After several years of meeting and learning from some of the most successful internet and home business entrepreneurs in the world, I have discovered the secrets to their success. And today I am going to share it with you. Are you ready? Here it is. THERE IS NO SECRET! That's right. There is no secret formula or system or tool that is going to build a successful business for you. It takes hard work and dedication, passion and creativity, patience and persistence.
That doesn't mean there aren't some tips and tools that they know that you don't. Not secrets - just some tips they have learned along the way that you may not have discovered yet. And that is what we are going to share.
1. Before you do anything else - and I mean ANYTHING else - learn all you can about marketing your business. If I had taken that one small step, I would have saved myself years of wasted time, effort and money. No matter what business you are in, you have to know how to market it if you want to succeed. Whether you are in the coaching business, or the sales business, or the design business, or any business, you are also in the marketing business. And the best resource I know for anyone beginning to learn the marketing business: Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch. It has become my marketing bible.
2. Be yourself! Capitalize on what makes you and your business unique. Copycat businesses, cookie cutter websites, and outright plagiarism are everywhere these days. I Googled a phrase just the other day and pulled up 4 websites that all had the exact same information - word for word! And yet each of the owners of the sites publicized themselves as "experts". Experts in what? Don't lose touch with yourself. Too many entrepreneurs try to pretend to be something or somebody different from what they are just to be
successful. They only thing they are is phony. And most people can spot phony
right away. If you aren't credible, you and your business won't go anywhere. The best resource available to help you showcase all that is special about you - Own Your Niche by Stephanie Chandler.
3. Do something everyday! Seriously. Many beginning entrepreneurs are also still working jobs or are busy caring for children - or as in my case, a parent. We work all week at these and save our business-building tasks for the weekend. But then the weekend comes and there are chores to do and errands to run and before you know it our business idea is just a distant dream. And then we start to make excuses. I know them all. I used to use them myself. "I'm not
sure this will work." "I need more information." "I'm waiting until the new
_______ (computer, software package, printer, etc) goes on sale." "I can't
afford _____ (to advertise, host a website, hire a coach, etc)." "I don't have
enough time." "I just need my _______ (website, infoproduct, ebook, etc) to
look a little bit better."
Determine never to be idle. Do at least one thing every day to advance you
toward your goal. It may be the wrong thing sometimes, but it's still better
than doing nothing. Thomas Jefferson said, "It is wonderful how much may be done
if we are always doing" Think how much you can accomplish towards your business
and financial goals if you do one thing every day. Bob Jenkins says it best: Take Action. Revise Later!
4. Learn to serve. Your value to others is directly related to how well you serve
them. Focus on providing the best possible service to as many people as
possible and the rest will take care of itself. The Bible says it very well -
"As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Focus on serving your customers and I promise
your business will grow in direct proportion to your service.
5. Network, network, network! Even I have had to concede and jump on the Facebook
bandwagon. You never know where you might meet your next customer, mentor,
partner. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn all have hordes of loyal users. Learn to
put yourself and your business in front of them effectively using these
tools. And don't forget live networking events. I started out in business as a meeting planner and Ken McArthur was one of my
clients. He often invited me to attend one of his events and finally one day I
was able to. That event changed my life simply because of who I met there. By the way, I will be attending Ken's next jvAlert Live event in Denver, July 26 - 28. I would love to meet you there! Not sure how to take advantage of all the possibilities? Read Currency: Striking Networking Gold in a Relationship Economy by Carrie Perrien Smith.
6. Never stop learning. Attend a seminar. Read books - business books, leadership
books, inspirational books. Take a course. The more you know, the more you can
offer. And the more you can offer, the more valuable you become.