How to Cultivate and Sustain an Entrepreneurial Mindset After a Setback

yesterday's tractors
yesterdaystractors.com

As an entrepreneur, you will face multiple setbacks along your journey. The key to success is maintaining a healthy mindset that will guide you to a better future. Here are four ways to ensure your mindset stays strong during times of disappointment.

By Manish Dudharejia

The life of an entrepreneur is certainly one full of risks. Some risks pay off, sadly, many don’t. Whether it’s a bad investment, poor partnership decision or a total business flop, a setback can be traumatizing to the entrepreneur who dreams of success.

Setbacks can have a devastating effect on many entrepreneurs, which can lead to health issues like depression and anxiety, conditions that 56 percent of entrepreneurs and business founders possess.

More likely than not, you will face failures and make mistakes during your time as an entrepreneur. However, whether or not these hold you back is purely up to you. Maintaining a healthy, positive entrepreneurial mindset is essential for building a business that succeeds.

If you’ve experienced a devastating setback, or just want to prepare for what lies ahead, here are four steps you can take today to ensure your mindset stays strong during times of disappointment.

1. Avoid isolation and pursue community.
Failing is not just disappointing; it can be embarrassing. It bruises your ego and forces you to see the mistakes you made. It can be easy to take a step back and hide after a major setback to avoid talking about your failure. However, rather than pulling away from people, instead, reach out for support and guidance from others.

If you haven’t already, connect with a mentor for advice. Of course, finding a mentor who is able and willing to help is easier said than done. However, some websites and resources are available to connect you with the expert advice you need, such as Business.com’s network of experts and sites like MentorNet that match you with a virtual mentor based on your personality and business experience.

Reach out to others within your community for more personal connections. Check whether your city hosts any meetups for business owners, startups or entrepreneurs like yourself. Check out conferences and expos. While it may be difficult at first, fighting the urge to withdraw is how you grow and expand your expertise.

Divine-inspiration-life-girl-sun
consciouslifestylemag.com

2. Stay constantly inspired.
Though he wasn’t an entrepreneur in the traditional sense, American author and social activist Jack London wisely said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Moving on from a past mistake or setback requires you to cultivate a new mindset. Recall why you started down the entrepreneurial path in the first place. While you may not have lost your passion for your product or industry, chances are that some of that inspiration has dwindled. It is up to you to rekindle it.

There are many ways to spark that fire again and help you get back on track. Listen to entrepreneurial podcasts that tell the stories of today’s biggest names in business and how they struggled and succeeded. Read books on business, watch documentaries, or study your passion professionally through online courses. Find creative ways to stay motivated and inspired. Who knows, it may help you discover your next great idea.

3. Find your passion apart from business.
While your company may be your baby, it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout. After a setback, focusing on something that brings you joy can help you maintain a healthy mindset. In fact, having a hobby has been scientifically proven to help support mental health.

Additionally, you should not define yourself by your business. That is a surefire recipe for disaster, especially when a tragic setback occurs. Instead, connect with the things outside of your business that make you feel happy, inspired, strong, creative or whatever floats your boat.

4. Treat it like an emotional setback.
Losing someone or something that is important is a devastating experience. When people lose a loved one, go through a divorce, or even end a close friendship, they often turn to treatments, like therapy, to deal with their heartbreak. Losing a business can be just as difficult to deal with emotionally, so don’t be afraid to try these strategies either.
Even something as simple as writing out your story can be extremely helpful for working your way through your setback.

One study reported that people who journaled were able to release negative emotions. The act of writing out your thoughts reduces activity in the amygdala in the brain, which controls the intensity of emotions. By journaling, you can physically affect your outlook and maintain that entrepreneurial mindset.

There is no shame in reaching out to others to deal with disappointment, such as talking to a therapist or trying meditation or yoga to calm your mind. Again, it’s about finding what works for you. Sometimes staying busy helps you deal with setbacks, but other times, quieting your mind and relaxing can help, too.

Conclusion
As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Remember, no matter how dire the setback may seem at the moment, it is not permanent. Anyone who has ever built an empire has survived failure in some form or another. Learn what you can from it, and make the most of the experience by reaching out, rekindling your passion and inspiration, and finding the things that work best for you to stay positive.

As an entrepreneur, you will face multiple setbacks along the journey. Know that the key to staying successful is maintaining a healthy mindset that will guide you to a better future.

7 Signs Your Client Will Never Pay Your Invoice

final notice art
manta.com

Watch out for these red flags that your new client may try to skip out on payment, costing you valuable time and threatening your cash flow.

By JT Ripton

Most freelancers and small business owners will come face to face with this lamentable reality at least once: Clients sometimes skirt invoice fulfillment and renege on payment.
Keep a sharp lookout from the outset of your relationship with a client in order to protect yourself and your payments. Learn from the experience of the experts that have come before you by looking out for these seven warning signs.

1. Refusal to Sign a Contract
A legally binding contract lays out the terms of your engagement with the client from the outset. This gives you an opportunity to set your rates and expectations in terms of payment deadlines, etc. It is your best friend when it comes to invoice fulfillment, and there are platforms such as Invoice Ninja that offer free proposal templates that can be transformed easily into invoices once approved by the client.

A contract is an extremely valuable resource that creates clarity in your relationship with the client and, if it comes down to it, can be used to take legal action. Since having clarity on an agreement is beneficial to both parties, refusal to sign a contract is grounds for suspicion when it comes to dealing with your clients. Think twice about spending your time completing a project for someone who is unwilling to sign a simple agreement.

2. Haggling Over Rates
Similarly, make sure you settle on an hourly or project rate before investing your own time and energy into a project. Some clients may simply be unfamiliar with freelance rates and express initial hesitation, so be prepared to explain the market value of your work. Clients who understand the value of your entrepreneurial expertise should be willing to pay a fair price for it.
While some negotiation over pricing is a normal part of business, watch out for clients who are overly aggressive about rate haggling. That could be a sign of problems to come.

3. Using Dismissive Language
Be wary of clients who subtly undervalue your work by asking you to put together a “quick” proposal, misrepresent your role, or use careless language to devalue your input.
Sometimes carelessness can be the result of lack of knowledge. That’s why they hire you, the specialist, after all. But there is a difference between naivete and willful ignorance. Don’t let clients underestimate your value.

4. Inability to be Responsive
If clients are slow to respond to emails (or don’t respond at all), miss project deadlines or fail to return feedback in a timely manner, there’s a great chance they will give your invoice a similar tardy treatment.

chrip
giphy.com

Communication is a basic skill, and it is necessary to the success in any relationship. Your client relationships are no exception. If clients are slow to respond from the outset, issue a kind but firm warning. Since you’ve both signed a contract (you did sign a contract, right?), feel free to issue reminders about deadlines established in the contract terms.

5. Lack of Respect for Your Time
The other side of the coin is when clients are overly communicative or nitpicky about your work. If clients insist on updates or edits that stretch your time beyond a project rate, it’s likely they will find something to complain about in the finished project as well, or find an excuse to talk you down from established rates.

Clients will often value their time over yours, but be careful of getting caught in a dynamic where you privilege the client’s needs. Being responsive and meeting client demands is part of the work of a freelancer. But as a professional small business owner or solo entrepreneur, you have every right to draw the line if you are not being compensated for additional time and effort that wasn’t accounted for in the original project proposal.

6. They Won’t Pay Online
This is not 1993; payment through Paypal and other online services is normal in 2018. If you have clients who resist paying online, treat that as a warning sign.
With free and accessible options available, there’s no excuse for clients to refuse to pay online. The ease of online payment processing allows you to track your income and process it painlessly, and it also makes things easier on the client. Clients who insist on paying by check or sending payment by mail may have no intention of paying you at all.

7. They Demand Delivery up Front
Most freelance work is not like selling products. With a product, you can take it back and sell it to someone else if the buyer doesn’t pay. With freelance work, however, usually that isn’t an option.

So if a client asks for delivery before payment, be wary. Sure, there might be a good reason for this request — and your trusting heart or need to keep the client might urge you to meet this demand. But it doesn’t end well. It really doesn’t. So don’t cave to this request, and view it as a sign that there might be payment issues ahead.

It is completely reasonable for you to delay full delivery of your completed project until you receive partial or full payment. Clients are entering into a contractual arrangement to utilize your expertise. Depending on the nature of your work, you can deliver a preview or excerpt. Once the client has received your completed project, their incentive to come through with payment drops dramatically. So you are totally within your rights to retain your own creative property until they fulfill their half of the agreement.

Unfortunately, as a freelancer or small business owner, you can’t always rely on your clients. But staying staunch in your agreement is not only a necessity, it’s a sign of integrity for your business that will keep valuable clients returning. Get those invoices taken care of before the project has drifted past and you find yourself swimming upstream to chase down your elusive client.

As appeared in manta.com

JT Ripton is a business consultant and a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a myriad of topics, business and technology being a couple of them. Ripton has written for companies like T-Mobile, Frontier Internet, Hughes Internet and others. You can reach him on Twitter @JTRipton.

 

4 factors of Team Exceptionalism

team Exceptionalism
dorsum.eu

Team exceptionalism begins by building a constructive climate

By Steve Header

As an entrepreneur, a business owner, or manager of a team it is a great benefit to offer a constructive climate for your team members. When we speak of constructive climates, we envision a working environment where there is trust, openness, supportiveness and while not necessarily free of conflict, an environment free of conflicts that are centered on individuals or personal issues.

A constructive climate helps foster an employee’s sense of inclusion, respect, and enjoyment. It just happens to boost a company’s productivity; hence, profitability as well. It creates team exceptionalism and is in concert with what I like to call “the golden rule of management.” Which is creating conditions where your employees want to work for you and not have to work for you.

This pseudo-nirvana state of team perfection is closer than you may think and manifested by considering four readily achievable climate-in-practice factors:

1. Provide structure
Asking a home builder to build a house for you most likely will not work out exactly like you had expected or wanted. However, by providing the builder with a set of blueprints, he or she now has the required information needed to give you exactly what you wanted.

Similar to the blueprints for your home, structure allows employees to understand where they fit in and what is expected of them. It instills a sense of security, direction, and stability. It gives meaning to the purpose of their tasks.

2. Clarify norms
Every group has a set of rules that more or less dictate the group’s behavior. These are considered the group’s norms. Once established these norms are continuously communicated and shared. Not unlike the world’s many different societies, religions and practices, different groups will have different and varying rules for acceptable behavior.

There are societies where dining on insects, for example, is perfectly normal and accepted behavior. Then there are other areas on the globe where this behavior would be frowned upon. Illustrating that without direction certain norms may become counterproductive to the team’s goals, or at the very least unwanted. When building a constructive climate, leaders need to clarify what behavior will be acceptable.

3. Build cohesiveness
Group cohesiveness is essential, yet an elusive component of highly functioning groups. Commonly referred to as a sense of “we-ness,” cohesiveness is the cement that holds a group together. It is that feeling of pride, trust and loyalty each and every member feels toward the team. The esprit-de-corps that exists within a group.

Warriors Rockets Basketball
nba.com

In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers have one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the sport – LeBron James. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers lost the 2018 championship to the Golden State Warriors, who have many very good players, and great cohesiveness.

4. Promote Standards of Excellence
Expressed or implied expectations for performance within a group are that group’s standards of excellence. Standards of excellence are different for every group and do not necessarily mean the group must be the best at everything it does, or that the products or services must have the highest quality or lowest cost. It simply means the performance expectations for that particular group, and as such need to be promoted to the team members.

Standards of excellence are to include the following six essential components to be effective for its members:
1. Information necessary to do the job and what skills are needed to be acquired
2. Initiative and effort that will need to be demonstrated
3. Treatment and behavior toward others within the group
4. Significance of deadlines
5. Goals that need to be achieved
6. Consequences if goals are achieved, or failed to be achieved

Team exceptionalism
A productive smooth functioning team is every manager’s aspiration and can be extremely difficult if not almost impossible to achieve. By following these four factors, you will have the guided steps necessary to build a constructive climate where your team will want to work for you and can flourish, accomplishing goals beyond both their and your wildest expectations.

23 June 2018

Steve Apr 2018Steve Header is Owner/Consultant of Lucidity Small Business Management – a management consulting firm catering to small business, and professor of Management courses at the local college level

5 Ways Everyone Can Achieve More by Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur car
nerdwallet.com

Being accountable and motivated is a good way to accomplish anything, including launching a business.

By Miles Jennings

I recently had the chance to speak with James DeCicco who runs Beachcoders Academy, a coding school that partners with my company, VocaWorks. He’s also the author of Master the Gig Economy: How a Next Generation Entrepreneur Builds Wealth, and we discussed precisely that. Trying to be mindful of his time, I asked for just one way that people could approach their lives with a more entrepreneurial spirit. He took the time to share five. “It’s really more of a five-step mindset shift that moves our thinking towards taking total responsibility for our success in life,” DeCicco said.

1. Self-reliance.
“You should be moving towards building systems you control rather than relying on outside systems like the actions of others or a steady paycheck from an employer.”
When entrepreneurs hear “systems,” they often think of Michael Gerber’s famous E-Myth Revisited, but the principle is the same for those in jobs. If you start to see your paycheck as only one income stream of several that you have — or want to have — then you won’t allow an unbalanced reliance on that income stream to unduly influence the way you think, work and live.

Take the opportunity to periodically apply the 80/20 rule within your workflow. What 20 percent of your workflow is responsible for the 80 percent of results? What comprises 80 percent of your bottlenecks? Adjust accordingly and revisit often.

2. Commit to yourself first.
“While ‘selfish’ is often seen as ‘conceited,’ taking care of yourself first is the surest pathway to allow you to take care of others while staying strong.”
This doesn’t seem to be a hard case to make anymore. With network news anchors like Dan Harris writing books about how meditation led to more happiness in his marriage and work, and entrepreneurs like Arianna Huffington writing about why sleep might be the biggest part of every successful day, more and more people are convinced that caring for yourself is caring for others.

When you find yourself saying, “I should do that more often,” in response to hearing about someone else’s activities, make a note of it and ask yourself why you aren’t? Is it because you really don’t have the time or you haven’t taken the time?

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3. Play to win.                                  “Sometimes the hard knocks of life lead us to focus solely on covering our overhead. But a strong offense is the best defense. Playing to win is a different mindset from avoiding loss.”

This tactic requires strong grounding because it is in the nature of humans to enjoy our comfort zones. Our “why” has to be clear and real enough to compel us to keep improving and striving, and a “play to win” strategy doesn’t meekly improve around the edges of our skills and work, but challenges us to go for those big wins that can propel us forward to possibilities we hadn’t previously imagined.

4. Stay present.
“Rapid change is all around us, and we must condition ourselves to stay present every day by reviewing choices about our living situation, diet, lifestyle and occupation in order to happen to life, instead of letting life happen to us.”

Many of us can, and often do, look back nostalgically, not at life in the 1800s or before, but even at the 1950s, when life seemed stable and fixed. Today, everything is changing around us all the time. The pace of change seems to be matched directly to Moore’s Law, and every 18 months we can look around at our technology and the way we live our lives and something significant has probably changed.

You don’t have to keep track of every single change that is coming up, but it is important to periodically evaluate whether the changes that are happening are positive or negative in relation to the way you are living your life, and adjust accordingly. Always having a method and pace to deal with change is vital.

5. Develop a success mindset.
“See yourself as successful rather than victimized. A successful person keeps moving forward and has the courage to embrace new and unfamiliar things with the certainty that they will succeed.”

Stoicism has undergone a renaissance in the last decade, particularly due to advocates like Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss. It’s a helpful philosophy, encouraging you to choose your reactions to situations, rather than defaulting to what is expected. Holiday’s book, The Obstacle is the Way, has the clue right in the title.

We know that every single day we will face difficulties and obstacles. But what makes successful people successful is their acceptance of these obstacles, knowing that not just overcoming those obstacles, but the way in which those obstacles are overcome, directly points to current and future success.

Content as shown in entrepreneur.com

 

 

10 change-leadership tips backed by science

 

Be the change
cuinsight.com

By Carol Kinsey Goman

I’ve been speaking on change leadership for over 25 years, but only recently have researchers been able to use technology like functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI) to look at the brain and see what actually happens when we’re facing a major organizational change.

Most of our daily activities including many of our work habits are controlled by a part of the brain called the basal ganglia. These habitual repetitive tasks take much less mental energy to perform because they become hard wired and we no longer have to give them much conscious thought. So it’s no wonder that the way we’ve always done it not only feels right, it feels good.

Change jerks us out of this comfort zone by stimulating the prefrontal cortex, a section of the brain responsible for insight and impulse control. But the prefrontal cortex is also directly linked to the amygdala and that’s the brain’s fear circuitry, which in turn controls our freeze, fight or flight response. And when the prefrontal cortex is overwhelmed with complex and unfamiliar concepts, the amygdala connection gets knocked into high gear. The result is all those negative feelings of anxiety, fear, depression, sadness, fatigue or anger that change leaders observe in their teams (and often in themselves).

But if science helps explain our negative reaction to change, it also offers insights for helping people deal with change:

Make the change familiar.
If you show people two pictures of themselves, one an accurate representation and the other a reverse image, people will prefer the second because that’s the image they see in the mirror every day. It takes a lot of repetition to move a new or complex concept from the prefrontal cortex to the basal ganglia. Continually talking about change, focusing on key aspects will eventually allow the novel to become more familiar and less threatening.

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taketheleadwomen.com

Let people create change.
No one likes change that’s forced on them; and yet, most people respond favorably to change they create and brain research shows why this is so. At the moment when someone chooses to change, their brain scan shows a tremendous amount of activity as insight develops, and the brain begins building new and complex connections. When people solve a problem by themselves, the brain releases a rush of neurotransmitters like adrenaline and this natural high becomes associated positively with the change experience.

Simplify your communication.
The prefrontal cortex can only deal well with a few concepts at a time. As tempting as it may be to lump everything you know about the change into one comprehensive chunk, don’t do it. Your job is to help people make sense of complexity by condensing it into two or three critical goals that they can understand and absorb.

Don’t sugarcoat the truth.
The prefrontal cortex is always on guard for signals of danger. When overly optimistic outcomes or unrealistic expectations are exposed (and by the way, they always are) the prefrontal cortex switches to high alert looking for other signs of deception and triggering the primitive brain to respond with feelings of heightened anxiety.

Help people pay attention.
The act of paying attention creates chemical and physical changes in the brain. In fact, attention is what is continually reshaping brain patterns. The term attention density refers to the amount of attention paid to a particular mental experience over a specific time. The greater concentration on a specific idea, the higher the attention density. High attention density facilitates long-term behavioral change. Now, one way to encourage people to pay attention is to package new ideas in continually different ways, attention-grabbing ways. A story, a game, an experience, a humorous skit, a metaphor, an image or even a song.

Don’t underestimate the power of emotion.
According to the neurologist and author Antonio Damasio, the center of our conscious thought (the prefrontal cortex) is so tightly connected to the emotion-generating amygdala, that no one makes decisions based on pure logic. Damasio’s research makes it clear that mental processes were not conscious of drive our decision making, and logical reasoning is really no more than a way to justify emotional choices. When leaders announce change, therefore, they need to go beyond logic and facts and include an appeal to the audience’s emotions.

In addition, remember that emotions are infectious.
Like the common cold, emotions are literally contagious. You can “catch” an emotion just by being in the same room with someone. And since emotional leads tend to flow from the most powerful person in a group to the others, when the leader is angry or depressed, negativity can spread like a virus to the rest of the team, affecting attitudes and lowering energy. Conversely, upbeat and optimistic leaders are likely to make the entire team feel energized.

body language
pinterest.co.uk

Watch your body language.
When your body language doesn’t match your words, your verbal message is lost. Neuroscientists at Colgate University study the effects of gestures by using an electroencephalograph (EEG) machines to measure “event-related potentials” – brain waves that form peaks and valleys. One of these valleys, dubbed N400, occurs when subjects are shown gestures that contradict what’s spoken. This is the same brain wave dip that occurs when people listen to nonsensical language. So if you state that you are open to suggestions about implementing change, but as you talk about “openness,” you cross your arms in a “closed” gesture — you literally don’t make sense. And if forced to choose, people will believe what they see and not what you say.

Give people a stabilizing foundation.
In a constantly changing organization, where instability must be embraced as inevitable, a sense of stability can still be maintained. The leader’s role here is to create stability through honoring the organization’s history, detailing current successes and challenges, and creating a powerful vision for the future. And, by using the term “vision,” I’m not referring to a corporate statement punctuated by bullet points. I’m talking about a clearly articulated, emotionally charged, and encompassing picture of what the organization is trying to achieve.

Optimize the power of inclusive relationships.
Using (fMRI) equipment, researchers found that when someone feels excluded there is corresponding activity in the dorsal portion of the anterior cingulate cortex — the neural region involved in the “suffering” component of pain. In other words, the feeling of being excluded provokes the same sort of reaction in the brain that physical pain might cause. The new change-leadership fundamentals emphasize inclusive and collaborative relationships. Social networks – those ties among individuals that are based on mutual trust, shared work experiences, and personal connections are the foundation for organizational success. Anything you as a leader can do to nurture these mutually rewarding relationships will also enhance the change readiness within your team and throughout your organization.

The biggest difference I’ve seen in the requirements for change leadership is a result of the shift from “the change” to “constant change” – and this is more than just semantics. Many leaders have become proficient in managing the occasional (or annual) large-scale transformation. But managers today are facing a flood of continuous, overlapping, and accelerating change that has turned their organizations upside down. And managing people in this environment requires all the communication and leadership strategies we learned in the past – and then some.

Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is an international keynote speaker and leadership presence coach. She’s the author of “The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt How You Lead” and creator of LinkedInLearning’s video series: “Body Language for Leaders.” For more information, visit https://CarolKinseyGoman.com

How to Use Social Selling for Your Small Business

social-media
monitis.com

Your network is your net worth

By Brian Sutter

“Your network is your net worth.” Ever heard that saying?

It goes all the way back to the days of paper Rolodexes, but it is just as important now.
The idea of using your network as a business asset is why social selling matters. And why every small business should be doing more of it.

networthing
Image source: Social Selling 2017 Trends Report

At its most basic level, social selling is similar to networking via social media… except it’s a little different.

To understand how it’s different may require some rewiring of how you think about social media.

You need to understand what social media is good for, and what it’s not good for. Social is a medium for connections – not for broadcast advertising. It’s a channel to build an audience and influence – not to send out thousands of spammy messages to people who have never heard of you or your business.

To give you an idea of how social selling fits into a social media strategy, let’s look at how most businesses develop their social strategy.

The fourteen stages of social media maturity

1. You have social media accounts. (You’ve at least dipped a toe into the water of social media…)

2. You post to these accounts every week or so.

3. You follow other people and organizations on social.

4. You respond to customer feedback or complaints on social, but sometimes it takes a few days to get around to it.

5. You begin to share other people and organizations’ content, in addition to your own.

6. You begin to comment on other people’s content. You begin to actively try to get your followers to comment on your content. (This is arguably the beginning of social selling.)

7. You start to ask your employees to share or comment on your content on social media. This is called employee advocacy, and it can support social selling. (Many small businesses are already doing this: We found that 76% of companies involve their employees in marketing efforts.)

8. You begin strategically paying for some of your content to get expanded reach. You are investing enough in social media to start to take it seriously. You believe it can get results.

9. Customer service on social media becomes a priority. You reduce how long you take to respond to customer complaints and feedback to a day or less.

10. You realize it’s okay to show your brand’s personality online, and to show people what it’s like to work at your company. You realize there is a human resources dimension to social. It could help you find good hires.

11. You become more adept at building an audience, and learn how to get that audience to respond. You may also develop personas to target for audience building (which is another level of sophistication that marks a social selling program).

12. You, or some of your sales staff, begin to build personal followings that may overlap a bit with your company’s social media audience. You begin to position yourself as an authority and an influencer in your industry or niche.

13. You begin to see your audience building/social media work as preliminary lead generation. You may begin to use some marketing automation to nurture the people who behave like potential leads.

14. You evolve into full-blown social selling. Specifically: You begin to strategically nurture relationships with some of these leads. You do this not by sending them direct messages or LinkedIn Inmails bluntly pitching your services, but by sharing information that would be useful to them.

This information – and the messages you send to gradually build a relationship over time – have no or very little sales messaging in them.

You realize that your prospect/new friend is keenly aware that you have a product or service they might someday want to buy. You are aware that your prospects/leads/audience is super-sensitive about sales pitches, and they tend to tune them out, if not overtly run from them.

Trying to do the hard sell with these people will only erode the trust you have worked so hard to build.

So, you do not push the issue. You make yourself useful and be friendly. You do this in such a way that when members of your audience are ready to buy, you’ll be the first person they think of. You maintain your relationship with them via social media (and perhaps a coffee at a conference or two), ideally personalizing every message you send them so they feel like you’re being genuine, not just moving them through a sales machine.

Of course, some companies will skip steps in this continuum. And some companies may accelerate through phase one to ten in a week, if they have a culture and a staff that is social media savvy.

But in general, that list is roughly how things evolve.

So, as you can tell, social selling requires some finesse. As good networking always has. And while the primary channel that social selling is done through is obviously social, good social selling builds so that you can email people, too. Or even meet a few people in real life.

If this sounds vaguely like the new Sales idea of “consultative selling,” you’re starting to get it. Social selling is most definitely consultative. So much so, that Tim Hughes, in his book, Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers, believes that soon “recruitment for salespeople with Klout scores of 50 and above will become the norm.”

Klout scores of 50 or higher don’t happen overnight, but they are achievable:

As you build your influence and reach online, you become an authority. A trusted person. And that trust is an essential ingredient to making a sale. Managed well, it can absolutely translate into more sales for your small business.

Almost everyone needs to be thinking about their level of influence online. In many ways, it’s the currency of social media, and of business, too. And given that so many small businesses are already having success with social media, it seems like to time for more small businesses to evolve towards a social selling model.

Article content from Score.org

 

How Many of the 4 Essential Entrepreneurial Traits Do You Have?

 

entrepreneur 1
businessnewsdaily.com

 

Successful entrepreneurs can have different backgrounds or strategies, but many share these four traits

By Dhaval Patel

What makes someone an entrepreneur? Some think entrepreneurs are born, others believe successful entrepreneurship comes from years of education or being lucky enough to have an influential mentor.

The truth is that entrepreneurs come in all different personality types, and come from all walks of life. There isn’t one simple way to determine what makes an entrepreneur. But, many entrepreneurs do share particular characteristics, regardless of their personal style or their business type. How many of these four important traits of entrepreneurs do you share?

1. Vision
Entrepreneurs see things others don’t. No, not in a sixth sense kind of way — rather, entrepreneurs see opportunities and and potential solutions where others have not. To an entrepreneur, the fact that something hasn’t been done before doesn’t discourage them, it excites them. And when they have an idea or a concept that forms in their mind to fill such a niche, they have the vision to see it through.

 

Entrepreneur 2
femaleentrepreneurassociation.com

 

Because of how clearly entrepreneurs see their vision, they are willing to put in ridiculous hours and energy into their project. They become obsessed with making their vision a reality. They can go deep into the process and can come across as being very intense. Entrepreneurs might go through trials and tribulations, but their unshakable vision keeps them going.

This goes beyond merely having goals and wanting to realize them. It speaks to having a purpose and being able to follow it through.

2. Self-possession
Someone who is self-possessed isn’t to be shaken easily. They are secure in who they are and their ideas.

Self-possession is an extremely important trait of entrepreneurs, because they will be faced with many obstacles on their journey. Usually, entrepreneurs are creating solutions or businesses where they have not existed before. As such, it can be difficult to obtain funding, to compete in different markets or even to gain the unwavering support of family and friends. That’s why having a strong sense of and belief in the self is vital to the entrepreneur’s success.

Does this mean entrepreneurs are self-obsessed? Sometimes, sure.

3. Drive
Entrepreneurs always seem to have more energy than the average person. Part of this is the vision discussed above, part of it is drive. Not only does the entrepreneur have the ability to generate an idea and believe in themselves enough to see its validity, but they have the inner drive to put in the work necessary to make it happen.

An entrepreneur doesn’t need a boss looking over their shoulder or a manager telling them what to do. They have an inner sense of purpose that propels them forward. This allows them to work tirelessly toward their goals.

This drive can help create a movement around their work. The intensity that entrepreneurs feel for their passion projects can inspire passion in others too. Moreover, this added help and support from others can be part of the fuel that makes their vision a reality.

 

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4. Flexibility
An entrepreneur has a vision, and they have the ability to see it through. But they also have the ability to be flexible and alter their vision to make it align with reality.

Entrepreneurs may have their heads in the clouds, but their feet are on the ground. They understand that to make their vision a reality, they need funding, assistance and any number of other resources. As such, they must be adaptable to working with others and adjusting their vision to suit these real world considerations.

While entrepreneurs are dedicated to their dreams, they can also see the benefits of changing it to be more inclusive or to improve the final product, service or business. They are open to hearing ideas and feedback and are able to use criticism in constructive ways.

It’s a simple fact that entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and styles. However, in spite of these differences, they do tend to share certain inherent traits. Do you want to gain more of an entrepreneurial spirit? Cultivating these traits will help you on your journey.   entrepreneur.com