT’ Thank you for your attention.

    • alok

      Oct 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      my dearest friend you are amazing more than the definition of amazing . You are the tiny ray of hope amidst the darkest of darkest gloom not only in my life but to the millions of people all are around the world. 1000 MILLION THANKS TO YOU.
      I AM DEEPLY TOUCHED AND TRANSCENDED BT YOUR INSPIRING WORDS.

  6. oscar

    Apr 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Man I totally feel yah, there is only so much we can do for our friends, most people don’t see what we see with this odd lifestyle we acquire to be different in a sense.

  7. George

    Apr 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

    This is perfect. Eventually we all take a different path as our friends create their careers and you create your own, it seems so obvious that different people are gonna want to pursue different jobs.

    This was me at first. I loved the idea of doing it myself, I understood it would be harder than getting a normal job, but to be able to watch something grow from the very beginning sounded a lot more interesting than getting paid to sell sneakers.

    Then I thought, wow this would be so much better if my friends would join me too. Because of what I do, I have different schedules than my friends. When they’re all out late at night drinking, I’m at home sleeping or on my computer.

    It’s not that I want to be out partying, but when a lot of the work I do is at home on my computer, it’s easy for me to miss my friends and wanting to see what they’re up to, working together sounds like an easy solution.

    But the truth is, people want different things. Some people look at me starting a website and think it’s boring, unrealistic and downright dumb. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re the weird ones who find working on the internet actually exciting.

    Oh, well. Salute to all you fellow weirdos!

  8. Koko

    Apr 10, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Wow … actually I find myself in the position of reconsidering my friends to start their own thing way too often. I even abandoned some of my friends because they were dragging me down to the level of no-enthusiasm towards work. However, now I think I won’t do the persuading stuff to my friends anymore.

  9. Mike Sutton - BeBuildHave.com

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I agree with all 3 points, but I also think career employment as option #1 is on it’s way out. Entrepreneurship is a reality of the new economy and will be the only option for more and more people, so we need to find a way to support, train, and develop those skills in people who aren’t “naturals”.

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I disagree. If everyone were an entrepreneur, who would do the meaningless work? Who would run the errands? Who would make my coffee at the local cafe?

      Who would serve me a steak? Who would make sure my cell phone is working correctly when I have trouble with service?

      • Patrice K. Cokley, MBA

        May 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m always having this discussion with someone. Although doing meaningless work is not for us, it is something that needs to be done. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. So I’m ok with people settling in their lives. As long as they’re not trying to talk me out of my goals, I’m fine. Thanks for this post! It came right on time.

  10. Dano

    Apr 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Cool story bro. But do you even lift?

  11. Andy

    Apr 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Perfect time for this article. I had an argument with my wife last night about issues I am experiencing and she just didn’t get it. She never will either and it’s not a bad thing.

  12. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Hi JC,

    I feel like you hacked my brain. I couldn’t agree more.

    When I first became self employed and earning well, I thought to myself ‘why would people NOT want to do this’. I have tell all my friends and family!

    But in reality although most people lust after the lifestyle they haven’t really got what it takes. They don’t want to work weekends, in the evenings and need a boss to be accountable too.

    They just can’t commit. I now realize this is OK. It’s their choice, their life and everyone journey towards fulfillment and happiness is completely different and doesn’t have to follow mine.

    Great post and scarily close to my own thoughts!

    Naomi

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks. Glad it resonated – I imagined it would with others paving their own path.

  13. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    JC, I agree that it does take a certain personality to have the tenacity to work through all the fears and obstacles that naturally come up as an entrepreneur. When something great happens as a result of the hard work, it’s euphoric.

    The path to success is not a straight line, it’s full of zigzags. It’s not for the faint of heart.

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Entrepreneurs

How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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mental toughness

If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it.

There’s a difference between thinking that you’re mentally tough and living mentally tough day in and day out.  Mental toughness will only get harder as you advance as an entrepreneur. There’s never an escape and either you’ll become a shield or it’ll knock you down and you won’t ever be able to recover.

When you think about the tough challenges in front of you today, they’ll seem super easy to overcome a year from now. But that only happens if you become mentally tough. You know you need to become mentally tough by now, yet it’s not enough to know without application of the process.

How exactly do you become mentally tough in your life? These 5 entrepreneurs and performance coaches share exactly what it takes to become mentally tough in your life:

1. Tony Robbins

According to Tony Robbins, becoming mentally stronger is like lifting weights. Over time, you will become stronger. No one starts off in the gym with an amazing physique because it happens over time.

However, becoming mentally stronger is more than just becoming stronger. It’s linking your pain and pleasure together. If you feel more pain than pleasure, you won’t perform an action. But if you derive pleasure from a certain action, then you’ll take action. The more action you take, the more mentally tough you’ll become.

Most people try to avoid pain. They’d rather live an average life than take risks which could bring them more pleasure. When you try to avoid pain, you’re not becoming mentally tough.

You need to stop and think about what’s stopping you from taking action? It’s almost always because you believe when you take that action you’ll receive more pain than pleasure. Your goal should be to take action even if there’s pain associated with that action, because that is how you become mentally stronger.

How do you think about procrastination? You’re giving up your mental freedom. You’re giving into pleasure because you only procrastinate when you want to avoid pain.

2. Grant Cardone

According to Grant Cardone, becoming mentally tough starts with having courage. Each and everyone one of us has the courage to live the best life possible but the majority of us don’t want to take advantage of it. Much like Robbins, we’d rather play it safe than absorb more pain in our life.

You already have courage. Because courage comes from the heart. It’s an innate instinct. If something was happening to your loved one, you’d get the courage real quick to rectify that situation. It’s there, you just have to harness the power on your own.

When you become mentally tough, you’re giving yourself the ability to risk it all. What happens if it doesn’t work out? Then you learn from it! It’s that simple, you don’t have to over-complicate it.

Do something today in spite of the fear you feel. Ask out that girl you’ve been thinking about or make the tough call you’ve been putting off. It’s these seemingly small actions you take each day that will allow you to become more mentally tough in your life.

As you continue to take more risks, you will be proud to be alive. You weren’t put here to live an average life. You were put here to take massive risks and live life to the fullest.

“Approach every situation with a whatever-it-takes-mindset.” – Grant Cardone

3. Eric Thomas

According to Eric Thomas, becoming mentally tough starts with not getting comfortable. Once you become comfortable in your life, you’re no longer going to go after your dreams. You’ll feel content with where you are and won’t want to push further. Your goal should be to improve each day, even if it’s only a small amount.

You must believe wholeheartedly in your dreams. Thomas said that he never talks to anyone before 1pm who aren’t 120% all in on their dreams. This allows you to get unnecessary negativity out of your life. There are millions of people who want to become successful but aren’t, why? Because they didn’t give everything to achieve their dreams.

To become more mentally tough in your life, it starts with changing your routine. If you can get up each morning at the same time, including weekends, you will become mentally tougher, it’s a given. I recommend checking out the book, Miracle Morning. This book is a great start to creating a morning routine for yourself.

The last thing Thomas said is where you put your focus, energy flows. If you think you can’t do something, then you’ll never be able to. But if you put your focus on achieving a desired outcome and will stop at nothing to achieve that outcome, then you’ll eventually achieve it.

4. Ben Newman

According to Ben Newman, becoming mentally tough starts with changing how you think. Ben has worked with numerous athletes and can attest on first hand that they can’t rely solely on their talents. Having talent can only take you so far.

To change the way you think starts with re-framing your mindset. If you’re up against a competitor whether in business or in sports, are you going to give up even if they’ve always been better than you? You shouldn’t because that’s what losers do.

Being from New England, it breaks my heart, but do you think the 2007 New York Giants thought that they couldn’t beat the Patriots even though they already lost previously in the season? They didn’t; they were mentally ready and didn’t count themselves out, no matter the opponent.

Start to focus on solutions instead of problems. People complain all the time but aren’t willing to find a solution. Why? Because it’s easier to complain than find a solution. If you want to become mentally tough, you can’t be like most people. You need to become a rare breed. You must be someone who no matter how much adversity they face will continue to take on the fight.

“The best way to reclaim your dignity is to act rationally and treat yourself lovingly. Do not self-destruct.” – Ben Newman

5. Patrick Bet-David

According to Patrick Bet-David, becoming mentally tough starts with taming the voices inside your head. All of us, it doesn’t matter who you are, each have good and bad voices inside of us. To become mentally tough, you need to block out the bad voice. When you can sense it arising inside of you, you need to push through. That’s the only way you will defeat that negative voice.

Bet-David would say that each of us needs a purpose. When you don’t have a purpose, there’s no chance of you becoming mentally tough. You’ll give into every day temptations and call it quits when you could’ve kept pushing. Developing mental toughness means you push yourself further than even what you thought was possible.

The last piece of advice Bet-David had was to think about how you’ll feel if you don’t go after your dreams? Will you be happy twenty years from now knowing you didn’t follow your dreams? It’ll be quite the contrary. You have the option and choices each day to determine how your life will be and mental toughness will help guide you.

Mental toughness is the essential quality in those who are successful and unsuccessful. Due to this, tell us how you develop this unstoppable mindset? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Reasons Your Business Is Failing and How to Relight the Fire Under You

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failing business

Are you stuck in a rut with your business or your life? Are you wondering what could be causing this feeling of being stuck? It’s so common for people in this day and age to feel comfortable, and stop pushing themselves, so how do we jumpstart our lives and get moving again?

Here are 5 steps to help light a fire under you, and get you moving towards your goals again:

1. Lack of Vision

Before you started your business, it was just an idea, a thought in your head that seemed impossible. As you put time and effort into this idea, it was within reach, and now you have it. But what happens next? You made it to where you wanted to and now there is nowhere else to go. This is not true though because although you have reached your vision, it doesn’t mean you can’t think even bigger.

A lot of businesses stop growing because the people who run them don’t know what to do after they reach their goals. Instead of being happy you reached your goal, set new ones. Think bigger until your company has reached a level that you are comfortable leaving and letting someone else run it.

2. Lack of Why

Do you remember why you started your company? If not, how do you think you can keep your company moving forward? Start by thinking back to when you first started your business and try to remember why you wanted to start. Now that you have your original reasons for starting the company, check off how many of those you fulfilled and how many you can still work on.

Now think with everything that your business has given you, what do you want your business to stand for moving forward? Do you want your company to make you money, make a difference, or change the world? Whatever you want your company to be doing, as long as you have a reason for keeping your company going.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne

3. No Accountability

Do you have a ton of good ideas but can never follow through? Perhaps, you aren’t being held accountable! You need to follow through with what you say. If you continuously say you are going to expand your business, network, or even something as small as getting employees lunch and don’t do it, no one is going to trust your word. If people can’t trust your word, how can they trust your business to get the job done? Start by getting an accountability buddy, coach, or even setting consequences for yourself.

4. Low Standards

People can have low standards in almost everything; places to live, relationships, and even business. If you can’t hold your product, customer service, and reputation to a certain standard, people won’t want to work with you or buy your products. Why would you want to go somewhere, or work with someone, who doesn’t hold themselves to a standard that reflects their work ethic?  

Having low standards can be a symptom of a lack of vision as well. When you can’t imagine what you want your business to look like, how can you hold yourself to a higher standard? So We can hold ourselves to a higher standard by knowing what our time is worth and realizing how much we are investing into a product or client.

If you are spending an hour on something, will your hour be worth 10 dollars or 100? How much effort you put into that specific project will reflect how much you get out of it thus as you understand the value of your time, your standards will rise.

5. No Passion or Pain

What pushes your business?  Are you driven by your passion, or are you being pushed by the pain or pressure? When we are put under pressure, it is amazing what people can do, and when people are passionate about something, many put as much as they can into what they are working on.

Yet, when we start to get comfortable or start to lose the passion we once had, we start to stand still. We begin to not move forward, so why would our business move forward?

Reigniting your passion can be tricky. Try and remember what gave you the initial push to start your passion, and consider what you are passionate about now. Putting the pressure on is as simple as setting a goal, calling up your accountability buddy and setting real consequences for yourself.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Will you let your business sit stagnant any longer, or will you reinvent your vision, find a why, hold yourself accountable, raise your standards, and reignite your passions? Getting your business and your life to move forward is something that you have to put effort into every day. If you want to succeed, you will have to keep pushing yourself and move forward every day.

How do you push yourself in tough times? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Commandments You Need to Follow to Build Your Freelance Business

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how to build your freelance business

For all the freelancers reading this article right now, there are some steps to success you can take to create a profitable freelance company for yourself.

Being a freelancer comes with many perks. You get to enjoy the freedom of working from home all while setting your own schedule. You also get to pick your own clients and choose your desired rate of pay. Freelancing is a beautiful thing, especially when you’re the go-to expert in your industry.

While some freelancers can expect a feast or famine type of business model – where you’re making great money one month and not so great the next – there are certain tasks you should take upon yourself to ensure your success each month.

If you want to build your freelance business, these are the 5 commandments you should be focused on:

1. Acquire Testimonials After Every Job

What’s your most important job? It’s the one where your last customer was so happy they told people about you. Knowing this, each job should be equally important in your business. When you perform outstanding work for a client, don’t be shy, ask for a testimonial.

Have a page set up on your website where they can tell the world how great you are. If you don’t have a page specifically set up for this, you can grab these testimonials in different ways.

You already know testimonials are an important aspect of your business. However, what you may not know is how powerful word of mouth is for your company. A study done in 2014 revealed an astounding 75% of freelance jobs comes from word of mouth.

Your client has colleagues and friends they can share your greatness with. Every successful freelancer will glean these testimonials from their clients and make sure to refer their friends and co-workers back to their business.

2. Be Available As Much As Possible

You want to get the jobs you want? Be there when they come available. Aside from word of mouth and grabbing jobs from the people you know, you can also create expertise about yourself in freelance platforms like Upwork, oDesk, Freelancer, and others like this.

There are always places to go to find jobs online. Not only should you be available for more work to fill your time with, you should also remember the clients you still have and make yourself available for their needs as well. It’s important to keep your current clients happy and when they need you for a rush job, make sure you are there for them.

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf

3. Be a Communication Machine

Not only should you make yourself available, you should also make yourself accessible. It’s no fun for your clients to have to track you down in order to get an update or ask for more work to be done.

Nathan Hirsch, co-founder and CEO of the FreeeUp freelancer hiring marketplace, says one of the reasons most freelancers lose jobs is because the freelancer was nowhere to be found. It’s important to remember to share every contact detail you have with your clients so you both can work well together.

Successful freelancers have these tools in their portfolio:

  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Skype
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • ClearVoice

With a mix of communication tools at your disposal, even if you’re away from your desk, your client should still be able to get your attention within the span of 30 minutes or less.

4. Extend Your Expertise Through Others

While most freelancers are happy with keeping busy with the clients they have, freelancers who want to build their businesses will take advantage of every talent they come across.

For example, you may be an expert in the social marketing industry, but you keep getting stray clients from the search engine optimization industry. Just because you don’t have the expertise to complete the job doesn’t mean you have to send them away since you can use other freelancers. This is where contracting work comes into play and it can help your overall reach in your business.

Over time, you will come into contact with other freelancers who have multiple talents you do not have yourself. When a job comes your way in which you have no experience in, reach out to someone who does and split the profits.

While this is a whole different ball game for freelancers to pursue, it can become very lucrative if you understand what to do. First, build a community of freelance experts. You can do this easily by setting up a Facebook group. I personally set up a freelance writing group on Facebook and, in the span of 2 months, have added 3,000+ new writers into the space. Here we discuss best strategies, recommend our friends for freelance jobs, and make each other better through discussion.

5. Stay On Track With Taxes

I know this isn’t something you want to think about at the moment, but in April it will come up again. It’s relevant to have something in place to help you regulate the money which you have acquired over the past year with your freelance business.

99designs explains how the government will be taking a percentage of your income out in taxes. In order to prepare for this, they have wisely suggested putting back your governmental portion each month in a savings.

You have to run your freelance operations like a business. While taking care of taxes and fees aren’t something you dream of doing, it is something you need to adjust for because the time will come to pay the piper and you must be prepared.

Take some time and research other tax preparations for freelancers so you won’t be caught with any surprises at the end of the year. In fact, this part plays a huge role in building your freelance company. You want to be able to have a working budget after the government takes their part.

Are You Ready?

In order to create a profitable freelance business you need to be able to stand on the foundational principles of those freelancers who have gone before you and succeeded. This, and your own creativity and imagination can push you towards your goals of success. Don’t fall trap to the “always famine” idea of a freelancer by using these 5 commandments to nurture your business model.

What are some ways you have built your business? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Entrepreneurs

3 Ways You Can Create the Right Relationships for Your Business

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Business relationships

If you’re an entrepreneur who has a business online, I would wager one of the most thought about strategies you delve on daily is how to make your business successful.

This is the common denominator which connects us all, no matter what niche you have chosen, or what your target audience is. We are all striving for success. Knowing this, while there are many strategies which make us different, the one which connects us all in business is the power of building relationships.

A great relationship built on behalf of your company could mean sparking the interest of a brand ambassador, a bridge to a new group of clients, or a killer recommendation. The potential of building relationships are to the moon and back, and I would wager you already know this.

But what you might not know is there are “right” relationships you could be building for your brand. Do you understand the differences? Relationship marketing is a time old tradition which has been profited on by many smart entrepreneurs. The one’s who succeeded understood how to determine which relationships were the right relationships to pursue.

For this article, I sat down with Moshik Raccah, Founder and CEO of Silo, a networking and relationship building platform which allows you to share your expertise with new friends and establish a great first impression for your business.

Here are the 3 ways he explained you can in which you can create the right environment to build a powerful relationship for your business:

1. Communicate Frequently

One of the foundational principles every business owner must understand is the power of communication when it comes to building relationships.

Mr. Raccah explained when you are at the potential person’s top of mind with whom you want to build a relationship with, they are more likely to remember you. Consequently, building a top notch relationship doesn’t happen overnight, and some people get this part wrong, even though they DO communicate.

More often than not, their communication comes in the form of an email or message asking you to share their article or hire them for some kind of expertise they say they have.

Honestly, you hardly ever bite do you? One of the reasons you don’t is because you don’t know, like, or trust this person. Frequent communication where this person congregates is your best option. While you may not be speaking to them directly, perhaps someone has asked a question on their social media post in which you can answer.

It’s little things like these which allow the person in question to remember who you are when the time comes to reach out and make an introduction or an offer to help them personally.

“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

2. Develop Mutual Respect

As a business owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always wanting people to do something for you. Naturally, you want your business to become successful and if you’re not moving forward, it may feel like you’re sliding backward.

In this scenario, Mr. Raccah says in order to create a great business relationship you have to have mutual respect for your colleague. Unless someone is referred to you by a trusted business associate, this portion of relationship building can take some time to develop.

For them to have trust and respect for you, and you for them, it takes time to prove ourselves over and over in the business world. In any case, if you’re trying to build relationships for the right reasons in your business, you will learn that consistency is the only tool you will need to accomplish this aspect.

Lend a helping hand which has nothing to do with your business success. What happens when someone develops trust in you? More than likely, you have proven yourself trustworthy over and over again. To establish this, you must be willing to help someone else build their business.

This also falls into the Reciprocity Theory developed by Robert Cialdini, where he shares how doing favors for others will, in turn, create favors for your business because the person feels compelled to return the favor to you.

To develop mutual respect means you have to learn to give a lot and take a little over time. This could even mean you know someone who would click perfectly with another colleague of yours. Make the referral and share the relationship. You never know who is friends with someone that could propel your business forward faster than you ever could alone.

3. Serving is Selling

Probably the most powerful part of my conversation with Moshik Raccah was when he described how business owners should be serving their customers and colleagues. In 2010, Trendwatching.com came out with a trend brief which highlighted how brands who were on point with serving others created a shift in selling which is now adopted by a lot of other businesses today.

If you want to make an impact on someone’s life and draw them closer to your business, serve them. When you educate, help, and inspire others with your expertise or knowledge, you are slowly building a bridge for them to connect with your brand and service.

How can your business service its prospective clients and customers today? Social listening is a powerful tool you can use to help you monitor keywords and notify you when your services are needed on any platform. Serve others through engagement and conversations you have on a daily basis. Don’t keep your secret to 100,000 page views from your audience, share how you’ve done it and the steps they need to succeed to.

“If you’re lucky enough to succeed, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” – Kevin Spacey

Building relationships is going to be the perfect strategy your business should adopt and evolve over time. There will always be opportunities for you to shine and create a valuable impression on someone who needs it today. Just like the massive oak tree, the only way it’s going to fall is if you chop it one stroke at a time.

How do you keep your clients coming back to your business time and time again? Let us know by commenting below!

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