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From An Entrepreneur Dream To Dynasty In 10 Easy Steps

From An Entrepreneur Dream To Dynasty In 10 Easy Steps

As an entrepreneur with multiple successful ventures under my belt, I get a ton of questions from potential entrepreneurs wondering how to go from the idea phase to an actual business. If you’re looking to start a business, here’s what I’d tell you.

1. Ruminate on the Possibilities

All businesses — small or large — must start somewhere. Before there is a vision, plan, or management plan, there’s an idea. They generally come about in one of two ways. Either a) you’re pondering a solution to a pressing but unresolved problem or b) you’re evaluating your life and arrive at the realization that you’ve been running from your dream instead of running to it. Whatever the case, don’t take this seemingly trivial step for granted, as everything that follows rests on your founding premise.

After you’ve had an opportunity to reflect upon this central concept or solution thoroughly, it’s time to turn to the market and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. Doing so will give you a good idea of where your product or service could fit into the market.

2. Evaluate Your Tolerance for Risk

Evaluate Your Tolerance for Risk

    It would be good if you could start the process by determining how comfortable you are with taking risks — if you don’t make it past this point, there’s no “pass go.” Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works. Likewise, it would be nice if you could pretend that your entire entrepreneurial journey will be free of threats, but we know that’s not the case, right?

    By its very nature, entrepreneurship is fraught with uncertainty. Just the amount of action that you must take to start your part entails risk — that doesn’t include what you will inevitably face after getting your venture off the ground.

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    There’s always the chance that any one of these actions could result in a problem of some sort. And while there’s a certain amount of ambiguity associated with punching a clock every day, the risks are much more predictable. So if the thought of facing the unknown causes you undue stress, it may be best to put your ideas on pause until you’ve found a way to resolve your fear of uncertainty.

    3. Don’t Just Think About Your Vision, Write It Down

    After you’ve settled on an idea and decided that you’re comfortable with the possibility of things going wrong, it’s time to hone in on your vision. This entails visualizing what you’d like your business to look like in the future. If you experience difficulty with this step, all you have to do is ask yourself this: “Where do I see my business in 5, 10, or 15 years?”

    But remember, it’s not enough to merely know your vision. You’ve got to internalize it, which requires going a step further and writing it down. There’s just something about seeing your vision on paper that makes it more real. And if you think this is all too much, consider that when all else fails, it’s your vision that will compel you to get out of the bed at 5 o’clock in the morning to see your dreams through.

    4. Do Your Homework

    Do your home work

      If finding a solution to a market-driven problem or putting your grand vision into action is sexy, then market research is probably no different than taking a hundred free throws, one right after the other. But guess what? If he hadn’t put in the work, where would Jordan be today? So it is with researching the market.

      Market research dictates pricing, messaging, advertising, staffing, and so much more. Do yourself a favor and put all that you have into learning your market. When you’re done, you should have a clear understanding of who your customers are, but you should also know what they like or don’t like about your competitors. Armed with this information, you can continue the march to your empire.

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      In addition to market research, you’d be doing yourself a favor by doing some operational research. Familiarize yourself with industry best practices; doing so will allow you to build an efficient business.

      5. Draft a Business Plan

      You’ve got your idea, vision, and research in hand. Now it’s time to turn these abstract ideas into something tangible — a plan of action, also known as a business plan. Your business plan is a roadmap designed to help you arrive at your destination. And if you ever get lost, like a GPS your plan can help you get back on track.

      Your business plan should address questions like the following:

      • How will I reach my customers?
      • How much will it take to start and run my business?
      • What types of personnel should I hire?
      • Who is my target audience?
      • Who are my competitors?
      • When will I see a profit?

      While from time to time you may run into questions that you don’t have the answers to, your business plan should address the most pertinent issues.

      6. Review Your Finances

      Whether you’re starting your business on a shoestring budget or purchasing an existing business, there are always financial considerations associated with beginning a new venture. Identify these costs upfront and determine how you’re going to pay for these items.

      For example, maybe you’ve already built a sizeable nest egg and plan to use some or all of it as collateral, or perhaps you have a colleague who’s agreed to make a financial investment in your business. Whatever the case, knowing what you’re getting yourself into from the start can make all of the difference in the world.

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      7. Determine How to Structure Your Business

      There are several different ways to structure your business entity. In fact, you may already be aware of several. For instance, you can organize as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, etc. However, understand that each legal structure comes with certain pros and cons.

      As a point of comparison, if you want to shield yourself or your family from liability, assuming one of the various corporate structures may be in order. Alternatively, if you plan to keep things simple while “testing the waters,” exposing yourself to greater risk as a proprietorship could be a more suitable option. Of course, you won’t know until giving it serious consideration. It might also be prudent to consult your local attorney or CPA, as whichever decision you make will entail a different set of legal and financial ramifications.

      8. Build a Company Website

      Regardless of the type of business you plan to launch, one thing is unavoidable — you will need a website. It doesn’t matter if your customers prefer to do business in person — not having a web presence is just plain irresponsible in this day and age. So please, do yourself a huge favor and invest in a solid site.

      It doesn’t have to be extravagant. In fact, if you have financial constraints you can even set one up yourself. Just visit Wix, Weebly, or any of the other site builders available and use the templates that they give you and you’ll be well on your way.

      Of course, you can always upgrade when finances permit, but the important thing when it comes to establishing yourself online is to start somewhere.

      9. Set Up Your Taxes and Federal Registration

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      Set Up Your Taxes and Federal Registration

        By this point, you may already have a business license and articles of incorporation. However, to be recognized as an official entity, you will need to file your documents with the federal government. While it may sound complicated, it’s probably easier than you think.

        Upon completing your business registration, you’ll also need to go to the IRS website and apply for an employer recognition number (EIN). Doing so will allow you to handle payroll and employee taxes. If you’re organized as a sole proprietorship, you may be able to skip this step, but this is something that your lawyer or accountant can help you determine.

        10. Build Your Brand

        So you’ve got yourself a business that’s capable of changing the world. But guess what? Without customers, you’re dancing in the dark. Of course, if you’ve completed the marketing section of your business plan, the next step is just a matter of executing your plan. The good news is that there’s a proven method of building and promoting your brand.

        Namely, marketing your business is a matter of informing your audience as to what makes your offering unique, learning where to find your customers, and making sure that your brand is just within your audience’s vicinity so that when they have a need, they know to check with you first.

        In a nutshell, that’s it. I hope that everything made sense to you. But if you have questions, I’m here to help. Drop me a line!

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        Last Updated on August 20, 2019

        26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

        26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

        If you pay attention to your everyday life careful enough, you’ll know that you can learn from everything and everyone you come across. Our life is basically full of useful lessons that we should learn.

        Here are 26 useful things to learn that Abhishek A. Singh shared on Quora. Let’s see how these life theories would lead you to live a different life.

        1. Primacy and recency: People mostly remember the first and last things that occurred, barely the middle.

        When scheduling an interview, ask the employer the time slots they do interviews and try to be the first or the last.

        2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind, put a mirror behind you at the counter.

        In this way, angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chance of them behaving irrationally will be lowered significantly.

        3. Once you make a sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

        This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways.

        My previous boss was training me and just gave me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, the first person to talk would lose.

        It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuses, but usually they bought.

        4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait.

        If you stay silent and keep eye contact, they will usually continue to talk.

        5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping.

        When we eat, our brain tell ourselves, “I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger.” This has helped me to stay calm.

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        6. People will always remember how you made them feel, not what you said.

        Also, most people like talking about themselves; so ask lots of questions about them.

        7. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend. Let them ask you questions about it.

        If you’re able to teach something well, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

        8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you.

        It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen the next time.

        9. The physical effects of stress — breathing rate and heart rate — are almost identical to the physical effects of courage.

        When you’re feeling stressed in any situations, immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous, you are NOT stressed.

        10. Pay attention to people’s feet.

        If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

        Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

        11. Confidence is more important than knowledge.

        Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

        12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it.

        Fake it till you make it. Period.

        13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes.

        When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds.

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        And as suggested by Brian Stutzman:

        If you’re staring at someone and get caught, DON’T turn your head or your body to look away, because that just confirms that you were staring.

        Just move your EYEBALLS off the person. Unlike turning your head, it’s instantaneous. And the person will think you were just looking at something behind them and that they were mistaken for thinking you were staring. Do it confidently, and ignore any reaction from the person, and you can sell it every single time.

        After a second, you can even look back at them with a “Why are you staring at me?” look on your face to really cement the deal!

        14. Build a network.

        Become the information source, and let the information be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office.

        Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

        15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother…

        Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage.

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          16. Stand up straight.

          No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

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          17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary.

          These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

          18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space.

          You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

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            19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks.

            You’d be surprised how long you could drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

            20. Going into an interview… be interested in your interviewers.

            If you focus on learning about them, you’ll seem to be more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

            21. Pay attention parents! Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control.

            For instance, when I want my son to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”

            Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on adults.

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              22. Your action affects your attitude more than your attitude affects your action.

              As my former teacher said “You can jump and dance FOR joy, but you can also jump and dance yourself joyful.”

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              23. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

              Notice who you look at and who look at you when you laugh with a group of people!

              24. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.

              If someone is sitting with her legs crossed, cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you, lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them.

              Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

              25. The Benjamin Franklin Effect (suggested by Matt Miller)

              I find the basis of the Benjamin Franklin effect is very useful and extends far beyond pencil borrowing. This knowledge is useful in the world of flirting too.

              Asking a girl in your class if you can borrow a pencil or her notes or to explain the homework will make her more likely to like you than if you let her borrow your stuff or are the one to help her. Even just asking a girl to buy you drinks (facetiously) leaves a much bigger impression than offering to or actually buying a girl a drink.

              The best part is it kills 3 birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

              26. Handle panic and anxiety behaviors by tapping fingers (Suggested by Jade Barbee)

              When you’re feeling stressed, worried or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs.

              For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more resourceful (better feeling) state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many life situations – emotional sadness, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories…

              Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

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