An Open Message To Everyone Who Falls Short of Their Goals

In conclusion, falling short of your goal is normal. You need to experience failure so you will know which parts you should improve on. If you have fallen short in achieving success, get up, analyze the process and start all over again. Never be discouraged when you have fallen short of your goals.

Dear Friend,

I heard that you are falling short of your goals again. I know it sucks, but it’s not time for tears and sorrow. It’s time to get up, get started and analyze why you’re missing your goals yet again.

You know, everyone wants to achieve their goals and everyone expects that they will. However, did you know that typically more people fail to achieve the goals that they set? You’re probably not falling short with your goals due to a lack of capability, the problem lies with the approach of how you’re going about accomplishing these goals.

This  post is an open message to everyone who falls short of their goals and how they can overcome it:

1. You’re Thinking Short Term

Short term thinking is a big reason why too many people miss out or fail to accomplish their goals. You want to achieve success within a certain period, but what happens when you don’t achieve your goals within a certain period? Does that mean you have failed? It will certainly feel like it, but it doesn’t have to mean you actually failed.

It can also mean that you just simply need more time to accomplish your goals. Having deadlines for your goals are good so you have some sort of pressure to get started, but they can also cause you to give up too soon. By missing your deadlines, you may seem like you have failed when in turn you may have made great progress and just need some more time. Don’t think short term, figure out how you can get to your goal regardless of the circumstances.

2. Fear Of Success And/Or Failure

Some people are afraid they will fail or, even worse, that they may actually succeed. As a result of this, they don’t even bother trying to attain a goal. When people lack belief in themselves and in their potential, they have no chance at success.

In their mind, if they fail, everyone will think negatively of them. And if they succeed, people will be envious and think negatively of them. So it becomes a lose-lose situation no matter how they look at it. However, you must realize that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Don’t be scared of success or failure because you’re only fearful of what others will think.

3. Lack Of Commitment To The Goal

Even though people state they want to achieve a certain goal, they’re really not committed to it. Due to this lack of commitment, they don’t give the their full efforts in attaining their goals. As it goes with anything in life, if you don’t give it your all, you receive mediocre results. Commitment is crucial for attaining any goal.

Before setting a goal, mentally prepare yourself to achieve the goal. Visualize what it feels like to achieve the goal, how you will celebrate it and what you will do after accomplishing it. By creating these kinds of visualizations in your mind, it is a powerful technique to commit yourself to the goal.

Now that you know WHY you have fallen short of your goals, let’s discuss HOW you can stand up and achieve success again:

Know Your “Why”

Knowing your “why” keeps you going during tough times. It’s essential to have a purpose that drives you forward, one that’s beyond an assigned quota or some revenue goal that you’d like to meet. Create a deeper meaning and purpose out of the things you do to keep yourself motivated at all times.

Create A Vision For Yourself

Having a vision gives you a sense of purpose and direction. You’ll cope much better with short-term failures since you know what the bigger picture looks like. Furthermore, it will also give you a sense of calmness, because you’ll realize that achieving something big doesn’t happen overnight and you’re completely okay with it. Remember that your dream doesn’t have an expiration date.

Find A Reason Why You Should Take Responsibility

A great way to do this is to put ‘positive pressure’ on yourself. When you fail to live up to your word, you’re not only letting yourself down but also the people around you. Letting someone else down is a much worse feeling than only yourself. Believe me, you want to avoid this feeling at all cost because you don’t want to make promises that you can’t keep especially towards people you care about in your life. This added motivation should drive you to go relentlessly after what you want in life with no more excuses.

Keeping Everything In Line

In order to finally do better, you first need to understand “goal congruence.” If one goal isn’t aligned with the other, you’re much more likely to fall short of both. Usually, when we set a goal, we just define the “what” and leave it at that. In other words, we describe some new behavior or new outcome we want to adopt. You need to line up all your pieces in order to really achieve success with your goals.

In conclusion, falling short of your goal is normal. You need to experience failure so you will know which parts you should improve on. If you have fallen short in achieving success, get up, analyze the process and start all over again. Never be discouraged when you have fallen short of your goals.

8 Ways To Increase Engagement With Your Audience

Engagement is not about growing the audience, but taking care of the one you already have. That’s how small audiences turn into loyal armies. In this post, I shared with you 8 ways to increase engagement with your audience.

One of the most critical objectives for content marketers is increasing engagement with website visitors. While the term has been around for decades, the concept of engagement has taken center stage in the digital age. In an era where multi-screen usage is nearly at its saturation point among connected consumers, the problem of distraction is only going to get worse.

Engagement doesn’t just start or begin at your website. It goes even further that including your social media channels. Brands and marketers who can get an audience to engage with their content, products and offerings at a higher level achieve far more success than those who are unable to do so.

Here are 8 ways to increase engagement with your audience:

1. Offer Serious Value

Not sure where to start with your content? Follow one simple rule: Help other people. You can do this by creating valuable content. Valuable content is anything that makes a positive impact in someone else’s life. This can be things like a list of actionable tips, an ebook that explains a complicated subject in an easy-to-understand way or a podcast that features uplifting messages of hope for those who need to hear it.

Valuable content can be anything as long as it helps your audience. That makes it difficult to define because only you know what it means to offer serious value to your own audience. You can figure this information out through surveys, experimentation or a competitive analysis.

2. Search Referrals Get More Engagement

Data shows that Google search referrals are 10% more likely to continue browsing and see beyond one page on a website. Social referrals see a 65% bounce rate on one page. So, even though it’s great for you to get your content shared on social networks, it’s also a good idea to optimize your pages with the right search keywords and phrases.

People don’t realize that social media is highly distracting. As a result of this, people have very low attention spans when they leave social media to go somewhere else. The search engines are far less distracting and people have an agenda in mind. Search traffic is still extremely valuable especially to get interested users to connect with a brand.

3. Use Multiple Forms Of Content

95% of communication is nonverbal, but so many people limit their content creation efforts and engagement efforts to solely writing. Don’t forget that a website can be a multi-format platform. Audio content enables people to hear your voice and video content enables people to hear your voice and see your face.

This helps you get beyond that 5% of communication that is just written. It creates a deeper connection with the audience and it caters to those with the ‘short attention span’. While video or audio is more time consuming to create, it also has a much longer shelf life. Content with longer shelf life results in increased levels of engagement over the long run.

4. Write About Newsworthy Topics & Be The First To Jump On Trends

Looking out for trends and being the first to write about them is a great way to grow your audience and increase engagement at the same time. Reading larger publications in your industry can be a great way of spotting these trends; you can then publish posts, commentaries or responses to what’s happening.

5. Publish At All Hours

For virtually every social media platform, it’s a best practice to increase engagement by publishing when your buyer personas are online. This typically means creating social media posts outside the normal work hours. Studies have found that early morning and evening posts have around a 20% higher engagement than those posts made between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.

6. Make It Easy For Your Audience

Your audience may love to connect with you, share your content and jump into the conversation. However, they won’t do any of the above if you make it difficult for them to do so. Try to make the process as seamless as possible or even consider incentivizing your audience for sharing your material with others.

Spending too much time on the content creation side of things makes it easy to forget what life is like on the content consumption side. Avoid this pitfall by empathizing with your audience. Understand what they see as visitors to your site and make their user experience easy and hassle-free.

7. Be Consistent And Reliable

Once you’ve got your audience’s attention, it is now crucial that you are consistent. Is there anything worse than getting hooked on a weekly blog only for the author to go on an unexplained hiatus for 3 weeks? In a world where everything is just one click away, it’s unlikely that an audience is going to remain loyal to you for long if they think you have nothing new to say or post.

If you’re consistent in your delivery of valuable and insightful content, your audience will consistently return to consume it. Similarly, knowing what time to post content is crucial so you know when your audience is willing to engage with you and is eager for new material.

8. Offer Your Readers Something Helpful For Free

For a lot of websites, around 75% of visitors will never return. What can you do about this? The most effective solution is to offer a free download in exchange for joining your email list. or blowing a new visitor away with your content. The most valuable asset you have in getting someone to return is a way to contact them.

Mailing lists have become extremely popular and it allows you to lure your user back to your website on a regular basis. You can often times give a free download such as an ebook, template, checklist, discount code or something else in exchange for their email address. Exactly what you choose will entirely depend on your blog, your offering and ultimately your niche.

Conclusions

Engagement is not about growing the audience, but taking care of the one you already have. That’s how small audiences turn into loyal armies. In this post, I shared with you 8 ways to increase engagement with your audience.

How I Sold 2 Companies For A Profit In The Last 5 Years

Whether you plan to build a startup or to sell a company, planning must be a priority in your business. Selling a company is not easy, but if it was built with a solid foundation and has all the right things going on, it won’t be too tough to find a suitor. In this post, I shared with you tips on how I sold 2 companies for a profit in the last 5 years.

Running a business that makes money and is healthy is extremely satisfying. For some though, selling a business especially for a profit can be even more satisfying. In my case, I wanted to move on to other projects and I had built solid businesses over the years so I decided to find a suitor to purchase them.

Regardless of what your motive for selling a business is, I share my handbook on what it takes to turn a profit for your company in this article. Surprisingly, anyone can sell a business for a profit as long as they have the right mindset, approach and rationality when it comes to the entire process.

Here are some tips on how I sold 2 companies for a profit in the last 5 years:

1. Know When It’s The Right Time To Sell Your Business

Entrepreneurs often rely on the gut feeling of when the time is right. You can quite often get a feel for your business, you can see what’s coming and you can see when it may be a good time to sell out. Timing is crucial to successfully sell your business for a profit.

There is no right answer to determining when it is the right time to sell your business. Look at the overall landscape of other businesses in your industry and see how you feel internally about your business. I sold one of my businesses purely based on the speculation that I had grown it as much as I possibly could while I sold another business because I saw other competitors getting bought out in our industry. It’s really about gauging internal and external factors to make a decision.

2. Set Realistic Pricing Expectations

Everyone on the company side should understand and accept an honest valuation. Setting these expectations early after doing the proper due diligence will help keep everyone in the ownership team united. You’re obviously going to negotiate for the best price position with potential acquirers, but you want to keep a realistic number in mind for the valuation of your business.

Often times, your acceptance of the actual value of the business may be hindered because of your bias to your own business. Every founder in the world will always overvalue their business. My founding team felt the same way on numerous occasions so we decided to bring in a 3rd party valuator who had zero bias to give us a value for our business. This helped lower everyone’s expectations and set everyone back to reality.

3. Hire A Broker

When it’s time to sell, you can always find a business broker to help you. Professional brokers are already connected to buyers and investors. Their entire business depends on presenting your business in the best possible light to the right buyer. They also know how to present financials and prepare you for the type of questions a buyer will likely ask. However, be prepared, their fees will vary and can range from 7-12% of the final sale price or $10,000 flat.

For my first business, I hired a broker to help me out with the selling process. Especially because I had no experience in selling a business, I thought it would be a great idea to get a broker. It was very helpful and we were able to successfully sell our business after a few months of searching!

4. Stage Your Company And Yourself

Your company should be presentable before you show it to prospective buyers. Financial statements must be current and done frequently because every potential acquirer is going to want to see the numbers behind the business.

Not only that, but you want to make sure that all contracts and documents within the business are properly maintained. If you don’t have these documents in place, you may have to get your founding team back together to sign these documents. You want to make the selling process as smooth of a transition for the buyer as possible.

5. Reach Out To Buyers

Many people thought it would be a ‘desperate’ move on my part to reach out to other companies that I thought would be a good fit to acquire us. However, I decided to give that route a shot and that’s exactly how we sold our second company.

We sent out cold emails to companies that were in our niche and crafted a unique pitch to them sharing why we thought they should buy us out. After a few months and lots of long conference calls, we got an official offer. We accepted that offer and within a few short weeks, I had sold my second company in less than 5 years.

7. Make Sure Your Business Is Transferrable

Buyers are going to want everything to continue to run smoothly, even when you are out of the picture. Your systems need to be able to be taught, as well as your standard operating procedures. You also need to make sure that the value of your business will not be lost without you because that will be concerning for potential suitors.

Not only that, but buyers are going to want to ensure that the revenue will be sustainable even when you leave. Do what you need to do to make sure that you can transfer the business over to someone else without having to be involved for too long. I would consult the new owners for no more than 6 months before ensuring that they would be fine on their own.

8. Understand The Timeframe

The time it takes to negotiate these deals is a lot longer than you may think. You have to get your partners, board/investors and everyone else all to agree. You also need to spend the time to go out and talk to the interested parties and put together important documents. From here you need to agree with the interested party, sign a term sheet and then this term sheet gets turned into a contract.

Once you have agreed to the contract (this takes a lot of time), you have to finalize a lot of CP’s (condition precedents). Once all of this is done then the money will finally hit your bank account. Be prepared to spend a few months at the minimum to get this entire process done.

9. Show Continued Growth

A better purchase than a company that will maintain revenue is a company whose revenue will continue to grow quarterly. By giving buyers a growth plan, they will be able to see that the investment in your company is one that will continue to bring something to the larger business, and will add value to the idea of purchasing.

In addition to that, people want to purchase a business that is growing. If a business is stagnant or even on the decline, it isn’t the best time to sell and people aren’t going to want to buy it. Find ways to keep your business growing and sell at those times.

10. Prepare Early

If you are going to want to sell your company, you are going to need a lot of information to present to negotiating buyers. You need to have the idea to sell in mind about a year before you actually go into the selling process.

The earlier you begin to prepare, the less headaches you will have later down the road. The best advice I can give anyone looking to sell their business is to stay extremely organized and to prepare for the process as early as they can.

Conclusion

Whether you plan to build a startup or to sell a company, planning must be a priority in your business. Selling a company is not easy, but if it was built with a solid foundation and has all the right things going on, it won’t be too tough to find a suitor. In this post, I shared with you tips on how I sold 2 companies for a profit in the last 5 years.

8 Invaluable Tips For Increasing Your Charm & Charisma

Charisma is a collection of traits and behaviors that help you appeal to other people. Charismatic people are often successful and people are naturally drawn to them. They retain the best talent in their teams and people listen to their ideas. In this post, I shared with you 8 invaluable tips for increasing your charm & charisma.

When you are able to leave a positive and lasting impression on anyone you come across, the world will become your oyster. Some people are born charismatic while others develop that quality over time. The good news is that this charming talent is learnable and yours for the taking.

If you’ve ever met someone likable, yet you couldn’t explain specifically why you like them, it’s probably because they are extremely charismatic. You can learn to be charismatic too just by making some modifications to your behavior. Charisma is about what you say and do as opposed to who you really are as a person. Your subconscious, social cues, physical expressions and the way you treat others all play a part in developing your charisma.

Here are 8 invaluable tips for increasing your charm & charisma:

1. Develop A Sense Of Confidence

Having confidence will give you a huge foothold when you’re becoming more charismatic, but it’s not easy to build. You don’t want to be arrogant, but you also don’t want to come across as timid or scared. It all comes down to how you feel in your own skin. Working out regularly, dressing in clothes that make you feel good and talking about the things you understand well can help you build and maintain confidence.

Confidence is about being okay with what you do and who you are, no matter what that means. People like confident individuals, even if their other qualities are less attractive. If you can be confident, you’re one step closer to developing the charisma you want.

2. Start Showing More Expression In Your Face

Be more expressive with your face. Learn to express emotions more clearly and more accurately. To be more charismatic you need to practice different expressions in a mirror and solicit feedback from others on how well you’re communicating your feelings. The flip side of showing more emotion in your face is learning how to control your expressions. Instead of letting everyone know you’re angry or frustrated, you should try to appear calm, cool and collected in social interactions.

3. Improve Body Language And Presence

Body language and “presence” are important aspects of charisma. Without saying a word, the right body language can transmit strength, warmth and likability. Research shows that charismatic people tend to be very positive, so do your best to maintain a positive outlook.

Presence is a bit different from body language as this has to do with the quality of your attention. When you have the “presence”, you devote all of your attention to the person you’re with and you don’t let your mind wander to something else. You give yourself and your attention solely to that person.

4. Know How To Use Touch Powerfully

Touch can be incredibly powerful. It can influence behavior, increase the chances of cooperation and make the person doing the touching seem more attractive and friendly. However, you need to take the right approach. A light pat on the back with sincere words can calm an enraged person. Be careful with how and where you touch, but it’s a powerful tool for impacting peoples.

5. Conquer The Basics Of Conversation

Charismatic people know how to talk other people. They know how to start a conversation, steer it in the right direction and make others feel comfortable. If you don’t know how to talk to people on the most basic level, you need to practice. It will be tough, but if you can be brave and step away from the wallflower mentality, it will be very rewarding. It will be uncomfortable at first, but being uncomfortable is how you get better.

Good conversationalists also know how to get people on the same level. They share experiences and tell stories. They utilize humor as a tool and remember that it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Humor, when used the right way, can make you the most likable person in the room. Charisma is more learning about others than it is about others learning about you.

6. Be Charitable

No matter what your circumstance may be, there’s always someone that has got it worse than you. It’s a duty for the human race to help the less fortunate. It doesn’t always mean financially, but more importantly emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

Generosity goes a long way and when people recognize your efforts, they will instantly warm  up to you. However, that’s not to say that you should be charitable just to gain attention. It’s supposed to come from the heart and should not be paraded around like a show.

7.  Take Compliments Gracefully

People are generally not very good at taking compliments. Dishing out compliments is a lot easier for people than it is for them to accept it. When we receive a nice compliment, we  begin to squirm, look uncomfortable and say that our achievements are “no big deal.” A charismatic person does not do this.

Instead, look at receiving a compliment as being given a gift. If you don’t accept it graciously, it can seem like you’re dismissing that person. You don’t want to offend someone who’s reaching out to you. There are two magic words you can use whenever someone gives you a compliment: “Thank You.” Leave it at that. It’s simple, effective and powerful.

8. Let It Come Natural

If you watch a charismatic person, everything always seems to flow naturally. Nothing is ever forced because when it is, it just seems fake and people can see through that. You shouldn’t have to force a certain type of behavior to get attention. If it’s not the type of person you are, you’ll only end up having a hard time keeping up with that image. Building charisma is all about being able to attract people to you so your main focus should be to improve the characteristics you already have and improve on your weaknesses.

Conclusion

Charisma is a collection of traits and behaviors that help you appeal to other people. Charismatic people are often successful and people are naturally drawn to them. They retain the best talent in their teams and people listen to their ideas. In this post, I shared with you 8 invaluable tips for increasing your charm & charisma.

5 Steps For Staying Motivated Even When Your Friends & Family Aren’t

Not everyone is built or raised with the same mindset, which will cause for various environments to provide or take away motivation. In this post, I discussed 5 steps for staying motivated even when your friends & family aren’t.

In life, there may be times when negativity seems to surround you, which may in turn cause you to feel hopeless. When that happens, many go through their day being filled with negativity and they begin to accept it as a way of life. While you can’t always control what happens to you, you can control how you respond to it.

Things don’t always go our way in life and it’s just something that we have to adjust and grow from. However, staying motivated can be tough when you’re in a toxic environment where your friends and family members may not have the same mindset as you. At this point, you really have one of two options. Be stronger than them and find other avenues for motivation or give in and allow their mindsets to take over.

Here are 5 steps for staying motivated even when your friends & family aren’t:

1. Feel What They Feel

When disappointing or upsetting things happen, some people get overwhelmed with negative emotions, while others try to avoid those feelings all together. Neither alternative works very well because getting stuck in anger or frustration can paralyze you while pretending that you’re not feeling anything can have long-term negative effects on your health and mental state. Successful people find the middle ground where they allow their feelings to be felt before slowly moving through them. Often times, giving yourself a little time to grieve, get upset or feel sad is absolutely okay.

2. Control What You Can And Stop Worrying About What You Can’t

Some things are within your control, while other things are not. Learn to recognize the difference. Refuse to worry about circumstances beyond your control. Don’t allow yourself to become so emotionally entangled that it paralyzes your progress. Things may not always work out perfectly, but the sooner you get over them, the quicker you move on to your next victory. Only you can control your own actions and reactions.

3. Surround Yourself With Something New

When your environment isn’t the most supportive or motivating group, you may need to surround yourself with something new. I’m not suggesting to leave your friends or family members behind, but I’m just saying that it may be best to expand your supporting cast. By doing this, you may be able to surround yourself with like minded individuals that’ll keep you on your toes and ensure that you stay motivated.

4. Set Attainable Goals

The biggest key when it comes to goal setting is to set goals that are easily attainable. If you’re trying to shoot for the moon immediately, chances are you’re going to be met with disappointment rather quickly. If you want to stay motivated, you need to create a bunch of short term goals that lead to your long term one. By doing this, you’ll stay motivated as you celebrate your short successes along the way while having a clearly outlined plan for the future.

5. Distance Yourself Temporarily 

When you’re in a toxic environment where you feel that you’re being held down, the best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation. As I was going through my entrepreneurial journey, I always tried to change my friends and family members to think the way that I did. However, that was far more strenuous and tough than it was to just separate myself from them temporarily. By doing this, you are alone with your thoughts and nobody is holding you back.

Conclusion

Not everyone is built or raised with the same mindset, which will cause for various environments to provide or take away motivation. In this post, I discussed 5 steps for staying motivated even when your friends & family aren’t.

8 Steps For Attracting The Life You Want

The life you want will happen only if you take the necessary steps to attract it. Surrounding yourself with positivity will only make your life better. In this post, I shared with you 8 steps for attracting the life you want.

Throughout our lives, we are all in search for that something or someone. We want the best friends, best career paths and best partner in our lives. Some spend years while others spend a lifetime searching for this without a guarantee that they will ever find completely happiness.

At the end of the day, this is the search for a happy life. However, it’s a lot easier to say than it is to achieve as most of you know by now. Whether you realize it or not, you can attract the life you want with the right mindset, approach and steps. Regardless of personal circumstances, economic climates or power, we all have the ability to create the life we want.

Here are 8 steps for attracting the life you want:

1. Take inventory of your life

Notice what’s working, what needs adjusting and what absolutely needs to go. Look at the way you’ve been living and doing your life. We can’t change anything if we aren’t aware of what needs changing. You have to reflect on your current life and be highly critical before you can make a change for the better.

2. Take No Less than 100% Responsibility for Your Life

A big myth that many people believe is that they deserve a good life. Unfortunately, that’s a poor sense of entitlement if you believe that.  Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize and the actions they take. They don’t waste their time and energy blaming others and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.

3. Learning New Things

When you’re learning new things, your mind is constantly growing. The people, places and things that used to resonate with you may no longer be as appealing or attractive. Once you have grown and experienced a different way of living, you cannot go back to the person you used to be and as a result, you will start attracting new people, places and things. Constantly be willing to grow and expand your mind.

4. Being Mindful

Being mindful of your thoughts, feelings and beliefs allows you to feel less negative, more present, less reactive and far more responsive to life and its challenges. Mindfulness also helps you to determine whether it’s your thoughts, feelings or beliefs that are negatively distorted. If you’re mindful of everything around you, you’ll be far more proactive in achieving the perfect life for yourself.

5. Release All Your Negative Energy

It’s hard to attract the right things into your life when you’re consumed by negative energy and negative thoughts. The vibrational frequency of our energy will pull the equivalent towards us. Like attracts like. If you’re constantly living in a state of negativity, you’ll end up attracting more of that into your life. You have to release all of the negativity from your life initially and then you need to start attracting positive vibes.

6. Purge Jealousies 

Jealousy of another person’s worldly possessions means that you are occupying your mind with an illusion. Just because someone is driving an expensive car does not mean they necessarily have the money or that they are wealthy. Jealousy is a liar, projecting a false narrative that is almost never grounded in the truth. Let go of your jealousies and make room for true happiness. Embrace the simple things and fill yourself with peace.

7. Patch The Energy Leaks & Find Balance

Notice where or with whom you are spending too much time, money or energy and feeling drained. Where can you create more structure and establish better boundaries? Patch the leaking energy and find balance in your life. This is a big key in life!

8. Gratitude

Gratitude helps us feel good, which increases our good vibes and motivates us toward further self-improvement and positive change. Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present while it magnifies positive emotions. Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off quickly. Gratitude is the key to living a good life because it makes you appreciate the value of everything that you have in life rather than complaining all that your life is missing.

Conclusion

The life you want will happen only if you take the necessary steps to attract it. Surrounding yourself with positivity will only make your life better. In this post, I shared with you 8 steps for attracting the life you want.

8 Important Lessons About Success I’ve Learned From Highly Successful Mentors Over The years

Great mentors offer some of the most valuable words on the planet. A single breakthrough, idea or connection can be worth millions of dollars. In this post, I shared with you 8 important lessons about success I’ve learned from highly successful mentors over the years.

Mentors are some of the most helpful resources you can have as an entrepreneur because they’ve been there and done a lot more than you. However, a large number of entrepreneurs start their careers without one. In an age where instant gratification is glorified, it’s unsurprising that many entrepreneurs and young founders do not seek out a mentor as hard as they try to find a co-founder.

I’ve had the good fortune to develop and maintain relationships with super success individuals  that have helped me along my journey.  Here are 8 important lessons about success I’ve learned from highly successful mentors over the years.

1. Build Something That Actually Solves A Problem

If you want to build a valuable and sustainable business, approach your venture with a problem-solution framework. The most successful companies in the world emerge from genuine needs and consequently create real opportunities and value. “Innovation” is just the process of solving a problem with a creative solution that’s never been thought of or executed before.

2. Be Prepared To Make Sacrifices

The minute you decide to launch a new business, you decide to do nothing else. Build your business for the next year or two. Every minute of every eighteen-hour day should be dedicated to this endeavor. Your business success will come at the expense of family time, friend time, vacations and any other hobbies or activities you once enjoyed. This business has to be your entire life, or it will die.

3. Know Your Why

Starting with defining the “why” will help your business because you’ll have a reason for pursuing this opportunity. Often times, business owners begin by focusing on our products, services or even a chunk of money they want to earn. However, exploring the question of “why” is extremely important. This defines what makes your products and services unique and this also gives you the competitive edge and value-added proposition.

4. Act With Integrity

Always be honest and act with integrity. No matter what happens on the battlefield of business, if you’re honest and authentic, you can never lose. You may lose the sale or miss out on the client, but honesty goes a long way in the business world. Don’t make promises that you can’t deliver on. I always recommend on under promising and over delivering!

5. Build A Great Team & You’ll Typically End Up With A Great Product Or Service

Most entrepreneurs think startups are all about the idea. They’re not. Initially, most ideas are way off base and don’t have product-to-market fit. Investors look at the team as much as the product. If you have a team that knows how to solve problems and persevere, you can brainstorm, iterate and prototype until you arrive at the right idea. The right team has the right blend of attitude, intelligence, perseverance, passion and domain expertise. Investors know it when they see it.

6. Fail Fast

Your first attempt to develop something that has the right product-to-market fit probably won’t work. The sooner you understand what’s not working, the sooner you’ll arrive at a working solution. Therefore, the key is to iterate quickly and ship frequently. Building something that provides value to its respective market will require multiple attempts and failures.

7. Breakdowns Are Opportunities For Breakthroughs

These words provide the motivation that every small business owner needs to hear on a daily basis. It is a reminder that a wise man falls seven times and will rise again. On the eighth time, he or she will arise triumphant with new insight and foresight. The challenge is rising again and reflecting on the lessons learned from past tumbles.

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Push The Boundaries

The most successful companies in the world create a legacy by breaking the rules and not following common beliefs or thinking. When you think unconventionally, true innovation and disruption can occur. You may call it a “paradigm shift” or some sort of “transformation”, but these are the boundaries you have to push. Take the “road less traveled” if you really want to upend an existing business model or traditional industry.

Conclusion

Great mentors offer some of the most valuable words on the planet. A single breakthrough, idea or connection can be worth millions of dollars. In this post, I shared with you 8 important lessons about success I’ve learned from highly successful mentors over the years.

8 Principles Aspiring Entrepreneurs Must Follow For Accelerating Their Success

In this post, I shared with you the 8 principles aspiring entrepreneurs must follow for accelerating their success. Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of work, a ton of vision and a great amount of perseverance. No one is too old to learn new things as an entrepreneur.

Aspiring entrepreneurs who rely only on traditional learning vehicles (teachers, classrooms, and risk-free practices) have a lower chances of succeeding with their startups. With the resources available outside of traditional platforms, you can not only increase your chances of success but also speed up the entire process.

The startup lifestyle is known to be stressful and challenging, but it’s also meant to be satisfying and fulfilling. As an entrepreneur who is in control of their own destiny, the sky is really the limit with what you can achieve. However, every entrepreneur needs to understand some important principles to put themselves on the right path.

Here are 8 principles aspiring entrepreneurs must follow for accelerating their success:

1. Focus On Strengths Rather Than Fixing Weaknesses

As an entrepreneur, you have to really hone in on your strengths and weaknesses. Instead of trying to fix your weaknesses and struggling through that process, solely focus on your strengths. You can always find other solutions for your weaknesses such as partner, employees and even the use of technology.

2. Intelligence & Passion Are Not Enough

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. I’m sure you’ve heard this quote over and over again throughout the years. The reason why it’s spoken about so often is because of how true it is. You can be the smartest and most passionate person in the world, but that’s not enough to help you find success if you don’t work your ass off for it.

3. Learning Means Understanding, Far Beyond Memorization

Great entrepreneurs strive to understand the depth of a customer need, rather than just the ability to recite a long list of features. Technologies are not solutions, but understanding a technology in the context of a customer need will result in more competitive and long-lasting solutions. Forget about traditional schooling which requires you to memorize things for tests. In the real world, you’re going to truly need to understand to succeed.

4. Create Some Short-Term Milestones On The Path To Your Dreams

Dreams alone won’t make you happy or successful, so start early in defining and executing against a set of milestones to celebrate progress along the way. Satisfaction is not a one-time event at the end of your career; it’s a series of good feelings driven by results along the way. Don’t go for home plate all at once, break it up into smaller pieces that are easier to take in.

5. Business Success is Significantly More Difficult to Achieve than Academic Success

In school, a student’s success is measured by things like GPA or test scores. These are helpful measures, but not necessarily a sign of business aptitude. In business, the end result is rarely spelled out ahead of time. You may know the journey but not the destination and if you are accustomed to knowing the destination, you can quickly find yourself lost. In most academic situations, you get some points just for showing up. However, the business world is not so kind. It’s your day to day actions and the results that are derived from those actions that determine your success.

6. Relationships Are A Test Of Your Learning Readiness 

Building a new business today is all about building relationships with your customers and your team. As an entrepreneur with a new startup, you are the brand and customers today expect a relationship. In addition to that, you always need relationships with advisors, investors, influencers and peers.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

Professional athletes can easily spend 3–5 hours or more each day practicing their craft. Their reward comes in the form of a 48 to 60 minute game a couple of times a week. The same principle must be applied to your business goals. If you’ve got client meetings, practice your pitch and your approach to selling them several times. Get feedback from others and put yourself in the best position when the real meeting comes around.

8. Deliver More Than Expected

Successful entrepreneurs are always delivering more than customers expect. This is a great way to get noticed especially as a new company in your industry. Not only that, but this is one of the best ways to build a loyal following. Go the extra mile because it’s always worth it in the end.

Conclusion

Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of work, a ton of vision and a great amount of perseverance. No one is too old to learn new things as an entrepreneur. In this post, I shared with you the 8 principles aspiring entrepreneurs must follow for accelerating their success.

8 Smart Money Moves To Make In Your 20’s

Being smart with money in your 20’s will help you to be financially established when you reach your 30’s. Taking these critical steps can help you to be financially stable and free in the future. In this post, I shared with you 8 smart money moves to make in your 20’s.

Young people are freaked out about finances and planning for the future. Honestly, they have a pretty good reason to be nervous because a lot of people have no clue what they’re doing. Worst of all, this type of thing isn’t properly taught with formal education so many young people are left on their own.

You may not think of your 20’s as a time to get serious about finances. After all, your 20’s are spent figuring out your career and finding a place to settle at. But believe it or not, your twenties are actually the perfect time to establish smart money-related practices.

Here are 8 smart money moves to make in your 20’s:

1. Spend Less Than You Make

Making a habit of living on less than you make will help you reach your financial goals much quicker and easier. If you get used to this early, it will get you in the habit of saving more and spending less, allowing you to save for big purchases — such as a house or car — and put more money towards your retirement.

Spending less than you make will also help you avoid credit card debt. Using credit cards to build your credit can help prepare you for when it’s time to make one of those big purchases, but you have to make sure you’re doing it the right way.

2. Save Up Your Money

A young adult starting out with a job that does more than just cover their living expenses is in the ideal position to develop a solid savings habit. The sooner you start saving, the longer you can take advantage of compound interest.

Money saved in your 20’s and 30’s add up to more by the time you retire than saving the same amount in your 40’s and 50’s. Start by saving a small amount from each pay check for long-term financial goals and increase how much you save as your income increases over time.

3. Create A Budget

Budgeting is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your spending and it can also ensure that you’re not going overboard in any particular category. If you really want to get your finances on the right track, map out a budget and review it every few months to make sure it’s something you can actually stick to. If not, you may need to look at cutting some expenses to avoid debt or cripple your savings efforts.

Nowadays, there are tons of tools that can help you budget even easier. Tools like Mint are specifically created to show people where they spend their money on a monthly basis. You can use that information to create budgets for yourself and make smarter financial decisions.

4. Learn How To Set Goals

Goals are critical to financial success and learning how to set smart goals in life is one of the smartest money moves you can make in your 20s. Craft a comprehensive financial goal, which can act as a guide on how your finances will be for the foreseeable future.

5. Pay Off Your Debts

Education debts, including student loans, credit cards and personal loans can become harder to pay off as time goes by. While you may plan to make larger payments once your income increases, the longer you’re out of school, the more important other opportunities and commitments tend to become.

The money that’s needed to be paid back can possibly hold you back from goals and pursuits, so deal with your debts in your twenties and start your thirties ready to invest in your future. Be extremely conservative when you’re in debt and make it your primary goal to get even.

6. Save For A Home

Though not everyone aims to own a home, if that’s a goal of yours, it’s critical to start saving as early as possible. However, real estate has a lot of long term value and it’s something that everyone should consider at some point.

Most houses are built around 30 year old loans. If you can manage to buy a house in your 20’s, that’s ideal but you want to try to save up and at least buy a house in your early 30’s. By doing this and engaging with a 30 year old loan, you’re setting yourself up to pay off your house completely by the time you also retire.

7. Understand Your Health Insurance

It’s extremely important to understand at least some basics about your health insurance options in order to make sure you’re choosing the best plan that fits your needs. Not only that, but you need to make sure your money is also being spent wisely.

Your health is the most important thing in life. Not only should you have health insurance, but you should have a plan that supports you. In the event of a medical emergency, you don’t want to be in over your head with expenses so always think of the best case and worst case scenarios when choosing your health insurance plan.

8. Decide On Graduate School

Going back to school can be a worthwhile move for many people, but it’s one that does come with a cost. The sooner you come to a decision about graduate school, the better equipped you’ll be to make other financial choices.

If you decide to go back to graduate school, your entire savings plans may change. However, if you’re satisfied with where you’re at….you can focus on things such as buying a home right away. When it comes to graduate school, you should always weigh the opportunity cost before making a decision.

Conclusion

Being smart with money in your 20’s will help you to be financially established when you reach your 30’s. Taking these critical steps can help you to be financially stable and free in the future. In this post, I shared with you 8 smart money moves to make in your 20’s.

How To Share Your Startup Vision With Investors

In this post, I share with you a guide on how to share your startup vision with investors. Raising funding is a lot tougher than most think, but with the right approach it can be achieved successfully.

Startups frequently prepare a “pitch deck” to present their company to a prospective angel investor or venture capital firm. The pitch deck typically consists of a slide presentation and is intended to showcase the company’s products, technology and team to the investors.

As a startup, you have to bring a fresh perspective to get your business noticed. However, it will take more than a good idea to convince a potential investor to cut you a large check.

To capture the attention of people who can accelerate your business and ultimately open their wallets, you must master your investor pitch. As an entrepreneur who has gone through the process of pitching to investors and even getting offered money, I’ve learned quite a bit of what it takes to get noticed.

In this post, I share my guide on how to share your startup vision with investors:

1. Build Relationships Prior To The Money Ask 

The best funding relationships are ones that grow organically. Get to know potential investors before you ever need capital. Go to networking events, introduce yourself and do homework on them long before you’re in the process of raising money.

Every investor is different in terms of what types of companies they like to invest in, what stage these businesses must be in and their threshold for risk. Get them invested in your mission and vision first and then you can show your progress over time. Having a relationship with an investor long before you ask money is a great way to get your foot in the door. You have more power to negotiate terms and investors will be a little bit more lenient with you.

2. Identify The Right Audience 

Each investor has different likes and dislikes, so you need to identify the right audience. You should research potential investors before you talk with them so that your company fits the right stage. Some investors are looking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in late stage companies. On the same token, some investors are looking to throw $25-$100k on companies just starting out.

If you approach an investor, you must know what industries they are actively investing in and what stage companies they are interested in. If you don’t know those two things and you pitch to an investor, things will likely go downhill very rapidly.

3. Develop Proof of Concept With A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Before you begin securing capital for your startup, you must first determine if your company is ready for outside capital. Most experienced venture capital investors in the investing world will want to see that your business has made significant progress bootstrapping. Investors want to see something working on a smaller level and they want their cash to help scale/grow the business exponentially.

Most investors will want to see some kind of minimum viable product built with some sort of traction. If you don’t have any traction or a MVP to show, you are not ready to pitch to investors. Develop a proof of concept before approaching an investor.

4. Determine How Much Capital Is Necessary

Investors want to know how intelligent you are and how strong the founders of a company are. They will ask you how much money you’re seeking as soon as you walk into the room. You need to have a reasonable ask with a really good answer of what that money will be put towards. “I need $100,000 which will be used towards growing our development team, investing in servers and using it for marketing to early adopters to grow our company. We believe that a $100,000 investment is enough to keep us running at a high rate for 12 months.”

That would be a great answer to give an investor because it covers the how much and why that much question immediately. Do your homework, figure out what things will cost and use your proof of concept to help you determine how much capital is necessary.

5. Explain Who Your Audience Is And How You Will Reach Them

Marketing matters. If you cannot describe who will buy your product and how you plan to reach that audience, then you have not done sufficient research. Investors too often see founders come into their offices saying that with their capital, they can find the right target market.

Nope, that’s not good enough. You need to be educated long before you come into the investors room. They aren’t looking to go on a discovery tour with you to figure out your business. The expectation is that you know your business and you just lack funding to take it to the next level.

6. Know Your Numbers And Return On Investment

Investors want to know that you have a clear business model and understand the finances of your businesses. Creating a financial structure is crucial but being able to articulate it is even more important. Investors need to know how your business will make money, in what timeframe and what the return on their money is before considering an investment.

As a startup founder, you have to be diverse in your skills that you know a little bit of everything. The finances of your business in the present and future are going to be just as important. Know your internal finances better than anyone and be prepared to answer the tough questions regarding it when you step into the room with investors.

8. Show That You Are Invested In Your Business

Investors like to see that you have invested cash and not just time in your business. That shows them that you have just as much to lose as them if things don’t end up going well. Investors want to see that you are fully committed to your business.

While it may make personal and financial sense to keep your day job and work on your business part-time, investors want to see that you are dedicating all the time necessary to make your business a success. As an investor, they want to make sure that their money is in good hands. They want someone who will dedicate everything they have to make their business successful.

Conclusion

Potential investors are easy to find but it’s not easy to convince them to listen and share your vision especially if you are just starting up a business and have no value in your name yet. But with the right methods in delivering your vision, these potential investors can become your business partners. In this post, I shared with you a guide on how to share your startup vision with investors.