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Successful Entrepreneurs Push to the Point of Inexperience

push to the unknownSome people can’t get a job because they don’t have enough education. Other people have the education but they can’t get a job because they lack experience.

You don’t need an education or experience to be an entrepreneur. They both help but no amount of education or experience, outside of actually entrepreneuring, can prepare you for entrepreneurship.

The place where learning occurs

For entrepreneurs, the best education comes from experiencing inexperience.

Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Here’s what we mean:

You learn when you push past what you know into the unknown. Granted, you may fall flat on your face, but entrepreneurs who reach BIGG success keep pushing.

The ongoing cycle that leads to innovation

It’s an ongoing cycle – you must constantly push yourself to the point of inexperience. You have to dig deep within yourself to find the answers to the questions you are asking for the first time. Innovation comes when you’re able to connect the dots that only you can see.

You may discover a need for a new product or service. You may find a way to upgrade an existing product or service. You may offer a product or service through a new distribution channel.

That’s what we recently did. We developed an e-learning center for Chambers of Commerce to offer their members as part of the dues they already pay.

We launched in November. We had spent months at the point of inexperience.

We still find ourselves at that point every day. We have a lot of experience behind us but we’re still learning as we push past what we already know.

Side note: Currently, we are only offering this program to Chambers in the United States. If you’re part of a Chamber that doesn’t offer it, or you know someone who works at a Chamber, we’d be so grateful if you’d let us know. E-mail us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Exciting and scary and chaotic

Experiencing inexperience is an ongoing cycle. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. You push yourself to the point of inexperience. It’s a little chaotic for a while. Then you learn enough and gain enough experience to get things stabilized.

Experience inexperience! You must push to the point of inexperience again and again or you won’t grow. If you – the entrepreneur – don’t grow, neither will your business. Growth brings BIGG success!

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Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made

baby-and-adult-handsIt’s another age-old nature / nurture question – are entrepreneurs born or are they made? Can the essential skills be taught or do you have to learn from experience?

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There’s a great book by Richard Goossen called Entrepreneurial Excellence: Profit From the Best Ideas of the Experts. He’s lined up some of the greatest minds on entrepreneurship. He concludes that you can be taught some things but entrepreneuring is mostly learned by doing.

The science of entrepreneuring

For years now, colleges have been teaching their students the general principles of management. Colleges apply these principles primarily to managing large companies but the same basic tenets are relevant for entrepreneurs.

Lessons can also be taken away from people who have succeeded or failed in an entrepreneurial endeavor. You may not get the specifics, but you can come to understand the general principles that helped them reach bigg success.

Finally, you can learn to differentiate between a good idea and a good opportunity. There are a lot of good ideas; there are relatively few good opportunities. You can be taught how to determine if your idea is not a good opportunity.

The art of entrepreneuring

However, nobody can teach you how to identify specific market niches and determine whether or not you can pursue them successfully. Experience is the only teacher of this valuable entrepreneurial trait.

You also have to learn how to transform your passion into a valuable tool than can be used to woo customers, employees, vendors, strategic partners, and financiers. This passion will also help you persevere when you face the inevitable obstacles along the way.

You also have to develop an innate belief in yourself. Self-confidence grows with education and experience, but you have to be able to draw deep within yourself as well as upon the support of others.

Entrepreneurship is part science and part art. Learn as much as you can about the science of entrepreneuring before you launch your business. The art is something you can only learn by dipping your toes in the water. That’s the start of bigg success!

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Thanks so much for sharing your time with us today.

Since we’re in the midst of the World Series, next time we’re going to look at some lessons we can learn from baseball about entrepreneuring. Please join us.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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When Your Dream Becomes a Nightmare

turmoilWe hear a lot about developing contingency plans in case reality doesn’t live up to our expectations. But we don't often don't think about having a plan in place in case we succeed beyond our wildest dreams!

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It sounds funny to think about it that way, but your bigg dream can turn into a nightmare in both cases – coming up short or succeeding wildly.

Talent in triumph

We’ve recently seen an example of this with Susan Boyle. She walked out onto the stage of "Britain's Got Talent" as a middle-aged Scottish woman who said that she had never been kissed.

She had lived a very simple life, took care of her mother and sang at her local church. She dreamed of having a career in music for 23 years, even putting together a demo with no success.

Then she took a chance and auditioned for the popular TV Show. It was her bigg opportunity and she nailed it. Her life changed from the moment she began to sing "I dreamed a dream."

The whole world loved Susan!

Talent in turmoil

She became an international singing sensation overnight, going from obscurity to sudden celebrity. She couldn’t anonymously walk over to her local church any longer without a swarm of paparazzi tailing her.

No more quiet at home. Her phone rang off the hook. Everyone – from news outlets to fans – wanted to talk with Susan now.

It took a tremendous toll on her emotional state. Although she smiled for the cameras most of the time, she had a couple of incidents that made her appear unstable.

She was overwhelmed and exhausted by being thrust into the spotlight. In a recent interview on Today, Susan said, “[The] impact was like a demolition ball."

Before long, she started skipping scheduled appearances after her run on the show ended. People questioned her health. They wondered if she had what it took to be a star.

Her bigg dream had turned into a nightmare.

Crossing the line

There’s a dividing line when bigg success is at our fingertips. Will we accept it and move over to the new life of which we dreamed? Will we navigate the road less traveled and keep moving on to bigg success?

Or will we be afraid to cross into the unknown? Will we allow self doubt to hold us back? Will we tell ourselves we don't deserve this bigg success?

You have to plan for bigg success so you’re mentally prepared when you reach this point. How do you prepare?

Visualize it.

By picturing it clearly, you’ll be ready for bigg success when you reach it. You’ll also be more likely to get there! Use all your senses to experience it as if it had already happened.

Build a support network.

Surround yourself with people who care about you and believe in you. Associate with people at the level you’re trying to reach. Let them guide you on your way to your bigg dream and reach out a hand once you've made it.

That's what Susan Boyle finally did. As she said on Today, "I've got to be honest here. I guess I had to get my head around it, but through the guidance of a great team — and they are very good — I was able to see that in perspective and really turn that around.”

Bigg goal-getters work hard every day to achieve their bigg dreams. Make sure you also spend some time planning for that moment when you step into the limelight and shine. That's preparing for bigg success!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Next time we’ll discuss what a karaoke party has in common with social media. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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How to Chase Away Your Website Visitors

running_awayMost businesses and non-profit organizations have a web site by now. Good thing since more and more people are searching online for services instead of using the phone book.

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There’s a lot of advice about how your website should look. It’s important to pause to realize …

It's the experience that counts the most!

Just like in the bricks-and-mortar world, people value the experience.

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marylynnI've had two bad user experiences recently. The first one has to do with a local not-for-profit organization for which I volunteer. I produce the audio for the radio and television commercials that promote the event. The commercials mention a web address to get more information. However, that address takes you to the organization's national website. I spent ten minutes trying to find the page with information about our local event.

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george If memory serves, Mary-Lynn, you told me that you saw a link, “Find your local event.” But it directed you to sign up or log in to get more information.

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marylynnRight! It’s crazy. I shouldn't have to sign up to simply get information. Regardless, I finally recovered my user name and password. Then I logged in, but I still haven't found the local page. I ran out of time and will have to go back.

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george People who aren’t as invested as you probably wouldn’t put that much effort into finding the local information. Worse yet, they may never go back to the site.

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Tip #1: Create a landing page specific for what you are promoting.

Make it easy for people to find the information they want. For example, our local branch could have a page that ends with the name of our city. They could set up an address like this: nameoforganization.com/champaign.

That's a landing page. It’s the address you want to promote to people in your area for information about your local organization – especially when you’re using local TV, radio, or the newspaper.

Here's another example for a business: If you are promoting a deal, use a web address like one of these:

yourbusinessname.com/deal

yourbusinessname.com/summersale

Create your landing page in advance. It can reiterate the most important points of your advertisement and provide more information. Also provide links to your home page and any other pages that people interested in this promotion might find useful.

Integrating your offline marketing with online marketing makes all your marketing more productive. It’s a time-tested strategy. If visitors to your site get the information they want quickly, they’ll be more likely to take the time to visit other areas of your site.

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marylynnThe second bad experience occurred when I read an article online about a local tech series that is free and open to the public. The article was on our local newspaper's website. It gave details on the upcoming session and offered a link to the organization's website to get more information on all of the sessions in the series.

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george So you went to the website to find out more information, and I remember hearing a … how should I describe it … a frustrated sigh coming from you.

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marylynnThat’s a good way to say it. I was frustrated because I couldn't find anything about the series. I clicked on several page links, including their events link. Nothing. I used their search tool to search for the name of the event. Still nothing. Finally I went to their calendar and typed in the exact date. The first session in the series came up. It contained the same information that was in the article. Nothing further about the entire series. I was planning to put all of the dates on my calendar. I guess I’ll have to call them.

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Tip #2: Make it easy to find the information you promote.

If you want people to know about your events, make it easy to get that information. Especially if your event is getting press!

Create a page like we suggested above. If you prefer to link people to your home page, create a link and highlight it so people can find it quickly and easily. For example, in the case we mentioned above, you could highlight it this way:

"Tech series starting in August"

Make it very visible on your site. When people click on that link, it will take them to the page you've created with all the information about that event.

Your site is an excellent tool to compliment your other marketing efforts. But if you don't make it easy for people to find what you’re promoting, they won't participate in your sale or event.

Prepare your web site for visitors before you advertise or send out a press release. That will help make your campaign a bigg success!

Do you have any tips from your bad user experiences? Or maybe a good experience combining your web site with traditional media? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss artificial dissemination. Yes, you read that right! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Finding a Job After an Extended Time Off

bigg-challenge.jpgKathryn called us on the Bigg phone. Not the Bat phone … we don’t live in a cave!

She said that life on her own terms meant staying home with her two boys until they were both old enough to be in school all day. They’ve reached that point so she wants to return to the workforce. Besides that, she and her husband are looking forward to having some extra money available.

She says she has been checking classified ads and the job boards just about every day. Unfortunately, she’s not seeing many jobs that she’s both interested in and qualified for.

She’s applied for several jobs and had a couple of interviews which she doesn’t feel went so well. She thinks that the eight years she’s been out of the workforce may be hurting her chances. She asked us for our suggestions.

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It’s who you know

Keep in mind that we’re facing a tough job market right now, so you’re not alone in your frustration. One thing to add to your efforts is reaching out to your network. It’s something that a lot of people overlook or don’t place enough value on.

Start by making a list of everyone you know. Then start contacting them. You may start with an e-mail, but try to meet them in person or at least catch up with a phone call.

Be yourself, but make sure you tell them what you’re up to. Also find out what they’ve been doing. You never know … something they say may spark an opportunity for you.

Ideally, you’ll get a referral as a result of this conversation. However, don’t be disappointed if that doesn’t happen. You got to spend some time with a friend or got to know an acquaintance better. They can keep their eyes and ears open for an opportunity for you.

Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up

Be sure to follow up after your meeting or phone call. Let them know how much you enjoyed seeing them. Help with any challenges they may have brought up if you can. If you can help them, they’ll probably go out of their way to help you!

Keep in touch with them. If you see an article they may be interested in, share it with them. If you see a great deal on something you know they like, let them know about it.

The bottom line is: follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.

Interviewing

In her message, Kathryn said she’s had some difficult questions in her interviews. For example, one woman asked her if she thought she’d be able to get to work on time even with her two kids.

Of course, that’s an illegal question, which you have every right to point out, Kathryn. However, you’re probably better off emphasizing that you’ve always been punctual if that’s the case. For instance, we bet you were on time for the interview. Point that out!

The job you’ve been doing

You’ve been a full-time manager for the last eight years. You just haven’t been getting paid directly for it in cash. Don’t underestimate the skills you’ve learned.

Stress what you’ve done and what your strengths are. Bring the skills you’ve learned out in your answers. Have specific examples ready. These will depend on the job you’re seeking. Some examples:

Do you keep your family’s schedule or oversee the finances?

Have you coordinated a remodeling project?

Think about it. You’ll quickly see that you gained a lot of valuable experience.

Preparation

There’s a great way to prepare for interviews: role-playing. Simulate an interview by putting yourself in an environment as close to an actual interview as possible.

Get your husband to ask you questions or find a friend, preferably someone who interviews people as part of his or her job, and practice interviewing until your answers just roll off your tongue.

What suggestions do you have for Kathryn?

Please leave a comment below, call us at 888.455.BIGG or send us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks Kathryn for sharing your challenge with us. We wish you bigg success in your search efforts!

And we’re sure grateful that you checked in on us today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we talk about why you should play more at work.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00369-040909.mp3

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