Giving Clients A Meeting To Remember

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Working for your own business isn’t like having a normal job. If you want to succeed while running something like this, you have to be prepared to compete, as you will almost certainly have other companies ready and waiting to take the work which you’re not able to get. As a big part of this, first impressions can be very important when you’re trying to secure a client. To help you to use this to your advantage, making your first meeting into something they will always remember, this post will be exploring some of the work you will have to do along the way.

Learn About Them: While it may seem a little too ambitious, learning about someone’s personal life can be very helpful when you’re trying to make a meeting which is perfect for them. Knowing what they enjoy spending their time on, the food they like, and the sorts of people they tend to associate with can all be found on websites like Facebook. With people posting all of the intimate details of their life, it is worth taking full advantage of platforms like this, especially when you’re working on competing with other businesses.

Do Something They Like: Once you have an idea of what your prospective client is interested in, you can start to look for activities which will make them happy. For example, if they like to play golf, spending some time during your meeting on the course will give you the chance to take their mind off the other companies they’ve been seeing. You may have to invest in a few things, like clubs and ultra lightweight golf bags, but this will be worth it once you have a new client. Of course, though, you will need to make sure that you can talk properly during the meeting.

Plan And Prepare: When you’re getting ready for a meeting like this, it’s worth treating it in a similar way to a job interview. You will need to practice what you plan to talk about, planning for all of the questions they might have for you. Going through this process may seem a little over the top, but it will make it much easier to get things right when you’re nervous about the person you’re talking to.

Don’t Push Too Hard: Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the sorts of conversations you’re going to have during your meeting. In most places, it’s customary to start something like this with a little bit of small talk. This will make it look like you’re genuinely interested in sparking a business relationship with them, rather than simply working towards making sales, and this will always make you look good.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of making memorable meetings for your clients. A lot of people struggle in this area, finding it hard to now exactly what needs to be done when they’re trying to impress another business. In reality, though, this is quite simple, as long as you’re willing to do things which they enjoy.

When To Turn Your Side Hustle Full Time

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Are you someone with some very clear business ideas? Maybe you took one of them and turned it into your bit on the side, making money whenever you’ve got the time to work 5 to 9? Well, if you managed to succeed with that side hustle plan, the one you were promised would bulk out your bank account beyond belief, now’s the time to get more serious about it.

Your side hustle was one of the best business decisions you ever made, and now you want to be sure it goes on making you money – and having that confidence in mind is a surefire sign that it’s time to take your side revenue to the next level! But if you’re feeling a little ambivalent over this plan, here’s a couple more of the most prominent signs you’re ready to go full term with your side hustle, and never look back.

You’ve Got Everything Saved Up

Your side hustle was a way to bulk out your main revenue, and give you a bit more spending or rent money when your real job just wasn’t paying out well. But if you’ve noticed, more times than not, that your side hustle pays better, this might be the time for you to move on to full time.

Of course, you’re going to need savings in place to cover the first few months where you’re not likely to bring in much of a full time profit. So make sure you’ve got at least a 3 or 4 months rent in the bank before you make your move – you’re going to lose a portion of your yearly income, and that could set you back massively.

You’re Looking into Your Legal Options

When you’ve got a side hustle on the go, and you’re looking to turn it into a full time business, you’re probably researching every law, rule, and regulation to make sure you’re operating on the right side of the legal circle. And that means you’re already planning to take your side hustle to bigger and better heights, so why not get it going as soon as possible?

Sure, you’ve already got your tax issues down to an art, but you’re going to need to look into every facet of the law that could apply to you. And that takes some time and effort, so the sooner you start, the earlier you could turn your hustle into a thriving company. For example, when you’ve got plans to buy up a small fleet of vehicles, you’ll need to look into areas like that of https://www.grayandwhitelaw.com/practice_areas/kentucky-truck-wreck-attorney.cfm – starting your own courier or fleet service means you’re at a higher risk of accidents at work, and that’s got to be on your mind from the get go.

There’s been a lot of success stories surrounding entrepreneurs who took their hustles full time, and you could be another one of them! Just make sure you’re ready.

My Achilles Heel As An Entrepreneur

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5 years ago I tore my left Achilles tendon while playing basketball.

Like the stories I heard before, it felt like someone kicked my calf from behind.

When it happened it didn’t hurt, but I knew something was wrong. I remember grabbing my cars keys and limping to the car. It was a 6 month recovery to get back on the basketball court.

Post-recovery I’ve never been scared of re-injuring myself, but I’ve become much more in tune with my body. If my Achilles feels sore, I don’t push my body. I listen to it.

As an entrepreneur, I have a Achilles heel too.

Leaders create a “wake” of relationships built and tasks accomplished. What I realized is the one that means more to me determines the trajectory of my career.

I’ve had my business for almost 10 years now experiencing ups and downs financially. Starting out I was willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. It was my own startup that I was willing to work overtime for and be underpaid purely to build my “brand.”

But being married and 2 kids later my priorities changed. Time became the most important currency and I’d rather spend time with my family than always work hard. In work-life balance terms, I want a separation between the two.

I always believed working a full-time corporate job meant waving the white flag…settling. I did everything I could to avoid it, until about a month ago.

Reluctantly, I took a position at a tech startup because there was “no good reason not to.” Not exactly inspiring stuff, but the truth.

Fast forward to now, I realize it was the right decision.

The side of the wake that matters more to me is: relationships. If it were tasks, I believe I’d never take my current position because I would have already been rich.

What I realized is money is more important than people. Some say that, but my actions validate it.

The thought of a 9-6 was nauseating even a few months ago, but I started listening to my heart.

Not only am I enjoying the work I do (similar to the coaching I’ve been doing), but once I leave the office I leave my work there. That’s something I could never do as a business owner.

Do I still coach? Yes. But around my full-time job.

My Achilles heel as an entrepreneur is my love for connection. It’s much stronger than my desire to sell.

I still love to dream up and implement new ideas, but not at the cost of a steady paycheck and allowing my wife to stay at home with our kids.

I haven’t given up on entrepreneurship.

I just became more in tune with my desired lifestyle.

Work Life Balance Simplified To One Word

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Boundaries.

The only way to separate your personal from professional life is to define your boundaries.

Boundaries are hard to identify until someone crosses them.

The reason work-life feels like a blur is because you allow it.

As an employee it’s a constant tug-of-war with management. You have to draw a line between what they want and what they can legally expect of you.

If you’re an entrepreneur, no paycheck is guaranteed so you have to hustle more, but at what expense? Ask most business owners why they started their own company and most would answer with reasons other than money. But as your own boss, if you don’t draw the line, your boundaries will be abused.

Start defining what’s inside and outside of your boundaries. Stand up for what matters and what’s right.

In the end you have no one else to blame for work-life balance: except you.

The Unemployed Entrepreneur

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Want to know the real motivation behind current entrepreneurs?

Being broke.

As a business owner each day you wake up needing to sell.

You either make money that day or you don’t.

Nothing is given to you. You have to fight for everything a.k.a. the daily grind.

Signing up as an entrepreneur basically makes you a sales person. Even though you’re the boss, you’re 100% responsible for selling. It’s tough work, not for the faint at heart. In fact, you become so accustomed to rejection you think you’re dating her.

But chasing your dreams does have a tremendous upside. Complete freedom is one of the best feelings you can experience and once you’ve been the boss, it’s tremendously hard to go back to working for someone else. In the right situation it’s possible, but chances are while you’re working, you’re strategizing how you can improve the process on your own.

The reason entrepreneurship is down with Millennials is because it’s too big of a risk. Chasing your dreams doesn’t pay well. If you like supplemental income for travel, dining out and adventures put that on hold. Considering starting a family? One of you better have a stable job with benefits or suffer a drop in quality of lifestyle.

Possibly a larger factor than a big, scalable idea is timing. Forget age, what life stage are you in: single and career driven or in a relationship and starting a family? The answer to that question will give you clarity on whether or not to pursue your dreams. Starting a business takes more of an investment in time than money, so your current level of responsibility will give you clarity on pulling the trigger.

Take it from someone whose priorities changed drastically over the past several years. What was a good decision before, isn’t the best decision now. Pride aside, your life goals change which calls for a life pivot.

Entrepreneurship can be for everyone, but think about the lifestyle you want to maintain and decide from there.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be An Entrepreneur

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Follow your dreams. Live your passions. Be your own boss.

You’ve heard it all, but for every entrepreneurial success story you hear, there’s at least 99 that failed. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but choosing to own a business means working more hours for less money at the start.

Just like learned leadership skills don’t make you a good leader, entrepreneurship is open to all, but few thrive. The influx of new businesses is a result of a couple of things: more options to choose from, a failing education system and an emphasis on lifestyle over work.

Consider these 3 areas of concern before making the jump to entrepreneurship:

Lack of a steady paycheck – Freedom is great, but flexibility without knowing when the next time you get paid is downright scary. If you get to call the shots, it means you also have to figure out how to become the company’s best salesperson. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are if no one is paying you for them. Spend time making a business plan, building a solid culture and researching your target market, but most of all…sell. There’s no shortage of business opportunities to get involved with, but the question you should be asking yourself is: “How can I monetize this?

Lack of organizational structure – Escaping an 8-5 job sounds exhilarating, but without someone telling you when to come in and go home can be a challenge to balance. If you set your schedule, there’s no one holding you accountable to hold to it. If you work from home, distractions are multiplied compared to working in an office. Being organized becomes a necessity, not a skill set. The biggest challenge is creating boundaries throughout the day, so you can quantify your time spent. My observation is creatives have the hardest transition with this because artists want to focus on doing their work, not setting it up.

Lack of face-to-face interaction – Entrepreneurship is lonely. It’s like being isolated on an island equipped with wi-fi and a mobile phone. The conversations you took for granted at your last corporate job are now treasured. One of the reasons why entrepreneurs flock to networking events isn’t because they’re extreme extroverts, it’s because they’re looking for warm bodies to be around. Technology has given us the ability to connect globally, but it can’t replicate grabbing coffee at a meeting. If you consider yourself collaborative or a team player, think twice about this one. Tom Hanks in Cast Away may be a bit extreme, but too much alone time can drive you crazy.

The difference between a business and a hobby is money made. Owning a business is similar to the concept of branding. Your opinion doesn’t validate a successful business, your customers do.

This post isn’t meant to discourage you from taking your idea to reality. It’s just a reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. If you don’t believe me, go outside and turn a patch of grass over.

3 Reasons Why Parenthood Is A Great Time To Start A Business

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At first glance the title is perplexing, but starting two separate businesses while each of our children were born gives me some credibility to speak on this subject. The timing seems illogical, but if you’re an action-oriented person like myself, ideas only become reality if executed quickly. Here are my thoughts why juggling a newborn and a startup makes sense:

1) Efficiency – Time is fleeting as a new parent. Newborns need their parents to install routines even though initially they resist them. Transition to entrepreneurship and you can never have enough time in the day to accomplish your dreams. As a new parent you could be working on your business plan in the dark while baby is sleeping. Since you’re up from the crying it’s a perfect time to research and e-mail on your mobile phone. Meetings are a perfect excuse to find extra help so you can make progress on your business while gaining some rest and sanity from your little one at home. Parenthood forces you to be creative when it comes to spending your time. The lack of free time means you’re wiser with the little you have. Nothing makes you hyper-focused more than the fear of your baby waking up from a nap.

2) Parallels to Learning on the Fly – The most unprepared you’ll feel as a parent is when you arrive home from the hospital. The most unprepared you’ll feel during launching a business is when you start. Both responsibilities can be studied, but nothing is a substitute for experience. Parenting is about trial and error and you only get better by doing it. That’s very similar to the success rate of starting a business. First time owners have a less than 30% chance for success, but if you keep trying your chances increase on the next business. The message here isn’t to have 5+ kids, but to understand that both parenthood and entrepreneurship are about adapting and pivoting accordingly. The more rigid you are in your thinking, the harder it will be to thrive in today’s changing market. Commit to a learning mentality and you’ll figure out what to do next.

3) Teaches Kids Entrepreneurship  – When my kids get older I’m going to tell them we started a business when they were born. Whether it’s a success or failure isn’t as important as following your dreams. Skill sets such as: sales, networking and communication aren’t taught in school. They are taught in the “streets.” We are moving towards an economy where it will be mandatory to have a side hustle, so age shouldn’t be a factor when experiencing entrepreneurship. My wife and I have talked several times about giving our children their “college fund” for school or starting their own business. As college graduates, we don’t de-value education, but we also believe it doesn’t guarantee you anything either. What our kids decide to do when they grow up is their decision. We just feel our job is to provide them with choices.

Becoming  a new parent may be the most inopportune time to launch a business, but then again…you’ll never know until you try.

How Etsy Paid Her Way Through College

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About a month ago, I saw an article on Entrepreneur Magazine about a Teen who is paying her way through college through opening an Etsy shop. I was so impressed that I reached out to her via Twitter to ask her more questions. Entrepreneurship has no age limit, so if you have an idea, the difference between being a dreamer and doer is taking action. That’s what LeiLei Secor did and here’s how you can learn from her story:

1) Briefly share how you got started as an entrepreneur

Like many 16 year olds, I was looking for a summer job. I didn’t get hired anywhere I applied to so I thought to myself, “Maybe I could sell the jewelry I make”. At the time, I made macrame and beaded bracelets but once my shop opened I taught myself how to make wire wrap jewelry. On July 27th, I opened my Etsy shop and a week later I received my first sale. From then on, I received them daily.

2) What do you consider your biggest strength as an entrepreneur?

I think my biggest strength was my determination. Whenever I start something that really interests me, I immerse myself in it. I would sit online for hours researching what worked and what didn’t. I spent a lot of time on Etsy’s forums reading what other sellers had to say. To this day, I will spend a good amount of time time on Etsy’s forums reading the general chitchat and sentiments of other sellers. 

3) What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far is keeping up with the trends and changing search engine of Etsy. As one of the most competitive markets on Etsy, jewelry sellers have to work on differentiating their product from the thousands of others out there. An important part of Etsy is keeping up with titles and keywords that will keep your listings relevant in the search engine. It’s challenging to try to figure out what will make your listing show up in the first few pages of listings.

4) How would you describe your style/personal brand so far?

I would describe my personal brand to be simplistic and young. I try to create simple pieces that would appeal to multiple age groups and compliment any style outfit.

5) What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs from your journey?

My best advice to aspiring entrepreneurs would be to just go for it and immerse yourself in whatever it is you are passionate about. I think if you put your all into something, you will surely get something out of it.