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Eight things I wish I new before I started.


Entrepreneurship can be a tough game. Almost no college or university level education can prepare you for it. Most of the learning happens on the job.

When I started my first business way back in 2002, little did I expect the journey to be this brutal. Here are some lessons I wish I knew when I first started.
#1 Money is important but not enough

A lot of entrepreneurs manage to raise capital early in the game, but money is just not enough. A sound business model that generates consistent cash flows is important. Besides, you need people to implement your systems.

#2 Focus on people and their needs

Business is all about people. You can’t do it all by yourself. Focus on people, understand their needs, compensate them adequately, and invest in their training. They may or may not stay with you, but it’s important to continually train them.

#3 The owner is separate from his business

It’s important to separate yourself from your business, and look at yourself as an employee and shareholder in your business. I’ve seen that many people struggle to differentiate their personal finances from that of their business.

#4 Choose the right business for you

Sometimes, the difference between success and failure can be just choosing the right business for you. There are times when no matter how much you try, things just won’t work out because market conditions are not in your favor.

For example, the airline industry in most countries has a profit margin of less than 2% and most airlines even though they are run by competent people don’t make money.

#5 Maintain a strong work-life balance

I see a lot of entrepreneurs spend 12 to 13 hours a day in their business. And they’ve been doing it for over 10 years. This eventually causes them to burn out and become unproductive. The moment you start working lesser hours, you find ways to streamline your operations and get things done faster. Nowadays, there are a lot of apps that can help you become more productive.

#6 Start Saving Early

I was never really a big spender. However, I rarely bothered to save money early in my life. If you start saving early, you can use your savings to invest in your business. Savings give you options.

#7 Learn to manage debt better or stay out of it

Some entrepreneurs use debt to start a business, this can be very dangerous especially if you are a first time entrepreneur. A start-up is inherently very risky, especially if the business model is untested.

If the business fails, the business owner still needs to pay back debt because most debts are personally guaranteed by the business owner.

Some entrepreneurs use home loans, and personal loans to start a business because interest rates on these type of loans are low. However, be very careful, less optimistic, and make sure your debt is within manageable limits.

#8 Find a good mentor

Having a good mentor is like parental guidance. You want someone to hold you accountable for your actions, and provide guidance through your journey.

But choose your mentor wisely. It should ideally be someone who has a strong track record of success in business, believes in your idea, and is willing to give you honest feedback without worrying about protecting your feelings.

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5 Tips for Creating Fabulous Instagram Stories

5 Tips for Creating Fabulous Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are everything right now! Are you using them? If so, are you getting the most out of them? Likely not. If you are like most, you are using just the basics to get you from one story to the next and have no idea how to truly customize your stories.

Let’s dive in and fill your Instagram toolbox so your brand can stand out and you can navigate stories like a pro.

Choosing Your Font Color

After you upload or take your photo or video, you can add words that help better get your message across. Click the Aa icon on the top right of the screen.

storyig

Choose any of the preselected colors by swiping the circles to the left and clicking on any of the color circles.

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If you aren’t loving what you are seeing, press and hold down on any of the color circles and it will open up a rainbow of color options. Just move the bubble around and watch the colors change inside it. When you find the one you love, let go and start typing.

story2

 

 

Choose any of the preselected colors by swiping the circles to the left and clicking on any of the color circles.

If you aren’t loving what you are seeing, press and hold down on any of the color circles and it will open up a rainbow of color options. Just move the bubble around and watch the colors change inside it. When you find the one you love, let go and start typing.

5 Ways to Create Better Instagram Stories

If you want to match the color of the font to anything in the image, click the Aa, then click the dropper on the bottom left. Move the bubble over to the color you want to match. Once you have it, release and starting typing.

igstory3

Changing Font Size & Background

You can change the size of your font by dragging the scale on the left up and down. Smaller is lower, larger is higher.

igstory4

You can also add a background to your font by clicking the Aa, typing your text then clicking the boxed in A at the center top of your screen. Click once and you get this:

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Click again for this:

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A third click gets you back to regular text.

igstory6

Creating a Solid Background

Ever wonder how people get those pretty solid colored backgrounds? They aren’t taking photos of construction paper. It’s actually super simple. Take a picture of anything, it doesn’t matter because the color is going to cover it up. Click on the pen next to the Aa. Find a color you love from the circles below and click the circle. Now put your finger anywhere on the photo you took and hold it down. The color will cover the entire image. Magic.

You can use the erase button to erase some of the filler and just reveal a certain piece of the image like this below if you want to get super creative. The erase button is the fourth circle from the left.

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Choose any of the preselected colors by swiping the circles to the left and clicking on any of the color circles.

If you aren’t loving what you are seeing, press and hold down on any of the color circles and it will open up a rainbow of color options. Just move the bubble around and watch the colors change inside it. When you find the one you love, let go and start typing.

5 Ways to Create Better Instagram Stories

If you want to match the color of the font to anything in the image, click the Aa, then click the dropper on the bottom left. Move the bubble over to the color you want to match. Once you have it, release and starting typing.

5 Ways to Create Better Instagram Stories

Changing Font Size & Background

You can change the size of your font by dragging the scale on the left up and down. Smaller is lower, larger is higher.

5 Ways to Create Better Instagram Stories

You can also add a background to your font by clicking the Aa, typing your text then clicking the boxed in A at the center top of your screen. Click once and you get this:

5 Ways to Create Better Instagram Stories

Click again for this:

A third click gets you back to regular text.

Click once and you get this:

Creating a Solid Background

Ever wonder how people get those pretty solid colored backgrounds? They aren’t taking photos of construction paper. It’s actually super simple. Take a picture of anything, it doesn’t matter because the color is going to cover it up. Click on the pen next to the Aa. Find a color you love from the circles below and click the circle. Now put your finger anywhere on the photo you took and hold it down. The color will cover the entire image. Magic.

You can use the erase button to erase some of the filler and just reveal a certain piece of the image like this below if you want to get super creative. The erase button is the fourth circle from the left.

Click once and you get this:

Using Different Pen Sizes

Each pen has a different style. From left to right these are the different options (minus the eraser).

igstory8

Take a Poll

Step one, either take a photo you want in the background or create a solid background. Next, click on the square with the smiley face at the top of the screen. (This is also where you will find all your own emojis, fun IG emoji and location, time and date add-ons.) Click Poll, then type your question.

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You can also change the words in the box by clicking on each of them.

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BONUS TIP: Use Hashtags

Include a hashtag in your story. Just like on your main feed, it boosts your story’s reach.

BONUS TIP 2: Add a Link

If you have 10,000+ followers you can add links to your Instagram stories. Click the the link icon in the center and it will prompt you to add a link.

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Instagram Stories has quickly become everyone’s favorite way of using the platform. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your brand’s story every day with fun, colorful and create Instagram Stories.

Instagram Tip: Story Telling

story telling

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Are you incorporating story telling into your insta strategy? This could be as simple as explaining the story behind the photo you’re sharing, relating your personal life to your content, or every now and again giving your audience a life update.. Great photos can get you pretty far on Instagram but tying them together with a bit of personal story telling is what will really connect you to your audience long term. Are you doing this right now? If not, try it on your next post!
Learn how to increase your visibility, get proven marketing strategies, and learn the most up to date tactics to increase your following and increase sales in our new ebook “How To Take Your Business Online In 2018.

 

 

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life!

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life!

Have you thought how you can make 2018 different from past years?  The secret is simple, change your thoughts.

Since the year is still new, some may be still trying to hold on to that “New Year” feel.  Trying to stick with resolutions and other promises made for 2018.  Many people go into the new year with excitement to start goals & will even claim “New Year, new me” but will carry the same mindset.

If you truly want something new out of the new year & want it to last, your thinking must improve.  Since you want something new, you must do something different.  Whatever your goals may be for the year, I challenge you to shift your thinking – yes, it can happen!

Your thoughts are powerful!  Your thoughts actually controls your entire life!  Thoughts lead into words, which leads to actions, which leads to your life!  Think about your thoughts and ask yourself “what can I do differently to make this year more prosperous than past years?”  I want you to actually “think outside the box” for 2018!  Think diversely for 2018 so much that it will blow yourself away.

“…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  Philippians 4:8

…until next time!

How To Set Achievable Goals For 2018

How To Set Achievable Goals For 2018

Happy New Year guys! The new year is a time for setting new goals and resolutions (I haven’t made a resolution in years). Most of us set financial goals and goals to get in shape. You also need to spend time setting goals for your career or business.

How many of you have set clear, written goals and made detailed plans on how to accomplish them. If you haven’t, sit down and come up with a plan of action for each goal. A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Here are a few things you should do in order to write a clear and concise set of goals.

  • Decide what you want to accomplish
  • Break your goal into smaller, more achievable goals
  • Develop a plan of action to achieve each goal

Your goals should be well defined, achievable, and time focused.  You should keep track of your progress and analyze whether your plan of action is  working or needs to tweaked. If you see you’re not getting the desired results, make adjustments. If it’s not working, change your strategy not the goal.

Getting an accountability partner is another great way to stay on track with your plan of action. Meet with your partner and lay out each goal, your plan to achieve them, and your time for each goal. Meet with your accountability partner periodically to go over how things are going with your goals. Don’t be selfish, help your partner with their goals also. Try not to make it just about you. That’s the whole point in having a partner. Help each other!

Creating vision board is another way to help with achieving your goals. I’m a visual person. I truly believe that things tend to manifest once you put them on paper. Grab a few magazines, a poster board, scissors, a little glue and start making your vision plain. Place your vision somewhere you can see each day. Looking at it each day will give you a little more motivation to make sure you make them happen.

Have you set your goals for the year? Do you believe in vision boards? Let me know what you think in the comments.  Grab a copy of the our new ebook Taking your Business Online In 2018. 

Youtube = Television

Internet Marketing (1)

Youtube = Television
❓Did you know…
📈55% of people watch a video online each day and that number is growing!
📊45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week!
📉More than 500 million hours of video are watched on Youtube every single day!
🚀Videos get the highest engagement of all content types, of course!
✅Unlike television, It does NOT cost a fortune!
📱You don’t need a media crew, merely a smart phone!
👍So start posting more videos today, and watch the engagement grow! 😦

Hashtags for Days of the Week

 

Why Use Daily Hashtags_

There are many ways to use hashtags to grow your business. There are various types of hashtags, including location-based hashtags, industry hashtags, custom business hashtags, and of course, daily hashtags.

Location-based hashtags are a great way to increase your local presence and get more in-store visitors. Industry hashtags provide an effective means of boosting your credibility and showing your thought leadership. Custom business hashtags can help to personalize your brand and increase brand loyalty.

Daily hashtags are more general, as they have to do with days of the week, but if you use those which are relevant to your business, daily hashtags can be a great tool for boosting your social media presence and getting your brand in front of more of the right people.

 

Use popular hashtags every day of the week.

These include

  • #MotivationalMonday – Start your followers’ week off right with some motivational quotes and photos
  • #TechTuesday – Reveal new gadgets you’re using for your business, or offer tech tips
  • #WisdomWednesday – Share wise words of advice for your followers related to your industry

 

  • #ThankfulThursday – Thank someone who’s helped your business, your customers, or tell people what you’re thankful for. Gratitude goes a long way toward building customer loyalty on social media

 

  • FoodieFriday – Great for restaurants and fitness businesses
  • #SmallBusinessSaturday – Use this on SmallBusinessSaturday to promote your business, feature a neighboring business, or encourage your followers to shop local
  • #SundayFunday – Continue the weekend fun by sharing fun ways to use your business’s products

Click below to get our FREE Ebook

49 Daily Hashtags for Small Business Marketing .