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The Richard Branson Way to Turn Your Idea Into A Huge Business

The Richard Branson Way to Turn Your Idea Into A Huge Business

If you’ve been dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur for quite sometime, you probably have numerous ideas that can be turned into a business by now. However, you might be struggling on how to put one or two of these ideas into fruition. Because you have never tried starting a business, you are at a loss without knowledge of exactly where to begin.

This is where Richard Branson comes in. He can help you have a head start and tell you precisely the steps you have to take, from the beginning to the final steps. Then you’ll be running your own business, for real. He believes and, in fact, suggests that after you have graduated, you continue your education by taking online courses, looking for mentors who will share their business wisdom, and, most importantly, exposing yourself to real world experiences. (Most business schools don’t teach you how to deal with real world scenarios you’ll surely encounter in the business world.)

Start your own business, or join a group of entrepreneurs working on a startup — be a volunteer. This second way, you’ll be immersed in the world of the entrepreneur without spending a dime, and you’ll see the nitty-gritty involved in the real deal.

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Let’s focus on you starting a business on your own. Once you have thought out an idea for a business, you don’t do anything practical yet. What you have to go through is much simpler.

1. Incubate.

Go to your favorite place; somewhere you can relax and dream and incubate your idea. It could be anywhere: the main principle here is to go to a place where you can feel at home with minimal distractions and start envisioning the company you’ll build based from your idea. This company should be something that you can bet your time, heart, soul, and hard earned cash on.

Branson is very definite about one thing. You must be enthusiastic about how your company will make a difference in people’s lives. He continues to explain that this is a crucial factor you must figure out because if you truly love your work, you’ll have a bigger chance of succeeding. If you’re in love with your idea and the way it will help other people, you’ll persevere and weather the storms of turning an idea into a huge business. It’s very important that you can persist despite the long hours, the trials, and the tribulations you have to go through to put up a company.

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2.The mum test.

The next thing he suggests is something that is unexpected. Indulge in the mum test. This involves talking to your mum, describing your idea and the empire you will create out of it. If she’s not excited and doesn’t have anything positive to say about your venture, you have to start all over. Go back to your creative space and start thinking of other ideas you can pursue. On the contrary, if she is elated, even pumped up, upon hearing your idea, go ahead with your plans. You might be birthing a real winner!

Frankly, I was a bit hesitant to follow this suggestion. Here’s the reason: my mother is not business savvy like Branson’s mum. However, all mums have instincts on what is best for their children. Your mum will have your best interest at heart when you discuss your entrepreneurial dreams with her. This being said, it’s undoubtedly safe to go through this step.

3. Put your idea out there.

The next step involves risk. Many entrepreneurs stall on this stage. They spend more time perfecting their plan than actually operating their business. The reason is simple: they are afraid to take the risk of putting out their business idea, scared of committing time, effort, and resources into the project. To this, Richard Branson says, “Successful entrepreneurs don’t wait for the perfect moment — they create it.”

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Develop some samples of the product or service you would like to sell. Upon reaching the point where you are happy with what you see, gather the least amount of funds to start the best and cheapest form of market research you can launch. You can do this with family members, relatives, your friends, neighbors, and your social media followers. Encourage them to try your product or service. In case you receive not-so-encouraging reactions, don’t fret. Consider tweaking the original idea to cater to the taste of your target market. Richard Branson encourages would-be entrepreneurs like you to not be discouraged at this stage. Making changes on your offering doesn’t mean your original idea isn’t good. This is just a natural occurrence in the process of improving your product or service. It’s just the initial adjustment, or a few of them, you need to make in your plan. Branson reminds all who want to dive into the sea of entrepreneurship — “Flexibility and the ability to solve problems creatively are great qualities in an entrepreneur.”

4. Time to sell.

After making those changes, it’s time to try selling your product (in small batches at first) or start offering primary introductions to your service wherever it’s possible —  door to door, online, at trade fairs, etc. Take feedback from early customers and keep in touch with them. At this point it’s critical to do your branding right.

According to Branson, ask these questions: “Does it stand out? Do your brand values attract eager customers? Will they also attract talented employees?

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5. Start talking to potential investors and distributors.

As you continue to encourage people to try your offerings, and they start to give you consistent positive feedback, you should begin thinking of producing more of your product or your service.

As you manufacture more of your products, practical issues will arise, issues like what’s the best way to manage cash flow or how to distribute your product efficiently. While this is happening, it could be a good idea to start scouting for potential investors and distributors to pitch them your idea. Also, at this phase, it would be wise to begin hiring and delegating responsibilities to employees.

To wrap up, Richard Branson puts it well. He says, “If you’ve followed the steps above, you may soon realize that I’ve pulled a tiny prank on you: You’ve now got a working startup, without ever having set a launch date. Great work!”

Source: Richard Branson on Turning an Idea Into a Business by Richard Branson via Entrepreneur.

Featured photo credit: Photo Credit: Fran Monks via Compfight cc via compfight.com

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Published on January 28, 2020

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

8. Why Should We Hire You?

If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

The Bottom Line

There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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