Entrepreneurism – What it Takes to Succeed

Never forget that entrepreneurs are not born – they are created! Within you already lie the essential elements to be successful as an entrepreneur – and in anything in life – because you literally are capable of becoming and accomplishing anything. Remember though that an understanding of the principles below will certainly contribute to the accomplishment of your dreams and goals, but only if they are applied and acted upon continually. Perhaps most importantly, the attribute, characteristic, and action that will contribute most to your success is determining now to never quit. Despite the fears and doubts, the opinions or critiques of others, and the possible failures – success only comes to the individual who never quits!

1) Master-Mind Group: Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with like-minded as well as more talented and brilliant individuals than themselves. They seek, listen to, and follow the advice, opinions, and experiences of others. They ensure that every idea, venture, and opportunity is critiqued, analyzed, watched over, and improved upon by those close individuals, associates, and friends in the master-mind group. They understand that developing and strengthening relationships and partnerships is absolutely vital to their success.

2) Step Back & Evaluate: They take time – often – to evaluate, think upon, critique, change, and improve what they are doing. Whether individually, or the business as a whole, they ensure that the goals, objectives, processes, business model, daily habits, revenue streams, work ethic, and relationships are adjusted accordingly, changed if necessary, and improved upon always.

3) Declare: Every entrepreneur starts out small, inexperienced, and unknown. Successful entrepreneurs understand this, but they certainly do not communicate it in their thoughts, words, or actions. In every setting and conversation, they declare what they will be (not necessarily what they currently are). They literally believe and practice the cliché: ‘fake it till you make it.’ Before and after they achieve success, they declare and portray themselves as being experienced, knowledgeable, effective, and successful.

4) Moments of Thinking: Every success in life, and especially in entrepreneurialism, starts as a thought or an idea. Because this is true, successful entrepreneurs make time to think. They specifically set time aside, and often, to allow their minds to ponder, reflect, analyze, create, wonder, and think. It is no wonder that during these times that ideas on how to improve their business are thought of, and occasionally new ideas and strokes of genius come.

5) Help to Produce: Similar to the concept of ‘give and receive,’ they take the initiative to help increase the profits for others, grow the business of others, and limit or make easier the work others will need to do. By so doing, these ‘others’ are naturally much more inclined to return the favor and help them do the same. Instead of thinking ‘how can I make money from this relationship or opportunity,’ rather they think, ‘how will they make money?’ This mentality and approach will always be rewarded, because others reciprocate it.

6) Informed Ignorance: Successful entrepreneurs are always staying up to date with the latest information, technology, laws, and developments within their industry. Likewise, they distinctly know and follow what their competition is doing, to ensure their own competitive advantage. At the same time, they ironically develop the ability of selective ignorance. They understand that certain information as well as listening to the news and critiques of others too often will halt their progress. They also are wise enough to realize that obtaining all the knowledge possible and following every new piece of information regarding their industry will never produce any result unless they take action. Being informed, developing selective ignorance abilities, and taking daily action is a large result of their incredible success.

7) Improve vs. Invent: Let’s be honest, the vast majority of inventions are thought of and created by scientists or engineers. Very rarely do successful entrepreneurs actually re-create the wheel – they only make it better. Developing a better but similar product, slightly changing a business model, improving customer service, or even doing what everyone else does with a different company name – this is the reality of most entrepreneurial ventures. Ideas and opportunities are everywhere – successful entrepreneurs look for and take advantage of them. And therein is the secret to their success – that it ultimately is not the business or idea that is all-important – it is the desire, belief, work ethic, and persistence of the entrepreneur that makes the venture a success, not necessarily the product.

8) Pen & Paper: Isn’t it ironic, considering all the essential elements discussed in this Entrepreneurial Success article series, that perhaps one of the greatest indicators of successful entrepreneurs is that they always carry a pen and small notepad with them. They realize that ideas come to their minds at random times, and they believe the Chinese proverb that says: “the faintest ink is more powerful than the greatest memory.” Their dreams, goals, and successes are dependent upon writing down and acting upon these ideas that often come to their mind. And yet, they also understand that having a pen and notepad and writing down the ideas as they come is not enough – they most importantly act upon and implement those ideas.

9) Time is a Friend: In relation to the point above, while they certainly write down and act upon their ideas, they are also wise enough to realize that after the excitement of a good idea dies down, that logic, practicality, and reason always set in. Thus, rather than rushing into anything, they collaborate with their master-mind group, analyze and ask questions before moving forward, test the market before investing time or money, and they allow time to determine whether the idea is good and will work or not. With that said, unlike the majority of people who have great ideas, they never allow the voices of fear and doubt to dictate their actions – because inevitably, during this time, those voices become very persuasive. If the idea, over time, is still good (or gets better), then they will completely commit to their decision to move forward, take action every day, believe in themselves and their idea, and never quit regardless of what temporary failures happen along the path.

10) Employee Assets: Without question, successful entrepreneurs understand that their greatest assets are their employees. Because of this, they treat their employees accordingly. Now don’t get me wrong, these entrepreneurs still demand that their employees work hard and be honest, they ensure relationships are appropriate and even hierarchical, and provide commission and bonus structures to incentivize ultimate performance. But, they also ensure that their employees are highly valued, appreciated, befriended, recognized, feel important, and that they are engaged, committed, informed, and feel as thought they are contributing to something great.

11) There is No Guarantee: Every entrepreneurial venture ever thought of or attempted has had absolutely no guarantee of success. Successful entrepreneurs realize this, but they choose to focus on the fact that there is also no guarantee that that their venture will fail. Perhaps another word for faith is optimism! The revered U.S. founding father, George Washington, had absolutely no guarantee for victory during perhaps the most important war of our modern day, the Revolutionary War. When all odds were against him, he still took a risk, desired freedom and independence, believed it was achievable, and then went to work every day to obtain it. He had faith and hope, but no guarantee. The victory only came after the attempt. When questioning whether now is the ‘right time’ to attempt your entrepreneurial venture, be wise enough to recognize that there never is a ‘right time’ – you just need to do it, in spite of the fact that there is no guarantee for victory.

12) Failures Feed: Successful entrepreneurs understand that failures breed progression, mistakes are lessons learned, weaknesses are potential strengths, and loses precede profits. Every failed attempt should be viewed as a successful step closer to the goal. Ironically, the majority of successes in life are usually accomplished after the individual determines to not give up when they experience failure.

13) It’s Up to You: Successful entrepreneurs never give excuses! While the majority complains that they don’t have the time, knowledge, or money to achieve their goals and dreams, these entrepreneurs make time, acquire the knowledge, and understand that you do not need money to make money. The only limitations in life are the ones we create and nourish in our own minds. In fact, as important as the master-mind group and other relationships are to these entrepreneurs, at the end of the day, they realize that their success is determined by them, and them alone. Their goals, dreams, and potential are determined and achieved not because of talents or brilliance, degrees or awards, race or gender, experience or from others – but because they personally desire success, believe it is possible, think big, take daily action, and do whatever it takes – giving no excuses.

To your entrepreneurial and life success!

How to Create a Business by Creating Information Products

Many people still believe that in order to start a business, they need to have a real world store, and sell a real, tangible product. The truth is, however, that starting a business that sells information products is often far easier for a new business owner or entrepreneur.

Information products are products that are not necessarily tangible, although they could be in the form of a book or DVD. They are products that are based purely on learning. While starting a college may be one way of selling information, information products also are not limited to formal training.

Let us consider, for a moment that you are an expert in a particular field – whether it is dog training or cake decorating. You would like to use your skill to make more money, but you do not know how. The answer may lie in creating information products, and selling them to people with an interest in your area of expertise.

You might create a website that deals with your passion or skill, and have a member’s only area. You might run an e-course, or create and sell an e-book, or a series of e-books. You might even decide to self publish a real book, and sell it through your site, or in the real world. From training DVD’s to member’s only online streaming videos, there are endless information products you can sell to make money from your passions and talents.

The steps to creating an information product are quite simple too, although they will require some time and effort on your part. First, you need to have an idea. Your idea for your information product can be anything that you are particularly knowledgeable in – whether it is starting a small business, or arranging flowers. Remember that if you are interested in it, there are probably countless other people around the world who are too!

Next, you will need to decide on the format for your information product. Are you going to sell an e-book, a series of DVD’s or an e-course? There are even services like Lulu.com, which will print a real book on demand, and ship it to your customers, so you could even become a small-scale independent publisher if you decide to! Once that is decided, you will need to settle on your content. You will want to make it as comprehensive as possible, but still be easy for a beginner to understand.

Then there is the process of creating the materials. Even if you have no skill yourself, whether it is writing or animation, making movies or creating e-course modules, there are freelancers out there who are willing to do it for a fee.

After your information product is finished, all that is left is the marketing and sales of your product, usually via your website, but also in the real world, or through social networking and other platforms. Some large sites, like Amazon.com, even allow creators of information products to list their products alongside commercially created items, so there is plenty of scope for marketing these days!

The main benefit of selling information products is that anyone can do it. Whether you are a stay at home mom with a passion for needlework who wants to teach others, or whether you’re a small business owner looking to increase your revenues by selling a digital information product in addition to your real world services and products, this is a viable option.

There is also the benefit that while you may spend a little money creating the initial products themselves, after you have, every sale is virtually pure profit, unlike the real world, where each sale costs you something in terms of labor or raw materials, or both.

Information products can also be sold quite cheaply, since you are going to be selling on volume, rather than on a markup per item, and that makes them attractive to your buyer, even when times are tough economically. It is far easier, after all, to sell an information product like an e-book for a few dollars hundreds of times, than it is to sell a real world manual or book that costs hundreds of dollars!

If you’re excited about the prospect of creating an information product, either as a way to boost your brick and mortar business’s sales, or as a means of creating a business in itself, then that’s great! This is one of the most exciting opportunities that the internet has afforded entrepreneurs! Just remember to spend a reasonable amount of time investigating the market for your product, and creating it. You want your product to be as good as you can possibly make it, so that people want to buy it, refer their friends, and feel that they have made a solid investment.

Done correctly, information products can be a very lucrative business opportunity, and they are well worth looking into. Just remember that there is a lot of competition, even though this is a relatively new field of business, and that you will have to spend a fair amount of time planning, creating and marketing your products before you start making a fortune from them! For those that do, however, creating information products for sale can be an almost entirely automated, profit rich business opportunity, and if you are looking for something with low investment requirements, and high yields, this might be the opportunity for you!

Information Product Disaster – Is Your Passive Revenue Product Gold Mine Doomed From the Start?

It’s a sad and tragic sight. But one I see all too often.

Scores of entrepreneurs and solo-professionals flying like lemmings off a financial cliff, creating information products doomed to failure right from the start.

They pour time and effort into products that have no chance for success. And become discouraged, never to try again, missing out on tens of thousands of dollars of potential profits.

However, you can avoid that fate by answering 3 simple questions:

1. Should I be creating this product in the first place?

Everyone assumes just because some hot-shot is making money with a product that they can too. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Is there a demand for the product amongst your target market? Does it fulfill a desire or an urgent want or hunger they have? Does it leverage your unique expertise and viewpoint?

If not, you are staring into a bottomless pit that will suck your time and energy and give nothing in return.

The your prospects won’t buy anything that doesn’t meet their needs.

On the other hand when you answer yes to the questions above, you are well on your way to creating a hit.

2. Why am I creating this product?

Lots of folks often ask me “How do I create my product?” And rather than give them a pat answer, I always answer their question with one of my own: “Why do you want to create this product?”

A blank stare in return means that I have just saved them from an expensive boondoggle.

Your product must fulfill an important specific goal for your own business: more revenue, more subscribers, more exposure. It’s the only way to insure your production and marketing stays on track, on schedule and on target to reap the result you want.

Here is a very crucial bonus tip:

The more specific you can be about your product goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. How much revenue do you want it to produce? Over what period of time? How many new subscribers? How soon?

Getting specific can radically explode your chances for success. Without it, you are simply shooting in the dark.

3. Are you doing this because you want to, or because some marketing guru said you have to?

It sounds sentimental and syrupy sweet. But its true:

The more passionate you are about creating your product, the better the chance you will see it all the way through to its profitable completion.

The fire that creates a successful product must come from you. It’s the one thing you can’t get from a home study course. And if it isn’t there, your prospects instinctively know it. And a lack of sales will show it.

So are you creating your product because you want to? Because you are passionate about the material? Because you know there is nothing like it out there, and that your target market desperately wants it?

Or are you doing it simply because some hot-shot guru said you should?

The factors that create successful products are largely hidden and misunderstood. However, you now know three that save your own efforts from the scrap heap, and help insure one profitable success story after another.