bookmark_borderRecover From Business Burnout

Recognize You Are Burned Out

This can be tough for some people to admit. They will keep on pushing themselves to the limit even though they are getting more and more exhausted and their personal life turns into a shambles. Admitting you have a problem is often one of the best ways to start solving it.

Understand That There Are No Easy Fixes

It’s taken a while to get so burned out, so the road back to a more normal, balanced life will take time and effort.

Start to Delegate

You need to learn to delegate. Make a list of all the essential tasks that need to be done in your business. Then decide which absolutely must be done by you, and which can be handed over to someone who can help. Go to Fiverr.com to try to find some reliable people who can help. Once you do this, you should start feeling a lot of the weight lifted from your shoulders.

Make Rest a Priority

Try to get plenty of rest, at least eight hours of sleep per night. Chances are you’ve been experiencing sleep disruptions, which can lead to insomnia and a sleep deficit.

Eat Right

Aim for high quality protein and avoid simple carbohydrates such as white bread, cake, cookies and so on. They have no nutritional value, and can spike blood sugar and leave you with peaks of energy and chasms of exhaustion and hunger even though you just had a sugary donut an hour before.

Exercise 30 Minutes a Day

Exercise actually gives you energy, and improves mental health as well as physical. You may feel totally exhausted, but you can still probably manage three 10-minute sessions, which have been shown to be just as effective as one sustained workout.

Spend Time with Friends and Family

It is important to always have a support network you can turn to when times are tough. Make sure you are honest about how things are going and how burned out you feel. Don’t feel afraid to ask for help if you need it.

bookmark_borderTraits of an Outstanding Salesperson

  • An outstanding salesperson needs to be able to communicate clearly and concisely. You might only have two minutes to pitch your sale to your potential customer. Are you going to blow it rambling on about something that may or may not matter? If you can’t communicate clearly then you have already lost your sale.
  • Outstanding salespersons keep their word and are honest. Being able to communicate and being personable will never help you if you can’t be trusted.If a customer comes to you with a complaint, they should feel reassured that you are handling the problem, and they can count on you to get the job done. In addition to that, if you are selling a product or a service then you need to be able to stand behind that product or service. If you can’t, your ability to sell will suffer tremendously.
  • Great sales people must be convincing. You have to be able to show your customer why your product or service is superior to other products or services. Or you have to show that your product or service is going to help them in some way and they should not live without it. This motivates your customers to not only buy from you, but to keep buying from you.

bookmark_borderChoose A Franchise

  1. What products or services would you enjoy selling? What industries do you like, or dislike? Your best bet is to find a franchise in an industry you know at least a little bit about. All too typical is the case of the Chicago car salesman who decided to change careers and go into business for himself. He bought a basement waterproofing franchise but then found the business boring. He wanted to sell it, but sales weren’t as high as he had expected they would be and he had trouble finding a buyer. He was stuck paying off the franchise fee and working at a business he didn’t enjoy.
  2. How much money do you have available to invest? The amount of money you have available to invest in a franchise is an important factor. If you’ve only got $30,000 and the minimum investment for a specific franchise opportunity is $90,000, the opportunity isn’t going to be right for you, no matter how much you like the company.
  3. What’s the total cost of purchase? The franchise fee won’t be your only expense. Find out what you can expect to pay for advertising, training, inventory, insurance, and all other costs in addition to the franchise fee and royalties.
  4. How well established is the franchise? How long has the franchise been in existence? Have they been in business for many years or are they brand-new? How many other franchises have they opened and where are they located?
  5. How stable is the franchise? What is the background of its officers? (Any history of litigation or bankruptcy of the franchise or its officers is supposed to be included in the disclosure document.)

bookmark_borderWays to Make Business Visible

  • Start slow, with patience. You can’t get in front of 50,000 people overnight. Get clear on who your ideal clients are and where you can connect with them.
  • Focus on as many in-person meetings as possible through professional organizations. Really get to know people and their needs.
  • Reach out to make connections with those you’ve met who could be possible clients or refer you to clients. Real connections are more powerful than virtual connections.
  • With permission, add people to your e-list and send some valuable information at least monthly. This kind of keep-in-touch marketing is essential to stay visible.
  • Set up your website to get opt-ins in return for a report or article. Make it a practice to give away lots of value and demonstrate your expertise.
  • Establish a presence on social media such as Facebook and Linked In. But don’t make this your primary visibility method, as it can be hard to stand out in this crowded arena.
  • Submit articles to online publications that your ideal clients visit and read. This is a great way to build credibility to a very targeted audience.
  • Seek out opportunities to give presentations – everything from speaking at professional groups to giving a TED talk. Nothing is more powerful than highlighting your expertise on stage.
  • Publish a book or e-book that establishes your expertise. A book is a powerful door-opener that provides a platform for the services and programs you offer.

I’ve done all of these things to one degree or another and I’ve also helped my clients do them as well, with great success.

bookmark_borderAbout Entrepreneurial Vision

Entrepreneurs must have a vision of where they want their company to be in the future. In addition, the entrepreneur must be able to communicate this vision in an exciting manner to employees and investors, so that they share the vision and are motivated to help achieve it.

Unlike a business plan, a vision doesn’t provide a specific roadmap for a business. Rather, a vision paints a picture of what the organization strives to become in the future. A leader with a strong vision motivates the team to achieve this picture, regardless of the action plan that will be employed.

Vision provides motivation to both the leader and employees. It gives employees something that they can believe in and rally around. While it doesn’t tell the employees what to do to achieve it, having vision instilled in them helps positively mold their decision-making when problems must be solved that don’t have clear answers.

A strong vision combined with a strong business plan is critical to the success of a growing venture. The vision motivates everyone to achieve success, while the plan guides them to where they need to go. In addition, the plan is significant in that it documents the vision. By “cementing” the vision on paper, the team gains more confidence that the vision will not be easily changed and that the organization is truly committed to achieving it.

bookmark_borderWork Ethic of Entrepreneurial Start-ups

What level of commitment is necessary to take a new high-tech product from seed to weed? What does it is absolutely required in terms of dedication in order to start in your garage and build a prototype to launch into the market? I believe it takes a massive amount of perseverance and it is not something to take lightly. I believe it takes a 6 month to one year every waking hour time frame with all the personal character, stick-to-it-ness and inner will you can muster.

Many entrepreneurs say that they can make the sacrifice for 6 plus months to get the real freedom they need. Of course in the same breath they say they need a minimum of $4,000 per month just to survive. Others say they will do what ever it takes for as long as it takes if they have to sleep on a cot for ten years eating Top Ramen and Macaroni and Cheese. If this is where you stand, then I say “Good” because if you do not win the games leading up to the championship you are not invited to play. And it will take everything you have, every step of the way.

And to that point; It is not that one should not make family time, as the pre-determined choice to have offspring comes with obligations and responsibility. My thoughts are rather that sometimes the entrepreneurial start-up star might have to work a Saturday and take off two nights during the week to make up for it. I believe that cumulative violations of family obligations are similar to sleep deprivation, which can have a long term and dire effect if not dealt with in moderation. I only wish Tookey Williams parents had cared as much as the entrepreneurial parent does.

bookmark_borderRaising Entrepreneurs

While entrepreneurship was never common in my family, many young entrepreneurs had experiences early on in life that lead them towards an entrepreneurial path. In general, there are two possible ways young people feel compelled towards entrepreneurship: inspiration and avoidance. Both can act as powerful catalysts for taking action.

In the case of inspired action, the young entrepreneur most likely grew up in an environment where individuality, responsibility, and financial literacy were encouraged. Even if the parent made little money to support his or her child, the underlying message often centered around taking initiative and following one’s own path.

On the other hand, in the instances where avoidance is the primary motivator, the child usually wants to avoid becoming like their primary caregiver, who was most likely a negative influence. Friends of mind who have exhibited this type of motivation often have a very strong drive to succeed, yet, in part, base their motivation on what they don’t want to become – and must overcome even greater adversity in life.

In order to facilitate the spirit of entrepreneurship in your family, there are many steps you can take. While these steps are particularly geared towards entrepreneurship, they apply toward creating any harmonious relationship between parent and child:

-Teach your child in creative, ‘outside-the-box’ ways. In a recent article with 19 year-old CEO Cameron Johnson, he told a story about how his parents gave him stocks – literally, shares in a company – in his stockings for Christmas. There are many ways you can teach your child about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and individuality.

-Make self-awareness and wealth consciousness the highest priorities. This entails a significant amount of soul-searching. And while many adults are adverse to the concept of change, often letting go of fear and facing your demons can be the most inspirational model for your child. I have a friend who, after years of living in a fear-based reality, she learned to let go and allow herself to forgive and love others. She has never enjoyed better relationships with her children.

-If your kid acts up, stand in your truth. Don’t beat around the bush or overreact. Of course, you want to be sensitive to your child’s feelings and come from a place of authentic compassion. But when it comes down to it, tell it like it is – they’ll appreciate it in the end.

-Give your child ample opportunity to discover independence for him or herself. It’s critically important that your child learns the process of creating one’s own experience of reality from a first-hand perspective. Sometimes this requires being more firm or lenient than one would like. Yet remember that you grew through making mistakes, and so will your child.

If you see your child exhibiting entrepreneurial behaviors, make sure you show your support throughout his or her growth process. And if your kid is struggling to find motivation, don’t worry – as long as you follow the guidelines above, you will instill the characteristics of greatness and, in due time, inspire the leader within.

bookmark_borderBecome a Better Decision Maker

  • Start Small. Even making small everyday decisions will help you accomplish the bigger goal. Small decisions such as what food to eat at a restaurant are not to be underestimated. A good way to start is the next time you’re eating out, look at the menu and decide what you’d like to eat. Then put the menu down and don’t change your mind. Don’t ask your companions what they’re having and base your decision on that – make the decision on your own and then stick to it.

Small steps like this can be empowering and help you to tackle the bigger decisions to come in the future.

  • Approach decisions logically. Many of us tend to make emotion-based decisions rather than logical ones. In business this can spell disaster. A good way to help you approach decisions in a logical manner may be to write down a list of pros and cons.

Simply grab a sheet of paper and label one side pros and one side cons. Then list all the good and bad points of your choice. Logically think through your comments and then make your decision. This way you can leave emotions out of the equation and concentrate purely on the facts.

  • Cut yourself some slack. Making decisions is a skill which can be learned but even pros don’t always make the right choices. Realize that making decisions effectively takes confidence and is a great first step, but your decisions may not always be the right decisions. If you happen to make the wrong decision, give yourself a break and take comfort in the fact that you thought out your decision clearly and logically and made the best choice possible at the time.

Being a good decision maker takes time and practice. However, it’s a worthwhile skill to develop. Making decisions regularly may help build your confidence level and also help people know where they stand with you – two great entrepreneurial qualities.

bookmark_borderBuilding Sustainable Businesses

The concept of low prices has long been the kingpin of IKEA’s outstanding performance in a traditionally low profitability sector as it was translated across all the operations of the company to ensure that every possible cost is taken out – from tasteful and knock-down design to lean manufacturing to flat packing to tightly controlled logistics to the concept of its stores and its self-service model – all mutually re-inforcing.

After having mastered the virtues of lean operations, IKEA is now taking it to the next level under the cover of achieving sustainable growth i.e. decoupling growth from environmental impact and increasing the company’s positive social impact.

This will obviously drive cost reductions further through initiatives such as becoming 100% energy self-sufficient by 2020 across its operations from stores to factories to distribution centers (with an investment of €1.5 billion to 2015 in renewable energy through for example installing solar panels on the roofs of its stores and building wind farms) which will additionally cut the risk of carbon pricing that will be implemented in most of the countries where it operates. Further costs reductions will also be achieved through ensuring that all operations are LED enabled or remaking classic products using fewer parts or working with furthest parts of the supply chain such as the cotton farmers to reduce their running costs (e.g. pesticides, fertilisers and water) while increasing yields.

IKEA definitively seems to “walk the talk”, making a direct link between sustainability issues such as energy efficiency, waste management and pollution and business value. However, the business case of reducing costs to sustain its business model profitably has always been at the core of IKEA and sustainability issues only add a 21st century twist to the purpose defined by its founder and the company’s strategy.

bookmark_borderSmart PR Tactics for Small Businesses

Use your business library. If you are savvy enough to identify the best media for your primary target audience, your local library or the nearest city library near your very small town has valuable informational tools to assist you at every turn. The librarian is a public resource that your tax dollars pay for anyway.

Having identified your target media, find a PR agency that charges by placement success instead of a standard six months or yearly contract. In that way, you can share the PR burden by supplying the media to be targeted, and pay only for premier hits. Besides, if the placement is impressive enough, you can put it on your website, and get incredible mileage from it.

Market your business service or product in the corporate fashion
with mat features to print and online newspapers nationwide at half the price. A young service like Points of Persuasion Syndicate provides PR preformatted newspaper features free to editors nationwide. Their columns get printed exactly as written when the mentions are subtle and useful for the publication’s reader. These trademarked, non-copyrighted features are picked up regularly by suburban daily and weekly papers, and remain on P-O-P-S’ editorial website for six months to a year for instant downloads.

People talk of Public Relations as free compared to the expense of advertising. PR is never free but used strategically, it is more believed than its more costly brethren. Each time a placement is made your business is getting the endorsement of the editor of the publication, or host of the radio and TV show. The public depends on these consumer advocates to help them make the decisions important to them and their families.