3 Questions You Need to Ask to Do Business on YOUR Terms

Do you want your business to represent you as well as your mission? And do you also want to feel happy about the way you do business? The keys in this article help you accomplish all that – and more!

All heart-centered entrepreneurs have one thing in common:

They want to make a positive difference in the world.

And the ambitious ones, like my clients, and myself, want this difference to be BIG – as big as is possible for them.

Of course, they want to have a life as well.

Sure, they want to reach a lot of people. And yes, they want to make good money (whatever that amount is – that’s different for everyone).

But they don’t want to compromise themselves, their values, or their lifestyle.

Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way.

It can be hard to have it all: success, money, fulfillment, a thriving business and a great lifestyle.

Most people aren’t even sure it is possible to have it all – let alone believe that THEY are worthy of having it all!

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe in woowooland where the sun always shines and money grows on trees and everybody is loving and nice and smiling and happy-happy-happy all the time.

I’m too realistic and grounded for that. Life and business can be great, but that doesn’t mean there are no challenges, problems, disappointments or overall shitty experiences.

It can get pretty messy sometimes.

That’s part of business and of life.

But I DO believe it’s possible to create a business that supports your ideal lifestyle AND make a Big difference at the same time.

And I believe you owe it to yourself and your clients to take excellent care of yourself first, and to do your utmost to create a business that serves you instead of drains you.

(I’ll share lots of wisdom and practical tips on how to accomplish this in my upcoming book ‘The Art of Divine Selfishness – transforming the world by thinking of YOU’)

Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs do feel drained, overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid and unfulfilled.

I know – I have felt like that many times myself. Most recently in the last couple of months, when I didn’t manage to create enough alone time for myself.

Thankfully I have managed to turn this around by making a lot of decisions and changes in my business, programs and work schedule.

These 3 questions helped me with that.

They can help you get clarity around your business, mission and needs as well.

Question 1:

What wants to be expressed through me?

No, it’s not an easy question to answer.

But this question is absolutely essential. It helps you:

  • Go within yourself, and tap into your own inner wisdom;
  • Connect to your soul purpose, and
  • Connect to that thing that ONLY you can do, that thing you were born and uniquely suited to do.

One or more answers might come up right away, but it will probably take more time than that. Just keep the question in the back of your mind, and see what comes up.

Once the answers come up, start thinking about HOW you can express your purpose in your business:

What services, programs, products etc. could you turn your purpose into?

Question 2:

What do I need to express this purpose in a way that makes me happy?

  • What do you need?
  • How many hours do you want to work per day, week, month and year?
  • What does your ideal client look like? What boundaries do you need?
  • What don’t you want to put up with anymore?

Imagine that ANYTHING is possible, and you can create ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you want, like and need:

What would your business look like then?

Question 3:

What possible pitfalls or obstacles might be in the way of creating this ideal business of yours?

  • What could get in the way of you creating your ideal business? And how can you prevent this from happening or solve it if it does happen?
  • Maybe you need more knowledge, about business models and marketing and overall entrepreneurship. (This was my biggest obstacle when I started my business)
  • You might need more courage. Or boundaries. Or hire your first or second or third assistant.

This week’s transformational action:

  1. Take some time to answer these questions above.
  2. After that, translate your answers into actions.
  3. What do you need to do?

When will you do it?

Create bite size action steps or take a giant leap.

Whatever you do, act upon the insights you gained.

And remember: the action that seems hardest to take, is most likely the one that will yield the most results.

What Makes An Entrepreneur Tick?

It is only natural that when you start a business, you are doing something different than most people. They not only will look at you because you stick out like a sore thumb _ but human nature will cause people to naturally ridicule what you are doing. They will tell you all types of things like: “You’re not business material.” “You can’t make a living working for yourself.” “You’ll fail because nobody can ever make any money that way.”

Entrepreneurship is not just about having a lot of ideas or business sense. It is also about having a lot of guts. You have to build self-confidence in yourself. You have to only be concerned with pleasing yourself and your Creator (God) _ not mankind. Then, when (and if) you should fail with this particular venture, you’ll just dust yourself off and start again. It doesn’t matter if people “think” you’re nuts! They aren’t paying your rent and running your life. Don’t be concerned with what people “think” you should be. Just please yourself and do what you feel is right. People are too busy competing with society and “keeping up with the Jones’s” that they do things they are not comfortable with just to appease them and look “normal” (whatever that is.)

And if you have to start out small in building your self-confidence. I used to be so self-conscious that I would never eat at a restaurant alone because I thought people would believe I was lonely and had no friends. Unbelievable, but true. But, everyday I worked on walking into a restaurant, taking a magazine to read and eating alone. I would glance around, and to my amazement, no one ever looked at me. No one cared that I was eating alone. Then _ it dawned on me; “Who cares what these people think? I’ll never see them again.” Besides, there were a lot of other people eating alone also and I could absorb myself in the magazine I had took to read. Now, I can eat in restaurants and not give any thought to the people around me.

But back to business _ when most people do fail in business they try to “save face” by telling everyone they are “just in a slump” and everything will be back to normal soon. Besides, they don’t want people to say: “I told you so” and destroy any pride they are still hanging onto. Unfortunately, this only delays the problem and creates even more false hope for the people in your life as well as yourself.

The best thing to do for anybody in this catastrophe is to swallow their pride and admit they screwed up. Just face it head on! Admit that you were so proud of your accomplishments that your mind became diluted with “visions of sugar plums and fantasyland.”

If your small business is beyond repair, go out and find a job and begin working on your next small business in the near future. Keep your family fed and your financial obligations met but look forward to the day when you WILL succeed with your new business venture.

And why should you try again? Simply because you won’t make the same mistakes you made this time. If you built something successful before (but failed), you are certain to build the next business stronger and wiser. Even if you fail the second time, it won’t be because of mistakes you made the first time. You’ll learn more and more _ and eventually be successful. It’s inevitable!

With Internet’s help, you can get a lot of ideas by searching from google.com and overture.com, yahoo.com. In today’s information world, you are in a much better position to be successful if you really want to succeed.

How to Amaze Your People

The world is full of tribes. Some use words. Some use clicks. Some use clay. Some use ancient corn, harvest fruits, and wild locusts.

Whether you’re a metropolitan American or a rural Peruvian, you’ve got your tribes too. Social tribes. Media tribes. Startup tribes. In fact, the best entrepreneurs in the world all do one thing fantastically well: thrill their tribe. These tried-and-true tips will help you do exactly the same.

1. Listen fabulously.

People thrive off people who listen. Walls are torn down. Bridges are built. Partnerships are forged in the thick of it. Agatha Christie, who had a huge cultic following in her day, clearly got this.”An appreciative listener,” she explained, “is always stimulating.”

Yet even the best us are capable of missing the mark, of forfeiting the best opportunity in the world: the chance to listen. So practice like an Olympian. Learn to hear to what people say… how they say it… when they say it… what they fail to say.

Take deliberate steps. Enable comments on your blog. Create a cyber suggestion box. Host a weekly call-in talk program. Organize a bite-sized focus-group. Talk over coffee. Whatever you do, remember to actively listen to (yes, stimulate!) your tribe regularly.

2. Dish the beef.

Good information is better than a Picasso. And no one gets this more than Eli Pariser. In a world of ever-increasing “secret” collection of personalized data, he wrote a startling 300-page book–The Filter Bubble–to reveal “what the Internet is hiding from you.”

Bright Simons, a native of Ghana, created a business to stop medicine fraud in developing nations. Currently operating in eight countries worldwide, the Pedigree Network lets people determine with a text message whether their medicine is legitimate.

Sojourners magazine recently published an article to hip its tribe to the corporate world’s next move: eyeing the earth’s public water sources–salivating at the chance to turn it into a billion dollar “pay-to-drink” commodity.

Follow Pariser, Simons, and Sojourner magazine’s example. Folks need to know what’s happening, preferably from an engaged tribal leader like you. Be forward-thinking. Be brave. Never skimp on a slab of good information.

3. Bring the fireworks

What do Kaggle, YouNoodle, and Dwolla all have in common? They “wow” the socks off their tribes. And it’s not about rocket science.

For Kaggle, it’s about data science. A startup that marries “minds” to “matters”, Kaggle hosts online contests that allow the best and the brightest minds to solve hard-to-crack data problems. Able to enter from anywhere in the world, contestants are wowed not only by the sheer crank of the challenge, but also by the juicy rewards. (Think $6K or more, on average, per solution!).

YouNoodle builds competitions at the intersection of technologists and entrepreneurs. CEO Rebeca Hwang, much like Anthony Goldbloom of Kaggle, knows how to use her ‘noodle.’ Calling herself a “mega-connector” who helps make innovation happen, she’s got the right idea and the right platform: digital wonderment.

Ben Milne is educating business owners everywhere about unfair transaction fees–costing U.S. merchants alone a total of $66.5 billion in 2012! His solution? Dwolla: a no-fuss, bank-connected payment system that charges only.25 cents for any transaction of $10 or more. Anything less is hilariously free–signaling many corner-stores and coffee-shops to make a mad dash for Dwolla. (Thanks, Ben!)

Truly: The list doesn’t end here. Add your name today. Become a tribe-thriller and set your followers ablaze today. After all, this is not a job for the ‘Fantastic Four’. It’s a job for anyone who can lead with good listening, good information, and good innovation.

(Hint: That means you, Sherlock).

Essential Qualities Of An Entrepreneur

It is a great idea to want to start a business, but a person has to analyze and estimate if he has the qualities that are essential for being a successful entrepreneur.

Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur:

Entrepreneurs are persevering, are lovers of challenges, are action oriented and are quick to learn, and adopt techniques to perform better as well as improve their business. They are independent extroverts who have the ability to lead people, manage them effectively, and steer their business toward its success. They are intelligent and able to utilize their skills, time, resources, and energy effectively. They are emotionally stable and healthy. They set reasonable, realistic goals and determine the ways to achieve the goals without fuss, have good communication skills as well as the ability to judge people and trust them accordingly. They have business acumen even without attending any business school and have the right instinct to make the right decision at the right time. They have the ability to make maximum use of the available resources and do not fear failure and are able to solve problems and seek solutions to existing problems easily.

Some Other Traits of Entrepreneurs:

o Leadership: An entrepreneur is a natural leader with the vision and the drive to do things right and steer his company toward success with ease.

o Confidence: He has to be self-confident, confident in his plans as he has carefully researched them and has mastered the skills necessary to implement them carefully.

o Energetic: They have amazing capacity for hard work and are energetic, motivating those that come in contact with them on account of their drive and determination.

o Creative And Innovative: This will be an essential criterion to design and sell products that are interesting which offer several benefits and have a competitive edge, making sure they capture the target market on launch without much difficulty.

o Organized: Entrepreneurs have to be highly organized and systematic, making it possible to achieve things in a much shorter time. The ability to deliver anything that has been promised on time and the ability to stick to schedules are necessary for a person to be a successful entrepreneur.

o Have Trouble Being Subordinates: They usually are strong-willed and have trouble working under someone else.

o Highly Competitive: They are very competitive and will strive offer better services and products than the competition.

o Will Not Hesitate To Take Risks: Risks are part of any business, and a successful entrepreneur will have the knack of taking calculated risks that will only benefit the business.

o Will Not Hesitate To Seek Help When Necessary: They will hire necessary staff to help them in areas where they are not very confident.

These are some of the traits of entrepreneurs, which can be used as a checklist to determine if someone has the capability to be an entrepreneur. If you do start your own business, be sure to use the services as well as products offered by some firms to help new entrepreneurs like you succeed.

Entrepreneurs – Top 10 Essential Entrepreneurial Traits

Are you intrigued by the possibility of being your own boss and starting a business but not sure you have the right qualifications to be an entrepreneur? What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur? Although there is no single perfect entrepreneurial profile, there are many characteristics that show up repeatedly in successful business owners.

Following are the top 10 essential entrepreneurial traits that anyone who is interested in starting a business must possess:

    (1) Independence – This is the most common denominator of all entrepreneurs. They want to seize control of their future; thus they decide to become their own boss instead of laboring under the gaze of a master.

    (2) Persistence and Determination – The world of entrepreneurship is fraught with both success and failure. An important quality of a successful entrepreneur is the doggedness to continue pursuing a goal despite some setbacks and obstacles they may encounter on the road. This persistence and determination is fueled by a burning desire to achieve the goal of succeeding in the chosen field of business.

    (3) Self-Confidence – Along with independence, an entrepreneur possesses self-confidence. They believe in their capabilities and makes sure that they will put in their best effort into their particular endeavors and likewise expect the best results from it. Belief in one’s capabilities is very important in achieving any goal – especially in the world of entrepreneurship.

    (4) Creativity – In the business world, you can not afford to be complacent and uncreative unless you want the competition to move up on ahead of you. Creative people are naturally curious, inquisitive, bright and highly flexible when thinking. They keenly observe their environment and have an eye for spotting new trends that could spark a business opportunity.

    (5) Organized and goal-oriented – An entrepreneur knows the value of organization in a business endeavor. A good entrepreneur has the ability to consolidate resources.

    (6) Visionary – An entrepreneur has a vision for his/her future.

    (7) Risk-taking and Tolerance for Failure – A good entrepreneur realizes that loss and failure are inherent in any business endeavor. Thus, an entrepreneur must always be ready to make calculated risks and face whatever consequences accompany those risks. As in all fields of endeavor, the characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is in never giving up and in picking up the pieces and continuing the journey even if failure momentarily obstructs the way.

    (8) Perseverance and Hard Work – These are perhaps two of the most important entrepreneurial traits.

    (9) Commitment – An entrepreneur will not achieve success if he/she gives up at the first sign of trouble.

    (10) Honesty and Honor – Another very important mark of a good entrepreneur is being honest and honorable in all business dealings and interpersonal relationships – whether it is between business partners, employees, peers or investors.

If you possess these traits, you may have the necessary skill set to become a successful entrepreneur.