Wednesday, August 7, 2013

7 Things Every New Entrepreneur Should Know (Warning: Not for the faint of heart.)

obert D. Smith 20000 Days And Counting1. This job is rough, tough, and most likely too difficult for you.
The vast majority of people I talk to who want to become an entrepreneur are 100% certain they can leave their job, create something out of nothing, and be financially self-reliant within a short time. I, however, am 100% certain they cannot. If you think you are an entrepreneur, most likely you are not.
In 90 days, most of you will be out of business…and 90 days is a stretch. The odds are absolutely stacked against you. If I were a betting man, I would bet that your first attempt would fail. Quickly.
None of this is to say you should not believe in yourself if you want to be an entrepreneur. You should. You must. But believing in yourself without some sort of concept of reality is foolish, and it’s the trap most new entrepreneurs fall into.
Most of the time, people are not in a mental state where they can face rejection and start eating “no’s” for breakfast like I describe in 20,000 Days and Counting right away. If you start out eating 30 “no’s” a day unintentionally, you will get sick! And trust me, there will be a plethora of “no’s” in the beginning.
2. It's your idea, so start with your money!
The startup industry is booming right now. There’s so much venture capital out there that everyone thinks their idea is worthy of hundreds of thousands in angel investor dollars.
Everyone seems to think they have a Google- or Facebook-level idea, but what they don’t think about is the fact that those were not overnight successes.
Watch the Facebook movie. They were busting their butts for years! They had already proven their value by the time the cash was rolling in the door.
Don’t wait on outside dollars. Finance it yourself. Remember that you are NOT short money; you ARE only short one idea—so find that one idea to make more money now. Today is critical.
3. Play it smart and don't quit you day job, at least not yet.
This is the most obvious way to finance your entrepreneurship. What it takes to be an entrepreneur does not take full time immediately. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you can test it while still having a full time job.
When I started managing Andy Andrews over 30 years ago, I backed myself up with three part time jobs.
Oh, and if you think you don’t have the time to work a full time job (or several part time jobs) and work on your entrepreneurial dream, then you haven’t read Jon Acuff’s Quitter. Buy it, right now.
4. Never assume anything about anyone and remember.. good people are hard to find.
The biggest mistake I’ve made as an entrepreneur is that I once thought other people knew what they were doing. I assumed that if they had the degree or the company that says they knew how to do something…that they actually knew how to do something.
The majority of people you are going to need to help you out, whether it’s website creation, copywriting, branding, or anything else, will say they know what they’re doing, but it’s the minority who actually can deliver on that promise.
Finding an accountant who can count, a graphic designer who can do graphics, and a web person who can make websites is so much more difficult than it sounds.
The harsh reality is that there is no right answer. When you start, trial and error are your two biggest tests. The only semi-reliable quality you can go on is whether the person you are hiring has the “people” quality. Do they leave you with a good impression? Do they know how to communicate? Can they write an email without sounding like a fool?
If you can answer “yes” to those questions, that’s a start.
5. You need to go to bed crying and wake up vomiting.
If this is going to work, everything in your being has to be so intense that these two functions become regular. You have to be so passionate that it feels like your hair is on fire 24/7.
If you walk around casually sipping a cup of coffee every morning, you are not an entrepreneur. A true entrepreneur is running so fast they probably have forgotten to eat breakfast and take a shower. It is impossible to be an entrepreneur and stand around the water cooler with a cup of coffee. It will not happen.
Some of this post may have discouraged a few of you. If so—good! The world needs less passionless entrepreneurs.
However, if you made it through…and you STILL possess a desire to make whatever your venture is work… then I hate to say it, but you should definitely go for it.
Jump right in, but do it with a sense of reality. Keep these seven things in mind, work, work, and then work some more…and you just might make it.
Never lose sight, however, of what makes every business successful—people. You are now officially in the people business. Congratulations!!!

About the Author

20,000 Days AND COUNTING  A Crash Course for Mastering Your Life Right NowRobert D. Smith, known affectionately to those around him as THE Robert D, is a leader in providing life-changing entertainment resources, a global customer service rep, and a favorite uncle.
For more than three decades, he has managed and overseen the career of Andy Andrews, a three-time New York Times best-selling author and in-demand speaker. He has served as a private consultant to numerous best-selling authors, speakers, entertainers, and cutting-edge organizations, educating them on the unique methods he has employed to sustain massive success and growth across multiple industries for the past 30+ years.
Characterized by his never-say-die attitude, Robert has made a habit of powering through adversity and closed doors at every turn. He was rejected 51 times while pitching Andrews' first manuscript, "The Traveler's Gift." While most would have quit, Robert persisted through "no" after "no."
"No's don't scare me...I eat no's for breakfast," he says. "All a 'no' means is that you're one step closer to a 'yes.'"
The Traveler's Gift, of course, went on to become a New York Times bestseller and a featured selection of ABC's Good Morning America. It is now available around the world in over 25 languages, another volume in a catalog that continues to sell at an impressive rate. "They tell us that a book by Andy Andrews sells every 60 seconds somewhere on the planet," he says with a grin.
His unique lifestyle, magnetic personality, and uncanny ability to get the best out of those with whom he works shine through in his debut book "20,000 Days and Counting," which he describes as a crash course for anyone wishing to get the most out of each and every day, hour, and minute they spend on Earth.
"20,000 Days and Counting" shows you how to maximize every moment and live purposely with tremendous certainty of who you are and what you are here to do.
Robert spends his spare time mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers, teaching them lessons in business, finances, and living lives of meaning. He enjoys creating lasting memories with those around him by seizing opportunities for magic moments in seemingly ordinary settings. If you find yourself out to dinner with him, he will insist that everyone order dessert first. He currently resides in the countryside of Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How To Start A Charity Dare And Get It Off The Ground

How To Start A Charity Dare And Get It Off The Ground

One of the main reasons we wanted to setup CharityKick was to get as many people involved in charity fundraising as we possibly could.
Unfortunately, it was increasingly obvious to us that fundraising was becoming less and less appealing. And the more the appeal dropped, the less money the charities were receiving, something we really did want to change.
So the aim behind CharityKick is simple – to bring a different approach to charity fundraising to make more people interested and ultimately, to donate more money to a range of good causes.
As much as we strongly believe charity dares could help to get a whole new generation more excited than ever in raising money for charity, we also know that for many, charity dares are going to be their first foray into fundraising.
It’s because of this reason why today, we want to give you some really straightforward and helpful information on exactly what you need to do to both setup a charity dare and get it off the ground.
And the first place you need to start is to work out who you’re going to dare and what it is you’re going to dare them to do.

Thinking of the right idea

To all intents and purposes, the world really is your oyster here. As long as the dare is tasteful, we don’t put any other restrictions in place at CharityKick, so be creative and don’t hold back!
However, to give you a bit of a helping hand and some guidance, we’ve divided up the types of dares you can create into three separate categories – local, business and celebrity.
In theory, it doesn’t matter whether you decide on who you’re going to dare or what you’re going to dare them to do first, but for anyone starting a charity dare for the first time, it can often be best to begin by thinking who you’re going to dare.
The reason behind this is as the dare itself can be whatever you want it to be, you can find you keep going round and round in circles trying to work out what it is you want to dare someone to do. If you sit down and work out who you want to dare first, you’ve then got some base from which you can decide on the dare.
Another point to note here is that you should try and keep a degree of realism present at all times, so to ensure the dare can be as successful as possible.
For instance, although it’s a little farfetched, daring President Obama to work in the White House in Michelle Obama’s clothes for the day is a possibility; daring the British Queen to jump out of a helicopter isn’t (no matter what you saw on the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony!).

Getting the word out there

Once you’ve decided on who you’re going to dare, what it is you’re going to hopefully get them to do and have officially set the dare up (it’s quick and easy, with the simple form here and a helpful video on our home page), it’s time to start the fun bit – letting everyone know about the dare!
With so much to say and do here (as the promotional possibilities are endless), it can be difficult for many to know where to start.
But what we’d recommend at the very beginning is to go with the obvious.
Once your dare is live, send the details via e-mail to your friends, family and work colleagues. Get on your Facebook and Twitter accounts and spread the word about who it is you’ve dared to do something. If you’ve got a blog, write a few blog posts about it (and if you haven’t got a blog, set one up!).
One of the most important points to note now is that you should always ask everyone you send the details to to pass them on to their contacts. A lot of people don’t realise just how fantastic word of mouth advertising and promotion is – if you send the details to 100 people and they each send them to 50 people, that’s over 5,000 people who’ll receive details of your charity dare.
And even if just a tenth of them pledged money, that’s 500 people you’ve got donating money to your cause.
As fantastic as this may be, it’s unlikely to be enough to get the amount of money pledged to the figure you want it to be and so it’s therefore time to start putting your business hat on – but don’t worry, you don’t need a degree to see the benefits, just a bit of common sense!
For instance, we strongly advise that everyone who’s running a charity dare aims to get a business to endorse them. Essentially meaning that the organisation gets behind the dare, which can be fantastic for the dare’s promotion, it might be a little too ambitious to get McDonald’s or Amazon to endorse you, so try and think more locally.
Every organisation wants a bit of good publicity and endorsing a charity is the perfect way to do so. Therefore, if you can reach out to a few local businesses and explain what your dare is about and who it’s going to benefit, you might soon find that you’ve actually got a selection of businesses willing to endorse you to choose from.
At the end of the day, the promotion of your charity dare – and its eventual success – all comes back to the simple point that the more you talk about it and get people talking about it, the more successful it will be.
People often overestimate how difficult getting a new charity dare off the ground is. Whilst we’re not saying it’s easy and it will all happen by itself, it’s important to know that you simply have to do the one thing you want to do – talk about your dare.
We really have tried to make the whole dare process as simple and as straightforward as it can possibly be at CharityKick. Although we’ve got a helpfulFAQ, a great video and we regularly update this blog with useful information, if you’ve got any question at all, whether it’s about starting a dare or the promotion of one, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we love charity fundraising and we’d love to help ensure your dare is a complete success.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Leadership Principles the Marine Corps Way

Leadership Principles the Marine Corps Way

"Leadership is the sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding, and moral character that enables a person to inspire and to control a group of people successfully."
- General John A. Lejeune

  1. Be technically and tactfully proficient 
  2. Know yourself and seek self improvement
  3. Know your men and look out for their welfare
  4. Keep your men informed
  5. Set the example
  6. Ensure that the tasks is understood, supervised and accomplished
  7. Train your men as a team
  8. Make sound and timely decisions
  9. Develop a sense of responsibility in your subordinates
  10. Employ your command in accidence with it's capabilities 
  11. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.