Business book. A journal of how I got started
Ever think of writing a book about how you succeeded in your business?
What would the book be called?
What would the chapters be titled?
How would it End?
Title: Building your Business 2016
Author: Brad Camp
Company: Istockhomes Marketing Ltd.
- Chapter 1: Me, Myself and I
- Chapter 2: Choosing a Business Name
- Chapter 3: Must Read
- Chapter 4: The Business Plan
- Chapter 5: The Need for Free $$
- Chapter 6: Need for a Website
- Chapter 7: Types of Websites and Deciding which one is best for you.
- Chapter 8: Marketing. The Marketing Plan
- Chapter 9: Advertising
- Chapter 10: Making a Profit
- Chapter 11: Growth
- Chapter 12: Exit
Dare to dream
Here in working on your business and devoting yourself to success, you are going to have to have goals set out so that you will know when you accomplish them. These could be stepping stones or a wish list.
So here having a tangible wish list can be an asset and you're going to want to be specific and you're going to want to write it down. Choose where you want to live, the location, the building, the size of the property, the view that you desire, be as specific as you can. Then choose the vehicles that you wish to own, the relationships you want to build, the career changes you want. Write it out on a list, then place it on your refrigerator and read it every morning. Once you have the list take the time to think about it and start to realize that everything on the list is available and for the most part the only thing holding you back from having these things is a lack of money and your own beliefs that this stuff was already created for you to have.
Keep this list and as you acquire the items on your list check them off, don't erase them for as times go from good to bad you'll need to look at the list to see that you are gaining ground and getting further ahead.
If you don't deliberately take out some time to dream there is no way your dreams will ever materialize.
There are two ways of thinking.
The first is to live within your means the second is to live a life of abundance.
The first way to live is within your means, this way is fine, I guess, it must be because about 95% of the population lives this way. In this way of living one is supposed to get an education, get a job, budget wisely, get married, have children and retire around age 65. My problem with this way of thinking is that the general population is no longer retiring at age 65 to a healthy enough retirement income to enjoy the life that they have left in them and many will not be able to retire at age 65 or at age 75 for that matter.
The other way of living is to live a life of abundance. This way of living starts with your way of thinking. It's a choice. You can live a life of abundance but you will have to think about living an abundant life.
Living within your means assumes a whole lot or routine with very little thought about the routine. For instance, I get up, get ready and go to work, come home have dinner, wind down and go to bed.
In living a life of abundance, thought goes into the process of the day and especially the morning routine to start off your day. In living a life of abundance the morning routine becomes of utmost importance. Getting up early and deliberately becomes a joy. No alarm going off to force me unwilling into a day in which I'd just prefer to stay in bed. In living a life of abundance I get up early to enjoy all that this day has to offer and I go to bed because I'm exhausted have enjoyed this day thoroughly and am thankful that my provider has given me strength and life to have lived this day to the fullest.
By default we live a life within our means and it is only by deliberate conscious choice that we live a life of abundance that many people will never get to experience.
Have you ever watched paint dry?
Have you ever watched paint dry? I have, but until now I've never watched seeds turn into tiny little plants or waited for some tiny little green stem show up in a pile of dirt. The package said it would take seven days. My attention span is all of about ten minutes. So why am I telling you this and why should you care.
Most people won't care and even in my so-called target audience of "entrepreneurs", still, most won't care. I'm ok with that And if I only reach a few people or just one, that's also just fine with me. This book is a compilation of blogs or notes that I've written while building my own business the book gets into some of the feelings, the ups and downs and raw emotion and dealing with it while watching the business germinate and breath its first life.
I'm now around three years into the business and some of the blogs or chapters I wrote weeks or months ago. I Brad Camp am the author, the words are my own, no one is writing or editing this for me.
So here goes. I'm an entrepreneur. My starting point to my venture is a thought followed closely by a pencil and a piece of paper. I know now that this is where an entrepreneur starts and it's different than being an affiliate marketer, a multi-level marketer, a representative or a partner.
In explaining this book and the point of it, I first want to describe who it's written for. It's being written for me about four years ago, for when I was starting out and just had that thought of building something and I had no idea of what it would transform into, how it would form, grow, transform, no clue of the target market for the business, or if it would have value.
I never knew it but I was about to set out as an entrepreneur and more than that I was going to maybe go a little bit further, the closest I can define it as is "trailblazing"
The trailblazing to the best of my description seems to be, like being placed on a large piece of paper, on your knees with a pencil in hand, no eraser and you just start drawing. The paper seems to go on endlessly in all directions, there is nothing to trace, nothing to copy and no clear directions to follow. If this is you and you just recently landed on this piece of paper I feel for you. In one way you are lucky because you don't know what you don't know, in another way, unfortunately, you don't know what you don't know or you might calculate the risk vs reward and walk away from the initial thought and blank piece of paper before your expenses add up way beyond what you had ever dreamed imaginable.
Years ago now, I was a painter. I painted houses and buildings. I was an employee and I made an hourly wage. I got paid every second Friday and in the winter time the work was slow and the bank account went pretty dry. Once I knew how to paint and got sick of the ups and downs my brother encouraged me to venture out on my own and start my own business. Shortly after starting my own business, my brother tragically passed on. Over the next 8 years, I continued to work in the painting business and had no idea of the what the difference was between working in the business or working on the business. nor did I know what it was to be an entrepreneur. 6 years in and the economy tanked, the year was 2007-8 and I lost my phone number, email, and Internet because I couldn't afford to keep up on the bills.
Now, The year 2017 and I just planted some seeds in my office and watered them. Then, seeing that there was nothing else that I could do for them I had to give up, walk away and let time and nature do it's thing. The next day I looked at the dirt and nothing looked any different, The following day nothing, Nothing the next day either, the dirt looked a little dry so I added some more water. Yet another day went by and I questioned myself. Did I do it correctly? Were the seeds dead?
Then just about six days in I saw a little bit of green and all of a sudden it hit me. I had done my work, planted the seeds and just needed to wait. So, if instead of watching and wondering, I just kept planting, would there also be more new growth the following day.
It may sound silly as I transfer this learning to my business but shouldn't I just be planting and building, making my product or offering better and more valuable to my clients or customers.
To worry about the numbers of views or traffic can be very time consuming and also very unproductive. So instead of being worried about how many people are getting reached with your one offering move onto another or upgrade the first. Then let nature do it's work and your satisfied customers recommend and refer others to you. Just keep on working!
Reading to educate
As an entrepreneur, someone building a business, someone learning to market as a professional there is always something new you can learn. You can learn from books, video, audio, or meeting with a mentor, someone who has already been there and done something similar to what you are doing.
The mentor may not need to be in the same field of business. As an example my partner is a retired heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) trades person that ran his own business with his wife, the business we are working on is an online marketing platform focused on helping people sell as "for sale by owner" the business are very different but I can still learn from his years of experience.
There seem to be a lot of business marketers and educators that promote reading a book a day, a book a week or something like it. I do encourage reading, not that much reading. During building the business that I'm working on I've read close to 50 books over a period of about 4 years, not even close to a book a day.
In building your business and developing yourself to be a business leader be very careful to stay focused on the task at hand.
Books can be calming and can help you stay focused, they can give you a glimmer of light in an otherwise dark void of space that can seem hugely overwhelming especially if you are creating a business or product that is new and needs to go through a development process.
Reading can also help you to learn patience for there seem to be a lot of things that need your patience. I'm always waiting for something. Waiting for an email, waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Do it, get it done, finished, that's me. I get a picture in my head, I don't write it down for later, I don't put it on my to-do list, I just do it. I break everything down into small manageable pieces that I can finish in one day. Once finished I can take the time to ponder the next piece. This is where I can get back to reading. Why? Because I accomplished what I set out to do for the day.
My goal for the day could take one hour or it could take 14 hours but I only put one thing on my plate at one time. I don't try to multitask because it divides my focus. Reading will draw my focus back to the problem or issue that I'm processing.
Reading is a very important part of developing yourself as you build your business. Just make sure you are reading with a purpose and reading material that helps you develop.
I don't know where you are at in your development but do know in reading that people who are wanting to succeed in business, need to first get a desire, then they need to dream and then focus that dream into something that Is achievable. The business usually starts as a big dream that is high in the sky and over time it comes down to a tangible one line or an elevator pitch. So, in one line or two minutes can you describe your business?
I'm getting closer, learning. Learning, learning, developing, refining, redefining, molding and forming your business, and all of the reading and educating will help.
A few good words to know
This is the process of getting your business ready to play in The big league. Incorporating can be done on your own but I would recommend getting a lawyer to fill out the paperwork and do the filing. I will warn you that this is not cheap. The upfront cost could be around $1500.00 depending on where you live. Incorporating will be one of the first steps needed on your path to becoming a publicly traded company. Incorporating will set up a share structure and other stuff that will be needed down the road. If you are thinking of incorporating early on in business go see a lawyer and gather as much free advice as needed to make your decision as to incorporate now or wait till a later date.
Copyright is really fairly simple. When you write something like a book, some music lyrics or anything like it. If you are the person who first wrote it and can prove it you hold the copyright. To make sure you have the copyright I would keep the work secret and hidden until, such a time as you are ready to make it public. When ready post it somewhere that can add a date stamp. You could post your work on Facebook or some social media platform or email it to yourself and save it. Place a note on the work saying authored by: "your name" and the current date. Be sure to at least email, it to yourself to prove that the work was done on a certain date.
A trademark is a little bit different than a copyright in that a trademark is usually a word or set of words that refers to your product or company. If a word is not already trademarked you can just add the "TM" symbol to the end of it to tell everyone that this is your mark. Before adding the "TM" mark you should first search for it online, to see that it's not already taken. Start by doing a google search, then search the USPTO. ( the United States Patent and Trademark office ) if the work, word or symbol seems to have nothing close to it already taken then feel free to add the symbol.
To register a trademark is much more difficult and time-consuming than just placing a tm at the end of your word. The symbol r with a circle around it refers to a word or mark being registered with the government. The process of getting your registration can take years to accomplish and can cost a pile of money. Here I recommend staying well away from any other trademarks that could be close to yours. If you manage to get a registered trademark give yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done. Having a trademark that is registered says you are serious about the company you are building and the trademark will add value to the overall worth of your company.
Patented and patent pending.
This is again different. So, patent pending is a way of saying I've designed something unique and I want to protect it. Patent pending is protection for your design or design idea, and as soon as you have filed your patent pending you are in theory protected.
Here I must warn you that their is a group of people who are referred to as patent trolls. These people look for new ideas that have been protected and try to find ways around a patent in order to implement a patent of their own and do their best to steal your idea. Be very careful what you let out of your head because you never know who is listening or watching.
With Patent pending, you do not need to prove that your idea or concept works. Patent pending will protect your idea for one year at which point you can extend the protection of or move ahead with going for a patent.
As of today I have not yet tried to patent anything but do know this. There are some very big companies that buy smaller companies for a huge amount of money just to get their patents. This is well worth thinking about if you want to get really really rich.
I'm not going to say that I know all that there is to know about these words and have done this just as a tease to get you to look deeper into each one of these words as knowing will help you to better understand how to succeed in your business venture.
Be very guarded with your business
There are different documents that you should be aware of when building your business. One is a non-disclosure agreement, another a no-competition agreement, a partnership agreement and more. Below are a few you should be aware of.
In starting a business quite often someone has a bright idea and they need to find someone with deeper pockets to help get the ball rolling. When the two parties decide to work together it can be very beneficial for both parties yet it can also be very challenging as the parties are putting in two different things. One is usually putting in the time and the other is usually putting in money. Maybe both are putting in the time and have differing skill sets. Well, it can take some time and should take some time to iron out all of the details of who is responsible for what and an agreement needs to be met, preferably on paper, this way there are no questions and everyone remains happy.
A non-disclosure agreement is an agreement between your company and your investors or any party in which. You will be sharing confidential company secrets. A non-disclosure agreement is also good for employees or contractors that may be working in or on your business. It's very easy for information to get Leakey out into the world and before you know it someone else or some company has taken your idea and run with it leaving you nothing. It's very easy to give up privileged information especially to people who you think you can trust. You meet them at a special event or you're looking for an investor. Wham and your information is gone. A non-disclosure agreement may not save you in a court of law or give you grounds for a law suite but it could make the other party a little more cautious about sharing your information.
Independent Developer or Contractor Agreement.
This agreement can be very important depending on your business. Think of it this way, if someone writes some code for your website application does that code belong to you or to them? It's a tough question considering that there are times where we hire people who know more than we do. If that code is written by someone else they could by default own the copyright even tho you asked them to do it. That code could be worth a percentage of your company. Even tho you paid them to do the work and you were the one requesting the work be done does not mean that they gave up any and all claims to the work. So before getting anyone to do any work on your business that could be in any way construed as theirs make sure you have a written signed agreement in place. This document could save you thousands of dollars.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions is a document that should be placed on all websites and applications. The easiest way to do up a set of terms and Conditions is to copy some off of another website and then reword it to suite your needs.
Contest Rules and Regulations.
Want to give away a new car, some money, a trip for two to some exotic location? There are rules to follow for that as well. Make sure you find out about them for your location or you could end up getting burned.
All of the documents listed here are fairly easy to come by and it's good to have them In place before driving traffic to your site or business.
Almost every business needs a Website
A gentleman walked into my office earlier today and simply stated that his website had been hacked and wanted to know if I could help solve his problem. I needed more details so asked a few questions. I learned that he had purchased a business and it included a website. With a little bit of probing, I agreed. You have been hacked!
The year is now 2017 and a basic knowledge of websites and how the internet works is now really getting to be a basic necessity for owning a business.
So here are a few very basic things that you need to know.
A Domain Name
Your domain name. "www.yourdomainname.com" or "yourdomainname.com" for this example my domain name is https://bradleydcamp.com. In simple language, the best that I can reference this to be would be like a postal box address. This address is controlled by companies that understand domain names. Business owners will usually go to a domain name registrar and purchase the domain name of their business. The domain name is then paid for by the year to keep the name under the control of the business owner.
Hosting is different from just owning a domain name. Having hosting is just having a place to place the code for a website. Hosting could be using some space on a computer. This space can be rented from any company that provides hosting services. once you find a company by just doing an internet search, you will then need to decide if you want to share a server or have a computer to yourself. sharing a computer is referred to as "a shared server" and having a computer to yourself is referred to as "a dedicated server"
A website could be coded in H.T.M.L., H.T.M.L. 5, PHP or many other languages, or more common now is the use of a content management system, This system could be WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or some other platform
Here is the point of this little section. When it comes to your business and your web presence, having control of it very important. You should make sure you know how to access your domain name along with the username and password, You should make sure you know how to access your Hosting along with the username and password and You should make sure you know how to access your Website along with the username and password.
You will more than likely want to get help with programming and website design but the overall control needs to be in your hands.
The Bible and The Art of War
In getting into business, I've had to read more than a fair share of books to develop who I am as a person and the books range across a lot of different topics that seem to come up as I am learning.
When I was learning web-design the books I was reading were related to web-design, some were on creating an income, some were on self-development and others were on a variety of other topics. Lots of them we're best sellers. Yet, when it comes to actually recommending a book for myself to read in order to better understand business and life for that matter there are actually only a few books that seem to stand out for me.
The first book is the Bible as it teaches lots of different lessons on living a good life, treating people fairly, good business ethics, and there have been lots of motivational speakers who have based their teachings on the basic principles of the Bible.
Another book that I have found oddly useful is "The Art of War" by Sun Tsu. Odd because the book is about exactly what the title really says it is. It talks about going to war and fighting battles many many years ago. I won't get into too many details other than to say it's a good book for almost any person that is getting into business. Many of our current trailblazers have the art of war sitting in their office.
Business is business, some people win and others don't. I know enough now and have been doing this long enough to know that some people win. They win because they have deliberately chosen to win.
You are in business or going into business, and you will have some people who are allies, some who are not, some that will stick with you through thick and thin and others who will stab you in the back when they see an opportunity. Don't be fooled.
Take a long walk.
Again, I'm focusing on my advice for myself at an earlier time. One suggestion that I would find very very helpful is knowing the value of getting up from my desk and taking a long walk alone, yes alone. No friends, partners, mentors or anyone tagging along. If like myself, using the excuse of, I've got to go take some pictures for the website, then take a camera.
The business that I am working on places a high value on user-generated content, therefore the website (s) are set up in a way as to allow users to sign up, sign in and add their own content without having to ask for permission. This can be challenging because when you open up a site the spam and garbage that come in can be overwhelming. More on that later.
Getting up to go for a walk and clearing your head can be hugely beneficial, the fresh air filling your lungs, opening your eyes wide as opposed to staring at your monitor or screen, getting away from wifi and the bling of emails coming in or the phone ringing. All of these distractions can make a day very unproductive.
Images float around in my head when I give them a chance to. The images can be still pictures, calculations are written out with the numbers being allowed to float in space, video images, and other similar stuff but the images won't float if I don't allow my head the time it needs allow this opening to happen.
Distractions are everywhere and everyone is busy, tho I'm not sure if they are actually busy doing something productive or if they are just busy being busy. I think most people are just busy being busy. Most people live each day moment by moment, hear a bling check your email, your phone rings answer it. Why? Why not just set up an answering machine and turn off the ringer. People can leave a message if they really want to talk to you. While you are at it turn off your notifications, do you really need to know the moment you get a new follower on twitter?
Cellular phones, it's sure nice to get a phone call. Could be an estimate. Could be the call I've been waiting for. All I can really say here is just make sure your cellular number only goes out if you want it to ring. Many if not most customers don't leave messages, they prefer the instant gratification of having a real person answering the phone, better still if they never get put on hold or redirected. Depending on the size that you want your business to grow into five years from now, your phone could be ringing a lot.
So, you're setting up your business to be a successful venture start early or start now but prepare for the future. Know well ahead of time how you are going to be able to scale up to large volumes of traffic. You could also set up multiple email addresses like yourname@yourdomain along with admin@yourdomain or inquiries@yourdomain.
Taking care of this stuff very early on in your business venture will help keep your stress to a minimum down the road. Take time to take care of yourself now and you will be able to thank yourself later.
Produce something. Anything.
When starting on your path to success, it's an untravelled road for you. Someone else may have traveled it, many people may have. Along the way they could have had choices to make and those choices may not have been decided in the same way that you are going to decide but you are not there yet and your choices may create a completely different outcome. Seriously, you are on a path when you decide to venture onto it. Basically speaking each one of us on our path to success is actually on the same path as everyone else.
Step one is to choose to step on the path to success. After choosing we all have to learn, develop, educate, ask for help, make mistakes, draw lines in the sand, improve ourselves, get in touch with ourselves, spend time with people, spend time alone, step over obstacles, go through dark times, get over disappointments, and carry on. Most importantly to get on the path to success one only does so through making a deliberate choice.
Step 1 I choose to be on the path to success.
Step 2 I chose to go completely in a new direction. Trailblazer. Or I choose to follow a proven route to success.
So grab a notebook and write down your first step.
I. _____________________________ am now choosing to step on the path to success. The date is _____________________________.
I am either going to trailblazer or follow a proven route to success.
Here are some of the most common routes to follow especially in the online world.
1 YouTube. Become a YouTube sensation by setting up a YouTube channel and posting regularly. The channel will be monetized by YouTube in very little time. You just need to find your niche and keep posting. This could take 2-3 years
2 Blogging. Becoming a blogger is similar to becoming a YouTube sensation. Just purchase a domain, install a WordPress site and start blogging. The site will gain traffic when you continue to blog and you can then monetize it with ads like Google Adsense or something similar. This could take 2-3 years.
3 affiliate marketing. Here just sign up for Pepperjam network, commission junction, Amazon affiliate network, eBay partner network, or search for other affiliate sites. Then start writing about and promoting their products. To start making money this way could take less than a year.
4 Drop shipping. This is similar to affiliate marketing but here you actually set up an online store and customers pay you to have a product to ship to them. To do this you could start by looking into setting up an Amazon partner site.
5 Write a book. It will take some time. Some people take years to write a book other people write a book in just a few days. Once the book is written find a place to upload it to. It could be Kobo, Apple iBooks, Amazon. Publishers are looking at these books all the time, seeing if they can find one or more worth taking to print.
6 Stock photography. If you are good with a camera and have a good eye, stock photography might be right up your alley. Check out adobe stock, or other stock photography websites.
I chose to trailblaze, this route is way more interesting to myself. Good for creating headaches, aggravation, frustration and sleepless nights. I love it!
To be on your path to success all you have to do is decide to be then write down the date you decided as you will be referring back to it when you become frustrated down the road.
You will need to produce something. So, what's it going to be?
Always be ready.
Be ready to give your elevator pitch if you are selling or promoting but for this blog section I'll say be prepared to take notes because you never know when you'll have an unexpected half hour or hour of waiting. Today as I'm writing this section I'm in a doctor's waiting room typing into an iPad as I wait for my turn.
I have a goal, of always setting a goal for my day and then accomplishing that goal before being done for the day. I could be doing a blog, a video, updating a website, or going out and photographing a location.
Pencil and paper work for taking notes tho, I prefer to always be carrying an iPad. A voice memo can work a well, just make sure you have something cause you never know when the moment of brilliance will hit you.
Along with being ready try your best to always be thankful for your day and keep a positive attitude. A negative attitude is dark and ominous and very few bright ideas will come to you when you are under a dark cloud.
Having to wait is inevitable, it's just part of life, even more so when you have children, children with extra needs, aging parents or whatever it is that takes your time. It's life. It's also better to be prepared to work within the bounds that life offers than to get stressed by all of the time that gets wasted while waiting.
Another thing you can do is download audio books and carry earbuds so you can listen to educational material while waiting or read a good educational book. If you have it with you the time waiting becomes productive time. That's a good thing and the time goes quicker when you are doing something productive.
Dealing with loneliness and depression.
Having someone on the same page as you and being able to talk with them, run ideas by each other is great and when on the same page the conversation can be extremely stimulating and the conversation can go on for hours no hours, not even knowing how much time has passed. This is not always the case.
Sometimes and depending what you are working on and how confidential the business development or item is, the time spent on your own can be significant, lonely, depressing and frustrating and you may not be in a position where you can share with anyone.
Here is my advice to you as well as to myself. Get over it, get used to it, deal with it. There is actually more to it than that. Wanting to give up is normal, other people telling you to go get a job, bills not getting paid. Suffering financially. Nine out of ten people will quit. You are going to have to be strong to keep going even when you want to quit. Your physical health may suffer, relationships may suffer and your old friendships may vanish and be replaced by no one, you may also end up with a new set of friends.
Friendships take time, exercise takes time, the family takes time and it's a fine balancing act to keep everything together. Being single and devoting all of your time to your project is one thing and being the member of a family is another, especially if you are the mother, father or a single parent.
A project that was initially thought to be small, an easy task could turn into a monster taking years of your life to develop. Some people start a project and end up divorcing over it. Be careful, you've been warned!
You never know what has been going on behind your back as you've had your nose to the grind stone. Whispers and murmurings, friends and family of your spouse telling them that you should be pulling your weight, telling them that you are dreaming and will never succeed.
Be sure to be mindful of your family and do your best to keep up communication, keep them in the loop even if they don't seem interested. Try and show them your successes and try to keep them sheltered from your disappointments.
Do not neglect to get enough sleep, and make sure you take the time to walk away from the project at times for the time away can give you clarity of thought and a solution to a problem could just come to you at the oddest time.
Again, being depressed at times and lonely are just two things that need to be dealt with in whatever way seems best. You will find as time goes on and you start to see more clearly and you. Learn to deal with the difficulties of your project.
One other thing I have found helpful is to look back in time and see how far you have come over the last year or so, it can be very encouraging when it seems like you are making no headway.
Keep calm and carry on, be one of the ones who actually succeed!
Define your business failure early.
In starting a business and especially a new business most of us go into the ordeal blindly. We don't clearly define what success is, nor do we define what failure is.
If you, starting your business, are really truly serious about being successful or super successful. One of the first things you will find yourself doing is reading about or studying others who have been successful.
Here let's look at just a couple people. Robert Kiyosaki, Dani Johnson, Tony Robbins, J. K. Rowling, just to name a few and there are many others who when they started their business had a clearly defined very clear picture of what failure looked like. To each one it was don't succeed, don't eat.
That clearly defined picture of failure is a great motivator. Take some time to sit back and actually think about it. Think about it this way, most of the poor people in my area and probably your area get regular handouts from the government, on a regularly scheduled basis probably one check every month. If that check was to stop would things have to change? Where I live, we have the term welfare bum. It refers to a person who has no job and collects welfare or is on a doll. Here these poor people get just enough money to survive and with that money they become satisfied. That's it, that's all, end of their story. This can be referred to as living within your means.
If the coin is flipped over to the side of success motivated, then having a clearly defined failure line is a line that better not ever be crossed. Not ever!
Some of us are fortunate enough to have a helping hand close enough to bail us out when we come across an unexpected expense. This could be detrimental to our purest motivational driver, that driver being us becoming a failure.
Think about that line for you, where is that it? Is it when your bank account is empty?
If you don't have a line create one! Open a separate bank account for your business if you have to, then put a fixed amount of money in it. That amount becomes your working capital and it needs to increase. When it hits zero you fail. Admit it. It hit zero, therefore, I've FAILED!
I'm sure you've heard it said that there is no 2nd place for 2nd place is only 1st place failure.
The path to success is riddled with obstacles, potholes, downfalls, pain, tears, anger, and more than one yelling of "I Quit! " the hardest part of yelling " I Quit " is accepting that I quit doesn't apply to the situation. The appropriate term would be " I failed "
If you are anything like me failure is not an option. Your success is your success. Own it!
What can I do for you? What can I do for you? What can I do for you? What can you do for me?
Here is my thought for today. What can I do for you vs what can you do for me.
What can I do for you? Speaks generally of a servant attitude. But it's more.
Think waiter or waitress. What can I do for you? Can I refresh your water, refill your coffee, bring you the dessert menu? In this relationship, the customer pays to be served and the customer seems to be the one in charge. Here the customer gets their needs met and the server gets ahead financially. The more satisfied the customer is the more likely the customer is going to return for more.
Now turn your thoughts to leadership. The boss, the public speaker, the musician, who is the customer? Which party receives the income.
I've heard it said the more value you give the more valuable you become.
Most people want to know what is in the relationship for them or what they can get out of the relationship.
Some leaders don't concern themselves too much about what is in every relationship for them but concern themselves more over how much value they offer their customers and want to make sure they offer a very good experience to their customers along with exceptional value.
I don't want to namedrop for examples as I'd rather have you think of your own. So here is the type that I'm suggesting to look for. Someone who seems to have their stuff together. The areas to look for are, finances, personal, spiritual.
These leaders are ones who take life as it comes and do their very best to see the good in life and the good in the people that they meet. They are hard workers. They are willing to take some risks ( nothing ventured, nothing gained ) they can control their temper and are not easily angered.
Striving to be a leader as well as one who serves others is a good thing to strive for.
It doesn't seem to matter too much which field of expertise you are in or where your career path leads you as long as you remember to always keep bettering yourself so that you have the ability to serve others.
What can I do for you?
What can you do for me?
Today, I'm all stuffed up and sick.
Today, I'm all stuffed up and sick, my lips are dry, my neck is sore. Today, I should relax take the day off and recover from my ailments.
Today, I also know that a child somewhere is going to die of starvation, a young lady is going to opt to terminate the life that is inside of her because she knows that she can't afford to support herself and also the child. Elderly people will be neglected. This and so much more need to be changed.
This morning I woke up, and for once in my life, I had a vision of what to do with the "money" if, in fact, I were to become successful in business.
I know fair well that success is just the meeting of opportunity, education, and a blessing from above.
Here is that vision, that I'll share with you to hold myself accountable. The vision is to create an environment where young women can turn to when they need a place of shelter and security a place where they can birth the life that is inside of them, their needs can be met and their safety guaranteed.
Very few people have a vision outside of themselves. We have drive and motivation, passion and persistence but do we also have a vision of how we can make the world a better place?
Please feel free to share if you also have a vision of a better world and how you can help make it better.
Where does the first impression start?
Is it the handshake? A firm grip, taking the position of the upper hand, nicely manicured cuticles. Placing the left hand over the right to reinforce your dominance.
Is it the glistening watch nicely placed on the wrist, or maybe your beautifully polished shoes. No, that would be the first face to face contact.
Now think back further. Does your first impression start at the front door and how loudly you knock. The first glance, the attire you are wearing, the amount of skin you reveal.
No, think back further. A phone call and your phone voice, distractions in the background, the answering service letting potential customers know that you will get back to them?
No, go back further. People now do a lot more research and they are way more informed. They know more than they used to.
So, it must be your website. It's nicely paid out, has good graphics, has an up to date blog, is very informative, it is mobile responsive, search engine optimized, and ranks on page one of Google for your keywords.
The first impression starts with someone looking at a blank webpage and wondering if they should search for an agent or a listing, a location, a description, or what. What should they type in the search bar?
Try it for yourself. Try looking for a piece of property or a house in some far off land, maybe your dream home. What would you type in the search bar. " looking for the number one top-rated realtor in my favorite location" ? Ya, that's what I would type too.
So, let's step back just one step further. Let's step back to the domain name. A name the could instantly start fulfilling a dream or a vision. " Vancouver Luxury Real Estate Listings" ( dot com ) because really of all of the other ending options .com will be the best and most memorable.
Having or starting with a really good domain name is imperative. The domain name has to speak loud and clear to your potential customers, whether they are buying or selling. The domain name also has to speak loud and clear to search engines. It has to do both.
Once you have a really good domain name your vision can start taking place. Think about it Vancouver ( Location ) Luxury ( type of people or class of customer ) Real Estate Listings ( the product ) a clear statement wrapped into a domain name and it's understandable to both humans and computers.
Having a very good domain name on its own can start drawing a vision, a vision that marketing, design, sales and management can all see right from day one, even before the first line of code is written.
Think about it VancouverLuxuryRaelEstaeListings.com add your listings for free and we can help you get top dollar for your Vancouver Luxury Real Estate Listings, Buying or Selling there is no better place to start.
The domain vancouverluxuryrealestatelistings.com is currently for sale through istockhomes.com Istockhomes Marketing Ltd. and it's been priced high as it’s a one of a kind domain. Domains are not like houses, they are more like properties. A property one side of the street can be worth way more than the other side of the street, water view as opposed to the waterfront. Domains work the same way.
Which domain would you rather own? Waterfront or view of the water. And how many more listings can you get over five years just by having a better domain than your competition? Then when you are finished with the domain it is a property and it can be resold for your asking price.
The domain I've mentioned is vancouverluxuryrealestatelistings.com and my question to you is, would you like one of your competitors to own it? Foreigners are coming to Vancouver and they have money to purchase and they will purchase if they can see the potential for a good return on investment.
Believe it or not, Domaining is coming of age and domains are now appreciating faster than real estate.
Think about it. The first impression is the first impression.
This male’s view of a female in business
I've heard it said that a female does not gain the same respect or garner the same wage as a male counterpart.
Well, in this area all I have is a humble opinion. I like females, and I like them I leadership roles in business. And here comes the "but" actually not really.
As a male, I get up in the morning, shower and then get dressed. I'm not one for shaving every day as I have sensitive skin and break out if I shave. So, aside from that I brush my teeth, brush my hair, take a quick look in the mirror and I'm done for the day. If I happen to do something that gets me dirty I'm not opposed to showering twice or even three times in a day. Outside of being dirty, I have very little need or use for a mirror. The thought of what I look like rarely ever enters my mind.
As I look at my female counterpart I see a couple of different types, some that are concerned about their looks and some that are not. As a typical male, I have nothing against a good looking female, nothing against legs, shoulders, cleavage or the occasional wink. I can even get the warm fuzzies.
Looking at a male I'm quickly drawn to his face, especially when in business attire. The suits all look the same to me, the shiny shoes, a wristwatch, a necktie. Boring.
So, back to the female, one female seems to be constantly concerned about her looks and how she appears to other people if she is being noticed if people find her attractive. I'm a male, I'm at work, I'm thinking about work, I'm married with kids, what use do I have for thoughts of an enticing nature at all.
It's much easier for me to see a female that gives off no confusing messages at all. If her attire just draws my attention to her face and more specifically her eyes I don't get any confusing messages, it's all business.
To me, a female that dresses to business standards in the field she is in, is on par and should be on par with myself wage wise. It's all business.
On the other hand, if a female dresses to impress and showcase her femininity all I really see is that she is only half business because she is half concerned about her appearance and half concerned about business. Her appearance is usually of little or no monetary value to me, therefore, I'd prefer a female who is all business. She can save being all dolled up for outside of work.
To myself, this also applies to high heeled shoes. If they are not comfortable, what is the reason for wearing them?
There are my thoughts, take them or leave them.
What is a million-dollar handshake Part 1
To those of you who believe a handshake is just a handshake, you are wrong!
A handshake can say many different things. It can allude to strength, weakness, confidence, arrogance, compassion,and more. A handshake can also seal a million-dollar deal.
What a handshake does not do is impose a first impression.
A handshake will reinforce a first impression, and set a relationship status in place.
A handshake can speak volumes. Don't believe me? Go to a very public place where you can shake a lot of hands. It could be a church, a conference or any large gathering where you can meet and greet.
Now shake a bunch of hands, and take notice of how the handshakes feel. Are they strong and forceful or weak or whimsical? Does the handshake turn into a hug ? Notice the eyes of the person whose hand you are shaking. Do they look down to shake or do they look up and make good eye contact?
Now assess the person. Does their handshake relate to who you believe them to be as a person?
Now, what about you? What does your handshake say about you?
A handshake, your handshake actually says a lot about you. Your approach, your embrace, your angle. If you know and study to understand how and why a handshake is what it is you will be ahead of your opponent.
I know, you say, but they are usually a friend and not an opponent. My response to that is that a handshake can also portray the friendship.
There is more to some handshakes than most people know about. For instance to get "the upper hand " refers to a handshake. To have or get the upper hand makes you the dominant person, the boss of the situation.
So, how does having the upper hand relate at all to getting a million-dollar handshake?
There is another common saying that is of use to remember. It goes like this. " Your reputation precedes you " that is your reputation comes before you. Your reputation comes before your handshake and it comes before your first impression.
So, a million dollar handshake is established very quickly. Especially when the handshake will only last around 2-3 seconds. Therefore the lead up to the million dollar handshake is of utmost importance.
So, let's step back just one step. Let's step back to eye contact.
Eye contact, good eye contact also says a lot about a person. A lot of people are very uncomfortable with making eye contact. They will instead look down at the handshake and holds the eyes down. Don't do this if you are wanting to complete a million dollar handshake.
Have your eyes meet the eyes of our opponent, hold the eye contact as long as you can then briefly look down to make sure your hand shake connects with your opponent , establish the handshake, gain the upper hand if this is your goal and then return quickly to re-establish the good eye contact and do your best to keep good eye contact through out the conversation.
In the conversation speak clearly and with confidence. Know what your objective is and how you want to achieve your end goal.
Your meeting, your million dollar handshake. You are actually only about 10-15 seconds into the conversation and you are just getting warmed up. The problem is your opponent, they have already come to a conclusion. They have already assessed your physical appearance, your dress, your code of conduct, your confidence level, and gathered all of the info needed to make their decision.
You have had years to prepare for this moment in time. Did you prepare properly?
What is a million-dollar handshake Part 2
You find yourself at a conference and out of the blue a person holds out their hand to you and then introduce themselves by saying hello followed by your name and then continue to say “I’m” followed by their name. They then continue to tell you that they have been following you online and watching your progress. They seem to know your business and they seem to know you.
The problem here is you know nothing about them. They don’t have the recognizable face of the millionaires or billionaires that you have been following or studying. You also find that you have less than a second to assess them and maybe place them in a category. Are they an underling, a peer, or a mentor.
They know your name and you know nothing about them.
So, What’s your next move?
Step 1. Show them respect. Male, female, black, white, whatever, it doesn’t matter so show them respect.
Step 2. Assess what you can but don’t judge. Never Judge someone on the first impression take the time to hear them out.
Step 3. As you reach out and glance down to connect a handshake, quickly notice the watch if they are wearing one, the shoes, the clothing, is this person dressed similarily to everyone else, dressed better than average, or are they dressed more casually?
Step 4. Return to eye contact as soon as you can you only have about a second or so and you already are the uninformed one in this situation.
Step 5. Shut up and listen. This person in front of you could be wanting to be an ally or an adversary and they already know more about you than you know about them. This is not the time for you to toot your own horn or show off all of your badges. Let them ask you questions and let them control the conversation. Here you need to be approachable and yet guarded because you don’t know who they are. Remember to be friendly, show genuine interest in them and don’t forget their name. If you didn’t get their name when they first said it then ask again to make sure it is clear in your head. Let the conversation play out. If they offer a business card take it, if they ask for a business card have one to give. Do not force them to take a business card if they have not asked for one.
Step 6. Who were they and why did they approach me?
Once the conversation has come to a conclusion and you have learned what you can while letting them lead the conversation, take what you have learned and go do your homework. Find out who they are and what they do. Then if interested follow-up, send them an email, thank them for meeting, connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or what ever platform you prefer, Just don’t make yourself a stalker by connecting on every platform. Take some time do your research and get to know them and start to build a relationship one step at a time.
If you are the one reaching out try to know who you are reaching out to and why. Get out of your comfort zone, but don’t act the fool, show respect to everyone.
Btw. This blog I wrote for myself. So I could go back and read it again later.
Your Business Marketing Checklist
A professional looking profile image ( selfies say something about you. )
LinkedIn ( 500+ connections )
Google plus business
Apple App Store
Istockhomes business profile
Blog. ( Tumblr, Google, blogger or other )
Business website ( content management system, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or other )
About us page
Proper meta tags.
Mobile first, mobile ready or responsive ? ( readable using a cellphone without resizing ).
Some platforms are very user intensive and time-consuming and offer little reward after your initial impact, other platforms are less user intensive and some platforms are designed for you to do little or nothing. Less is better!
I'm Brad Camp, The chief designer of http://istockhomes.com as the person responsible for building, designing and getting the marketing started I realized over time that a huge amount of time can be wasted trying to keep up with all of the marketing that a business owner could believe they need to do.
After years of figuring it all out, I've come to the conclusion that content is king, location is everything, virtual property is real property, and time wasted is time wasted.
So, is there a better way to accomplish all of the above and still be able to sit on the beach enjoying a tropical beverage? The answer is yes even tho very few people will tell you how.
The first thing you will need to do is get a website. By website I mean a domain. If the name of the site is something like bradleydcamp.com it's a personal website and has no sale value. A business website can. Something more like http://istockhomes.com. Please note that a "free" website is worth what you paid for it and usually it's a sub-domain such as bradcamp.tumblr.com or bradcamp.wordpress.org. Having a personal website and pulling as much money as you can out of your own personality and experience is fine but it's hard to sell as a finished product.
A business website is different. Your business website can a should be the online hub of your business, therefore, you need to be able to use it as a tool and you need to be able to sign into it and add to it. If you can sign into it using a username and password this is good. Knowing how to build your own website is good but not necessary. If you have someone or a company build one for you, make sure it is a popular platform so that you can watch YouTube videos on how to use it.
Next, your social channels need to link back and forth to your website, this is done by adding links backlinks and RSS feeds. If you know how to do this great if not search out someone that can help.
This here is my blog for today as my coffee cup is empty. I'm now going to post this on Tumblr. It will then automatically feed itself to my website, Facebook, Twitter, and get sent out in an email. This is what it is to have a website set up to do as little work as possible. No need to sign in to Twitter, Facebook or even my website.
It will take work to get set up properly but it can be done. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email to email@example.com
Quitting is so much easier than staying the course.
When starting your own business and especially when you have a big goal or you want to change the world, no one is going to take you seriously. For a start, most of the people you know are not dreamers or visionaries. Most of the people you know are worried about today and the stresses of today along with today's bills and expenses.
In starting your own business there is a lot of goal setting. You are the person who sets the goal and you are the person that achieves the goal. You are also the person who writes the goal on paper or sets it in your mind to accomplish or etches it in stone.
In the past we used to write business plans in order to figure out what we were going to do and lay it out clearly enough to get financing. In the newer way of doing things we are now creating road maps instead of business plans. Here is the difference in creating a business plan along with a marketing plan we need to make a bunch of assumptions, such as how many people will walk through our doors when they open, how many people will purchase, how many will become loyal customers and how many will become active promoters of the company. In a road map none of this gets written down because we have chosen to be flexible and responsive to the changing environment and economy. We understand that the things of most value today may be of no value tomorrow.
With a business plan if you do not achieve your goals and things outside of your control change around you your business plan may have to be rethought or changed maybe even scrapped entirely. If you are using a road map all you need to do is duck and change directions. Don't forget that your end goal remains in place.
For instance my end goal is to create a paper-free, three comma company, that eliminates large amounts of paper advertising. My mission is to get to that end goal.
Quitting is not an option! To alter course when needed, tack when I must, regroup as needed, all are ok. Just not quitting.
Never stop learning. Some business professionals can read a book a day. I'm not one of them. Almost five years in I've only read about 30 books, I've also spent many hours learning through YouTube. Now, that learning has started to become valuable. I can build my own website and keep it updated, know where to market and even have a published book on Amazon the book is just really a collection of my blogs that I write while enjoying a coffee on my own in my favourite coffee shop.
I understand that their are going to be dark days where you can not see any light at the end of any tunnel, you will want to quit, and no one will shake a finger at you if you do quit. The reason that they won't shame you for quitting is because they won't know or understand you end goal or your reason for going after it.
When you set a goal go after it with all that you have, whether it is reading a book a day, writing a blog, uploading a video, or getting a certain numbers of followers. Etch your goal in stone and go after it. Just remember to make it an achievable goal with a time limit and make it specific. For it is easier to quit and no one is going to blame you for quitting something when they have not even taken the first steps in getting started.
I guess, I'm an entrepreneur and I'm on a journey to a goal. I've done the business plan and the roadmap, I've worked hard and the time has flown by. The work would have been easier if I started with affiliate marketing, paid advertising and selling something that already had a proven track record but that was not an option for me as I had a specific goal.
In having a specific end goal I just had to draw a line from the start to the finish. Well, at least that is how I thought it would be. I never knew that I would have to learn multiple programming languages, different platforms, social media marketing, video, graphic design and the list goes on.
The learning is priceless and I've found the more I learn the more of an expert I become. Things are quickly changing around me as I've been developing the business. For instance I started with creating a website using html, then onto php, from there I lucked into Drupal 7 then Drupal 8 and WordPress and have to keep up with the new technology as it comes along.
When I started I had a brief one line description of what I wanted to accomplish.
In very little time that one line became much more complicated. I found someone close that I could trust and we partnered up. He wanted a proper business. An incorporated business, a trademark, proper accounting. Fortunately he was an experienced business person and is very level headed. He also gave me room to breath and dream and to go after the goal.
One thing that I opted for was no wage until the company was making money. He also insisted that we would not be hiring any employees. This makes for a very long, difficult slug which can be very trying. Hence "today sucks"
It's not just that today sucks, but lots of days along the way suck. That's why so many people quit. That's why so few people succeed. Yes, "Today Sucks" but I'm on an island and I've burned the bridge. I have to succeed. I've left no other option.
Today, may suck for you and you may want to give up and throw in the towel. Don't.
There are better, brighter days ahead. Keep moving forward, keep your dream alive, take some time to yourself, go for a long walk and regroup. Then listen to some motivational speakers, continue to develop yourself, keep learning.
Depending on what you are doing you may not see any money for a year or more yet I've also heard that the longer you have to wait for a paycheck the bigger the paycheck will be. Think of your dream like filling a balloon with air the bigger the balloon the longer it will take to fill and the louder the sound will be when it pops.
If today sucks for you, don't stress over it just keep calm and carry on you will get there.
Home sweet home
As an entrepreneur it's very easy to get wrapped up in your work as creating consumes time and also takes a lot of your mental capacity even when not clocking in hours.
I eat work, sleep work, dream work, and blog while drinking my morning coffee. This seems to become life as normal.
So here is a warning. Most dream cars come with two seats just so that at times you can have a passenger and not look like a complete loner. Truth be told you will be spending a lot of time alone. Physically alone and alone in your thoughts and very few people will understand the language that you are creating for yourself. In this work you could end friendships with people who are holding you back, your marriage could suffer, your family could suffer and you could end up very rich and very alone.
The best way to avoid this is to be very aware of the possibility of this happening and then make sure to avoid it. Take time to be with your family, take deliberate days off, and give yourself mental holidays, go to public places and look up at times to say hello to people that you come across, who knows they could be going through the same challenges as you.
I've come across people who have unknowingly lost their marriage partner just because they were too busy working to provide financially and completely neglected their partner emotionally and physically.
The same is possible with your children. Remember the song. "Little boy blue and the man o the moon" could it be saying something to you.
With some effort, you could possibly involve your spouse and children In your business and you could try to allocate some of the tasks to other people.
Think of making use of other people's time and other people's money but in doing this you will also have to be aware that there are lots of people who want to be involved in up and coming business. So, be very wary about who you partner up with or include in your business.
Subcontracting out some projects can be of great assistance but I came across a glitch in coding where I learned that without a specific contract a programmer could end up owning a part of your business just because they worked on the coding. For this reason, I'm very cautious about letting anyone into the backend of my website design work, or the undisclosed side of my business.
I have a roadmap to success and I protect it very carefully and I only speak of projects or processes that are already publically available to everyone.
Home sweet home, keep your heart close to home, keep your family as a higher priority than your business and if you are religious make sure to keep that also in its place. For your business and creation can be a rabbit hole that takes you to places that you were never expecting to go.
After 3-5 years of training yourself, training your mind, building your confidence, acquiring general and specific knowledge, building a profitable business becomes a repeatable process.
This is not to say that building a business is easy. It's not! Building a business is hard, the hours are long, the frustrating times are yours to deal with. The financial reward is not very rewarding. In fact, you could end up going a year or more with little or no income.
When starting your first business venture, asking for advice can be detrimental depending on who you ask and 90% of the people you ask will just suggest you give up the dream and get a job like the rest of society. These people will assure you that 9 out of 10 businesses fail to succeed.
If you do succeed with your first business venture and end up with a large amount of working Capital be very very careful not to invest it all in your next business venture. Having working Capital that you did not previously have, paired with the success of your first business can lull you into the belief that you are successful and this can create a relaxed attitude and give you unwarranted trust in employees that don't really have the success of your new business near and dear to their heart.
As I've looked at other serialpreneurs I've noticed that once successful they don't seem to change much in appearance, their wardrobe remains about the same as does their personality. A sales person will dress the part, nice car, nice clothing, a fancy watch, nice tidy hair, shiny shoes, everything top notch.
As an entrepreneur, an introvert, left-handed writer, ambidextrous with most tools. Creative, and analytical thinker. I am who I am. I don't like crowds, don't like being in the limelight and don't need to impress people, if they like me fine, if not who cares.
I've noticed in developing my first business I've also been thinking of my next project, actually, even my first business is really nothing more than a project. It has a start, a goal, a roadmap, and an exit strategy. I am not intertwined with my business so much that it can not survive without me. The business is also not my baby, my pride, and joy. It's a project, just like painting out a room, building a piece of furniture, or crafting a piece of art. What has become more important is developing myself on a personal, physical, and spiritual level and creating a path where I can do some good in the world.