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Is It Lonely at the Top of Your Own Business?

By Bigg Success Staff
07-29-08

Bigg Success in Business

at_the_topIf you believe the statistics, an overwhelming majority of people dream of owning their own business. For many, it’s because they have a romantic view of working for themselves. Owning your own business means answering to no one. You’re the man (or woman)!

But that’s the problem for many … being THE one. It really can be very lonely at the top.

Staying on course may mean changing the course!

You’ll hear all kinds of opinions about your business and your plans. You have to develop an intestinal fortitude like never before. You need to have the courage of your convictions, to press on even when others tell you that you’re crazy.

At the same time, you have to learn when it’s time to change your strategy based on new evidence. To abandon what you thought was the right course for some new direction.

Many entrepreneurs succeed in a business they didn’t start!

They adapt. As they gain new market information, they respond to their customer’s needs and wind up in a completely different business.

But there’s another pitfall. Does the opportunity align with your passion? There’s a reason you started a business in the first place. If the required strategy takes you into an area in which you have no interest, you might be better off with a regular job.

Are you ready to go out on your own?

If this discussion dissuades you from going out on your own … good! It’s better to learn now than after you’ve invested time, money, and emotions in a new venture. Starting a business is tough for everyone, but it’s much harder on anyone who’s not fully committed to it.

On the other hand, if it excites you even more, you may be ready to start your own business. So it’s time to take the important first steps.

The first most important step is …

… get started. A lot of people TALK about starting their own firm, but that’s as far as it goes. Nothing will ever happen unless you get started. Even if getting started means doing more research, then get going!

The second most important step is …

… get a support network. This includes your professional advisors. However, you also need people who have lived what you are going through – fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches. They will help you when the load seems unbearable and keep pushing you when things are going well. 

The next most important step is …

… your next step! Every day in an entrepreneur’s life is a challenge with all the noise. You have to filter through it all to do what’s most important to move your business one more step ahead.

Focusing all your energy every day on what’s most important doesn’t guarantee success. However, it does make the odds a little bit better. 

3 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]

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3 Strategies Small Businesses Can Use to Gain an Advantage in Bad Times

A recent study by Intuit, the software giant behind QuickBooks, Quicken, and TurboTax, found that three-fourths of small business owners expect to grow this year, in spite of all the talk about a recession, corporate layoffs, and consumers cutting back.

Now, it’s probably safe to say that small business owners are a relatively optimistic group. Part of their optimism, though, comes from that fact that two-thirds of the people surveyed said they had survived a recession before. They’ve done it by putting their customers first and focusing on their finances.

georgeWhen I first started studying entrepreneurship, my perception was that large companies created the jobs. Our colleges train us to work in bigg business. It’s true that large companies tend to hire a lot of people during boom times, as do small companies. But during tough economic times, large companies cut back. Interestingly, small companies tend to pretty much hold their own.

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marylynn If you’re keeping an eye on the news, you see that a lot of large companies are cutting marketing and even customer service. They’re cutting jobs and even entire departments. They’re streamlining.

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As numerous studies have shown, the net effect of this is that, over the course of the business cycle, almost all new jobs come from small businesses.

Opportunities created by large businesses for small businesses in bad times

As large companies make cuts, astute small businesses can gain an advantage by using any or all of the following three strategies:

#1 – Turn bigg companies into your customers.
They’re reviewing their operations. If what they cut is what you do – it’s your service – market to them! They may still need that service in some capacity … take advantage of it!

#2 – Recruit their talent
A lot of the people they’re laying off are very talented. These are people that you may have never been able to get before. Recruit that talent. Provide them with a nice place to fall.

They may look for something more stable or some place where they feel more of a sense of ownership. Your business could be the answer they’re looking for!

#3 – Go after the large company’s small customers.
With the cuts they’re making, they have few resources to take care of their customers. It’s the old 80/20 rule – they’re likely to super-serve the 20% of their customers that constitute 80% of their sales. Then they may cut back on service for all the rest.

Go after these customers that are facing reduced service. They may be a small account to a large company, but they may be one of your biggest customers!

 

 

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How to Get Noticed in Job Market 2.0

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Phil Rosenberg. Phil is the founder of reCareered, a career coaching service that helps job searchers get past the biggest challenge in today’s competitive jobs market – to get noticed.

 

Phil, what does reCareered mean?

 

 

It means someone who is seeking a job change, or trying to revitalize their career, or someone who is between jobs and wants help with how the job markets have changed in the last eight years or so.

 

How has the job market changed?

 

 

Eight years ago, the majority of resumes were delivered on paper. Around 2000, it changed to where most resumes were delivered digitally.

 

And how does that change the resume itself?

 

 

It changes it completely. The paper-based resume had to be static. The only way to customize it was by a cover letter. A digital resume can be searched. It also increased the number of resumes that went into most companies, by as many as ten-fold.

 

We always hear about search engine optimization and how you want to rank at the tops of the pages for Google. But apparently you can do the same for your resume … it can be optimized?

 

You bet, and it’s especially critical in today’s world. Most major employers get thousands of resumes for each job, but they only staff to look at twenty to thirty. That’s two to three percent. So your goal, in submitting your resume today, is getting to the top two or three percent. Through resume search optimization, you can manage that process rather than have it be random. My strategy with my clients is to make a resume a single-use document – to have it infinitely customizable so that you’re gaming the search engine and forcing it higher up the search page.

 

How do we make a good impression right upfront?

 

 

There’s been research from the University of Toledo and Stanford University that states that interview decisions are made within the first two to thirty seconds. That blew me away. The rest of the interview is just somebody justifying their initial decision. So it’s a “gut feel” decision that may occur even before you shake hands. It’s all about preparation. Learn about your client – how they communicate (verbally and non-verbally), how they dress, how they look. If you want a job, go to a place that’s close to their office and sit there during lunch. Talk to people from that company who are getting lunch there. On a Friday night, go to Happy Hour at a bar close to their office and talk to people from that company. When you talk to them, watch their body movements. What’s the tone they use? What’s the speed they use to talk? You can also do that with their written communication – their web site, annual reports, press releases. The key to all this is communicating to your audience that it seems like you already work there.

 

It reminds me of the book, Guerilla Selling. It’s all about learning about your customer, in that case, but in the case the employer you’re going after – getting as much information as you can, wherever you can. It’s amazing how much information you can gather.

 

Sure. That’s also an effective way to use LinkedIn, Facebook or your own personal network. Chances are you have contacts within that company. A lot of people only use those contacts to see what jobs are available and to ask them to pass their resume along. They leave out some of the greatest uses of a network – talking to people within an organization to find out what an organization is like and what the communication style is like. Listening for how they’re answering questions rather than just what they’re saying.

 

This is fantastic advice because you do want to fit in. It’s all about mimicking. When you’re at an interview, should you sit up straight and lean forward or should you try to have your body language be similar to the body language of the interviewer? From what I’ve read, you should try to mimic that person.

 

That’s exactly what you’re doing – it’s called mirroring. You’re trying to show that you fit in. You speak the same language. You’re really trying to act like you already work at the company. It takes a ton of preparation. A lot of people aren’t willing to put that preparation in, but the people who do get a huge, almost an unfair, advantage.

Phil's links

You can get free daily job tips from Phil at his blog or visit his main site, reCareered, the place for resume search optimization and job search 2.0. 

 

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How to Reach an Agreement with Your Spouse on the Family Finances

By Bigg Success Staff
06-25-08

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Opposites attract. Unfortunately that can create some problems when it comes to the family’s finances.

Money is one of the biggest sources of disagreement between spouses. It’s often the case that one spouse is a “saver”, while the other is a “spender”.

If you’re the saver …

You may feel like you’re beating your head against the wall. Your spouse doesn’t seem to understand that you’re trying to save for the future. So, just when you think you’re getting a little ahead, your spouse goes out and spends the money. Now you’re back to little, or no, money in the bank!

If you’re the spender …
You may want to “live a little”. Your spouse doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t put off all the fun. You can’t worry about every single dollar you spend. Life’s too short to not live it. Your spouse just wants to save money for when you’ll be too old to enjoy it. You want to live now!

So how do you come to an agreement on the family’s finances?

By having a conversation with your spouse.

Values
Talk about your respective values. To one of you, being debt free may be important. Perhaps you don’t like to use credit cards at all. Or perhaps it’s important to one spouse to buy certain things. It may be as simple as eating lunch out every day.

Understand what’s important to each of you individually before you try to proceed collectively. Something may be very important to your spouse and not important at all to you. That’s okay. You don’t have to agree with each other. You just need to understand to each other.

Goals
Now that you understand each other, you can proceed to your mutual goals. Certain items should be somewhat sacrosanct. An example would be funding your retirement. If you would like to have the option of not working at some point, you have to set money aside while you are working.

As you establish your goals, keep each other’s values in mind. Instead of trying to find ways to pay for what’s important to you, look for ways to get what’s important to your spouse. Ask him or her to do the same thing for you. This role reversal will make the conversation more productive because you’re not fighting for what you want; you’re fighting for what your spouse wants.

Strategies
With your goals established, you know what you need to do. Now you just have to do it. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

It’s not!

This is the hard part because it’s involves the daily decisions that make or break the budget.

There are a number of strategies you may employ. You may each take an allowance for all of your incidental expenses. You may set a limit and agree to call each other before spending that amount. You may maintain a joint account or separate accounts. You may even do both.

Find what works for you and your spouse through trial and error. Then go for your goals. As you see your accounts grow and grow, following your plan will get easier and easier!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Business Owners Must Be Duplicitous

By Bigg Success Staff
06-05-08

Bigg Success in Business

growing 

You may get conflicting messages about being in business. You hear that you need to be passionate about what you do. You’re also told to approach every business decision rationally.

So which is it – love or logic?

Love
As an entrepreneur, you need to love what you do. If you don’t love it, you won’t be able to make it through the inevitable tough times. So get into a business about which you have a passion.

  • Then take pride in your accomplishments. Celebrate them like you’ve just won the Super Bowl. Be human in defeat. Learn from it and then move on. Practice the 24-hour rule – give yourself 24-hours to enjoy victory or recover from a loss. Then move on.
  • Be stubborn about what matters. There are things that are important to your success. They are your core values and purpose. Don’t ever agree to compromise on the things that are important, but be quick to concede if a better idea comes along that’s not in conflict with these core values and your purpose.
  • Finally, don’t fear the fear. As a business owner, you will face fearful times. That’s okay. Successful entrepreneurs have faced the same fears; they just overcame them. You’ll need to do the same. Press on.

Logic
Emotion clouds your judgment. You have to get beyond your emotions in order to succeed in business. You have to be calculating, weighing the pros and cons of a given strategy against your goals and the pressures of the market.

  • Separate your ego from your business. Entrepreneurs often get in trouble when they start creating monuments to themselves with the resources of their businesses. Don’t make that mistake! Every business decision should move you one step closer to your dream life.
  • Admit your mistakes. If you don’t admit them, you’ll never learn from them. Unsuccessful business owners often devote even more resources trying to turn a bad decision into a good one. It rarely works. Admit your mistake and move on.
  • Aim before you fire. This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re not acting emotionally. Get ready … aim … fire. Business owners who fail often get caught up in the moment and forget this crucial step.
  • Focus on results. Measure everything you accomplish against your goals. Have you exceeded them or fallen short? Why? Answering those questions along the way will take you a long way toward the success of which you dream.


Example

An example of love and logic at play is to remember why you got into business in the first place. You had a goal in mind. You had a plan on how to achieve it. Along the way, you gained new insight and information. You changed your plan, but the goal is still the same. You’re practicing love and logic at the same time!

The bottom line is that it pays to be emotional and unemotional at the same time about your business … be irrationally rational!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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