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The Business Plug

 

What Do The NonProfits Say About Their Experience With Elevate 2017?

Since June 2017, I have been pouring into various nonprofit dreamers. These are various people in our community who dream of having impact at the ground level. They see problems and offer solutions. They are not about pointing out the issues and waiting for others to address them. They are not just singling out what’s wrong with our society. These are over seventy-five men and women who have rolled up their sleeves and put on their work gloves to get their hands dirty doing the work in our communities. Check out the videos from Logan, Sharon and Pamela to get n idea.:

 

Dear New Entrepreneur…Your Most Valuable Tools Are Your Ears

 

 

My social media community consists of new entrepreneurs in all age groups: tweens, teens, young adults, middle agers and seniors. My most seasoned follower is 90+ years young. She inboxes me a thumb up every now and then. It makes me smile. Whenever I am hosting an event or helping someone to find a reliable resource, as much as possible I pull from my online community because within my network are some of the sharpest, brightest entrepreneurs, creators, and doers. I get to watch how they do business over time so I get to see the reviews, the attitudes, the professionalism or the lack thereof. And, yes, there definitely are levels in my community. This gives me a range of personalities from which to draw resources.

Many of my followers are product gurus, meaning they are subject matter experts (SMEs) on the products or services they provide in the marketplace. However, with the exception of the ones I met in various learning situations, for the most part my social media network members have little to no knowledge of business or  do not know what it takes to keep a business afloat. Now wait a minute…before you start to feel some kind of way thinking I’m be overly critical…the statistics bear me out. Depending on which industry their precious product or service follows, the failure rate ranges between fifty and ninety percent. Whoa!  Now, this percentage isn’t because everyone has a bad idea nor is it because they have bad products. Most new entrepreneurs go into business without being properly educated in the subject of….”business.” 

For this reason, when new entrepreneurs do business with me or contact me to see how to begin doing business, most times, I will offer them basic tips to help them look more polished. Some thank me and use the information to fine tune their approach, but then there are those who become offended. The ones who become offended are probably the ones who will close in 3-5 years because they are too head strong to listen to what me or their customers are telling them.

The “build it and they will come” approach only worked in that movie for Kevin. No one is required to pay you for your business idea. Customers are a privilege and should be treated as such. Therefore, it behooves smart business owners to listen to the advice from people who have been in business longer. Being cocky and impatient with your customers and business peers serves no one and most of all it could derail your wonderful business idea.  If trusting the information you receive is an issue, I suggest getting a mentor as soon as possible so you can bounce ideas around. 

 

New entrepreneurs should know as much, if not more, about the financials, marketing, sales, break even points, sales margins, profit margins, target customers, etc., as they do their product. Failure to spend time learning these things is a true recipe for the potential of failure. Find a community business class or take classes offered at a college. The investment will be worth it in the long run and will help the business to become sustainable. The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) has free information in person and online. It is the most under used resource in the business community. SCORE (www.score.org) is another invaluable resource that most new business owners fail to utilize.

Regardless of the new entrepreneur’s age, the ears and the ability to use them to perform active listening is paramount in the entrepreneur arena. There is so much to learn that new business owners have no idea how much they really don’t know. The first five years are crucial to their longevity and so it is imperative that they follow the “two ears, one mouth rule” by talking less and listening more. Applying this rule and soaking up all the information they can find to build their business acumen in their industry will help them to become experts and strong competitors. Couple that strength with patience and perseverance and they will be around for the long run. Dear new entrepreneur…your most valuable tools are your ears. Learn to use them well. All the best.



Linda Murray Bullard
Chief Business Strategist

 

 

 

Chief Business Strategist Linda Murray Bullard on Getting Clients

10 Successful Coaches Share Their #1 Tips for Getting Clients

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Are You Like A Rosebush Or A Hydrangea?

I love planting seeds and watching them grow into beautiful plants and flowers that provide natural fragrances whenever I get the opportunity to sit on either of my front decks. The fragrances are wonderful, but there is another reason I love planting plants and flowers. The maintenance of them nourishes my spirit and educates my soul.

While purging the weeds and helping my flowers to reach for the sun, I always listen for the tales of Nature. Nature always provides a training session that I can apply to my life, if I just slow my pace and listen. Just like a bee knows where to find the nectar of the flower, if I listen, I find the nectar in Nature’s life lessons.

Recently, while pulling weeds I noticed something about my hydrangeas and my knockout roses. I planted them right after I built the house. They hydrangeas were puny and didn’t look like they were going to make it. I became worried if they would survive those first years with all the snow we had.

 

Actual 2008 picture of Hydrangea Plant

I think the hydrangea was actually mowed over once. Poor thing, it didn’t look to well. One year, I think it decided not to even try to grow. The knock out roses received praises from everyone from the neighbors to the mailmen to the random passerby. They were glorious and went well with the previous color scheme. They stood tall and proud. I would receive cuts and scrapes every time I tried to pull weeds from killing them. Ouch!

The Hydrangea, was self-contained, but solid. it kept the weeds away and grew tightly knitted so weeds were easily removed without any problems at all. I noticed that the rose bushes had all types of weeds, although it was full of thorns for protection, it would constantly allow whatever predator invade its space without any fight at all. It looked good, but it never protected itself. The only person it protected itself from was ME! Ouch! Every time I tried to kill the weeds, I was attacked by the rosebush! It loved hanging with weeds! It enjoyed being diseased. It seem to enjoy being crippled and attacked. The rosebush enjoyed the abuse so much until it was hard for me to tell where the weeds started and the rosebush ended. In what seemed like overnight, soon there was no sign of the rosebush at all, only a big tree in the place of what used to be a rosebush. The tree looked nothing like the rosebush at all. Although it fought me every single time; it gave over to the tree without any incident at all.

In the meantime, the hydrangea continued to grow in its many colors and became huge. It only had an occasional weed and soon overpowered anything that came for it. It was determined to survive. Nothing could overtake it. It would adjust its color to the ph balance in the ground and go from purple to blue to white. It was a huge beautiful plant that although it did not have all the beauty of the roses starting out, it endured until the end and actually lasted longer than the roses. I purchased ten rosebushes and two hydrangeas. I now have two each. The hydrangeas are just as big as the rosebushes. They are continuing to grow.

Moral: It doesn’t matter what you started out with. If you are determined to grow and survive, you are built to last. Apply yourself toward learning. Learn how to become stronger…more knowledgeable of those things you don’t know…be like the hydrangeas. Nothing can stop you.  It’s not how your start out, but how you end. You were built to ENDURE.

#ThinkHigher

Linda Murray Bullard, MBA

Lead Business Strategist