If You Want to Be a Successful Entrepreneur, Take Note of These 7 Lessons

While everyone seems to have a good business concept, few ever execute their ideas successfully.
If You Want to Be a Successful Entrepreneur, Take Note of These 7 Lessons
By: Alejandro Saracho

One of the main objectives of creating a business is related to the generation of wealth: for the environment, for society, and for the business owner.

The generation of wealth is related to money and its correct management. Many entrepreneurs start their business as operators or technicians and never delve into money management. That makes their businesses stay small or not survive over time.

That is why I decided to write this article entitled “7 secrets of money to undertake successfully”:

1. Entrepreneurial Mindset

Many people think that all they need to start is a good idea. Unfortunately, it is not like that, good ideas abound everywhere and are destined to die if you do not have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Creating a new business requires hard work, high tolerance for frustration, being willing to carry on when it seems like all is lost, implementation, implementation, and more implementation. But above all, it requires an obsession to achieve your dreams, more than an obsession to generate money.

If you look for money, your chances of success will decrease (because at the beginning you won’t have it). If you seek to transform people’s lives and make a change on the planet, money will come as a consequence.

So do you or do you not have an entrepreneurial mindset?

2. Viable Business Model

Most people who start a business become obsessed with their brand and their product, and this is one of the most common mistakes I see in entrepreneurs. Your brand and your product are worth nothing unless they show that they are capable of generating money.

  • First: you need to make sure that someone is willing to buy your product/service. Describe who your valuable customer would be, approach people who meet the characteristics, and see if they are willing to buy.
  • Second: you need to develop your business model — that is, know how to interconnect all parts of your business. You need to know how you are going to attract prospects, how you are going to convert them into customers, how you are going to produce and deliver your product or service, how you are going to charge, and how you are going to pay. When you have it assembled, you will realize that your model requires money to function. Those are your costs and your expenses.
  • Third: you need to make your financial statements or your numbers and make sure that your business is profitable and scalable. You find profitability when you calculate your sales minus your costs and minus your expenses. You find scalability when you validate that there are many people who meet the characteristics of your valued customer, that you can serve them through your business model, and that you have enough money to start and maintain it.

If you meet these three points, we can say that your business is viable. If you realize that it is not, you can adjust your business model as long as you validate that someone is willing to buy what you offer.

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3. Absolute Austerity

One of the mistakes people make when starting their business is that they buy and overspend. They look for the best computer, the best offices, the best car or they use their money on things that are not directly related to generating sales.

A principle that Carlos Slim uses that I highly recommend is called Absolute Austerity. When you buy something, make sure that it is directly related to the generation of sales.

If you need a computer, ask yourself which computer meets your basic needs (not which one meets the needs of your ego). And ask yourself, if I buy a more expensive computer, will this increase my sales?

4. Cash Flow

Cash flow is the gasoline that drives businesses. Many businesses that are highly profitable (that is, that generate profit), die because the entrepreneur or business owner did not know how to manage their cash flow.

There are three levers that I recommend to manage your cash flow well:

  • The first: charge before and pay later. In this way, you can finance your business with the money of your clients, instead of you becoming their bank.
  • The second: handle low inventories. One of the places where your money gets stuck is in inventories if you have too much of it. Try not to give in to the temptation to buy too high a volume for a discount.
  • The third: reserve of protection. Try to have enough backup money to pay for one to two months of business. There are always fat cows and skinny cows. When you don’t have the money to pay for the lean operation, a profitable business ends up going out of business.

5. Reinvest Your Profits

One of the temptations of the entrepreneur is to spend his earnings as soon as they arrive. My suggestion is to reinvest them in the same business. You can use them to attract more prospects with marketing and sales or to streamline your operation and lower your costs and expenses.

Until when should you reinvest your earnings? Until you have reached a good critical mass and the business can operate even without you.

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6. Plan Your Transition

One of the questions that I get asked the most is: when is the right time to quit my job and dedicate myself fully to my business?

The answer is when your business is able to generate enough money (consistently and constantly) to replace the salary that your work generates.

It is important to plan the transition with clear goals and objectives. In such a way that you say: in six months the business must leave me this amount of money. When I reach this amount of money I will quit my job. This way you will know where to focus and when the transition will occur.

And I know that many entrepreneurs are kamikazes and are willing to quit right now.

Can you do it and achieve it successfully? Of course. However, if you want to avoid or lessen the impact of entrepreneurial trauma and emotional crises, I recommend planning your transition.

7. Continuous Learning

This part is essential for any entrepreneur. You need to be willing to continually learn if you want to be successful. If you don’t like learning, maybe entrepreneurship is not for you because, in a short time, you will become obsolete and the business will end up failing.

Now, there is a type of education for every purpose.

  1. If you want to learn to be a better collaborator in a company, you need to consider academic education (such as masters, diplomas, specialties).
  2. If what you want is to learn how to generate better results in your business, what you need is focused education (such as conferences, seminars, workshops).

The difference between the two is that the first gives you a lot of theory (and takes a lot of time) and teaches you how to run someone else’s business and the second teaches you implementable principles (in a short time) and teaches you how to run your business.

What is the first thing that I recommend you learn? To manage your money. To manage your personal finances.

Business money is a reflection of how you handle your money. If you learn to do it, you will achieve that your business generates sustainable results.

Related:

30 Ways to Become a More Successful Entrepreneur (neilpatel.com)


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What Are The 3 Reasons To Urgently Rebrand Yourself?

3 Reasons You May Need to Urgently Rebrand And Yes, Covid Is One of Them
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Published on Dec 12, 2020

By Shona Maitland


Your brand is your fingerprint, your voice, your very essence of business being. It’s the sum total of everything you do, everything you offer, everything you believe, everything you project. Get it right, and your business thrives. Get it wrong, and you could lose customers by the droves. Let’s avoid that at all costs.

Here are three important reasons you may need to rebrand urgently: 

1. Your branding makes people think of a pandemic 

When I write the word “Covid-19”, what images do you think of?  Sickness? Stretchers? Viruses? Microbes? Face masks? Colors like red, black, clinical blue, and surgeon-gown-green? What words do you think of? Contagious? Sick? Quarantine? Death? Cough? Sneeze? Testing?

How do you feel when you think about Covid-19? Scared? Isolated? Anxious? Annoyed? Angry? Grief-stricken? Lonely? These are just a handful of common images, feelings and words associated with the pandemic, and none of them are particularly uplifting.  Yet, they may be the very words associated with your brand, if elements of your branding remind people of the virus. You might be wondering, “How would any brand possibly be associated with Covid-19?” 

Well, it might just be coincidence and plain bad luck. For example, years ago I saw a business logo on a van where the letter “o” within the logo was made into a little, spiky virus ball, almost identical to the ones we currently and constantly see on our televisions and news feeds. 

If that company is still operating today, I’d suggest an urgent rebrand. Despite the logo possibly working for them in the past, it will now be linked, even just fleetingly and subconsciously, to something negative and dangerous. It could impact sales. In the above example, the logo lettering was deliberately crafted to look like a virus, but what of all the quirky shapes and images that accidentally look like viruses? 

In my opinion, they should change.  It’s true, Covid-19 will pass but in the meantime, the owners of those businesses are trying to run their brands under a banner of positivity, which is challenging given the possible association with the virus. If you want a positive brand, you must create branding that triggers positive feelings, not negative ones. 

“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.” – Elon Musk

Make no mistake, brands are getting it wrong. Viewers in the United Kingdom were repelled by a KFC television advertisement featuring people licking their oily fingers in public spaces, after chomping on the chicken. 

What did viewers instantly think of? Covid-19! They were unimpressed that KFC was encouraging people to lick their fingers during a health crises.  KFC pulled the ad. If they hadn’t, their brand could have been temporarily fried. KFC would have been seen as reckless and irresponsible, and definitely not doing their bit for the pandemic.

In a nutshell, Covid-19 is currently imbedded in the collective global conscience. If your branding is associated with it in a negative way, consider rebranding ASAP. If you cannot invest in rebranding, try to remove or tastefully obscure the images that create the negative association.

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2. Your branding is offensive 

Stroll around certain parts of the internet and social media, and you’ll see rampant, chest-thumping, offense taking. You aren’t expected to know everything people are offended about, needless to say, it’s a lot! Some of it completely frivolous. But there are also many legitimate reasons why people take offense. 

With that in mind, the key areas to naturally avoid are: racism, sexism and anything that insults, attacks or marginalizes people because of their age, intelligence, religion, gender, sexuality, physical appearance, and mental or physical disabilities. A timely and well-publicized example of rebranding amidst the foreground of Black Lives Matter, is the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins, who are now temporarily known as the Washington Football Team. 

Redskins is a disparaging term for Native Americans, and it had been the team’s name since 1933 after initially being called the Boston Braves in 1932, prior to moving to Washington. After years of protests from Native Americans, fans and players, the Redskins leadership announced they’d drop the name and logo after a review process, to the anger of some, and the relief of many. 

There has been mockery around the temporary name: the Washington Football Team, and admittedly, it is beige – but likely deliberately so, to avoid any attacks relating to creativity, given it is impermanent. 

Importantly, management understood the very message I’m highlighting in this article, that sometimes the need to rebrand is urgent. While it took the leadership a long time to get to this point, once the decision was made, there was urgency to follow through. Given the process of creating a new brand is going to take time, a temporary new name was pressingly necessary. 

If you’ve ever received complaints about your brand, or sensed a general unease amongst clients and potential customers toward it; or indeed, felt uncomfortable yourself, it’s urgently time to rebrand. 

“Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.” – Richard Branson

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3. You’re embarrassed of your branding

An entrepreneur came to me with a common problem. She’d started her business years ago with little money, creating the brand entirely on her own, including designing the logo. As her business developed, it quickly outgrew the branding, and certainly was not reflective of her polished image anymore. 

Her embarrassment was so intense she stopped handing out business cards, using business stationery and telling people to visit her website. Yet, she saw rebranding as a low priority. Until of course, sales began to dwindle. All of a sudden, rebranding became an urgent task because she wanted to shout loudly and proudly about her business again, but couldn’t do so with her existing branding.

My suggestion is, don’t wait for business to falter. If you’re embarrassed about your branding, treat rebranding as a top priority, proactively rather than reactively. 

Although rebranding is a process you’d like to undertake in your own time, there are occasions where it becomes an urgent matter, particularly if your branding causes offense or creates a negative perception around your business. In some cases, saying goodbye to your existing branding might be hard, but saying goodbye to your business, as a possible result of that branding, is much harder. Stay clear, stay respectful, stay congruent, stay the course.

RELATED TOPICS:BRANDINGBRANDING TIPSBUILDING YOUR BRANDBUSINESSENTREPRENEURSHOW TO BUILD A BRANDWHY YOU NEED TO REBRANDDON’T MISSEntrepreneurs: 7 Tools For Improving Your Edge

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Shona Maitland

Shona Maitland has 10+ years experience as a business owner, brand strategist and designer at Shona Creative. She has further expertise in ethical and socially-responsible businesses and charities at Brands of Change, her second business.


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How To Survive and Thrive During the Pandemic of Covid 19.

 
Starting a Business from Home is the Only Way to Survive and Thrive During the Pandemic of Covid 19.

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA.

By: Jeffrey L. Klump 10/03/2020


The world is much different than it was just one year ago.

People have gotten use to the new vocabulary such as “social distancing” and wearing masks.

Regardless of what political spectrum you may fall under, the economic implications are staggering.

Very few people are buying the propaganda that the economy is recovering.

We keep hearing, including at the most recent political debate, that the stock market is at an all time high.

That may be true, but the stock market has nothing to do with the real economy.

Massive jobs layoffs continue, and the lines at food banks are getting longer.

The most recent Gross Domestic Product(GDP) estimate is a staggering minus 31%. That number is huge and it maybe worse than that.

The United States economy needs to be retooling itself and getting ready to start producing items such as paper products and things that we have become way to dependent on other countries, especially China, but I do not see that happening.

Our trade balance with China is still out of whack which means we are way too dependent on them for basic materials including toilet paper, kleenex, scott towels, and the list goes on.

The United States for far too long has become a consumer nation and this needs to be reversed immediately, otherwise, our dependence on other countries will continue.

We must become a producer nation once again if we are to have any sort of the American Dream in our future.

That is where small business plays a huge role. The problem is, with the new rules and fear of the Covid 19 pandemic, that has put a stranglehold on small businesses from operating as normal and profitable. This in turn could lead to more jobs layoffs.

Those who are not mechanically inclined like carpenter’s, contractor’s, mechanic’s, tool & die maker’s, need to develop their own new skills from home.

There are literally thousands of ways to make money from home or online and not working for someone else. You could have an idea that could be worth a lot of money just rolling around in your head, and you never thought twice about doing anything about it.

Then there are already established companies looking for people to sell or promote their products for them.

One of the keys to creating long term wealth is by selling something or investing in something that produces monthly residual and passive income.


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Don’t look to Washington to save you. You should know by now that politicians only care about themselves and enriching themselves and their friends and financial backers.

Get together with your family and friends and develop a plan where you can work together on starting a business from home and then monetize it and share with others.

Learn to be dependent on yourselves and try to learn new skills that you can use and that you can eventually teach to others.

Most politicians and government bureaucrats have never started a business or been in business for themselves. They do not have any answers when it comes to improving our economy and helping you survive and thrive.

The only answer in Washington is for you to become dependent on them. That approach has never worked in any other country before and it won’t work here either.

Corporate layoffs are continuing. The need for people to earn additional income has never been greater. The new online classifieds ads list to help you make money, save money, and improve your life, is Jeff’s List.

So many people have hidden skills and talents that they never have tried to use before. Most don’t know they have them. Many have been told your idea won’t work and so they do nothing because no one supports them with positive reinforcement. Just think if Einstein or the greatest inventor, Nikola Tesla were told that, and they listened to them. Where would we be?

The current environment of Covid 19 is not going away regardless of who is in the White House.

You can, however, survive and thrive during the pandemic called Covid 19. All you need to do is believe in yourself and learn new skills and you will be on your way.


 

 

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Why Are Sales People Needed In A Pandemic?

Are Salespeople Needed In a Pandemic?

BY: MARK HUNTER PUBLISHED ON: SEP 23, 2020|CATEGORIES: SALES MINDSETSALES MOTIVATIONSALES PROCESS1 COMMENT


 

Are salespeople even needed right now during pandemic? There are lots of businesses out there with a lot of salespeople saying that they’re not needed. Many companies are saying they are just going to take whatever business rolls into them, because right now during a pandemic, they can’t afford salespeople. Let me tell you something: you can’t afford to not have salespeople. Period.

I’m going to walk you through 10 reasons to help answer this question: are salespeople needed in a pandemic? But first, I hope you take a moment to hit subscribe, so you can watch the new video I post every week. Each video is on a critical topic that’s pertinent to the world we live in right now during a pandemic.

Salespeople are needed more than ever right now. The customer doesn’t know what they don’t know, so it’s your job as the salesperson, part of the sales team, to help them.

1. R&D Department

You are your customer’s research and development source. It’s your job to provide your customers with ideas. You are their department to research and develop in order to help them develop solutions. You have to be seen as operating in that area of expertise.

If you’re not bringing research and development insights to your customers, you’re not doing your job. All you’re doing is acting as a rain barrel collecting the business that comes in. Your job is to incrementally help your customers identify solutions. And that leads me to our next reason…

2. Solutions

Like I stated earlier, customers don’t know what they don’t know; therefore, unless you provide them with solutions, they will just go with what they think they need. The problem is that what they think they need might not even be close to what they really need to reach a solution.

It’s your job to be the critical person that doesn’t just supply them with what they want, but what they really need. That’s the solution.

3. Knowledge

You have more knowledge and more expertise regarding what you sell and how you help customers then your customers will ever have. I will continue to remind you that the customer doesn’t know what they don’t know. It’s true. The only way you counteract that fact is by bringing them more knowledge each time you meet with a customer.

Ask yourself what you can do with the customer today to help them become more informed. How can you share your knowledge with them?

4. Morale Builder

You might think this one is little bit weird. No, it’s not. Customers are more confused than ever. It’s strange times out there. Your objective is to be the optimist. Be the one to help them get through the uncertainty and struggles.

You are the morale builder to each of your customers. Oh, and by the way, as a salesperson in a company, you’re also the morale builder to the employees within the company, because you get to interface with every side out there. You get to see everything.

5. Networking Agent

This is different than just networking. Again, it’s your objective to help customers. This might relate to what you sell, but it might also relate to connecting with somebody else. Connecting people is helping people.

You are an agent to your network. When you do that, you increase the value that you bring to other people which will undoubtedly increase the value that you receive from other people. It works both ways.

6. Problem Solver

Go back to what we’ve been talking about again and again: customers don’t know what they don’t know. In addition, they often have a problem that they’re stuck on. Because of your knowledge, solutions, the research and development work you’ve done, you’re able to help them solve their problems.

Think about the times that you’ve been able to help customers overcome a challenge that they’ve been stuck on for a long time. It’s incredible when you’re suddenly able to provide a much-needed solution. Right now, that’s the value of why you need to be in sales and why as an organization, you have to have a sales team.

7. Economic Force

Is this some sort of macro solution to the global economy? No. You’re an economic force to your customers, because you’re helping them do whatever it is that they need to do more efficiently. This goes for B2B or B2C. This allows the customer to get onto their next thing, their next solution, and the next idea. You are helping them become more efficient. When we become more efficient, we become an economic growth machine.

Economic force has to do with our customers, but it also has to do with what we’re all doing internally. We’re helping. We’re helping our employees remain employed. We’re helping those vendors who sell to us stay in business. We are truly an economic force; sales is what will drive the economy back.

8. Customer Insights

This is incredibly valuable. As you talk with customers, you learn things, and this is what customers are looking for. This is really what they want. In turn, learning will help you too bringing ideas about how you can better help customers. It’ll provide ideas that you can share with others in your supply chain and vendors. What you learn can also be shared with other people within your own company.

Customer insights bring vital information. When I said research and development early on, I was looking from an external standpoint. Customer insights, on the other hand, is internal. You are the one who gets to take in all of this information.

9. Job Creator

You know that the more successful you are, the more stable your job is. Guess what that means? You are creating your job, but you’re also creating jobs for the people you’re helping.

Let’s go back to every other piece that I’ve been talking about here. You are helping businesses stay employed. Every day I meet with companies and my whole objective is to leave them in a better state, so they can create more jobs. That’s your goal too.

By the way, the job creator role that you play is also internal within your own company because remember, if you and sales weren’t out doing what you’re doing, other people in your company / supply chain wouldn’t have a job.

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10. Business Counselor

You must take this one very seriously.

Right now, because of all the confusion and chaos out there, it’s your duty to be the voice of reason and normalcy. You are the one who can listen and just share ideas. What you share may go way beyond anything that you sell or the industry that you work in. That’s the business counselor’s job, because at the end of the day, we are talking about B2B business to business and B2C business to consumer.

However, it’s also H.H., human-to-human. In that regard, you’re a business counselor and a human counselor. In a pandemic, salespeople are needed now more than ever. I can’t stress this enough. It’s one of the reasons I wrote the book, A Mind for Sales. I firmly believe that when you have a mind for sales, it’s amazing how you’ll power through every situation that comes your way.

Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.


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How To Be A Successful Leader From Home

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out.

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out. Now it’s rather suddenly become a fact of life for entire workplaces and teams, and many of us are still working to adapt. If you’re finding it difficult to manage some elements of working with your team or even staying on top of your own workflow and habits in this new normal, here’s some great advice compiled from my clients who are experienced in successfully working and leading from home

For Your Team:

Overcommunicate, especially when things are uncertain. Provide additional detail and context to make up for the information people can no longer pick up organically in casual conversations. Be as clear and consistent as possible to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Raise the flag if something looks off. It’s important to speak up, because it’s harder to spot things that have gone awry when everyone is working separately. If you have a concern, check in to see if what others think . And if you’re spinning your wheels on a project, let your colleagues know. Identify problems early so you can start working toward solutions.

Create inner circles of collaboration. If you do your best work in collaboration with a work partner or small group, block a few hours to share a virtual room. Use technology to see each other, view each other’s screens and set up a virtual whiteboard to share ideas and work through problems.

Check in with others. Find the structure that works best for maintaining open channels with each member of your team, making sure you check in regularly. It’s more important than ever that you ask lots of questions and listen to the answers.

Recognize effort as well as accomplishments. There are fewer opportunities for recognition when everyone is working separately, so make an extra effort. In addition to celebrating wins, recognize those who are contributing extra effort and longer hours, those who are working through stressful situations, and those who have taken a risk or tried something new—even if it didn’t work out.

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For Yourself:

Start and end the work day at a specific time. Those who are new to working from home often experience burnout because they feel they never leave work. Set a schedule for the beginning and end of every work day. Of course there will be some nights you work late, but make them the exception, not the rule.

Work with your peak hours and low-energy moments. We all have times when we’re more focused and productive and times when our energy is lower and we’re more prone to distraction. An advantage of working from home is that it’s easier to balance your time, energy and productivity around your individual rhythm.

Remove as many distractions as possible. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to realize you’ve just spent an hour on social media or down an internet rabbit hole. Take social media off your work computer. Leave your phone in another room and get rid of any distractions that you know will get in the way of your productivity.

Create breaks during the day. No one can sit at a desk for 12 hours straight and do their best work. Even 15 to 30 minutes a couple of times a day can make a big difference in your focus and clarity. Treat it like a meeting and make yourself unavailable.

Exercise or do something vigorous at least four days a week. Aside from the physical benefits, exercise increases mental sharpness and makes you better at handling stress. It’s harder to fit exercise in, especially if you’re used to the routine of going to a gym, but your productivity and mental attitude—not to mention your health—depend on it.

Pay attention to your mindset. Working from home makes it extra important that you stay on top of your thoughts and mental attitude. It can be harder to find ways to clear your head, and there are fewer interactions with others to keep you grounded. Find things that nourish you—take your laptop out on the porch, play some music, read an author whose work inspires you.

Fight loneliness and isolation. Working from home, you miss out on camaraderie, companionship and interacting with others. But you don’t have to feel you’re on an island. Set up a virtual lunch date or happy hour, or create chat channels for topics of interest. Spend a bit of time every day connecting with co-workers about nonwork topics- think of it as the online version of stopping by their desk to chat.

Lead from within: Successfully working from home is a skill; it takes time and commitment and dedication to develop that skill. But with a great leader at the helm, people and teams can find their way and be as successful as ever.


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How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

The Four Ways That Data Can Be Utilized To Inform Your Sales Process

By Dave Mattson | August 28, 2020


For as long as there have been salespeople, there has been data to analyze about the process they use to bring in business. The only issue has been how effective leaders are at drawing conclusions from that data.

All too often, companies don’t make effective use of the information available to them from their sales teams. They fail to generate the most relevant data points… or they focus on information that is familiar to them but less than meaningful. These common mistakes result in, among other things, the dreaded “garbage in, garbage out” sales forecast. So: How can you as a sales leader use data to support both the organization and the sales team? Here are four questions that will help you to do just that.

Question One: Do you have a sales process? This may sound like an obvious requirement, but most organizations we work with do not have a sales process! If you start breaking down data without a systematic process in place for generating sales, the data you come up with isn’t going to do you a lot of good. Note that a sales process gives people the steps they need to follow, from start to finish, to create revenue for your organization. Every company has a slightly different process; you can think of the data generated by the various steps of your sales process as being like an MRI. When it’s done properly, that kind of comprehensive scan is going to tell you what you need to know about the internal workings of your sales team. But to be useful, the analysis must line up with a functioning sales process!

Question Two: Have you identified your expectations? What are your expectations for each of the phases of your sales process? Break the process into its constituent parts: lead development, also known as prospecting; qualification; and then fulfillment and servicing the account. These three phases can also be understood, in the enterprise world, as landexpand, and renew. So. What are the specific outcomes you want to see within each of those three areas? What are the behaviors that make those outcomes possible? What are the departmental benchmarks – meaning what are your time-bound goals for behaviors that will land new business, expand existing business, and renew relationships with your best customers? Once you know that, you can break it down. What are the team benchmarks? What are the individual benchmarks? Set specific expectations. Hopefully, you’ve overlaid some competitive information, and you are meeting or exceeding the relevant industry benchmarks as you work with your team to identify the right goals. Once you have set the expectations, you will have something to compare the relevant real-world data to. (See Question Three.)

Question Three: Are you measuring the right stuff? Get meaningful data. Specifically, make sure you are getting data that connects to a specific step of your sales process. Make sure you are using your CRM system as a source of actionable business intelligence… not as a demonstration of compliance on the part of your salespeople. Make sure you are tracking leading indicators (activities that predictably generate revenue, such as having an initial voice-to-voice conversation with a decision maker) not just lagging indicators (activities that connect to revenue that has already been generated, such as filing a signed contract). Often, leaders spend too much time on lagging indicators and not enough in leading indicators. Identify the leading indicators that spotlight the effectiveness of a particular step of your sales process (such as the number of times a salesperson begins a discussion about the budget). Use that data to strategize improvement. What specific tools, resources, and behaviors will help everyone ensure the needle is moving in the right direction? How will you share the data in a way that inspires salespeople to monitor – and control – their own behavior?

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Question Four: Are you looking at a problem… or a symptom? This is perhaps the most important question of all. Is the data you’re examining pointing you toward an actual problem, or is it identifying the inevitable result of some underlying issue that you haven’t yet addressed? Sometimes, what seems obvious about a sales team’s needs isn’t obvious at all. Let me give you an example: Often, companies will look at their presentation-to-close ratio, realize that it’s low, and then self-diagnose based on that. They’ll say to themselves, “Okay, we need some help; we need to get better at delivering our presentations.” They think that’s the right response to what the data is telling them. But time after time, we find that’s not the problem.  When we do some digging, what we generally uncover is that they have a poor qualification process. The majority of those people they’re presenting to, they shouldn’t have been presenting to in the first place. They had no opportunity to win. Remember: There is a time to step back and get some help in assessing what the data is really telling you.

New technologies in CRM, in artificial intelligence, voice intelligence, and in any number of other areas are giving us all access to much deeper analyses than we could have made just a few years ago. As sales leaders, we can get the right data up on the dashboard… we can use that data intelligently… and as a result of what we learn, we can do a better and better job of leading our teams and our organizations in the direction they need to go. That starts with asking ourselves the four questions I’ve shared here – so we can avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to land the plane without an instrument panel!

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize technology and data to inform your organization’s sales process? Learn why Sandler partnered with Gong to bring a measurable, data-driven approach to sales learning programs.

 


 

How To Create Everlasting Motivation To Achieve Your Goals

What most people don’t know is that motivation comes to you when you’re doing the work.

Published 23 hours ago

on Sep 3, 2020

By Anthony Nebel


If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals.

What most people don’t know is that motivation comes to you when you’re doing the work. The more time you spend working on your goals and achieving progress, the more motivation you get which helps bring momentum to progress even faster.

In this small guide, I am going to show you how to create a reliable stream of motivation to achieve any goals that you want:

1. Create Small Mini-Goals For Your Larger Goals

People argue whether you should create small goals or big goals for your motivation but the real secret is to have both of them.

Here’s why:

  • You want goals and dreams big enough so that it makes you get excited to work for the bigger picture
  • You want small goals for your big goals to show proof that you are making progress

In other words, you need to have goals that get you excited and goals that show you’re making progress. When you have goals that show you are making progress, it shows that whatever actions you are doing is not in vain and that you are one step closer to that exciting big dream.

There’s a problem if you’re missing on just one of these because, if you only have big goals, you are going to lose motivation when you see no progress in 3 months. Same for the opposite, if you only have small goals, you aren’t going to be excited enough to keep working on them.

Define your biggest goal that you want and create mini-goals for that big goal to show you are slowly but surely making progress.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso

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Motivation comes from seeing progress and results from working through a period of time. This means that when you are working on your goals, you want to journal and measure how far you have gone: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and yearly.

The funny part is that you won’t feel a difference whether it’s been 3 months or 1 year. You are just going to feel normal. It’s when you see physical proof that you have evolved based on your past ideas and progress that you can see you transformed into another person.

That’s why I want you to keep a journal and record the most important metrics of the goal you are working on.

For example, if you are trying to lose weight you want to record:

  • How much you weigh each week
  • How many calories you are eating
  • What types of food you are eating
  • How many times you exercise per week

Having data allows you to see what works and what doesn’t work and gives you the opportunity to make changes to see the results you want. When you start to see the results you want happening slowly over time, this will make you much more excited to be consistent to reach your goals. 

3. Celebrate Your Small Successes

A lot of us who are tracking our progress in achieving our goals don’t take the time to celebrate our little wins. It’s the small building blocks that build the foundation to achieve our goals.

When you take the time to reflect on how far you have come and start celebrating your little wins, you are putting yourself in a positive framework where you reward yourself for doing something that you want.

This is a powerful tool in making sure you continue to stay persistent in your goals as you celebrate your small wins which eventually lead to your big win.

Here are some ways to celebrate your small wins:

  • Eat out with the family
  • Take time to watch Netflix
  • Do a hobby you enjoy

The key point is to do the above in moderation. You want to reward yourself in such a way that it doesn’t become a habit. That’s when rewards become even more powerful as a tool for increasing your motivation.

“Small successes are still successes; great failures are still failures.” – Mason Cooley

4. Find Your Inner “Why”

There’s a reason why a lot of people who have New Year’s resolutions suddenly quit on their goals. People are excited to have their own business making a lot of money, their ideal body, and the relationship of their dreams. But when it comes down to trying to change themselves, most of them quit within a couple of weeks.

This is because they realize that the pain of trying to change is greater than the pleasure of staying in their comfort zone. You need to delve deep in yourself and find your inner “why.” Why do you want to change so badly?

You need to start asking this question whenever you are trying to change one of your habits. Things will get tough as it’s hard staying consistent in doing the right thing every day.

Here are some more questions you need to find and answer when things get hard:

  • Are you unsatisfied with where you are now?
  • Are you willing to make some sacrifices for the goals you want?
  • Are you willing to change your habits and understand it takes time?

You want to answer these questions honestly and figure out how to make it a reality.

Conclusion

Waiting for your “inspirational motivation” is an unreliable way to get started on your work. Rather, true motivation comes from seeing the progress and results when you start working on your goals.

The way to create this true everlasting motivation is to create small and big goals and track your progress in achieving them. You also want to have small celebrations along the way to maintain your motivation and reward yourself. Finally, when things get hard you need to fall back into your inner “why” on the real reason why you want to change.

Which motivational tip did you find most surprising? Let us know in the comments below!

RELATED TOPICS:ACHIEVE YOUR GOALSCHANGE FOR THE BETTERCHANGE YOUR LIFEGOALSHOW TO GET POSITIVE RESULTSHOW TO SET GOALSMEASURE YOUR PROGRESSMOTIVATE YOURSELFSETTING GOALSWHATS YOUR WHYDON’T MISS8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back

Anthony Nebel

Anthony Nebel is a freelance writer who is obsessed with self-development. He has tried everything from meditating, journaling, fasting, and writes about it all on his blog, AnthonyNebel.com, on his personal transformation as well as marketing hacks you can use for your business.


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How To Learn About Entrepreneurship From Colonel Sanders

The 7 Inspiring Lessons Colonel Sanders Can Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

Published 2 days ago

on Aug 30, 2020

By Graham Chapman


Colonel Sanders was rejected exactly 1009 times before he was able to sell his KFC recipe successfully. In addition to this, he failed at every job he even turned his hand to during his life. After a lifetime of facing failure after failure, he finally sold KFC at the ripe old age of 75.

In this blog, we’ll be covering seven of the inspiring lessons that the Colonel’s entrepreneurial journey can teach us, and whether you’re 25 or 75 years old, there’s something here for any budding entrepreneur.

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Lesson #1: Failure Breeds Success

As I mentioned, the Colonel was rejected over a thousand times before he was successfully able to sell his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe – that’s a lot of rejection. Not only that, but Sanders failed miserably at every other career he ever attempted. Between the ages of ten and forty, Sanders tried his hand at the following, among other things:

  • Streetcar conducting
  • Farming
  • Law
  • Sales
  • Fire fighting

This just goes to show that no matter how much you experience failure, there’s still time, no matter how old you are, which brings us neatly onto our next lesson.

“I’ve only had two rules. Do all you can and do it the best you can. It’s the only way you ever get that feeling of accomplishing something.” – Colonel Sanders

Lesson #2: It’s Never Too Late

When Colonel Sanders was 75, he finally sold KFC for $2 million (roughly $15 million today). Can you imagine experiencing such a win, after a lifetime of losing? I’ve met people during my career who think they’re over the hill by the time they’re in their thirties! Yet the Colonel ploughed on in the face of adversity and ended up as the founder and face of a brand we’re still so familiar with over five decades later. 

Lesson #3: The Past is In the Past

In order to be successful as an entrepreneur, many people simply need to learn that the past is in the past, and it will only define your future chance of success if you allow it to. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve failed, where you’ve come from or what negative things you’ve experienced or done in the past.

Your past doesn’t hold the keys to your future success. The Colonel failed at every career he ever attempted. He even spent much of his life in an unhappy marriage, ending in divorce and had to provide for three children by the time he was nineteen. For most, that’d be enough for them to settle down into an unfulfilling career, but the Colonel pressed on with faith in his own abilities and principles. 

Lesson #4: Giving Up is the Only Way to Fail

Failure is a natural side effect of life; the story of Kentucky Fried Chicken tells us that quitting is the only failure. If you have the same outlook and faith in what you’re trying to do, the possibility of significant success is never off the table. Even when you see the clock is ticking and the days and years are flashing by, there’s no time limit on being a success. Never stop searching for that light at the end of the tunnel.

Lesson #5: A Fresh Start is Sometimes All You Need

It’s clear to us now that cooking was a passion of the Colonel’s, but he didn’t discover his enthusiasm until much later in his life. It’s only through having the courage to fail and start over, again and again, that he was able to discover his real calling. 

When you try to succeed at multiple disciplines, it’s a sure-fire way to burn yourself out. The start is always the hard part, and for most, the idea of doing it over and over again, in their 50s, 60s and 70s would be absolutely exhausting. The energy and passion that the Colonel showed by doing this well into his seventies is an inspiring lesson to any entrepreneur. 

Lesson #6: Take a Leap of Faith

It’s no great shock to learn that following your heart’s desire is often the key to success, happiness and contentment. How is it then, that so many of us won’t chase after what we truly want from life? Sitting back and relaxing into your comfort zone means that many of us don’t realize how vital passion and desire really are. In the end, the pursuit of a passion will make anyone happy, contented and prosperous. 

“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.” – Colonel Sanders

Lesson #7: Keep it Simple

It seems crazy to say it, but Kentucky Fried Chicken started by selling chicken on the side of the road. After selling his recipe, the business grew rapidly, and these days it’s commonplace to see KFC franchises in countries all over the world – 145 to be exact. The lesson here is never to be afraid of keeping things simple. So long as you’re willing to start, work hard and keep at it, things will grow. 

It’s often the case that would-be entrepreneurs will put off starting their venture, launching their website or whatever it might be because they simply don’t believe they are big enough to make a start.

 RELATED TOPICS: COLONEL SANDERSENTREPRENEURSHIPEXPERIENCING FAILUREFAILUREHOW TO OVERCOME FAILUREKFCPERSEVERANCERISKSUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSTAKING RISKSDON’T MISSWomen Trailblazers: The Most Successful Female Founder in Every Country

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman is a sustainable product and business expert and owner of powerguard.co.uk.


The 4 Ways of How to Build a Learning Culture While Your Workforce is Remote

 

Mandating a three-hour webinar training is no longer going to cut it.

BY MARCEL SCHWANTES, FOUNDER AND CHIEF HUMAN OFFICER, LEADERSHIP FROM THE CORE@MARCELSCHWANTES


4 Ways to Build a Learning Culture While Your Workforce Is Remote

As business leaders and individuals grapple with the staggering impact of Covid-19 one thing has become undoubtedly clear. In order for leaders to foster organizational resilience and weather the post-pandemic storm, they must prioritize the learning and development of their workforce.

I don’t mean mandated Zoom presentations in which employees multitask on the side. What I mean is flexible, passion-driven learning where employees learn what they want, when they want and on their own terms.

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Shelley Osborne, VP of Learning at Udemy, offers a much-needed revision to corporate training in her new book: The Upskilling Imperative: 5 Ways to Make Learning Core to the Way We Work. In it, Osborne challenges traditional, one-size-fits-all approaches to training that are no longer relevant to modern workers–let alone those working remotely.

Shelley recommends the following to help leaders develop an effective and sustainable learning culture–with an eye toward continuous employee growth and long-term business success during (and beyond) Covid-19.

Demonstrate how learning drives business success

“When beginning to build their learning culture, leaders must consider that employees need to understand how their learning impacts business outcomes,” says Osborne.

As businesses continue to operate with limited staff or reduced capacity, it’s critical for employees to stretch their skill sets further and fill tasks and roles they wouldn’t normally. Individuals are more likely to learn and seek out learning when they understand the role it plays in overall business success.

“Leaders can signal the value of learning throughout the organization by setting aside their own time for it and sharing with their teams and the broader organization what they’re learning,” she says. “This makes it clear to employees that learning at work is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.”

Let your employees define flexibility for continuous improvement

Harnessing the power of learning isn’t as simple as rolling out more training modules or sending people to a slew of workshops.

Employees require more flexibility today than ever before, and that is especially true when it comes to learning. Due to Covid-19, parents are working double duty as busy professionals and homeschool teachers, while other employees navigate the nuances of working remotely with roommates. Bottom line: mandating a three-hour webinar training is no longer going to cut it.

Building a sustainable learning culture means giving employees time and space to learn where and when they want. Doing so will encourage them to seek out new learning opportunities independently and allow for psychological safety and the ability to learn.

“One of the greatest leadership lessons I’ve learned is that we must recognize we aren’t perfect and there is always room to learn and grow,” says Osborne. “When you have teams and businesses that provide flexibility for growth and development, we can all continuously improve.”

Focus on change agility

We need to do more to lay the groundwork for unexpected change. However, this preparedness can’t be exclusive to pandemics and recessions. We must understand and accept that change is constant, necessary, and beneficial for surviving and thriving in today’s workplace.

Osborne refers to this type of adaptability as “change agility”–seeing change as an ongoing opportunity, not as a threat or liability. And at the center of change agility is continuous learning.

“Grounding a company’s culture in learning is the surest way to navigate through change,” says Osborne. “A strong learning culture empowers employees to upskill themselves in the face of change, continually grow and adapt to new challenges.”

Continuous learning & Covid-19

If there is one message Osborne would like readers to take away from her book, it’s that learning programs must evolve with the times. Traditional approaches to training (a la overhead projector and chalkboards) were built for a world we don’t live in anymore. What’s more, they aren’t engaging for today’s workers who are accustomed to consuming digital content on their own terms. This was true before the pandemic and it’s undeniable now.

Beyond modernizing the learning experience at work–companies need to transform at every level into learning-driven organizations, where working and learning are inextricably linked.

As companies continue to navigate this new environment, Osborne is optimistic that the fundamental shift toward flexible, accessible online learning is here to stay. AUG 29, 2020. Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post. The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.


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5 Reasons Now Is the Best Time to Start Your Own Business

 

GE, GM, IBM, Disney, HP, Hyatt, Trader Joe’s, FedEx, and Microsoft were founded during hard times.


BY GEOFFREY JAMES, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, INC.COM@SALES_SOURCE

5 Reasons Now Is the Best Time to Start Your Own Business

Yes, due to cosmically inept handling of a major pandemic, most of the economy is tanking. Yes, businesses with less than 500 employees are going belly-up at twice the rate of larger firms. And, yes, traditional “mom and pop” businesses are disappearing by the thousands every day.

Nevertheless, this is the best time to start a small business, for five reasons:

1. There are unmet needs everywhere.

A famous entrepreneur once told me that every time you hear a person swearing when using a product or service, it’s an opportunity to sell them something better. Or, put another way, misery loves companies.

While there are some products (like smartphones) that satisfy needs that people didn’t know they had, most successful products fulfill needs of which people (i.e. potential customers) are painfully aware.

There’s plenty of pain out there right now (and plenty of swearing) which means there are endless opportunities to create sustainable businesses that help people cope with this perfect storm of disruptions.

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2. There’s a huge pool of available talent.

When businesses and industries collapse unemployment grows. While government bailouts have kept the economy from sinking entirely, it looks inevitable that the economy is going to take a major hit, which means even more people out of work.

In the past, small businesses–the very businesses taking the brunt of a bumbling government–have employed about half of U.S. workers. Millions of valued, experienced, hard-working employees are in the market for a new job.

Under these circumstances, creating a business that hires people is a good deed on its own merits. And with so much talent to choose from, you should be able to assemble a team that can take on any challenge.

3. Marketing has never been cheaper.

As businesses fold up shop, they naturally stop advertising, which inevitably means that ad rates go down. This means that it won’t cost your startup all that much to achieve local, national or even international visibility.

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4. Potential competitors are in disarray.

Some large companies, like Amazon or Zoom, lucked out because they provided a product or service that exactly matched a major need resulting from the pandemic. Large companies, however, find it difficult to change even under normal circumstances and thost that haven’t lucked out have been caught flat-footed.

This means that you can start a company even in a market that has dominant players without worrying about them squishing you like a bug because, frankly, they’ve got bigger fish to fry. (Apologies for the mixed metaphors.)

5. The post-COVID recovery is inevitable.

As awful as things are today, there will inevitably come a time when the pandemic and resulting depression will be over. Companies that will have adapted to thrive in these troubled times will be perfectly positioned to take off when the nightmare is over.

Companies founded during hard times in the past include General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Disney, HP, Hyatt, Trader Joe’s, Fedex, and Microsoft. A lousy economy didn’t stop their founders. Don’t let today’s lousy economy stop you.AUG 26, 2020Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.