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19

Oct

Blog has moved!

I’ve moved everything over to my new site http://www.sosuniversity.com

08

Oct

startupquote:

Running a startup is like being punched in the face repeatedly, but working for a large company is like being waterboarded.
- Paul Graham

Ha! So true.

startupquote:

Running a startup is like being punched in the face repeatedly, but working for a large company is like being waterboarded.

- Paul Graham

Ha! So true.

startupquote:

When you’re a one man show you have to focus on the most important thing to get done today.
- Noah Everett

startupquote:

When you’re a one man show you have to focus on the most important thing to get done today.

- Noah Everett

06

Oct

2 Reasons You Should Under-promise and Over-deliver as an Entrepreneur

I had to get some awards made with engraving and, of course, I waited until the last minute to get them ordered. I ran down to the Things Remembered store here in town and the guy there helped me find what I want.  Next, the dreaded question: “How fast can you get these done because I need them for tomorrow night.” He told me they would be done by 5pm the next day BUT that I should call at noon the next day to see if they might’ve had time to do them.

I placed the order just happy to have something that I could pick up late the next night.  The deadline would be met. I also put in my calender to call the store at noon the next day just to see if they were done. No way in Hell, I thought.

So I called today at noon thinking they’d tell me to come by after five pm and before closing at 9pm.  NOPE!  She said they were ready!  WHAT?!

So I ran to the mall and checked out the great job they did. Oh, and then I realized I’d forgotten to order one more. Dumbass! 

I humbly asked if there was any way she could do one more. She said, “No problem, if you have another store you need to go checkout I’ll have it done in 15-minutes.”

NO WAY! 

Yes way.

So not only did they do a great job on the product, they also blew me away with their service.

So here are 2 reasons you should under-promise and over-deliver as an entrepreneur:

Don’t look like an ass: If you promise the moon then fail to deliver you’ll look like an idiot and you may lose that customer.  You effectively just lied to them. Instead do what Things Remembered did for me. Set a conservative deadline, then beat it. 

You’ll Look Like a Rockstar: If you do this over and over again you’ll gain the reputation of being a business rockstar.  Surprise your customers by delivering more than you promised. Don’t let them expect it. That takes all the fun out of it.

So get out there and start under-promising. Then work your tail off to over-deliver your kickass product or service. Your customers will love you for it!

30

Sep

3 Reasons You Need to Get Away from Your Small Business

Do you work all the time? Does you small business have you running circles morning, noon and night?  Guess what? You need to take a vacation.

As small business owners we’re often reluctant to take time off. Why? Because we think our business is going to crumble the minute we leave. Hopefully you’ve setup some systems to help with that, so let’s talk about 3 reasons you should get away periodically.

Take a Deep Breath: Dude, you need to catch your breath. Superman is only real in the movies. You’re not him. You have got to get away, take a deep breath (better if you take more than just one), and regain your focus. It’s amazing what a little breather will do for you energy when you get back in the game.

Regain Your Creativity: If you’ve been slugging it out on the ground for the past six months, ignoring everything else, there’s probably a pretty good chance your creativity has taken a hit. Why? Because you don’t increase creativity by staying in the same environment. Why do you think writers head for the beach, the deserted lake house or the mountaintop cabin to knock out their latest work? Because places away from home and office offer new things to see, smell and touch. Regain your creativity by going somewhere new.

Your Health: Look. Life is really too short. How fast do you want to end it? Me? I want to be around for a while. I learned a couple years ago that if I burn it from both ends around the clock and year-round my health took a hit. I was exhausted, my weight went up, I felt like crap even though I told myself I didn’t. Take care of yourself. There’s only one you. We want you to be around to see the fruits of what you’ve built.

So find some time to get away. Make it at least two days (uh, Saturday and Sunday?) and get out of town. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Take a vacation and come back ready to kill it.

29

Sep

startupquote:

The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.
- Marc Benioff

startupquote:

The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.

- Marc Benioff

27

Sep

3 Reasons You Don’t Pee On What You’ve Built

Yeah, yeah I know it’s a silly picture. But someone recently told me I needed to use more pictures to grab YOUR attention.  So here we go.

I was working on a presentation earlier today and I was trying to narrow down the common reasons why a lot of small businesses fail.  The one I kept coming back to was that the so-called entrepreneur gets in the way of his/her own success.

Literally it’s like they’re peeing on everything they’ve built.  How do that they do that?  Let’s explore:

1) Failure to Delegate: A lot of small business owners are afraid of delegating because they think if anyone else does the work they’ll get it wrong, the customer will be lost, then the business will die. You’ve either heard it or done it, “Nobody can do this thing as well as I can.” Well, maybe it would be better to break down that task, come up with a system/checklist so any monkey (no offense to all my monkey readers out there) can do it. Why do you want to do everything? Learn to delegate tasks.

2) Failure to Look Around: Being a small business owner can be hectic, crazy, insane, exciting, etc… It’s easy to get so caught up in our daily routine that we fail to look around and A) see what’s going wrong, and B) see how we can improve things. Make it a part of your weekly routine to step back and see what’s working and what’s not. Then, come up with systems that help you fix and improve.

3) Failure to Aim Higher: Success is great. Sometimes continued success can be daunting. I’ve recently talked to some entrepreneurs that are at the point where they need to take their business to the next level…but they’re scared. They’re scared of hiring employees, scared of increased inventory, scared of more time, scared of everything.  Don’t let your fears keep you from growing. Build your business incrementally and take baby steps. Nobody says you have to be the next Apple tomorrow.

So again, don’t pee on everything you worked so hard to build. Make sure you aren’t getting in the way of your business’s success.  Take a systematic approach, get outside help and push on through. And use the restroom before you leave…

20

Sep

If you’ve got an itch, scratch it: Don’t lose your inspiration

I’ve been really busy lately and have finally found time (or was it the fact that we scheduled it a year in advance) to take a vacation.

I never think I need one, but boy did I need one. When you’ve got a brain and imagination that goes a mile a minute you need time to unwind.

Funny thing is, while unwinding my brain works in other ways.

As we’re walking thru the wonderful Magic Kingdom an idea for a fictional novel starts to take hold.

No it’s nothing about going kamikaze on parents that hold up the line. In fact, I’m not even going to tell you what it’s about yet.

Point is, I felt a sudden itch and I needed to scratch it.

So, what to do?

I decided to write instead of nap. So while my wonderful wife and kids were napping after a morning of fun, I got on my laptop (I can’t wait until I can just use my iPad).

The words started to flow and before I knew it the kids were waking up and I had 3,000 words done. Sweet!

So what’s the moral of the story?

If you find sudden inspiration, don’t wait! Find a piece of paper, boot up your laptop, just do something.

Don’t lose that magic you felt the moment inspiration came.

14

Sep

Kenny Silva in the house

Thanks to @kennysilva for a great shoot today for “Mind Your Business”.

Live video coming soon!

13

Sep

Episode 3 of “Mind Your Business

Today’s topic: Brainstorming

Enjoy!

P.S. We’d love your questions for upcoming episodes.  Shoot ‘em to me!