Category: Success


Small puddles of water on a smooth clean surfa...

Have you ever finished up one project and charged on to the next big thing without a second thought?

 

It happens all the time – we check off our daily and weekly to-do lists with the speed of a cheetah.  You have decide what needs to get done, you do it, and move on!

If you find yourself trapped in this cycle – you are not alone.

 

Successful Entrepreneurs and Puddles

In order to break free of this cycle of tasks and prioritized list you must add another step, the step that unleashes your true power as an entrepreneur.  Wanna know what successful entrepreneurs and puddles have in common.  They both reflect!

Puddles are a collection of water droplets, or ideas that have settled in one central location (for a common purpose).  As the water settles, some things sink to the bottom (the ideas that didn’t work) and other things float to the top (those things that rocked).  Common entrepreneurs walk away from the puddle at this point. What separates the good from the great is what happens next.  The successful entrepreneur peers into the puddles surface and sees a reflection.

Reflection is one of the most important phases of any project.  By truly understanding what did and did not work, you are able to continuously improve your business and professional practice.  Reflecting is the also time that allows you to honestly appraise your own performance.  This is not time to beat your self up, it’s a time to find opportunities to grow and become the best at what you do.

I recently developed and host a summer camp for students in my community in order to introduce them to careers in S.T.E.M. After closing out the program I took time to reflect on the highs and lows of the program.  I learned that I must plan for more parental contact before the camp so that they can play a bigger part in marketing the program.  I also learned that I need to gather as much information about students prior to camps and other activities so that the activities that I select are fun and accessible for all students.

Reflecting is not rocket science, it simply a time to pause and evaluate.  It’s a time to celebrate your hard work and planning.  What you come up with may not be ground breaking, but it could save you time and effort further down the road.

So that’s it,  reflection.  Taking the time to think about what has happened and searching for lessons or take-aways to make you better!  This process is a necessary step for all entrepreneurs to keep in your tool-kit!

roadmap

I’m a self proclaimed research-a-holic. I will research a topic to death. I am a definitely a member of the Analysis Paralysis Club. In fact, I’m the president. As I transition into my season of implementation I have decided to drop a few breadcrumbs along the way. It is my hope that I can one day look back on my writings and remember my humble beginnings. Anyway, enough of that!

One of the major themes that I encounter while reading (check out my recommended book list) is that successful business people recognize and seek out patterns for success. They search for business models and processes that can be transferred into various industries and economic conditions. Let’s take a look at the McDonalds Corporation. What can we learn from this successful international company? McDonald’s sells burgers, fries, and everything else in between. Do they cook the best burgers on Earth? I doubt it. Are their pimple faced teenaged cashiers the most polite or intelligent? Hell No! Do they sale the burgers for bargain basement prices? Uh…..no! Take a few seconds to think about what you know about McDonalds. Why do they sell more burgers than any other fast food chain on the planet on the planet?

Well, what did you come up with? This is what I can gather from what I know about McDonald’s:

Location, Location, Location

I see a pair of golden arches every time I leave the house! They are everywhere!!!!!! Let’s think about this. What would you rather have one beautiful, state of the art restaurant with all the bells and whistles that makes pretty good money or 10 basic run of the mill restaurants with a loyal following and a consistent cash flow? I would take the basic restaurant any day! Jean Paul Getty said, “I’d rather have 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own!” I tend to agree. This fact alone has drastically changed the way that I evaluate business opportunities. Many people snicker at the MLM industry. The fact is that MLM business model has been proven to be profitable. I urge each person reading this post to do your due diligence when considering entering into ANY business arrangement.

The Power of Branding

I am driving down the highway in a trance. The clean crisp air is tickling my nose. Out of nowhere, my 2 year-old goddaughter shouts out, “BB (that’s what she calls me), I want McDonald’s!!!” I think to myself and giggle, “shoot, people in Hell want ice water”, as I turn into the parking lot of McDonald’s.

How did my two year old goddaughter know that we were approaching McDonald’s? Is she a child prodigy? Close, but not quite. McDonald’s has brainwashed this poor child with images of the golden arches, french-fries, and cheap plastic recreations of her favorite Disney characters. It’s called branding. I am very confident in saying that there are few places on Earth where people in areas targeted by McDonald’s marketing are not familiar with the brand.

As newbie entrepreneurs, we must be as diligent as McDonald’s in building our brand. Start ups typically have a much smaller budget for these efforts, so we must be strategic and think outside of the box. (One great book to inspire this type of thinking is The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz.) I would recommend that you conduct a few general searches on Google on the topic of branding for lots of free practical information. Free e-books are also a great source for basic information on branding (any topic really). The only downfall is that after a few months you will goo-gobs of email marketing in your inbox. I personally think that knowledge is power, so, I just unsubscribe to email campaigns that don’t suit my interest every month or so.

Learning from Success

What are the big takeaways from this post? Hopefully, you know understand how to more closely look at existing businesses and business models. There will be no business that operates exactly like yours. I am not duplicate and existing business 100%. What I am saying is that you can use the best bits and pieces from different places in order to design your business the way that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Good Luck!

Brandi L. Spencer

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