Monday, March 30, 2015

Break Down Your Goals: Success Builds on Success

Success Builds, Suzanne Evans quote
Keep the above in mind. In other words, success builds upon success.
Many of us have goals. Some of us have taken the time to craft clearly defined goals using action words and an end date. (This is what ALL the time management and goal achievement experts recommend.) However, sometimes we get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what we want to accomplish. This is particularly true if the goal is set for achievement in three or five years.

Example


For example, if you say, "My business will generate annual revenue of $1 million in five years", but you are starting from $0 or near $0, you may wonder how in the world will you get there. Three months later you may have generated $10,000 in revenue. You think, "Now I just have $990,000 to go!" That thought typically does not lift you up!

Progress Begets Progress

Harvard conducted a study that showed that employees have higher job satisfaction and greater performance when they feel like they are making good progress towards their goals. (Refer to The Resourceful CEO post, "Perceived Progress Is the Best Employee Motivator".) This doesn't just apply to employees; this also applies to small business owners and entrepreneurs like you! You feel more motivated when you feel like you are making progress.

Smaller Steps

Therefore, to put yourself on the road to continual success that builds, you need to break your larger goals into smaller goals and shorter time frames. Returning to our example, break that $1 million in 5 years into $10,000 the first 3 months, $80,000 the first year, $200,000 the 2nd year, $400,000 the 3rd year, $750,000 the 4th year and $1 million the 5th year! Now your $10,000 in 3 months is a big deal!
Acknowledge goal achievement with excitement!
Be excited! Acknowledge all your achievements.

Acknowledge and Reward Yourself

Another component of breaking down your goals is to acknowledge your achievements when you hit them. When you hit that $10,000 milestone, acknowledge that your business has now officially made money and is on its way to getting bigger and better. You now have cash flow from operations to use to pay for insurance, purchase advertising, or cover other business expenses.  Treat yourself to something you've wanted and repeatedly tell yourself why you deserve it. (You accomplished a goal.) Success builds on success, but you must acknowledge and internalize that success in order to have something to build on! In other words, if you don't think it's a success, you can't build on it.

Success Is a Journey

Breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable action items helps train your brain to divide and conquer, to use your creative energy to identify and manifest solutions. Once you achieve one goal, your confidence grows. As you achieve your goals repeatedly and successively, your confidence begins to soar and your goals may get larger. As human beings we are meant to grow. Therefore, success is a journey. You will always aspire to more, whatever more is for you, as you grow and expand your capabilities and realize that you are capable of more than you previously thought. This is how success builds on success!
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Monday, March 23, 2015

For Small Business Owners: Dressing Like a CEO




Suited business owner, dressing for success
A well-fitting suit helps you stand out.
I recently responded to a journalist's query: "What are some tips for dressing and behaving like a CEO or top executive (even if you aren't one)? How can emulating top executives help you to be more successful?" My full response is below. 

Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, was a large proponent of dressing and behaving as if you already are what you want to be. Napoleon Hill's overriding belief was that, “Thoughts are things.” You must be, do, have, in that order. In other words, in your mind and thoughts, you must be who you want to be. You must adopt now the mindset and mental characteristics of how the person you will become would be. Then you must engage in the applicable behavior. Finally, you will have what is you want. I completely agree with this order of things.

Believe You Are a CEO

A kid in a suit, with a briefcase, on a cell phone
Acting as if can be powerful!
When you believe that you are capable of being a CEO (chief executive officer) and you believe that it is just a matter of time before you are one, you develop an inner confidence that you exude to others around you. You notice more opportunities to use or develop your skill set and help your firm, and you follow up and act quickly to convert the opportunities to something meaningful to you. Wearing a suit or wearing business attire that conveys authority and confidence that augments your presence can lead you to stand taller, walk with a more purposeful stride, and be more direct and succinct in your communication. Your clothing is a way of taking your inner thoughts and projecting them outward. When you stop in front of a mirror you say to yourself, “I look like I run the show” (or whatever works for you) and you feel it.
Act As If
Sometimes you must “Act as if.” This means that you act as if you have already acquired that which you are pursuing and you begin to believe it. Thus, dressing like a CEO creates a positive cycle that feeds on itself. You want confidence, so you dress to look like you are confident. You feel confident, so you dress to look like it.
What are your thoughts on dressing like a CEO?
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Monday, March 16, 2015

The Best Blog Platform for Small Business Owners



Wordpress logo and more
The picture says it all!
I think the best blog platform for small businesses, hands down, is Wordpress. You need no coding experience and none to very minor html knowledge to build a beautiful blog on Wordpress. (If you are paying someone to run your website or have a coding background, my recommendation differs. However, for the typically small business owner managing his or her own site or having an employee whose primary job is something else manage the site, Wordpress is the simplest and has the most associated tools.)

  • Over the last few years I have also used Blogger (Google’s blog platform), Wix, Tumblr, LiveJournal, and a few others. But none of these compare to Wordpress for ease of use, designability, and options. All of my company’s related blogs and sites are built on Wordpress, except for one (this blog, as a matter of fact), which still uses Blogger. Blogger was the first true blog platform I ever tried.
  • Wordpress offers thousands of free, easy-to-use themes that allow you to build a website or blog for almost free, except for the cost of your domain and hosting. Themes provide the general design and layout for your site. Many of these themes come with video instructions on how to install, set up, and use the themes. Regarding domain and hosting costs, you can even avoid these by hosting your website on Wordpress’ own servers and have a domain name that includes “wordpress.com”. However, I believe having your own company-specific site name looks more professional.
Wordpress theme example
One example of a Wordpress theme. (There are hundreds.)
  • Wordpress has thousands of free plug-ins that provide various functionality to a blog including SEO (search engine optimization), share buttons, contact forms, site protection, spam protection, and much more. As with the themes, many of the plug-in providers/developers offer free video tutorials on how to use these plug-ins.
  • There are many developers and companies that provide higher-end themes and plug-ins with more functionality for a relatively low cost, i.e., $20 to $200. With these you can build a blog that really stands out for fractions of what it would cost to hire a developer to build one from scratch.
  • Finally, Wordpress has so many users and developers that you can easily find web development personnel and access expertise that can solve almost any problem or issue you’ll encounter with your website.
Do you disagree with my recommendation? Agree? Please share your comments below.
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Funding Is Out There: Live Interview on the Military Report


Today, Saturday, March 14, 2015, I will be interviewed LIVE on Radio on the Military Report for one hour by Rick Tillman. The interview will take place from 11 am -12 noon PDT, 2-3 pm EDT and can be listened to on KLAY 1180 am (Tacoma, Washington) or online at http://player.radioloyalty.com/station/19103.html . Some of the topics we will cover are:


*What are some of the issues military veterans face in pursuing funding?
*Identifying some of the resources available to military veterans and others seeking funding.
*Using teamwork and creativity to tap sources of financing.
http://player.radioloyalty.com/station/19103.html
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