HOW TO START A BUSINESS

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Do you want to start an online business? Yes? Great, go do it!

OK, how are you going to do it? OK, now it’s harder than you expected. OK, now you’re throwing in the towel because it’s too hard.

The situation that I just presented to you is one that hundreds of thousands of people go through on a yearly basis. Everyone wants to be able to say that they successfully launched and run a business. Being able to say that you own and operate a business brings you a sense of pride, and so it should. Operating a business takes a lot of hard work though, work that you may not want to do and work that doesn’t necessarily fit into your schedule or “life plan.” That is why a lot of people end up throwing in the towel: it’s all just too much for them.

In order to start and run a successful business, you HAVE to be willing to put the work in. You have to sacrifice time away from other things in your life; understand that sleep might be one of them. The amount of work that will go into making your business successful will be a lot more than you think, so be prepared to go the extra mile before you even start your venture.

You think your business idea is great. You really believe that your business will help people. You know for a fact that your business plan is solid. Awesome, you’ve made a great start. Now, where are the people? Why isn’t anyone paying attention? Why are you not making any money? In order for your business to make money, you have to actually go out and start attracting your customers, especially in an online business.

In business, nobody is going to just randomly come to your store and buy what you’re offering. You have to go to market and peak the interest of consumers, over and over and over again. If you think that by creating a “decent” marketing and sales strategy to make your business more “known,” then you are lying to yourself. No consumer is really going to give a damn about you. Why should they come and buy something from you? What’s in it for them? In order to even begin to peak consumers interest, you have to convince consumers that they should buy from you, whether it’s because of x, y, or z.

In order to market your company, it is vital that you brand yourself. In today’s business environment, consumers only want to associate themselves with a brand that they can relate with, a brand that they understand. If your business doesn’t have a brand, then a consumer won’t be able to really relate and now you have lost them.

Why do you think nobody really buys off-brand food? Because nobody wants anything to do with food that is bland and plain; unless of course they have no other option. Food needs to be exciting and spark curiosity when you see it. The same is true for any good or service that is out there. Just think of all the eye-catching logos and powerful mottoes you see when you walk into any store. These carefully illustrated designs catch your attention because you either feel like you know the brand, or you’re curious as to what the brand has to offer.

If you want to follow suit, you should definitely take a look at branding yourself to your market in a manner that you believe best represents who you are as a company. From there, consumers who feel like they understand you or want to understand you, will attract to you.

Now you’re starting to see some traffic flowing through your business. Good. Don’t think for a second that this stream of traffic is going to keep flowing though. If you don’t nurture your stream or try to expand your stream, your business is dead. On a daily basis, you must continue to put the work in. Consistency is key here. If you’re not consistent with driving traffic to your business, then you’re not going to be making money anytime soon. Put the work into your business on a daily basis. Go 10X and above the amount of work you think you need to put into your business. Once you do, your future customers will understand that they are getting an incredible amount of value from you for what they are paying for.

That is another topic that is critical if you want your business to be successful. You must understand that value is what you are selling to your customer, not a material good or service. What value will your customer really get from buying your good or service? If the value they receive is high, then I guarantee you your customer will be happy. If the value is low, then your customer will probably not be coming back. Deliver value to your customer, make them happy, and make them understand that if they buy your good or service, then it will help them.. It’s all in the sale. If you can’t sell, your business is dead. You must first convince your customer why your good or service is so valuable. Only then will they really consider buying it.

Work on your selling techniques on a daily basis. What key benefits will your customer be receiving if they buy your good or service? When you’re selling your good or service to a potential customer, focus on these key benefits and really make sure that your prospect understands what they will be receiving if they buy from you.

DON’T be too confrontational though. Be friendly, be understanding, and if they don’t want to buy from you, then they don’t. Don’t try and sell them on something that they don’t want, even if you truly believe that it will help them. If the prospect doesn’t want to buy your good or service, then it’s their loss. Sell to someone else who will truly receive A TON of value from you. You will find much more happiness there.

If you keep practicing this process throughout the life of your business, one way or another, the customer who turned you down will eventually come back to you. And this customer will be frustrated with himself or herself. They will be frustrated because they never bought from you way back when your good or service was dirt-cheap! What will you do? You will sell to them….with a smile!

These are just some of the key principles that you need to keep in mind when you’re starting a business. They are the key principles that I’m trying to focus on as much as possible while building my online business. Without the three principles that I discussed, then you are definitely dead. Like I said though, these are just SOME of the key principles. In order to really run a successful business, you need to be constantly adapting to your business environment. You need to be the #1 person who understands your market.

Read books, attend business seminars, and talk to people within your industry! The more you know, the better. Challenge yourself to put yourself out of business on a daily basis, that way your competitors won’t be able to.

Good luck if you decide to launch a business, whether it is online or in real life. Luck doesn’t have a huge part to play though. Hard work, consistency, and above all else, passion, are the key ingredients required from you to truly make your business a successful one.

To Your Success,

Euan Swan

HOW I MET TWO MULTI-MILLIONAIRES BY UTILIZING ONE SIMPLE SKILL

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When I was growing up, I was always told; it’s what you know, not who you know. More recently, it has become increasingly apparent that you must know the right people in order to be successful. That is why it is incredibly important to network with people, as often as possible!

Whether or not that person is successful in what you intend to do is beside the point. Get out there, meet people, and you will soon discover that you have a vast network of people that you can tap into whenever you would like.

Just recently, I attended a seminar and networking event in Bloomington, Indiana in the United States. I went to the event due to an e-mail that I received from my entrepreneurship club at Indiana University. The seminar featured a key speaker who has influenced and continues to influence the tech industry, Tony Conrad.

Tony Conrad is the CEO & Founder of about.me, a platform to express who you are. It is comparable to LinkedIn or Facebook; in so far as that your page describes you. What makes about.me different is that unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, the network allows you to create a page about who you are, what your accomplishments are, and what you aim to achieve.

I feel as though LinkedIn focuses more on professionalism. Professionalism is good, but LinkedIn doesn’t really represent who we are, but rather, an image of who we want people to think we are.

The reason that I was fortunate enough to meet the Founder of the multi-million dollar company was due to my networking ability. If I hadn’t made the decision to join the entrepreneurship club at my university, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet Tony Conrad. Furthermore, if I hadn’t made the decision to actually attend the seminar, I wouldn’t have gained valuable knowledge from a multi-millionaire.

Tony is an incredible guy, and just by talking with him for a few minutes, I was able to create a networking contact that I can reach out to for advice whenever I need to.

In joining my entrepreneurship club, I have also had the opportunity to meet Scott Dorsey, the founder and ex-CEO of Exact Target, now owned by Salesforce.com. Exact Target started out as a small business in Indianapolis, grew into a billion dollar company that was traded on the stock market, and was then sold at a valuation of $2.7 billion to Salesforce.com.

Scott gave a talk at the Kelly School of Business, which was advertised through my entrepreneurship club. Again, if I had not reached out to the club, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet a man who raised his little baby, into a billion dollar baby!

Meeting Tony Conrad and Scott Dorsey was an exhilarating experience that gave me both the confidence and know-how in order to continue down my path to success. I’m not going to stop there though. I plan to continue to attend events where I have the opportunity to meet people who have “been there, and done that.”

I want to pick as many successful brains that I can, so that I may understand what obstacles I may face further down my path.

I challenge you to get out there and network on a daily basis. Network with successful people, network with less successful people. Either way, you’re creating a list of contacts that you can reach out to and leverage, when need be.

How do you plan to network today? Let me know in the comments down below.

To Your Success,

Euan

THE 3 KEYS TO SUCCESS

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Success is something that everyone wants to attain. Success is an idea that has gravitated our society towards working hard, in order to retire with enough income to do what we want with the rest of our lives. But what do we need to do in order to be successful?

I have compiled, what I believe, to be the 3 essential KEYS TO SUCCESS. These keys are based on a recent book I read by Mickey Maurer. The book is titled “10 Essential Principles of Entrepreneurship You Weren’t Taught In School.” I was fascinated by the book, and was actually lucky enough to meet the man in person. In the book, he focuses on 10 different principles, but I wanted to go further.

While meeting with Mickey, I asked him what were the 3 essential KEYS TO SUCCESS. He looked at me and said, “Wow, that’s a really broad question. Go read my book, and you’ll be able to find the ones that apply to you.” Now of course he just wanted to promote his book, but he also wanted to me to discover the keys that really APPLY to me. I was awestruck by his perspective. He thought that there are different success keys that apply to different people. That is so true. We are all different, therefore our own keys must fit into our own door to success.

Upon finishing the book, I discovered the three keys that really apply to me.

  1. Find a Mentor

Find a Mentor in the field that you desire to become successful in. Let him teach you how he got to where he is. Try to contact him or her on a weekly basis in order to gain insightful knowledge of the steps that you should be taking to get where they are.

Having a mentor is important because they are much further ahead than you are on your journey to success. They have failed, picked themselves up, failed again, and kept on moving forward. A mentor is aware of the potential challenges that you will face, and will advise you on the correct path to take in order to become successful.

  1. Read!

Try to read at least 30 minutes a day. I can’t stress enough how important this is. Reading engages the human mind, and when the mind is engaged, it learns. Read an article online about a topic you’re interested in. Read a book about a topic that you know nothing about. Either way, you are expanding your knowledge. Knowledge in the Information Economy that we now live in, is power. In order to be successful, you NEED to be powerful, so get reading!

  1. Be Humble

The most important of all of my 3 KEYS TO SUCCESS. Always be humble and never take ANYTHING for granted. Everything can be taken away from you, so remember that you are human, just like everyone else. Look at the Pharaohs of Egypt, or the Emperors of Rome; most of them thought they were Gods, and were assassinated. Why? Because they forgot to be humble; they thought they were invincible, and quickly learned they were actually mortal like the rest of us.

Have some humility. Be human and treat all your peers with respect, and they will return the favor.

Mickey taught me a lot, in meeting with him in person. He is a great guy and I recommend that you reach out to him and talk to him about success; I’m sure he would be more than happy to give you some tips. He is a busy guy though, so it may take him some time to respond.

My challenge for you today is to think about success and what it entails. What do you think are the 3 KEYS TO SUCCESS? Remember – success is different for everyone, so try to come up with keys that are different to the ones that I have listed.

To Your Success,

Euan Swan